Fan's Notes-logo

Fan's Notes

1 Favorite

More Information


United States


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.






Episode 37: White Noise (The Book!)

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

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

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

Episode 34: Barry Hannah and Offseason Winners

This week, we read and discuss "Testimony of Pilot," from Airships, Barry Hannah's enduring book of short stories. We celebrate his electric, otherworldly prose and lament the needless and careless racist language that corrodes the collection. We're sticking in the south next week, when we turn to Flannery O'Connor's famous story "A Good Man is Hard to Find." Find it online ( and join us!

Duration: 01:17:29

Episode 33: Joshua Ferris

This week we discuss several stories from Joshua Ferris' new collection The Dinner Party, beginning with one called "In The Heart of the Dead." We keep it short and sweet on the basketball side, since this was the first slow week we've had in a while. Join us next week when we focus in on the great Barry Hannah; grab a copy of Airships and dig into "Testimony of Pilot."

Duration: 00:46:26

Episode 32: Fear & Loathing at Summer League

It's 117 degrees in Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs kicked in and Lonzo Ball just hit another three. Or something. Summer League is here, so it seemed appropriate to read Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Hunter S. Thompson's paean to drugs and swine and the desiccated remains of the sixties. Our mileage varies! For next time, we'll discuss a story called "Life in the Heart of the Dead," from Joshua Ferris' new story collection The Dinner Party. Grab a copy and join us!

Duration: 01:02:43

Episode 31: Joyce Carol Oates & NBA Free Agency

A terrifying stranger appears on the doorstep of 15-year old Connie, in Joyce Carol Oates' classic short story "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been" ( We discuss this harbinger of doom, who goes by the name Arnold Friend, and the harm he means to do for the first 36 minutes before turning our attention to the players who'll be popping up in different NBA landscapes after a flurry of free agency signings...

Duration: 01:27:09

Episode 30: George Saunders & Draft/CP3 trade fallout

For this installment of the Short Corner, we read "The Semplica-Girl Diaries," ( from George Saunders' last book Tenth of December. Around the 39 minute mark, we pivot into winners and losers of the Draft and discuss the trade that sent Chris Paul to join James Harden on the Houston Rockets. Join us next week when we discuss Hunter S. Thompson's classic Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and look at the start of Summer League.

Duration: 01:10:18

Episode 29: Lolita and the Draft

It's a megapod today, as we get into one of the greatest novels ever written, Vladimir Nabokov's shocking, exquisite, and nearly satanic Lolita. Around the hour mark, we evaluate the various prospects at the top of this year's draft class, and the ramifications of the massive trade of the first and third picks between Boston and Philly. Join us next week for a discussion of George Saunders' The Semplica-Girl Diaries (

Duration: 01:28:03

Episode 28: Annie Proulx & Finals wrap-up

In today's episode, we discuss Annie Proulx's story "The Half-Skinned Steer" (, about an old man whose return to the ranch where he grew up proves unlucky. At the 41 minute mark we switch to the Finals, in which the Warriors skinned the Cavs, and wonder what, if anything, LeBron can do to beat them going forward. Next up is Vladimir Nabokov's classic novel Lolita, paired with the upcoming NBA Draft.

Duration: 00:58:17

Episode 27: Donald Antrim's The Afterlife & NBA Finals doom

On this week's installment, we look at Donald Antrim's memoir The Afterlife, about the grip his alcoholic mother had on him both in life and after her death. It's gentle and sad and may mark a turning point for Antrim the writer. Around 42 minutes in, we move on to this lopsided NBA Finals, which should be put down mercifully before too long. Join us next week to read Annie Proulx's short story "The Half-skinned Steer," and in two weeks when we discuss Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita.

Duration: 01:04:53

Episode 26: Lorrie & Lynwood & LeBron

Lynwood Robinson makes his return to the pod to help us preview the Finals and genuflect before the awesomeness of LeBron James. Are there limits to his greatness, or can he summon enough to vanquish the Durant-ful Warriors? Before Lynwood pops by, we spend the first 37 minutes or so chatting about the awesomeness of Lorrie Moore, through the lens of her classic story "You're Ugly, Too." Next week we'll be discussing Donald Antrim's memoir The Afterlife, so join us for that!

