Today I’m talking to one of the very first people I met offline after I started blogging in 2011. I met Shawn Smucker and his wife Maile while they were on an epic cross-country road trip with the whole family, in a big blue bus named Willie. If that sounds like interesting reading, Shawn wrote a book about the experience, it’s called How to Use a Runaway Truck Ramp, and the title is NOT just a metaphor.
I just got to see Shawn again at Book Expo in New York because we both have books coming out this fall. Shawn has published quite a few books already, and you’ll hear more about that in today’s episode, but his newest is a bit of a departure. It’s a YA novel called The Day The Angels Fell, it’s coming out September 5, and since I’ve gotten to read it already, I can describe it for you as Neil-Gaiman-meets-Madeleine-L’Engle.
Today we dive into Shawn's lifetime reading favorites—and even I was surprised at the special significance some of those books and authors held for Shawn, and even for his family. In response, I try to fill up his summer To Be Read list with good stuff.
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Books mentioned in this episode:
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• The Lion the Witch & the Wardrobe, by C.S. Lewis
• The Complete Chronicles of Narnia, by C.S. Lewis
• The Lord of the Rings series, by J.R.R. Tolkien
• Author Madeleine L’Engle
• The Harry Potter series, by J.K. Rowling
• The Ocean at the End of the Lane, by Neil Gaiman
• Blindness, by Jose Saramago
• The River Why, by David James Duncan
• The Brothers K, by David James Duncan
• A River Runs Through It, by Norman Maclean
• Journal of a Novel: The East of Eden Letters, by John Steinbeck
• East of Eden, by John Steinbeck
• The Amber Spyglass, by Philip Pullman
• All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr
• Home, by Marilynne Robinson
• A Prayer for Owen Meany, by John Irving
• Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline
• Our Souls At Night, by Kent Haruf
• The House of the Spirits, by Isabel Allende
• 100 Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
• The Getaway Car: A Practical Memoir About Writing and Life, by Ann Patchett
• The Prince of Tides, by Pat Conroy