By Andrew Cunningham and Craig Getting

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Morgan from The FrankenPod
 Jul 16, 2018


Overdue is a podcast about the books you've been meaning to read. Join Andrew and Craig each week as they tackle a new title from their backlog. Classic literature, obscure plays, goofy murder mysteries: they'll read it all, one overdue book at a time.

Episode Date
Ep 313 - The Hardy Boys #1: The Tower Treasure, by Franklin W. Dixon

This week we solve a mystery with the Hardy Boys, the indistinguishable sons of a famous detective. They’ll conquer men in wigs, slightly worse detectives, and Hobo Johnny on their way to earning a thousand bucks. Good night!

Aug 13, 2018
Ep 312 - The Diary of a Young Girl, by Anne Frank

The Diary of a Young Girl, frequently referred to as The Diary of Anne Frank, chronicles the author's time hiding with her family during the German occupation of Amsterdam in the 1940s. It's also a shockingly personal account of a young woman's quest for self-knowledge. Anne shows remarkable candor as she battles to be her best self while enduring the most trying of circumstances.

Aug 06, 2018
Ep 311 - The Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead

Colson Whitehead's The Underground Railroad is slave fiction with just a hint of magical realism mixed in to heighten the stakes. Whitehead uses a slightly fluid sense of time and location to better highlight the links between the institution of slavery and race in America throughout its history.

Jul 30, 2018
Stop! Homer Time - Episodes 3 & 4

The experiment continues! It's the show-within-a-show where we read Emily Wilson's new translation of The Odyssey a few books at a time and having a more in-depth chat about it than they do about most books.

These episodes cover Books 4-7 of The Odyssey. First, Telemachus gets oiled up and talks to some more people about his dad, and the gods finally free Odysseus from his long torment. But he'll make it home now, probably! Probably. Then we chill with Odysseus as he meets the lovely Phaeacians.

Remember, some Patreon supporters get these episodes early every month. Find out more at patreon.com/overduepod

Jul 27, 2018
Ep 310 - Mystic River, by Dennis Lehane

You may remember Dennis Lehane's 2001 novel Mystic River from the award-winning 2003 film of the same name. What elevates this murder mystery from other crime procedurals is its attention to human detail, its exploration of our collective moral failings and how they intersect.

LISTENER BEWARE: We do spoil the heck out of the ending so that we can get into a conversation about youth violence and the American cultural conversation about guns. Unless you're just DYING to read it, we think you should press ahead and enjoy the episode. We even have fun talking about Mystic Pizza and Boston!

Jul 23, 2018
Ep 309 - The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, by Rebecca Wells

Just what the heck is a Ya-Ya, anyway?? We tackle this and other topics—including physical abuse, parenthood, midlife crises, and other topics we have little-to-no direct experience with—as we cover Rebecca Wells' best-known novel.

Jul 16, 2018
Ep 308 - A Darker Shade of Magic, by V.E. Schwab

V.E. Schwab's popular Shades of Magic series started with this novel about Kell, a magic man with a magic jacket, and Lila, a thief who dreams of becoming a pirate. They're brought together against forces conspiring to destroy *multiple* Londons, and their journey is one of power, blood magic, and hidden potential.

Talking points include Multiple Clevelands, elemental magics, powerful bloodlines, and how to snag that million dollar podcast deal.

Jul 09, 2018
Ep 307 - Redwall (Live from Philly), by Brian Jacques

This week's episode on Brian Jacques' Redwall was recorded live at the 6th Annual Philadelphia Podcast Festival. Thanks to everyone who was able to join us and to the festival for having us back!

We hope you enjoy our wide-ranging discussion about this animal adventure, which includes a quiz about GWAR, good mice and bad rats, the questionable size of ANYTHING, and how badly we stan for Constance the Badger.

Jul 02, 2018
Ep 306 - Aristotle Detective, by Margaret Doody (Bonus Episode)

You know Aristotle, the Greek philosopher from the 4th century BCE? What if he was a detective who helped solve mysteries? That's exactly what's going on in Margaret Doody's 1978 novel Aristotle Detective

This episode was recorded live over the Internet with some of our Patreon supporters in the audience. Find out more about our Patreon project at patreon.com/overduepod.

Jun 28, 2018
Ep 305 - The Book of Unknown Americans, by Cristina Henriquez

We didn’t plan to discuss Cristina Henriquez’s The Book of Unknown Americans during a particularly fraught period in the United States’ immigration debate. But if this book or our discussion can help anyone develop more empathy for those who come to the US from elsewhere, it will have done its job (or one of its jobs, anyway).  

Jun 25, 2018
Ep 304 - Mistborn: The Final Empire, by Brandon Sanderson

What was it about the first Mistborn book that netted Brandon Sanderson a job wrapping up the Wheel of Time series? That's the central question we attempt to answer in our discussion of Brando Sando's acclaimed novel.

Join us for a discussion of allomancy, burning orange soda, fantasy heists, self-help magicians and more.

Jun 18, 2018
Ep 303 - Childhood's End, by Arthur C. Clarke

Childhood’s End, Arthur C. Clarke’s first successful novel, starts as a story about a surprisingly chill (if mysterious) alien invasion, but eventually it’s also about the end of the human race. It’s not the aliens’ fault, for once! But they’re definitely, you know, AROUND for it. 

Jun 11, 2018
Ep 302 - I Heard the Owl Call My Name, by Margaret Craven

Margaret Craven's 1967 novel I Heard the Owl Call My Name is about a young Anglican vicar's work with a First Nations parish in British Columbia. The simplistic tale centers on the problems facing a culture at risk of disappearing and the work of those who fight to save it.

Talking points include white saviors, romanticized myths, and a run of tree puns that will leaf you breathless.

ALSO: Come see us in Philly on June 23rd! Tickets available at bit.ly/overdue2018.

Jun 04, 2018
Stop! Homer Time - Episodes 1 & 2

Welcome to a new experiment! For this new show-within-a-show, Craig and Andrew will be reading Emily Wilson's new translation of The Odyssey a book at a time and having a more in-depth chat about it than they do about most books.

Patreon supporters get these episodes monthly, but every two months we'll combine them for general consumption. First you'll hear our introduction to the show (and the translation) and our chat about Book 1. Then our journey across the wine-dark sea continues with our episode on Books 2 & 3. Talking points for that one include rowdy town council meetings, Athena's god moments, and Poseidon slash-fiction.

Find out more about how to get these episodes monthly at patreon.com/overduepod.

May 31, 2018
Ep 301 - The Power, by Naomi Alderman

What would you do if you could suddenly zap someone with an electrical charge? What would you do if someone you knew could do it, but you couldn't? What would you do if the world got flipped entirely upside down because said electrical power inverted the world's power dynamics? Well, you're about to find out!

May 28, 2018
Ep 300 - Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer

We couldn't think of a better way to celebrate our 300th episode than with a *biting* discussion of Stephenie Meyer's blockbuster hit Twilight.

Will klutzy cipher Bella Swan and perfect baseballboy Edward Cullen make it? Can you practice abstinence in the world that gave rise to Fifty Shades? And when you become a vampire, does it make you HOT?

Find the answers to these questions and more in our tricentennial extravaganza!

May 21, 2018
Ep 299 - Rock and Roll Mystery (Choose Your Own Adventure)

We head back to the Choose Your Own Adventure well this week to solve some rock and roll mysteries - will we get brainwashed by a cult? Will we save rock and roll? You'll have to listen to find out!

May 14, 2018
Ep 298 - Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, by Betty MacDonald

If your kid's all strange in your neighborhood, who you gonna call? PIGGLE-WIGGLE!

Betty MacDonald's Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle series chronicles a kindly magical lady as she helps all manner of parents with all manner of difficult children. Won't bathe? Make them a garden! Won't share? Make them a pariah!

Join us as we celebrate Children's Book Week 2: A Podcast and share our concerns about parenting in the magical 1940s.

May 07, 2018
Ep 297 - Austerlitz, by W.G. Sebald (Bonus Episode)

For April, we covered W.G. Sebald's Austerlitz, a dense yet moving novel about a man discovering his stolen past. The book's themes get a little heavy at times, but thankfully our rowdy chat is always ready to help lighten the mood. Talking points include death by pun, stolen time, and Craig's "real" name.

May 03, 2018
Ep 296 - Peyton Place, by Grace Metalious (w/ The Librarian Is In)

Who better to help us discuss Grace Metalious' 1956 novel about small-town scandal than a couple of Big Apple librarians like Gwen Glazer and Frank Collerius?

Our friends from The Librarian Is In were in Philly, so we invited them over for an uncut discussion of misbehaving teens, skeletons in cellars, and...jimmy caps.

Apr 30, 2018
Ep 295 - Passion's Promise, by Danielle Steel

Kezia Saint Martin is an unwilling heiress, a woman who uses multiple pseudonyms so she can do the work she loves. Lucas John is a paroled convict, a strapping Patrick Warburton type who fights for reform in the prison system. Danielle Steel's 1977 novel Passion's Promise shows us how these two unexpected lovers are both alike: the prison of society's expectations is literally the same as actual prison!

Apr 23, 2018
Ep 294 - The New Life, by Orhan Pamuk

"I read a book one day and my whole life changed," opens Orhan Pamuk's best-selling novel The New Life. Like much of Pamuk's work, The New Life dives deep into how art helps and hinders our efforts to process the world, drawing specifically on the tensions of the East-West dichotomy.

Other talking points include dangerous buses, life-changing books, and in-fiction fiction.

Apr 16, 2018
Ep 293 - Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline

Put another quarter in the coin slot folks, because it's time to talk about Ernest Cline's Ready Player One. Topics include bad fan culture, the narrowness of the characters' "exhaustive" knowledge of 80s popular culture, and why the critical response to this book has shifted so much in just a few short years.

Apr 09, 2018
Ep 292 - "A" is for Alibi, by Sue Grafton

Sue Grafton's Alphabet Mystery series stars Kinsey Millhone, a no-nonsense private eye operating in California. "A" is for Alibi is the first book for feature Kinsey, so we spend much of the episode talking about how it sets up the series and how Kinsey fits into the pantheon of crime fiction protagonists. Also, Andrew comes up with his OWN alphabetic mysteries.

This podcast cannot be used for evidence in a court of law.

PLUS: We updated our Patreon project! Check it out: patreon.com/overduepod

Apr 02, 2018
Ep 291 - Gone With The Wind, by Margaret Mitchell

Gone With The Wind is an American classic, both in that it is a classic book written by an American author and in that it does a bad job wrangling with America's original sin, slavery. We try to justice both to Mitchell's characterization and sense of place while also accounting for her blind spots.

Mar 26, 2018
Ep 290 - Charlotte's Web, by E.B. White

E.B. White's Charlotte's Web is a beloved classic for plenty of reasons. It's got bloodthirsty spiders, hungry hungry rats, and some terrific, radiant, humble pig named Wilbur. But somehow Craig hadn't read it until THIS WEEK.

Other talking points include: otter tacos, animal sentience, and the saddest feelings anyone's ever felt about a spider.

Mar 19, 2018
Ep 289 - The Colour of Magic, by Terry Pratchett

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.

Mar 12, 2018
Ep 288 - The Time Traveler's Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger

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.

Mar 05, 2018
Ep 287 - The Cranes Dance, by Meg Howrey (Bonus Episode)

For February's bonus episode, we spin, twirl, and jump our way through a conversation about Meg Howrey's The Cranes Dance. This book about sisterhood and ambition draws heavily on the author's experience as a successful professional dancer.

Feb 28, 2018
Ep 286 - Kindred, by Octavia Butler

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. 

Feb 26, 2018
Ep 285 - The Fifth Season, by N.K. Jemisin

Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter and...then what? N.K. Jemisin's award-winning novel The Fifth Season kicks off her 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.

Feb 19, 2018
Ep 284 - Americanah, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

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.

Feb 12, 2018
Ep 283 - Salvage the Bones, by Jesmyn Ward

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.

Feb 05, 2018
Ep 282 - The Dispossessed, by Ursula K. Le Guin

In the wake of Ursula K. Le Guin's tragic passing earlier this month, this week's episode covers her Nebula-award winning The Dispossessed. Part of the "Hainish Cycle," the book deals with capitalism, socialism, anarchism, and human nature in ways that resonate strongly in our current moment.

Jan 29, 2018
Ep 281 - The Satanic Verses, by Salman Rushdie

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.

Jan 22, 2018
Ep 280 - The Secret, by Rhonda Byrne

Shhhhhh, everyone, come in closer. Closer! Because we're about to tell you all about The Secret, and we don't want anyone to overhear. Of course, if they hear us talking about all the parts of this book that are bogus, THAT would be fine.

Jan 15, 2018
Ep 279 - The Crossing, by Cormac McCarthy

A boy and his wolf cross the border into Mexico and things go...rather poorly. That's the premise of Cormac McCarthy's 1994 novel The Crossing. It's a Southwestern Gothic coming-of-age story that also touches on the evil nature of man and the collapse of the mythic American West.

Talking points include the puppet comedy of Jeff Dunham, violence in McCarthy's West, and a call for proposals on "Neoliberal Discourse and/in McCarthy."

Jan 08, 2018
Ep 278 - Beauty and the Beast (LIVE from the Fall For The Book Festival)

Our first episode of the new year is actually from our live show at the Fall For The Book Festival in Fairfax, VA. Andrew read the original version of Beauty and the Beast, which bears some similarity to the better-known Disney version but kind of goes off the rails toward the end.

Jan 01, 2018
Ep 277 - The Santa Clause, by Daphne Skinner

It's a family affair for this week's episode, in which Craig, Andrew, Laura, and Suzannah gather 'round the fire to discuss Daphne Skinner's novelization of the hit 1994 Tim Allen film, The Santa Clause. Does Tim Allen murder Santa? How many Santas have there been? And did we all believe in Santa?

Dec 25, 2017
Ep 276 - The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak

Markus Zusak's breakthrough novel The Book Thief is the story of a young girl in 1940s Germany told by Death itself. It is equal parts heartening and heartbreaking in its depiction of people just trying to live, and it doesn't shy away from showing how "just trying to live" can create a slippery moral slope.

Talking points include Star Wars "spoilers," other books that Death should narrate, the power of literature, and Oscar-bait WW2 stories.

Dec 18, 2017
Ep 275 - The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams

On this week’s show, we ponder the meaning of life, the universe, and everything via Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, a radio-play-turned-book that has been adapted to just about every audiovisual medium known to humankind. We also ponder how becoming millionaires would change our walking habits. 

Dec 11, 2017
Ep 274 - Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury (Bonus Episode)

Our "November" bonus episode, the final entry in "stuff we've read month," is Ray Bradbury's old high school lit class standby Fahrenheit 451. Needless to say, it's hitting us differently now than it did when we originally read it. 

Dec 09, 2017
Ep 273 - Where the Red Fern Grows, by Wilson Rawls

Grab your tissues everyone! Wilson Rawls' first novel Where the Red Fern Grows is notorious for how sad it is, and the reputation is well-deserved. It's a story of a boy, his dogs, and "death in its saddest form." You do the math.

Also up for discussion this week are our own pet histories, the savagery of the trapping lifestyle, Andrew's new favorite dog magazine, and Providence.

Dec 04, 2017
Ep 272 - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, by JK Rowling

For this week’s show, we attempt to figure out what we can add to a conversation about one of the most-discussed books in all of modern literature! Join us for a chat about what JK Rowling’s first book does well, how useful we find the concept of “sorting” real-world people in different contexts, and the nature of fandom. 

Nov 27, 2017
Ep 271 - Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

Strap in and blast off to space with us Ender Wiggin, the pint-sized protagonist of Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game.

It's the story of an ultra-talented youth pushed to the limit as he fights to save humanity. The book's chockablock with laser tag, future school, and telepathic aliens! It's also written by an author who has put in substantial time and effort to oppose same-sex marriage, as well as espouse some other harmful views that seem to run counter to the lessons at the core of Ender's Game.

Join us for a discussion about tolerance, the limits thereof, and whether or not we can ever truly separate art from the artist.

Nov 20, 2017
Ep 270 - The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald

This week we put on our flapper outfits and dance back to the Roaring Twenties! F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby bears us ceaselessly back into the past, and we use the Jazz Age as a backdrop for a conversation about the American Dream and also the cartoon Rugrats.

Nov 13, 2017
Ep 269 - A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L'Engle

Travel through time and space with us to the planet Camazotz and beyond! Learn about love, dictatorships, and cosmic Christian centaurs with us and Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time.

Other topics include meeting your husband on Broadway, Grand Moff IT, and the worst government job ever: Tesseract Tester.

Nov 06, 2017
Ep 268 - Ghost Stories and Urban Legends #2 (Bonus Episode)

Trick or Treat! We tricked you - it's a treat! Here's an all-new batch of spooky stories and educational hauntings. 

The podcast is coming from inside the house! We have camping trip guidelines, the Highgate Chicken Ghost, Harry and the Woman in the Toilet, and tales about Haunted Ohio and Robert Johnson.

Nov 03, 2017
Ep 267 - Interview With The Vampire, by Anne Rice

This week's penultimate Spooktober entry is Anne Rice's Interview With The Vampire, a first-person vampire story that has spawned nearly two dozen sequels, spin-offs, and connected stories. The actual interview gimmick doesn't add much, but that doesn't mean the book doesn't have interesting things to say about the nature of morality and immortality. 

