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ahoffkosik

ahoffkosik

Joined June 2018

Book Lover | Freelance Writer | Host of the (bookish) SSR Podcast — www.ssrpodcast.com
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ahoffkosik
Walk Two Moons | Sharon Creech

This may not be the cover you remember, but let me just tell you... the beautiful writing and memorable characters in Walk Two Moons will bring you right back to your childhood, when it was the cool book in the library that all the bookworm kids wanted to get their hands on (in my school, at least!). In Episode 52 of my podcast, we discuss this Newbery Medal winner and the ways in which it tackles big issues! Link to listen in bio! 🎧

annahenke Love this book! 2d
ahoffkosik @annahenke it‘s so special! 1d
6 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief | Wendelin Van Draanen
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I‘ve already disillusioned many of you with the Nancys + Harriets of the world on my podcast (sorry!), but — spoiler alert — modern mystery gal Sammy Keyes remains in my high esteem after the SSR treatment. She feels real to me (even as a 28-year-old) and has so much to teach about interpersonal relationships and the danger of snap judgments. Tune in to the latest episode for lots of Sammy talk + pop culture references. Link to listen in bio!

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Bridge to Terabithia | Katherine Paterson
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It‘s Episode FIFTY of my nostalgic book podcast, and I can‘t think of a better way to mark the moment than to revisit a true classic. Katherine Paterson‘s 1978 Newbery Medal-winning Bridge to Terabithia *definitely* fits the bill. With the help of viral essayist and author Meg Elison, I take an emotional trip down memory lane on this ep. Get your tissues ready, because THAT ENDING! 💔 Link to listen in bio!

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Weetzie Bat | Francesca Lia Block
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When Francesca Lia Block‘s Weetzie Bat was published in 1989, it was more than beautifully written... it was progressive in its content! It explores identity, sexuality, addiction, and AIDS, and is a celebration of transcendent love, acceptance, and inclusivity. I welcomed author/illustrator Maia Kobabe to my podcast to discuss this gem of a book further! We chat about queer themes, cancel culture, and found family. Link to listen in bio!

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The Brothers Lionheart | Astrid Lindgren
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I had never heard of the book we discuss on this week‘s episode of the pod — The Brothers Lionheart — until my guest (author/illustrator Amy Ignatow) shared how much she‘d loved it growing up. The experience of reading it was... fascinating! dark! emotional! bizarre! oddly beautiful! It left me with so many feelings! We discuss the plot in great detail for those who are also new to this one. Link to listen in bio!

11 likes1 comment
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Charlotte's Web | E. B. White
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The celebration of special ladies rolls on this week as I welcome my *own* mom as a guest on my podcast for our first-ever Mother‘s Day episode! Mom (AKA Deb) joins to chat about one of the books we loved reading together most when I was growing up, E.B. White‘s Charlotte‘s Web. In the ep, we cover everything from the philosophical to the silly. This one is close to my heart and I‘m excited for you to tune in. Link to listen in bio! 🐽

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Anastasia Krupnik | Lois Lowry
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Fantasy books are *obviously * totally magical, but what about stories of relatable kids dealing with relatable things? That‘s what we‘ve got with Lois Lowry‘s 1979 Anastasia Krupnik... but the title character is dealing with those relatable things in hilarious, cheeky, sometimes dramatic style. Coming back to Anastasia‘s story for my podcast brought me right back to childhood! Writer Kayleen Schaefer joins me to discuss. Link to listen in bio! 🎧

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When I read Island of the Blue Dolphins as a kid, I felt a lot of pressure (weirdly) to think it was the BEST 👏 BOOK 👏 EVER 👏. I also thought it was pure fiction and that it was set on an island very far, far away. On this week‘s episode of my podcast, we disprove ALL of that misinformation. We also talk about the badassery of main character Karana, discuss kid lit emotional rabbit holes, fangirl over dogs, and more. Link to listen in bio! 🎧

