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By Mary Mahoney
Chapters is an interview podcast that tells the stories of readers’ lives through the books that have meant the most to them.
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2 - Deb Bowen


45- Andrew (Andy) McMillan
On this episode, our guest is Andrew (Andy) McMillan. Andrew is a pastor from Alabama currently living in Portland, Oregon. He is also the brother of our first guest, Jordan McMillan. In our conversation, we talk reading about the civil rights movement while growing up in Alabama, loving the novels of John Grisham, discerning an early vocation as a preacher, reading recommendations inspired by Boy Meets World, and the books that continue to shape his life.
December 17, 2018
44 - Thomas Lawrence Long
On this episode, we talk to Thomas Lawrence Long, Associate Professor in Nursing at the University of Connecticut where he studies and teaches on medical humanities and health studies, the history of nursing, AIDS and culture, and rhetoric and academic writing. In our conversation, we cover a range of topics reflecting the diversity of Tom’s experiences – from treasured books from childhood, to the queerness of Sherlock Holmes, the gospels and narrative theory, and beyond.You can find Tom on twitter @thelongviewtom.
December 3, 2018
43 - Erica Leeman
On our latest episode we welcome guest Erica Leeman, an Arkansas native who moved to Boston to attend library school. A librarian by training, and publisher by trade, she is a lifelong reader turned collector who now owns more than 30 copies of the children’s classic The Little Prince. She describes herself as a former Christian whose earliest memories of books are of Bible stories and a woman who knows who she is but has yet to see herself in the books she reads. To share your story on Chapters, visit us at On instagram and twitter @Chapterspod You can find host Mary Mahoney on twitter @MaryMahoney123 and follow her #bookstagram @booksandsound
September 1, 2018
42 - Trying to Get to You: The Reading Life of Elvis Presley (Revisited)
On this episode, we mark the passing of Elvis Presley by examining his life as a reader. Elvis notoriously struggled with his intense fame and used books to answer spiritual questions, provide medical knowledge, and a venue for reflection away from fans, family, and friends. Larry Gellar, Elvis’ spiritual advisor, shares the books that helped Elvis on his spiritual quest to understand why God made him “Elvis Presley.” Notably, although Elvis did not leave a diary, he did write in treasured books and we talk about his responses to his reading. Mary and producer Taylor discuss what Elvis read and why, with diversions into some of Elvis’ music and movies.
August 15, 2018
40 - Joe Hourihan
On this episode, our guest is Joe Hourihan. Joe is an attorney with four decades of legal experience. He is a native of Hartford, Connecticut where he attended Trinity College and the UCONN school of Law.  Joe describes growing up the child of immigrants in a Catholic household with a mother who hoped he’d become a priest, and shares how reading educated him about his own culture and set him on a different path from his parents. To share your story on Chapters, email us at
July 17, 2018
39 - Chris Bouton
On our latest episode, we talk to Chris Bouton. Chris is a historian turned jury researcher who is working on a book about slave violence in antebellum Virginia. On this episode we talk childhood forays into play writing inspired by books, reading about the Civil War, reading on the beach, an influential reading of Moneyball, being an introvert, and more. To share your story on Chapters, email us at
July 1, 2018
38 - "Somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond"- Poetry, Queerness, and a Listener Letter
We asked our listeners what kinds of reading experiences helped them to understand their sexuality. In honor of pride month, we’re sharing some of your submissions with a particular focus on one listener’s letter about the role E.E. Cummings’ “Somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond” played in her life. To share what authors/poems/books inspired you, share your story with us on facebook and twitter @chapterspod using the hashtag #chapterspride. ]]>
June 15, 2018
37 - Reading Secret FBI Files with Matt Guariglia
On this episode, we’re going to enter the vault with historian Matt Guariglia and examine FBI files – files created by the FBI to monitor suspicious – and as we’ll hear, even patriotic Americans and other persons of interest. On this episode we’ll hear why Rod Serling of the Twilight Zone was of interest to the FBI, what’s in Debbie Reynolds’ file, learn about an offer Walt Disney made to the FBI, and more.]]>
June 1, 2018
36 - Katie from A Date with Dateline Podcast
Today we talk to Katie, who along with co-host Kimberly hosts the A Date with Dateline Podcast, a comedy podcast that recaps episodes of Dateline. For anyone interested in true crime, this episode is for you. Katie shares a personal story of her sister’s brush with serial killer Rex Krebbs, and her own turn to criminal profiling books and true crime as a way to deal with it. On this episode we also discuss: Nancy drew, Kurt Vonnegut, The Silence of the Lambs, Thomas Harris, Red Dragon, Stephen King, Christopher Pike, R.L. Stein, Madame Bovary, Harry Potter, Gone Girl, and the Girl on the Train. To share your story on Chapters, visit our website:
May 15, 2018
35 - Dominique Taylor
Our guest this episode is Dominique Taylor. Dominique is the creator of The Storyscape, a platform that creates media around literature. On this episode, we discuss: the Baby-Sitters Club, Sweet Valley High, Goosebumps, American Girl, John Grisham, The Color Purple, Black Beauty, Harry Potter, The Known World, Maya Angelou, The Skin I’m In, The Master Butchers Singing Club, Lincoln in the Bardo, When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir, and Smoketown. We also discuss her great work with the Storyscape and Booktuber culture. Visit us at if you’d like to share your story on Chapters.
