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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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May 23, 2018

We start our second season with two-time National Book Award finalist Rachel Kushner. Her new book, “The Mars Room” tells the story of Romy Hall who was serving two consecutive life sentences plus six years at the Stanville Women's Correction Facility in California’s Central Valley.

Roxanne says that the book “informs our understanding of prison life in a woman's correctional facility in thrilling and ironic detail” and “helps us ponder a society that gives rise to these inevitabilities, disappointments, and injustices.”

Also in this episode, we welcome back Lissa Muscatine, the owner of Politics & Prose in Washington DC for our segment “What’s on The Front Table.”

Books in this episode:

The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner

The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky

To purchase any of the books recommended by Lissa Muscatine, just go to Politics & Prose.  

Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin

Beneath a Ruthless Sun: A True Story of Violence, Race, and Justice Lost and Found by Gilbert King

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

Fascism: A Warning by Madeleine Albright 

Make Trouble by Cecile Richards

Something Wonderful by Todd S. Purdum

The Wine Lover's Daughter: A Memoir by Anne Fadiman

Lab Girl by Hope Jahren

Happiness: A Novel by Aminatta Forma

Losing Mum and Pup: A Memoir by Christopher Buckley

Sharp by Michelle Dean

Educated by Tara Westover

Lessons From Lucy: The Simple Joys of an Old, Happy Dog by Dave Barry 

The President Is Missing: A Novel by James Patterson and Bill Clinton

There Will Be No Miracles Here: A Memoir by Casey Gerald 

The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro 

 

  

 

May 17, 2018

Luvvie Ajayi dished on meeting Oprah, moving to the US from Nigeria, and raising awareness of HIV/AIDS among women in our inaugural episode!

The comic phenom and award winning author's first book I’m Judging You: The Do-Better Manual became an instant New York Times best seller!

Also in this episode, we debuted our very first installment of “What’s on the Front Table” with Lissa Muscatine, former speech writer for Hillary Clinton and owner of the Politics and Prose bookstore in Washington, D.C.

Books in this episode:

I’m Judging You: The Do-Better Manual By Luvvie Ajayi

The Broke Diaries: The Completely True and Hilarious Misadventures of a Good Girl Gone Broke By Angela Nissel

We Should All Be Feminists By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Hillbilly Elegy By J.D. Vance

Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right By Arlie Russell Hochschild

The Fight to Vote By Michael Waldman

Swing Time By Zadie Smith

Luvvie’s blog

The Red Pump Project

May 10, 2018

Amy Dickinson chats about finding love at middle-age, the heartbreak of caring for an ailing parent at the end of life and moving back to her hometown of Freeville, NY.

The nationally syndicated advice columnist's book, “Strangers Tend to Tell Me Things: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Coming Home” is out in paperback now!

Books in this episode:

Strangers Tend to Tell Me Things: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Coming Home by Amy Dickinson

The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost

May 3, 2018

 

John Grisham revealed just how close he came to ending his writing career when the mega-bestselling author joined us last summer to promote the crime fiction thriller, Camino Island. (now out in paperback)

“If this book doesn’t work, I’m quitting this,” said the former attorney about The Firm, his first major success.

Books in this episode:

Camino Island by John Grisham 

The Firm by John Grisham

Apr 26, 2018

Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Strout gives us the scoop on the Emmy Award-winning HBO series based on her book Olive Kitteridge and shares her thoughts on Frances McDormand as the title character. We celebrate the paperback release of her renowned novel Anything is Possible

Roxanne also talks to super-fan, Kim Nelson-Layman, who got a special surprise when she heard who else was on the phone!

Books in this episode:

Anything Is Possible by Elizabeth Strout

My Name Is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout

Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence

Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson

Check out Kim Nelson-Layman’s Blog!

Apr 18, 2018

Daphne Merkin opens up about her battles with depression and offers advice on supporting loved ones struggling with the disease as we welcome the paperback release of her acclaimed memoir.

This is a fascinating conversation with the novelist and critic you won't want to miss.

Books mentioned in this episode:

This Close to Happy: A Reckoning with Depression by Daphne Merkin

Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness by William Styron

The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression by Andrew Solomon

Apr 12, 2018

Just in time for the paperback release of The Late Show introducing Det. Renée Ballard, a driven young detective trying to prove herself in the LAPD, we reflect on the best-selling author Michael Connelly's discussion with Roxanne at an exclusive live event.  

The wonderfully entertaining former crime reporter dished on what's it like being the Executive Producer of the hit TV series, Bosch, inspired by one of his famous characters. Connelly also talked about jazz, how he chose writing over engineering, and of course, his brand-new book series.

Books in this episode:

The Late Show by Michael Connelly

The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler

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Apr 5, 2018

In part two of Roxanne’s sit-down with James Forman Jr., the two dive further into James’ first book Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America.

Forman tells us his first-hand story of the criminal justice system from his experience as a public defender and shares his incredulity over his results of Harvard’s Implicit Association Test in this season finale.

Help Us Shape Season 2 & Take Our 5-Minute Listener Survey!

Books in this episode:

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

The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander 

Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson 

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

The Power of Their Ideas: Lessons for America from a Small School in Harlem by Deborah Meier

 

Mar 29, 2018

The Wall Street Journal says, “If we are going to have a national conversation about race in the United States, a book like [James Forman Jr.'s] Locking Up Our Own ought to set the tone."

The Yale Law School professor, former public defender, and charter school founder brings his experience to the complex minefield topic of race and incarceration in his first book, Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America.

James and Roxanne explored the intricacies of political activism and the role it plays today. They also discuss the current gun debate, the decriminalization of marijuana, and James’ father, the civil rights leader James Forman Sr. 

Stay tuned next week for Part 2 of our conversation with James Forman Jr. 

 

Mar 27, 2018

Business Insider recently asked a group of Harvard Professors which included Nobel laureates, scientists, economists, and Pulitzer Prize winners to share the single book they think students should read in 2018. 

Roxanne tells us, "I love lists because it reminds me of what I should pay attention to." 

Harvard Recommended Books:

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

The Internationalists by Oona Hathaway and Scott Shapiro

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson

The Theory of Moral Sentiments by Adam Smith 

Robot-Proof: Higher Education in the Age of Artificial Intelligence by Joseph E. Aoun

Read the full article here

 

 

Mar 22, 2018

 

She flipped the notion of parenting on end with her last book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. Now she takes her latest shot and claims the way we act is destroying the world. 

Her latest book, Political Tribes: Group Instinct and the Fate of Nations offers a bold new remedy for reversing foreign policy failures and overcoming our own destructive political tribalism at home.

R J. Julia was lucky enough to host the Yale Law School professor and as Roxanne puts it, “she is never one to shy from provocative points of view”.

Books in this episode: 

Political Tribes: Group Instinct and the Fate of Nations by Amy Chua

Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov

Mar 19, 2018

Former FLOTUS Michelle Obama’s “deeply personal” memoir, Becoming drops this Fall! 

Roxanne also discusses country music legend Dolly Parton’s non-profit, Imagination Library which just celebrated a huge milestone!

Also, stay tuned for a sneak peek into our next episode featuring Amy Chua where she discusses her latest book, Political Tribes: Group Instinct and the Fate of Nations

Read about Michelle Obama's first memoir, Becoming!

Read about Dolly's non-profit, Imagination Library!

 

 

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! 

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

 

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