66 episodes

Everyone's got a book they'll remember forever. I want to find out what it is and why it matters so much. Each episode, I talk to a new guest about their favorite book. I read it too, draw all my own conclusions, and the fun begins!

Your Favorite Book Malavika Praseed

    • Arts

Everyone's got a book they'll remember forever. I want to find out what it is and why it matters so much. Each episode, I talk to a new guest about their favorite book. I read it too, draw all my own conclusions, and the fun begins!

    The God of Small Things with Mina Seçkin (Author of The Four Humors)

    The God of Small Things with Mina Seçkin (Author of The Four Humors)

    Oh boy, we're tackling a BIG one this week! This week’s guest is Mina Seçkin, whose novel THE FOUR HUMORS is a meandering and thoughtful exploration of family secrecy and cultural identity. Our main character, Sibel, is a college student visiting family in Turkey along with her white American boyfriend, and the pressures of adulthood and losing her father culminate in inexplicable headaches. Sibel becomes fascinated with the theory of the four bodily humors and ancient medicine, and slowly finds her way through not only this ancient field, but the covered-up ancient secrets of her own family. The book is compelling; equal parts coming of age and family saga, with the added texture of an at-times abrasive protagonist.

    Seçkin calls Arundhati Roy's THE GOD OF SMALL THINGS one of her all time favorite books, and together she and I discuss the remarkable prose of this novel, its Faulkner-esque experiments with time, and the deep understanding of childhood trauma. There is also the matter of explaining one's cultural background without overexplaining, defining an audience for your work, picking the ideal writing snacks, and so much more discussed in this episode. There are also many, many other book recommendations, in case your list needs growing.

    Books discussed: One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner, Gold Diggers by Sanjena Sathian, The Vietri Project by Nicola DeRobertis-Theye, Sour Heart by Jenny Zhang, Pizza Girl by Jean Kyoung Frazier

    Follow Mina on twitter @minaseckin and on instagram @littlebutta

    Follow the podcast on instagram and twitter @yfbpodcast

    • 39 min
    Exit West with SJ Sindu (Author of Blue Skinned Gods)

    Exit West with SJ Sindu (Author of Blue Skinned Gods)

    This week’s guest is SJ Sindu, whose second novel BLUE SKINNED GODS takes on religion and identity in a bold new way. The novel follows Kalki, raised as the tenth avatar of Vishnu due to his blue skin, and explores coming to terms with trauma and self-concept as he grows into adulthood. We travel from an ashram in Tamil Nadu to the rock scene of New York City and observe with bated breath as Kalki comes to terms with his fraught familial relationships and the conflict of his divinity. Sindu’s work is accessible to a broad audience yet specific in its references to Hindu mythology and beliefs, and the result is a satisfying, page-turning read.

    Sindu cites Mohsin Hamid’s EXIT WEST as an all-time favorite book. This novel excels from a prose level, with its hallmark winding sentences and many commas. But beyond pure sentence structure, the novel is a detailed and tender character study, depicting the ebbs and flows in the relationship of its central characters. The magical realism elements of transformative doors adds not whimsy, but a dreamlike quality that only highlights the realities of immigration and finding home away from home.

    Sindu also shares their thoughts on everything from bespoke gift wrapping to the purpose of chapbooks, and so much more. And this one's spoiler free!

    Books we talk about: This Land is Our Land by Suketu Mehta, The Boat People by Sharon Bala, Stone Fruit by Lee Lai, The Magic Fish by Trung Le Nguyen

    Sindu's website: https://sjsindu.com/

    Follow the podcast on instagram and twitter @yfbpodcast

    • 41 min
    The Shadow of the Wind with Maxwell Dunn

    The Shadow of the Wind with Maxwell Dunn

    That no series rule I have? Well, I may need to rethink it, if Book 1 can be as good as this. I sat down with bookstagrammer Maxwell Dunn and talked about a book he's read five times, THE SHADOW OF THE WIND by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. Despite this book having more  Goodreads review than I ever thought possible, I hadn't heard of it and was so, so pleasantly surprised. This book is a love letter to literature, with dark academia vibes and a warm autumnal feeling. And a lot of postwar trauma. And some really crazy family dynamics. It's a complex book and we cover a lot in the episode! Huge spoiler warnings for this one, if you want to avoid spoilers, skip the parts between 25:30 to 33:00. Max and I also chat about book to movie adaptations, an ill fated trip to Barcelona, what constitutes YA literature, and so much more. 

