Book Fight!

Tough love for literature

Episode 107: The 2015 Christmas Spectacular

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year! A time for family, and togetherness, but once you’re tired of family and togetherness, pour yourself a little egg nog, and listen to our discussion of two absurd Christmas books! It’s an annual tradition here at Book Fight Headquarters. Each of us picks a schmaltzy holiday book, and we decide whether it should go into the Christmas Canon or be shot out of a Christmas cannon. Ok, that last part is made up, but it’s basically what we do.

First up this year is a little gem by feel-good romance novelist Debbie Macomber, whose books seek to uplift her readers “with stories of connection and hope.” According to the FAQ on her website, living with men (her husband and sons) taught her “how men think … or don’t think.” Dr. Wynne Jeffries, one of the main characters of Christmas Letters, would mostly fall into the latter camp. On the one hand, he’s a celebrated child psychiatrist with a best-selling book about child-rearing, but on the other hand he’s a big dumb idiot who is more than willing to sell all his beliefs down the river in exchange for some light makeout action. Katherine, meanwhile, better known as “K.O.,” is a 28-year-old college student who owns a condo in a doorman building, dresses like a 50-year-old lady, and also enjoys makeout sessions that never lead to sex.

“These two sound like a match made in heaven,” you might be thinking right now. “What could possibly go wrong?”

The answer: Very little!


Our second Christmas book is a team effort from mother-daughter combo Mary Higgins Clark and Carol Higgins Clark, both respected rich authors in their own rights. It took both their unique talents to pull together this bizarre tale of a Bernie Madoff type who hides a flask of diamonds in a tree for some reason, and the ragtag bunch of self-satisfied millionaires who eventually bring him to justice in the Vermont woods.


We hope that your holiday season also ends with you finding a flask filled with diamonds. Or at least with bourbon! And thanks for spending another year with us. We’ll be taking next week off, but we’ll be back in the New Year with a brand new episode. Also starting in January we’ll be bringing back, by popular demand, our Winter of Wayback series, in which we pick a year, read a prize-winning story or essay published in that year, and then try our best to put that story into context with the year’s other pop cultural goings-on.

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, including the book covers above, then shop as you normally would, we’ll get a small percentage of every dollar you spend.

To stream this week’s episode, just click on the little player below. Or download the mp3 file. Or you can visit us in the iTunes store, where you can always download back episodes and subscribe (for free!) to make sure you always get future installments.

Thanks for listening! Happy holidays!


Download Episode 107 (right-click, save-as)


Author: mikeingram25

writer, editor

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