Home Feed
Home
Search
Search
Add Review, Blurb, Quote
Add
Activity
Activity
Profile
Profile
ahoffkosik

ahoffkosik

Joined June 2018

Book Lover | Freelance Writer | Host of the (bookish) SSR Podcast — www.ssrpodcast.com
feed icon
read icon
to read icon
read icon
blurb
ahoffkosik
Forever... | Judy Blume
post image

Judy Blume was established as the ~QUEEN~ of my podcast many episodes ago, but we‘re coming back to another of her titles on today‘s new episode. This one has *quite* the reputation, too. The 1975 YA novel Forever is regarded by many — for better or worse — as “the Judy Blume sex book.” On Episode 75, I explore that further with the help of Emily Edwards, host of the F*ckbois of Literature podcast. 🔥 Link to listen in bio!

blurb
ahoffkosik
post image

On my pod, the beginning of December means more than holiday music on the radio... it means that New Reads November is over and we‘re back to our usual literary throwbacks! And what better way to get back into the routine than with Episode 74, a conversation about Louis Sachar‘s There‘s a Boy in the Girls‘ Bathroom, which shines a spotlight on mental health and counseling. Actress, YouTuber, and author Lisa Schwartz guests! Link to listen in bio.

blurb
ahoffkosik
Opposite of Always | Justin A Reynolds
post image

I can hardly believe it, but today‘s episode of my pod is the last of New Reads November 2019 + I can‘t think of a better way to wrap up than with a conversation about Opposite of Always (which was requested by many listeners!). Jeopardy champ Emma Boettcher joins me for a discussion about the book‘s unique time travel structure, unrequited love + the intensity of teen love stories. We also dive into some heavier questions! Link to listen in bio.

blurb
ahoffkosik
post image

Fun fact: Nevermoor was (by far!) the most requested title for New Reads November on my podcast. You‘ll find out why on the newest episode! Alex Fahey brings the cool middle school teacher‘s perspective to our convo about Harry Potter comparisons, world building, strong female protagonists, isolation, immigration,and the appeal of power versus the appeal of community. 🎧 Link to listen in bio!

13 likes1 stack add
blurb
ahoffkosik
post image

I‘ve been fangirling over the cover + premise of this book from afar for quite a while now, so I was pretttttty excited to have the chance to read it for the second week of New Reads November on my podcast! The Princess and the Fangirl takes a fresh look at the classic “Prince and the Pauper” storyline against the cool backdrop of a fan convention. I had so much fun talking to my guest Rachel Strolle all about it! Link to listen in bio!

blurb
ahoffkosik
Frankly in Love | David Yoon
post image

No distance can keep me from sharing the kickoff to our second-ever ~NEW READS NOVEMBER~ special series on my podcast, and you better believe I‘m here celebrating Episode 70 all the way in Thailand! 🎉 This brief pause in our usual coverage of literary throwbacks begins with a deep dive into David Yoon‘s Frankly in Love, pubbed in September of 2019 and (spoiler alert!) deeply loved by me shortly after that. ❤️ Link to listen in bio!

blurb
ahoffkosik
Gingerbread | Rachel Cohn
post image

Today‘s new ep of my podcast is the last one before we kick off a fun little series called New Reads November... and YA author Kristina Forest is helping me send our usual literary throwbacks out (temporarily, at least!) with a bang. Tune in to hear Kristina and I chat about Rachel Cohn‘s Gingerbread, a 2002 novel about Cyd Charisse, a teen narrator with one of the most distinct voices I‘ve ever read. ✨ Link to listen in bio!

blurb
ahoffkosik
post image

It‘s another title by Queen Judy Blume for Episode 68 of my podcast, and I couldn‘t be happier to have Caroline Moss (of Hey Ladies! fame) to discuss it with me. Tune in to today‘s ep to hear us chat about 1987‘s Just as Long as We‘re Together and all things friends, family, trios, body image, and Richard Gere posters. 👯‍♀️ Link to listen in bio!

