Book Fight!

Tough love for literature


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Episode 113: Winter of Wayback, 1883 (Sarah Orne Jewett)

Hey, did you catch last night’s big game? You know, the football contest? The Carolina Whats-Its against the Denver Something-Or-Others?

Sorry, we actually kind of hate it when writers talk that way about sports. I mean, we get it: you’re far too intellectual and cultured to ever watch a sport as brutish as American football, which of course you always refer to as American football, to distinguish it from those Premier League matches you get up early for on Saturdays. “This is the real football,” you say to your empty apartment. “I’m a citizen of the world.”

Anyway, one of us watched the big game. The other of us met a friend for drinks at a bar with no television. Said friend is a European academic, and an avowed socialist, so it’s possible that one of us will soon be deported. We’ll have to record the show via Skype. Anyway, the one of us who didn’t watch the game doesn’t have anything against football per se, or the NFL, he’s just kind of ambivalent about the whole deal, so when given the option of drinking a couple fancy IPAs and eating half of a burrata flatbread and talking to an interesting friend about life, and books, and the vagaries of online dating (said friend recently joined, and then promptly quit, an online dating site, after being barraged with messages from creeps), the choice was easy enough.

Sorry, none of this has anything to do with this week’s episode, which is really quite good, but which is not about football, nor about sharing drinks with European academics, but about the year 1883, a year which presumably featured all kinds of great literature, though the story we picked–“An Only Son,” by Sarah Orne Jewett–was, to be honest, not super-great. We understand Jewett is a celebrated chronicler of New England life, but: woof.

No offense to Jewett, though really, if she didn’t want us to make fun of her, she should’ve written a more interesting story.

Luckily for you, the listener, lots of other, much more interesting stuff was happening in 1883. Like, a tugboat painter kept having the same painting stolen. And a Philadelphia contest challenged people to drink water from the Schuylkill River (something neither of us would advise). Also, Mike’s great-great-great grandfather may or may not have killed a Native American.

Hugus_Store

Here’s a picture of the general store in Saratoga, Wyoming, run by Mike’s great-great-great grandfather and his brother. Here’s a link to the obituary of Mike’s ancestor, W.B. Hugus. We’d link here to the book passage that suggests Hugus helped murder a Native American, but it’s only available behind a library-site paywall (but you can hear it read on the show).

You can stream this week’s episode by clicking on the little player thingy below, or you can download the mp3 file. Or, visit us in the iTunes store, or wherever you get your podcasts, to download past episodes and subscribe (for free!) to make sure you never miss another installment. While you’re over there in iTunes, leave us a rating and a review.

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Episode 112: Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl

Here’s a prediction: Some people in our listening audience are going to feel vindicated by our opinions about the wildly popular novel Gone Girl. Some other people in our listening audience are going to be really angry and send us emails telling us how wrong we are about everything. And still other people won’t care one way or another, because they’re just tuning in for Raccoon News, or because they’re using our podcast to learn English, or because they have a very specific kink that involves listening to dudes talk semi-seriously about books.

Which camp will you fall into? Let us know in the comments!

GoneGirl

You know what the book is about, right? At least basically? It’s right there in the title! Also they made a movie out of it. Ben Affleck’s in it. Remember when Ben Affleck was on that PBS genealogy show and they found out his ancestry included a slave owner and then Ben Affleck somehow convinced PBS to cut that part out of the show, even though it was probably the only interesting part of the show, and then later still people on the internet found out about it and Ben Affleck had to apologize?

Stars! They’re just like us!

Actually, at least one of your Book Fight co-hosts has a slave owner in his ancestry. It wasn’t great to find that out, but it wasn’t entirely surprising, either. PBS can talk about it all they want. Maybe we’ll talk about it on a future episode.

Anywhoo, speaking of stars, here is a video that will help remind you about Ray Pruitt, and his shirting preferences:

Side note: Both your Book Fight hosts really wish the above video didn’t have that cartoony music at the end, which seems to perhaps make light of a woman being pushed down the stairs. We’re not endorsing that shit. Ray Pruitt was a monster, though he was a monster with a voice that can make your pants just melt right off.

Side note #2: If you’d forgotten about The Heights, the short-lived show starring Ray Pruitt (aka Jamie Walters), this synopsis from IMDB is … sort of helpful?

‘The Heights’ is not only the name of the suburb a group of young adults lives in, it’s also the name of the rock band they’ve set up. During its 12 episodes, the show tells partly comedian, partly serious and melancholy about relations, crises and important events in the lives of the young people. Each shows features a song of the band.

The Heights actually pre-dated Walters’s turn on Beverly Hills, 90210. Apparently he didn’t much care for the plot arc that turned him into an abusive boyfriend. He was touring in support of his hit single “Hold On” and teenage girls were holding up signs at concerts that said “Leave Donna Alone.” Speaking of Donna Martin, you should really go read her Wikipedia entry, which is just fantastically odd.

Here’s a link to a People Magazine story about the raccoons invading Brooklyn and turning it into a “frat party.”

Here’s a video of Waxahatchee performing live on KEXP:

To listen to this week’s episode, just click on the little player thingy below, or download the mp3 file. Or visit us in the iTunes store, where you can subscribe (for free) and never miss another episode. While you’re over there in iTunes, leave us a rating and review. Once we hit 100 reviews, Mike will finally read Harry Potter, and we’ll talk about it on the show!

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Episode 111: Winter of Wayback, 1922 (Best American Short Stories, Ring Lardner)

Did you know that The Best American Short Stories anthology existed in 1922? Ok, probably you did know that, but did you know that in 1922 the editor of the Best American Short Stories anthology, Edward O’Brien, gave every single story published in America a star rating, and then tallied up the stars to give every American literary magazine a ranking? Let’s take just a moment to imagine how much work that would be. Let’s take another moment to imagine how much consternation and hand-wringing would happen in the lit world if that sort of thing happened today. The outraged tweets alone could be printed out, taped end-to-end, and then used as a bridge to move our society to the moon.

1922_bestamerican

Collier’s Weekly: the Hobart of its day.

Out of the 1922 BASS anthology, we chose Ring Lardner’s “The Golden Honeymoon,” since we’d both heard of Lardner, but neither of us could remember having read much, or any, of his fiction. One of us quite enjoyed the story, with its portrayal of a grumpy old cheapskate on vacation with his wife, while the other of us expressed an opinion that was wrong.

Incidentally, you can read the entire 1922 BASS anthology via the Internet Archive, because truly we are living in magical times. Enjoy it now, humans! Soon Trump will be king, the earth will be consumed by either ice or fire, and if we’re lucky the moon will turn out to be a decently hospitable place to live. As long as podcasts still exist, and Golden Girls reruns, we’ll all pull through.

Sorry, what were we talking about? Oh, right: this week’s episode. And 1922! A year that included at least one tugboat tragedy, and one very famous Hollywood murder. Also: a series of events that led one of us to this:

monkey

Anyway, you should listen to the episode. It’s the cat’s pajamas! (That’s 1922 slang for “on fleek.”) Just click on the little player thingy below to stream it, or download the mp3 file to play on your computer or mobile device. Or visit us in the iTunes store, where you can download older episodes and also subscribe (for free) to get new Book Fights delivered to you each week. While you’re there, leave us a rating and review, which helps us to reach new listeners.

Thanks for listening!

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Episode 110: Sarah Shotland, Junkette

Hey, look, it’s another episode! On the one hand, maybe this isn’t surprising, since we’ve been putting out new episodes every week for a few years now. On the other hand, life is a precarious undertaking. You never know when your favorite thing might simply stop existing. One of us could get a dream job in another place. One of us could insult the other’s honor, and then we’d be forced to duel, and even if we both managed to survive said duel it’s probably difficult to carry on podcasting after you’ve dueled with someone. You’d be chatting about books or whatever but you’d also be thinking: I wonder if he’s got a pistol under the table. Or: what’s he doing with his hands over there? Or: is it possible this beer he just gave me is poisoned?

It would be a terrible way to live.

Anyway, we didn’t have a duel this week, and both our honors remain as intact as ever (let’s say semi-intact?). And we’re still in our regular ol’ jobs in our regular ol’ city. So we figured we might as well get together and talk about a book. Here’s what the cover looks like.

Shotland

If you were at the Barrelhouse Conversations and Connections conference in Pittsburgh this past fall, you may remember this particular book, which was the featured novel. Maybe you even took home a copy. It was published in 2014, by White Gorilla press, a relatively new outfit publishing fiction and poetry and headquartered in New Jersey. The book is about a woman who wants to escape her life but is having some trouble getting going. She’s addicted to heroin, and is in codependent relationships with her boyfriend and, in a sense, with the city of New Orleans. She’s got a bus ticket to Boulder, and a year to use it, but she’s having a tough time with those first, important steps.