Oct 30, 2017
Ep 266 - Bag of Bones, by Stephen King

This week, Natasha of the Unspoiled Book Club podcast joins us to hash out Stephen King’s Bag of Bones, a book about being a middlebrow fiction writer, small towns, and ghosts. So, you know, most Stephen King novels.

This week’s show brought to you by Squarespace and Hello Fresh.

Oct 23, 2017
Ep 265 - House of Leaves, by Mark Z. Danielewski

Mark Z. Danielewski's House of Leaves is out to get you. It is an antagonistic book that's larger on the inside than it appears on the outside. It's also a book about a book about a film about a house that may or may not be a portal to a hellish labyrinth. Confused yet? Join the club.

Join us for a discussion of metatexts, evil Zillow listings, and FOOTNOTES OH GOD THE FOOTNOTES.

Oct 16, 2017
Ep 264 - The Murders in the Rue Morgue and The Cask of Amontillado, by Edgar Allan Poe

This week we take a double-dip into Edgar Allan Poe's spooky catalogue—Craig reads about the Murders in the Rue Morgue, and Andrew sips from the Cask of Amontillado. Both are sort of spooky in their way, but they're also deeply strange horror stories that raise questions like "what animal would be the most likely to kill you" and "what would someone have to do to you for you to wall them up in a cellar."

Oct 09, 2017
Ep 263 - Overdue Q&A #2 (Bonus Episode)

This episode we dive back into the mailbag! We didn't read a book but we did read a bunch of great questions from you about how we make the show, how we program it, and what we eat while we're reading.

As always, thanks to our Patreon supporters for making these bonus episodes possible!

Oct 06, 2017
Ep 262 - 99 Fear Street (The First Horror), by R.L. Stine

Are you ready to get SPOOKY??? It's the first week of our 2017 Spooktober spectacular, and we're here to talk about R.L. Stine's teen horror series 99 Fear Street. This entry, The First Horror, is the story of Cally and her family, who move into the most clearly haunted house that you could ever imagine. Needless to say...things go poorly for the Frasiers.

Additional talking points include haunted TV shows, economic mobility, and phantasmagorical realtors.

Oct 02, 2017
Ep 261 - Bridget Jones's Diary, by Helen Fielding

Books read 1, alcohol units 4 (bad), chuckles 179 (excellent).

This week we tackle Helen Fielding's Bridget Jones's Diary, a book that's carried a long way by its narrator's voice; we also talk about Livejournals we may or may not have had, feminism, neuroses, and how we know basically nothing about dating in the modern era.

This episode brought to you by Squarespace.

Sep 25, 2017
Ep 260 - The Traitor, by Michael Cisco

How Weird do you like your fiction? Do you dig bogeymen who eat ghosts? Narrators who repeat themselves all the time? How about soul-crushing nihilism that implicates the reader in the demise of civilization? Well then Michael Cisco's The Traitor might be the book for you!

Other discussion topics include new iPhones, Magic Eye books, and the Thong Song.

Sep 18, 2017
Ep 259 - Girl at War, by Sara Novic

Sara Novic's Girl at War has all the confidence and impact of a firsthand account, despite the fact that it was written almost entirely from secondhand accounts. Detailing one girl's experience in the early 90s Croatian War of Independence and her life in America afterward, it's a compelling account of internal and external conflict from a character who has two homes and doesn't quite belong in either.

Sep 11, 2017
Ep 258 - Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott

This week, four conventionally-sized young women approach adulthood in Louisa May Alcott's seminal novel Little Women.

It's time to wonder who will marry Laurie, who will sell their novel, and who will frustrate us with their moral lessons. Also: what's the deal with the limes?!

Sep 04, 2017
Ep 257 - Dying of the Light, by George R. R. Martin

You might know George R. R. Martin from an obscure little HBO series called “Game of Thrones.” This week, we go back to his very first (and pre-ASOIAF) novel, the science fiction/romance story Dying of the Light.

This book showcases Martin’s gift for organic, engrossing world building, but the material is let down a bit by its characters and its protagonist in particular. All in all, a good first effort from the guy who would go on to write one of modern fantasy’s biggest juggernauts. 

This week’s show brought to you by Squarespace.

Aug 28, 2017
Ep 256 - Anne of Green Gables (Live from Philly), by L.M. Montgomery

We’re enjoying a summertime break this week, so we hope YOU enjoy our Philly Podcast Festival show about Anne of Green Gables from last month!

Aug 21, 2017
Ep 255 - 10:04, by Ben Lerner (Bonus Episode)

Ben Lerner's novel 10:04 is about a man named Ben trying to write a novel. Yes, it's meta. Yes, it can get navel-gazey. But there's an underlying humanity and economy that keeps the book afloat.

Discussion topics include gatekeeping, listening, dinosaurs, and superstorms.

Aug 17, 2017
Ep 254 - Bridge to Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson
Ranking on multiple Saddest Books Ever lists, Katherine Paterson's Bridge to Terabithia is a classic young adult novel. A young boy makes a new friend, and their friendship blossoms despite the daily grind of middle school. Then someone dies. Weep along with us as we swap sibling stories, chat about teacher feelings, and make at least *two* Will Smith references. This episode is brought to you in part by Squarespace.
Aug 14, 2017
Ep 253 - The Talented Mr. Ripley, by Patricia Highsmith
The Talented Mr. Ripley is a book about apprehension and grifting and murder, which makes it feel like a great selection for this, the Year Of Our Lord 2017. You never like Tom Ripley, exactly, but he’s a fascinating character to inhabit for a few hundred pages. This episode is brought to you in part by Blue Apron.
Aug 07, 2017
Ep 252 - Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH (Live in Boston), by Robert C. O'Brien
Hold on to your hors--I mean, rats, it's a live show! We present to you this dispatch from Boston on Robert C. O'Brien's novel Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH. While we don't come away with a newfound love of rats, we do develop an appreciation for their arts and culture and their will to survive. Other topics include mouse marriage, Beantown humor, and the scientific process. This episode is brought to you in part by Squarespace.
Jul 31, 2017
Ep 251 - Like Water For Chocolate, by Laura Esquivel
Laura Esquivel's best-selling novel Like Water For Chocolate is a work of revolutionary magical realism. No really, it takes place during the Mexican Revolution and chronicles the life of a young woman whose strong emotions affect the world around her. Join us for a chat about exploding showers, sexual food, and everyone's favorite birthday boy Waluigi.
Jul 24, 2017
Ep 250 - Alias Hook, by Lisa Jensen
Live shows and a busy summer mean there’s nothing special about our 250th episode, except insofar as each and every one of our episodes is a special wonderful delight! Alias Hook is a 2014 book that asks what Peter Pan and Neverland would seem like from the perspective of one Captain James Hook. The answer is: not great! But as with so many works of fiction that put us in the shoes of sometime antagonists, it adds interesting layers to Hook and to the Peter Pan-theon even if the straight action and romance sequences aren’t anything to write home about.
Jul 17, 2017
Ep 249 - The Nerd, by Larry Shue
Larry Shue's 1981 play The Nerd is about a gumption-less architect trying to extract a painful person from his life. Did we mention it's a comedy? We cover the play's plot (including its final reveal), the allure of answering machines, anonymous favors, and the Nintendo Switch. This week's show is brought to you in part by Blue Apron.
Jul 10, 2017
Ep 248 - Last Days of Summer, by Steve Kluger
Steve Kluger’s Last Days of Summer isn’t a complicated novel—it’s a nice, emotionally resonant book about a kid without a father and a man without a kid who form a unique and heartwarming bond. Sometimes it’s just nice to read a nice book where (mostly) nice things happen, you know?
Jul 03, 2017
Ep 247 - The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
What's hidden in your secret garden? Which weeds need weeding? Which flowers need water, sunlight, and a Pokemon trainer to bring them to life? This week we talk about our own secret gardens, as well as the novel The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Other talking points include New Women, stolen identities, and The Secret.
Jun 26, 2017
Ep 246 - Kushiel's Dart, by Jacqueline Carey
We’ve read fantasy adventure books and we’ve read sexy books, but have we read any books that are sexy fantasy adventures? After reading Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel’s Dart, the first in what is currently a nine-book series about sexy angel warriors, we can now definitively say “yes.” We have a chat about how Carey builds her world atop a real-world foundation, how the sexy stuff is intermixed with the political machinations, and how most of the characters are actually people who want things and not just sexy bodies.
Jun 19, 2017
Ep 245 - Five Children and It, by E. Nesbit
If you could wish for anything, what would it be? Dinosaurs to eat? Money to spend? A Nintendo to live in? The kids in E. Nesbit's story Five Children and It are bad at wishing. Like, really bad. But that means we get to have fun at their expense and perhaps learn a little bit about the perils of cutting corners. Also, if anyone finds out what Andrew would wish for if he met a genie, please tell us. The world needs to know.
Jun 12, 2017
Ep 244 - Siddhartha, by Hermann Hesse
Do you know the meaning of life? We don't either, but we feel like we're just a little bit closer after reading Hermann Hesse's classic Siddhartha.
Jun 05, 2017
Ep 243 - March, by Geraldine Brooks
Andrew's out of the country so Craig's wife Laura joins the show to talk about Geraldine Brooks' Pulitzer Prize-winning novel March. March imagines the "offstage" of Mr. March, the largely absent father figure of Louisa May Alcott's classic Little Women. What happens to an idealistic pacifist when confronted with the horrors of the Civil War? Where exactly did school recess come from? And who knew that Alcott's father ran a failed vegan compound in 19th-century Massachusetts?
May 29, 2017
Ep 242 - Felidae, by Akif Pirinçci
This month, we read the first book in Akif Pirinçci’s “Felidae” series. It’s a “bestselling novel of cats and murder,” and it combines over-the-top violence that makes Watership Down look like a book that’s actually appropriate for children. It’s also just surreal enough to be a lot of fun. That said, the book’s author, Akif Pirinçci, espouses some truly vile views about immigration and Muslims—he’s referred to Germany as a “Muslim garbage dump” and has made jokes about sending Muslims to concentration camps. We can’t stress enough how deeply we disagree with these viewpoints, and we spend a bit of time in the episode talking about whether and how to separate art from the artists that made it. There are no good answers, but know that we did purchase a used copy of this book, partly because it’s out of print but also because we don’t want to provide financial support to anyone who says these kinds of things.
May 25, 2017
Ep 241 - You Are A Shark (Choose Your Own Adventure) by Edward Packard
YOU. ARE. A. SHARK. Or so the title of this Choose Your Own Adventure book by Edward Packward would have you believe! Will we be a leader of animals or a follower? Will we dominate the ocean, land, or sky? Plenty of choices await us in this week's episode. This week's episode is brought to you in part by Sirius XM.
May 22, 2017
Ep 240 - The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, by Junot Díaz
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao earned Junot Díaz a Pulitzer Prize in 2008, and it remains one of the most highly regarded novels of our young 21st century. Oscar Wao is a Dominican lad who loves geekery almost as much as he loves women. The only trouble is: he just can't get any. Tune in for a discussion of (toxic) masculinity, nerd alerts, and the Dominican Republic under the rule of El Jefe.
May 15, 2017
Ep 239 - From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, by E.L. Konigsburg
We're at the tail end of Children's Book Week, so we thought it appropriate to discuss E.L. Konigsburg's Newberry Award-winning book From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. The story follows two kids who run away to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, discover a love of Italian sculpture, and meet a kooky old lady who loves secrets. Other talking points include: exercising sucks, children can be miserly, and bus mistakes. Also please visit butteryeggs.org. This week's show is brought to you by Squarespace.
May 08, 2017
Ep 238 - Everything is Illuminated, by Jonathan Safran Foer
NOTE: A short stretch of fairly explicit sex talk earns this one the "Explicit" tag, though as usual we avoid cussing. You've been warned! This week, we illuminate everything about Jonathan Safran Foer's debut novel. It's not Andrew's cup of tea, exactly, but we try our best to dive into where it works, where we think it doesn't quite get there, and why Foer has a reputation for being "overrated" in some literary circles. This week's show brought to you by Blue Apron.
May 01, 2017
Ep 237 - Skateboard Tough, by Matt Christopher (Special Bonus Episode)
Welcome to our rad, bad, extra-jumbo bonus episode on Matt Christopher's Skateboard Tough! It's a jumbo episode because we spend at least 10 minutes reading the titles of every sport book for kids he wrote. This episode attempts to answer the burning question in all of our hearts: what does Skateboard Tough even mean??? Included with your download: surprisingly serious conversation about childhood experiences and the importance of being seen, Matt Christopher's minor league woes, and activist journalism. The song at the end is a snippet of Lupe Fiasco's Kick, Push, a song you should've heard by now.
Apr 30, 2017
Ep 236 - Never Let Me Go, by Kazuo Ishiguro
Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go explores the inner lives of teens as they learn, love, and discover their full potential as... something you need to read/listen to find out. This intimate novel flirts with disturbing science fiction elements, but our buddy Kaz keeps the tone eerily calm and comfortable. Join us for a conversation about clone teens, clone butts, genre boundaries, and our first memories of death. If you haven't noticed, our podcast is weird. This week's episode is brought to you in part by the fine folks at Squarespace.
Apr 24, 2017
Ep 235 - Silas Marner, by George Eliot
Craig returns this week for a talk about George Eliot (pen name for Mary Anne Evans) and her novel Silas Marner, which starts out as a bummer but gradually becomes an uplifting little story. We also talk about Craig’s vacation and the Baldwin brothers, among other things. This week’s episode is brought to you by Squarespace.
Apr 17, 2017
Ep 234 - The Count of Monte Cristo, by Alexandre Dumas
Craig’s on his long-delayed honeymoon this week, so Andrew’s wife and other best friend Suzannah is filling in this week to tell you all about Alexandre Dumas’ The Count of Monte Cristo. Did you know that Dumas has upwards of 40 mistresses? Did you know that this book was published in 18 pieces over the course of a couple of years, and that it’s over 1,000 pages long? Did you know that someone actually helped write parts of many of Dumas’ books and never got any official credit for it? Did you know that the Count himself is a Jigsaw-esque murderous vengeance machine? All this and more on this week’s Overdue! This week's show brought to you in part by Blue Apron.
Apr 10, 2017
Ep 233 - Cloud Atlas, by David Mitchell (Bonus Episode)
David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas is most notable for its uniquely structured narrative, so it's only appropriate we made this the first book we cover while livestreaming for patrons! Other topics include Tom Hanks' henna tattoos, Yoko Ono husbands, and our favorite Disney princes. That's right, princes.
Apr 06, 2017
Ep 232 - The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath
This week we dive into Sylvia Plath's novel The Bell Jar, a quasi-autobiographical novel about womanhood, depression, and identity. We also discuss the unfortunate circumstances of Plath's early death, country mice moving to big cities, and metaphorical chemistry equipment.
Apr 03, 2017
Ep 231 - The Joy Luck Club, by Amy Tan
This week the boys join Amy Tan’s Joy Luck Club and read (fictional) stories about the Chinese-American children of Chinese immigrants; they also attempt to navigate some choppy waters around the book’s potential perpetuating of Chinese and Chinese-American stereotypes and the reaction to the 1993 film based on the book.
Mar 27, 2017
Ep 230 - Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson (Live in Philly)
Well shiver me timbers, it's a live show! They say that dead men tell no tales, but Robert Louis Stevenson sure told a great tale in Treasure Island. Things reach a fever pitch (literally) at our live show at the Free Library of Philadelphia. Topics include pirate radio, Jimbo and Mr. Hands, the game Desert Island, and our favorite entry in the Pirates of the Caribbean series. This show is brought to you in part by Blue Apron.
Mar 20, 2017
Ep 229 - One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
This week, we return to the works of Gabriel Garcia Marquez (“Gabo” to his friends) for the first time since our second-ever episode. This time around we get to dive deeper into “magical realism,” the sort of dreamy heightened reality that Marquez employs so successfully, and we also touch on the book’s relationship with Colombian history and our relationship with our own hometowns. This week’s episode brought to you by Squarespace.
Mar 13, 2017
Ep 228 - The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, by C.S. Lewis
It's time to travel to the magical land of Narnia! It's Craig's first time journeying through C.S. Lewis' The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and it's EVERYONE's first time eating Turkish Delight! Find out what the opposite of delight is, how a lion can be Jesus, and just what happens to Susan when she reaches the Narnia equivalent of the pearly gates.
Mar 06, 2017
Ep 227 - The World According to Garp, by John Irving
This week we bring you The World According to Garp according to Andrew - we breeze through John Irving’s best-known “middlebrow” novel, touching on its feminist leanings, its surprising progressivism as it regards the transgendered, and both the dark humor and the just-plain-darkness lurking around every corner. This week’s episode brought to you by Blue Apron and Squarespace.
Feb 27, 2017
Ep 226 - Last Act, by Christopher Pike (w/ guest Margaret H. Willison)
This week we're joined by social media maven (and friend of the show) Margaret H. Willison to talk about Christopher Pike's Last Act, an early entry from the author's prolific career writing YA thrillers. We're here to solve the mystery of a murder in a high school drama club, but our conversation ranges far and wide. Talking points include Margaret's mispronunciations, Andrew's career as a stage performer, and Craig's new favorite book Skateboard Tough. This week's show is brought to you in part by the fine folks at Squarespace.
Feb 20, 2017
Ep 225 - Zami: A New Spelling of My Name, by Audre Lorde
This week, we tackle Audre Lorde's autobiographical Zami: A New Spelling of My Name. It's an account of Lorde's childhood and early adulthood, focusing specifically on her experiences as a black, out, gay woman in New York City in the 1950s.
Feb 13, 2017
Ep 224 - The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, by Mark Haddon (Bonus Episode)
Mark Haddon's book about a teenager with "Behavioral Problems" is notable less for what happens in it and more for its perspective. It's an affecting study of human thought and behavior that we can't ruin even by talking about Subway for five minutes!
Feb 10, 2017
Ep 223 - Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison
"I am an invisible man," says the unnamed narrator at the beginning of Ralph Ellison's masterpiece Invisible Man. He then walks the reader through the painful journey that led to this realization, from the Jim Crow South to a less explicitly divided New York City. When we aren't discussing the narrator's struggle to fight for racial justice through and within a Communist party analog, we spend time chatting about the Pigskin Classic, dragging Harold Bloom, and unpacking stereo equipment. This week's show is brought to you in part by the fine folks at Blue Apron and Penn State World Campus.
Feb 06, 2017
Ep 222 - Lord of the Flies, by William Golding (w/ The Librarian Is In)
Who has the conch? Somebody find the glasses! We're trapped on a podcast island with the amazing Gwen Glazer and Frank Collerius of the New York Public Library's show The Librarian Is In. Actually, Gwen and Frank were kind enough to have us in their studio to chat about William Golding's novel The Lord of the Flies. Possible television-related tangents include LOST, Kid Nation, and Kids Say the Darnedest Things! This episode is brought to you in part by Squarespace and Penn State World Campus.
Jan 30, 2017
Ep 221 - Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel
What will you remember? What will you be remembered for? Emily St. John Mandel's Station Eleven asks these questions of most of its characters as they struggle to survive before and after an apocalyptic flu outbreak. We also talk Mandel's work crunching data on novels, National Days, Corporate Speak, and what we won't miss when we lose the Internet. Don't forget to book tickets to our live show at bit.ly/libraryshow! This week's show is brought to you in part by the fine folks at Blue Apron and Penn State World Campus.
Jan 23, 2017
Ep 220 - The US Constitution
We the Hosts of Overdue, in Order to form a more perfect Podcast, establish Humor, insure earbud Tranquility, provide for uncommon offense, promote our listeners’ Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Goofs to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this podcast on the Constitution for the United States of America. No really, we did it. A whole podcast on the Constitution, its origins, and the Bill of Rights. We talk about what the Framers didn’t say, what they didn’t predict, and what we wish people WOULDN’T do with the Constitution in years to come. This week’s show is brought to you in part by Blue Apron, Penn State World Campus, and Squarespace.
Jan 16, 2017
Ep 219 - Mr Burns: A Post-Electric Play, by Anne Washburn
This week, Andrew brings his oddly deep and specific knowledge of The Simpsons to bear on Anne Washburn's Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play. In a post-apocalyptic world in which Simpsons quotes were treated as currency, he would pretty much run the place. This week's show brought to you by Penn State World Campus.
Jan 09, 2017
Ep 218 - Angel, by Elizabeth Taylor
Welcome to 2017! Our first book of the year is Angel by Elizabeth Taylor, a somewhat forgotten mid-century classic about an author shaping her world through fiction. Because it's us, we HAD to spend time talking about the other Angels and Elizabeths Taylor in our lives. We also find time to cover cheaters and lies, Ferris Buellering, and Jerry the Internet Editor. This week's show is brought to you in part by Penn State World Campus and Squarespace.
Jan 02, 2017
Episode 217 - All-Star Superman (Bonus Episode)
Up in the sky, look! It's a bird...it's a plane...it's a podcast about Superman! Lucas Brown (host of the podcast "The Math of You") joins us for a discussion of Grant Morrison's timeless Man of Steel collection All-Star Superman. We talk about origin story troubles, Superman's ever expanding powerset, and one of the most affecting Superman panels in recent memory.
Dec 30, 2016
Episode 216 - A Tale for the Time Being
For our last regular show of 2016, we come to Ruth Ozeki’s A Tale for the Time Being and get schooled on the relationship between the writer and reader and the nature of time itself. We also touch on Christmas gifts from the future-past, good names for blogs, and more. This week’s show is sponsored by Penn State World Campus, and you can check out our merch store between now and January 31 at overduepodcast.com/store.
Dec 26, 2016
Episode 215 - Stealing Christmas
This week we learn all about the "quick, dirty, and over-the-top" erotic fiction of Alexa Riley - and since Stealing Christmas is holiday-themed, we get into the spirit of the season, too! Join us for a frank and explicit discussion of mall barons, safe unsafeness, and sexy, sexy sexual intercourse.
Dec 19, 2016
Episode 214 - White Teeth
Show me Zadie Smith's WHITE TEETH! Join us for a discussion about her debut novel that tackles immigration, assimilation, and our collective struggle to control the lives we lead. We'll also reference Lady Gaga, share some rules for fistfighting (and writing), and discover the sad clown Pa(g)liacci.
Dec 12, 2016
Episode 213 - The Outsiders
S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders was written when the author was just 16, which is impressive not just because the book has an atypical amount of empathy and perspective for something written by a teenager, but because the author is especially close to her characters’ circumstances. Also on tap for this week: sick raps, tales from the McDonald’s drive-thru, and a whole lot more.
Dec 05, 2016
Episode 212 - The History of Love
The History of Love is littered with catchphrases. Bazinga! Time to make the donuts! Not the Mama! That is to say, our episode on The History of Love is littered with catchphrases. The 2005 novel by Nicole Krauss stars Leo and Alma, whose fates are intertwined by the success of a powerful book. The name of that book? The History of Love. It's a book-within-a-book. Get it?! We also chat about pen pals, t-shirts, saccharine texts, and the need to be seen.
Nov 28, 2016
Episode 211 - The Ocean at the End of the Lane
Neil Gaiman started 2013's The Ocean at the End of the Lane as a novella for his wife, who "doesn't really like fantasy." This gives the book a different vibe from some of Gaiman's other work, though any book that features a tattered sentient bedsheet clears the "fantastical" bar for us. This breezy book deals mostly in Bradbury-esque musings on the nature of childhood and adulthood, and we spend a lot of time on that as well as the Great Page Count Race of 2016 and our new t-shirt empire.
Nov 21, 2016
Episode 210 - 2016 Election (Bonus episode)
No book for this month's bonus episode, gang, and we're also releasing it at the same time for both patrons and everyone else in the interest of being timely. We were both deeply saddened by the results of last week's United States presidential election, and we've spent most of the last week dissecting our feelings about it and trying to figure out where we go from here. In this episode, we provide some context for our international listeners, attempt to commiserate with those who agree with us and reach out to those who don't, and lay out a path for getting more involved if that's something you want to do. Thanks for listening, everyone. Your support means the world to us.
