The Avid Reader Show-logo

The Avid Reader Show

Books & Literature

The Avid Reader is a podcast for book lovers. Tune in for interviews, recommendations, and insider news from Sam Hankin, host and owner of independent bookstore Wellington Square Bookshop.

The Avid Reader is a podcast for book lovers. Tune in for interviews, recommendations, and insider news from Sam Hankin, host and owner of independent bookstore Wellington Square Bookshop.

Location:

West Chester, PA

Description:

The Avid Reader is a podcast for book lovers. Tune in for interviews, recommendations, and insider news from Sam Hankin, host and owner of independent bookstore Wellington Square Bookshop.

Twitter:

@wsbookshop

Language:

English

Contact:

549 Wellington Square Eagleview Town Centre Exton, PA, 19341 U.S.A. (610) 458-1144


Episodes

The Motion Of The Body Through Space Lionel Shriver

9/9/2020
After an ignominious early retirement, Remington announces to his wife Serenata that he’s decided to run a marathon. This from a sedentary man in his sixties who’s never done a lick of exercise in his life. His wife can’t help but observe that his ambition is “hopelessly trite.” A loner, Serenata disdains mass group activities of any sort. Besides, his timing is cruel. Serenata has long been the couple’s exercise freak, but by age sixty, her private fitness regimes have destroyed her knees,...

Duration:00:57:05

Private Means Cree LeFavour

9/9/2020
A deliciously compulsive first novel from New York Times Editor’s Choice author of Lights On, Rats Out, Cree LeFavour’s Private Means captures the very essence of summer in a sharply observed, moving meditation on marriage, money, and loss. It’s Memorial Day weekend and Alice’s beloved dog Maebelle has been lost. Alice stays in New York, desperate to find her dog, while her husband Peter drives north to stay with friends in the Berkshires. Relieved to be alone, Alice isn’t sure if she should...

Duration:00:52:07

The Innovation Delusion

9/9/2020
It’s hard to avoid innovation these days. Nearly every product gets marketed as being disruptive, whether it’s genuinely a new invention or just a new toothbrush. But in this manifesto on thestate of American work, historians of technology Lee Vinsel and Andrew L. Russell argue that our way of thinking about and pursuing innovation has made us poorer, less safe, and—ironically—less innovative. Drawing on years of original research and reporting, The Innovation Delusion shows how the ideology...

Duration:00:46:41

Can't Even HelenAnn Petersen

9/9/2020
Do you feel like your life is an endless to-do list? Do you find yourself mindlessly scrolling through Instagram because you’re too exhausted to pick up a book? Are you mired in debt, or feel like you work all the time, or feel pressure to take whatever gives you joy and turn it into a monetizable hustle? Welcome to burnout culture. While burnout may seem like the default setting for the modern era, in Can’t Even, BuzzFeed culture writer and former academic Anne Helen Petersen argues that...

Duration:00:41:50

How To Astronaut. Terry Virts

8/25/2020
Ride shotgun on a trip to space with astronaut Terry Virts. A born stroyteller with a gift for the surprising turn of phrase and eye for the perfect you-are-there details, he captures all the highs, lows, humor, and wonder of an experience few will ever know firsthand. Featuring stories covering survival training, space shuttle emergencies, bad bosses, the art of putting on a spacesuit, time travel, and much more!

Duration:00:48:22

Our Lady Of Perpetual Hunger. Lisa Donovan

8/25/2020
Renowned southern pastry chef Lisa Donovan's memoir of cooking, survival, and the incredible power in reclaiming the stories of women Noted chef and James Beard Award-winning essayist Lisa Donovan helped establish some of the South's most important kitchens, and her pastry work is at the forefront of a resurgence in traditional desserts. Yet Donovan struggled to make a living in an industry where male chefs built successful careers on the stories, recipes, and culinary heritage passed down...

Duration:00:55:09

The Exiles Christina Baker Kline

8/25/2020
The author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Orphan Train returns with an ambitious, emotionally resonant novel that captures the hardship, oppression, opportunity and hope of a trio of women’s lives in nineteenth-century Australia. Seduced by her employer’s son, Evangeline, a naïve young governess in early nineteenth-century London, is discharged when her pregnancy is discovered and sent to the notorious Newgate Prison. After months in the fetid, overcrowded jail, she learns she is...

Duration:00:46:30

The Lions Of Fifth Avenue. Fiona Davis

8/5/2020
It's 1913, and on the surface, Laura Lyons couldn't ask for more out of life—her husband is the superintendent of the New York Public Library, allowing their family to live in an apartment within the grand building, and they are blessed with two children. But headstrong, passionate Laura wants more, and when she takes a leap of faith and applies to the Columbia Journalism School, her world is cracked wide open. As her studies take her all over the city, she is drawn to Greenwich Village's...

Duration:00:18:29

Want Lynn Steger Strong

7/30/2020
Elizabeth is tired. Years after coming to New York to try to build a life, she has found herself with two kids, a husband, two jobs, a PhD—and now they’re filing for bankruptcy. As she tries to balance her dream and the impossibility of striving toward it while her work and home lives feel poised to fall apart, she wakes at ungodly hours to run miles by the icy river, struggling to quiet her thoughts. When she reaches out to Sasha, her long-lost childhood friend, it feels almost harmless—one...

