Friends & Fiction
Friends & Fiction

Episode · 1 year 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. Five best selling authors Endless Stories, Friends and Fiction is a podcast with five bestselling novelist whose common love of reading, writing an independent bookstores found them together with jets, author interviews and fascinating insider talk about publishing and writing. Thes friends discuss the books they'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 the right place. Bestselling novelist Mary Kay Andrews, Christine Harmel, Christie Woodson, Harvey Patty Callahan, Henry and Mary Alice Munro are five longtime friends with more than 80 published books. To their credit at the Start of the Pandemic, they got together for a virtual happy hour to talk about their books, their favorite bookstores writing, reading and publishing in this new, uncharted territory. They're still talking, and they've added fascinating discussions with other bestselling novelists, so join them live on their friends and fiction Facebook Group page every Wednesday at 7 p.m. Eastern, or listen and view later at your leisure. Hi, everyone. If it's Wednesday night at 7 p.m. It's friends and fiction. Five best selling novelist Endless stories were five writers and friends whose common love of reading, writing an independent bookstores finds us together in a really long text string that binds us. This'll is our friends and fiction show. This is our last show of 2020 and we're just getting started. I'm Paddy Callaghan, Henry and I'm hosting our guest this evening. The modern Mrs Darcy and vocal and my next upcoming book is called Surviving Savannah and comes out on March 9th. Hi, I'm Mary Alice Munro, and my next book, coming out in May, is the summer of Lost and Found. It's very K Frozen E Uh, yeah, Chris. That was Mary Kay Andrews, and her next book comes out at the beginning of May, and it's called The Newcomer and hopefully she'll be back. 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'm sorry how my thing is saying I have a new I have unstable WiFi. I'm at the beach, but I'm Mary Kay Andrews and I have, ah, unstable WiFi and also an unstable personality. But my coming book is the newcomer out. May 4th. I'm Christi Woodson, Harvey and my neck. My next book. Gosh, we're, like all having having technical voice difficulties tonight. Do not have Koven. I'm pretty sure my next book is under the Southern sky and it releases April 20th. I have to think about that post Christmas. You know, we're still in that week. We're in a blur. Well, thank you so much for joining us tonight. We love that you show up every Wednesday night like this for us. Tonight we have an incredible guest. We're so thrilled to have an Vogel, the modern Mrs Darcy here with us. And as you know, if you've been with us from the start, we support independent bookstores. And before we get started, I want to tell us all about the reason we are here, our love for each other and for independent bookstores. All of us at friends in fiction are passionate Supporters of Indy's Tonight are Bookseller is Carmichael Books in Anne's hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, as Louisville's oldest indie bookstore, Carmichael's opened 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 business grew, so did the number of family members involved. And the staff now includes a second generation sounds like a book, Thio. Visit them often for cool stuff about books, writers and upcoming events, and this week they're offering 10% off on all books by and vocal and the five of us. So now let me tell you about modern Mrs Darcy, although I bet every single one of you already 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 of What should I read Next Podcast and also the newly launched one great book podcast. She has a popular show devoted...

