Ep. 47: Heather Bell Adams, Author of Maranatha Road

This week, I’m sharing a conversation with Heather Bell Adams, author of Maranatha Road and a forthcoming novel, The Good Luck Stone (coming July 2020).

Southern Literary Review calls Maranatha Road “[A]n exquisite story with characters so real they could step off the pages into your living room” and says Sadie Caswell is “reminiscent of Olive Kitteridge, the titular character that earned a Pulitzer for Elizabeth Strout. The portrait Adams draws of Sadie is just as fine and unforgettable.” This is a novel to slow down and savor.




You can also listen on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts.


Books Mentioned On This Episode:

Maranatha Road
The Good Luck Stone
Anne of Green Gables
Emily of New Moon
The Egypt Game


Blood Root
long man
Long Man
Winter Loon
The Dearly Beloved
The Book of Longings

To find out more about Heather Bell Adams visit her website heatherbelladams.com.


If you’re enjoying the podcast, please take a moment to subscribe. If you could also take a moment to rate and review A Bookish Home on iTunes to help people find the show, I’d be so grateful.


Are you reading a book mentioned on the blog or podcast? I’d love to hear. Tag me wherever you hang out on social media @ABookishHome.

Happy Reading and Listening!

Laura Szaro Kopinski


Affiliate links are used in this post. At no extra cost to you, we may receive a small commission if you purchase something through the links provided. Thanks for supporting A Bookish Home!



Take a Re-Reading Vacation

This week I’m sharing a post from last holiday season about taking a re-reading vacation.



The rush and bustle of this time of year can leave us all a bit harried. There are parties to attend, shopping to finish, presents to wrap. Soon we’re rushing to catch flights to visit relatives or whipping the house into shape, preparing to host.

The pace is fast, and I know if I’m not careful, this bookish introvert will wind up curled into a ball in her fleece pajamas by New Year’s, totally depleted.

For the bibliophiles out there, maybe we can try at least slowing down when it comes to our reading lives. Not reading less, but retreating to a familiar, bookish happy place. Let’s take a re-reading vacation.


I know for me, I sometimes feel guilty ignoring my library checkouts and long TBR list to re-read old favorites. Gretchen Rubin always says, something that can be done at any time, is often done at no time. I find that when it comes to re-reading.

So this holiday season, I’m pulling out the books I know by heart–the ones I’ve been yearning to revisit after reading three fabulous bookish titles this year: Jane Austen at HomeMarilla of Green Gables, and Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy: The Story of Little Women And Why It Still Matters.


“Few have failed to be charmed by the witty and independent spirit of Elizabeth Bennet in Austen’s beloved classic Pride and Prejudice. When Elizabeth Bennet first meets eligible bachelor Fitzwilliam Darcy, she thinks him arrogant and conceited; he is indifferent to her good looks and lively mind. When she later discovers that Darcy has involved himself in the troubled relationship between his friend Bingley and her beloved sister Jane, she is determined to dislike him more than ever. In the sparkling comedy of manners that follows, Jane Austen shows us the folly of judging by first impressions and superbly evokes the friendships, gossip and snobberies of provincial middle-class life.”






“L. M. Montgomery’s novel Anne of Green Gables recounts the adventures of Anne Shirley, an 11-year-old orphan mistakenly sent to a pair of siblings who intended to adopt a boy to help work on their farm in Prince Edward Island. Yet Anne’s quirky personality and good-natured spirit causes the siblings to grow to love her anyway, and soon the entire town falls for the precocious little girl with bright red hair.”



“It is no surprise that Little Women, the adored classic of four devoted sisters, was loosely based on Louisa May Alcott’s own life. In fact, Alcott drew from her own personality to create a heroine unlike any seen before: Jo, willful, headstrong, and undoubtedly the backbone of the March family. Follow the sisters from innocent adolescence to sage adulthood, with all the joy and sorrow of life in between, and fall in love with them and this endearing story. Praised by Madeleine Stern as “a book on the American home, and hence universal in its appeal,” Little Women has been an avidly read tale for generations.”


Turning to Pride and Prejudice, Anne of Green Gables and Little Women sounds just right for the next few weeks. It’s impossible for me not to feel cozy and at peace when I curl up with the Marches, visit Avonlea, or root for Elizabeth Bennett. For you, it might be turning to Harry Potter, The Hobbit, or Middlemarch that calms you down and fills your bookish heart with joy.