Nov 18, 2016
Episode 209 - Snow Crash
What does pizza murder have to do with a linguistic virus that dates all the way back to Ancient Sumeria? Find out as we discuss Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash. Other talking points include Stephenson's "Multiverse," anime, and "pooning." Thanks again to all of our listeners. It's been a hard week, but you folks are amazing.
Nov 14, 2016
Episode 208 - Magic Bites
Magic Bites, the first novel in a longrunning series by wife-and-husband writing team Ilona and Andrew Gordon (known collectively as Ilona Andrews) does throw out some interesting ideas. The relationship between magic and science is neat, and some of the action set pieces work well. But in other places, unfortunately, it fell flat for Andrew—characterization is often two-dimensional, the magical near-future Atlanta often feels contradictory and hastily drawn, and the prose is just clunky enough to highlight the novel’s problems rather than mask them. We talk about all of this plus voting, how phones work, and the pitfalls of judging an entire body of work by the strength of the debut. This episode is sponsored by Squarespace.
Nov 07, 2016
Episode 207 - Beware of the Purple Peanut Butter (Bonus Episode)
Listener beware, we're choosing the scares! In this, our final Spooktober entry of 2016, we bounce around the pages of R.L. Stine's Give Yourself Goosebumps #6: Beware of the Purple Peanut Butter. It's time to get the heebies AND the jeebies as we discuss unhelpful childhood nicknames, clash with Bad News Barney and Drippy Dora, and try to survive the sickest Goosebumps reference ever included in a Goosebumps book.
Nov 03, 2016
Episode 206 - Ring
Hold on to your VHS tapes! It's time to talk about Koji Suzuki's Ring, the 1991 novel that inspired that movie everyone's heard of with the tape and the phone call and the seven days until your death. He may not be Stephen King, and he may not like horror - but Suzuki does know how to turn a mystery about a murderous videotape into quite the page-turner. Additional talking points include MST3K cons, horror lessons, and evil viruses.
Oct 31, 2016
Episode 205 - Werewolf of Paris
It’s time to get *very* professional with the fourth book of Spooktober 2016! Guy Endore’s Werewolf in Paris is widely regarded as The Werewolf Novel, but it isn’t all full moons and silver bullets. Set in and around in the Paris Commune of 1871, the novel tackles class, sex, and the human desire to control our own impulses.
Oct 26, 2016
Episode 204 - The Haunting of Hill House
Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House has been hailed as "the greatest haunted-house story ever written." The house itself is vile. It's dark and impossible to navigate. It's dripping with blood. So why are four people trying to spend their summer there?!? This week's paranormal activity is brought to you in part by the fine website wizards at Squarespace.
Oct 17, 2016
Episode 203 - Hook (Bonus Episode)
Come Peter Panning with us as we discuss the 1991 Steven Spielberg film Hook, inspired by the classic book Peter Pan (Episode 165). It's time to name of a bunch of films, discuss the perils of overstaying your welcome in Neverland, and explore how such a stellar cast turned out a less-than-stellar movie.
Oct 15, 2016
Episode 202 - The Woman in Black
We get Spooktober rolling in earnest this week with Susan Hill's The Woman in Black, a ghost story written in the 1980s that intentionally invokes Gothic and Victorian storytelling techniques and language to create a tale that feels timeless.
Oct 10, 2016
Episode 201 - Howl's Moving Castle
This week is the start of Overdue’s third-annual Spooktober spookfest, a month full of scary (or at least somewhat spooky) books that will get you in the mood for Halloween! Our first book is Diana Wynne Jones' Howl's Moving Castle, a book about a young girl transformed into an elderly woman, who gets wrapped up in a charming wizard's quest to avoid all responsibility whatsoever. With our special guests Siri and the Christmas Creep, we touch upon the horrors and benefits of aging, the Billboard Magic Charts, Prince Justin, and WitchYelp. This week's episode is brought to you in part by our good (totally not haunted) friends at Squarespace.
Oct 04, 2016
Episode 200 - Infinite Jest
Here it is: the big two-hundo! This week, Andrew tackles David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest in a show that is nearly 2.5 hours long and yet somehow still not quite long enough to get to everything. We break down the plot and the structure, such as they are, and we also dive deeper into the role of addiction and depression in the book and the book’s at-times antagonistic relationship with the reader. It’s a book worth reading, but perhaps more than anything we’ve yet done for the show, it resists being read.
Sep 26, 2016
Episode 199 - Tuck Everlasting
It's my life...and it's now or never. I ain't gonna live forever! OR AM I? Natalie Babbitt's beloved children's novel Tuck Everlasting tackles the tough questions. What would happen if I could live forever? What will I do with the time I'm allotted on this mortal coil? Would it be creepy for a teenager to tell a ten-year old to drink immortality water in seven years so that he can be her forever husband? This week's Ohio jokes, French Stewart goofs, and despair at our finite existence are brought to you in part by the fine folks at Squarespace.
Sep 19, 2016
Episode 198 - The Magicians
What if magic were real? What if your favorite fantasy world was a place you could actually go? Would you be happy? Could you be happy? These are the questions posed by Lev Grossman's The Magicians, an en*gross*ing urban fantasy novel that's spawned two sequels and a SyFy original series. Other questions we pose ask about the following: the Fall of Flirting, One-Star Amazon Reviews, Jurassic Park Trespasser, and sexy foxes (we're sorry).
Sep 12, 2016
Episode 197 - Open: How Compaq Ended IBM's PC Domination and Helped Invent Modern Computing
Something a little different this week: Andrew read a non-fiction book about the personal computer era, something he was reading about mostly because he was also watching AMC’s Halt and Catch Fire. There’s an interesting story at the heart of it, but delivered through the dry and often sterilized viewpoint of its one-time CEO it often seems lifeless. This episode is sponsored by Squarespace.
Sep 05, 2016
Episode 196 - Watership Down (Live from Philadelphia)
If you came out to our second-ever live show at the Philadelphia Podcast Festival, you've already heard this one! But for the rest of you, settle in for a conversation about bunny theology, rabbit puns, tattooed moms, and our normal shenanigans.
Sep 01, 2016
Episode 195 - The Beggar's Opera
With The Beggar's Opera, John Gay attempted to skewer 18th-century British government, the rich, and Italian operas. Did his satire succeed? Maybe you'll find out on this rather free-wheeling episode. Off-topic topics include: the firm of Borowitz, Onion and Yankovic; the Ginger Ale Dimension; 99 Degrees; and "Celebration by Kool & the Gang" a new musical by Kool & the Gang.
Aug 29, 2016
Episode 194 - Prisoner of the Ant People (Choose Your Own Adventure)
Shrink your bodies and expand your minds with this week's Choose Your Own Adventure book: Prisoner of the Ant People by R.A. Montgomery. This week's choices include tossing out the rules, annoying robots and nicely-shaped Martians, and starting almost as many stories as we finish. Come join us in Zondo Quest Group II!
Aug 22, 2016
Episode 193 - Johannes Cabal the Necromancer
What happens when you take some Ray Bradbury, add some undead, stir in a pinch of Doctor Who, sprinkle with dark humor, and bake in the eternal flames of Hell? You get Jonathan L. Howard's Johannes Cabal the Necromancer, the first in a series of books about a guy who's trying to do what he thinks is the "right" thing in all the wrong ways. We also talk about some of your First Smooch stories, what we'd want if we sold our souls to the devil, and what it might sound like if Marc Maron got Jesus on WTF.
Aug 15, 2016
Episode 192 - Casino Royale
"Bond. James Bond." "Shaken, not stirred." "It's no good crying over spilt milk." This week we find out which one of these classic James Bond catchphrases does NOT appear in Ian Fleming's debut novel Casino Royale. We also discuss test tube Olympians, Cold War capers, and the Communist leanings of your favorite Smurfs. Wake up sheeple! This week's episode is brought to you in part by the fine folks at Squarespace.
Aug 08, 2016
Episode 191 - The Phantom Tollbooth (Bonus episode w/ Appointment Television)
Andrew's other podcast pals Margaret and Kathryn give Craig a break this month, and we all talk about Norton Juster's classic The Phantom Tollbooth. Kathryn wasn't totally on board since she never read the book as a kid, but there are plenty of puns and an ample supply of wordplay to keep the gang invested. If you like the Appointment Television crew, you can find out more at atvpodcast.com!
Aug 04, 2016
Episode 190 - Eleanor & Park
This week Andrew reads Rainbow Rowell’s pitch-perfect YA novel Eleanor and Park, and it spurs a discussion of 80s nostalgia, first kisses, censorship, body image issues, and teen life.
Aug 01, 2016
Episode 189 - Shadowshaper
Daniel José Older's novel Shadowshaper is the story of Sierra Santiago, a young woman with the power to infuse art with spirits and save her community from destruction. Set in Older's modern, magical Brooklyn, Shadowshaper shows us the supernatural power of heritage while also tackling subjects like gentrification, cultural tourism, and young love. Of course, we find time to riff on nighttime salsa, bone moes, and Harold and the Purple Crayon. Enjoy!
Jul 25, 2016
Episode 188 - The Likeness
This week, we use Tana French’s outstanding sequel The Likeness as an opportunity to comment on everything from the semi-serialized nature of crime stories to tips for going undercover to Pokémon Go. We read French’s first novel, In The Woods, for the show a couple of years back, and while you don’t need to have read that book to enjoy this one, we will spoil minor elements of both books in our discussion this week. You’ve been warned!
Jul 18, 2016
Episode 187 - A Walk to Remember (w/ the Unfriendly Black Hotties)
Sometimes an author’s prose is so distracting in so many ways that it totally derails their stories—such is the case with Nicholas Sparks’ A Walk to Remember. Sparks always tells but rarely shows. He gives us one- or two-word descriptions that are meant to serve as “characterization,” but those characters don’t always act the way Sparks tells us they act. And people talk to each other not like human beings, but like aliens in human skin-suits. This week, Unfriendly Black Hotties co-hosts Christina and Kamille help us break down Sparks’ writing and the man himself, and we try to figure out the stuff in Sparks’ work that makes his books bestsellers. (Note the Explicit tag this week, for some light swearing and Sexual Discussions.)
Jul 11, 2016
Episode 186 - Island of the Blue Dolphins
Scott O'Dell began writing Island of the Blue Dolphins because of "anger, anger at the hunters who [...] slaughter everything that creeps or walks or flies." The Newberry Award-winning story that resulted is a compelling account of the Lone Woman of San Nicolas Island and a powerful story of perseverance. In between dishing on animal companions, we find time to talk about email etiquette, dog-focused action sequences, and why Overdue is the #1 Podcast for Teens.
Jul 04, 2016
Episode 185 - Overdue Q&A (Bonus episode)
You asked, we answered! For this month's bonus show we didn't read a specific book, but instead went through some listener-submitted questions about the show and about us and gave semi-thoughtful answers. Join us to hear a dramatic reading of our first real chat about the show, some not-too-great names we tried out before we settled on Overdue, and a whole lot more.
Jun 30, 2016
Episode 184 - The Gospel of Loki
Joanne Harris’ The Gospel of Loki is part straightforward myth written for a modern audience and part fanfiction, and we don’t mean that in any sort of pejorative sense. Harris sees the Norse pantheon as inherently modern, and it’s hard to disagree - it’s full of prideful, flawed sex maniacs who are so insecure that’s it’s almost funny, at least when their spats aren’t breaking and remaking the world. Join us for all of this plus some thoughts on Chuckie Finster’s Greatest Hits.
Jun 27, 2016
Episode 183 - The Door
"In Soviet Hungary...nanny hires you!" Time to talk about The Door, a lesser known but very powerful book by celebrated Hungarian author Magda Szabo. It's set in the 1960s and 70s, so we read up a little on the Eastern Bloc to make sure we knew what we're talking about. Instead we just make Yakov Smirnoff jokes. Other topics include old guitar ladies, "groupie states," and Craig's love language.
Jun 20, 2016
Episode 182 - Jane Eyre
This week Andrew completes the Brontë trilogy with Charlotte Brontë's seminal novel Jane Eyre. Is it a romance? Is it spooky? Do we like Mr. Rochester or does he well and truly stink? We'll attempt to answer these questions and more in between revisiting #MomSwears, solving some Scooby Doo mysteries, and traveling through Internet tubes. This week's episode is brought to you in part by Kinyo Poetry and Squarespace.
Jun 13, 2016
Episode 181 - Guilt By Association (Bonus Episode)
Here's a fun fact: Did you know that Marcia Clark, lead prosecutor on the OJ Simpson case, wrote legal thrillers? Neither did we! But Craig's fascination with the American Crime Story version of the trial and a well-placed ad on Andrew's Kindle led to Craig cracking open her first novel. It can be clunky, but it's also a surprisingly fun read!
Jun 10, 2016
Episode 180 - Preacher (Gone to Texas and Until the End of the World)
What if God walked away from it all? And left behind a Gomorrah-like stew of sex and bloodshed out of which emerged a superpowered preacher, seeking revenge on the almighty? That's the set up for Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon's graphic novel Preacher. This week, Craig tackles the first two volumes of the series and explains what's preventing him from pressing onward in the story. We also touch on how best to subvert the comic code, American Movie Classic, and how far is far too far when depicting taboo behavior.
Jun 06, 2016
Episode 179 - 1Q84
It's alternate universes, murderous plots, and ghostwritten novels all the way down this week—1Q84 is Andrew's first Haruki Murakami novel, and there's a lot of good stuff here even if the book could stand to shed a couple hundred pages. Come for the book talk, stick around for references to Highlights For Children, the Tostitos Bowl, and the usual nonsense.
May 30, 2016
Episode 178 - The Call of the Wild
Get in touch with your inner wolf-dog and answer The Call of the Wild by Jack London! We apologize that our Murakami episode will take another week, but we didn't want to leave you in the literary lurch. So we take a trip on the Yukon trail with one heck of a dog named Buck. It's time to talk instinct, dog names, oyster pirates, and Calvin & Hobbes and John Locke from LOST.
May 23, 2016
Episode 177 - Jurassic Park
There are dinosaurs! Lots of dinosaurs! And they rule Jurassic Park! Michael Crichton's techno-thriller classic Jurassic Park kicked off a generation's dinomania. But it's also a chilling tale of science run amok. A story about what happens when advancement for advancement's sake breaks the rules of nature. This week's installment of Andrew's euchre tips and our recap of the Waluigi Principle are both brought to you by the fine folks at Squarespace.
May 16, 2016
Episode 176 - Black Beauty
It's wall-to-wall horse talk this week, starting with a blow-by-blow analysis of the Kentucky Derby and moving on to Anna Sewell's classic Black Beauty. Andrew wasn't expecting this tale to be told by a horse in the first-person perspective, but that's what Black Beauty is. As a warning against the dangers of horse abuse and drinking alcohol, it's actually quite effective. This week's show is brought to you by kinyopoetry.com and "Lonely and Horny," a video series by Headgum co-creators Jake and Amir.
May 09, 2016
Episode 175 - The Dark Is Rising
News at 11! The Dark is Rising! We repeat: the Dark IS Rising! The second (and titular) entry in Susan Cooper's award-winning The Dark Is Rising sequence turns out to have been a perfect book for Children's Book Week. It's a young adult fantasy novel about a boy named Will Stanton who embarks on an epic quest to fight against the Dark with the powers of the Light. It leads us to ask, why do kids gravitate towards stories with black-and-white morals? And why do people keep entrusting the fate of the universe to tweens? Of course, we also find time to talk terrible movie adaptations, time tourists, Old Old things, and the trials of having holiday-adjacent birthdays.
May 02, 2016
Episode 174 - The Hunchback of Notre Dame
We're dipping back in the Victor Hugo well this week with his other best-known book The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Did you know that the book and the Disney movie don't end the same way? Also on tap: road trips, games of tag, revisiting the poverty question from last week, and talking about Hugo's views on architecture vs. the printing press.
Apr 25, 2016
Episode 173 - Eat Pray Love (Bonus episode)
For this month's bonus episode, Suzannah and Laura (wives of Andrew and Craig, respectively) go on an extended overseas vacation to find themselves. At least, they try to do so vicariously through Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat Pray Love. Along the way, they talk about the movie Coyote Ugly, their discomfort with the sort of "priv-lit" that Eat Pray Love has been accused of being, and where they would go and what they would do to find themselves if given the money and time.
Apr 21, 2016
Episode 172 - Les Misérables
Do you hear the podcast sing?/Singing the song of Hugo's book?/It is a book about some people who are sad and live in France! It took us a while to finish Victor Hugo's classic novel Les Misérables, but that doesn't mean it wasn't worth it! Join us this week for a discussion of the book's inception and its lasting appeal. Other talking points include zoo cuisine, D&D alignments and soul-crushing poverty. Uplifting, huh?
Apr 18, 2016
Episode 171 - Mr Peanut
Adam Ross’ Mr. Peanut is a novel about marriage and murder with a warped sense of time and reality, but it’s also a book where the whole is a bit less than the sum of its parts. Individual threads have interesting things to say about marriage and interpersonal relationships, but these threads don’t quite form into a cohesive whole. We also chat a bit about our own marriages (including Craig’s, which is hot-off-the-presses), Timbits, and how we feel when authors tell readers how clever their work is instead of just showing us.
Apr 11, 2016
Episode 170 - Star Wars: Aftermath (Bonus Episode)
For March's bonus show, friend of the show Eric Van Tassell swings by to chat about the Chuck Wendig's novel Star Wars: Aftermath. Eric's staggering knowledge of all things Star Wars helps us talk about the colossal job handed to Wendig - namely, to write a compelling novel designed to generate excitement about all things Star Wars while also ignoring thirty years of "Expanded Universe" fiction. Naturally, the episode veers in and out of a discussion about the challenges inherent to writing companion fiction, such as balancing the expectations of a rabid fanbase. Also, Andrew attempts to sum up 7 Star Wars movies in just over 90 seconds. Buckle up!
Apr 07, 2016
Episode 169 - Flowers in the Attic (hosted by Two Bossy Dames)
This week's episode is something a little different: Andrew and Craig were off writing the Two Bossy Dames newsletter last week, so Margaret H. Willison and Sophie Brookover are taking over the show this week! The Dames read VC Andrews' Flowers in the Attic, which is apparently MUCH more about incest than the books we normally read! But they handle it ably, answering questions like: is this supposed to be titillating? IS it titillating? Why is our culture so bad at exposing young women and girls to sex in a healthy, non-creepy way? And more! You can subscribe to Two Bossy Dames and view an archive of past letters (including the one we did!) at www.tinyletter.com/twobossydames.
Apr 04, 2016
Episode 168 - The Rover
Aphra Behn's The Rover debuted in 1677 to great acclaim. King Charles II loved it, and audience demand led to Behn writing the sequel: The Rover II. This week, we talk about why a play about the sexual adventures of British exiles in Naples might have done so well at the 17th-century box office. We then talk about what might make it a little problematic for a modern audience. This week's episode is brought to you in part by Squarespace. Build it, bazinga!
Mar 28, 2016
Episode 167 - Statue of Liberty Adventure (Choose Your Own Adventure)
It's time to choose our adventure and celebrate the arrival of Spring with a trip to the Big Apple in Ellen Kushner's Statue of Liberty Adventure. This week's choices include quantum pants, Coffee Boy, and Dick Van Dyke's Worst Charlie Bit My Finger Impression (TM). The story, all names, characters, and incidents portrayed in this production are uniformly terrible. Any identification with actual persons, places, buildings, and products is purposeful because otherwise we wouldn't know what voices to use.
Mar 21, 2016
Episode 166 - When Women Were Birds
Terry Tempest Williams' When Women Were Birds is about the power of words, the power of nature, the power of women, and the power of silence. It's not always fun to read, but it's always got something to say. That's not always the case for Andrew and Craig at parties, though. This week's episode is sponsored by SquareSpace.
