Friends & Fiction
Friends & Fiction

Episode · 11 months ago

Friends and Fiction with Anne Bogel

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Author of Don't Overthink It, Anne Bogel—better known as the blogger "Modern Mrs. Darcy" and the orce behind the podcast What Should I Read Next—joins the Fab Five to round out the year. They discuss what we're keeping and leaving behind for the new year, what makes a truly exceptional read, and the best books of 2020. https://modernmrsdarcy.com/

Welcome to friends and fiction. Fivebest selling authors Endless Stories, Friends and Fiction is a podcast withfive bestselling novelist whose common love of reading, writing an independentbookstores found them together with jets, author interviews and fascinatinginsider talk about publishing and writing. Thes friends discuss the booksthey've written, the books they're reading now and the art of storytelling.If you love books and you're curious about the writing world, you're in theright place. Bestselling novelist Mary Kay Andrews, Christine Harmel, ChristieWoodson, Harvey Patty Callahan, Henry and Mary Alice Munro are five longtimefriends with more than 80 published books. To their credit at the Start of the Pandemic, they gottogether for a virtual happy hour to talk about their books, their favoritebookstores writing, reading and publishing in this new, unchartedterritory. They're still talking, and they've added fascinating discussionswith other bestselling novelists, so join them live on their friends andfiction Facebook Group page every Wednesday at 7 p.m. Eastern, or listenand view later at your leisure. Hi, everyone. If it's Wednesday nightat 7 p.m. It's friends and fiction. Five best selling novelist Endlessstories were five writers and friends whose common love of reading, writingan independent bookstores finds us together in a really long text stringthat binds us. This'll is our friends and fiction show. This is our last showof 2020 and we're just getting started. I'm Paddy Callaghan, Henry and I'mhosting our guest this evening. The modern Mrs Darcy and vocal and my nextupcoming book is called Surviving Savannah and comes out on March 9th. Hi, I'm Mary Alice Munro, and my nextbook, coming out in May, is the summer of Lost and Found. It's very K Frozen EUh, yeah, Chris. That was Mary Kay Andrews, and her next book comes out atthe beginning of May, and it's called The Newcomer and hopefully she'll beback. I'm Christine Harmel, and my next novel is The Forest of Vanishing Stars,which comes out in July. Today, like Tokyo about from now. Mary Kay, I'msorry how my thing is saying I have a new I have unstable WiFi. I'm at thebeach, but I'm Mary Kay Andrews and I have, ah, unstable WiFi and also anunstable personality. But my coming book is the newcomer out. May 4th. I'mChristi Woodson, Harvey and my neck. My next book. Gosh, we're, like all havinghaving technical voice difficulties tonight. Do not have Koven. I'm prettysure my next book is under the Southern sky and it releases April 20th. I haveto think about that post Christmas. You know, we're still in that week. We'rein a blur. Well, thank you so much for joining us tonight. We love that youshow up every Wednesday night like this for us. Tonight we have an incredibleguest. We're so thrilled to have an Vogel, the modern Mrs Darcy here withus. And as you know, if you've been with us from the start, we supportindependent bookstores. And before we get started, I want to tell us allabout the reason we are here, our love for each other and for independentbookstores. All of us at friends in fiction are passionate Supporters ofIndy's Tonight are Bookseller is Carmichael Books in Anne's hometown ofLouisville, Kentucky, as Louisville's oldest indie bookstore, Carmichael'sopened on Bands Town Road in 1978 and then moved to Frankfurt Avenue in 1999.Carmichael's is a family business in the best tradition. As their businessgrew, so did the number of family members involved. And the staff nowincludes a second generation sounds like a book, Thio. Visit them often forcool stuff about books, writers and upcoming events, and this week they'reoffering 10% off on all books by and vocal and the five of us. So now let metell you about modern Mrs Darcy, although I bet every single one of youalready know her. She read her a writer, Ah, podcaster and an amazing person,and is an author, the creator of the blogged modern Mrs Darcy and a host ofWhat should I read Next Podcast and also the newly launched one great bookpodcast. She has a popular show devoted...

