Essays that start light, then hit hard: Episode 312 with Mary Laura Philpott

Episode 312,  Apr 22, 04:01 AM

Fave return guest alert! We talked to Mary Laura Philpott in episode 71–#YouandYourBookstore, back when she was a Parnassus Books guru. And then in Episode 150: #NeverReady, when MLP (as we like to call her) launched her first book of essays, I Miss You When I Blink, into the world—and then again, for episode 163 #BookTourReality.

And now she’s back with a new book of essays: Bomb Shelter: Love, Time and other Explosives. (Read an excerpt here. And here. And then go order the book here.) The difference? Blink was, as MLP says, a book of essays that, together, became a memoir. Bomb Shelter is a memoir that took on the form of a book of essays—essays that went deeper than those shared in Bomb Shelter, that cut so much closer to the heart and were so much harder to write, and to share. 

Links from the Pod:


MLP: The Arc, Tory Henwood Hoen

The Mutual Friend, Carter Bays

KJ: Lessons in Chemistry, Bonnie Garmus

Olga Dies Dreaming, Xochitl Gonzalez

Jess: Girl in Ice, Erica Ferencik

Also mentioned: The Sober Diaries, Clare Pooley

KJ here—and I am now a certified Author Accelerator book coach! If you’ve been listening for a while, you know I spent five years as an editor with The New York Times—but I still had a lot to learn about helping writers through the process of taking a book from idea to manuscript, and I loved learning it with the Author Accelerator team. What they taught me has changed my approach to editing completely. I didn’t just learn how to help a writer move from one stage of the process to the next—I learned how to help them appreciate how far they’ve come and feel excited about what’s coming next, see their strengths and how they can build on them and trust me to guide them into the hard work that lies ahead. If you’d like to learn more about coaching fiction or non-fiction, you need to visit to learn more.