WSIRN Ep 44: Like speed dating, but with authors

Happy Tuesday! Your weekly dose of literary matchmaking has arrived, with this new episode of What Should I Read Next!

Today I’m thrilled to introduce you to my kindred bookish internet spirit Annie Jones. Annie is an indie bookstore owner in Thomasville, Georgia. In this episode we talk about her crazy unlikely path to bookstore ownership, her love of dysfunctional family literature, and how meeting readers and authors in person changes the way you experience a book.  I’m guessing you’ll also be happy to hear that unlike lots of guests, Annie has LOTS of books she doesn’t like.

What Should I Read Next #44: Like speed dating, but with authors

Are you in Georgia (or looking to take a road trip)? Check out Annie’s gorgeous shop in Thomasville, The Bookshelf. If you’re not local, you can still keep up with The Bookshelf on Instagram, and through their podcast From The Front Porch. Connect with Annie on her website and personal Instagram.

Books discussed in this episode: 

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• Crossing To Safety, by Wallace Stegner
• Wild, by Cheryl Strayed
• The Hamster Princess, by Ursula Vernon
• The Popularity Papers, by Amy Ignatow
• The Mighty Odds, by Amy Ignatow
• The Martian, by Andy Weir
• The Happiness Project, by Gretchen Rubin
• Everyone Brave is Forgiven, by Chris Cleave
• Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel
• Sons & Daughters of Ease & Plenty, by Ramona Ausubel
• The Mothers, by Britt Bennett
• Commonwealth, by Ann Patchett
• Walt, by Russell Wangersky
• Year of Living Danishly, by Helen Russell
• You’ll Grow Out Of It, by Jessi Klein
• Love Warrior, by Glennon Doyle Melton
• Walking On Water: Reflections on Faith and Art, by Madeleine L’Engle
• Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, by Susan Cain
• Swing Time, by Zadie Smith
• My Brilliant Friend, by Elena Ferrante
• The After-Party, by Anton DiSclafani
• What We Keep, by Elizabeth Berg
• The Children, by Ann Leary
• This Is Where I Leave You, by Jonathan Tropper

Also mentioned: 

• Annie’s bookstore podcast From the Front Porch


Leave A Comment
    • SoCalLynn says:

      I enjoyed it and am on the second in the series. Maybe “enjoyed” isn’t the word for the saga that it is, but it’s so beautifully written, well worth reading.

    • Erin in CA says:

      My MIL is Italian and loved this series (although she read it in Italian, and in fact when she was telling me about it, she couldn’t figure out what the title was in English, because “brilliant” could’ve gone a few different ways). I started the first one, but put it down pretty quickly. I think I need to start it in January or something — a less busy time of life. Wasn’t compelling enough to keep my interest right now.

  1. Melisa says:

    Everything I Never Told You is recent/popular so Annie may have already read it. But it fits the bill for a “dysfunctional literary family.”

      • Natasha Stone says:

        I think probably! Dysfunctional families, some absolute tragedies but a lot of beauty as well. Lovely writing from a debut author

  2. Mary Jane McNeill says:

    Thank you for having my favorite bookstore owner as your guest! Annie is a gem, and we are so fortunate to have her in here in Thomasville. She is a wealth of recommendations! And isn’t her laugh the cutest??

  3. If you love spiritual memoirs, i have have have to recommend surprised by oxford. one of my favorite reads of the year. I wanted to finish it but i also wanted to read it slowly to truly learn and get all of it.

  4. Donna says:

    Hi Anne!
    I just love your podcasts. Just thought I’d point out that the author of The Children is Ann Leary.
    Thanks for all the thoughtful recommendations as always!

  5. I was enthralled with this episode– LOVED hearing all the talk about what it was like to be at a book show. What was the design blog (?) you both discussed who moderated Annie’s talk? I was curious about it and can’t find it in the shownotes. I was so into the podcast that I, at some point, forgot where I was in my driving journey (mind you, it was suuper early as I was driving to the airport for a 6:10 am flight, but still!!!!). Maybe you should have a caution against driving while listening 😉 Thank you Anne and Annie.

    • Annie says:

      Hi, Elisabeth! Grace Bonney, the creator and curator of Design Sponge, moderated my SIBA panel. Definitely check out her website and her new book, In the Company of Women. She was lovely! (And thanks for listening to the episode — glad you enjoyed it!)

  6. Sonya says:

    Really enjoyed today’s podcast. Just thought I would let you know Flyleaf Books is in Chapel Hill, not Asheville. However, we do have a fabulous independent bookstore in Asheville…Malaprops. Come visit! I will be sure to stop by your bookstore should I ever be in Thomasville, GA.

  7. Sarah M says:

    Madeline L’Engle, Barbara Brown Taylor, Susan Cain’s “Quiet”, and “The Martian”–all books and authors I LOVE…I’m going to have to now read a few of her other mentioned books because I think she share similar tastes. Sigh. Never gonna’ get ahead in that TBR pile…. 🙂

    • Annie says:

      Hi, Lucille! I read We Are Called to Rise with a book club — it was completely different from what I was expecting (I think the cover maybe made it look lighter/fluffier than it was!), but I really thought the writing was great, and the story was so unusual. I enjoyed it, and enjoyed talking about it with my book club even more. Great pick!

  8. Mary says:

    Anne Bogel, your comments on the link from the book Wild are amazing and have greatly touched my heart. Thank you for sharing and bless you!

  9. AS soon as you said dysfunctional family literature, I immediately thought of “The Children,” so I was glad to hear it recommended. Another perfect fit (although a couple of years old) is “Lookaway, Lookaway” by Wilton Barnhardt. I enjoyed both on audio.

  10. Marion says:

    As far as dysfunctional families, The House We Grew Up in by Lisa Jewell definitely falls into that category. Thanks for putting the titles back in the order they are discussed.

  11. Brooke says:

    Since this episode aired, I’ve listened to a few episodes of Annie’s podcast and I LOVE it! Great discussion, witty banter, and the tone is similar to Anne’s. I am all the way in California but I enjoy this podcast anyway.

  12. Rachel says:

    I bought Station Eleven to read on vacation, I was completely captivated. I kept hearing it referenced on your podcast and I didn’t know if it would be the kind of book I’d enjoy, but I really really did!!
    I noticed somewhere you asked who our favorite guests have been-I hope you have Annie back on the show, along with Leigh Cramer and Ana Salazar. All of your guests have been great, I think I just loved the conversations with these three the best. Thanks Anne- I really enjoy this show!

  13. Kristin says:

    I have been reading the Inseparables by Stuart Nadler and thinking of Annie…wondering if she would like this novel about families. I also started listening to her own podcast and have been enjoying it. I worked in an independent bookstore for 12 years, so both of your podcasts make me happy!

  14. Meg Longley says:

    Hi Anne
    I really enjoy your podcast so much. I keep my To Read list on LibraryThing (which I love and highly recommend). I often stop in mid-episode and add books via their app. Today I thought I’d just check and see how my To Read list is looking. It’s up to 160 books! This is your fault–haha! Just had to tell you this. And please never stop doing this podcast. I’m always a little behind, but I love every episode. Thanks!

  15. Mel says:

    Just put a hold on Walking on Water from my library.
    I went to Amazon and saw on the page for Walt, so many of the books were listed as also viewed. It made me laugh in a “my people were here!” way.
    On a WSIRN binge right now since the holidays are over and I can dedicate more time to reading (I did meet my 2016 Goodreads goal!) and also have an Amazon gift card to burn on books.
    Happy 2017 to all my fellow readers

  16. Sarah Groundwater-Law says:

    I want to get on a plane and go to this lovely sounding bookshop and meet Annie! This is so old so I doubt you are still checking – but a incredible saga-esque (I know – not a real word) novel about a dysfunctional family is “Fall On Your Knees” by Anne Marie McDonald. I don’t know if dysfunctional is the right word / this family goes far beyond dysfunctional. It is very sad, wonderful, heartbreaking and I am sure needs some trigger warnings but an incredible piece of literature

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