We love reading books and recording Overdue every week, but what really keeps us going is the feedback and support we get from our amazing listeners. We appreciate every email, tweet, Facebook message, and iTunes review we get!
Some of our listeners have been generous enough to donate to our show through our new Patreon page, and as a small token of our gratitude we're helping them share their favorite books with you.
Thanks for listening, and try to be happy!
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
"Romance and contemporary fiction are my favorite genres. Jane Austen is kind of like the godmother of these. She's witty and sarcastic. In this book, there is a lot of family drama plus great romance. Swoon! It is the only fiction I've re-read; it seems to get better every time. "
Wolves Eat Dogs by Martin Cruz Smith
"For nostalgia and sentiment, mostly. My first real introduction to reading (for fun, at least) was through my dad's paperback mystery collection, and he gave me my first Arkady Renko novel when I was eleven or twelve. I became a little obsessed with it. Russia, murder, and a melancholy, cynical detective? What more could a little girl ask for?"
On the Road by Jack Keruoac
"This is the novel that made me want to become a writer."
Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann
"'Dolls'” focuses on three women – Anne, Neely, and Jennifer – who climb to the heights of fame from 1945 until 1965. On their way they come across booze, pills, sex and all of the things one would associate with the seedy underbelly of Broadway and Hollywood. While not my all-time favorite book (or even great literature), I do have fond memories of it being my first adult book and reading it during silent reading time in the eighth grade. As well as being called into the principal’s office for bringing it to school as it 'was inappropriate' and a 'distraction to other students.'"
The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell
"In 2019 a listening station in Puerto Rico hears singing from space, thus proving that there is life other than ourselves in the universe. While the UN fights about what the next steps should be the Jesuits quietly send out an 8 person expedition of their own that consists of both religious and scientific folk. Motivated by a combination of faith and idealism, the crew makes a series of decisions that seems like a good idea at the time, but makes them question their faith and humanity.
I read a lot of books. Very few of them have stuck with me the way that The Sparrow does."
Eric Van TassELL
The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
"For many years my answer to this question was I, Jedi by Michael A. Stackpole or Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card, but now the torch has passed to Brandon Sanderson. In the current high-fantasy landscape, Sanderson is the absolute best at creating exciting and believable magic systems with well defined rules. This is the first book in what will be a 10 book saga and I can't recommend it enough. If you want to start with something less intimidating, read the Mistborn trilogy. How much do I love Sanderson's work? Enough that I'm reading the first 11 books of The Wheel of Time just so I can read the final 3 books that he wrote after the original author died. "
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
"The Great Gatsby is my favorite book, not because it’s canonical and everyone loves (or likes to say they love) this book. It’s my favorite because it was the first book I encountered where the structure and editing of the book was revealed. Granted, my HS English teacher helped explain the process between Fitzgerald and his editor. But it was the first time that I saw the work that goes into writing a great story. For all the lovely language and fascinating characters to exist there has to be a strong and fundamental structure underneath and that takes work. Peeling back the curtain only made me love the book even more. I read it at least once a year to inspire my own writing."
On Writing by Stephen King
"I started reading Mr. King's work when I was ten years old, and other than Tolkien it was the first adult literature I was exposed to that I picked out for myself. Since then I've read a lot of literary classics, I have an entire room-divider-sized Ikea Expedit shelf filled with a graduate degree's worth of history books, and I have two decades more personal experience behind me, but he's still my favorite author. When King is at his best I legitimately think he is as good an author as any other in the English language. While I'm not sure I could ever pick a one actual, single, book to be my favorite, On Writing is probably the best thing he's ever written, so it gets the nod."
Book of the New Sun by Gene Wolfe
My favourite author of all time is Gene Wolfe, and his Book of the New Sun (told in 4 volumes / 2 books) has really impacted me as a budding writer. I first read this book as a young man in high school, and then again recently, about 8 years later, and found new aspects to the story given my increased life experience. This story also taught me about many literary devices such as the unreliable narrator, and also the way Gene Wolfe gave new meanings to old words. It is an incredibly deep story that deserves multiple readings, and defies genre-tropes in the way only a masterful writer like Gene Wolfe can do. I will not even attempt to summarize the complex plot, but would encourage you to just go and read it!
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time by Mark Haddon
My favorite book of all time is The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time. I think it perfectly nails the inner mind of an autistic child, working with them daily as a teacher and also having an autistic brother, while also being a compelling mystery and human drama.
It's surprisingly funny, both because of Christopher's droll observations and some of the situations themselves, but in spite of this it's also one of the only books to ever make me cry just from reading. The most gripping (non-spoiler) passage for me is Christopher describing what he imagines floating through space feels like, and capping it by saying it's also a chance to get away from people who don't understand him. Really an excellent read!