The Stacks 2nd Anniversary Superlatives

(Photo: Claire Leahy)

Today marks The Stacks’ second birthday! This little podcast baby is now a toddler!

In that time we have released 134 episodes, had over 70 guests, discussed countless books, and read thousands of pages. It has been an amazing journey and it wouldn’t be anything without all the love of support of this bookish community. I am beyond grateful to all of our guests, the publishers, the publicists, the authors, the readers, and anyone who has ever listened to the show.

This podcast has been one of my lives great joys.

Last year I created The Stacks Superlatives, and I thought we should do it again for year two! I have loved all of my guests and episodes, but there are a few that have stood out for me, so here they are!

Listener’s Favorite
Ep. 89 Staying True to Yourself with Jason Reynolds

This season an overwhelming crowd favorite was my conversation with author Jason Reynolds. Jason came on the show shortly after the release of his middle grade short story collection Look Both Ways. Jason brought with him his infectious and inspiring energy, and ridiculously good taste in books.

Most Therapuetic
Ep. 63 For the Love of Therapy with Lori Gottlieb
Ep. 64 The Unwinding of the Miracle by Julie Yip-Williams — The Stacks Book Club (Lori Gottlieb)

When you want to talk about real life stuff, you must call your therapist, and Lori Gottlieb is just that. The author of Maybe You Should Talk to Someone talked with us about therapy, life, and loss. It was a really beautiful conversation about the ways we show up for each other and the ways we could do better. We then talked about Julie Yip-Williams death memoir, The Unwinding of the Miracle for The Stacks Book Club and it was a healing conversation about how we talk about death.

Most Poetic
Ep. 56 Wild Beauty by Ntozake Shange — The Stacks Book Club (Gabrielle Civil)

April is poetry month, and to help us tackle our first ever poetry collection, performance artists and author Gabrielle Civil joined us. We talked about Ntozake Shange’s collection Wild Beauty. Gabrielle made sure to encourage us all to read more poetry and to not worry about “getting it”.

Favorite Fellow Podcaster
Ep. 77 Its OK to Hate a Book with Sarah Enni
Ep. 78 Educated by Tara Westover — The Stacks Book Club (Sarah Enni)

Sarah Enni is an author and the host of The First Draft Podcast. On her show she sits down with authors and storytellers and discusses their creative process. It was such a delight to get together with someone else who does the same kind of show as me and to discuss books and podcasting. Not to mention all the wonderful insights Sarah had for The Stacks Book Club conversation of Educated by Tara Westover.

Book I Want Everyone to Read
Ep. 58 Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed — The Stacks Book Club (Keltie Knight)

If there was ever a book that could make you want to smile and cry at the same time it is Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed. The book is a collection of Strayed’s advice from a column she once wrote for The Rumpus. When we talked about this book with Keltie Knight of The Lady Gang was a total delight. If nothing else I think this book is great reminder to be a littler more empathetic and compassionate when we can be, and to be more of a mother fucker when we need to be.

Most Charming
The Short Stacks 27: Shea Serrano//Movies (and Other Things)

I dare you to listen to this episode and not want to become BFFs with Shea Serrano. He is an author and columnist at The Ringer. His books are super creative and funny, and his latest, Movies (and Other Things) is no exception. Anyone who knows of Shea knows he is hilarious and ridiculously talented with words. He also has the cutest family, and seems like a great hang. He is so smart and thoughtful, and all the things. Look at me I’m gushing. Just go listen to his and then join him on Twitter where he and his followers give to charities and people and need, and sometimes even get called out by BARACK OBAMA!

Bucket List Moment
The Short Stacks 22: Ibram X. Kendi//How to Be and Antiraicst
Ep. 65 Crafting a Compelling Narrative with Dave Cullen

When I first set out to create this show, I had a bucket list of authors I wanted to have on The Stacks. Welp, in our second season, I got TWO of them! Both Dave Cullen (Columbine) and Ibram X. Kendi (Stamped from the Beginning) came on the podcast to talk about their newest books. It was a total dream come true, and you can most certainly hear me fan-girling like crazy over both of them!

Person You Most Want to Get a Drink With
The Short Stacks 23 : Tressie McMillian Cottom//Thick

I had the absolute best time talking with author, podcast host, and professor Tressie McMillan Cottom about her collection of essays Thick. I don’t know what to say about her beside, she is a force and if she ever wanted to grab a drink (or twelve) I would be so down. I know sitting with her would be hilarious and would teach me so much about the world.

Best Book Breakdown
Ep. 60 Beloved by Toni Morrison — The Stacks Book Club (DaMaris B. Hill)

DaMaris B. Hill (A Bound Woman is a Dangerous Thing) joined the show to talk about Beloved by Toni Morrison, and from the first sentence she blew me (and everyone at home) away. She was layering all kinds of history as she broke down the details and implications of this book. DaMaris taught me so much in the hour we sat talking, the whole time I just kept thinking “I would LOVE to be in her classroom”. If you’ve ever read the book, you must listen to this episode. She will blow you away.

Most Sentimental
Ep. 1 Talking Books with Dallas Lopez

You can’t have an anniversary if you never get started, and so this superlative goes to the first ever episode with our guest, and my friend, Dallas Lopez. Dallas, a high school English teacher, joined the show before I ever knew what the show was, and helped shape The Stacks. I would be lost without his ability to talk about books.
(I know this is breaking the rules, but I don’t care)

I would love to hear what books or episodes stick out for you. Share in the comments below. This list is making me want to go back and listen to every single episode of the podcast. Thank you again and again for being a part of this show and this community. Without all of you, there is no The Stacks.

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