Winter Preview

Winter Preview

In this episode, Nicole and Gayle share what they are currently reading. Then, they researched and picked books that will make to the shelves shortly. We hope that you will enjoy the list and look forward to reading them.

As always you can find below the whole booklist they run through during the episode:

Anna: The Biography by Amy Odell | Amazon | Bookshop

The Survivalists by Kashana Cauley | Amazon | Bookshop

When Women Lead by Julia Boorstin | Amazon | Bookshop

Central Places by Delia Cai | Amazon | Bookshop

The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes | Amazon | Bookshop

Someone Else’s Shoes by JoJo Moyes | Amazon | Bookshop

A Little Hope by Ehtan Joella | Amazon | Bookshop

I Have Some Questions for You by Rebecca Makkai | Amazon | Bookshop

What Happened to Ruthy Ramirez by Claire Jimenez | Amazon | Bookshop

What Napoleon Could Not Do by DK Nnuro | Amazon | Bookshop

Take What You Need by Idra Novey | Amazon | Bookshop

Wolfish: Wolf, Self, and the Stories We Tell about Fear by Erica Berry | Amazon | Bookshop

Maame by Jessica George | Amazon | Bookshop

Spare by Prince Harry | Amazon | Bookshop

Small World by Laura Zigman | Amazon | Bookshop

Vintage Contemporaries by Dan Kois | Amazon | Bookshop

Western Lane by Chetna Maroo | Amazon | Bookshop

Oscar Wars by Michael Schulman | Amazon | Bookshop

The Teachers by Alexandra Robbins | Amazon | Bookshop

Hello Beautiful by Ann Napolitano | Amazon | Bookshop

Drinking Games by Sarah Levy | Amazon | Bookshop

My Last Innocent Year by Daisy Alpert Florin | Amazon | Bookshop

*Books linked above are our affiliate links through Amazon. There’s no additional expense to you, but if you make a purchase through us a small portion of that contributes to the costs associated with making our podcast. Thanks so much for listening and for your support.

Transcript

[00:00:00] Nicole: Welcome to another edition of The Readerly Report. Today, Gayle and I are here to talk about the books that we’re looking forward to coming up, this winter season, , is that right?

[00:00:10] Gayle: Yes.

[00:00:10] Nicole: Up until March, winter-spring. So that’s what we’re gonna be talking about, plus getting you caught up on what we’ve been reading.

Cuz I don’t know if I mentioned what I was reading last show. I don’t think either of us did. We had so much to talk about. So we will be getting back into the swing of all of that. So Gayle, why don’t you kick us off with what you have been reading?

[00:00:31] Gayle: Sure. Okay, I am. Currently reading Spare, I couldn’t resist the hype. And I did something.

[00:00:41] Nicole: Oh my gosh!

[00:00:42] Gayle: What?

[00:00:43] Nicole: Tell all!

[00:00:44] Gayle: Oh, yeah. Well, so I did something I never do, is I bought the print and I bought the audio. Like I

[00:00:54] Nicole: Oh my goodness!

[00:00:55] Gayle: I know, I know. I bought the print from someone on. I think she’s in one of my book Facebook groups, and she is a book seller, and she sold it at a discount.

So I did get it at a discount without going to Amazon.

[00:01:07] Nicole: There was an article about everyone getting it at a discount.

[00:01:10] Gayle: Oh, all right. Well, they I just was

[00:01:12] Nicole: of it being half off. I wasn’t sure if it was like British Shade,

[00:01:15] Gayle: What is British Shade?

[00:01:16] Nicole: with them being so upset about the memoir, but it’s, so its like the biggest selling title there. So, you know, there, there was like this photo of, you know, all of his books and they, they’re marked with that, the 50% off sticker.

[00:01:31] Gayle: Oh, you know what, even at 50% off, like at the volume, he’s selling these books. It’s amazing.

[00:01:36] Nicole: Right. Okay.

[00:01:38] Gayle: Then I tried to get it on audio, like scribd and I tried to get it on, you know. Some of the other sites that I get review copies from and of course the library and there it was just not happening. And so I got it on Audible.

So sorry about that cuz I know that’s an Amazon company. So I like it. I’m about, I don’t know, 20% in right now. you know, he’s, he’s through high school. I think he’s about to go into the Army. Apparently the army section gets kind of boring. So maybe I’ll do that one in print. Sort of read it a little more quickly, but I’m really enjoying it.

 there’s definitely like Harry and Megan over saturation in the world right now and, you know, between the Netflix thing and the interviews he’s done and Colbert and on and on.

[00:02:20] Nicole: Have you seen any of that stuff?

[00:02:22] Gayle: I’ve watched I’m almost finished with the Netflix special.

