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.


Chris is pursuing that ever-elusive PhD, so this week, Annie interviewed Sarah Holland from the Pantsuit Politics podcast. In addition to being the left-leaning cohost of Pantsuit Politics, Sarah is a city commissioner from Paducah, Kentucky, and she's a lifelong southerner. 

Annie and Sarah chatted about what "life in the South" really entails, including the hard truth about where Southern maker culture really comes from and Sarah's obsession with Designing Women

Annie and Sarah mentioned:

+ the Southern Foodways Alliance

+ the Whitney Plantation

Designing Women, "Southerns Do NOT Eat Dirt"

+ Classics Sarah's never read but wish she has: Don Quixote and War and Peace

+ Podcasts Sarah listens to: Pod Save AmericaThe WeedsThis American LifeOn BeingDeath, Sex, & MoneyFreakonomicsHidden Brain

Tara Brach's meditations

+ Indigo Girl's "Southland in the Springtime"

+ Sarah's currently reading: Tales of TitansEast of Eden, and Talent Code

Annie and Chris talk about "alternative" visions of motherhood for Mother's Day this year, and it takes a weirdly dark turn. Sorry. Get a sneak peek at Chris's fall Women in Literature class and hear some of Annie's favorite mom-centric books.

Chris's class books:
Dear Ijeawele by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
The Mothers by Brit Bennett
The First Bad Man by Miranda July
Are You My Mother? by Alison Bechdel
Pregnant Butch by A. K. Summers
Marriage of a Thousand Lies by SJ Sindu
Beloved by Toni Morrison
The Babadook

*CORRECTION: The quote from Beloved is "You your own best thing, Sethe," not "You your best self," as previously reported.

Some of Annie's favorites:
Where'd You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple
The Mothers by Brit Bennett
+ The Color of Water by James McBride
+ Rabbit Cake by Annie Harnett
Glitter and Glue by Kelly Corrigan
A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty by Joshilyn Jackson
This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel
French Milk by Lucy Knisley

And please, are there good mother/son novels out there that don't have any sort of implied incest theme? Let me know. I need to know. 

Happy May! It was raining while we recorded this. This week, Annie and Chris talk about the books they read in April. Also, Annie has some Hot Takes on book titles and we recount our odd encounters with celebrities from 10+ years ago. 

Annie read:
All Grown Up by Jami Attenberg (out May 7)
Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin (out August 22)
The Stars in Our Eyes by Julie Klam (out July 18)
Shadow of the Lions by Christopher Swann (out August 1)
The Wanderers by Meg Howrey
The Color of Water by James McBride
Hello, Sunshine by Laura Dave (out July 11)
A Separation by Kate Kitamura
Rabbit Cake by Annie Hartnett

Chris read:
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel (again)
+The Inquisitor's Tale by Adam Gidwitz

Check out these books and more (including our brand new Bookshelf tote bag!) in our online store

It's the most wonderful time of the year! Chris and Annie give you a peek into the Bookshelf's 2017 Independent Bookstore Day festivities. But if you don't live anywhere near Thomasville, fear not! We're also giving you a virtual tour of our favorite indie bookstores from around the country. 

Independent Bookstore Day is Saturday, April 29, 2017, and our schedule of events is here. We would love for you join us at the Bookshelf, but if you can't make it, find the closest independent bookstore to you at IndieBound, or check out one of our favorites below!

Sundog Books (Seaside, FL)
Page & Palette (Fairhope, AL)
E. Shaver Books (Savannah, GA)
Faulkner House Books (New Orleans, LA)
Maple Street Book Shop (New Orleans, LA)
Book Culture (New York, NY)
WORD (Jersey City, NJ)
Avid Bookshop (Athens, GA)
Women and Children First (Chicago, IL)
Books and Books (Coral Gables, FL)
Politics and Prose (Washington, D.C.)

Annie's favorite bookstore Instagram accounts:
+ @browsersbooks
+ @booksaremagicbk
+ @booksandmortar
+ @literatibookstore
+ @lemuriabooks

Won't you follow us down to the Rose Parade? Annie and Chris get ready for an upcoming jam-packed weekend in downtown Thomasville, including Independent Bookstore Day, National Superhero Day, and the Thomasville Rose Show and Festival. Joining us this week is Rose Show veteran Sunny Altman. Also, Chris presents Annie with a challenge. 