On today’s episode we talk about the book for a while, though as usual you don’t have to read the book to enjoy the discussion. We consider what makes fiction feel “honest,” and the ways in which an engaging fictional narrator is like a tour guide to a place you’ve never been.

In the second half of the show, we’ve got a new, South Philly-centric segment we’re trying out, plus a few gripes about literary magazine submission guidelines, or at least the ones that include lots of pedantic rules. Hot takes all over the place!

Also: no duels. This week’s episode is an entirely duel-free zone.

If you like the show, and want us to keep making it, you can always donate money to the cause by clicking on the little piggy bank over there in the right-hand column. But this year, even more than money, we’re hoping you’ll consider helping us reach new listeners. You can do that in a few ways:

  • Post about the show on Twitter, or Facebook, or Tumblr, or whatever cool new social media site you’re hip to that we don’t even know exists.
  • Write us a review in iTunes, which helps us connect with more people via Apple’s complicated algorithms.
  • Tell your book-loving friends about the show.

If you do either of those first two (or can figure out a way to prove to us that you did the third) we will write you a blurb and read it on the show, as we’ve done in the past for our financial backers. Just send us a screencap, or tag us in the post (we’re on Twitter and Facebook; we don’t really understand Tumblr, and something about the missing ‘e’ has always struck us as suspicious).

As always, we’re happy to hear what you think about the stuff we talked about this week. You can email us directly, hit us up on Twitter, or just leave a comment here on the site. Also: we’re on Facebook, and gradually getting better about posting studio pics and links and such. So come visit us over there, like our page, etc. etc.

You can also support the show by shopping at Powell’s: if you click on any of the links around our site, then shop as you normally would, we’ll get a small percentage of every dollar you spend.

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Episode 109: Winter of Wayback, 1914 (The Smart Set)

Back by popular demand (or at least “occasional request”) we’re embarking upon another Winter of Wayback! For those of you who weren’t with us the last time around, here’s how it works: 1) We pick a year (actually, a year is picked for us by a random number generator). 2) We pick a story or essay to read from that year. 3) Each of us does some research into other happenings from that year, literary and otherwise. 4) We get together and press record and then start talking into microphones. 5) You listen to the things we said and you laugh and/or cry and/or experience other human emotions. 6) You tell your friends how podcasts work, and then you wait patiently for them to finish listening to Season 1 of Serial, and then you tell them about our podcast, and specifically these Winter of Wayback episodes, and they’re like, “Have you been sitting there this whole time, while I listened to Serial? Because honestly that’s kind of weird. Though not as weird as America’s criminal justice system, am I right?” 7) You might have to get new friends. Or just listen to more episodes of our podcast, and let us be your friends. We won’t judge you for turning down a Friday-night date because you’d rather eat Swedish Fish and watch ALF reruns on YouTube. We won’t judge you for drinking that expired eggnog at the back of the fridge. “You’re totally right,” we’ll say, “pouring a little more rum in there will totally kill off any harmful bacteria.”

SmartSet

Sorry, at least one-half of us is a little punchy this evening. A new semester starts tomorrow. It’s our last evening of freedom. And you know what we’re doing with it? Writing up these show notes, and making sure the episode is set to drop in the morning, because that’s how much we love you. Well, at least one-half of us loves you. The other half of us is off in suburban Jersey right now, probably drinking small-batch bourbon and watching old California Raisin videos on the internet, like some kind of goddamned robber baron.

What were we talking about again? Oh, right: the Winter of Wayback. It’s happening. It’s here. Get excited.

Up first is 1914. Which, as it turns out, is the year H.L. Mencken took over as editor of a magazine called The Smart Set, which after several years of serving as the only slightly higher-minded companion to the gossip rag Town Topics was completing its transition into a more serious literary publication. In fact, a number of scholars have posited that The Smart Set, under Mencken, served as a model for The New Yorker, which was founded in 1925.

You can check out back issues of The Smart Set, as well as several other influential journals of the period, via The Modernist Journal Project, which is a really great resource. You can also check out the re-booted, online Smart Set, which is run by Drexel University right here in Philadelphia.

H.L. Mencken in his office. He probably hates your dumb novel.

Mencken in his office. He probably hates your novel.