Mar 14, 2016
Episode 165 - Peter Pan
You've seen the movie(s). You've seen the play/musical. But have you read the novel of J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan? It's chockablock with mommy wives, nanny dogs, and more adventures than you can shake a pretend stick at. Join us as we poke fun at and point out problematic elements of a classic children's story, revel in the power of the imagination, and catalog the myriad inspirations for Peter Pan.
Mar 07, 2016
Episode 164 - Speedboat (Bonus episode w/ guest Sophie Brookover)
For February's bonus show, friend of the show and co-Two Bossy Dame Sophie Brookover (@sophiebiblio) joins us to talk about Speedboat, Renata Adler's first novel. This is one of those episodes where the author threatens to overshadow the book itself - Adler is an outsize figure with a long career, and she's never been shy about telling people exactly what she thinks. And that's true even though her prose is EXTREMELY on point.
Mar 04, 2016
Episode 163 - Disgruntled
Disgruntled, Asali Solomon’s debut novel, is simultaneously ambitious and accessible. It’s a coming-of-age novel that grapples with questions of race, identity, and family, all heavy topics. But it’s always clear and direct and it’s often funny, and Solomon has a gift for making complicated feelings easy to understand.
Feb 29, 2016
Episode 162 - A Prayer for Owen Meany
We are doomed to remember a podcast about a book about a boy with a wrecked voice. John Irving's seminal bildungsroman A Prayer for Owen Meany weaves together themes of American disillusionment and religious destiny into a fable about little Owen, who changed the world of everyone that knew him. Join us as we find excuses to talk about Seinfeld, prayers for war robots, and strange dads. This week's episode is brought to you in part by Squarespace.
Feb 22, 2016
Episode 161 - It
Stephen King's It deserves most of the praise it gets - it's an incredibly long, incredibly detailed book that tells two long intertwined stories and a bunch of short ones besides, and in one section it made Andrew physically uncomfortable. Mission accomplished, Stephen! But it's not all good; the book is longer than it probably needs to be and it lingers on certain aspects of pre-teen sexuality just a BIT more than seems advisable. Anyway, come on down and enjoy this week's episode! We all float down here. And you'll float, too.
Feb 15, 2016
Episode 160 - Robinson Crusoe (w/ guest Jake Hurwitz)
Special guest Jake Hurwitz (of Jake and Amir, If I Were You, and Headgum fame) joins us this week to talk about Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe, one of the very earliest examples of the modern novel. Along the way, we discuss the ins and outs of being stuck on a desert island, the many ways in which this years-old story is pretty racist, and just how long the REAL title of the book is. This week's show is sponsored by Squarespace.
Feb 08, 2016
Episode 159 - The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas and The Forbidden Words of Margaret A (Bonus Episode)
For January's bonus episode, we put together a sci-fi double feature: The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas by Ursula K. Le Guin and The Forbidden Words of Margaret A. by L. Timmel Duchamp. Both are short stories of speculative fiction, and both are incredibly clever bummers. When not despairing at the states of humanity and journalism, we lighten the mood with some horrifying mouth noises, David Brooks articles, and Andrew's campaign for Sexiest Man Alive.
Feb 05, 2016
Episode 158 - Beloved
Widely regarded as one of the best, and most important books, of the last half-century, Toni Morrison's Beloved is an unflinching examination of how the past can enslave just as painfully as a yoke or a whip can - and how our inability to wrestle with the past begets wrongdoing for generations to come. Listen in as we discuss full-contact sports, the myth of the well-meaning slave-owner, hauntings, and Craig's quest to find #achairformyandrew.
Feb 01, 2016
Episode 157 - The Bees
This week's book manages to combine eerily accurate biology with a Margaret Atwood-esque dystopia, a potent mixture that you need to read to believe. We also dive deep into our mailbag, discuss the recent blizzard, and put some basketball jokes in the place you would LEAST expect. This week's episode is brought to you in part by Squarespace.
Jan 25, 2016
Episode 156 - A Canticle for Leibowitz
In A Canticle for Leibowitz, the 1959 post-apocalyptic classic by Walter M. Miller, Jr., a secluded order of monks have dedicated themselves to preserving knowledge that predates an apocalyptic event several centuries prior. But what to do when people come asking for it? Is mankind doomed to repeat its mistakes forever? This week we're doomed to chat about cyclical history, the first rule of improv, space monks and desert priests, and Casey Kasem's Roaring 20s.
Jan 18, 2016
Episode 155 - Good Omens
Good Omens was written by a sort of science fiction supergroup, Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. It's one of those books where it's as fun to chew on the turns of phrase as it is to find out what happens, which is pretty amazing since it's literally about the end of the world. Join us for a chat about humanity's innate goodness and evilness, a moratorium on Serial jokes, and some sleepy giggles.
Jan 11, 2016
Episode 154 - The Scarlet Pimpernel
Odd's fish! It's time to reveal the identity of the Scarlet Pimpernel, the hero of Baroness Emma Orczy's 1908 novel. (No seriously, we're going to tell you who he or she is.) Other spoilers during our Reign of Terror include what finally tipped the public against Robespierre, some truly terrible accents, and secret identities stretching from Batman to Zorro.
Jan 04, 2016
Episode 153 - The Age of Innocence (Bonus Episode)
This month, first-ever patron guest host Asma walks us through Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence, a story about upper-class people of marriageable age in 19th century New York City. It's not the harshest criticism that Wharton ever wrote about the upper crust (that would be The House of Mirth, published earlier), but the book still isn't overly kind to these people and their rigid hierarchies.
Dec 31, 2015
Episode 152 - The Cuckoo's Calling
What exactly IS a Cormoran Strike? Did J.K. Rowling's publisher leak her pen name to make big big bucks? To answer these questions and more, we invited on friend of the show Margaret H. Willison to talk The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling.) Other mysteries solved include the origins of Godbucks, the power of Reddit detectives, and how much Andrew likes Bones.
Dec 28, 2015
Episode 151 - Home Alone
Welcome to the wild world of movie novelizations! This week, we read Todd Strasser's (mostly) faithful novelization of the hit 1990 family comedy Home Alone. Join us for an occasionally musical discussion of Krampus, taking ideas from the page to the screen and back again, the realities of being hit in the head with an iron, and the Wet Bandits' branding issues. This week's home defense tutorial is brought to you by the fine folks at Squarespace.
Dec 21, 2015
Episode 150 - Fifty Shades Freed
We're back to finish the fight - this week we take on the third and final book in EL James' Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy. It's not that a book about a BDSM relationship (complete with graphic sex scenes) can't be good, it's just that THESE books are intensely frustrating. The repetitive prose and awkward sex end up back in our crosshairs, but this time around we pay especial attention to Ana and Christian and just how frustrating they are as characters.
Dec 14, 2015
Episode 149 - Around the World in Eighty Days
This week we're going around the world -- in 80 days, no less! Well, actually, Andrew read Jules Verne's classic globetrotting adventure Around the World in Eighty Days, but we still TALK about a lot of places even if we don't go there. Other travel tips include cultural broad strokes. fast food pranks, and scientific romance. This week's transcontinental journey is brought to you by the good folks at Squarespace.
Dec 07, 2015
Episode 148 - Things Fall Apart (Bonus episode)
Our belated bonus episode for November tackles Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, a seminal work of Nigerian literature and a look at the bad things that can happen when cultures clash. Join us for a treatise on present wrapping, discussions of colonialism and yams, and a tiny, disturbing sneak peek into our next 50 Shades of Grey talk.
Dec 04, 2015
Episode 147 - Catch-22
War...war never changes. But it does get more and more absurd the deeper you dive into Joseph Heller's Catch-22. Join us for a discussion of potato tips, alternate podcast titles, double binds and logic traps, and the celebrity resemblance of one Major Major Major Major.
Nov 30, 2015
Episode 146 - A Good Man Is Hard to Find and Other Stories
Flannery O'Connor was a master of the Southern Gothic short story. Her characters are vivid, her turns of phrase equal parts memorable and chilling. These stories make you laugh, make you cringe, and sometimes make you wish you could forget how they end. This week we chat about two or three collected O'Connor stories, including the renowned A Good Man is Hard to Find. Other topics include desktop deodorant, the science of smooching, the good old days, and the ultimate fate of the baby from Nevermind.
Nov 23, 2015
Episode 145 - A Confederacy of Dunces
Every once in awhile you read a character study about a character who is uniquely unpleasant to study—such is the case with John Kennedy Toole's A Confederacy of Dunces, a thoroughly delightful book about the thoroughly repulsive Ignatius J. Reilly. Join us for a discussion of baby birthdays, Seinfeld, dialect, jelly donuts, and solo hobbies.
Nov 16, 2015
Episode 144 - The Last of the Wine
Mary Renault's The Last of the Wine depicts Ancient Greece as truthfully as possible. It is historical fiction filled with war, political intrigue, pederasty and explicit homosexual love - the likes of which were rather scandalous when she published it in the 1950s. Her book also spawned an episode complete with discussions of Mr(s). Doubtfire, Alexander the Fine, unread text messages, and mummy libraries. This week's episode is brought you to by the Greek god of web design, Squarespace.
Nov 09, 2015
Episode 143 - Ghost Stories and Urban Legends (Bonus episode)
To close out Spooktober, we thought it only appropriate that we gather around the digital campfire and swap some spooooooky stories. Tales told include the Legend of Bloody Mary, an email forward about spiders, The Hook, and a rather disturbing story about Soviet sleep science gone horribly wrong (no really this one's actually sort of graphic and gross). We forgot the s'mores, but we didn't forget to talk about pleasing terrors, picking up mummies, haunted sandwiches, and Oklahoma ghost stories.
Nov 05, 2015
Episode 142 - Wuthering Heights
This week we go back to the Brontë well to read Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights, the only novel she published before her untimely death at the age of 30. Wuthering Heights is about romance, vengeance, catching cold, inheriting property, and the perils of attempting to marry above or below your station - all the hallmarks of a good 19th century novel, in other words. We also talk about Thanksgiving, spelling bees, and Muppet Babies - all the hallmarks of an Overdue episode, in other words.
Nov 02, 2015
Episode 141 - Rebecca
Though not conventionally spooky, Daphne du Maurier's classic novel Rebecca is a perfect fit for Spooktober. It takes place at a big creepy (but beautiful) house. There's an evil maid. And the late wife of Maxim de Winter haunts every action, every line of dialogue. Rebecca's also a powerful exploration and indictment of how women can have their identity defined for them. Join us for a chat about terrible husbands, Halloween costumes, plagiarism, old people, and Ace Ventura. This episode is brought to you in part by Dollar Shave Club and Blue Apron.
Oct 26, 2015
Episode 140 - The Amityville Horror
Spooktober rolls on this week with Jay Anson’s The Amityville Horror, a “true story” from the mid 1970s about a family that buys a haunted house and then gets chased out of it. Its spookiness rating is… pretty low. We talk a bit about the real-life history of 112 Ocean Avenue, pig monsters, falling off of bikes, spaghetti, and ending chapters with exclamation points. This week’s show is brought to you in part by the fine folks at Squarespace.
Oct 19, 2015
Episode 139 - Ghost Train (Choose Your Own Adventure)
Spooktober rolls along with another Choose Your Own Adventure: Louise Munro Foley's Ghost Train. We make some dubious choices in this week's episode: spending a summer in Canada, fighting corporate greed, discussing cat literature, and getting to the bottom of who's sabotaging the orchards! This week's adventure is brought to you by Blue Apron.
Oct 12, 2015
Episode 138 - Bunnicula
This week is the start of Overdue’s second-annual Spooktober spookfest, a month full of scary books that will get you in the mood for Halloween! Our first book, brought to us by special guest host Kathryn VanArendonk, is about James and Deborah Howe’s Bunnicula. Kathryn could never finish this one as a kid, but she braved it as an adult so she could tell you about all the weird stuff that happens in it. A cat reads books. A bunny sucks the juice out of vegetables. And oh yeah, it was written by a dog.
Oct 05, 2015
Episode 137 - The Martian (Bonus episode)
Andy Weir's The Martian is about a man who gets trapped on Mars. It's about all of the actually plausible-sounding science he uses to get himself out of one scrape after another. It's about the efforts of people back on Earth to get him home. It's about (we suppose) triumph in the face of adversity, and the innate goodness of humanity. In this case, what hurts the book the most is what it isn't: it isn't a particularly interesting character study, since the wisecracking astronaut Mark Watney seems to sail over every obstacle the red planet throws at him without much physical or psychological damage. It isn't a treatise on solitude (Watney rarely seems particularly affected by his loneliness in any lasting way) or on the darker side of human nature (there are no adversaries aside from Mars itself). What's here is a breezy read that's got some entertainment value, but it doesn't have quite the impact it could have had, which is a shame.
Oct 01, 2015
Episode 136 - LOTR: The Return of the King
It is time to ascend Mount Doom and end our time in Middle-Earth with Tolkien's The Return of the King. Many goodbyes are said; scores are settled; and brains are filled with dense volumes of poetry and lore. Other talking points include birthday songs and copyright law, King Charlie Brown, the breaking of oaths, and High Fantasy football.
Sep 28, 2015
Episode 135 - LOTR: The Two Towers
This week we continue the Lord of the Rings saga with The Two Towers, a book that moves beyond Fellowship’s table-setting and dives right into the action. We spend time talking about why this book is more satisfying than the first as a standalone volume, and why the first book serves better as the first book of three than as its own story. We also spend quite a bit of this episode talking about the mixed listener reaction to the Fellowship episode, about the way Tolkien treats “mythical” creatures within his own mythical world, and a little about just why Sam Gamgee is the best.
Sep 21, 2015
Episode 134 - LOTR: The Fellowship of the Ring
Join us for the second installment in our four-part journey down to Mordor with J.R.R. Tolkien and his Lord of the Rings series. Craig's sister Jillian remains in the fellowship for a Family Size episode on The Fellowship of the Ring. Talking points include elven paradises, stranger danger, bath time songs, and the difference between dipping and bouncing.
Sep 14, 2015
Ep 133 - Go Set a Watchman (Live from Philadelphia)
Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird is a classic of American literature, and for good reason. The follow-up-slash-first-draft, Go Set a Watchman, doesn't have the same impact, but it's a fascinating look at how books change during the editing process. This show was recorded live in Philadelphia, PA. Thanks to everyone who came out!
Sep 07, 2015
Episode 132 - 1984 (Bonus episode)
There's a reason why words like "Orwellian" and "thoughtcrime" have stuck in the public consciousness for more than 65 years, and that reason is George Orwell's 1984. A denser, more complex read than Orwell's also-famous Animal Farm, 1984 is a story about systemic government oppression and the dark side of humanity. We lighten up the proceedings a bit with talk about not one but TWO Hank Williams Jr. songs, the wonders of modern technology, and criticism of criticism of criticism.
Sep 01, 2015
Episode 131 - The Hobbit
This is the first entry in our four-part journey down the J.R.R. Tolkien rabbit hole that so many of you wanted us to journey down. Andrew and Craig have both already read The Hobbit, the shorter, lighter prequel to the Lord of the Rings trilogy, so Craig's sister Jillian joins us for the ride. Join us for a talk about Tolkien, bedazzled dragons, and one weird trick that giant spiders will HATE.
Aug 31, 2015
Episode 130 - All The King's Men
Robert Penn Warren's 1947 Pulitzer Prize winning novel All the King's Men has been called "uneven as a corduroy road," "sloppy," and "one of American literature's definitive political novels." That all seems accurate when you consider that it's a 600-page melange of detective work, City Hall intrigue, and philosophizing about the fallibility of man. Join us this week for a discussion of headgums and selling out, movie-burping, New Criticism, meat axes, Huey Long, and the bummer that is American politics.
Aug 24, 2015
Episode 129 - The Daughter of Time
Not all mystery novels are about stolen jewels, secret passageways, and shifty butlers. Sometimes, they're just about a man in a hospital bed who becomes obsessed with Richard III. Joining us this week is special guest Lauren Spohrer of the true crime podcast Criminal, who takes us through Josephine Tey's renowned mystery The Daughter of Time Other talking points include how winners write history, the dos and don'ts of detective work, the Society of Richard III, and a Very Private Person.
Aug 17, 2015
Episode 128 - Then We Came To The End
If you've ever worked in an office, at least a passage or two in Joshua Ferris' Then We Came To The End is going to resonate with you. Few books so accurately capture the extremely important, unimportant minutiae of office life. Join us for our office ruminations, some fall follies, and some email-related observations. It's just as fun as it sounds!
Aug 10, 2015
Episode 127: Ethan Frome
One of Edith Wharton's few stories set outside the realm of the American upper class, Ethan Frome is a story about a Massachusetts farmer trying to live out his heart-dreams. Join us for a discussion of his totally-not-okay heart dreams, Andrew's cat Newman, ghosts, makeup, Seinfeld, and pickle dishes. (That list makes it sound like we didn't talk about the book, but we totally did. We promise.)
Aug 03, 2015
Episode 126: My Side of the Mountain
We go out in the wilderness for this month's bonus episode, living off the land and making friends with animals and playing homemade flutes with our new bestest buddy Bando. We also talk about our secrets, the ways an adult should respond when presented with a 12-year-old who appears to be homeless, and a whole lot more.
Jul 30, 2015
Episode 125 - Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret
Coming-of-age novels are a dime a dozen, but Judy Blume's Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret is one of the best known. It's such a significant work that we invited our pal Margaret H. Willison back to help us through it—she is, obviously, an expert on all things Margaret. This week we talk about our changing bodies, running for no reason, and some truly horrifying bra shopping experiences. Enjoy!
Jul 27, 2015
Episode 124: Wit
Margaret Edson's rewarding play Wit (sometimes spelled W;t) is not light, boulevard comedy fare. Inspired by Edson's time in a Washington, D.C. research hospital, the play tackles death from a number of angles including cancer treatments and 17th-century poetry. But what makes it such an enduring entry into the modern canon is how Edson handles these subjects with surprising humor and, well, wit. (Sorry.)  Discussion points include legacy, favorite teachers from our childhood, and what we lose as we fight to stay alive.
Jul 20, 2015
Episode 123: Till We Have Faces
Most people familiar with C.S. Lewis' work will have come to him via the Chronicles of Narnia, a series of fantasy books that's defined for better or worse by its heavy-handed Biblical allegory. Till We Have Faces, Lewis' last novel, certainly deals with some of the same themes. But it's also a retelling of the classic Cupid and Psyche myth that originally appeared in Apuleius' The Golden Ass in the late 2nd century.  Join us as we talk about the myth retold, Lewis' Christian roots, and what happens when Heaven and Hell host the Olympics.  
Jul 13, 2015
Episode 122: To the Lighthouse
Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse is a modernist classic. Rich in lyrical prose and unrelenting streams of conciousness, Lighthouse set a standard for peering into characters' heads and hearts and relaying the contents back to the reader. It also closely mirrors portions of Woolf's life - particularly her summers in St. Ives and the devastating loss of her mother at a young age. Discussion points this week include bag shoes, second helpings of soup, and the difficulties of conveying via podcast this book's lasting appeal. 
Jul 06, 2015
Episode 121: Space Vampire (Choose Your Own Adventure)
YOU: An intrepid spaceboy, graduating at the top of your class at Space Academy. YOUR MISSION: Find and destroy the evil space vampire at any cost! Our fourth Choose Your Own Adventure outing takes us into deep space and beyond—join us as we hijack advanced spacecraft, evade arrest, and drift through the vast inky void of space. Will we catch that nefarious SPACE VAMPIRE? There's only one way to find out!
