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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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.

Dec 13, 2017

Here at Just the Right Book Podcast we believe that books are the perfect gift for any occasion! So, we enlisted the help of two of our esteemed experts to help you find the perfect book for everyone on your list.

Miriam Sontz, the CEO of the legendary Powell’s Books and Andrew Brennan, the head book buyer for RJ Julia join Roxanne in browsing the bookshelves to give us their favorite picks for this holiday season!

JTRB Podcast’s 2017 Holiday Gift Guide:

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

What Unites Us: Reflections on Patriotism by Dan Rather & Kirschner

A Legacy of Spies by John Le Carre

Eternal Life by Dara Horn

Women & Power: A Manifesto by Mary Beard

Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah

Exit West by Moshin Hamid

How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia by Moshin Hamid

Devotions: The Selected Poems of Mary Oliver by Mary Oliver

Lab Girl by Hope Jahren

Wise Trees by Diane Cook and Len Jenshel

The Blinds by Adam Sternbergh

Monograph by Chris Ware

The Book of Cheese: The Essential Guide to Discovering Cheeses You'll Love by Liz Thorpe

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner... Life: Recipes and Adventures from My Home Kitchen by Missy Robbins

Annie Leibovitz: Portraits 2005-2016 by Annie Leibovitz

Sticky Fingers: The Life and Times of Jann Wenner and Rolling Stone Magazine by Joe Hagan

Leonardo Da Vinci by Walter Isaacson


Dec 8, 2017

In today's Tidbits Episode we hear author and Mad Men creator read a passage from his debut novel, Heather the Totality

Listen to Roxanne's full interview with Matthew here

And next week on Just the Right Book Podcast, we hear from Miriam Sontz, the CEO of Powell's Books in Portland, Oregon and Andrew Brennan, the head book buyer at RJ Julia who will help you find the perfect book for everyone on your holiday list!

Dec 6, 2017

Alice Hoffman is the New York Times bestselling author of Practical Magic, which inspired the cult-classic film by the same name starring Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman.

In this week's episode of Just the Right Book Podcast, the New York native joins Roxanne to discuss witches, feminism, family secrets, and her latest book, The Rules of Magic. The book which is set in New York City in the sixties is a prequel to Practical Magic and was picked by Reese Witherspoon for her October 2017 Book Club read. The actress and book lover described the story as “full of magic, love, family, heartbreak and redemption.”

When asked what attracted her to witches and magic, Hoffman reveals how she grew up reading fairy tales, folk tales and myths. "What you read as a child influences who you become as a writer and who you become as a person. For me, it's not a choice. Magic and literature are just wound together...braided together...they exist together. I always feel like realism is the new kid on the block and that literature is magic."

And stay tuned after Roxanne's conversation with Alice Hoffman to hear from Anne Bogel, the host of the popular book podcast What Should I Read Next? and the creator of the blog Modern Mrs. Darcy.


Books in this episode:

Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman

The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger 

The Burning Girl by Claire Messud 

The Weight of Ink by Rachel Kadish

The Ninth Hour by Alice Dermott

Tell Me a Riddle by Tillie Olsen 

Epilogue: A Memoir by Anne Roiphe

Reading People: How Seeing the World Through the Lens of Personality Changes Everything by Anne Bogel 

This Must be the Place by Maggie O'Farrell 

The Riders by Tim Winton 

Nothing Remains the Same: Rereading and Remembering by Wendy Lesser

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard 

The Writing Life by Annie Dillard 

Draft No. 4: On the Writing Process by John McPhee

Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time by Jeff Speck 





Dec 4, 2017

In today's Tidbits episode we hear author and former prosecutor Linda Fairstein read a passage from her latest book for ages 9-12 called Digging For Trouble. You can hear Roxanne's full conversation with Linda later on this month.

Also in today's Tidbits, we give you a sneak peek at this week's  episode with author Alice Hoffman who spoke to Roxanne about her new book, The Rules of Magic, a prequel to Practical Magic which inspired a movie starring Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman. 

Dec 1, 2017

Thank you to all the wonderful independent authors who submitted their books to us in November. Our poll is now officially open, which means you can visit and vote for your favorite independent author and their book.

