Ep. 0 – Wisdom from the Best Books: What to Expect from this Podcast

Welcome to Latter-day Saint Book Nook! Learn the “who, what, when, where, and why” of this podcast, and most importantly, how it can help you in your life.

Get ready for the next episode by reading The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry!

Outline

  • The purpose of Latter-day Saint Book Nook
    • Share applicable wisdom from the best books to help you live the gospel of Christ
    • D&C 88:118—”Seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith”
  • Who am I?
    • Liz Kazandzhy
    • Personal background: from Fort Collins, CO; served a mission in Kyiv, Ukraine; graduated from BYU in Human Development; mother of three young daughters
    • Professional background: former book reviewer for Kirkus, freelance copy editor, author of the upcoming book The Holy Ghost from A to Z: What the Spirit Can Do for You
  • What will this be about?
    • A variety of genres—I’ll discuss the key points of religious books and pull gospel insights from nonreligious books
    • I’ll let you know what book I’ll cover next and if there’ll be spoilers
  • When will episodes air?
    • Book episodes will air every other Tuesday
    • On the other Tuesdays, there will be short spiritual thoughts about the Holy Ghost using excerpts from my book, The Holy Ghost from A to Z
  • Where can you listen?
    • Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Stitcher, Radio Public, Anchor
    • Access show notes and more info at www.ldsbooknook.com
  • Why should you listen?
    • You love to read, but sometimes you get stuck on knowing what to read. You’re always on the lookout for great, clean books that meet your interests.
      • The podcast schedule will give you a running list of great books to read
      • Based on the podcast, you can determine if that book is something you want to read
    • You’re curious and love to learn, but you’re too busy to read all the books that you’d like.
      • Get the key points and takeaways, then read the whole book sometime later
    • You want to more fully live the gospel of Jesus Christ.
      • We’ll talk about issues that are relevant to us and how the gospel can help
      • Every episode will have a few clear takeaways —specific things you can do to better live the gospel
  • Please contact me at ldsbooknook.com if you have ideas on what books to cover, what topics to focus on, or anything else you think would make this podcast great!
  • Next episode: The Little Prince: How to Love “The Least of These” (Even When That’s Yourself)

Transcript

I’m Liz Kazandzhy, and you’re listening to the cozy little podcast “Latter-day Saint Book Nook,” where we talk about books from a gospel perspective. Whether fiction or nonfiction, religious or not, great books are like wells of wisdom just waiting to be drawn from, and that’s exactly what we’re going to do. So if you love books, and you love the gospel of Jesus Christ, you’re in the right place. Come and learn from the best books to help you live your best life!

Hey everyone! And welcome to the introduction episode of Latter-day Saint Book Nook. I’m very excited to be here, and I’m glad that you’re here too. Before getting to the main episodes of this podcast, I wanted to take a few minutes to introduce Latter-day Saint Book Nook—and myself—so you know what to expect.

Put simply, the purpose of Latter-day Saint Book Nook is to share applicable wisdom from the best books to help you live the gospel of Christ.

So, there are three main ideas in that “mission statement” that will serve as kind of a guide for this podcast.

The first is the phrase “applicable wisdom.” And the reason why I say “applicable” is because I want this to be relevant to you! I want you to be able to listen week after week, not just learning cool things or hearing great stories but actually gaining personal insights that will help you with whatever you’ve got going on in your life. Whenever I teach or write or do anything, my hope is always that it’ll make a real difference in the lives of my audience, and that applies to this podcast too.

The second main idea is the phrase “the best books,” which comes from a verse in the Doctrine and Covenants that you may be familiar with. It’s D&C 88:118, which says, “Seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith.” Now, that extends way beyond just “Church books, because even though those books are great (and we’re gonna be covering some of them), there are so many awesome books in so many genres that can teach us so many things.

Finally, the mission statement ends with the phrase “to help you live the gospel of Christ.” And really, that’s what this is all about. Learning new things is great, talking about the best books is great, but ultimately, this podcast is about Jesus Christ and His gospel. It’s about being “doers of the word, and not hearers only,” as the New Testament says. And it’s about understanding the gospel more deeply and living it more fully.

Oh, and PS—I also hope this will be entertaining to you—because nobody wants to listen to a boring podcast!

So, now that you understand the purpose of Latter-day Saint Book Nook, let me give you a few more details by answering the who, what, when, where, and why of this podcast.

[2:45]

Who

So first: Who am I? My name is Liz Kazandzhy—and you can remember that last name by pretending that you have a cousin named G … because it’s pronounced “cousin G.” I joke that when I got married, I changed my last name to “let me spell that for you.” But anyway, I grew up in Fort Collins, Colorado, and live in Utah now. I served a mission in Kyiv, Ukraine, where I met my husband Vlad (hence the foreign last name). After my mission, I graduated from BYU with a degree in Human Development, and I have since been using that degree to develop my own little humans—Katya, Sophia, and Anya who are currently 5, 3, and 8 months. (And if you’re wondering how I find the time to record this podcast, it’s literally like midnight right now, when I can be mostly sure that everyone is asleep. And even then, the second I sat down to record this, my baby woke up and I had to go put her back to sleep. Fingers crossed that I can actually do this in one sitting.)

