WSIRN Ep 40: Spouses of Readers Anonymous

Time to settle in for a freshly brewed episode of What Should I Read Next.

Today I’m delighted to welcome friend and bookstore owner Holland Saltsman to the show. When I first thought of starting a podcast, Holland was one of the very first people I wanted to have on. And she was one of the first people I interviewed for the show. And the audio quality on that recording was so poor (for reasons I still don’t understand, although as you’ll see, Holland has her theories) I was terrified to give it another go for almost a full year.

Holland is one of my favorite people to talk books with, because she’s smart, and funny, and tells it like it is. I’ve been excited about this one for a long time.

What Should I Read Next #40: Spouses of Readers AnonymousPhoto credit: Fresh Art Photography

Follow Holland Saltsman and all her bookstore-owning shenanigans at The Novel Neighbor’s website, as well as on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!

Books discussed in this episode: 

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All The Light You Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr
Behind Closed Doors, by B.A. Paris
The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper, by Phaedra Patrick
Fate & Furies, by Lauren Groff
The Girl You Left Behind, by JoJo Moyes
Me Before You, by JoJo Moyes
The Miniaturist, by Jessie Burton
The Muse, by Jessie Burton
The Nest, by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney
The Nightingale, by Kristin Hannah
The One-In-A-Million Boy, by Monica Wood
Present Over Perfect, by Shauna Niequist
Someone Else’s Love Story, by  Joshilyn Jackson
The Sparrow, by Mary Doria Russell
Unwind, Neal Shusterman
The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window And Disappeared, by Jonas Jonasson

Also mentioned in this episode:

• The Novel Neighbor bookstore in St. Louis
• Books On The Nightstand podcast


Leave A Comment
  1. Susan says:

    I love the podcast and am looking forward to listening to this episode!

    On another topic, have you changed something in the blog design? The text is such a light gray and not enough of a contrast to the background making it hard for my 45 year old eyes to read. 🙁 Do others have this problem?

  2. Susan in TX says:

    Oh my, Anne. You’ve got to get to The Sparrow. I first heard of it from Ann Kingman as well, and read it back when BOTNS and The Readers (Simon Savage and Thomas Otto) read it as 1 of their 4 to discuss at their Booktopia weekend. I didn’t know anyone local to me who had read it and when I finished it, I forced it on my husband with the words, “I need you to read this ASAP because I need to TALK about it.” It’s a great one for book clubs because there are so many different themes to explore. I’m personally hoping you’ll get to it sooner than later and share your thoughts with us. ?It’s not for everyone, though. And I wouldn’t categorize it as a “favorite” so much as “great book for discussion.”
    Great episode!

  3. Cheri says:

    This was my favorite episode ever! Holland’s favs were some of mine too. I can’t wait to read Curious Charms and listen to the books recommended for her. On a side note, on a visit to St Louis to visit my son, I made a visit to Novel Neighbor(after hearing about the store on one of your previous podcasts). Loved, loved the store. Looking forward to a return spoke about A Man Called Ove, which I really enjoyed, but my favorite
    Backman book is My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry. Highly recommended.

  4. Jocelyn says:

    Oh my gosh Anne should work in the bookstore and then talk about it on the show. I worked in a bookstore and these are some of my fave things that happened …. A little girl about 8 screams “I am not going to stop screaming until you buy me a book.” A boy (about 10) with an ecstatic sigh “I don’t know why I love books so much .. but I just do.” (Loved that kid) A mother points out a beautiful collection of Winnie the Pooh hardcovers to her 5 year old daughter who says “That’s for babies!” Kids are so funny when they are not yours.

  5. Kari Ann says:

    Ah- episode 40. I’ve listened to every episode. I’m a bit of a book nerd, so I’ve been keeping track of the books discussed. To date I have already read 100 of the books mentioned. I’ve added 43 to my TBR pile and read 21 so far. LOVE this podcast. It makes my bookish heart happy.

  6. Kimberly Bunyard says:

    Yet another great podcast, but I kept feeling like I was missing something? How did the title apply?
    And there were soooo many books mentioned that intrigued me in this episode. I know many don’t like the list/spoilers for the episode, but this one would have been great to have had in order since I listen in the car and cannot write as I go.
    Looking forward to the bonus podcast tomorrow!

    • Rebekah says:

      I agree with Kimberly. When the list is scrambled, if you miss the title, it is hard to figure out which book has been recommended. I had to listen to the last 15 minutes four times to figure out the name of the final recommendation.