Jun 30, 2015
Episode 120: A Boy and His Dog
Harlan Ellison is a man whose reputation precedes him. His long and storied career as a sci-fi and speculative fiction writer is peppered with curmudgeonly diatribes and public incidents, many as interesting as the best of the thousand or so stories he churned out across books, television and film. His classic story A Boy and His Dog takes quite a dim view of a post-WW3 apocalypse, so buckle up for another week spent discussing the depth's of humanity's depravity.  In an attempt to lighten the mood, we also talk about dog literacy and allow Andrew's cat Newman to make a cameo.
Jun 30, 2015
Episode 119: Across a Hundred Mountains
What would you do for a better life? Where would you go? Who would you leave behind? And what does "better" mean, anyway? Reyna Grande poses these questions with great poise and power in her debut novel, Across a Hundred Mountains. This week, we talk border crossings, panda bears, Chicana feminism, and the ingenuity of Days of Our Lives.
Jun 22, 2015
Episode 118: Blood Meridian
Cormac McCarthy is a writer in the vein of Hemingway or Faulkner, a person whose prose you can spot from a mile away. That can be a good or a bad thing, as we discuss in our show on his 1985 book Blood Meridian.Join us for a discussion of scalping, war, and the special Internet that only Cormac McCarthy knows about. $7.83
Jun 17, 2015
Episode 117: Outlander
What better way to discuss Diana Gabaldon's genre-straddling, time-traveling historical fiction novel Outlander than by confining ourselves to the same room? Live (not really) from Craig's kitchen, we're happy to bring you an episode chockablock with bad Scottish accents, interdimensional romance, and plenty of Highland sex tips.
Jun 08, 2015
Episode 116: The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
Hey, jabronis!This week we finally read our first Brontë book, thanks to one of our Patreon supporters! Anne Brontë's The Tenant of Wildfell Hall is considered to be "one of the first sustained feminist books," and though many of the sensibilities of early-to-mid-19th-century England are present here, we see the typical marriage and courtship rituals through a darker lens.Contemporary readers were scandalized by the things this book depicted, including but not limited to (1) a woman leaving a man and (2) a man being a loutish alcoholic and cheating on his wife. Join us for a discussion of all that plus some tips on safe high-fiving. $3.95
Jun 01, 2015
Episode 115: Everything and Nothing
Craig tackles Jorge Luis Borges this week, and what results is a pile of conversations about fake novels and encyclopedias, WIkipedia hoaxes, the way that reviews work, and thoughts on which fast food franchises make the best (and worst) road trips. $7.53
May 26, 2015
Episode 114: Mr. Popper's Penguins and The Borrowers
This is our first monthly bonus episode, brought to you by our supporters on Patreon! If you want these shows one week earlier than everyone else, visit patreon.com/overduepod for details.It's Children's Book Week again, and just like last year we're using it as an excuse to read things that Lil' Craig and Lil' Andrew never got around to reading.  Craig reads Mr. Popper's Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater, a story of a negligent husband and father who lets penguins into his house. Andrew read The Borrowers, the tale of teeny tiny people who swipe things they don't think you'll miss when you aren't looking. Kids' books can take you to some weird places. $5.71 $6.00
May 20, 2015
Episode 113: Bad Feminist
Why do we let the messy implications of our beliefs keep us from shouting them the rooftops?Why is it difficult for a movement like feminism to be both strong and inclusive?Why don't chickens feature more prominently in the Nativity?Friend of the show Katherine Fritz joins us this week to answer these questions and discuss Roxane Gay's Bad Feminist. This 2014 bestseller features selected essays from throughout Gay's career, which includes pieces on The Help, the Internet outrage cycle, and the need for more diverse voices. $9.99
May 18, 2015
Episode 112: How Not To Write A Novel
At this point we've read a lot of novels, but we haven't tried to write our own just yet. Howard Mittelmark and Sandra Newman's 2008 anti-guidebook How Not To Write A Novel has shown us a lot of the stuff we should try to avoid if we ever decide to put pen to paper.We also devote a substantial chunk of this week's episode to listener mail from our Looking for Alaska episode, specifically responses to our questions about why people read young adult fiction well into regular adulthood. $13.52
May 11, 2015
Episode 111: Sabriel
$8.71 Garth Nix may sound like the name of a country music superstar, but he's actually just the humble, award-winning author behind several fantasy series. This week's book, Sabriel, debuted in 1995 as the first entry in Nix's Old Kingdom series, and the novel remains notable for its lead character, its unique take on magic, and the small (for a fantasy novel) cast of characters.Special guest Giaco Furino returns to the show this week, sharing with Andrew and Craig his thoughts on the Redundancy of Michael Crichton, magical vo-tech school, and talking bananas.
May 04, 2015
Episode 110: Looking for Alaska
John Green's Looking for Alaska is another young adult coming-of-age novel in a long tradition of young adult coming-of-age novels. A young man goes away to school and becomes close with a small group of friends. They smoke, they drink, they have sexual experiences, they lose, they mourn.It's nothing that hasn't been done, but Green's light tone and deeper thematic questions make Alaska worth reading whether you're still a young adult or not. Join us for more thoughts on this book, as well as the great Central Air Conditioning vs. Dishwasher debate of 2015. $5.38
Apr 27, 2015
Episode 109: The Girl Next Door
Jack Ketchum's The Girl Next Door is not for the faint of heart. The story is based on the grisly murder of Sylvia Likens by her de facto guardian in the 1960s. What preceded her death is too reprehensible to print here, but Ketchum dives headlong into the awful, determined to suss out the causes (and bounds) of human evil.Suffice to say, this makes for a difficult discussion on-air, and we spend nearly half the show trying not to talk about the rougher aspects of the book. So please join us for a discussion of phishing, safewords from the future, childhood games, and the parts of The Girl Next Door that made Craig feel terrible.Caveat lictor: This episode contains explicit language and discussion of graphic material.
Apr 20, 2015
Episode 108 - Little House on the Prairie
One of the reasons we read is because books can give us perspective—good ones can fully transport us to times and places where we've never been and, in some cases, could never go. That's the case with Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House books, stories she wrote about her childhood on the American frontier.These books aren't without their problems (there are fairly significant questions about authorship and racism is sort of everywhere), but they're worth reading because of how completely they immerse you in the lives of their protagonists. Join us and special guest Margaret H. Willison as we talk about one of the best-known titles in the series. $6.99
Apr 13, 2015
Episode 107: A Farewell to Arms
Ernest Hemingway is celebrated for the economy of his prose.This week we read A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway.
Apr 07, 2015
Episode 106: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
$7.19 Rejected a world record 121 times before finally finding a publisher and going on to sell millions of copies, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance is one of the most widely read philosophy texts of the 20th-century.Robert Pirsig's semi-autobiographical, semi-fictional account of a motorcycle road trip with his son covers a lot of ground. America's psyche in the fifties and sixties; our fascination with and fear of modern technology; the age-old quest to unify the world around us: Pirsig crams it all onto one motorcycle ridden by one man. It should then be no surprise that we get a little lost in this one. So please bear with us as we fail to ask for directions and are forced to stop and check the fuel gauge/pistons/tappets/[insert motorcycle part here] more than a few times along the way.
Mar 31, 2015
Episode 105: The Sparrow
We're back to sci-fi this week, but we take a break from the politics-heavy universe of Isaac Asimov's Foundation series. Mary Doria Russell's The Sparrow instead uses science fiction to discuss anthropology, colonialism, and theology. There's some genuinely funny and warm stuff in this book, but there's a shadow hanging over the proceedings from the outset: eight people set out to explore the first known alien planet inhabited by sentient life, but only one comes back, and he's much worse for the wear. $9.61
Mar 24, 2015
Episode 104: 'Tis Pity She's A Whore
$12.81 John Ford's 1620s revenge drama 'Tis Pity She's A Whore has everything: friars, murder, bawdy jokes, bawdy suitors, incest -- incest?! What's that doing there?, you might say. And such has been the reaction from nigh on four centuries of critics and audiences confused by how romantically (and tragically) Ford depicted a brother and sister's love.Never ones to stay wholly on topic, we also discuss March holidays, snow melancholy, and hitting up celebrities for college tuition.
Mar 16, 2015
Episode 103: Foundation
$7.19 Celebrated science fiction author Isaac Asimov wrote a lot in the 20th century: short stories, screenplays, books on pop science, books on hard science, essays on Shakespeare, essays on history and physics -- name a medium, he dabbled in it.But among all of Asimov's bibliography, the Foundation stands apart. This trilogy (later a quintet and then a septet) examined hard sci-fi issues like societal evolution and the collapse of civilizations on a galactic scale. And it all began with the stories Asimov originally collected as Foundation.
Mar 09, 2015
Episode 102: Their Eyes Were Watching God
$11.84 Zora Neale Hurston's 1937 novel Their Eyes Were Watching God is one of the most widely-read books in American literature. It's so entrenched in the modern canon that it's hard to believe Hurston fell into obscurity later in her career.But thanks to writer Alice Walker, Hurston's work was revived in the 1970s, and with good reason. Their Eyes is a fascinating portrait of a black woman's life at the dawn of the 20th century.Also discussed this week: spectacular entrances, the bees and the trees, and plans for dying authors. 
Mar 02, 2015
Episode 101: The Man in the High Castle
Our odometer has rolled over, but the show's the same: this week we take you through the alternate history presented by Philip K. Dick's The Man in the High Castle.The basic question: what would happen if the Axis powers had won World War II? The sub-questions: what is real? Is it our reality, or the reality in this book, or the reality in the book in this book? We tackle those questions, our caffeine deficiencies, and more! $8.09
Feb 24, 2015
Episode 100: Fifty Shades Darker
100 episodes! That means we've read and talked about 100 books, which isn't a lot in the grand scheme of things but it sure feels like a lot for our little podcast.For our last milestone episode, we read EL James' Fifty Shades of Grey. Now that we've done another 50 shows (and since the major motion picture is in theaters now), we've gone back to the sexy, sexy well to read Fifty Shades Darker.Our frustrations with the original book are joined by some new complaints, and just like last time you can find some nearly-compelling threads amid the wreckage if you try hard enough. We also talk a little about the actual BDSM community, and how poorly Christian Grey would fit in among real-life practitioners. One of our listeners provided us with some links, which we've included below for added reading. $8.96 Added reading:"Feminists can be kinky too" from Femmeuary: https://femmeuary.wordpress.com/2014/02/03/feminists-can-be-kinky-too/"The two mantras of BDSM" from The Kink Factory: http://thekinkyfactory.com/bdsm-for-beginners/ssc-rack/
Feb 16, 2015
Episode 099: Six Characters in Search of an Author
Luigi Pirandello's most notable contribution to the Western canon is a play about six characters come to life, intruding on a theater rehearsal in search of - get this - an author.Please join us as we grapple with the metaphysical implications of Six Characters in Search of An Author, recycle Seinfeld jokes, compose a musical extempore, and take a lesson from Craig's acting class. $2.25
Feb 09, 2015
Episode 098: Secret of the Ninja (Choose Your Own Adventure)
We dip back into the Choose Your Own Adventure well this week to read Jay Leibold's Secret of the Ninja, a harrowing tale about dojo and time travel and enchanted swords. Or something.So jump on in the passenger seat! Come for the adventures, stay for the ridiculous voices. $5.99
Feb 02, 2015
Episode 097: Batman: The Long Halloween
$12.83 Set in the early years of Bruce Wayne's Batmanhood, Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale's Batman: The Long Halloween chronicles a murderous year in Gotham City. The mysterious Holiday killer is instigating and exacerbating an all-out mob war, and the criminals controlling Batman's town unleash a rogue's gallery of costumed "freaks" in response.This week we talk about the best ways to dive into a superhero's back catalog, the relationship between Greek myths and comic books, failed elevator pitches with Mr. Bob Podcast, and Daddy's dictaphone.Caveat lictor: The Long Halloween's legacy includes a major reveal of the Holiday killer's identity, which factors heavily into the latter part of our discussion.
Jan 26, 2015
Episode 096: Something Wicked This Way Comes
It's not October anymore, but we've gone back to the spooky story well this week to read Ray Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes. Unlike The Martian Chronicles, the Bradbury book we read back in Episode 28, Wicked is a single coherent story, and it's about what happens when a mysterious and vaguely menacing carnival rolls into town.Join us for a discussion of aging, father-son relationships, Boy Meets World, and why Andrew has sworn off making fun of people who tweet about sports. $7.19
Jan 19, 2015
Episode 095: Moby-Dick
$9.96 At last, we've caught our White Whale!Herman Melville's novel Moby-Dick, a Leviathan of the American literary canon, chronicles the journey of the Pequod, a whaling ship helmed by the fanatical Captain Ahab. Narrated by Ishmael (of the infamous "Call me" opening line), Moby-Dick straddles the lines between fact and fiction, adventure and essay -- all the while never abandoning the hunt of ol' Moby.Join us this week as we discuss the particulars of the American Limerick Renaissance, childhood mishaps, commissions (of the ship and sub variety), "shipping", and the wonders of spermaceti.
Jan 12, 2015
Episode 094: The Secret History
$9.01 Donna Tartt, a recent recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for her novel The Goldfinch, broke onto the literary scene over twenty years ago with her debut novel The Secret History.Set at a small Vermont college not unlike Tartt's alma mater, The Secret History explores how a singular tragedy forever defines the lives of six Classics students. Tune in as we discuss Bacchanalian rites, persona curation in the age of social media, dramatic irony in "whydunits", and 2015: The Year of the Fishman.
Jan 05, 2015
Episode 093: Lolita
Usually books try to make you root for the protagonist. Even if he or she is flawed in some crucial way, most stories try to make you feel something for the person whose mind you're inhabiting. That is not the case in Vladmir Nabokov's Lolita.This week we share with you an uncomfortable discussion about how it feels to read a book told from the perspective of an unrepentant pedophile—how do you feel about him? How do we feel about him? How does he feel about him? The difficult subject matter is just one of the things that has earned Lolita its place in the literary canon. $9.57
Dec 31, 2014
Episode 092: A Kidnapped Santa Claus/Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins
What're the holidays without children's stories? Every year, families gather around their yule rocks and Festivus poles to hear their favorite tales of holidays past -- which means it's rare that anyone discovers a new seasonal story.Enter L. Frank Baum's A Kidnapped Santa Claus and Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins by Eric Kimmel and Trina Schart Hyman. One's a fairy tale about saving Christmas from a bunch of Daemons, the other's about saving Hanukkah from a bunch of Goblins. So...similarities.Save the holidays with us as we discuss Banta Claus, trolling goblins, and hilarious Hershel of Ostropol. $2.61 $7.56
Dec 22, 2014
Episode 091: In Cold Blood
Truman Capote's Capote's "non-fiction novel" In Cold Blood chronicles the mass murder of a family in rural Kansas by two runaway parolees. inspired by a 300-word newspaper article, it basically created the "true crime" genre, making it the grandpappy to the zeitgeist-conquering podcast Serial. Often times chilling, moving, and morbidly fascinating, In Cold Blood dances back and forth over the line between being a compelling narrative and being exploitative. It seems worth asking what it means to "enjoy" a story like this. And what role does the author play in its telling?Also covered on this episode: Pop-pops, teens, Quebec separatism, and child-proof locks. $10.09
Dec 16, 2014
Episode 090: Lonesome Dove
We hope you like awesome horses and sobbing cowboys, because this week special guest host Casey Johnston is walking us through Larry McMurtry's Lonesome Dove.It's a kind-of-subversive western that blends cowboy archetypes with some Grapes of Wrath-ish wandering. We also talk about the freelancing life, and what happens when you read books because you saw them in your dad's car. $11.23
Dec 09, 2014
Episode 089: The Handmaid's Tale
For the second week in a row, we've decided to read a book about a dystopian society—Animal Farm was about the oppressed overthrowing and then becoming the oppressors, but The Handmaid's Tale is about an already oppressed group getting even more oppressed.Margaret Atwood has a lot to say about women and feminism in this book, and we've got a lot of things to say about pie and misunderstand about Canada. Also on the docket: sexy John Adams, the LongPen, and analogies about Lost. $9.99
Dec 01, 2014
Episode 088: Animal Farm
Old Man Stalin Had A Farm...E-I-E-I-O....What happens when you mix the Russian Revolution with a bunch of farm animals and (more than a dash) of dystopian bummers? George Orwell's Animal Farm! Come listen to us learn the joys of rewriting history, selling your friends for whisky money, and holding whips in your trotters. $5.09
Nov 25, 2014
Episode 087: Gone Girl
Have you read Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl, or seen the major motion picture currently in theaters? Because if not, you probably should turn back: we're in full-on spoiler mode this week, and this story hinges on its twists. Also on the show this week: Christmas Creep, the writing process, and our brand-new Tickle Me Mario doll. $9.00
Nov 17, 2014
Episode 086: Summerland
Michael Chabon is no stranger to genre fiction. He has a Lovecraftesque alter ego. He's written essays decrying navel-gazing trends in the short story world. His Pulitzer Prize-winning The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay tackled its larger themes through the lens of two comic book writers.So it should come as no surprise that in the early 2000s, Chabon took a stab at young adult fantasy with Summerland, a sprawling tale that mixes American folklore, Norse myth, and baseball.Listen on as Craig attempts to convey his enthusiasm for the book, Andrew attempts to name baseball heroes, and both of us attempt to (mis)pronounce Michael Chabon's name.
Nov 11, 2014
Episode 085: Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage
$15.57 Haruki Murakami is a giant of contemporary literature, particularly in his native Japan. However, his books are often rife with references to Western culture - in fact, one of his breakout novels was named after the Beatles song Norwegian Wood. His first-person style marries the fantastic with the private, the epic with the intimate, and his latest novel Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki... is no exception.At least that's what our friend Chris says. Andrew's out this week, so we invited Chris on the show, and he brought with him Murakami's most recent novel. We don't normally cover books this new, but Murakami's been on our list for a while so we decided to tackle it anyway. Little did we know that asking Chris to talk about Murakami meant learning a lot more about the Wu-Tang Clan than we ever expected on Overdue.Caveat Lictor: Chris reveals a substantial spoiler around the 37 minute mark. Nothing you won't discover a third of the way through the novel, but we thought you might want to know.
Nov 04, 2014
Episode 084: You Are A Monster (Choose Your Own Adventure)
Spooktober comes to a close with yet another Choose Your Own Adventure story: Edward Packard's You Are A Monster. If you missed our previous CYA episode, do check it out. We cover the series' inception, as well as discuss its legacy a bit. This week it's all choices, all the time...or so we hoped. Caveat lictor: the audio quality's not up to our usual standard this week. Technical difficulties (boo!) and Andrew's wedding (hooray!) meant that we had to publish the show as is lest we leave you all in the lurch. Spooktober comes to a close with yet another Choose Your Own Adventure story: Edward Packard's You Are A Monster. If you missed our previous CYA episode, do check it out. We cover the series' inception, as well as discuss its legacy a bit. This week it's all choices, all the time...or so we hoped.Caveat lictor: the audio quality's not up to our usual standard this week. Technical difficulties (boo!) and Andrew's wedding (hooray!) meant that we had to publish the show as is lest we leave you all in the lurch. 
