In this very special edition of Big Little Books, Yuli sits down with her mother, Riki, to discuss a lifetime of reading, favorite genres and authors, and why she thinks books are important for everyone. 

From living in Japan, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Yellowknife, and beyond, Riki's love of reading has always been a source of comfort, joy, and education. Sit back and relax while she takes you on the story of her 70+ years, quirks and all. 

Find us on Instagram @biglittlebookspod or

Email us with any feedback, comments, or just to say hello. 

Happy Reading!



Welcome back dear listeners to BLB, a monthly conversational podcast about two bibliophiles who like to have lively discussions about books.  

In this month’s Big Little Books Book Club episode, we are diving deep into the world of Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao, initially released on September 21, 2021 by Penguin Teen. It is a sci-fi/ fantasy reimaging of China’s only female emperor, Wu Zetian, featuring giant mechas. As per usual with Book Club episodes, SPOILERS AHEAD. To start, we immediately dive into the story that blends ancient Chinese history and futuristic science fiction. Our discussion is about the story itself and the world building, but it also delves deeper into topics of gender, feminism, and the fact that this book is marketed as YA, something that is becoming more and more difficult to define. We had a lot of fun buddy reading this book via, and hope you enjoy this discussion!

Want to know what BLB’s Book Club pick for February is? Tune in to the end of this episode (ideally after… you know, listening to entire episode first) to find out! If you think you might like to add some book club questions to the discussion, or join us in reading February’s pick, send us an email at or DM us on Instagram @biglittlebookspod. We would love to hear from you!


CW – You might want to check out the author’s content warning on their website. Even though this book is marketed as YA, it includes scenes of violence, sexual assault, torture, etc.

Pronunciation – Prior to recording this episode, we practiced pronouncing the names of the characters. That said, our pronunciation is still rough at times! If you want to hear the proper pronounciation directly from Zhao, check out their YouTube video called Iron Widow – Meet the Characters. ( It is short and sweet; a great book tease!

Welcome back to Big Little Books, and cheers to the New Year! Hot of the press, it’s our last BLB episode of 2021. This past year wasn’t the greatest, looking a lot like 2020, but it was a great year for books.

Published one year ago today, Firekeeper’s Daughter is a memorable YA thriller about an indigenous teen seeking to root out corruption in her community. This debut novel from author Angeline Boulley was selected for November book club, and we’ve included a few snippets from last month’s Book Bangers discussion. This is a powerful book most of us breezed through, and it gave us lots to talk about. So much so that we decided to centre an entire BLB episode around it.

We hope you enjoy the occasional dog barking and crackling outdoor fire sounds throughout this episode. Evidently, there’s still plenty for us to learn about recording in the year ahead! Special thanks to Book Bangers for letting us record our book club discussion with scarce warning.

BLB has an exciting lineup for 2022! With YA still on our minds, our next episode features Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao, something you’ll most definitely want to tune in for. We are especially excited to share something we’ve been working on for the pod, set to be released this Friday on Instagram @biglittlebookspod! Want to know what’s coming ASAP? Somewhere around the end of this episode, we spill the beans.

Happy reading!

Email us:

Welcome back to Big little books podcast! Today’s episode is a mini crash course on Dune by Frank Herbert, perfectly timed with the release of the new Dune movie (out today! October 22). This crash course isn’t here to dismantle theories or rewrite the way of things, we are simply adding our own analysis to the world of spice. Hopefully you’ll laugh a bit! If you haven’t already read the book, we hope this encourages you to pick it up and maybe even continue with the series. We are here to have a good time talking about all things Dune.

The episode starts off with how we got here, chatting about Herbert himself and the inspiration for Dune, destined to become the world’s best-selling science fiction novel. Next, we do our best to dive into the plot and chat about the characters. Effort was made to keep it friendly for first time readers, but be warned, SPOILERS AHEAD (limited to the first book). Then we jump into discussion time, followed by our thoughts on previous adaptations and the new Dune movie. Didn’t have time to read the book before going to see the movie? Tune in for this mini-Dune crash course, whereby we hope you will learn to walk without rhythm.

Find us on Instagram @biglittlebookspod or email us at with any questions or stuff you think we should talk about in upcoming episodes. Thank you for tuning in!