...to literary matchmaking. Bibliotheca therapy, which I think should be a really thing. Leo therapy and all things books and reading. And there is more. There is the modern Mrs Darcy Book 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 your life. Her other book is I'd rather be reading the Delights and dilemmas of the reading Life and one of my favorites reading people How Seeing the world through the lens of personality changes everything. She takes the seven different 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 modus operandi of approaching old familiar ideas from new and fresh angles. While modern, Mrs Darcy isn't strictly a book blawg and mostly writes about books and reading. She lives in Louisville, Kentucky, with her husband for four Children and a yellow lab named Daisy. Oh, and join us, please. I love you End up 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 to the end of the year. It wasn't always like I should knock on something. I know, right? Exactly. It wasn't always pretty, but we did do it one more day until 2021. So one thing blame is high. No, exactly. 00 my God, Please break out in song Break out in something. We're going to talk about ways to start the new year with intention and really good books, and you always have the most incredible suggestions and recommendations, and we're going to dive into those. But first, can we please talk about how we made it through 2020? Can we look back and see that things are going to be different and have been different? And what I want to know from all of you is what is something that you want to keep from 2020 and what is something that you want to leave behind and I want you to go first? Oh, OK, something I want to keep is. We have made a huge deal about the dinner hour about food in general and the dinner hour like it's no longer survival. It's basically the only thing we'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 I just share two things I want to carry in because e wanna leave behind it just too depressing. I have been walking the dog like my life depends on it Just got to get outside. Gotta get outside. And part of that is I'm an introvert. I want my alone time. And also there's I need the vitamin D and the sunlight and the sunshine I'm like in the winter. I'm always, like, saddling up to the window to see what sunlight I e in snatch from through the clouds in Louisville, 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 wanna like? 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 me it could be really done. And once you're off the hamster, really, it does allow more time for serenity and reflection. And that's I think that's the one thing I'm going to keep. And what I want to leave is actually isolation. I like I'm an introvert in some ways, but isolation not being able to see my loved ones, yeah, really, is hard not being able to call the girls over 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've talked about it. Ah, lot on the show. But back in the spring, we started a text as text chain amongst the five of us about morning writing Sprint seven AM writing sprints and that routine, Um, keeping to it and not breaking the chain. We were all about not breaking the not breaking. Yeah. Three. And that helped me complete the newcomer a month ahead of time. First time I've done it in 30 years. Uh, that and then I would like to And also I'd like to keep the focus 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 on died also like Thio leave 30 Covad pounds way. Wouldn't it be great if you could 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 with Mary 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 afraid that if I stopped for a minute that, like, it was all gonna fall apart, you know, like, if I wasn't speaking 87 times that year, how is anyone going to buy one of my books? You know, So I think, um, that has been something that I've learned like, Oh, I missed that. I want to go back on tour, but maybe not quite to the extreme that I waas. Um And then the other thing, I've always been a very decisive person. This was really funny. This was like a really good 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 so many 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 little bit. 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, I wanna be able to kind of be back in touch with a little bit more than I have done. E I wonder if that's because we're so busy thinking how to get through the day right there. Just there's this worry about the virus and about our families that makes some of the energy away from the decision making. 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. So it was really I was just plagiarizing you. Hey, you, Kristen e point Your eyes were not using that word. E 00 k e. Yeah, for me, I think something I'd like to keep is the lesson that there's beauty and the quiet and magic in the act of standing still for a bit, so kind of like Christie was saying prior and and like Mary Alice said to prior to 2020 I was always racing out the door to the next thing you know, always ready for the next adventure. But I think I've learned in 2020 that its life itself, that's the adventure. And I don't want to forget that. I don't want to think it has to be the external things. Ondas faras something to let go. I think I'm really ready to let go of that forced social distancing. I'm doing it until this virus is over. It's so important right now. But I can't wait to hug again and shake hands and pat backs. But mostly hug because I'm a hugger and not being able to do that feels 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 each other. Same thing. I want to keep a sense of slowing down, of diving deeper into 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 no changes certain and just learn to flow with it. Because here we are. We're almost to the end of the year and we did it. We're gonna keep. And we made some really great things happen to And I think that's the thing that I keep thinking about is that we all say, 0, 2020 or 2020 about Wow, there's some amazing Yeah, Oh yeah, you guys, We should probably also keep friends in fiction Way was the best thing of 20. It's the best thing in 20. Get to sit here and talk Thio Modern Mrs Darcy Eso. Every year I choose the word for the year and this year was hard because all I wanted to choose was Let me out of here. That's too many words. So what? What about you and what do you do? You ever 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 this around like when I thought about choosing was watchful for a variety of reasons, but but but But I love my options in 11 word is just not not a lot of options, which is what? My book, One of the things I say it. Sometimes you just need to choose one and stick to it. And here I am saying like not just one, but nevertheless I like How about you, Mary else? I feel like Mel Gibson, but I just want to shout pre...

...doll e just river rather than go anywhere, Do anything, just get out. I'm free. Yeah, I just And mentally Frias 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 wanna stress the word because I'm so often guilty of not thinking about how others feel 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 when they'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 is going 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 with booksellers on the show is one of our goals, you know, spend the extra if you have the dollar, spend the extra dollar. That's kind of combined with that. How about you, Kristen? Rebirth? Because I think I think we're ready to come out of our cocoon and kind of start over again. The whole world. I mean, not just because of the pandemic, but there are so many ways that 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 be careful 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 miss being 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 on happy 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 one of the things that happened this year was that I was able to notice things more being chanted by them. And I want that Teoh go to the next level. So all right, 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 into 2021 as you might have noticed, and some people will be watching this in the new year. Now you curate the most amazing list. So please tell us some of the books that you think and hope will carry us into the New year. And and fiction 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 books that came to mind scanning year olds faces and thinking about the books on my 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 was thinking of Jane Harper's The Survivors and Patty. Your Surviving Savannah. Apparently, survival is the theme bubbling to the surface now. There were so many great books in 2020. Okay, a few that I feel like I couldn't stop talking About Where. Deacon King Kong by James McBride where he talked about a 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 was such a fun change of pace for so many people, including me. Even if the cover was a little romcom deceptive, we'll forget. We'll forgive her that, and I'm a Jane Austen fan, And I just really love the Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner. 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 what makes a book for you? A five star read on. Do you have favorite genres like your most favorite genre, Your least favorite. And is there one over the years that you've grown toe like mawr, then you had before. I do love a good story, well told, um, And for a five star read, Mary Alice, I hate star ratings. I feel like people want them...

...to mean one thing when really they mean another, like a star rating doesn't necessarily mean how good the book is or how well it was written. It means how much you liked it, that that's dependent 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 hit by a car the day you've got rear ended. Like, you know, the author can't help that, 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 on on one of the site, uh, one star. Why? Because the book arrived Damage. That's like what someone is not clear on the concept of what a rating means. It's true, it's true every day, but I know that what makes like a really exceptional reading experience for me and I want really when when you say beautiful writing, people think boring. But I want writing that really serves the story well, like where you can see the craft and I want a good story. And that doesn't mean that people need to be like chasing each other around corners. But I want something that gets me turning the pages, and I also know that the most memorable reading experiences to have an element of surprise and that doesn't necessarily mean a stalking plot twist. But But that premise sounded weird, and I didn't think the author could pull it off. But wow, she did it. I mean, that kind of surprise and my favorite genre is something that I call compulsively readable literary fiction. Yes, that has just incredible storytelling in prose That is just perfectly does what it needs to dio to make the reader really, really happy. I love that I love that. But this year I've been blindsided by, like, a memoir about walking and, um, some science fiction, which is not a genre. I go thio, Um, so I love to take chances on new books because you never know what's gonna happen, and you don't. I think a lot of times readers love the reading experience is the most where afterwards they say, I never would have thought that book was for me but I'm so glad I picked that up and I'm definitely the same. Like I love a reading experience like that. You know, we haven't head science fiction, have we? On our show way? Definitely Thanks for thanks for the assist. Come, I think was Charlene Harris. Yeah, it was not that section at all. It's, um, fantasy fantasy. Yeah, fantasy. There's some gateway books. I need some gateway books, Thio, you know, weight into those waters. But I'm always I'm I'm glad, but that's why your site is so amazing. Because that's where you go find a book where I would find a book where our listeners would find a book that we wouldn't pick up normally. But you recommend it, and then you're like, Well, that doesn't look like a book I'd really like, But I trust her and then you pick it up and you're like, Whoa! And it's That's how word of mouth books get out you think's into and then get it out there. So that's the thing that makes me the happiest to hear people say that the bad. Okay, Christie was in Harvey and U S O. And you appear to me and