49

McTeague

Despite all my rage, I am still just a canary in a cage. Jason Snell returns to discuss San Francisco, steam beer, and gold teeth in Frank Norris’s McTeague. Reading: David Loehr. Theme music: Malcolm Nygard.

John McCoy and Jason Snell


48

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

What’s waiting ‘round the bend, my Huckleberry friend? Jelani Sims helps make sense of the glorious mess that is Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

John McCoy with Jelani Sims


47

The Handmaid’s Tale

Before the Hulu series that everyone told you you had to watch was the Margaret Atwood novel that everyone told you you had to read. Caroline Fulford returns to discuss dystopias and how to tell your waves of feminism apart.

John McCoy with Caroline Fulford and Erika Ensign


46

Annie John

Sometimes, a girl just wants to play marbles. Kwame Phillips discusses the Caribbean, doctor fish, and Jamaica Kincaid’s Annie John.

John McCoy with Kwame Phillips and Jane Dempsey


45

Hawthorne tales

Unsightly blemishes! Toxic maidens! David Loehr returns to discuss two short stories by Nathaniel Hawthorne, “The Birthmark” and “Rappaccini’s Daughter.”

John McCoy and David J. Loehr


44

Invisible Man

And you thought your electric bill was nuts. Jane Dempsey returns to discuss Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man.

John McCoy with Jane Dempsey


43

The Glass Menagerie

It’s nothing a little glue won’t fix. David Loehr is here to discuss Tennessee Williams’s The Glass Menagerie.

John McCoy


42

The Stranger

Do you cry at funerals? If not, maybe you’re the protagonist of Albert Camus’s The Stranger. Matt Skuta returns to puzzle this absurd novel out.

John McCoy and Matt Skuta


41

Forever…

Guys let’s all be mature about this. Shannon Campe returns to discuss Judy Blume’s forbidden book for teens, “Forever…”

John McCoy and Shannon Campe


40

Absalom, Absalom!

Ashley Challinor and John spend a long still hot weary dead September afternoon discussing not merely a Absalom, Absalom! by Faulkner, nor yet the ideal of the great Southern novel, but in fact the very podcast of an ideal of a thought of a concept of a the becoming of a book.

John McCoy


39

Slaughterhouse Five

We return to both Kurt Vonnegut and to Jason Snell, as we discuss the most famous book about time and birdsong ever written, Slaughterhouse Five.

John McCoy with Jason Snell


38

Edna St. Vincent Millay

Are you unsure of how candles work? Then join Megan Tripp and John as we discuss the poetry of Edna St. Vincent Millay.

John McCoy with Megan Tripp


37

The Giver

When it comes to these podcasts, we give and give and you take and take! But that’s okay, because this time Matt Skuta and I are discussing Lois Lowry’s The Giver.

John McCoy with Matt Skuta


36

The Seagull

In mourning for your life? Then why not join Ethan Warren and John as they discuss Anton Chekov’s The Seagull.

John McCoy


35

The Courtship of Miles Standish

Look, it’s Thanksgiving and Dan and I are drunk. Let’s discuss Longfellow’s The Courtship of Miles Standish.

John McCoy and Dan McCoy


34

Crime and Punishment

Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time. We’re talking about 600 pages of time. Zach Powers joins the discussion of Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment.

John McCoy


33

Stories of Ambrose Bierce

It’s a good thing the rope broke so now we have time to talk about Ambrose Bierce’s “A Horseman in the Sky” and “Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge.” Spencer Seams of coming podcast Tune In Tonight is here to discuss stories that end happily with no surprises!

John McCoy


32

Bless Me, Ultima

Have you heard the Good News about the Golden Carp? Joel Torres is here to help us survive the perilous childhood of Rudolfo Anaya’s Bless Me, Ultima.

John McCoy


31

The Rivals

Quick, what was George Washington’s favorite play? If you guessed Richard Sheridan’s The Rivals, congratulations, you know how to use Google! Darren Husted joins in to discuss.

John McCoy


30

To the Lighthouse

Will a family of repressed middle-class Brits ever, in fact, make it To The Lighthouse? Join Trevor Gibson and John as we attempt not to be afraid of Virginia Woolf.

John McCoy


29

Edgar Allan Poe

Need something to do while you’re holed up in the palace avoiding the plague? Why not discuss a couple of Edgar Allan Poe stories with Daniel Daughhetee?

John McCoy


28

Their Eyes Were Watching God

Jane Dempsey discusses the birds and the bees—well, the bees at least—in Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God.

John McCoy


27

The Little Prince

What is essential is invisible to the eye—but we can still podcast about it. Anaïs Concepcion discusses The Little Prince.

John McCoy and Anaïs Concepcion


26

Brave New World

Time for a Soma Holiday! This time Jason Snell discusses Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World.

John McCoy with Jason Snell


25

Stories II: Jackson and O’Connor

Our high school years were full of teen angst. Let’s really give ourselves something to be upset about! Shannon Campe and Caroline Fulford discuss the brutal stories “The Lottery” (Shirley Jackson) and “A Good Man is Hard to Find” (Flannery O’Connor).

John McCoy with Shannon Campe and Caroline Fulford


24

Moby-Dick

Is it a damp, drizzly November in your soul? Then why not spend two hours with Glenn Fleishman discussing Herman Melville’s leviathantic Moby-Dick?

John McCoy with Glenn Fleishman


23

Death of a Salesman

The only thing you’ve got in this world is what you can sell. And we’re selling this fine podcast! Check out the quality workmanship that Nicolas Hoffman brings to this discussion of Arthur Miller’s inevitable Death of a Salesman.

John McCoy


22

Jane Eyre

Reader, we take on Jane Eyre: Caroline Fulford discusses bad childhoods, brooding noblemen, and something cray cray in the attic.

Caroline Fulford


21

Watership Down

Bunnies. ‘Nuff said. Malcolm Nygard joins to discuss Richard Adams’s epic tale of lagogmorphs, Watership Down.

John McCoy with Malcolm Nygard


20

Animal Farm

Elliott Kalan joins in for a quiet weekend in the country with George Orwell’s Animal Farm. Four legs: good! Four eyes: nerd!

John McCoy with Elliott Kalan


19

Romeo and Juliet

Two co-hosts, alike in dignity, Sharlene Wellington and Stuart Wellington join in for a star-crossed discussion of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Can we possibly say anything new about the most famous play ever? Probably not, but we sure giggle a lot.

John McCoy with Sharlene Wellington and Stuart Wellington


18

Stranger in a Strange Land

You asked for it. Oh, why did you ask for it? Jason Snell returns to discuss Robert A. Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land, in a double-sized podcast that will take as long to listen to as the book does to read.

John McCoy with Jason Snell


17

Pride and Prejudice

Let’s not jump to conclusions. This time Sammi C joins in to discuss Jane Austen’s inescapable classic, Pride and Prejudice. Put on your empire dresses, grab your dance cards, and let’s do this!

John McCoy with Sammi C


16

The Scarlet Letter

This time historian Daniel Daughetee of The Lesser Bonapartes joins in to discuss Nathaniel Hawthorne’s inescapable novel The Scarlet Letter. What? You somehow made it through high school without reading it? You should have to wear a symbol of your shame for all to see! Also, last week I neglected to mention that Malcolm Nygard, composer of the new theme song, has his own podcast: Apoc Radio.

John McCoy with Daniel Daughetee


15

The Chocolate War

Do you dare disturb the universe? If not, do you dare to read the über-depressing novel The Chocolate War by Robert Corimer? Join Shannon Campe as we discuss the surprising number of autoerotic scenes in this seminal work of teen literature. Also! A new theme song! A surprise guest reader! And dodgy audio that lets you know I recorded this in my basement.