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I want to show up as my best self for my family and friends and enjoy the magic of the holidays. Fitting in little bits of rereading quiet time when my daughter naps or while I wait in line at a store, will hopefully recharge this introvert.

What will you be reading during this season? Leave a note in the comments or tag me on Instagram or Twitter @ABookishHome.

Happy Reading!

Laura Szaro Kopinski


Affiliate links for Amazon are used in this post. At no extra cost to you, we may receive a small commission if you purchase a book through the links provided. Thanks for supporting A Bookish Home!

Ep. 46: Susan Bailey on Louisa May Alcott’s Christmas Stories

This week I’m sharing an interview with Susan Bailey, creator of the blog,Louisa May Alcott Is My Passion. We’re chatting about Louisa May Alcott’s Christmas stories, the new Little Women movie, and all things Alcott. 



You can also listen on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts.


Books Mentioned On This Episode:

A Merry Christmas And Other Stories

Little Women

Eight Cousins

Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy: The Story of Little Women and Why It Still Matters

Marmee and Louisa

Marcelo in the Real World

The Memory of Light

All the Lives We Ever Lived: Seeking Solace in Virginia Woolf

To dive into all things Alcott, visit Susan’s site Louisa May Alcott Is My Passion. There you will also find links to follow her on social media. You can also read Susan’s article “Spending the Holidays with Louisa May Alcott” in the current issue of Discover Concord Magazine.


You may also be interested other Little Women related A Bookish Home blog posts and podcasts episodes:

  18 Ways to Celebrate Little Women’s 150th Anniversary Year




A Bookish Home Podcast Episode 1: A Conversation with Anne Boyd Rioux, Author of Meg, Jo, Beth Amy




Ep. 7: An Interview with Jan Turnquist, Executive Director of Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House



If you’re enjoying the podcast, please share it with a friend and be sure to subscribe. If you could also take a moment to rate and review A Bookish Home on iTunes to help people find the show, I’d be so grateful.


Are you reading a book mentioned on the blog or podcast? I’d love to hear. Tag me on your favorite social media @ABookishHome.

Happy Reading and Listening!

Laura Szaro Kopinski


Affiliate links are used in this post. At no extra cost to you, we may receive a small commission if you purchase something through the links provided. Thanks for supporting A Bookish Home!



Ep. 45: Alison Walsh, Author of A Literary Tea Party

This week I’m sharing an interview with Alison Walsh, author of A Literary Tea Party: Blends And Treats For Alice, Bilbo, Dorothy, Jo and Book Lovers Everywhere. She is also the creator of the blog, Alison’s Wonderland Recipes



You can also listen on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts.


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Books Mentioned On This Episode:

A Literary Tea Party

Anne of Green Gables

The Secret Garden

The Chronicles of Prydain

The Late Bloomers’ Club

To learn more about Alison Walsh you can visit her website http://wonderlandrecipes.com. There you will also find links to follow her on social media.

If you’re enjoying the podcast, please share it with a friend and be sure to subscribe. If you could also take a moment to rate and review A Bookish Home on iTunes to help people find the show, I’d be so grateful.

Are you reading a book mentioned on the blog or podcast? I’d love to hear. Tag me on your favorite social media @ABookishHome.

Happy Reading and Listening!

Laura Szaro Kopinski


Affiliate links are used in this post. At no extra cost to you, we may receive a small commission if you purchase something through the links provided. Thanks for supporting A Bookish Home!



Bookish Gifts for the Readers on Your Holiday Shopping List

Have you started holiday shopping? Today I’m reposting a list of some of my favorite bookish gifts!



Are you looking for gift ideas for the readers in your life?