To learn more about how Thomasville will be participating in National Superhero Day on April 28 or to donate to Everfan's efforts, contact info@everfanheroes.com.

For more information on the Rose Show and Festival (and to begin booking your trip), check out the City of Thomasville's website:
http://www.thomasvillega.com/

You can also contact Sunny directly with your rose questions at sunnyaltman@gmail.com

We hope you'll join us in Thomasville next weekend, but if you can't make it, find an indie bookstore near you for Indie Bookstore Day on April 29! Check out the bookstore finder at http://www.indiebound.com/

"They get frustrated when they can't figure out what's going on in the poem. And if they can't figure out what's going on, they have no entrance into the poem. If they have no entrance into the poem, they're going to stop reading."

Annie and Chris sit down with poets Ruth Baumann and Will Fargason to talk about poetry: where does one even begin to read it and how can it be less intimidating? Also, Jewel setting the bar with puns and an evolving mystery involving a bedazzled human skull.

+ Shel Silverstein
+ Puff Daddy
+ Bob Dylan
+ Conor Oberst
+ Kaveh Akbar
+ Jewel's A Night Without Armor
+ John Darnielle's Wolf in White Van
+ Anne Sexton
+ Sharon Olds
+ Anne Carson
+ Richard Siken's Crush
+ Robert Frost
+ Wendell Berry
+ Rupi Kaur's Milk and Honey
+ Mary Oliver
Langston Hughes's "Let America Be America Again"
+ Adrienne Rich's Diving into the Wreck
Ross Gay's "A Small Needful Fact"
+ Rainer Maria Rilke's Letters to a Young Poet
+ ANTHOLOGIES!

Find out more about Ruth and her work (and her cats) at http://www.ruthbaumann.com/

Find out more about Will and his work at http://www.williamfargason.com/ 

Big thanks to Will for the use of his microphone and to Chris's cat Marge for allowing us to use her space for an hour to record. 

Chris and Annie try to bring this weekend's Word of [South] festival to you! In miniature concept, anyway. How does one go about pairing books and music? Also, "Skeezy John Mayer," Annie feels self-conscious about her [good] taste, and Chris takes his philosophy outfits out of storage. 

  • Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's We Should All Be Feminists + Solange's A Seat at the Table
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby + The Postal Service's
    Give Up
  • Shauna Niequist's Bittersweet + Ellie Holcomb's Red Sea Road (BONUS--or Sufjan Stevens's Seven Swans OR Vampire Weekend's Modern Vampires of the City)
  • Albert Camus's The Myth of Sisyphus + Bright Eyes's The People's Key or The Decemberists's The King is Dead
  • J. D. Vance's Hillbilly Elegy + I'm With Her
  • Arcade Fire's The Suburbs + literally any coming of age novel
  • Aldous Huxley's Brave New World + Childish Gambino's Because the Internet
  • Wiley Cash + Birdtalker's Just This
  • Donna Tartt's The Secret History + Aronofsky's Black Swan
  • James McBride + Leon Bridges's Coming Home
  • David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas + Fleetwood Mac's Rumours
  • Emma Straub's Modern Lovers + John Mayer

hank you so much for all of the reviews! Keep them coming. There might be something good in it for you... If you're interested in Bookshelf-branded shirts, hats, stickers, or coffee check out our online store at http://www.bookshelfthomasville.com/shop/

Annie and Chris plan their new side business--Sweet and Savory Pizza Stones--but mostly discuss what they read this month and what they plan to finish before Friday rolls around. 

Annie read:
Shark Club by Ann Kidd Taylor (out June 6)
Do Not Become Alarmed by Maile Meloy (out June 6)
Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
Wedding Toasts I'll Never Give by Ada Calhoun (out May 16)
Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
The Fall of Lisa Bellow by Susan Perabo
The Rules Do Not Apply by Ariel Levy
Who Thought This Was a Good Idea? by Alyssa Mastromonaco
We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter

Chris read:
The Impossible Fortress by Jason Rekulak
Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Spoonbenders by Daryl Gregory (out June 27)

Check out any of these titles in our online store at http://www.bookshelfthomasville.com/shop, where you can also learn how to register for an account with Libro.fm, an audiobook distribution service that partners with independent bookstores like The Bookshelf to deliver the same quality audiobooks you get elsewhere, but with the benefit of supporting a small business.

