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A weekly podcast about books, writing, reading, and raccoons. Hosted by Mike Ingram and Tom McAllister, editors at Barrelhouse Magazine and authors of fiction and creative nonfiction. Winner of a 2015 Philadelphia Geek Award for Best Streaming Media Project. You don't need to read the books to enjoy the show!

A weekly podcast about books, writing, reading, and raccoons. Hosted by Mike Ingram and Tom McAllister, editors at Barrelhouse Magazine and authors of fiction and creative nonfiction. Winner of a 2015 Philadelphia Geek Award for Best Streaming Media Project. You don't need to read the books to enjoy the show!
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Location:

United States

Description:

A weekly podcast about books, writing, reading, and raccoons. Hosted by Mike Ingram and Tom McAllister, editors at Barrelhouse Magazine and authors of fiction and creative nonfiction. Winner of a 2015 Philadelphia Geek Award for Best Streaming Media Project. You don't need to read the books to enjoy the show!

Language:

English


Episodes

Ep 253: Fall of Finales, William Trevor

11/12/2018
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William Trevor died in 2016, at the age of 98. Two years later, his final book of short stories appeared--titled, appropriately enough, Last-Stories. For this week's episode, we read one of those stories, "Mrs. Crasthorpe," which Julian Barnes, in a review for The Guardian, singled out as one of the book's best. We talk about the story, and about Trevor's stories more generally. He was always a writer who sought the complex story, rather than the simple or flashy one, and his characters...

Duration:01:06:51

Ep 252: Fall of Finales, Philip Roth (Nemesis)

11/5/2018
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This week we're back into our Fall of Finales season, in which we consider the final published work of notable authors. Philip Roth published the novel Nemesis 2010, about two years before he announced that it would be his last published book. In interviews at the time, he said he'd turned his attentions to helping his biographer understand his various papers, and that he was also re-reading his own books, in reverse order, to take stock of his own career. Nemesis doesn't necessarily feel...

Duration:01:03:54

Ep 251: Henry Miller, The Air-Conditioned Nightmare (w/ Evan Madden)

10/29/2018
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We're taking a little break from our Fall of Finales season this week to chat with special guest Evan Madden, drummer with many hardcore and metal bands over the years, most recently Drones for Queens. It's always fun when we can get a non-writer onto the show to talk about their relationship to books and reading. Evan's book pick for the episode was Henry Miller's The Air-Conditioned Nightmare, about a road trip the author took across America in 1940, after living for years in France...

Duration:00:58:56

Ep 250: Fall of Finales, Ernest Hemingway

10/22/2018
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This week we continue our Fall of Finales season, in which we read and discuss the last published work of various authors. The Strand Magazine recently published a previously unpublished Ernest Hemingway story, written in the last decade of his life. It's called "A Room on the Garden Side," and is a semi-autobiographical piece about his time as an irregular soldier in WWII in Paris. In the second half of the show, we talk about last meals. Where did the tradition of giving death-row...

Duration:00:53:45

Ep 249: A Grace Paley Reader, w/ special guest Emma Eisenberg

10/15/2018
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This week we welcome Emma Eiesenberg to the show. Emma is a writer of fiction and nonfiction, as well as the co-founder of Blue Stoop Philly, an organization which is pulling together all kinds of literary events and classes across Philadelphia. As is always the case when we have a guest, we let Emma pick our book this week. Her choice was A Grace Paley Reader, which came out in 2017 and collects much of the author's fiction, essays, and poetry in one place. In the first half of the...

Duration:01:17:07

Ep 248: Fall of Finales, Flannery O'Connor

10/8/2018
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This week we're reading the last published story by Flannery O'Connor, "Parker's Back," which she apparently wrote while in the hospital. We talk about the story itself, O'Connor's humor--which she maintained even in her final weeks--and her lifelong wrestling match with Catholicism. In the second half of the show, we bring back an old segment, in which we look at some academic writing about the story we read, and try to see if we can make heads or tails of it. If you like the show, please...

Duration:00:58:33

Ep 247: Fall of Finales, Barry Hannah

10/1/2018
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This fall we're reading authors' final works, and talking about whether it's better to burn out, or to fade away. Barry Hannah is often described as a "writer's writer," and while he never had any huge commercial success, he continues to have a fiercely devoted following. A following which might be kind of annoyed when they hear our reaction to this story.

Duration:00:52:52

Ep 246: Fall of Finales, Oliver Sacks

9/24/2018
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This week marks the beginning of our fall season, during which we'll be talking about finales. That will include the last published works of some famous authors, and possibly some more obscure ones as well. In this first installment, we're discussing a few pieces by Oliver Sacks, who spent years writing about interesting medical diagnoses and, in the end, wrote about his own. In the second half of the show, we talk about some famous TV finales, including a few we think ended things on the...

Duration:01:04:11

Ep 245: Romance novels with Dave Thomas

9/17/2018
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This week we welcome special guest Dave Thomas (no, not that Dave Thomas), a writer of literary fiction--and founding editor of Lockjaw Magazine--who, with his wife, has recently taken a turn toward writing romance novels. Dave felt that the romance novels we'd read in the past were all pretty terrible, and wanted us to read a good one. So his book pick was by Julia Quinn, whose Regency-era novels are praised for their humor and for featuring strong, complex female characters. We talk with...

