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What Should I Read Next?

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What Should I Read Next is the show for every reader who has ever finished a book and faced the problem of not knowing what to read next. Each week, host Anne Bogel interviews a new person and finds out their tastes. Then, she makes recommendations about what to read next.




Ep 97: How a book really gets made, from idea to the bookstore shelves

Today Anne takes you behind the scenes of how her book Reading People came into being. Guided by questions from newsletter subscribers, we're delving into the intricacies of how the book was made, from working with agents and editors, to how the book got matched up with a publisher, to how the cover was designed. Anne also gets personal with an exploration of her writing habits, what she learned along the way, and even where the initial idea came from. Get your copy now at your local indie,...

Duration: 00:26:24

Ep 96: Listen to Anne read Chapter 1 of her new book Reading People!

We’re in serious countdown mode around here: my book Reading People: How Seeing the World Through the Lens of Personality Changes Everything comes out on Tuesday, September 19. This is the story of how my long journey digging into 7 popular personality frameworks changed my life for the better, and how you can put those frameworks to work for yourself to make real, lasting change in your life, in your work, and in your relationships. I had the privilege of narrating the audio version of...

Duration: 00:34:57

Ep 95: Really weird stories you should totally read

In today's episode, Anne and guest Nicholas Siegel cover a lot of ground. MFA fiction is a phrase that has been thrown around on the podcast before; today they dive into what exactly that means. Nicholas also pitches a book in a way that TOTALLY changes Anne's perception of it. Also discussed: literary magazines, when to finish a book that you're not enjoying, and stories that are perhaps best described as “just plain weird. Click here for the full list of titles discussed in today's...

Duration: 00:51:38

Ep 94: Paris epiphanies (and other bookish destinations)

In today's episode, Anne looks for small business owner Esther Dairiam's origin story. Like so many great plots, Esther’s turns on an epiphany she had on a trip to Paris five years ago. She left convinced that what her adopted city of Chicago needed was its own destination for culinary books and events, and not finding anything like it already in business, she sought to open that business herself. Anne and Esther talk about food, of course, and the way it brings people together. You'll...

Duration: 00:49:17

Ep 93: Books to help you manage anxiety + a book brunch that will have you drooling

Today’s guest, Kristin Economos, has an incredible story to tell, one many people will resonate with. After experiencing a season of severe anxiety, Kristin says her return from a decade-long reading sabbatical brought her back to life. She got professional help, and she ALSO soothed her anxiety with books. Fictional stories that transported her to other times and places, and nonfiction reads about mental health and anxiety that taught her strategies and helped her feel less alone....

Duration: 00:47:47

Ep 92: When you feel betrayed by the bestseller list

Today’s guest pointed out that we haven’t talked to an abundance of East Coast readers, and today we’re making amends. Karen Weiss is a nurse practitioner in Maine who gets many of her best book recommendations from her teenage patients, and she returns the favor — it's rare for a patient of any age to leave her office without a book recommendation. Karen loves chatting books so much she talked herself into a job at her local independent bookstore, so of course I needed to find out her...

Duration: 00:48:39

Ep 91: The books you can't stop recommending

Today’s guest is Bethany Armstrong, a lifelong reader who describes herself as the kind of kid who always had a book in her hand. After studying literature in college, Bethany suffered through a period of bookish burnout. But a surprising thing re-invigorated Bethany’s reading experience... you'll have to listen to find out what it was. Today Bethany’s reading life is thriving, and in this episode she and Anne dive into the specifics—they talk about how it’s alllllll about the story, and...

Duration: 00:47:12

Ep 90: Immersive books that make you want to read them again (for the first time)

Today, Anne chats with Mary Gaertner, a listener of the show she met at the Popcast Live pre-party (hosted IN HER HOUSE!) Mary drove to the Louisville show from Cincinnati, and spent the car ride choosing her What Should I Read Next books - 3 books she loved, 1 book she hated, and what she's reading now. When Mary told Anne her books - especially the book she HATED - Anne knew need to come on the show! So … we made it happen. Mary and Anne discuss copycat books, strong female...

Duration: 00:45:38

Ep 89: Ask Anne Anything!

Today is a What Should I Read Next milestone - our very first mailbag episode! We invited our newsletter subscribers and Instagram followers for their burning questions, and Anne did her best to answer. If you've ever been curious about the inner workings of the WSIRN team, what Anne's typical day looks like, what book changed her life, or how to get on the show yourself, today's episode holds the answers to these questions (and MANY more)! Click here for the full list of titles discussed...

Duration: 00:50:23

Ep 88: Books that deserve to shine

Today's guest is Amena Brown, a spoken-word poet who writes all her poems to jazz music. When she was a little girl, Amena dreamed of becoming a stand-up comedian, and that doesn’t seem like a stretch! Amena brought a lot of big laughs to the show today, as she and Anne discussed their favorite comedic memoirs by fabulously funny women, pushing the limits of a book’s form, and FEELINGS in books that are hard to find words for. Plus, Anne give a book recommendation… that isn’t a book at...