John McCoy with Shannon Campe


14

A Raisin in the Sun

Ocomogosiay! This time John atones for the shame of not having read Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun back at his lily-white high school. Fortunately, first-time podcaster Dominique Garnette joins in to discuss life in the South Side.

John McCoy with Dominique Garnette


13

Short Stories I: The Lady, or the Tiger?, The Monkey’s Paw, The Most Dangerous Game

Careful which door you choose. Or what you wish for. Or which island you wind up stranded on in the middle of the night with a couple of crazy foreigners. John Siracusa returns to discuss a trio of twisty stories, “The Lady, or the Tiger?,” “The Monkey’s Paw,” and “The Most Dangerous Game.” With readings so short, you have no excuse to come to class unprepared!

John McCoy with John Siracusa


12

Poetry: Frost and Sandburg

Don your berets! This time Erik Stadnik joins in to look at some of the poems we read in high school, by flinty New Englander Robert Frost and exuberant Midwesterner Carl Sandburg. Get in touch with your sensitive side (for once)!

John McCoy with Erik Stadnik


11

Cat’s Cradle

Don’t be a stuppa. Forget your granfalloon and let this podcast be your wampter. Jason Snell joins in to discuss Kurt Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle. Busy, busy, busy!

John McCoy with Jason Snell


10

The Old Man and the Sea

What must a man endure? Must a man endure a podcast about Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea? Sure, why not. Erika Ensign joins in to discuss marlins, sharks, and the Great DiMaggio.

John McCoy with Erika Ensign


9

The Skin of Our Teeth

Dinosaurs and mammoths and the end of the world, oh my! This time Phil Gonzales joins in to discuss the time we made it through by The Skin of Our Teeth. Is Thornton Wilder’s play still relevant? Is it understandable? Why aren’t you watching it right now?

John McCoy with Phil Gonzales


8

Wuthering Heights

I’m so co-o-o-old, let me in-a your window so we can talk about Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights. This time I’m joined by Shannon Campe to discuss those crazy kids Heath and Cathy.

John McCoy with Shannon Campe


7

Of Mice and Men

Wee, sleekit, cow’rin, tim’rous beastie, O, what a podcast for thy iPhone! David Kalan joins in for a discussion of John Steinbeck’s meditation on bindlestiffs and sausages, Of Mice and Men.

John McCoy with David Kalan


6

A Separate Peace

A lot of the books we read in high school were downers, but only one book was literally about falling down, out of a tree. Al Lewis attended the real school where A Separate Peace took place and lived to tell about it, which (spoiler alert) is more than we can say for all the novel’s characters.

John McCoy with Al Lewis


5

To Kill a Mockingbird

Don’t go poking around the old Radley house. But if you do, bring along bona fide southern belle Beth Lewis Auron as we discuss Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird.

John McCoy with Beth Lewis Auron


4

Fahrenheit 451

As Nelly might say, It’s getting hot in here, so put away all your books. Liza Daly joins me in discussing a world without books (which for our younger listeners are dead trees with printing on them), Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451.

John McCoy with Liza Daly


3

The Great Gatsby

Do you believe in the Green Light? Guest host Carla Curtsinger does. Join us as we discuss yellow cars, neglected babies, and giant eyes on billboards. It’s F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby.

John McCoy with Carla Curtsinger


2

The Catcher in the Rye

Phonies watch out. This discussion of J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in The Rye is extra long. Who’d have guessed that John Siracusa would have so much to say? Check into a seedy hotel and have a listen, won’t you?

John McCoy with John Siracusa


1

Lord of the Flies

In our first episode we explore how similar-sounding a host’s and guest’s voices can be as John is joined by his brother, Dan, of the Flop House Podcast. We talk about everyone’s favorite story of Man vs. Nature vs. Man’s Dark Heart vs. Pig, Lord of the Flies by William Golding.

John McCoy with Dan McCoy