Libromania

By Close Reads Podcast Network

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Category: Literature

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Description

A podcast for the book-obsessed featuring interviews with contemporary authors, discussions about key figures and movements in literature history, examinations of various genres and current events in the lit world, and celebrations of book nerdom (book stores, book design, book collections, etc.)

Episode Date
Callie Feyen on Teaching Shakespeare
53:06
In this episode of Libromania, a podcast for the book-obsessed, David chats with author and teacher Callie Feyen about her book, The Teacher Diaries: Romeo and Juliet, in which she contemplates her time teaching Shakespeare to a group of students who didn't seem ready for it. They discuss her classroom strategies, her own love of Shakespeare, her love of libraries, and much, much more.
Jun 17, 2019
The Summer Reading Episode
1:01:59

Join David Kern and guest Levi Stahl (marketing director for University of Chicago Press and a wonderful books-based Twitter follow) for a conversation about some great summer reads. They start by chatting about what makes for a good summer read, then dive in to their own lists.


Here are some of the books discussed on this show:


A Month in the Country, by J. L. Carr

Novels and stories by Craig Rice

Dorothy Dunnett's House of Niccolo series, Lymond Chronicles, and King Hereafter

The Canterbury Tales

The Country of the Pointed Firs, Sarah Orne Jewett

David Epstein's Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World

A.E. Stallings' “Like”

Eric Ambler's Journey into Fear

P.G. Wodehouse's Carry on Jeeves

Wallace Stegner's Crossing to Safety

Jun 06, 2019
Paul Sahre, One of the World's Foremost Book Cover Designers
1:05:59

In which David chats with Paul Sahre, one of the world's foremost book cover designers. Sahre's designed covers for the likes of Chuck Klosterman and Malcolm Gladwell, and he's done updates for Hemingway and Spark, among others. In this conversation, David and Paul discuss the process of designing a cover, some of his favorite covers of all time, and much more.


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May 31, 2019
Discussing the 2019 Pulitzer Prize Finalists with John Wilson
50:51

In this episode, longtime book critic and former editor of Books and Culture, John Wilson, joins the show to discuss the three finalists for the 2019 Pulitzer Prize: Richard Powers' The Overstory, Rebecca Makkai's The Great Believers, and Tommy Orange's There There. They discuss what makes each book appealing, some of their flaws, and what these choices say about the contemporary literature world at-large.


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May 22, 2019
Christian Kiefer on "Phantoms" and the Writing Life
59:00

Welcome to Libromania, a podcast for the book-obsessed from the Close Reads Podcast Network. Each week David Kern will be chatting with authors, biographers, designers, collectors, critics and other people who help make book's so worthy of our attention.


In this episode, David chats with novelist Christian Kiefer about his new novel, Phantoms, a page-turner that weaves the "splintered stories" of two broken families torn apart by two key twentieth century wars, the cruelty of Japanese internment camps, and the devastation of dishonesty. They chat about Kiefer's writing process, revision and working with editors, the influence of Faulkner on his work, the diversity of bookstores, and much more.


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Please note: this episode does include bleeps.

May 16, 2019
Dostoevsky's Gambling Problem (featuring Dr. Jessica Hooten Wilson)
49:08

Welcome to Libromania, a podcast for the book-obsessed from the Close Reads Podcast Network. Each week David Kern will be chatting with authors, biographers, designers, collectors, critics and other people who help make book's so worthy of our attention.


In this episode David chats with Dr. Jessica Hooten Wilson, author of Walker Percy, Fyodor Dostoesvsky, and the Search for Influence (among other books), about Dostoevsky's gambling problem and the impact that it had on his life and his work. They talk about the way he was an open book as a writer, the role of his second wife, Anna, and his seemingly autobiographical novel, The Gambler.


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Apr 22, 2019
Eighth Day Book's owner, Warren Farha
27:15

Welcome to Libromania, a podcast for the book-obsessed from the Close Reads Podcast Network. Each week David Kern will be chatting with authors, biographers, designers, collectors, critics and other people who help make book's so worthy of our attention.


In this episode David chats with Warren Farha, proprietor of one of America's most beloved book stores: Eighth Day Books, in Wichita, Kansas. They talk about the life of a bookshop owner, the landscape of bookshops, choosing books for the stacks, and much more. Make sure you head over to https://www.eighthdaybooks.com/ to learn more.


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Apr 02, 2019
The Tragic Story of A Confederacy of Dunces
1:17:32

Welcome to Libromania, a podcast for the book-obsessed from the Close Reads Podcast Network. Each week David Kern will be chatting with authors, biographers, designers, collectors, critics and other people who help make book's so worthy of our attention.


In this episode David chats with Cory MacLauchlin, author of the book Butterfly in the Typewriter, about the tragic and wild story of John Kennedy Toole and his beloved novel, A Confederacy of Dunces. Conversation explores the book's tremendous popularity in Europe, the book's cult following, the dramatic story of Toole's life, his audacious mother, and much more.


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Mar 21, 2019
On Sans Forgetica, a new font to aid memory retention
41:53

Welcome to Libromania, a podcast for the book-obsessed from the Close Reads Podcast Network. Each week David Kern will be chatting with authors, biographers, designers, collectors, critics and other people who help make book's so worthy of our attention.


In this episode, David chats with renowned typographer, Stephen Banham, about his work on a new font called Sans Forgetica, which was designed in association with RMIT in Australia, in hopes of helping students improve memory retention.They discuss the art of typography, the goals behind the font, how it was conceived, and much more.


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Mar 08, 2019
On the Best Film Adaptations of Books, with Jeffrey Overstreet and Steven Greydanus
1:30:33

Welcome to Libromania, a podcast for the book-obsessed from the Close Reads Podcast Network. Each week David Kern will be chatting with authors, biographers, designers, collectors, critics and other people who help make book's so worthy of our attention.