...to literary matchmaking. Bibliothecatherapy, which I think should be a really thing. Leo therapy and allthings books and reading. And there is more. There is the modern Mrs DarcyBook club. She is the author of Don't Overthink, which we all need to read,make easier decisions, stop second guessing and bring more joy to yourlife. Her other book is I'd rather be reading the Delights and dilemmas ofthe reading Life and one of my favorites reading people How Seeing theworld through the lens of personality changes everything. She takes the sevendifferent frameworks of personality and explains characters and reading types.Do it. Modern Mrs. Darcy, which derives its name from a Jane Austen book,obviously is a lifestyle blogger for those who appreciate hands modusoperandi of approaching old familiar ideas from new and fresh angles. Whilemodern, Mrs Darcy isn't strictly a book blawg and mostly writes about books andreading. She lives in Louisville, Kentucky, with her husband for fourChildren and a yellow lab named Daisy. Oh, and join us, please. I love you Endup with dog way. Try to end up with the dog or the cat or the way Welcome.We're so happy you're here. We did it would be here. We did it. We made it tothe end of the year. It wasn't always like I should knock on something. Iknow, right? Exactly. It wasn't always pretty, but we did do it one more dayuntil 2021. So one thing blame is high. No, exactly. 00 my God, Please breakout in song Break out in something. We're going to talk about ways to startthe new year with intention and really good books, and you always have themost incredible suggestions and recommendations, and we're going todive into those. But first, can we please talk about how we made itthrough 2020? Can we look back and see that things are going to be differentand have been different? And what I want to know from all of you is what issomething that you want to keep from 2020 and what is something that youwant to leave behind and I want you to go first? Oh, OK, something I want tokeep is. We have made a huge deal about the dinner hour about food in generaland the dinner hour like it's no longer survival. It's basically the only thingwe're doing. It's like all her entertainment and all our activities,and it's been kind of fun, e like that. I wanna I wanna keep it going. Can Ijust share two things I want to carry in because e wanna leave behind it justtoo depressing. I have been walking the dog like my life depends on it Just gotto get outside. Gotta get outside. And part of that is I'm an introvert. Iwant my alone time. And also there's I need the vitamin D and the sunlight andthe sunshine I'm like in the winter. I'm always, like, saddling up to thewindow to see what sunlight I e in snatch from through the clouds inLouisville, Kentucky. I like to carry that into I like that one. Really get.How about you, Mary? Alice, what do you want to keep? And what do you wannalike? I think I was forced to some degree to get off the hamster wheel,and that's what I'm going to maintain. I've been talking about it. We're Patty.You not talked about it forever getting off the hamster wheel and it showed meit could be really done. And once you're off the hamster, really, it doesallow more time for serenity and reflection. And that's I think that'sthe one thing I'm going to keep. And what I want to leave is actuallyisolation. I like I'm an introvert in some ways, but isolation not being ableto see my loved ones, yeah, really, is hard not being able to call the girlsover for a, you know, a glass of champagne or something. And talk is sad.So I'm eager for the vaccine and to stop that. How about you, Mary Kay?Well, you know, I would like Thio keep my morning writing routine. We'vetalked about it. Ah, lot on the show. But back in the spring, we started atext as text chain amongst the five of us about morning writing Sprint sevenAM writing sprints and that routine, Um, keeping to it and not breaking thechain. We were all about not breaking the not breaking. Yeah. Three. And thathelped me complete the newcomer a month ahead of time. First time I've done itin 30 years. Uh, that and then I would like to And also I'd like to keep thefocus on family. Yeah, meant remembering that how important that is.I would like to lose the darkness and...

...the uncertainty and the Year of fear ondied also like Thio leave 30 Covad pounds way. Wouldn't it be great if youcould just say that? And then you wake up on January 1st and all that is gone.God. Yeah. You, Christie Will, Harvey, when you leave, I sort of agree withMary Alice about the hamster wheel. Like I feel like I was going, going,going, going so much. And a lot of times it makes sense, and we need to.But a lot of times it didn't make sense. And I think this year I was so afraidthat if I stopped for a minute that, like, it was all gonna fall apart, youknow, like, if I wasn't speaking 87 times that year, how is anyone going tobuy one of my books? You know, So I think, um, that has been something thatI've learned like, Oh, I missed that. I want to go back on tour, but maybe notquite to the extreme that I waas. Um And then the other thing, I've alwaysbeen a very decisive person. This was really funny. This was like a reallygood time for this book. And I've mentioned this to all of you, I think.But there's something about 2020 I maybe it's just we've had to make somany decisions so quickly, but I feel like I've lost a little bit of that.Just like knowing that I feel like I've always had of just like this, is it?This is right. This is like, I feel like I've sort of lost that a littlebit. Um, and this was this was such a good time for me to read this book.Come on. I wanna get that back. Like, that's something that, you know, Iwanna be able to kind of be back in touch with a little bit more than Ihave done. E I wonder if that's because we're so busy thinking how to getthrough the day right there. Just there's this worry about the virus andabout our families that makes some of the energy away from the decisionmaking. Because I think we've all had that. Yeah. Decision fatigue. That's it.Who had that e? I think you said it to me, though, like, a long time ago. Soit was really I was just plagiarizing you. Hey, you, Kristen e point Youreyes were not using that word. E 00 k e. Yeah, for me, I think something I'dlike to keep is the lesson that there's beauty and the quiet and magic in theact of standing still for a bit, so kind of like Christie was saying priorand and like Mary Alice said to prior to 2020 I was always racing out thedoor to the next thing you know, always ready for the next adventure. But Ithink I've learned in 2020 that its life itself, that's the adventure. AndI don't want to forget that. I don't want to think it has to be the externalthings. Ondas faras something to let go. I think I'm really ready to let go ofthat forced social distancing. I'm doing it until this virus is over. It'sso important right now. But I can't wait to hug again and shake hands andpat backs. But mostly hug because I'm a hugger and not being able to do thatfeels like a piece of me has been removed. So I'm ready to hug all of you.Oh, and back right back Magic. I think it's it's like we are all copying eachother. Same thing. I want to keep a sense of slowing down, of diving deeperinto creative work without the need to go, Go, go, go! That voice like Go,hurry, hurry! And I want behind For me it's that fear of uncertainty and nochanges certain and just learn to flow with it. Because here we are. We'realmost to the end of the year and we did it. We're gonna keep. And we madesome really great things happen to And I think that's the thing that I keepthinking about is that we all say, 0, 2020 or 2020 about Wow, there's someamazing Yeah, Oh yeah, you guys, We should probably also keep friends infiction Way was the best thing of 20. It's the best thing in 20. Get to sithere and talk Thio Modern Mrs Darcy Eso. Every year I choose the word for theyear and this year was hard because all I wanted to choose was Let me out ofhere. That's too many words. So what? What about you and what do you do? Youever do anything like that? What do you What would you say I have in the past?Like I remember the word I chose for the year 2013. I've been tossing thisaround like when I thought about choosing was watchful for a variety ofreasons, but but but But I love my options in 11 word is just not not alot of options, which is what? My book, One of the things I say it. Sometimesyou just need to choose one and stick to it. And here I am saying like notjust one, but nevertheless I like How about you, Mary else? I feel like MelGibson, but I just want to shout pre...

...doll e just river rather than goanywhere, Do anything, just get out. I'm free. Yeah, I just And mentallyFrias Well, I just That's the word for me. I love that. How about Mary Kay?Empathy? We'll need that. You want people to stop. And I I and I wannastress the word because I'm so often guilty of not thinking about how othersfeel or, uh not. So I want to think about I want empathy to be the my word.Thank me for me and for others. And for, um, I'm just gonna call people out whenthey're mean on remind that way have to be. We really have to be kind to others,especially now. So that, especially now, I think that's really because this isgoing to have. So it's not going to be an easy new year for a lot of people on.I think, whatever we can do to help ease that. And I think working withbooksellers on the show is one of our goals, you know, spend the extra if youhave the dollar, spend the extra dollar. That's kind of combined with that. Howabout you, Kristen? Rebirth? Because I think I think we'reready to come out of our cocoon and kind of start over again. The wholeworld. I mean, not just because of the pandemic, but there are so many waysthat we're gonna be reborn as a people in 2021. So rebirth. How about you,Christine? Well, I'm gonna be really careful with my words this year,because for 2020 my word was stillness and I got a little more. You gotta becareful what you're putting out there because the universe is listening, eh?So I think for me this year, it's just gonna be joy like I just miss. I missbeing animus. Being with my friends, I miss going places and going on trips.And, um, sort of like Mary, Alice is freedom, but just really focusing onhappy and joy and fun And always word for 2018. So I there waas Yeah, work.Like the word I picked for this year is enchantment. Oh, yeah. I feel like oneof the things that happened this year was that I was able to notice thingsmore being chanted by them. And I want that Teoh go to the next level. So allright, now we're going to pepper modern breastfeeding and global with questions.Mary Kay, would you like Thio dive in first? Yeah, and we are headed into2021 as you might have noticed, and some people will be watching this inthe new year. Now you curate the most amazing list. So please tell us some ofthe books that you think and hope will carry us into the New year. And andfiction and non fiction. I mean, we're we call ourselves friends and fiction,but, um, we're down with the nonfiction too. So hit us with your best shots.Who? Holdovers from 2020. Is it weird that I was thinking the first two booksthat came to mind scanning year olds faces and thinking about the books onmy desk that I was just talking about that I love. They're coming out.They're both. They both had survived in the title. Oh, Pain Friends. I wasthinking of Jane Harper's The Survivors and Patty. Your Surviving Savannah.Apparently, survival is the theme bubbling to the surface now. There wereso many great books in 2020. Okay, a few that I feel like I couldn't stoptalking About Where. Deacon King Kong by James McBride where he talked abouta heavy topics. But he was so funny that it just it helped go down easier.I loved vanishing Half by Brit Bennett. Um uh, Beat, read by Emily Henry wassuch a fun change of pace for so many people, including me. Even if the coverwas a little romcom deceptive, we'll forget. We'll forgive her that, and I'ma Jane Austen fan, And I just really love the Jane Austen Society by NatalieJenner. Yeah, it was the comfort reading I needed in my life this year.We've heard that from a lot of people about that one, I'm glad to hear that?How about you, Mary? Alice, I know you have a question. Well, we know that you,with all the books that you curate you have, you've honed your taste. So whatmakes a book for you? A five star read on. Do you have favorite genres likeyour most favorite genre, Your least favorite. And is there one over theyears that you've grown toe like mawr, then you had before. I do love a goodstory, well told, um, And for a five star read, Mary Alice, I hate starratings. I feel like people want them...

...to mean one thing when really they meananother, like a star rating doesn't necessarily mean how good the book isor how well it was written. It means how much you liked it, that that'sdependent on any number of things completely out of everyone's control.But yours, like, did you pick up the book about, I don't know, getting hitby a car the day you've got rear ended. Like, you know, the author can't helpthat, and that's just not true. But not sure s so I just I mean, I love them,but also I just I just want to put a big warning label on the star ratings.But I have to say through just jumping in There's nothing worse than seeing onon one of the site, uh, one star. Why? Because the book arrived Damage. That'slike what someone is not clear on the concept of what a rating means. It'strue, it's true every day, but I know that what makes like a reallyexceptional reading experience for me and I want really when when you saybeautiful writing, people think boring. But I want writing that really servesthe story well, like where you can see the craft and I want a good story. Andthat doesn't mean that people need to be like chasing each other aroundcorners. But I want something that gets me turning the pages, and I also knowthat the most memorable reading experiences to have an element ofsurprise and that doesn't necessarily mean a stalking plot twist. But Butthat premise sounded weird, and I didn't think the author could pull itoff. But wow, she did it. I mean, that kind of surprise and my favorite genreis something that I call compulsively readable literary fiction. Yes, thathas just incredible storytelling in prose That is just perfectly does whatit needs to dio to make the reader really, really happy. I love that Ilove that. But this year I've been blindsided by, like, a memoir aboutwalking and, um, some science fiction, which is not a genre. I go thio, Um, soI love to take chances on new books because you never know what's gonnahappen, and you don't. I think a lot of times readers love the readingexperience is the most where afterwards they say, I never would have thoughtthat book was for me but I'm so glad I picked that up and I'm definitely thesame. Like I love a reading experience like that. You know, we haven't headscience fiction, have we? On our show way? Definitely Thanks for thanks forthe assist. Come, I think was Charlene Harris. Yeah, it was not that sectionat all. It's, um, fantasy fantasy. Yeah, fantasy. There's some gateway books. Ineed some gateway books, Thio, you know, weight into those waters. But I'malways I'm I'm glad, but that's why your site is so amazing. Because that'swhere you go find a book where I would find a book where our listeners wouldfind a book that we wouldn't pick up normally. But you recommend it, andthen you're like, Well, that doesn't look like a book I'd really like, But Itrust her and then you pick it up and you're like, Whoa! And it's That's howword of mouth books get out you think's into and then get it out there. Sothat's the thing that makes me the happiest to hear people say that thebad. Okay, Christie was in Harvey and U S O. And you appear to me and to all ofus, I'm sure to be the most organized, decisive person in the world. You wrotea book called Don't Over. Think it s O first. Can you tell us a little bitabout you know how you came to write this book? And then also, are there anylessons that you learned while writing it that you think can help us have abetter year in 2021? Yes. Okay, First of all, I'm not naturally organized. Icould tip this camera, but I'm not going to show you my office. Can I sayit? Because my kids, like clothing is on there to go to the tailor? Butreally, it's my embarrassing book stacks, Um, but for a long time, Ithought, What business do I have telling anyone how to do this thing?That was hard for me to learn. And I came to believe that the people who arenaturally organized or naturally decisive they don't know how to do itbecause they just came out of the box that way. But someone who's had Thio,who's had toe learn this thing step by step, who's had to really break it downand deconstructed in order thio toe understand it and how to put thosethings into effect in her own life. I thought, Well, maybe that's the kind ofperson who actually has something to offer people you know, like when it'shard one. Um, you have the before and after, and your not just like what?Doesn't everybody automatically know what file folders you put the papers in?Because I did not, um, but the book itself, it was just born over. I meanhundreds of conversations with blogged readers over the years, but mostly likeit's the product of 1000 girls nights where we sit around and we talked aboutWhy is this bugging me so much? And you know what do you What do you thinkabout it? Three o'clock in the morning? Um, it was specifically a conversationwith one friend who was telling me...

...about the things she was overthinking,um, and finish the conversation one night and said But were women? What arewe gonna dio like? This is just who we are and like something she said The wayshe said that years ago got me thinking like, Is that really true? Like, I don't thatjust doesn't sit right. Like I think I think that's actually worth exploringbecause I had realized how many people felt like that. Um, and what I'vealways done my writing isn't to be like, let me show you a new revolutionarysystem that I built from scratch that will, you know, change your life. Butwhy? My way is more to like, I don't know, like, let's walk three steps tothe left and come out the slightly differently. And I think we get a newperspective that would really serve us well. And that's really what I wantedto do here. Yeah, you definitely done. You definitely done. And if you couldwrite the book about the file folders and stuff for me, that would be reallywell like Like that? Yeah. You gave me lessons. Can give you lessons. Okay, Ie That's amazing. When I picked it up and read it, I kind of went at it withthis attitude of, like, I don't over think things like this. I'm just goingto read it. And I went Wow. E open everything. Like, how do I simplify How?What can I take it? What can we take into 2021 from that book? All right.Number one thing to take into 2021 from that book. Okay? First, I'm gonna giveyou the boring version, values driven decision making. Okay, but the sexierversion is whenever you're thinking about what to do next, um, like thequestion I've learned to ask myself, and that I would really recommend you,like, take out for a test drive is like what really matters here. What's reallygoing on? What is the question really about? Because, for example, My booktour started on March 5th, and so immediately we had to make all thesedecisions about when to cancel events which events? Thio cancel and bless ourhearts. When we first canceled, we canceled events for, like March 11ththrough March 13. I would just see about the ones on the 20 something. Uh,right, right. So I'm you know, thank you. Well, I'll go to therapy together.Actually, we're having it right here. A therapy, But eso that sounds right nowwe know how things turned out, but in the moment we knew like, this is hardnow, it'll be easier later. But right now, we're just making it up as we goand we don't have enough information. But just being able to ask ourselveslike the rial question isn't just about book tour. Like, what are the actualunderlying issues that are going to inform this decision? Like, what arethe rial steaks? And really, for us, it was the balance, but not the balance.The conflict in values of really wanting to connect with people inperson and really wanting to not put them them in harm's way in any way wecould help And like once we were able to clarify, like, Why is this decisionso hard to make? Like, what are the competing values it was so much easierto make? So that was a book tour, and I know that many of you are never goingon book tour. You're like I've seen what they dio that's nuts, like I'mjust no thank you, not my life. But even if it's something like carpoolcarpool like, Who's going to do this and when and why? Like just thinking,What's the what's the real issue? What am I? What am I thinking here or what'sfor dinner? Or do I really want to go to Girls night or do I want to go tothat bookstore event? Maybe I should have an example that doesn't have toget together with friends. But even if you're thinking about sociallydistanced coffee like, what are you? What is it really about? Um, and justbeing able to identify, like, what is the rial question? What values are atstake here? And what do I really care about? Because decisions this year havenot been easy for all kinds of reasons, but just being able to articulate why,why they're hard and what really matters to us can not make them morefun, but can definitely make them simpler. Yeah, that that's reallythat's really bright. Brilliant, because it makes it takes it out of theme. Me, me? Yeah, e think when we're making decisions about our own life, weknow too many details to decide. Well, because we just get so bogged down inthe particulars. But when you're able thio like draught in broad strokes, itwas clear. Well, actually, another helpful tip is just to be like, Whatwould I tell my best friend if she came to me with this question? So that'salso really helpful because it does give you that perspective. You don'tknow all the minutia. You just know the big picture. And often we can decidewith the big picture. And but not with all the nitty gritty details. I lovethe What's it really about, really about so And as we head into 2021 youhave something really amazing for us. It's a new initiative. So the firstthing I want to ask you about is your reading challenge for 2021. Instead oftelling us what to read, you are giving...

...us questions to hone our own lists andto revamp our reading light. And I want you to tell us all about this. I'mhappy, Thio. But you said, And what's your new exciting thing? And I thought,I don't know what this is, Daddy Reading, Reading Challenge. We've donea reading challenge every year since, like, 2014, which we certainly did notinvent the reading challenge. But it was not a thing then, like it is now.And I just don't like something that we've always valued at modern. Mrs.Doctor, can I just say I love everything you said? But I doneed to be clear. I am not the modern Mrs Darcy. I feel like that would besuper pretentious. I don't play her on the Internet. That's a brand namethat's a brand name. But I do get called Mrs Darcy all the time. This isnot a which which I love. I love, but I could be called that with E. Who doesshe think she is? She does not think she's Elizabeth Bennet. Let's be clear,so I mean it is amazing is that might be like, Okay, I will not make anyColin Firth jokes here. I will not dio Colin Firth. You can say whatever youwant about Colin Firth, E o E. Well, this year we did our reading challengea little bit differently, and we've thought about doing this for years. Butinstead of giving people a list of books to read, which if you look atreading challenges on the Internet these days, they've gotten I mean,they're fun. They're fun. I think they can be a lot of fun to read a bookwhose author shares your middle name or read a book whose cover is Peri Winklelike that has, like a scavenger hunt. Kind of feel to it. Yeah, and so itcould be fun in that way. But that doesn't mean it's going to do goodthings for your reading life. And as long as you know that they're twodifferent things, that's totally fine. But what we dio I mean our goal andeverything we do is to help people get more out of the reading lives. And wereally believe that when you get more out of your reading life, you get moreout of life, so we have fun with it. But it's also, I mean, this is seriousfun business. Hmm. And so we wanted to start this year's challenge withhelping readers think about what do you want out of your reading life? I mean,it could be learning new things, or it could be finding community inconnection. Or it could be escape and all of those air completely valid. Butyour choice will affect what you want to read. And quite honestly, none ofthose are going to be impacted by reading a book where the covers PeriWinkle. So yeah, this year's challenge. We invite people to set theirintentions, and we have a little worksheet to go through, like what doyou want? The examples I just gave her community connection, fun escape,learning knowledge, that kind of thing. We invite you to choose a couple ofmini projects because it's not just about building a reading list. It'sabout building a reading life and then make your list accordingly. Yeah, soand the thing we've heard from readers is, um oh, my gosh, I saw what you putout, and I thought just give me the list, lady. But then I did. It was sofun. And I'm so excited about what's what's coming next. And I'm glad Ithink your word for it, and that made me feel good. But if that is, weunderstand we already talked about decision fatigue. If 2020 has done anumber on you and you can't make a single other decision, we do have somepreloaded options that do give you a list. But I would really encourage you.If this sounds intriguing, Thio do this brief little seven minute exercise andself discovery. I think it could do your breathing life some good. It's sosmart because sometimes we head into it. Um, even those of us who write booksand this kind of haphazard way a book we hear about a book that's layingaround a book that somebody gives to us and todo at it with intention. Aziz, wewant to go into 2021 with intention. It's it's a great idea to ask what wewant out of the books were gonna and it might lead us into books we wouldn'thave read otherwise because we have an intention of what we're looking for.Well, speaking of that, Patty, I think one of the things that comments that weget on friends and fiction, but I really treasure is when people say youknow it because of the authors who come on their reading books that they wouldnot have ordinarily chosen. And I think that's the key. That's what the secretof a good book Club is is trying to do is to widen your horizons and reading.I'm reading books that I wouldn't read normally because friends, which I thinkis I mean, that's been one of the gifts for me. I'm like, Oh, my gosh, I'venever read this author of this genre or whatever. And now I'm like, It'sfantastic. Your hooks. That's exactly that. All right, Kristen. Sorry. Can you guys hear me? Okay.We're just talking to radio. Oh, my God. You guys sound like robots to may. I donot know what is happening to my...

