Episode 7: Ryan Miller | books for audiophiles, fantasy fans, and baseball aficionados

Welcome to the Library Laura Podcast, with this week’s dose of book recommendations, library love, and literary enthusiasm. Today I interviewed my husband, Ryan. He does most of his reading by listening to audiobooks, and especially enjoys fantasy stories with a good dose of action and romance. He is also a huge baseball fan, so shares several books he loves about baseball.  
A very happy husband -- he won a drawing and got a shopping spree at the Kauffman stadium store. Here he is with his haul of Royals merchandise. 
You guys, I had so much fun recording this episode. I have listened to several podcasts where the spouses come on as guests and those are always some of my favorite episodes. I'm thinking specifically of Anne Bogel's What Should I Read Next podcast with her husband Will, and Jamie Ivey's Happy Hour podcast with her husband Aaron. I love the conversation dynamic between couples! 
I'm so blessed because, while my husband is a very different reader from me, he does love a good story and he is super supportive of my book love. I rarely see him sit down with a book, but he manages to read about 60 or 70 a year via audiobook. He listens during slower moments at his job as an accountant, as well as on his commute or when he's doing housework. We like to talk about what we are reading in our everyday life, so the podcast episode was really just an extension of that.
 Ryan has been such a huge support to me in getting this podcast started, and all the words in the world couldn't describe how much I appreciate that. He's been my first listener on each episode and a listening ear when I verbally process thoughts and brainstorm ideas. 

Recording in my "studio" corner of our guest room. My set up is simple...but it works! 

Overthinking together, as per usual (at Nelson Atkins Museum of Art) 
I wasn't a huge sports fan before I married Ryan. Since we got married, I have been to quite a few Royals games! Our team won the World Series the year we got married, so that didn't hurt my budding interest in sports either. This year the Chiefs won the Super Bowl, which was amazing! I've also been to a couple Sporting KC soccer games, and soccer is way more fun in a stadium than it is on TV in my opinion! 

Attending a Royals Game together! 

Books and Football go together, right? 

Watching the Chiefs Super Bowl parade from his office window in downtown KC
(when large crowds were still an okay activity!) 

Anyway, I'll stop with the cute photos of us and talk a little bit more about the episode. Ryan talks about books he read as a kid, including lots of books on cassette tape during long car rides with his family. Their extended family is in Virginia, which is about 16 hours each direction, so there was lots of listening time! 
We also talked about what got him back into listening to audiobooks as an adult. Like me, he had the post-college mental burnout where reading or learning of any kind was unappealing. But then a TED Talk video sparked an interest in Malcom Gladwell's David and Goliath book, which I was able to help him find on audiobook from the library. 

Part of why I wanted to have Ryan on the podcast was because of how much of his reading is on audiobook. There is some controversy or perception differences on whether audiobooks "count" as reading. Here's what he had to say: 

The point of a book is to engage in a story and I don’t necessarily think you have to be looking at the words to be engaged in that story. I think that someone telling you the story can be just as impactful and maybe in some ways even more imaginative because you get the voices of the narrator that change and you get your own mental pictures from their interpretation of the story, which can even differ from if you’re reading the book yourself. I struggle when people say they are not books in the true sense of the word. I think they are just being snobby and full of themselves personally. ~ Ryan Miller 

Here are some other interesting articles I found related to the subject of audiobooks compared to other types of reading: 

I like what Ryan said, that if your choice is between reading audiobooks or not reading at all, audiobooks are the obvious right choice. While there is still research to be done on the application of audiobooks to rigorous educational settings, I believe that reading for pleasure on audio is effective and should be encouraged. Audiobooks "count" as reading in my book. 

Ryan's book selections: 

Most of the non-fiction books Ryan has enjoyed recently are Royals baseball related. Makes sense, right? 
He also enjoys fantasy adventures, especially if they have some good action and romance in the plot. No boring books for him! 
You can see the whole list of books we talked about here
I had fun recommending some books for him to read based on those preferences. My picks included: 
  • The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow - chosen because it is YA Fantasy with adventure and romance. I loved this one. 
  • Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling - we watched the movies together and I read the books. I've heard the audio is great and I know he'll enjoy the story. 
  • Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool - historical fiction with a bit of mystery, with a local Kansas connection. I finished this book on audio and enjoyed it, so I think he will like the narrator. 
  • The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas - I think this ended up in our library hold queue because Ryan put it on hold, but then I'm the one who listened to it. Maybe? But it's YA Fantasy with action and romance, so he needs to listen to it too! 
  • The Resisters by Gish Jen - post apocalyptic fiction meets baseball. I haven't read this one but I've heard the baseball description is good. 
Ryan thought I might enjoy: 
So now I have two new series I need to read, which is fun! 

I hope you enjoy today's episode. And as always, with lots of literary love from my library to yours, have a wonderful day! 


My photo
Library Laura
Laura is an avid reader who is happiest when surrounded by books, tea, blankets and/or friends. Host of the Library Laura Podcast.


The Library Laura Podcast


Affiliate links disclosure

As an Amazon Associate and Bookshop.org Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases made through links on this blog. Thanks for your support!

Popular Posts

Laura 's Goodreads bookshelf: read

The Slug Queen Chronicles: Season One
Christmas Night 1776
A Perilous Undertaking
The Mostly Invisible Boy
Please Close It!
On the Bright Side: Stories about Friendship, Love, and Being True to Yourself
The Giving Tree
At Home in Mitford
The Last Year of the War
The Goblin Emperor
My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry
Goodnight, Anne
Such a Fun Age
Every Heart a Doorway
The Underground Railroad
The Hate U Give
The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse
A Kind of Paradise

Laura Miller 's favorite books »

@library.laura on Instagram

The Library Laura Podcast on Facebook

Laura's Profile

Contact Form


Email *

Message *