Transcript / The 2024 'Ask Us Anything' Episode: In Which We Answer Audience Questions

Transcript / The 2024 'Ask Us Anything' Episode: In Which We Answer Audience Questions

Friday, 10 May, 2024

This is a transcription of ‘The 2024 Ask Us Anything Episode: In Which We Answer Audience Questions’


[cheerful music]

David: Hello and welcome to our Ask Us Anything episode. We’re going to run through about a dozen questions that we’ve been asked in the last six months or so.

Melissa: We’ve done two other episodes with questions from our audience in 2020 and in 2021. Yeah, if you want to know things like how we met, how we feel about living in Prague, or how we choose the books and destinations for our show, you can listen to those and I’ll put links in the show notes.

David: Let’s get going.

Melissa: I love this part. I’m ready.

[cheerful music]

David: Our first question is from Sherry. Sherry wants to know our top favorite places we’ve traveled to, and we have answered this question before, and I’m not sure it’s changed, but it has expanded a little bit for me.

Melissa: You want to go first?

David: Sure. Last year we went to Spain for the first time and we liked it so much we went again.

Melissa: [laughter] Two times in one year.

David: Almost immediately it’s like we went to the airport, flew back to Prague, changed our minds and flew back to Barcelona. The first time we saw Madrid and Barcelona. The second time we went back to Barcelona and visited a little beach town named Tarragona. It’s about 90 minutes outside of Barcelona. We discovered Spanish vermouth. We put our feet in the sea. We stopped at a little tavern in an alley, and a man who was watching football made us an omelet. We saw Las Meninas in the Prado. It was all pretty delightful.

Melissa: The thing that I remember very fondly from Tarragona is that across the street from our hotel was this little cafe. But I feel like cafe is giving a much more posh impression than what that place was.

David: Somewhere between a hole in the wall and a cafe.

Melissa: It kind of looked like someone had a corner store bodega kind of shop, and then took out most of the shelves and put some card tables inside.

David: Yeah.

Melissa: There were locals sitting on the little porch in the direct sun. It was very hot. The sun was beating on the porch, and there were locals smoking cigarettes, drinking tiny cups of coffee. And we’d noticed the day before that they made homemade sandwiches there. Botillos! We went in and asked for one. The woman made them to order. In my notes it says ‘murder toast breakfast sandwich’ because they make this bread in that part of Spain where they rub it with garlic and with a sliced tomato. So the bread gets this kind of red sheen on it from the tomato. And then she made a very buttery, olive oil infused omelet with ham and put that onto the murder bread. And it was one of the most delicious things I’ve ever eaten.

David: I feel like murder toast sort of sets you up wrong for the flavor that’s in that thing. [laughter]

Melissa: It’s garlicky and tangy and has lots of olive oil on it. But it does look like someone was murdered while they were making it.

David: But it’s delicious. It’s so good.

Melissa: It’s amazing.

David: Yeah.

Melissa: My pick is Shetland.

David: Oh yeah. Yeah.

Melissa: The part of it that I think about the most, which is definitely the least glamorous, is the overnight ferry from the mainland to the islands. I loved that ferry ride so much.

David: If you’re not familiar, Shetland is a tiny group of islands north and east of Scotland, and you need to take a ferry to get up there. An overnight ferry —

Melissa: The overnight ferry is kind of a cross between the kind of ferry you go on, say, for an hour, very sort of industrial kind of ferry boat work-a-day ship. It’s a cross between that and a cruise ship. But it’s not a fancy cruise ship. It’s like if a Holiday Inn was a cruise ship, and it has a little casino and a tiny movie theater, and we had a room with bunk beds in it. And I just remember feeling so delighted, lying in the top bunk with my overnight bag kind of tucked by my feet and the boat sort of rocking. It just felt like a huge adventure. I loved it so much. And then in the morning, so you get on the ship in Aberdeen and you cross to Shetland. In the morning, we went out on the deck of the boat and we could see Lerwick, which is the main town on the main island, and it looked exactly like it looks in the TV show Shetland. And I was thrilled. And then on the way back to Aberdeen, after our visit in Shetland, it snowed. There were times during that day when we were waiting to get on the boat, that it was sort of blizzardy. The wind was blowing, and the snow was filling the air, and then in the middle of the night on the sea with nothing around us, there was just this huge, beautiful moon making a perfect pathway on the water. And it just felt like magic.

David: Yeah. Shetland like. I can’t universally recommend Shetland. You have to be into the idea of cold and wet, rock and sheep to rugged, isolated. Yeah, but if that sounds like a good idea to you, boy, it’s great. Really fun. To.

David: Our next question is from Anders. Anders wants to know which books would you choose to live in if you could magically become part of their world?

Melissa: My initial thought was something like the Night Circus.

David: Yeah.

Melissa: And then I thought, Gentleman in Moscow, because I want to know the Count. But really, do I want to spend decades in one hotel?

David: Yeah.

Melissa: Probably not. Yeah. Although the world he created is very lovely. So I picked Still Life by Sarah Winman. If you’re not familiar with that book, even though I feel like I mention it every other episode because I love it so much. It’s the story of found family in Florence. The reason I would like to be in that book is because the relationships among the characters are really lovely. They’re not without bumps. Everybody doesn’t get along all the time, but even when they’re disagreeing or having hard conversations, they always approach them with love and kindness. So even when they have to say really devastating things to each other, they don’t wreck the other person. And that’s really nice. The detail that stands out to me the most, that really struck me when I was reading the book and came to me when I was thinking about my answer to this question is the main character Ulysses has a very good friend named Massimo. Massimo has a house on an island off the coast of Italy in the Tyrrhenian Sea, and every summer the two of them and their family and friends go to the island for a holiday. They just swim in the sea and cook food together and sit on the terrace and drink wine. And nothing really special happens. But every moment of that trip every year, is special and I would love to have that. It just seems really beautiful and something nice to look forward to every summer, making that a ritual. So that’s my pick. I would jump into Still Life.

David: That’s a good one. So the things that came to mind for me, I don’t think I’d want to live in any of these places, but I would love to visit. I would spend a few days in Raymond Chandler’s Los Angeles.

Melissa: Dangerous.

David: Yeah, yeah. Have drinks with. With Nick and Nora Charles. Who would drink me under the table based on their books.

Melissa: Definitely. You’d be holding one of those old timey ice packs to your head after that.

David: Yeah, in my robe. [laughter]

Melissa: And socks.

David: Yeah, we’d ride around in one of those huge ’40s cars and maybe go see Louis Jordan or Louis Prima or Louis Armstrong.

Melissa: All of the Louis.

David: Solve a murder, wear tuxedo, smoke, and somehow mysteriously not get cancer. And then maybe I’d visit Where the Wild Things are.

Melissa: Oh, that’s a good one. Let the wild rumpus start.

David: Yeah, have a bit of a wild rumpus and then maybe wrap things up in Jack Kirby’s New York City. He was the guy who designed the Fantastic Four. If I magically become part of that world, I’m thinking I get super powers.

Melissa: Oh, I mean, definitely. Yeah, that’s a given.

David: Yeah. And then together with the Fantastic Four, we fight Doctor Doom on top of the Baxter Building.

David: Next question. Marilyn wants to know, how are we able to read so many books? Hmm. I certainly don’t consider myself a heavyweight in this particular field. There are people who read 4 or 5 times as many books as I do in a year. I think I probably get to like 60 or 70. Maybe. There is a reason why Mel does 60% of the books on our show, but also I keep a schedule or I try to anyway, so when I open a book for Strong Sense of Place, I figure I have about a week to read it, and I try to divide the book into seven parts and make myself a little calendar. And then I try to beat that calendar. Sometimes the book isn’t good enough for the show, which is a problem.

Melissa: That’s a real problem when you invest somewhere between 2 and 5 days in a book and then realize this is not going to work.

David: I mean, I’ve gotten to the end. So there are certain books like, um, thrillers and stuff where I get to the very end page and I’m like, well, that’s not going to work. I can’t enthusiastically stand up for this book, but also I try to stay sort of just far enough ahead that that’s not such a problem, but it does get dicey toward the end of the season.

Melissa: You’re also really good about reading at breakfast every morning.

David: Yeah, setting aside a chunk of time to do specifically reading has been very useful for me.

Melissa: I usually do my reading right before bed. And I try to read for about an hour every night. If I fall asleep early multiple nights in a row, it can become a problem, and I get a little bit behind. I really love when we have a weekend where I can sit down on a Saturday or Sunday, or both, and have a solid 2 or 3 hour chunk of reading, because I really love to be immersed in a story for that long. And sometimes just reading half an hour or 40 minutes at a time doesn’t give me that same immersion. So I do like a Sunday afternoon in the reading nook of the corner of the couch with Smudge and my book. The short answer, now that we’ve said all of that, is I spend a lot of my free time reading. It’s gone beyond hobby at this point. I also like to have an audiobook going and a Kindle book at the same time, because then it feels like I get all my reading done twice as fast.

David: Marilyn also wants to know what sources do we use to find appropriate books for the place we’re visiting. So I did this very geeky thing that I’m happy to talk about to anybody who will listen. The Large-hearted Boy has a list of lists of the best books of the year.

Melissa: He’s a blogger who writes about books and music and has been for decades. He’s like an old school internet dude.

David: Yeah, so I wrote a script to download all of those lists and the listings of books that they refer to.

Melissa: That is very meta.

David: Yeah, yeah. So I have a big old pile of the best books of the last seven years or so on my hard drive, and when I want to find a new book, I’ll frequently just search on that. Just text search for Barcelona or whatever on this huge pile of what are now text files on my hard drive.

Melissa: And to be clear, those are the titles of the books, not the actual books.

David: Yeah, yeah, yeah, they’re pages that describe the books. Yeah. So somebody will say, you know, this book is set in Barcelona and I’ll find it because of that, but also Google and Goodreads and LibraryThing and persistence, I guess.

Melissa: I collect book titles and put them into our database like a magpie collecting shiny things for its nest. We have a text file for every country in the world, every US state, and all of the themes we’ve thought of so far. And whenever I come across a book that seems like it might be appropriate, I don’t even spend time investigating at that point if it’s good or not, I just throw it into that text file so you can open up, say, Afghanistan and see all of the book titles I’ve run across that could possibly work. But that’s only the first step because then you have to vet them. I also have an inbox that would probably make a normal person weep, because I sign up for every book-related and travel-related newsletter out there, and in a way, it’s kind of a gift to only have to look for things that have a strong sense of place, that are about a specific place, because I can ignore lots and lots of the new books that come out. But every once in a while there’s a hit for geographic location, and then I can add that to our database.

David: Elizabeth with a Z wants to know what literary theme park would you design? Which is a fantastic question.

Melissa: I had so much fun thinking this is going to get really detailed. Okay, I halfway apologize in advance, but not really okay. My amusement park would be based on the novel The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova.

David: Yeah, of course.

Melissa: And it’s kind of a cross between Epcot Center and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter because The Historian takes place in Amsterdam, Slovenia, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, France, Oxford, Switzerland, and Italy.

David: Mel pushed up her glasses as to indicate that she’s just getting started. [laughter]

Melissa: So imagine it’s a little like Epcot in that there are different thematic areas corresponding to those countries. There are cosplayers of all of the characters in the books walking around. So you’ve got a bunch of professors in mid-twentieth century tweed suits. You have Helen, the female protagonist in a pencil skirt. You’ve got Vlad the Impaler and his vampire librarian sidekick. There’s Turgut, the Turkish professor who I always picture as Salah from the Indiana Jones movies. There are little ladies who do fire walking in Bulgaria. So all of these characters are walking around ready for photo ops, ready to interact with you. In Istanbul, there’s an archive, and the game that you play when you go in the archive, it’s like a scavenger hunt to find a particular fact among the dusty scrolls and books in the archive. There’s part that looks like the French countryside for a picnic. There’s a cozy tea shop in Slovenia with fake rain falling all around it because the first time the narrator and her father go there, they eat sardines and drink tea. And it’s storming outside. There’s a fire walking show with the little ladies that I mentioned earlier, outside of a reproduction of a Bulgarian church. There’s a train ride that creates the illusion of traveling from Amsterdam to the south of France.

David: Oh that’s nice.

Melissa: There are statues of Saint David slaying a dragon and Vlad the Impaler and a bunch of professors holding books and triumph. Oh, the hotel. I need to mention the hotel. The hotel rooms are in a crypt underneath the church where the fire walking ladies are performing. The hotel rooms are down in the crypt.

David: Am I a vampire in this scenario?

Melissa: I mean you’re a vampire hunter in this scenario.

David: For sure.

Melissa: Although I suppose you could choose —

David: One or the other.

Melissa: To go to the dark side. Yeah, yeah.

David: I like it.

Melissa: Oh, one more. I forgot the best part. I mean, obviously there’s lots of great food because there’s amazing food descriptions in The Historian. In the Bulgaria area, there is a big party every day at sunset with a lamb roasted on the spit and live music and dancing.

David: That’s awesome.

Melissa: That would be amazing. I would 100% go to that theme park.

David: Yeah.

Melissa: What about you?

David: So the theme park that came to my head was something like Reader Land, where you go there and there’s sort of this is financially implausible, but I’m going with it.

Melissa: [laugher] Not like mine. Mine was completely realistic.

David: So there’s two parts to it. One is places that people describe as their dream place to read.

Melissa: Oh that’s nice.

David: Right? So like the library at the Trinity College in Dublin or maybe some, you know, Greek temples or a library in a like an English countryside. Mine would be a cabin by a lake with a canoe and no mosquitoes.

Melissa: Oh, how about a tree house.

David: Or a tree house? That’s great. Or so like an enormous bet that’s actually a tent that, with its sort of lit from inside with a with a flashlight. So that’s one part of it. And then the other part of it would just be sort of a revolving little lands about different books that kind of come and go and you never know exactly what’s going to be there. But sometimes they’re fiction, sometimes they’re nonfiction. You walk into Alice in Wonderland Land, but maybe you also walk into like Sapiens Land, or like some kind of Neal Stephenson Land where you sort of live through a little bit of that. And part of that could be Raymond Chandler Land, too. But all of those things kind of cycle in and out. I want to say unexpectedly.

Melissa: I was going to say that would be really cool if you never were quite sure what you were going to get.

David: Yeah. Exactly that. And then every night there’s a party from The Great Gatsby.

Melissa: Oh, that sounds amazing. Question.

Melissa: Do you take the Orient Express from one side to the other?

David: Obviously. And there’s a murder. Oh.

Melissa: [gasp]A real murder?

David: Yes. Some patron randomly gets stabbed to death.

Melissa: That’s like that book I read for the amusement parks episode.

David: Yeah.

Melissa: They were an amusement park and lots of people got murdered.

David: Elizabeth with an S wants to know, what do we do if we find a great book about a destination after an episode.

Melissa: After I curse a lot which happens frequently.

David: My answer was cry.

Melissa: Yeah, I add it to our database because someday we will revisit popular destinations, and there are some places that are so great for storytelling, people just keep writing books set there. We could do another episode about Prague with all new books based on the last few years, and then there are lots more places.

David: Yes, we’ve done a number of places where I just feel like we could — I mean, themes in particular, write something like the theater you could. That’s a podcast idea. You could just do episode after episode of theater books, but also Japan. Or New York City, like forever. You could just do those.

Melissa: One of the things that’s really nice about the Library of Lost Time is that it gives us an opportunity to revisit destinations that we’ve already talked about when great books come out. So that’s nice, but we save them. And I love when people send me suggestions about places we’ve already covered, because I save those just in case we do them again.

David: Sydney wants to know how’s Smudge doing?

Melissa: Smudge is currently lying on the couch on top of a leopard print blanket, and I can hear her snoring, so she’s doing very well right now.

David: Sydney and Lisa both asks similar questions. They asked, what’s your favorite place in Prague that a tourist wouldn’t normally see?

Melissa: I’m curious about what you picked.

David: My pick and I’ve talked about this before, is Vysehrad. There’s a park that we are a ten minute walk from. It’s sort of our local park that used to be a castle a long time ago. It was. The name in Czech literally means old castle. It is just this lovely park with views of the city and all around. And this old church. And there’s a beer garden up there so you can have a drink. There’s a coffee window so you can sit and have a coffee. There’s an ancient cemetery up there, which is fun to look at, where the Czechs have buried their most sort of famous Czech people. It is one of my favorite places on Earth. I think we live where we live because that park is there.

Melissa: We do.

David: It’s just far enough away from Prague’s tourist center that most tourists don’t get down there. And that’s a shame. It’s really, really a lovely place.

Melissa: I had Vysehrad in my notes, but I went even more micro than that. There is a coffee window that we call the okno because that’s the word for window in Czech. It’s situated just outside one of the gates of the park. You walk into the park through these enormous stone archway gates, and just outside one of the gates is this okno, where they have coffee, and in the summer ice cream, and in the winter hot chocolate and eggnog bombardino, which is warm eggnog with whipped cream on the top.

David: And it’s a little boozy

Melissa: It’s a little boozy. And in the summer, maybe once or twice, we’ll go for our run and then go to the coffee window and have an ice cream at 9:00 in the morning. And it’s so much fun.

David: Yeah, and we’ve been going there frequently enough and long enough that we have a bit of a relationship with some of the people who work there, even though our Czech is minimal. Um, and their English is also that. But we figure it out.

Melissa: We’re always happy to see each other.

Melissa: I had two picks. One is this little coffee place called Supertramp that is tucked between buildings in a way that if you didn’t know it was there, I don’t think you would ever find it. You can enter it from two different streets. One street, you have to walk into what looks like a parking garage. You’re often walking between trucks parked in parking places behind a big garage door that rolls up and down.

David: Yeah.

Melissa: nd you go through them and then through a normal sized doorway, and it opens up into this courtyard between the buildings. And when you enter from the other side, there’s a doorway next to a Middle Eastern shop, and the doorway looks like if you were walking down the street, you would think, that’s not for me.

David: It definitely has a ‘If you don’t know where this goes, you don’t belong here vibe’ to it.

Melissa: And you just walk through there with confidence and it takes you between two other buildings, which is a hard thing to explain. But if you come to Prague, we’ll take you and you’ll see what I mean. You’re suddenly between two different buildings, and then you’re walking under like a portico. And then it opens into this same courtyard.

David: Yep.

Melissa: So when you sit in the courtyard, you are literally surrounded on all sides by 19th-century buildings. And they’re kind of crumbling a little bit. It’s all very shabby chic. The coffee shop itself has very delicious coffee and really good homemade baked treats. And everyone who goes there is very interesting looking — it can, like sometimes I’m like, oh, I should dress better. But and it’s not that people are dressed very posh or even necessarily trendy or stylish or anything. Everyone just looks cool.

David: They have their look.

Melissa: They got their look. Yeah, they have a little grassy area and in the winter they put fairy lights out and in the summer there are flowers. I love that place.

David: Yeah. We’ve sat there in the light snow and had coffee every once in a while.

Melissa: It’s really nice. So come see us. We’ll take you there. And my second pick is the botanical garden that is literally around the block from our house. We didn’t know when we rented this flat that there was a botanical garden there. It’s part of the Charles University. It’s free, and it’s open every day. There are benches all over the place in there, so you can sit and have lunch or read by a display of succulents from California. Or there’s a row of benches underneath trees, and you can just sit there and listen to the birds and be surrounded by flowers. And it’s literally right there in the middle of the city. And the far end, when the gate is open, the gate isn’t always open, but at the far end of the botanical garden, when the gate is open, it opens into the tiny beer garden of a pub so you can enjoy the flowers and then go have a beer. It’s lovely.

David: Anna wants to know. What is the timeline between a topic or destination being selected and recording the episode? Do you read just for one destination at a time, or are you jumping around? And how many books don’t make the cut?

Melissa: Oh, I have a lot to say on this subject. [laughter]

Melissa: Early in the season, the timeline between when we’ve read the books and when we record can be as much as 3 or 4 months, and I find that really challenging. As we get into the season, the time gets shorter and shorter. But we try to start the season with a few of the episodes already recorded. And that means we have to read way in advance. And sometimes I look at my notes, and I think, who wrote that and why did they write that? And what was past Melissa thinking? And wow, she should have done a better job.

David: Don’t be too hard on past Melissa.

Melissa: When we’re in the middle of the season, I would say we’re usually 1 or 2 episodes ahead in our reading. And that feels a little more comfortable.

David: Yeah.

Melissa: I don’t know about you. I tend to read for when destination at a time. I like to be immersed in it, and it helps me think about the kinds of things I want to talk about in the episode in the 101, it shows me connections between the stories that kind of solidify that destination in my mind a little bit better. So I try not to jump around too much. Although sometimes, if I’m really excited about reading a book for a future destination, I’ll throw it in to kind of break things up a little bit. For example, very excited about some of our books for Outer Space, so I sprinkled some of those in when I was still reading for France and India and New York.

David: I also tend to read just one destination at a time. It’s just seems to make sense to me. And also, I like the way the books kind of talk to each other a little bit. As for how many books don’t make the cut? All of the rest of them.

Melissa: [laugher] A painful number.

