Archive for April, 2023

Every Last Word: Tamera Ireland Stone Exclusive Interview

Friday, April 28th, 2023
Every Last Word Tamera Ireland Stone Exclusive Interview

Discover the inspiration for “Every Last Word” with Tamera Ireland Stone in this exclusive interview. Learn the true story behind the YA Booktok sensation!

Today I get to introduce you to my daughter’s favorite book and author! This book discovery was made long before it became a Booktok sensation or New York Times bestseller, and her beloved copy is so lovingly worn.

Every Last Word Book by Tamara Ireland Stone

Every Last Word Summary

Every Last Word is a must-read book, shedding light on teens’ struggles with OCD. As we know, mental illness is an important topic in YA literature, and Stone’s beautiful story was inspired by someone special to her. 

This novel illustrates our common misconceptions of OCD (the main character doesn’t even have a tidy room!). 

It tackles the more complicated stuff, like the stream of dark thoughts. For example, being obsessive with something like the number 3 and unable to drive your friends because your odometer must always have that number on it.

What is Age-Rating for Every Last Word?

Common Sense Media shares that the YA novel is recommended for readers that are 14 years old or older. Check their site for content warnings for this selection and if it is right for you.

Every Last Word: Tamera Ireland Stone Exclusive Interview

Sam, the main character in your story, is a teen secretly struggling with OCD. Why did you decide to talk about this illness, and what do you hope your YA readers will gain from sharing this story?

I first became interested in telling a story about a teen with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) when a close family friend was diagnosed four years ago, at age twelve.

We’re keeping her identity under wraps, so I call her C.

It was heartbreaking to hear how the disorder affected her. She couldn’t sleep. She felt powerless to a stream of negative, often terrifying thoughts. 

And her group of friends unknowingly made things harder. I couldn’t imagine dealing with something so intense, especially at such a young age.

In the years that followed her initial diagnosis, I’ve been so inspired by the way C and her family tackled this disorder—together. 

They worked in lock step with her psychiatrist, who prescribed medication to help her sleep at night and quiet her mind during the day. 

They interviewed therapists until they landed on one their daughter felt she could trust and confide in. And they helped her channel her energy into activities that made her feel good about herself.

They’re the reason I wanted to write this story. They set such a positive example, and it was one I felt inspired to share.

C hoped this story would help teens who are struggling with mental illness know they’re not alone, and not “broken.”  And she hoped that this story would help people who don’t have to deal with mental health conditions see those who do through a kinder, more sympathetic lens.

This story is for her, and for all the special, powerful, brilliant, not-at-all-broken minds like hers.

There seems to be a growing trend to talk about mental illness right now in YA fiction. Why do you think it has become an important theme in this genre of literature?

It’s interesting to me that all of these stories are coming out this year. As authors, we obviously didn’t intend to start or be part of a “trend.” We all just happened to start writing books we thought needed to be written.

Many people in my life are dealing with various mental health conditions, personally or with their children. 

We talk about it. And as parents, we’ve opened the conversation with our kids in an effort to make it a safe, judgment-free topic. I think that’s a crucial real-life trend.

My son had some anxiety issues when I started writing Every Last Word. He was barely 11 years old at the time. 

I bought an illustrated book about anxiety, and we sat down and read it together. When we got to the symptoms—racing heart, shortness of breath, stomachaches—he broke into tears. He finally said, “It’s anxiety? I thought I had cancer!”

The fear he’d built up in his mind was much worse than the reality.

Anxiety. There. It had a name. Rather than feeling the emotion accelerate and letting fear turn it into something completely different, he had a word. He could say, “I’m feeling anxious,” and we’d know what to do.

Words have such power.

As parents, we actively talk about exercise and eating well with our kids. We take them in for checkups and closely monitor their physical health and development. Why do we tend to treat mental health so differently?

I’m thrilled to see so many novels tackling mental illness in teens. 

Together, I hope we’re helping to change the narrative, using fiction to spread the message that it’s okay to talk openly about what’s going on in your brain, it’s okay if your mind works differently, and it’s okay if you need help.

