Each week, freelance writer and lifelong bookworm Alli Hoff Kosik will challenge a guest to reread a literary throwback or to experience for the first time ever a book they may have missed as a kid. After that, they'll be asked to spill all the feels and all the opinions about that book on the air for your podcast-listening pleasure. Every Tuesday, you can find us breaking down an old school read from our tween and teen days on a new episode of the show. We'll cover everything from The Baby-Sitters Club to Holes, Nancy Drew to Harry Potter. This time around, we're a little wiser (yay!), a lot older (ugh.), and of legal age to drink wine... so we'll have a lot to say. Happy Reading!
Episode 144: I Am an Artichoke
On Episode 144, Alli and her guest Elise Bryant have a thoughtful, honest, and at times vulnerable conversation about I Am an Artichoke, which was written by Lucy Frank and published in 1995.
The book tells the story of an angsty teen named Sarah who takes a summer job as a mother’s helper in New York City, only to discover that the family who hired her is working through trauma that they’re not willing to acknowledge. Together, Alli and Elise consider the dangers of the way that eating disorders are depicted in this book, share the parts of Sarah’s experience that resonated with them, and so much more.
TW: eating disorders, disordered eating, body dysmorphia, body image
Elise Bryant is the author of Happily Ever Afters, as well as the forthcoming One True Loves (out January 2022!). Follow her on Instagram (@elisembryant) and Twitter (@elisembryant).
Episode 143: Pretty Little Liars
She’s a little late to the party, but Alli is finally getting up to speed on PLL! On Episode 143, she and her guest discuss the first book in Sara Shepard’s bestselling series, Pretty Little Liars, which was published in 2006. They discuss each of the book’s main characters, along with its casual approach to major issues of power imbalance in relationships, eating disorders, race, and more.
TW: self harm, eating disorders, relationship violence
Joya Goffney’s debut novel Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry is now available! Follow Joya on Instagram (@joya.goffney) and Twitter (@joya_goffney).
Episode 142: Best Friends for Never (The Clique #2)
On Episode 142, Alli has her second-ever experience with Lisi Harrison’s The Clique series — more specifically, the second book in the series, Best Friends for Never. She and her guests discuss everything from teen confidence and dress codes to co-ed parties and how hard it is to discern the age of the girls in the Pretty Committee.
Frannie Comstock and Sophie Krueger host the Girls Like Us podcast, which covers The Clique and other YA books. Each episode asks the question What does a literature degree get you? and answers it with, “A podcast about books for teen girls.” Listen on your favorite podcatcher and follow the show on Instagram (@girlslikeusshow) and Twitter (@GirlsLikeUsShow).
Episode 141: Chasing Redbird
Sharon Creech’s Chasing Redbird is the story of Zinnia Taylor, a thirteen-year-old who is navigating the chaos of her large family with the guilt she feels about the untimely deaths of her beloved cousin Rose and her Aunt Jessie. Oh, and there’s also an older boy named Jake Boone who is suddenly paying a lot of attention to her. But what happens when Zinny takes on the task of uncovering a twenty-mile trail behind her house? As you can probably guess, the project is going to take her on a major ~journey~.
On Episode 141, author Sarah Hogle joins Alli for a conversation about grief, mental health, guilt, identity, and so much more. They also address one burning question: Is Jake Boone a hero or a creep?
Sarah Hogle is the author of Twice Shy and You Deserve Each Other. Follow her on Instagram (@sarah_hogle) and Twitter (@witchofthewords).
Episode 140: The Long Winter
On Episode 140 of SSR, Alli and her guest circle back to Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House on the Prairies series, this time for a discussion about the sixth installment, The Long Winter. This Newbery Honor winner tells the story of a particularly punishing winter season for the Ingalls family and feels oddly relatable to pandemic life in 2020 and 2021. Tune in for a frank conversation about the racist underpinnings of the Little House series and a closer exploration of The Long Winter, specifically.
Lauren Tarshis is the New York Times bestselling author of the I Survived series, which has over 34 million copies in print. The latest installment — I Survived: The Nazi Invasion, 1944 — is now available for purchase. Follow Lauren on Instagram (@laurentarshis) and Twitter (@laurenTarshis).
Episode 139: Marie Antoinette, Princess of Versailles (The Royal Diaries)
Let them eat cake! On Episode 139, Alli and her guest discuss the fourth installment in the beloved Royal Diaries series, Marie Antoinette, Princess of Versailles, written by Kathryn Lasky. They chat about the disturbing nature of marriage and royalty in the eighteenth century, try to reconcile the voice of Antonia in the diary with the infamous Marie Antoinette, wonder why gambling was such a key part of a royal’s education, and consider the many contradictions of Versailles.
Angela Lashbrook writes about consumer tech and health for OneZero, VICE, Refinery29, and other outlets. She blogs about books at angelalashbrook.medium.com. Follow Angela on Twitter (@lemonsand) and bookstagram (@theangelashelf).
Nostalgia induced fun!
I adore this podcast! Every week this podcast pops you on the nostalgia train back to a simpler time when you spent most of your free time reading (well I still do!) and on AOL talking to your friends about your crush. Host Alli chats to a guest each week about favourite books from your youth like Sloppy Firsts, The Baby-Sitters Club, The Princess Diaries and more. They re-examine these books with fresh eyes and more life experience on their side. Get comfy and tune in to this podcast, you’re sure to feel like you’re hanging out with your friends.