Fully Booked by Kirkus Reviews

Get the ultimate insider's scoop on the best new books. The editors at Kirkus Reviews interview your favorite authors, tell you whether or not the books on the bestseller list are worth the read, give you behind-the-scenes insights, and introduce you to great books you may otherwise never find.

LATEST EPISODE

Fully Booked by Kirkus Reviews

Ibram X. Kendi

New York Times bestselling author Ibram X. Kendi joins us on this week's episode to discuss How to Be an Antiracist, a powerful primer for combatting racism. Kendi, who is founding director of the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University, uses his own journey from racist to antiracist to show how anyone can choose their words and deeds to actively participate in building an antiracist society. And in a sponsored interview, NYT Children's Books Editor Maria Russo joins us to discuss How to Raise a Reader, a genial guide for bibliophilic parents written with NYTBR Editor Pamela Paul. Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, including books by David Yoon, Cara Wall, and Petina Gappah.
00:55:39 9/9/2019

Past Episodes

Writer, journalist, and educator Lauren Markham joins us on this week's podcast to discuss the YA adaptation of The Far Away Brothers: Two Teenage Immigrants Making a Life in America. "One of the most searing books on illegal immigration since Sonia Nazario's Enrique's Journey" (starred review), it's the unforgettable story of Ernesto and Raúl Flores, identical twins growing up in rural El Salvador until the threat of gang violence forces them to flee to the United States. She and Megan talk ethical storytelling, what it means to be an unaccompanied minor, and why she chose to adapt the book for young readers. Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, including books by Thanhha Lai, Ibram X. Kendi, and Carolyn Forché.
00:43:11 9/2/2019
Elite cave diver Jill Heinerth joins on this week's podcast to discuss her vivid new memoir, Into the Planet. It's a deep dive into the formative experiences that taught her to face and harness fear, enabling her to build a remarkable career that has taken her to the literal ends of the earth. Heinerth shares the narrative arc of a dive, what it's like to explore places on earth less traveled than the face of the moon, and the responsibilities that come along with being the Royal Canadian Geographical Society's first-ever Explorer in Residence. Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, including books by Shannon Hale (ill. LeUyen Pham), Rainbow Rowell, Ian Urbina, and Bruce Holsinger.
00:47:54 8/26/2019
Reports of death of the book may be greatly exaggerated. English professor and book historian Leah Price joins us on this week's podcast to discuss What We Talk About When We Talk About Books, a series of essays chronicling the evolution of the book, from codex through paperback and .pdf. She and Megan talk shifting reading habits, bookish myths, and the fact that a "golden age of reading" may never have existed. Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, including books by Brandy Colbert and Mara Rockliff.
00:54:37 8/19/2019
In Gods of the Upper Air: How a Circle of Renegade Anthropologists Reinvented Race, Sex, and Gender in the Twentieth Century, Georgetown University professor Charles King chronicles the lives of cultural anthropology founder Franz Boas and the female scientists he encouraged to explore civilizations around the globe, including Ruth Benedict, Ella Cara Deloria, Zora Neale Hurston, and Margaret Mead. Charles and Megan talk cultural relativism, how anthropology differs from other disciplines, Hurston's work in Jamaica and Haiti, and the struggle to debunk theorists who would divide the world into "us" and "them." Then our editors offer their weekly reading recommendations, with books by Mo Willems, Stacey Lee, Howard Stern, and Taffy Brodesser-Akner.
00:59:30 8/12/2019
Force of nature Candace Bushnell revolutionized our understanding of 20th-century dating and mating in Sex and the City. Her latest book isn't *exactly* a sequel but a companion: following a new group of fifty-something female friends as they deal with divorce, online dating, and sex. Candace and Megan talk menopause, profound loss, fresh starts, and Candace's signature blend of sharp, funny fiction inspired by her own life. And in a sponsored interview, Megan speaks with singer-songwriter Rhett Miller about the inspiration for his debut picture book, No More Poems! A Book in Verse that Just Gets Worse. Then our editors offer their weekly reading recommendations, with books by Daria Peoples-Riley, Katie Henry, and Jennifer Weiner.
00:59:25 8/5/2019
This week we're thrilled to welcome New York Times-bestselling romance novelist Sarah MacLean, whose artistry and activism are helping to push the genre in exciting new directions. Her latest book, Brazen and the Beast ("Bareknuckle Bastards" series, book two), is the story of Henrietta "Hattie" Sedley, a voluptuous, business-savvy, Victorian-era noblewoman with ambitious plans to claim her due in business and in pleasure. Sarah and Megan talk body positivity, women's empowerment, genre-specific vocabulary, and more. Then our editors offer reading recommendations for the week, including books by Gail D. Villanueva, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz (adapted by Jean Mendoza, Debbie Reese), and Elizabeth Gilbert.
00:59:21 7/29/2019
On this week's episode, Megan interviews modern noir superstar Laura Lippman, whose latest standalone novel, Lady in the Lake, is inspired by two real-life crimes committed in 1960s Baltimore: the unsolved drowning of 35-year-old Shirley Parker and the murder of 11-year-old Esther Lebowitz. They talk opening sentences, the transgressive nature of watching, Lippman's recent Washington Post piece ("Is it ok for white authors to write black characters? I'm trying."), and more. Then our editors offer their weekly reading recommendations, with books by Blair Thornburgh, Cassandra Clare et al, Jeff Gordinier, and Linda Holmes.
01:06:24 7/22/2019
In a special segment recorded live at Austin Central Public Library, Clay interviews pioneering novelist Nicole Dennis-Benn about writing women's lives and the inspiration for her powerful sophomore novel, Patsy, "a profound book about sexuality, gender, race, and immigration that speaks to the contemporary moment" (starred review). Then our editors offer their reading recommendations for the week, with books by Brian Floca, Sam Quinones, Jim Ottaviani (ill. Leland Myrick), and Colson Whitehead.
01:03:08 7/15/2019
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
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.
00:46:44 6/24/2019
#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

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