May 1, 2018
34 - Jacqueline Suskin
On today’s show, we talk to Jacquline Suskin, a writer and performance poet based in Los Angeles. She is the author of two books, the latest entitled Go Ahead & Like It available from Ten Speed Press. Known for her multidisciplinary work with a project she calls Poem Store, Suskin composes improvisational poetry for patrons who choose both a topic and a price in exchange for a unique verse. On today’s episode we talk about the ways John Steinbeck’s work have inspired her as a writer, the power of poetry in her own life as a reader, and the ways her work has inspired readers for whom she’s written poems. To share your story on chapters, visit
April 15, 2018
33 - Marisa Hicking
Join us on our latest episode where we meet guest Marisa Hicking. Marisa is the Teen Librarian at Avon Free Public Library in Avon, Connecticut. On this episode we talk loving horse books, sci-fi, fantasy, linking our memories of books to the places we read them, the path to becoming a librarian, and more. Check out our website if you would like to share your story on Chapters. ]]>
April 1, 2018
32 - Eddie Guimont
On this episode with guest Eddie Guimont, we talk Carl Sagan, Calvin and Hobbes, Sci-Fi, all things Star Wars novels, and much more. If you want to share your story on chapters, visit us at
March 6, 2018
31 - Catherine Hammer
On this episode, we meet Catherine Hammer, a librarian currently living in Florida where she works for the Broward County Library System. Before changing careers, she worked as a performer and musical director for regional and touring theater companies across the United States. On this episode we talk Christian fiction, the difference between good and bad Christian romances, books parents didn’t want you to read growing up (hint: Sweet Valley High), dancer biographies, reading books set in places you happen to be traveling, and much more. To share your story on Chapters, visit us online at
February 15, 2018
30 - Jason Derfuss
On today’s episode of Chapters we meet someone for whom the phase “this book saved my life” is literally true. On November 20, 2014, Jason Derfuss, then a senior at Florida State University, had just checked out a few books at Strozier Library when he heard a gunshot behind him. Turning and seeing a gunman shoot another student, he ran for his life. Later, he opened his backpack and saw that the books he’d checked out caught a bullet meant for him. On this episode, Jason shares this story, and the story of his life through the books that have meant the most to him. We talk Harry Potter, The Scarlett Letter, 1984, and more. We also talk about the challenges of reading and writing when those very acts are wrapped up in a traumatic event. To share your story on chapters, visit us at
February 1, 2018
29 - Porter Square Books Overnight Marathon
After Trump took office one year ago today, Porter Square Books in Cambridge, Massachusetts set out to create an event that would allow readers to gather in community over a shared love of reading. The resulting event, an overnight readathon on October 7, 2017, drew several readers who brought with them books suited for a marathon read. Some brought several books with them, and bought more after browsing the shelves of the store. We attended the event and interviewed some of the participants on their idea of a book meant to be read in one sitting. Thanks to the organizers and readers who shared their stories with us on this special episode. To share your story on Chapters, visit our website, To visit Porter Square Books online, check out their website:
January 20, 2018
28 - Trying to Get To You: The Reading Life of Elvis Presley