00:02:10 – How We Got Here: Herbert and how Dune came to be.


00:08:21 – 60 second recap (an attempt is made)


00:10:28 – The plot thickens


 00:43:35 – Intermission


 00:43:47 – Discussion Time


 00:59:28 – Adaptations and Villeneuve’s Dune!

Welcome back listeners to this mini episode of BLB that will help ease us all back into some regular programming. For those keeping a sharp eye out, our last episode was released way back in March of this year, Episode 20: Fiction & Flora. There’s been a lot of change in the air, but we are excited to be back and bringing you some new bookish content!

This summer we recommended library books to each other without saying too much as to what it was about. In today’s mini episode, we discuss both books (as per usual, spoilers ahead), while also demonstrating that sometimes the books you crave in the moment will just fall into your lap. First, we chat about Heartstopper: Volume One by Alice Oseman, an ongoing graphic novel series about identity, friendship, and a whole lot of love. Next, we chat about Big Friendship: How We Keep Each Other Close by Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman, which we both listened to on audiobook. Neither of us knew what to expect but are glad we gave this memoir-style book a try, as it dives deep into big friendships in a way we haven’t properly considered before.

Be sure to tune in until the end of this mini episode to hear what Episode 22 will be about! Want a hint? It involves worms.

Come find us on Instagram @biglittlebookspod or email us at with any questions or stuff you think we should talk about in our upcoming episodes. Big thank you, as always, for tuning in!




00:02:45 – Heartstopper: Volume 1 by Alice Oseman


00:18:07 – Big Friendship: How We Keep Each Other Close by Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman


 00:36:52 – BLB Big News for Episode 22!

Spring has sprung, dear listeners!

In this episode, Yuli & Sam fully judge books by their covers - their floral covers that is. We delve into the YA books that have recently left us feeling both entertained and educated, as well as discuss our current reads and books to look forward to in the near future. 

After tuning in, let us know which of your favourite books with floral covers we neglected to mention in this episode. Find us on Instagram @biglittlebookspod or email us at


Thank you, as always, for listening!



Coming soon!

“The book is better.”


Just like us over here at BLB, if you are a bibliophile, odds are you have said this before. Sometimes this statement is well-warranted, but often there is a power to TV adaptations through which the original material translates far better than it would to a movie. Book adaptations such as Game of Thrones, Handmaid’s Tale, and more recently The Queen’s Gambit, have all come to prominence achieving worldwide recognition. In episode 19 of BLB, we chat about book adaptations that become binge worthy television. Can they act as strong ambassadors for books in general? What about the fear of doing the material justice? Many fans are cautious about books being adapted for the small screen, but sometimes they get it right. BLB chats about the times it really worked, and the times it really worked until it didn’t. Did you develop an obsession with chess during lockdown after binge watching The Queen’s Gambit miniseries? After intermission we go into a deep discussion of the book by Walter Tevis, and what we think of the show that followed. It probably goes without saying for this episode, but be cautious dear listeners, spoilers ahead!


After tuning in, let us know if there are adaptations we neglected to mention in this episode and if you agree or disagree with our analysis of The Queen’s Gambit. Find us on Instagram @biglittlebookspod or email us at Thank you, as always, for listening!




00:01:45 – A Discussion on Book Adaptations


00:22:37 – Times It Really Worked


00:22:45 – Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty, Big Little Lies – HBO (2017-2019)


00:26:17 – Cocaine Blues by Kerry Greenwood (Phyrne Fisher Mystery Series), Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries – ABC (2012-2015)


00:27:29 – Gossip Girl: It Had to Be You by Cecily von Ziegesar, Gossip Girl – The CW (2007-2012)


00:30:17 – Times It Worked, Until it Didn’t


00:30:23 – Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris (The Southern Vampire Mysteries), True Blood – HBO (2008-2014)


00:32:13 – Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison by Piper Kerman, Orange is the New Black – Netflix (2013-2019)


 00:34:18 – The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale – Hulu (2017-ongoing)


00:38:55 – A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin (A Song of Ice and Fire), Game of Thrones – HBO (2011-2019)


00:42:46 – The Ones We Have Heard Good Things About, but Have Yet to Watch


00:42:50 – American Gods by Neil Gaiman, American Gods – Starz (2017-ongoing)


00:44:42 – Codename Villanelle by Luke Jennings, Killing Eve – BBC America (2018-ongoing)


00:45:33 – The Magicians by Lev Grossman, The Magicians – SYFY (2015-2020)


00:45:53 – QUIZ: What Queen’s Gambit Character Are You?


