Book Fight!

Tough love for literature

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Episode 165: John Connolly, The Book of Lost Things

This week’s book was a Mike pick. A novel that draws on elements of familiar fairy tales and mythic stories, yet plays with them in a way that feels original. The author was new to us, but he’s well-known by readers of crime novels–he’s written a series of books featuring a private detective named Charlie Parker. This book seems like a departure for him, though.


We also talk this week about raccoons, because that’s something we do. Plus: the return of a long-dormant segment that has to do with Tom’s pants.

As always, you can stream the episode right here on our site, by clicking on the little player thingy below. Or download the mp3 file. You can also find us in the iTunes store, or wherever you normally get your podcasts.

Stream Episode 165:

Download Episode 165 (right-click, save-as)


Summer of Shorts Episode 4: Edward Porter and Cargo Shorts

This week we welcome back Dave Housley (Barrelhouse editor, Grateful Dead fan, author of the forthcoming If I Knew The Way, I Would Take You Home) to discuss Edward Porter’s story from Issue 11 of Barrelhouse, “The White Guy’s Guide to Marrying a Black Woman.” We talk about the story’s second-person voice, and how it both uses and transcends its “how-to” conceit. We also provide a peek inside the editorial process, and what makes a submission stand out in the queue.

Note: You can find a linked .pdf version of the story at the bottom of this post.


We’re also, of course, continuing our encyclopedic exploration through the world of shorts. We debate the relative coolness of cargo shorts, and when we, as a culture, reached “peak cargo.” We also discuss the rise of camouflage cargo, and the brief period during which all men’s bathing suits had extra cargo pockets. Whatever your opinion of pockets, I think we can all agree there is no reason for these things to exist:


Also this week, Mike finally drives Tom crazy, via the musical stylings of the band Phish. If only this were a video podcast, you could see some pretty sweet white-guy dance moves. Alas, you’ll just have to use your imagination.

As always, you can stream the episode right here on our site, by clicking on the little player thingy below, or download the mp3 file. Or, visit us in the iTunes store, where you can subscribe to the show (for free!) and never miss another installment. We also welcome your feedback on what we talked about: you can email us, hit us up on Twitter, or just leave a comment on this post.


Download Summer of Shorts #4 (right-click, save-as)

Ed Porter – The White Guy’s Guide To Marrying a Black Woman (pdf)