blurb
ahoffkosik
Dragonsong | Anne McCaffrey
post image

Long before there was Game of Thrones, there was Anne McCaffrey‘s Dragonriders of Pern and Harper Hall series. When it was published in the seventies, the first book in the latter series — Dragonsong — was a shining example of what happens when girls and women come to the forefront of sci-fi and fantasy! On Episode 67 of my podcast, kidlit author Tui Sutherland joins me to share her infectious enthusiasm for Dragonsong. 🎼 Link to listen in bio!

blurb
ahoffkosik
post image

Prepare to catch some feels on Episode 66 of my podcast, everyone, because we‘re getting a liiiiiittle emotional with the baby-sitters. Today‘s ep is all about the BSC‘s 26th installment, Claudia and the Sad Goodbye. In it, Ann M. Martin tells the heartbreaking story of Claudia losing her beloved grandmother, revealing some seriously relatable truisms about death along the way. Tune in to hear us share our own stories! ❤️ Link to listen in bio.

blurb
ahoffkosik
post image

Happy October! We‘re kicking off the month on my podcast with something a liiiiiiittle spooky — a conversation about 1981‘s Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, the first book in a series of the same name. It‘s no secret that I‘m not the biggest fan of scary things, so prepping for this episode was my first experience with the Scary Stories! My guest is graphic novelist — and fellow scare skeptic — Gale Galligan. 👻💀🎃 Link to listen in bio!

blurb
ahoffkosik
Ozma of Oz | L. Frank Baum
post image

There‘s a lot more to the land of Oz than the yellow brick road and the Emerald City! This was largely new to me as I prepared for this week‘s episode of my podcast, but I‘m SO glad my guest — bookstagram‘s Heather Boaz — clued me in, because this one was a lot of fun! Ozma of Oz is the third book in L. Frank Baum‘s beloved Oz series and it‘s chock full of strong female protagonists and progressive ideas. Link to listen in bio!

blurb
ahoffkosik
Homecoming | Cynthia Voigt
post image

If I had to DTR with the book we‘re talking about on this week‘s episode of my podcast, our status would definitely be “it‘s complicated.” Tune in to hear me and Kelly Jensen (of Book Riot!) discuss Cynthia Voigt‘s Homecoming, the first book in the Tillerman Cycle. We talk about birth order, mental health, religion, circus performers, cold hot dogs, and so much more. Link to listen in bio!

blurb
ahoffkosik
post image

Like many kids, I read To Kill a Mockingbird as part of an assignment. At that time, it topped the list of my fave required reading. Coming back to this one for my podcast as an adult was especially interesting. I still loved the writing + the glimpse of childhood we get through Scout‘s eyes (+ Scout!). But I also became aware that its depiction of race is way more complicated than I understood as a teen. Learn more on my latest ep! Link in bio.

22 likes2 stack adds
blurb
ahoffkosik
Hatchet | Gary Paulsen
post image

On Episode 61 of my podcast, author Sara Faring and I get a little outdoorsy with a conversation about Hatchet, the 1988 Newbery Honor recipient written by our friend Gary (Paulsen, of course, but as you‘ll hear on the episode, we seem to think it‘s a first-name basis situation). We chat beautiful writing, early reading experiences, family drama, survival skills, the author‘s presentation of trauma, and more. Link to listen in bio!

blurb
ahoffkosik
post image

I‘m just gonna leave this righttttt heeeeeereeeeee — I‘m finally tackling Harry Potter on my podcast! ✨⚡️⭐️ Link to listen in my bio!

blurb
ahoffkosik
Ender's Game | Orson Scott Card
post image

Combine a very hardcore sci fi premise, a highly problematic author, and a cover that I (for some reason) found very intimidating and you‘ve got yourself the award-winning Ender‘s Game. On Episode 59 of my pod, debut author Katy Rose Pool joins to discuss how this book has impacted her own writing + how challenging it is to reconcile that with Orson Scott Card‘s icky politics. We also discuss the book‘s good vs. evil themes. Link to listen in bio!

