Fully Booked by Kirkus Reviews

Fully Booked by Kirkus Reviews

By PodcastOne

Get the ultimate insider's scoop on the best new books. The editors at Kirkus Reviews interview your favorite authors, tell you whether or not the books on the bestseller list are worth the read, give you behind-the-scenes insights, and introduce you to great books you may otherwise never find.

Episodes

Breanna J. McDaniel

Breanna J. McDaniel joins us to discuss Go Forth and Tell: The Life of Augusta Baker, Librarian and Master Storyteller (Dial Books, Feb. 6), an outstanding picture book celebrating a legendary librarian “who sought out every gap a tale could bridge, who shattered barriers to ensure Black children would see themselves on library shelves, and whose legacy continues to this day exactly as it began—in the thrall of good stories” (starred review). Then our editors share their top picks in books for the week.
27/02/24·44m 21s

Nita Prose x Liz Nugent

On this week's Fully Booked Takeover, special guest host Nita Prose, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller The Maid and The Mystery Guest, talks with award-winning Irish crime writer Liz Nugent. Then our editors share their top picks in books for the week.
20/02/24·45m 46s

Amy Lea

Internationally bestselling Canadian romance author Amy Lea joins us to discuss The Catch (Berkley, Feb. 13), “A sweet conclusion to a swoony contemporary romance trilogy” (starred review). Then our editors share their top picks in books for the week.
13/02/24·47m 35s

Shayla Lawson

Shayla Lawson joins us to discuss How to Live Free in a Dangerous World: A Decolonial Memoir (Tiny Reparations, Feb. 6): “A stunning essay collection about travel, mortality, and liberation” (starred review). Then Kirkus’ editors share their top picks in books for the week.
06/02/24·49m 3s

Venita Blackburn

Venita Blackburn joins us to discuss Dead in Long Beach, California (MCD/Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Jan. 23), “an astonishing debut novel from a remarkably creative writer” (starred review). Then our editors share their top picks in books for the week.
30/01/24·48m 54s

Veera Hiranandani

Veera Hiranandani joins us to discuss the novel Amil and the After (Kokila, Jan. 23), a standalone companion to her 2019 Newbury Honor winner The Night Diary. Kirkus: “A quietly brilliant, deeply insightful story of living in uncertain times” (starred review). Then our editors share their top picks in books for the week.
23/01/24·49m 16s

Marie-Helene Bertino

On a special Spring Preview episode, Marie-Helene Bertino joins us to discuss the novel Beautyland (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Jan. 16). Kirkus: “A heartbreaking book that staggers with both truth and beauty” (starred review). Then our editors share some of their most anticipated spring 2024 titles.
16/01/24·1h 1m

Stuart Gibbs x Christina Soontornvat

On this week's Fully Booked Takeover, special guest host Stuart Gibbs (Spy School, FunJungle, etc.) talks with YRL powerhouse Christina Soontornvat (2020 Kirkus Prize winner All Thirteen, etc.). Then our editors share their top picks in books for the week.
09/01/24·48m 2s

Erika Howsare

Erika Howsare joins us to discuss The Age of Deer: Trouble and Kinship With Our Wild Neighbors (Catapult, Jan. 2). Kirkus: “A fascinating exploration….Outstanding natural history writing” (starred review). Then our editors share their top picks in books for the week.
02/01/24·48m 48s

2023 Year in Review

Happy New Year, Fully Booked fans! Kirkus correspondent Michael Schaub joins editor-in-chief Tom Beer and host Megan Labrise for the annual Fully Booked Year in Review. Our merry crew discusses 2023's weird book news and announces the most popular episode of the year.
26/12/23·1h

Megan's Favorite Interviews of 2023 with Ilyon Woo and Amy Schneider

On this special holiday episode, Megan presents her favorite interviews of 2023, featuring Ilyon Woo, author of Master Slave Husband Wife (Simon & Schuster), and Jeopardy! champion Amy Schneider, author of In the Form of a Question (Avid Reader Press).
19/12/23·1h 1m

Best Young Adult Books of 2023 with Brandy Colbert

Our Best Books of 2023 coverage concludes on this special episode featuring Brandy Colbert, author of The Blackwoods (Balzer + Bray, Oct, 3). “Colbert’s sprawling novel is a deeply felt love letter to Black Hollywood’s groundbreaking forebears and a tribute to the transformative power of maternal love,” Kirkus writes in a starred review of The Blackwoods, one Kirkus’ Best YA Books of 2023. Then young readers’ editor Laura Simeon shares some of the titles on this year’s best books list.
12/12/23·48m 48s

Best Middle-Grade Books of 2023 with Zach Weinersmith

Our Best Books of 2023 coverage continues on this special episode featuring Zach Weinersmith, author of Bea Wolf (First Second, March 21). This cheeky retelling of the first part of Beowulf, illustrated by Boulet, is one Kirkus’ Best Middle Grade Books of 2023. Then young readers’ editors Laura Simeon and Mahnaz Dar discuss their approach to collaborating on this year’s middle grade list.
05/12/23·55m 28s

Best Picture Books of 2023 with Leah Henderson

Our Best Books of 2023 coverage continues with picture books. On this special episode, Leah Henderson joins us to discuss The Courage of the Little Hummingbird (Abrams, April 11), illustrated by Magaly Morales, one Kirkus’ Best Picture Books of 2023. Then editor Mahnaz Dar tells us all about the making of this year’s Best Books list.
28/11/23·49m 12s

Best Nonfiction Books of 2023 with Curtis Chin

Our Best Books of 2023 coverage continues with nonfiction. On this special episode, Curtis Chin joins us to discuss Everything I Learned, I Learned in a Chinese Restaurant (Little, Brown, Oct. 17), one Kirkus’ Best Nonfiction Books of 2023. Then editor Eric Liebetrau highlights some of the titles you’ll find on this year’s nonfiction list.
21/11/23·51m 43s

Best Fiction Books of 2023 with Bryan Washington

We’re kicking off our Best Books of 2023 coverage with fiction. On this special episode, Bryan Washington joins us to discuss Family Meal (Riverhead, Oct. 10), one Kirkus’ Best Fiction Books of 2023. Then fiction editor Laurie Muchnick tells us what it takes to determine the year’s top 100 titles.
14/11/23·52m 51s

Holiday Gift Guide 2023

It's the sixth annual Fully Booked Holiday Gift Guide! Editor-in-chief Tom Beer and host Megan Labrise welcome Margaret Renkl, author of The Comfort of Crows: A Backyard Year (Spiegel & Grau), and Ben Nadler, author of The Jewish Deli: An Illustrated Guide to the Chosen Food (Chronicle Books), for some good cheer and gift book recommendations. And Kirkus’ editors present their top books to give this holiday season.
07/11/23·1h 4m

Deirdre Sullivan

Deirdre Sullivan joins us to discuss Savage Her Reply (Little Island, Oct. 3), a feminist retelling of Irish folktale The Children of Lir. “Haunting and lyrical” (starred review). Then our editors share their top picks in books for the week.
31/10/23·46m 36s

Jana Monroe

Former FBI agent and author Jana Monroe joins us to discuss her new memoir Hearts of Darkness: Serial Killers, the Behavioral Science Unit, and My Life as a Woman in the FBI (Abrams, Oct. 10). Kirkus: “Fans of true crime will find much to enjoy in this absorbing chronicle of criminology.” Then our editors share their top picks in books for the week.
24/10/23·47m 55s

Amy Schneider

Jeopardy! champion Amy Schneider joins us to discuss her memoir In the Form of a Question: The Joys and Rewards of a Curious Life (Avid Reader, Oct. 3). Kirkus: “[F]or a funny, memorable, philosophical take on life, Schneider’s book is far and away the winner.” Then our editors share their top picks in books for the week.
17/10/23·42m 45s

Cassandra Clare x Holly Black x Kelly Link

On this week's Fully Booked Takeover, special guest host Cassandra Clare is joined by friends Holly Black and Kelly Link, in celebration of the publication of Sword Catcher (Oct. 10, Del Rey), “A whirlwind epic fantasy featuring secret plots, ancient magic, and hidden identities” (Kirkus). Then our editors share their top picks in books for the week.
10/10/23·55m 19s

Kirkus Prize 2023

On a special episode, editor-in-chief Tom Beer and host Megan Labrise discuss all things Kirkus Prize, one week ahead of our 10th anniversary celebration and awards ceremony in New York City. And in a sponsored interview, Megan talks with Sydney Smith, author-illustrator of the poignant picture book Do You Remember? (starred review). Then our editors share some of their favorite memories from Kirkus Prize celebrations gone by.
03/10/23·56m 3s

Ross Gay

Poet and essayist Ross Gay joins us to discuss The Book of (More) Delights (Algonquin, Sept. 19). Kirkus: “Keenly observed and delivered with deftness, these essays are a testament to the artfulness of attention and everyday joy” (starred review). Then our editors share their top picks in books for the week.
26/09/23·45m 31s

Jason Reynolds x Christine Platt

On this week's Fully Booked Takeover, sponsored by Penguin Young Readers Group, special guest host Jason Reynolds (Stuntboy, In-Between Time, etc.) talks with author and activist Christine Platt (The Afrominimalist’s Guide to Living With Less, etc.). Then our editors share their top picks in books for the week.
19/09/23·47m 0s

Mona Awad

Critically acclaimed novelist Mona Awad joins us to discuss Rouge (Marysue Rucci Books, Sept. 12). Kirkus: “A woman tangles with a cultlike spa and her own obsession with physical beauty in the wake of her mother’s death in this hypnotic tour de force” (starred review). Then our editors share their top picks in books for the week.
12/09/23·49m 4s

Alice Carrière

Alice Carrière joins us to discuss Everything/Nothing/Someone (Spiegel & Grau, Aug. 29), a memoir of mental illness from the daughter of American artist Jennifer Bartlett and German actor Mathieu Carrière. Kirkus: “[Carrière’s] artistic prowess and determination to unearth and interpret the true narrative arc of her life and healing shine through… A spellbinding memoir” (starred review). Then our editors share their top picks in books for the week.
05/09/23·52m 40s

Jamel Brinkley

Jamel Brinkley joins us to discuss Witness (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Aug. 1), a story collection from the author of National Book Award finalist A Lucky Man (2018). “After just two collections, Brinkley may already be a grand master of the short story,” Kirkus writes in a starred review. Then our editors share their top picks in books for the week.
29/08/23·56m 9s

Jenn Shapland

Jenn Shapland joins us to discuss Thin Skin: Essays (Pantheon, Aug. 15), an “eloquent and vibrantly lucid collection” of essays that explore “the permeability of human bodies” (starred review), from the author of 2020 National Book Award finalist My Autobiography of Carson McCullers. Then our editors share their top picks in books for the week.
22/08/23·48m 8s

Fully Booked Takeover: Karin Slaughter x Wanda M. Morris

On this week's Fully Booked Takeover, special guest host Karin Slaughter (After That Night, Aug. 22, 2023) interviews crime writer Wanda M. Morris (All Her Little Secrets, Anywhere You Run). Then our editors share their top picks in books for the week.
15/08/23·47m 39s

Arianne Shahvisi

Arianne Shahvisi joins us to discuss Arguing for a Better World: How Philosophy Can Help Us Fight for Social Justice (Penguin, July 18). Using the tools of philosophy, Shahvisi, a senior lecturer in ethics at the Brighton and Sussex Medical School, shows readers how to contemplate, comprehend, and substantiate their moral positions, with the express purpose of fostering understanding in divisive political conversations. Then our editors share their top picks in books for the week.
08/08/23·53m 52s

Brando Skyhorse

Brando Skyhorse joins us to discuss My Name Is Iris (Avid Reader Press, Aug 1). Kirkus calls this sophomore novel from the author of The Madonnas of Echo Park, “a well-imagined allegory of divisive racial politics.” Then our editors share their top picks in books for the week.
01/08/23·53m 5s

Fully Booked Takeover: Megan Abbott x Ivy Pochoda

On this week's Fully Booked Takeover, special guest host Megan Abbott (Beware the Woman) interviews novelist Ivy Pochoda (Sing Her Down). And in a sponsored interview, Megan talks with Preeti Chhibber and Alex Segunda, authors of original Spider-Man stories for young readers from publisher Marvel. Then our editors share their top picks in books for the week.
25/07/23·1h

Fully Booked Takeover: Sarah MacLean x Adriana Herrera

On this week’s Fully Booked Takeover, we’re thrilled to welcome special guest host Sarah MacLean (Knockout, Aug. 2023), in conversation with rising star romance novelist Adriana Herrera (An Island Princess Starts a Scandal). Then our editors share their top picks in books for the week.
18/07/23·46m 58s

Jon Klassen

Caldecott medalist Jon Klassen joins us to discuss The Skull (Candlewick, July 11), a brilliant retelling of a Tyrolean folktale from the Canadian-born author/illustrator of I Want My Hat Back, et al. Kirkus: “Employing his customary pitch-perfect tonal gymnastics, only Klassen could inspire readers to want craniums as pals” (starred review). Then our editors share their top picks in books for the week.
11/07/23·1h 3m

Joy McCullough

Joy McCullough joins us to discuss Code Red (Atheneum, June 13), an engaging new middle-grade novel that takes on menstruation, friendship, and activism. “Character-driven, thought-provoking, often funny, and, above all, timely,” Kirkus writes in a starred review. Then our editors share their top picks in books for the week.
04/07/23·48m 58s

K Patrick

Debut novelist K Patrick joins us to discuss Mrs. S (Europa Editions, June 20): “Dark academia meets forbidden love as an English boarding school matron [falls for a] headmaster’s wife…An erotic yet high-minded literary achievement,” Kirkus writes in a starred review. Then our editors share their reading recommendations for the week.
27/06/23·1h

Fully Booked Takeover: Owen King x Jacqueline Holland

On this week’s inaugural Fully Booked Takeover, we’re thrilled to welcome special guest host Owen King (The Curator, etc.), in conversation with debut novelist Jacqueline Holland (The God of Endings). Then our editors share their top picks in books for the week.
20/06/23·51m 45s

2023 Pride Epsiode with Amelia Possanza

On our second annual Pride Episode of the podcast, Amelia Possanza joins us to discuss Lesbian Love Story: A Memoir in Archives (Catapult, May 30) Kirkus: “Detailed and immensely readable, this is a generous history of lesbian love” (starred review). Then our editors highlight some of their favorite books by LGBTQIA+ authors.
13/06/23·54m 52s

2023 Summer Reads with S.A. Cosby

Happy summertime, readers! S.A. Cosby joins us to discuss All the Sinners Bleed (Flatiron, June 6) on this special Summer Reads episode. Kirkus: “A gripping cat-and-mouse game between a twisted White religious killer and the first Black sheriff of a small Virginia community.” Then our editors highlight some of their favorite books of summer.
06/06/23·1h 3m

Luis Alberto Urrea

Luis Alberto Urrea joins us to discuss Good Night, Irene (Little Brown, May 30), a novel inspired by his mother’s service in the Red Cross’ Clubmobile Corps in World War II. Kirkus: “Top-shelf historical fiction delivered with wit and compassion” (starred review). Then our editors share their reading recommendations for the week.
30/05/23·1h 5m

Max Porter

Max Porter joins us to discuss Shy (Graywolf, May 2), a slim, introspective new novel from the inventive author of Grief is the Thing With Feathers (2016) and Lanny (2019). Then our editors share their reading recommendations for the week.
23/05/23·1h 9m

Katherine Heiny

Katherine Heiny joins us to discuss Games and Rituals (Knopf, April 18), her funny, frank sophomore story collection. Kirkus: “With this irresistibly amusing, bighearted collection, Heiny again proves she is a master of the short story form” (starred review). Then our editors offer their reading recommendations for the week.
16/05/23·57m 3s

Brendan Slocumb

Novelist Brendan Slocumb joins us to discuss Symphony of Secrets (Anchor, April 18), a vibrant musical mystery from the author of The Violin Conspiracy (2022). Kirkus: “A scholar discovers his favorite composer's secret in this page-turning thriller….Sophomore novels don’t get much better than this” (starred review). Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week.
09/05/23·58m 46s

Abraham Verghese

Abraham Verghese joins us to discuss The Covenant of Water (Grove, May 2), a standout sophomore novel from the author of 2009 bestseller Cutting for Stone. “Three generations of a South Indian family are marked by passions and peccadillos, conditions and ambitions, interventions both medical and divine,” Kirkus writes in a starred review. And in a sponsored interview, Megan talks with novelist Nana Kwame Adjei Brenya, author of Chain-Gang All-Stars (Pantheon, May 2; starred review). Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week.
02/05/23·1h 3m

Jonathan Rosen

Jonathan Rosen joins us to discuss The Best Minds: A Story of Friendship, Madness, and the Tragedy of Good Intentions (Penguin Press, April 18), “An affecting, thoughtfully written portrait of a friendship broken by mental illness and its terrible sequelae” (starred review). Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week.
25/04/23·1h 5m

Mark Oshiro

Mark Oshiro joins us to discuss their latest YA novel, Into the Light (Tor Teen, March 28), “An important and searing read on the value of family, agency, and belief” (starred review). Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week.
18/04/23·52m 48s

Idra Novey

Idra Novey joins us to discuss her new novel, Take What You Need (Viking, March 14). Kirkus: “Transforming the odd and the homely into something beautiful is both the subject and the accomplishment of this book” (starred review). Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week.
11/04/23·54m 5s

Susanna Hoffs

Susanna Hoffs joins us to discuss her debut novel, This Bird Has Flown (Little Brown, April 4). Kirkus: “A fun read that’s perfect for lovers of pop music, classic books, and romantic comedies.” Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week.
04/04/23·1h

Kelly Link

Kelly Link joins us to discuss White Cat, Black Dog (Random House, March 28). Kirkus: “Seven modern fairy tales by a master of the short form…. Enchanting, mesmerizing, brilliant work” (starred review).Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week.
28/03/23·58m 59s

Shelley Read

Shelley Read joins us to discuss Go As a River (Spiegel & Grau, March 7). Kirkus: “With delicate precision, Read evokes both Colorado’s rugged wilderness and the landscapes of her characters’ troubled hearts. An auspicious debut” (starred review).Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week.
21/03/23·57m 25s

Alexandra Robbins

Alexandra Robbins joins us to discuss The Teachers: A Year Inside America’s Most Vulnerable, Important Profession (Dutton, March 14): “An important and eye-opening book that all parents, teachers, and educational administrators should read” (starred review). Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week.
14/03/23·56m 24s

Jenny Jackson

Jenny Jackson joins us to discuss her debut novel Pineapple Street (Pamela Dorman Books, March 7): “Rich-people jokes, cultural acuity, and entertaining banter keep this novel moving at a sprightly pace as the characters learn their lessons about money and morals” (Kirkus). And in a sponsored interview, Megan talks with Jordan Scott and Sydney Smith, author and illustrator of My Baba’s Garden (Neal Porter Books, March 7), “A quiet, tender, and profoundly moving celebration of intergenerational love” (starred review). Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week.
07/03/23·59m 4s

Asale Angel-Ajani

Asale Angel-Ajani joins us to discuss A Country You Can Leave (MCD/Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Feb. 21). Kirkus: “The focus of this sharp, observant debut novel, which deftly blends humor and hard truths while examining economic inequities and the emotional toll they take, is [a] fraught mother-daughter connection.” Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week.
28/02/23·57m 2s

Roshani Chokshi

Roshani Chokshi joins us to discuss The Last Tale of the Flower Bride (Morrow/HarperCollins, Feb. 14), “A singular, unforgettable tale of love and magic” (starred review). Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week.
21/02/23·59m 0s

Ilyon Woo

Ilyon Woo joins us to discuss Master Slave Husband Wife: An Epic Journey From Slavery to Freedom (Simon & Schuster, Feb. 7). Kirkus: “An engaging tale of one enslaved couple’s journey to freedom and a love that conquered all” (starred review). Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week.
14/02/23·52m 50s

Kenji Yoshino and David Glasgow

Kenji Yoshino and David Glasgow join us to discuss Say the Right Thing: How To Talk About Identity, Diversity, and Justice (Atria, Feb. 7). Kirkus: “A sensitive and sensible handbook for encouraging positive conversations about identity” (starred review). Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week.
07/02/23·58m 57s

V

V (formerly Eve Ensler) joins us to discuss Reckoning (Bloomsbury, Jan. 31), an “elegant and timely” memoir about the personal traumas that paved her path as a world-renowned artist and lifelong activist. Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week.
31/01/23·1h 1m

Deepti Kapoor

Novelist Deepti Kapoor joins us to discuss Age of Vice (Riverhead Books, Jan. 3), a fast-paced cinematic thriller centering on a rich and powerful family from Uttar Pradesh and their associates. Kirkus: “Fans of crime novels will find much to admire in this quite entertaining book.” Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week.
24/01/23·48m 27s

Leigh Bardugo

#1 bestselling author Leigh Bardugo joins us to discuss Hell Bent (Flatiron Books, Jan. 10), the second book in her high-octane “Alex Stern” fantasy series, set at Yale University. Kirkus: “The plot is relentless and clever, and the writing is vivid, intelligent, and funny at just the right moments, but best of all are the complex characters…each with a backstory that makes it possible for the reader to trust them to enter hell and have the strength to leave again” (starred review). Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week.
17/01/23·1h 9m

Talia Hibbert

Bestselling author Talia Hibbert joins us to discuss her first YA romance, Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute (Joy Revolution, Jan. 3), “A zippy rom-com with strong characterization, bursting with Gen Z–approved verbal sparring and stolen kisses” (starred review). Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week.
10/01/23·53m 41s

Dacher Keltner

Bestselling author and psychology professor Dacher Keltner joins us to discuss Awe: The New Science of Evryday Wonder and How It Can Transform Your LIfe (Penguin Press, Jan. 3), “[an] insightful… focused guide to discovering awe and bliss in the human experience.” Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week.
03/01/23·50m 25s

2022 Year In Review: Seen & Heard with Michael Schaub and Tom Beer

Happy New Year, Fully Booked fans! Another fabulous year in podcasting concludes with our annual Year in Review, as Kirkus correspondent Michael Schaub joins editor-in-chief Tom Beer and host Megan Labrise for a merry discussion of 2022’s weird book news and the announcement of our most popular episode of the year.
27/12/22·1h 2m

Megan's Favorite Interviews of 2022: Ling Ma + Anton Hur

On this special holiday episode, Megan presents her favorite interviews of 2022: with Kirkus Prize winner Ling Ma, author of Bliss Montage (Farrar, Straus and Giroux); and Anton Hur, translator of Violets by Kyung-sook Shin (Feminist Press).
20/12/22·1h 7m

Best Books of 2022- Young Adult with S.K. Ali

In this special episode, celebrating Kirkus’ Best YA Books 2022, author S.K. Ali discusses Love From Mecca to Medina (Salaam Reads, Oct. 18), the follow-up to her 2019 novel Love From A to Z. Kirkus calls this stunning sequel, “A contemplative exploration of faith, love, and the human condition” (starred review). Then young readers’ editor Laura Simeon highlights some more of the best YA books of the year.
13/12/22·56m 50s

Best Books of 2022- Middle Grade with L.D. Lapinski

In this special episode, celebrating Kirkus’ Best Middle Grade Books 2022, we’re joined by L.D. Lapinski, author of The Secrets of the Stormforest (Aladdin, Sept. 13). Kirkus: “A moving conclusion to a delightful trilogy” (starred review). Then young readers’ editors Laura Simeon and Mahnaz Dar discusses our favorite middle grade books of the year. And in a sponsored interview, Megan talks with Jeff Smulyan, author of Never Ride a Roller Coaster Upside Down (BenBella, Dec. 6).
06/12/22·1h 5m

Best Books of 2022 Children's- with P.J. Lynch

n this special episode, celebrating Kirkus’ Best Picture Books 2022, we’re joined by P.J. Lynch, illustrator of Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost (Candlewick, Nov. 8). Kirkus: “Lovely pictures newly elucidate this renowned, euphonious work” (starred review). Then young readers’ editor Mahnaz Dar discusses our favorite picture books of the year.
29/11/22·49m 38s

Best Books of 2022 Nonfiction- with Jazmina Barrera

In the second of five Best Books episodes, celebrating our favorite fiction, nonfiction, children’s books, middle grade, and YA of 2022, we’re joined by Jazmina Barrera, author of Linea Nigra: An Essay on Pregnancy and Earthquakes (Two Lines Press, May 3) that Kirkus calls, “a uniquely lyrical account of early motherhood” (starred review). Then nonfiction editor Eric Liebetrau discusses the Best Nonfiction Books of 2022. And in a sponsored interview, Megan talks with Candace Fleming, author of Polar Bear, illustrated by Eric Rohmann (Neal Porter Books, Nov. 22).
22/11/22·58m 14s

Best Books of 2022 Fiction- with Julia May Jonas

It’s time for the Best Books of 2022! This week kicks off a five-episode series celebrating la crème de la crème in fiction, nonfiction, children’s books, middle grade, and YA for the year. First, for fiction, Julia May Jonas joins us to discuss her “remarkable” debut novel Vladimir (Avid Reader Press, Feb 1). Then fiction editor Laurie Muchnick highlights some more extraordinary titles from this year’s list.
15/11/22·56m 57s

Fully Booked Holiday Gift Guide 2022 with Mary E. Pearson and Tim Laman

It’s the Fully Booked Holiday Gift Guide! Mary E. Pearson, author of Morrighan: The Beginnings of the Remnant Universe (Henry Holt), and Tim Laman, author of Bird Planet (Abrams) join editor-in-chief Tom Beer and host Megan Labrise in conversation. And Kirkus' editors present their top gift book picks.
08/11/22·55m 51s

Lynn Melnick

Lynn Melnick joins us to discuss I've Had to Think Up a Way to Survive: On Trauma, Persistence, and Dolly Parton (Texas Univ. Press, Oct. 4). Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week.
01/11/22·54m 37s

Kirkus Prize 2022

On this special episode, we’re celebrating the 2022 Kirkus Prizes! Featuring behind-the-scenes interviews with judges Deesha Philyaw (fiction), Hanif Abdurraqib (nonfiction), and Jerry Craft (young readers’ literature). And in a sponsored interview, host Megan Labrise talks with Carmen Agra Deedy, author of Wombat Said Come In, illustrated by Brian Dies (Margaret Quinlin Books, Oct. 4).
25/10/22·47m 58s

Lydia Millet

National Book Award finalist Lydia Millet joins us to discuss her latest novel Dinosaurs (W.W. Norton, Oct. 11), “another life-affirming work from a writer who always carves her own literary path” (starred review). Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week.
18/10/22·44m 57s

Rita Zoey Chin

Rita Zoey Chin joins us to discuss The Strange Inheritance of Leah Fern (Melville House, Oct. 4), in which a young woman embarks on a wonder-filled journey across the U.S. and Canada. Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week.
11/10/22·59m 9s

Namwali Serpell

Namwali Serpell joins us to discuss The Furrows (Hogarth, Sept. 27), in which a woman grieves the loss of her younger brother. The sophomore novel is “stylistically refreshing and emotionally intense, cementing Serpell’s place among the best writers going” (starred review). Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week.
04/10/22·50m 31s

