Fully Booked by Kirkus Reviews

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Jeremy Atherton Lin discusses ‘Gay Bar: Why We Went Out’ (Little, Brown, Feb. 9), “A vibrant and wistful report on a bygone era in gay culture” (starred review). Then our editors offer reading recommendations for the week, with books by Joyce Sidman, Joy McCullough, Amber Ruffin and Lacey Lamar, and Brandon Hobson.
Edward Carey discusses ‘The Swallowed Man’ (Riverhead, Jan. 26), an author-illustrated retelling of ‘Pinocchio’ from Geppetto’s point of view: “A deep and grimly whimsical exploration of what it means to be a son, a father, and an artist” (Kirkus). Then our editors offer reading recommendations for the week, with books by Carole Boston Weatherford (illus. by Floyd Cooper), Aimee Nezhukumatathil, and Tove Ditlevsen.
Michelle Duster discusses ‘Ida B. the Queen: The Extraordinary Life and Legacy of Ida B. Wells” (One Signal, Jan. 26), an illustrated biography and “warm remembrance of a civil rights icon” (Kirkus). Then our editors offer reading recommendations for the week, with books by Dovey Roundtree Johnston and Katie McCabe, Tess Sharpe, Jerry Seinfeld, and Sarah Moss.
Matthew Salesses discusses ‘Craft in the Real World: Rethinking Fiction Writing and Workshopping’ (Catapult, Jan. 19), “fresh view of teaching craft to writers of diverse backgrounds” (Kirkus). Then our editors offer reading recommendations for the week, with books by B.B. Alston, Malinda Lo, Gabriel Byrne, and Anna North.
George Saunders discusses ‘A Swim in a Pond in the Rain: In Which Four Russian Give a Master Class on Writing, Reading, and Life’ (Random House, Jan. 12), in which “a master of contemporary fiction joyously assesses some of the best [short stories] of the 19th century” (starred review). Then our editors offer reading recommendations for the week, with books by Helen Yoon, Angie Thomas, Ram Dass, and Torrey Peters.
Koa Beck discusses White Feminism: From the Suffragettes to Influences and Who They Leave Behind (Atria, Jan. 5), “A timely, compelling dissection of feminism's reliance on consumerism and useful suggestions for paths forward” (starred review). Then our editors offer reading recommendations for the week, with books by JonArno Lawson and Qin Leng, Maika and Maritza Moulite, Charles M. Blow, and Mateo Askaripour.
Happy New Year, listeners! Editor-in-chief Tom Beer joins host Megan Labrise for the Fully Booked Year-in-Review, reintroducing two of our favorite conversations from 2020. First up, Beer talks with Claudia Rankine, author of Just Us: An American Conversation (Graywolf); then Labrise speaks with Julia Alvarez, author of Afterlife (Algonquin). Thanks for joining us, and cheers to another great year in podcasting.
We’re celebrating Kirkus’ Best Books of 2020! Best Books honoree Maria Dahvana Headley (Beowulf) chats with editor-in-chief Tom Beer; and novelist Carter Sickels (The Prettiest Star) talks with host Megan Labrise. Then our editors each highlight a title from our Best Books lists, including books by David A. Robertson, Liz Hyder, Hugh Raffles, and Emma Donoghue.
Nicole Krauss discusses her short story collection To Be a Man (Harper, Nov. 3). Kirkus: “A tremendous collection from an immensely talented writer” (starred review). And in a sponsored interview, Megan talks with Pat and Frankie Vegas about the YA graphic biography Redbone: The True Story of a Native American Rock Band (IDW Publishing, Oct. 27, starred review). Then our editors offer up another round of holiday gift picks, with books by Clotilde Perrin and Daniel Hahn, David Sedaris, James McBride, and Danielle Evans. Sponsored in part by Amazon Original Stories. 
Ringer columnist Claire McNear discusses her first book, Answers in the Form of Questions: A Definitive History and Insider’s Guide to Jeopardy! (Twelve, Nov. 10), an entertaining look behind the scenes of “America’s Favorite Quiz Show.” And in a sponsored interview, Megan chats with middle-grade novelist Bridget Krone, author of Small Mercies (Catalyst Press). Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, with books by Rio Cortez and Lauren Semmer, Karen M. McManus, Barack Obama, and Lorrie Moore.
It's the third annual Fully Booked Holiday Gift Guide Extravaganza! Simon Doonan (How To Be Yourself: Life-Changing Advice From a Reckless Contrarian) and Kevin Young (ed. African American Poetry: 250 Years of Struggle & Song) join editor-in-chief Tom Beer and host Megan Labrise for a little holiday cheer. And our editors present their top gift picks, with books by Dav Pilkey, Sara Zarr, Jimmy Page, Tom Morello, and Claire Saffitz. And in a sponsored interview, Megan talks with Karen Schneemann and Lily Williams, authors of Go With the Flow (First Second).
Emmy-winning comedy writer Merill Markoe discusses We Saw Scenery: The Early Diaries of Merrill Markoe (Algonquin, Oct. 20), a subversive graphic memoir based on her childhood journals from the 1950s and ‘60s. Kirkus: “Markoe's bold, sometimes absurdist drawings and the often chiding conversations she imagines between her mature and adolescent selves enhance the comedy at the heart of this thought-provoking story...” Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, with books by Isabel Thomas and Sara Gillingham, Gavriel Savit, Andrew Cuomo, and Bryan Washington. And in a sponsored interview, Megan talks with Jordan Scott and Sydney Smith, author and illustrator of I Talk Like a River (Neal Porter Books, Sept. 1).
Dwight Garner discusses Garner’s Quotations: A Modern Miscellany (FSG, Nov. 10), an uncommon collection of quotations from the New York Times book critic’s own commonplace book. Kirkus: “Garner delights in including words not printable in his newspaper, and his selections privilege the sly and irreverent…. A diverting trove of witty remarks.” Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, with books by Isabel Thomas and Sara Gillingham, Gavriel Savit, Andrew Cuomo, and Bryan Washington.
