Wolves, fiddles, maple candy, and manifest destiny. Lisa Schmeiser discusses Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder.
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.
Small towns aren’t all fun and games and Journey songs. Erin Gambrill discusses Sherwood Anderson’s Winesburg, Ohio (1919).
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.
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).
Time enough at last…to read novels about nuclear Armageddon! Jelani Sims guests to discuss Pat Frank’s Alas, Babylon.
March 1, 2018 • 56 minutes • Jelani Sims
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.
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.
January 25, 2018 • 40 minutes • 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.
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.
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.
December 1, 2017 • 48 minutes • John McCoy
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.”
Gena Radcliffe discusses sanity and shuffles in Shirley Jackson’s spookifying The Haunting of Hill House. Happy Halloween!
October 30, 2017 • 1 hour, 5 minutes • John McCoy
Beth Auron discusses why you should never swim less than 20 minutes before reading Kate Chopin’s The Awakening.
October 20, 2017 • 56 minutes • John McCoy
If only he’d been a vegetarian. Shannon Campe returns to discuss one of Roald Dahl’s shockers for adults, “Lamb to the Slaughter.”
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
Sometimes, a girl just wants to play marbles. Kwame Phillips discusses the Caribbean, doctor fish, and Jamaica Kincaid’s Annie John.
Unsightly blemishes! Toxic maidens! David Loehr returns to discuss two short stories by Nathaniel Hawthorne, “The Birthmark” and “Rappaccini’s Daughter.”
And you thought your electric bill was nuts. Jane Dempsey returns to discuss Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man.
It’s nothing a little glue won’t fix. David Loehr is here to discuss Tennessee Williams’s The Glass Menagerie.
April 10, 2017 • 57 minutes • John McCoy
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.
Guys let’s all be mature about this. Shannon Campe returns to discuss Judy Blume’s forbidden book for teens, “Forever…”
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.
February 3, 2017 • 50 minutes • John McCoy
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.
Are you unsure of how candles work? Then join Megan Tripp and John as we discuss the poetry of Edna St. Vincent Millay.
In mourning for your life? Then why not join Ethan Warren and John as they discuss Anton Chekov’s The Seagull.
December 2, 2016 • 1 hour, 9 minutes • John McCoy
Look, it’s Thanksgiving and Dan and I are drunk. Let’s discuss Longfellow’s The Courtship of Miles Standish.
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.
October 30, 2016 • 1 hour, 9 minutes • John McCoy
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!
October 20, 2016 • 55 minutes • John McCoy
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.
September 14, 2016 • 1 hour, 27 minutes • John McCoy
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.
August 21, 2016 • 1 hour, 24 minutes • John McCoy
August 4, 2016 • 1 hour, 4 minutes • John McCoy
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?
July 4, 2016 • 1 hour, 2 minutes • John McCoy
Jane Dempsey discusses the birds and the bees—well, the bees at least—in Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God.
June 15, 2016 • 59 minutes • John McCoy
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).
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.
March 24, 2016 • 1 hour, 25 minutes • John McCoy
March 15, 2016 • 1 hour, 25 minutes • Caroline Fulford
Bunnies. ‘Nuff said. Malcolm Nygard joins to discuss Richard Adams’s epic tale of lagogmorphs, Watership Down.
Elliott Kalan joins in for a quiet weekend in the country with George Orwell’s Animal Farm. Four legs: good! Four eyes: nerd!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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)!
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!
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?
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.
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.
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?
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.