Episodes & Guest Info

In our podcast episodes, Sonya interviews some wonderful people about the books which influenced their lives. Here, you can listen to the episodes through our embedded player, or in your favorite podcast app.
We've also provided links to the books we discuss in the podcast. If you use the link to purchase a book, a percentage of the proceeds will help to fund production of additional episodes.

We've truly enjoyed producing this for you. Enjoy!


EPISODE 1: Kate Walsh
Actress: Grey'a Anatomy, 13 Reasons Why, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Legion, Girls Trip, Fargo, Private Practice. Founder of Boyfriend Perfume

Kate's Books:
• Cannery Row, by John Steinbeck: 1945
• Howards End, by Ian Forster: 1910
• Barrel Fever and Other Short Stories, by David Sedaris: 1994
Away, by Amy Bloom: 2007
• A Visit From The Goon Squad, by Jennifer Egan: 2011

Other Books Discussed:
Women Who Run With The Wolves, Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype, by Clarissa Pinkola Estes,PhD.; The Velveteen Rabbit, by Margery Williams; The Phantom Tollbooth, by Norton Juster; The Magus  and The Collector, by John Fowles; Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte;


EPISODE 2: Damon Lindelof
Writer/Creator/ProducerCrossing Jordan, Lost, Lost: Missing Pieces, Prometheus, Star Trek: Into Darkness, Tomorrowland, The Leftovers, Watchmen, World War Z

Damon's Books:
• The Stand, by Stephen King: 1978
• The Fountainhead, by Ayn Rand: 1943
• Watchmen, by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons: 1987
• Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens: 1861
• The Underground Railroad, by Coleson Whitehead: 2016

Other books discussed:
We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy, by Ta-Nehisi Coates; Americanah, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie; Firestarter, by Stephen King; On Writing, by Stephen King; Carrie, by Stephen King; Animal Farm, by George Orwell; Lord of the Flies, by William Golding; Harry Potter series, by J.K. Rowling; A Song of Ice and Fire series, by George R.R. Martin; Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand; Future Shocks, by Alan Moore; Judge Dredd comic book series; Swamp Thing comic book series; Superman: Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? written by Alan Moore; Our Mutual Friend, by Charles Dickens; Bleak House, by Charles Dickens; Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis, by J.D. Vance; Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right, by Arlie Russell Hochschild; Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman, by Lindy West; War and Peace, by Leo Tolstoy

EPISODE 3: Danzy Senna
Author: Caucasia, Symptomatic: The Memoir, Where Did You Sleep Last Night? A Personal History, You Are Free, and (most recently): New People.

Danzy's Books:

Giovanni’s Room, by James Baldwin: 1956
• Quicksand, by Nella Larsen: 1928
• The Easter Parade, by Richard Yates: 1976
• The Talented Mr. Ripley, by Patricia Highsmith: 1955
• A Handful of Dust, by Evelyn Waugh: 1934

Other Books Discussed:
New People, by Danzy Senna; You Are Free Stories, by Danzy Senna; Where Did You Sleep Last Night: A Personal History, by Danzy Senna; Caucasia, by Danzy Senna; The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison; The Portrait of a Lady, by Henry James; Lullaby, by Leila Slimani; The Stranger, by Albert Camus; Passing, by Nella Larsen; The Awakening, by Kate Chopin; Transit, by Rachel Cusk; A Tragic Honesty: The Life and Work of Richard Yates, by Blake Bailey; Symptomatic, by Danzy Senna; Brideshead Revisited: The Sacred & Profane Memories of Captain Charles Ryder, by Evelyn Waugh; Gravity’s Rainbow, by Thomas Pynchon; Infinite Jest, by David Foster Wallace; The Crying of Lot 49, by Thomas Pynchon; Never Let Me Go, by Kazuo Ishiguro; The Unconsoled, by Kazuo Ishiguro; The Invention of Solitude, by Paul Auster; Disgrace, by J.M. Coetzee

EPISODE 4: Dawn O'Porter
Author: Paper Aeroplanes, Goose, The Cows, Diaries of an Internet Lover, 'This Old Thing: Fall in Love with Vintage'; Also known for: Her "Get it On" Podcast, TV appearances in BBC Documentary "Super Slim Me", How to Look Good Naked, Gideon's Army, Trapped, Spies of Mississippi and more.

Dawn's Books:
• A Room of One’s Own, by Virginia Woolf: 1929
• Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte: 1847
• We Need To Talk About Kevin, by Lionel Shriver: 2003
• Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit, by Jeanette Winterson: 1985
• Legendary Authors and the Clothes They Wore, by Terry Newman: 2017

Other Books Discussed:
Paper Aeroplanes, by Dawn O’Porter; The Sellout, by Paul Beatty; The Cows, by Dawn O’Porter; Mating in Captivity, by Esther Perel; The State of Affairs, by Esther Perel; Wide Sargasso Sea, by Jean Rhys; Cider with Rosie, by Laurie Lee; Gut Symmetries, by Jeanette Winterson; Written on the Body, by Jeanette Winterson; Why Be Happy When You Can Be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson; The Bible

EPISODE 5: Barbara Bestor
Award-Winning Architect: Barbara is the principal of Bestor Architecture, and the vision behind LA landmarks such as Intelligentsia Coffee, the Silverlake Conservatory of Music and the headquarters for Beats by Dre and Nasty Gal. See more at: bestorarchitecture.com.