  7. Sarah says:

    There were so many great recommendations today! I put several on hold on Overdrive and a few were even available. While I haven’t read The Sparrow, it made me think of Emily St. John Mandel’s novels, although I haven’t had a chance to read all of her books yet.

  8. Really loved this episode, mostly because I feel like my taste is very similar to Holland’s. How many harassing comments before we can convince you to read The Sparrow now???

    I’m excited to read Curious Charms now, her favorite I hadn’t read.

  9. Megan says:

    Another low emoter here! I read Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper and cried though! Father daughter stuff get me! What a sweet, funny, lovely story! She was my third mention so I finally read it! I got it on sale thanks to your spot on Kindle Deals email!

  10. Marion says:

    This was another great podcast and I’ve listened to all of them. Holland mentioned she loves to talk about kids books and i love to hear about them too. I’m always on the look for good titles to share with the young ones in my life–especially middle grade and YA books. How about an entire podcast on that type of book. Anne, the podcast with your daughter was a hit at this house.

  11. Marie says:

    Hi Anne! I’m having trouble downloading this episode as well as episode 39 on my iphone because it seems like they are not compressed enough. I’m getting a message that they are over 100 MB, and that I should download them on a computer instead. I’m not seeing this issue come up in any other comments, so maybe it’s just a glitch with my phone! I was able to listen to episode 41 without a problem.
    Has anyone else reported a similar issue?
    As usual, thanks for supplying me with my favorite podcast!!

  12. Diane says:

    So happy to get to know Holland through your podcasts. I agree with so much you talked about. “THE NEST” also didn’t do a thing for me. . . and I concur with your assessment of “Someone’s Else’s Love Story”. That book was an accidental find for me, and I was so surprised at the depth of that novel. There is much more going on than the blurb on the jacket mentions. Thanks for another great podcast, as well as your Fall recommendations. My “To Read” list is exploding.

  13. Shar says:

    Anne, this episode was FANTASTIC! I big, gooey heart loved this one. My Tuesday and Wednesday were so busy that I was unable to listen until this morning and it was worth the wait. I could tell that you and Holland talk books frequently, both to each other and to other fellow readers. Your book chatter was so fun. Not to mention that we were able to hear about a ton of books. And, I could tell that you two are used to recommending books with one another, and had traded titles (literally and figuratively) often. I enjoy every episode so much, so keep up all the great work! Thanks! P.S. Totally picking up The Sparrow.

  14. Katie from Nashville says:

    I am on the last (audiobook) chapter of Someone Else’s Love Story, and I am sad it is almost over! What a find! I am up at the crack of dawn to finish before the kids get up!

  15. Danielle says:

    Truly enjoyed this lovely episode, it felt so much like I was eavesdropping on a conversation between bookish friends over coffee. My TBR list is exploding, thank you ?

  16. Sheryl Esau says:

    I loved this episode, too, and am moving up several books on my to be read list. I loved The One In a Million Boy and have recommended it to me several times already. Hearing you two talk about it made me love it more. I was also thrilled to hear the shout out to The Unwind series, my personal favorite of the many distopian books I’ve read. While disturbing, there were many lovable characters and such an interesting, thought provoking series. I did almost nothing be read and work until I finished the whole series.

  17. Theresa says:

    I really loved this episode. My TBR list was blown up by it. I especially enjoyed hearing about all the great audio book recommendations. I am going through about an audio book a week right now – You could say it is what is saving me right now and I really enjoyed hearing about the books that are good in that format. Have you ever thought about doing an extra special audio book episode? Keep up the good work!

  18. Jules says:

    Ok I know there’s no pleasing everyone but I was just wishing that you had the inclination to list out the books discussed, grouping them into 3 favorites, and 3 recommends because I always forget the title and have to scroll through the books discussed and try to figure out which ones I was interested in and at least listing them in order they were brought up helped. I’m bummed they are now listed alphabetically. It sounds like others didn’t like the “spoiler.” That’s my two cents. But I will continue to read and listen anyway because off all the hard work you put out there, so thanks. I’m still a fan. (And feel free to put in a spoiler alert section where you list the books by loves/hates-recommends/other ?).

  19. Lisa says:

    I just listened to this episode a couple days ago. I had an audible credit that immediately following the podcast I used to purchase Someone Else’s Love Story. I was hooked with the first few lines. Thanks for the recommendation.

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