Wednesday, April 14, 2021



Mark your calendars for the next Reader’s Advisory Roundtable on Wednesday, June 9th at 9am on Zoom!  We’ll be sharing and discussing LGBTQ fiction and nonfiction. This morning, RART met to discuss podcasts.

18 in attendance:

Holley W, O’Neal (Mountain Brook)
Samm H, Hoover
Nicole L, Tarrant
Shawn C, Pinson
Cara W, Center Point
Leslie W, Homewood
Maura D, Trussville
Alisha J, BPL Central
Lynn H, BPL Central
Samuel R, Springville Road
Jenn P, Smithfield
Russell L, Smithfield
Reba W, Smithfield
Jiemin F, BPL Central
Riana M, Pinson
Anicha C
1 anonymous participant

From true crime to book nerds to oddity enthusiasts…there’s probably something for everyone on this list!

Derry Public Radio: A Stephen King Book Club Podcast
Provides you with a variety of perspectives on Stephen King’s work – ranging from the comfortably familiar to the frighteningly fanatic. Derry Public Radio is here to keep you up-to-date with all that’s happening in Derry, Maine and “beyond.”

Ghoul School: Horror & History
Host Andy Sell guides you through the history of horror movies! 

Ghoul Guides
The Ghoul Guides is a digital multimedia project created by Lauren Nixon and Mary Going that is devoted to exploring, understanding, and enjoying the wonders and weirdness of the Gothic.

Authentic Living with Andrea Mathews
You’ll learn how to see your true self in the midst of life’s twists and turns and be challenged to think outside the box when it comes to the mysteries of life. Authentic Living airs live Wednesdays at 1 PM Pacific on the VoiceAmerica Empowerment Channel.

Sunday with Sterling & Linda G
Welcome to my channel where I share insight about the future of present circumstances in the world by using my Psychic Medium gift.

Intuitiview with Kim Richey
Intuitiview [in-too-i-tiv-yoo] explores Kim's intuitive and psychic abilities through references to movies, television, and images.

wiwibloggs is the world’s most-visited independent web site devoted to the Eurovision Song Contest.

Toy & Goy
In Toy and Goy we talk about stuff (currently Eurovision coverage!), do silly things, discuss about not very important things and basically just be us!

True Crime Horror Story
In each episode your host JD Horror brings you his take on some of the most disturbing cases in history, highlighting both obscure and notorious incidents of real life murder.

This Podcast Will Kill You
Grad students studying disease ecology, Erin and Erin found themselves disenchanted with the insular world of academia. They wanted a way to share their love of epidemics and weird medical mysteries with the world, not just colleagues.

A Slob Comes to Clean
Reality-based cleaning and organizing with Dana “Nony” White

Coronavirus: Fact vs Fiction (CNN)
Join CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta for the latest news about the coronavirus. He'll make sense of the headlines, speak with the experts and give you all the information you need to stay safe and healthy.

Behind the Bastards
Behind the Bastards dives in past the Cliffs Notes of the worst humans in history and exposes the bizarre realities of their lives.

Marvel’s Wolverine
Marvel’s “Wolverine: The Lost Trail” is an epic quest that takes place in the Louisiana bayou. Following the events of Marvel’s “Wolverine: The Long Night,” Logan (Richard Armitage) returns to New Orleans in search of redemption, only to discover that his ex-lover, Maureen is nowhere to be found.

Ru Paul: What’s the Tea with Michelle Visage
In this podcast RuPaul and his cohost Michelle Visage discuss pop culture, advice, beauty advice and behind the scenes of their hit show, RuPaul’s Drag Race.

Atlas Obscura
With its new podcast, Atlas Obscura co-founder and host Dylan Thuras will take listeners on an audio journey to discover new and hidden places; perhaps on the other side of the world, or perhaps in one's own backyard.

99% Invisible
99% Invisible is a sound rich, narrative podcast hosted by Roman Mars about all the thought that goes into the things we don’t think about — the unnoticed architecture and design that shape our world.

The Vibe of Muscle Shoals Sound
Muscle Shoals Sound Studios produced this series to capture the colorful stories of musicians, like the members of the Swampers, the studio musicians who can be heard on hundreds of songs.

Two women (one from Birmingham) and a shared refusal to stay silent, a 7-part podcast hosted by investigative reporter Amy Brittain.

Under the Skin
Russell Brand talks about revolutionary politics and spiritual awakening.

Life is Short with Justin Long
Host Justin Long gets personal with all kinds of people, from actors to musicians to deep thinkers to learn how they find meaning in life.

Armchair Expert
A podcast with Dax Shepard that celebrates the messiness of being human.

