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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Now displaying: October, 2017
Oct 31, 2017

The heroic story of Suzanne Spaak, who risked everything and gave her life to save hundreds of Jewish children from deportation from Nazi-occupied Paris to Auschwitz is one of many untold stories of the Holocaust. This week's episode of Just the Right Book welcomes author Anne Nelson who tells Spaak's story in her latest book, Suzanne's Children: A Daring Rescue in Nazi Paris

The Yale University alum consults with many of the leading US foundations including Gates, Rockefeller, and Carnegie on international media conflict and human rights, was a war correspondent in Latin America and reported from Eastern Europe and Asia for the New York Times, LA Times, BBC, NPR, and PBS.

Nelson has now set her considerable wide-ranging skills on a story of extraordinary courage in the face of evil. She has resurrected from obscurity the life of Suzanne Spaak, a wealthy Brussels-born woman who used her prominent status in Nazi-occupied Paris to rescue, shelter, and support Jewish children that were orphaned or left behind after their parents were deported to the concentration camps of Europe. Roxanne says, "In Miss Nelson's hand this story of courage is a page-turner filled with fascinating detailed research on the state of terror that existed in Nazi-occupied Paris, the espionage, and the extraordinary bravery of some and the astounding complicity with evil of many."

Also in this episode, some fantastic book recommendations from co-founder and president of The Book Report Network, Carol Fitzgerald.

Books in this episode:

Suzanne’s Children: A Daring Rescue in Nazi Paris by Anne Nelson

Homage to Catalonia by George Orwell

Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II by Liza Mundy

Manhattan Beach (Audio) by Jennifer Egan, Heather Lind (Read by), Vincent Piazza (Read by)

The Dirty Book Club by Lisi Harrison

Need to Know by Karen Cleveland

Disclaimer by Renee Knight

Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan

Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate 

The Great Alone by Kristen Hannah

A Trace of Footprints by Ruth Wolff

Next week, Roxanne will be speaking with Matthew Weiner, the creator of the AMC hit drama series Mad Men and the author of the soon-to-be released book, Heather the Totality. If you have any questions that you would like to ask Matthew, please write to us at, our Facebook page or Tweet us!

If we use your question, you will win a gift certificate to the Just the Right Book subscription service, which is a personalized book of the month program. You won't even have to worry about what you are going to read next because a group of genius booksellers choose for you!






Oct 26, 2017

In today's Tidbits episode, Roxanne recommends a kids book that's also perfect for pet lovers of all ages. Plus, a timeless tale of terror for adults which Roxanne calls "brilliant in every way."

We are really interested in hearing what you think is the perfect Halloween book! Post your recommendations on our Facebook page or Tweet us!

Also in today’s Tidbits, we give you a sneak peek at next week’s interview with author Anne Nelson, who spoke to Roxanne about her new book, Suzanne's Children: A Daring Rescue in Nazi Paris.

Books in this episode:

Pug & Pig Trick-Or-Treat by Sue Lowell Gallion, Joyce Wan (Illustrator)

Frankenstein by Mary Shelly

Oct 24, 2017

Why do certain moments influence us so strongly? In this week's episode of Just the Right Book Podcast, we speak to Dan Heath, one half of the dynamic writing team which includes his brother Chip Heath. Dan explains how their latest book, The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact is about defining the moments that bring special meaning to our lives and the importance of creating them.

The Heath brothers' latest collaboration demonstrates how to apply The Power of Moments in many areas of life including: business, marriage, education, healthcare and hospitality. Dan shares a few of the stories from the book including one of his favorites about a Los Angeles hotel called the Magic Castle. Here, you can order up free popsicles for delivery poolside using a red phone by the pool known as the "Popsicle Hotline." The frozen treats are even brought out on a silver tray by someone wearing white gloves. The Magic Castle may look like an average motel painted bright yellow but the staffers realize that guests will forgive a lot of "average" as long as there are certain moments worth cherishing. 

And also in this episode, we to hear from Justin Souther from Malaprop's Bookstore/Cafe in Asheville, North Carolina for our segment, "What's on the Front Table."

Books in this episode:

The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact by Chip Heath, Dan Heath

Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard by Chip Heath, Dan Heath

Decisive: How to Make Better Better Choices in Life and Work by Chip Heath, Dan Heath

Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip Heath, Dan Heath

The Life You Can Save: How to Do Your Part to End World Poverty by Peter Singer

The Visual Display of Quantitative Information by Edward R. Tufte

In the Distance by Hernan Diaz

Paperbacks from Hell: The Twisted History of '70s and '80s Horror Fiction by Grady Hendrix 

The Last Castle: The Epic Story of Love, Loss, and American Royalty in the Nation's Largest Home by Denise Kiernan

The Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolano

The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad

The Man Who Was Thursday: A Nightmare by G.K. Chesterson


Oct 20, 2017

In today's Tidbits episode, we hear Claire Messud read a passage from her latest book, The Burning Girl. Roxanne describes the novel as "a fascinating look at friendships between young girls and how they arc over time."

