Book Fight!

Tough love for literature

Summer of Shorts Episode 1: Braverman and Bermudas


We’re putting our usual Writers Ask episodes on hold to kick off a special summer series, during which we’ll be talking about short stories and also short pants. For our inaugural Summer of Shorts episode, we read Kate Braverman’s “Tall Tales From the Mekong Delta” (a Tom pick), which has been pretty widely anthologized. You can read it for free here, on Kate Braverman’s website.


We also talk about bermuda shorts (a Mike pick), the standard-bearer of summer shortsdom. Should men bare their legs in the summer and, if so, where and when? How long should men’s shorts be? What kinds of shoes should you wear with shorts? And why are they called bermuda shorts in the first place?

Here’s a link to the Jezebel post Mike mentioned during the episode, which argues that men’s shorts should get shorter. And here’s Too Short’s 1990 hit song “The Ghetto.”

Tom also talks this week about the several-year period during which he stopped wearing shorts entirely. And how his girlfriend (now his wife) brought him back into the shorts-wearing fold. Here’s a picture of beloved actor and comedian Martin Short.


As always, you can stream the episode right here on our site, or download the mp3 file. Or visit us in the iTunes store, where you can subscribe (for free) and never miss another episode. You can also find us on Stitcher Radio, or with whatever podcast app you like (Downcast, Instacast, etc.). Thanks for listening! If you like the show, tell your friends. If you’ve got feedback for us, you can send us an email, or hit us up on Twitter. Or just leave a note here in the comments.

We’ll be back next week with another regular book episode, followed by another Summer of Shorts installment in two weeks. So come on back!


Download Summer of Shorts Episode 1 (right-click, save-as)


Author: mikeingram25

writer, editor

2 thoughts on “Summer of Shorts Episode 1: Braverman and Bermudas

  1. I enjoyed the show, except for the ‘short pants’ segments. In fact, I dread the promised more ‘short pants’ talk in the next episode. I understand you wanting to offer a subject beyond the short story, but your shows usually have enough interesting digressions that keeps the show moving and breaking up the main subject so the listener doesn’t get bored. That works because those digressions are organic to what is being discussed. The short pants stuff is artificially injected and doesn’t work for me.

    I read the story before listening to the show. I went from enjoying it to flat out hating it once all the “clues” as to Lenny not being a literal person were pointed out. When I read, I like to take everything in the story as literal, and find myself irritated by stories that involve the character imagining situations and people. Why can’t Lenny be symbolic and a real part of the world he is written into? It just seems unnecessary. I mean, he’s already not real just by virtue of the fact he is in a short story I’m reading. Making him doubly so just adds unnecessary detail.

    Anyway, good show. I got a huge laugh from the author’s notes on the story. Doesn’t look like the sites been updated since 2006.

    • I think the shorts talk might grow on you! Or not. But we’re pretty committed to doing it as a goofy summer lark, so I guess at worst people who aren’t into it might have to just skip every other episode for the next 3 months (we’ll still be posting regular book-centered episodes every other week, as usual).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s