Have you ever wondered what it would be like if the Earth were flat and also being carried by four gigantic elephants who were all standing on the back of a giant space turtle? Us too! Which is why Terry Pratchett's Discworld series remains relevant 35 years after its inception in this week's book, The Colour of Magic.
Audrey Niffenegger's novel The Time Traveler's Wife is equal parts romance and sci-fi. It's a love story about the limits of free will and the power of destiny. It is also a way hornier book than we gave it credit for.
Talking points include James Cameron's avatar, time-travelling hi-jinks, and chrono-impairment as a metaphor for absence, loss, and the gravitational pull of love.
Octavia Butler’s Kindred is ostensibly a sci-fi/fantasy novel about time travel, but it also draws heavily from the tradition of first-person slave narratives. Butler’s characters, whether white slaveowners, the slaves themselves, or the time travelers in between are all allowed ample nuance, even as Butler puts the brutality and inhumanity of the era on full display.
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter and...then what? N.K. Jemisin's award-winning novel The Fifth Season kicks off her The Broken Earth trilogy with a tale about serial apocalypses and oppressed earth mages. SPOILER ALERT: We talk about a critical plot point about 40-45 minutes in.
Other talking points include: anniversaries, Super Nintendo RPGs, and internet trolls.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Americanah is about a lot of things—it's a love story, it's an immigrant story, it's a story about the Obama moment—but it has the most to say about race. It's about being black in America, but not from the perspective of a black American. It's about how race works in different cultures, and among different people from the same culture. It's about hair. And it's a fascinating read, every step of the way.
Jesmyn Ward's second novel Salvage the Bones is the story of a family in rural Mississippi in the twelve days leading up to Hurricane Katrina's landfall. Equal parts intimate and mythic in proportion, Salvage the Bones is a moving portrait of perseverance.
Join us for a discussion of feline biological warfare, Medea Medea Medea, and unfortunate canines.
Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses may be the first book we've covered to have caused a full-blown International Incident. Rushdie's notorious fourth novel tackles issues of immigration, identity and revelation, but it's the passages inspired by the life of the prophet Muhammad that sparked the most outrage.
Join us for a conversation about haunting decisions, amazing transformations, and Andrew's terrible stance on pineapple and pizza.