Just the Right Book with Roxanne Coady

Just the Right Book is a podcast hosted by Roxanne Coady, owner of famous independent bookstore R.J. Julia Booksellers in Madison, CT, that will help you discover new and note-worthy books in all genres, give you unique insights into your favorite authors, and bring you up to date with what’s happening in the literary world.
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Just the Right Book with Roxanne Coady



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Mar 15, 2018

Our guest Yascha Mounk’s new book, "The People Vs. Democracy: Why Our Freedom is in Danger and How to Save It" is “a provocative must read,” according to Roxanne. Roxanne and Yascha will explore how we got to where we are and what we can do about it.

Yascha, the Executive Director at the Tony Blair Institute, lectures at Harvard and write The Good Fight column at Slate as well as hosts a podcast by the same name.

This is an important show you won’t want to miss.

Check out Yascha Mounk’s The Good Fight Podcast here!

Check out Yascha's book tour!


Mar 13, 2018

From fairy princesses to books about family relationships, immigration and more, Harper's Bazaar has something for everyone's March Reading Madness! 

Also, stay tuned for a sneak peek into our next episode featuring Yascha Mounk where he discusses his latest book The People vs Democracy: Why Our Freedom Is in Danger and How to Save It

Check Out Harper's "18 New Books You Need to Read in March!" 


Mar 9, 2018

Julia Samuel’s first book Grief Works: Stories of Life, Death, And Surviving is organized by the type of loss; losing a parent, losing a child, and confronting your own death.

Is the way which someone grieves different by the loss or is it more defined by who they are?

Samuel is a psychotherapist specializing in grief who spent the last 25 years working with bereaved families. She recently joined Roxanne at RJ Julia to talk about grief as a process that's unique to every person, but universal in the need to be experienced and discussed.

Roxanne says, “I think the point that permeates throughout the book is the need to confront pain as part of the grieving process.”

Mar 6, 2018

Roxanne recently sat down with author and friend Amy Bloom to talk about her new book White Houses, inspired by one of the most intimate relationships in history between Eleanor Roosevelt and journalist Lorena Hickok. Listen to Amy read an excerpt from her latest bio-fiction in this week's episode. 

Also, stay tuned for a sneak peek into our next episode featuring Julia Samuel where she discusses her latest book Grief Works: Stories of Life, Death, and Surviving

Click here to listen to the full episode with Amy Bloom

Mar 1, 2018

Author A.J. Jacobs recently discovered that he was related to President Barack Obama, Lady Gaga and Donald Trump!

Jacob’s latest book, “It’s All Relative: Adventures Up and Down the World’s Family Tree” was born out of this one email: "You don't know me, but I'm your eighth cousin. And we have over 80,000 relatives of yours in our database." The journalist and contributing writer for Esquire who is best known for writing about his lifestyle experiments shares how he chronicled his three-year journey to help build the biggest family tree in history.

The number of people who have had their DNA analyzed with home genealogy kits like AncestryDNA more than doubled during 2017 and now exceeds 12 million.

We also speak to Gael LeLamer, Book Buyer at Books & Books in Miami who shares what is on their front table and the books the changed her life.

Books in this episode:

It’s All Relative: Adventures Up and Down the World’s Family Tree” by A.J. Jacobs

The Friend by Sigrid Nunez 

I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes with Death by Maggie O'Farrell

The Third Hotel by Laura Van Den Berg 

The House of Impossible Beauties by Joseph Cassara 

Paris is Burning by Lucas Hilderbrand 

On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century by Timothy Snyder 

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

The Agony and the Ecstasy: A Biographical Novel of Michelangelo by Irving Stone

Stuart Little by E.B. White

The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss 

Doing Good Better: How Effective Altruism Can Help You Make a Difference by William Macaskill 

Feb 27, 2018

Jimmy Kimmel will be hosting The Oscars again this year and we are thrilled to see so many book-based movies nominated!

Also, stay tuned for a sneak peek of our conversation with author A.J. Jacobs talking about “It’s All Relative: Adventures Up and Down the World’s Family Tree” which will be out later this week. 

The 90th Oscars telecast on Sunday, March 4, 2018, will now begin at 8:00 p.m. EST/5:00 p.m. PST

The Books Adapted into This Year's Oscar Contenders:

Call Me by Your Name, adapted from André Aciman's novel of the same name: best picture; actor in a leading role (Timothée Chalamet); original song; and adapted screenplay (James Ivory).

Darkest Hour, based on the book Darkest Hour: How Churchill Brought England Back from the Brink by Anthony McCarten, who also wrote the screenplay: best picture; actor in a leading role (Gary Oldman); and cinematography (Bruno Delbonne).

Mudbound, adapted from the novel of the same name by Hillary Jordan: actress in a supporting role (Mary J. Blige); cinematography (Rachel Morrison); and adapted screenplay.

All the Money in the World, based on Painfully Rich: The Outrageous Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Heirs of J. Paul Getty by John Pearson: actor in a supporting role (Christopher Plummer).

The Disaster Artist, adapted from the book The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside the Room, the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made by Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell: adapted screenplay (Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber).

Molly's Game, adapted from the book Molly's Game: The True Story of the 26-Year-Old Woman Behind the Most Exclusive, High-Stakes Underground Poker Game in the World by Molly Bloom: adapted screenplay (Aaron Sorkin).

The Breadwinner, adapted from the children's novel of the same name by Deborah Ellis: animated feature film.

Ferdinand, based on the children's book The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf and Robert Lawson: animated feature film.

The Boss Baby, based on Marla Frazee's picture book of the same name: animated feature

Feb 23, 2018

Bustle is a website geared towards Millennial women delivering everything you need to know, see, and read right now. In this episode, Senior Books Editor Cristina Arreola talks to Roxanne about everything from BookCon to Broadway and their shared love of Cheryl Strayed. 

Also in this episode, we hear from New York Times best-selling author and friend of the show Amy Bloom who was at RJ Julia recently to launch her new novel White Houses. The bio-fiction which USA Today called "irresistibly audacious" is inspired by one of the most intriguing relationships in history- between Eleanor Roosevelt and journalist Lorena Hickok.

Check out Amy Bloom's official website

Check out Cristina's Twitter

Books in this episode: 

White Houses by Amy Bloom

The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan

Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar by Cheryl Strayed 

The Recovering: Intoxication and Its Aftermath by Leslie Jamison 

Feel Free: Essays by Zadie Smith 

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen 

Feb 21, 2018

A.J. Jacobs is an author, journalist, and contributing writer for Esquire and is best known for writing about his lifestyle experiments. His latest book 
"It's All Relative: Adventures Up and Down the World's Family Tree" chronicles Jacobs's three-year journey to help build the biggest family tree in history.

You can hear Roxanne’s full interview with A.J. next week on Just the Right Book but for this week’s Bookmarks episode we decided to give you a special look inside the book with an excerpt of “It's All Relative” read by A.J. Jacobs himself.

Later this week, you can hear Connecticut author Amy Bloom talk about her latest book "White Houses." Stay tuned for a sneak peek in this week's Bookmarks


Feb 15, 2018

We have heard these kind of stories a million times. I’m not understood. He doesn’t listen. She spends too much money. I think I married the wrong person. How could she betray me?

Are these midlife crises? Are they fatal flaws or are they a rough patch? On this week's episode we meet Daphne De Marneffe, the author of "The Rough Patch: Marriage and the Art of Living Together." She takes us through some of the major stressors of marriage like money and sex, and offers tips for couples who might be going through rough patches or want to avoid them. 

Daphne is a licensed clinical psychologist offering psychotherapy to couples and individuals. She has a Bachelors degree from Harvard and a PhD in clinical psychology. As Roxanne puts it: "Her book provides, with courage and compassion, one of the best discussions, enlightenment and thought on marriage that I have read." 

Also in this episode, we hear from the patrons of RJ Julia who share what's on their nightstand. 

Books in this episode: 

The Rough Patch: Marriage and the Art of Living Together by Daphne De Marneffe 

Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

Kiss Carlo by Adriana Trigiani 

The Daughter's Almanac by Katharine Whitcomb

Attachment by John Bowlby

Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach

Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal by Mary Roach

Water Works by Tanya Karen Gough  

Feb 13, 2018

It's Valentines Day and of course we think books are the perfect gift! So, for our first Bookmark Roxanne recommends some of the best books to read about love. 

Also in today's Bookmarks, we give you a sneak peek at this week's interview with Daphne De Marneffe, the author or "The Rough Patch."

Books in this episode: 

The Lover by Marguerite Duras

Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Hourglass: Time, Memory Marriage by Dani Shapiro 

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones 

Origami Love Notes Kit

Still Me by Jojo Moyes

I Wrote This Book Because I love You: Essays by Tim Kreider 

My Foolish Heart: A Pop-Up Book of Love by Nick Bantock 

What to Do When Jane Knows Dick about Dating: If He Wants You, You Will Know It by Laura J. Wellington 

Feb 8, 2018

Matchmaker, Matchmaker find me a book… Nicole Lamy is a writer, book critic and literary matchmaker for the The New York Times' Match Book column which runs online on Tuesdays and every other Sunday in the Book Review. Nicole connects readers with book suggestions based on their questions, their tastes, their literary needs, and desires. The former Boston Globe editor and TV writer joined Just the Right Book to talk book recommendations, the most outrageous letter that she has ever received, and the books that changed her life.