...computer, so I apologize. But an s e oon you just forgot Tonto eso and I read an interview with you where you quotedToni Morrison, who said if there's a book that you want to read, but ithasn't been written yet. Then you must write it. And at the time you said thatwas sort of the philosophy behind the founding of the modern Mrs Darcy,this'll idea that it was the kind of community that you wanted to be a partof, but it didn't exist yet. So I think we all felt similarly when we foundedfriends and fiction. And in so many ways, this year has been about findingone's community and finding comfort in that. So is this year draws to a close?Can you talk a little bit about finding a need filling it and how doingsomething like that Creating a place for people to gather and feel at homeultimately helps make the world a better place? E mean, you started withToni Morrison, and you end up with books and reading. So what? Not toelike their? It's true that we've always I mean, there's certainly a philosophy ofwriting in any in any medium that says survey people and ask what they wantand then go make it to their specifications. And that's just notreally held any interest for me, because I think that's a profit drivenmotive, which, where's the satisfaction in that? Like the idea to talk aboutbooks and reading isn't to buy a car or microwave like it's toe talk aboutbooks and reading, because what what I really love about this space is the waywhen you connect with someone over books, you really can't connect withthem like people make jokes about how like, oh, you never have a meaningfulconversation about whether or movies. But when you're when you're talkingwith people, even strangers about books, it's such a shortcut to get to theheart of what matters in life. Because a good book talks about things thatreally matter. And it hit you in a really personal way, and you get tohave that like, Oh, me too, like you would never say, Tell me about yourrelationship with Mother and your hopes and fears. But through the lens oftalking about a novel, you can get there in 25 seconds, and it is notawkward at all. Yes, which is such a true um, I have Well, I'm an introvert.He's always been a little bit of a watcher, so that's very true. But Thesatisfaction for me has always been in creating the space that doesn't exist,that you see the or, I mean, even something like is seemingly, uh,trivial is the reading challenge. There's no satisfaction in putting outinto the world like something that now is already there in abundance, likethere has to be a reason for us to do it and to do it in our own way, becauseif the space is already, if that need is already being made, then toe whatend would we be? Adding words as well, and I don't know how to tell you to gofind it because so many times like the world is right in front of you. Butit's that it's that specific way of seeing It triggers the little lightbulb moment that, like tells you what you need to do. And that's hard. I mean,we were talking earlier about how like what I write is about taking threesteps to the left and seeing it through a different lens. Um, but I do like howfiction and vice us to see the world, um, in different ways, and to see itthrough other people's eyes. and I do think that reading and readingregularly and reading a variety of books help us see what's happening infront of us in different ways that might not otherwise be available to us.It's so true. And in 2020 I think we've really show no lens, not not we but theworld. The bookish world has really stepped out and said, Hey, we need tobe looking at things from a different perspective. We need to be readingdifferent authors and more diverse books and e think we're all gonna havea really different future because of that diversity. Yes, absolutely. Therewas a article in The New York Times today. I know. I shot it to all of youon a test about Yeah, book publishing industry is really healthy becausepeople are reading book sales were up a huge percentage, including in hardback,including in print. And that tells us that that what you're doing and whatwe're doing it it's all part of the world growing into a better place. Andpeople are people are they're doing it. Yep. You know, Patty, when I saw that,I thought that was the best news to end the year with? Yeah, it was news. Andthere was some great quotes in there about how important books are and howthey're growing. So yeah. Okay, so the four of us have had a chance to ask andsome questions. And for those of you watching, if you put your questions inthe live chat, we're gonna pull a couple of them. But for now, we took acouple that were asked this week. Mary Kay. I think you have the first one.Yeah, And this a joy Armstrong, who is...

...a regular with us. Her question for anis has 2020 change the way you make life decisions. That's a good question. And I'm goingto say I feel like this is kind of a trick question. Eyes isn't the answeris supposed to be. Yes, but I don't think so. I feel like 2020. So much wascoming at me so fast. Um, professionally, but also personally,like I just went through some hard things this year, and I was just reallygrateful for the foundation that I had laid in in the like, immediate previousyears. I feel like I was just kind of test driving some of those decisionmaking modes and points of view. Um, but 2020 was a time where I reallywanted to decide. Like I have what it takes. I know what I know. I haveenough tools to do the best I can with with what I've already been equippedwith and just really trust that because I didn't have time to learn anythingnew, and I didn't have time to pivot, and I didn't have, you know, I I didn'tfeel emotionally able to be inventing new ways to make decisions, But just tosettle into what I already knew, I think is what I did in 2020. Mm. Okay.I want to write this down. I'm gonna put it on our page. I have what ittakes. I know what I know. That's probably just from lost fatty e Don'tknow where it's from. E o. All right, Mary. Alice. I know you have a fewquestions. I do. It's from Tawny Cisneros and one of the things hestarts with she's one of my favorite finds in 2020. So that's what she saysabout you. So I think that's great. And Here's her question. I would love toknow how an Bogle decides on her guest list. Does she plan based on seasonsbook releases, or is it based on her mood? Okay, this is for what should Iread next? Okay. Our podcast. If you don't know your pardon on your guestlist. I think that was a podcast. It must beyour podcast. Yes. Okay, We I mean, that's a great question. So most Oh,about the podcast. So every week, I talked to a reader and they tell May 3books they love one book. They don't and what they're reading now, and Irecommend three books they may enjoy reading next. I know that should isbuilt into the title because that's the way questions. Um, are that's That's aquestion people ask. What should I read next? But in my book, I'd rather bereading. We talked about how should is kind of the bad s word of the readinglife so hasn't tend to use it. The fact that in that name, but what what makesit different than other book podcasts is we don't We don't talk to you guyslike I have to be really stingy with the author friends that I love talkingThio because that's not that's not what we do. Like there's so many good showsthat do that. And sometimes we we tried we could make that work because you allhave vibrant reading lives, I'm sure. And our flow is the place to come onand talk not just about, you know, like you tend to get asked the samequestions and interviews. And that's not what I'm gonna ask you. I'm gonnaask you what's on your night stand and how you decide what to read next. Andthen tell me about a book that you really don't like. And if you're anauthor, that's kind of awkward. You know, people choose somebody dead who'sbeen dead for a really long true You're not gonna say anybody alive long. Yeah,something about yea yeah, But in the reading life, the truth emerges incontrast, which is why we do that. But that means that most weeks we talkedThio. Our guests have dubbed them regular readers who it could be yourmom, your sister, your teacher, your neighbor, your best friend, your nephewlike e regular. We mean not a professional book person, and probablynot also like a celebrity or personality or anybody with a millionInstagram followers. Just just somebody that could be you, which is kind of funabout the show, because it always feels like it could be you, and and it's it'sfascinating to me. How readers think that everybody we talked to is like astar, because when you talk Teoh, a regular reader, about something they'reexpert in and something they're passionate about, which is theirreading life, they sound, uh, they sound like an expert. You know, theysound like a prominent authority because they are, um, but what'simportant to the show? Because every week we want we want everyone listeningone week to go. Oh, that's my books win. That's how I read that person could beme and you just listen in a different way. You learn something every weekbecause listening to anyone talk articulately about their reading lifeeither makes you go. I never thought about it like that. Oh, that's totallyme. Oh, that's not. You know, I just hadn't thought about how I read. Butlistening to them describe how they read Aiken. See my own taste, incontrast, but we just need a wide variety of readers and reading tastes.So we have a submission form. It's what?...

