The Egypt Game

No, I won’t make a Bangles joke. Erin Gambrill discusses Zilpha Keatley Snyder’s The Egypt Game (1967).

John McCoy with Erin Gambrill


Bambi, a Life in the Woods

Bambi’s not so cute in this gritty new reboot. Glenn Fleishman discusses Felix Salten’s 1923 parable about what goes on in the woods. Also we talk a lot about copyright.

John McCoy with Glenn Fleishman


At the Mountains of Madness

Climb ev’ry mountain—except these mountains, they’re nuts. Phil Gonzales discusses H.P. Lovecraft’s “At the Mountains of Madness,” written in 1931 and published in 1936.

John McCoy with Phil Gonzales


Under Milk Wood

To begin at the beginning: David Loehr is back in the slow, black, crowblack, podcast-bobbing sea to discuss Dylan Thomas’s Under Milk Wood (1954).

John McCoy with David J. Loehr


The Bell Jar

New Year’s is a time for optimism, but instead Christy Admiraal discusses Sylvia Plath’s 1963 roman à clef, the Bell Jar. Also, John totally gets the dates wrong for this book’s complicated publishing history.

John McCoy with Christy Admiraal


Christmas Special: Gift of the Magi

But I sold my Zune to buy you this podcast! Marina and John discuss hair, watches, and O. Henry’s “The Gift of the Magi.”

John McCoy with Marina McCoy


Thanksgiving Special: Burma-Shave

It’s turkey time / once again / Dan and Rob / dive right in / we discuss / Buma-Shave!

John McCoy with Dan McCoy and Rob McCoy


Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog)

Let your boat of life be light, packed with only what you need—a podcast, for example, where Bill O’Donnell discusses Jerome K. Jerome’s very silly Three Men in a Boat (1889).

John McCoy with Bill O'Donnell


Peter Pan

Grab on to your happy thought and join Shannon Campe in discussing James Barrie’s complicated children’s novel Peter Pan (1911), originally called Peter and Wendy.

John McCoy with Shannon Campe


Spoon River Anthology

Spoon River…wider than a mile. Okay, now that we have that out of our way, join Lisa Schmeiser as we discuss Edgar Lee Master’s poetic collection *Spoon River Anthology *(1915).

John McCoy with Lisa Schmeiser


The Dispossessed

Anarchy in the U. K. (LeGuin)! David Woken talks a lot of politics and a little story as we discuss The Dispossessed (1974).

John McCoy with David Woken


Kerouac and Ginsberg

Gena Radcliffe and John don’t blab any drab gab—they chatter hep patter about Jack Kerouac’s “October in the Railroad Earth” (1957) and Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl” (1954-55).

John McCoy with Gena Radcliffe


Flowers for Algernon

I no I wil be smart won day. Until thin I will diskus Daniel Keyes’s epistolary novel Flowers for Algernon (1966) with Jason Snell.

John McCoy with Jason Snell



Please invite in Jelani Lee and Matt Skuta to discuss Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1897). We can’t start until you do.

John McCoy with Jelani Sims and Matt Skuta


Hans Christian Andersen

Let’s all hunker around this match and discuss some of the tales by Hans Christian Andersen. David Loehr returns.

John McCoy with David J. Loehr


George Orwell Essays

It’s phraseology and pachyderms, as Daniel Daughetee discusses Orwell’s “Politics and the English Language” (1946) and “Shooting an Elephant” (1936).

John McCoy with Daniel Daughetee


Our Town

Enjoy every, every minute of Phil and John discussing Thornton Wilder’s Our Town (1938).

John McCoy with Phil Gonzales



Maybe you should consider listening to this episode, in which Sammi C. discusses Jane Austen’s Persuasion (1817). Actually, we must insist.

John McCoy with Sammi C


Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus

Marina McCoy returns to discuss faith, fairies, and newspapers in Francis Pharcellus Church’s “Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus” (1897).

John McCoy with Marina McCoy


The Crucible

Why am I persecuted here? Travis Bedard discusses Arthur Miller’s 1953 The Crucible.

