BHS Episode 8: Gathering Around with Betsy Pendergrass

45416221_283412482374345_8166301459126681600_nToday, we’re getting to know Betsy Pendergrass By Her Shelf! Besty is a wife, a mom of four, a writer, and a passionate gatherer. Betsy and her husband Taylor share tips for gathering people and recipes for feeding them in the community they’ve built at gatheringaround.com.

In this episode, Betsy and I discuss:

Plot driven vs. character driven novels
Scary librarians
and One More Page Syndrome.

The Books

Christy by Catherine Marshall (Kindle)

100 Days to Brave by Annie F. Downs (Kindle)

Let’s All Be Brave by Annie F. Downs (Kindle)

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien (Kindle)

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis (Kindle)

The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis (Kindle)

The Mitford Series by Jan Karon (Kindle)

The Business of Honor by Bob Hasson and Danny Silk (Kindle)

Keep Your Love on by Danny Silk (Kindle)

Becoming Mrs. Lewis by Patti Callahan (Kindle)

Betsy-Tacy Series by Maud Heart Lovelace (Kindle)

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl (Kindle)

Mary Poppins by Dr. P.L. Travers (Kindle)

Miracles on Maple Hill by Virginia Sorenson (Kindle)

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (Kindle)

Favorite Assigned Reading:

The Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell (Kindle)

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brien

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens (Kindle)

Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare (Kindle)

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas (Kindle)

Required Reading that wasn’t for Betsy: Anything with Greek or Roman Gods

Betsy’s Surprising Book: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (Kindle)

Betsy’s Suggested Reading on Hospitality:

Savor by Shauna Niequist (Kindle)

Magnolia Table: A Collection of Recipes for Gathering by Joanna Gaines (Kindle)

The Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year of Holidays by Ree Drummond

The Turquoise Table by Kristen Schell (Kindle)

10 Ideas to Entertain Even If You Can’t Cook

Most Underrated Series: Cultivate by Cageless Birds

Currently Reading: Surprised by Joy by C.S. Lewis (Kindle)

On top of Betsy’s TBR Pile:

The Links

That Sounds Fun with Annie F. Downs

Dave Ramsey

Shauna Niequist

The Puffy Muffin

The Pioneer Woman

BHS Episode 7: A Place to Land with Kate Motaung

Today, we’re getting to know Kate Motaung by her shelf:

Kate Motaung - 2017 Headshot

Kate Motaung is the author of  A Place to Land: A Story of Longing and Belonging, Influence: Building a Platform that Elevates Jesus (Not Me), A Start-Up Guide for Online Christian Writers, and Letters to Grief. She is the host of Five Minute Friday, an online community that encourages and equips Christian writers, and the owner of Refine Services, a company that offers writing and editing services. Kate and her South African husband have three children. Find Kate at Heading Home, Five Minute Friday, or on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

In this episode, Kate and I chat about the bookish assignment that made her hate reading, the book that inspired her to restart her book A Place to Land as a memoir, mint chocolate chip ice cream, and so much more.

The Books:

Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls  (Kindle)

Surprised by Motherhood by Lisa Jo Baker (Kindle)

Atlas: Finding Home in the Last Place I Thought to Look by Emily T. Wierenga (Kindle)

Making It Home: Finding My Way to Peace, Identity, and Purpose by Emily T. Wierenga (Kindle)

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (Kindle)

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah (Kindle)

We Hope for Better Things by Erin Bartels (Kindle)

Love Letters to Writers by Andi Cumbo-Floyd (Kindle)

The One Thing by Gary Keller with Jay Papasan (Kindle)

I Call You Mine by Kim de Blecourt (Kindle)

Control Girl by Shannon Popkin (Kindle)

Glorious Weakness by Alia Joy (Kindle)

All Manner of Things by Susie Finkbeiner (Kindle)

The Links:

Susie Finkbeiner

Lynn Austin

Susan Meissner

BHS Episode 6: Hollow Hearts with Christina Yother

Today, we’re getting to know Christina Yother By Her Shelf:

Christina Yother

Christina Yother is the Amazon Bestselling Author of the Hollow Hearts historical romance series. She has been involved with writing, blogging, and social media for several years and earned a Ph.D. in 2012 by writing one of the first dissertations to explore how women build community through writing online. She lives in small-town Georgia with her husband and three children. You can find her writing at christinayother.com

In this episode, Christina and I chat about:

  • Hollow Hearts, Christina’s historical fiction trilogy.
  • Books you don’t remember buying (or reading)
  • Censorship vs. Age appropriateness
  • Dust jackets and dog-eared pages

And so much more. You’ll even hear Christina convince me to join her in an informal Goodreads challenge you may want to implement if you’re guilty of a certain reading habit.

