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The History of Drugs in Society explores the history of different substances and how we’ve lived alongside and interacted with them.This season, we’re going to look at opium in one of three ways: opium as a medicine, opium as a commodity that is traded, and opium as a drug that is consumed and people become addicted to. Each episode will have one of these three as the primary focus. We will start with the first signs of the opium poppy through the current opioid crisis in America and the maj ...
 
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This is the time of year when lots and lots of people travel so it makes sense to have a travel memoirist on our show. Kate Wickers is a British writer who has spent 25 years or so writing about her extensive travel experiences and publishing in magazines and newspapers all over the world. When COVID hit, she decided to turn her many travels with h…
 
Once again we have our favorite local bookseller, Sam Miller, of Carmichaels Books in Louisville KY on the show to talk about summer reads. She is like our in house book seller who joins us every summer and winter to tell us what is new and notable in bookstores. Not all of these books are the typical fluffy summer books about the beach and booze; …
 
In this episode, we chat with debut novelist Donna Gordon. While she has a long background as a poet and short story writer, she ventured into writing a novel when two ideas began swirling around in her head. Her novel, What Ben Franklin Would Have Told Me, tells the story of two characters, Lee and Tomás, who seem to have nothing that connects the…
 
Readers have heard of the big 5 publishing companies that include Harper Collins, and Penguin/Random House. But there is something really special about university presses. Unfortunately, they don’t often get the attention they deserve. Sarah Munroe, Marketing Manager and Acquisitions Editor at West Virginia University Press, is our guest this week …
 
It's travel season and a great time to revisit our episode with travel writers and illustrators Amber Share and Suzanne Roberts. This week’s episode is jam-packed with travel writing. . Our first guest is not a writer, but a graphic designer who began making cool illustrated posters of national parks on an Instagram account called Subpar Parks. Amb…
 
Namrata Patel has been writing for 20 years, but it wasn’t until the pandemic that she had more time to work on it. She had always been interested in dual culture and challenges of the diaspora, specifically Indians who had moved to the United States. The isolation of COVID really brought home how lonely life can be if you don’t feel like you fit a…
 
This week we talk to our first mystery series author: Jess Montgomery. The first book in her 4-book Kinship mystery series is The Widows which introduces us to Lilly Ross, a wife and mother in 1920s rural Ohio whose husband Daniel, the county sheriff, is killed in the line of duty. The town council asks Lilly to take over the sheriff’s position for…
 
Our guest this week, Court Stevens is outreach director for a public library and the author of 6 young adult suspense novels. Her most recent, We Were Kings, came out this past February and is her contemporary version of an Agatha Christie locked room mystery where our main character, Nyla King’s dysfunctional family and juicy secrets means everyon…
 
Our guest this week, Chelsea Hofmann, loves to feel her pulse quicken and gets excited by the idea that anything could happen. She lives her life spontaneously so her love of the thriller genre with its twists, turns, and surprise endings fit her personality just fine. After finishing college and moving to Southern California with her husband, she …
 
Today is going to be a little different. Unfortunately we had some scheduling difficulties and therefore don’t have a new episode for you this week. But, we do have a “New To You” episode because we have been lucky enough to be guests on several other podcasts. So, today we are offering up our appearance on The Modern Life Podcast, hosted by Tabby …
 
April is National Poetry Month and whether you love poetry or not, you’ve likely heard of poet laureates. You may not know what that distinction means, however. There are all kinds of poet laureates—of countries, or states, of cities, and of even smaller areas. A poet laureate is appointed by a head of government for her or his accomplishments and …
 
We’ve talked about many books on this podcast with an Appalachian setting. And in the Trump and post-Trump era, talking heads have been trying to understand Appalachia. After the publishing of Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance, a book about Appalachia that many people love to hate, a whole slew of books by diverse Appalachian writers came out that show…
 
Our guest this week is author and podcaster, Maggie Smith. Maggie’s second act in her professional life is as a novelist. She spent over 25 years running a business but when it began to feel boring and she needed to use her creativity, she attended a writer’s workshop where the instructor asked everyone to write down something they could never writ…
 
This week’s episode is for true crime enthusiasts. Every city has had murders that make the news, and Louisville is no different. Our guest this week, David Domine', adopted Louisville as his hometown and has a following here as an author, tour guide, and storyteller in the city. He has written a new book called A DARK ROOM IN GLITTER BALL CITY abo…
 
This week’s guest, Angela Jackson-Brown, is an award-winning novelist, poet, and playwright. She is also a professor at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana who completed her MFA at Spalding University in Louisville where she is also a member of the creative writing graduate faculty. Her most recent novel, When Stars Rain Down, was published in…
 
Our guest this week, Mazey Eddings, started out as a massive romance reader. In fact during her most stressful times of life, she would read upwards of a book a day, drawn to that guaranteed happy ending that all romance novels require. But, as someone who has an anxiety disorder, ADHD, and is on the autism spectrum, she felt like she didn’t see th…
 
