Book Fight!

Tough love for literature


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Episode 86: Maggie Nelson, Bluets

This week is a Mike pick, as he continues to seek out unconventional memoirs and other works of creative nonfiction. Like our book from Episode 83, D.J. Waldie’s Holy Land, Maggie Nelson’s Bluets proceeds in short, numbered sections that build meaning through accretion and juxtaposition, rather than a traditional narrative arc. The book is, ostensibly, about Nelson’s obsession with the color blue, but she uses that more as a jumping-off point for discussions of love and loss, pain and pleasure, and to what degree we can, or should, trust our own perceptions.

bluets

We also talk this week about Tom’s recent Italian vacation, and his newfound hatred of Rome. Plus Mike’s growing hatred of online user reviews (including some particularly idiotic ones for this book).

As always, you can listen to the episode right here on our site, by clicking on the streaming player below. Or you can download the mp3 file. Or visit us in the iTunes store, where you can listen to back episodes and subscribe (for free!) to make sure you never miss another installment. While you’re in iTunes, please take a second to leave us a rating and a review. Both those things help the show move up the charts and ultimately allow us to reach more people.

We’re always happy to hear what you think about the things we discussed on the show. You can email us directly, hit us up on Twitter, or just leave a comment here on the site. Also: we’re now on Facebook! So come visit us over there, where we’ll post occasional photos and show notes, and maybe preview upcoming show features.

Stream:

Download Episode 86 (right-click, save-as)

Thanks for listening!


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Episode 83: D.J. Waldie, Holy Land

This week’s book is an unconventional memoir: in 300 short, numbered sections, D.J. Waldie investigates the origins of his hometown, a suburb outside of Los Angeles considered the Levittown of Southern California, as well as his own life and the lives of his parents. We talk about the book’s unusual construction, and how it creates connections and meaning through surprising juxtapositions.

HolyLand

Also this week: Fan Fiction Corner makes its long-awaited, triumphant return! Have you ever wanted to travel through time so you could hang out with the Beatles? Have you ever dreamed of impregnating an in-his-prime Paul McCartney? Have you ever wondered what it might be like if the Lads from Liverpool boned each other?

As always, you can listen to the episode right here on our site, by clicking on the streaming player below. Or you can download the mp3 file. Or visit us in the iTunes store, where you can listen to back episodes and subscribe (for free!) to make sure you never miss another installment. While you’re in iTunes, please take a second to leave us a rating and a review. Both those things help the show move up the charts and ultimately allow us to reach more people.

We’re always happy to hear what you think about the things we discussed on the show. You can email us directly, hit us up on Twitter, or just leave a comment here on the site. Also: As of a few days ago, we’re now on Facebook! So come visit us over there, where we’ll post occasional photos and show notes, and maybe preview upcoming show features.

Thanks for listening! And please come on back next week!

Download Episode 83 (right-click, save-as)