Since the recording of this episode, Christina has launched Other Words Press, a publishing company dedicated to offering quality fiction as well as providing services and coaching to developing writers. If you’re an aspiring writer seeking developmental editing or professional critiquing, I can’t recommend Christina highly enough.

The books:

Book that ignited/reignited her love of reading: Just as Long as We’re Together by Judy Blume (Kindle)

Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret, Deenie, Blubber, Tiger Eyes

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (Kindle)

Least favorite assigned reading: Lord of the Flies by William Golding (Kindle)

The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien (Kindle)

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo (Kindle)

Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews (Kindle)

VC Andrews

Save the Cat Writes a Novel by Jessica Brody (Kindle)

Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott (Kindle)

Christina’s Books
Reverie (Kindle)

Reliance (Kindle)

Reconcile (Kindle)

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer (Kindle)

The Vampire Diaries (Amazon Series Page)

Kaye Gibbons (Amazon Author Page)

A Virtuous Woman by Kaye Gibbons (Kindle)

Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis (Kindle)

Coulson’s Wife by Anna J. McIntyre (Kindle)

Reader, I Married Him by Tracy Chevalier (Kindle)

Vox by Christina Dalcher (Kindle)

The Girl Aquarium by Jen Campbell (Kindle)

Weird Things Customers Say in Bookstores by Jen Campbell (Kindle)

The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night by Jen Campbell

Links:

Nalia (Cover Designer)

Book Outlet

What Should I Read Next

Jen Campbell’s YouTube

BHS Episode 5: Confident Creation with Amanda Pittman

Today, we’re getting to know Amanda Pittman By Her Shelf:

Amanda Pittman

Amanda Pittman is a Christian, a wife, and a mother. She is the author of two books, “Reflecting God’s Beauty,” and “Love Your First Year of Marriage.” Amanda is the founder of the Confident Woman Mentorship Program and helps her husband pastor The Gathering Oasis Church Downtown. In her free time, Amanda creates social media content that inspires and equips women to be confident and Christ-centered.

In this episode, Amanda and I discuss:

  • Consumption vs. creation in social media and reading
  • Why even avid readers should give themselves space to write
  • The odd reading habit Amanda shares with her mother

…and so much more.

Amanda was the very first person I interviewed for By Her Shelf, and this interview really set the tone for me. Her words about creating and using our voices were the exact encouragement I needed to hear as I was stepping into this new space. If you find yourself struggling with self-confidence or using your voice, I know you will be encouraged by this conversation as well.

Quotes:

  • One of the most valuable things we’ve been given is our voice.
  • It’s not that you don’t have any valuable thoughts, it’s that you haven’t give your mind any air to breathe.
  • What are you doing with all the information you stored up?
  • At the end of the day our confidence boils down to what we believe and if we believe the best about ourselves. If we believe what God says we are and who God says we are, then we’re going to walk in confidence.
  • Having the mindset of contentment and compassion is a way we can reflect the beauty of God and not the ugliness of the world.

The Books (These are affiliate links. I receive a small commission if you buy through them at no cost to you):

Links

 

BHS Episode 4: Pockets of Lovely with Abigail Rudibaugh

Today, we’re getting to know Abigail Rudibaugh By Her Shelf:

Abigail Rudibaugh

Abigail calls Cincinnati, Ohio home alongside her husband and two young daughters. As a graduate from Miami University of Ohio in Integrated Language Arts, she spent nine years teaching, but is now taking time to nourish her writer’s soul. Abigail believes that in a prescriptive and productive world, poetry has become the umbrella in which she can finally find some shade. Find her on Instagram & Twitter @pocketsoflovely or at pocketsoflovely.com

In this episode, Abby and I discuss:

-The “lovely” story behind the name Pockets of Lovely

-How being a writer has changed the way she reads

-The late Mary Oliver, one of Abby’s favorite poets

-Embarrassing book habits

-FOMO on pop lit conversations

And so much more.

