Book Fight!

Tough love for literature


Episode 156: Lester Bangs, Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung

This week we welcome guest Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib, author of the poetry collection The Crown Ain’t Worth Much and a regular contributor to the revamped and relaunched As is our custom, we let our guest pick the book, and Hanif chose the collected works of music writer Lester Bangs, Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung, which was published after his death.


We talk about what separates good music criticism from lousy music criticism, and what people look for from criticism in an age of social-media quick takes. We also talk about how to make an argument for the things you love and the things you hate, and how to keep nostalgia in its proper place. Plus The Wiz, and Space Jam, and why the NBA is a more ethical choice for today’s sports fan than the NFL.

As always, you can stream the episode right here on our site, or you can download the mp3 file. You can also find us in the iTunes store, or wherever you normally get your podcasts. If you check us out in iTunes, please consider leaving us a quick rating and review, which helps us to reach new listeners. And help spread the word to your book-loving friends!

Oh, and we’re always glad to hear your feedback about what we talked about on the show. You can email us, hit us up on Twitter or Facebook, or just leave a comment here on the site.

Thanks for listening!


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Episode 148: Michael Crichton, Jurassic Park

This week we welcome special guest Jim Miller, brother of past guest Jen Miller but also his own person! Jim’s book pick was Jurassic Park, a novel he loved as a kid and continues to love. We talk about dinosaurs, how our knowledge of them has grown and why certain images have endured in popular culture, even if we know they’re not accurate.


In the second half of the show we talk to Jim about his work as a cartographer and an app developer. We also talk to him about his appearance in Sports Illustrated, and his lifelong interest in dinosaurs. Here’s a photo one of his coworkers captured of Jim in the field.


As always, you can stream the episode right here on our site, or download the mp3 file. You can also visit us in the iTunes store, where you can download past episodes and subscribe (for free!) so you never miss another weekly installment.

Check out Jim’s site for more info on the apps he designed, and check out his Pose & Draw Dinosaur app, which is free this week only, in the iTunes store.

Stream Episode 149:

Download Episode 149 (right-click, save-as)

Thanks for listening!