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 155: Zoey Fools Around (Making Out #1) (with Casey Dembowski)
It’s always a treat for Alli when a podcast guest introduces her to a book from their teen or tween years that’s brand new to her… so imagine what a treat it is when a guest shares an entire SERIES with her! On Episode 155, Alli has her first experience with Katherine Applegate’s Making Out series, more specifically, the first installment Zoey Fools Around. She and her guest discuss the unique social dynamics of the teen cast of the series, draw parallels between the book and popular teen dramas of the ‘90s and early ‘00s, share their love for the writing style of this time period, consider the way the author positions sex and dating, weigh in on the depiction of race in Zoey Fools Around, and so much more.
Casey Dembowski is the author of When We’re Thirty. Follow her on Instagram (@casey_dembowski) and Twitter (@casey_dembowski).
Episode 154: Stuart Little (with Deb Caletti)
Published in 1945, Stuart Little was E.B. White’s first book for children and has been beloved among young readers for the better part of a decade… but revisiting it with adult eyes in 2021 is a pretty bizarre experience! On Episode 154, Alli and her guest break that experience down, discussing all of the lovely moments AND the weird ones. Tune in to hear conversations about beautiful writing, publishing behind the scenes, unlikable characters, egomaniacs, bad date behavior, funny cats, and toxic mouse-culinity.
Deb Caletti is the award-winning and critically acclaimed author of nearly 20 books for teens and adults, including Honey, Baby, Sweetheart, A Heart in a Body in the World, and her latest novel, One Great Lie. Follow her on Instagram (@debcaletti) and Twitter (@debcaletti).
Episode 153: Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great (with S.K. Ali)
It’s always a good day when a Judy Blume book takes center stage on the pod… and it’s one of those good days!
On Episode 153, Alli and her guest have a conversation about Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great, an installment in the beloved Fudge series that was published in 1972. They talk about Sheila’s many fears and anxieties, books as windows and mirrors, old tech, summer camp, slam books, and body shaming. Guest S.K. Ali also shares about the many important impacts this book — and Judy Blume, in general — had on her as a young reader and writer.
S.K. Ali is the award-winning author of Saints and Misfits, Love from A to Z, and Misfit in Love. Follow her on Instagram (@skalibooks) and Twitter (@SajidahWrites).
Episode 152: Logan Likes Mary Anne! (Baby-Sitters Club #10) (with Marisa Crawford + Megan Milks)
The tenth installment in Ann M. Martin’s iconic Baby-Sitters Club series is a big one for the baby-sitters! In Logan Likes Mary Anne!, we are introduced to new boy Logan Bruno — and his budding relationship with Mary Anne sends some major waves through the BSC. On Episode 152, Alli chats with a pair of Baby-Sitters Club experts about the many ways in which this book is significant in the overall BSC universe. They discuss the transition to eighth grade, queer anxiety throughout the series, Kristy’s entrepreneurial strength, surprise parties, mansplaining, weird standards for maturity, and so much more.
Marisa Crawford and Megan Milks are the co-editors of We Are the Baby-Sitters Club: Essays and Artwork from Grown-Up Readers. Follow them on Instagram (@marisa_crawford | @sklimnagem) and Twitter (@marisacrawford | @sklimnagem).
Episode 151: Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen (with Rachael Lippincott)
We’ve all been known to be a little dramatic… but none of us have anything on Lola Cep, the star of Dyan Sheldon’s 1999 YA novel Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen. That’s right — it was a book before it was a Lindsay Lohan movie!
On Episode 151, Alli and her guest take a ridiculous journey through the source material that inspired the 2004 LiLo performance. They discuss everything from unreliable narrators and band breakups to easy-to-like villainesses and rowdy pop stars. You might just want an encore!
Rachael Lippincott is the coauthor of All This Time and the #1 New York Times bestseller Five Feet Apart. Her new book The Lucky List is now available! Follow her on Instagram (@rachaellippincott) and Twitter (@rchllipp).
Episode 150: Secrets (Sweet Valley High #2) (with Lacie Waldon)
As has become an unofficial summertime tradition, SSR returns to Sweet Valley to kick off a new year of the podcast! On Episode 150, Alli and her guest discuss the second book in Francine Pascal’s iconic series, Secrets. They chat about their own high school memories, the social hierarchy of Sweet Valley, jealous boyfriends, the dangers of gossip, and why these books have been so popular with readers of different ages.
Lacie Waldon is a writer with her head in the clouds — literally! A flight attended based in Washington, D.C., Lacie spends her days writing from the jump seat and watching the world for new stories. The Layover is her debut novel. Follow her on Instagram (@allaboutthat_lace) and Twitter (@LacieWaldon).
Perfect podcast for the nostalgic bookworm!
This podcast is SO much fun! The books featured each week bring me back to so many favorites from my childhood, while Allie and her guests provide food for thought with their thoughtful and nuanced discussions. If you love reading or reminiscing, you will enjoy this podcast!
I found SSR almost a year ago, and it quickly became my favorite podcast to listen to! I’m a sucker for nostalgia and books, so this podcast is right up my alley. Alli always finds a nice balance between keeping the conversations lighthearted and funny, and also thought provoking. I cannot recommend this podcast enough! 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
Perfect for the nostalgic and child at hearts
I found this podcast after rereading and googling one of my favorite series from middle school. I loved that episode so much that I started listening to more of them! As a bookworm, child at heart, and nostalgic gal, I love reminiscing on past books and hearing other people weigh in on them. I appreciate that Alli talks about how books hold up in 2021 because it’s an important conversation to have and shows how literature and media have changed over the years. There’s also a book club for the podcast, and I love that too. I recommend both the podcast and the book club!!!