blurb
ahoffkosik
Go Ask Alice | Anonymous
post image

When I was in elementary school, I plucked this little book from the depths of a forgotten shelf in the back of my library. Seeing that the author was “Anonymous,” I promptly felt very confused, dropped the book, and ran away. If you know the history of Go Ask Alice, though, you know there‘s a plot twist. It‘s actually NOT the real diary of an anonymous teen drug addict. We discuss further on the latest ep of my podcast. 🎧 Link to listen in bio!

blurb
ahoffkosik
Running Out of Time | Margaret Peterson Haddix
post image

When I found out that the guest on this week‘s episode of my podcast was as into both the book at hand AND Colonial Williamsburg as I was growing up, I knew it was going to be a great ep... and it is! We‘re chatting all about Margaret Peterson Haddix‘s 1995 adventure novel Running Out of Time. I know I say this a lot, but this book was really my favorite! Link to listen in bio. 🎧

blurb
ahoffkosik
The Outsiders | SE Hinton
post image

I missed the boat on reading S.E Hinton‘s The Outsiders as a high schooler, but after Episode 56 of my podcast, I‘m now officially caught up! We talk about the pop culture resonance of “Stay gold, Ponyboy,” Hinton‘s fascinating portrayal of masculinity, her journey from (literal) teen to publishing sensation, and the story‘s still relevant representation of marginalized teens. Link to listen in bio!

blurb
ahoffkosik
The Perks of Being a Wallflower | Bestsellers - Books USA Press
post image

The Perks of Being a Wallflower has been an emotional roller coaster of a reading experience for teens + grown-ups alike for two decades. This week, it comes to my pod! My longtime book friend and fellow freelancer Caitlin Flynn joins me for Episode 55 to discuss the universal appeal of Perks, to consider how many big subjects are too many for one book, to reminisce about AIM, and to unpack Chbosky‘s presentation of trauma. Link to listen in bio!

blurb
ahoffkosik
post image

My book pod — The SSR Podcast — is back for season TWO and I‘m sorry to say that we‘re kicking things off by discovering a whole lot of disturbing things about the first book in the beloved Sweet Valley High series, Double Love. I was lucky enough to welcome Becca and Grace from the wonderful Bad on Paper podcast to help me break down every last problematic detail. This is a really fun one. Link to listen in bio! 🎧

blurb
ahoffkosik
Walk Two Moons | Sharon Creech

This may not be the cover you remember, but let me just tell you... the beautiful writing and memorable characters in Walk Two Moons will bring you right back to your childhood, when it was the cool book in the library that all the bookworm kids wanted to get their hands on (in my school, at least!). In Episode 52 of my podcast, we discuss this Newbery Medal winner and the ways in which it tackles big issues! Link to listen in bio! 🎧

annahenke Love this book! 6mo
ahoffkosik @annahenke it‘s so special! 6mo
6 likes1 stack add2 comments
blurb
ahoffkosik
Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief | Wendelin Van Draanen
post image

I‘ve already disillusioned many of you with the Nancys + Harriets of the world on my podcast (sorry!), but — spoiler alert — modern mystery gal Sammy Keyes remains in my high esteem after the SSR treatment. She feels real to me (even as a 28-year-old) and has so much to teach about interpersonal relationships and the danger of snap judgments. Tune in to the latest episode for lots of Sammy talk + pop culture references. Link to listen in bio!

blurb
ahoffkosik
Bridge to Terabithia | Katherine Paterson
post image

It‘s Episode FIFTY of my nostalgic book podcast, and I can‘t think of a better way to mark the moment than to revisit a true classic. Katherine Paterson‘s 1978 Newbery Medal-winning Bridge to Terabithia *definitely* fits the bill. With the help of viral essayist and author Meg Elison, I take an emotional trip down memory lane on this ep. Get your tissues ready, because THAT ENDING! 💔 Link to listen in bio!