Duration:01:00:58

Bronte's Mistress Finola Austin

7/30/2020
This dazzling debut novel for fans of Mrs. Poe and Longbourn explores the scandalous historical love affair between Branwell Brontë and Lydia Robinson, giving voice to the woman who allegedly corrupted her son’s innocent tutor and brought down the entire Brontë family. Yorkshire, 1843: Lydia Robinson—mistress of Thorp Green Hall—has lost her precious young daughter and her mother within the same year. She returns to her bleak home, grief-stricken and unmoored. With her teenage daughters...

Duration:00:53:16

Migrations Charlotte McConaghy

7/22/2020
Young adult novelist McConaghy (the Chronicles of Kaya series) makes her adult debut with the clunky chronicle of Franny Stone, a troubled woman who follows a flock of endangered Arctic terns on what is believed to be their final migration home. Franny’s mother, who vanished when Franny was seven, warned her that women in their family are unable to resist the urge to wander. While working at a university in Galway, she meets ornithologist Niall Lynch, who immediately declares they’ll spend...

Duration:00:37:27

Oona Out Of Order Margarita Montimore

7/15/2020
It’s New Year’s Eve 1982, and Oona Lockhart has her whole life before her. At the stroke of midnight she will turn nineteen, and the year ahead promises to be one of consequence. Should she go to London to study economics, or remain at home in Brooklyn to pursue her passion for music and be with her boyfriend? As the countdown to the New Year begins, Oona faints and awakens thirty-two years in the future in her fifty-one-year-old body. Greeted by a friendly stranger in a beautiful house...

Duration:01:03:19

How Much Of These Hills Is Gold C. Pam Zhang

7/15/2020
Ba dies in the night; Ma is already gone. Newly orphaned children of immigrants, Lucy and Sam are suddenly alone in a land that refutes their existence. Fleeing the threats of their western mining town, they set off to bury their father in the only way that will set them free from their past. Along the way, they encounter giant buffalo bones, tiger paw prints, and the specters of a ravaged landscape as well as family secrets, sibling rivalry, and glimpses of a different kind of future. Both...

Duration:00:54:47

How To Pronounce Knife Souvankham Thammavongsa

7/15/2020
A New York Times Editors' Choice, this revelatory debut story collection from O. Henry Award winner Souvankham Thammavongsa honors characters struggling to find their bearings far from home, even as they do the necessary "grunt work of the world." In the title story of Souvankham Thammavongsa's debut collection, a young girl brings a book home from school and asks her father to help her pronounce a tricky word, a simple exchange with unforgettable consequences. Thammavongsa is a master at...

Duration:00:52:48

Breath James Nestor

7/15/2020
No matter what you eat, how much you exercise, how skinny or young or wise you are, none of it matters if you’re not breathing properly. There is nothing more essential to our health and well-being than breathing: take air in, let it out, repeat 25,000 times a day. Yet, as a species, humans have lost the ability to breathe correctly, with grave consequences. Journalist James Nestor travels the world to figure out what went wrong and how to fix it. The answers aren’t found in pulmonology...

Duration:00:55:11

The Oppenheimer Alternative Robert Sawyer

7/15/2020
Writing with “a sense of wonder that hasn’t prevailed since the days of Heinlein” (Books in Canada), best-novel Hugo and Nebula Award-winner Robert J. Sawyer brings you “a truly science-fictional work of alternate history” (S.M. Stirling). While J. Robert Oppenheimer and his Manhattan Project team struggle to develop the A-bomb, Edward Teller wants something even more devastating: a weapon based on nuclear fusion — the mechanism that powers the sun. But Teller’s research leads to a...

Duration:00:58:53

Tyll Daniel Kehlmann

6/8/2020
From the internationally best-selling author of You Should Have Left, Measuring the World, and F, a transfixing retelling of the German myth of Tyll Ulenspiegel: a story about the devastation of war and a beguiling artist’s decision never to die Daniel Kehlmann masterfully weaves the fates of many historical figures into this enchanting work of magical realism and adventure. This account of the seventeenth-century vagabond performer and trickster Tyll Ulenspiegel begins when he’s a scrawny...

Duration:01:05:39

The Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes

6/8/2020
It is the morning of the reaping that will kick off the tenth annual Hunger Games. In the Capitol, eighteen-year-old Coriolanus Snow is preparing for his one shot at glory as a mentor in the Games. The once-mighty house of Snow has fallen on hard times, its fate hanging on the slender chance that Coriolanus will be able to outcharm, outwit, and outmaneuver his fellow students to mentor the winning tribute. The odds are against him. He’s been given the humiliating assignment of mentoring the...

Duration:00:34:56

The Oppenheimer Alternative Robert Sawyer

6/8/2020
Writing with “a sense of wonder that hasn’t prevailed since the days of Heinlein” (Books in Canada), best-novel Hugo and Nebula Award-winner Robert J. Sawyer brings you “a truly science-fictional work of alternate history” (S.M. Stirling). While J. Robert Oppenheimer and his Manhattan Project team struggle to develop the A-bomb, Edward Teller wants something even more devastating: a weapon based on nuclear fusion — the mechanism that powers the sun. But Teller’s research leads to a...

Duration:00:58:53

How Much Of These Hills Is Gold C. Pam Zhang

5/20/2020
An electric debut novel set against the twilight of the American gold rush, two siblings are on the run in an unforgiving landscape—trying not just to survive but to find a home. Ba dies in the night; Ma is already gone. Newly orphaned children of immigrants, Lucy and Sam are suddenly alone in a land that refutes their existence. Fleeing the threats of their western mining town, they set off to bury their father in the only way that will set them free from their past. Along the way, they...

Duration:00:54:47