Kevin Smith podcasts

Chameleon, Hollywood Con Queen
For the past 6 years, someone – or some group – has been terrorizing a certain class of Hollywood workers. Strivers – day players and physical trainers and make-up artists and security guards – receive a phone call or email offering the job of a lifetime. It’s all a fraud. This is the incredible true story of one of the longest and strangest cons in history.

The Opportunist
The Opportunist tells true stories of regular people who turn sinister simply by being opportunistic. How does an everyday person turn into a thief, a cult leader, or a scammer? Instead of portraying criminals as distinctly “other,” we explore our similarities and reveal the dark potential lurking inside of all of us.

Leslie was unable to join in this morning, but sent me her picks via email!

History Chicks
Introduces you to female characters in history, both factional and fictional. Also encourages listeners to  independently explore and learn more about women's history.
Leslie D

Ear Hustle
Exposes daily realities of life inside San Quentin prison, shared by those inside and others, post-incarceration.
Leslie D

How to Be A Girl
A mom produced this podcast about life with her young transgender daughter as they both attempt to sort out what it means to be a girl.
Leslie D

Two participants sent me their delicious lists of favorites! 

Jenn from Smithfield suggests…

True Crime:

American Scandal

Last Podcast on the Left (don't go earlier than episode 150)

Women and Crime - A+  (2 PhD ladies that teach criminology talk about cases involving women. Listen to "Direct Appeal" first - this is a spin-off)

Supernatural with Ashley Flowers

The Clearing

Root of Evil 

Your Own Backyard

The Immaculate Deception - a fertility specialist used his own sperm and has over 80 children

Breakdown - A+  (ATL based podcast by an awesome reporter about GA crimes)

Amy Should be Forty

Dr. Death - A+ (2 seasons, each focusing on a doctor doing wrong)


UnCover - A+ (About NXIVM cult in first season, rest of seasons are good too)

Solved Murders

Motive for Murder

Someone Knows Something (Canada based reporter, each season about a different case)

Confronting OJ

Atlanta Monster (about the ATL child murders

Over My Dead Body

Up and Vanished (A cold case about a missing women - break in case happens DURING the taping of the podcast)

The Thing About Pam



Bear Brook - A++ (Mindblowing connection between the stories)

Broken Harts

Heaven's Gate

In the Dark - A++ (All seasons good, but an appeal by the accused murderer in season 2 goes all the way to the Supreme Court during taping)

Son of a Hitman

The Dating Game Killer

Something was Wrong - A+ (Great telling of stories incorporating research about different mental illnesses)

Scam Goddess

RedHandedA+ (Similar to My Favorite Murder, but British - and maybe a little funnier)

True Crime Adjacent: 

Oh, Hello: the P'dcast (Satire/Comedy podcast about True Crime)

Crime Writers On…

The Black Tapes - A+ (Non-fiction, scripted horror/supernatural podcast that kept me up at night!) 

The Alarmist

You're Wrong About - A++ (2 hosts go back to give you the full story - not just what media covers. The female host especially likes focusing on maligned females like Monica Lewinsky, Tonya Hardy, Lorena Bobbitt)


Ologies with Alie Ward


Reply All

Forever 35


Sawbones - A+ (a medical history/comedy show)

Harry Potter and the Sacred Text - A+

By the Book - A+ (2 friends read self-help books and live by them for 2 weeks to see if they change their life)


Shagged, Married, Annoyed

A Very Fatal Murder


The Babysitter's Club Club - A++ (2 male friends read the Babysitter's Club books - SO FUNNY)

Gilmore Guys - A++ (1 guy who has never watched Gilmore Girls and 1 guy who is a superfan watch every episode - SO SO FUNNY)

 NSFW (Rated R): (these are not directly linked because the filter was catching them!)

Sex Talk with my Mom - A+ (A very open mom and son discuss their lives and have special guests to talk about sex and relationships)

Girls on Porn

Better in Bed

Savage Lovecast

My Dad Wrote a Porno


Shawn from Pinson Library suggests…


For fans of The Golden Girls

Enough Wicker

Out on the Lanai

For fans of True Crime

Unsolved Murders: True Crime Stories

Serial Killers

My Favorite Murder

Crimes of Passion

Minds of Madness

For/by POC

Therapy for Black Girls

Code Switch

The Nod


LeVar Burton Reads

Reading Women


The Dark Side of...