On our first episode of 2018, we mark the birthday of Elvis Presley with the story of his life as a reader. Fans may know Elvis from his music, movies, iconic fashion, or even from his famous home, Graceland. What can we learn about Elvis from considering his life as a reader? Elvis read voraciously, and travelled with suitcases full of books when he toured. In this episode, we’ll hear from his spiritual advisor, Larry Geller, and learn about the role books played in Elvis’ spiritual life. Elvis wanted to know why he’d been chosen to live such a singular life, and turned to books for answers. This was not a search without challenges, however. We’ll hear about an alleged book burning at Graceland, ordered by Elvis’ manager to put an end to Elvis’ spiritual quest, and Geller’s influence. His search for meaning and for answers continued until his untimely death, however. Though he kept no diary, some measure of his life as a reader remains scribbled in the notes he left in the margins of his books. To see some of Elvis’ marginalia, check out Larry Geller’s book, The Leaves of Elvis’ Garden: To tell you story on Chapters, visit our website:
January 8, 2018
Chapters Yearbook 2017
Here are some of our favorite stories from the last year. Thank you to everyone who shared their story with us! If you want to share your story on Chapters, find us at ]]>
December 15, 2017
27 - Jolenta Greenberg
Jolenta Greenberg is a New York-based comedian. She’s a Moth StorySLAM winner and a sometime contributor for NY Public Radio and BBC Radio. Currently, she is co-host (along with Kristen Meinzer) of the Panoply podcast, By The Book. By The Book, is a podcast reality show meets book club - where Greenberg and Meinzer live by different self help books to see if any actually work. It was a pleasure to learn about the books that helped shape her life, whether it was Katherine Hepburn’s memoirs, plays like Angels in America, or the self-help books she reads with Kristen Meinzer on By the Book. This is Jolenta’s story. Today’s podcast is brought to you by audible - get a FREE audiobook download and 30 day free trial at There you’ll find over 180,000 titles to choose from for your iPhone, Android, Kindle or mp3 player.
October 15, 2017
26 - Rachel Greenhaus
On today’s episode we meet Rachel Greenhaus. Rachel is a lapsed academic, professional cookbook editor, and over-enthusiastic home baker. She likes to think of herself as an independent scholar of Gender and the Poetry of Cake Recipes. From Shakespeare to Julia Child and the Joy of Cooking, this is Rachel’s story. To share your story on Chapters, visit us at ]]>
October 1, 2017
25 - Danny Byrne
On today’s episode we talk with Danny Byrne. Danny was raised on books that he’s now sharing with his twins as a new dad (I Will Love You Forever, The Giving Tree, Berenstain Bears). He tells us about that, and about growing up reading about baseball. From Chicago, Danny turned to books to understand the world around him. Toni Morrison became a treasured author in his life, both for the beauty of her prose and her wisdom on issues of social justice. When he met his wife, he dabbled in rereading. Never a fan of Jane Austen when required to read it in high school, his wife inspired him to reread Austen’s novels. On the second try, he found much to respect.What changed? Danny or Jane Austen’s books? This is Danny’s story. ]]>
September 15, 2017
24 - Melanie Newport
On this episode, we talk with Melanie Newport. Melanie Newport is an assistant professor of History at the University of Connecticut at its Hartford campus. Originally hailing from Tulsa, OK and Tacoma, WA, she is currently working on a book called Community of the Condemned: Chicago and the Transformation of the American Jail. On today’s episode, Melanie shares stories about reading books as a child that allowed her to imagine herself into the past, from Little House on the Prairie to the American Girl series. While pursuing a career in History, Melanie had to rethink her reading. Specifically, how could she navigate reading disturbing accounts in her archival research into the history of Chicago’s jails, and simultaneously turn to books as an escape? From Little House on the Prairie to reading the archive, this is Melanie’s story. If you want to share your story on Chapters, visit our website at . For more information on Melanie’s research, visit her site at . ]]>
September 1, 2017
23 - Matt Blackburn
On this episode of Chapters, we meet Matt Blackburn, a research analyst who lives in Boston. Matt shares his experiences with books that have defined his life as a reader from Goodnight Moon to Walden, Dune, and beyond. We discuss what it’s like to travel to the site of a treasured book (Walden), and much more. To share your story on Chapters, visit .