[00:02:26] Nicole: Okay. How was it?

[00:02:27] Gayle: That’s the only thing. I like it, it’s good. I mean, it’s on, it’s one-sided, but, it’s very, it’s very compelling, like very sympathetic to the two of them. So anyway, I, I’m enjoying it, so I will report back and I’m trying to approach it not from the kind of just curiosity of Harry’s life, but trying to approach it as a reader. Evaluate the book on the merits of the book as a memoir and the writing and the structure and all of that.

So

[00:02:51] Nicole: Does he narrate audio?

[00:02:54] Gayle: He does.

[00:02:55] Nicole: Okay.

[00:02:55] Gayle: Yeah. That’s kind of why I wanted to do it on audio cuz wanted to hear it, in his, voice. that’s what I’m listening to. And I just finished Ethan Joel’s new novel, which is called A Quiet Life. Not to be confused with his first book called A Little Hope.

I get those two titles mixed up all the time. But I’ve read his first one last year and read this one this year and it’s about, it’s very similar to the first book. It’s about three people living in a kind of small-ish Pennsylvania town who have each, are each dealing with intense loss and grief.

It’s just about kind of how they get through it and. How these three lives sort of intersect in the end. I just, I really like his writing. I, I know it, again, it sort of feels like a bit of a formula because it’s exactly the way his first book was structured, but there’s something about his writing and the way he tells his stories that really works for me.

And I, I enjoyed it quite a bit. I think he came out in December. So that one is called A Quiet Life by Ethan Joel.

[00:03:57] Nicole: Was a quiet hope. His first book?

[00:04:00] Gayle: No, a little hope

Yeah, I know. See that’s the problem. I keep the two cuz they’re so similar. Yes. I believe it was his first book. He also just seems like a really nice guy. Like I

[00:04:09] Nicole: I was gonna say, do you know anything about the author or how did you come to his?

[00:04:13] Gayle: How did I come to it? I don’t remember. And this one was a review copy, so it was either sent to me or some. Swapped for it. I think it was sent to me. I don’t remember how I ended up with it, and I don’t remember how I ended up with the first one either. But he’s very active on Instagram and he’s the type of person, like if you, if you post about his book and tag him, he’ll leave like a really grateful comment.

Like he’s just so, he seems very like, appreciative of any exposure for his books and he, you know, will it, he’s. Like aloof or distant, like he will get on Instagram and sort of like engage, which I really like. So yeah, so that’s what I’m reading. I think the last, the book I read before that I think I talked about in the last show that was Bully Market [00:05:00] Fiori Higgins.

Yeah. So I think we’re pretty caught up for me. How about you?

[00:05:04] Nicole: Okay. So right now I am reading Anna Wintour. There’s a biography that just came out about her not too long ago, so I don’t know what I don’t. Maybe see our conversations. I mean, our whole podcast is so conversational that I sometimes I feel like, did I say this already? But I probably just told another friend that I was reading her book because it was not something I had planned to read or anything like that.

I just don’t know what made me pick it up, but I was just curious and probably because she’s just such an icon at this point, you know, like I’m not a big vogue reader or anything like that. , and I can’t say that I’ve really followed her, but I’m ju I was just like really curious about her life. I think probably too, because I’ve been reading this other book called When Women Lead by Julia Borson, She has a show on CNN. She does a lot of financial reporting and commentary. So she wrote that book and I was reading that book, and so she’s, Anna Wintour is just like a really interesting character to think about in terms of leadership and just her leadership style because you know, there’s just so many rumors about her.

There’s Mm-hmm.

image or whatever. So I was just like in reading all of these stories about women and how their leadership is judged differently. , I was just primed to read this book, so it’s really, it’s really interesting. I think my biggest complaint would be, and probably that is what it’s like with biographies is everything, of course, is through interviews, what she said and other people’s accounts.

she didn’t participate in the biography, so like there’s a lot about her thinking that comes from other people or, and I. two is very biased, just depending on whether you liked your dealings with her or whether you didn’t. there’s not a lot of interior stuff and you know, she is explained to be very kind of warm in her family life, but just a task master and very focused with the way she does business.

Like, you know, which I guess can be off-putting to some people because we do expect a little bit of, I think, social. . I don’t know. Social oiling. Social lubrication, . I’m just trying to avoid saying that. But yeah, we expect our interactions to have a little bit more flow and be personal, and I guess there’s none of that with her.

So it’s a really interesting book to read. if you love fashion, it talks a lot about the shows and how they made decisions for certain cover models, some of the friendships with the people that she’s established. In her business, how she’s become such a force. it’s mostly good.

Like I’m mostly enjoying it. Like I said, some of it, sometimes it feels like, I think you were saying about a book that you read last week is that most of it is business, you know, like. the business of Vogue from, you know, like, oh, and then she started, these fashion awards and then the Met Gala and how that came about.