Barbara's Books:
The Code of the Woosters, by PG Wodehouse: 1938
• The Wings of the Dove, by Henry James: 1902
• Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture, by Robert Venturi: 1966
• Five California Architects, by Esther McCoy: 1975
• The Big Sleep, by Raymond Chandler: 1939

Other Books Discussed:
Wizard of Oz series, by Frank L. Baum, Sherlock Holmes series, by Arthur Conan Doyle, The Jolly Corner, by Henry James, Five Architects: Eisenman, Graves, Gwathmey, Hejduk & Meier, by Peter Eisenman, Michael Graves, Charles Gwathmey, John Hejduk, and Richard Meier, We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy, by Ta-Nehisi Coates, The Old Filth, by Jane Gardam, Moby Dick, by Herman Melville, Tales of the City series, by Armistead Maupin

EPISODE 6: John Burnham Schwartz
Critically Acclaimed Best-Selling Author: Bicycle Days, Reservation Road, Claire Marvel, The Commoner and Northwest Corner.

John's Books:
• The Good Soldier: A Tale of Passion, by Ford Madox Ford: 1915
• Selected Stories of Anton Chekhov, by Anton Chekhov, complied in 1979
• The Regeneration Trilogy, by Pat Barker [Regeneration: 1991; The Eye in the Door: 1993; The Ghost Road:1995]
• Seize the Day, by Saul Bellow: 1956
• Disgrace, by J.M. Coetzee: 1999

Other Books Discussed:

Bicycle Days, by John Burnham Schwartz; The Commoner, by John Burnham Schwartz; Where† The Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak; A Feast for All Seasons, The Portrait of a Lady, by Henry James; Last Night, by James Salter; Revolutionary Road, by Richard Yates; The Hunters, by James Salter, Light Years, by James Salter; The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald; The BibleThe Lady with the Dog, by Anton Chekhov; The Steppe, by Anton Chekhov; Errand, by Raymond Carter; Speak, Memory: An Autobiography Revisited, by Vladimir Nabokov; Reservation Road, by John Burnham Schwartz; Lincoln in the Bardo: A Novel, by George Saunders; Life Class, by Pat Barker; Humboldt's Gift, by Saul Bellow; Herzog, by Saul Bellow; The Adventures of Augie March, by Saul Bellow; The Victim, by Saul Bellow; Dangling Man, by Saul Bellow; Waiting for the Barbarians, by J.M.Coetzee; Life & Times of Michael K, by J.M. Coetzee; The Master of Petersburg, by J.M. Coetzee Boyhood: Scenes From Provincial Life, by J.M. Coetzee; Ulysses, by James Joyce; Finnegan's Wake, by James Joyce; Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy; War and Peace, by Leo Tolstoy

EPISODE 7: Nancy Baker Cahill
Award-winning artist and founder of the 4th Wall AR art app.

Nancy's Books:
To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee:1960
• Inferno, by Dante Alighieri: 14th Century
• The Art of Cruelty: A Reckoning, by Maggie Nelson: 2011
• Confederacy of Dunces, by John Kennedy Toole: 1980
• Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion, by Gregory Boyle: 2011

Other Books Discussed:
Dawn of the New Everything: Encounters with Reality and Virtual Reality, by Jason Lanier; Howards End, by Ian Forster; A Song of Ice and Fire series, by George R.R. Martin; Emma, by Jane Austen; Go Set A Watchman, by Harper Lee; Purgatorio, by Dante Alighieri; Paradiso, by Dante Alighieri; Hamlet, by William Shakespeare; Cain's Book, by Alexander Trocchi; Darling Nikki, by Maggie Nelson - New Yorker article about Prince; Fortune Smiles, by Adam Johnson; The Abundance: Narrative Essays Old and New, by Annie Dillard;\ The Moviegoer, by Walker Percy; Foreskin’s Lament, by Shalom Auslander; Barking to the Choir: The Power of Radical Kinship, by Gregory Boyle; Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy

EPISODE 8: Emily Mortimer
Actress, screenwriter and producer. Emily’s many credits include Doll and Em, The Newsroom, Shutter Island, Lars and the Real Girl, Lovely and Amazing, and the new Mary Poppins due to be released this fall.