to all of us, I'm sure to be the most organized, decisive person in the world. You wrote a book called Don't Over. Think it s O first. Can you tell us a little bit about you know how you came to write this book? And then also, are there any lessons that you learned while writing it that you think can help us have a better year in 2021? Yes. Okay, First of all, I'm not naturally organized. I could tip this camera, but I'm not going to show you my office. Can I say it? Because my kids, like clothing is on there to go to the tailor? But really, it's my embarrassing book stacks, Um, but for a long time, I thought, 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 are naturally organized or naturally decisive they don't know how to do it because 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 down and deconstructed in order thio toe understand it and how to put those things into effect in her own life. I thought, Well, maybe that's the kind of person who actually has something to offer people you know, like when it's hard 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 mean hundreds of conversations with blogged readers over the years, but mostly like it's the product of 1000 girls nights where we sit around and we talked about Why is this bugging me so much? And you know what do you What do you think about it? Three o'clock in the morning? Um, it was specifically a conversation with 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 are we gonna dio like? This is just who we are and like something she said The way she said that years ago got me thinking like, Is that really true? Like, I don't that just doesn't sit right. Like I think I think that's actually worth exploring because I had realized how many people felt like that. Um, and what I've always done my writing isn't to be like, let me show you a new revolutionary system that I built from scratch that will, you know, change your life. But why? My way is more to like, I don't know, like, let's walk three steps to the left and come out the slightly differently. And I think we get a new perspective that would really serve us well. And that's really what I wanted to do here. Yeah, you definitely done. You definitely done. And if you could write the book about the file folders and stuff for me, that would be really well like Like that? Yeah. You gave me lessons. Can give you lessons. Okay, I e That's amazing. When I picked it up and read it, I kind of went at it with this attitude of, like, I don't over think things like this. I'm just going to 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 give you the boring version, values driven decision making. Okay, but the sexier version is whenever you're thinking about what to do next, um, like the question 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 really going on? What is the question really about? Because, for example, My book tour started on March 5th, and so immediately we had to make all these decisions about when to cancel events which events? Thio cancel and bless our hearts. When we first canceled, we canceled events for, like March 11th through 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 now we know how things turned out, but in the moment we knew like, this is hard now, it'll be easier later. But right now, we're just making it up as we go and we don't have enough information. But just being able to ask ourselves like the rial question isn't just about book tour. Like, what are the actual underlying issues that are going to inform this decision? Like, what are the 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 in person and really wanting to not put them them in harm's way in any way we could help And like once we were able to clarify, like, Why is this decision so hard to make? Like, what are the competing values it was so much easier to make? So that was a book tour, and I know that many of you are never going on book tour. You're like I've seen what they dio that's nuts, like I'm just no thank you, not my life. But even if it's something like carpool carpool 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's for dinner? Or do I really want to go to Girls night or do I want to go to that bookstore event? Maybe I should have an example that doesn't have to get together with friends. But even if you're thinking about socially distanced coffee like, what are you? What is it really about? Um, and just being able to identify, like, what is the rial question? What values are at stake here? And what do I really care about? Because decisions this year have not 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 more fun, but can definitely make them simpler. Yeah, that that's really that's really bright. Brilliant, because it makes it takes it out of the me. Me, me? Yeah, e think when we're making decisions about our own life, we know too many details to decide. Well, because we just get so bogged down in the particulars. But when you're able thio like draught in broad strokes, it was clear. Well, actually, another helpful tip is just to be like, What would I tell my best friend if she came to me with this question? So that's also really helpful because it does give you that perspective. You don't know all the minutia. You just know the big picture. And often we can decide with the big picture. And but not with all the nitty gritty details. I love the What's it really about, really about so And as we head into 2021 you have something really amazing for us. It's a new initiative. So the first thing I want to ask you about is your reading challenge for 2021. Instead of telling us what to read, you are giving...