How her participation grew over that. So every now and then you had these asides with, you know, where her daughter is or how she was as a family person, but not a lot of that. It is mostly like the business of running this magazine. How. Progressed, you know, to get to be the editor-in-chief of Vogue and then of course the creative director of kde, Nat and all its titles.

But I definitely, you know, if you have any interest r fashion or business, you know, women’s leadership, I would recommend reading it. So it’s called Anna: The Biography and it’s by Amy Odell.

[00:08:20] Gayle: Nice.

[00:08:20] Nicole: And then I just started reading, I’ll mention the title, but I haven’t got far enough to really say anything about it. But it’s called What Happened to Ruthy Ramirez. It is about this, I don’t know if they’re in, they’re in Staten Island, I believe. So Ruthy Ramirez goes missing, and then I think years later.

after this has basically devastated her family. It, there’s a rumor going around that there is a woman who is on a reality show that is Ruthy Ramirez who disappeared all this long time ago.

What Happened to Ruthy Ramirez by Claire Jimenez and and it’s actually not out yet, so it doesn’t come out until March.

[00:09:02] Gayle: Wow. How did you get it?

[00:09:03] Nicole: I think it was an eGali.

[00:09:04] Gayle: Mm-hmm.

[00:09:06] Nicole: I’m going back and forth, like right now, I’m back, back in love with the Kindle again.

[00:09:11] Gayle: Got it. All right. Well we are ready with some books that are coming out between January and March that have caught our eye. There are a lot of lists and, preview episodes and articles and posts out already. So I’m trying to pick a few that are

A little off the beat and path?

Yeah, a little bit. I don’t know.

Some of mine are and some of mine are not. So all right. Well, do you wanna kick us off with your first book?

[00:09:38] Nicole: Sure. the first thing that I wanna do is mention just a couple of books that. , I feel like we’ll probably be all over the place or just have a lot of of name recognition.

so the first book that I’m gonna talk about, first books I will just mention briefly. our books that I feel like have a lot of buzz [00:10:00] behind them just because they’re big names of books by people that we have enjoyed. Like Jojo Moyes has a new book out that, you know, I don’t really, I haven’t gotten into a lot of her books.

Did you read The Giver of Stars?

[00:10:14] Gayle: Mm-hmm, I did.

[00:10:14] Nicole: And did you like that?

[00:10:16] Gayle: not as much as like the Trilogy, and some of the other ones I’ve read. Yeah, it was fine. I read that for a book club, and I think my book club liked it more than I did.

[00:10:23] Nicole: Yeah. I feel like I really like the trilogies that she wrote, but some of the other premises have not kept my attention as much.

[00:10:31] Gayle: Yeah,

[00:10:32] Nicole: And like The Last Letter From Your Lover, did you read that one?

[00:10:37] Gayle: I didn’t read that one and I didn’t read the one that was about like a, a painting. I forgot what that one was called. I liked the trilogy and there was another one that she wrote that I read that was about kind of a woman down on her luck and sort of finding unlikely love. But I, I didn’t, the giver of stars felt a little predictable and, you know, it was in, there.

Was that controversy? I know we’ve talked about this on the show. There’s a controversy. There was another book that came out at the exact same time with a very similar storyline cuz it’s all, you know, they’re both about, Sort of very narrow slice of American history. So yeah, what is the new one?

[00:11:11] Nicole: So the new one is called Someone Else’s Shoes, and it’s basically, I guess a book where you have to remake your life because something has happened. So this woman, Nisha Canter, she lives this glamorous, wealthy life, but then her husband wants to get divorced and he cuts her off. So she of course wants to keep up with the lifestyle that she’s had, but she has to like scramble and figure out how she’s going to do that.

So in the midst of this, I think her gym bag gets mixed up with some other guy’s gym bag. and . He tries on like, I guess her, gym bag has a pair of lu batons in it. And this guy, Sam, he picks up her bag, he tries on her shoes and he decides that he has to make all of these, these changes in his life. So, it’s kind of like, I guess, fish out of order trying to make change second chances can they both rebuild their lives or find new paths.

That sounded more interesting than anything. I mean, sometimes I think Giver of Stars was, is that the one that, the one that you were talking about? That’s about Kentucky. Like that book community.

[00:12:14] Gayle: Mm.

[00:12:15] Nicole: So I think that this is more contemporary and closer to what I look for from her in a sense. So I’m, I’m interested in this one.

It comes out in February of 2023. And then I don’t know if you have her on your list, so apologies if you have, you know, Rebecca Makkai is coming out with a new book.

