Welcome to From the Front Porch, a collection of conversations on books, small business, and life in the South, hosted by Bookshelf owner Annie Jones and staffer Chris Jensen. Each week, we share book reviews and stories from the shop, all recorded from the comfort of Annie's home settled among the streets of downtown Thomasville. Follow along our adventures in retail, meet Thomasville's diverse cast of characters, and listen as we share our favorite books of the season.


Find full episodes of from the front porch here.

Over the next few weeks, we will be moving all of our episodes from the Bookshelf website over to the From the Front Porch website. If you can't find the episode you're looking for here, you can find it there!

Everything below is currently from September 2016 and before.


Annie talks about the effects of stress on her reading life and chats with Chris about the books she read in September. Last month's selections included: 

Moo by Sharon Creech

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

Ecology of a Cracker Childhood by Janisse Ray

The Year of Living Danishly by Helen Russell

You can find these selections and more on our store website: www.bookshelfthomasville.com

Curious what the life of a book sales rep might look like? Annie and Chris interview Virginia Price, a sales rep for Penguin Random House. Virginia recommends her favorite upcoming fall book releases (and gives readers a preview of some spring titles to come). Plus, the three book lovers share their favorite podcasts and why movie book covers are so, so bad. 

FICTION: 

The Mothers

+ Ninth City Burning

+ Reputations

+ Swing Time

+ Ink and Bone

+ The Girl on the Train 

NONFICTION: 

+ The Princess Diarist

+ The Book of Joy

+ The Glass Universe 

+ Dogs and Their People

 

Other titles mentioned: 

+ War and Peace

+ Anna Karenina

+ Lord of the Rings

+ Exit West

+ MacArthur's Spies

Podcasts mentioned: 

410wned Gaming Podcast

This American Life

RadioLab

Welcome to Night Vale

The Bright Sessions

Grammar Girl

For more book recommendations, you can reach Virginia at vprice {at} penguinrandomhouse {dot} com. 

Ever wonder what a booksellers conference might look like? Annie chats with her mom about this year's Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA): the authors, the booksellers, the lessons learned. 

Books, podcasts, authors, and blogs mentioned: 

DesignSponge and Grace Bonney

+ In the Company of Women 

+ The King of the Birds

+ Girl in Pieces

+ Author Liane Moriarty

+ Author Mary Kay Andrews

+ Author Shauna Niequist

+ Little Women

+ A Year of Living Danishly

Author Ann Patchett recently compared bookselling to being on a sitcom. Annie and Chris investigate that claim, comparing their fellow booksellers to Friends characters and examining why we identify with fictional characters of all kinds. 

+ Read Ann Patchett's original interview, here

+ Find CJ Hauser's essay all about characters who are "just like us" here

For some, life on the Gulf Coast is a religion, and now, we've got our very own Bible of sorts: Saints of Old Florida, a gorgeous new lifestyle book by Emily Raffield, Melissa Farrell, and Christina McDermott. Emily and Melissa chatted with Annie and Chris about life on the coast, their favorite coastal memories, and why collecting our Southern stories is so important. 

For more information about Emily, Melissa, Christina, and their new book, visit their website, Saints of Old Florida. The book can be purchased online or through several locally-owned shops in and around the coast; a full stockist list is here.

Melissa's shop in Port St. Joe is called Joseph's Cottage

In this episode, books and podcasts mentioned include:

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

Ecology of a Cracker Childhood by Janisse Ray

+ Garance Dore's podcast, Pardon My French

Behold, the power of Oprah. Annie and Chris chat about the books Annie read in August, including Oprah's book club book, The Underground Railroad. The rest of Annie's list: 

Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott

The Hopefuls by Jennifer Close

The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer

Before the Fall by Noah Hawley

Another Day in the Death of America by Gary Younge

And other books Annie and Chris mentioned: 

Fates & Furies

Crossing to Safety

+ Pond

The Royal We

Station Eleven

Everything I Never Told You

Reconstructing Amelia

Prep

Ghettoside

"A room without books is a body without a soul," said Cicero, and so we believe. This episode, Annie and Chris talk about the roles books play in homes and home decor: why we keep books and what they say about us. 

+ This episode was inspired by Robbie Hopkins from Audible Discernment; you can check out our full episode with Robbie and the guys here

+ Books by the foot your thing? You can buy them from another indie bookstore, Strand Books, here.

+ Mrs. Kendall's Unread Library, here

When you travel, how big of a role does food play in your experience of a new city or town? This episode, Debra Smith, the owner and founder of Taste of Thomasville, a Thomasville Food Tour, visits with Annie and Chris. They chat about Thomasville's best restaurants, Gone with the Wind, and that big oak tree everybody's always talking about.

Debra's favorite podcasts are The Dave Ramsey Show and Serial.

She's currently reading The All-Girl Filling Station's Last Reunion by Fannie Flagg.  