Emily's Books
A Hero of Our Time, by Mikhail Lermontov: 1839
• Tale Of Mr. Tootleoo, by Bernard & Elinor Darwin: 1925
• Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens: 1861
• Hons and Rebels, by Jessica Mitford: 1960
• The River Cafe Cookbook, by Ruth Rogers and Rose Gray: 1996

Other Books Discussed:
Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy; Masquerade, by Lermontov; War and Peace, by Leo Tolstoy; Burglar Bill, by Janet and Allan Ahlberg; The Amazing Bone, by William Steig; Sylvester and the Magic Pebble, by William Steig; Der Struwwelpeter, by Heinrich Hoffmann; A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens; PG Wodehouse series of books; Sherlock Holmes series, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; David Copperfield, by Charles Dickens; Seed of Zeus: Gods, Heroes and Monsters of Greek Mythology, by Mark Diller; The Pursuit of Love, by Nancy Mitford; Love in a Cold Climate, by Nancy Mitford; The American Way of Death, by Jessica Mitford; A Feast for All Seasons; My Struggle, by Karl Ove Knausgård

EPISODE 9: Piers Torday
Piers’s first book The Dark Wild won the Guardian’s Children’s Fiction Prize. His books include The Dark Wild trilogy, There May Be a Castle, A Wisp of Wisdom and Winter Magic. 

Piers' Books:
• The Tale of Samuel Whiskers or The Roly-Poly Pudding, by Beatrix Potter: 1908
The Swimming-Pool Library, by Alan Hollinghurst: 1988
• A Dance to the Music of Time, by Anthony Powell: 1951-1975
• The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, by Elizabeth Kolbert: 2014
• The Underground Railroad, by Coleson Whitehead: 2016

EPISODE 10: Iggy, Phoebe, Jack & Hayden
Iggy (10) and Phoebe (8) are brother and sister; Jack (11) and Hayden (10) are best friends.

Their Books:
Ig 1: The Odyssey (Graphic Novel version), by Homer. Illustrated by Gareth Hinds: 2010
• Ig 2: Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library, by Chris Grabenstein: 2013
• Phoebe 1: Raymie Nightingale, by Kate DiCamillo: 2016
• Phoebe 2: Because of Winn-Dixie, by Kate DiCamillo: 2000

EPISODE 11: Amanda Foreman
Amanda is author of award-winning best sellers, Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire and A World on Fire as well as the BBC/Netflix series The Ascent of Woman. She writes a column for the Wall Street Journal and her next book, The World Made By Women is scheduled to be published later this year. 

Amanda's Books:
A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett, 1905
• Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, 1813
• The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien, 1954-1955
• Britons: Forging the Nation 1707–1837 by Linda Colley, 1992
• In A Different Voice: Psychological Theory In Women's Development by Carol Gilligan, 1982

Other Books Discussed:
Georgiana: Duchess of Devonshire, by Amanda Foreman; A World On Fire: An Epic History of Two Nations Divided, by Amanda Foreman; The World Made By Women, by Amanda Foreman; Little Lord Fauntleroy, by Frances Hodgson Burnett; The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett; The Hunger Games series of books, by Suzanne Collins; Persuasion, by Jane Austen Beowolf; The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion, by Sir James George Frazer; The Hero with a Thousand Faces, by Joseph Campbell; Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, by J.K. Rowling; The History of the Peloponnesian War, by Thucydides; The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, by C.S. Lewis; Bleak House, by Charles Dickens; The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien

EPISODE 12: Eric Garcetti
Sonya’s final guest of season 2 is Eric Garcetti, Mayor of Los Angeles. Mr. Garcetti is the 42nd Mayor of LA; a member of the Democratic Party, he was first elected in 2013 and won re-election in 2017. He is married with one daughter and it was Sonya’s absolute honor and pleasure to talk to him about his formative books in the Rare Books room of the Central Library in downtown LA. 

Eric's Books:
Ficciones, by Jorge Luis Borges, 1941
• Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism by Benedict Anderson, 1983
• Stone, Paper, Knife by Marge Piercy, 1983

Other Books Discussed:
Dr. Seuss series of books, by Theodor Seuss Geisel; Harry Potter series of books, by J.K. Rowling; Theses on the Philosophy of History, by Walter Benjamin; Miss Burma, by Charmaine Craig; The Good Men, by Charmaine Craig; Available Light, by Marge Piercy; The Book of Sand, by Jorge Luis Borges; Atlas Obscura [magazine]; The Ascent of Man, by Jacob Bronowski; How Proust Can Change Your Life, by Alain De Botton; Madeline series of books, by Ludwig Bemelman and John Bemelmans Marciano; The Witches of Benevento series of books, by John Bemelmans-Marciano; Anonyponymous: The Forgotten People Behind Everyday Words, by John Bemelmans-Marciano; Toponymity: An Atlas of Words by John Bemelmans-Marciano; Whatever Happened to the Metric System?: How America Kept Its Feet, by John Bemelmans-Marciano; The Tempest, by William Shakespeare; The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures, by Anne Fadiman; The Road to Camelot: Inside JFK's Five-Year Campaign, by Thomas Oliphant and Curtis Wilkie; The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson, by Robert Caro; Towers of Gold: How One Jewish Immigrant Named Isaias Hellman Created California, by Frances Dinkelspiel; Thirsty: William Mulholland, California Water, and the Real Chinatown, by Marc Weingarten; Eternity Street: Violence and Justice in Frontier Los Angeles, by John Mack Faragher; Something Wonderful: Rodgers and Hammerstein's Broadway Revolution, by Todd S. Purdum; The Dying Grass, by William T. Vollmann