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Welcome to Episode 210, where we have the pleasure of welcoming back Our Mystery Man, John Valeri! For those of you who are new to the Book Cougars, John is a frequent guest. He’s a reader, professional reviewer, and interviewer extraordinaire (check out his BookTube channel, CENTRAL BOOKING). John joins us to not only recommend some hot new myster…
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Welcome to Episode 209! We were thrilled and honored to talk with New York Times bestselling author, mystery legend, and social justice advocate Sara Paretsky. We talk with Sara about her newly published novel, PAY DIRT, the 22nd installment in her V.I. Warshawski series, founding Sisters in Crime, and so much more. Don’t miss our conversation at t…
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Welcome to Episode 208, which features a fantastic author spotlight with Sara B. Franklin. Her new biography, THE EDITOR: HOW PUBLISHING LEGEND JUDITH JONES SHAPED CULTURE IN AMERICA, is a must-read. It is not hyperbole to say that everyone reading and eating today has been touched by Judith Jones’s work, and Franklin’s writing is a delight to read…
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Welcome to Episode 207. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to talk with rare book dealer and author Rebecca Romney. Her first book was PRINTER’S ERROR: Irreverent Stories from Book History, and she made a significant contribution to the world of romance fiction with her collection, THE ROMANCE NOVEL IN ENGLISH: A Rare Book Survey, 1769-1999. Y…
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Welcome to Episode 206 where we have a fantastic conversation with Rebecca Rego Barry, author of THE VANISHING OF CAROLYN WELLS: Investigations into a Forgotten Mystery Author. One reviewer referred to Barry’s book as a “process biography.” It is true, Barry takes you along on her investigation into the life of Carolyn Wells who, it turns out, wrot…
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Welcome to Episode 205! April is National Poetry Month and we are here for it. Emily is currently reading YOU ARE HERE: Poetry in the Natural World, a new anthology edited by Ada Limón, and Chris is reading BOATS FOR WOMEN by Sandra Yannone.Since our last episode, Chris finished listening to WAKE UP WITH PURPOSE! What I’ve Learned in my First Hundr…
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We begin Episode 204 with the announcement of our second quarter readalong in our year of reading romance and end with a delightful conversation with author Allison Pataki about her fabulous new novel, FINDING MARGARET FULLER.Since our last episode, Emily has continued with her intention of reading a short story every Monday. She read “Lot” by Brya…
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Welcome to Episode 203! Some highlights of this episode: Emily dives into the pages of THE FROZEN RIVER by Ariel Lawhon and the delicious world of baking with THE COOKIE THAT CHANGED MY LIFE cookbook by Nancy Silverton and Carolynn Carreno. Meanwhile, Chris is back in high school with Jenna Miller's new sapphic YA romance, WE GOT THE BEAT. Emily de…
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Welcome to Episode 202 of the Book Cougars, featuring an Author and Editor Spotlight with Jessica Pryde.Chris and Emily are enjoying and learning from Jess’s ground-breaking anthology, BLACK LOVE MATTERS: REAL TALK ON ROMANCE, BEING SEEN, AND HAPPILY EVER AFTERS. Thanks to listener Katie for putting this book on our radar.We’re both currently immer…
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Welcome to Episode 201 featuring an Author Spotlight with LUANNE RICE recorded at the beautiful and welcoming Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library in Old Lyme, CT. Luanne’s new novel, LAST NIGHT, is out now. You’ve heard us rave about it in recent episodes and we do our best to keep our conversation with Luanne spoiler free.Some highlights of this episode:…
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Thank you for listening over the years and helping us reach our 200th episode! To celebrate this milestone, we invited special guests to call the Book Cougars hotline and recommend two forthcoming books they can’t wait for all of us to read. This idea was inspired by Ann Kingman and Michael Kindness, hosts of the podcast Books on the Nightstand, wh…
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Welcome to Episode 199! We have read A LOT since our last regularly recorded episode in December, so be prepared! In our “Just Read” segment, we talk about books by Lois Hamill, Hisashi Kashiwai, Martha Dickinson Bianchi, Josie Silver, James R. Benn, Alice Hoffman, Kate Jacobs, Tiago Forte, Julie Alvarez, Luanne Rice, Elizabeth Acevedo, Ann Hood, a…