Whether or not you consider yourself to be a poetry lover, I guarantee you’ll connect with some part of this interview with Abby.

The books (These are affiliate links. I receive a small commission if you buy through one of these links):

The first book Abby remembers loving (Kindle)

The assigned reading that surprised her (in a good way) (Kindle)

This classic was disliked twice in five interviews! (Kindle)

A Thousand Mornings Kindle Version

Ariel by Sylvia Plath (Kindle)

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert (Kindle)

Abby’s Surprising Book (Kindle)

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Kindle)

Liane Moriarty

John Steinbeck

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum (Kindle)

Abby’s current read (Kindle)

Up next for Abby (Kindle)

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng (Kindle)

The Links:

I’m Nobody! Who are you? by Emily Dickinson

Abby’s site: Pockets of Lovely

Poet Mary Oliver

“A Thousand Mornings”

Poet Wendell Berry

Recordings of Sylvia Plath reading poems from Ariel

Newsletter subscribers will receive two special emails this week: A list of diverse books if Madeleine’s episode inspired you and a list of can’t miss poetry collections if Abby’s episode sparked your poetry reading fancy. You can subscribe to the newsletter here.

Next week’s episode is actually the first episode I recorded for the podcast. My guest is an entrepreneur and content creator focused on empowering women to be confident and cultivate self-esteem. You don’t want to miss getting to know this powerhouse By Her Shelf. Be sure to subscribe so you don’t!

If you’re loving the show, I would really appreciate it if you left a rating/review on iTunes. It helps others find the show…and maybe their next favorite book.

BHS Episode 3: The Muggle Version of Hermione Granger with Madeleine Riley

Today we’re getting to know Madeleine Riley By Her Shelf:

Madeleine Riley

Madeleine is a special education teacher by day and a voracious bookworm by night. She shares her bookish life on her literary-themed Instagram @topshelftext. A loyal New Englander, she loves the ocean, cats, organizing, and is an aspiring gardener. When she grows up, she wants to be the muggle version of Hermione Granger.

In this episode, Madeleine and I discuss:

How she implements reading into her curriculum as a special education teacher

How watching the white Nationalist march in Charlottesville, Virginia sparked the Diverse Books Club, and why she shuttered the club with over 13,000 members

How she makes her Instagram more accessible and inclusive

The feedback she receives the most often from her appearance on What Should I Read Next

The book recommendation she’s been avoiding.

The books:

Nancy Drew Mysteries

Harry Potter Series

Romeo and Juliet (Kindle)

Madeleine’s favorite assigned book: The Odyssey (Kindle)

Song of Achilles (Kindle)

Circe (Kindle)

Madeleine’s least favorite assigned book: Great Expectations (Kindle)

Barracoon (Kindle)

The Madeline books

Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast

A Boy Called Bat (Kindle)

What Should I Read Next Picks:

The Mothers (Kindle)

Death at La Fenice (Kindle)–A Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery

A Share in Death (Kindle)

Small Great Things (Kindle)

The Pact: A Love Story (Kindle)

Most mentioned book from her WSIRN episode: The Cuckoo’s Calling (Kindle)

Don’t Judge Me, But: Beloved (Kindle)

Madeleine didn’t like this popular book: The Handmaid’s Tale (Kindle)

The Road Back to You (Kindle)

She also didn’t like this author: Liane Moriarty

Her comfort zone series: The Lady Hardcastle Mysteries (Kindle)

(T.E. Kinsey Author Page)

Maisey Dobbs Mysteries

Current read at time of interview: The Clockmaker’s Daughter (Kindle)

Top of TBR pile at time of interview: Beneath a Scarlet Sky (Kindle)

My suggestion for learning more about history of Charlottesville, VA:

Urban Renewal and the End of Black Culture in Charlottesville, Virginia: An Oral History of Vinegar Hill (Kindle)

The Links:

The account that inspired Madeleine to close caption her posts: @mugandnook

The book club Madeleine is following for diverse reads: @words.between.worlds 

For more enneagram info: @yourenneagramcoach

Madeleine’s episode of What Should I Read Next: Ep 72: Embarrassing Bookworm Confessions

BHS Episode 2: Cooking Up Drama with Agatha Marshall

Welcome to the very first set of show notes for By Her Shelf with Erica D. Hearns!