Rather than read one story this week, we checked out a few things from The Smart Set’s 1914 run, including Mencken’s pretty great roundups of new fiction. We also researched a couple authors published in the 1914 issues that we’d never heard of, including one who was a mentee of Theodore Dreiser’s and was later institutionalized, and another who was sued for libel and once attacked someone with a tennis racket. Literature!

Look, did we mention we were a little punchy? Did we mention we were feeling overworked and under-bourboned, as of late? Did we mention it’s nearly midnight, and we’re listening to Lucinda Williams and drinking Sleepytime Tea and hoping we’re adequately prepared for tomorrow’s classes?

Also this week we’ve got some news about tugboats, for some reason, and also some news about ladies, and also just a whole smorgasbord of high-quality podcasting entertainment. Won’t you give a listen?

Stream today’s episode by clicking on the little player below. Or download the mp3 file, and do with it what you will. Or, even better, visit us in the iTunes store, where you can subscribe (for free) and download all the back episodes you’ve missed while catching up on Adam Carolla or whatever. While you’re there, leave us a review, and a rating, which will help us reach new listeners. And tell your literature loving friends! Unless you hate the show, in which case: mum’s the word.

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Episode 108: Elizabeth Hardwick, Sleepless Nights

Welcome, Book Fighters, to 2016! It’s a new year, and things are going to be different around here. No more messing around. Just professional, serious book criticism. After, that is, our usual 7-15 minutes of idle chit chat. If there’s one thing we’ve learned over the years, it’s that you don’t want to change your life too suddenly. Resolutions need to be phased in!

Anyway, we do have a book to discuss this week, which is Elizabeth Hardwick’s Sleepless Nights. It’s another short novel, one more in Mike’s series of “first person, loosely plotted” picks of the past few months. It is okay. It maybe left us both a little underwhelmed. Or maybe we’re just tired and cranky, here at the tail end of the holiday season.

Hardwick

We try to figure out why the book left both of us a little cold, given that we’ve both liked other, similar novels. We also do our other, usual Book Fight-y things, like catch up about our respective Christmases, and bicker about which of us is the nice one and which of us is the mean one.

You can stream today’s episode by clicking on the little player thingy below, or download the mp3 file to play on your favorite device. Or visit us in the iTunes store, or wherever you normally get your podcasts, where you can download back episodes and subscribe (for free) so that you never miss another weekly installment.

As always, we’re happy to hear what you think about the stuff we talked about this week. You can email us directly, hit us up on Twitter, or just leave a comment here on the site. Also: we’re on Facebook, and gradually getting better about posting studio pics and links and such. So come visit us over there, like our page, etc. etc.

You can also support the show by shopping at Powell’s: if you click on any of the links around our site, then shop as you normally would, we’ll get a small percentage of every dollar you spend.

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2015: The Book Fight! Year in Review

As professionally licensed “content creators,” we’re statutorily required to assemble a year-end list of all our favorite and least favorite things from the past twelve months of doing our show. Here is that list!

Two lists, actually, which as any mathematician can tell you is twice as good as one.

Mike’s Year in Review

Favorite Books of 2015, in Reverse Order for Most Dramatic Effect, And With Links to Their Respective Episodes

5. Rachel Glaser, PAULINA & FRAN (Episode 93)
4. Karl Ove Knausgaard, A TIME FOR EVERYTHING (Episode 99)
3. James Baldwin, IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK (Episode 76)
2. Maggie Nelson, BLUETS (Episode 86)
1. D.J. Waldie, HOLY LAND (Episode 83)

Least Favorite Book of 2015

Penelope Lively, MAKING IT UP (Episode 105): It presented itself like a book, with words forming themselves into sentences and sentences into paragraphs, but the jury is still out on whether this can properly be considered a book.

Book I Didn’t Love But Am Glad That I Read

AJA Symons, THE QUEST FOR CORVO (Episode 78): I wanted to enjoy the experience of reading this book more than I actually did, but the high points were quite high, and the overall concept was great, plus it seems like one of those cult classics that might one day come up at a party and I’ll feel like Mr. Cool Literary Guy for having read it.

Book I Enjoyed Quite A Bit And Think You Should Purchase But Which I’m Disqualifying From The List Because I’ve Met Its Author, Who Is A Delightful Person And Who Also Gave Us Money

James Tate Hill, ACADEMY GOTHIC (Episode 101): I’m not sure I fully expressed on this episode just how nervous I was to read this book, since its author gave us money in our annual fundraiser and seemed like a genuinely nice person (at that point I’d yet to meet him in real life). I kept thinking “What if I hate his book? Will we have to trash it on the show?” Luckily, his book turned out to be great. Funny, smart, and offering a satire of academia  that actually feels fresh (in 2015!). Anyway, you should order it from his publisher.