Teens are under more pressure to be “perfect” than ever before. Let’s tell them they’re perfect exactly the way they are.

Sam really struggles to fit in with her peers and particularly struggles with a group of fake friends that don’t honor the real rules of friendship. Did you relate to Sam’s struggle to fit in from when you were in high school?

I was lucky to have great friends in middle school and high school, but my family moved a lot, so I was constantly making new ones. 

I was the new kid. 

And I was awkward. 

My friends never made me feel like the odd girl out, but I always felt like I was.

And yes, I’ve had those “mean girl” friends at a few points in my life, too. I definitely channeled a lot of my own challenges with female friendships into this story.

I love books with a twist, and you created a solid one for readers. Did you always know you were going to twist the plot this way or did it come to you as you wrote it?

I did. That was always a huge part of the story, from the original outline. 

It was the trickiest aspect of the novel to write, but without question, my favorite.

In one line, you state, “Everyone’s got something. Some people are just better actors than others.”  What is one thing you have acted your way out of in your own life that people might be surprised to know?

In my mid-20s, I landed my dream job with a fast-growing public relations firm. I climbed the ladder quickly, and before long I was managing some of our largest accounts. I loved my job, even though it was often stressful and overwhelming.

But there was one job requirement I couldn’t stand: Presenting. I hated speaking in front of people, with all eyes on me, and I did everything I could to avoid it.

I finally confided in one of the partners.

He reminded me that I was the expert. That I knew the client and the material better than anyone else. And then he smiled and said, “You know what they say, ‘Fake it till you make it.’”

I needed that. I made that my mantra.

Over the years, I’ve had this conversation with many business professionals, and more recently, with my author friends. 

Some of the most polished presenters have admitted that they feel terrified before they step up on that stage. That it takes a big dose of courage and a lot of “faking it” to make it through.

The poem in Every Last Word called “As If” was inspired by this idea. Sometimes we need to act our way out of fear.

Oddly, now I’ve gone and put myself in a career where I present on bigger stages, to more people than I’ve ever addressed before, where the stakes are even higher. And yes, it’s still scary. 

I always feel like I’m faking confidence when I fist step on stage and begin talking. But at some point, I begin to relax. I connect with the crowd and start to have fun, and pretty soon, I’m no longer faking it.

I’m still wondering when I’ll actually feel like I’ve made it.

Tamera Ireland Stone Books

Tamara Ireland Stone is a New York Times bestselling author of YA and middle-grade books. Her novels explore themes of mental health, technology, and the power of human connection. Here are a few recommendations for books to check out!

Love this author interview? Stream the Book Gang Podcast wherever you get podcasts. We discuss debuts, backlist, and under-the-radar book gems with your favorite authors.

Book Gang Podcast

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Have you read Every Last Word? We would love to hear what you thought of this YA Booktok Book?

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Laurie Frankel Interview (This is How it Always Is) Exclusive

Friday, April 28th, 2023
Laurie Frankel Interview (This is How it Always Is) Exclusive

Get insights into the captivating novel “This Is How It Always Is” by Laurie Frankel with my exclusive interview. Learn more from the author for your book club

 If I selected a book club book that would get everyone talking, this would be top on my list.

This eye-opening novel is about parenting a child who struggles with gender identity and how one fictional family navigates the world to help their child live in a place of compassion, joy, and acceptance.

This is How it Always Is gives the reader a glimpse into the completely typical modern family experience and what this path through one’s life might look like as a parent of a transgender child and as a child themselves. It’s a bold, honest heartbreaking story, offering gentle prose for the reader. 

Let’s get into it! 

Laurie Frankel Interview (This is How it Always Is) Exclusive

Laurie Frankel

Parenting is hard, and I often reflect on how I wish I would have handled challenging situations with our kids in better ways. 

Rosie & Penn, the parents in this beautiful story, seem to offer all the right types of love and support for their child as he struggles with gender identity. 

Since your child faced similar issues, were these responses how you also reacted, or was this more of a reflection on how you wished you could have responded in those moments?