Oct 28, 2014
Episode 083: The Mummy, or Ramses the Damned
Spooktober rolls on with this week's story, an Anne Rice novel that's about spooky mummies and the women who love them. For real, though, people in this book have sex with reanimated immortal sexy mummies.And that's not all! The downright Austenian cast of characters has many more adventures in between the mummy sex, and despite being a bit overlong the book at least spins a fairly compelling yarn.  $7.19
Oct 21, 2014
Episode 082: At the Mountains of Madness
If you've ever heard of a Cthulu, read about the Necronomicon, or been creeped out by sleepy towns in New England, you likely have H.P. Lovecraft to thanks.At the Mountains of Madness (1935), a tale of an Antarctic expedition gone wrong, fits squarely into two literary genres Lovecraft helped to define: cosmicism and weird fiction. Man is rendered insignificant by the ancient forces of the cosmos, and supernatural beings that are neither ghosts nor aliens abound.Suffice to say, things might get a little spooky this week!  $5.18
Oct 13, 2014
Episode 081: Rosemary's Baby
Our spooky October (Spooktober?) continues this week with Ira Levin's Rosemary's Baby, a book about broken trust and creepy new neighbors and Satan babies and a bunch of other stuff. It's a laugh a minute! This book (and the successful film based on it) serves as a predecessor to just about every horror film where a happy young family moves into a new house only to discover that it's haunted, or where a woman marries a new guy only to find that he's actually a crazy killer, or where kids start acting all devilish and creepy. So thanks for that, Ira. $12.76
Oct 06, 2014
Episode 080: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
$6.29 Washington Irving - aka Jonathan Oldstyle, Abner Knickerbocker or Geoffrey Crayon - is widely regarded as the First American writer. Born just after the Revolutionary War, he broke ground as a satirist in the early 1800s before moving to England (ironically enough) and gaining international recognition as a teller of tales.You may have heard of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. The Headless Horseman, Ichabod Crane, Tarry Town, pumpkins: these likely ring a bell. But did you know that Ichabod loved eating? Or that the mothers of Tarry Town loved Ichabod's ghost stories? And how many ghosts do you think there are in this American myth? Tune in to find out!
Sep 30, 2014
Episode 079: The Homecoming
The stuff in these show notes is just as important as the stuff that isn't in these show notes. At least, that would be the case if they were written by Harold Pinter. Andrew wasn't quite on board with Pinter's classic The Homecoming, but he was coming around a little bit by the end. $11.71
Sep 24, 2014
Episode 078: The Mystery of Chimney Rock (Choose Your Own Adventure)
We're trying something a little different this week on Overdue. To hear more, turn to page 44. To go back, turn to page 56.OK, this episode listing doesn't actually have branching paths based on page numbers, but this week's episode does! We both decided to navigate through Edward Packard's The Mystery of Chimney Rock on-air this week, and in doing so we encountered some scary cats, old ladies with metal claw-hands, and fat-faced groundskeepers. Will we make it out alive, or will we fall prey to the curse of Chimney Rock??
Sep 15, 2014
Episode 077: Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!
$10.04 Safecracker, prankster, bongo drummer, painter, teacher. Richard Feynman was many things in addition to being a Nobel Prize-winning physicist, and he seemed to enjoy the incongruities of his varied interests.His collection of anecdotes Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! chronicles some of these pursuits, while also shedding light on Feynman's years at Los Alamos working on the atomic bomb in the company of J. Robert Oppenheimer, Niels Bohr and others.Join us this week to find out how a man goes from illuminating the behavior of subatomic particles to spending his free time in California banging on the bongo and sketching nude models. 
Sep 08, 2014
Episode 076: This Is How You Lose Her
This week's story, This Is How You Lose Her, is a loosely connected collection of short stories that blurs the line between protagonist and author. Junot Diaz's upbringing and personal history are clearly related to that of Yunior, the character the book spends the most time with. But how much of Diaz is in Yunior, and how does that affect the way we feel about them both?Also on the docket: back-to-school, some talk about how your gender may affect how you come at this book, and lots of other diversions. Enjoy! $11.10
Sep 02, 2014
Episode 075: The Hairy Ape
"I'm a hairy ape, get me? And I'll bust youse in de jaw if you don't lay off kiddin' me."When Eugene O'Neill wants to get his point across, he leaves nothing to chance. In his 1922 work of expressionist theatre, The Hairy Ape, the four-time Pulitzer Prize winner spells out exactly how you're supposed to feel about the dehumanizing effects of Capitalism and industry. Men resemble gorillas, crowd after crowd spurn individuals, and a chilling ending leaves us wondering where any of us belong.Join us as we talk about O'Neill's family life, butcher some key facts about his life, and take a trip to the monkey house. $8.99
Aug 25, 2014
Episode 074: Orange Is The New Black
There's a fair chance that you're familiar with Piper Kerman's Orange Is The New Black through the award-winning Netflix drama. This week we wanted to go to the source material and read the original memoir, not just to compare and contrast the book and the show but so we could separate fact from fiction and learn more about what's really going on in women's prisons.Like the show, the book is sometimes funny, often sad, and occasionally bleak. Kerman's stance against mandatory minimum sentencing—an aspect of the justice system that makes even first-time drug offenders do hard time—and the waste inherent to America's massive prison system is often more eye-opening than the heightened drama presented on the show. Even though Piper has an extensive support network and a "normal" life waiting for her when her sentence is not, many of these women do not. $9.48
Aug 18, 2014
Episode 073: Portnoy's Complaint
$10.23 Things get a little hot and heavy on this week's episode dedicated to Philip Roth's 1969 novel Portnoy's Complaint. We do, however, start off with some reactions to our Pride and Prejudice episode before diving headlong into the mishmash of sex, psychoanalysis, and American Jewish life that is Portnoy and his titular complaint.Caveat Lector: This book necessitated discussing some rather graphic subject matter, so we decided to slap the "Explicit" tag on the episode. Not only did this mean talking about a few choice scenes in detail, it also means we're a bit freer with language than we are on a regular basis. Don't say we didn't warn you!
Aug 12, 2014
Episode 072: Pride and Prejudice
This week, we take another run at Jane Austen. Pride and Prejudice is, in Andrew's words, "a book where a bunch of people eventually get married to each other."It's also more than that, of course—it gives us an opportunity to talk about class, wealth, social standing, love, the institution of marriage, Milton Bradley jingles, and one Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy (Fitzy to his friends).
Aug 05, 2014
Episode 071: Go Tell It on the Mountain
$7.19 Go Tell It on the Mountain, the first novel by revered American author and essayist James Baldwin tackles a whole host of serious issues ranging from slavery to the Great Migration, religion to racism, and Southern oppression to broken Northern promises.Naturally, we break up our earnest discussion of these weighty subjects with frequent admissions of our own perpetual ignorance, as well as a few tangents on Very Important Topics such as Orange is the New Black, erotic wrestling, Wilson from Home Improvement, and the age old question: Kirk or Picard?
Jul 29, 2014
Episode 070: Girl With a Pearl Earring
This week's book, Tracy Chevalier's Girl With a Pearl Earring, is historical fiction that purports to tell the story of the painting of the same name. If that's not a good elevator pitch for a book, we haven't heard one.Join us for a discussion of art and artists, historically accurate historical fiction, and what happens when you take the sex scenes out of romance novels. We also kick the show off with a discussion of Amazon's new Kindle Unlimited and its possibly negative effects on self-published authors—this CNet article describes the issue in more detail. $8.70
Jul 22, 2014
Episode 069: The Reader
$12.46 Bernhard Schlink's The Reader was published just five years after the reunification of Germany, and the ways in which it explores the country's troubled history were quite verboten while the wall still stood.A young man falls in love with an older woman, a woman with a number of secrets, and their tempestuous relationship becomes an allegory for Germany's relationship with itself - with its history, its people, and its uncertain future.Join as we admit our lack of German book-learnin', discuss the ethical quandaries that arose after the Holocaust, and ask the toughest relationship questions Schlink has to offer.
Jul 14, 2014
Episode 068: Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore
Robin Sloan's debut novel, Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, tackles the literary world's imminent digital future with an adventure tale that Andrew describes as "like a Dan Brown book but good."Through the eyes of a recently unemployed college graduate, Sloan shows us a world where Googlers and ancient cryptographers race to discover a centuries-old secret. It's a world where data visualization is sexy, search engines are evil all-powerful, and Aldus Manutius is on the tip of everyone's tongue.Join us for a show brimming with puns, Andrew's misgivings about Google, and more nerdy sleuthing than you can shake a ruler at. $8.52
Jul 07, 2014
Episode 067: Bossypants
Tina Fey is a prolific, talented, outspoken comedian with a track record to rival the best in the business. She’s also a keen observer of the human condition, and her 2011 memoir/essay collection Bossypants covers with wit and humor a wide range of topics including the ins and outs of television comedy writing, motherhood, and becoming a woman in the late 20th century.Just as her infamous 2008 portrayal of Sarah Palin sparked many a cable news conversation (some productive, some frustrating), Bossypants spurred a smorgasbord of conversations (some productive, some frustrating) between us. So listen this week as we talk about sitcoms, remember terrible jobs, mull over gentrification, and continue to wrestle with that thorny thing called Privilege. $9.00
Jul 01, 2014
Episode 066: The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
$11.69 Agatha Christie is the owner of numerous superlatives: best-selling novelist, influential mystery writer, criminally successful playwright. Also, did we mention she's a dame?Her novel, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, written in the 1930s, endures not only for its fanciful cast of characters (including the lovable detective Hercule Poirot) but also for its subversion of the murder mystery genre. In short: read this one.We spoil the heck out of this one's ending. Discussion of the book requires it. You've been warned!
Jun 24, 2014
Episode 065: The Marriage Plot
More than a year after reading Middlesex for episode 12, this week we return to Jeffrey Eugenides' oeuvre to check out 2011's The Marriage Plot.It's a more focused, less-sprawling book than Middlesex, but as in his previous book Eugenides spends a lot of time here talking about growing up with a difficult condition. Intentional or not, there's also some subtle sexism here that we try to walk ourselves through—it's complicated by both authorial intent and the time the book is set (the early 1980s), but it's still a talk worth having in light of recent events. $12.42
Jun 17, 2014
Episode 064: Big Blonde and Here We Are
$14.63 Dorothy Parker was a prolific Jazz Age writer who rose to prominence during her days as a member of the Algonquin Round Table - a group of writers, critics and actors who liked to spend lunch cracking wise and practically joking. A celebrated poet, Parker also churned out dozens of short stories, earning herself an O. Henry Short Story Prize for "Big Blonde" which we discuss on today's show. We also cover her biting portrait of newlyweds "Here We Are," the Reading Rainbow Kickstarter, and how babies are not to be trusted with anything.
Jun 09, 2014
Episode 063: King Lear
William Shakespeare's reputation is basically secure at this point. He was hugely influential, his works are widely studied, and although he's over 400 years old he remains a part of the liberal arts canon to this day. That doesn't necessarily mean that his works are easy to parse. This week, we stumble a bit through the epic tragedy King Lear, a play that has all the hallmarks of a Shakespearian tragedy—death, madness, people running around in disguise—but a big cast of characters that isn't easy to keep track of if you're a Shakespeare newbie. $8.88
Jun 02, 2014
Episode 062: The Giver
$4.36 Lois Lowry's The Giver imagines a world without color, without hills, without difference and most importantly without memory. Winner of the 1994 Newberry Award, The Giver shares thematic DNA with classic "Kid Who Is More Special Than Anyone Else Ever" literature like The Hunger Games, Ender's Game, and Harry Potter.So naturally we take a big old swing at Quidditch. Other targets of our (perhaps misplaced ire) include Nebraska, bachelor weekends, and dreams.
May 26, 2014
Episode 061: The Lorax/Oh the Places You'll Go!
In honor of Children's Book Week, we each decided to read a Dr. Seuss book for this episode—that's right, Andrew had somehow managed to avoid the Lorax, and Craig knew nothing about the Places He'll Go. Seuss himself is a fascinating guy, a prolific and long-lived artist who put a lot of good into the world but was by no means perfect. In some ways he's a product of his time, even if his work is timeless. Also on tap: old Subway ads, a couple of The Wire references because Craig is finally watching The Wire, and a discussion of the latest rash of Hop on Pop-inspired violence. $11.22 $8.44
May 19, 2014
Episode 060: Watchmen
What if superheroes were real? Would we still revere them so much? Or would they be too frightening for us to handle, too unstable for us to control?What if they didn't want to save us?These are the questions that kick off Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, a classic revered by comic fans for its deconstruction of superhero imagery, its compelling Cold War conspiracies, and its engrossing art and characters. Join us this week as we debate "comic" vs. "graphical novel," gripe about origin stories, and outright spoil the end of Watchmen.** No seriously, we talk about the end of this one explicitly from roughly 50:00 to 1:01:30. As always, caveat lector. $11.29
May 12, 2014
Episode 059: The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County
Mark Twain is an incredibly prolific, incredibly distinctive author. This week's read is just a short story and it's one of Twain's first major successes, but it manages to convey why he remains vital over 100 years after his death. It's great for a few laughs, too. $4.28
May 06, 2014
Episode 058: The Passage
Justin Cronin got his start publishing quiet but moving "literary" fiction. In 2010, he blew up North America (in a manner of speaking) with his post-apocalyptic don't-call-them-vampires "genre" novel The Passage.We can't hope to cover every plot point or character in Cronin's 766-page genre epic, but we try to at least touch on a few reasons for its mainstream appeal: rich characters, an unrelenting plot, and lots of sweet jargon. $4.83
Apr 29, 2014
Episode 057: Tell the Wolves I'm Home
Tell the Wolves I'm Home, author Carol Rifka Brunt's first novel, is multi-faceted: it's about different kinds of love. It's about siblinghood, and growing up. It's about the early stages of the AIDS epidemic in the US. There's a lot going on here, to which we add the requisite discussion about pizza-making, podcasting, and how actors remember all those lines. $12.18
Apr 22, 2014
Episode 056: The Misanthrope
$11.53 Moliere's The Misanthrope is a three-and-a-half centuries old play about something as old as time: dishing on your people behind their back. It's also full of great zingers about man's duplicitous nature, all written by a guy who loved theater so much he ended up nearly dying onstage in his final performance.Join us as Richard Wilbur's delightful translation makes us laugh out loud, as we butcher French, Italian, and any other language we can get our hands on, and as Andrew shares his disconcertingly assured plans for Craig's eventual demise. 
Apr 14, 2014
Episode 055: To Kill a Mockingbird
A true classic, Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird is one of those books we should have read years ago. For the two of you who aren't familiar, it's a story about a lot of things: the trial of an innocent black man; growing up in small-town Alabama during the Depression; and growing up. It's made all the more interesting by Lee herself, who to date has never written another novel. $4.99
Apr 08, 2014
Episode 054: In the Woods
$9.17 Why do we keep trying to solve murders in small towns? What is it like for an American author to set a story in a sleepy Irish suburb? Will our amnesiac protagonists ever regain this memory? What's the best way to interrogate a suspect?We try to solve these mysteries and more on this week's episode as we discuss Tana French's award-winning crime novel In the Woods.
Mar 31, 2014
Episode 053: The Yellow Wallpaper/The Lottery
We double-dip a bit in this week's show, reading two short stories and proving that you don't have to have a ton of time to read something thought-provoking. The theme is "female authors writing about controversial-at-the-time ideas," and the stories are The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman and The Lottery by Shirley Jackson.One is about a misdiagnosed "hysterical" woman slowly going insane through lack of mental stimulation, one is about a seemingly innocuous small town that is slavishly devoted to its own traditions. Both remain subversive and retain their impact even today.Oh yeah and we also talk about which grocery store animal mascot would win in a fight. $5.69 $12.41
Mar 25, 2014
Episode 052: Extra Innings
$11.20 It's almost baseball season! And what better way to celebrate America's (former) pastime than to document the annual occurrence of Craig forcing Andrew to tolerate his love of baseball?Extra Innings: More Baseball Between the Numbers is an in-depth, statistics-focused look at today's game from the folks at Baseball Prospectus. It's full of trivia, charts and, thankfully, humorous anecdotes that illuminate the tension between the old-school and stat-wonky approaches to the sport.Join us as Andrew trolls everything from anti-vaccers to the World Series, and as I try to rise above it all by playing our new favorite game: "Jazz Singer or Baseball Man." 
Mar 17, 2014
Episode 051: Replay
What if you got to/had to live the same 25 years of your life over and over again? Would you try to recreate the life you had lost? Would you game the system and make a whole bunch of money? Would you try to change the course of human history, with sometimes-disastrous results?Those are the questions raised by Ken Grimwood's sci-fi classic Replay, which Andrew read for the show this week. Tangentially related is a conversation about Andrew and Craig's own time traveling, done thanks to the magic of Daylight Saving Time. $11.71
Mar 11, 2014
Episode 050: Fifty Shades of Grey
Strap yourselves in and pick a good safe word, because Andrew and Craig both read Fifty Shades of Grey for this, our landmark 50th episode! Boy are they sorry!A warning up front in case you're not familiar: this is a book that is mostly about a BDSM relationship. Our show this week has swearing and pretty graphic descriptions of sex, so keep that in mind while listening. $9.01
Mar 03, 2014
Episode 049: Cat's Cradle
What's a granfalloon, you ask? Or a karass? A stuppa? A wampeter? These are all terms from the Bokonon religion, created by Kurt Vonnegut in his 1963 novel Cat's Cradle - a hilarious but depressing satire of scientific and cultural responsibility in the atomic age.Topics for this week's discussion include Donuts versus Bagels, grading your own work the Vonnegut way, the incredible intimacy of feet, and pissants. That's right. Pissants. $11.42
Feb 24, 2014
Episode 048: Dracula
Craig and Andrew take a trip to Transylvania this week, facilitated by Bram Stoker's Dracula. Join us for a talk about the evolution of the vampire, the Olympics, and probably a whole bunch of other stuff too. $11.45
Feb 18, 2014
Episode 047: Pygmalion
'Ello 'ello! What's all this then?! A discussion of George Bernard Shaw, turn-of-the-century dialects, My Fair Lady and gender politics, ya say? Conversations about whether or not stories should end romantically or with women declaring their independence, ya say? Well, 'Guv, I'm all ears. Cheerio! 
Feb 04, 2014
Episode 046: The Old Man and the Sea
We return to the Dead White Male canon this week with Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea, the gripping tale of an old man who goes out fishing in the sea. The title is maybe a little more literal than some other books we've read.Join us for a discussion of man's place in the circle of life and of Craig's many misfortunes. Just don't come expecting us to talk about the story's religious undertones. $9.57
Jan 28, 2014
Episode 045: The Awakening