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It‘s Episode 44 of my podcast, and I‘m reading — for the first time ever! — Tamora Pierce‘s Song of the Lioness Quartet. Claire Fallon from HuffPost and the Here to Make Friends podcast joins me to discuss the first book in the series, Alanna: The First Adventure, which raises questions of identity, gender, conformity, and whether or not violet eyes occur in nature... and we talk about it ALL, plus my love for Mulan. Link in bio to listen! 🎧

BethM Such a great series. 2mo
ahoffkosik @BethM i‘m so glad i finally discovered it! 2mo
MrBook Great cover! 3w
8 likes3 comments
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The Egypt Game | Zilpha Keatley Snyder
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When I read The Egypt Game as a kid, I was quickly taken with its creativity and imagination. A few smart, curious girls building their own land of Ancient Egypt in the backyard of a local curio shop? I was SO in. You‘ll have to listen to Episode 43 of my podcast to find out if I was just as taken with this one on the reread. My guest is Andrea Bartz, debut author of The Lost Night! Link in my bio to listen! 🎧

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Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry | Mildred D. Taylor
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Feeling so lucky to have had the chance to discuss Mildred D. Taylor‘s Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry on my podcast with Renée from Book Girl Magic! In this episode, we talk about coming of age stories, annoying friends, race relations, the opportunity gap, institutional racism, The Hate U Give, and more. Link in my bio to listen! ?

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The Golden Compass | Philip Pullman
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When I read Phillip Pullman‘s The Golden Compass as an elementary schooler, I loved the main character Lyra‘s daemon Pan, who seemed to be a cute little animal sidekick who could give her advice. Welp, I‘ve discovered that he‘s not just a sidekick... he‘s the physical manifestation of her SOUL. Generally speaking, my experience rereading this book as an adult for my podcast revealed how complicated this world is! Link in my bio to listen!

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Little Women | Louisa May Alcott
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On Episode 40 of my podcast, we dive into a tried and true classic — Louisa May Alcott‘s Little Women! Comedy writer and satirist Caitlin Kunkel (New Erotica for Feminists) guests for a discussion about everything from Christian Bale to Greta Gerwig and from hard work to sibling love. We also debate whether Little Women is feminist or anti-feminist and find out if it‘s possible to ruin a classic. Click the link in my bio to listen!

tpixie Great cover!! 3w
8 likes1 comment
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Speak | Laurie Halse Anderson
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On Episode 39 of my podcast, Morgan AKA NYC Book Girl joins me to talk about Laurie Halse Anderson‘s groundbreaking 1999 novel Speak, which explores the troubling issues of sexual assault + trauma through the story of 14-year-old Melinda. We talk about high school gossip, the value of the diary-style novel, and Speak as an entry point to an understanding of rape for young readers + as a lifeline to survivors. click the link in my bio to listen. 🎧

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The Face on the Milk Carton | Caroline B. Cooney
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Bookstagrammer Mollie Reads joins me on my podcast this week to discuss the book that haunted many a ‘90s kid‘s dreams — The Face on the Milk Carton. In this episode, we gossip about pushy boyfriend Reeve, compare notes on how the author portrays trauma on the page, and ponder the essential question... what if your parents were ACTUALLY kidnappers? click the link in my bio to listen! 🎧

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The Boxcar Children | Gertrude C. Warner
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Remember Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny? You probably know them better as (pause for effect) The Boxcar Children! In Episode 37 of my podcast, writer and educator Abby Wolfe and I get reacquainted with these self-reliant orphans. Tune in to listen to us talk about lessons learned, heteronormativity, capitalism, and so many pine needles. click the link in my bio to listen! 🎧

MrBook I remember them! 3w
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Welcomed dream guest journalist, author, and Bachelor podcaster Emma Gray for Episode 36 of my podcast in which — finally! — we discuss Are You There God? It‘s Me, Margaret. Tune in to hear us swap middle school stories and discuss mean girls, gossip, awkward puberty moments, and how we experienced religion as kids versus how we experience it as adults. click the link in my bio to listen! 🎧

