Did you grow up with Judy Blume?
My mom says I “found my voice” reading Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing to my sister in the bathtub when I was a little kid. Well, I grabbed that tattered copy and carried it with me down to Key West, Florida where I had the extreme privilege of sitting down with the one and only Judy Blume (@JudyBlume).
Join us as Judy shares her three most formative books, how they inspired her, and we pull out some themes relevant to today.
Judy and I met on a hot and sweaty day in her Books & Books bookstore … where she works! I’m not joking. Step off your cruise ship and Judy Blume will ring up a copy of Fifty Shades of Grey if you like. We grabbed a little circle table, set it up in front of the bestseller wall you see behind us, and then talked about her most formative books.
(As a special bonus, near the end of the chat we get up out of our seats and Judy gives us a walking tour of her store!)
In this chapter, Judy and I discuss censorship, why sexy scenes should be kept in books, how to get kids to love reading, the role of bookstores in a community, and a surprise reveal on which book Judy says is the only one she has left to write...
What You'll Learn:
What is one of the greatest gifts parents can give their children?
How can a writer create a world that readers can easily fall into with relatable characters?
How does Judy free her mind in order to come up with incredibly imaginative stories?
What book could Judy not put down in her 20s?
Why does Judy prefer not to reread books?
How do you recommend the right books to encourage children to love reading?
Why aren't there sex scenes in books anymore?
What do Judy and Neil disagree on?
What's the first thing Judy does once her books are published?
What's the only book Judy has left to write?
What book did Judy steal... and why?
What was Judy's household policy on reading censorship?
Ideas Worth TWEETING:
"It’s while you’re doing something else – walking, riding a bike … that your mind is free to roam and that’s when I’ve always been able to solve the problems of writing the story." @JudyBlume #3bookspodcast
CONNECT With Judy:
word of the chapter:
Judy’s first book [8:33]
Judy’s second book [14:11]
Judy’s third book [15:39]
Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume
Are You There God, It's Me Margaret? by Judy Blume
Blubber by Judy Blume
Betsy and Tacy Go Over the Big Hill by Maud Hart Lovelace
The Babysitters Club by Ann M. Martin
Them by Joyce Carol Oates
The Adventures of Augie March by Saul Bellow
What to Do About the Solomons by Bethany Ball
50 Shades of Grey by E L James
Staff Picks from Books & Books in Key West
The Plot Against America by Philip Roth
This Boy's Life by Tobias Wolff
Little Failure by Gary Shteyngart
Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld
American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld
The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown
The Iron Man by Ted Hughes
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems
Elephant & Piggy books by Mo Willems
The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck by Mark Manson
Educated by Tara Westover
Asymmetry by Lisa Halliday
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
Edgar and Lucy by Victor Lodato
The Nix by Nathan Hill
Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones