WSIRN Ep 9: the reality of bookworm problems with Leigh Kramer

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

Today I’m talking with my friend and fellow bookworm Leigh Kramer. In addition to being a full-time book nerd, Leigh is a San Francisco resident, fried pickle connoisseur, and lifetime White Sox fan. She has strong opinions about her books, which makes for a delightful conversation.

What Should I Read Next #9: the reality of bookworm problems with Leigh Kramer

In this episode Leigh and I discuss the “nearly perfect novel” that she adored and I hated, the book she read at just the right time, how it drives her crazy that some readers love a book she loathed, and a variety of very real bookworm problems. 

Connect with Leigh Kramer on her bloginstagram, and twitter.

Books discussed in this episode:

Some links are affiliate links. More details here.

• The Passage by Justin Cronin
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
• The Word Exchange by Alena Graedon
• One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Márquez
• The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
Island Beneath the Sea by Isabel Allende
• Hammer Head: The Making of a Carpenter by Nina MacLaughlin
The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
The Art of Memoir by Mary Karr
Sacred Pauses: Spiritual Practices for Personal Renewal by April Yamasaki
• Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith
• Still Life: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel by Louise Penny
• Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum
• This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith

Also mentioned in this episode: 

The Red Couch Book Club
Loot Crate

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Follow @whatshouldireadnext on instagram. Get even more book recommendations by signing up for the WSIRN newsletter.   Do YOU have an idea for what Leigh should read next? Tell us in comments!


Leave A Comment
  1. As a life long bookworm, I found this conversation so relatable! You can think you are almost exactly like someone, but your reading taste is always completely unique. It makes reviewing books tricky, but makes conversations about books exciting every time! Up next on my to-read list are new books by Natasha Solomons (The Song of Hartgrove Hall) and Helen Simonson (The Summer Before The War), so those are my ideas for what to read next.

  2. Jessica says:

    This one made me want to go shove Ready Player One into her hands as well!! I also haven’t played a video game since I was about 10 and loooved that book. I’ve read it twice.

  3. Mary Hunt says:

    Really, really enjoying the podcast! I too am a book nerd from way back. One of my favorite memories was laying on my grandmother’s back porch gnawing on a cold biscuit while my grandfather read the Bobbsey Twins to me. I look forward to every Tuesday for the podcast, a little taste of adult lit. I read a great deal of YA and children’s lit for several reasons, work, my grandchildren and I like it (confession). But one question you ask your guests is what do you want to be different in your reading life? My answer would be to grow up a bit. So, I am going now to reserve the first Chief Inspector Gamache novel and Ready, Player One at the library.

  4. Kimi says:

    I always look forward to Tuesdays now, and plan a few errands to get me in the car where I listen to your podcasts.
    I started reading, inhaling books, at such a young age, but due to time and feeling personally limited, I backed off and didn’t read for a few decades. I’ve recently determined that it was time for a ‘remaking’ of sorts as I approach a new stage in life, and I wanted to bring reading back into a place of importance.
    I found it ironic that your recommendations are some that are my favorites at this point in my life.
    Ready Player One was one my sci-fi/fantasy-loving husband had bought when it came out. I never thought I’d read it, and was actually really against reading it, but it is now one that I’d put on my ‘love’ list. I am fairly video game illiterate, but the story is about so much more than that.
    I also enjoy the Inspector Gamache series as well. I find that Mrs Penny’s books inspire me to truly look for the good in others and encourage me to be a better person.
    I guess I just wonder if it isn’t just the theme of journey, but more seeing the beauty in humanity with a simple, yet good story?
    Thanks to you both!

  5. Laura says:

    Figuring out how to prioritize your TBR list could be a topic in and of itself! I always struggle with keeping a plan vs giving in to whims. Advice?

    • Anne says:

      This is an ongoing struggle. (I’ve already gotten requests to do an episode on just this one topic, but it might be out of my league…)

    • Lauren says:

      It’s kind of easy for me in a way – I’m a heavy public library user, and so I just go down my list in order starting with what I queued most recently and see what’s actually available at the moment :).

  6. Sarah M says:

    I have listened to all of the podcasts, and out of all the guests, I’d probably say Leigh’s was the closest in book taste to my own. I *love* dystopian/cultural commentary as well. I have now pinned nearly every book talked about. Lovely!

  7. Danae says:

    Absolutely loving the podcast. I would be so curious for a follow-up on what your guests thought of your recommendations after reading them!

  8. Erica says:

    Ah! Ready Player One! YES! I picked up that book because of your post about the audio book. Then when I was talking about it at work, one of my co-workers confessed he was reading it too! Cannot wait for the movie.

    Also, I love this podcast. I look forward to it each week and can’t stop raving about it to anyone and everyone who will listen. I tune in each week with my goodreads open so I can add to my to-read list. Keep them coming!

  9. Jennifer says:

    So excited to hear about The Light Between Oceans! I have had it on my bedside table a while but am heading to Hawaii with my husband but no kids next week and starting to decide what books to bring! That sounds right up my alley.

  10. Sarah says:

    This was the first WSIRN I had listened to and I ordered a few books that were talked about. Mercifully I forgot most of what was said and was able to read them with a fresh palette. But upon reading one in particular, I came back to listen to the podcast to try and see what had spurred me to buy it. I had to laugh when I realized I had a very similar experience with The Passage. After reaching page 535 of The Passage, I finally gave up and just read the Wikipedia entry for some plot closure and called it a night. I did enjoy The Word Exchange and hope to glean a few more good reads with each WSIRN!

  11. Jackie says:

    Super late but had to comment. I’m subscribed to your podcast, just haven’t been able to keep up every week. I listened to this episode today and THANK YOU for pointing out that Ready Player One came in a Loot Crate! I have been itching to get through the books I’m currently reading so I could justify buying a copy – but when I heard you mention LC, I tore through my husband’s stuff (luckily, he keeps the actual boxes) until I found it. I feel the same way about LC’s contents “not for me” – but he loves getting them every month. I can’t believe this gem has been packed away for over a year! Thanks again, love the podcast & can’t wait to start reading! Now I can justify buying a different book 🙂

  12. Melissa says:

    Hi! I have listened to every single podcast, often with my girls! We love it. My 12 year old remember this podcast and was interested in The Word Exchange and Ready Player One. Do you know if those would be appropriate for middle school students?

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