Also in today's Tidbits, we give you a sneak peek at next week's interview with novelist Dan Heath, who spoke to Roxanne about his new book, The Power of Moments.

Listen to the full interview with Claire Messud here


Oct 18, 2017

You may know Cheryl Strayed from her #1 New York Times bestselling memoir Wild, which inspired the blockbuster film starring Reese Witherspoon or from one of her other bestsellers, Tiny Beautiful Things or Brave Enough.

The Portland resident, who's popular advice column Dear Sugar inspired the podcast Dear Sugars is also the co-author of The Sweet Spot advice column in the New York Times Thursday Styles section. Strayed stopped by Just the Right Book Podcast to talk about that famous hike on the Pacific Crest Trail, her career as an advice columnist and how curiosity at a young age set the tone for her life journey. “As a child, I was very probing,” she tells Roxanne. “In fact, my mother would say I could ask each adult only three questions, because she knew I would never stop. I always paid careful attention to people’s emotional realities.” 

Stay tuned after the interview with Cheryl to hear what is on the front table at RJ Julia in Madison, Connecticut. 

Books in this episode:

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

Wild by Cheryl Strayed

Beloved by Toni Morrison

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

Savage Country by Robert Olmstead

The Origins of Creativity by Edward O. Wilson

Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie

From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death by Caitlin Doughty

A Legacy of Spies by John Le Carre

The Hours by Michael Cunningham

Additional authors in this episode:

Raymond Carver, Alice Munro, Mary Gaitskill & William Trevor. 

Oct 12, 2017

The National Book Foundation recently revealed the 20 finalists for the 2017 National Book Awards. In today's Tidbits episode, Roxanne highlights some of her favorite titles from the four categories: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and young people’s literature. The winners will be announced at a ceremony on November 15th in New York.

See the complete list of nominees here

Books in this episode:

Dark at the Crossing by Elliot Ackerman

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia by Masha Gessen

Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann

In the Language of My Captor by Shane McCrae


Oct 11, 2017

Ron Chernow is the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer, historian, and journalist who wrote the biography which became the inspiration for the record-breaking, hip-hop Broadway musical Hamilton.

In this week’s episode of Just the Right Book, Chernow joins Roxanne to talk about his latest expository biography on Ulysses S. Grant. In Grant, the author paints the former president as a flawed man, yet great general and president. Chernow reveals that after getting thrown out of the Army for drinking on payday, Grant must beg his father for a menial job selling leather goods while working below his two younger brothers. Once the Civil War begins, Grant is called to duty and through his merits is vaulted to the top commander of the Union army.

“My job as a biographer is to probe the ‘silences,’ what the subject doesn’t want to talk about,” says Chernow, referring to Grant’s own military memoirs in which “there is not a single syllable about his drinking problem…or his terrible poverty.”

Stay tuned after the interview with Ron Chernow to hear what is currently on Roxanne's nightstand. 

Books in this episode:

Grant by Ron Chernow

Abraham Lincoln: A Biography by Lord Charnwood 

Abraham Lincoln by Carl Sandburg

Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan

Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward


Oct 3, 2017

Michael Kindness "always has his finger on the pulse of what we should be reading," says Roxanne. Just the Right Book Podcast welcomes back Penguin Random House sales rep and former Books on the Nightstand host, Michael Kindness, who shares the print and audio books that he is loving right now. Roxanne and Michael also get into a discussion about the recent controversy surrounding an early draft of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in which Charlie Bucket was black.

Get even more book talk from Michael Kindness and listen to Ep 9, Ep 20 & Ep 32 of Just the Right Book Podcast.

Follow Michael Kindness on Twitter

Books in this episode:

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero 

Artemis by Andy Weir

The Martian by Andy Weir

Seabiscuit: An American Legend by Laura Hillenbrand

The Ice Storm by Rick Moody

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl 

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin 

Audio Books in this episode:

Charlotte's Web 50th Anniversary Retrospective Edition (Compact Disc) by E.B. White, E.B. White (read by) 

The BFG by Roald Dahl, David Walliams (read by)

House of Names by Colm Toibin, Juliet Stevenson (read by), Charlie Anson (read by) 

The Changeling by Victor D. Lavalle