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Fan's Notes

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We are a podcast about books and (mostly NBA) basketball. Every two weeks we discuss a book and the latest developments in and around the NBA. We took our name from Frederick Exley's A Fan's Notes, which was also the first book we tackled. Other books have included The Catcher in the Rye, The Talented Mr. Ripley, Desperate Characters, The Underground Railroad, and Ulysses, to name a few. We also occasionally feature guests from the world of books and basketball, such as the novelist J. Robert Lennon and the former UNC Tarheel basketball player Lynwood Robinson.

We are a podcast about books and (mostly NBA) basketball. Every two weeks we discuss a book and the latest developments in and around the NBA. We took our name from Frederick Exley's A Fan's Notes, which was also the first book we tackled. Other books have included The Catcher in the Rye, The Talented Mr. Ripley, Desperate Characters, The Underground Railroad, and Ulysses, to name a few. We also occasionally feature guests from the world of books and basketball, such as the novelist J. Robert Lennon and the former UNC Tarheel basketball player Lynwood Robinson.
More Information

Location:

United States

Description:

We are a podcast about books and (mostly NBA) basketball. Every two weeks we discuss a book and the latest developments in and around the NBA. We took our name from Frederick Exley's A Fan's Notes, which was also the first book we tackled. Other books have included The Catcher in the Rye, The Talented Mr. Ripley, Desperate Characters, The Underground Railroad, and Ulysses, to name a few. We also occasionally feature guests from the world of books and basketball, such as the novelist J. Robert Lennon and the former UNC Tarheel basketball player Lynwood Robinson.

Language:

English

Contact:

9199231629


Episodes

Episode 54: Mary McCarthy

9/3/2018
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We discussed The Company She Keeps, the 1942 novel-in-stories by a young Mary McCarthy, the twentieth century intellectual who would go on to mass acclaim with 1963's The Group. The Group is great — McCarthy in general is great! — but we're here to stump for her under-read debut as a wonderful work in itself, modern and resonant and ahead of its time in so many ways. Check it out! Next up we'll be reading the Best American Short Stories 2017 anthology, for a snapshot of the, well, American...

Duration:01:06:47

Episode 53: Richard Yates

7/17/2018
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It's the Age of Anxiety on today's pod, as we delve into the collected stories of Richard Yates, and then fret over Trae Young's inauspicious debut at NBA Summer League. (We transition to basketball, 46 minutes in, with talk of LeBron's move to the Lakers.) Next up is Mary McCarthy, whose famous short story "The Man in the Brooks Brothers Suit" is the centerpiece of her 1942 novel-as-linked-story-collection The Company She Keeps. Track down a copy and join us in two weeks!

Duration:01:21:15

Episode 52: Philip Roth

6/26/2018
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Philip Roth died last month at age 85. To help us make sense of his place in American writing, we invited our friend Ben Felton, who last joined us to talk Colson Whitehead's The Underground Railroad, to come back on to discuss The Ghost Writer, as well as Roth's work more generally. 00:00-00:35 The Ghost Writer 00:35-00:57 Roth and the question of misogyny 00:57-01:07 Roth as a Jewish writer 01:07-01:20 Roth's legacy as a writer We'll be back in a few weeks to talk about The Collected...

Duration:01:21:05

Episode 51: 2018 NBA Draft Big Boards

6/20/2018
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For the first time in the history of the podcast, we agree on who is the best prospect in this center-heavy draft. But there are still disagreements to be had further down the list, as we weigh the potential for booms and busts. We'll be back next week for our discussion of Philip Roth's The Ghost Writer.

Duration:01:30:45

Episode 50: Roberto Bolaño

6/2/2018
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This week we differ on the merits of Roberto Bolaño's The Savage Detectives, before wondering to what extent the Golden State Warriors have ruined basketball. We'll return next week with a discussion of Philip Roth, pegged to his novel The Ghost Writer.

Duration:01:09:31

Episode 49: NBA Playoffs Conference Finals edition

5/24/2018
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Another all-basketball pod, as former Tar Heel Lynwood Robinson joins us to say goodbye to the Sixers, Pelicans, Jazz, and Raptors. (He even reprises his singing of "The Great Pretender" in the Raps section!) Then we discuss the Conference Finals, with each series knotted at two games apiece at the time of recording. Next week it's back to book-chat when we tackle Roberto Bolaño's The Savage Detectives.

Duration:01:07:51

Episode 48: Jorge Luis Borges

5/5/2018
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This week we go to infinity and beyond with literature's most beguiling librarian, Jorge Luis Borges. After a discussion of his story "The Garden of Forking Paths," we move (at the 39 minute mark) to a check-in on the 1st and 2nd rounds of the NBA playoffs. Join un in a few weeks as we tackle Roberto Bolaño's The Savage Detectives.

Duration:01:13:16

Episode 47: The All Basketball edition

4/19/2018
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No booktalk this week. Instead, we are joined by Lynwood to run down the matchups and results of the NBA playoffs. Take a listen, if only to hear which team inspired Lynwood to burst out in song. If basketball's not your thing, we'll be back in a week or two to discuss Jorge Luis Borges' classic story "The Garden of Forking Paths." Join us!