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Before the ‘90s slasher flick I Know What You Did Last Summer, there was a 1973 YA thriller of the same name. There were **plenty** of book-to-movie changes, but the four core characters are the same, and we discuss each one in great detail on the new episode of my podcast! We also talk about hotness in YA (it‘s a thing!), discuss the roots of MeToo in chauvinistic literary characters, and LOL at ‘70s relics. click the link in my bio to listen! 🎧

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Anne of Green Gables | L. M. Montgomery
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Finally joined the club after 28 years and read Anne of Green Gables for Episode 33 of my podcast! Tune in to find out what took me so long and to hear me chat all things Anne Shirley. What do we think of Anne as literary heroine? How do we interpret her work vs. family decision? Why do little girls love this story so much? Is there any chance that Anne might be a liiiittle annoying? click the link in my bio to listen! 🌸🎧

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Holes | Louis Sachar
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One of my favorite fellow podcast hosts joins my book podcast SSR to wrap up Manuary with a discussion of Holes! We get reacquainted with the unlucky Stanley Yelnats, as well as Camp Green Lake and its darkly funny cast of characters. We also talk about the book‘s darker themes — race, class, and the prison industrial complex (yep!) — and hot take culture. Click the link in my bio to listen! 🌵🎧

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Like a giant piece of fruit, Manuary rolls on on my podcast! Tune in to Episode 31 for a conversation about Roald Dahl‘s classic James and the Giant Peach. We discuss how violent and scary is *too* violent and scary for kids, how we talk to young readers about grief and loneliness, and also giant bugs. Click the link in my bio to listen! 🎧🍑

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My friends over at He Read She Read launched their bookish pod shortly after I launched mine, and for week two of Manuary, I welcome half of their awesome team — Curtis! In chatting about 1961 classic The Phantom Tollbooth, we journey with the apathetic Milo in a giant toy car through the zany lands of Wisdom. Curtis and I also geek out over wordplay and speculate about what the kids are doing these days. click the link in my bio to listen! 🎧

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On the first episode of MANUARY on my podcast, I welcome Jack and Tanner from the Baby-Sitters Club Club (so, yeah, they‘re basically BSC aficionados) to talk about Super Special No. 4: Baby-Sitters Island Adventure. This book is utterly amazing and ridiculous and our LOL-worthy conversation reflects it. Jack and Tanner also argue worst babysitter and best book in the series. Click the link in my bio to listen! 🎧

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It‘s time to let the games begin! On Episode 27 of my podcast (the last official ep of 2018!), Lauren Boone and I talk all things The Westing Game, from writing style to audiobooks to the way stereotypes were handled by authors in the seventies. We also try **very** hard to accurately track the many (brilliant!) mystery plots and clues in this novel, which is no easy feat. Click the link in my bio to listen! 🎧

Kaylamburson I just downloaded the audiobook from the library! 6mo
ahoffkosik @Kaylamburson you‘re gonna love it! 6mo
6 likes2 comments
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Stargirl | Jerry Spinelli
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Stargirl was one of my faves growing up, and in Episode 26 of my podcast, journalist Britta Lokting joins me to help me figure out if I can still love it and also find it problematic at the same time. We also discuss high school stereotypes, conformity, popularity, Taylor Swift, Hillary Clinton, the MeToo movement, and my hilarious history as part of my high school‘s morning news show. click the link in my bio to listen! 🎧

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The Dark Is Rising | Susan Cooper
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It‘s always such a treat when a guest on my podcast lets me get to know them that much better by introducing me to a book that was special to them when they were growing up, and — despite the fact that The Dark Is Rising is a Newbery Honor winner + should have been on my radar — that‘s what happens in our latest episode! The brilliant Erica Berger joins SSR to discuss her memories of this HP-reminiscent book. click the link in my bio to listen! 🎧

