Book Fight!

Tough love for literature


Episode 52: Michael Wayne Hampton, Romance for Delinquents

This week’s book is a story collection from Foxhead Books, and features small-town characters whose lives have fallen short of their dreams. We talk about the difference between generous and stereotypical portrayals of small-town Southern characters, how to put together a story collection, and why Americans keep shooting each other.


If you’re interested in the workshops we mention on this week’s show: the bad news is the poetry workshop is sold out; the good news is there are still spots available for fiction and nonfiction. You can register here. And check out the Barrelhouse site, where you can order Issue 12, get information about our upcoming books, and register for our annual D.C. writers’ conference (so much Barrelhouse stuff!)

While we’re bossing you around about clicking things on the internet, we’d be remiss not to mention our regular sponsor, Powell’s Books, where you can shop online while supporting an actual brick-and-mortar bookstore. If you use any of the links around our site to get to the Powell’s page, we’ll get a little cut from every purchase you make (whether it’s something we’ve recommended or not). So far those referrals have bought us some much-appreciated beers, and we’re looking forward to more. You read, we drink, everybody wins!

As always, you can stream the episode for free on our site, or visit us in the iTunes store, where you can subscribe (for free) and never miss another installment.

Thanks for listening!


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Episode 23: George Singleton, Stray Decorum

This week’s a Mike pick: George Singleton’s new story collection, Stray Decorum (Dzanc Books), which is set in (mostly) small-town South Carolina and populated by men who are using their intelligence in all the wrong ways. Also there’s a monkey, and lots and lots of dogs. We also bring back our Judge A Book By Its Cover feature, take a couple potshots at Tucker Max, and blurb three more donors to our fundraising drive.


This week’s episode is sponsored by Cobalt, a literary journal based in Baltimore and publishing both online and in print. They’re offering a special discount to Book Fight listeners: the new print issue for just $6 (half-off the cover price). To get the discount, follow this link. While you’re there, check out their new online issue, which just went live today.

For those who want to see the cover of Jon Longhi’s Wake up and Smell the Beer so you can judge along with us:


As always, you can stream the episode here on the site, or download the mp3 file. Or check us out in iTunes, where you can subscribe to the show and never miss another episode.

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Episode 11: Laura van den Berg, What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us

Book Fight road trip! Tom and Mike drove several hours to State College to talk with Dave Housley—author of two story collections and one of the founding editors of Barrelhouse magazine—about a book he recommended to us, Laura van den Berg’s What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us, published in 2009 by Dzanc Books. Continue reading