What should I read next? Podcast dotcom slash guest Where books tell us three books. They love one book. Theydon't what they're reading now and what they want to talk to and about. And wejust are always looking for a lovely variety of readers. E. I love that.It's such a great podcast, a great concept to, I mean, it really is. Itwas really and for all of you out there, I promise we'll post it on theannouncement so that we can remind you what it's called and send you a link.But on the live questions over and over, we're getting where do they find theirquestions for your reading challenge? Where do they find Wow? There's a blockpost that went up last Monday on modern mrs darcy dot com. It's called the 2021Reading Challenge. If you put your email in that box, you'll get it. Youget a seven page PdF. So that's emails. The easiest way to share. Okay, butwe'll send you, we'll send you the kit. It's green, There's no charge, justit'll and you should get it within a few minutes. So crispy questions comingin its way. Dio, although I have to say s are managing Director Meg had aquestion and it's so good and I want to know the answer to So I kind of sorrywe're getting somebody good live questions. But this one was just reallygood Eso, she said, Having written don't everything yet, which is somewhatof ah, self help book. I don't know if that's like the appropriate term, butyou know what? What do you mean can and tell us if she has any favorite titlesin this genre and even have really resonated and stuck with you over theyears? Oh, that is a good question. Thank you, Meg. I have to say that mymy favorite books in this genre tend to have a more creative spin. And I love Ilove books that are. I mean, I read plenty of writing books, but the onesthat I feel like our most surprising and help me think most expansively arewritten by people near my space. But not in my space. So I love readingworks from choreographer choreographers and dancers and E s Oh, it's it's stillwords And, uh, you know, people who are not doing quite what I do but do, like,understand the creative life and are engaging creative pursuits. I reallyappreciate that. Like, I've loved the works of Twyla Tharp about routine onthe creative life. She's so good, uh, interesting. What's the The creativehabit, I think might be my favorite by her. And I also love, uh, written bypeople who ask good questions like I just just finished re reading. Maybeyou should talk to someone by Lori Gottlieb, which is a little bit memoir,a little bit, how to. But really, it's about what's happening beneath thesurface, which is always a theme that draws me and asking good questions andfiguring out how the life you're living, the stuff you've dealt with affect howyou're living your life right now. It's just an astounding, but it's reallygood way. You know what we will put? Um, we'll we'll try to remember toe postthose books, uh, and the Twyla Tharp title. Well, y'all, we'll try to postthose, um, on the Facebook page so that you can And with links to him. Yeah,you gonna tell them? And to her book club reading challenge. We'll put allthat up. Fantastic. How about Kristen? You wanna pull a live question onChristie? Seaver is wondering what is your most anticipated read of 2021? Oh,okay. That's especially hard to answer, cause I've already read a lot of them.Um e five of our books. Yeah. Z given. I'm trying to think I haven't leastthree of yours, but apparently to more still in the mail. They'll be coming.But mine's not done. E there's are done to that means you have mine. E alreadytalked about Emily Henry, but I have to say that I read her new book. I reallyenjoyed it. Um, but it's no much to when Harry met Sally. I mean, that'sall I need to say, right? Yeah. Yeah. All right. We're going to take a quickbreak. Mary Alice, will you remind us about the bookstore of the week? Icertainly will. This is Carmichael's books. And as Louisville's oldestindependent bookstore, Carmichael's opened on Barton Road 1978 andFrankfurt Avenue in 1999. And Carmichael is a family business in thebest tradition. As their business grew, so did the number of family membersinvolved. And the staff now includes a second generation, which I think isvery cool. Visit them often for cool stuff about books, writers and upcomingevents. And they are offering this week 10% off books by an Bogle and the FabFive and an Will You tell us why you...