Annie and Chris flip the coin on last week's episode and talk about what happens in the between times. How do you cleanse the mental palate or set up a buffer after a heavy or difficult book that needs time to process?

NEW THIS WEEK:
Mississippi Blood by Greg Iles
Our Short History by Lauren Grodstein
The Mind Club by Daniel Wegner and Kurt Gray (new in paperback)

If you're interested in any of the books we've talked about lately, you can purchase them directly from us at http://www.bookshelfthomasville.com/shop

Lots of people asked us why we're always raving about sad books, and they weren't satisfied when we quoted Sally Sparrow and said, "It's happy for deep people." This week, Annie and Chris explain what they call "grief literature" and recommend a bunch of their favorite sad books with justifications for why you should feel sad sometimes.

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders (really, why aren't you reading this one yet?)
A Grief Observed by C. S. Lewis
The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
+ "The Faery Handbag" from The Faery Reel by Kelly Link
Last Things by Marissa Moss
Rosalie Lightning by Tom Hart
Fun Home by Alison Bechdel
When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
The Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice

NEW THIS WEEK:
The Hogwarts Library (expanded) by J. K. Rowling
The Wanderers by Meg Howry
Before the War by Fay Weldon
The Fall of Lisa Bellow by Susan Perabo
The Rules Do Not Apply by Ariel Levy
The Five Invitations: Discovering What Death Teaches Us About Living Fully by Frank Ostaseski

Annie sits down with her husband Jordan for their annual March Madness discussion. This year's book bracket includes The Bookshelf's "sweet sixteen" -- the  16 bestselling books of the past 12 months. 

+ Magnolia Story
+ Present Over Perfect
+ Seven Brief Lessons in Physics

+ When Breath Becomes Air
+ Killing the Rising Sun
Alexander Hamilton
+ Tribal
+ Hillbilly Elegy
+ The Underground Railroad
+ A Gentleman in Moscow
+ Fates and Furies
+ All the Light We Cannot See
+ A Man Called Ove
+ Me Before You
+ Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
+ The After Party

Follow The Bookshelf on Instagram to cast votes for your favorite books during our March Madness celebration, or -- if you're a college basketball fan -- compete against friends in ESPN's bracket challenge.

Annie and Chris walk you through what they read in February while several intrepid Saturday afternoon customers climb over a literal barricade outside the door to use the [closed] bathroom. 

Annie read:
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
This is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel
Last Things by Marissa Moss
Into the Water by Paula Hawkins
Difficult Women by Roxane Gay
Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

Annie is currently reading:
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

Chris read (but hasn't quite finished):
Difficult Women by Roxane Gay
Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly

Follow Annie's reading on Instagram at #anniereads2017.

NEW TITLES OUT THIS WEEK:
+ nothing we're particularly excited about... so you should probably read Lincoln in the Bardo

Annie, Emily, and Hunter discuss Difficult Women by Roxane Gay and try very hard to decide what they think about it! 

Also mentioned this week:
Fortune Smiles by Adam Johnson
Lauren Groff's review of Fortune Smiles 
+
 Anne Bogel's advice for sensitive readers

It's Oscar Season, so Annie and Chris are rounding up their favorite books for this year's moviegoers. Also in this episode, a new feature (!!!) and Chris continues to swallow his words.

If you liked Arrival, you may like:
Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang
Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn
How to Life Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu
The Time Traveler's Almanac by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer

If you liked Hell or High Water, you may like:
True Grit by Charles Portis
American Fire by Monica Hesse
Ordinary Grace by Willian Kent Krueger
All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy

If you liked Hidden Figures, you may like:
The Glass Universe by Dava Sobel
The Girls of Atomic City by Denise Kiernan
The Radium Girls by Kate Moore
Something Must Be Done About Prince Edward County by Kristen Green

If you liked Moonlight, you may like:
A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin
Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman
The Whale by Mark Beauregard

If you liked La La Land, you may like:
I'm Glad About You by Theresa Rebeck
The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer

NEW TITLES OUT THIS WEEK:
Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
The Chilbury Ladies' Choir by Jennifer Ryan
We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter
We Are Okay by Nina LaCour
The Airbnb Story by Leigh Gallagher
Cannibalism: A Perfectly Natural History by Bill Schutt

It's Galentine's Day, so Annie and Chris are answering the question on everyone's mind: What would Leslie Knope read? Also this episode, pipe bombs--the new cooking craze sweeping America?

