Fully Booked by Kirkus Reviews

On this week's episode, we're delighted to welcome Linda Holmes, host of NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast, to discuss her sparkling debut novel, Evvie Drake Starts Over (that's "'Evvie like Chevy, not Evie like Max Greevey.'"). Evvie is a smart, vibrant thirty-something from small-town Maine who loses her husband and takes a tenant, a handsome Major League Baseball pitcher who's lost his mojo, maybe for good. We talk the "yips," platonic soulmates, auditory writing, cultural criticism, and more. Then our editors recommend books by Kwame Alexander, Kat Cho, and Kristen Arnett.

Fully Booked by Kirkus Reviews
00:46:44 6/24/2019

Past Episodes

In a special segment recorded live at Austin Central Public Library, Clay interviews Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Rick Atkinson, author of the Liberation Trilogy (An Army at Dawn, etc.), about the first book in his new Revolution Trilogy, The British Are Coming: The War for America, Lexington to Princeton, 1775-11777. Then our editors offer their reading recommendations for the week, including books by Katherine Johnson, Rory Power, Bill Streever, and Ocean Vuong.
01:14:35 7/8/2019
With vim and virtuosity, debut author Lauren Mechling captures the messiness, testiness, comfort, competition, and fun of female friendship. Her novel, How Could She, is the cringingly funny story of swiftly titling dynamics between three New York City thirtysomethings on the cusp of several life-changing events. Mechling joins us on this week's episode to discuss friends/frenemies, the compromises we make to "have it all," podcasting, the Toronto-New York cultural exchange, and more. Then our editors recommend books by Sean Williams, Rick Atkinson, and Mary Beth Keane.
00:44:51 7/1/2019
#1 New York Times-bestselling author Blake Crouch (Dark Matter) is our guest on this week's episode, recorded live at BookExpo America. Crouch met Clay and Megan at an undisclosed location at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City to discuss his mysterious new novel, Recursion, a sci-fi thriller centering on two characters' complex relationships to time, grief, memory, and one another. And our editors recommend books by Rosanne Parry, Sophie Cameron, Anna Fifield, and Elin Hilderbrand.
00:50:06 6/17/2019
This week we're working blue in an episode that might have you seeing red: Linguist and journalist Amanda Montell joins us to discuss Wordslut: A Feminist Guide to Taking Back the English Language, a sparkling analysis of our quirky, biased gendered vernacular. Montell shines a light on curse words, code switching, grammar, pronunciation patterns, and how we might make language more inclusive moving forward. Then our editors present their top picks in books this week.
00:56:12 6/10/2019
On this very special episode of Fully Booked, podcast royalty Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark ("My Favorite Murder") join us to discuss their joint memoir, Stay Sexy & Don't Get Murdered: The Definitive How-To Guide, a book that's funny & fearsome & close to the bone. Then our editors present their top picks in books this week.
00:51:00 6/3/2019
On this week's episode, Oscar Cásares joins Clay and Megan to discuss Where We Come From, a compassionate portrait of life along the Texas-Mexico border at Brownsville and Matamoros, centering on one woman's reluctant involvement with a human smuggling ring. "In some ways timely, this quiet, delicate book delivers a truly timeless emotional punch," Kirkus writes (starred review). Then our editors join with their top picks in books this week.
00:57:34 5/27/2019
In Julia Phillips' stunning debut novel, Disappearing Earth, two sisters are taken from a seaside city on a summer day, affecting the lives of women and girls in diverse communities throughout Russia's majestic Kamchatka Peninsula. She joins us on this week's podcast to discuss her "unusual, cleverly constructed thriller" (starred review) and race, class, and culture in the Russian Far East. Then our editors join with their top picks in books this week.
00:52:41 5/20/2019
John Burnham Schwartz joins us on this week's episode to discuss The Red Daughter, a novel inspired by the remarkable life of Svetlana Alliluyeva, Joseph Stalin's youngest child, whose 1967 defection from the Soviet Union to the United States caused an international uproar. A surprising personal connection gave Schwartz unprecedented access to historical documents that helped him tell her intriguing story. After the interview, our editors join with their top book recommendations for the week.
00:53:15 5/13/2019
We've never read anything quite like YA star A.S. King's "stunningly original" new novel, Dig, the meditative saga of a white Pennsylvania family with agricultural roots and a few dirty secrets. On this week's episode, King discusses confronting racism, classism, and misogyny in an informed and compassionate way, and our editors join with their top picks in books this week.
00:57:43 5/6/2019
In Christian Kiefer's Phantoms, a white American Vietnam vet contends with legacies of racism, violence, and imperialism in a small agricultural town in Placer County, California. Kiefer joins us on this week's podcast to discuss the incandescent new novel, which Kirkus calls, "certainly anti-war, certainly condemning our country's dark past ... full of quavering beauty, unbreakable love, and fragile, relentless hope" (starred review). Then our editors join with their weekly book recommendations.
00:37:15 4/29/2019

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