Favorite “Very Special Episode” of Book Fight

Sarah Hepola, BLACKOUT (Episode 90): In which Tom and I read a (quite good!) memoir about problem drinking and discussed our own drinking histories and habits. Shit got kinda real. Which is my fault, as I’m the one who suggested the book and then took a deep dive into my own psyche, dragging Tom along for the ride.

Favorite Story or Essay of 2015

The Sailor Steve Costigan Tales (Winter of Wayback: 1932): So much punching! While not the most serious or “literary” stories we read this year, I really enjoyed traveling back to the glory days of pulp magazines and learning about Robert E. Howard, who also created Conan the Barbarian. Though perhaps he could lighten up on some of the Asian stereotyping.

Favorite Spite-Based Phenomenon

Spite houses (Spring of Spite: Richard Yates): File this one under “things I wouldn’t know about if not for doing this podcast.” I found the whole concept of spite houses to be fascinating, particularly the story of Charles Crocker’s Nob Hill mansion and the “spite fence” he built to drive away his neighbor.

Favorite Winter of Wayback Discovery

Lawn Chair Larry (Winter of Wayback: 1982): There were a lot of good discoveries to choose from, but I think my favorite is still the story of “Lawn Chair” Larry Walters, which comes at the tail end of this episode. It starts off as a goofy tale of an eccentric crank and then gets really fucking sad.

Least Favorite Tom Pick

Neal Stephenson, SNOW CRASH (Episode 91): As with the last category, there were lots to choose from this year, including my least favorite “book” that I read for the show, Penelope Lively’s MAKING IT UP. But for sheer, visceral pain, I’ve got to go with SNOW CRASH, a book I found insufferably, obnoxiously un-funny. Sample dialogue:

“Let’s put on our acid-washed jeans and hack the ‘Net!”

“Cowabunga!”

“Eat my shorts!”

Favorite Guest Pick

Emily Carroll, THROUGH THE WOODS (Episode 96, picked by Kelly Phillips and Claire Folkman): This category is especially tough, because all our guests picked books I liked this year. Annie Liontas made us read a James Baldwin book that easily made my top five, and Asali Solomon sprung Marlon James’s THE BOOK OF NIGHT WOMEN on us, which was a difficult and seriously powerful novel. But I’m giving the nod to this collection of spooky illustrated stories for two reasons: 1) I never would have read it if not for Kelly and Claire, and 2) I loved hearing their thoughts about how illustrated stories work, which taught me some new things.

Favorite Piece of Fan Fiction

Barack Obama and the Unicorn (Episode 87):  Having to choose just one piece of fan fiction is like having to choose your favorite child. As someone who doesn’t have any children, I can only imagine that is super easy! Anyway, this erotic story has everything you could possibly want: Barack Obama. A unicorn. The feeling of a cold beer bottle against your privates. Gandhi. JFK. Did I mention there was a unicorn?

Recommendation I’d Like To Take Back

I know some of you expected me to take back my recommendation (from Episode 96) for pizza-flavored beer, but no! I’m doubling down on that shit. In fact, after suggesting this category and then going back over my recommendations for the year, I have to say: they’re all pretty great. So: Not Applicable/Spotless Record/Thinkfluencer Of The Year.

Favorite Tom Rant

“Book Title —-> Matthew Quick Thanksgiving —–> Book Title: Reprise” (Episode 95): Algonquin decided they didn’t like the title of Tom’s forthcoming book, and also suggested he might like to meet Matthew Quick on his upcoming trip to North Carolina. This actually made me LOL a bunch of times while editing the episode. #ClassicTom

 

Tom’s Year in Review

Favorite Books of 2015, in Reverse Order for Most Dramatic Effect, And With Links to Their Respective Episodes

5. Emily Carroll, THROUGH THE WOODS (Episode 96)
4. Emmanuel Carrere, THE ADVERSARY (Episode 79)
3. David Carr, THE NIGHT OF THE GUN (Episode 81)
2. Marlon James, THE BOOK OF NIGHT WOMEN (Episode 88)
1. James Baldwin, IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK  (Episode 76)

Least Favorite Book of 2015

Elfriede Jelinek, GREED (Episode 94). This book was picked by one of our regular donors and a very nice guy who we met at our live show, and he warned me that this book would be very difficult. Because he’s been so generous to the show, and I had assured him that we can handle difficult (he’s the same donor who suggested Mine, by Peter Sotos),I really, really tried to see the virtues of this book. But, even after reading some interesting critical writing of her work, I just found the whole thing to be very unpleasant. I think it spawned an interesting discussion, though, and it also made me think more deeply about the value and function of confrontational art like this. Still, the book itself… I was not up to the challenge of this book (see the donor’s comments on that episode post for some helpful context on the book and the author).

