Ep. 251 The Meaning of Mariah Carey by Mariah Carey — The Stacks Book Club (Chelsea Devantez)

Chelsea Devantez, host of the Celebrity Book Club podcast, returns to discuss our January Book Club pick The Meaning of Mariah Carey by Mariah Carey with Michaela Angela Davis. In breaking down her memoir, we get into Mariah’s relationships, her experience of race and her dynamic with her parents. We also couldn’t help but compare aspects of Mariah’s story to what Prince Harry shares in his new memoir Spare.

Be sure to listen to then end of today’s episode to find out what our book club pick will be in February 2023.

LISTEN NOW

Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | Overcast | Stitcher | Transcript

Everything we talk about on today’s episode can be found below in the show notes and on Bookshop.org and Amazon.

To support The Stacks and find out more from this week’s sponsors, click here.

Connect with Chelsea: Instagram | Twitter | Website | Celebrity Book Club
Connect with The Stacks: Instagram | Twitter | Shop | Patreon | Goodreads | Subscribe

To contribute to The Stacks, join The Stacks Pack, and get exclusive perks, check out our Patreon page. If you prefer to support the show with a one time contribution go to paypal.me/thestackspod.


The Stacks participates in affiliate programs. We receive a small commission when products are purchased through links on this website, and this comes at no cost to you. This in no way effects opinions on books and products reviewed here. For more information click here.

Ep. 250 A Litany of Abuses with Ali Winston and Darwin BondGraham

Today we’re joined by two award-winning journalists from the field of criminal justice and police misconduct. Ali Winston and Darwin BondGraham have coauthored the book The Riders Come Out at Night: Brutality, Corruption, and Cover-Up in Oakland, an exposé following many years of investigation of The Oakland Police Department. We get into why they wanted to write about the OPD in the first place, and ask whether the police can be reformed. We also discuss how the authors feel their own identities played into their writing of the book.

The Stacks Book Club selection for January is The Meaning of Mariah Carey by Mariah Carey with Michaela Angela Davis. We will discuss the book on January 25th with Chelsea Devantez.

LISTEN NOW

Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | Overcast | Stitcher | Transcript

Everything we talk about on today’s episode can be found below in the show notes and on Bookshop.org and Amazon.

To support The Stacks and find out more from this week’s sponsors, click here.

Connect with Ali: Twitter Connect with Darwin: Twitter Connect with The Stacks: Instagram | Twitter | Shop | Patreon | Goodreads | Subscribe

To contribute to The Stacks, join The Stacks Pack, and get exclusive perks, check out our Patreon page. If you prefer to support the show with a one time contribution go to paypal.me/thestackspod.


The Stacks participates in affiliate programs. We receive a small commission when products are purchased through links on this website,

Ep. 249 The Vibe is Really Gnarly with Aubrey Gordon

Author, activist and podcaster Aubrey Gordon talks to us today about her brand new second book – “You Just Need to Lose Weight”: And 19 Other Myths about Fat People. She addresses the challenge of writing a book for both fat and thin people, and explains why she was initially apprehensive about “myth-busting.” We also discuss what’s wrong with how we frame fatness, why BMI is unreliable, and the problem with body positivity.

The Stacks Book Club selection for January is The Meaning of Mariah Carey by Mariah Carey with Michaela Angela Davis. We will discuss the book on January 25th with Chelsea Devantez.

LISTEN NOW

Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | Overcast | Stitcher | Transcript

Everything we talk about on today’s episode can be found below in the show notes and on Bookshop.org and Amazon.

To support The Stacks and find out more from this week’s sponsors, click here.

Connect with Aubrey: Instagram | Twitter | Website | Maintenance Phase
Connect with The Stacks: Instagram | Twitter | Shop | Patreon | Goodreads | Subscribe

To contribute to The Stacks, join The Stacks Pack, and get exclusive perks, check out our Patreon page. If you prefer to support the show with a one time contribution go to paypal.me/thestackspod.


The Stacks participates in affiliate programs. We receive a small commission when products are purchased through links on this website, and this comes at no cost to you. This in no way effects opinions on books and products reviewed here. For more information click here.

Ep. 248 For the Love of Celebrity Memoirs with Chelsea Devantez

Comedian and Emmy-nominated TV and film writer Chelsea Devantez joins our first Stacks episode of 2023. Her Celebrity Book Club podcast breaks down celeb memoirs with a roster of Chelsea’s funniest friends. We get into how Chelsea started the show, and why she wants to spend time lifting up the stories of the rich and famous. We also ask ourselves why we love to hate these books so much.

The Stacks Book Club selection for January is The Meaning of Mariah Carey by Mariah Carey with Michaela Angela Davis. We will discuss the book on January 25th with Chelsea Devantez.

LISTEN NOW

Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | Overcast | Stitcher | Transcript

Everything we talk about on today’s episode can be found below in the show notes and on Bookshop.org and Amazon.

To support The Stacks and find out more from this week’s sponsors, click here.

Connect with Chelsea: Instagram | Twitter | Website | Celebrity Book Club
Connect with The Stacks: Shop | Patreon | Goodreads | Subscribe

To contribute to The Stacks, join The Stacks Pack, and get exclusive perks, check out our Patreon page. If you prefer to support the show with a one time contribution go to paypal.me/thestackspod.


The Stacks participates in affiliate programs. We receive a small commission when products are purchased through links on this website, and this comes at no cost to you. This in no way effects opinions on books and products reviewed here. For more information click here.

The Stacks Book Club – January 2023

Our first Stacks Book Club selection of the year is the 2020 autobiography The Meaning of Mariah Carey, by Mariah Carey written along with Michaela Angela Davis. Mariah is a global icon in pop and R&B music. In this memoir, the artist and legendary vocalist recounts the many highs and lows of her personal and professional struggles – the triumphs and traumas that had thus far been reported on by everyone but Mariah herself, on her own terms. Mariah on her book: “I let the abandoned and ambitious adolescent have her say, and the betrayed and triumphant woman I became tell her side. Writing this memoir was incredibly hard, humbling and healing. My sincere hope is that you are moved to a new understanding, not only about me, but also about the resilience of the human spirit.”

We will discuss The Meaning of Mariah Carey by Mariah Carey on Wednesday, January 25th. You can find out who our guest will be by listening to the podcast on January 4th. If you’d like even more discussion around the book, consider joining The Stacks Pack on Patreon and participating in The Stacks’ monthly virtual book club.

Order your copy of our January book on Bookshop.org and Amazon, or listen to the audiobook.


To contribute to The Stacks, join The Stacks Pack, and get exclusive perks, check out our Patreon page (https://www.patreon.com/thestacks). We are beyond grateful for anything you’re able to give to support the production of The Stacks.

The Stacks participates in affiliate programs. We receive a small commission when products are purchased through links on this website, and this comes at no cost to you. This in no way effects opinions on books and products reviewed. For more information click here.

Ep. 247 True Biz by Sara Nović — The Stacks Book Club (Greta Johnsen)

For our final book club pick of 2022, Greta Johnsen is back to discuss True Biz by Sara Nović, a novel about the teachers and students of a boarding school for the Deaf. We ask who the audience is for this book, and whether the Deaf community should have to teach hearing people about themselves. We also get into the topic of consent with children and parents, especially when it comes to medical decisions.

Be sure to listen to then end of today’s episode to find out what our book club pick will be in January 2023.

LISTEN NOW

Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | Overcast | Stitcher | Transcript

Everything we talk about on today’s episode can be found below in the show notes and on Bookshop.org and Amazon.

To support The Stacks and find out more from this week’s sponsors, click here.

Connect with Greta: Instagram | Twitter | Nerdette
Connect with The Stacks: Instagram | Twitter | Shop | Patreon | Goodreads | Subscribe

To contribute to The Stacks, join The Stacks Pack, and get exclusive perks, check out our Patreon page. If you prefer to support the show with a one time contribution go to paypal.me/thestackspod.


The Stacks participates in affiliate programs. We receive a small commission when products are purchased through links on this website, and this comes at no cost to you. This in no way effects opinions on books and products reviewed here. For more information click here.

Unabridged: One for the Books with Sam Sanders and Danyel Smith

This is a portion of the live recording of Traci’s new live show in LA “One for the Books” with KPCC and LAist. It’s a conversation with journalists Sam Sanders and Danyel Smith about how we talk about books and pop culture, why there’s a difference between the two worlds and how we should and could create change. Danyel also talks about her book Shine Bright and Black women in pop music.