[00:12:32] Gayle: Mm-hmm. . I did, but that’s fine. I’ve got other ones so

[00:12:35] Nicole: Okay.

[00:12:35] Gayle: Slide it out.

[00:12:36] Nicole: I really love The Great Believers and I have a feeling that I might like, I have some questions for you and I think that it, oh no, it’s not out yet. It’s out on February 21st, so it seems like it’s right up our alley. Mine in particular, because there’s an element of a mystery and a whodunit to it, but it’s also a boarding school book,

[00:12:56] Gayle: Yeah.

[00:12:57] Nicole: you know, it is about a woman who is trying to forget her past and the tragedy that haunts her. She went to boarding school, I believe in New Hampshire, and her roommate is murdered, so she spends a lot of time running, but she comes back to kind of figure out what happened in her past kind of thing. So something that’s really up my alley.

[00:13:18] Gayle: Yeah, I, I’m very excited for this one. I think somebody read it too. Maybe Sarah from Sarah’s bookshelves, and I think she gave it five stars.

[00:13:27] Nicole: Okay, that sounds exciting.

[00:13:29] Gayle: Yeah, it looks really good.

And then you’ll get, you’ll get your mystery in.

[00:13:33] Nicole: Okay, so yeah, I Have Some Questions For You. I believe is it’s a book that’s just really up our alley too. Even in terms of her going, she’s invited back to teach a course at this place that she used to go to school. So yeah, all those themes. I love people returning home either to find themselves or to put a mystery to rest boarding school book.

[00:13:53] Gayle: Plus. Rebecca Makkai.

[00:13:55] Nicole: Plus Rebecca Makkai.

So it’s just like, how could this be bad?

[00:13:58] Gayle: Right. Exactly. All right. Well, my first book is called Small World by Laura Zigman. It actually already came out on January 10th. So Laura Zigman is someone who I have read several of her books over the years. And she seems to write books that are like in line with where she is in life.

So there were some books about. Parenthood and books about dating and books about marriage. And so she kind of has these like life stage books and I think I’ve read like maybe, maybe she’s half has five or so that are out, and I think I’ve read like three of them. And her new book is called Small World and it’s about two newly divorced sisters who move in together for the first time in 30 years. and they have a lot of unresolved baggage from their childhood. They had grown up with a sister who had special needs and parents who were distracted by the special needs sister, and then I believe the sister dies young. So there’s a lot of scars there and a lot of kind of mutual trauma [00:15:00] shared between these two, but yet they haven’t really been close in a long.

So this new book, small World is about that relationship and the resolution of the issues they have or maybe the lack of resolution and how these kind of longtime issues continue to pervade their relationship. And I’ve always just liked the way she writes. It’s very accessible and funny and just kind of an easy read.

So given that I’ve read so many other books that. Written. This one is at the top of my list. So that is January 10th, Small World by Laura Ziegman. Have you read anything by her before?

[00:15:40] Nicole: No, I, Nope,

[00:15:41] Gayle: She wrote one called Dating Big Bird. She wrote one called her. Yeah. I’m just looking up the names of all of her books. Separation Anxiety. I read that one kind of recently. That one I didn’t love as much. That’s sort of like an empty nest type book, like woman whose kids are growing up and she doesn’t feel as needed.

That one was pretty good, but not my favorite. Her Dating Big Bird, Animal Husbandry, which I think was about getting pregnant or having kids and,

[00:16:10] Nicole: I’ve heard about a couple of these, but I have not

[00:16:13] Gayle: yeah.

[00:16:14] Nicole: read them.

[00:16:15] Gayle: Yeah, so I’m excited to give this one a try. Okay. What’s your next one?

[00:16:20] Nicole: So my next one is The Survivalist by Kashana Cauley. So it is one another one of these books about kind of finding yourself It’s about this black lawyer whose parents have died. She is, constantly single, you know, just like busy with career and focus with success and succeeding. But then she falls in love with this guy named Erin, who’s a coffee entrepreneur, but he’s also a doomsday prepper, and they move in together.

So she kind of becomes, starts falling more and more into this lifestyle. as she’s dealing with grief, as she’s dealing with this new relationship and getting more involved with the prepper stuff, like I think her, she starts to kind of lose her grip on her career and, and making partner, but it’s just kind of like this journey that she goes on that seemed kind of interesting to me. It. Packed with tension, curiosity, and wit. It does mention that it’s darkly humorous, which always gives me a little bit of pause, but the premise is interesting enough that I wanna take a chance on it.

[00:17:19] Gayle: Okay. My next book is called Vintage Contemporaries by Dan Koys, K O I S. This came out on January 17th, and this is one of those nostalgic New York City books. It takes place in the nineties, and it’s about a woman who moves to the city to pursue a career in publishing and her close friends two very different women that she becomes close to who are also committed to art.