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The Hate U Give | Angie Thomas
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What would New Reads November on my podcast be without The Hate U Give? Well, it would have been incomplete... so I went ahead and made this episode featuring Traci from The Stacks podcast our finale for the month! There‘s so much to be said about this book and the way it illuminates an all-too-frequent tragedy for young readers, and Traci and I dive in on Episode 24. click the link in my bio to listen! 🎧

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Leah on the Offbeat | Becky Albertalli
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Want to read — or hear us talk — about a cool, confident, creative, body posi high schooler... who also happens to have a few big secrets? It could only have happened in 2018, and it DID in Becky Albertalli‘s Leah on the Offbeat. In this episode of my podcast (part 3 of New Reads November!) we talk racism, labels, and the LGBTQ+ spectrum — plus all the times we fought with our moms in dressing rooms. click the link in my bio to listen!

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We Are Okay | Nina LaCour
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New Reads November rolls on over on the podcast with a discussion about a true heartbreaker of a book, Nina LaCour‘s We Are Okay. Main character Marin‘s story is one of love, secrets, and the many ways that you can call someone family. It broke me into a million little pieces, but I enjoyed every last minute. 💔 click the link in my bio to listen! 🎧

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When Dimple Met Rishi | Sandhya Menon
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it‘s NEW READS NOVEMBER! 🎉 in the first installment for the month, fellow book podcaster Laura Yamin and i discuss all things When Dimple Met Rishi. it‘s a book about culture, tradition, first love, identity, and that first magical summer away from home as an almost-adult. i‘m just going to let you know up-front that i loved it, but there‘s a link to listen in my bio so you can hear alllll the details! 🎧

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The Black Cauldron | Lloyd Alexander
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i am far from a fan of halloween (sorry!), but i put my october grinchiness aside for episode 20 of my podcast, in which we discuss the second book in the Chronicles of Prydain series, The Black Cauldron. this series was new to me, and i‘m glad to report that there are scares and spookiness to be had beyond the title! author Erin Nelsen Parekh and i dive into truly terrifying matters of gender politics + toxic masculinity. link to listen in bio 🎧

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The New Jessica | Francine Pascal, Kate William
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It‘s, like, TOTALLY time for Sweet Valley on my podcast (finally!). In episode 19, ‘80s and ‘90s teen fiction expert/enthusiast Gabrielle Moss joins SSR to gab about Jessica + Elizabeth Wakefield. There‘s plenty of good in this series (escapism, fashion, hilarity) + plenty of not-so-good (privileged behavior, disturbing plotlines, problematic language). And doesn‘t this barcode on the cover of my book make you nostalgic? Link to listen in bio! 🎧

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Beezus and Ramona | Beverly Cleary
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Episode 18 of my podcast is a total sister act! Guest Penny Luksic and I break down all the antics and arguments of OG sister sister duo Beezus and Ramona Quimby in our conversation about the first book in Beverly Cleary‘s beloved series. Penny and I share our own sibling experiences, chat about the lack of diversity in books of this era (written in 1955!), and debate which of Ramona‘s pesty antics is most annoying. link to listen in bio! 🎧

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Twilight | Stephenie Meyer
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Are you Team Edward? Team Jacob? Doesn‘t matter. the 2005 Stephenie Meyer YA vampire fantasy novel Twilight kicked off a straight-up pop culture phenomenon... and since the latest episode of my podcast is all about it, you‘ll want to check it out! Entrepreneur and podcaster Kelly Parker Smith joins me to discuss all things Bella and Edward. link to listen in bio! 🎧

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Julie of the Wolves | Jean Craighead George
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Jean Craighead George totally turned the “big bad wolf” stereotype upside down with the 1972 publication of Julie of the Wolves, which tells the story of a 13-year-old girl who escapes an unhealthy (to say the least) home situation and seeks survival with a pack of wolves. on the latest episode of my podcast, the brilliant screenwriter Rose McAleese joins us to discuss culture, survival, isolation, assault, and my new puppy. link to listen in bio!