blurb
ahoffkosik
Weetzie Bat | Francesca Lia Block
post image

When Francesca Lia Block‘s Weetzie Bat was published in 1989, it was more than beautifully written... it was progressive in its content! It explores identity, sexuality, addiction, and AIDS, and is a celebration of transcendent love, acceptance, and inclusivity. I welcomed author/illustrator Maia Kobabe to my podcast to discuss this gem of a book further! We chat about queer themes, cancel culture, and found family. Link to listen in bio!

blurb
ahoffkosik
The Brothers Lionheart | Astrid Lindgren
post image

I had never heard of the book we discuss on this week‘s episode of the pod — The Brothers Lionheart — until my guest (author/illustrator Amy Ignatow) shared how much she‘d loved it growing up. The experience of reading it was... fascinating! dark! emotional! bizarre! oddly beautiful! It left me with so many feelings! We discuss the plot in great detail for those who are also new to this one. Link to listen in bio!

tpixie She wrote!! 6mo
11 likes1 comment
blurb
ahoffkosik
Charlotte's Web | E. B. White
post image

The celebration of special ladies rolls on this week as I welcome my *own* mom as a guest on my podcast for our first-ever Mother‘s Day episode! Mom (AKA Deb) joins to chat about one of the books we loved reading together most when I was growing up, E.B. White‘s Charlotte‘s Web. In the ep, we cover everything from the philosophical to the silly. This one is close to my heart and I‘m excited for you to tune in. Link to listen in bio! 🐽

blurb
ahoffkosik
Anastasia Krupnik | Lois Lowry
post image

Fantasy books are *obviously * totally magical, but what about stories of relatable kids dealing with relatable things? That‘s what we‘ve got with Lois Lowry‘s 1979 Anastasia Krupnik... but the title character is dealing with those relatable things in hilarious, cheeky, sometimes dramatic style. Coming back to Anastasia‘s story for my podcast brought me right back to childhood! Writer Kayleen Schaefer joins me to discuss. Link to listen in bio! 🎧

blurb
ahoffkosik
post image

When I read Island of the Blue Dolphins as a kid, I felt a lot of pressure (weirdly) to think it was the BEST 👏 BOOK 👏 EVER 👏. I also thought it was pure fiction and that it was set on an island very far, far away. On this week‘s episode of my podcast, we disprove ALL of that misinformation. We also talk about the badassery of main character Karana, discuss kid lit emotional rabbit holes, fangirl over dogs, and more. Link to listen in bio! 🎧

blurb
ahoffkosik
post image

It‘s Episode 44 of my podcast, and I‘m reading — for the first time ever! — Tamora Pierce‘s Song of the Lioness Quartet. Claire Fallon from HuffPost and the Here to Make Friends podcast joins me to discuss the first book in the series, Alanna: The First Adventure, which raises questions of identity, gender, conformity, and whether or not violet eyes occur in nature... and we talk about it ALL, plus my love for Mulan. Link in bio to listen! 🎧

BethM Such a great series. 8mo
ahoffkosik @BethM i‘m so glad i finally discovered it! 8mo
MrBook Great cover! 6mo
8 likes3 comments
blurb
ahoffkosik
The Egypt Game | Zilpha Keatley Snyder
post image

When I read The Egypt Game as a kid, I was quickly taken with its creativity and imagination. A few smart, curious girls building their own land of Ancient Egypt in the backyard of a local curio shop? I was SO in. You‘ll have to listen to Episode 43 of my podcast to find out if I was just as taken with this one on the reread. My guest is Andrea Bartz, debut author of The Lost Night! Link in my bio to listen! 🎧

blurb
ahoffkosik
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry | Mildred D. Taylor
post image

Feeling so lucky to have had the chance to discuss Mildred D. Taylor‘s Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry on my podcast with Renée from Book Girl Magic! In this episode, we talk about coming of age stories, annoying friends, race relations, the opportunity gap, institutional racism, The Hate U Give, and more. Link in my bio to listen! ?