She loses touch with both women as her career advances and her personal life becomes consumed by marriage and parenthood. But after one of them dies, she and the other one rekindle their friendship and then forcing them to examine their life through a new lens. So just the way I have some questions for you, the Rebecca Makkai book has a lot of like catnip features in there for you and also for me. This one you know, New York City in the nineties, that’s when I was living in New York. So I love anything that kind of is a throwback to that era. And then I love the idea of revisiting friendships later in life and sort of Re-looking at them and how the dynamics worked. So I’m, I think I have a copy of this one that I got like a review copy like a month or two ago. So I’m, I’m actually really excited to pick this one up.

[00:18:37] Nicole: That does sound really good.

[00:18:39] Gayle: Yeah,

[00:18:40] Nicole: Make it, yeah,

[00:18:41] Gayle: I think you would like this one too.

[00:18:43] Nicole: it sounds like it.

[00:18:44] Gayle: Yeah. Vintage Contemporary is that, I’m gonna have to look, is if that is the name of an imprint.

Of a publishing imprint that was really big. I don’t know if you remember these books in the nineties, but vintage paperbacks had a very specific look to them and the covers, the sort of the paper they used, the binding had this feel to them. And I think that, I’m gonna have to, to research this cuz it just dawned on me.

But I think Vintage Contemporaries is, possibly, maybe that’s where she worked at the time that she worked on the vintage contemporary books. This character, because I just remember that you could put them all next to each other on your shelf and they would sort of have a similar spine like they were very much of a, of a particular design.

Like the same design. The branding was very consistent and like I used to like to collect vintage contemporary books and then, you know, put them on my shelves and look at them. So I’m curious if that’s where the title came from.

[00:19:40] Nicole: I wonder? I think vintage is one of Random houses imprints

before they merged

[00:19:45] Gayle: Yeah. I had a friend who worked at Random House in the time, like early nineties. And I worked like two blocks away. When I, it’s when I used to work in advertising. On Third Avenue and like we would meet for lunch and after lunch I would go back to [00:20:00] Random House with her and she would open this like secret closet that had all these books and copies in it and she would let me take them.

And it was just the greatest thing. And she was making so little money and it was, you know, this like, I don’t even know how she afforded to live in New York, but like it was the one little perk of her job was that she had access to all these books and I was very envious.

[00:20:20] Nicole: Yeah, if only books could pay rent.

[00:20:23] Gayle: I know I would have a mansion. So that’s Vintage Contemporaries. And it came out on the 17th of January.

[00:20:31] Nicole: that just reminds me that a lot of the young editorial, workers at Harper Collins are still in the middle of the strike trying to get their wages up.

[00:20:40] Gayle: Yep.

[00:20:41] Nicole: And I think it’s something to, I don’t know if they wanna get them up to a starting salary of $45,000 or if it’s 50. But it is whatever it is. You know, when you think of people living below that, especially like affording an apartment in New York, you know, if you don’t have roommates or anything like that, it’s just,

[00:21:02] Gayle: Yeah, it’s.

[00:21:03] Nicole: it’s it’s an odd, you know, it’s, it’s a difficult number for Manhattan.

[00:21:08] Gayle: I mean, it’s like this whole industry is sort of built on the, the backbone of these junior workers who are like sacrificing so much to live there. And it just, I mean, I know that publishing is, you know, under lots of pressures right now. And it’s not like, it’s not like it’s a booming or, you know, extremely profitable business, but there just has to be a way to increase that floor cuz otherwise no one can afford to do it. You either get people who are just independently wealthy and are supported by their parents or

[00:21:36] Nicole: and that’s mostly how the industry has run, you know, and why it can be so problematic. Because the people that who can afford to take the job have very limited perspectives.

[00:21:46] Gayle: right. Okay. So what’s your next book?

[00:21:49] Nicole: So my next one is Central Places by Delia Kai. It’s coming out January 31st. So this is another, this is kind of like a, a go home and have a reckoning. It’s about a woman who. Leaves her small town of, I think she’s lives in Illinois but she has like a tiny hometown. You know, it’s not like she’s from Chicago or anything.

As soon as she graduates high school, she decides that she’s getting out of there. She moves to New York. , she has a high paying, stressful job. She’s Chinese and she starts, you know, the boyfriend that she has, her fiance is white. And you know, at some point she knows that she has to take him home for him to meet her family. And when she does, of course she is kind of like pulled back into the small town. Like she has lots of friends there who basically have stayed and gotten married and are raising kids and she runs into like past, loves and old friends and feels kind of, her new identity is not as stable as what she thought it was.