As for my professional background, I have had all kinds of bookish jobs because, like you, I love books. So I started out working as a professional book reviewer for a company called Kirkus, which was great, but I didn’t like that I couldn’t do anything about the poorly written books except for write a bad review. So, I became a freelance editor using the website Upwork, and I absolutely loved that because I could actually make the books better. But eventually, I decided that instead of just improving everyone else’s books, it was time to start writing my own. So I wrote a book called The Holy Ghost from A to Z: What the Spirit Can Do for You, which will be published by Cedar Fort in June. For now, it’ll just be me speaking during the podcast, but ideally, in the future, I’d love to have guests occasionally, like authors of the books I discuss or those who have a lot of experience in a certain area.

[4:47]

What

So that’s me in a nutshell. Let’s move on to the next question: What will this podcast be about? Well, we will cover all sorts of genres, month by month. For the religious books, I’ll basically just go over some key points and discuss how they can help us live the gospel better. And for the nonreligious books—like self-help, fantasy, memoir, romance, pretty much anything—it’ll be more about looking at them through a gospel lens and drawing gospel lessons from them. Now, not every book has some profound meaning, and that’s totally fine. But that being said, a lot of books do carry some profound messages, which is what we’ll be discussing. I’ll always let you know which book is next in case you want to read it beforehand, though you don’t always necessarily have to. And if there are spoilers, I’ll be sure to warn you ahead of time.

[5:38]

When

Okay, next question: When will episodes air? The main episodes will come out every other Tuesday—and each one will be about a different book. As for the Tuesdays in between those main episodes, I’ll be sharing short spiritual thoughts taken from my book, The Holy Ghost from A to Z. Think of these mini-episodes as little spiritual pick-me-ups to help you feel the Spirit more in your life. Plus, you’ll get a sneak peek at my book before it’s even on shelves. Each episode will be about a different chapter—from A all the way to Z—which will teach you 26 ways that the Holy Ghost can bless your life.

[6:14]

Where

On to question number four … Where can you listen? The podcast will basically be anywhere that podcasts normally are, like Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Stitcher, Radio Public, Anchor—all of that. The episodes will also be posted on the website ldsbooknook.com, along with show notes, transcripts, and more info. Also, if you’re on Facebook, you’re welcome to join the group “Latter-day Readers. It’s a group that I created as a place for Latter-day Saint book lovers to give and get recommendations for clean, wholesome books, and I’ll also be posting episode schedules there.

[6:53]

Why

And finally, the last question, and maybe the most important: Why should you listen? Well, I can think of three reasons right now—and see if any of these scenarios apply to you:

  • First: You love to read, but sometimes you get stuck on knowing what to read. You’re always on the lookout for great, clean books that meet your interests.
    • Well, the podcast schedule will give you a running list of great books to read, whether you want to read along in real time (between the episodes) or just sometime in the future. And also, based on what I discuss about a book, you can probably determine if it’s something you want to read.
  • Second: You’re curious and you love to learn, but you’re too busy to read all the books that you’d like.
    • I think most book lovers feel this way—there’s never enough time to get to all the books that you want to. But the great thing about this podcast is that, for now, you can just get the key points and takeaways and then read the whole book sometime later.
  • And finally, third: You want to more fully live the gospel of Jesus Christ.
    • Like I said before, that’s what this podcast is all about. I’m going to be talking about issues that are relevant to us and how the gospel can help. And every episode is going to have a few clear takeaways, which are specific things that you can do to make real changes in your life and better live the gospel.

[8:13]

Well, I think that just about covers it! I hope that gave you a good idea of what to expect and that it kind of whet your appetite for the coming episodes. The last thing I wanted to mention is that even though I’m the one talking into the mic, that doesn’t mean this is about me. I really want this podcast to be about you, and so I’d love to hear from you about which books to cover, what topics to focus on, or anything else you think would make this podcast great. You can find a contact form on the website ldsbooknook.com where you can send me a message whenever you’d like.

And that concludes this episode! I hope you’ll join me next time for a discussion of The Little Prince, where we’ll talk about loving the unlovable, even when that’s yourself. Take care!

Thanks for listening to Latter-day Saint Book Nook, hosted by Liz Kazandzhy! If you enjoyed this episode and you’d like to support the podcast, please share it with others, post about it on social media, or leave a rating and review. You can also visit ldsbooknook.com to stay up to date with me and the podcast. Thanks again, and I’ll talk to you next time!


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