Join us at The Bookshelf on Friday, February 10, from 6 to 8 for Galentine's Day festivities, and check out our downtown partners Mode, Smith Collective, Tallokas Road, Signature Clothing Lounge, and You're Maker.

+Notorious RBG by Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik
+Sisters in Law by Linda Hirshman
+Daring Greatly by Brené Brown
+Happy Cityby Charles Montgomery
+The Localist by Carrie Rollwagen

Find Brené Brown's TED Talk here.

Shop with us online here.

Annie and Chris chat about public transit, public urination, and all the books they read in January. 

Annie read:
+The Underwriting by Michelle Miller
+The Folded Clock by Heidi Julavits
+The Throwback Special by Chris Bachelder
+American Fire by Monica Hesse
+Himself by Jess Kidd
+The Second Mrs. Hockaday by Susan Rivers

Annie is currently reading:
+Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl

Chris read:
+The Wanderers by Meg Howrey
+Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

Chris is currently reading:
+American War by Omar El Akkad

Annie and Chris get ready for the Bookshelf's upcoming Book Club Fair by discussing their favorite book club picks for 2017 (so far), including:

In Case You Missed It:
Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal
Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff
+ Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
This is Your Life, Harriet Chance by Jonathan Evison
The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving by Jonathan Evison

2016 Tastemakers:
A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
Among the Living by Jonathan Rabb
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
Hillbilly Elegy by J. D. Vance
Commonwealth by Ann Patchett

Coming in 2017:
+ The Second Mrs. Hockaday by Susan Rivers (out now)
The Wanderers by Meg Howrey (out March 14)
Himself by Jess Kidd (out March 14)
American Fire by Monica Hesse (out July 11)
The Book that Matters Most by Ann Hood (out now--in paper back August 1)
Hue and Cry at Our House by Benjamin Taylor (out May 23)

Chris and Annie chat with the Bookshelf's new manager, Magali Kent, about missionary work, the proper execution of an eye roll, culture shock, and favorite children's books. 

Watership Down by Richard Adams
Reply All
Lore
Up and Vanished
Serial

2016 is over, but of reading many books there is no end. In this episode, Annie and Chris talk about their resolutions for the new year and challenge one another to read outside of their usual habits--with hypothetically apocalyptic results.

+ Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow
+ Rita Dove
+ Claudia Rankine

From the Front Porch celebrates episode 100! Annie and Chris answer listener questions about One Book, My Brilliant Friend, and reading translations. 

One Book Thomas County website

On the Same Page (Decatur, Ga., One Book program)

American Booksellers Association

Love It or Loathe It episode ft. My Brilliant Friend

Episode ft. Virginia Price

It's time to reflect back on 2016, which means... It's time to recap Annie's favorite books of the year. 

The Mothers by Brit Bennett

Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty by Ramona Ausubel

Commonwealth by Ann Patched

Forty Rooms by Olga Grushin

This Is Where You Belong by Melody Warnick

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

My Name Is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout

Another Day in the Death of America by Gary Younge

You'll Grow Out of It by Jessi Klein

"Grape nuts or sex? It's a no brainer." Food writer and editor Julia Reed popped by the podcast to chat about Southern food culture, holiday entertaining, and mixing politics with pleasure. (You'll hear lots of laughter this episode; Julia's one-liners will have you in stitches.) 

+ You can find Julia's piece about Bill and Melinda Gates in the Wall Street Journal Magazine.

+ More about Julia Reed and her books can be found here 

Julia was in town for Thomasville's Plantation Wildlife Arts Festival 

William Christenberry photography

Garden and Gun magazine

The Bitter Southerner

Julia mentions: 

+ William Trevor short stories 

+ Walker Percy

Night School by Lee Child

The Jealous Kind by James Lee Burke


Don't forget to leave us a voicemail for our 100th episode here!

Annie and Chris work through Annie's books she read in November:

Fun Home

Scrappy Little Nobody

My Brilliant Friend

Talking as Fast as I Can

Listen to Anna Kendrick's Nerdist interview here.