Now that she’s back in her hometown, it’s like she’s feeling this drift towards her old life and she’s going to have to make some decisions about, what her life is gonna be like. as she’s introduced to old friends and old loves and just. seeing that maybe she hasn’t changed as much as she thought she did.

[00:23:07] Gayle: That was on my list too. But I had a feeling that you might, that, that might overlap with you, So I took it off right before we started, once we decided to cut back on the number of books. So I’m glad to see that you had included it.

[00:23:19] Nicole: I was gonna say, you know, these books ver sound very much true to form for both of us. Just kind of like, looks at people’s lives as they start confronting issues or they go back home or they realize they’re not the person they wanna be.

[00:23:32] Gayle: Right.

[00:23:33] Nicole: I think that’s the theme I’m seeing so far.

[00:23:35] Gayle: Yeah. Identity. My next book is called Western Lane by Chetna Maroo. I’m not sure I’m pronouncing that right, but hopefully I am. this is a debut novel about an 11 year old girl named Gopi who becomes obsessed with squash, playing squash when her mother dies, and she becomes very good at it. I believe it’s all about kind of her passion for dedication to and excellence in the game of squash. And then as she’s processing the grief about her mother, so maybe like Carrie Soto Is Back with Substance.

[00:24:07] Nicole: You’re hoping.

[00:24:08] Gayle: I’m hoping somebody has given it a comp of Julie Otsuka’s, The Swimmers, which is a book that I did not read but really wanted to read.

So the fact that that’s considered a similar book is a plus. And you know, as far as I’m concerned,

[00:24:22] Nicole: What was The Swimmers about?

[00:24:25] Gayle: The swimmers, I believe, was about a group of people who swim at a public pool. I think it might be in Manhattan someplace. I’m not sure exactly where it is. For some reason I’m thinking it’s Manhattan, but maybe it’s not. And then there is. Determine that there’s like a leak in the pool and the pool needs to be repaired so they’re not able to swim.

And I think it’s just about how this community sort of loses this, this outlet that they’ve had, both a social and a, physical outlet they’ve had for them, you know, dealing with issues in their lives. I believe one of the characters may be starting to suffer from dementia. I don’t know if you’ve read any Julie Otsuka?

She [00:25:00] wrote I think she wrote like, When The Emperor Was Divine. she writes very short but incredibly powerful books like super spare writing that just is incredibly powerful. So the fact that this is a, that that book is a comp for this one makes me wanna read it.

[00:25:14] Nicole: Yeah, I like that idea of small things, like a small thing that’s taken away and it just completely changes your life. Something that you would think, like, what’s the big deal if this swimming pool was closed?

[00:25:26] Gayle: Right?

[00:25:26] Nicole: and it has such an effect.

[00:25:29] Gayle: Yep. So that, again, Western Lane by Chetna Maroo, m a r o o.

[00:25:34] Nicole: Okay, so my next book is called What Napoleon Could Not Do by DK Nnuro, and it is about. Two siblings, Jacob and Belinda, they both grow up in Ghana. They want to move to America, so Belinda is able to go. She moves to the United States for college, she gets a law degree and basically she’s able to build a life there.

But her brother stays at home and he’s still living with his father and he’s trying to also fulfill this dream, and he is applying for visas and just getting denied. And so, According to their father, like Belinda has been able to accomplish what Napoleon could not do. So basically the story is about how this affects the siblings relationships.

You know, they both had this dream as children, you know, had this shared ambition that she’s able to achieve and how does it shape their lives and how does it affect their relationship and how is their bond tested When one is able to do what the other is still having a hard time figuring out.

That’s out on February 7th.

[00:26:36] Gayle: Okay, so I have two non-fiction books in this list, which is rare for me. So, interrupting the theme of identity. So on March 21st, a book is coming out called Oscar Wars by Michael Schulman. I tend to not be interested in books about like old Hollywood. That’s why I resisted Evelyn Hugo for so long, cuz I kind of dismissed it as. Old Hollywood book just based on the cover. It just looked like it had that feel to it. I’m not really interested in like old studios and movie stars and stuff, but I, I do love the Oscars and I spend a lot of time, every year I do an Oscar pool and I do a lot of research and I’m very into it and I love Oscar night.

So this one

[00:27:15] Nicole: actually

you watch the movies? Do you try to watch all the movies?

[00:27:18] Gayle: I try to watch most of the movies. I mean, I don’t love violent movies, so there’s always gonna be a few movies that I’m just kind of not gonna watch. But I do try to get as many Oscar movies watched in advance of the show as I can, cuz it also helps with The pool, having actually watched, although I do research on like predictions, so I’m almost, the research I do is almost less on the movies themselves than on what other people think is gonna win , cuz that’s how you win an Oscar pool. So,

[00:27:42] Nicole: I, we have to talk about that . I wanna talk, I wanna hear more about that.