And stay tuned after Roxanne’s conversation with Nicole to hear a recent live event with author Min Jin Lee. Her book “Pachinko” was nominated for the 2017 National Book Award for fiction and made The New York Times “10 Best Books of 2017.” Lee also talked about her “hysterical shyness”, how she has read The Bible six times, and even the merits of kimchi. The event hosted by RJ Julia was moderated by the ladies of the “Book Cougars Podcast.”

Nicole Lamy's Twitter 

Min Jin Lee's Twitter

Books in this episode:

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

The Moonflower Vine by Jetta Carleton 

Thank You Octopus by Darren Farrell

Masterpiece by Elise Broach

Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White

Portrait of a Lady by Henry James 


Feb 3, 2018

The National Book Critics Circle (NBCC) recently announced its 30 finalists in six categories––autobiography, biography, criticism, fiction, nonfiction, and poetry––for the outstanding books of 2017. The awards will be presented on March 15, 2018 at the New School in New York City.

In this week's Tidbits Roxanne talks about these awards and a couple of her favorites! Plus, we give you a sneak peek at next week's episode with Nicole Lamy from The New York Times

Thank you to all our listeners who voted and helped us rename Tidbits. A newly-named bite-sized episode is coming next week! 

Feb 1, 2018

Looking for a good book to curl up with this winter? We've got you covered! In this week's episode of Just the Right Book Podcast Roxanne is joined by Ellen Gamerman, the Arts and Culture reporter for the Wall Street Journal. Ellen takes us inside the Journal and shares some winter reads and even talks Oscars

Also, in this episode Roxanne speaks to author, journalist, and Rolling Stone contributor Jeff Goodell about his latest book, The Water Will Come. Goodell, who has covered climate change for fifteen years, has previously written five books on topics such as the coal industry, Geoengineering and even a memoir about growing up in Silicon Valley. 

We have certainly heard the doomsday scenarios of the impact of climate change, the warming ocean, the melting glaciers, and the rising sea levels. We have witnessed destruction by hurricanes like Sandy, Irma, Harvey and Maria. Yet most of us only have a vague understanding of what is causing it or how quickly and how destructively it’ll all happen.

Twelve Books to Read This Winter by Ellen Gamerman

Six More Books to Read This Winter by Ellen Gamerman 

Check Out Ellen's Twitter!

Books in this episode:

The Water Will Come: Rising Seas, Sinking Cities, and the Remaking of the Civilized World by Jeff Goodell 

The Kremlin's Candidate by Jason Matthews

Come Nineveh, Come Tyre: The Presidency of Edward M. Jason by Allen Drury

White Houses by Amy Bloom 

Sunburn by Laura Lippman 

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn 

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins 

Wild by Cheryl Strayed

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty 

Charlotte's Web by E.B. White 

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck


Jan 26, 2018

Author, journalist, and Rolling Stone contributor Jeff Goodell's latest book “The Water Will Come” details how oceanside places are becoming more and more vulnerable to rising seas. 

You can hear Roxanne's full interview with Jeff next week on Just the Right Book but for this week’s Tidbits episode we decided to give you a special look inside the book with an excerpt of “The Water Will Come” read by Jeff himself. 


Jan 25, 2018

Albert Einstein was once the most famous person on the planet. Today his work remains integral to scientific study, to the physics of our world, and to the way we conceptualize our very existence. His quotes on all subjects litter the walls of college dorms and university classrooms but there is one quote that is unlike any other, a letter in response to a grieving father that had just lost his son.

In Einstein and the Rabbi: Searching for the Soul, Rabbi Naomi Levy dives into the mystery of what prompted one of the greatest scientific minds in history to write so eloquently about the human condition and what it says about our own interconnectedness. Rabbi Levy joined Just the Right Book Podcast to take us on this journey of discovering other dimensions of Einstein and the backstory of this grieving father.

As Roxanne puts it, "What it really does is help us think about what that space is that some people have found with religion, some people look for in various versions of spirituality and she does a great job of helping us think about this notion of the soul in a wider way."

Also in this episode, we hear what some of the folks in New Haven are reading. 