August 15, 2017
22 - Erin Bartram
Join us this week as we talk with historian Erin Bartram. We discuss Nancy Drew, Baby-Sitters Club, and the appeal of books for children in which adults take kids seriously. We also talk about a kind of reading unique to historians: reading an archive of primary sources. Erin has read thousands of letters, journals and other documents to help her reconstruct the life of her nineteenth-century subject, Jane Sedgwick. We counter that discussion of reading and history by closing with thoughts about what it’s like to read social media. How is reading twitter a unique kind of reading? To share your story on Chapters, please visit us at ]]>
August 1, 2017
BONUS Episode 3 - A Moby Dick Marathon at Mystic Seaport
Every year, on July 31st, readers gather at Mystic Seaport on the decks of the last remaining wooden whaling ship to read Moby Dick in twenty-four hours. “Herman Melville” opens the Moby Dick Marathon by reciting the first chapter from memory, and rejoins the community of readers on his birthday, August 1st, for the end of the book. On this episode of Chapters, we examine the idea of a reading marathon. How does it change your experience of reading a book to read it marathon style in the company of other readers? We’ll hear from readers at the Mystic marathon, talk to its organizers, and try to understand the significance of Moby Dick Marathons, an event that takes place across the country and around the world. If you want to take part in this year’s marathon, visit for more information. To tell your story on Chapters, visit ]]>
July 20, 2017
21 - Matt from Pop Culture Died in 2009
On this week’s episode we talk to Matt, founder of the gossip blog and curated archive of celebrity culture, Pop Culture Died in 2009. In our conversation, Matt shares how he became interested in celebrity gossip culture in the early aughts, and how he amassed the archive of celebrity magazines he uses to create his site. There’s been speculation that celebrity gossip magazines are becoming the victim of the digital age, and Matt reflects on being both a part of this digital celebrity gossip world, and an avid fan of its print culture. To share your story on Chapters, visit us at . ]]>
July 15, 2017
20 - Mark Barone
Join us on this week’s episode as we talk with Mark Barone about the Lord of the Rings, Stephen King novels, Game of Thrones, and more! We’ll hear stories about stealing a book from a public library, and the best way to protect a book in your backpack. Hint: it involves a pasta box. If you’d like the share your story on Chapters, please visit us at ]]>
July 1, 2017
19 - Liz Fleming
Have you ever dressed up like your favorite author? Our guest, Liz Fleming, discovered The Old Man and the Sea at a young age, and dressed up as Hemingway to show her admiration. Join us on today’s episode as we hear this story, and the stories behind other meaningful reading experiences. Joan Didion’s writings on California, for example, helped Liz to prepare for a cross country move to further her acting career. Nick Hornby’s books have been a touchstone throughout her life, a source of laughter and consolation. If you’d like to share your story on Chapters, please visit us at ]]>
June 15, 2017
18 - Kathy Van Voorhees
Whether taking in Forever by Judy Blume as a young reader, sneaking Sibyl from her mother’s bookshelf, adopting Kurt Vonnegut’s turns of phrase, or reading Stephen King’s The Stand to gain some clarity during a tough time, books have been a touchstone in the life of our guest, Kathy Van Voorhees. On this episode, we discuss bonds between parents and children over books, dyslexia, the relationship between books and dreams, and much more. To tell your story on Chapters, visit us at ]]>
June 1, 2017
17 - Anna Newman
What’s it like to read in a new language? On this episode, we talk to Anna Newman, a librarian who shares stories about reading everything from the Secret Garden to Dante’s Divine Comedy. We’ll hear about the year she studied abroad in Florence, and the ways she thinks about reading and translation. She also shares her method for recording her reading history. If you’d like to be a guest on Chapters, visit us at]]>
May 15, 2017
16 - Allison Horrocks
Meet Allison. Allison Horrocks grew up on American Girl books, the Dear America series, and Nancy Drew. Combining a love for history and detection, it can come as no surprise she’s chosen to pursue a career in public history. Listen as Allison explains her life in books from Amelia Bedilia to The Diary of Martha Ballard, with many detours in between. Want to share your story on Chapters? Contact us at ]]>
May 1, 2017
15 - Abby Southwell
What is it about girls and horse books? On this week’s episode, we investigate the appeal of horse books by hearing from self-proclaimed “horse book expert” Abby Southwell. She also imagines an eat, pray, love adventure, shares some controversial Wuthering Heights opinions, and tells us how her reading changed during a study abroad year in Florence. If you’d like to share your story, visit us on]]>
April 15, 2017
14 - Graham Stinnett
Join us as we talk to our guest Graham Stinnett, archivist at the Thomas J. Dodd Center at the University of Connecticut. We talk The Giving Tree, album liner notes, zines, vegan cookbooks, Moby Dick, and more! ]]>
