Hank Phillippi Ryan: I love this photo. It's unusual because--I'm not talking. (Joke.) Anyway I'm listening to the brilliant Cari Dubiel, at the NEO-SinC (I know, I think it's funny too, but we love them!) "Killer Heat" event at the Beachwood Branch of the Cuyahoga Public Library in Cleveland! (I said that all in one breath.)
It was a fabulous jam-backed day, wall to wall people, and Cari and I presented an hour just for mystery lovers. Our goal--to do our bit for discoverability. To give readers a whole wonderful list of books to read. So we chatted about some of our current faves, and why we were reading them, and also asked the audience for suggestions. It was like one big book club, and it was a real treat.
Here's a link to the list of just SOME of the books we discussed. Can you predict why? Do you agree that they're discussable? (Do you think discussable is a word?)
Defending Jacob – William Landay
Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn
The 500 – Matthew Quirk
Anyway! The thing about Cari--not only is she the Assistant Manager, Adult Public Services, at Twinsburg Public Library in Twinsburg, Ohio. She has two blogs of her own: a personal blog, Walking Identity Crisis, and an official Twinsburg Public Library blog, The ABC Book Reviews: A Beth and Cari Production.
|Not THIS kind of pod person!|
And she's a real pod person. Not that kind. She does a podcast. A what? Yeah, a podcast. About books! Cool, huh? So I invited her over to chat about it!
Hello, fans of Jungle Red! I’m here today to talk about my podcast, The ABC Book Reviews. If you’re not already a podcast listener, they’re a great way to pass the time while driving, running, or washing the dishes. Much like audiobooks, they give you something to focus on and get excited about if you’re not entirely excited about the task you’re doing.
Why listen to our podcast? I could start by telling you that last year, it was chosen as one of the best book podcasts out there by the Wall Street Journal Online. But that would just be boastful of me. Instead, I’ll talk about the appeal – why it’s worth your time. The hosts are me (Cari Dubiel) and Beth Hatch. We’re both librarians as well as writers, and we talk about the latest books we’re reading, and why you should read (or not read) them too. We love mysteries, so if you’re looking for another good one, chances are we’ll talk about one or two. But we also talk about a wide variety of genres, so if you’re looking for new reading recommendations, we’re the place to go for that, too.
Our podcasts are funny (we like to believe that, at least). We’ve been described as “two girls chatting over a cup of coffee” or “two girls chatting in the back of the bus.” Two girls chatting… that’s the gist of it. It’s like you’re overhearing our conversation. There’s a fun feeling to that, isn’t there? I always want to join people’s conversations when I’m in public. I realize that probably makes me creepy, but especially if they’re talking about books, I want to know what they think.
We also go on tangents. We’re both moms, so we talk a lot about parenting. We’re writers, so we spend a lot of time deconstructing books, figuring out why we like or don’t like them. Beth is really into the paleo diet and exercise. So I guarantee that you’ll take away a long list of reads from every show, but you may also learn something completely off the wall, like how to get a baby to go to sleep (I’m still not sure exactly how that works) or the trials and tribulations of living with a vinyl hoarder (that would be my husband). We don’t censor ourselves, either, so you may hear some interesting stories about weird things that happen in the library. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
HANK: Wait. Wait. I have LOTS of questions.
Cari: Podcasts are audio files that live online. They're called podcasts because most of them were designed to be downloaded to iPods. They are kind of like mini radio shows. There are lots of different formats for them - sometimes it's just a person talking into a microphone - sometimes it's cohosts (like us) - sometimes it's a whole panel. Most people download them from iTunes onto an iPod or iPhone, but you can also listen to them on the web or on a phone or MP3 player that's not an Apple brand.
HANK: Whose idea was this--and how did you pick the title?
CARI: My old boss at the library had purchased the recording equipment with the intent to do a "library podcast." He thought people would be interested in listening to a podcast about library news and events. Well, we found that in the town we serve, the audience was very narrow. Podcasts appeal to a niche group: people who commute, exercise, travel, knit, etc. They want something to listen to to pass the time. So in order to get a broader audience, we needed to expand the topic past Twinsburg. We thought it would be fun to sit around and talk about books, so we decided to try it and see what happened. Beth came up with the title since our names started with B and C.
HANK: Were you frightened the first time?
CARI: Not at all. I was a DJ on my college radio station, so I was used to being on the microphone, and we didn't really think anyone would ever listen to it. Now I know better.
HANK: How do you decide what to talk about? Where do you record them?
HANK: Do things always go the way you planned? Do you edit or change them? How often is there a new one? HOw would people know?
CARI: We do edit out the "ums" and if we end up going on a tangent that might offend people, we edit that out too. We can't swear or say anything that would make the library look bad. But other than that, they're pretty much straight from the mic. We try to update twice a month, but sometimes it's harder since we're at different libraries now. We update our blog, Facebook, and Goodreads when we have a new podcast, or you can subscribe to our iTunes feed if you are a regular podcast listener. There is also an archive of 100+ episodes. We have had people talk about how they "binge listen" and go back and hear everything we did!
HANK: How has it changed your life, doing these?
CARI: Now there are a bunch of people around the world who know who we are and that we love books. They've read books because of us, and their lives (I hope) have been changed by their enjoyment of those books and of the podcast. I also hope they love libraries just a little more, too.
HANK: That is so exciting! And works so perfectly. So--do you all listen to podcasts? I have to admit it's a new experience for me...do you have a favorite one? I'm off to binge-listen to Cari....and hey, I'll give a collection of books to one lucky commenter! Because reading is what it's all about.
How do you find Beth and Cari?
Find us on iTunes, subscribe in an RSS reader, follow on Facebook or Goodreads – there are plenty of ways to join the conversation. Thanks to the fabulous Hank Phillippi Ryan for the opportunity to share my podcast with you. Happy listening!