You can find information and tickets on the Taste of Thomasville tour at www.tasteofthomasvillefoodtour.com.

Have you read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child yet? No spoilers here, but Chris and Annie do chat about their expectations going into the newly released book. They also discuss Go Set a Watchman, J.K. Rowling's turn as Robert Galbraith, and how they'd be sorted at Hogwarts. 

Annie and Chris recap the books Annie read in July, plus they chat about what to do when you're in a reading rut.

Books discussed include: 

Commonwealth by Ann Patchett

The Trespasser by Tana French

You'll Grow Out of It by Jessi Klein

Swing Time by Zadie Smith

Can't decide if you love or hate a book? This is the podcast series for you. Annie once again joins frequent podcast contributors Hunter McLendon and Rebekah Arwood for a discussion of Wendy Walker's All Is Not Forgotten (a new thriller on shelves now; Reese Witherspoon's already bought the film rights). 

Comparable titles: 

Defending Jacob by William Landay

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

Sybil by Flora Rheta Schreiber

We Were the Mulvaneys by Joyce Carol Oates

Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight

Love books, music, and the South? Then we've got the episode for you. Annie and Chris met with the guys of Audible Discernment, a music podcast out of nearby Albany, Ga., and they chat all things literary and musical (including a nostalgia for country music and why Pride and Prejudice would be better set in the South). 

Books mentioned: 

Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison 

A Boy from Georgia by Hamilton Jordan

The Dark Tower series by Stephen King

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers

Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace

The Whale by Mark Beauregard

The Last Days of Video by Jeremy Hawkins

Annie and Chris deep dive into reading more than one book at any given time... And some book therapy ensues. 

They mention: 

Commonwealth by Ann Patchett

The Trespasser by Tana French

Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin

The Wake by Paul Kingsnorth

Grit by Angela Duckworth

The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell

The Supper of the Lamb by Robert Farrar Capon

Plus this article about millennialsthis one about what Obama does at night, and... are you an abstainer or a moderator?  

Looking for your next summer read? Look no further. Annie and Chris chat about the books Annie read in June, including: 

The Dollhouse by Fiona Davis (rel. August 23)

Love Warrior by Glennon Melton Doyle (rel. September 6) 

It's Okay to Laugh (Crying Is Cool, Tooby Nora McIrney Purmort

Light to Paris by Eleanor Brown

All Stories Are Love Stories by Elizabeth Percer

How to Ruin Everything by George Watsky 

Before We Visit the Goddess by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

Leave Me by Gayle Forman (rel. September 6)

Also mentioned: 

The Momastery blog

+ Aaron Purmort's obituary

+ Lin-Manuel Miranda's Twitter account

+ WTXL card-making segment

+ Modern Mrs. Darcy Summer Reading Guide

Earlier this month, Annie traveled to Haiti with Dot Products, a school supply company based out of Jackson, Mississippi. This episode, Chris and Annie chat with Hallie Darphin, founder of Dot, about Dot's mission, making a global impact, and the magic of reading recommendations. 

Hallie mentions these books: 

The Color Purple

1984

Brave New World

Quiet (and this TED Talk by Susan Cain) 

And these podcasts: 

Being Boss

Serial

This American Life

The Moth

Find Dot online: Website | Instagram | Facebook

Plus, here's a video from Annie's time in Haiti with Dot.

New York Times bestselling author Anton DiSclafani (The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for GirlsThe After Party) drops by the podcast to talk about life in a small town, North Florida versus South Florida, and writing with a baby on board. 

Anton mentions: 

+ Radiolab

LaRose by Louise Erdrich

The Golden Bowl by Henry James

Event details about Anton's signing are here

Ever wondered if a particular book is worth reading? In our Love It or Loathe It episodes, we debate newly released titles and whether they're worth adding to your TBR list or not. 

This episode, Annie, Rebekah, and Hunter chat about Walt by Russell Wangersky. 

Turns out design is pretty much what makes the world -- and small businesses -- go 'round. Learn all about marketing and the ups and downs of social media as Annie and Chris chat with local small business consultant Dara Barwick. 

+ Dara's website

The Southern C Summit

Our interview with Sarah Turner

Our interview with Laura Beggs

+ Melanie Duncan podcast episodes

+ Deep South Details podcast

Annie and Chris mention: 
The Popcast

Serial

This American Life

Reply All

Dara's book recommendations: 

Under the Hood

Good to Great and the Social Sector

Chris asks Annie about the books she read in May, including: 

Brighton by Michael Harvey (releases June 14)

Rich and Pretty by Rumaan Alam (releases June 7) 

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld

The Girls by Emma Cline (releases June 14) 

Where Am I Now? by Mara Wilson (releases September 13)

Truly, Madly, Guilty by Liane Moriarty (releases July 26) 

The Mothers by Britt Bennett (releases October 11) 

Also mentioned: 

Defending Jacob

Everybody Rise

Britt-Marie Was Here

The Dollhouse

We Have Always Lived in the Castle

 

Ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes of those Instagram accounts we all follow? Annie and Chris chat with Lindsay Hopkins of Pen and Paint, an enormously popular Instagram account and Etsy shop based in Albany, Georgia. 

