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The Reading Culture

If Your Heart Breaks, It’s Working: Nicola Yoon on Love and Other Risky Behaviors

The Reading Culture
The Reading Culture
"Love is risky. Love always ends. Should you do it anyway?” - Nicola Yoon

Love is a feeling that never exists solely on its own, and those likely companions to love (anxiety, grief) often bring questions such as, is this worth it? It’s this question and others like it that Nicola Yoon explores in each of her novels.

Nicola is a hopeless romantic. The affliction began in childhood after the discovery of her aunt’s harlequin romance collection. From then on, Nicola’s love of love would only grow stronger. But while her passion for romance was a love at first sight, her passion for writing was more of a slow burn.

Today, Nicola Yoon boasts an impressive resume as a two-time New York Times bestselling author, a finalist for the National Book Award, a recipient of the Michael L. Printz Honor Book, and a winner of the Coretta Scott King New Talent Award. Notably, her first two novels have been successfully adapted for the big screen.

In this episode, she’ll tell us why she fell in love with the romance genre, and how she found her way to writing as a career after 15 years in finance. She also shares her own ridiculously cute, out-of-a-movie love story about how she ended up with her husband and fellow writer, David Yoon.


Connect with Jordan and The Reading Culture @thereadingculturepod and subscribe to our newsletter at thereadingculturepod.com/newsletter.


Inspired by her own novel, "Instructions for Dancing,” in her reading challenge, Good Grief, Nicola invites us to explore the intersection of love and grief with a list of some of her favorite books.

You can find her list and all past reading challenges at thereadingculturepod.com.

Today's Beanstack Featured Librarian is Nikki Hayter, a library manager with the Des Moines Public Library system. As summer inches closer, she tells us about a unique program her library started a couple of years ago with graphic novels.


Chapter 1 - Harlequin Romance (1:37)

Chapter 2 - An Unrequited Love (6:36)

Chapter 3 - The Great Gatsby (11:24)

Chapter 4 - A Requited Love (16:26)

Chapter 5 - The Airport Scene (19:02)

Chapter 6 - Questions About Love (22:53)

Chapter 7 - Not a Case of Love at First Sight (25:43)

Chapter 8 - Expectations of Love (27:34)
Chapter 9 - Don’t read this book! (applies to children) (31:21)

Chapter 10 - Joy Revolution (33:40)

Chapter 11 - Good Grief (36:45)

Chapter 12 - Beanstack Featured Librarian (38:22)


Host: Jordan Lloyd Bookey

Producer: Jackie Lamport and Lower Street Media

Script Editors: Josia Lamberto-Egan, Jackie Lamport, Jordan Lloyd Bookey

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