WSIRN Ep 14: A snob-free approach to reading with Caroline Starr Rose

It’s Tuesday, which means a new episode of What Should I Read Next!

Today I’m talking with Caroline Starr Rose. Caroline is a mom, former teacher, and children’s author of the novels May B. and Blue Birds. Caroline lives in New Mexico with her family.

What Should I Read Next #14: A snob-free approach to reading with Caroline Starr RoseIf you can’t get enough of this podcast you’ll be thrilled that today’s episode is a bit longer than usual: Caroline and I discuss reading and empathy, Caroline’s very favorite genre, why Caroline is so reluctant to talk about books she doesn’t like, and her snob-free approach to reading.

Connect with Caroline Starr Rose on her blogfacebook, and twitter.

Books discussed in this episode:

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The Physician by Noah Gordon
The Selected Journals of L. M. Montgomery by L. M. Montgomery
The Girl with All the Gifts by M. R. Carey
The Passage by Justin Cronin
The Crossover by Kwame Alexander
Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse
Heartbeat by Sharon Creech
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai
Your Own Sylvia by Stephanie Hemphill
New Found Land by Allan Wolf
Full Cicada Moon by Marilyn Hilton
Hour of the Bees by Lindsay Eagar
Pioneer Girl by William Anderson
The Reason for God by Timothy Keller
The Lifeboat by Charlotte Rogan
Saving Lucas Biggs by David Teague and Marisa de los Santos
I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
These Is My Words by Nancy Turner

Also mentioned in this episode: 

For an adult reader, the possible verdicts are five.
Talking about books I don’t like.
Raising readers, books that find you, and making the library people hate you with Deidra Riggs.

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  1. Heather says:

    I have to say, this was one of my favorite episodes, maybe even my favorite of all of them thus far. I particularly loved her insights on how reading is a generous act. Thanks for putting these podcasts together every week — my TBR list just keeps growing. 🙂

  2. Anne says:

    Caroline was such a lovely guest. I loved hearing how her perspective has changed since being published. I appreciated her thoughts on finding something to enjoy or appreciate about a book versus the like/did not like dichotomy. It was very charitable and thoughtful.

  3. Bettye Greenwood says:

    I thought I was the only one in this era to have read LM Montgomery’s journals! They were absolutely fascinating page-turners. How wonderful to hear that someone else liked them too.
    I love the podcasts and keep a little book of lists to take to the library with me. Thank you!

      • I agree! My mother gave me Vol. 1 about 20 years ago; she’d found a copy with a slightly damaged cover at a reduced price. I received all the other volumes as gifts (which I shamelessly asked for) over the next few years. They’re so good.

        • They’re not easy to find (at least when I got my copies). A few years ago two volumes of the complete journals (PEI years) came out. I haven’t read them, but I’m tempted! And the two editors who worked on the journals wrote Maud’s biography, The Gift of Wings, which fills in some holes the journals left — a very satisfying read. Have you read it?

          • I have read The Gift of Wings; it’s fascinating. I read the first volume of the complete journals but to be honest I didn’t find a lot that was really new. The selected journals really did capture the very best of what she wrote. BTW I was born in PEI (I now live in Ontario) so I always love to see others’ connection with Anne and with PEI. Have you read Anne of Green Gables, My Daughter & Me by Lorilee Craker? It’s a lovely memoir.

  4. Sarah M says:

    I love Caroline’s blog and books so what a pleasure to hear both of you talk about books (happy sigh). These Is My Words is very good, and before you mentioned it, Anne, I thought of it as one she’d like!
    I am a HUGE fan of Sylvia Plath (as in, as big of a Plath fan as most are of Jane Austen fans-maniacal!) and I did *not* know about this verse book about her. Instant add to my pinterest reading list. Can’t wait to read it.
    Sarah M

  5. Anne, I had such a lovely time chatting with you. Thank you for inviting me to be your guest. I got so involved in listening on my run, I missed my turn and added in an extra mile. That’s book devotion for you!

    • Beth says:

      Probably my favorite episode thus far! Loves all the middle-grade novel recommendations; I have always enjoyed middle-grade, and so it was insightful to hear some possible reasons why. I do think I like the hopeful tone.

      I’m so glad Caroline mentioned Inside Out and Back Again (I think that’s one of the best verse novels out there) and Crossover (a very worthy Newbery winner with beautiful language). It looks like he’s written another one: Booked was apparently published yesterday (?!) and the wait list still looks short at my library!