Christina Soontornvat

Kirkus Prize winner Christina Soontornvat joins us to discuss The Tryout (Scholastic, Sept. 6), illustrated by Joanna Cacao. Kirkus calls this standout graphic memoir, about going out for the cheerleading squad in a small Texas town in the 1990s, “a funny, relatable, and genuine story of friendship and belonging” (starred review). Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week.
27/09/22·54m 22s

Carolyn Huynh

Debut novelist Carolyn Huynh joins us to discuss The Fortunes of Jaded Women (Atria, Sept. 6), “a funny, sharp, and insightful look at family bonds and the effects of tradition on modern life” (Kirkus). Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week.
20/09/22·52m 0s

Ling Ma

Kirkus Prize-winning novelist Ling Ma joins us to discuss her new story collection Bliss Montage (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Sept. 13), which Kirkus calls “haunting and artful” (starred review). Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week.
13/09/22·58m 58s

The Work Episode with Ellyn Gaydos

On this special Work Episode of the podcast, Ellyn Gaydos joins us to discuss Pig Years (Knopf, June 14), a lyrical debut memoir of four years of seasonal farm work in New York and Vermont. Kirkus: “Lyrical and cleareyed insight into farming from a writer devoted to both crafts.” Then our editors recommend some of their favorite books contending with jobs and professions.
06/09/22·1h 3m

Sidik Fofana

Sidik Fofana joins us to discuss Stories From the Tenants Downstairs (Scribner, Aug. 16), eight interconnected stories set in a fictional high-rise in Central Harlem. Kirkus: “A potentially significant voice in African American fiction asserts itself with wit and compassion” (starred review). Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week.
30/08/22·49m 46s

Carmen Rita Wong

Carmen Rita Wong joins us to discuss Why Didn’t You Tell Me?: A Memoir (Crown, July 12). Kirkus: “The gradual unraveling of lifelong deceptions about her parenthood teaches a Dominican Chinese woman unsettling lessons about the mutability of identity” (starred review). Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week.
23/08/22·54m 46s

2022 Fall Preview with Beth Macy

On our 2022 Fall Preview episode, Beth Macy discusses Raising Lazarus: Hope, Justice, and the Future of America’s Overdose Crisis (Little, Brown, Aug. 16), “a profoundly disconcerting book that, with luck, will inspire reform to aid the dopesick and punish their suppliers” (starred review). Then our editors highlight a few of their favorite titles from the Fall Preview issue of Kirkus Reviews.
16/08/22·53m 18s

Mohsin Hamid

In this episode, sponsored by Amazon Original Stories, Mohsin Hamid joins us to discuss the novel The Last White Man (Riverhead, Aug. 2), “a provocative tale that raises questions of racial and social justice at every turn” (starred review). Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week.
09/08/22·53m 18s

Monique Roffey

Monique Roffey joins us to The Mermaid of Black Conch (Knopf, July 12). Kirkus: “In this Costa Award–winning novel, the discovery of a mermaid makes waves on a fictional Caribbean island….A mournful tour through Caribbean history via one of its most indelible legends.” Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week.
02/08/22·54m 2s

Oscar Hokeah

Oscar Hokeah joins us to discuss Calling for a Blanket Dance (Algonquin, July 26), an outstanding debut novel about the life of Ever Geimausaddle, a Kiowa-Cherokee-Mexican American man, artfully told from the perspectives of 11 family members, as well as his own. Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week.
26/07/22·44m 36s

Chrysta Bilton

Chrysta Bilton joins us to discuss Normal Family: On Truth, Love, and How I Met My 35 Siblings (Little, Brown, July 19), the debut memoir Kirkus calls “a wholly absorbing page-turner that everyone will want to read. You should probably buy two” (starred review). Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week.
19/07/22·42m 21s

Mecca Jamilah Sullivan

Mecca Jamilah Sullivan joins us to discuss Big Girl (Liveright, July 12). Kirkus: “In this debut novel set in 1990s Harlem, a young girl learns—and redefines—what it means to take up space….A lyrical and important coming-of-age novel.” Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week.
12/07/22·54m 37s

Tom Perrotta

New York Times-bestselling author Tom Perrotta joins us to discuss Tracy Flick Can’t Win (Scribner, June 7). In this 10th novel from the “master of dark comedy,” “the campaign to create a Hall of Fame at a suburban New Jersey high school lures a few skeletons out of their closets” (Kirkus). Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week.
05/07/22·52m 38s

Joanna Scutts

Literary critic and cultural historian Joanna Scutts joins us to discuss Hotbed: Bohemian Greenwich Village and the Secret Club That Sparked Modern Feminism (Seal Press, June 7), “an enlightening contribution to the history of feminism” (Kirkus). Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week.
28/06/22·49m 39s

Ada Calhoun

Ada Calhoun joins us to discuss Also a Poet: Frank O’Hara, My Father, and Me (Grove, June 14). Kirkus: “Art critic Peter Schjeldahl's daughter takes a shot at finishing her father's derailed biography of Frank O'Hara and ends up writing a fascinating memoir….A wonderfully convoluted, catty, candid, and clever piece of work” (starred review). Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week.
21/06/22·43m 46s

Joseph Han

Joseph Han joins us to discuss the novel Nuclear Family (Counterpoint, June 7), “a raucous and adroit debut” in which “an immigrant family is haunted by the past” (Kirkus). Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week.
14/06/22·53m 3s

Julio Torres

Julio Torres joins us to discuss I Want To Be a Vase (Atheneum, June 7), illus. by Julian Glander, a gorgeous debut picture book about the self-actualization of everyday objects. Kirkus: “Great for stimulating creative thinking and art activities: What else can ordinary objects be?” Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week.
07/06/22·43m 10s

Ann Leary

Ann Leary joins us to discuss The Foundling (Marysue Rucci Books, May 31), a “thoroughly satisfying novel” in which the New York Times bestselling author “turns her mordant eye to the interplay of feminism, racism, and eugenics at a state institution for women deemed unfit to bear children in 1927” (starred review). Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week.
31/05/22·49m 17s

Marie Myung-Ok Lee

Author Marie Myung-Ok Lee joins us to discuss her new novel The Evening Hero (Simon & Schuster, May 24), the story of Yungman Kwak, a Korean American doctor grappling with forced retirement and family secrets. Kirkus says Lee’s brilliant novel is “filled with as much heartache and healing as it is historical significance.” Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week.
24/05/22·50m 21s

Emma Straub

New York Times bestselling author Emma Straub joins us to discuss her latest novel, This Time Tomorrow (Riverhead, May 17). “Combine Straub's usual warmth and insight with the fun of time travel and you have a winner,” Kirkus writes in a starred review. Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week.
17/05/22·42m 27s

Margo Jefferson

Margo Jefferson joins us to discuss Constructing a Nervous System: A Memoir (Pantheon, April 12), “a dynamic, unflinchingly candid examination of the impacts of race and class on culture and the author’s own life” (starred review). Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week.
10/05/22·42m 15s

R.M. Romero

R.M. Romero joins us to discuss The Ghosts of Rose Hill (Peachtree Teen, May 10), a magical realist romance in verse Kirkus calls “a must-read for lost souls everywhere” (starred review). Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week.
03/05/22·45m 51s

Leigh Newman

Leigh Newman joins us to discuss Nobody Gets Out Alive (Scribner, April 12), “bighearted stories of domestic discord by a writer with a cleareyed view of Alaska's romance and hardscrabble realism” (starred review). Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week.
26/04/22·46m 34s

Rhea Ewing

Rhea Ewing joins us to discuss Fine: A Comic About Gender (Liveright, April 2), a work of graphic nonfiction Kirkus calls “A vital, richly textured resource for anyone seeking a better understanding of gender identity” (starred review). Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week.
19/04/22·57m 22s

Douglas Stuart

Booker Prize-winning author Douglas Stuart joins us to discuss his new novel, Young Mungo (Grove, April 2), a sophomore effort Kirkus calls “romantic, terrifying, brutal, tender, and, in the end, sneakily hopeful” (starred review). Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week.
12/04/22·45m 29s

Grant Ginder

Novelist Grant Ginder joins us to discuss Let’s Not Do That Again (Henry Holt, April 5), a “ timely comic novel set in New York and Paris” wherein “a political family deals with drama past and present” (starred review) Then our editors offer their weekly reading recommendations.
05/04/22·45m 44s

Jill Gutowitz

Writer and humorist Jill Gutowitz joins us to discuss Girls Can Kiss Now (Atria, March 8), “a witty essay collection about pop culture and queerness” (Kirkus). Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, with books by Kate Folk and Matt Phelan.
29/03/22·41m 13s

Jane McGonigal

Future forecaster and game designer Jane McGonigal joins us to discuss Imaginable: How To See the Future Coming and Feel Ready for Anything—Even Things That Seem Impossible Today (Spiegel & Grau, March 22), “a fascinating book about how the future does not have to be an undiscovered country.” Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, with books by Adib Khorram, Chuck Klosterman, and Joe Mungo Reed.
22/03/22·45m 25s

Aisha Saeed

Aisha Saeed joins us to discuss Omar Rising (Nancy Paulsen Books, Feb. 1). Kirkus calls this companion to her New York Times-bestselling middle-grade debut Amal Unbound “a powerful tale about a preteen pushing back against systemic injustice” (starred review). Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, with books by Sara Zarr, Ian O’Connor, and Sarah Moss.
15/03/22·42m 45s

Meghan O’Rourke

Meghan O’Rourke joins us to discuss The Invisible Kingdom: Reimagining Chronic Illness (Riverhead, March 8), an “emotionally compelling and intellectually rich” exploration of chronic illness compelling told through “personal narrative and science journalism, with deep dives into the technicalities of the immune system and the microbiome.” Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, with books by Lillie Lainoff, Dan Charnas, and Karen Joy Fowler.
08/03/22·49m 2s

Kirkus International Episode

On this special International Episode, Anton Hur joins us to discuss his forthcoming translation of Violets by Man Asian Prize-winning novelist Kyung-Sook Shin (April 12). Then our editors join with their international reading recommendations for early 2022, with books by Sang-Keun Kim (tr. Ginger Ly), Chesil (tr. Takami Nieda), Olga Tokarczuk, Shen Fuyu, and Kerri ní Dochartaigh.
01/03/22·58m 14s

Neil Bradbury

Dr. Neil Bradbury joins us to discuss A Taste for Poison: Eleven Dealy Molecules and the Killers Who Used Them (St. Martin’s Press, Feb. 1), a fascinating blend of science, medical history, and true crime that ably illustrates what we can learn about how the human body works from poisons employed in famous murder plots and assassination attempts. Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, with books by Kathy Z. Price and Carl Joe Williams, Carolyn Tara O’Neil, Michael Schur, and Julie Otsuka.
22/02/22·52m 27s

Charmaine Wilkerson

Charmaine Wilkerson joins us to discuss her novel Black Cake (Ballantine Books, Feb. 1), “an ambitious and accomplished debut” centering on estranged siblings discover “almost everything they know about their Caribbean-born parents is a lie” (Kirkus). Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, with books by Taiye Selasi and Tinuke Fagborun, Jean-Claude van Rijckeghem and Kristen Gehrman, and Lan Samantha Chang.
15/02/22·51m 1s

Sara Gran

Sara Gran joins us to discuss The Book of the Most Precious Substance (Dreamland Books, Feb. 8), a delightful erotic literary thriller from the author of the Claire DeWitt mystery series and founder of Dreamland Books. Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, with books by Traci Sorell, Ruta Sepetys, Carl Bernstein, and Antoine Wilson.
08/02/22·57m 32s

Jessamine Chan

Jessamine Chan joins us to discuss her debut novel The School for Good Mothers (Simon & Schuster, Jan. 4), a brilliant social satire centering on one Philadelphia mother’s “very bad day.” Kirkus: “An enthralling dystopian drama that makes complex points about parenting with depth and feeling” (starred review). Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, with books by Ruth Behar and Devon Holzwarth, Bernardine Evaristo, and Julia May Jonas.
01/02/22·49m 45s

John Darnielle

John Darnielle joins us to discuss Devil House (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Jan. 25), “an impressively meta work that delivers the pleasures of true-crime while skewering it.” This third novel from the New York Times bestselling author and singer-songwriter of Mountain Goats fame is his best yet, according to our starred review. Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, with books by Marieke Nijkamp, Nilah Magruder, Stanley Tucci, and Claire Messud
25/01/22·1h 1m

Gwen E. Kirby

Debut author Gwen E. Kirby joins us to discuss Shit Cassandra Saw (Penguin, Jan. 11), a standout, feminist short story collection with “zany plots, unconventional forms, and playful, poetic language” that “delight[s] at every turn” (starred review). Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, with books by Zoey Abbott, Corey Ann Haydu, Paul McCartney, and Jonathan Evison.
18/01/22·53m 25s

Antoine Wilson

Antoine Wilson joins us to discuss Mouth to Mouth (Avid Reader Press, Jan. 11), an intriguing novel Kirkus calls “a deliciously nasty morality play in the guise of a thriller.” Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, with books by Sophie Burrows, Claire Alexander, and Hanya Yanagihara.
11/01/22·46m 36s

Xochitl Gonzalez

Xochitl Gonzalez joins us to discuss Olga Dies Dreaming (Flatiron Books, Jan. 4), the hotly anticipated debut novel Kirkus calls a “warmhearted but tough-minded story of a sister and brother grappling with identity, family, and life goals in gentrifying Brooklyn” (starred review). Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, with books by David Valdez, Nikole Hannah-Jones & Caitlin Roper & Elena Silverman & Jake Silverstein, and Jessamine Chan.
04/01/22·1h

Year in Review: Seen & Heard with Michael Schaub and 2021's most popular interview

Happy New Year, listeners! Editor-in-chief Tom Beer and journalist Michael Schaub join host Megan Labrise for an extra-special Fully Booked Year-in-Review, featuring a spirited discussion of the wackiest book news to come out of 2021, followed by the revelation and celebration of our most downloaded episode of the year. You won’t want to miss it.
28/12/21·54m 44s