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Welcome to our fourth annual Top Ten Reads of the Year episode with BookTuber Russell Gray of Ink and Paper Blog! We each talk about our top ten reads of 2023. Some books were published in 2023, and others are a bit older, but they all stirred our hearts and minds and we want to sing their praises. Russell, Emily, and Chris all have such different …
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Welcome to our last episode of the year! We reflect on our 2023 reading intentions, announce our 2024 readalong theme, and have a delightful conversation with Australian author Pip Williams to cap off our year of reading Books About Books.Some of the books we just read & discuss:– THE HELSINKI AFFAIR by Anna Pitoniak– THE QUEEN OF DIRT ISLAND by Do…
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Once again, we are grateful for the miracle of modern technology that allowed us to record this episode from two locations. Chris was recovering from the flu and, to keep Emily healthy, we recorded over Zoom.In our Just Read segment, we talk about nine very different books in a variety of genres: epic poetry, memoir, biography, and novels, includin…
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Welcome to our 8th Annual Bookish Holiday Gifts episode!The first time we recommended holiday gift ideas was on Episode 2, way back in December 2016. Listeners enjoyed it so much that we’ve done it every year since. We hope you enjoy our ideas this year. Links to items discussed are in the show notes. We would like to note that none of our suggesti…
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Episode 194 is bookended by Poetry and Romance. We begin with the poem “Only Love” by James Crews from the poetry collection, THE PATH TO KINDNESS: Poems of Connection and Joy. We end with an Author Spotlight with Sarah MacLean. Sarah is a powerhouse reader, advocate, and writer of romance fiction. Her new release is KNOCKOUT, book three in her Hel…
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Chris and Emily were thrilled to sit down and talk with Davina Morgan-Witts, the Founder and Publisher of BookBrowse. Founded in 1998, BookBrowse is one of the earliest independent online book resources. Davina and her team of editors and reviewers are committed to being “Your guide to exceptional books.” If you are not yet familiar with BookBrowse…
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Author Spotlight: Chris and Emily have a great time talking with Fancy Feast about her new (and debut) essay collection, NAKED: ON SEX, WORK, AND OTHER BURLESQUES. We bid adieu to Scarlet Summer with a recap of our Biblio Adventure to Boston where we visited sites related to Nathaniel Hawthorne. The first stop was the land upon which Brook Farm ope…
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Chris and Emily are happy to welcome back author SHULY CAWOOD to talk about her new poetry collection, SOMETHING SO GOOD IT CAN NEVER BE ENOUGH. Shuly reads a poem and talks about her poetic process, and we ask her to discuss our favorite(s) in the collection. We enjoy Shuly’s poetry in part because it is so accessible.Biblio Adventures are always …
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It’s another 10th episode which means we’re hosting a giveaway for newsletter subscribers! One lucky winner will receive a copy of DEMOCRACY IN CHAINS: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America by Nancy Maclean and THE DANTE CLUB by Matthew Pearl. To be entered to win, head to www.bookcougars.com/subscriber to join our newsle…
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The Book Cougars are thrilled to welcome Laurie Lico Albanese, author of HESTER, our second readalong for Scarlet Summer. Laurie dishes on Hawthorne, shares her inspiration for Isobel, and talks about her writing process. Don’t miss our Author Spotlight with Laurie at the end of the episode.Other highlights include:In our “Just Read” segment we tal…
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We had a great time talking with Erin Flanagan and Katrina Kittle. Both authors have new books coming out: COME WITH ME (8/22) and MORNING IN THIS BROKEN WORLD (9/1). Don’t miss our Author Spotlight conversation with them at the end of the episode. What We’ve Just Read:Emily: LET US DESCEND by Jesmyn Ward (out 10/3), a tough but rewarding read, and…
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A Book Cougars first: we interview a writing duo! In our Author Spotlight segment, we talk with Alli Frank and Asha Youmans about their new novel THE BETTER HALF, how they started writing together, their path to publication, and their writing process. Spoiler: matching pajamas!Some episode highlights:We both read Ann Petry’s powerful 1946 novel, TH…
