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Books

Fiction

SEP 15: Robert Dugoni with The World Played Chess

A story of hope, breaking away, shaping a life, finding one’s place in the world

Robert Dugoni returns to talk about his latest novel The World Played Chess, a coming of age story told from three different perspectives and timelines.

We explore the story behind the story, and what drove Robert to tell it. He shares why it’s his most personal work to date. Where he gathered inspiration for his characters and research on Vietnam. And what Robert means by “life’s not a straight line”.

About Robert Dugoni

Robert Dugoni is the critically acclaimed New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Amazon Charts bestselling author of the Tracy Crosswhite series. He also wrote The David Sloane series, Charles Jenkins series, and several stand-alone novels including The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell (listen to podcast). More about Dugoni’s books and The World Played Chess.

 

 

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Fiction, Writers on Writing

AUG 19: NYT Bestselling Novelist Heather Gudenkauf Shares Summer Reads

5 books to read & authors to look out for

Heather Gudenkauf takes a break from her busy schedule to share four of her summer reading recommendations with us — from laugh-out-loud funny to darker suspense, crime, and mystery.

And to complete the list we’re adding Heather’s most recent thriller, This is How I Lied.

Grab a pen and notepad, and listen up!

About Heather Gudenkauf

Heather Gudenkauf is the Edgar Award nominated, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Weight of Silence, These Things Hidden, Not A Sound, and This is How I Lied. Heather has worked with students of all ages during her career and continues to work in education as a Title I Reading Coordinator.

 

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Fiction, Poetry, Writers on Writing

AUG 11: Summer Reads & Celebrations with Susan Wiggs & Maggie Smith

One novelist. One poet. A whole lot of good reading!

“Even sitting closed on a shelf, a book had a life of its own.”
Susan Wiggs

Today #1 New York Times bestselling author Susan Wiggs shares some of her favorite books for summer reading, authors to follow, and her best summer cocktail recipe.

Susan joined us last year with her latest novel, The Lost and Found Bookshop. Now she celebrates the premium edition, which includes special features, including book club resources. But Susan’s favorite feature of the new edition is the recipe in the back of the book. It’s ” … the best banana bread in the world!” she says.  Find earlier conversations with Susan Wiggs here.

Long-celebrated in the poetry community for her lyricism and style, Pushcart Prizewinning poet Maggie Smith gained star status in 2016 with her viral poem Good Bones.

Today, Maggie shares her latest collection, Goldenrod. Celebrating “the contours of daily life”, Goldenrod explores the space between thought and experience reminding us that we decide what is beautiful. Maggie reads and discusses a couple of her poems with us. And shares her writing journey, and why poetry is her chosen form.

About Susan Wiggs

Susan Wiggs’ novels have appeared in the #1 spot on the New York Times Bestseller List, and have been translated into more than 20 languages, and read in over 30 countries. A former Harvard graduate, Susan Wiggs has been featured in the national media, including NPR, PRI, and USA Today.

Maggie Smith

Maggie Smith is the bestselling author of Good Bones, The Well Speaks of Its Own Poison, Lamp of the Body, and the national bestseller Keep Moving: Notes on Loss, Creativity, and Change. A 2011 recipient of a Creative Writing Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, Smith has received several awards including a Pushcart Prize.

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Health & Wellness, Nature, Non Fiction, Psychology

JUL 07: Dr. Rochelle Calvert – Healing with Nature

Mindfulness and Somatic Practices to Heal from Trauma

The WHO says more than 70% of us experience trauma; and 78% of those who’ve had a traumatic experience will develop post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In addition, the average American spends 87% of their time indoors. It’s little wonder many of us spend most of our days with shoulders hunched around our ears.

Psychologist Dr. Rochelle Calvert shares how somatic healing, combined with mindfulness, and nature-based therapy, can help heal trauma and PTSD. We look at the science behind this therapy – and the research that shows the benefits of spending time in nature. We also share how to incorporate Dr. Calvert’s practices into everyday life.

About Dr. Rochelle Calvert

Rochelle Calvert, PhD is a clinical psychologist in private practice in San Diego, and the founder of New Mindful Life. She specializes in mindfulness, nature-based therapy, and somatic experiencing. Dr. Calvert works with individuals struggling with life transitions, depression, anxiety, PTSD, pain conditions, and eating disorders. She also works with families of developmentally delayed children and adults. Healing with Nature: Mindfulness and Somatic Practices to Heal from Trauma is her first book.

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Journalism, Non Fiction, Social Issues

JUN 16: Gabrielle Bluestone with Hype (& Why We Fall For It)

How Scammers, Grifters, & Con Artists are Taking Over the Internet – & Why We’re Following

Gabrielle Bluestone says we are at the natural end of a society primed to trust their own emotions over objective, verifiable facts.”   She joins us to share insight into why scammers do it, and why – despite the availability of myriad resources – we blindly believe what we’re told without verifying facts.

From celebrities to politicians, and the little-known, we discuss why we get sucked into their spiel. The role of influencers and social media. How messaging and soundbites create images that can make or break reputations and campaigns. Why Fyre was the greatest festival that never happened. Where greed plays a role. And why you shouldn’t trust cosmetic surgery photos because even they are often digitally altered.