Authors, we encourage you to share the poll with friends, family, and readers to boost your chance of winning. The poll closes on December 15th, after which we'll announce the winner who will receive a special shout-out on our show.

Visit to vote now.

Nov 29, 2017

If you were born in 1997 you were four when 9/11 happened, 11 when the economy crashed in 2008, 15 when a black teenager named Trayvon Martin was murdered and his killer went free. In 2014 you were 17 when Michael Brown was shot in Ferguson Missouri, and 19 when Donald Trump was elected President. 

Dr. Beverly Tatum's 1997 book on race relations, Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria has become a modern classic found in many classrooms. In this week's episode of Just the Right Book Podcast, the former Spelman College president joins Roxanne for a live event at Wesleyan RJ Julia to talk about the 20th anniversary edition of her time-honored book and how race relations has evolved in the past two decades.

Talking about twenty-year old adults today, Tatum says "94% of them will say they have witnessed instances of bias, seeing someone treated unfairly because of their group membership. And yet only 20% of that 94% will say that they are comfortable talking about bias instances. So for that reason, I describe them as not color blind, but color silent." 

And stay tuned after our conversation with Dr. Beverly Tatum to hear Roxanne's chat with Girly Book Club founder, Erin Woodward who's book club has over 60,000 members in 12 countries!

Books in this episode:

Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria by Beverly Daniel Tatum

Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts

The Nix by Nathan Hill

It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover 

Strange Fits of Passion by Anita Shreve

One Day Closer: A Mother's Quest to Bring Her Kidnapped Daughter Home by Lorinda Stewart

Wishtree by Katherine Applegate

This episode of Just the Right Book Podcast is sponsored by HelloFresh. When you visit and use the promo code “bookpodcast30”, you’ll save $30 off your first week of deliveries.


Nov 27, 2017

In this week's Tidbits episode, you'll hear the three books Roxanne picked up recently and can't stop raving about!

Also in today’s Tidbits we give you a sneak peek at this week’s conversation with Dr. Beverly Tatum, who joined Roxanne at an event hosted by the Wesleyan RJ Julia Bookstore to talk about the 20th anniversary edition of her book Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?

Books in this episode:

Wishtree by Katherine Applegate

Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in 40 Questions by Valeria Luiselli 

A Kind of Freedom by Margaret Wilkerson Sexton

Nov 23, 2017

“In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.” This quote by Albert Camus was the inspiration for Chilean-American author, Isabel Allende’s latest book, In the Midst of Winter.  

Allende, who’s novels include “The House of the Spirits” and “City of the Beasts,” joined our Roxanne Coady at a live event hosted by RJ Julia to chat about her latest work, a mad-cap caper that brings together Evelyn, a young undocumented Guatemalan woman, Lucia, a 62 year old exile from Chile and Richard, a 60 year old human rights scholar. Roxanne explains, “along the way we learn about the Injustice of immigration laws, human trafficking, the terror of militants, yet all imbued with stories of resilience, friendship and love.”

Isabel and Roxanne cover many topics including, how her grandparents impacted her life growing up, democracy in Chile after 17 years of dictatorship and finding “mature love” in her 70s. Talking about her new love, Allende says “he is moving to my house in December with his clothes and a bike That’s all I accept in the house.” 

And in case you missed it, Roxanne gives you the titles of the 2017 National Book Award winners! 

Books in this episode:

The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende

Far From the Tree by Robin Benway

Half-Light: Collected Poems 1965-2016 by Frank Bidart

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

Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward


Nov 20, 2017

Calling all independent authors!

We want to help get the word out about independently published books and give you a chance to have Roxanne talk about your book on our show. Please pick one of the books you've authored, then send us an email at by November 30th. Include your full name, the book title, an enticing description, and your website and/or social media links.

Starting December 1st, we'll put up a poll on our website listing all the book submissions we received. The book with the most votes will receive a detailed shout-out from Roxanne on our show. Once the poll goes up, be sure to share the link with friends, family, and your readers to encourage them to vote and boost your chances of winning.

Thanks in advance for your participation and for listening to Just the Right Book Podcast. Good luck, independent authors!

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