Megan's Favorite Episodes of 2021: Kazuo Ishiguro and Mary Roach

On this special holiday episode, host Megan Labrise looks back on the year in podcasting and reintroduces two of her favorite conversations from 2021: with Kazuo Ishiguro, author of Klara and the Sun (Knopf), and with Mary Roach, author of Fuzz: When Nature Breaks the Law (Norton). Thanks for listening in, and cheers to another great year in podcasting!
21/12/21·1h 11m

Best Books of 2021- Nonfiction- Cynthia Barnett

On our final Best Books episode, Cynthia Barnett discusses The Sound of the Sea: Seashells and the Fate of the Oceans (Norton, July). This “absolutely captivating nature book” is one of Kirkus’ Best Books in young readers’ literature for 2021 (starred review). Then nonfiction editor Eric Liebetrau joins Megan to discuss the year in memoir, biography, science writing, history, criticism, and more.
14/12/21·53m 57s

Best Books of 2021- Young Reader's Literature- Kelly Loy Gilbert

On our second Best Books episode, Kelly Loy Gilbert discusses When We Were Infinite (Simon & Schuster, March). Gilbert’s “beautifully, achingly cathartic” YA novel (starred review), is one of Kirkus’ Best Books in young readers’ literature for 2021. Then young readers’ editor Laura Simeon joins Megan to discuss the year in picture books, middle grade, and YA.
07/12/21·51m 21s

Best Books of 2021- Fiction- Lily King

On our first Best Books episode, Lily King discusses Five Tuesdays in Winter (Grove, Nov. 9), one of Kirkus’ Best Books in fiction for 2021. Kirkus: “The first collection of stories from an acclaimed novelist…. Full of insights and pleasures” (starred review). Then fiction editor Laurie Muchnick joins Megan to talk titles, trends, and the year in fiction.
30/11/21·54m 36s

Fully Booked Holiday Gift Guide 2021

It's the fourth annual Fully Booked Holiday Gift Guide! Adrian Miller, author of Black Smoke: African Americans and the United States of Barbecue (UNC Press) and Jacob Gallagher of The Men’s Fashion Book (Phaidon) join editor-in-chief Tom Beer and host Megan Labrise for some good cheer and great stories. And Kirkus’ editors present their top gift book picks.
23/11/21·1h 13m

Mayukh Sen

James Beard Award-winning journalist Mayukh Sen joins us to discuss Taste Makers: Seven Immigrant Women Who Revolutionized Food in America (Norton, Nov. 16). Kirkus calls this groundbreaking group biography “Well-crafted, engaging portraits of culinary and cultural pioneers.” Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, with books by Dan Murphy and Aubrey Plaza, Katie Heaney, and Louise Erdrich.
16/11/21·54m 16s

Emily Ratajkowski

Model, actor, activist, entrepreneur and author Emily Ratajkowski joins us to discuss My Body (Metropolitan Books, Nov. 9). Kirkus calls her standout debut essay collection “a refreshingly candid, fearless look into a model’s body of work and its impact on her identity and politics.” Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, with books by Donna Jo Napoli and Naoko Stoop, Harmony Becker, and Claire Vaye Watkins.
09/11/21·45m 32s

Rax King

Cultural critic Rax King joins us to discusses Tacky: Love Letters to the Worst Culture We Have to Offer (Vintage, Nov. 2), “an engaging, hilarious, unabashed look at what we love in culture and why we should value it for what it is” (starred review). Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, with books by Winsome Bingham and Charles G. Esperanza, Amy Butler Greenfield, Tom Vitale, and Asali Solomon.
02/11/21·54m 55s

Kirkus Prize 2021

It’s time for the 2021 Kirkus Prizes! In a YouTube livestream on Thursday, Oct. 28, we'll reveal our judges' picks for the best books of the year in fiction, nonfiction, and young readers' literature, with each of the winners taking home a $50,000 prize. On this special episode, we go behind the scenes with YRL judge Naomi Shihab Nye, nonfiction judge Masha Gessen, and fiction judge Rumaan Alam to find out what went into making the short lists for this year’s awards. Then our editors join to further discuss the finalists.
26/10/21·1h 8m

Tiphanie Yanique

Novelist Tiphanie Yanique joins us to discusses Monster in the Middle (Riverhead, Oct. 19), “A rich and honest examination of family histories, cultural disconnection, and the way people fall in love” (Kirkus). And in a special segment, we get to know Kirkus’ new Young Readers’ Editor Summer Edward, who will join us on the editors’ roundtable starting in November.
19/10/21·53m 43s

Susan Orlean

New Yorker staffer Susan Orlean joins us to discuss On Animals (Avid Reader Press, Oct. 12), a wide-ranging selection of essays and in-depth profiles of the finned and furred, from a beloved writer and avowed animal lover (starred review). Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, with books by Jodi Kantor, Megan Twohey, and Ruby Shamir, Tarana Burke, and Hilma Wolitzer.
12/10/21·51m 59s

Chibundu Onuzo

Novelist Chibundu Onuzo joins us to discuss Sankofa (Catapult, Oct. 5), the story of a biracial British woman who begins a quest to find her African father. And in a sponsored interview, Megan talks with Brittney Cooper and Chanel Craft Tanner, authors, with Susana Morris, of guide to girlhood Feminist AF (Norton Books for Young Readers, Oct .5; starred review). Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, with books by Eugene Yelchin, Daniel de Visé, and John McGregor.
05/10/21·1h 2m

Kirkus 2021 Banned Books Week with Qian Julie Wang

On this episode celebrating Banned Books Week, Qian Julie Wang joins us to discuss Beautiful Country (Doubleday, Sept. 7), an affecting account of her family’s journey from China to the U.S., and her challenging early years as an undocumented elementary schooler in New York’s Chinatown (starred review). Then editors Vicky Smith, Eric Liebetrau, and Laurie Muchnick join us for a spirited discussion of the importance of the right to read whatever you choose. This episode is sponsored by Lake Union Publishing, home of What Passes as Love by Trisha R. Thomas.
28/09/21·47m 29s

Sara Ahmed

Feminist writer and independent scholar Sara Ahmed joins us to discuss Complaint! (Duke University Press, Sept. 21), a critical-philosophical consideration of what happens when professors and students file formal complaints against abuses of power in academic institutions. And in a sponsored interview, Megan talks with Julie Morstad, author-illustrator of Time Is a Flower (Tundra Books, Sept. 21; starred review). Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, with books by Craig Whitlock, Colson Whitehead, and Yoon Choi.
21/09/21·1h

Mary Roach

Bestselling science writer Mary Roach discusses ‘Fuzz: When Nature Breaks the Law’ (Norton, Sept 14), about what happens when the instinctive behaviors of animals (and plants!) run afoul of human laws. “From the terrifying to the frustrating, a great starting point for understanding the animal world” (starred review). Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, including books by Trang Nguyen and Jeet Dzung, Wab Kinew, and Mirin Fader.
14/09/21·57m 14s

Shruti Swamy

Shruti Swamy discusses ‘The Archer’ (Algonquin, Sept 7), an “incantatory and often lovely” debut novel in which “an ancient dance form becomes a paradoxical route to escape for a girl growing up in poverty in India” (Kirkus). Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, including books by Marcia Argueta Mickelson and Jo Hamya.
07/09/21·55m 30s

Kirkus 2021 Crime Episode- featuring S.A. Cosby

On this special Crime Episode of the podcast, sponsored by Amazon Publishing, S.A. Cosby discusses ‘Razorblade Tears’ (Flatiron, July 6), in which “violence and love go hand in hand in this tale of two rough men seeking vengeance for their murdered sons” (starred review). Then our editors talk crime and mystery titles, with recommendations for books by Iain Lawrence, Angeline Boulley, Ioan Grillo, and Charlotte Carter.
31/08/21·49m 41s

Kat Chow

Kat Chow joins us to discuss the memoir Seeing Ghosts (Grand Central, Aug. 24), a deeply loving account of her mother’s life and death, and and investigation into the ways we help shape the narratives of those we love. And in a sponsored interview, Megan talks with Chuck Wendig, author of Dust and Grim (Little, Brown, Oct. 5; starred review). Then our editors join with their top picks in books for the week.
24/08/21·1h 3m

Veronica Chambers

In this special Fall Preview episode, sponsored by Dear Highlights: What Adults Can Learn from 75 Years of Letters and Conversations with Kids (Highlights Press, Aug. 10), Veronica Chambers joins us to discuss ‘Call and Response: The Story of Black Lives Matter’ (Versify, Aug. 17), “an educational introduction for young readers and a comprehensive primer for adults” on the movement for racial justice. And in a sponsored interview, Megan talks with Lesa Cline-Ransome, author of Being Clem (Holiday House, Aug. 3), the highly anticipated conclusion to the “Finding Langston” trilogy. Kirkus: “A compelling work whose intriguing characters readers will miss when they turn the last page” (starred review). Then our editors join with their favorite books from our Fall Preview lists.
17/08/21·1h 13m

Kaveh Akbar

In this episode, sponsored by Dear Highlights: What Adults Can Learn from 75 Years of Letters and Conversations with Kids (Highlights Pres, Aug 10), Kaveh Akbar discusses ‘Pilgrim Bell’ (Graywolf, Aug 3), a stellar sophomore poetry collection in which “words assume physical, palpable form—as reverberations in the mouth and ear—but can just as easily take on a spectral aura, reminding us of worlds and selves no longer within reach….” (Andrew Chan, The New Yorker). Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, including books by Reem Faruqi and Mikela Prevost, Raquel Vasquez Gilliland, Peter Bergen, and Anthony Veasna So.
10/08/21·57m 20s

Britta Lundin

Britta Lundin discusses ‘Like Other Girls’ (FreeForm Books, Aug 3), an standout YA novel about an Oregon girl who goes out for her high school football team. Kirkus: “Fiercely charming and achingly relatable—a glorious, empowering touchdown” (starred review). And in a sponsored interview, Megan talks with Bill Harley, author of ‘Now You Say Yes’ (Peachtree Publishing, Aug 21), a poignant middle-grade novel Kirkus calls, “a grand journey measured in both physical and emotional distance.” Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, including books by Adama Bah, Alex Richards, and Katie Kitamura.
03/08/21·55m 22s

Leigh Patel

Leigh Patel discusses ‘No Study Without Struggle: Confronting Settler Colonialism in Higher Education’ (Basic Books, July 20), “a lively, politically engaged jeremiad on issues of identity, multiculturalism, and efforts to redress enduring wrongs.” Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, with books by Victoria Ying, Dana Spiotta, and Rachel Cusk.
27/07/21·46m 57s

Katie Kitamura

7/20 episode summary: Katie Kitamura discusses ‘Intimacies’ (Riverhead, July 20), “a barbed and splendid meditation on peril” (starred review). And in a sponsored interview, Megan talks with Victor Piñeiro, author of ‘Time Villains’ (Sourcebooks, July 6), a “magnificent” new middle grade adventure (starred review). Then our editors join with their top picks in books for the week.
20/07/21·56m 50s

Fully Booked Audiobooks Episode with Helen Ellis

7/13 episode summary: On this special Audiobooks Episode, Helen Ellis discusses recording the audiobook for her “smart, sassy, page-turning” new essay collection ‘Bring Your Baggage and Don’t Pack Light’ (Doubleday/Penguin Random House Audio, July 13). And in a sponsored interview, Megan talks with Christine French Cully, Editor-in-Chief of Highlights for Kids, about the forthcoming anthology ‘Dear Highlights: What Adults Can Learn from 75 Years of Letters and Conversations with Kids’ (Highlights Press, Aug. 10). Then editors Tom Beer, Vicky Smith, and Laura Simeon join Megan to discuss all things audiobook.
13/07/21·1h 19m

Anuk Arudpragasam

6/29 episode summary: Anuk Arudpragasam discusses the novel ‘A Passage North’ (Hogarth, July 6), “A luminously intelligent, psychologically intricate novel - slow in always rewarding ways” (starred review). Then our editors offer their reading recommendations for the week, with books by Shakirah Bourne, Yvonne Woon, and Diane Johnson.
06/07/21·48m 3s

Marie-Helene Bertino

6/29 episode summary: Marie-Helene Bertino discusses the novel ‘Parakeet’ (Farrar, Straus and Giroux; June 2020), out now in paperback, “a vivid book about lives visited by violent strangeness but lived with authentic humor and hope” (starred review). Then our editors offer their reading recommendations for the week, with books by Marilyn Singer and Leah Nixon, Kalynn Bayron, and Elin Hilderbrand.
29/06/21·1h

Philip D’Anieri

Philip D’Anieri discusses ‘The Appalachian Trail: A Biography’ (HMH, June 8), “an incisive take on an American treasure that shines with illuminating detail and insight” (starred review). Then our editors offer their reading recommendations for the week, with books by Eva Montanari, Dhonielle Clayton et al, Matt Sullivan, and Jonathan Lee. And in a sponsored interview, Megan talks with Dylan Thuras and Cecily Wong of Atlas Obscura about their forthcoming book Gasto Obscura: A Food Adventurer’s Guide (Workman, Oct. 12).
22/06/21·1h 6m

2021 Pride Episode- Grace Perry

It’s the Pride Episode! celebrating the work of LGBTQ+ authors creators around the world. Author Grace Perry discusses ‘The 2000s Made Me Gay: Essays on Pop Culture’ (St. Martin’s Griffin, June 1), “a humorous and reflective journey of self-discovery via pop culture.” Then our editors offer their reading recommendations for Pride 2021, with books by Robin Stevenson and Julie McLaughlin, Adiba Jaigirdar, Sarah Schulman, and Casey McQuiston.
15/06/21·59m 28s