Ha! What a good question. It’s true that made-up parents are often more patient than actual ones, but it’s also true that made-up kids are often better behaved. In fact, the struggles the parents and the children face in This Is How It Always Is are themselves mostly made up, never mind their reactions. 

We’ve been very lucky in that my child’s transition hasn’t necessitated much struggle or strife — for her, for her family and friends, at school, or in her community — so the challenges both the kids and the parents face and respond to in the book are all made up.

Poppy’s parents begin to explore other areas in the world to find places that can accept Poppy for who she is from Seattle to Thailand. I know your family resides in Seattle, but how did you discover that Thailand was so open and welcoming in this way?

There are in fact a lot of cultures — including Native cultures in the United States — that embrace and celebrate a third gender or a non-binary concept of gender. Thailand is one of many. 

I originally thought the characters might drive cross country rather than going halfway around the world, but in addition to its openness to its transgender citizens, Thailand is also Buddhist, and because (as you note in the next question) I wanted to talk about gender as something other than black and white, the Buddhist notion of the Middle Way became paramount.

Your exploration of gender identity showcases that gender identity does not need to be a black-or-white issue. For example, not every child needs to make life-altering decisions, like involving medical or surgical intervention, right away. What message do you hope your readers will walk away with from this family’s fictional journey?

For me, the message is in the title: this is how it always is. Most kids aren’t transgender, but most kids are gender nonconforming — sometimes, in some ways — and all kids are sometimes nonconforming, sometimes don’t fit in, and sometimes face challenges.

And all parents want to love and help their kids, and no parents always know the best way to go about doing so. 

We make the best decisions we can and amend as necessary. 

This is how it always is — and not any more so or any scarier for transgender kids and their families than for any others.

I do also believe that the more and more quickly we stop thinking about gender — and most things — as either-or, black-or-white, the better the world becomes for all of us.

Poppy did not disclose her gender to her closest friends, and her family chose to keep this a secret and live her life as a girl. Tell me more about this decision.

Transgender kids and their families face tough questions when they meet new people. Their bodies are no one else’s business, yet their histories and identities are important and to be celebrated.

For most people, those two notions aren’t in conflict. When they are, no choice is wrong, and all choices are difficult in different ways.

In this difficult political climate, how can we be genuine and kind advocates for transgender or gender-nonconforming children and their families?

Love them. Celebrate them. Let them be who they are. Don’t rush them. Don’t judge them. Don’t assume. 

Make sure they know whoever they are and however they are is normal and awesome and a great way to be.

 And I’d expand that from gender nonconforming to nonconforming period. 

It might also be useful to remember that the world urgently faces many complex, critical problems at the moment, and where people go to the bathroom just isn’t one them.

This is How it Always Is by Laurie Frankel

The cover of your book is beautiful. What does the orange peel on your cover symbolize?

Ooh, thank you. I love it, but I can’t take credit for it. That cover is entirely down to the geniuses at Flatiron Books. 

I think the orange peel makes you think about insides versus outsides, about layers, about what’s on top and what’s underneath and which is important and which can just be peeled away.

Laurie Frankel Books

Laurie Frankel is the New York Times bestselling, award-winning author of four novels. She is the recipient of the Washington State Book Award and the Endeavor Award.

Her novels have been translated into more than twenty-five languages and have been optioned for film and TV. A former college professor, she now writes full-time in Seattle, Washington, where she lives with her family.

Love this post? Check out these book lists for more book club book ideas!


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The Best Historical Fiction Books For Summer

Friday, April 28th, 2023

Debut novelist Crystal Smith Paul joins the podcast to discuss her historical fiction book, Did You Hear About Kitty Karr?, and her top book recommendations.

The Best Historical Fiction Books for Summer with Crystal Smith Paul

Historical fiction lovers, you do not want to miss this fascinating discussion around some of your favorite books and some details on upcoming 2023 historical fiction book releases. 