blurb
ahoffkosik
The Golden Compass | Philip Pullman
post image

When I read Phillip Pullman‘s The Golden Compass as an elementary schooler, I loved the main character Lyra‘s daemon Pan, who seemed to be a cute little animal sidekick who could give her advice. Welp, I‘ve discovered that he‘s not just a sidekick... he‘s the physical manifestation of her SOUL. Generally speaking, my experience rereading this book as an adult for my podcast revealed how complicated this world is! Link in my bio to listen!

blurb
ahoffkosik
Little Women | Louisa May Alcott
post image

On Episode 40 of my podcast, we dive into a tried and true classic — Louisa May Alcott‘s Little Women! Comedy writer and satirist Caitlin Kunkel (New Erotica for Feminists) guests for a discussion about everything from Christian Bale to Greta Gerwig and from hard work to sibling love. We also debate whether Little Women is feminist or anti-feminist and find out if it‘s possible to ruin a classic. Click the link in my bio to listen!

tpixie Great cover!! 6mo
9 likes1 comment
blurb
ahoffkosik
Speak | Laurie Halse Anderson
post image

On Episode 39 of my podcast, Morgan AKA NYC Book Girl joins me to talk about Laurie Halse Anderson‘s groundbreaking 1999 novel Speak, which explores the troubling issues of sexual assault + trauma through the story of 14-year-old Melinda. We talk about high school gossip, the value of the diary-style novel, and Speak as an entry point to an understanding of rape for young readers + as a lifeline to survivors. click the link in my bio to listen. 🎧

blurb
ahoffkosik
The Face on the Milk Carton | Caroline B. Cooney
post image

Bookstagrammer Mollie Reads joins me on my podcast this week to discuss the book that haunted many a ‘90s kid‘s dreams — The Face on the Milk Carton. In this episode, we gossip about pushy boyfriend Reeve, compare notes on how the author portrays trauma on the page, and ponder the essential question... what if your parents were ACTUALLY kidnappers? click the link in my bio to listen! 🎧

blurb
ahoffkosik
The Boxcar Children | Gertrude C. Warner
post image

Remember Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny? You probably know them better as (pause for effect) The Boxcar Children! In Episode 37 of my podcast, writer and educator Abby Wolfe and I get reacquainted with these self-reliant orphans. Tune in to listen to us talk about lessons learned, heteronormativity, capitalism, and so many pine needles. click the link in my bio to listen! 🎧

MrBook I remember them! 6mo
8 likes1 stack add1 comment
blurb
ahoffkosik
post image

Welcomed dream guest journalist, author, and Bachelor podcaster Emma Gray for Episode 36 of my podcast in which — finally! — we discuss Are You There God? It‘s Me, Margaret. Tune in to hear us swap middle school stories and discuss mean girls, gossip, awkward puberty moments, and how we experienced religion as kids versus how we experience it as adults. click the link in my bio to listen! 🎧

blurb
ahoffkosik
post image

Before the ‘90s slasher flick I Know What You Did Last Summer, there was a 1973 YA thriller of the same name. There were **plenty** of book-to-movie changes, but the four core characters are the same, and we discuss each one in great detail on the new episode of my podcast! We also talk about hotness in YA (it‘s a thing!), discuss the roots of MeToo in chauvinistic literary characters, and LOL at ‘70s relics. click the link in my bio to listen! 🎧

blurb
ahoffkosik
Anne of Green Gables | L. M. Montgomery
post image

Finally joined the club after 28 years and read Anne of Green Gables for Episode 33 of my podcast! Tune in to find out what took me so long and to hear me chat all things Anne Shirley. What do we think of Anne as literary heroine? How do we interpret her work vs. family decision? Why do little girls love this story so much? Is there any chance that Anne might be a liiiittle annoying? click the link in my bio to listen! 🌸🎧