[00:27:47] Gayle: Oh yeah, I’m, I’m kind of obsessed. I think I’ve been running the Oscar pool since, what was the year I started it. I wanna say it was, 1997

[00:27:59] Nicole: Oh my gosh.

[00:27:59] Gayle: Yeah, it’s been a long time. More, yeah, more. And there’s been people who have entered since day one since the first year. So it’s, it’s like a, there was one year where, I think it was during Covid when like the Oscars were going online or they were lame.

I don’t know what the deal was. And I sent an email out to everyone and I said, listen, like we’re all. Super distracted. Oscars have been postponed, like, should I, do you guys want the pool? Or like, should we take a year off? And everyone wrote me back. They’re like, no, we need the pool. Like you can’t not do the pool.

So I felt good that you know, it actually, people look forward to it and care. So this book, Oscar Wars, is a sprawling history of the Academy Awards, which I’m less interested in, but I like this one, the personal dramas, some Iconics, some never before revealed that have played out on the stage and off camera.

So it says, unlike other books on the subject, each chapter takes a deep dive into a particular year conflict or category that tells a larger story of cultural change. I think that’s kind of interesting. It, it sounds like it will be more about the drama, the personal dramas behind it than the actual like, history of the movies themselves, which makes me more interested. So this book is coming out about, I don’t know, a week or two before the Oscars, which, you know, good timing on their part. So it’s February 21st, Michael Schulman, and I think I might have to pick this one up.

[00:29:21] Nicole: Okay, so what was your other nonfiction?

[00:29:24] Gayle: Well, that’s one of my next books.

[00:29:26] Nicole: Okay.

[00:29:26] Gayle: Yeah. I will get to it in when we I think it’s two. Oh, I think it’s the next one that I’m gonna talk about.

[00:29:32] Nicole: My next one is also non-fiction, so I’ll switch it up to match you and it is called Wolfish by Erica Berry and it is a blend of science, writing, memoir and cultural criticism that talks about wolves and the ideology and exploration of them as like predators and just all the myths that we have about it.

And she combines like fear of [00:30:00] wolves and how humans fear wolves and how it’s like had such an impact on our society. And of course, you know, like we have the whole werewolf myth and things like that. So I’m not quite sure, you know, like one of the taglines is it’s about the stories that we tell about fear.

And you know, as I’m thinking about this, I’m thinking about, little Red Riding Hood and how the Wolf is probably one of. first things that figure so strongly in art. You know, when we’re developing as children, you always hear about little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf, you know, like her showdown with this wolf.

So, I don’t know, it’s just something that caught my attention. I think that she’s gonna also combine some of this with just female literary critique, you know, like stories that we tell about the female body real and symbolic wolves. It reminded me a lot of that book by, I think her name is Clarissa Estes.

She has a middle name that I’m forgetting. It might be something with pink in it. And she wrote Women Who Run With Wools. So it kind of reminds me of that just like a cultural exploration of wolves in our lives and how they shape our fears and. So, I don’t know. Hard to explain, but I wanna read it.

[00:31:11] Gayle: Mm-hmm. That sounds interesting. Okay. So my next book is the my other non-fiction pick, and it’s called The Teachers by Alexandra Robbins. And it is written by the author who went behind the scenes to tell the true story of three teachers as they navigate one year in the classroom. So she goes to follow a Southern middle school math teacher.

She goes to an East coast elementary school teacher, and A special ed teacher in the West. So she follows these people for a year and just trying to understand the challenges that they’re facing, you know, what their days are like and what’s going on. I mean, I feel like teaching right now, especially post covid is just such a challenging and difficult career, and also I have a kid in elementary school, so I just find this the whole topic interesting. And the idea of kind of following three different stories. And I always like books that do that. So I just wanted to give this one some attention and I think I’m gonna try to read it.

So this comes out on March 14th. It is called The Teachers by Alexandra Robbins. And I think a couple of things that she. Specifically cover school violence, parent behavior, inadequate resources teacher burnout, covid, all of the above.

[00:32:27] Nicole: Yeah. I even with like people who have graduated since Covid, I’ve definitely talked to a lot of people about just what a difficult experience it was going to school and learning during Covid, so you know. . It’s something I think is going to one of those things that we just don’t know about Covid that will have long-term ramification.

So I could see why that you would be interesting. Find that interesting. All right, so my next and last pick comes out March 14th. It’s call. Take What You Need. It’s another story about identity and kind of like identity being formed out of tragedy. It’s set in Appalachian Mountains. And it is two stories.