...us questions to hone our own lists and to revamp our reading light. And I want you to tell us all about this. I'm happy, 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 done a reading challenge every year since, like, 2014, which we certainly did not invent 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 do need to be clear. I am not the modern Mrs Darcy. I feel like that would be super pretentious. I don't play her on the Internet. That's a brand name that's a brand name. But I do get called Mrs Darcy all the time. This is not a which which I love. I love, but I could be called that with E. Who does she 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 any Colin Firth jokes here. I will not dio Colin Firth. You can say whatever you want about Colin Firth, E o E. Well, this year we did our reading challenge a little bit differently, and we've thought about doing this for years. But instead of giving people a list of books to read, which if you look at reading 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 book whose author shares your middle name or read a book whose cover is Peri Winkle like that has, like a scavenger hunt. Kind of feel to it. Yeah, and so it could be fun in that way. But that doesn't mean it's going to do good things for your reading life. And as long as you know that they're two different things, that's totally fine. But what we dio I mean our goal and everything we do is to help people get more out of the reading lives. And we really believe that when you get more out of your reading life, you get more out of life, so we have fun with it. But it's also, I mean, this is serious fun business. Hmm. And so we wanted to start this year's challenge with helping 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 in connection. Or it could be escape and all of those air completely valid. But your choice will affect what you want to read. And quite honestly, none of those are going to be impacted by reading a book where the covers Peri Winkle. So yeah, this year's challenge. We invite people to set their intentions, and we have a little worksheet to go through, like what do you want? The examples I just gave her community connection, fun escape, learning knowledge, that kind of thing. We invite you to choose a couple of mini projects because it's not just about building a reading list. It's about building a reading life and then make your list accordingly. Yeah, so and the thing we've heard from readers is, um oh, my gosh, I saw what you put out, and I thought just give me the list, lady. But then I did. It was so fun. And I'm so excited about what's what's coming next. And I'm glad I think your word for it, and that made me feel good. But if that is, we understand we already talked about decision fatigue. If 2020 has done a number on you and you can't make a single other decision, we do have some preloaded 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 and self discovery. I think it could do your breathing life some good. It's so smart because sometimes we head into it. Um, even those of us who write books and this kind of haphazard way a book we hear about a book that's laying around a book that somebody gives to us and todo at it with intention. Aziz, we want to go into 2021 with intention. It's it's a great idea to ask what we want out of the books were gonna and it might lead us into books we wouldn't have 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 we get on friends and fiction, but I really treasure is when people say you know it because of the authors who come on their reading books that they would not have ordinarily chosen. And I think that's the key. That's what the secret of 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 think is I mean, that's been one of the gifts for me. I'm like, Oh, my gosh, I've never read this author of this genre or whatever. And now I'm like, It's fantastic. 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 do not know what is happening to my...

...computer, so I apologize. But an s e o on you just forgot Tonto eso and I read an interview with you where you quoted Toni Morrison, who said if there's a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet. Then you must write it. And at the time you said that was 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 part of, but it didn't exist yet. So I think we all felt similarly when we founded friends and fiction. And in so many ways, this year has been about finding one'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 doing something like that Creating a place for people to gather and feel at home ultimately helps make the world a better place? E mean, you started with Toni Morrison, and you end up with books and reading. So what? Not toe like their? It's true that we've always I mean, there's certainly a philosophy of writing in any in any medium that says survey people and ask what they want and then go make it to their specifications. And that's just not really held any interest for me, because I think that's a profit driven motive, which, where's the satisfaction in that? Like the idea to talk about books and reading isn't to buy a car or microwave like it's toe talk about books and reading, because what what I really love about this space is the way when you connect with someone over books, you really can't connect with them like people make jokes about how like, oh, you never have a meaningful conversation about whether or movies. But when you're when you're talking with people, even strangers about books, it's such a shortcut to get to the heart of what matters in life. Because a good book talks about things that really matter. And it hit you in a really personal way, and you get to have that like, Oh, me too, like you would never say, Tell me about your relationship with Mother and your hopes and fears. But through the lens of talking about a novel, you can get there in 25 seconds, and it is not awkward 