Elissa Washuta

Elissa Washuta discusses essay collection ‘White Magic’ (Tin House, April 27), which Kirkus calls “a fascinating magic trick of a memoir that illuminates a woman's search for meaning” (starred review). Then our editors offer their reading recommendations for the week, with books by Alex Aster, Caroline O’Donoghue, Suzanne Simard, and Zakiya Dalila Harris.
08/06/21·51m 34s

Clint Smith

Clint Smith discusses ‘How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America’ (Little, Brown, June 1), a profound investigation of how nine historic sites address the legacy of American slavery. Then our editors offer their reading recommendations for the week, with books by Matt Ringler, Raúl the Third, and Elaine Bay, Deb Caletti, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and Jean Hanff Korelitz.
01/06/21·57m 54s

Tristan Gooley

Tristan Gooley discusses ‘The Secret World of Weather: How to Read Signs in Every Cloud, Breeze, Hill, Street, Plant, Animal, and Dewdrop (The Experiment, May 25), a fascinating account of the many signs in nature that can help us understand and predict our local weather. Then our editors offer their reading recommendations for the week, with books by Julie Flett, S.K. Ali, and Alexandra Andrews.
25/05/21·47m 2s

Anjali Enjeti

Anjali Enjeti discusses ‘The Parted Earth’ (Hub City Press, May 4), the “illuminating, absorbing, and resonant” story of three generations of a family profoundly impacted by the 1947 Partition of India. Then our editors offer their reading recommendations for the week, with books by Huy Voun Lee, Sheba Karim, Patrick Radden Keefe, and Andy Weir.
18/05/21·52m 16s

Traci Sorell

Traci Sorell discusses ‘We Are Still Here! Native American Truths Everyone Should Know (Charlesbridge, April 20), illustrated by Frané Lessac, a “meticulously researched nonfiction picture book… that answer[s the] question: What has happened to Native Nations and their citizens after the treaties with the U.S. government ended in 1871?” (starred review). Then our editors offer their reading recommendations for the week, with books by Sarah Dass, Tracy K. Smith and John Freeman, and Laurie Colwin.
11/05/21·49m 30s

Joan Silber

Joan Silber discusses ‘Secrets of Happiness’ (Counterpoint, May 4), “a new novel in stories from the master of the form” (starred review). In a sponsored interview, host Megan Labrise talks with Jessamyn Stanley, author of ‘Yoke: My Yoga of Self-Acceptance’ (Workman, June 22). Then our editors offer their reading recommendations, with books by Muon Thi Van and Victo Ngai, Stacey Lee, John McWhorter, and Maggie Shipstead.
04/05/21·1h 1m

Alex Riley

Science writer Alex Riley discusses ‘A Cure for Darkness: The Story of Depression and How We Treat It’ (Scribner, April 13), “a welcome examination, both studious and intimate, of one of humanity’s great miseries” (starred review). Then our editors offer their reading recommendations for the week, with books by Sarah Miller, Don Lemon, and Haruki Murakami.
27/04/21·54m 33s

Hanif Abdurraqib

Poet and cultural critic Hanif Abdurraqib discusses ‘A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance’ (Random House, March 30), a sublime essay collection Kirkus calls “another winner from Abdurraqib, a writer always worth paying attention to” (starred review). Then our editors offer their reading recommendations for the week, with books by Kyle Lukoff, Paula Yoo, Malcolm Gladwell, and Elizabeth McCracken.
20/04/21·51m 54s

Lauren Hough

Lauren Hough discusses ‘Leaving Isn’t the Hardest Thing’ (Vintage, April 13), a knockout debut essay collection that “explores the shaping power of the past and also raises provocative questions about what really constitutes a cult” (Kirkus). Then our editors offer their reading recommendations for the week, with books by Warren Binford, Kwame Onwuachi, Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney, and Beatriz Bracher.
13/04/21·52m 6s

Kirstin Valdez Quade

Novelist Kirstin Valdez Quade discusses ‘The Five Wounds’ (Norton, April 6), an intimate, finely wrought family saga set in New Mexico. In a sponsored interview, host Megan Labrise talks with Elliott Young, author of ‘Forever Prisoners: How the United States Made the World’s Largest Immigrant Detention System’ (Oxford University Press, Jan 12). Then our editors offer their reading recommendations, with books by Tasha Spillett-Sumner and Michaela Goade, Anton Treuer, Emmanuel Acho, and Kazuo Ishiguro.
06/04/21·1h

Melissa Febos

Melissa Febos discusses ‘Girlhood’ (Bloomsbury, March 30). Kirkus: “In her latest powerful personal and cultural examination, Febos interrogates the complexities of feminism and the ‘darkness’ that has defined much of her life and career…. Consistently illuminating, unabashedly ferocious writing” (starred review). Then our editors offer reading recommendations for the week, with books by Don Brown, Albert Marrin, and Jonathan Allen.
30/03/21·1h 4m

Jess Zimmerman

Jess Zimmerman discusses debut essay collection ‘Women and Other Monsters: Building a New Mythology’ (Beacon Press, March 9), “a sparkling and perceptive critique of ancient ideas that still hold women back” (starred review). Then our editors offer reading recommendations for the week, with books by María José Ferrada and María Elena Valdez (trans. by Lawrence Schimel), Margarita Engle, Mark Kurlansky, and Andrea Lee.
19/03/21·48m 53s

Annabelle Gurwitch

Annabelle Gurwitch discusses her latest memoir ‘You’re Leaving When? Adventures in Downward Mobility’ (Counterpoint, March 2). Kirkus: “Erma Bombeck meets Dorothy Parker in this topical and often laugh-out-loud funny take on our modern malaise.” Then our editors offer reading recommendations for the week, with books by Linda Sue Park and Robert Sae-Heng, Kate Alice Marshall, Bill Gates, and Talia Hibbert.
16/03/21·1h 2m

Patricia Engel

Patricia Engel discusses her latest novel ‘Infinite Country’ (Avid Reader Press, March 2). Kirkus: “Engel’s vital story of a divided Colombian family is a book we need to read” (starred review). Then our editors offer reading recommendations for the week, with books by Traci Sorell and Natasha Donovan, Kelly Loy Gilbert, and Lauren Oyler.
09/03/21·47m 17s

Viet Thanh Nguyen

In this special episode, editor in chief Tom Beer hosts Pulitzer Prize winner Viet Thanh Nguyen to discuss ‘The Committed’ (Grove, March 2), a new novel Kirkus calls “a quirky intellectual crime story that highlights the Vietnam War’s complex legacy” (starred review). Then our editors offer reading recommendations for the week, with books by Shaw Kuzki and Emily Balistrieri, Anna-Marie McLemore, Walter Isaacson, and Naima Coster.
04/03/21·57m 26s

Kazuo Ishiguro

Kazuo Ishiguro discusses his latest novel ‘Klara and the Sun’ (Knopf, March 2), “a haunting fable of a lonely, moribund world that is entirely too plausible” (starred review). Then our editors offer reading recommendations for the week, with books by Juliet Menéndez, Safia Elhillo, Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain, and Jack Livings.
02/03/21·56m 38s

Paisley Rekdal

Paisley Rekdal discusses ‘Appropriate: A Provocation’ (Norton, Feb. 16), “An astute, lucid examination of an incendiary issue” (starred review). And in a sponsored interview, Megan talks with debut author Kate Albus about A Place to Hang the Moon (Margaret Ferguson Books/Holiday House, Feb. 2). Then our editors offer reading recommendations for the week, with books by Phùng Nguyên Quang and Huynh Kim Liên, Nicole Lesperance, James Nestor, and Lauren Fox.
16/02/21·1h 4m

Jeremy Atherton Lin

Jeremy Atherton Lin discusses ‘Gay Bar: Why We Went Out’ (Little, Brown, Feb. 9), “A vibrant and wistful report on a bygone era in gay culture” (starred review). Then our editors offer reading recommendations for the week, with books by Joyce Sidman, Joy McCullough, Amber Ruffin and Lacey Lamar, and Brandon Hobson.
09/02/21·50m 46s

Edward Carey

Edward Carey discusses ‘The Swallowed Man’ (Riverhead, Jan. 26), an author-illustrated retelling of ‘Pinocchio’ from Geppetto’s point of view: “A deep and grimly whimsical exploration of what it means to be a son, a father, and an artist” (Kirkus). Then our editors offer reading recommendations for the week, with books by Carole Boston Weatherford (illus. by Floyd Cooper), Aimee Nezhukumatathil, and Tove Ditlevsen.
02/02/21·56m 22s

Michelle Duster

Michelle Duster discusses ‘Ida B. the Queen: The Extraordinary Life and Legacy of Ida B. Wells” (One Signal, Jan. 26), an illustrated biography and “warm remembrance of a civil rights icon” (Kirkus). Then our editors offer reading recommendations for the week, with books by Dovey Roundtree Johnston and Katie McCabe, Tess Sharpe, Jerry Seinfeld, and Sarah Moss.
26/01/21·43m 38s

Matthew Salesses

Matthew Salesses discusses ‘Craft in the Real World: Rethinking Fiction Writing and Workshopping’ (Catapult, Jan. 19), “fresh view of teaching craft to writers of diverse backgrounds” (Kirkus). Then our editors offer reading recommendations for the week, with books by B.B. Alston, Malinda Lo, Gabriel Byrne, and Anna North.
15/01/21·51m 22s

George Saunders

George Saunders discusses ‘A Swim in a Pond in the Rain: In Which Four Russian Give a Master Class on Writing, Reading, and Life’ (Random House, Jan. 12), in which “a master of contemporary fiction joyously assesses some of the best [short stories] of the 19th century” (starred review). Then our editors offer reading recommendations for the week, with books by Helen Yoon, Angie Thomas, Ram Dass, and Torrey Peters.
12/01/21·47m 29s

Koa Beck

Koa Beck discusses White Feminism: From the Suffragettes to Influences and Who They Leave Behind (Atria, Jan. 5), “A timely, compelling dissection of feminism's reliance on consumerism and useful suggestions for paths forward” (starred review). Then our editors offer reading recommendations for the week, with books by JonArno Lawson and Qin Leng, Maika and Maritza Moulite, Charles M. Blow, and Mateo Askaripour.
05/01/21·58m 43s

2020 Fully Booked Year-in-Review

Happy New Year, listeners! Editor-in-chief Tom Beer joins host Megan Labrise for the Fully Booked Year-in-Review, reintroducing two of our favorite conversations from 2020. First up, Beer talks with Claudia Rankine, author of Just Us: An American Conversation (Graywolf); then Labrise speaks with Julia Alvarez, author of Afterlife (Algonquin). Thanks for joining us, and cheers to another great year in podcasting.
29/12/20·1h 22m

Kirkus’ Best Books of 2020

We’re celebrating Kirkus’ Best Books of 2020! Best Books honoree Maria Dahvana Headley (Beowulf) chats with editor-in-chief Tom Beer; and novelist Carter Sickels (The Prettiest Star) talks with host Megan Labrise. Then our editors each highlight a title from our Best Books lists, including books by David A. Robertson, Liz Hyder, Hugh Raffles, and Emma Donoghue.
22/12/20·1h 2m

Nicole Krauss

Nicole Krauss discusses her short story collection To Be a Man (Harper, Nov. 3). Kirkus: “A tremendous collection from an immensely talented writer” (starred review). And in a sponsored interview, Megan talks with Pat and Frankie Vegas about the YA graphic biography Redbone: The True Story of a Native American Rock Band (IDW Publishing, Oct. 27, starred review). Then our editors offer up another round of holiday gift picks, with books by Clotilde Perrin and Daniel Hahn, David Sedaris, James McBride, and Danielle Evans. Sponsored in part by Amazon Original Stories. 
15/12/20·1h 15m

Claire McNear

Ringer columnist Claire McNear discusses her first book, Answers in the Form of Questions: A Definitive History and Insider’s Guide to Jeopardy! (Twelve, Nov. 10), an entertaining look behind the scenes of “America’s Favorite Quiz Show.” And in a sponsored interview, Megan chats with middle-grade novelist Bridget Krone, author of Small Mercies (Catalyst Press). Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, with books by Rio Cortez and Lauren Semmer, Karen M. McManus, Barack Obama, and Lorrie Moore.
07/12/20·1h 7m

Fully Booked Holiday Gift Guide 2020

It's the third annual Fully Booked Holiday Gift Guide Extravaganza! Simon Doonan (How To Be Yourself: Life-Changing Advice From a Reckless Contrarian) and Kevin Young (ed. African American Poetry: 250 Years of Struggle & Song) join editor-in-chief Tom Beer and host Megan Labrise for a little holiday cheer. And our editors present their top gift picks, with books by Dav Pilkey, Sara Zarr, Jimmy Page, Tom Morello, and Claire Saffitz. And in a sponsored interview, Megan talks with Karen Schneemann and Lily Williams, authors of Go With the Flow (First Second).
01/12/20·1h 29m

Merill Markoe

Emmy-winning comedy writer Merill Markoe discusses We Saw Scenery: The Early Diaries of Merrill Markoe (Algonquin, Oct. 20), a subversive graphic memoir based on her childhood journals from the 1950s and ‘60s. Kirkus: “Markoe's bold, sometimes absurdist drawings and the often chiding conversations she imagines between her mature and adolescent selves enhance the comedy at the heart of this thought-provoking story...” Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, with books by Isabel Thomas and Sara Gillingham, Gavriel Savit, Andrew Cuomo, and Bryan Washington. And in a sponsored interview, Megan talks with Jordan Scott and Sydney Smith, author and illustrator of I Talk Like a River (Neal Porter Books, Sept. 1).
24/11/20·58m 8s