Find Lindsay on Instagram and Etsy.

Podcasts we mention: 

StoryCorps

This American Life

Smart Creative Women

Elise Gets Crafty

Audible Discernment

Books Lindsay mentions: 

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Tattoos on the Heart by Father Gregory Boyle (The podcast episode Annie mentions is from On Being with Krista Tippett, found here.) 

Wednesday Wars by Gary Schmidt

Want to know if a book's for you? Welcome to Love It or Loathe It, episodes where Bookshelf staffers and friends tell you exactly what they think about a newly released title. In this volume, Annie chats with Bookshelf manager Rebekah and frequent podcast contributor Hunter all about I'm Glad about You by Theresa Rebeck. 

Other titles mentioned: 

Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham

Are You My Mother?, by Alison Bechdel

Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal

A Man Called Ove, by Fredrik Backman

Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty by Ramona Ausubel 

What do you get when you have a bookstore staffer who's also a news junkie? A very special episode of this podcast. Chris and Annie chat with bookseller Sterling Ivey about news in pop culture, favorite news sources, and what he really thinks about morning show hosts. 

Sterling's favorite podcasts: 

Serial

This American Life

Here's the Thing with Alec Baldwin

WTF with Marc Maron

Comedy Bang! Bang!

Books mentioned in this episode: 

Middlemarch

+ Plato's Republic

The First Nazi

Kissinger

The Whale

Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

We're living in a post-Gone Girl world, which means not all thrillers are created equal. Annie and Chris chat about the books she read in April, including a couple of just-okay novels and one National Book Award winner. 

Read Bottom Up

The Passenger

Ordinary Grace

We Are Called To Rise

Losing It

Fortune Smiles

Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty

The Adam Johnson interview Annie references is here

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Chris' blog is here

News flash: Some TV shows are better than others. Chris and Annie wax philosophical about their favorite TV shows for readers, including: 

Gilmore Girls

Arrested Development

Breaking Bad

Jane the Virgin

Mad Men

House of Cards

Seinfeld

The Office

The Wonder Years

The Bachelor

Related: All 339 Books Referenced in Gilmore Girls

Share your favorites: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

Rate and review us on iTunes

Thomasville is the City of Roses, and spring is the town's time to shine! Each year, Thomasville hosts the Rose Show and Festival, and Chris and Annie talk to city event coordinator Sarah Turner about balancing tradition with new ideas, why a festival devoted to roses, and what she's reading right now. 

Vote for Thomasville in USA Today's Best Historic Small Town competition! 

Check out all the Rose Show festivities -- including parade details and flower show times -- here

Support Tallahassee's Word of South festival.

Sarah's go-to podcasts: 

Radio Lab

This American Life

Books Sarah mentioned: 

In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

Fed, White, and Blue by Simon Majumdar

Tribal by Diane Roberts

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

How to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran

Books Chris mentioned: 

The Empathy Exams by Leslie Jamison 

Battleborn by Claire Watkins

Fortune Smiles by Adam Johnson 

Books Annie mentioned:

Fortune Smiles by Adam Johnson

Website | Twitter | Instagram

One perk of life in a small town: You can try something just to see if it works. And if it does? Then you've established a new town tradition, like Thomasville's Due South music festival, put on by the Center of the Arts

Annie and Chris chat with the Center's marketing director, Callie Sewell, about music festivals; the Athens, Ga., music scene; and whether Jane Eyre is overrated. 

BUY TICKETS for Due South here

Books mentioned: 

Jane Eyre

The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls

No One Belongs Here More Than You

The Nest

The Empathy Exams

Podcasts mentioned: 

This American Life

Serial 

The Moth

Mom and Dad Are Fighting

Gilmore Guys

How do you raise creative kids? Do small towns foster creativity better than big cities do? Annie and guest Emily McKenna chat about these questions, plus book hangover and what they're reading right now. 

Emily is the product developer for Everfan, a superhero and imaginative play company located right above The Bookshelf in Thomasville. Emily is also the owner of You're Maker, where she teaches classes to adults and children. 

Books mentioned in today's episode: 

Imagine by Jonah Lehrer

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle (plus the Austin Family Chronicles and Walking on Water

Dumplin' by Julie Murphy

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

This Is Where You Belong by Melody Warlick (preorder here

Plus, Chip Kidd's TED talk, and How to review the podcast on iTunes. 

Full show notes here

The podcast introduces a new co-host with a familiar voice, and Annie recaps the books she read in March, including: 

Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald

Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman

The After Party by Anton DiSclafani

I'm Glad About You by Theresa Rebeck

Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk

This Is Where You Belong by Melody Warnick

Annie also menions: American Girls, The Nest, and The Excellent Lombards. 