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 The satisfaction 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 out into the world like something that now is already there in abundance, like there has to be a reason for us to do it and to do it in our own way, because if the space is already, if that need is already being made, then toe what end would we be? Adding words as well, and I don't know how to tell you to go find it because so many times like the world is right in front of you. But it's that it's that specific way of seeing It triggers the little light bulb 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 three steps to the left and seeing it through a different lens. Um, but I do like how fiction and vice us to see the world, um, in different ways, and to see it through other people's eyes. and I do think that reading and reading regularly and reading a variety of books help us see what's happening in front 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 the world. The bookish world has really stepped out and said, Hey, we need to be looking at things from a different perspective. We need to be reading different authors and more diverse books and e think we're all gonna have a really different future because of that diversity. Yes, absolutely. There was a article in The New York Times today. I know. I shot it to all of you on a test about Yeah, book publishing industry is really healthy because people 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 what we're doing it it's all part of the world growing into a better place. And people 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. And there was some great quotes in there about how important books are and how they're growing. So yeah. Okay, so the four of us have had a chance to ask and some questions. And for those of you watching, if you put your questions in the live chat, we're gonna pull a couple of them. But for now, we took a couple 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 an is has 2020 change the way you make life decisions. That's a good question. And I'm going to say I feel like this is kind of a trick question. Eyes isn't the answer is supposed to be. Yes, but I don't think so. I feel like 2020. So much was coming at me so fast. Um, professionally, but also personally, like I just went through some hard things this year, and I was just really grateful for the foundation that I had laid in in the like, immediate previous years. I feel like I was just kind of test driving some of those decision making modes and points of view. Um, but 2020 was a time where I really wanted to decide. Like I have what it takes. I know what I know. I have enough tools to do the best I can with with what I've already been equipped with and just really trust that because I didn't have time to learn anything new, and I didn't have time to pivot, and I didn't have, you know, I I didn't feel emotionally able to be inventing new ways to make decisions, But just to settle 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 it takes. I know what I know. That's probably just from lost fatty e Don't know where it's from. E o. All right, Mary. Alice. I know you have a few questions. I do. It's from Tawny Cisneros and one of the things he starts with she's one of my favorite finds in 2020. So that's what she says about you. So I think that's great. And Here's her question. I would love to know how an Bogle decides on her guest list. Does she plan based on seasons book releases, or is it based on her mood? Okay, this is for what should I read next? Okay. Our podcast. If you don't know your pardon on your guest list. I think that was a podcast. It must be your 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 3 books they love one book. They don't and what they're reading now, and I recommend three books they may enjoy reading next. I know that should is built into the title because that's the way questions. Um, are that's That's a question people ask. What should I read next? But in my book, I'd rather be reading. We talked about how should is kind of the bad s word of the reading life so hasn't tend to use it. The fact that in that name, but what what makes it different than other book podcasts is we don't We don't talk to you guys like I have to be really stingy with the author friends that I love talking Thio because that's not that's not what we do. Like there's so many good shows that do that. And sometimes we we tried we could make that work because you all have vibrant reading lives, I'm sure. And our flow is the place to come on and talk not just about, you know, like you tend to get asked the same questions and interviews. And that's not what I'm gonna ask you. I'm gonna ask you what's on your night stand and how you decide what to read next. And then tell me about a book that you really don't like. And if you're an author, that's kind of awkward. You know, people choose somebody dead who's been 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 in contrast, which is why we do that. But that means that most weeks we talked Thio. Our guests have dubbed them regular readers who it could be your mom, your sister, your teacher, your neighbor, your best friend, your nephew like e regular. We mean not a professional book person, and probably not also like a celebrity or personality or anybody with a million Instagram followers. Just just somebody that could be you, which is kind of fun about the show, because it always feels like it could be you, and and it's it's fascinating to me. How readers think that everybody we talked to is like a star, because when you talk Teoh, a regular reader, about something they're expert in and something they're passionate about, which is their reading life, they sound, uh, they sound like an expert. You know, they sound like a prominent authority because they are, um, but what's important to the show? Because every week we want we want everyone listening one