Duration:01:16:35

Ep 244: Summer of Spouses, Helen Knode (and James Ellroy)

9/10/2018
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This is it, folks: the last episode in our Summer of Spouses season. We're talking about the writer Helen Knode, who was married for a time to James Ellroy, and who seemed unable to escape his shadow, at least as a novelist (nearly every review of her first book mentioned Ellroy within the first few sentences). We also talk about Ellroy's relationship to women, which he detailed in a memoir a few years' back. And, since this is the last week of the season, we decide whether marriage is good...

Duration:00:56:07

Ep 243: Summer of Spouses, Holiday Reinhorn (and Rainn Wilson)

9/3/2018
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We're back with another installment in our Summer of Spouses series. This week we've read a short story by Holiday Reinhorn, "Last Seen," from her 2005 collection, Big Cats. The book was well-reviewed, and Reinhorn has done plenty of other interesting work, but nearly every article about her mentions her famous husband, Rainn Wilson, who you might know as Dwight from The Office. By all accounts the two have a happy and successful partnership; they even started a nonprofit, Lide, which works...

Duration:00:56:03

Ep 242: Summer of Spouses, Margaret Millar (and Ross Macdonald)

8/27/2018
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We've got another installment this week in our Summer of Spouses, in which we've been reading work by the less-famous partners of well-known authors. Interestingly, early on Margaret Millar's marriage to Ross Macdonald, whose real name was Kenneth Millar, she was the more famous of the two. Though eventually his reputation would take off, particularly after he created the character of Lew Archer. But she remained a well-respected crime writer in her own right, and is often credited with...

Duration:01:02:06

Ep 241: Summer of Spouses, John Bayley (and Iris Murdoch)

8/20/2018
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This week we're returning to our Summer of Spouses season to discuss John Bayley's Elegy for Iris, a memoir about his marriage to Iris Murdoch, written while she was suffering from Alzheimer's. Both of us had heard good things about the book, and were eager to check it out. We'd also read a number of articles about Bayley's and Murdoch's sex life--which seems to come up nearly any time someone discusses their marriage--and so were curious about how the book might treat that subject. In the...

Duration:00:55:56

Ep 240: Special Guest Daniel DiFranco

8/13/2018
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This week we welcome another special guest to the podcast: writer, guitarist, high-school music teacher, and debut novelist Daniel DiFranco, whose book, Panic Years, comes out this Wednesday. As is the Book Fight custom, we let Dan pick the book we read for this week's episode, which was Michael Poore's Reincarnation Blues. The novel had a bit of a Tom Robbins vibe, which, given how things went when your hosts read an actual Tom Robbins novel, had us all a little nervous. In the second...

Duration:01:03:55

Ep 239: Special Guests Stephanie Feldman and Nathaniel Popkin

8/6/2018
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This week we're taking a quick break from our Summer of Spouses discussions to welcome two guests to the podcast: Stephanie Feldman and Nathaniel Popkin, co-editors of the recently published anthology Who Will Speak for America?, which brings together work from a bunch of contemporary writers responding in various ways to our current political moment. They also chose a book for us to read, Gotz and Meyer, by Serbian novelist David Albahari. In the first half of the show, we talk about...

Duration:01:24:42

Ep 238: Summer of Spouses, Margerie Bonner Lowry

7/30/2018
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We're still in our Summer of Spouses season, in which we're exploring the lesser-known spouses of famous writers. This week's marriage is a particularly interesting one, and a particularly sad one. Margerie Bonner married Malcolm Lowry when both were in their thirties--she'd been an actress and a personal assistant, while he'd been working on the novel that would eventually be regarded as one of the twentieth century's best. Without her help, it seems unlikely he ever would have finished it....

Duration:00:57:37

Ep 237: Summer of Spouses, Siri Hustvedt

7/23/2018
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Welcome to another week in our Summer of Spouses season, in which we read and discuss the work of writers who are married to (or otherwise partnered with) more famous authors. For this week's show we read a couple pieces by the writer Siri Hustvedt, an accomplished essayist and also the wife of writer Paul Auster. We discuss her mix of research with personal essay, which sometimes toes the line of academic writing. In the second half of the show, we taste test some frozen abomination that...

Duration:00:55:56

Ep 236: Summer of Spouses, John Gregory Dunne

7/16/2018
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Welcome to another week in our Summer of Spouses season, in which we read and discuss the work of writers who are married to (or otherwise partnered with) more famous authors. We're interested in how those relationships work, how they collaborate with each other, or don't, and whether it ever becomes frustrating to feel as if you're working in someone else's shadow. This week the couple is a happy one, at least by most accounts: Joan Didion and her husband John Gregory Dunne. For our...

Duration:00:54:08

Ep 235: Summer of Spouses, Michael Dorris

7/9/2018
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We're continuing our Summer of Spouses, in which we read work by the less-famous halves of literary couples. This week it's a couple stories by Michael Dorris, who was married to the writer Louise Erdrich. He had some pretty big successes of his own, including a nonfiction book called The Broken Cord, which is credited with raising awareness around fetal alcohol syndrome. He and Erdrich were, for a time, also quite the literary power couple, working together on some projects and editing each...

Duration:00:57:12

Ep 234: Tess Gallagher, "Instead of Dying"

7/2/2018
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We're continuing our Summer of Spouses, in which we read work by writers who may have sometimes been overshadowed by their more famous partners. This week our author is Tess Gallagher, a celebrated poet and also the second wife of the late Raymond Carver. Gallagher was already a successful poet by the time she met Carver, who had recently stopped drinking, and who seemed to enjoy a second lease on life with her. We talk about Gallagher's 2006 essay "Instead of Dying," published in The Sun,...

Duration:00:52:56