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Today I have the absolute pleasure of introducing you to Agatha Marshall.

come eat with aggie

Agatha is a mom, the author of the cookbook Come Eat with Aggie*, an entrepreneur, and a publishing consultant with Lincross Publishing, an independent publisher assisting authors who want to publish their passion professionally while keeping their rights and royalties. We discuss Agatha’s work with Lincross, her cookbook “sheroes,” and the of-assigned play she dislikes so much she can barely utter its name. If you’re an aspiring author, or aspiring to put down the takeout menu and learn to cook fabulous meals on a less glamorous budget, you need to get to know Agatha by her shelf today.

Quotable:

“You have a part to play in the kingdom, and that’s my part.”

“It’s one of the jobs you don’t get tired of doing.”

“Anyone can write a book…but Lincross is about publishing purpose.”

The books (these are affiliate links. I get a small commission if you purchase books using these links. The title link is the print version):

The book that reignited Agatha’s love of reading (Kindle)

No Disrespect

The publisher Agatha works for, Lincross Publishing

Agatha’s cookbook, Come Eat with Aggie (Kindle)

Cookbooks Agatha loves:

-A Perfect Recipe (Kindle)

-Ayesha Curry’s book (Kindle)

-Chrissy Teigen’s book (Kindle)

-Pat and Gina Neely’s Holiday Book (Kindle)

Agatha’s New Auto-buy author (Kindle)

Most Underrated Book/Author (Kindle)

Agatha’s favorite assigned reading (Kindle)

Agatha’s least favorite assigned reading (Kindle)

Surprising book on her shelf (Author’s other popular book)

I have one more episode of the podcast debuting this week, so be on the lookout for episode three. After this week, new interviews will debut Mondays.

*Agatha is gluten free, mostly vegetarian/pescatarian, but her recipes range to include all types of dishes, with substitutions and modifications you can make to suit your diet.

5 Ways to Reach Your Reading Goals in 2019

Tis the season to talk about goals–how to set and achieve them. If you have one or two (or ten) goals focused on reading this year, here are five of my best tips, tricks, and tools to make the most out of your reading life in 2019.

  1. Utilize free or inexpensive sources for obtaining books. This is my favorite tip for readers because it removes the restrictions a lack of money places on readers. Utilizing your local public library, little free libraries, and low cost book buying options like Friends of the Library allows you to make more daring choices, get more books at once, and browse without fear of busting your budget. There are also free and low priced eBooks available on Amazon and through Wal-Mart’s eBook distributor, Kobo.
  2. Challenge yourself with reading challenges. Whether you want to read more, wider, in community, or what you already own (and STILL haven’t read *sigh*), a reading challenge might help you reach your goal this year. There are several reading challenges out there to choose from, including #theunreadshelfproject2019 Challenge, the Modern Mrs. Darcy Reading Challenge, the Pop Sugar Reading Challenge, and a numbers-based challenge like the Goodreads. You can also join a subscription service like OwlCrate (YA books) or Book of the Month, or an online book club like Well Read Black Girl
  3. Develop a group of trusted review sources. A list of reviewers you trust will help you determine whether a book is for you right now. This will reduce the number of books you slog through or set aside. Find readers with similar tastes and search their feeds for book reviews or where they get their recommendations. Follow people with great taste wherever they post about books they love–Goodreads, Instagram, Pinterest, their website, etc. “Official” reviewers like Publisher’s Weekly and Kirkus Reviews or lists in Entertainment Weekly, Essence, or other publications are also good resources.
  4. Create a habit or routine around your goal.  Schedule reading time. Take books with you to take advantage of wait times. Leave your current read on your nightstand or wherever you read. Participate in #readawholebooksunday. Do something to make reading a part of your routine, and you’ll be more likely to show up and READ.
  5. Get better book recommendations. The best way to reach your reading goals is to read better books. If you don’t choose books you want to read, no schedule, challenge, or price is going to help you. One way you can find good book recommendations is through sites like By Her Shelf. By Her Shelf showcases romance, YA, historical, literary fiction, memoir, poetry, thriller, horror, magical realism, suspense, self-help, contemporary fiction, non-fiction, and Christian non-fiction books. You can also find great recommendations on Modern Mrs. Darcy or genre specific sites. Another great resource for book recommendations is podcasts. Here at By Her Shelf, we’re big fans of What Should I Read Next, First Draft, DIY MFA, and The Librarian is In, along with podcasts that interview authors like The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey and That Sounds Fun with Annie F. Downs.

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT!: I’m pleased to announce By Her Shelf with Erica D. Hearns is LIVE on Apple Podcasts and Messy.fm! BHS will be on other apps/sites soon. When I posted about buying a microphone in early November, I never imagined I would have recorded 16 interviews and launched with 3 live episodes less than three months later. For show notes, upcoming guests, featured books, and other exclusive content, subscribe to our weekly Shelf Talk newsletter here. Show notes can also be found by searching the podcast category of the blog.

I’m still scheduling future guests. If you’d like to discuss the books you read, write, or help produce, I’d love to host you! Simply fill out the form here.

Your Turn: What are you reading goals for 2019? How can By Her Shelf help you reach those goals?

Another Small Step and Giant Leap: Podcast Update

Happy Hump Day, Shelfies! Tomorrow, I’ll return to books I discovered during the Miami Book Fair, this time with a Young Adult (YA) selection from a panel. Today, I wanted to update everyone on the By Her Shelf Podcast. So much has happened since I announced my idea to start a podcast 40ish days ago. If you’re interested in how the podcast sausage is made, keep reading. 

On November 2, 2018, I announced I had taken the first step to creating and launching the By Her Shelf Podcast (read all about it here). What happened after I bought the microphone? SO. MANY. THINGS! If you’re thinking of starting your own podcast, here’s what I’ve done to move toward my goal, and what I have left to do.

  • I emailed people I know/have worked with to be potential guests first. Starting with people I knew who were very likely to say yes was a great confidence booster and guaranteed I had at least a few guests. I also made sure to email one person who was a target guest, someone I knew online and occasionally interact with, but who wasn’t guaranteed a yes from. I’ll try a reach guest (or dream guest) once I have more episodes under my belt. I can share more about the content of this email with those who want to know.
  • I signed up for Zoom. I needed to find a good platform to record interviews with people who aren’t in my area. Some people suggested Skype, but through research I found Zoom was easy for me and guests to use and free for what I need it for.
  • I scheduled interviews with those who agreed to be on the show. 
  • I emailed the scheduled guest a Guest Prep Email. I emailed my guest an email before their scheduled show with a brief summary of the show’s premise, preliminary questions (things I like to know about guests before I interview them), questions they might want to think about and prepare an answer for in advance, and a list of things I need from them for promo (bio, picture, etc.). I can also share more about this if anyone is interested.
  • I tested my software, equipment, and “show flow.” Fellow BHS contributor Christina and I recorded a test episode to get rid of some of the butterflies and plan for some worst case scenarios (my enneagram 6 is showing, lol).
  • I researched and found possible theme music. 
  • I researched my guest. I checked her social media, website, books, and etc.
  • I prepared a one page cliff note for the interview. This page included the guest’s bio, questions to ask, and useful bits of information that I can use to follow a line of discussion.
  • I spoke with my guest for a few minutes before hitting record. Although I follow her on social media, I had never spoken to my guest before. I used the first couple minutes to get the jitters out and connect with her a little bit before we started recording.
  • I remembered to press record!
  • I spent a couple minutes after the interview thanking my guest and letting her know my favorite thing we were able to talk about. 
  • I realized I forgot to have her share where listeners can connect with her. Ugh. You live and try and learn to do better the next time.

Here’s what I have left to do with this episode:

  • Write show notes, including all relevant links.
  • Name the episode.
  • Create episode graphic.
  • Prep the newsletter for the episode.
  • edit and upload the episode.
  • Add theme music.
  • Work on preparing show for iTunes.

There are several things here I can elaborate on, and more to tell, but this is the basic gist of what’s going on with the podcast. I have another interview scheduled for Friday, more to schedule, and more emails to send. I want to be able to release a few episodes when the podcast launches, which will be early next year.

Your Turn: What reading/book related podcasts do you listen to? What would you like to hear on a book related podcast? What should I avoid?

Want to be a guest? Fill out the guest form here, email byhershelf@gmail.com, or leave a comment and I’ll get back to you!