WSIRN Ep 48: It’s good to be a Special Readerly Snowflake

Your Tuesday book fix has arrived! Settle in for a fresh episode of What Should I Read Next.

This week our guest Maxwell Dunn introduces me to a whole new wonderful world of book lovers online—the Booktube community! Booktube is known best for its voracious YA fans, but there’s a book vlogger out there for every literary palate. Max is a great example of this; his videos cover serious award winners, challenging experimental works, and deep dives into substantial modern literature.

In today’s episode, we talk about stories with unique structural elements, books that swing wildly between 1 and 5 star ratings, and the best way to find a Booktube creator who shares your taste. I think you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.

What Should I Read Next #48: It's good to be a Special Readerly Snowflake with Maxwell Dunn

Curious about the world of Booktube? Max’s channel is a great place to start your exploration. Plus, keep up with his book life on Twitter, Instagram, and Goodreads.

Books discussed in this episode: 

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• The Shadow of the Wind, by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
• Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, by Jonathan Safran Foer
• Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, by James Joyce
• Never Let Me Go, by Kazuo Ishiguro
• The Bone Clocks, by David Mitchell
• Americanah, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
• Homegoing, by Yaa Gyasi
• So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed, by Jon Ronson
• My Brilliant Friend (Neopolitan novels), by Elena Ferrante
• Cloud Atlas, by David Mitchell
• The Best American Short Stories 2016, edited by Junot Diaz
• Dead Souls, by J. Lincoln Fenn
• Before We Visit the Goddess, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
• The Mistress of Spices, by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
• Blindess, Jose Saramago
• Station Eleven, Emily St. John Mandel
• Lucky, Alice Sebold
• The Lovely Bones, Alice Sebold
• A Little Life, Hanya Yanagihara
• All At Sea, Decca Aitkenhead
• When Breath Becomes Air, Paul Kalanithi

Also mentioned: 

NPR interview with Yaa Gyasi
• Jessica Jones (Netflix series)
• The Lovely Bones (movie)


Leave A Comment
  1. Tammy says:

    Such a great episode!
    The different structures of novels conversation reminded me of Ella Minnow Pea – where the novel gets written with less and less letters.
    Cannot wait to check out booktube now!

  2. AAAAHHHH!! I love Maxwell! His channel is so great. I discovered Booktube about 2.5 years ago and I definitely have my favorites. I spend a lot of time watching booktube videos. I can’t wait to listen to this episode!

  3. Christina says:

    Oh Anne and Maxwell… you’ve opened up yet another new world to me. First it was the podcast, now you tell me there’s BookTube?!?!? OH JOY! and OH how I wish I had a few more hours in each day for pure leisure activities.
    Loved the podcast today!

  4. Sherrie says:

    When will I learn that I need to just keep my Goodreads page open to add books the entire time I’m listening? Loved the episode – Thanks Anne and Maxwell!

  5. Elizabeth Brink says:

    For short stories, I recommend Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri. I read it in college and again for a book group about three years ago. It’s really, really good.

  6. Ana says:

    Great talk about great books. I love booktube! I watch a lot of booktubers but currently MercysBookishMusings and Jen Campbell are my favourite. I started watching Max couple of months ago and I think The Hours by Michael Cunningham is something he’d really enjoy.

  7. Audrey says:

    I also loved “The Shadow of the Wind” by Zafon. I am curious as to whether Max has read “A Gentleman in Moscow” by Towles or the short story collection “Great Stories by Chekov”. I am not a fan of short stories, but I did love Chekov’s stories.

  8. Tracey C. says:

    Thank you for listing the books in mentioned order, instead of alphabetically! I listen to the podcast on the go, and come back later to update my want-to-read shelf on Goodreads, and it’s much easier to remember which book was which when they’re listed like this. Thanks! Great episode!

  9. Sarah M says:

    This might be my favorite conversation yet! Although I haven’t read (or heard of) most of these books, I just loved the way Max spoke about his favorites. Going to have to check out booktube, of which I knew nothing about!

  10. Lindsey says:

    I loved the conversation around books that are actually a collection of short stories, but read like novels! Homegoing and Before We Visit the Goddess were two of the best books I have read this year, and I would love to read more like this — any suggestions? Thank you!

  11. Cristina Duarte Ferreira says:

    I am enjoying binge listening to this podcast. It is very interesting. Thank you for doing it.
    Just a side note: José Saramago is not from South America. He is from Portugal.

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