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The Biblio Files

The Biblio Files

By Beth A. Steffens
As the official podcast for "Big Little Literature," The Biblio Files brings real lit feels to real lit lovers.
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An Interview with John Vercher

The Biblio Files

The Lies That Bind
Since we were young, my cousin Kaitlyn and I have always bonded over books (and the St. Louis Blues of course). And there's been one author who has captured our hearts time and time again and who is usually at the forefront of our literary conversations: Emily Giffin. So when Giffin's latest book, "The Lies That Bind" was released earlier this year, I knew Kaitlyn would have to join me on "The Biblio Files" to break it down.  In this latest episode, she and I chat about Giffin's amazing and relatable characters; how she brought 9/11 into her fictional tale in such a sensitive yet powerful way; and how her writing has matured and improved over the years. (Yes, somehow it's possible to keep getting better when you are already so good.) We even make the claim that "The Lies That Bind" has set a new Giffin standard. And yes, we fangirled ... hard. We left our love for Emily Giffin on this recording, and we are not afraid to admit it. Check it out now!
September 21, 2020
An Interview with John Vercher
In the first author interview on "The Biblio Files," I had the pleasure of chatting with John Vercher. His debut novel, "Three-Fifths," was published in 2019, and it's received strong praise and numerous nominations. During our conversation, we touched on current social issues, racism in America, and the unfortunate circumstances that make his novel "timeless." We also discussed his complex characters and how they led to the book's tragic ending.
September 03, 2020
Normal People: The TV Show
I had some pretty strong opinions about the very popular novel "Normal People." So how did I feel about its TV show? Layne Coffman joins me again in this episode of "The Biblio Files," and we've brought in her husband, Nick, to provide more fierce opinions about "Normal People." This time, though, we talk about the now-Emmy-nominated TV show. Tune in as we compare both forms of media, discuss the show's thirstiness, and opine on a second season.
August 21, 2020
Normal People
You've probably heard of the hit novel "Normal People" by Sally Rooney. It's been on all of the lists, both critics' and literary fans', and an eponymous Hulu miniseries debuted this spring, which has also been critically acclaimed. On this episode of "The Biblio Files," I dive into the praise this book has received with my guest and close friend, Layne Coffman, who actually sent me this book at the beginning of quarantine. We cover everything from the light "Normal People" sheds on mental health to even the lack of both characterization and awkwardness in the main characters' first kiss. Oh and apologies for all of the obnoxious laughter, of which there is plenty.
August 04, 2020
City of Girls
If you're looking for a book to show you a real good time, then check out "City of Girls" by Elizabeth Gilbert. When I read it earlier this year, I couldn't stop laughing or smiling. I talk about these feelings and so much more in this episode of "The Biblio Files" with my friend and coworker Sakshi -- the person who influenced me to read this novel. Listen in as we discuss how literary opinions can change over time, the possibility of being both a good person and an interesting person, and our love and obsession with New York City.
July 16, 2020
The Shadow of the Wind
Barcelona, love, mystery, history, family, book culture, and loyalty. Don't those all sound fascinating? That must have been what Carlos Ruiz Zafón was thinking when he combined all of those themes in his book "The Shadow of the Wind," which was published at the turn of the century. This five-flame novel was recommended to me by friend Sabrina, and she came back to "The Biblio Files" to discuss its killer suspense and narrative and the intense wanderlust this book gave us. We also may or may not go on a tangent about European churches, which we could spend all day touring.
May 27, 2020
The Beautiful World of Libraries
Just like the books they house, libraries change lives. It's just a fact. Yes, they completely open our eyes to new worlds and new perspectives through the written word, but they also provide countless resources for everyone who visits them. In the latest episode of "The Biblio Files," I sit down with my dear friend Sabrina and her friend Meghann (who I can't wait to meet) to profess our love for libraries and discuss how they've changed our lives. Meghann also tells us about the cool work she's doing in Kansas City with the Mesner Puppet Theatre and The Rabbit Hole. Check them out!
May 14, 2020
Little Fires Everywhere: Series Finale
Sadly, we've reached the end of "Little Fires Everywhere," but that also means you have another episode of "The Biblio Files" to dive into. In the third installment of this series, Dana, Hilary, and I dissect the ending that everyone is talking about, the challenge to "well-intentioned white women," being a product of our environments and time period, and that snarl from Reese. Check it out now.
May 02, 2020
Little Fires Everywhere: Episodes 4-7
To quote one of my guests, "These aren't little fires anymore." In this episode of The Biblio Files, Dana, Hilary, and I once again dive into all things savage, fraught, tangled, and intense from episodes 4-7 of the hot TV series, "Little Fires Everywhere." Tune in as we discuss how the show has diverged from the book and what we anticipate for episode 8, the series finale.
April 22, 2020
The Overstory
"The Overstory" by Richard Powers is a sweeping novel filled with long, beautiful passages about trees and the environment and superb writing techniques, such as repetition, imagery, and metaphor. It also says something profound about our connections to each other and to the land and how doing less can actually have a greater impact. Sounds quite relevant during the current pandemic, doesn't it? Yeah, there's a lot to say. Listen to this episode of The Biblio Files as I unpack "The Overstory" with my friend Collier who even marks this book as one of his all-time favorites.
April 08, 2020
Little Fires Everywhere: Episodes 1-3
It's gettin' lit! In this episode of The Biblio Files, I sit down with two good friends, Dana and Hilary, to discuss the hot new TV show "Little Fires Everywhere." As big fans of the book, we opine on how the show and its themes vary from the literary version and our expectations for the upcoming episodes.
March 26, 2020
Friday Night Lights
I'm a sucker for a good sports story; so is my dad even though he rarely reads. In this episode, we dive into a true classic: "Friday Night Lights." We discuss the validity of calling the book a social commentary and how it compares to the movie along with the unhealthy obsession parents can have with their kids' athletic endeavors.
March 24, 2020
The Glass Castle
My mom, Mary, doesn't read that often, so I was incredibly honored when she picked up "The Glass Castle" just for The Biblio Files. I had the best time discussing this five-flame memoir with the woman who raised me. Listen as we discuss everything from sibling support to addiction and from unconventional households to the experiences that shape our opinions.
March 11, 2020
Behold the Dreamers
For the inaugural episode of The Biblio Files, I sit down with my podcast partner, my book twin, and one of my best friends, Dana, to discuss "Behold the Dreamers" by Imbolo Mbue. This novel covers a lot of topics, including the American dream, immigration, xenophobia, money, and relationships, and we talk about it all.
February 18, 2020