In this episode David chats with noted film critics Jeffrey Overstreet and Steven Greydanus about some of the best film adaptations of books. Many of the titles they discuss will be familiar to you. Others not so much. Either way, tune in for a lively conversation about what makes a good film adaptation, the role of the critic in reviewing such movies, and Jeffrey and Steven's top five choices.

Mar 02, 2019
Libromania Top 5: The Most Romantic Books
1:05:21
Welcome back to Libromania, a podcast for the book-obsessed. In this episode, David is joined by Heidi White and Tim McIntosh to talk the most romantic books ever written. In honor of Valentine's Days, they each present their 5 favorite romantic books - with a little bit of discussion on what makes a book really, truly romantic.
Feb 13, 2019
Matthew Zapruder, author of WHY POETRY, on life as a poet
1:03:26

Welcome to Libromania, a podcast for the book-obsessed from the Close Reads Podcast Network. Each week David Kern will be chatting with authors, biographers, designers, collectors, critics and other people who help make book's so worthy of our attention.


This week, poet Matthew Zapruder, author of Why Poetry, joins the show to discuss his life as a poet. Discussion touches on how he became a poet, his interest in Russian literature, teaching poetry, knowing when a poem is finished, the new Instagram poets, and much more.


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Feb 01, 2019
Remembering Mary Oliver (with A.M. Juster and Allison Backous Troy)
1:15:44

Welcome to Libromania, a podcast for the book-obsessed from the Close Reads Podcast Network. Each week David Kern will be chatting with authors, biographers, designers, collectors, critics and other people who help make book's so worthy of our attention.


This week, guests Allison Backous Troy, a writer for IMAGE's "Good Letters" blog, and A.M. Juster, the poetry editor for First Things, join the show to discuss the work and legacy of Mary Oliver, who passed away last week at age 83. They discuss the very personal nature of her work and influence, the way she inspired so many people (inside and outside of the world of poetry writers), and what her passing means for the state of contemporary poetry.


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Jan 26, 2019
Why Do We Love the Smell of Old Books?
47:56

In this episode of Libromania, David chats with Cecilica Bembibre, a researcher at University College London, about the science behind the smell of old books: why people love it, why it matters, and what it means for the preservation of culture.


Cecilia Bembibre is a doctoral candidate at the Centre for Doctoral Training in Science and Engineering in Arts Heritage and Archaeology (SEAHA), University College London. She holds a degree in Communication from the University of Buenos Aires and an MRes from the Institute of Sustainable Heritage, The Bartlett School of Graduate Studies (UCL). She is interested in historic smells and they ways we engage with the olfactory aspect in heritage spaces. You can read more about her work at www.smellofheritage.org.


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Jan 17, 2019
S.D. Smith, Jonathan Rogers, & Douglas McKelvey talk process and vocation
1:29:04

Welcome to Libromania, a new podcast for the book-obsessed from the Close Reads Podcast Network. Each week David Kern will be chatting with authors, biographers, designers, collectors, critics and other people who help make book's so worthy of our attention.


Here in chapter 4, David chats with middle-grade (as they call themselves) novelists S.D. Smith (The Green Ember series), Jonathan Rogers (The Wilderking Trilogy), and Douglas McKelvey (The Angel Knew Papa and the Dog) about their writing process, how they see their vocation, when they know a story is finished, their advice for young writers, and much, much, much more.


Join us for this in-depth contemplation of the trials and joys of the writing life.


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Jan 10, 2019
Why "To Kill a Mockingbird" is America's most popular novel
56:03

Welcome to Libromania, a new podcast for the book-obsessed from the Close Reads Podcast Network. Each week David Kern will be chatting with authors, biographers, designers, collectors, critics and other people who help make book's so worthy of our attention.


Here in chapter 3, we contemplate the incredible (and enduring) popularity of Harper Lee's 1960 novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, which was recently named "America's most-loved book" on The Great American Read. More than 4.3 million votes were cast and Lee's novel came in first place. But why do so many people love it so passionately? And why, even after all these years, do we continue to read it so often? To answer these questions David chatted with Adam Andrews, the director of the Center for Lit and the author of Teaching the Classics, about the literary merit of the book; and Dr. Joseph Crespino, professor of history at Emory University and the author of Atticus Finch: The Biography, about the book's place in the culture at-large.


Join us for this deep-dive into one of America's most beloved books.


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Jan 04, 2019
The Year in Movies, with Jeffrey Overstreet
1:45:21

Welcome to Libromania, a new podcast for the book-obsessed from the Close Reads Podcast Network. Each week David Kern will be chatting with authors, biographers, designers, collectors, critics and other people who help make book's so worthy of our attention.


Here in chapter 2, David goes off-book a bit and talks to film critic and novelist, Jeffrey Overstreet, about the year in movies. Jeffrey offers his ten favorite films of the year, which is capped by a few choices that might surprise most listeners.


Be sure to check out Jeffrey's film reviews (and other work) at lookingcloser.org.


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Dec 29, 2018
John Wilson on his favorite books of 2018
45:09

Welcome to Libromania, a new podcast for the book-obsessed from the Close Reads Podcast Network. Each week David Kern will be chatting with authors, biographers, designers, collectors, critics and other people who help make book's so worthy of our attention.


Here in chapter 1, David chats with John Wilson (former editor of Books & Culture, which he ran for 20+ years, and currently a contributing editor at the Englewood Review of Books and a book columnist at First Things) about the best books of 2018.


Be sure to check out John's First Things article on his favorite books of the year here: https://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2018/12/favorite-books-of-2018


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Dec 16, 2018