Take center stage… this month on Bookmarks

Anxiety and fear can feel overwhelming at times. This month we read four books by authors who have all dealt with anxiety and fear in their own way.


Maggie Shipstead.  <a class=Credit: PA Media/David Parry.” class=”lazy” data-original=”https://www.northcountrypublicradio.org/news/images/Maggie_Shipstead_-_Credit_PA_Media_-_David_Parry.jpg” src=”https://www.northcountrypublicradio.org/news/images/loading/Maggie_Shipstead_-_Credit_PA_Media_-_David_Parry.jpg” data-loading=”https://www.northcountrypublicradio.org/news/images/loading/Maggie_Shipstead_-_Credit_PA_Media_-_David_Parry.jpg”/>

Maggie Shipstead. Credit: PA Media/David Parry.

Maggie Shipstead

Jessica LawrenceMaggie Shipstead

the Booker Price is quite a coveted award in the book world, and I was able to interview an author who was shortlisted for this one in 2021. great circle by Maggie Shipstead not a quick read but worth the time. The story follows Marian, an aspiring aviator, from birth to adulthood – both through her own eyes, but also those of a current actress who plays Marian in a major film. Both Marian and actress Hadley have some interesting similarities, but their stories are so different and the plot goes back and forth between them. It’s now available in paperback, so dive into this book today and explore the world of aviation and Hollywood.


“The Ballerina State of Mind” by Megan Fairchild, Penguin Randomhouse.

Megan Fairchild

Jessica LawrenceMegan Fairchild

As someone who doesn’t have stage fright, I was particularly interested in our next book, The ballerina state of mind. What I didn’t expect was to relate to so many things our author said! From being a principal dancer with the New York City Ballet, to moving on to a Broadway show, and becoming a parent, life has been pretty chaotic for the author. Megan Fairchild. We discussed the idea of ​​meditation and how to overcome our fears to move forward in our lives.


"Center Center" by James Whiteside, Penguin Randomhouse.

“Center Center” by James Whiteside, Penguin Randomhouse.

James Whiteside

Jessica LawrenceJames Whiteside

Dancer James Whiteside loved to write and express himself growing up, so his collection of essays, Center Center, truly takes you on a journey: from Boston to nearby Lake Placid, from being a drag queen to being one of the most sought after ballet dancers – Whiteside tells stories you won’t soon forget. Check him out on Instagram where he showcases some very cool moves: @jamesbwhiteside.


"The perfect other" by Kyleigh Leddy, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

“The Perfect Other” by Kyleigh Leddy, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Kyleigh Leddy

Jessica LawrenceKyleigh Leddy

North Country Bookmarks is a podcast, which is a great way for people to listen wherever they are. I started listening to the New York Times Modern Love podcast during the COVID 19 pandemic. Kyleigh Leddy wrote a memoir of his sister, and won the first Modern Love College Essay Contest. She wrote the book in recent years while attending graduate school and mixed her family history with her scientific studies. The perfect other is as much about mental illness as it is about coping with loss and grief. From traumatic brain injury to the privilege we have as white women in medicine and mental health, this was a conversation I won’t soon forget.

If there’s one thing I hope you took away from today’s show, it’s being nice to everyone. We never know what someone is going through; empathy and listening can save lives.

Enjoy this month’s books and let me know what you think.

-Jessica