WSIRN Ep. 5: Raising readers, books that find you, and making the library people hate you with Deidra Riggs

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

Today I’m talking with blogger and author Deidra Riggs. Her book, Every Little Thing: Making a World of Difference Right Where You Are, was published last October.

What Should I Read Next #5: Raising readers, books that find you, and making the library people hate you with Deidra Riggs

Deidra and I discuss her wonderful childhood memories of reading, why she chose one of the greatest writers of all time as her “hated” book, how the right book just finds you sometimes, and why she’s on the naughty list at her local library.

Connect with Deidra Riggs on her bloginstagram, and twitter.

Books discussed in this episode:

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The Flowers in the Attic by V. C. Andrews
These is my Words by Nancy Turner
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
Bossypants by Tina Fey
My Name is Resolute by Nancy Turner
The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd
Life in Motion by Misty Copeland
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

Also mentioned in this episode:

FORWARD: A book club to help move the conversation … forward.


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  1. Emily Clark says:

    Just wanted to tell you that I listened to all of your episodes yesterday while I was painting my daughter’s room. Love the new podcast! (And, I ordered two new books. Kate Morton’s new one and Among The Ten Thousand Things.)

  2. Christine says:

    Hi Anne, I just wanted to tell you how very much I’m enjoying your podcasts. The energy is great, the book recommendations are wonderful (my poor TBR list!), the length is perfect, and they are becoming an anticipated part of my weeks. Thank you for thinking this up and carrying it out! Also I wanted to mention that I really appreciated that you included a picture of the guest this week in the post about this episode. I went and looked up the others since I wasn’t familiar with them. I needed to have a face to go with the voice. You know, so I could properly picture the two of you chatting about books over coffee or tea in a cozy cafe somewhere. 🙂

  3. Sarah Jane says:

    Anne- I’m loving these podcasts! I find myself hmm-mmming and laughing out loud. So great. And what a wide range of folks you’ve had so far. Thanks much!

  4. Laura says:

    I’ve really enjoyed listening to your podcasts, I’ve been reading the blog for a while now and it’s a great extention! Anyway, I’m really looking forward to listening to this one, as I have a budding (and enthusiastic) reader at home.

  5. liz n. says:

    The library story! Been there, done that!

    I also noticed that Deidra’s preferences are first-person, female narratives, and the first potential recommendation that came to mind was “The Handmaid’s Tale.” I wonder if she’s read it, and if she did, did she like it? (It’s one of My Favorite Books of All Time.)

    And, to Deidra: As one who loves Austen, I tell you that it’s perfectly fine for you not to love her writing. Everybody isn’t going to love everything. After all, the world loves Stephen King. I never read more than two or three chapters of the three King books I tried to read. Some writers speak a language we long to hear, and some speak someone else’s language.

    • Deidra says:

      Hi, Liz! I’m adding “The Handmaid’s Tale” to my list! I didn’t realize how consistently I’ve been drawn to first-person, female narratives until I had this conversation with Anne. She does a fantastic job of making the right connections. And, thanks for not casting me aside because of my lack of fondness for Austen. I imagine someday I’ll experience an Austen intervention, and then all will be well. 😉

      • Candida says:

        I would say that if you ‘WANT’ to like Austen you should try Lady Susan instead of the better known titles. It is largely first person and told through a passing of letters format. Based on what was discussed above if there is one you will like it would be that one.
        Adding ‘These is My Words’ and ‘Bossypants’ to my list from today. I had been really hesitant of the latter until hearing you talk of it and the former sounds really interesting.

      • liz n. says:

        Well, you convinced me to go out and find a copy of “Bossypants.” I adore Tina Fey, but was ambivalent about reading her book. I’m saving it for this weekend, when I’ll have some “me” time and can read without distraction or interruptions!

          • liz n. says:

            Omg, Deidra wasn’t kidding about “laugh out loud!” My face hurts. My stomach muscles are sore…”Only in comedy, by the way, does an obedient white girl from the suburbs count as diversity.” “There is no one of-woman-born who does not like Red Lobster cheddar biscuits. Anyone who claims otherwise is a liar and a Socialist.” The story about going to JC Penney with her mother to buy her first bra, Parental Anxiety System, SNL…all of it. ALL OF IT!