Duration:01:16:33

Episode 46: Lucia Berlin

3/27/2018
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We finally get around to discussing A Manual for Cleaning Women, the collection of exquisite Lucia Berlin stories that was published posthumously in 2015. In a nod to the years she spent living in South America, next up we'll be reading "The Garden of Forking Paths," by the great Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges. (A pdf of the story is available here: http://mycours.es/gamedesign2012/files/2012/08/The-Garden-of-Forking-Paths-Jorge-Luis-Borges-1941.pdf)

Duration:01:08:44

Episode 45: Denis Johnson's Jesus' Son

2/22/2018
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In part 2 of our series of linked story collections that you absolutely must read, we revisit Denis Johnson's hallucinatory masterpiece. Next up, we continue in this vein with a look at Lucia Berlin's A Manual for Cleaning Women. Join us in two weeks!

Duration:01:02:32

Episode 44: Sweet Talk by Stephanie Vaughn

2/8/2018
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Do you own this book? Because you should. Everyone should, really. It's exquisite, and it's back in print now, and hopefully will stay that way. Seriously, these stories are wonderful. Read them, re-read them, and then join us in two weeks for more lovely linked short stories, as we discuss Jesus' Son by Denis Johnson.

Duration:01:10:16

Episode 43: LeBron in the Bardo

1/24/2018
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We're split on George Saunders' novel Lincoln In the Bardo: is it a heavenly masterpiece or a hellaciously sloppy slog? The truth probably resides in some purgatorial middle, alongside this season's Cleveland Cavaliers, the Los Angeles Clippers' tenuous future, and Mario Hezonja's career prospects. Join us in two weeks as we read "Dog Heaven" (https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/1989/01/09/dog-heaven) from Stephanie Vaughn's superlative short story collection Sweet Talk. Track the whole...

Duration:01:34:47

Episode 42: The Idiot & NBA Rookies

1/9/2018
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While the year is still young we thought we'd celebrate youth and all its triumphs, disappointments and naiveté. To that end we read Elif Batuman's delightful novel The Idiot, and chatted about the generally impressive crop of NBA rookies that have entered the league. Tune in to find out which NBA team Adam compared to The Big Bang Theory! And join us in two weeks for a discussion of George Saunders' novel Lincoln In The Bardo.

Duration:01:15:26

Episode 41: Martin Amis' Money

12/1/2017
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We're back after a short hiatus to talk about Martin Amis' scandalously funny novel Money, as well as things that we think we know after one month of the NBA season. Next up, we'll be reading Elif Batuman's highly acclaimed 2017 novel The Idiot. Pick up a copy and join us in a few weeks for that discussion!

Duration:01:12:58

Episode 40: The Sellout / Lynwood Returns

10/18/2017
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We discuss Paul Beatty's Booker Prize-winning satire The Sellout for the first 45 minutes, then Lynwood Robinson drops back by to help preview the new NBA season. For next week, track down a copy of John Updike's story "Snowing in Greenwich Village" in time for our next installment of The Short Corner.

Duration:01:39:46

Episode 39: Lydia Davis & pre-season excitement

10/6/2017
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We kept it short this week in honor of the brilliant concision of Lydia Davis's fiction. After 30 minutes on Davis, we spend 15 minutes listing a few of the things we're most looking forward to in the upcoming NBA season. We'll go more in-depth on the NBA next week with a return appearance from Lynwood Robinson, at which time we'll also discuss Paul Beatty's The Sellout.

Duration:00:44:22

Episode 38: Independence Day / Melo trade

9/30/2017
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Come along with us as we enter Frank Bascombe's beguiling and irreconciled Existence Period, which plays out over 450 pages in Richard Ford's Independence Day. Then, at the hour mark, we chat about the trade that sent Carmelo Anthony from the Knicks to the OKC Thunder, and how that changes the landscape of the Western Conference. Join us next week as we talk Lydia Davis and get excited for the fast-approaching start of the NBA season.

Duration:01:11:27

Episode 37: White Noise (The Book!)

9/15/2017
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A basketball-free discussion of Don DeLillo's White Noise. We read it! If you haven't, why not just listen and pretend you already have. And then read Richard Ford's Independence Day, so you can be on point for our discussion of it in two weeks' time.

Duration:01:01:44

Episode 36: The Moviegoer / Kyrie-IT trade

9/3/2017
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In this episode we discuss Walker Percy's wonderfully vexing novel The Moviegoer, before switching over around the 50 minute mark to talk about the then-still-pending Kyrie for Isaiah Thomas and assorted other assets trade between Cleveland and Boston. Join us in two weeks for a chat about Don DeLillo's vexing-in-its-own-way book White Noise.

Duration:01:16:19

Episode 35: Flannery O'Connor and Offseason Losers

8/16/2017
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This week we at long last delve into the Bard of Contempt herself, Flannery O'Connor, and her punishingly dark and comic worldview. At the 50 minute mark, we switch over to the teams that had the least inspired offseasons. Join us in two weeks for a discussion of Walker Percy's The Moviegoer.

Duration:01:19:41