In Episode 115, Bonnie Garmus, author of Lessons in Chemistry, discusses the inspiration behind her best-selling debut novel, sexism in the workplace, and the story behind Six-Thirty the dog. Plus, Bonnie’s book recommendations!
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Introducing Summer Shelves (a companion to my Summer Reading Guide)…
- In addition to my annual 2022 Summer Reading Guide, I introduced Summer Shelves, a companion exclusively for Superstars Patrons ($7/mo).
- Summer Shelves features BACKLIST summer reading recommendations from over 25 former podcast guests and our team members.
- The Summer Shelves design is clean, crisp, and unique and is available in a PDF file format via Patreon.
- If you’d like to get the Summer Shelves companion guide, you can sign up to be a Superstars patron here. You’ll also get access to a monthly bonus podcast series called Double Booked (where Catherine or Susie and I share our own book recommendations in the same format as the big show) and my Rock Your Reading Tracker.
- Plus, as a patron you can listen to the monthly Superlatives bonus podcast episodes where I continue the discussion with every guest from the full-length episodes, as they answer 5 bookish “superlative” questions.
- Bonnie talks about her inspiration for Lessons in Chemistry and the main character, Elizabeth Zott, who began her book life in a previously unpublished book.
- Why Bonnie chose the professions featured in the book: scientist and television host on a cooking show.
- How Elizabeth’s rowing brings balance to the story.
- How her copywriting career played a role in the novel.
- The significance of the numerical names for the two dogs’ in Bonnie’s life: 99 (in her real life) and Six-Thirty (in the book).
- The real-life dog who inspired the fictional dog, Six-Thirty.
- The big message Bonnie would like both men and women to take away from the book.
- How Sarah and Bonnie feel about posthumously published work.
- Bonnie shares a little bit about her next book and how it compares to Lessons in Chemistry.
Bonnie’s Book Recommendations [25:20]
Two OLD Books She Loves
- The Secret History by Donna Tartt | Amazon | Bookshop.org [25:31]
- The Cider House Rules by John Irving | Amazon | Bookshop.org [27:35]
Two NEW Books She Loves
- Free Love by Tessa Hadley | Amazon | Bookshop.org [28:56]
- Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel | Amazon | Bookshop.org [30:48]
One Book She DIDN’T LOVE
- Billy Budd by Herman Melville | Amazon | Bookshop.org [33:15]
One NEW RELEASE She’s Excited About
- The Second Sight of Zachary Cloudesley by Sean Lusk (June 9) | Book Depository [36:37]
Last 5-Star Book Bonnie Read
Nightbitch by Rachel Yoder | Amazon | Bookshop.org [38:25]
Other Books Mentioned
- The Hearts Invisible Furies by John Boyne [3:20]
- The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt [26:24]
- A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving [28:43]
- The World According to Garp by John Irving [28:47]
- Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel [31:02]
- The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel [31:46]
- Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee [35:11]
- The Need by Helen Phillips [40:29]
About Bonnie Garmus
Bonnie Garmus is a copywriter and creative director who has worked widely in the fields of technology, medicine, and education. She’s an open-water swimmer, a rower, and mother to two pretty amazing daughters. Born in California and most recently from Seattle, she currently lives in London with her husband and her dog, 99. Lessons in Chemistry is her first novel.
In two weeks (June 29), Susie Boutry from Novel Visits will be join me for a special episode discussing the micro genres we love.
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