Dwight Garner

Dwight Garner discusses Garner’s Quotations: A Modern Miscellany (FSG, Nov. 10), an uncommon collection of quotations from the New York Times book critic’s own commonplace book. Kirkus: “Garner delights in including words not printable in his newspaper, and his selections privilege the sly and irreverent…. A diverting trove of witty remarks.” Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, with books by Isabel Thomas and Sara Gillingham, Gavriel Savit, Andrew Cuomo, and Bryan Washington.
17/11/20·45m 8s

Bett Williams

Bett Williams discusses The Wild Kindness: A Psilocybin Odyssey (Dottir Press, Sep. 1), a shimmering literary memoir about growing and taking psychedelic mushrooms in the New Mexican desert. Kirkus: “An exuberant endorsement of the use of psychedelics as an instrument of self-discovery.” Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, with books by Ruby Bridges, Gloria Chao, and Shirley Hazzard.
10/11/20·50m 28s

Kirkus Prize 2020

We're just two days away from this year's (virtual) Kirkus Prize ceremony! In a YouTube livestream on Thursday, Nov. 5, we’ll reveal our judges’ picks for the best books of the year in fiction, nonfiction, and young readers’ literature; and the winners will each take home a $50,000 prize. In this special Kirkus Prize podcast, we go behind the scenes with fiction judge Chang-rae Lee, nonfiction judge Kiese Laymon, and YRL judge Nicola Yoon to find out what it took to make this year’s six-book shortlists. Then our editors join to discuss all 18 finalists.
03/11/20·1h 49m

Ruby Hamad

Ruby Hamad discusses White Tears/Brown Scars: How White Feminism Betrays Women of Color (Catapult, Oct. 6), a profound work of cultural criticism that shows how white womanhood is weaponized against Black and Indigenous women, and women of color. Kirkus: “An extraordinary book for anyone who wishes to pay more than lip service to truly inclusive, intersectional feminism” (starred review). Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, including books by Bill Nye, Lucinda Robb and Rebecca Boggs Roberts, David Attenborough, and V.E. Schwab.
27/10/20·59m 10s

emily m. danforth

Novelist emily m. danforth discusses Plain Bad Heroines (William Morrow, Oct. 20), a spooky and substantial queer horror-comedy that opens on two girls in love at a Rhode Island boarding school, in 1902, and swiftly takes a turn for the macabre. Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, including books by Jon J. Muth, eds. Nova Ren Suma and Emily X. R. Pan, Mariah Carey, and Tana French.
20/10/20·55m 26s

Sarah Smarsh

Journalist Sarah Smarsh discusses She Come By It Natural: Dolly Parton and the Women Who Lived Her Songs (Scribner, Oct. 13), an in-depth consideration of Dolly Parton’s contributions to American culture and evolving role in the popular imagination. “A highly readable treat for music and feminist scholars as well as Parton's legion of fans” (Kirkus). Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, including books by Christina Soontornvat, Trung Le Nguyen, and Dolly Parton.
13/10/20·41m 17s

K-Ming Chang

Debut novelist K-Ming Chang discusses Bestiary (One World, Sep. 29), a “visceral book that promises a major new literary voice” (starred review). Rooted in myth and magic, the story is told by the daughter, mother, and grandmother of a Taiwanese American family that settles in California by way of Arkansas. After an altercation with her mother, the daughter grows a tiger tail, heralding a spate of strange occurrences. Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, including books by Shinsuke Yoshitake, Jon Meacham, and Rumaan Alam.
06/10/20·45m 28s

Francina Simone

Francina Simone discusses Smash It! (Inkyard Press, Sep. 22), a “stellar” YA novel starring 17-year-old Olivia James, who decides it’s time to confront her fear of standing out - starting with auditioning for the school musical. Kirkus: “Readers will find themselves rapt with anticipation and excitement and filled with compassion for Olivia’s journey to self-acceptance and self-love” (starred review). Then our editors join the podcast to discuss the importance of Banned Books Week (Sep. 27-Oct. 3, 2020).
29/09/20·53m 6s

Anne Helen Petersen

Anne Helen Petersen discusses Can’t Even: How Millennials Became the Burnout Generation (HMH, Sep. 22), “A well-researched and -rendered analysis of why so many millennials feel overwhelmed despite their best efforts” (starred review). Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, including books by Daniel Pinkwater and Aaron Renier, Justin A. Reynolds, Jeff Benedict, and Louise Penny.
22/09/20·50m 51s

Vanessa Veselka

Vanessa Veselka discusses The Great Offshore Grounds (Knopf, Aug. 26), an exquisite, freewheeling character-driven novel that ponders the possibility of reinvention, the meaning of family, and the American Dream. Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, including books by Amra Sabic-El-Rayess, Ben Macintyre, and Sigrid Nunez.
15/09/20·49m 36s

Claudia Rankine

Award-winning author Claudia Rankine joins editor-in-chief Tom Beer to discuss Just Us: An American Conversation (Graywolf Press, Sept. 8), a paradigm-shifting cross-disciplinary collection of essays, poems, and images that contend with the perceptual and experiential divide between Black and White Americans. And in a sponsored interview, host Megan Labrise talks with Swedish hip hop star Jason Diakité, author of A Drop of Midnight: A Memoir (Amazon Crossing). Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, including books by Mychal Denzel Smith, Yaa Gyasi, and Helen Macdonald.
08/09/20·1h 3m

Eula Biss

Poet and essayist Eula Biss joins us to discuss Having and Being Had (Riverhead, Sept. 1), an exquisite essay collection that interrogates the trappings of American affluence. Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, including books by Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Elena Ferrante, and Deesha Philyaw.
01/09/20·49m 27s

David Heska Wanbli Weiden

Novelist David Heska Wanbli Weiden joins us to discuss Winter Counts (Ecco, Aug. 25), an intense crime thriller set on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota. Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, including books by Daniel Nayeri, Darcie Little Badger, Isabel Wilkerson, and Ali Smith.
25/08/20·53m 33s

Jordan Ifueko

Debut YA novelist Jordan Ifueko joins us to discuss Raybearer (Amulet Books, Aug. 18), “A fresh, phenomenal fantasy that begs readers to revel in its brilliant world” (Kirkus, starred review). Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, including books by Veronica Chambers, Raquel Vasquez-Gilliland, Ilan Stavans, and Margot Livesey.
18/08/20·50m 18s

Gabriella Burnham

Brazilian American novelist Gabriella Burnham joins us to discuss It Is Wood, It Is Stone (One World, July 28), “A transporting debut that deftly probes the complex nature of relationships between women” (Kirkus). Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, including books by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley, M.T. Anderson and Jo Rioux, and Raven Leilani.
11/08/20·50m 42s

Melissa Faliveno

Melissa Faliveno joins us to discuss Tomboyland (Little A, Aug. 1), an expansive essay collection exploring Midwestern values, families and teams, natural disasters, gender identity, and New York City. As our reviewer writes, this promising debut showcases “an expressive voice evolving deliberately, resisting having to be one thing or the other.” Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, including books by Aunty Joy Murphy, Andrew Kelly, and Lisa Kennedy, Syed M. Masood, Jacob Soboroff, and Maggie O'Farrell.
04/08/20·47m 27s

Michelle Bowdler

Michelle Bowdler joins us on this week’s episode to discuss Is Rape a Crime? A Memoir, an Investigation, and a Manifesto (Flatiron Books, July 28). In 2007, the author was called to activism after reading a Boston Globe article exposing thousands of unexamined rape kits in the possession of police departments across the country. Kirkus calls her personal, powerful, profound debut, “An urgent, necessary, stark exploration of ‘one of the most horrific violations that can happen to a human being.’” Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, including books by Hannah Barnaby, Eddie Glaude, and Sarah MacLean.
28/07/20·44m 19s

Emma Donoghue

Emma Donoghue joins us on this week’s episode to discuss The Pull of the Stars (Little, Brown, July 21). The bestselling author, screenwriter, and literary historian’s latest novel is inspired by the 1918 flu pandemic; set in the maternity/flu ward of a Catholic hospital in Dublin, it is “Darkly compelling, illuminated by the light of compassion and tenderness: Donoghue’s best novel since Room (2010)” (starred review). Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, including books by Julie Lee, Margot Harrison, Mary L. Trump, and Lynn Steger Strong.
21/07/20·46m 17s

Marke Bieschke

Marke Bieschke discusses Into the Streets: A Young Person’s Visual History of Protest in the United States (Zest Books, July 7), “an engaging overview to inspire socially minded readers.” From the Pueblo Revolt to 2018’s March for Our Lives, Bieschke provides a vivid chronology of the many movements that shaped the course of our country and a primer for staging your own protest. Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, including books by Lisa Moore Ramée, Sarah Crossan, Joe Sacco, and David Mitchell.
14/07/20·49m 25s

Duchess Goldblatt

Anonymous discusses Becoming Duchess Goldblatt (HMH, July 7), the story of the person behind the saucy-yet-supportive Twitter persona that became a favorite of the literati and Lyle Lovett. Kirkus: “A fascinating memoir by a 21st-century original” (starred review). Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, including books by Kate Messner, Brandy Colbert, Bakari Sellers, and Talia Hibbert.
07/07/20·52m 55s

Fully Booked: Summer Reading 2020

Welcome to Fully Booked: Summer Reading 2020! In this special episode, editor in chief Tom Beer joins host Megan Labrise to present the hottest books for the sultriest months. First up, young readers editors Vicky Smith and Laura Simeon give their top picks in children’s, middle-grade, and YA books for July and August. Then fiction editor Laurie Muchnick and nonfiction editor Eric Liebetrau sign on for a second segment celebrating novels, memoirs, essay collections, and more. We’ve got frontlist, we’ve got backlist, we’ve got reading recommendations from former Kirkus Prize winners and finalists, and one spirited debate on the merits of summer reading programs. You won’t want to miss it.
30/06/20·1h

Jia Lynn Yang

Jia Lynn Yang discusses One Mighty and Irresistible Tide: The Epic Struggle Over American Immigration, 1924-1965 (W.W. Norton, May 19), an outstanding history of the fight for U.S. immigration reform. Exploring questions of what it means to be an “American,” who gets to be one, and who gets to decide, Yang’s authorial debut is “critical in understanding today’s immigrations issues” (starred review). Then Kirkus’ editors make their weekly reading recommendations, with books by Lauren Soloy, Deb Caletti, Masha Gessen, and Brit Bennett.
23/06/20·58m 30s

Max Brooks

This week’s episode is sponsored by Penguin Young Readers Group, publishers of Darius the Great Deserves Better by Adib Khorram (https://www.kirkusreviews.com/contest/darius-the-great/). In our lead interview, bestselling novelist Max Brooks discusses Devolution: A Firsthand Account of the Rainier Sasquatch Massacre (Dey Street, June 16). Then Kirkus’ editors make their weekly reading recommendations, with books by Ben Clanton, Abdi Nor Iftin, Robert Kolker, and Connie Schultz.
16/06/20·43m 28s

Molly Ball

TIME national political correspondent Molly Ball discusses Pelosi (Henry Holt, May 5), an intriguing portrait of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the highest-ranking woman in U.S. government history. Ball’s “top-notch political biography” is “a cradle-to-today portrait of a master politician who ‘shattered the “marble ceiling” and blazed a new trail for women’” (starred review). Then Kirkus’ editors make their weekly reading recommendations, with books by Jules Feiffer, Lillian Clark, Willie Mays with John Shea, and Elin Hilderbrand.
09/06/20·47m 59s

Megha Majumdar

Megha Majumdar discusses her highly anticipated debut novel, A Burning (Knopf, June 2). Set in contemporary Kolkata, A Burning opens with an extraordinary act of domestic terrorism at a train station. Amid mass confusion and alarm, Jivan, a Muslim woman living in a nearby slum, posts a Facebook message that proves incendiary, landing her in prison. Her voice is soon joined by others in a polyphonic tale exploring politics, class, ambition, labor, and love. Then Kirkus’ editors make their weekly reading recommendations, with books by Stella Dreis, Kimberly Drew, and Madeleine St. John.
02/06/20·52m 27s

James Nestor

Journalist James Nestor discusses Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art (Riverhead, May 26), a deep dive into the history and function of the human respiratory system, and the changes we can make to start breathing better today. Then Kirkus’ editors make their weekly reading recommendations, with books by Jeremy Tankard and Hermione Tankard, Lisa Allen-Agostini, and Ilhan Omar.
26/05/20·46m 45s

Jim Newton

Veteran journalist Jim Newton discusses Man of Tomorrow: The Relentless Life of Jerry Brown (Little, Brown, May 12), a brilliant biography of California’s self-reliant, iconoclastic longest-serving governor. Then our editors offer their reading recommendations for the week, with books by Sarah S. Brannen and Lucia Soto, Candy J. Cooper and Marc Aronson, and Curtis Sittenfeld
19/05/20·51m 2s

Walter Thompson-Hernandez

NYT multimedia reporter Walter Thompson-Hernandez discusses The Compton Cowboys: The New Generation of Cowboys in America’s Urban Heartland (William Morrow, April 28), chronicling a year in the lives of the men and women fighting to keep black cowboy culture alive in Los Angeles. And in a sponsored interview, we talk with child psychologist Dr. Abigail Gewirtz, author of When the World Feels Like a Scary Place: Essential Conversations for Anxious Parents & Worried Kids (Workman, May 12). Then our editors make their weekly reading recommendations, with books by Carlos Hernandez, Gene Luen Yang and Gurihiru, Erik Larson, and Joanna Hershon.
12/05/20·1h 7m

Tori Amos

On this episode Tori Amos discusses the powerful new memoir chronicling her journey through music and activism. Resistance: A Songwriter’s Story of Hope, Change, and Courage (Atria, May 5) interweaves song lyrics and wide-ranging personal stories, exploring the artist’s charge in the face of threats to freedom and democracy. In a sponsored interview, we talk with Caldecott-winning author-illustrator Matthew Cordell, whose latest book is Hello, Neighbor! The Kind and Caring World of Mr. Rogers (Holiday House, April 7). Then our editors make their weekly reading recommendations, with books by Carlos Hernandez, Gene Luen Yang and Gurihiru, Erik Larson, and Joanna Hershon.
05/05/20·59m 56s

