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New Episode of Your Favorite Book with Mia P. Manansala

New Episode of Your Favorite Book with Mia P. Manansala

Welcome to another installment of a collaboration between the Chicago Review of Books and the Your Favorite Book podcast. Malavika Praseed, frequent CHIRB contributor and podcast host, seeks to talk to readers and writers about the books that light a fire inside them. What’s your favorite book and why?

This week’s guest is Mia P. Manansala, author of Arsenic and Adobo. In this brand-new cozy mystery novel, we follow Lila Macapagal as she returns to her hometown of Shady Palms after a stint in Chicago and the collapse of a relationship. She reunites with her childhood sweetheart, Derek, and starts working in her Tita Rosie’s restaurant. Except Derek’s a jerk, and a vengeful food critic to boot, and things immediately go awry when Derek drops dead at the restaurant. And Lila is immediately suspect number one.

Reflecting on the nature of mystery novels and what makes a favorite book, Mia chose middle grade classic The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin. Sixteen near-strangers, some neighbors and some unknowns, are summoned to the reading of a will. The deceased is Samuel Westing, an eccentric billionaire, who sees the will reading as his final game. All sixteen are challenged to get to the bottom of his untimely demise. With an immense fortune at stake and constant twists and turns, The Westing Game involves children and adults working together to get to the bottom of a very strange riddle.

Mia shares her insight on writing mystery as a person of color, what makes a satisfying middle grade novel, falling in love with a genre, and so much more. Mystery lovers, this episode is for you! And of course, no spoilers for either book.

See Also

The Lesser Blessed by Richard Van Camp (with Morgan Talty, Author of Night of the Living Rez) Your Favorite Book

My guest this week is Morgan Talty, author of the debut short story collection NIGHT OF THE LIVING REZ. Morgan shares his insights on his low residency MFA program, his approach to book structure and generating ideas, and his approach to writing intergenerational trauma from a Native American perspective. For this episode, Morgan chose the 1991 novel THE LESSER BLESSED by Richard Van Camp, and we dive into what seems to me to be the anti-YA novel. The book is abrasive and tough to read at times, but altogether unique in its craft and the level of nuance each of its young characters has. As always, no spoilers! Buy Morgan's book: https://bookshop.org/books/night-of-the-living-rez/9781953534187 Follow the podcast on instagram and twitter @yfbpodcast
  1. The Lesser Blessed by Richard Van Camp (with Morgan Talty, Author of Night of the Living Rez)
  2. Short Story Book Club: The Lottery by Shirley Jackson (with Anna Johnson)
  3. This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen (with Kristina Forest, author of Zyla and Kai)
  4. Airborn by Kenneth Oppel (with Jesmeen Kaur Deo, Author of TJ Powar Has Something to Prove)
  5. The Magical Language of Others by E.J. Koh (with Joseph Han, author of Nuclear Family)

Listen to this episode of Your Favorite Book at the link below, and stay tuned for more episodes with other writers in the weeks to come. If you enjoy this episode, check out other episodes of Your Favorite Book on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or other major podcast platforms.

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