Find the Perfect Days podcast episode here

Check out this episode of This American Life about American teenagers on social media. (It's fascinating!) 

---

Rate and review the podcast on iTunes

Full show notes from today's episode and past episodes here

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Which book wins this year's Out of Print Book Bracket? Listen as Annie and frequent podcast contributor Jordan Jones duke it out over their favorite contemporary classics, including Fates and Furies vs. Looking for Alaska and All the Light We Cannot See vs. Room

Round One match-ups can be found here

Follow The Bookshelf on Instagram for the shop's own version of March Madness. 

Rate and review the podcast on iTunes

Full show notes from today's episode and past episodes here

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Annie visits with The Bookshelf's March customer of the month, Peyton Hodges. Peyton is the roaster for Grassroots Coffee and a lifelong (more or less) Thomasvillian, and in this episode, he schools Annie on her knowledge of sci-fi literature -- plus they chat about why co-ed book clubs might be better. 

Peyton mentions: 

Sad Puppies and the 2015 Hugo Awards

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Dune by Frank Herbert

+ Author David Wong

+ Author Neal Stephenson

Saga

+ Hark! A Vagrant

---

How to rate/review From the Front Porch

Full show notes from today's episode and past episodes here

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Annie interviews author Robert Buccellato about his new book, Jimmy Carter in Plains. He shares his insight into President Carter's approachability and how his underdog story inspired many of today's presidential candidates, plus Robert and Annie chat about the pros and cons of life in a small town. 

Robert's author page + tour dates

How to rate/review From the Front Porch

From the Front Porch on iTunes

Robert is reading Stone Door, a YA fantasy, and Why the Dutch Are Different, a memoir. 

Full show notes from today's episode and past episodes here

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Annie recaps the books she read in February, including: 

Let's Just Say It Wasn't Pretty

- My Name Is Lucy Barton

- The Good Goodbye

- The Interestings

- American Housewife

- Opening Belle

- Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend

Looking for other indie bookstores to support? Annie loves Sundog Books in Seaside, Florida, and The Hidden Lantern Books in Rosemary Beach, Florida. 

Rate the podcast on iTunes! 

Annie and Bookshelf staffer Chris share their love for the Oscars and this year's Oscar-inspired books, plus they chat briefly about Harper Lee and what her death means to the literary world. 

iTunes || Facebook || Twitter || Instagram

Annie, Rebekah, and Hunter discuss Perfect Days, an upcoming novel by Raphael Montes. (Spoiler-free discussion, with five minutes of spoiler-filled bonus conversation at the close of the episode.) 

The book reaction video Annie mentions is here

Annie recaps the books she read in January, including several ARCs, a couple of thrillers, and a YA novel. (Full list with titles and authors here.) 

Instagram || Facebook || Twitter

Annie chats reading resolutions with returning podcast guest Hunter McLendon. Annie and Hunter also make their way through Modern Mrs. Darcy's 2016 Reading Challenge, plus talk about what they're reading right now (him: Americanah; her: The Expatriates). 

What Should I Read Next? podcast

Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Annie interviews Jana Mohr, president of Thomasville On Stage and Company, Thomasville's community theatre. Annie and Jana chat about TOSAC's upcoming production of A Little Princess, plus why books make great on-stage adaptations. 

For tickets to A Little Princess, click here.

Facebook | Instagram | Twitter 

We're back with our first episode of 2016, and Annie's recapping her favorite books of 2015. (You can find the full list here.) 

Local listeners may want to subscribe to The Bookshelf newsletter, a weekly update on bookstore happenings. 

Faraway folks, you can subscribe to Annie's monthly musings -- including reading recaps -- here.

Annie chats with blogger and podcaster Science Mike in this last episode of 2015! Annie and Mike discuss science, faith, and the many nuances of the South, plus their favorite Thomasville spots and what they're reading right now. (Mike's reading The Last Pilot, and Annie's reading Live from New York.)

Mike's website || The Liturgists podcasts || Ask Science Mike podcast

Annie reviews the six books she read in November: Accidental Saints by Nadia Bolz-Weber; Distance from Me to You by Marina Gessner; The Clasp by Sloane Crosley; Flood Girls by Richard Fifield; The Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes; You Don't Have to Like Me by Alida Nugent. 

Facebook || Instagram || Twitter || iTunes

Annie chats with Atlanta author, blogger, and comic Jim Hodgson about the ever-changing publishing industry, urban fantasy fiction, and what makes David Sedaris so funny. Jim's latest book, Ten Thousand Gods, is being published in serial format; you can find it and his other works on his website, www.jimhodgson.com. Jim is also the founding writer and editor of the Atlanta Banana

Annie and fellow bookseller Chris Jensen discuss food and food writing, including whether cookbooks are becoming obsolete and what they think you should serve at your Thanksgiving table.  