Today’s interview with Crystal Smith Paul offers a peek behind the curtains at the creation of the riveting debut novel,Did You Hear About Kitty Karr?”, soon to hit store shelves on May 2nd from Henry Holt & Company. 

The novel explores impactful themes such as colorism and the generational trauma of racism in the U.S. In today’s Book Gang interview, Crystal discusses her research on these themes and what message she hopes readers take away from Kitty’s fictional story. The true story that inspired many of these fictional characters should not be missed today.

Learn about Paul’s rich background that lent itself well to Kitty’s Hollywood backstory, how she approached this dual-timeline narrative, and the most significant challenges she faced with writing and publishing. 

Did You Hear About Kitty Karr? y Crystal Smith Paul

Did You Hear About Kitty Karr? Summary

Craving an old Hollywood historical fiction escape? If you loved The Vanishing Half, you will appreciate this powerful debut novel that examines race and privilege.

Eighty-one-year-old Kitty Karr Tate has died, and her death has dominated the week’s news. She was an American icon, an Academy Award winner, a writer, a television star, and a philanthropist. But, along with praise for her career, there are also wild theories about her mysterious life and the circumstances of her demise.  

In one final mysterious plot twist, Kitty has bequeathed her entire fortune- approximately six million dollars to the Black daughters of her co-star in a sitcom aired almost fifty years ago. 

As these women are thrust further into the spotlight, they are left to grapple with why they received these funds. After all, they are daughters who had been multimillionaires by birth. So why do they receive this unexpected windfall? 

We get to solve this mystery along with the St. Johns family in this dual-timeline story, beginning in the 1930s and shifting to 2017.

This sweeping multigenerational saga is worthy of a miniseries, and I can’t wait to hear more about the inspiration for Kitty’s story. 

Paul’s examination of our fractured world acknowledges the grim realities of racial disparities while offering the reader reprieves through fantastical Hollywood escapes. Don’t miss this debut, hitting store shelves on May 2nd or this fascinating conversation.

Editor’s Note: Since recording this interview, Crystal Smith Paul was selected as the May Reese’s Book Club Pick and a May BOTM selection.

Don’t miss Crystal’s favorite books in today’s bonus book list with the best historical fiction books for your summer that include some of the most anticipated books of the summer season!

I round out our discussion with some intriguing trivia about these incredible selections featured today. 

Crystal Smith Paul author of Did You Hear About Kitty Karr?

Meet Crystal Smith Paul

Crystal Smith Paul attended Spelman College and UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television and received her master’s in journalism from NYU. Her nonfiction writing has appeared in Salon, Jezebel, and HuffPost. She currently works in digital marketing for wellness and beauty brands. Did You Hear About Kitty Karr? is her first novel.

The Best Historical Fiction Books For Summer

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Mentioned in this episode:

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Did You Hear About Kitty Karr? By Crystal Smith Paul

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Passing by Nessa Larsen

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The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

The Personal Librarian by Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray

The First Ladies by Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray

Mary Jane McLeod Bethune (1875-1955) •

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The Best New Historical Fiction Books of 2023

Friday, April 28th, 2023

Immerse yourself in captivating tales from the past with our curated book list of the best new historical fiction books of 2023. Don’t miss these new releases!

In today’s Book Gang episode, Crystal Smith Paul shares the best new historical fiction books for summer, and I’m so excited to share this discussion with you.

Crystal revealed details on her first novel, Did You Hear About Kitty Karr?, which will be released by Henry Holt & Co. on May 2nd. Learn more about the challenges she faced while writing this book, which deals with themes of racism in the United States and how they ripple throughout generations.

Listen to the full episode (the show notes are located here) below and subscribe to the Book Gang podcast for more episodes like this one.

The Best New Historical Fiction Books of 2023

These highly-rated novels already have incredible reviews and buzz for this year. I can’t wait to share my reviews in this year’s summer reading guide, releasing on May 12th!  This list includes three incredible selections from Crystal Smith Paul, our guest on the Book Gang podcast today!

The Best Historical Fiction Books You Might Have Missed

These two backlist selections were brought to today's podcast for important themes on race, colorism, and identity. Don't miss these selections selected by Crystal Smith Paul.

Looking for a few more pics? Here is a short list of our book club member favorites!

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

The House of Eve by Sadeqa Johnson 

The Alice Network by Kate Quinn

Take My Hand by Dolen Perkins Valdez (a 2023 MomAdvice Book Club selection)

What historical fiction book are you most excited to read? Be sure to let us know if you have read anything this year that didn’t make today’s list! I’d love to expand our list with your favorites too!

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An Exclusive Jessica Knoll Interview (Luckiest Girl Alive)

Thursday, April 27th, 2023
An Exclusive Jessica Knoll Interview (Luckiest Girl Alive)

Read this exclusive interview from Jessica Knoll on the Luckiest Girl Alive book & its film adaptation with Mila Kunis. Don’t miss the scoop on her new book!

I am so excited to share with you today an exclusive interview with New York Times Bestseller,  Jessica Knoll, the author of Luckiest Girl Alive

Luckiest Girl Alive Book

Luckiest Girl Alive Book Synposis

This addictive thriller was described by Reese Witherspoon as “one of those reads you just can’t put down!” 

This gripping psychological thriller follows the seemingly perfect life of Ani FaNelli, a successful magazine editor engaged to a wealthy man.

As her wedding day approaches, Ani’s dark past resurfaces, forcing her to confront traumatic events from her high school days and revealing the disturbing truth behind her carefully constructed façade.

The novel delves into themes of identity, trauma, and the consequences of keeping secrets.

Now a Netflix film starring Mila Kunis, Luckiest Girl Alive follows Ani FaNelli as she strives to create the perfect life. But beneath the expensive wardrobe and blue blood fiancé lies a haunting secret from her past. 

An Exclusive Jessica Knoll Interview (Luckiest Girl Alive)

An Exclusive Jessica Knoll Interview (Luckiest Girl Alive)

Let’s start with the most exciting news! Luckiest Girl Alive had the movie rights acquired by Lionsgate and Reese Witherspoon. Did YOU feel like the luckiest girl alive when you found out about this film adaptation?  

I cracked this joke to Bruna, Reese’s producing partner, and she quickly corrected me by telling me that I’m not lucky—good things come to those who work hard to develop their craft and talent.
I really appreciated that!

There is certainly a degree of luck involved, but I was also very, very calculated in terms of setting myself up for success. I fought tooth and nail to land a job in the magazine world right after I graduated college, knowing that once you get your foot in that door, it’s a great place to develop your voice and improve your writing and storytelling abilities.

Most important, you make a lot of great connections working in magazines, and publishing people like magazine people because you have a whole network of friends who are willing to support the book.
I met my agent years before I ever wrote Luckiest Girl Alive, and I met other people in the industry who had lines into Hollywood.

One of those lines happened to be to Reese and Bruna.

Their involvement has undoubtedly granted the book a certain amount of visibility that any author, let alone a first time author, could only dream of, and I’m so grateful to them for their unwavering support.
The luck part comes into play as I got to know them both, and realized how incredibly collaborative and inclusive they are. I really lucked out in terms of being paired up with two smart, powerful women who are also willing to help a first time writer develop and grow. I have so much to learn from them, and lucky for me, they want to teach me.

The unlikable narrator seems to be a growing trend in fiction. I won’t drop the Gone Girl comparison, but why do you think authors are gravitating towards a different dynamic with the narrators of their story? Do you think Ani is unlikable or just misunderstood thanks to her past?

In my eyes, Ani isn’t unlikable at all. 

She’s flawed, yes, but isn’t everyone? That’s what makes her real and honest. And real and honest are two very likable qualities. 

That being said, I think we are living in a very exciting time for strong, female driven narratives. I will make the Gone Girl reference here, mostly because it was such an absolute phenomenon that it goes to show you that audiences are interested in the anti-heroine’s story too. There’s a demand for Tony Soprano and Amy Dunne, Don Draper and Ani FaNelli. Let’s give the people what they want!

Ani’s desire to be liked drives the story, even in the face of devastating mistreatment by the popular kids at school. Do you think this struggle to fit in is more common than we realize, even if not to the same extent as in the book? Did you face any similar challenges during your own school years, and were there any personal experiences that inspired the story?

Speaking from personal experience, I think it’s incredibly common. 

Kids can be cruel, and up until recently, sexual assault and slut shaming culture was not something we discussed openly. 

When I was in high school and college, I didn’t truly understand what rape looked like, and I know a lot of my friends—guys and girls—didn’t either. 

How can we expect kids to make the right decisions, and treat each other with dignity and respect, when we don’t give them examples of what that does—and doesn’t—look like? 

What happens to Ani in the book isn’t new. It’s a story old as time. But this sudden willingness to talk about bullying, slut shaming, and sexual assault is new, and that’s a good thing.

As an editor for magazines, how did your background prepare you for writing your first novel? What was the process of transitioning from writing/editing article pieces to a book, and how difficult was it for you? Additionally, can you tell us how long it took from the initial idea to complete the book?

It absolutely did. I could not have written this book in my early and mid twenties. That was an important, developmental time for me in terms of discovering my voice, and learning how to find a story’s unique angle. 

Once I had that skillset to draw on, I spent a good year or two really thinking hard about what I wanted my book to be about, and high on that list was for it to make some sort of commentary about the world and times we are living in. 

Magazines taught me to have that strong perspective. Once I actually sat down to write Luckiest Girl Alive, it was extremely liberating to be able to write in my own voice. 

When you write for a magazine, you have to appropriate a ‘house’ voice. But Ani was all me. It was so freeing to tell her story that I churned it out in nine months.

Editor’s Note: Jessica has since disclosed personally traumatic details in an essay she penned for Cosmopolitan.

Luckiest Girl Alive Movie Poster

Luckiest Girl Alive Movie Now Streaming

Luckiest Girl Alive is now available to stream on Netflix. It was directed by Mike Barker and thescreenplay by Jessica Knoll, based on her 2015 novel of the same name. 

The cast and roles for the 2021 Netflix adaptation of “Luckiest Girl Alive” are: Mila Kunis as Ani FaNelli, Finn Wittrock as Luke Harrison, Chiara Aurelia as young Ani FaNelli, Connie Britton as Ani’s mother, and Scoot McNairy as Ani’s writing teacher, Mr. Larson.

Readers, please note that Luckiest Girl Alive ending and many plot points are different in the film adaptation. As we discussed in our Celebrity Book Club Deep Dive podcast (on Book Gang), Reese Witherspoon loves a hopeful ending for her films.

Knoll also recognized the cultural shift that has occurred in the last seven years, both in her own life and in society. Her personal story and the #MeToo movement motivated her to create a new film ending where Ani also finds healing by speaking up and sharing her story.  (watch the movie trailer)

Jessica Knoll Books (FULL LIST)


Jessica Knoll Books

Jessica Knoll is the New York Times bestselling author of The Favorite Sister and Luckiest Girl Alive—now a major motion picture from Netflix starring Mila Kunis.

She has been a senior editor at Cosmopolitan and the articles editor at Self.

She grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia and graduated from the Shipley School in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, and Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York.

She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and their bulldog, Beatrice.

This post contains affiliate links.

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The Spectacular Life Lessons from Books About Road Trips

Friday, April 14th, 2023
The Spectacular Life Lessons from Books About Road Trips

Hit the open road with these books about road trips. Hop in the getaway car and learn what it takes to write a great Thelma & Louise story with Colleen Oakley.

Do you love road trip books? We will go on a wildly entertaining road trip with a college dropout and an eighty-four-year-old woman on the run from the law in today’s show.

The Mostly True Story of Tanner & Louise by Colleen Oakley

Today’s Book Gang podcast features an interview with Colleen Oakley discussing her feisty new novel, The Mostly True Story of Tanner & Louise, which pays tribute to the iconic movie Thelma & Louise

Colleen shares how she aimed to capture various aspects of the film in her story and how her research on police work and investigations informed the development of the missing person case and jewelry heist in the book. 