00:48:30 – Intermission


00:48:30 – The Queen’s Gambit Discussion (1983 novel by Walter Tevis, 2020 Netflix miniseries)


01:13:30 – Literary TV Adaptations Coming Soon in 2021


01:13:51 – Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, Station Eleven


01:14:46 – Foundation by Isaac Asimov, Foundation


01:15:42 – Pachinko by Min Jin Lee, Pachinko


01:16:50 – Grisha trilogy and Six of Crows duology, both by Leigh Bardugo, Shadow and Bone


01:17:37 – The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings


01:19:32 – #CurrentlyReading

Welcome back to Big Little Books! Even though 2020 has been tumultuous, to say the least, one thing has remained constant throughout and that is books and all they have to offer. BLB takes a look at our end-of-year stats and the new reading habits that we’ve formed along the way. Since last year, Sam has developed an appreciation for audiobooks, and Yuli might be in the market for a Kindle or e-reader in the near future! We jump into what we have been reading while also entrenched in world events, specifically discussing some of our favourite reads of 2020. Next, we actively look at the year ahead and the changes we hope to see in our reading habits. Already thinking about new book releases coming out? So have we! Yuli and Sam chat about their most anticipated reads for the first half of 2021 and good things coming to the podcast in the year ahead.  

Thank you, dear listeners, for tuning into this episode. As always, we would love to hear from you! Find us on Instagram @biglittlebookspod or email us at

Coming at you in February is BLB Episode 19: From Books to TV, whereby we will be discussing The Queen’s Gambit by Walter Tevis and the Netflix adaptation everyone has been obsessed with since last fall.

Friendly reminder to shop at your local independent bookstores. Stay safe out there!




00:01:53 – 2020 Cold Hard Reading Stats


00:06:00 – Goodreads Reading Stats and Goals: Pros and Cons


00:10:40 – Analysis of our 2020 Reading, discussion of BLB episode 13, and how our goals went


00:22:50 – Favourite Reads of 2020


00:23:19 – In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado


00:24:43 – A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic #1) by V.E. Schwab


00:25:58 – Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer #1) by Laini Taylor


00:27:39 – A Sky Beyond the Storm (An Ember in the Ashes #4) by Sabaa Tahir


00:28:00 – H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald


 00:30:15 – The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison


00:31:03 – Saga, Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughan (Writer), Fiona Staples (Artist)


00:33:10 – Kindred by Octavia E. Butler


00:35:14 – A Fortune for Your Disaster by Hanif Abdurraqib


00:37:36 – Last Christmas in Paris: A Novel of World War 1 by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb (Our Book Bangers Book Club December 2020 Pick)


00:40:10 – Intermission


00:40:30 – Reading Goals for 2021


00:45:25 – The StoryGraph Shoutout (THEY HAVE .5 RATINGS!)


00:48:49 – Our Most Anticipated Books for the First Half of 2021


00:49:03 – No One Is Talking About This by Patricia Lockwood (February 16, 2021)


00:50:55 – The Prophets by Robert Jones Jr. (January 5, 2021)


00:52:36 – A River Called Time by Courttia Newland


00:53:44 – Remote Control by Nnedi Okorafor (January 19, 2021)


00:54:00 – A Court of Silver Flames (A Court of Thorns and Roses #4) by Sarah J. Maas (February 16, 2021)


00:54:45 – Hot Stew by Fiona Mozley (June 1, 2021)


00:55:55 – Home Is Not a Country by Safia Elhillo (March 2, 2021)


00:57:11 – Where is BLB headed in 2021?


00:58:40 – Besides Books

Welcome back to Big Little Books! This episode is severely delayed (it was recorded in September…) but life, and 2020 in general, has thrown us some curveballs. Our apologies for the wait in getting this episode out. It is a special one, and we are happy to finally be getting it to you all.

