Minecraft, one of the most popular games on the planet, has lots of lessons to teach us! Lessons about persistence, about ingenuity, about punching trees. In this kid-friendly novel, Max Brooks details the "true story" of his own experiences on a Minecraft island, weaving together nuggets of wisdom with the game's particular flavor of discovery.
The boys are back in town! Odysseus and Telemachus make it home to Ithaca in this episode of our show-within-a-show, which covers books 12-15 of Emily Wilson's translation of The Odyssey. We've got sirens, vaping, swineherds and some god-granted old dude cosplay.
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The Wheel of Time turns, and we release a new podcast episode. This week, we close out Remember November with a look at the first book in a, um, fourteen book fantasy series with which Andrew is intimately acquainted. The Wheel Of Time has its issues but if you want to talk about extremely detailed magic systems and meticulously crafted fantasy worlds, you’re in the right place!
Travel with us back to the Jazz Age and meet Irene and Clare, two women who practice "passing" to get by in New York City. The tragic characters of Nella Larsen's insightful novel Passing show us how suspicions and social status can conspire to bring about a terrible end between friends. Other talking points include the Harlem Renaissance, Arby's vs. Applebee's, and boy oh boy how we wish Larsen had written more books.
When we talk about judging books by the standards of their time, we’re usually dealing with books that have been written many many decades ago, but Lynne Reid Banks’ The Indian In The Cupboard isn’t far removed from our own childhoods. It’s easy to see why the book resonates with kids, but it’s also frustrating to see Banks acknowledging the gap between pop culture depictions and reality even as she feeds into so many stereotypes.
Remember November commences with us revisiting John Knowles' A Separate Peace. This book about a broken leg boy bored Craig to peaces in high school, but it turns out some books resonate more strongly than you might think.
Tune in for a conversation about male friendship, stairs and trees, and Kurt Vonnegut's fourth cousin Norb.
This week we revisit a classic Spooktober trope, the haunted house! Richard Matheson's Hell House definitely does not belong in the upper echelon of haunted house fiction - though it's a page-turner that forwards some interesting theories about the causes of haunting, it's also gratuitously sexually violent in some ways that don't feel great!
This week's episode, on Thomas Olde Heuvelt's English-language debut novel Hex, is a good reminder: don't accuse a woman of being a witch, kill her, and then taunt her as she despondently traipses through your small town. Bad things will happen. This seems pretty self-evident but apparently it's not.