*This episode is exclusive to members of The Stacks Pack on patreon. To join this community, get inside access to the show, and listen now, click the link below.

JOIN THE STACKS PACK TO LISTEN

Everything we talk about on today’s episode can be found below in the show notes. You can also find what we talked about on Amazon.

Connect with Sam: Instagram | Twitter
Connect with Danyel: Instagram | Twitter
Connect with The Stacks: Instagram | Twitter | Shop | Patreon | Goodreads | Subscribe

To contribute to The Stacks, join The Stacks Pack, and get exclusive perks, check out our Patreon page. If you prefer to support the show with a one time contribution go to paypal.me/thestackspod.


The Stacks participates in affiliate programs. We receive a small commission when products are purchased through links on this website, and this comes at no cost to you. This in no way effects opinions on books and products reviewed here. For more information click here.

Ep. 246 The Best Books of 2022 with Andrew Limbong

NPR Arts Desk reporter and Book of the Day podcast host Andrew Limbong joins The Stacks to count down his five favorite books of 2022. Traci shares her own list, making it our official top ten of the year. We also get into the trends we saw throughout 2022, and what we’re looking forward to in 2023.

The Stacks Book Club selection for December is True Biz by Sarah Nović. We will discuss the book on December 28th with Greta Johnsen.

LISTEN NOW

Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | Overcast | Stitcher | Transcript

Everything we talk about on today’s episode can be found below in the show notes and on Bookshop.org and Amazon.

To support The Stacks and find out more from this week’s sponsors, click here.

Connect with Andrew: Instagram | Twitter | Book of the Day
Connect with The Stacks: Instagram | Twitter | Shop | Patreon | Goodreads | Subscribe

To contribute to The Stacks, join The Stacks Pack, and get exclusive perks, check out our Patreon page. If you prefer to support the show with a one time contribution go to paypal.me/thestackspod.


The Stacks participates in affiliate programs. We receive a small commission when products are purchased through links on this website, and this comes at no cost to you. This in no way effects opinions on books and products reviewed here. For more information click here.

Ep. 245 The Worst Moments of His Life with Robert Samuels and Toluse Olorunnipa

Washington Post reporters Robert Samuels and Toluse Olorunnipa join The Stacks to discuss their book His Name Is George Floyd: One Man’s Life and the Struggle for Racial Justice. We talk about giving George Floyd the “presidential” biography treatment, and why they chose to tell his story now. They reveal how they tackled writing such a massive book with over 400 interviews, and what the fact-checking process was like. We also ask, ‘who is the audience for this book?’

The Stacks Book Club selection for December is True Biz by Sarah Nović. We will discuss the book on December 28th with Greta Johnsen.

LISTEN NOW

Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | Overcast | Stitcher | Transcript

Everything we talk about on today’s episode can be found below in the show notes and on Bookshop.org and Amazon.

To support The Stacks and find out more from this week’s sponsors, click here.

Connect with Toluse: Instagram | Twitter | Website
Connect with Robert: Instagram | Twitter 
Connect with The Stacks: Instagram | Twitter | Shop | Patreon | Goodreads | Subscribe

To contribute to The Stacks, join The Stacks Pack, and get exclusive perks, check out our Patreon page. If you prefer to support the show with a one time contribution go to paypal.me/thestackspod.


The Stacks participates in affiliate programs. We receive a small commission when products are purchased through links on this website, and this comes at no cost to you. This in no way effects opinions on books and products reviewed here. For more information click here.

The 2022 Stacks Book Club Battle of the Books

We’re back for the fifth year of The Stacks Battle of the Books. I can confidently say this year, might be our best ever. That matchups are wild!

We did it in 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021 and honestly, its the best tradition and I hope you’re all as thrilled for round four as I am.

To refresh your memory, The Battle of The Books is a March Madness style bracket where you vote to pick the book club book of the year. You also get a chance to win one of TSBC books by predicting the most accurate bracket over on https://challonge.com/thestacks2022 or click here. You create your account put your predictions in for who you think will win. Then on The Stacks Instagram Stories, you’ll vote (starting 12/23) for your favorite books in head to head battles, until we crown one winner, The Stacks Book Club Book of the Year. The results of each round will be updated over on Challonge (our bracket site) and on our Instagram @thestackspod.