One of Jean and one of her estranged stepdaughter who left the area and she has not come back, like she has just like established her life and she’s totally moved on. But then when Gene dies, Leah can’t stay away any longer, so she has to go back and kind of like. Just confront the pieces of her life that she has been running from all of, all of this time.

So it’s one of these novels of going back home and, you know, reestablishing a connection there and, you know, confronting some of the things that you run away from. So the woman who wrote this Idra Novey, it’s interesting too. She works, she writes fiction. I guess she’s written, this will be her third fiction book that she’s written, but she’s also a poet and translator, so I just feel like this too has the potential to have like really rich writing and just being informed by so many different kinds of writing will probably be very interesting to read.

[00:34:02] Gayle: All right. Well, so my last one is one that is probably on a lot of people’s lists and it doesn’t need a ton of attention, but I wanted to mention it. It’s called Hello Beautiful by Ann Napolitano. So I read.

[00:34:15] Nicole: That was on my list.

[00:34:16] Gayle: Oh, that was on your list,

[00:34:18] Nicole: it was on my long list

[00:34:19] Gayle: the long list, right?

Um, so

[00:34:22] Nicole: I was gonna ask you about that. You read Dear Edward

[00:34:25] Gayle: yeah,

[00:34:25] Nicole: right.

[00:34:26] Gayle: I did read Dear Edward, I actually didn’t really like Dear Edward, so at first I was kind of, Not as interested in this book, just cuz I didn’t like the first one.

But this one sounds really different. And I thought maybe I would, give her another chance. And I’ve seen this book everywhere and it has a really nice cover so it, it was hard to ignore. So this is a complex family saga. It is actually an homage to little women and it is about a guy who marries meets someone during his freshman year of college.

and he gets to be really close with her family. And [00:35:00] he like for him, I think it her family provides for him the family that he never had because he, his own home life was mil marred by tragedy. I’m not sure what the tragedy is, but then tragedy also hits her family as well and threatens everything that, you know, he sort of cherished about this family that he’s kind of.

Borrowed as his own. So I don’t know, just like as usual family dramas. I, I didn’t like Dear Edward, which was about the only survivor of a plane crash. And I don’t know why I didn’t like it. I think I felt like it was sort of superficial and it, it unrealistic in the way it dealt with his emotions, and I thought she could have done a lot more with it cuz it had such an interesting premise. But I’m, I’m curious about this one, which maybe with. Slightly more pedestrian or realistic storyline. Maybe the book will end up being more successful. So that is Hello, Beautiful. And that comes out also on March 14th.

 I just thought I might quickly Pineapple Street by Jenny Jackson, which seems like a rich people Misbehaving book. I had I had a book called By Last Innocent Year, which is a story about a Jewish college girl who attempts to shed her working class Lower East Side roots while navigating a relationship with an older married writing professor in college. So it’s a campus novel set in the late nineties and a New England College campus with an ill faded affair. So there’s our identity books and then got Shades of my Dark Vanessa in there. Although I don’t know what the tenor of this book is, if it’s like my dark Vanessa, but thought that one sounded good, and I think everything else was basically covered by either you.

You know what I actually did, which I almost never do, is I went through this whole list and I put them all on hold at the library. So because usually I do the list and then I Then by the time the books come out and I go to put my name on the list, there’s like a huge long line for them.

But by doing it early, maybe I’ll be higher up the list and they’ll come in and then I’ll, I’ll you know, have more chance of actually reading them.

I’ve seen that book around a lot and I’ve heard a few reviews I think that are, have been really positive.

 I’m gonna add one last one because this goes on the list and I skipped it and now I’m kind of wishing that I had mentioned it. So this is a book that already came out. It came out on January 3rd. It’s called Drinking Games also nonfiction memoir.

And it’s by a woman named Sarah Levy who was. In her late twenties, living in New York City, working a job she loved and going out all the time, but she was an alcoholic. So it’s a book that explores the role alcohol plays in formative years and what it means to opt out of a culture completely enmeshed in drinking.

It’s an examination of our short-term choices about alcohol and what that does to our long-term selves and our ability to figure out what we really wanna be in our lives. So it kind of reminds me of Drinking, A Love Story by Caroline Nap, a book I loved back in the day. Loved love, love Caroline Nap, who sadly died of lung cancer.

God, I wanna say 10 years ago, she was really one of my favorite authors, and she wrote this whole book about how she was a functioning alcoholic for so many years, and about just how. Awful. It was for her life, for her body, for, you know, her relationships and everything. So this kind of reminds me of that and I was really intrigued by it.

So that’s Drinking Games by Sarah Levy.

That’s it. I’m really done. I got nothing else in my list.

All right, well that’s our show. That’s our winter preview. Hopefully got some good books, book ideas, maybe you can put ’em on your library hold list.

And till next time, happy reading.

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