Favorite Story or Essay

Flannery O’Connor, “Enoch and the Gorilla (from the Spring of Spite): I liked a lot of the shorts we read this year, but this one was so delightfully weird that it led indirectly to me writing my own sad gorilla story. It was good, too, to go back and read Flannery O’Connor again after having probably not read her since high school.

Least Favorite Mike Pick

Marguerite Duras, THE LOVER (Episode 92): I didn’t dislike this book, but Mike actually did pick a bunch of good books this year (it does pain me to admit this, given all his recent griping, but his list was definitely better than mine) and I was required by law to rank something last. I got the sense that if I’d read this book a second time, I would get more out of it, but the first time through I never really connected with it.

Favorite Piece of Fan Fiction

I don’t know that “favorite” is the word for this, but I found the unexpected pairings of this episode’s fan fiction to be absolutely fascinating (no spoilers!). 

Book I Didn’t Love But Am Glad That I Read

Karl Ove Knausgaard, A TIME FOR EVERYTHING (Episode 99): I get it. I get it. He’s good at writing. I just also maybe don’t care as much as everyone else seems to. It was interesting enough, and I liked a lot of the stuff about angels, but it also never clicked for me as essential reading the way I guess it was supposed to.

Favorite Guest Pick

Marlon James, THE BOOK OF NIGHT WOMEN (Episode 88, picked by Asali Solomon): This one doubles as my favorite episode of the year, and one of my top three episodes in show history, thanks almost entirely to Asali, who brought great energy and really pushed us to step up our game. This book was what I want out of great literature – it dealt with heavy questions, challenged me with complex characters, was the sort of thing I don’t think I could ever produce, and it was engaging as hell to read.

Favorite Winter of Wayback Factoid

All I wanted to do was talk about the Gum King here, but I guess he was actually covered in a December episode about Failed comebacks, so now I’m at a loss. I did really enjoy digging up information on James Ferry, whose only published story turned up in Best American 1982, and then he disappeared from the lit world. My favorite thing about the wayback episodes was thinking about what makes a literary career last, and why some writers seem to find an audience while others disappear.

Favorite Spite-Fueled Story

All the details of Gore Vidal’s many lit feuds, especially the bitter exchanges with Truman Capote.

Recommendation I’d Like to Take Back

The Science Vs. podcast (recommended in episode 91), in which I pretty quickly lost interest. Some weeks I’m stuck for a recommendation and so I just pick the newest media thing I’ve begun consuming, and sometimes it backfires.

Top 3 Apples Discussed On The Show This Year (don’t eat the skins)

1) honeycrisp

2) granny smith

3) gala

 

Top 2 Galas

 

Worst New Segment

James Patterson Novel or Eric Stoltz Movie From the 90s? – Debuted by Mike, shortly before Mike realized I don’t know anything about Eric Stoltz. It’s hard for a segment to live up to the promise of raccoon news, to be fair.

 

Best Book Mike Didn’t Finish

Snow Crash, although by my count this year, he finished all but two books, and the other was a 2000 page thing that nobody asked us to read and probably nobody has ever read in its entirety, and anyway it seemed important to still include this category. I didn’t love Snow Crash, but thought it was much better than Mike gave it credit for being, and, as I said on the show, I don’t think Mike ever gave that book even half a chance to be good before he quit on it. Thumbs down to Mike.

 

So there you go, folks! All the best (and worst!) stuff from 52 weeks of podcasting in 2015. We’ll be back next week with another exciting episode, plus we’ll be reviving the Winter of Wayback. So get yourself ready for that. In the meantime, if you like our show, please help spread the word to your book-loving friends and family. We’ve hit some great milestones in 2015, but we’re hoping to keep improving the show and growing our audience in 2016. Thanks again for all your support!

That’s another … YEAR … in the books!

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