Duration: 00:50:46

Ep 87: Popcorn books, page-turning thrills, and reader regret

Today Anne chats with Aaron White, a runner, content developer, INTJ, and married father of two who lives in Minnesota. Aaron's lifetime favorite book will make some of you jump up and cheer, and maybe make some of you yell back at your podcast player (and not in a happy way). Anne and Aaron discuss that AWFUL FEELING when you’ve read what feels like a bunch of underwhelming books in a row, nostalgic fantasy favorites, and how adding a book to your permanent collection can be a Very Big...

Duration: 00:48:14

Ep 86: Crazed readers, eclectic tastes, and talking about books with strangers

Promoting literacy is a both a paycheck and a free-time passion for today's guest. Emily Kinard comes from a family where it’s completely normal for her grandmother and mom to give her book recommendations, and for her to return the favor. And if she sees you a reading a book she loves on the plane, she won’t hesitate to strike up a conversation about it—because there’s nothing like a good book for bringing people together. In today's episode, Anne and Emily discuss the etiquette of...

Duration: 00:49:40

Ep 85: When your best friend hates your favorite book (and you hate hers)

WSIRN goes international once more! Today's guest is Charity Dušíková, an art teacher and mother residing in a small town in the Czech Republic*. Anne and Charity talk about the impact of big life changes on their reading lives, what to do when you HATE your best friend’s favorite book, what it takes for a book that collects dust on your shelves to finally get picked up and read, and more. Click here for the full list of titles discussed in today's episode. Make sure to let us know what...

Duration: 01:02:06

Ep 84: You know you're a Serious Reader when...

Anne first met today's guest Shawn Smucker and his wife Maile while they were on an epic cross-country road trip with the whole family, in a big blue bus named Willie. If that sounds like interesting reading, Shawn wrote a book about the experience! It’s called How to Use a Runaway Truck Ramp, and the title is NOT just a metaphor. Today Anne delves into the special significance certain books and authors hold for Shawn and his family. Other topics covered include the fascinating art of...

Duration: 00:50:01

Ep 63: An epic birthday bookstore road trip

If you’re a longtime listener, you’ve heard from today's guest Donna Hetchler before—she hopped on episode 64 and chatted with Anne about the unconventional way she tracks what she reads, in our special episode devoted to how 15 WSIRN listeners track their books. In today's one-of-a-kind episode, Anne investigates Donna's plans for a very special road trip. They also discuss stories with whit and whimsy, books that stand the test of time, and Donna also had a unique request when it came...

Duration: 00:48:05

Ep 82: Obsessive readers and bookish kindred spirit angels

Today's guest is That-Reader-Who-Is-Impossible-To-Recommend-Books-To... because it seems she's read it EVERYTHING! Claire Diaz Ortiz has a very specific favorite genre that makes her go "crazy with excitement", and Anne faces a real challenge finding any titles under that umbrella that Claire hasn't already devoured. In this episode, Claire and Anne discuss what it means to be an "obsessive reader" and how to spot others out in the wild, the way our personalities influence how we read,...

Duration: 00:56:51

Ep 81: The suspense is thrilling me

In today’s episode, Anne chats with Chelsea Humphrey about what a surprisingly broad category "suspense/thriller" actually is. Of course there's some Gone Girl chatter - but they're going deeper, talk about how psychological suspense connects with the various struggles women experience every day. Also covered: being a sucker for a beautiful book cover and a book with a great map in the front pages, redemptive narratives, and legitimately good romance novels that were not what we were...

Duration: 00:47:39

Ep 80: Books that make you want to skip dinner, work, and the rest of your life

Why is it SO HARD to describe a book you REALLY LOVE? Anne tries to figure it out with today's guest Cori Jara, a case worker in Eureka CA. Cori is a lifelong reader who loved the written word so much she became a creative writing major. But after college books lost their luster for Cori for a while—reading felt too much like work. So several years ago, she started keeping a detailed spreadsheet about what she was choosing to read. That spreadsheet led to an epiphany: she diagnosed why her...

Duration: 00:50:41

Ep 79: The books we can't wait to read this summer

WARNING: today's episode might make you long for a warm sandy beach, a cozy cabin, or a French villa... wherever your heart longs to vacation, that's where you'll want to be. That's right, Anne is talking SUMMER READING today with the help of WSIRN insider Melissa Klassen! Melissa makes magic happen behind the scenes for WSIRN and the Modern Mrs Darcy blog, so you'll get a little peek behind the curtain. In this episode, Anne and Melissa discuss Summer’s big releases, the backlist titles...

Duration: 00:41:52

Ep 78: Super-relevant (super-enjoyable) fiction for our time (with Kathleen Grissom)

Today's conversation won't go the direction you're expecting - and we think you're going to love it for just that reason. The guest is Kathleen Grissom, author of the hugely bestselling books The Kitchen House and Glory Over Everything. Kathy (she said we could call her Kathy) is a reading discussion pro: she has talked to more than ONE THOUSAND book clubs since The Kitchen House was published! Today, she and Anne chat about hardcovers versus paperbacks, "reading books like popcorn",...

Duration: 00:47:22

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