By The Book

For Book Lovers and Other Curious People



Commonwealth by Ann Patchett“My father was dying as I was writing this novel,” says Ann Patchett of her latest work, Commonwealth. “I knew he’d hate this book, but I knew I was writing it because he was never going to read it.” That’s how the author, on today’s new podcast episode, describes her most personal novel to date. The specific actions of the characters are not the same, but the emotions are. “As my mother would say, ‘None of it happened, and all of it is true.’”  When Time magazine in 2012 compiled a list of The 100 Most Influential People in the World, Patchett found her name there. As owner of Parnassus Books in Nashville and a prominent author, she carries the flag and is a strong voice for independent booksellers, who journey forward in their communities as the challenges grow from larger corporations, new technology, changing consumption patterns, and an Amazon or two. Get up close and personal with this fascinating “influencer.”



iTunes Just The Right Book PageWe’re thrilled more people are taking notice of “Just the Right Book Podcast,” as evidenced by our recent meteoric climb up the leader charts on iTunes, the primary source of podcast listening by far. Out of some 300,000 podcasts out there, JTRBP ranked 5th in the Book Lovers Collection, 4th in the Literature category, and 17th in the more widespread Arts category. In fact, today’s Ann Patchett episode was featured above the prestigious New & Noteworthy section on the main iTunes podcast page, taking its place among the Top Ten featured episodes on the market!




Jason Stanley wrote his most recent book, How Propaganda Works, before the recent Presidential election, but his theories and insights are not lost on the current condition in America today. The book explores the use of language to influence the way we think and reason about public issues. In the episode of “Just the Right Book Podcast,” the American philosopher and Yale professor references Plato’s Republic in explaining that democracy has two central values: freedom and equality. Freedom, of course, includes freedom of speech, the liberty to say whatever you want. “Inevitably, someone will use that freedom to irresponsibly split people from each other, to demonize one group of people, and feed people’s fears.” Host Roxanne Coady asks Stanley, “At what point does the reality of our new President not fixing people’s problems override the emotional appeal he has made to them?” Listen here for the answer.



…It’s time you did! We’re referring to our recent interview with syndicated advice columnist Amy Dickinson (“Ask Amy”), who goes deep into her latest memoir, Strangers Tend to Tell Me Things. Noted book industry public relations executive Laura Rossi of Laura Rossi Public Relations Agency sent Roxanne this: “WOW. You two had an incredible conversation! The interview is flawless and I have to say, Roxanne, no one knows books and authors better than you do. Your podcast fills me up.” Thanks for the kudos, Laura.



Michael Kindness, Ann KingmanRoxanne was happy to welcome two veterans of the book podcast world to our JTRBP studios recently in Hamden, CT: Ann Kingman and Michael Kindness, the familiar voices behind the successful podcast, “Books on the Nightstand,” which stopped posting new episodes last July. They had built a loyal following, and their audience is primed for more great book talk (hey folks, check us out!), but they felt the project had run its course. Not to fret, Michael already has appeared on JTRBP, and stay tuned for an upcoming episode to hear what they’ve been doing, what they’re recommending, what they’re looking forward to, their day jobs at Penguin Random House, and, of course, what books are on their nightstands.



Some of the authors we’re already interviewing for upcoming episodes:  Yewande Omotoso (The Woman Next Door); Matthew Dicks in a return visit (Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend); Tom Doyle (Captain Fantastic: Elton John’s Stellar Trip Through the ’70s); Charles Duhigg (Smarter, Faster, Better); Dani Shapiro (Hourglass); and Sarah Dunn (The Arrangement).



If you’ve read this far, hopefully we do. But it’s important to let us know! Could we humbly ask of you to go to our podcast listing in iTunes and rate and review us? It helps us gauge how we’re doing and it also helps spread the good word about our show. Thanks so much in advance for taking this pretty simple and very valuable step for us.

Thanks for listening. Now go read a book!


For more information, visit

Like us on  Facebook and Sign up  to join our mailing list.

Subscribe on iTunes.

Ideas? Suggestions? Feedback on this newsletter?


Add Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *