April 7, 2017

An Evening with Modern Mrs Darcy: from the Lou to the Lou

Imagine a Friday night like this: a charming local book store, readers from near and far, and one very influential bibliotherapist. Sound like a dream? Tonight, this was my reality. And what a wonderful reality to be truly present in. 

Anne Bogel of the Modern Mrs Darcy hails from Louisville, Kentucky, but tonight you could find her right here in my hometown, St. Louis, Missouri, at the previously mentioned charming bookstore, the Novel Neighbor. Over the past several months I have gotten to know Anne via her podcast, What Should I Read Next?, and as you may have read in "My Journey", I credit her with playing a big role in reviving my reading life. Anne opens each and every one of her podcasts by reminding listeners that she doesn't "get bossy", and I think this perfectly sums up Anne's open and welcoming personality with a total lack of judgment. No matter what your reading tastes or where you are on your reading journey, Anne welcomes you with open arms. All of this I know from connecting with Anne virtually, but tonight we got the chance to make a personal connection.

The evening began with a casual meet and greet featuring bookshelves stocked with Anne's top picks. In my brief conversation with Anne, she found a way to get to know me as a reader and let me tell you, her literary matchmaking abilities are the REAL deal. I couldn't talk about my reading life without mentioning that I am a total francophile. So much of what I read transports me to France. Yet there are other common threads I have discovered amongst my favorite books. I love a strong female character who isn't afraid to buck convention and pursue her passions. I gravitate towards tales where a modern character goes on a journey rooted in the past. I want to be charmed, to feel cozy. Anne got that. We took a peek at her picks together, and I instantly noticed A Homemade Life  by Molly Wizenberg on the shelf. This was a previous pick on the podcast, a foodie memoir with a Paris connection. (Check and check.) I even got a bonus pick! Anne recommended The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes and I can't wait to dive in! 

(Short me next to tall Anne - she credited her booties.)

The meet and greet was followed by a live recording of What Should I Read Next? Anne and Holland (the owner of the Novel Neighbor) got comfortable on a chic plaid loveseat styled with pillows printed with bookish phrases including "I like big books and I cannot lie." From there, we dove into a night filled with books, books and more books. I was armed with my iPhone, Goodreads app open and at the ready for any recommendations that peaked my interest. I knew I was in heaven when Anne's third and final guest mentioned My Life in France by Julia Child and Alex Prud'homme as one of her favorites. This is a tale of a not so young Julia going for it, doing something for her, pursuing her deepest passions. To bring the night full circle and further confirm my recent purchase, A Homemade Life was once again recommended. Anne literally has this whole bibliotherapy thing "in the bag" (just like my newest read!).  

Whether your are already an avid reader or you desperately want to fall in love with reading again, I cannot recommend Modern Mrs Darcy and What Should I Read Next? more highly. Anne, it was great to meet you, and as you always say (and I would like to express to my blog readers as well), "happy reading everyone!" 

Warm wishes and happy reading from me to you,


  1. Lucky you! I love listening to WSIRN and following Anne on Instagram and through her blog. Thanks for posting about your experience.

    1. Melissa, I am so happy you enjoyed reading! The best thing about meeting Anne was knowing that the people you admire so much for their blogs and podcasts are truly great people in person. It was a wonderful experience. :)


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