What to Read?

Welcome to the Dear Book Nerd podcast, a bi-weekly show that answers your questions about life, love, and literature! My very special guest co-host is the wonderful Liberty Hardy. Liberty (who is a book GENIUS) and I tackle three listener-submitted questions about how to find books to read in specific genres, and how to promote them once you do. Don’t miss it!

Liberty is a bookseller, contributing editor at Book Riot, and curator of the Book Riot new books newsletter. You can find her on Twitter @MissLiberty and her Tiny Letter is here.

This episode was sponsored by Scribd and First Time in Forever by Sara Morgan.


Dear Book Nerd,

Occasionally, I stumble across a book that no one seems to be talking about, and I fall in love and want to tell everybody because these books deserve to be so much better known. I tweet and post to Facebook and Goodreads about such things, and I occasionally blog, but are there other ways of getting the word out to significant numbers of people?


Enthusiastic Bookworm

Dear Book Nerd,

Within the past couple of years I’ve fallen back in love with reading and have done little else. I joined Goodreads and started reading lots of book blogs to connect with other readers, which has been great. The only downside is that the internet is largely focused on new releases so I feel like I’ve been racing around trying to track down bestsellers and “The New Book That Everyone Is Talking About” at my library. It’s exhausting! But recently I read some great backlist titles that I had missed because I was too young the first time around or just wasn’t paying attention.

So my question is what are some of your favorite books that don’t get a lot of love on the internet these days? I’m thinking books that are 10 years old or more. Recent reads of mine were The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell (1997), The River Why by David James Duncan (1984), Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee (1970), and Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott (2000). I’m wide open on genres. I just want to slow down and read good books this year, but I don’t know where to start. Can you help?


Dear Book Nerd,

I read a wide range of books, but have found that there is one kind of book that I have never been able to finish. Despite many attempts at different writers and genres, I have always found Russian authors impossible to read. I have tried reading: Anna Karenina, Crime and Punishment, The Master and Margarita (this one I got half-way through) to name a few, but I have never found a Russian author that I have liked. Do you have any suggestions??




How to find backlist:

Dear Book Nerd #24: So, How Do I Find Good Books? (Book Riot)

Backlist Binge (Book Riot)

Best Books of the Decades (Goodreads)

Russian authors:

Library Thing

20 Great Russian Novels You Should Read Right Now (Quik Lit)

Russian Writers (Goodreads) (and another here)



The Namesake; Interpreter of Maladies – Jhumpa Lahiri
Let The Great World Spin – Colum McCann
Angela’s Ashes – Frank McCourt
The Kite Runner; A Thousand Splendid Suns – Khaled Hosseini
Alias Grace – Margaret Atwood
Reading Lolita in Tehran – Azar Nafisi
The Things They Carried – Tim O’Brien
Lionel Shriver, Zadie Smith, Jon Krakauer

Heart of a Dog, White Guard, Black Snow – Bulgakov
The Idiot – Dostoevsky
Definitely Maybe, Roadside Picnic, The Dead Mountaineer’s Inn (3/17) (Neversink Library series) by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky

The Poet and the Murderer – Simon Worrall
Five-Finger Discount – Helene Stapinski
Banvard’s Folly – Paul Collins

The Lives of Monster Dogs – Kirsten Bakis
Getting Mother’s Body (Traveller) – Suzan-Lori Parks
Pobby and Dingan – Ben Rice
Observatory Mansions – Edward Carey
Light House – William Monahan
Easter Island – Jennifer Vanderbes
The Giant’s House – Elizabeth McCracken
Tepper Isn’t Going Out – Calvin Trillin
Twins; Bad Marie – Marcy Dermansky


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