week to go. Oh, that's my books win. That's how I read that person could be me and you just listen in a different way. You learn something every week because listening to anyone talk articulately about their reading life either makes you go. I never thought about it like that. Oh, that's totally me. Oh, that's not. You know, I just hadn't thought about how I read. But listening to them describe how they read Aiken. See my own taste, in contrast, 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 dot com slash guest Where books tell us three books. They love one book. They don't what they're reading now and what they want to talk to and about. And we just 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. It was really and for all of you out there, I promise we'll post it on the announcement 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 their questions for your reading challenge? Where do they find Wow? There's a block post that went up last Monday on modern mrs darcy dot com. It's called the 2021 Reading Challenge. If you put your email in that box, you'll get it. You get a seven page PdF. So that's emails. The easiest way to share. Okay, but we'll send you, we'll send you the kit. It's green, There's no charge, just it'll and you should get it within a few minutes. So crispy questions coming in its way. Dio, although I have to say s are managing Director Meg had a question and it's so good and I want to know the answer to So I kind of sorry we're getting somebody good live questions. But this one was just really good Eso, she said, Having written don't everything yet, which is somewhat of ah, self help book. I don't know if that's like the appropriate term, but you know what? What do you mean can and tell us if she has any favorite titles in this genre and even have really resonated and stuck with you over the years? Oh, that is a good question. Thank you, Meg. I have to say that my my favorite books in this genre tend to have a more creative spin. And I love I love books that are. I mean, I read plenty of writing books, but the ones that I feel like our most surprising and help me think most expansively are written by people near my space. But not in my space. So I love reading works from choreographer choreographers and dancers and E s Oh, it's it's still words 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 really appreciate that. Like, I've loved the works of Twyla Tharp about routine on the creative life. She's so good, uh, interesting. What's the The creative habit, I think might be my favorite by her. And I also love, uh, written by people who ask good questions like I just just finished re reading. Maybe you 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 the surface, which is always a theme that draws me and asking good questions and figuring out how the life you're living, the stuff you've dealt with affect how you're living your life right now. It's just an astounding, but it's really good way. You know what we will put? Um, we'll we'll try to remember toe post those books, uh, and the Twyla Tharp title. Well, y'all, we'll try to post those, 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 all that up. Fantastic. How about Kristen? You wanna pull a live question on Christie? 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 least three 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 already talked about Emily Henry, but I have to say that I read her new book. I really enjoyed it. Um, but it's no much to when Harry met Sally. I mean, that's all I need to say, right? Yeah. Yeah. All right. We're going to take a quick break. Mary Alice, will you remind us about the bookstore of the week? I certainly will. This is Carmichael's books. And as Louisville's oldest independent bookstore, Carmichael's opened on Barton Road 1978 and Frankfurt Avenue in 1999. And Carmichael is a family business in the best tradition. As their business grew, so did the number of family members involved. And the staff now includes a second generation, which I think is very cool. Visit them often for cool stuff about books, writers and upcoming events. And they are offering this week 10% off books by an Bogle and the Fab Five and an Will You tell us why you...

...love the bookstore, Carmichael's and Why You chose it. Well, remember what we were saying about values driven decision making. Yeah, when my family moved a few years back, one of our key priorities was walking distance to coffee and books. So if that I mean, our family resides in a house determined in part by Carmichael's bookstore, and I feel like that says it all e a lot eso I love what you put your own advice into action and it made the decision where you live that it makes life so much better. It really does. Oh wow, Alright, so usually about this time we ask our guest for a writing tip, but we are going to ask you for a reading tip. So what is your best reading tip as we want to start this new year off with a reading bang? Okay, well, I could give a writing tip like the five second version. Just put your butt in the chair and don't get it that way. We owe meeting Thio. My best reading tip. I don't know. I kind of feel like I'm always saying the same thing. So let me, Let's try something new. I would say that a lot of times, especially if we're talking about branching out and how the element of surprise it can be so delightful and so memorable. Not just for me, but for many, many. I mean, I've heard this from thousands of people over the years. I would say that a lot of times we describe ourselves mood readers, and we think we need to be in the mood to pick something up. And I would just like to suggest that maybe instead of waiting for the mood, you could make the mood. If there's a book in a genre that you haven't tried or an author that you think I might, you know, maybe, but you don't think you're in the mood for it. Just give it 20 pages and oftentimes you'll find You know what? This is the book