Here are some literary presents for the book nerds on your holiday shopping list:


Harry Potter Kids’ T-Shirt Screen Shot 2018-11-08 at 11.40.57 AM.png



Books Turn Muggles Into Wizards Socks

Screen Shot 2018-11-08 at 11.47.13 AM.png



Jane Austen Candle,  

“There Is Nothing Like Staying Home For Real Comfort”41+jpBTxSWL



Library Card Mug

Screen Shot 2018-11-08 at 11.49.46 AM.png



“This Is How We Roll” Sweatshirt

Screen Shot 2018-11-08 at 11.57.48 AM.png



Persuasion Tote Bag

Screen Shot 2018-11-08 at 12.07.22 PM.png






“Read” Onesie

Screen Shot 2018-11-08 at 11.59.29 AM.png



Wonder Blanket

Screen Shot 2018-11-08 at 12.10.35 PM.png


“Book Nerd” Hat

Screen Shot 2018-11-08 at 12.49.17 PM.png


Vintage Library 1000 Piece Puzzle

Screen Shot 2018-11-08 at 12.26.10 PM.png




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“When In Doubt, Go To The Library” Zippered Pouch

Screen Shot 2018-11-08 at 12.14.44 PM.png



What are your favorite bookish gift ideas this holiday season?

Happy Reading!

Laura Szaro Kopinski




Affiliate links for Amazon are used in this post. At no extra cost to you, we may receive a small commission if you purchase an item through some of the links provided. Thanks for supporting A Bookish Home!

What I’ve Been Reading…

Most of my reading these days is happening curled up in bed with a nightlight, trying not to wake my new baby. It’s definitely a nice way to try to unwind at the end of the day.


Here are a few of the books I’ve been enjoying lately…


Twice in A Blue Moon

by Christina Lauren

This was my first Christina Lauren book and I enjoyed it so much I picked up The Unhoneymooners as well, which did not disappoint. If you enjoy escaping into a good Taylor Jenkins Reid or Jasmine Guillory novel, give this one a try.

“Sam Brandis was Tate Jones’s first: Her first love. Her first everything. Including her first heartbreak. During a whirlwind two-week vacation abroad, Sam and Tate fell for each other in only the way that first loves do: sharing all of their hopes, dreams, and deepest secrets along the way. Sam was the first, and only, person that Tate—the long-lost daughter of one of the world’s biggest film stars—ever revealed her identity to. So when it became clear her trust was misplaced, her world shattered for good. Fourteen years later, Tate, now an up-and-coming actress, only thinks about her first love every once in a blue moon. When she steps onto the set of her first big break, he’s the last person she expects to see. Yet here Sam is, the same charming, confident man she knew, but even more alluring than she remembered. Forced to confront the man who betrayed her, Tate must ask herself if it’s possible to do the wrong thing for the right reason… and whether “once in a lifetime” can come around twice.”


Introverted Mom

by Jamie C. Martin


This book is for any fellow introverts in the thick of parenting young kids. Relatable, inspiring and as a bonus she weaves in four authors that happen to top my list as well: Louisa May Alcott, Jane Austen, L.M. Montgomery, and Laura Ingalls Wilder.

“When the volume of family life clashes with your personality, frustration, guilt, and overwhelm naturally result. In Introverted Mom, author Jamie C. Martin lifts these burdens from your shoulders, reminding you that your steady strength is exactly what your family needs in this chaotic world. Jamie shares vulnerable stories from her own life as well as thoughts from other introverted mothers, letting you know you’re not alone. Her practical suggestions and creative inspiration are enhanced with quotes and insights from four beloved writers–Louisa May Alcott, Jane Austen, L. M. Montgomery, and Laura Ingalls Wilder. Together, Jamie and this band of fellow introverts gently point you toward hope, laughter, and joy.”


The Vanderbeekers to the Rescue

by Karina Yan Glaser


I can’t recommend this middle grade series highly enough for the kids in your life. Karina Yan Glaser is writing classics in the making and the latest installment brings another round of adventures for this large, loveable family. The Vanderbeekers series would make a perfect family or classroom read aloud for the 3rd-5th grade crowd.

“For the Vanderbeeker kids of Harlem’s 141st Street, spring break couldn’t be off to a better start. Isa’s back from band camp, Oliver’s building his first-ever treehouse in the backyard of the brownstone, and Laney, Jess, and Hyacinth are excited to help their mother when she gets the once-in-a-lifetime chance to star in a cooking magazine. But the Vanderbeekers’ plans go off the rails when an unexpected visit from city officials puts their mother’s bakery in jeopardy. Now they’ll have to band together to save the day before they’re out of business. Perfect for fans of The Penderwicks and Front Desk.”

*You can listen to Karina Yan Glaser discuss The Vandkerbeekers series and her writing life on A Bookish Home Podcast Episode 6.