Similar carrot recipe (find the one Chris made in A Southern Gentleman's Kitchen

Avid Bookshop 

Annie loves: Supper of the LambDelanceyA Homemade LifeThe Hidden Art of Homemaking. 

Annie chats with Laura Beggs, the main street coordinator for the city of Thomasville. They discuss their favorite spots in downtown T'ville, plus what all those different festivals do for the city. (Want to know more about Victorian Christmas? Find details here.) 

Shop online with The Bookshelf here

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Annie reviews her October reads, including Diane Roberts' Tribal and Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell. (Rank and review us on iTunes here.) 

Annie and Rebekah list their favorite spooky reads for the season and even recommend a creepy podcast or two (including CriminalLore, and The Black Tapes podcast).

One Book 2015

website || instagram || facebook

It's a One Book extravaganza! Annie interviews New York Times bestselling author Gretchen Rubin; they chat about habits, happiness, and Thomasville's One Book 2015 festival. Then, Annie visits with Lauren Basford, executive director of the Thomasville-Thomas County Chamber of Commerce. 

Gretchen's podcast | One Book website | Chamber of Commerce website

Annie shares her reviews of the books she read in September. 

One Book tickets and information can be found online here

Annie chats with the ladies from Open Door Adoption Agency -- Lauren Fielding and Sarah Taylor -- about adoption, Bob Goff, and life in Thomasville. Bob Goff is headed to The Bookshelf on October 1; come snag a copy of his bestselling book Love Does and get it signed!

(Like what you heard about Open Door Adoption? Consider donating to their endowment or making a monthly financial commitment to their organization here.) 

Annie chats with The Bookshelf's September customer of the month, Hunter McLendon, about books and art and life in a small town. Hunter recommends Girls in Trucks (plus references White Oleander and Alice Munro), and Annie gives her review of Shotgun Lovesongs. Hunter's artwork can be found online here, and more information about The Bookshelf's upcoming events are on the store website

Annie chats with author Prissy Elrod about grief, navigating the publishing industry -- including her publishing company, Thomson-Shore -- what's next for Far Outside the Ordinary, and why adult coloring books might be the best invention ever. (More information about Far Outside the Ordinary can be found on Prissy's website, and local listeners can meet Prissy at Reader Meet Writer, The Bookshelf's annual author fair this Saturday, September 19.) 

Annie interviews Emily Arwood, artist-in-residence at the Thomasville Center for the Arts. They chat about Thomasville's art festival, FLAUNT; living as a creative in the South; and their favorite books for creatives.  

Tickets for FLAUNT (launching September 11) can be purchased online here, and Emily's online shop is here. You can find more information about the Artist in Residence program and the Artist Collective at the Thomasville Center for the Arts website

Annie recaps the books she read in August, including "super science-y" The Martian and R-rated Ally Hughes Has Sex Sometimes, plus shout-outs to book Instagrammer SJ Shepperd and the hosts of The Popcast

Rank, review, and subscribe on iTunes

Annie and Jordan talk about their favorite books from childhood and the impact those characters have had on their adult lives, ranging from The Boxcar Children's Henry to Hermione Granger. (Plus, join Annie and find out what your favorite American Girl doll says about you now.) 

Annie chats with Florida State University entrepreneur-in-residence Christine Nieves; the two discuss porch swings and creativity, the importance of connection, and life in the new South (hint: it's a lot of storytelling and hard work). Christine also lists her favorite spots in Tallahassee and Thomasville: Quarter Moon ImportsBlack DogRipe City Urban FarmRailroad SquareFermentation LoungeGrasslands BreweryJonah's, and Sweet Grass Dairy

Follow Christine on TwitterInstagram, and Tumblr.

Rate and review From the Front Porch on iTunes here

Follow Christine on TwitterInstagram, and Tumblr.

Rate and review From the Front Porch on iTunes here

Annie chats with newbie bookseller and PhD student Chris Jensen. Their conversation covers everything from MBTI results to Wendell Berry, plus they show their love for their neighbors on Broad Street: Sweet Grass Dairy and Grassroots Coffee

Annie recaps the books she read in July, including KITCHENS OF THE GREAT MIDWEST and GO SET A WATCHMAN. (Want more GO SET A WATCHMAN discussion? Check out Episode 14, here.) 

Rank and review us on iTunes!

Annie interviews author and naturalist Sue Cerulean. Sue's newest book, COMING TO PASS, both inspires and informs readers about Florida's coastal islands. In this episode, Annie and Sue discuss what makes this region of the country unique and where to go adventuring (including Birdsong Nature CenterLeon SinksWakulla SpringsSt. Marks Wildlife Refuge, and the Ochlocknee River State Park), plus Sue shares some her favorite writers and books, like Janisse Ray's ECOLOGY OF A CRACKER CHILDHOOD

Annie and Katie discuss the importance of establishing a reading rhythm and debate reading in bed, plus reference book blogger Modern Mrs. Darcy and this fantastic podcast episode by NPR podcast Note to Self. Katie shares her favorite poetry book for young kids, Lullaby and Kisses Sweet, and Annie raves about Kitchens of the Great Midwest. 

Follow The Bookshelf on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Annie lists the books she read in June, including The Rocks by Peter Nichols, The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan, and Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. (This episode also includes references to the Emily books by L.M. Montgomery and The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker. 

Annie and Katie discuss the events in Charleston and books about race in America; start with Shauna Niequist's original question on Instagram, then read Annie's blog post for a suggested book list. Want to dig even further? Try following the #CharlestonSyllabus hashtag for more recommendations. 

Review the podcast on iTunes here.

Annie and her husband Jordan discuss extroversion, introversion, and the influence of Susan Cain (and her book Quiet) on our daily lives. This episode have you curious for more? Find out your MBTI results and whether you're a Highly Sensitive Person, plus check out one of Annie's favorite podcasts, The Popcast (hosted by an excellent introvert and extrovert pairing) and Cain's famous TED talk. You can also join Cain's "Quiet Revolution" here.

Rank and review the podcast on iTunes

Annie and Katie talk about the Fifty Shades of Grey books and why they're so popular (maybe because we're repressed?), plus they tackle their own literary guilty pleasures, including chicklit and self-help books. 

Love what you hear? Rate us on iTunes, and vote for The Bookshelf as we try to win a Main Street grant! You can vote here

Annie reviews the books she read in May, including Mamrie Hart's You Deserve a Drink and Erik Larson's Dead Wake. Don't forget to rank and review the podcast on iTunes here.

Annie chats with husband and frequent podcast contributor Jordan about audiobooks: he loves them, but she's not a fan. Where do you stand? (Some of Jordan's favorites, in case you're curious: Defending Jacob, The Dinner, and Lord of the Rings.) Annie would rather listen to podcasts; some of her favorites: Lit Up, Books on the Nightstand, This American Life, Gilmore Guys, Around the Table, and The Popcast.

Annie and Katie chat about narrative nonfiction, the ones we love and the ones we hate, including The Lemon Tree, author Erik Larson, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Wild Swans, the American Girl books, and the books they're reading right now.

Annie reviews the books she read in April, including A Little Life (reviewed by Books on the Nightstand here) and Emma, part of The Austen Project. Rachel Held Evans' Washington Post article is here.

Annie chats with author and entrepreneur Carrie Rollwagen in this 45-minute interview episode. They chat about local shopping and eating, Leslie Knope, and Amazon versus the indie. (You can follow Carrie on Instagram or Twitter.)

Annie reviews the books she read in March, including Gretchen Rubin's Better Than Before (recapped in its own podcast episode here) and Hey Natalie Jean.

Annie and Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra CEO Amanda Stringer chat Tallahassee's first-ever Word of South festival (Ann Patchett, Tony Hale, Julia Reed, J.K. Simmons, and more!), the beauty of Cascades Park, and why Tallahassee might be your next Southern travel destination.

Annie and Katie discuss habit tendencies, the power of Gretchen Rubin, activity trackers, and goal-setting worksheets

Annie and Jordan tackle literary bracketology, BOOK MADNESS 2015, and John Green.

Annie and author/journalist Jodi Helmer discuss pining for publication in the New York Times, marathon-running nuns, Farm Fresh Georgia, and why writing groups are so important.

Annie and Katie discuss The Localist, kindred spirit Carrie Rollwagen, shopping locally in Thomasville, "perfect as enemy of the good," the future of retail, why it's okay to settle, and what they're reading right now. (Bonus reading: Ronda Rich on why shopping for books in person is always better, John Green on the future of bookselling, why Millennials like to read paper books, and "The Health of the Independent Bookstore.")

Annie reviews the books she read in February, including Bon Appetempt and its author Amelia Morris.

Annie and fellow Bookshelf staffer Sidney Webb chat about book clubs, Bon Appetempt, food-blogging goddess Molly Wizenberg, and other bloggers with books (Design Sponge, Young House Love, Nie Nie Dialogues, Hey Natalie Jean, Ann Voskamp).

Annie and Katie chat about the controversy swirling around the discovery of Harper Lee's Go Set a Watchman, what makes Southern stories so special, the truth about book sequels, and the documentary Hey, Boo; plus Annie reviews this year's ABA Winter Institute. (Bonus reading: HarperCollins botched the release of Harper Lee's new novel, the New York Times article about Go Set a Watchman and the first comments from Tonja Carter, Harper Lee's attorney.

This episode, Annie reviews the books she read in January (eight in all... hooray!). A complete list of titles and reviews can be found on The Bookshelf store blog and in the latest issue of the Thomasville Townie.

Author Celeste Ng has a helpful book club guide on her website, and her novel, Everything I Never Told You, comes out in paperback later this year.

A free soundtrack inspired by Donald Miller's new book, Scary Close, is available here.