Jennifer Weiner

#1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Weiner joins us this week to discuss Big Summer (Atria, May 5). This delightful fiction features fat acceptance Instagram influencer Daphne Berg, who journeys to Cape Cod to be a bridesmaid in her long-lost, über-privileged best friend’s beachfront wedding and gets mixed up in a murder mystery. Told with signature wit and charm, Weiner’s 14th novel is sure to be one of this summer’s big books. Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, including books by Leslie Bulion and Robert Meganck, George M. Johnson, Shaun Bythell, and Kevin Nguyen.
28/04/20·53m 56s

Sopan Deb

On this week’s episode, New York Times reporter and standup comic Sopan Deb discusses Missed Translations: Meeting the Immigrant Parents Who Raised Me (Dey Street, April 21). Deb’s “refreshing” debut memoir is the story of his journey to India (and select parts of New Jersey) in search of answers to the many questions surrounding his family’s estrangement. Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, including books by Vikram Madan, Deborah Wiles, John Freeman, and C Pam Zhang.
21/04/20·50m 25s

Chelsea Bieker

On this episode, Chelsea Bieker discusses Godshot (Catapult, March 31), a dynamic debut novel set in the drought-stricken town of Peaches, California: 14-year-old Lacy May Herd and her mother, a beautiful woman with a troubled past, are acolytes of Gifts of the Spirit church. Pastor Vern, their Christ-like leader, promises to bring back the rains to the land - as he’s reputed to have done before - if his congregants remain devout and carry out the “assignments” he gives them. Kirkus: “A dark, deft first novel about the trauma and resilience of both people and the land they inhabit.” (starred review) Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, including books by Carole Boston Weatherford and Michele Wood, Dean Atta, David Carr, and Mary Pauline Lowry.
14/04/20·57m 46s

Julia Alvarez

Legendary poet, author, and essayist Julia Alvarez joins us on this episode to discuss Afterlife (Algonquin Books, April 7), her first adult novel in 14 years. A modern “Book of Job,” it is the story of Antonia Vega, a recently widowed and retired English professor, who’s discovering life’s next chapter. Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, including books by David Elliott and Rob Dunlavey, Samira Ahmed, and Emily St. John Mandel.
07/04/20·55m 41s

Dean Koontz

Bestselling thriller icon Dean Koontz joins us on this week’s episode to discuss DEVOTED, the heart-pumping novel kicking off a new five-book deal with Thomas & Mercer. The standalone thriller centers on a brilliant mute 11-year-old boy, his attentive artistic mother, and a dangerous old acquaintance with the power to upend their lives and wreak havoc worldwide. Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, including books by N. K. Jemisin, Maira Kalman, Jenny Valentine, and Ernesto Cisneros.
31/03/20·53m 50s

Cathy Park Hong

Kirkus’ editors lead this episode with an acknowledgement of the COVID-19 pandemic and special segment on quarantine reading. Host Megan Labrise welcomes poet and essayist Cathy Park Hong, author of Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning (One World, March 3), “a fierce and timely meditation” on her lived experience as a Korean American woman and artist. Then our editors rejoin with their weekly reading recommendations, including books by Brandy Colbert, Ashley Woodfolk, Ross Gay, and Lily King.
24/03/20·1h 5m

Deb Olin Unferth

This week’s guest is Deb Olin Unferth, author of Barn 8 (Graywolf Press, March 3), a blazing heist story starring a sharp and funny 15-year-old from Brooklyn who, through a series of misfortunes over a number of years, becomes a U.S. egg industry auditor and foments a revolution. Kirkus: “If this novel isn’t a movement, it has enough heart to start one” (starred review). Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, including books by Carole Lindstrom and Michaela Goade, Gene Luen Yang, Rebecca Solnit, and Lorrie Moore.
17/03/20·49m 8s

Kate Elizabeth Russell

Kate Elizabeth Russell discusses her highly anticipated debut novel, My Dark Vanessa, about an affair between a 15-year-old student and her 42-year-old English teacher at a boarding school in Maine. The narrative flows between 2000, when the affair takes root, and 2017, when The MeToo movement forces Vanessa, as a struggling thirtysomething, “to confront the abusive relationship that defines her sexual and romantic past” (starred review). Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, including books by Maya Tatsukawa, Samantha Mabry, Andy Greene, and Hilary Mantel.
10/03/20·47m 44s

Jan Eliasberg

On this special episode - The Woman Episode, sponsored by Sourcebooks - director and screenwriter Jan Eliasberg discusses her debut novel, Hannah’s War, a thrilling story inspired by the life of the brilliant unsung woman who discovered nuclear fission. Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, including books from Sayantani DasGupta, David Enrich, and Quan Barry.
03/03/20·55m 48s

Charlotte Alter

On this episode, TIME national correspondent Charlotte Alter discusses We Are the Ones We’ve Been Waiting For: How a New Generation of Leaders Will Transform America. Centering on 10 millennial political officials, from Mayor Pete Buttigieg to Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Alter’s new nonfiction offers a spirited analysis of the events that shaped them and the many ways they’re diverging from their predecessors. Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, including books from Nikki McClure, Alechia Dow, Ezra Klein, and Aravind Adiga.
25/02/20·56m 56s

ROMAN DIAL

On this episode, Alaskan explorer and ecologist Roman Dial discusses The Adventurer’s Son, a highly affecting account of the tragic disappearance of his 27-year-old son, Cody Roman Dial, from Costa Rica’s Corcovado National Park in 2014. “A poignant, highly moving memoir of tragic circumstances and a lifelong love of exploring” (Kirkus). Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, including books from Margaret McNamara (ill. by Micah Player), Jenny Offill, and Jenn Shapland.
18/02/20·50m 41s

Ross Mathews

TV personality and bestselling author Ross Mathews joins us on this week’s episode to discuss Name Drop: The Really Good Celebrity Stories I Usually Only Tell at Happy Hour (Atria). Mathews graciously brings us behind the scenes of talk shows and awards shows, and shares some of his best red carpet interview tips with host Megan Labrise. And in a sponsored interview, Megan talks with actor, musician, comedian, and writer Steven Banks, author of Middle School Bites (Holiday House), a funny new middle-grade novel for vampire-werewolf-zombie fans. Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, with books from Megan Dowd Lambert and Jessica Lanan, Juleah del Rosario, and Douglas Stuart.
11/02/20·1h 5m

Lidia Yuknavitch

New York Times bestselling novelist Lidia Yuknavitch (The Book of Joan, etc.) joins us on this week’s episode to discuss Verge, a passionate short story collection featuring characters on the brink. She and host Megan Labrise discuss the qualities of misfits, communities as organisms, and gut-punch endings. Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, including books from Candace Fleming (ill. by Eric Rohmann), Justina Ireland, Roman Dial, and Kiley Reid.
04/02/20·55m 38s

Laura Huang

On this episode, Harvard Business School professor Laura Huang discusses Edge: Turning Adversity into Advantage, an atypical career management guide that teaches readers to overcome implicit bias by turning stereotypes into strengths. Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, including books from Cheryl Wills (ill. by Sue Cornelison), Maria Padian, Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman, and Miranda Popkey.
28/01/20·50m 57s

Ian Rankin

Scottish crime writer Ian Rankin joins us on this week’s episode to talk about something quite mysterious: Westwind, a little-known, standalone techno-thriller he wrote in 1990, is being publishing for the first time in the United States. Rankin discusses what it’s like to revisit this early work after 30 years, what prompted him to do so, and the challenges his best-known character, Detective Inspector John Rebus, might encounter if he began his law enforcement career in the 2020s instead of the 1980s. Then our editors offer their reading recommendations for the week, with books by Julie Paschkis (ill. by Margaret Chodos-Irvine), Lamar Giles, Patrick Radden Keefe, and Benjamin Black.
21/01/20·46m 56s

Kiley Reid

On this episode, author Kiley Reid explains why she’s calling her hotly anticipated debut novel “a comedy of good intentions.” Such a Fun Age explores the complicated relationship between Emira Tucker, a 25-year-old black babysitter living in Philadelphia, and her employer, Alix Chamberlain, a white thirtysomething blogger/influencer/mother of two. Reid’s fun, funny, and incisive novel is, “Charming, challenging, and so interesting you can hardly put it down,” Kirkus writes (starred review). Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, including books by Rebecca Roanhorse, Anna-Marie McLemore, and Randall Munroe.
14/01/20·42m 40s

Kate Murphy

Thanks for listening to Fully Booked - - but when’s the last time you felt like someone truly listened to you? Journalist Kate Murphy joins us on this week’s episode to discuss You’re Not Listening: What You’re Missing and Why It Matters, an investigation into why we’re not listening to one another, what we can do to reverse the trend, and the deleterious effects of distraction and disinterest on our bodies and society. Then our editors each share several of their most anticipated books of 2020.
07/01/20·1h 5m

Sarah Knight

12/31 Episode: Just in time for the New Year, “anti-guru” Sarah Knight shows how saying “yes” a little less might vastly improve your life. She joins us to discuss her latest book, F*ck No! How to Stop Saying Yes When You Can’t, You Shouldn’t, or You Just Don’t Want To, the fifth in her internationally bestselling self-help series of “No F*cks Given Guides.” Then our editors offer up their reading recommendations for the week, with books by Kaya Doi, Andrew Fukuda, and the Washington Post.
31/12/19·43m 41s

2019 Fully Booked Year-in-Review

12/24 Episode: Happy holidays, listeners! On this week’s episode, editor-in-chief Tom Beer joins host Megan Labrise for the Fully Booked Year-in-Review, reintroducing two of their favorite interviews from 2019. First up is National Book Award winner Susan Choi (Trust Exercise), followed by visionary fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi (I.M.: A Memoir). Then our editors join with a look back at the spiciest book world scandals of the year. Trust us: you won’t want to miss it.
24/12/19·1h 28m

Carolina De Robertis

This week’s episode celebrates Kirkus’ Best Books of 2019 with special guest Carolina De Robertis, whose fourth novel, Cantoras, was a Best Fiction pick and Kirkus Prize finalist. (Our best books lists are the 100 top titles in fiction, nonfiction, YA, and children's literature, chosen from the more than 7,000 books we reviewed this year.) Then our editors highlight some hidden gems from the Best Books lists.
17/12/19·54m 53s

Shannon Pufahl

On this week’s episode, debut author Shannon Pufahl suggests her new novel, On Swift Horses, might make you a better card player (but she could be bluffing). Set in the late 1950s, her unique Western centers on the lives and luck of two characters questioning the hands they’ve been dealt. Megan also talks with #1 New York Times bestselling author and polymath Maggie Stiefvater, in an interview sponsored by Scholastic Press. Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week.
10/12/19·0s

Fully Booked Holiday Gift Guide Extravaganza 2019!

It's the second annual Fully Booked Holiday Gift Guide Extravaganza! Editor-in-chief Tom Beer joins Megan in rounding up all the books you’ll want to give (and get) this December. Guests include Toshi Reagon, author of an introduction to a gorgeous new edition of Octavia Butler’s “Parable” novels, and Vicky Bennison, author of Pasta Grannies, a story-filled cookbook that’ll have you whipping up gnocchi like a nonna in no time. Then our editors join with their top gift picks, including books by Anouck Boisrobert (illus. by Louis Rigaud, trans. by Kevin St. John), Nahoko Uehashi (trans. by Cathy Hirano), Dayton Duncan and Ken Burns, and the editors at Phaidon Press.
03/12/19·1h 11m

Kirkus Prize Panel- Live from Texas Book Festival 2019

In the second of two special episodes recorded live at the Texas Book Festival, Editor-in-Chief Tom Beer joins Megan to moderate the Kirkus Prize Panel, featuring the winners and finalists of this year’s awards for fiction, nonfiction, and young readers’ literature. Young readers literature winner Jerry Craft, nonfiction winner Saeed Jones, and Kirkus Prize finalists Carolina De Robertis, Laila Lalami, Kwame Alexander, Kadir Nelson, Lauren Castillo, Rosalind Harvey, and Alicia D. Williams each share a little bit about their celebrated work. Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, including books by Cece Bell, Geraldine McCaughrean, Prince (with Dan Pipenbring), and Kevin Wilson.
26/11/19·1h 14m

Jodie Adams Kirshner

Law professor and bankruptcy expert Jodie Adams Kirshner discusses Broke: Hardship and Resilience in a City of Broken Promises, which Kirkus calls, “Eye-opening and sometimes heartbreaking …. A significant work of social sciences and urban studies” (starred review). Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, including books by Kwame Mbalia, Lance Rubin, and Leigh Bardugo.
19/11/19·45m 11s

Samantha Power

Ambassador Samantha Power joins Megan in conversation for this special episode of Fully Booked, recorded live for CSPAN2/BookTV at the Texas Book Festival in October. Power’s phenomenal autobiography, The Education of an Idealist, charts her rise to Washington insider, serving beside President Barack Obama on National Security Council and, later, as the U.S.’s 28th Permanent Representative to the United Nations. Bold, humane, and incredibly personal, The Education of an Idealist should be required reading for anyone who wants to make a difference in the world. Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, including books by Alan Gratz, ed. Sangu Mandanna, Ronan Farrow, and Talia Hibbert.
12/11/19·1h 25m