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A Wrinkle in Time Trilogy | Madeleine L'Engle
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More than 50 years before Reese, Mindy, and Oprah appeared as Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which in an Ava DuVernay film, there was the Newbery Medal-winning book that inspired it. On the latest episode of my podcast, Anya Spector from Loaded Literature joins me to discuss. Check out the link in my bio to listen! 🎧

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Lily's Crossing | Patricia Reilly Giff
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Took a walk down the most flawlessly written memory lane for the newest episode of my podcast, revisiting the middle grade historical fiction novel Lily‘s Crossing. We talk everything from grief and privilege to spam sandwiches and hot dads. Check out the link in my bio to listen! 🎧

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Experienced ALL the high school feels throwing it back to The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and chatting about it with awesome teacher and bookstagrammer Katie Hartman (@katiefullybooked). There‘s so much more to this story than I realized — questions of sex, depression, death, blended familes, and more — PLUS (obviously) great friendships, romances, and a cool pair of jeans. Check out the link in my bio to listen! 🎧

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Ella Enchanted | Gail Carson Levine
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Got the chance to fall head over heels BACK in love with Ella Enchanted in the process or prepping for Episode 12 of my podcast! This book was a favorite of mine as a kid, but I appreciate it at a brand new level as an adult woman. Want to know why? Tune in to my conversation with Sarah from the Unassigned Reading podcast. Check out the link in my bio or search The SSR Podcast on iTunes/Google Play/Stitcher! 🎧✨

rachelsbrittain Can't wait to listen to this one! 9mo
ahoffkosik @rachelsbrittain i bet! 😊 can‘t wait to hear what you think! 9mo
8 likes2 comments
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Welcome to Dead House | R. L. Stine
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For Episode 11 of my podcast (out today!), I reversed my former scaredy cat ways and finally read a book from the Goosebumps series! Sarah Slusher, founder of the Really Into This pop culture blog, joins me to chat about helicopter parents, reading purely for entertainment, and how scary is *too* scary. Check out the link in my bio or search The SSR Podcast on iTunes/Stitcher/Google Play! 👻

Kaylamburson I never read Goosebumps either since I thought it would be too scary. Honestly, I don‘t think my parents would let me because I got nightmares from that TV show Are You Afraid of the Dark! 10mo
8 likes1 comment
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In Episode 10 of my podcast (out today!), Good Christian Fun podcast host Caroline Ely joins me to chat about The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. We talk about the fascinating religious and historical contexts of the book, as well as the Narnian character that seriously traumatized me well into adulthood. Check out the link in my bio or search The SSR Podcast! 🦁

KGlibrarian I love your podcast—great books that bring me memories of my childhood! I recently started a podcast about books that were adapted into movies (Bookscreenz). I‘ve become a bit obsessed with the podcast world—so many amazing ones to listen to, especially those relating to books! 10mo
ahoffkosik @KGlibrarian so glad to hear you enjoy the show. And congrats on Bookscreenz. I‘ll have to check it out! The podcast world is crazy but so fun. 10mo
Kaylamburson Oh fun! I love SSR, and now I‘ve subscribed to Bookscreenz, too @KGlibrarian! Ever since I got into Alli‘s podcast, I‘ve been listening to a bunch of other literary ones, too! 10mo
9 likes3 comments
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Little House on the Prairie | Laura Ingalls Wilder, Garth Williams
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In Episode 9 of my podcast (out today!), elementary education pro Drew Gannon and I discuss Little House on the Prairie. I was fully prepared for Little House to be one of my most nostalgic throwback reading experiences to date, and it didn‘t disappoint... but there was plenty to make me uncomfortable, too! Drew and I chat historical context, Pa‘s general hotness, Oregon Trail, and more. Check out the link in my bio or search The SSR Podcast!