Here's a link to that BookPage article about Scott Blackwood's See How Small.

More about Carrie Rollwagen's The Localist can be found here.

In this episode, Annie interviews fellow entrepreneur Cadence Kidwell, owner of the new knitting shop The Fuzzy Goat, located in downtown Thomasville, Georgia. They talk about adjusting to entrepreneurship, living in a small town, and knitting vs. reading.

The Fuzzy Goat is on the main street coming into downtown Thomasville. Pay her a visit, and take a class!

- Cadence's yarn shop was partially inspired by Fibre Space, a funky store in Alexandria, Virginia.

Downtown Thomasville offers great resources for new business owners in our area; Cadence also took classes through the Small Business Development Center in Tallahassee (which Annie has now bookmarked for her own use).

- Knitting classes and community events are a huge part of both The Fuzzy Goat and The Bookshelf. For a complete list of Fuzzy Goat classes, check out their shop website; Bookshelf events are online through their website as well.

New Voyager Trading Company will be familiar to knitters and weavers; Fuzzy Goat partners with them for weaving classes and more.

- Guy knitters, be on the lookout! The Fuzzy Goat and Sturdy Brothers have some plans for partnerships in the future.

We're back with Episode 11 of From the Front Porch! This episode, Annie is joined by Bookshelf staffers Sidney and Rebekah; they're talking about the new suspense novel The Girl on the Train -- a book readers are calling the next Gone Girl. They'll talk about whether that's a fair assessment, and why the book would make a fun book club read. (Not discussed? Author Paula Hawkin's ingenious way of marking time in the novel -- perhaps the staff's favorite characteristic of the book.) 

For information about the author, British journalist Paula Hawkins, Annie recommends this BookPage article, where she first heard about the book.

Curious about what the experts are saying? This New York Times review should do the trick.

Hey, book clubs: Penguin's done the work for you. Here's a book club discussion guide.

Sidney liked Gone Girl better, but truthfully, these are two pretty different novels. The Wall Street Journal compares and contrasts Gillian Flynn's bestseller with The Girl on the Train.

Like what you hear? Rate this podcast on iTunes.

We're back after a holiday hiatus! This episode, Annie and Katie discuss their reading resolutions and their words of the year.

- Annie's currently reading -- and loving -- All the Light We Cannot See, with her sights set on more nonfiction in 2015, particularly historical nonfiction. Any books in particular you'd recommend?

- Katie's favorite book for the new year is The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (a Christmas gift from husband Scott), and it ties in perfectly with her word of year; any guesses?

- If book clubs aren't your thing -- for shame! -- start an article club, like Katie did with her friends. Tips for hosting your own can be found on Cup of Jo.

- Both Katie and Annie love the concept of setting margins in your life; Hayley from Tiny Twig elaborates in this post.

- It's not too late to determine your own word for 2015! Need help getting started? Try Ali Edwards' blog posts about the One Little Word concept, then hop on over to this 2015 workbook by Susannah Conway. (Annie and Jordan use this for their end-of-year review.)

- Fellow Thomasvillians, Katie's working with some local fifth graders to make MacIntyre Park even better. Take the survey here.

And, as always, you can follow along with The Bookshelf's adventures on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

Annie interviews Sidney Webb, communications specialist at The Bookshelf. Sidney covers shop events and operates the store's social media accounts; in this episode, she and Annie discuss how working at The Bookshelf is a lot like working for a church, and how medical school isn't exactly like Shonda Rhimes says it is (go figure).

- Sidney's in charge of The Bookshelf's online presence; see how she's doing by following the store's social media accounts: InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.  

- Check out Thomasville's downtown newspaper, the Thomasville Townie

- Some of Annie's favorite bloggers are medical school wives like Sidney: Jolie of Becoming Jolie, who happens to have a lovely Etsy shop, too; Grace of Camp Patton; and Kate of The Life and Writings of Kate Baer.

- Annie and Sidney are lobbying for store manager Rebekah to play the beloved Anne Shirley in Thomasville On Stage and Company's production of Anne of Green Gables. Join our imaginary petition?

Annie is joined by guest Rebekah Arwood, manager of The Bookshelf in Thomasville. Rebekah and Annie chat about that ever-controversial topic: Is the book better than the movie? The discussion runs the gamut, from the newly-released Gone Girl to The Hunger GamesGreat Gatby to Little Women (which Rebekah and Annie both identify as a wintertime classic). 

- Gillian Flynn wrote her own screenplay for her bestselling novel Gone Girlhere are more novelists that could follow in her steps.

- We think Jane Austen would love both The Lizzie Bennet Diaries and Emma Approved, two web adaptations by Pemberly Digital, a company devoted to using new media to adapt classic works of literature. 

- The Bookshelf Film Society meets once a quarter to discuss the film adaptations of books; local film professor Lisa Mitchell guides the discussion each month. Join us!

