The Biblio Files
By Beth A. Steffens
The Biblio FilesJul 16, 2020
The Lies That Bind
Since we were young, my cousin Kaitlyn and I have always bonded over books (and the St. Louis Blues of course). And there's been one author who has captured our hearts time and time again and who is usually at the forefront of our literary conversations: Emily Giffin. So when Giffin's latest book, "The Lies That Bind" was released earlier this year, I knew Kaitlyn would have to join me on "The Biblio Files" to break it down.
In this latest episode, she and I chat about Giffin's amazing and relatable characters; how she brought 9/11 into her fictional tale in such a sensitive yet powerful way; and how her writing has matured and improved over the years. (Yes, somehow it's possible to keep getting better when you are already so good.) We even make the claim that "The Lies That Bind" has set a new Giffin standard. And yes, we fangirled ... hard. We left our love for Emily Giffin on this recording, and we are not afraid to admit it. Check it out now!
An Interview with John Vercher
In the first author interview on "The Biblio Files," I had the pleasure of chatting with John Vercher. His debut novel, "Three-Fifths," was published in 2019, and it's received strong praise and numerous nominations. During our conversation, we touched on current social issues, racism in America, and the unfortunate circumstances that make his novel "timeless." We also discussed his complex characters and how they led to the book's tragic ending.
Normal People: The TV Show
I had some pretty strong opinions about the very popular novel "Normal People." So how did I feel about its TV show? Layne Coffman joins me again in this episode of "The Biblio Files," and we've brought in her husband, Nick, to provide more fierce opinions about "Normal People." This time, though, we talk about the now-Emmy-nominated TV show. Tune in as we compare both forms of media, discuss the show's thirstiness, and opine on a second season.
You've probably heard of the hit novel "Normal People" by Sally Rooney. It's been on all of the lists, both critics' and literary fans', and an eponymous Hulu miniseries debuted this spring, which has also been critically acclaimed. On this episode of "The Biblio Files," I dive into the praise this book has received with my guest and close friend, Layne Coffman, who actually sent me this book at the beginning of quarantine. We cover everything from the light "Normal People" sheds on mental health to even the lack of both characterization and awkwardness in the main characters' first kiss. Oh and apologies for all of the obnoxious laughter, of which there is plenty.
City of Girls
The Shadow of the Wind
Barcelona, love, mystery, history, family, book culture, and loyalty. Don't those all sound fascinating? That must have been what Carlos Ruiz Zafón was thinking when he combined all of those themes in his book "The Shadow of the Wind," which was published at the turn of the century. This five-flame novel was recommended to me by friend Sabrina, and she came back to "The Biblio Files" to discuss its killer suspense and narrative and the intense wanderlust this book gave us. We also may or may not go on a tangent about European churches, which we could spend all day touring.
The Beautiful World of Libraries
Just like the books they house, libraries change lives. It's just a fact. Yes, they completely open our eyes to new worlds and new perspectives through the written word, but they also provide countless resources for everyone who visits them. In the latest episode of "The Biblio Files," I sit down with my dear friend Sabrina and her friend Meghann (who I can't wait to meet) to profess our love for libraries and discuss how they've changed our lives. Meghann also tells us about the cool work she's doing in Kansas City with the Mesner Puppet Theatre and The Rabbit Hole. Check them out!
Little Fires Everywhere: Series Finale
Little Fires Everywhere: Episodes 4-7
"The Overstory" by Richard Powers is a sweeping novel filled with long, beautiful passages about trees and the environment and superb writing techniques, such as repetition, imagery, and metaphor. It also says something profound about our connections to each other and to the land and how doing less can actually have a greater impact. Sounds quite relevant during the current pandemic, doesn't it? Yeah, there's a lot to say. Listen to this episode of The Biblio Files as I unpack "The Overstory" with my friend Collier who even marks this book as one of his all-time favorites.