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Welcome to the Dear Book Nerd podcast, a bi-weekly show that answers your questions about life, love, and literature! My special guest co-host this week is the wonderful Chris Barton. Chris and I discuss topics such as: whether or not you can read TOO much about one subject, how one can get more involved in the publishing industry, and how to balance new books and classic books when recommending them to kids. There’s a lot more as well, so don’t miss it!


Chris is an author of children’s books such as ‘The Nutcracker’ Comes to America, The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch, and Shark Vs. Train (among others!) He also is involved with the wonderful Modern First Library. You can find him on Twitter @Bartography. Thank you, Chris!

This episode was sponsored by Penguin Random House Audio.



Dear Book Nerd,

Mrs. Vinnie and I love your podcast! We are enjoying the literary advice, banter, and the puns!

There has been a debate between Mrs. Vinnie and I about reading too much about one topic. We each have our own books / digital books that always interest us, but…can one read TOO much about a particular topic? For example, take all the books on Lincoln. If you enjoy reading about his life and presidency, is it okay to get the latest book? The debate has also been about gift-buying. If you have a friend or family member who enjoys a particular topic / author, do you keep buying the latest book or attempt to venture into a new area for them?

Appreciate the advice.

Vinnie from Queens

Dear Book Nerd,

I absolutely love your show! I am a twenty year old English Major and love all things books and writing. I would love to work for a publisher someday, but do not exactly know how to get there. I am joining writing groups and book clubs and engage in the events my college’s English department puts on, but I feel like I am behind in getting involved in publishing. What can I do to get involved or at least exposed? Thanks so much!


Dear Book Nerd,

I work at a school library that does a good job of keeping up with the newest juvenile literature. I am blown away by the stuff coming out these days. Unique ideas, fanciful illustrations, and crisp conversational writing all combine to draw in the modern reader. But I have two issues:

1. I am still drawn to the classics like a moth to a flame and see them gathering dust as children opt for the newer books.

2. I myself have written a book in the fairy tale/fantasy genre. (Think 19th century author George MacDonald, whom C.S. Lewis call the “greatest myth maker” he knew.) It’s written in third person with a benevolent/ageless tone. I would like to attract an agent but wonder if I should rework the entire narration to this newer, conversational style. Thoughts?



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