I've been waiting for because we don't always know what we want. We don't always know what we want until this right in front of us in that book isn't gonna, like, walk over and fall in your lap. You have to make that happen. So just give it a try, which would which would pair well, with a common tip. I give which is, um you don't have to finish every book you start. You really don't. So if you pair those 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 to experiment. And that's the way we discover you know, those gems that make us say like, Oh, my gosh, best of the year. But I never would have picked it up if fill in the blank that it happened. E I have to say to that I grew up where it was. I felt like I was breaking a rule. If I didn't finish the book E giving us permission was saying yet there's a hotline. They're really shit a 2021 project. Maybe we'll run that on April Fool's. Except I really mean it. Maybe we'll run a hotline one day. The modern Mrs Darcy team will put out 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, like a sense of relief when she said that, like, o e, its not a rule. Yeah, it's not a rule. I'm not going to get tested at the end. Okay, We're gonna make a couple of quick announcements, and we have one last question for you And after that, But Mary Kay, tell us about Book club. Yeah. You know, we have a friends and fiction official book club, and I'm excited to tell you that in January, uh, they're reading my novel ladies night, so check that out. Join the book club. If you haven't read ladies night, I hope you'll want Thio and I'll be chime ing in on the book club page and answering questions, and then 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 her website and Kathy Mary Kay Andrews Ladies Night Book Club is actually a separate Facebook page called The Friends and Fiction Book Club. I'm sorry, join it and yeah, you can do that. So, Christie, tell us what's coming up. Oh, my gosh, So many great things were coming up. So our next show next Wednesday, January 6, we will welcome all of our friend Diane Chamberlain, and then the next week we'll be chatting with William Kent Krueger. Then we'll be talking about our own debut novels and the most buzzed about debut of 2021 more. I also can't believe that the launch of our very own Patty surviving Savannah is Onley nine weeks away. That's just a quarter of school patty like That's nothing way celebrating that on the show on March 10th, and we'll be giving you an inside look at the book that you will 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 to our podcast. Wherever you get, your podcasts were everywhere. And you can find out more about all of that under announcements on our page and coming soon. Ah, hotline. What s E o? Alright, Kristen. Good. Eso eso. Speaking of the podcast, Christie mentioned most of our podcast episodes so far have just been audio replays of our live show. So there are a great way to catch up on what you've missed if you haven't been here for every single episode. But we've also begun putting some original content up there. Like like Mary Kay and I recently interviewed the geniuses who run marketing for two of our favorite bookstores. We'll have new interviews with authors, editors, agents and influencers coming up in January and beyond. And you won't be able to find those shows here on Facebook or on YouTube, so make sure to subscribe to our podcast so you don't miss a thing. You can find more information under announcements on our Facebook page or just search for friends and fiction wherever you get your podcasts. All right? And we have one 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 was gonna be a superlative question. Now, uh, radio. Yeah. Know what resource is Air 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 which feels like cheating. But this is the honest truth. My author friends who read books with a different pickier lens, then many people, which is a blessing. And the curse y'all. Sometimes it feels like a curse. But if you want the book racks, it could be a blessing. My bookseller Friends who read things way early and who are also running it with several different programs in in their brain Do I like it. What kind of customer would like it? Do I want a champion? It eso when one of my you know, dozen regular bookseller friends says, hey, and I read this book and I thought of you. I'm like, I cannot get it fast enough. And then, um, like my my real life close friends who I love to talk books with. And you can enjoy talking books with somebody even if you haven't read the same books. But if you also get to talk about the books that 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 in my riel, three dimensional, 6 ft apart master. Lately, I've been talking all the books with my friend. We go low park, we walked, the hills were 6 ft apart and we we you could talk about a lot of books and eight miles. That's one 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 reflecting that I would never marry Alice. Never say that. All right, lady, that is our program for tonight. Although I know we could talk for hours and what they told us about Thank you for joining us. And all of you work here with us on Wednesday nights. watching and listening later. We could not be more grateful to you. We are thrilled you spend your Wednesday nights with us or listening 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 for having me happy. Oh, okay. You've been listening to the friends and Fiction podcast. Be sure to subscribe to the friends and fiction podcast wherever you listen. And if you're enjoying it, leave a review. You can find the friends and fiction authors at w w w dot friends and fiction dot com A swell as on the Facebook group page. Friends and fiction come back soon. Okay? There are still lots of books, writing tips, interviews, publishing news and bookstores to chat about Goodbye.

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