About Gabrielle Bluestone

Gabrielle Bluestone is a journalist and licensed attorney from New York whose writing has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, New York Observer, Sunday Times Magazine, and more. She’s the Emmy-nominated producer of Netflix’s  documentary Fyre. And the associate producer of Different Flowers, winner of the 2017 Kansas City FilmFest Festival Prize.

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Non Fiction, Psychology, Self-help, Spirituality

JUN 02: Wendy de Rosa on Becoming an Empowered Empath

Being overly empathic can lead to overwhelm, burn out, and chronic health issues

If you’re feeling this way after the past year or two of turmoil, WENDY de ROSA offers practical, real world solutions.

We discuss ways to stop being a victim to other people’s energy and emotions by Becoming an Empowered Empath. How inherited energy can shape or block you. How trauma, fear, and scarcity, impact your energy body, and what to do about it. How “removing the blindfolds can lead to spiritual growth” … and more.

About Wendy de Rosa

Author Wendy De Rosa is the founder of The School of Intuitive Studies, and a popular faculty member at the Shift Network. She’s been helping empaths develop intuition and experience personal transformation for over two decades. Becoming an Empowered Empath: How to Clear Energy, Set Boundaries, & Embody Your Intuition is Wendy’s second book. 

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Fiction, Writers on Writing

MAY 26: Joani Elliott with The Audacity of Sara Grayson

“Do that thing that makes you feel alive.”

JOANI ELLIOTT believes in the magic of stories, a good cup of tea, and the power of living a creative life. So maybe it’s no surprise that her debut novel is about a writer who’s just landed the toughest assignment of her life.

Joani shares great insight into her creative journey, and some of the challenges she faced, while writing her debut novel. Like her willingness as a writer to step into the unknown. Why this former academic had to learn to tap into her own emotions, to gain the truth of her emotional scenes. How she came to terms with the messy process of writing…and more.

About Joani Elliott

Joani Elliott taught writing at the University of Maryland and Brigham Young University. The Audacity of Sara Grayson is her first novel. Find book club resources, virtual author chats, and more at joanielliott.com.

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Fiction, Writers on Writing

May 19: The Woman With The Blue Star by NYT Bestseller Pam Jenoff

A testament to the power of friendship & extraordinary will to survive

Today’s guest says, “After 25 years of studying World War II and the Holocaust, when I find a story that makes me gasp, I know I am onto something that will make my readers feel the same way.”

Pam Jenoff returns to Conversations Live to share how Jewish tunnel dwellers, hiding from Nazis, inspired The Woman with the Blue Star. We discuss why Pam had to rewrite her entire first manuscript–and how she did it during the height of a pandemic. How she used the themes of isolation, connection, and unlikely friendships to shape her story. And why she teaches fiction storytelling techniques to her law students.

About Pam Jenoff

Pam Jenoff is the author of 11 novels of historical fiction, including the international bestseller The Kommandant’s Girl. She holds a bachelor’s degree in international affairs, a master’s in history, and a JD. Jenoff’s novels are inspired by her experiences working at the Pentagon and as a diplomat for the State Department handling Holocaust issues in Poland.

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Personal Development, Psychology, Self-help

May 12: Go Big Now with Julia Pimsleur

8 Essential Mindset Practices to Overcome Any Obstacle and Reach Your Goals

Many people work out daily to improve their core strength. But how many of us work on developing our core mindset? And what does that even mean? Winners know, for sure, and Julia Pimsleur‘s new book is based on the eight mindset practices that highly successful people have in common.

Today we discuss a little about Neuro-Linguistic Programming and how your brain filters information via its RAS. Why we should pay attention to areas where we feel resistance. What changes when we practice BE-DO-HAVE. How to bust our limiting beliefs. And how women can use the 8 Essential Mindset Practices to help them thrive in the pandemic “She-cession”.

About Julia Pimsleur

Julia Pimsleur is the author of Go Big Now: 8 Essential Mindset Practices to Overcome Any Obstacle and Reach Your Goals and the bestselling Million Dollar Women. She is a master practitioner and coach of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and the founder of the Million Dollar Women social venture. Pimsleur also developed the #1 language teaching company for kids, Little Pim, into a multimillion-dollar business.

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History, Journalism, Memoir, Non Fiction

May 05: The Explorer Shipwrecked at the Edge of the World

ICEBOUND by Andrea Pitzer

In the 1500s, William Barents became the first Dutch polar explorer to set sail in an attempt to discover a northern route to China. Andrea Pitzer became fascinated by his story. So much so, that she did what all curious journalists would do—she set sail to retrace his journey.

We discuss what Andrea learned about Barents’ three Arctic expeditions, and some of the little known history around his challenges and successes. Andrea also shares how her own expedition to the Russian Arctic was life changing; what surprised her the most. And the highlight of her experience sailing on a tall ship, where she spent time high up the mast.

About Andrea Pitzer

Icebound: Shipwrecked At The Edge Of The World is the latest book by critically acclaimed author and journalist  Andrea Pitzer. Her writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The New York Review of Books, The Daily Beast, Vox, and Slate. Andrea’s two previous books are One Long Night and The Secret History of Vladimir Nabokov.

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