Reply All's 48-hour call-in episode.

Listen to our Love It or Loathe It episode about My Brilliant Friend here

Vote for The Bookshelf in the Indie Awards: http://www.independentwestand.org/indies/profile.php?id=92.

Don't forget to leave us a voice message for our upcoming 100th episode: http://www.bookshelfthomasville.com/frontporch.

Annie sits down with podcast regular Hunter McLendon and new voice Emily McKenna to discuss Elena Ferrante's international bestseller My Brilliant Friend

+ Get an introduction to Emily on her first podcast episode here.

+ Read more about the mystery of Elena Ferrante here

Shop from The Bookshelf here

Southern hosts and hostesses, unite! On this special bonus episode, Annie chats with Southern lifestyle guru James Farmer. James is the author of A Time to CelebrateA Time to CookDinner on the Grounds, and several other beautiful coffee table books all about Southern hospitality. He's in Thomasville this week for the city's annual Plantation Wildlife Arts Festival, and -- if you're local! -- you can find James at the following events:

Cocktails and Conversations on Thursday, November 17, at 5:30 p.m. Tickets available here. Join James, Julia Reed, and the Mashburns as they chat about Southern hospitality inspired by the fall season!

Book signing at downtown Thomasville's store Relish on Friday, November 18, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. James will be signing copies of his beautiful books during this free event. 

You can find James online on Instagram and his website

James is reading: 

The Flower Hunter and the People by Matthew Jennings

Liberating Paris by Linda Bloodsworth Thompson

Annie chats with Chris about the books she read in October: 

Today Will Be Different

Dark Matter

In the Garden of Small Beginnings

Juniper (listen to this Radiolab episode for more on this story)

+ The Children

Who Killed These Girls? (here's the Reply All episode Chris mentioned) 

** Shop these titles on The Bookshelf website here. **

Other titles mentioned include: 

+ Where'd You Go, Bernadette

+ Leave Me

+ The Martian

+ Before the Fall

+ Kitchens of the Great Midwest

+ Visit from the Goon Squad

+ Seating Arrangements

+ The Nest

+ Commonwealth

+ The Children's Crusade

Annie mentioned how she finds book recommendations on Instagram through Shauna Niequist and Elise Blaha Cripe

If you're new to From the Front Porch, this episode will introduce you to hosts Annie and Chris. Learn about their reading tastes, what they do when their not at The Bookshelf, and who they'd have over for their dream literary dinner party. 

(The interview was inspired by the New York Times' By the Book interviews. Gretchen Rubin's is here.) 

Books and authors mentioned include: 
 

Station Eleven

My Brilliant Friend

Present Over Perfect

Pond

Boss Life

Grit

+ Neil Gaiman

+ Mindy Kaling

+ F. Scott Fitzgerald

+ Umberto Ecco

+ Hannah Arendt

+ Flannery O'Connor

+ Madeleine L'Engle

+ J.K. Rowling

+ Shauna Niequist

Swing Time

The Martian

Bread and Wine

The Mothers

Another Day in the Death of America

+ The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

Ever wonder what it's like to run a small business start-up? Annie and Chris chat with Scott Chastain, the owner and founder of Everfan, a customizable costume accessory company. Everfan bases their thriving Internet business in Thomasville, so Annie, Chris, and Scott discuss entrepreneurship, small town living, and of course, what Scott's been reading lately. 

Find Everfan online: Website | Instagram | Facebook

Podcasts mentioned: 

Slate Political Gabfest

StartUp

Reply All

Books mentioned: 

A Confederacy of Dunces

Catch-22

Catcher in the Rye

When Breath Becomes Air

Anne Bogel of Modern Mrs. Darcy and the What Should I Read Next podcast joins Annie and Chris to chat about book blogging, all those advanced reading copies, and what she's reading right now. 

Podcasts Anne recommends: 

Pantsuit Politics

Young House Love

The Popcast

Books on the Nightstand

Smartest Person in the Room

Books mentioned in this episode: 

Crossing to Safety

+ Age of Innocence

Madame Bovary

Alexander Hamilton

Commonwealth

Run 

Bel Canto

For additional bookish conversation, hop on over to Episode 44 of What Should I Read Next; Annie was a guest this week!

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

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.