We also discuss what it takes to write about two very different generations and why she included Tanner’s struggles with chronic pain in her story. 

Don’t miss Colleen’s favorite books in today’s bonus book list with books about road trips for the perfect escape!

Colleen Oakley

Meet Colleen Oakley  

Colleen Oakley is the USA Today bestselling author of The Invisible Husband of Frick Island, You Were There Too, Close Enough to Touch, Before I Go, and The Mostly True Story of Tanner & Louise. Colleen’s novels have been longlisted for the Southern Book Prize twice, and Close Enough to Touch won the French Reader’s Prize. Her books have been translated into more than 21 languages.

The Spectacular Life Lessons from Books About Road Trips 

Listen to the Book Gang Podcast:

Listen below or listen on your favorite podcast listening platform!

Mentioned in this episode:

Joining the Patreon community is an affordable way to support the show and gain access to a wealth of resources, including author interviews and curated book lists. And if you’re a fan of the show, sharing it with just one friend, leaving a like, or leaving a review can go a long way in helping the podcast reach new listeners. 

The Mostly True Story of Tanner and Louise by Colleen Oakley

Normal Family by Chrysta Bilton

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Fables Books

The Invisible Husband of Frick Island by Colleen Oakley

You Were There Too by Colleen Oakley

Close Enough to Touch by Colleen Oakley

Before I Go by Colleen Oakley

Thelma and Louise

Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin

Stardew Valley

The Last Of Us 

Rose the Prude – Golden Girls

The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise by Dan Gemeinhart

One Plus One by Jojo Moyes

The Long Way Back by Nicole Baart

Side Trip by Kerry Lonsdale

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A Day in the Life of a Book Publicist

Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult

Connect With Us:

Connect with Colleen Oakley on her Website or Instagram

Connect with Amy on Instagram, on TikTok, or

Join the MomAdvice Book Club

Shop Our Bookish Shirts to support the show

This post contains affiliate links.

The Best Books About Road Trips to Read Now

Friday, April 14th, 2023
The Best Books About Road Trips to Read Now

Looking for the best books about road trips? Hit the open road with these adventure books that celebrate cross-country adventures in fiction and nonfiction.

In today’s Book Gang episode, Colleen Oakley brought her favorite selections for the best road trip books. 

She also discussed her fantastic intergenerational road trip story, The Mostly True Story of Tanner and Louise. Don’t miss this episode on the inspiration of Thelma & Louise and the challenges of writing about characters from two different generations. 

Listen to the full episode (the show notes are located here) below and subscribe to the Book Gang podcast for more episodes like this one.

The Best Books About Road Trips to Read Now

The Best Books to Read About Road Trips Right Now

Today’s bonus list includes a variety of exciting adventures on the open road, ranging from uplifting tales to reflective journeys and even nonfiction memoirs.

So whether you’re looking for a way to escape into a world of travel from the comfort of your armchair or simply seeking some inspiration for your next road trip, these books are sure to captivate and entertain you.

Joyful Road Trip Stories

These fictional getaway escapes will take you across the United States from the comfort of your armchair.

Thought-Provoking Road Trip Book Cub Books

Looking for a book club selection that will fuel a lively, adventurous discussion and provide plenty of material for contemplation? Check out these thought-provoking books.

Challenging Nonfiction for Adventure Seekers

Looking for a reading list that will push you outside your comfort zone and satisfy your thirst for adventure? Look no further than these nonfiction books, perfect for the daring reader!

Looking for more road trip adventures? Here is a short list of our book club member favorites:

The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver

The People We Keep by Allison Larkin

The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles

On the Road by Jack Kerouac

He Started It by Samantha Downing

Annie Freeman’s Fabulous Traveling Funeral by Kris Radish

West with Giraffes by Lynda Rutledge

The Greatest Beer Run Ever by John “Chick” Donohue

Oh William! by Elizabeth Strout

What is your favorite road trip story? I’d love to expand our list with your favorites too!

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