You have until Wednesday, December 21st at 8:00am PST to put in your predictions. The winner will be whoever has the most accurate bracket, and they will win one of our TSBC books from 2022 (winner’s choice). Be sure your bracket name is your IG handle, email, or name, so you are easy to find upon completion of the tournament. We will announce the winner of the tournament and the winner of the giveaway on Friday, December 30th once all the results are in.

Here is the important stuff.

  1. Make sure you’re following The Stacks on Instagram @thestackspod.
  2. Register for the bracket if you want to be part of the giveaway CLICK HERE. Be sure to pick a winner at the bottom of the page.
  3. Vote in each round on our Insta Stories,  starting Wednesday December 21st . All voting on Instagram!
  4. Spread the word!

If you want all the nerdy details of how the seeding was figure out, you’ve come to the right place. Mostly I created a bunch of my own calculations to rank the books based on many factors. The rankings are full of biases and assumptions, and honestly, thats what makes this fun. Here is how I ranked these books, and below find a more detailed description of what that means. 

  • Podcast Downloads– Raw number of downloads that an episode received according to my data (I know older episodes will be at a disadvantage as the podcast grew over time, but also newer episodes suffer because they haven’t been up as long, I’m hoping it all evens out). It is worth noting that I excluded True Biz  from this calculation since that episode is not out yet.
  • iTunes Episode Popularity– iTunes lets me see how popular each episode is. Its slight different than raw downloads, because they take into account listeners at the time of recording, but they also only include people listening through iTunes. Again, True Biz was excluded from this category, see above.
  • Goodreads Scores– I looked up each book on Goodreads and took that score.
  • Goodreads Ratings– I took the raw number of Goodreads ratings for each book.
  • Test of Time– The older a book is, the more credit it got, because it has withstood the test of time. 
  • Social Media Input– I’ve asked The Stacks Instagram followers to tell me their favorite book we read this year, and those responses are incorporated.
  • Traci’s Personal Ranking– Thats right, I’m influencing this competition a little. Its my podcast, so why not?

There are 12 books in the competition, so in each of those categories the books are rated on a scale of 1-12. Each book received a score from each category, 1 being the best, 12 the worst. I then tallied all the scores and divided by 7 (except in the case of True Biz which was divided by 5).

I know that sounds like a lot, but just trust me, it makes sense. Here are the rankings based on these calculations, and their total overall raw scores, remember lower is better. Where there was a tie, I broke the tie based on my preferences.

  1. Passing – 3.71
  2. The Trees – 4.28
  3. How to Write an Autobiographical Novel – 4.28
  4. White Negroes – 4.57
  5. A Mercy – 5.28
  6. Prison by Any Other Name – 6
  7. Shine Bright – 7
  8. True Biz – 7.6
  9. Season of Migration to the North – 7.85
  10. I Live a Life Like Yours – 8.42
  11. Fairest – 8.57
  12. Doppelgangbanger – 10

Voting begins Wednesday December 21st, shortly after 8:00am PST for the first round, and will follow the schedule below. Remember you vote on The Stacks Instagram stories. You just click your favorite book in each round’s head to head matchup. Once the results are in, I’ll share the winners with you and we get ready for the next round. The schedule is below.

Round 1 – December 21st – Play in Games

Round 2 – December 23rd – Elite 8

Round 3 – December 26th – Final 4

Round 4 – December 29th – Championship

That feels like a lot, trust me, it’ll be fun and worth it.
Here is the important stuff.

  1. Make sure you’re following The Stacks on Instagram @thestackspod.
  2. Register for the bracket (with a recognizable name) if you want to be part of the giveaway CLICK HERE
  3. Vote in each round on our Insta Stories,  starting Wednesday December 21.
  4. Spread the word!

For those of you curious who won in previous years, 2018 was The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison, 2019 was Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson, 2020 was The Undocumented Americans by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio, and 2021 was Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison. Who will ascend the throne in 2022?


To contribute to The Stacks, join The Stacks Pack, and get exclusive perks, check out our Patreon page. We are beyond grateful for anything you’re able to give to support the production of this show. If you prefer to do a one time contribution go to paypal.me/thestackspod.

The Stacks participates in affiliate programs. We receive a small commission when products are purchased through links on this website, and this comes at no cost to you. This in no way effects opinions on books and products reviewed here. For more information click here.