Snuggle up on the couch with a blanket and a cup of tea, because this episode, Annie and Katie talk about married-lady crushes, poetry before bedtime, and turning off the TV. Summer might be for easy, breezy beach books, but fall is all about slower-paced fiction and re-reading the classics.

Looking for more seasonal reads? Check out Anne Bogel's blog, Modern Mrs. Darcy, where she's published a great list of autumn-inspired suggestions.

If spooky reads are your thing this month, listen to the latest episode of Books on the Nightstand; Ann and Michael discuss their favorite creepy books of the season.

Interested in Candletime? This blog post explains. (And, in case you're looking for the perfect autumn candle, Thomasvillians rejoice! The Townie shop has -- in Annie's opinion -- the best selections for the season.)

Last, but not least, film lovers: Covey Film Festival is here! Check out a full list of films, and stock up on the books that inspired the movies; we've got a display devoted to them in the shop!

In this episode, Annie and her attorney husband Jordan discuss the ramifications of wrongful convictions, a topic central to the plot of Picking Cotton, this year's One Book selection for Thomas County. For the uninitiated, One Book programs celebrate literacy by encouraging entire communities to read the same book; this month, Thomas County is reading the bestselling memoir Picking Cotton. Later in this episode, Katie and Annie list their top One Book suggestions for your community (and for future Thomas County One Book programs) -- it's a more difficult decision than you might think! And, for some extra credit:

- A New York Times article earlier this summer mentioned the increasing "nosiness" behind jury questionnaires; would you be chosen for a jury? Take the quiz to find out. (Spoiler alert: Annie didn't make the cut.)

- Follow along as our small town celebrates literacy and Picking Cotton. Maybe there's a One Book program in your city! Check the Library of Congress' listing here.

- In town and want to join us at the Center for the Arts for our Picking Cotton author event? Tickets are on sale now! Purchase online here.

The podcast is back this month after a brief summer hiatus, and Annie and Katie are talking about their favorite books on education. They're covering Montessori schools and the importance of playing outside, plus how big a role technology plays in today's classrooms. And, this month, Annie's introducing shownotes -- a rundown of everything discussed in this episode.

Books on education you need to add to your list:

- Creating Innovators by Tony Wagner

- Whatever It Takes by Paul Tough

- The Well-Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer

- How Children Succeed by Paul Tough

- The Smartest Kids in the World by Amanda Ripley

What you need to watch: The Up Series, a BBC documentary that follows a group of children from the age of seven until present day. "Give me a child when he is seven, and I will show you the man."

Katie's intrigued by Bill Gates' Big History Project, which aims to give students of all ages an over-arching picture of our world's history. Check it out here.

Turns out intellect is only a small part of how we learn and succeed. David Brooks talks about the "mental virtues" in this article in the New York Times.

Let's lighten up with a look at how our vocabulary is shaped and what words make up your fingerprint.

Annie sat down with author CJ Hauser to discuss the ups and downs of living in a small town and what it means to be a "from away" (read: someone not from here. Yes, this is an actual, popular phrase). CJ's new novel -- titled, appropriately, The From-Aways -- was one of Annie's favorites of the summer, and CJ's stories of small town life will feel all-too-familiar to fellow small town dwellers. Also mentioned in Episode 4Gilmore Girls, Jan Karon and Mitford, and why your 20s are harder than you thought they'd be.

It's 100 degrees here, which means it's time to dream of beach umbrellas and fruity drinks. In Episode 3 of From the Front Porch, Annie and Katie rattle off their favorite books to bring on summer vacation, but they also debate the age-old question: Do we read for purpose or pleasure (or a little bit of both)? They tackle that oh-so-controversial Slate article, and Annie defends reading YA literature -- in moderation, of course. (Special thanks this episode to our editing + sound guru, TJ Poole, who keeps this little operation afloat. Techies are our BFF.)

In this continuation of Episode 2, Katie and Annie discuss how to properly read a cookbook and whether Pinterest has taken over in the kitchen. Plus, Annie talks about some of her favorite food memoirs.

This episode on From the Front Porch features Annie's interview with travel writer Jodi Helmer and a discussion of her new book, Farm Fresh Georgia Discover what Annie finds so hard about shopping local (rotting fruit in your refrigerator, anyone?) and how the farm fresh movement is a lot like owning a bookstore. Plus, Jodi gives Annie the scoop on which Georgia farms will let you spend the night and how to shop at a Farmer's Market. From pig farms and corn mazes to tractor pulls and pumpkin patches, Jodi will give you the 411 on Georgia agri-tourism.

In Episode One of From the Front Porch, small business owners Annie Jones and Katie Chastain discuss Arianna Huffington's new book Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-being, Wisdom, and Wonder.  Learn what Annie's husband Jordan is doing in the backseat of his car over lunch break and how to cut a carrot in peace. Plus, hear about our favorite summer snags from the 'Shelf, including Adulting by Kelly Williams Brown and cool stuff from Ban.do.