Bett Williams discusses The Wild Kindness: A Psilocybin Odyssey (Dottir Press, Sep. 1), a shimmering literary memoir about growing and taking psychedelic mushrooms in the New Mexican desert. Kirkus: “An exuberant endorsement of the use of psychedelics as an instrument of self-discovery.” Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, with books by Ruby Bridges, Gloria Chao, and Shirley Hazzard.
We're just two days away from this year's (virtual) Kirkus Prize ceremony! In a YouTube livestream on Thursday, Nov. 5, we’ll reveal our judges’ picks for the best books of the year in fiction, nonfiction, and young readers’ literature; and the winners will each take home a $50,000 prize. In this special Kirkus Prize podcast, we go behind the scenes with fiction judge Chang-rae Lee, nonfiction judge Kiese Laymon, and YRL judge Nicola Yoon to find out what it took to make this year’s six-book shortlists. Then our editors join to discuss all 18 finalists.
Ruby Hamad discusses White Tears/Brown Scars: How White Feminism Betrays Women of Color (Catapult, Oct. 6), a profound work of cultural criticism that shows how white womanhood is weaponized against Black and Indigenous women, and women of color. Kirkus: “An extraordinary book for anyone who wishes to pay more than lip service to truly inclusive, intersectional feminism” (starred review). Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, including books by Bill Nye, Lucinda Robb and Rebecca Boggs Roberts, David Attenborough, and V.E. Schwab.
Novelist emily m. danforth discusses Plain Bad Heroines (William Morrow, Oct. 20), a spooky and substantial queer horror-comedy that opens on two girls in love at a Rhode Island boarding school, in 1902, and swiftly takes a turn for the macabre. Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, including books by Jon J. Muth, eds. Nova Ren Suma and Emily X. R. Pan, Mariah Carey, and Tana French.
Journalist Sarah Smarsh discusses She Come By It Natural: Dolly Parton and the Women Who Lived Her Songs (Scribner, Oct. 13), an in-depth consideration of Dolly Parton’s contributions to American culture and evolving role in the popular imagination. “A highly readable treat for music and feminist scholars as well as Parton's legion of fans” (Kirkus). Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, including books by Christina Soontornvat, Trung Le Nguyen, and Dolly Parton.
Debut novelist K-Ming Chang discusses Bestiary (One World, Sep. 29), a “visceral book that promises a major new literary voice” (starred review). Rooted in myth and magic, the story is told by the daughter, mother, and grandmother of a Taiwanese American family that settles in California by way of Arkansas. After an altercation with her mother, the daughter grows a tiger tail, heralding a spate of strange occurrences. Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, including books by Shinsuke Yoshitake, Jon Meacham, and Rumaan Alam.
Francina Simone discusses Smash It! (Inkyard Press, Sep. 22), a “stellar” YA novel starring 17-year-old Olivia James, who decides it’s time to confront her fear of standing out - starting with auditioning for the school musical. Kirkus: “Readers will find themselves rapt with anticipation and excitement and filled with compassion for Olivia’s journey to self-acceptance and self-love” (starred review). Then our editors join the podcast to discuss the importance of Banned Books Week (Sep. 27-Oct. 3, 2020).
Anne Helen Petersen discusses Can’t Even: How Millennials Became the Burnout Generation (HMH, Sep. 22), “A well-researched and -rendered analysis of why so many millennials feel overwhelmed despite their best efforts” (starred review). Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, including books by Daniel Pinkwater and Aaron Renier, Justin A. Reynolds, Jeff Benedict, and Louise Penny.
Vanessa Veselka discusses The Great Offshore Grounds (Knopf, Aug. 26), an exquisite, freewheeling character-driven novel that ponders the possibility of reinvention, the meaning of family, and the American Dream. Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, including books by Amra Sabic-El-Rayess, Ben Macintyre, and Sigrid Nunez.
Award-winning author Claudia Rankine joins editor-in-chief Tom Beer to discuss Just Us: An American Conversation (Graywolf Press, Sept. 8), a paradigm-shifting cross-disciplinary collection of essays, poems, and images that contend with the perceptual and experiential divide between Black and White Americans. And in a sponsored interview, host Megan Labrise talks with Swedish hip hop star Jason Diakité, author of A Drop of Midnight: A Memoir (Amazon Crossing). Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, including books by Mychal Denzel Smith, Yaa Gyasi, and Helen Macdonald.
Poet and essayist Eula Biss joins us to discuss Having and Being Had (Riverhead, Sept. 1), an exquisite essay collection that interrogates the trappings of American affluence. Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, including books by Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Elena Ferrante, and Deesha Philyaw.
Novelist David Heska Wanbli Weiden joins us to discuss Winter Counts (Ecco, Aug. 25), an intense crime thriller set on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota. Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, including books by Daniel Nayeri, Darcie Little Badger, Isabel Wilkerson, and Ali Smith.
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Podcast Details

Created by
PodcastOne
Podcast Status
Potentially Inactive
Started
Mar 29th, 2017
Latest Episode
Feb 9th, 2021
Release Period
Weekly
Episodes
210
Avg. Episode Length
About 1 hour
Explicit
No
Order
Episodic
Language
English

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