There has been a lot going on in the world which has changed the school year in many ways, Way back in September, when back to school was in the air, it got us here at BLB thinking about our heightened connection with children’s books. What is behind it? Does our fondness for specific children’s books come from the familiarity forged through re-reading childhood favourites over and over again? So, for this episode of BLB, we chat about what books mean to us as kids. We recall the sweet rush of a Scholastic book fair, and quiz ourselves on well-known children’s authors. We talk about the books that made us readers and the books that didn’t stop us along the way. Books from your childhood can linger with you all your life, and perhaps mark you the most profoundly.

Throughout this episode you will hear some new voices, as we have chatted with some of our friends and family about their childhood reads. Listen for the chimes! Special thanks to Shireen, Ben, Louise, Erin, Kenneth, Billy, and Kaitlin for joining us in this episode. 

Do you have any favourite childhood reads we missed in this episode? We would love to hear from you! Find us on Instagram @biglittlebookspod or email us at Our next episode will be out end of January. We cross our hearts!



00:01:01 – Episode Agenda // Where are we at?

00:01:49 – Nostalgia & Memories of Scholastic Book Fairs 

00:06:55 – Quizzes: Classic Children’s Books and Children’s Authors


00:11:08 – The Rainbow Fish by author and illustrator Marcus Pfister, translated into English by J. Alison James


00:13:12 – Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss


00:17:55 – Where the Wild Things Are by author and illustrator Maurice Sendak


00:20:40 – Books that Were Read to Us


00:25:35 – Love You Forever written by Robert Munsch, illustrated by Sheila McGraw


00:28:20 – Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer


00:32:10 – The Giver by Lois Lowry


00:34:40 – Intermission


00:34:55 – Goosebumps by R. L. Stine


00:42:20 – The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien


00:43:28 – The Serpent’s Egg by J. Fitzgerald McCurdy


00:46:10 – General Theme of Childhood Favourites: The Faraway Tree series by Enid Blyton


00:49:55 – The books that did not stop us from becoming readers: Animorphs Series, Captain Underpants, Bridge to Terabithia and The Baby-Sitters Club (We agree to disagree on some of these!)


00:56:05 – Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume


00:57:29 – Star Girl by Jerry Spinelli


00:58:40 – Eragon by Christopher Paolini


The hard Britannica quizzes we tried:

Welcome back to Big Little Books!

In this episode: Why is it important to diversify your bookshelf? Diversity is good for everyone. Reading books that present different abilities, cultures, beliefs, and skin colour can help change your perspective and explore new experiences. Books can be a good steppingstone if you want to self-educate but do not know where the conversation should start.

This episode starts with a brief discussion about Canada Reads 2020, and the recently announced winner. We dig into books that spark discussions about race and social injustice. Also, audio books are a thing we both embrace now! Tune in to find out what we have been listening to recently.

Next, we dig into our recent reads and a new twist on the forever popular Books Spotted. We hope this episode inspires you to make a conscious effort to diversify your shelves!


If you have diverse books we should be adding to our reading lists, we would love to hear from you! Find us on Instagram @biglittlebookspod or email  us at



00:01:33 – Theme for Today – Diversify your bookshelves/ Diverse reads

00:03:09 – Canada Reads (

00:05:10 – Son of a trickster by Eden Robinson

00:05:40 – We Have Always Been Here: A Queer Muslim Memoir by Samra Habib

00:07:05 – Books to Spark Discussion: So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo

00:08:27 – Books to Spark Discussion: The Sellout by Paul Beatty

00:11:28 – Books to Spark Discussion: The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin

00:12:00 – Books to Spark Discussion: The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks About Race a collection by Jesmyn Ward

00:16:35 – Intermission

00:16:55 – Audio Books: Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men by Caroline Criado Perez

00:20:48 – Audio Books: The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander (tenth anniversary edition)

00:24:10 – Short Reviews: The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

00:29:22 – Short Reviews: 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act: Helping Canadians Make Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples a Reality by Bob Joseph

00:36:03 – Short Reviews: The Lost City of the Monkey God by Douglas Preston

00:41:15 – Currently Reading: How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy by Jenny Odell

00:50:40 – Currently Reading: The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

00:52:52 – Books Spotted (with a twist): Mapping the Interior by Stephen Graham Jones/ The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones/ The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

01:01:07 – Besides Books!

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