What does it mean to be a woman? We don't know the answer to that question, and it's doubtful we ever will. But reading Kate Chopin's revolutionary novel The Awakening is as close as we'll ever come to understanding the obstacles facing a woman in late 19th-century New Orleans. Censored in its day for its matter-of-fact portrait of a woman stuck in a stifling marriage, The Awakening remains relevant through its insightful exploration of the pursuit of independence. It's also a perfect opportunity to practice mispronouncing French. Join us for a discussion of watery metaphors, rakes and mademoiselles, and more than a few late-game television tangents.
Jan 21, 2014
Episode 044: Mary Poppins
Have you ever revisited a classic from your childhood only to find a whole pile of weird subtext you've never noticed before? Andrew's never read Mary Poppins, but all he noticed in this children's tale of whimsy and wonder was the bizarre-and-possibly-damaging stuff.Also on tap: chatting about gambling, babysitters, and more. $12.95
Jan 14, 2014
Episode 043: The Raven
Nothing screams New Year's like a guy sitting in his study, missing his beloved, wishing an obnoxious, repetitive bird would just leave him the heck alone. Therefore it's only natural that Craig read a classic tale of bird vs. man antagonism. The Raven is arguably Edgar Allen Poe's most famous work, so it's fitting we use it as a springboard to talk about all sorts of Poe-related topics such as New Year's resolutions, Poe's Philosophy of Composition, pentameters and octometers, and James Earl Jones' luxurious voice.
Dec 31, 2013
Episode 042: A Christmas Carol
'Tis the season to do seasonally-themed episodes, and so Andrew read Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, the short story that has been so widely adapted that you know it front-to-back even if you've never come within ten miles of the book itself.Also on the docket: our holiday plans, a brief aside that compares A Christmas Carol to Bill Murray vehicle Groundhog Day, and our unhealthy relationships with caffeine. $6.29
Dec 24, 2013
Episode 041: Winter's Bone
What do you do when your meth-cooking father goes missing in the Missouri Ozarks? Ask your relatives? Go to the cops? Dig for evidence yourself? These are the options facing Ree Dolly, protagonist of Daniel Woodrell's 2006 novel Winter's Bone. Woodrell's described his Ozark-based work as "country noir" - a term we spend a minute or two attempting to define before launching into our discussion of the novel that was later adapted into an Oscar-nominated film starring Jennifer Lawrence.  Bear with us as this episode gets started. We clearly needed to talk about Christmas trees, rowdy neighbors, and nine-volt batteries before discussing family and violence in rural America.
Dec 17, 2013
Episode 040: Franny and Zooey
Sometimes an author's personality (or legend, even) grows to the point that it's just as interesting as the work they produced. This is certainly true in the case of JD Salinger—the stories that sprang up around the reclusive author threaten to overshadow many of the stories he actually wrote. It doesn't help that he stopped publishing new work 45 years before his death in 2010.Having already read Catcher in the Rye, Andrew this week moved on to Franny and Zooey, a pair of related stories about Salinger's fictitious Glass family. Join us for a discussion of the relationship between artists and art, pizza, and the first big snow of the winter. $6.30
Dec 10, 2013
Episode 039: The Hound of the Baskervilles
In 1893, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle "killed" Sherlock Holmes. Eight years later, the popular detective returned in The Hound of the Baskervilles, much to the delight of Doyle's mother. Why was Doyle unable to abandon his creation? Why have the zany detective and his Everyman sidekick Watson endured for over a century? Maybe we'll answer those questions. At the very least, we'll talk about how nerds have kept the crime-fighting duo alive for new generations to enjoy in print and onscreen. In this week's episode, we'll also discuss the adventures of Sir Arthur "Iggy" Conan Doyle, Professor Challenge, nerd rage, and (last but not least) hellhounds.
Nov 25, 2013
Episode 038: Eddie and the Cruisers
Andrew and Craig both come at P.F. Kluge's Eddie and the Cruisers from a unique perspective: Kluge was (and is) writer-in-residence at Kenyon College (their alma mater). They've both had him in class, and Kenyon College looms particularly large in many of Kluge's works.The book itself is part whodunit mystery, part love letter to New Jersey, and part tale of youth gone by. Join us for a discussion of all those things, plus more extensive chatter than usual about the author and his writing style.
Nov 18, 2013
Episode 037: The Unnamable
No plot, no characters, no setting. Samuel Beckett's The Unnamable sounds like it's about nothing, but it's more than just the Seinfeld of novels - or so Craig tries to convince Andrew.  Beckett, a Nobel Laureate, is likely best known for Waiting for Godot, a play in which "nothing happens, twice." It stormed the theatre scene in Paris, London, and New York in the 1950s, inspiring a generation of theatregoers and angering countless more. Listen this week to find out which play angered Andrew the most.Join us also for a discussion of Twitter followers, movie previews, and cricketing.  
Nov 12, 2013
Episode 036: Battle Royale
Another Hunger Games movie is right around the corner, but you just can't wait. You need to read a heartwarming tale about tweens and teens who are all dropped down on an island by a repressive government and forced to kill each other, and you need to do it now. That's why special guest Suzannah Rosenberg joins Andrew and Craig this week for a discussion of Koushun Takami's Battle Royale. Join us for a discussion of romance, violence, birthdays, and cat whispering.
Nov 05, 2013
Episode 035: No Exit
  Hell is sheeple, hot cocoa, interventions, mannequins, French pronunciations, and gin.  Also, hell is other people. Or so wrote Jean-Paul Sartre in his famous existentialist drama No Exit .  Join us this week as we travel to Hell to figure out what, exactly, the hell Sartre meant when he penned that infamous quote.
Oct 29, 2013
Episode 034: Don't Go Back to School
We tried something a little different this week—instead of reading a novel or play, Andrew read Kio Stark's crowdfunded handbook Don't Go Back to School. Stark interviews artists, writers, and entrepreneurs of various stripes who all have one thing in common: they've found success despite not having the credentials conferred by traditional educational institutions. What followed was a discussion not just of the book, but of our own personal experiences building careers without graduate degrees. This is a fascinating topic, and if you have any of your own stories to share we'd love to include them in future shows.
Oct 21, 2013
Episode 033: The Stand
Did you know that Stephen King's The Stand isn't a taut legal thriller? It's just one of the many things that Andrew and Craig learned about the book this week!  Special guest Giaco Furino walks Andrew and Craig through the apocalyptic (and then post-apocalyptic), Lord of the Rings  inspired, vaguely supernatural "complete and uncut edition" of the book, which the author himself describes as "boss."
Oct 14, 2013
Episode 032: A Visit from the Goon Squad
  Rock and roll, PowerPoint slides, African dictators: all succumb to the inexorable march of time in Jennifer Egan's Pulitzer Prize-winning A Visit from the Goon Squad .  Join us as we discuss the most recently published book we've read yet. Also: passive aggressive behavior, stories in the second person, and Craig admits to an unhealthy appreciation for Bryan Adams. 
Oct 08, 2013
Episode 031: The Picture of Dorian Gray
The relationship between interior evil and its effect o one's external appearance isn't new to the show, but it's explored pretty explicitly in Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray. A much darker affair than The Importance of Being Earnest, this book is the closest examination of morality in Victorian England that we've read since Jekyll and Hyde.  
Oct 01, 2013
Episode 030: Medea
What's there to enjoy about a 2400-year-old tragedy? Is it the ekkyklemas? The god-chariots? Or is it the protagonist so wounded by her husband's actions that she's driven to commit atrocities only Breaking Bad's willing to put on TV? What if there's nothing to enjoy? Maybe that's why Euripides received third prize out of three when he submitted Medea  to the annual Athenian theater festival in 431 BCE. Join us this week as we debate the tragedy's merits, bumble our Greek vocabulary, and make the obligatory Tyler Perry joke.
Sep 16, 2013
Episode 029: The Importance of Being Earnest
Andrew wanted something short and funny for his selection this week, and he got it in Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest. It's up for debate whether Wilde actually meant to say anything with this farcical comedy, but if there's one thing to take away from it it's "stop taking everything so seriously all the time." We tried to wrap this one up early and then accidentally got into a sort-of-personal talk about the nature of marriage. Enjoy!  
Sep 10, 2013
Episode 028: The Martian Chronicles
Ray Bradbury once described his first novel, The Martian Chronicles, as a collection of short stories "pretending to be a novel." In fact, many of the Martian stories were published individually, and it wasn't until 1950 that Bradbury stitched them all together. This patchwork storytelling made it hard for us to get a bead on  Chronicles . Craig liked it, but we found it hard to discuss why without the benefit of a central character or singular narrative. That said, you can still join us for a lively talk about colonialism, space travel, Fearing the Bomb, and twerking (for some reason).
Sep 02, 2013
Episode 027 - You Shall Know Our Velocity!
It's rare that we read a book and just out-and-out dislike it, but that's what happened when Andrew read Dave Eggers' You Shall Know Our Velocity! Eggers' tale of two young men who travel around the world and give away $32,000 may have resonated with reviewers, but Andrew had trouble getting into it. What follows is a discussion less about the book's plotting and themes, and more about Andrew's reaction to the book and just what he didn't enjoy about it (and why). Apologies for the audio quality on this one; it was recorded in Andrew's now-former apartment, and echoes abound though we have tried our best to minimize them.
Aug 26, 2013
Episode 026 - Persuasion
Craig's never read Jane Austen. Yes, it's unbelievable. Yes, it's sort of shameful. But making up for that kind of thing is what this show's all about! Join us for a lively discussion about Jane Austen's last novel - a charming tale of love and marriage as well as a subversive satire of the system that encompasses both. (We also talk about historical fiction, bad days, and cool pizza.)
Aug 13, 2013
Episode 025 - Flowers for Algernon
Intelligence is a wonderful thing, but as this week's book shows us it isn't the only thing. In Daniel Keyes' classic, developmentally disabled man Charlie Gordon is transformed into a genius basically overnight, but his emotional growth can't quite keep pace with his intellectual growth. It doesn't help matters that his transformation ultimately proves to be temporary. It's a deeply moving story, but it's not uplifting. Everyone just try to be happy, OK?
Aug 05, 2013
Episode 024 - Grendel
This week's show is all about revisiting past shows - the book Craig read, John Gardner's Grendel, is a modern prequel and/or retelling of the Beowulf myth. The book deals with monsters and the nature of good and evil, much like Frankenstein or Jekyll and Hyde. The book is all about the roles we play and the ways we try to impose order on chaos, much like Breakfast of Champions.  Anyway, this one's apparently for those of you who have been listening to us since the early days. Thanks for that.
Jul 30, 2013
Episode 023 - Breakfast of Champions
In the book's preface, Vonnegut called Breakfast of Champions  an attempt to "clear his head of all the junk in there." He wasn't kidding. Breakfast   is a melange of narrative, sketches, and character sketches - and Andrew totally dug it.  This week we discuss current events (specifically royal babies), Vonnegut's voice, and the benefits of self-insertion. 
Jul 23, 2013
Episode 022: Antony and Cleopatra
What is Antony and Cleopatra ? Tragedy? Romance? History? Comedy ? The conventional wisdom is to pick tragedy, but this messy entry in the later chapters of Shakespeare's canon dances between the Bard's genres like a "high-coloured" Lepidus. This week we struggle with Shakespeare's portrayal of the titular heroine, get lost in the play's globe-trotting plot, and - for good measure - debate the finer points of Sister, Sister .
Jul 16, 2013
Episode 021: Life of Pi
One note for this one: while every episode has a general spoiler warning attached to it, we spoil Yann Martel's Life of Pi in a pretty big way in this show, so if you have the movie next in your Netflix queue or something you may want to hold off.   That said, if you don't care about spoilers, join us for a lively discussion of the current heat wave, swearing, religion, and tigers in boats!  
Jul 08, 2013
Episode 020: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Craig and Andrew team up with their evil selves this week to read Robert Louis Stevenson's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Well, not really. But in honor of our 20th episode, we did  both read the book this week, mixing up our usual format a bit. What follows is a discussion on the duality of man, abridged books, and that thing that happens when stories like this gloss over scientific explanations so as to avoid boring the audience.
Jul 01, 2013
Episode 019: The Color Purple
We're back from our hiatus, and to kick the rust off we're diving right into a thorny discussion about race, sexuality, and poverty with Alice Walker's The Color Purple. Also, we have a brief discussion of the movie version of World War Z , our overdue book from a few weeks back.
Jun 24, 2013
Episode 018: Frankenstein
"You know Frankenstein's the name of the doctor, not the monster - right?" Despite decades of metal bolts and flat green foreheads muddying the waters, Mary Shelley's original Frankenstein  has endured. So much so that it almost seems old hat to correct people for thinking that lumbering monstrosities in big heavy boots are called Frankensteins. Turns out there's still plenty to learn from Shelley's Modern Prometheus. On this week's episode, we discuss the finer points of creature creation, bum out over Nature vs. Nurture, and answer some of your questions. 
Jun 09, 2013
Episode 017: Winnie The Pooh
A.A. Milne's famous bear is almost ninety years old. The first collection of Winnie-the-Pooh stories was published in 1926, yet many of us first traveled to the Hundred Acre Wood via the many cartoons and movies released by Disney. In this week's episode, we discuss the first appearances of all your old favorites: Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore, and more. Tune in to learn about Bears of No Brains At All, sad birthday parties, and how to save a Piglet in a rainstorm.
Jun 03, 2013
Episode 016: World War Z
Max Brooks' World War Z, soon to be a not-awesome-looking motion picture, takes an interesting approach to the zombie apocalypse story: it's told through interviews with multiple survivors of a global conflict, rather than viewing an outbreak through the eyes of a handful of people. Brooks also uses the story to comment on American materialism and apathy, deep-seated conflicts between countries, and the psychological impact of war. Even if you don't like zombie fiction, this one's worth a try.
May 28, 2013
Episode 015: The Elements of Style
Whether or not you've read The Elements of Style, the writing rules and techniques you learned in grade school likely came from Strunk and White’s “little book.” Craig had never read the book, and he thought chatting up Andrew – who gets paid to put words on the Internet – about S&W’s various axioms might prove entertaining. Join us as we (dis)agree on a few key rules, chat incessantly about segues/segways, and tie ourselves in linguistic knots.
May 20, 2013
Episode 014: The Crucible
When you talk about a witch-hunt, you aren't normally referring to sane, procedural, and fair trials. You're talking about a fear-driven investigation driven by suspicions rather than facts, where personal agendas can be more influential than alibis and evidence. That's the thrust of Arthur Miller's 1953 play The Crucible, which Andrew read this week. We also talk about how the events of the play reflect the then-current Red Scare, and how witch-hunt mentality continues to persist even today.
May 13, 2013
Episode 013: A Lesson Before Dying
Ernest J. Gaines' Pulitzer-nominated novel A Lesson Before Dying takes place in 1940s Jim Crow Louisiana, where a black schoolteacher is asked to visit a young man on death row. Similar to last week's episode, the discuss leans toward the serious - racism, cultural divisions, and one's duty to his community - but our fervent desire to remain politically correct should help lighten the mood.
May 06, 2013
Episode 012: Middlesex
Breaking a three-show "books from circa 1900" streak, Andrew tackles Jeffrey Eugenides' Pulitzer Prize winning Middlesex, a tale of love, incest, time-jumping, emigration, and hermaphroditism. Like the book itself, this show tackles some fairly heavy topics while still keeping things light and conversational. Join us for a discussion of duality, transformation, and just why "normal" isn't really a thing.
Apr 28, 2013
Episode 011: The War of the Worlds
H. G. Wells' classic "scientific romance" The War of the Worlds is perhaps the earliest known example of Martian invasion fiction. Of course, it's more than just early science fiction. Wells uses the invaders to put Humanity in its place, zapping them with a heat ray of humility right at the height of European colonialism.
Apr 22, 2013
Episode 010: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
You've probably seen the movie, but have you read the book? L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz certainly follows the same basic pattern as the (much later) Judy Garland film, but there are lots of differences. Did you know how the Tin Man came to be? Oh man. Just you wait.
Apr 15, 2013
Episode 009: The Turn of the Screw
What makes a good ghost story? If you said creepy children, gothic architecture, and unreliable narrators, then Henry James has you covered The Turn of the Screw.  This week Andrew mangles words, Craig gets lost in James' Victorian prose, and the two solve the mystery surrounding the ghosts of Bly.
Apr 08, 2013
Episode 008: Dune
Good science fiction uses fantastical characters, locations, and technology to comment intelligently on problems that we face in the real world, but the best science fiction can also do this in a suspenseful, entertaining, adventuresome way. Frank Herbert's Dune gets most of the way there, but Andrew can't help but wish he had read it for the first time as a teenager instead of an adult.
Apr 01, 2013
Episode 007: All Quiet on the Western Front
Billed as "The Greatest War Novel of All Time" on many a book jacket, All Quiet on the Western Front chronicles one soldier's harrowing experience in World War I. Our conversation tends toward the serious this week as we touch on the horrors of trench warfare, the issues soldiers face coming home from the Front, and the dehumanizing effects of modern warfare.
Mar 25, 2013
Episode 006: The Metamorphosis
How would you and your family react if you awoke one morning changed into a huge bug? In our kafkaesque discussion of Franz Kafka's Metamorphosis, Craig and Andrew talk about communication issues, the ties that bind human beings together, and why explaining how things happened can actually make a story less meaningful.
Mar 18, 2013
Episode 005: Beowulf
What book could possible be more overdue for a read than Beowulf, one of the oldest extant works of Anglo-Saxon literature? Join us as we revel in Beowulf's heroic deeds, discuss the finer points of oral tradition, and wonder just who infused this Old English tale with a triple-shot of Christianity.
Mar 11, 2013
Episode 004: The Da Vinci Code
Here on Overdue, it's definitely not going to be multi-layered critiques of religion and missives on love and cholera every week. Take this book as a case in point—Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code has long been a favorite punching bag of Andrew's, but in the interest of trying new things and keeping an open mind, he's giving this decade-old potboiler a try. His reactions are many and complicated. Join us for a conversation about why pop-lit is, well, popular, whether it's OK to judge a book by its cover, and some of Dan Brown's less successful sentences.
Mar 03, 2013
Episode 003: Edward Albee's Tiny Alice
When first performed on Broadway in 1964, Edward Albee's Tiny Alice frustrated and discomfited audiences with its metaphysical critiques on faith and religion. It is no less opaque today (at least for Craig), and reading rather than seeing it performed certainly makes things more difficult. The play's density aside, we do manage to discuss cantankerous authors, symbols within symbols, and staging the supernatural.
Feb 25, 2013
Episode 002: Love in the Time of Cholera
Florentino Ariza, the ostensible protagonist of Gabriel García Márquez' Love in the Time of Cholera, has had 622 distinct sexual partners in the 51 years, nine months, and four days that he has waited for Fermina Daza, his true love. We talk about each and every one of them in this week's episode. Well, no, not really. But we do have a long and sort of disjointed conversation about cholera, geography, aging, and the nature of love, which befits the disjointed nature of the story itself.
Feb 17, 2013
Episode 001: Of Mice and Men
Did you pay attention in ninth grade English? Craig did, sort of. This week he reads – or rereads, he’s not sure – John Steinbeck’s classic tale of Depression-era migrant workers. Topics of conversation include foreshadowing, hoosegows, and male camaraderie.
Feb 11, 2013