The Reading Culture Welcomes Daniel Nayeri

daniel nayeri author
Masthead Waves

I met Daniel Nayeri while waiting in line at the bookstore for the National Book Festival. We struck up a conversation, and before you know it, we were already deep in conversation about nominative determinism. Daniel is the guy you want at your dinner party. Always with a story or an insightful question. Turns out, he is also the person you want on your podcast! The Iranian-American author of the Printz Award-winning “Everything Sad is Untrue,” and the more recent “The Many Assassinations of Samir, Seller of Dreams,” offered up fresh conversation and a good deal of humor.


As a writer, Daniel Nayeri is deeply aware of the impact his writing has on readers. There is perhaps no more intimate power than becoming the dialogue in one’s head, and he feels strongly about using that power to have a positive impact on those who read his words. Part of his purpose, or obligation, he believes, is to “remystify the world.” Just wait until we talk about why cherries grow in pairs! 


In this episode, Daniel explains what he means by remystifying the world, talks about the roadside storyteller that initiated his storytelling journey, and shares his views on purpose (why he takes his so seriously). I was blown away by Daniel’s memoir and novel, and this conversation did not disappoint.


For his reading challenge, Wise Shorts, Daniel offers a curated selection of short stories, reminding us that even the smallest moments can have a major impact.


This episode’s Beanstack Featured Librarian is one of my childhood friends and rockstar librarian, Nikki Hayter, a library manager with the Des Moines Public Library. Nikki tells us about a program that highlights the profound impact libraries continue to have on their communities. 


Listen to the full episode, “A Good Guest: Daniel Nayeri on the Obligations of a Storyteller” on Apple, Google, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. Like what you hear? Please leave a 5-star review, subscribe, and share with someone who will enjoy it!


Follow the podcast on Instagram @thereadingculturepod to see reels of our guests and subscribe to our newsletter at to watch bonus content, get more intimate background stories, and learn about upcoming giveaways! #readingculturefam (for life!)


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