Alex Dimitrov and Dorothea Lasky

Fire signs Alex Dimitrov and Dorothea Lasky join us on this week’s episode to discuss poetry, the zeitgeist, and their hotly anticipated new book, Astro Poets: Your Guides to the Zodiac. This compelling compendium (think Linda Goodman’s Sun Signs, updated for the Beyoncé years) extends the collaborative wit, lyricism, and heart of their viral Twitter account @poetastrologers. Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, including books by Lupita Nyong'o (illus. by Vashti Harrison), Cynthia Hand, Elton John, and Elizabeth Strout. This week also features a sponsored indie interview with Teri Case.
05/11/19·1h

David Owen

On this week’s episode, New Yorker staffer, sustainability expert, and tinnitus sufferer David Owen discusses the fascinating science of sound. His latest book, Volume Control: Hearing in a Deafening World, is a peek into the complicated machinery of the inner ear, a history of American Sign Language and deaf education, and an entreaty to listeners to protect their ears. Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, including books by Kate DiCamillo, Camryn Garrett, and Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey.
29/10/19·46m 55s

Holly George-Warren

Two-time Grammy nominee, music journalist, and professor Holly George-Warren joins us on this week’s episode to discuss the bold and brilliant life of the legendary Janis Joplin. George-Warren’s latest, Janis: Her Life and Music, is “A top-notch biography of one of the greatest performers to emerge from a brilliant era” (*starred review*). Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, including books by Ibtihaj Muhammad (with S.K. Ali, illus. by Hatem Aly), Ruta Sepetys, Garrett Graff, and Ann Patchett.
22/10/19·59m 56s

Saeed Jones

Award-winning poet and former BuzzFeed culture editor Saeed Jones joins us to discuss his exquisite memoir, How We Fight for Our Lives. His story of growing up black and gay in the South in the Nineties and Aughts, “marks the emergence of a major literary voice,” Kirkus writes in a starred review. (Nonfiction editor Eric Liebetrau calls it one of the best memoirs he’s ever read, period.) Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, including books by Ashley Bryan, Tochi Onyebuchi, Jim Mattis, and Cathleen Schine.
15/10/19·1h 1m

2019 Kirkus Prize Special Episode

We’re just two weeks away from this year’s Kirkus Prize ceremony in Austin, Texas! On October 24, three of the authors of this year’s best books, as determined by judges’ panels comprised of eminent writers, Kirkus critics, booksellers, and librarians, will take home $50,000 each. In this special episode of Fully Booked, editor-in-chief Tom Beer interviews Kirkus Prize writer-judges Min Jin Lee (fiction), Jack E. Davis (nonfiction), and Mitali Perkins (young readers’ literature) about the responsibility of judging, the deliberation process, what makes a book prizeworthy, and much more. You won’t want to miss this behind-the-scenes look at one of the richest literary awards in the world.
10/10/19·52m 17s

Leigh Bardugo

#1 New York Times-bestselling YA author Leigh Bardugo joins us on this week’s episode to discuss her hotly anticipated adult debut, Ninth House, a literary fantasy set in a spooky world not unlike New Haven, Connecticut... Starring Galaxy “Alex” Stern, a high school dropout from LA who’s recruited to oversee the occult activities of Yale University’s secret societies, Ninth House is a “compulsively readable novel [that] leaves a portal ajar for equally dazzling sequels,” Kirkus writes (*starred review*). Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, including books by Jason Reynolds, Kim Liggett, Malcolm Gladwell, and Margaret Atwood.
08/10/19·55m 45s

Patricia Wiltshire

Since 1994, forensic ecologist, botanist, and palynologist Patricia Wiltshire has been using her expertise to aid police forces in England and beyond in proving - through microscopic environmental evidence - that a suspect was present where a crime occurred. That a getaway car did indeed cross a fallow field. That a dead body was buried in early summer, not late fall. On this week’s episode, she discusses her stunning new memoir The Nature of Life and Death: Every Body Leaves a Trace. Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, including books by Sonia Sotomayor (ill. Rafael López) and Marc Favreau.
01/10/19·52m 54s

Leslie Jamison

In 2014 Leslie Jamison established herself as one of the savviest and most soulful American essayists writing today. On this episode, she discusses the symbiotic relationship between memoir, journalism, and criticism in her latest collection, Make It Scream, Make It Burn. After the break, Megan speaks with writer and memoirist Nefertiti Austin, author of Motherhood So White: A Memoir of Race, Gender, and Parenting in America (sponsored interview). Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, including books by Kwame Alexander and Dawud Anyabwile, Morgan Parker, and David McCullough.
24/09/19·52m 49s

Jacqueline Woodson

National Book Award winner Jacqueline Woodson (Brown Girl Dreaming, 2014) discusses her stunning new novel, Red at the Bone. Realistic fiction at its finest, Red at the Bone thoughtfully contends with decisions, desire, consequences, gentrification, and the Great Migration, as a Brooklyn family celebrates a sonorous cotillion in their Park Slope brownstone in spring 2001. Woodson talks craft, cultural touchstones, and an artist’s debt to past and future generations. Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, including books by Carol Anderson and Tonya Bolden, Toni Morrison, and Salman Rushdie.
17/09/19·47m 39s

Ibram X. Kendi

New York Times bestselling author Ibram X. Kendi joins us on this week’s episode to discuss How to Be an Antiracist, a powerful primer for combatting racism. Kendi, who is founding director of the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University, uses his own journey from racist to antiracist to show how anyone can choose their words and deeds to actively participate in building an antiracist society. And in a sponsored interview, NYT Children’s Books Editor Maria Russo joins us to discuss How to Raise a Reader, a genial guide for bibliophilic parents written with NYTBR Editor Pamela Paul. Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, including books by David Yoon, Cara Wall, and Petina Gappah.
10/09/19·55m 39s

Lauren Markham

Writer, journalist, and educator Lauren Markham joins us on this week’s podcast to discuss the YA adaptation of The Far Away Brothers: Two Teenage Immigrants Making a Life in America. “One of the most searing books on illegal immigration since Sonia Nazario’s Enrique’s Journey” (starred review), it’s the unforgettable story of Ernesto and Raúl Flores, identical twins growing up in rural El Salvador until the threat of gang violence forces them to flee to the United States. She and Megan talk ethical storytelling, what it means to be an unaccompanied minor, and why she chose to adapt the book for young readers. Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, including books by Thanhha Lai, Ibram X. Kendi, and Carolyn Forché.
03/09/19·43m 11s

Jill Heinerth

Elite cave diver Jill Heinerth joins on this week’s podcast to discuss her vivid new memoir, Into the Planet. It’s a deep dive into the formative experiences that taught her to face and harness fear, enabling her to build a remarkable career that has taken her to the literal ends of the earth. Heinerth shares the narrative arc of a dive, what it’s like to explore places on earth less traveled than the face of the moon, and the responsibilities that come along with being the Royal Canadian Geographical Society’s first-ever Explorer in Residence. Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, including books by Shannon Hale (ill. LeUyen Pham), Rainbow Rowell, Ian Urbina, and Bruce Holsinger.
27/08/19·47m 54s

Leah Price

Reports of death of the book may be greatly exaggerated. English professor and book historian Leah Price joins us on this week’s podcast to discuss What We Talk About When We Talk About Books, a series of essays chronicling the evolution of the book, from codex through paperback and .pdf. She and Megan talk shifting reading habits, bookish myths, and the fact that a “golden age of reading” may never have existed. Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, including books by Brandy Colbert and Mara Rockliff.
20/08/19·54m 37s

Charles King

In Gods of the Upper Air: How a Circle of Renegade Anthropologists Reinvented Race, Sex, and Gender in the Twentieth Century, Georgetown University professor Charles King chronicles the lives of cultural anthropology founder Franz Boas and the female scientists he encouraged to explore civilizations around the globe, including Ruth Benedict, Ella Cara Deloria, Zora Neale Hurston, and Margaret Mead. Charles and Megan talk cultural relativism, how anthropology differs from other disciplines, Hurston’s work in Jamaica and Haiti, and the struggle to debunk theorists who would divide the world into “us” and “them.” Then our editors offer their weekly reading recommendations, with books by Mo Willems, Stacey Lee, Howard Stern, and Taffy Brodesser-Akner.
13/08/19·59m 30s

Candace Bushnell

Force of nature Candace Bushnell revolutionized our understanding of 20th-century dating and mating in Sex and the City. Her latest book isn’t *exactly* a sequel but a companion: following a new group of fifty-something female friends as they deal with divorce, online dating, and sex. Candace and Megan talk menopause, profound loss, fresh starts, and Candace’s signature blend of sharp, funny fiction inspired by her own life. And in a sponsored interview, Megan speaks with singer-songwriter Rhett Miller about the inspiration for his debut picture book, No More Poems! A Book in Verse that Just Gets Worse. Then our editors offer their weekly reading recommendations, with books by Daria Peoples-Riley, Katie Henry, and Jennifer Weiner.
06/08/19·59m 25s

Sarah MacLean

This week we’re thrilled to welcome New York Times-bestselling romance novelist Sarah MacLean, whose artistry and activism are helping to push the genre in exciting new directions. Her latest book, Brazen and the Beast (“Bareknuckle Bastards” series, book two), is the story of Henrietta “Hattie” Sedley, a voluptuous, business-savvy, Victorian-era noblewoman with ambitious plans to claim her due in business and in pleasure. Sarah and Megan talk body positivity, women’s empowerment, genre-specific vocabulary, and more. Then our editors offer reading recommendations for the week, including books by Gail D. Villanueva, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz (adapted by Jean Mendoza, Debbie Reese), and Elizabeth Gilbert.
30/07/19·59m 21s

Laura Lippman

On this week’s episode, Megan interviews modern noir superstar Laura Lippman, whose latest standalone novel, Lady in the Lake, is inspired by two real-life crimes committed in 1960s Baltimore: the unsolved drowning of 35-year-old Shirley Parker and the murder of 11-year-old Esther Lebowitz. They talk opening sentences, the transgressive nature of watching, Lippman’s recent Washington Post piece (“Is it ok for white authors to write black characters? I’m trying.”), and more. Then our editors offer their weekly reading recommendations, with books by Blair Thornburgh, Cassandra Clare et al, Jeff Gordinier, and Linda Holmes.
23/07/19·1h 6m

Nicole Dennis-Benn

In a special segment recorded live at Austin Central Public Library, Clay interviews pioneering novelist Nicole Dennis-Benn about writing women’s lives and the inspiration for her powerful sophomore novel, Patsy, “a profound book about sexuality, gender, race, and immigration that speaks to the contemporary moment” (starred review). Then our editors offer their reading recommendations for the week, with books by Brian Floca, Sam Quinones, Jim Ottaviani (ill. Leland Myrick), and Colson Whitehead.
16/07/19·1h 3m

Rick Atkinson

In a special segment recorded live at Austin Central Public Library, Clay interviews Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Rick Atkinson, author of the Liberation Trilogy (An Army at Dawn, etc.), about the first book in his new Revolution Trilogy, The British Are Coming: The War for America, Lexington to Princeton, 1775-11777. Then our editors offer their reading recommendations for the week, including books by Katherine Johnson, Rory Power, Bill Streever, and Ocean Vuong.
09/07/19·1h 14m

Lauren Mechling

With vim and virtuosity, debut author Lauren Mechling captures the messiness, testiness, comfort, competition, and fun of female friendship. Her novel, How Could She, is the cringingly funny story of swiftly titling dynamics between three New York City thirtysomethings on the cusp of several life-changing events. Mechling joins us on this week’s episode to discuss friends/frenemies, the compromises we make to “have it all,” podcasting, the Toronto-New York cultural exchange, and more. Then our editors recommend books by Sean Williams, Rick Atkinson, and Mary Beth Keane.
02/07/19·44m 51s

Linda Holmes

On this week’s episode, we’re delighted to welcome Linda Holmes, host of NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast, to discuss her sparkling debut novel, Evvie Drake Starts Over (that’s “‘Evvie like Chevy, not Evie like Max Greevey.’”). Evvie is a smart, vibrant thirty-something from small-town Maine who loses her husband and takes a tenant, a handsome Major League Baseball pitcher who’s lost his mojo, maybe for good. We talk the “yips,” platonic soulmates, auditory writing, cultural criticism, and more. Then our editors recommend books by Kwame Alexander, Kat Cho, and Kristen Arnett.
25/06/19·46m 44s

Blake Crouch- Live from BookExpo America

#1 New York Times-bestselling author Blake Crouch (Dark Matter) is our guest on this week’s episode, recorded live at BookExpo America. Crouch met Clay and Megan at an undisclosed location at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City to discuss his mysterious new novel, Recursion, a sci-fi thriller centering on two characters’ complex relationships to time, grief, memory, and one another. And our editors recommend books by Rosanne Parry, Sophie Cameron, Anna Fifield, and Elin Hilderbrand.
18/06/19·50m 6s

Amanda Montell

This week we’re working blue in an episode that might have you seeing red: Linguist and journalist Amanda Montell joins us to discuss Wordslut: A Feminist Guide to Taking Back the English Language, a sparkling analysis of our quirky, biased gendered vernacular. Montell shines a light on curse words, code switching, grammar, pronunciation patterns, and how we might make language more inclusive moving forward. Then our editors present their top picks in books this week.
11/06/19·56m 12s

Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark- hosts of "My Favorite Murder"

On this very special episode of Fully Booked, podcast royalty Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark (“My Favorite Murder”) join us to discuss their joint memoir, Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered: The Definitive How-To Guide, a book that’s funny & fearsome & close to the bone. Then our editors present their top picks in books this week.
04/06/19·51m 0s

Oscar Cásares

On this week’s episode, Oscar Cásares joins Clay and Megan to discuss Where We Come From, a compassionate portrait of life along the Texas-Mexico border at Brownsville and Matamoros, centering on one woman’s reluctant involvement with a human smuggling ring. “In some ways timely, this quiet, delicate book delivers a truly timeless emotional punch,” Kirkus writes (starred review). Then our editors join with their top picks in books this week.
28/05/19·57m 34s
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