WSIRN Ep 74: Finally falling in love with reading – at 30!

Today’s guest hails from Austin, TX, and enjoys the simple things in life: wine, books, chips & salsa. As host of The Happy Hour podcast, it might be fair to say Jamie Ivey is a happiness “professional.”

Most of our guests can come up with anecdotes about childhoods reading under the covers or sneaking books to the dinner table, but today Jamie gives her perspective as a NON-lifetime reader! We also chat about the 5 different ways you can feel about a book, relationship-centric stories, and good news if you’re looking to squeeze more reading time into the day—we share our favorite techniques for reading in the bathtub. 😉

I think this episode will brighten your day just as much as it brightened mine – click PLAY and join us!

What Should I Read Next #74: Finally falling in love with reading - at 30! with Jamie Ivey

Connect with Jamie Ivey around the internet:
Blog | Podcast | Instagram | Twitter | Goodreads

Books mentioned in this episode:

Some links are affiliate links. More details here.

• Hillbilly Elegy, by J. D. Vance
• A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle
• Reset Your Child’s Brain: A Four-Week Plan to End Meltdowns, Raise Grades, and Boost Social skills by Reversing the Effects of Electronic Screen-Time, by Victoria L. Dunckley MD
• Sweet Girl, By Rachel Hollis
• The Invention of Wings, by Sue Monk Kidd
 • The Mothers, by Brit Bennett
• The Kitchen House, by Kathleen Grissom
• The Martian, by Andy Weir
• Little Bee, by Chris Cleave
• Everyone Brave is Forgiven, by Chris Cleave
• Lab Girl, by Hope Jahren
• Orphan Train, by Christina Baker Kline
• A Piece of the World, by Christina Baker Kline
• Love Walked In, by Marisa de los Santos
• The Precious One, by Marisa de los Santos
• Belong To Me, by Marisa de los Santos

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  1. I loved the ease of this conversation! I also enjoyed “What Should We Eat Next!” Can you link to the recipes you referred to?

    I requested at least 4 books from this podcast at the library! We shall see what comes in first.

  2. Susan says:

    This might be “off topic” for this podcast, but is the live one Anne did at The Novel Neighbor bookstore in St Louis going to be here for us to listen to? I keep checking….

  3. Leigh says:

    Love Walked In is on my list of top ten books I’ve ever read. Exquisite writing and such a great story.

    I would recommend Water From My Heart by Charles Martin for Jamie to read next. Compelling story, believable, if flawed, characters, themes of redemption, survival and love, both between people and the love of God. I have read all of Martin’s works save the most recent and while I can wholeheartedly recommend them all, this is my favorite.

  4. cals says:

    A fun episode and fun conversation! I just bought Lab Girl on a whim without knowing much about it and now that I’ve listened to this, I’m glad I did!

  5. Natalie says:

    Can someone remind me of the narrator for Sense and Sensibity that Anne suggested for Jamie to try on Audible? Thanks!

  6. Michele says:

    Fun podcast. I went to college in San Antonio 30 years ago and became a true Texan, even though life didn’t take me back to live there again. I just heard the last of Rosamund Pike’s Pride & Prejudice this morning; great narration!
    I love listening to Audible – and now podcasts, as I can stay busy working while listening to marvelous things. — Michele

  7. Aimee says:

    My secret for bath reading with my kindle: I put it in a quart ziplock bag! Fits perfectly and the pages still turn. I’ve done that for years, and it saved my bath reading life!

    • Susan says:

      What a great idea for keeping the Kindle safe and dry! How do you keep the water in the tub warm enough that you want to stay in it?? 🙂

      • Aimee says:

        I make it really hot initially, and when it cools off I get out. Occasionally, I’ll drain some water and add some hot water!

    • Jill W. says:

      Great episode! Jamie, if you like character driven narratives, great writing, and something a little out of the box, I think you should check out Life After Life by Kate Atkinson (and if you like it, its companion book, A God in Ruins). It takes a little bit to get used to the structure of the novel, so stay with it for 50 pages or so, but it is one of the most original and well-written books I have ever read. I still think about those characters like they are people I knew in real life.

      Also, if you like Marisa de los Santos (I love her work), then I would also recommend anything by Joshilyn Jackson, starting with Between Georgia.

  8. Andrea Methvin says:

    I’m with Jamie! Although I was a young teen when I read “A Wrinkle in Time”, and she was an adult, I did not like it all! I always thought I was the only one….