For me some of the most satisfying episodes we do are when we talk to book lovers from other countries. What is it like to be a book lover from far-reaching places around the world? In the past we have talked to readers and writers from Ireland, Somalia, Germany, and Saudi Arabia. This week, we are headed to Croatia to speak with Ivana Murk who giv…
 
This week we chat with Brittany Thurman, a native of Kentucky, who has recently published her first children’s picture book titled Fly illustrated by Anna Cunha. She worked as a children's specialist at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh which is where the idea to write her own book occurred, and she even took inspiration from one of the children w…
 
This week our guest is Ashlee Clark who is the VP of Digital at Louisville Public Media and who also serves as one of the hosts of the Moth in Louisville KY, an opportunity for anyone in the community to listen to and tell stories. The Moth is a national storytelling organization with headquarters in New York City but there are regional Moth events…
 
Part of what drew us to this week’s author, Rebecca Rosenberg, was the cool cover of her historical fiction novel, Champagne Widows. But as we read the book, we realized it was a pretty fascinating story of a young widow, Madame Clicquot, who essentially revolutionized champagne production in France during the Napoleonic years. Rebecaa has written …
 
It’s always a lot of fun to connect with bookish podcasters, to learn why they started their shows and what they get from it. This week’s guest, Jennifer Caloyeras, is the host of Books Are My People. On her show, she has a bookish news segment and also recommends 5 books, most of them brand new releases, to listeners each week; Every other week sh…
 
Normally, we don’t repeat the same guests multiple times on the show (because there are so many great guests to feature), but we decided to ask Kimmery Martin back on the show for this episode. Kimmery is a trained ER physician who is now a full time author and her niche is medical fiction about female doctors. She is the author of 3 books: The Que…
 
This week’s episode features Andrew Harris, the producing artistic director at Stage One, a performing arts organization for children in our city. If you live in Louisville, you have either attended a Stage One production as a child or as the parent of a child, and the shows are always magical. Andrew chats with us about his career in theater, the …
 
In this episode, we talk to Gwenda Bond, a New York Times Best-selling author whose scope of work includes middle grade and young adult fiction, most with definitive fantasy elements. Her most recent book published this past fall, however, is her very first adult rom-com, a paranormal romance titled NOT YOUR AVERAGE HOT GUY, that involves the son o…
 
Carrie and Amy take a look back at books they read in 2021 and choose their favorites. Plus, past guests from 2021 share their top reads of the year. Books mentioned in this episode: 1- Sharks in the Time of Saviors by Kawai Strong Washburn 2- The Book of Eels by Patrik Svensson 3- This Close to Okay by Leesa Cross-Smith 4- Murmur of Bees by Sofia …
 
COVID has been hard for those among us who like to travel, but one of our favorite ways to assuage that desire is to read books set in different locations. Sweeping meadows. Mountains that touch the sky. Exotic locales. These places can whisk us from our humdrum homes. A Strong Sense of Place is both a podcast and a website where readers can find i…
 
**We have a rebroadcast this week. We will resume all new episodes in Season 6 mid-January. This week we are getting in the “spirit” of the first Saturday of May; a date that is sacrosanct for many Kentuckians because of the running of the Kentucky Derby. A love of horses and bourbon whiskey are high on the list of things that Kentuckians are proud…
 
Our guest this week, Alia Volz, wrote a book titled Home Baked: My Mom, Marijuana, and The Stoning of San Francisco about her experience growing up in San Francisco in the late 1970s and 80s. Alia’s parents were the owners of Sticky Fingers Brownies which made pot brownies that were known all over the city. While these brownies were the source of r…
 
Social media can be awful but it can also be a great way to discover wonderful things happening around the globe that give me hope. Our guests this week are an example of that. When I saw a Facebook post about a pair of teachers in Virginia that had been inspired by a book to launch a bookmobile service in their town, I wanted to know more. The nov…
 
Every guest we’ve had on our show thus far has been someone who interacts with books as Amy and I do--with our eyes and ears. But Valerie Saverie interacts with books in a unique way--she is a book sculptor who uses books as both her inspiration and her canvas. Based in Colorado, Valerie is the owner and a founding member of Valkarie Gallery & Stud…
 
I love a good bookclub. Carrie and I have been in one together for 15 years. I am the designated book club organizer, and even though bookclubs have been one of the great passions of my adult life, keeping them organized can be an annoying process; finding a date that meets everyone’s needs, making sure everyone knows about the meetings and the boo…
 
Our guest this week, Jeremy Hance, writes about 3 topics in his most recent book that we are always drawn to; mental health, travel, and animals. Baggage: Confessions of a Globe-trotting Hypochondriac is a memoir that uses humor to help readers understand what life is like for someone who has a mental health issue like Obsessive Compulsive Disorder…
 
In this week’s episode, we talk to our favorite bookseller, Sam Miller from Carmichael’s Books, about the holiday gift giving season. You’ve probably heard the warning to “shop early’ this holiday season because of shortages. So we are giving you the gift of new book ideas for all the booklovers in your life. We love inviting Sam on the show twice …
 
This week we had a great time talking about book people problems with our guest Bailey, host of the To Read List Podcast. She doesn’t work alone on the podcast: her co-hosts include her brother Andrew, her friend Toby, and her husband Dillon who is the sound recordist. Through this podcast, they attempt to get through all the books on their shelves…
 
Our guests this week are members of the same family. Jeremy and Hermione Tankard are a father-daughter duo behind the graphic novel series Yorick and Bones. Yorick, as any Shakespeare lover knows, is the skull that Hamlet speaks to in the play of the same name. In this graphic novel, Yorick is unearthed by a friendly dog, and they begin a series of…
 
We are halfway through spooky October and maybe you are looking for a good scary book to read. Our guest today, Johann Trotter, can give you some tips. Johann lives in Northern Ireland and works as a scientific researcher. But her hobby gone wild is horror in all its forms. She is a self-professed horror junkie. She is a bit obsessed with Stephen K…
 
This week’s episode is for true crime enthusiasts. Every city has had murders that make the news, and Louisville is no different. Our guest this week, David Domine', adopted Louisville as his hometown and has a following here as an author, tour guide, and storyteller in the city. He has written a new book called A Dark Room in Glitter Ball City abo…
 
We have a fondness for Appalachia and have had several guests on the Perks who hail from that area, including Alix Harrow, Ashley Blooms, and Annette Sanuooke Clapsaddle. But Appalachia is much larger than just the small slice that Amy and I often think of. Appalachia is really a huge area that encompasses a vast and diverse array of people. Today …
 
Society doesn’t really know what to do with older women. People give a lot of lip-service to the value of older women’s wisdom and experience but older women are often forgotten. As if they don’t have anything worth contributing once they hit a certain age. Our guest this week, Grace Sammon, has written a novel that tackles this modern dilemma for …
 
** We have a replay this week. We want our listeners to have a second chance to listen to our talk with author Farrah Alexander about her book, 'Raising The Resistance' about how to work social justice into our everyday lives. With some court cases on the horizon and strikes against women's rights in Texas, this seemed like a good episode to revisi…
 
Most weeks we talk about books and being a booklover in terms of exciting new releases or the ways in which writers create their imagined worlds and the characters who inhabit them. But today we are talking about how books can literally change lives because books are a business and can generate income. In this week’s episode, we speak to Elizabeth …
 
Our guest this week is St. Clair Detrick-Jules, a Brown University graduate who is a filmmaker and a new author. Her book 'My Beautiful Black Hair: 101 Natural Hair Stories from the Sisterhood' debuts on September 28 and features essays by and photographs of Black women who have come to some deeper understandings about what their hair and how they …
 
Lots of people travel around Labor Day and start thinking about fall break adventures so this week’s episode is jam-packed with travel writing. We chat with two guests this week. Our first guest is not a writer, but a graphic designer who began making cool illustrated posters of national parks on an Instagram account called Subpar Parks. Amber Shar…
 
This week’s episode is a nod to back-to-school season when teachers can get books into the hands of kids after a summer of free days, endless video games, and probably too many popsicles. We are joined by Melissa Hart from Eugene Oregon. She is the author of 2 memoirs, a middle grade book, and most recently a great resource for teachers, librarians…
 
In this week’s episode, we chat with Sanjay Saverimuttu. He is a ballet dancer with the Louisville Ballet and a choreographer who grew up in South Florida. Sanjay attended college at Stanford and studied Biology but decided dance was really his passion. His other passion is reading and he is the leader of the Louisvile LGBTQ book group sponsored by…
 
This week we talk with Heather Lennon, the Sales and Marketing Director at Arctis Books, a new publisher of books in translation for middle grade and young adult audiences. I first encountered Arctis books when I saw an instagram post about a middle grade book called Memento Monstrum originally published in German that will be in US bookstores in O…
 
This week we talk with Brooke Lauren Davis, a debut author whose YA book The Hollow Inside offers some unique characters. There’s Phoenix, the protagonist whose mother, Nina, has led them away from Phoenix’s father and towards a man from Nina’s past named Ellis, a successful and charismatic man who Nina believes ruined her life. It’s a story about …
 
Today our episode feels a little bit like show and tell or career day at school. We are finding out all about what a literary agent does. Our guest this week is Alice Speilburg, the founder of and one of the literary agents at Speilburg Literary Agency in Louisville, Kentucky. She learned her trade working with both publishers and a literary agency…
 
Today on the show we feature The Blue Marble bookstore which is in Ft. Thomas KY, just a skip across the river from Cincinnati, OH. It is a bookstore that serves children from birth to young adult. I first heard about The Blue Marble in an article about their Great Green Room. If you have had children or grandchildren in the last 70 years, you have…
 
Today we chat with author Melonie Johnson. She is the author of the “Sometimes in Love” romance series but her newest release which hit bookstores last week is a little bit of a departure; it is a romantic comedy called Too Good To Be Real. Melonie said she strived to write something light and fluffy that would take her and other people’s minds off…
 
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