Episode 69: Steph Opitz and Rachel Fershleiser on Summer Reads

This week we decided to switch it up and have two of our favorite literary professionals share their favorite books of the season. Steph Opitz is the books reviewer for Marie Claire magazine and celebrates books via work with the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) and the Brooklyn Book Festival. Rachel Fershleiser is the Executive Director of Audience Development and Reader Engagement at HMH books. We’ve all known each other for a few years now, which you can probably tell from this lively conversation. I hope you enjoy this episode. We mentioned so many wonderful books and I’ve listed them below so you can keep track of them.

Let us know what you think of this episode @litupshow on Twitter and Instagram.

xox Angie

Steph’s book recommendations:

Amy Gentry’s Good as Gone

How to Party with an Infant by Kaui Hart Hemmings

Deceit and Other Possibilities by Vanessa Hua

Loner by Teddy Wayne

We Show What We Have Learned by Clare Beams

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

Also mentioned:

The Expatriates by Janice Y.K. Lee

Astonish Me by Maggie Shipstead

Rachel’s books recommendations:

Dear Fang by Rufi Thorpe

Rich and Pretty by Rumaan Alam

Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson

Make Your Home Among Strangers by  Jennine Capó Crucet

Forthcoming:

The Mothers by Brit Bennett

The Wangs vs the World by Jade Chang

A Song to Take the World Apart by Zan Romanoff

Also mentioned:

The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing by Mira Jacob

Steph Opitz is the books reviewer for Marie Claire magazine. She also celebrates books via work with the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP), Kirkus Reviews, the Brooklyn Book Festival, Twin Cities Book Festival; by serving on boards and committees for organizations like the National Book Foundation/ National Book Awards, PEN America, and American Short Fiction; and by buying and reading them.

Rachel Fershleiser is Executive Director of Audience Development and Reader Engagement at HMH books. Previously she was head of publisher outreach at Tumblr, community manager at Bookish, and director of public programs at Housing Works Bookstore Cafe, where she now serves on the board of directors. She is the co-creator of Six-Word Memoirs and co-editor of the New York Times bestseller Not Quite What I Was Planning and three other books.  She also serves on boards and advisory committees at organizations including the National Book Foundation, Brooklyn Book Festival, Literary Hub, and Wordstock.


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