David: We try to do a fair amount of research when we are looking for books for a destination. I mean, I will look at dozens of books I’ll start to read, I don’t know, 8 to 10 books, just to taste them, just to get the first couple of paragraphs, just to sort of What’s that like? And then of course, ultimately it comes down to me, to two. For me, I both sort of enjoy the shopping, but also I think it’s part of what we try to do is find great books that we love, and we try not to take that lightly. So that’s some work.

Melissa: Yeah, I do a similar thing where I’ll pick out maybe 6 or 8 books. I’m deliberate about trying to do books that are very different from each other, especially when they’re all fiction. So I’ll think, okay, I want to do a crime novel or sci-fi or fantasy. I want to do some kind of historical, and I want to do a family saga or something literary, and those are kind of like loose buckets, and I try to find books in those, and then I’ll pick out, say, 3 or 4 crime novels and read the Kindle samples of all of those and see which is the one that I want to go back to. What’s the one I’m still thinking about? And then the rest of them get cut. That is a time-consuming process, but it’s way better than when you read an entire book and then decide it’s not right. Which also happens. And that is the worst. I read two extra books for India that weren’t terrible but weren’t quite right. And that’s hard.

David: I had problems with India two. There was one book that I read completely and got to it and I was like, no, that’s I can’t.

David: Our next question is from Maggie. She wants to know if I am really six five.

Melissa: Yes.

David: I’m just a hair under six five. I’m like six four and three quarters. But yes.

Melissa: And for comparison’s sake, I am five four. Yeah.

David: Ellen wants to know what does the podcast studio look like inside.

Melissa: Oh it is very swanky.

David: It’s it is so chic in here. [laughter] If you can imagine that you left two children alone in a room with two Ikea coatracks and a bunch of blankets. And while you were gone, they made a fort, you would be on the right track. We use a fort because we live in an apartment. It’s got high ceilings, which I love, but they’re really bad for audio. It echoes around a bit, so we needed to make something that would dampen that. And we also wanted to look at each other. We went through a couple iterations, and we found that we just set up with a couple of Ikea. It’s actually four Ikea coat racks and we drape blankets on top of that.

Melissa: It’s very cozy.

David: It’s very cozy.

Melissa: I do like in here. Sitting in the fort and talking about books is one of my favorite things that we get to do.

David: Yeah, same. Rachel says, At my house we both refer to your podcast as my book friends.

Melissa: That’s so nice.

David: Yeah. Uh, how do we hope people relate to our podcast?

Melissa: I mean, that’s it exactly.

David: Yeah. Pretty much. Yeah. My first hope is that you find it entertaining and then secondly, that it’s delightful. We try to we say we try to traffic in delight. We’re trying to sort of find things that we think people will that’ll light people up. And then secret agenda is, I hope it’s just a little bit broadening when we read books. We love that. Maybe you will also read that book and that that will broaden out empathy and curiosity for other places in the world. We are big fans of curiosity and empathy and yeah, that’s it. That’s the secret agenda.

Melissa: I really like the way when I read a book and someone else reads a book, we sort of have that shared experience, even though we both perceive it differently. I do like the idea that people would think that we’re all book friends, and we’re all in this book club together, because the world can be lonely sometimes, and it’s really nice to think that we’re all connected, even in this small way.

David: That’s really nice.

David: Finally, our last question is from Louise. Louise wants to know, are you still thinking of developing tours of libraries and bookshops in Europe? And the answer is we are. We definitely are. It’s early to talk about all of this still, but we are definitely making strides on having an event in Europe. Maybe next year. We don’t know yet. We’re definitely some steps into trying to figure out how this might work and what it would be, and hopefully that will also be delightful for people.

Melissa: Spoiler: It’s not The Historian amusement park. As much as I wish it was.

David: Yeah, but when we get there, we are going to be very loud about that and you will definitely hear about it.

Melissa: And thank you for asking that question because we are really excited about it. It’s just not far enough along yet to talk about it in any real way.

David: Yeah.

David: So that’s it. That’s about a dozen questions for our Ask Us Anything episode. We will be back next week. We’re going to have a top ten countdown of our favorite books from our first five seasons.

Melissa: I might have cheated a little bit.

David: Why am I not surprised? I hope you’ll join us then. Thanks for listening and we’ll talk to you soon.

[cheerful music]


Top image courtesy of Nathan Dumlao/Unsplash.

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