    • Susan says:

      I read a lot of Madeleine L’Engle books as a teenager, and while I liked “A Wrinkle in Time”, I *much* preferred her series that starts with “Meet the Austins”. I highly recommend that one!!

  9. Confession: I had never heard of Madeleine L’Engle either until I started listening to this podcast. To rectify that, A Wrinkle in Time is on my shortlist for sometime this year. Great episode, I love WSIRN and The Happy Hour so it was super fun to hear a collaboration of my two favorite podcasters! And I got a whole list of new book recommendations (as usual).

  10. Susan in TX says:

    Someone remind me which title Jamie mentioned that she quoted and has had the quote stuck in her head for so long after…was that The Invention of Wings or Sweet Girl? I was walking while listening and ‘wasn’t going to forget’…. (sigh)

  11. Gretchen S. says:

    Loved the warmth and easy conversation of this episode. And the question about a favorite childhood book was very revealing — maybe this can be another standard question for your guests?

  12. Kelli says:

    I read my first Austen novel, Persuasion, at 40… I adored it, and maybe because the story wasn’t a silly romance of a nineteen year old aging out of the debutante scene. I recommend adding Persuasion to your TBR list. Lab Girl is amazing on audio, especially if you spend a ton of time folding laundry or running errands, in that you can start and stop it fairly easy.

  13. Rebekah says:

    Anne, I happily filled out the survey because I would love for the podcast to remain free. However, What Should I read Next? is the only podcast that I would consider paying for b/c it adds so much to my life.

  14. Melanie says:

    *Curmudgeon rant ahead* I get kind of annoyed every time someone goes on for five minutes about how they couldn’t possibly say they hate or even dislike a book. Come on, there is some terrible drivel out there that has been published! I get that many authors put their heart and soul into their book, but that doesn’t make it good. I could fill a whole podcast episode talking about 1)Books that I recognize are well-written and well-loved but just aren’t for me and 2) Books that are terribly written and I’m amazed that they were ever picked up by a publisher.

    Am I the only callous soul out there that feels like this?

  15. Alison says:

    Jamie, you have given me much hope that there is a time in the future when I, too, will be able to sit on my back porch, drinking wine and reading while my kids play! That sounds like heaven.

    I love when there are books I’be never heard of on the podcast! Will definitely check out Sweet Girl.

  16. Kari says:

    I love your podcast and blog! Thank you for doing what you do 🙂 I have a request – I often listen to your podcast while driving so I can’t write down the names of book titles to add to my TBR list right away. Once I am home I like to look at the blog post for the list of titles to write down the ones I remember wanting to read. However, sometimes I can only remember that the book was one of the ones in the ‘3 favorites’ section or ‘suggestion’ section. Would it be possible to list the books in the blog post under each category from the podcast? It would be a huge help!! Thanks for considering doing this 🙂

  17. Jamie says:

    Two memoirs and a sci-fi recommendation for Jamie (name twins!!). And this is coming from someone who does not like sci-fi either and this book swept me off my feet and has stuck with me.
    The Sound of Gravel – a memoir of a woman who grew up in a fundamental cult in Mexico. It’s all about her childhood which is different from many other books in this genre which focus on the ‘escape’ and adulthood. Gripping, raw, tender, and memorable.
    Sober Mercies: How Love Caught Up With a Christian Drunk – just finished this one last week. Deep themes but quick read as you don’t want to put it down.
    The Book of Strange New Things – a man is sent to another planet as a missionary while his wife stays behind on Earth. The relationships between him and his wife, him and the aliens, and him and the other Earthlings living on the plant are the central themes of the books. It’s one of those books that sound worse the more it’s described, so you may just want to pick it up and start reading. 🙂

  18. Carey says:

    Jamie should read The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell. I’m kind and surprised Anne didn’t suggest this one! Science Fiction-ish but with so much character development….

  19. Kellie says:

    Anne, I really wanted to know what your “Texas” suggestion was going to be! I kind of have a little crush on Austin since we lived there for 5 months in 2016.

  20. Elisabeth says:

    I love Andrew Wyeth’s painting Christina’s World. A print of that was in a prominent place at my elementary school, and I think it would not be an overstatement to say this painting haunted me from an early age. So, I am so excited to hear about A Piece of the World. Yum!

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