John McCoy with Travis Bedard



I think that I will never see brothers so drunk as we three. Drunken Thanksgiving continues this year with Rob, Dan, and John discussing Joyce Kilmer’s Trees (1914).

John McCoy with Rob McCoy and Dan McCoy


Atlas Shrugged

Who cares who John Galt is? Bridget Kennedy discusses the geniuses and moochers of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged (1957).

John McCoy with Bridget Kennedy


Native Son

Jelani Sims returns to discuss Richard Wright’s 1940 wake-up call, Native Son.

John McCoy with Jelani Sims


Walt Whitman: Lincoln Poems

O Captain, My Captain, the podcast has begun! Daniel Daughetee discusses two Whitman poems about Lincoln.

John McCoy with Daniel Daughetee


White Noise

I considered posting an hour of static, but instead here’s Erin Gambrill and me discussing Don Delillo’s postmodern novel White Noise (1985).

John McCoy with Erin Gambrill



Last night I dreamed I did a podcast again. It seemed to me that Gena Radcliffe discussed Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier (1935).

John McCoy with Gena Radcliffe


Little Women

Christmas isn’t Christmas without presents, and literary podcasts aren’t literary podcasts without an exhaustive conversation about Louisa May Alcott’s essential coming of age book. Shannon Campe discusses.

John McCoy with Shannon Campe


Required reading

Happy 100th episode everybody! For this special Sophomore Lit, I asked random people what they remembered most about their high school literature classes.

John McCoy


“Tam O’ Shanter” and “To a Mouse”

Och, please dinnae make fun of non-Scottish people Darren Husted and John as they discuss and try to read aloud excerpts of Robert Burns’s “Tam O’ Shanter” (1791) and “To a Mouse” (1785).

John McCoy with Darren Husted


The Martian Chronicles

You’re the Martian now, Dog! Jason Snell discusses frontiers and sad houses in Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles (1950).

John McCoy with Jason Snell and David J. Loehr


A Christmas Memory

It’s fruitcake weather! John and Marina discuss memory, dog bones, and kites in Truman Capote’s “A Christmas Memory” (1956).

John McCoy with Marina McCoy


The Way of All Flesh

It’s a big long book about Victorian religion and railroad investments! Daniel Reifferscheid discusses Samuel Butler’s The Way of All Flesh (1903).

John McCoy with Daniel Reifferscheid


Casey at the Bat

There is no joy in Mudville. My brother Dan discusses “Casey at the Bat” (1888). Happy Thanksgiving!

John McCoy with Dan McCoy


The Bear

And still bellowing he came. Jacob Haller discusses William Faulkner’s “The Bear” (1942).

Jacob Haller


Mrs. Dalloway

Does anybody really know what time it is? Zach Powers discusses Virginia Woolf’s 1925 novel, Mrs. Dalloway.

John McCoy with Zach Powers and Jean MacDonald


Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

I promise we won’t make any jokes about losing our heads. Sarah Ifft Decker discusses Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.

John McCoy with Sarah Ifft Decker


The Sword in the Stone

We didn’t mention that the titular Sword is not the same thing as Excalibur because you already knew that. Rosalynde Vas Dias discusses T.H. White’s The Sword in the Stone (1938).

John McCoy with Rosalynde Vas Dias


The Wind in the Willows

There is nothing half so much worth doing as messing about in boats, except maybe messing about in podcasts. Erin Gambrill discusses The Wind in the Willows.

John McCoy with Erin Gambrill and Kelly Guimont



John Siracusa returns to discuss Edwin Abbott’s Flatland (1884). Will it give us a new perspective or will it leave us flat? (Spoiler, John hated it.)

John McCoy with John Siracusa


Fifth Business

After four failed IPOs, we’re sure this one will work! Dan McCoy discusses Robertson Davies’s Fifth Business (1970).

Dan McCoy


The Importance of Being Earnest

The truth is rarely pure and never simple. However, podcasts are both. Ollie Brady discusses Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest (1895).

John McCoy with Ollie Brady


The Yellow Wallpaper

Caroline Fulford returns to discuss a nice story about home decorating, Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper.”

John McCoy with Caroline Fulford


The Long Winter

John’s wife, Marina, returns to discuss strange birds, hidden wheat, and barrel turkeys in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s The Long Winter.

John McCoy with Marina McCoy


Guy De Maupassant

Anaïs Concepcion returns to discuss necklaces, hypocrisy, and roasted chickens in jelly in Guy De Maupassant’s “The Necklace” and “Boule de Suif.”

John McCoy with Anaïs Concepcion


The Day of the Locust

Some people just want to watch the world burn. Josh Hollis and Brian Skinner discuss Nathaniel West’s 1939 novel, The Day of the Locust.

John McCoy with Josh Hollis and Brian Skinner


Guys and Dolls

We’ve never done a musical before / now all at once it’s Guys and Dolls forevermore. David Loehr discusses the original high school musical.

John McCoy with David J. Loehr


The Call of the Wild

Will we answer the Call of the Wild or will we say “new phone, who dis?” Laura Hayes discusses mushing, wolves, and the surprising amount of Socialism in Jack London’s 1903 novel.

John McCoy


A Child’s Christmas in Wales

There were always podcasts at Christmas. Pour some whiskey in your eggnog and join Rosalynde Vas Dias in discussing Dylan Thomas’s A Child’s Christmas in Wales.

John McCoy with Rosalynde Vas Dias


The Red Badge of Courage

Hither and thither, the entire Snell Family is here to discuss Stephen Crane’s The Red Badge of Courage (1895).

John McCoy with Jason Snell, Lauren Snell and Jamie Snell


A People’s History of the United States

Rise up and seize the methods of producing history textbooks! Daniel Daughhetee discusses the alternative textbook A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn (1980).

John McCoy with Daniel Daughetee


Over the River and Through the Woods

The horse knows the way—but to WHOSE house? The answer may surprise you. The McCoy Boys are all here for the annual drunk Thanksgiving episode to discuss Lydia Maria Child’s “The New-England Boy’s Song about Thanksgiving Day” (1844).

John McCoy with Dan McCoy and Rob McCoy


An Enemy of the People

Election Day Special: What does a 19th Century play have to do with fake news and ecological disaster? Probably nothing, but Shannon Campe and Zach Powers are here nonetheless to discuss Henrik Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People (1882).

John McCoy with Shannon Campe and Zach Powers


The War of the Worlds

No one would have believed in the first years of the twenty-first century that this podcast was being listened to keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man’s and yet as mortal as his own. Jason Snell discusses H.G. Wells’s The War of the Worlds (1897).

John McCoy with Jason Snell


A Prayer for Owen Meany

Carla Curtsinger talks armadillos, armlessness, and all caps in John Irving’s A Prayer for Owen Meany.

John McCoy with Carla Curtsinger



If only, if only the woodpecker cries, this podcast would adhere to a regular schedule. Matt Skuta returns to discuss Louis Sachar’s beloved middle-reader, Holes.

John McCoy with Matt Skuta


The Westing Game

Fun for the whole family! Ages 10 and up! Dan McCoy discusses Ellen Raskin’s The Westing Game (1978).

John McCoy with Dan McCoy and Nathan Alderman


William Carlos Williams

This is Just to Podcast

David Loehr and I will not be making the obvious joke that is just sitting there

and which you were probably expecting for a podcast about WCW

Forgive me I am not a hack

John McCoy with David J. Loehr, Kathy Campbell, Moisés Chiullan, Steve Lutz and Jessica Epstein


Waiting for Godot

Nobody comes, nobody goes, but every few weeks we have a podcast, like this one where Brian Hamilton tries to make sense of Beckett’s Waiting for Godot.

John McCoy with Brian Hamilton



Marina McCoy talks about Ulysses yes and Joyce and Ireland yes and jessamine and geraniums and cactuses yes and shall I wear a red yes

John McCoy with Marina McCoy


Ender’s Game

Can’t we play Catan instead? Liz Riegel joins to discuss that most emo young adult novel, Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game.

John McCoy with Liz Riegel and Jason Snell


The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Hope you like the Smiths. Hayden Gibson discusses the modern classic of introvert life, The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

John McCoy with Hayden Gibson and Brian Hamilton


Little House in the Big Woods

Wolves, fiddles, maple candy, and manifest destiny. Lisa Schmeiser discusses Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder.

John McCoy with Lisa Schmeiser and Kelly Guimont


A Streetcar Named Desire

Don’t you just love those long rainy afternoons in New Orleans when an hour isn’t just an hour, but an hour spent discussing Tennessee Williams’s best-known play? Gena Radcliffe guest hosts.

John McCoy with Gena Radcliffe and Shannon Campe


Winesburg, Ohio

Small towns aren’t all fun and games and Journey songs. Erin Gambrill discusses Sherwood Anderson’s Winesburg, Ohio (1919).

John McCoy with Erin Gambrill and David J. Loehr


A Farewell to Arms

If the world is in no special hurry to kill you, why not join Jason Snell to discuss war, love and vermouth? It’s Ernest Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms.

John McCoy with Jason Snell



Glenn Fleishman returns to the show to discuss today’s modern Prometheuses. It’s the long-awaited episode on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818-31).

John McCoy and Glenn Fleishman with Moisés Chiullan


Alas, Babylon

Time enough at last…to read novels about nuclear Armageddon! Jelani Sims guests to discuss Pat Frank’s Alas, Babylon.

Jelani Sims


The Outsiders

Nothing gold can stay, but that won’t stop Matt Skuta and John from talking about the greasy hair and switchblades in S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders.

John McCoy with Matt Skuta


John Donne and Andrew Marvell

Had we but world enough and time, we could talk about more poems than just these two: John Donne’s “A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning” and Andrew Marvell’s “To His Coy Mistress.” Liz Riegel joins the discussion on meter, metaphor, and metaphysics.

John McCoy



What do you see when you look at this inkblot: a masterpiece of sequential art, or a confusing mess? Christy Admiraal discusses the unavoidable Moore / Gibbons comic Watchmen.

John McCoy with Christy Admiraal


A Tale of Two Cities

It may not be the best of times, it may not be the worst of times, but it’s time for a new episode so let’s discuss Charles Dickens’s novel of beheading and knitting. Rosalynde Vas Dias joins.

John McCoy with Rosalynde Vas Dias


From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

Time to appreciate the finer things in life, by sleeping on them. Tamar Avishai discusses E. L. Konigsburg’s From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.

John McCoy


The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

ARRR, it be Thanksgiving so it’s time for gettin’ drunk and talkin’ poems with family. Dan and Rob McCoy join in to discuss Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.”

John McCoy with Dan McCoy and Rob McCoy


The Haunting of Hill House

Gena Radcliffe discusses sanity and shuffles in Shirley Jackson’s spookifying The Haunting of Hill House. Happy Halloween!

John McCoy


The Awakening

Beth Auron discusses why you should never swim less than 20 minutes before reading Kate Chopin’s The Awakening.

John McCoy


Lamb to the Slaughter

If only he’d been a vegetarian. Shannon Campe returns to discuss one of Roald Dahl’s shockers for adults, “Lamb to the Slaughter.”

John McCoy and Shannon Campe


A Wrinkle in Time

What happens when you don’t take your clock out of the dryer soon enough? You get A Wrinkle in Time. Matt Skuta returns to discuss tesseracts and bouncing balls.

John McCoy with Matt Skuta



Sophmore Lit hits 50 episodes with the return of John Siracusa as we sort the living from The Dead in James Joyce’s Dubliners (1914).

John McCoy with John Siracusa and David J. Loehr



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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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



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


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


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


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


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


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


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 with Dan McCoy


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Brave New World

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

John McCoy with Jason Snell


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



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


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


Jane Eyre

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

Caroline Fulford


Watership Down

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

John McCoy with Malcolm Nygard


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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