Novel

Episode 82 — The Help

Ali discusses Kathryn Stockett’s debut bestselling novel, The Help, recapping key plot points and the heartbreakingly honest portrayal of racism during the 1960s while praising the realistic characters and how much they truly make you feel.

The Help
Novel

Episode 46 — A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Ali discusses Betty Smith’s bestselling novel, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. She shares all the ways she admires and relates to the heroine, Francie Nolan, and she talks about the significance of the tree’s metaphor throughout the novel.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
Novel

Episode 41 — To Kill a Mockingbird

Ali discusses Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. She reads memorable passages from this noteworthy work of fiction, praising the main characters’ values while highlighting the important themes of empathy, courage, morality and justice.

To Kill a Mockingbird
Movie, Novel

Episode 37 — The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

Ali discusses the movie adaptation of the first book in Ann Brashares’ bestselling young adult novel series, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. She tracks the story arcs of each of the four main characters while touching on the timeless themes of self-love, growth, family, grief and, above all else, the true bond of everlasting friendship.

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
Novel

Episode 32 — The Catcher in the Rye

Ali discusses J. D. Salinger’s popular novel, The Catcher in the Rye. She analyzes the main character, Holden Caulfield, focusing on his unique way of speaking, his hypocritical hatred of all things phony and his cynical feelings toward growing up. She also talks about important symbolism throughout the novel and the key theme of preserving innocence.

The Catcher in the Rye