Every Little Thing



The Walk



Deadly Manners

Call Your Girlfriend






Friday, February 12, 2021

inspirational fiction


In attendance today, 17 total:

Holley W, O’Neal Library
Jenn P, Smithfield
Rachel, Smithfield
Reba, Smithfield
Samuel R, Springville Road
Maura D, Trussville
Leslie D, Avondale
Samantha H, Hoover
Catherine F, BPL Central
Ellen S, Avondale
Shawn, Pinson
Alisha J, BPL Central
Amanda, Titusville
Jon N, Avondale
Michelle H, Irondale
Leslie W, Homewood
Loretta J, Books By Mail

BPL is debuting a new program, a weekly Community Interview, on Monday, February 15th at 10am on their Facebook page.  The first interview will be with Lisa Yeager, Program Director at STAIR, a free after-school tutoring program for 2nd grade students at 13 schools across Birmingham.  Monday, February 22nd will feature Rachel Bayerle and Nicole Putman, owners of Charm on 2nd, a locally owned and operated boutique in downtown Birmingham featuring jewelry, accessories, and handmade and locally made goods. 

Join the Trussville Library over ZOOM Tuesday, February 23rd at 6:30PM as Dr. Aaron Hawkins discusses mental health and coping skills. You will not want to miss this interesting and engaging educational program! Sign-up here to receive the ZOOM link:

The next meeting of the Reader’s Advisory Roundtable will be Wednesday, April 14th at 9am on Zoom and the topic up for discussion will be podcasts and other not-a-book recommendations.  Podcasts have come up in discussions before, but I don’t remember ever exploring it as its own independent meeting so I’m particularly excited about this one.  Do mark your calendars to join the conversation on April 14th!

Today, RART met for a discussion of inspirational/Christian fiction.

Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers

California’s gold country, 1850. A time when men sold their souls for a bag of gold and women sold their bodies for a place to sleep. Angel expects nothing from men but betrayal. Sold into prostitution as a child, she survives by keeping her hatred alive. And what she hates most are the men who use her, leaving her empty and dead inside.  
Then she meets Michael Hosea, a man who seeks his Father’s heart in everything. Michael obeys God’s call to marry Angel and to love her unconditionally. Slowly, day by day, he defies Angel’s every bitter expectation, until despite her resistance, her frozen heart begins to thaw.  
But with her unexpected softening comes overwhelming feelings of unworthiness and fear. And so Angel runs. Back to the darkness, away from her husband’s pursuing love, terrified of the truth she no longer can deny: Her final healing must come from the One who loves her even more than Michael does…the One who will never let her go.  
A powerful retelling of the story of Gomer and Hosea, Redeeming Love is a life-changing story of God’s unconditional, redemptive, all-consuming love.

The Red Tent by Anita Diamant

In the Bible, Dinah's life is only hinted at in a brief and violent detour within the more familiar chapters of the Book of Genesis that tell of her father, Jacob, and his twelve sons.

The Red Tent begins with the story of the mothers--Leah, Rachel, Zilpah, and Bilhah--the four wives of Jacob. They love Dinah and give her gifts that sustain her through childhood, a calling to midwifery, and a new home in a foreign land. Dinah's story reaches out from a remarkable period of early history and creates an intimate connection with the past.

Deeply affecting, The Red Tent combines rich storytelling and the valuable achievement of presenting a new view of biblical women's lives.

Romance-focused Christian/inspirational fiction:

Deanna Gist
Janette Oke
Ryan Phillips
Candace Calvert (medical field focus)
Colleen Cobble

Non-romance Christian/inspirational fiction:

Madman by Tracy Groot

If there is a way into madness, logic says there is a way out. Logic says. Tallis, a philosopher’s servant, is sent to a Greek academy in Palestine only to discover that it has silently, ominously, disappeared. No one will tell him what happened, but he learns what has become of four of its scholars. One was murdered. One committed suicide. One worships in the temple of Dionysus. And one . . . one is a madman.

From Christy Award–winning author Tracy Groot comes a tale of mystery, horror, and hope in the midst of unimaginable darkness: the story behind the Gerasene demoniac of the Gospels of Mark and Luke.

Thirsty by Tracey Bateman

"Hello, I'm Nina Parker…and I'm an alcoholic."
For Nina, it's not the weighty admission but the first steps toward recovery that prove most difficult. She must face her ex-husband, Hunt, with little hope of making amends, and try to rebuild a relationship with her angry teenage daughter, Meagan. Hardest of all, she is forced to return to Abbey Hills, Missouri, the hometown she abruptly abandoned nearly two decades earlier–and her unexpected arrival in the sleepy Ozark town catches the attention of someone–or something–igniting a two-hundred-fifty-year-old desire that rages like a wildfire.

Unaware of the darkness stalking her, Nina is confronted with a series of events that threaten to unhinge her sobriety. Her daughter wants to spend time with the parents Nina left behind. A terrifying event that has haunted Nina for almost twenty years begins to surface. And an alluring neighbor initiates an unusual friendship with Nina, but is Markus truly a kindred spirit or a man guarding dangerous secrets?

As everything she loves hangs in the balance, will Nina's feeble grasp on her demons be broken, leaving her powerless against the thirst? The battle between redemption and obsession unfold to its startling, unforgettable end.

The books of Kimberla Lawson Roby

The Left Behind series by Tim LaHaye

   1. Left Behind 
   2. Tribulation Force 
   3. Nicolae 
   4. Soul Harvest 
   5. Apollyon 
   6. Assassins 
   7. The Indwelling 
   8. The Mark 
   9. The Desecration 
   10. The Remnant 
   11. Armageddon 
   12. Glorious Appearing 
   13. The Rising 
   14. The Regime 
   15. The Rapture 
   16. Kingdom Come

Mystery/Thriller authors:

Robin Lee Hatcher
Dee Henderson
Lynette Eason
Terri Blackstock
Julie Klassen
Tracie Peterson
Ted Dekker

No religious/spiritual focus, but “clean” stories:

Craig Johnson (modern western-themed crime novels)

Adriana Trigiani (women’s fiction)

Shadow Mountain Publishing’s Proper Romance imprint; these titles are available in PB and digitally in the JCLC

Allen, Nancy Campbell – Beauty and the Clockwork Beast

                                 Brass Carriages and Glass Hearts

                                 Kiss of the Spindle

                                 My Fair Gentleman

                                 The Lady in the Coppergate Tower

                                 The Secret of the India Orchid

Donaldson, Julianne – Blackmoore


                              Heir to Edenbrooke

Eden, Sarah M – Ashes on the Moor

                       Healing Hearts

                       Hope Springs

                       Longing for Home

                       The Gentleman and the Thief

                       The Lady and the Highwayman

                       The Sherrifs of Savage Wells

Garriott, Leah – Promised

Hawks, Arlem – Georgana's Secret  

Jensen, Krista Lynne – Miracle Creek Christmas

Kilpack, Josi S – A Heart Revealed

                       All that Makes Life Bright

                       Daisies and Devotion

                       Forever and Forever

                       Lord Fenton's Folly

                       Miss Wilton's Waltz

                       Promises and Primroses

                       Rakes and Roses

                       The Lady of the Lakes

                       The Vicar's Daughter

Todd, Ilima – A Song for the Stars

Walker, Megan – Lakeshire Park

Wilhite, Rebecca – Check Me Out

Wright, Julie – Glass Slippers, Ever After, and Me

                     Lies Jane Austen Told Me

                     Lies, Love, and Breakfast at Tiffany's


Libraries with NoveList subscriptions will find much assistance there.  If you don’t have access to NoveList, Literature-Map is a fun exploration:

Fantastic Fiction, long a treasure trove for series information and forthcoming publications, also has a genre area and Inspirational is one of their offerings:

Jon from Avondale has generously shared access to a genre-organized list of 50 Christian fiction authors, which does overlap and reorganized discussion above.  Your mileage may vary!


Brunstetter, Wanda

Cramer, W. Dale                                                                              

Samson, Lisa (The Church Ladies)                                                             

Tatlock, Ann

Turner, Jamie L.

Gulley, Phillip

Whitlow, Robert

Karon, Jan

Colleen Coble

Richard Paul Evans

Andrew Greeley

Jerry Jenkins

Karen Kingsbury

Gilbert Morris

Janette Oke

Tracie Peterson

Francine Rivers

Lori Wick



Beazely, Jan and Thom Lemmons


African American authors

Michele Andrea Bowen

Victoria Christopher Murray

ReShonda Tate Billingsley

Vanessa Davis Griggs

Jacquelin Thomas

Kendra Norman Bellamy

T.D. Jakes

Sharon Ewell Foster

Michelle Stimpson

Kimberla Lawson Roby

Serita Jakes

Angela Benson

Sharon Ewell Foster

Linda Hudson-Smith

North American Historical

Austin, Lynn

Dow, Rosey

Morris, Gilbert

Oke, Janette


Historical International                                               

Cavanaugh, J.     (Fire)                                                                    

Rivers, Francine



Heitzmann, Kristen                                         

Alexander, Hannah                         

Henderson, Dee

Palmer, Catherine

Hatcher, Robin Lee



Bly, Stephen



Alcorn, Randy C.

Blackstock, Terri

Bright, Bill

Bunn, T. Davis

Burkett, Larry

Coble, Colleen

Dekker, Ted

Singer, Randy

Rosenberg, Joel                                               

Morris, Gilbert

Peterson, Tracie

Lewis, Beverly

Kingsbury, Karen

Hatcher, Robin Lee

Wangerin, Walter

Billingsley, ReShonda T.

Thoene, Bodie                                                  

Huggins, James B.

Peretti, Frank

Martinusen, Cindy M.

Norris, Helen

Whitlow, Robert