How to Code A Rollercoaster

by Josh Funk, illustrated by Sara Palacios


I’m always on the lookout for STEM related picture books to inspire kids and I really enjoyed this one from Josh Funk and Girls Who Code. In a serendipitous turn, it also happened to arrive on my doorstep (thank you Viking Books!) on the same day I happened to be reading Brave, Not Perfect by the founder of Girls Who Code, Reshma Saujani. Sometimes books find you at the right time and I was really excited to have the opportunity to read this to my daughter after being inspired by Reshma’s work.

“Pearl and Pascal take their coding adventures to the amusement park in this follow-up picture book from our Girls Who Code program!

Pearl and her trusty rust-proof robot, Pascal, are enjoying a day out at the amusement park. Spinning teacups, ice cream, and of course: rollercoasters! Through the use of code, Pearl and Pascal can keep track of their ride tokens and calculate when the line is short enough to get a spot on the biggest ride of them all–the Python Coaster. Variables, if-then-else sequences, and a hunt for a secret hidden code make this a humorous, code-tastic day at the amusement park!”


Time for Bed

by Mem Fox


Having a new baby has meant revisiting some of the books that my daughter loved at that age. This sweet board book is perfect for settling little ones at bedtime and would make a great gift for a baby shower.

“Darkness is falling everywhere and little ones are getting sleepy, feeling cozy, and being tucked in. It’s time for a wide yawn, a big hug, and a snuggle under the covers–sleep tight! Working beautifully with the soothingly repetitive text, each painting conveys a warm feeling of safety and affection -School Library Journal”

What have you been reading lately? Leave a note in the comments or let me know on your favorite social media @ABookishHome.

Have you subscribed to A Bookish Home yet? Sign up to receive an email every time there is a new post or podcast episode.

Happy Reading!

Laura Szaro Kopinski



Affiliate links are used in this post. At no extra cost to you, we may receive a small commission if you make a purchase through the links provided. Thanks for supporting A Bookish Home!


10 Author Events Coming to Greater Boston

Are you looking for a bookish event to add to your calendar?

Here are some of the authors coming to bookstores and libraries in the Boston area this month.

Be sure to check your local library and bookstore’s event calendar to see what author events are coming to your community.

Not in the Boston area? This list is still a great way to find a book to add to your TBR list!


1. Tuesday 10/22 at 6:30pm – Blue Bunny Books, Dedham

Megan McDonald & Peter H. Reynolds, Judy Moody Book Quiz Whiz



2. Tuesday 10/22 at 7pm – An Unlikely Story, Plainville

Whitney Scharer, The Age of Light



3. Wednesday 10/23 at 7pm – Belmont Books

Elizabeth Ames, The Others’ Gold



4. Tuesday 10/29 at 6:30pm – Belmont Books

Kathryn Lasky, Tangled in Time #2: The Burning Queen



5. Wednesday 10/30 at 6pm – Brookline Booksmith

Heather Morris, Cilka’s Journey (ticketed event)



6. Saturday 11/2 at 11am – Silver Unicorn Books, Acton

Matt Tavares, Dasher



7. Sunday 11/3 at 11am – Brookline Booksmith/Coolidge Corner Theater

Kate DiCamillo, Beverly Right Here (ticketed event)


8. Monday 11/18 at 7:30pm – Brookline Booksmith/Chevalier Theater

Ta-Nehisi Coates, The Water Dancer (ticketed event)


9. Tuesday 11/19 at 7pm – An Unlikely Story, Plainville

Holly Black, The Queen of Nothing



Ten New Books I Can’t Wait To Read

There are so many amazing new and forthcoming books this fall. My list of library holds is a mile long and I bet yours will be too.

Here are 10 new books for adults (plus a few young adult titles) I can’t wait to read.

1. The Testaments

by Margaret Atwood

“In this brilliant sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale, acclaimed author Margaret Atwood answers the questions that have tantalized readers for decades.

When the van door slammed on Offred’s future at the end of The Handmaid’s Tale, readers had no way of telling what lay ahead for her—freedom, prison or death.

With The Testaments, the wait is over.

Margaret Atwood’s sequel picks up the story fifteen years after Offred stepped into the unknown, with the explosive testaments of three female narrators from Gilead.

“Dear Readers: Everything you’ve ever asked me about Gilead and its inner workings is the inspiration for this book. Well, almost everything! The other inspiration is the world we’ve been living in.” —Margaret Atwood”

2. Red At The Bone

by Jacqueline Woodson

“An extraordinary new novel about the influence of history on a contemporary family, from the New York Times-bestselling and National Book Award-winning author of Another Brooklyn and Brown Girl Dreaming.

Two families from different social classes are joined together by an unexpected pregnancy and the child that it produces. Moving forward and backward in time, with the power of poetry and the emotional richness of a narrative ten times its length, Jacqueline Woodson’s extraordinary new novel uncovers the role that history and community have played in the experiences, decisions, and relationships of these families, and in the life of this child.”

3. The Water Dancer

by Ta-Nehisi Coates

“In his boldly imagined first novel, Ta-Nehisi Coates, the National Book Award–winning author of Between the World and Me, brings home the most intimate evil of enslavement: the cleaving and separation of families.
Young Hiram Walker was born into bondage. When his mother was sold away, Hiram was robbed of all memory of her—but was gifted with a mysterious power. Years later, when Hiram almost drowns in a river, that same power saves his life. This brush with death births an urgency in Hiram and a daring scheme: to escape from the only home he’s ever known.

So begins an unexpected journey that takes Hiram from the corrupt grandeur of Virginia’s proud plantations to desperate guerrilla cells in the wilderness, from the coffin of the deep South to dangerously utopic movements in the North. Even as he’s enlisted in the underground war between slavers and the enslaved, Hiram’s resolve to rescue the family he left behind endures.

This is the dramatic story of an atrocity inflicted on generations of women, men, and children—the violent and capricious separation of families—and the war they waged to simply make lives with the people they loved. Written by one of today’s most exciting thinkers and writers, The Water Dancer is a propulsive, transcendent work that restores the humanity of those from whom everything was stolen.”

4. The Dutch House

by Ann Patchett

“Ann Patchett, the New York Times bestselling author of Commonwealth and State of Wonder, returns with her most powerful novel to date: a richly moving story that explores the indelible bond between two siblings, the house of their childhood, and a past that will not let them go.

“‘Do you think it’s possible to ever see the past as it actually was?’ I asked my sister. We were sitting in her car, parked in front of the Dutch House in the broad daylight of early summer.”

At the end of the Second World War, Cyril Conroy combines luck and a single canny investment to begin an enormous real estate empire, propelling his family from poverty to enormous wealth. His first order of business is to buy the Dutch House, a lavish estate in the suburbs outside of Philadelphia. Meant as a surprise for his wife, the house sets in motion the undoing of everyone he loves.

The story is told by Cyril’s son Danny, as he and his older sister, the brilliantly acerbic and self-assured Maeve, are exiled from the house where they grew up by their stepmother. The two wealthy siblings are thrown back into the poverty their parents had escaped from and find that all they have to count on is one another. It is this unshakeable bond between them that both saves their lives and thwarts their futures.

Set over the course of five decades, The Dutch House is a dark fairy tale about two smart people who cannot overcome their past. Despite every outward sign of success, Danny and Maeve are only truly comfortable when they’re together. Throughout their lives they return to the well-worn story of what they’ve lost with humor and rage. But when at last they’re forced to confront the people who left them behind, the relationship between an indulged brother and his ever-protective sister is finally tested.”

5. Royal Holiday

by Jasmine Guillory

“From the New York Times bestselling author of The Proposal and “rising star in the romance genre” (Entertainment Weekly) comes a dazzling new novel about a spontaneous holiday vacation that turns into an unforgettable romance.

Vivian Forest has been out of the country a grand total of one time, so when she gets the chance to tag along on her daughter Maddie’s work trip to England to style a royal family member, she can’t refuse. She’s excited to spend the holidays taking in the magnificent British sights, but what she doesn’t expect is to become instantly attracted to a certain private secretary, his charming accent, and unyielding formality.

Malcolm Hudson has worked for the Queen for years and has never given a personal, private tour—until now. He is intrigued by Vivian the moment he meets her and finds himself making excuses just to spend time with her. When flirtatious banter turns into a kiss under the mistletoe, things snowball into a full-on fling.”

6. Toil & Trouble

by Augusten Burroughs

“From the number one New York Times bestselling author comes another stunning memoir that is tender, touching…and just a little spooky.

For as long as Augusten Burroughs could remember, he knew things he shouldn’t have known. He manifested things that shouldn’t have come to pass. And he told exactly no one about this, save one person: his mother. His mother reassured him that it was all perfectly normal, that he was descended from a long line of witches, going back to the days of the early American colonies. And that this family tree was filled with witches. It was a bond that he and his mother shared – until the day she left him in the care of her psychiatrist to be raised in his family (but that’s a whole other story). After that, Augusten was on his own. On his own to navigate the world of this tricky power; on his own to either use or misuse this gift. From the hilarious to the terrifying, Toil & Trouble is a chronicle of one man’s journey to understand himself, to reconcile the powers he can wield with things with which he is helpless. There are very few things that are coincidences, as you will learn in Toil & Trouble. Ghosts are real, trees can want to kill you, beavers are the spawn of satan, houses are alive, and in the end, love is the most powerful magic of all.”

7. Butterfly Yellow

by Thanhhà Lai

“Perfect for fans of Elizabeth Acevedo, Ibi Zoboi, and Erika L. Sanchez, this gorgeously written and deeply moving own voices novel is the YA debut from the award-winning author of Inside Out & Back Again.

In the final days of the Việt Nam War, Hằng takes her little brother, Linh, to the airport, determined to find a way to safety in America. In a split second, Linh is ripped from her arms—and Hằng is left behind in the war-torn country.

Six years later, Hằng has made the brutal journey from Việt Nam and is now in Texas as a refugee. She doesn’t know how she will find the little brother who was taken from her until she meets LeeRoy, a city boy with big rodeo dreams, who decides to help her.

Hằng is overjoyed when she reunites with Linh. But when she realizes he doesn’t remember her, their family, or Việt Nam, her heart is crushed. Though the distance between them feels greater than ever, Hằng has come so far that she will do anything to bridge the gap.”

8. Look Both Ways

by Jason Reynolds

(*coming 10/8/19)

“From National Book Award finalist and New York Times bestselling author Jason Reynolds comes a novel told in ten blocks, showing all they different directions a walk home can take.

This story was going to begin like all the best stories. With a school bus falling from the sky. But no one saw it happen. They were all too busy—

Talking about boogers.
Stealing pocket change.
Wiping out.
Braving up.
Executing complicated handshakes.
Planning an escape.
Making jokes.
Lotioning up.
Finding comfort.
But mostly, too busy walking home.

Jason Reynolds conjures ten tales (one per block) about what happens after the dismissal bell rings, and brilliantly weaves them into one wickedly funny, piercingly poignant look at the detours we face on the walk home, and in life.”


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9. The Giver of Stars

by Jojo Moyes

(*coming 10/8/19)

“Set in Depression-era America, a breathtaking story of five extraordinary women and their unforgettable journey through the mountains of Kentucky and beyond, from the author of Me Before You and The Peacock Emporium 

When Alice Wright agrees to marry handsome American Bennett Van Cleve and leave behind her stifling life in England for a new adventure in Kentucky, she’s soon disenchanted by her newlywed status and overbearing father-in-law, owner of the local coal mine. So when a call goes out for a team of women to deliver books as part of Eleanor Roosevelt’s new traveling library, Alice signs on enthusiastically.

The leader, and soon Alice’s greatest ally, is Margery, the smart-talking, self-sufficient daughter of a notorious local criminal, a woman who’s never asked a man’s permission for anything. Alice finds Margery as bracing and courageous as anyone she’s ever met–and comes to rely on her, especially as her marriage starts to fail.

They will be joined by three diverse women and become known as the Horseback Librarians of Kentucky.”

**I was lucky enough to receive an advanced copy of The Giver of Stars. This book is going on my list of 2019 favorites for sure. As a librarian in particular, I was moved by the portrayal of the power of reading to shape a community and change women’s lives. Highly recommended.**


10. Olive Again

by Elizabeth Strout

(*coming 10/15/19)

“#1 New York Times bestselling author and Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Strout continues the life of her beloved Olive Kitteridge, a character who has captured the imaginations of millions of readers.

Prickly, wry, resistant to change yet ruthlessly honest and deeply empathetic, Olive Kitteridge is “a compelling life force” (San Francisco Chronicle). The New Yorker has said that Elizabeth Strout “animates the ordinary with an astonishing force,” and she has never done so more clearly than in these pages, where the iconic Olive struggles to understand not only herself and her own life but the lives of those around her in the town of Crosby, Maine. Whether with a teenager coming to terms with the loss of her father, a young woman about to give birth during a hilariously inopportune moment, a nurse who confesses a secret high school crush, or a lawyer who struggles with an inheritance she does not want to accept, the unforgettable Olive will continue to startle us, to move us, and to inspire moments of transcendent grace.”

What new books are topping your TBR list this fall? I’d love to hear your recommendations. Leave a note in the comments or let me know on Twitter or Instagram @ABookishHome.

If you’re enjoying the blog, be sure to tell a friend and subscribe to make sure you’ll never miss a new post.

Happy Reading!

Laura Szaro Kopinski


Affiliate links are used in this post. At no extra cost to you, we may receive a small commission if you purchase something through the links provided. Thanks for supporting A Bookish Home!

Ep. 40: Jeffrey S. Cramer, Author of Solid Seasons

This week I’m chatting with Jeffrey S. Cramer, who will share insights about two local literary figures–Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Jeffrey S. Cramer is the editor of Walden: A Fully Annotated Edition and The Quotable Thoreau. He is also the curator of collections at the Walden Woods Project’s Thoreau Institute Library and lives in Maynard, Massachusetts. His new book is called Solid Seasons: The Friendship of Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson.


You can also listen on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts.

Books Mentioned On This Episode:

Solid Seasons

Walden: A Fully Annotated Edition

The Essential Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson

Henry David Thoreau : A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers

What I Stand On: The Collected Essays of Wendell Berry 1969-2017


To learn more about Jeffrey S. Cramer you can visit his website http://www.jeffreyscramer.com.

To find out more about the Walden Woods Project visit https://www.walden.org.


If you’re enjoying the podcast, please share it with a friend and be sure to subscribe. If you could also take a moment to rate and review A Bookish Home on iTunes to help people find the show, I’d be so grateful.

Are you reading a book mentioned on the blog or podcast? I’d love to hear. Tag me on Twitter or Instagram @ABookishHome.

Happy Reading and Listening!

Laura Szaro Kopinski


Affiliate links are used in this post. At no extra cost to you, we may receive a small commission if you purchase something through the links provided. Thanks for supporting A Bookish Home!



Five Audiobooks That Made Me Enjoy Sitting in Traffic and Doing the Dishes

This week I’m sharing a post from last fall that’s chock full of great audiobook recommendations. Enjoy!


Are you on the hunt for an audiobook so good you won’t be able to press pause? Look no further.

I’m always on the lookout for an audiobook that will draw me right in and allow for some successful bookish multitasking–reading while taking a walk or folding laundry. Here are five of my recent audiobook favorites:


1. The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

Narrated by Julia Whelan

51eH5ngcYiL._SY346_From the bestselling author of The Nightingale, The Great Alone is hands down my favorite audiobook of the year. I found myself looking forward to rush hour Boston traffic just so I could hear one more scene. The novel opens in 1974 when 13-year-old Leni moves to Alaska with her parents. The family is woefully unprepared for the emotional and physical challenges of this harsh, beautiful landscape.  Leni must learn how to survive in her new surroundings–while navigating the complexities of her parents’ troubled relationship. Kirkus Reviews writes that Hannah “re-creates in magical detail the lives of Alaska’s homesteaders in both of the state’s seasons (they really only have two) and is just as specific and authentic in her depiction of the spiritual wounds of post-Vietnam America. A tour de force.” Hannah’s novel is a rare combination of exquisite writing, a plot that keeps you on the edge of your seat, and characters that will stick with you. I highly recommend the audiobook version, Julia Whelan’s performance was exceptional.

Kristin Hannah discusses the real life inspiration behind The Great Alone in this video:

You can also listen to this interview with Kristin Hannah from WNYC:

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2. Ghost by Jason Reynolds

Read by Guy Lockard


My one regret about Ghost by Jason Reynolds is that I didn’t pick it up sooner! This standout middle grade title is the first in Reynolds’ Track series and was a National Book Award finalist back in 2016, when the judges noted “In Ghost, Jason Reynolds flawlessly delivers eloquent moments of terror, anticipation and fun—clear to the finish line—without an extra word to spare. We are immersed in the backdrop of believable characters from the night Ghost Crenshaw runs for his life, to his struggle to silence the “scream inside him.” Ghost will stay with you.” I couldn’t agree more and the engaging audio narration had me hooked from chapter 1–and fittingly–adding serious mileage to my morning walk so I could listen longer. At various times the protagonist Ghost Crenshaw broke my heart and had me laughing out loud. I cannot wait to recommend this one to the kids and teens in my life and I’m sure this will be a top contender for this year’s Massachusetts Children’s Book Award program here in my state. You can also vote for Ghost as part of PBS’s Great American Read.

An excerpt of the Ghost audiobook is available to preview:


You can watch Jason Reynolds discuss Ghost and the importance of reading on this Author Imprint video from PBS:

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3. Off the Clock by Laura Vanderkam

Read by the author


Conversational, practical nonfiction books are my favorite audiobooks to listen to and Off the Clock: Feel Less Busy While Getting More Done is exactly that. If you are a podcast listener looking to dip your toe into audiobooks, I would suggest this new title by time management expert Laura Vanderkam. (In fact, you may have heard of Vanderkam from her podcast Best of Both Worlds). In her latest book, the author of 168 Hours and I Know How She Does It turns her attention to spending our free time wisely. She wrote about her inspiration for her book on her blog, “I first got the idea for this book in July 2016 when I was running in Bar Harbor, Maine. I had no immediate obligations for the day, and so that phrase popped into my head. I was off the clock — just like when I punched out after a shift back in my teenage minimum wage days. I wanted to explore this concept of time freedom: what makes it possible? How do busy people who feel relaxed about time structure their lives?”. For Off the Clock, Vandarkam had 900 people track their time on one day, March 27th, 2017–then analyzed the relationship between how people spent their time and how they felt about their time. Vandarkam’s findings will inspire you to turn off the television, put down your phone and invest time in the relationships and experiences that lead to a more satisfying life.

You can hear an excerpt of Off the Clock read by Vandarkam herself:


You can also listen to Vandarkam discuss the book on her Best of Both Worlds podcast with cohost Sarah Hart-Unger:

Best of Both Worlds Podcast Episode 43: Off the Clock

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4. Wishree by Katherine Applegate

Narrated by Nancy Linari

61al+P+9JDL._SX365_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg Katherine Applegate is the Newbery award-winning author of the The One and Only Ivan, one of my all-time favorite middle grade books. In Wishtree, Applegate turns her attention to a special talking tree and tackles issues of intolerance and immigration.  Red, a 216-year-old oak tree and our narrator, tries to intervene after a hateful message–aimed at a Muslim family new to the neighborhood–is carved into her trunk.  In a starred review Booklist calls Wishtree “Timely, necessary, and brimming with heart”. Wishtree would be an excellent choice for a classroom read aloud and the audiobook would be engaging listening for a family road trip. This one is sure to spark meaningful discussions with the kids in your life. Make sure to mention the connection to The One and Only Ivan to prospective young readers–Applegate’s earlier book is beloved.

You can listen to an excerpt of the Wishtree audiobook:


The trailer for Wishtree is extremely well done and has sparked so much enthusiasm for reading the book when I’ve shown it to 4th/5th grade classes:


5. An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

Narrated by Sean Crisden and Eisa Davis


Listening to An American Marriage by Tayari Jones instead of reading the print book happened by chance. I often place library holds for the print book and audiobook and read whatever becomes available first. In this case, I am so happy the audiobook won out because it was incredibly well done. The book is narrated by Sean Crisden and Eisa Davis, who read the parts of newly married Roy and Celestial–two characters whose stories take abrupt turns when Roy is wrongfully committed of a crime and sentenced to twelve years in prison. As The Washington Post notes, the questions around Celestial and Roy’s ties and responsibilities toward one another (they have only been married eighteen months) are “spun with tender patience by Jones, who cradles each of these characters in a story that pulls our sympathies in different directions.”


You can watch Oprah share this title as her book club pick and hear Tayari Jones discuss her inspiration for the book in this  clip from CBS This Morning:

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What audiobooks would you recommend? Let me know in the comments or on your favorite social media platform. I’m @ABookishHome.

Happy Reading!

Laura Szaro Kopinski