Books in this episode:

Einstein and the Rabbi: Searching for the Soul by Naomi Levy

Man's Search for Ultimate Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl  

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult 

The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing Exposed and Explained by the World's Two by Al Ries, Jack Trout

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin

Walking to Listen: 4,000 Miles Across America, One Story at a Time by Andrew Forsthoefel 

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee 

Truthers by Geoffrey Girard 

Jan 19, 2018

In this week's Tidbits episode Just the Right Book Podcast takes you inside a young adult author panel hosted by RJ Julia for E. Lockhart, Julie Buxbaum, Kara Thomas, Jennifer E. Smith, and Ann Brashares. Look for more from this panel in an upcoming episode of Just the Right Book Podcast

Also in today's Tidbits, we give you a sneak peek at next week's episode with Rabbi Naomi Levy who spoke to Roxanne about her book Einstein and the Rabbi, an exploration of the meaning and purpose of the soul, inspired by the famous correspondence between Albert Einstein and a grieving rabbi.


Jan 17, 2018

Former Books on The Nightstand host, "rep extraordinaire" and frequent guest Michael Kindness is back to add to your winter reading list!

Also in this episode, Roxanne speaks to author and former New York City prosecutor Linda Fairstein, the writer of Ninteen internationally best-selling Alex Cooper novels.

Fairstein stopped by Just the Right Book Podcast to chat about her kids book Digging for Trouble, the second book in her Devlin Quick Mysteries. The story follows twelve-year-old supersleuth Devlin Quick as she heads to Montana to dig out dinosaur bones, but instead discovers a mystery.

So what inspired Linda to write about dinosaurs besides her love for New York City's Museum of Natural History? She explains learning that "Montana, Wyoming, and up through Alberta Canada has the largest dinosaur fossil deposits in America because there was once an inland sea there." 

Linda was also the former chief of Sex Crimes Unit of the District Attorney's Office in Manhattan for over two decades. Roxanne couldn't resist getting her take on the flood of sexual harassment and abuse allegations that have consumed the news over the last few months. Could a book on the subject be next for the bestselling author?

Check out Linda's Website

Books in this episode:

Digging For Trouble by Linda Fairstein 

Deadfall by Linda Fairstein

Obama: An Intimate Portrait by Pete Souza

Grant by Ron Chernow

Need to Know by Karen Cleveland 

Baking with Kafka by Tom Gauld

Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover 

The Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jeanette Walls

Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics: A 10% Happier How-To Book by Dan Harris 

When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing by Daniel H. Pink

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle  

Jan 11, 2018

If you knew the date of your death, how would you live your life? This is the premise of Chloe Benjamin's second novel The Immortalists, which was hailed "2018's First Must-Read" by Entertainment Weekly

Just the Right Book Podcast caught up with the self-proclaimed "midwest convert" right before her book tour and she dished on an array of topics including religion, ballet, magic and her latest novel which may be coming to the small screen. Benjamin even tells Roxanne whether she would choose to know the date of her death if she could.

And stay tuned after the conversation with Chloe to hear the latest book recommendations from Lori Fazio, the COO of RJ Julia in Madison, CT. 

Books in this episode: 

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin 

Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

Anything Is Possible by Elizabeth Strout

The Last Equation of Isaac Severy: A Novel in Clues by Nova Jacobs

A Place for Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza

Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House by Michael Wolff

Jan 5, 2018

Chloe Benjamin's second book, The Immortalists is one of the most anticipated books of 2018. In this week's Tidbits episode we give you a special look inside the book with an excerpt read by Chloe herself!

And tune in next week to Just the Right Book Podcast to hear Roxanne's full interview with Chloe Benjamin. 

Jan 3, 2018

Pamela Paul is the editor of The New York Times Book Review and oversees books coverage at The New York Times. She is also a journalist, host of the Book Review Podcast and an author of an array of books on subjects ranging from pornography and starter marriages, to parenting. Her latest book, My Life With Bob, is about the life of an obsessive reader. 

In this week's episode of Just the Right Book Podcast, Pamela gives us a rare look at the inner workings of The New York Times and her meteoric rise to becoming the editor of The New York Times Book Review. Paul also chats with Roxanne about the newspaper's prestigious list, The 10 Best Books of 2017.

And stay tuned after Roxanne's conversation with Pamela Paul to hear what patrons of RJ Julia have on their New Years Reading Resolutions List. 

Books in this episode:

Autumn by Ali Smith

Exit West by Moshin Hamid 

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee 

The Power by Naomi Alderman

The Evolution of Beauty: How Darwin's Forgotten Theory of Mate Choice Shapes the Animal World - And Us by Richard O. Prum

Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

Grant by Ron Chernow

Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America by James Forman Jr. 

Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder by Caroline Fraser

Priestdaddy: A Memoir by Patricia Lockwood

A Journey of One's Own: Uncommon Advice for the Independent Woman Traveler by Thalia Zepatos

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

To The Bright Edge of The World by Eowyn Ivey

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

Quotes for Nasty Women: Empowering Wisdom for Women Who Break The Rules by Linda Picone

Middlemarch by George Eliot

The House of Niccolo by Dorothy Dunnett

Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machada

Such Small Hands by Andres Barba 

The Saboteur by Andrew Gross

Belgravia by Julian Fellowes 



Dec 29, 2017

In today's Tidbits Episode Roxanne gives us some of her favorite "New Year, New You" book picks. 

Also in today's Tidbits, we give you a sneak peek at next week's episode with Pamela Paul, the editor of The New York Times Book Review and author of My Life With Bob.

Books in this episode:

Silence: in the Age of Noise by Erling Kagge

Women & Power: A Manifesto by Mary Beard

Gratitude by Oliver Sacks 

The Naturalist's Notebook: An Observation Guide and 5-Year Calendar-Journal for Tracking Changes in the Natural World Around You by Nathanial T. Wheelwright, Bern Heinrich




Dec 27, 2017

Ann Patchett is the co-owner of Parnassus Books in Nashville and the author of seven novels. In 2012, Time Magazine named her as one of their 100 Most Influential People in the World.

In this week's episode of Just the Right Book Podcast we revisit one of our most popular episodes with the The Bel Canto author who joined Roxanne last winter from her home in Nashville. They discussed many things including her life as a bookseller, her book Commonwealth, and this years' Man Booker Prize-winner, George Saunders' Lincoln in the Bardo

Books in this episode:

Commonwealth by Ann Patchett

This is the Story of a Happy Marriage by Ann Patchett

Bel Canto by Ann Patchett

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

Tenth of December: Stories by George Saunders

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

Dec 22, 2017

In today's Tidbits episode Roxanne talks about some of her favorite books of 2017! 

Also in today’s Tidbits, we give you a sneak peek at next week’s  episode with Ann Patchett, when we re-visit one of our most popular conversations!

Books in this episode:

Exit West by Moshin Hamid 

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

Grant by Ron Chernow

Listen to Ep 47 with "Grant" author Ron Chernow here!



Dec 20, 2017

Jacques Pepin is a world-renowned chef, a former columnist for the New York Times and the author of more than two dozen cookbooks. For this week's episode of Just the Right Book Podcast, we revisit one of our favorite episodes with the internationally recognized French chef and author just in time for the holidays!

Last December the world’s most famous cooking teacher stopped by RJ Julia to share HIS best holiday cooking tips and you’ll never believe what he tells Roxanne about his own cooking mistakes!

Check out Jacques NEW book, A Grandfather's Lessons: In the Kitchen with Shorey 

More books by Jacques Pepin:

Jacques Pepin: Heart & Soul in the Kitchen

The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen

Jacques Pepin's New Complete Techniques

Essential Pepin: More Than 700 All-Time Favorites from My Life in Food

Jacques Pepin Fast Food My Way 

The Short-Cut Cook

Jacques Pepin More Fast Food My Way

Chez Jacques: Traditions and Rituals of a Cook

Jacques Pepin Celebrates

Jacques Pepin's Complete Techniques: More Than 1,000 Preparations and Recipes, All Demonstrated in Thousands of Step-By-Step Photographs

Jacques Pepin's Simple and Healthy Cooking 

This episode is sponsored by BarkBox. To get a free month of BarkBox when you subscribe to a 6 or 12-month plan, just go to

Dec 15, 2017

In today's Tidbits episode Roxanne read one of her favorite poems from Mary Oliver's collection, A Thousand Mornings: Poems

Also in today’s Tidbits, we give you a sneak peek at next week’s  episode with world-renowned chef Jacques Pepin, when we re-visit one of our favorite episodes just in time for the holiday season!

Pick up Jacques NEW book, A Grandfather's Lessons: In the Kitchen With Shorey

By Mary Oliver

Today I’m flying low and I’m
not saying a word.
I’m letting all the voodoos of ambition sleep.

The world goes on as it must,
the bees in the garden rumbling a little,
the fish leaping, the gnats getting eaten.
And so forth.

But I’m taking the day off.
Quiet as a feather.
I hardly move though really I’m traveling
a terrific distance.

Stillness.  One of the doors
into the temple.

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