April 1, 2017
13 - Danielle Dumaine
On this week’s episode we join Danielle Dumaine to hear stories about My Side of the Mountain, Mrs. Dalloway, Maggie Nelson’s Argonauts, and what it’s like to be named after a famous romance novelist. To share your story, please contact us at ]]>
March 15, 2017
12 - Betsy Pittman
Nancy Drew, the Boxcar Children, Laura Ingalls Wilder and romance novels - this episode with guest Betsy Pittman has it all. With a lifelong interest in history, Betsy offers really fascinating reflections on the appeal of romance novels, the lure of rereading some of her favorites, and why the genre - one of the most popular on the market - gets such a bad rap. This episode was recorded as part of a visit to the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center. To share your story on chapters, visit our website: ]]>
March 1, 2017
11 - Rob Sullivan
Has reading ever helped you in your grief? Join us as we welcome Rob Sullivan to discuss Superman and the ways reading can help us mourn loss in our lives. In an episode that includes books ranging from Charlotte’s Web to comic books to Game of Thrones, listen as Rob shares stories from his life through the books that have meant the most to him. ]]>
February 15, 2017
10 - Nick Hurley
From the Berenstain Bears to Marc Bloch’s Strange Defeat, join us as our guest Nick Hurley shares the books that have shaped his life. This is the first in a series of interviews we conducted in the Archives and Special Collections at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center at the University of Connecticut. To share your story on Chapters, please visit our website]]>
January 31, 2017
9 - Heather Parker
On today’s episode we hear about Caddie Woodlawn, Anne of Green Gables, Henry James, romance novels and the Chronicles of Narnia with guest Heather Parker!]]>
January 15, 2017
8 - Bryn Mawr Bookstore- Part 2
Join us for part two of our visit to Bryn Mawr Bookstore in Cambridge, Massachusetts! Our guests, Barbara Powell and Cornelia Robart, share stories on books including Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice, and the Jungle Book. Check out information on the Bryn Mawr Bookstore on our blog. To tell your story on Chapters, or to invite us to your bookstore or library, contact us at . ]]>
January 1, 2017
BONUS Episode 2 - Holiday Cards
Happy Holidays from all of us at Chapters! On this special episode, our listeners share stories of memorable holiday cards. ]]>
December 25, 2016
7 - Steven Domingues
On this episode, Steven Domingues, co-host of the Pure BS Podcast joins us to discuss the books that have informed his life. From Goosebumps to the works of Stephen King, join us for a conversation about the books that have helped Steven understand his world and his place within it.]]>
December 15, 2016
6 - Harry Potter and Friendship Tests
This episode is a continuation of our conversation with Jordan McMillan Rees. Join us as we discuss Harry Potter, fan fiction, and the idea of books as friendship tests! For more information on our show, and to be a guest on Chapters, contact us at]]>
December 1, 2016
5 - Alexis Boylan (Bryn Mawr Bookstore - Part 1)
This is the first in a series of interviews we conducted at Bryn Mawr Bookstore in Cambridge, Massachusetts. On this episode, art historian and Bryn Mawr alumna Alexis Boylan shares the ways books such as Little House on the Prairie , The Diary of Anne Frank , Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States and Station Eleven shaped her life.]]>
November 15, 2016
BONUS Episode 1 - Bibliomancy
Have you ever used a book to predict the future? Divine a fortune? On this first bonus episode of Chapters, we examine the history of bibliomancy, or the use of books to predict the future. Readers have turned to the bible, novels, poetry, and most recently, tumblr, for answers to life’s questions. On this episode, hear what drives such practices and what answers readers have found in the pages of their books.]]>
November 1, 2016
4 - Casper Ter Kuile
On this episode, Casper Ter Kuile, co-host of the Harry Potter and the Sacred Text podcast, shares parts of his life that have been informed by the books he has read. Whether it be the role of No Logo in awakening an early social conscious, or the ways reading A Christmas Carol aloud enriched his love for celebrating the seasons, books have helped him to create what he calls a “world of joyful belonging.”]]>
November 1, 2016
3 - Samantha Fey
What do Anne of Green Gables , Little House of the Prairie and The Diary of a Psychic have in common? Listen as we learn how these and other books helped to shape the life of intuitive Samantha Fey, the co-host, along with Deb Bowen, of the podcast Psychic Teachers .]]>
November 1, 2016
2 - Deb Bowen
Deb Bowen is the co-host, along with Samantha Fey, of the podcast Psychic Teachers . Do we choose books or do books choose us? Join us as we listen to how books from The Witch of Blackbird Pond to Crossing to Avalon helped to shape Deb’s life as an intuitive. ]]>
November 1, 2016
1 - Jordan McMillan Rees
Join us for our inaugural interview in which we discuss The Baby-Sitters Club , Jane Eyre , Twilight , and much more!]]>
November 1, 2016
October 2, 2016