            I settled in at the coffee shop with a BIG cup of coffee, “Bossypants,” and a croissant…And almost snorted coffee through my nose. I finally did everyone a favor and left, because I’m pretty sure I was being disruptive. Finished reading here at the house. This one will be one of the rare memoirs that I read again.

            Thanks, Deidra and Anne!

  6. Kayte says:

    Love the podcast! I feel like I’m getting a two for the price of one deal. Not only do I get great book recommendations for myself by listening to an entertaining podcast, but I’ve discovered some great blogs and podcasts through your guests. I confess, I have not heard of any of the guests you’ve had so far, but I’m so happy to have discovered them through your show!

  7. Erin in CA says:

    I have a little quibble. I usually am a week or so behind with podcasts I listen to, and I really wish you wouldn’t list the book titles you discuss. For me, it gives away the plot, especially because you list them in order, so it’s fairly easy for me to slot them into the correct places. I totally understand why you want to give a shout-out to your podcast on the blog, but for me, it makes me less likely to want to listen. Part of the fun for me is the surprise of what someone likes and what you recommend.

    • liz n. says:

      Lol, I’m just the opposite! I see the list of books discussed and there are always one or two that seem so different from the others that I’m dying to know how and where they all fit!

        • Erin in CA says:

          Thanks — I was thinking, maybe you can do a spoiler heading, so if, like me, you’d rather not see the titles in advance, you can click away at that point, and if you do, you can keep on scrolling! 🙂

          • Karen says:

            Or download the episodes via Downcast. In the blurb there no titles are listed. I have to go to the Modern Mrs, Darcy page to find the book titles so I can add them to my TBR list. (Which I keep in my BuJo so I end up cutting it out and stashing it in the next BuJo.)

  8. Andrea says:

    What a great conversation! Deidra painted such a beautiful picture of her childhood and the way her love of reading developed. I could just hear that creaking rocker on the front porch as her grandmother read to her.

    The two of you discussed a wonderful mix of books I love, books that have been on my TBR list for a while (bumping them up now), and books I’ve never heard of. The perfect combination!

    This podcast is quickly becoming a staple and something I look forward to every week. Thank you!

  9. Jen says:

    Loved the podcast, just had to comment… Have you (either of you) read the follow ups to These is My Words? Sarah’s Quilt if the second one and The Star Garden in the third. I loved the whole series, and Sarah is a character that will stay with me forever. Now I’m thinking of rereading them all… 🙂

  10. Sarah says:

    Loving the podcast and really enjoyed this episode! I tried recently to read These is My Words and the first pages were so violent I had to put it down. I am thinking about giving it another chance after hearing you guys discuss it. Does it mellow out?

    • Anne says:

      It DOES mellow when they find a place to settle but there are still terrible and tragic things that happen. (Illnesses and accidents, common to that time.)

  11. I disagree with the comment about the length being perfect. I could listen for hours! 😉 I have issues. I love talking books too much.

    I am glad to hear that everyone else hates Go Set a Watchman, too. I was horrified that it was Best Fiction of 2015 on GoodReads. Did those people read it? Or just hear about it and then vote?

    Deidre, Have you read Salvage the Bones? It’s a first-person, young, black narrator, talking as Hurricane Katrina rolls in. I will add the disclaimer that I did not finish it; the violence, sexual and otherwise, was just too much for me at the time. But the writing is really good, and if you can handle that I think you would like it. I guess since I am still thinking about the book six months after I abandoned it means maybe I should go back and try to read the rest!

  12. Pingback: What I’m Reading
  13. Michelle Collier says:

    I just discovered this podcast today and I started from the beginning. I love it! I started making a list of books to read. Then I hit this one. I felt a connection to Deidra Riggs. As she talked of her love of books and the need to stay up and finish a book as a girl. I was just like that and at times still am. I am always looking for a book to move me and touch my heart, soul, and spirit! So I paused my listening to the podcast and pulled up her book (gotta love online library!) I have made it through the first chapter and I really feel a deep connection with her words. Thank you for this podcast, as I would have not found this book. Or I guess I should say that the book found me thanks to you!

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