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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 60: Andrew Martin

1/16/2019
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We ponder the depths of the satire and self-awareness in Andrew Martin's 2018 debut novel Early Work. Fifty minutes in, pivoting off a scene in the book in which its characters watch James Harden in the 2015 Western Conference Finals, we discuss Harden's astonishing level of play over the last month, and whether that means he'll be usurping the MVP crown from Giannis come season's end.

Duration:01:04:28

Episode 59: Gabe Habash

1/6/2019
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On this episode we discuss Gabe Habash's 2017 novel Stephen Florida, which leads us to wonder what we mean when we say a book is "voicey." Around the 59 minute mark, we revisit some of our preseason NBA predictions to see what we got right and what we got wrong. Don't miss Dončić Corner (1hr 6 mins), wherein Jesse describes what it was like to see Luka Dončić up close and personal in Charlotte earlier this week. Next up is Andrew Martin's Early Work -- join us!

Duration:01:12:35

Episode 58: Ottessa Moshfegh

12/11/2018
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In this episode we chat about the novel Eileen, before pivoting, at the 36 minute mark, to an appreciation of Luka Dončić, the Slovenian phenom currently taking over the NBA and making the Dallas Mavericks appointment television. Next up, we'll be reading and discussing Gabe Habash's novel Stephen Florida.

Duration:00:57:09

Episode 57: Samanta Schweblin

11/24/2018
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On today's show, we discuss Schweblin's seriously creepy novel Fever Dream, which was longlisted for the 2017 Man Booker prize. We highly recommend it, although you may need to sleep with the lights on afterwards. 47 minutes in, we chat about the Jimmy Butler trade and the Draymond-Durant dust-up, and how to determine the cost-benefit of star players with a history of making life difficult for others in the locker room as they approach their third contract.

Duration:01:22:25

Episode 56: Rachel Cusk redux

11/5/2018
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Picking up where we left off in Episode 21, with a look at Rachel Cusk's Kudos, which closes out her landmark "Outline" trilogy. At the hour mark, we move to a brief discussion of how the early season returns indicate the NBA as a whole has entered the pace-and-space era, possibly for good. Next up we'll be reading Samanta Schweblin's 2017 novel Fever Dream; grab a copy and join us!

Duration:01:13:29

Episode 55: NBA Season Preview!

10/22/2018
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Just in time for the start of the new NBA year (give or take a few games), we invited our old friend Lynwood Robinson as well as a new guest, Charles Chace, to talk about what to expect from the season. Which teams are overrated, underrated, who's poised to break out, and who'll regress. It's long and book-free, so if you're not up for a rangy basketball chat, join us soon for a discussion of Rachel Cusk's Kudos.

Duration:01:37:26

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