Duration: 01:11:41

Fan's Notes Episode 25: Claudia Rankine's Citizen with Emma Catherine Perry

We're happy to welcome to the pod the poet Emma Catherine Perry, who was kind enough to help us talk through Claudia Rankine's most recent wonderful, challenging work of poetry, as well as situate it within the contemporary world of poetry. We couldn't resist asking Emma, a current denizen of Oakland, what the vibe is like as the Golden State Warriors prepare for their third trip to the Finals in as many years, so stick around for that. Join us next week for a return visit from Lynwood...

Duration: 01:03:32

Fan's Notes Episode 24: Donald Barthelme / Draft Lottery

In this second installment of the Short Corner, our biweekly series in which we read a short story instead of a novel, we look at Donald Barthelme's "Concerning the Bodyguard," as well as Barthelme's style more generally. At the 38 minute mark, we switch over to the Draft Lottery, which took place this week, and try and figure out who teams will select based on what they need most. Join us next week for our discussion of Claudia Rankine's Citizen and in two weeks when we read Lorrie...

Duration: 00:58:03

Fan's Notes Episode 23: Leaving The Atocha Station / Round 2 Check-in

Does art have any political efficacy? What does it mean to have a "profound experience of art?" Are plots overrated in novels? Can the Spurs win without Kawhi? (Bear with us, we recorded this before Game 6.) These are just some of the questions raised in this installment of the Fan's Notes podcast. We discuss Ben Lerner's terrifically funny novel for the first 53 minutes, then switch over to check in on where some of the second round series stand. Next week we'll be reading Donald...

Duration: 01:06:31

Fan's Notes Episode 22: Alice Munro / Playoffs Round 2

We're suffering the Round 2 doldrums, with a bunch of series that (at least at the time of recording) seem pretty uncompetitive. But before we get there (i.e. the 46 minute mark,) we pore over Alice Munro's story "Carried Away," which was originally published in The New Yorker. This is the first of our episodes in which we focus in on a single short story; we'll continue to do this every other week at least throughout the playoffs. Next week we're back with Ben Lerner's novel Leaving The...

Duration: 01:06:14

Fan's Notes Episode 21: Transit / Playoff Round 1 Check-in

It's a transitional period pod today, as we find ourselves midway through the first round of the playoffs, and reading Transit, the middle book in Rachel Cusk's proposed trilogy centered around an absurdly passive protagonist. We parse the limits of recessive narrators and marvel at Cusk's intelligence and knack for turning out well-crafted sentences. Please note: we'll be podding weekly throughout the playoffs! In the off weeks between novels, we'll choose a short story to read and...

Duration: 01:06:06

Fan's Notes Episode 20: My Struggle Book 1 / Playoff Preview

The playoffs are finally here! And we figured there was no better book to help us understand the psychological tedium of the NBA season than the first volume of My Struggle, Karl Ove Knausgaard's epic of Scandinavian brooding. We discuss the structural use of deep boredom on the reader, whether the book is artful or artless, and ponder why it became such a hit worldwide. At the ~40 min mark, we switch over to preview the various matchups in the first round of the playoffs, which are mostly...

Duration: 01:01:10

Fan's Notes Episode 19: The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. / March Madness and the Final Four

It's a young man's pod today, as we delve into the often unpleasant psyche of Nathaniel P, the protagonist of Adelle Waldman's debut novel The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. We perform a full asshole autopsy on Nate to see if he's got any redeemable qualities. On the basketball side, we wax effusive on the surprisingly high level of basketball in this year's NCAA tournament and look ahead to the Final Four matchups. Join us in two weeks to talk about Karl Ove Knausgaard's My Struggle in...

Duration: 01:02:53

Fan's Notes Episode 18: Emergency Pod with Lynwood Robinson

After weeks of judicious editing, we've finally managed to get our epically long and rambling gabfest with our good friend and former UNC Tarheel Basketball player Lynwood Robinson down to a publishable length. We had to leave lots of great stuff on the cutting room floor this time around, but Lynwood has generously agreed to return at a later date to pick up right where we left off. Until then, enjoy this free-flowing conversation about basketball's alien test, what it was like playing...

Duration: 00:52:32

See More