...love the bookstore, Carmichael's andWhy You chose it. Well, remember what we were saying about values drivendecision making. Yeah, when my family moved a few years back, one of our keypriorities was walking distance to coffee and books. So if that I mean,our family resides in a house determined in part by Carmichael'sbookstore, and I feel like that says it all e a lot eso I love what you putyour own advice into action and it made the decision where you live that itmakes life so much better. It really does. Oh wow, Alright, so usually aboutthis time we ask our guest for a writing tip, but we are going to askyou for a reading tip. So what is your best reading tip as we want to startthis new year off with a reading bang? Okay, well, I could give a writing tiplike the five second version. Just put your butt in the chair and don't get itthat way. We owe meeting Thio. My best reading tip. I don't know. I kind offeel like I'm always saying the same thing. So let me, Let's try somethingnew. I would say that a lot of times, especially if we're talking aboutbranching out and how the element of surprise it can be so delightful and somemorable. Not just for me, but for many, many. I mean, I've heard thisfrom thousands of people over the years. I would say that a lot of times wedescribe ourselves mood readers, and we think we need to be in the mood to picksomething up. And I would just like to suggest that maybe instead of waitingfor the mood, you could make the mood. If there's a book in a genre that youhaven't tried or an author that you think I might, you know, maybe, but youdon't think you're in the mood for it. Just give it 20 pages and oftentimesyou'll find You know what? This is the book I've been waiting for because wedon't always know what we want. We don't always know what we want untilthis right in front of us in that book isn't gonna, like, walk over and fallin your lap. You have to make that happen. So just give it a try, whichwould which would pair well, with a common tip. I give which is, um youdon't have to finish every book you start. You really don't. So if you pairthose two tips, if you say I'm going to give it 10 pages and see how it feels.But I'm not necessarily on the hook for 400. It gives you a lot of freedom toexperiment. And that's the way we discover you know, those gems that makeus say like, Oh, my gosh, best of the year. But I never would have picked itup if fill in the blank that it happened. E I have to say to that Igrew up where it was. I felt like I was breaking a rule. If I didn't finish thebook E giving us permission was saying yet there's a hotline. They're reallyshit a 2021 project. Maybe we'll run that on April Fool's. Except I reallymean it. Maybe we'll run a hotline one day. The modern Mrs Darcy team will putout a number, will answer your calls. We'll talk you out of reading the book.We're trying to talk you into it, but on that day, but not, uh, you're, likea sense of relief when she said that, like, o e, its not a rule. Yeah, it'snot a rule. I'm not going to get tested at the end. Okay, We're gonna make acouple of quick announcements, and we have one last question for you Andafter that, But Mary Kay, tell us about Book club. Yeah. You know, we have afriends and fiction official book club, and I'm excited to tell you that inJanuary, uh, they're reading my novel ladies night, so check that out. Jointhe book club. If you haven't read ladies night, I hope you'll want Thioand I'll be chime ing in on the book club page and answering questions, andthen we'll have a fun, fine book club night. So it's Ladies Night for January.Which reminds me, We need to tell everyone. And Bogle has a book club,the modern Mrs Darcy Book Club. Among the many other things on her on herwebsite and Kathy Mary Kay Andrews Ladies Night Book Club is actually aseparate Facebook page called The Friends and Fiction Book Club. I'msorry, join it and yeah, you can do that. So, Christie, tell us what'scoming up. Oh, my gosh, So many great things were coming up. So our next shownext Wednesday, January 6, we will welcome all of our friend DianeChamberlain, and then the next week we'll be chatting with William KentKrueger. Then we'll be talking about our own debut novels and the mostbuzzed about debut of 2021 more. I also can't believe that the launch of ourvery own Patty surviving Savannah is Onley nine weeks away. That's just aquarter of school patty like That's nothing way celebrating that on theshow on March 10th, and we'll be giving you an inside look at the book that youwill not see anywhere else. So join our...

Facebook group, Follow us on Instagram,subscribe to our channel on YouTube and to our weekly newsletter And listen toour podcast. Wherever you get, your podcasts were everywhere. And you canfind out more about all of that under announcements on our page and comingsoon. Ah, hotline. What s E o? Alright, Kristen. Good. Eso eso. Speaking of thepodcast, Christie mentioned most of our podcast episodes so far have just beenaudio replays of our live show. So there are a great way to catch up onwhat you've missed if you haven't been here for every single episode. Butwe've also begun putting some original content up there. Like like Mary Kayand I recently interviewed the geniuses who run marketing for two of ourfavorite bookstores. We'll have new interviews with authors, editors,agents and influencers coming up in January and beyond. And you won't beable to find those shows here on Facebook or on YouTube, so make sure tosubscribe to our podcast so you don't miss a thing. You can find moreinformation under announcements on our Facebook page or just search forfriends and fiction wherever you get your podcasts. All right? And we haveone last question for you. Um, it's from a viewer, and it is what are three?What? Three sources are your favorites for new reads. Oh, I thought that wasgonna be a superlative question. Now, uh, radio. Yeah. Know what resource isAir your favorite for new reads. I mean, besides the modern Mrs Darcy website,where do you go to find new breeds? I am going to speak in categories whichfeels like cheating. But this is the honest truth. My author friends whoread books with a different pickier lens, then many people, which is ablessing. And the curse y'all. Sometimes it feels like a curse. But ifyou want the book racks, it could be a blessing. My bookseller Friends whoread things way early and who are also running it with several differentprograms in in their brain Do I like it. What kind of customer would like it? DoI want a champion? It eso when one of my you know, dozen regular booksellerfriends says, hey, and I read this book and I thought of you. I'm like, Icannot get it fast enough. And then, um, like my my real life close friends whoI love to talk books with. And you can enjoy talking books with somebody evenif you haven't read the same books. But if you also get to talk about the booksthat you have read together, sometimes that adds. I mean, I love doing both.So books, books, books recommended and read by people. People that I love inmy riel, three dimensional, 6 ft apart master. Lately, I've been talking allthe books with my friend. We go low park, we walked, the hills were 6 ftapart and we we you could talk about a lot of books and eight miles. That'sone of my life giving things lately, E Except for all the time I I told you,gotta put your butt in the chair to get the work done. E My butt is reflectingthat I would never marry Alice. Never say that. All right, lady, that is ourprogram for tonight. Although I know we could talk for hours and what they toldus about Thank you for joining us. And all of you work here with us onWednesday nights. watching and listening later. We could not be moregrateful to you. We are thrilled you spend your Wednesday nights with us orlistening on the website or podcast. You are the reason we keep coming back.And we will see you next. Next. 21 2021. Thank you for bringing us, man.Everybody, this is a pleasure. Thank you for coming. And thank you forhaving me happy. Oh, okay. You've been listening to the friendsand Fiction podcast. Be sure to subscribe to the friends and fictionpodcast wherever you listen. And if you're enjoying it, leave a review. Youcan find the friends and fiction authors at w w w dot friends andfiction dot com A swell as on the Facebook group page. Friends andfiction come back soon. Okay? There are still lots of books, writing tips,interviews, publishing news and bookstores to chat about Goodbye.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (132)