blurb
ahoffkosik
Holes | Louis Sachar
post image

One of my favorite fellow podcast hosts joins my book podcast SSR to wrap up Manuary with a discussion of Holes! We get reacquainted with the unlucky Stanley Yelnats, as well as Camp Green Lake and its darkly funny cast of characters. We also talk about the book‘s darker themes — race, class, and the prison industrial complex (yep!) — and hot take culture. Click the link in my bio to listen! 🌵🎧

blurb
ahoffkosik
post image

Like a giant piece of fruit, Manuary rolls on on my podcast! Tune in to Episode 31 for a conversation about Roald Dahl‘s classic James and the Giant Peach. We discuss how violent and scary is *too* violent and scary for kids, how we talk to young readers about grief and loneliness, and also giant bugs. Click the link in my bio to listen! 🎧🍑

blurb
ahoffkosik
post image

My friends over at He Read She Read launched their bookish pod shortly after I launched mine, and for week two of Manuary, I welcome half of their awesome team — Curtis! In chatting about 1961 classic The Phantom Tollbooth, we journey with the apathetic Milo in a giant toy car through the zany lands of Wisdom. Curtis and I also geek out over wordplay and speculate about what the kids are doing these days. click the link in my bio to listen! 🎧

blurb
ahoffkosik
post image

On the first episode of MANUARY on my podcast, I welcome Jack and Tanner from the Baby-Sitters Club Club (so, yeah, they‘re basically BSC aficionados) to talk about Super Special No. 4: Baby-Sitters Island Adventure. This book is utterly amazing and ridiculous and our LOL-worthy conversation reflects it. Jack and Tanner also argue worst babysitter and best book in the series. Click the link in my bio to listen! 🎧

blurb
ahoffkosik
post image

It‘s time to let the games begin! On Episode 27 of my podcast (the last official ep of 2018!), Lauren Boone and I talk all things The Westing Game, from writing style to audiobooks to the way stereotypes were handled by authors in the seventies. We also try **very** hard to accurately track the many (brilliant!) mystery plots and clues in this novel, which is no easy feat. Click the link in my bio to listen! 🎧

Kaylamburson I just downloaded the audiobook from the library! 11mo
ahoffkosik @Kaylamburson you‘re gonna love it! 11mo
6 likes2 comments
blurb
ahoffkosik
Stargirl | Jerry Spinelli
post image

Stargirl was one of my faves growing up, and in Episode 26 of my podcast, journalist Britta Lokting joins me to help me figure out if I can still love it and also find it problematic at the same time. We also discuss high school stereotypes, conformity, popularity, Taylor Swift, Hillary Clinton, the MeToo movement, and my hilarious history as part of my high school‘s morning news show. click the link in my bio to listen! 🎧

blurb
ahoffkosik
The Dark Is Rising | Susan Cooper
post image

It‘s always such a treat when a guest on my podcast lets me get to know them that much better by introducing me to a book that was special to them when they were growing up, and — despite the fact that The Dark Is Rising is a Newbery Honor winner + should have been on my radar — that‘s what happens in our latest episode! The brilliant Erica Berger joins SSR to discuss her memories of this HP-reminiscent book. click the link in my bio to listen! 🎧

4 likes1 stack add
blurb
ahoffkosik
The Hate U Give | Angie Thomas
post image

What would New Reads November on my podcast be without The Hate U Give? Well, it would have been incomplete... so I went ahead and made this episode featuring Traci from The Stacks podcast our finale for the month! There‘s so much to be said about this book and the way it illuminates an all-too-frequent tragedy for young readers, and Traci and I dive in on Episode 24. click the link in my bio to listen! 🎧

blurb
ahoffkosik
Leah on the Offbeat | Becky Albertalli
post image

Want to read — or hear us talk — about a cool, confident, creative, body posi high schooler... who also happens to have a few big secrets? It could only have happened in 2018, and it DID in Becky Albertalli‘s Leah on the Offbeat. In this episode of my podcast (part 3 of New Reads November!) we talk racism, labels, and the LGBTQ+ spectrum — plus all the times we fought with our moms in dressing rooms. click the link in my bio to listen!