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Welcome to Episode 186! We chat about what we’re currently reading (How to Take Smart Notes by Sönke Ahrens and Come with Me by Erin Flanagan) and books we’ve finished ( Morning in This Broken World by Katrina Kittle, Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann, and Devil in the Grove by Gilbert King). We also discuss our third quarter readalong pick…
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We both recently headed to the Midwest for some family & friend time. Chris went to Chicago and met up with Colleen, our guest on Episodes 27 and 145. We had a browse in Women & Children First, a legendary feminist bookstore and one of Chicago’s oldest indies, after which we had lunch across the street at Lady Gregory’s, an Irish pub named after th…
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SCARLET SUMMER kicks off Independence Day weekend! Nathaniel Hawthorne’s birthday is July 4th, so we consider it an auspicious start for our summer-long readalong. Our website has a new page, https://www.bookcougars.com/scarletsummer2023, where you can find all the info about SCARLET SUMMER, including a link to download your BINGO! card. As Emily n…
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Mushrooms! Librarians! Serial killer victims brought back to life! New friends and life reinvigorated through reading! We’ve had some good reads since our last episode.We’re both digging into our #BigBookSummer reading challenge books. Emily has started DEVIL IN THE GROVE by Gilbert King. Chris has thrown away the reading schedule for ULYSSES by Ja…
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Welcome to Episode 182!There is a lot of Biblio Adventure recapping in this episode, from author events (Mary Beth Keane at R.J. Julia) to movies (two book adaptations starring Kathy Bates), to bookstore visits in Vermont (Northshire and Monroe Street Books) and New York (Rogers Book Barn and Oblong Books).In the midst of wrapping up library school…
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We talk about a bunch of books and biblioadventures in Episode 180. What’s new, right? #winkSome highlights include books we just read, which took us from a memoir about caring for animals (THE OTHER FAMILY DOCTOR by Karen Fine) to an idiomatic fowl in search of freedom (CHASE OF THE WILD GOOSE by Mary Gordon) and from an island in the Atlantic (SU…
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Happy National Poetry Month!We kick off this episode with Emily reading Lucille Clifton’s poem, “Climbing,” and end with an in-depth conversation with poet Shuly Cawood about her poem, “Starter Marriage.” [The full text of Shuly’s poem is at the end of this description if you’d like to read it before or while listening to the episode.]Both of us ha…
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Welcome to Episode 178! We are currently reading a variety of genres: Fiction (CHASE OF THE WILD GOOSE by Mary Gordon and VOYAGER by Diana Gabaldon), memoir (LIFE B: OVERCOMING DOUBLE DEPRESSION by Bethanne Patrick), self-help (WHY AM I SO ANXIOUS by Tracey Marks), and a cookbook (COOK AS YOU ARE by Ruby Tandoh).Emily discusses three gripping novel…
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There are books and bookstores galore in this episode! Some highlights include –Emily went to see Aunt Ellen in Berkeley, CA, and together they visited two public libraries, a whole bunch of little free libraries, and TEN bookstores! Aunt Ellen gave Emily first dibs on her brand new copy of FINLAY DONOVAN JUMPS THE GUN by Elle Cosimano (now that’s …
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On Episode 176 Chris and Emily give a full recap of their two-day Biblio Adventure in New York City. The trip was inspired by a research project that Chris is working on for school that created a need for her to spend time in the archives at the main branch of the New York Public library. Emily tagged along and they had some bookish fun together. H…
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We just read a stack of books with an interesting variety of subjects! In between mushrooms and swimming, we spent time with an Australian rare book expert, a New Yorker wandering in Ireland, a Queer book artist in Manhattan, restauranteers in Minnesota, and an American publishing legend. We also got to know some folks in a rural hockey town.These …