    Follow Max on Instagram @welldonebooks

    Follow the podcast on instagram and twitter @yfbpodcast

    Books we discuss: One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, The Angel’s Game, The Prisoner of Heaven, and The Labyrinth of the Spirits all by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

    • 44 min
    The Forty Rules of Love with Sumaiya Matin (Author of The Shaytan Bride)

    The Forty Rules of Love with Sumaiya Matin (Author of The Shaytan Bride)

    We've talked about memoir on this show, but never have we interviewed a memoirist herself. Sumaiya Matin is a social worker and psychotherapist, as well as the author of debut memoir THE SHAYTAN BRIDE. In her book, Sumaiya details not only her childhood as a Bangladeshi immigrant in Canada, but also the traumatic events of her early adulthood. These conflicts bring to rise questions of faith, culture, gender, and the intersections therein. Sumaiya discusses the role of her Islamic faith and distinguishing between cultural norms and religious values, which gives way to the works of Turkish writer Elif Shafak. We discuss at length Shafak's first novel, THE FORTY RULES OF LOVE. This split narrative features the spiritual relationship between renowed poet Rumi and wandering dervish Shams of Tabriz, paralleling it with a modern-day love story and spiritual awakening of Ella Rubenstein, a Boston-area housewife. 

    Books discussed: 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World by Elif Shafak, A Woman is No Man by Etaf Rum, Believing Women in Islam by Asma Barlas, Inside the Gender Jihad by Amina Wadud, Kimya Khatun by Saideh Ghods

    Find Sumaiya's memoir at her website: https://www.sumaiyamatin.com/about

    Follow the podcast on instagram and twitter @yfbpodcast

    • 1 hr 1 min
    The Palace of Illusions with Annika Sharma (Author of Love, Chai, and Other Four-Letter Words)

    The Palace of Illusions with Annika Sharma (Author of Love, Chai, and Other Four-Letter Words)

    I've always maintained that it's hard to work a full-time job, write, and run a podcast. My guest this week does it all, and more! Annika Sharma is the co-host of The Woke Desi and the author of LOVE, CHAI, AND OTHER FOUR-LETTER WORDS, an interracial romance that takes place in NYC and combines adorable bucket list hijinks with serious cultural conversations. Annika shares her insights on podcasting, evolving as a writer, finding balance day to day, and so much more. I was so pleased that she chose THE PALACE OF ILLUSIONS by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni as an all-time favorite book, because this retelling of the Mahabharata from the perspective of queen Draupadi was really something special. We gush over Amar Chitra Kathas, discuss tailoring books for certain audiences, and share other recommendations along the way. You don't want to miss this episode, and it's spoiler free!

    Books discussed: Circe and The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller, The Women of Troy and The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker, books by Indu Sundaresan

    Find Annika at her website www.annikasharma.com, and follow her @annikasharma and @thewokedesi

    Follow Your Favorite Book on instagram and twitter @yfbpodcast

    • 58 min
    Thornyhold with Pitu

    Thornyhold with Pitu

    Today we're settling in with an underrated comfort read. My guest is Pitu, a bridal stylist and lifelong reader, who relates to THORNYHOLD by Mary Stewart for so many reasons. This book was a pleasant surprise for me, all magical realism and cottagecore vibes. Where the book is a little lacking...maybe plot and characters. But hey, when the escapism and joy is this good, who really needs those other things? Along the way, Pitu and I chat about picking out bridal gowns, living in new continents, really terrible Bollywood movies, and so much more. This is a nice, laid back episode with plenty of recommendations at the end. 

    Other books discussed: Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery, The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune, Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

    Follow Pitu on instagram @pitusultan

    Follow the podcast on instagram and twitter @yfbpodcast

    • 38 min

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