Season 1 Episode 33

This week, I talked to Shari Okeke about "The Hate U Give," fantastic book by Angie Thomas. Shari spoke honestly about being a mixed-race woman, raising-mixed race kids, and navigating a world that tries to silence Black women’s voices. Through her work with the CBC, she gives a voice and a platform to young people on her podcasts. I so enjoyed getting to know her and the frank and thoughtful conversation we shared. Support the Best Book Ever Podcast on Patreon Follow the Best Book ever Podcast on Instagram or on the Best Book Ever Website Host: Julie StraussWebsite/Instagram/Facebook Guest:…

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Season 1 Episode 32

I was thrilled to learn that Suzie Bangoura is as delightful in person as she is online. The book she recommended is from a Sierra Leonean author, and we had wonderful discussion about West African literature and what it’s like to belong to three countries. Trigger warnings: this book discusses FGM (female genital mutilation.)  Support the Best Book Ever Podcast on Patreon Follow the Best Book ever Podcast on Instagram or on the Best Book Ever Website Host: Julie StraussWebsite/Instagram/Facebook Guest: Suzie BangouraInstagram Books discussed in this episode: So the Path Does Not Die by Pede HollistThe Crown on NetflixHRH:…

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Season 1 Episode 31

Talking to Alyssa Archer is always a balm for my soul. In this conversation, we veered from homesteading, the Enneagram, her childhood love of fairy tales, and books that can be a form of healing from trauma. Play close attention to Alyssa’s accent, and how she gets more Texan every time she talks about her homestead!  Trigger warnings: this book does have a rape scene, and Alyssa and I discuss the scene and its aftermath in our conversation. If you or someone you know is a sexual assault survivor, please contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline for help at 800-656-4673.…

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2020 Book Roundup

In these unprece- Naaah never mind. We ain’t doing that. I’m sick of that phrase. I want things to be precedented again. I admire the brave people trying to get their heads around the cluster-cuss that was this year. Real understanding takes time and perspective, though, and I don’t have either of those things yet.  What I do have is a list. Y’all know how I love a list. I kept track of what I read this year. I’m frankly surprised at the numbers. At the beginning of the pandemic, I was totally unable to read, and lost a solid…

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Season 1 Episode 30

Marti Dumas and I first bonded over our shared love of coffee, books, and writing, and I am thrilled she joined me today. We talked about the vibrant literary scene in her hometown of New Orleans, Louisiana, her visceral connection to the land, writing positive stories featuring children of color as the main characters, and her deep love of the work of Octavia Butler, and why he deeply layered “Wild Seed” is her Best Book Ever. Support the Best Book Ever Podcast on Patreon Follow the Best Book ever Podcast on Instagram or on the Best Book Ever Website Host:…

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Season 1 Episode 29

Malavika Praseed invites guests to talk about their favorite books on to her podcast, “Your Favorite Book.” Sound familiar? She’s my Podcast Twin, and I’m delighted we found each other. I’m a big fan of her work, and I invited her to talk about her favorite book, “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter” by Carson McCullers. But our conversation bounced all over the place, from her fascination with old Southern culture to weird literary crushes to how we deal with casual racism in old books. She’s whip smart and so funny. If you haven’t heard of her before, I know…

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Season 1 Episode 28

I was lucky enough to meet Robyn Shipton at a conference, and thrilled that she agreed to appear on my podcast. She is so creative and funny and honest – I could have talked to her all day. Our conversation veered from dreams and music to the definition of the word queer to fort building. It all makes sense. I know you’re going to love this chat as much as I did. Support the Best Book Ever Podcast on Patreon Follow the Best Book ever Podcast on Instagram or on the Best Book Ever Website Host: Julie StraussWebsite/Instagram/Facebook Guest: Robyn…

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Season 1 Episode 27

Today we’re changing up the format a bit. With the holidays coming up, it’s time to start thinking about gift giving. I invited a bunch of my favorite young Bookworms, ages 5-23, to tell me about their favorite books. I love talking to kids, and I love talking about books – so this episode was an absolute delight to record. I hope you will find plenty of books for all the young people in your life! Remember your local indie bookstores when doing all of your shopping! Support the Best Book Ever Podcast on Patreon Follow the Best Book ever…

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Season 1 Episode 26

Today I am thrilled to be joined by Debra Dean, the bestselling author of four critically acclaimed books, including, “The Madonnas of Leningrad” and “Hidden Tapestry.” Reading Debra Dean’s favorite novel felt like the perfect choice for this moment in time. It is a gentle, comforting book, with bigger themes that reveal themselves slowly. The main character only begins to understand his role in history in retrospect. It was a fascinating read, and Debra is an enthusiastic and wonderful reading partner. Support the Best Book Ever Podcast on Patreon Follow the Best Book ever Podcast on Instagram or on the…

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Season 1 Episode 25

This week's episode was even more fun than usual, because I got to listen to two best friends talk about their favorite books. Daman Tiwana and Kyathi Thakur make me laugh and think every week on their podcast, "Brown Girls Read," and I was thrilled that I could talk to them together about each of their favorite books. Support the Best Book Ever Podcast on Patreon Follow the Best Book ever Podcast on Instagram or on the Best Book Ever Website Host: Julie StraussWebsite/Instagram/Facebook Guest: Kyathi Thakur and Daman Tiwana of the Brown Girls Read PodcastInstagram/Twitter/Brown Girls Happy Hour Indie…

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