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On Episode 174, we share LISTENER TOP 10s of 2022. Thanks to the 70+ listeners who contributed their top 10 lists. Out of 427 books, Emily shares not only what the combined top 10 titles are (actually, 11 titles because there was a tie) but also who the most frequently listed authors are. We also talk about our READING INTENTIONS & GOALS for 2023. …
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Emily started 2023 with a bit of a reading slump, but you’d never know it! Some of the books she enjoyed since our last regular episode are Oona Out of Order by Margarita Montimore, Trespasses by Louise Kennedy, The Change by Kirsten Miller, Hello Beautiful by Ann Napolitano (coming out 3/14/2023), and What the Fortune Teller Would Have Said by Shu…
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Happy New Year! Welcome to our third annual TOP TEN READS of the year episode with our special guest, BookTuber RUSSELL GRAY of Ink and Paper Blog. Emily, Chris, and Russell whittled down the books they read in 2022 to ten of our favorites. You’d think this would add up to thirty books, but you’d be wrong. As is customary, we cheated (some more tha…
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Welcome to our last episode of 2022! We surprised each other this week with some reading kismet. Each of us arrived at Book Cougars HQ with a poetry collection in hand and a poem we wanted to share. Chris reads the poem “The Margin” from The Historians: Poems by Eavan Boland. Emily reads “Improvement” by Danusha Laméris from How to Love the World: …
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We were apart again while recording this episode. Emily was in Colorado visiting her son and daughter-in-law. She also shared part of her salad with a magpie at The Bookworm bookstore and cafe in Edward’s CO. We are so grateful for the technology that allows us to get together to talk about books from wherever we are. As for what we’re reading, Chr…
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Episode 168 - Blair Braverman joins us to talk about her debut novel, SMALL GAME (out now from Ecco Press). It's about five contestants on a survival reality show that goes haywire. It’s a wild ride, and we had a fantastic conversation with Blair.We had an epic Biblio Adventure to The Mount in Lenox, MA. In preparation, we read three ghost stories …
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We have been hitting the books and hitting road & rails!Emily had a week-long vacation on Martha’s Vineyard and read a ton. She also visited Bunches of Grapes bookstore and FOUR libraries on the island – West Tisbury, Oak Bluffs, Vineyard Haven, and Edgartown. Chris attended a virtual event through the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library with R…
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Welcome to Episode 165! We can’t wait for you to listen to our Author Spotlight with DIANE WILSON! We were honored to talk with Diane about her moving, multi-generational debut novel, THE SEED KEEPER. Diane also talks about her writing process, her next book project, and more.In our Just Read segment, Emily talks about Elle Cosimano’s FINLAY DONOVA…
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Book Tuber Russell Gray of Ink and Paper Blog joins us to talk about his reading of this year’s Booker Prize nominees. He’s read all thirteen books on the long list, talks about the novels on the shortlist, and shares some ideas about which book he thinks will win and why.For two women who claim to have been busy lately, we sure did manage to read …
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Welcome to Episode 163! Both of us had some solo Biblio Adventures, but we also went on an EPIC Joint Jaunt to New Hampshire. We visited all three Toadstool Bookstores — Nashua, Peterborough, and Keene — in a day! We left Guilford (CT) at 7 a.m. and got home twelve hours later, just before 7 p.m. In total, we visited four bookshops, two libraries, …
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Chris and Emily sit down for a good old fashioned book chat. There’s no interview this episode, just us.Emily is reading an advance copy of Elizabeth Strout’s forthcoming novel, LUCY BY THE SEA (9/20/2022), and Katherine May’s memoir, THE ELECTRICITY OF EVERY LIVING THING: ONE WOMAN’S WALK WITH ASPERGER’S. Chris is deep into MANSFIELD PARK by Jane …
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Episode 161 features fictional mermaids, bears, and time travel adventure to stop the not so fictional nuclear meltdown at Chernobyl. We talk with Rachel Barenbaum about ATOMIC ANNA, her new novel that’s a fascinating mix of historical fiction, thriller, and a family saga about multigenerational women working together to prevent both personal and c…
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