12 likes2 stack adds
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In Episode 8 of my podcast (out today!), TV and film writer Meredith Dawson and I talk required reading in the form of George Orwell‘s Animal Farm. We discuss school assignments, creepy farm animals, and political climates past and present. Check out the link in my bio or search The SSR Podcast in iTunes, Stitcher, or Google Play to listen! 🐷

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In Episode 7 of my podcast (out today!), my guest — senior editor at Cosmopolitan, Jessica Goodman — and I talk all things Baby-Sitters Club: famous foursomes, babysitting culture, and fab fashion (of course). Check out the link in my bio or search The SSR Podcast in iTunes or Google Play to listen!

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In Episode 6 of my podcast (out today!), my guest — who I‘ve known since high school IRL — and I break down the gossip, the love interests, the teenage angst, and the impact (good and bad!) of frank discussions of sex and drugs (but not rock and roll). Check out the link in my bio or search The SSR Podcast in iTunes or Google Play to listen! 💋🎧

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In the latest episode of my podcast (out today!), fellow Brooklyn-based writer Kase Wickman and I dive into the first book in the Nancy Drew series, The Secret of the Old Clock. This was Kase‘s first experience reading Nancy Drew, and her reaction (to some!) might surprise you. Check out the link in my bio or search The SSR Podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, or Google Play to listen!

StephanieSays The Nancy Drew series is so important to me! Definitely going to check out the podcast. Have you ever played any of the Nancy Drew PC games? 11mo
ahoffkosik @StephanieSays i don‘t think so! But that sounds like something that would be up my alley! 11mo
StephanieSays @ahoffkosik just binged every episode of SSR, and it‘s so great! All of your guests are so interesting, and I love the concept of the show. In addition to that, I‘m also from suburban PA and spent every summer at the Jersey Shore and loved Sloppy Firsts in part because of that. 11mo
StephanieSays @ahoffkosik Also, I just moved to NYC, and I‘m curious how you found your book club. I‘ve been trying to find one as a way to read more and make friends in this new city, but I haven‘t had any success finding one with people my age. 11mo
ahoffkosik @StephanieSays sounds like we have so much in common! Thank you for listening to the show. It makes me so happy to hear you‘re loving it and finding it bingeworthy :) and welcome to NYC! We built the book club up from scratch out of a really small group of friends, and over time brought in another person every few months. If you find even one person at work or something you can connect with, i think that‘s a good place to start! 10mo
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The Kiss Quotient | Helen Hoang
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This much-needed break in podcast/kidlit reading brought to you by a long-awaited foray into contemporary fiction/chick lit. Excited to get into this one!

rachelsbrittain This is such a fun one! 11mo
ahoffkosik @rachelsbrittain i‘ve heard such good things! 11mo
13 likes2 comments
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The newest episode of my podcast is all about one of my personal childhood favorites, E.L. Konigsburg‘s From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. My guest — author and food writer Hannah Howard — and I have a total New York moment and literary love fest in this ep! Check out the link in my bio or search The SSR Podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, or Google Play if you want to check it out. 🎧

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I don‘t often set the time aside to read “self-help” or “inspirational” books (I put those in quotes because I think categorizing things can generally be a mistake), but whenever I do, I‘m struck with the immediate feeling that I should do it more. || Just a few pages into Girl, Wash Your Face and already feeling good about it, thanks especially to the last line of the intro: “... by an inch or a mile — forward momentum is the only requirement.”

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Matilda / Matilda | Roald Dahl
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The latest episode of my podcast— out today! — is all about Matilda. We talk the good (little Matilda‘s obsession with books), the bad (the evil headmistress Miss Trunchbull), and the ugly (some very weird gender dynamics). Check out the link in my bio or search The SSR Podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, or Google Play if you want to listen! 🎧