      Thanks for all the recommendations! (And after “meeting” your guest, I am definitely going to prioritize her books, too!)

      • Fan girl moment: A few months back a friend sent me a picture of a page from Booked (this was an advanced reader copy). It’s a poem that mentions a number of book titles…and my May B. was there! Made my year.

        Here’s something I didn’t say on the podcast but have been thinking about since it recorded: The book that deals with a subject that doesn’t remotely interest me but wins me over in such a way that I am fascinated, that’s a special book. I’m thinking of basketball and The Crossover, boxing and The Power of One, science and The Martian.

  6. Franny says:

    I really enjoyed this episode as well. I loved what Caroline had to say about reading and empathy and how it (reading) allows you to safely experience things you may or may not encounter in life, the good and the bad.
    Thank you for your podcast, Anne; it is a bright spot in my week and something I look forward to every Tuesday!

  7. Lori says:

    I loved this podcast!
    Could Caroline share the quote about being a generous reader. I would like to share it with my book group.

  8. jenifer says:

    Thank you for sharing your love of reading and knowledge of books with readers everywhere!

    I have a recommendation for Caroline. I thought of it immediately when she mentioned The Girl With All The Gifts. I loved the first book of Patrick Lee’s second series. It’s called Runner, and it opens with 12-year-old Rachel running into total stranger Sam Dryden when she is running for her life. And, she doesn’t remember why she’s running for her life. Sam helps, of course, and things get interesting! I’m waiting impatiently for the sequel to come from the library.

    If you enjoy it, I’d also recommend his first series, The Breach trilogy!

    And after this episode, I’m really looking forward to reading I Captured The Castle. Thanks!

  9. Kristi Smith says:

    I have to say I love this podcast series and this one would definitely be in my top three (see what I did there?) 🙂 But Anne you need to take a week or two off, my TBRL list has expanded almost immeasurably sine I’ve started listening to WSIRN! In all seriousness, I love that I Capture the Castle was one of the selections for Caroline, as it is one of my favorites also, but for years I’ve been searching for another book that had the same feel….any suggestions?

  10. Gina says:

    Maybe I’m in the minority here but I like the part of the show when the guest talks about one book they “hate”. I feel like everyone has types of books they don’t care for. At least that’s the way I take this part of the show – not as a criticism of that author or even that book but just as an indication of what types of books that person doesn’t care for and wouldn’t gravitate towards. I just feel like I have such limited time to read, I want to be lost in the book and just love it, not just read to be kind to the author. Oh well, I love your podcast and have so many books I want to read from listening. I’m actually going to try these verse novels since I’ve never read one before. Anne, I love the way you describe books and the stories. Thank you!!

  11. DIANE PEDROSA says:

    I am so enjoying the podcast. Wonderful time.
    You may have heard of Carole Joy Seid, a homeschool guru who said “All you need to homeschool is A Bible, A math book and a library card.” I would listen to her on cassette tapes starting in the 80’s, as I was trying to tear away from some of the more conventional homeschooling methods. Dyslexic kiddos will help you do that.
    Thank Anne, you are a blessing.

  12. Laurie Duquette says:

    While I totally respect this guests decision to not share a “hate”, I have to say that I love the balance of including it. All the guests that have shared their “hate book” have done so with respect to the books that they did not care for (to the best of my memory.) I love the discussions that come from talking about that book- I have even decided that I did want to read some of the books from that question based on the insights offered by the guest. I especially appreciate what then guests has read the book thoroughly and gives a thoughtful explanation of their reasons for not loving the book. It seems to be a theme in this podcast and the next one, so I wanted to add in my 2 cents! Maybe if it is considered “uncharitable” the question could be to share one book that “did not work” for you as a reader.

  13. Rachel says:

    The Crossover is the Audible Daily Deal today and is only $0.99!! I knew the title sounded familiar, so I revisited this episode, bought the audiobook, and I’m now so excited to start the book. Thank you for an amazing recommendation!! 🙂

  14. Kim says:

    Only recently discovered these podcasts and am just now listening to this episode. (1) I LOVE “I Capture the Castle”, too. (2)I wholeheartedly agree that having an unending TBR list is so much fun. In fact, I recently titled mine “The Happily Everlasting Read”.

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