UNspoiled! Book Club!
Summary: Join us as we discuss whole books in one shot, once a month!
Many thanks to Erin Ayers from Over The Tabletop (which you can find out about here : https://overthetabletoppodcast.libsyn.com/) for joining me on this episode of Childhood Favorites! The Phantom Tollbooth was a book that so many people wanted to join me for, and I can really see why. It's a very unusual book that seems to combine elements of the over-the-top style of Roald Dahl and Dr. Seuss with some pretty intense elements that I would assign to a more Neil Gaiman type mind. I'm so sorry I'm releasing this recording so late, but between my trip to LA being the day after we recorded, and then being sick when I got home...well, things go away from me. I hope you enjoy the show, and I will see you all soon with The Last Wish.
Listeners, Jaime and I are coming at you with an episode on Andy Weir's The Martian, a book which decided that people really wanted to know every last detail about potato farming on Mars. And you know what? That book was RIGHT. Seriously, long-time fans know that I'm super interested in the boring minutiae that goes into fictional worlds and projects, and The Martian delivers on that pedantic crap in spades and I AM HERE FOR IT. It's rather gratifying to know that this book appealed to so many people, because it means that I'm not alone in my nerdiness. Also, this was just a really interesting, tense story that managed to have high stakes while also managing to be lighthearted, which is pretty tough. So if you're interested in reading it, you can pick it up here! https://amzn.to/2ROUO1q And thanks for listening!
Hey there, you wonderful people! I'm here with Carey Anne Farrell, the author of the just-released Forward March, and co-host of the podcast You Can Go Your Own YA. Check out her book here! https://amzn.to/2SLfYyD You can find the site for her podcast here goyourownya.com and she even has a music site here! https://careyfarrell.bandcamp.com/ This was a particularly fun one to read because while I have read it several times as a child, I haven't revisited it in a long time, and so much has changed about my perception of things like religion and puberty that it was totally new this time around. I liked comparing my experience to Carey's, too, because she grew up very concerned about getting her period and getting boobs, while I didn't care about that but had a ton of pressure on me regarding religion. I hope that you all enjoy the episode, and I will see you next time with The Phantom Tollbooth!
First of all, if you all are interested in checking out this book (and if you're looking for something fun, sexy, and fluffy, you should), here is the link to buy it! It's super cheap as a Kindle book but if you can do the audiobook I recommend it. https://amzn.to/2CKxMoJ Dead Until Dark is the first book in the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris, and there's a reason why it got made into a smash hit series by HBO. The heroine is sharp and funny and yet flawed, the men are hot and supernatural and involved in shady shit, and the plot is compelling, quick-paced, and feels very much like it's taking place in our world. This means that all the ugly consequences of human emotions, bigotry, and conflicting loyalties play out in the same messy way they really would, and I appreciate that. Krista was convinced I wasn't going to like this book, but I enjoyed it so much that as of today I'm about to start the fourth audiobook in the series, using up all my audible credits, and it's been a lot of fun. I think that I dismissed these books because of how outlandish the HBO show became but I'm glad that this one was upvoted by the Patrons so that I got to experience it for myself. Thanks to Krista for cohosting this one, and thanks to all of you for listening!
This episode I have a very special guest who has been a fan of UNspoiled! from the early days of the show's inception, and who went on to host her own show! Please welcome Amanda Campbell, host of CasterQuest! You can find out more about her show here! http://casterquest.com/ This episode we talk about one of those old faves that you look back on and can't really believe is a children's book. I had totally forgotten how violent this book is, and while I'm not saying I regret reading it or that my parents shouldn't have let me, it really makes me think about how differently we as adults process violence and grief than we did as children. This book is a lot of fun, with some glaring flaws that both Amanda and I are more than willing to let it get away with due to how much damn fun it is. Riddles and quests, battles and betrayal...it doesn't get much better than this when it comes to children's lit. Hope you enjoy listening, and hope you can join us for the UNspoiled! October Book Club, covering Dead Until Dark! You can buy Redwall here: https://amzn.to/2OEiWSU And buy Dead Until Dark here: https://amzn.to/2xfnhFC
I'm revisiting Mr. Stephen King yet again this month, and covering The Dead Zone with Alan Kingsley, my trusty sidekick from Hannibal, Justified, and True Detective. This is one of those cases in which I really enjoyed the book, but I just feel there was a little too much of it. The middle section where Johnny is in his coma is drawn out quite a lot, and while it succeeds in getting the point across of how difficult waiting is, and how uncertain and bleak everything seemed, I think we as the reader had gotten the point long before it was actually over. However, that being said, I think the story here is really compelling and that there are some really well-drawn characters and moments that tugged at my ole heartstrings a lot. I wouldn't say that this book was horror, exactly, more like suspense/thriller, but there are definitely a few moments that we tiptoe over into horror territory. I'm very interested to hear from anyone who read this what they thought about it! If you haven't read it yet and you're interested, please pick up a copy here! https://amzn.to/2NOvyXl My book for the main Book Club next month is Dead Until Dark, which you can grab here: https://amzn.to/2wJ1JAT PS- I WAS MISTAKEN about the September Childhood Favorite! It isn't Are You There, God, it's actually going to be Redwall which I'm pretty excited about. Find it here! https://amzn.to/2Q5Z2BE
I'm delighted to be recording with Craig and Andrew from Overdue Podcast again! This was a lot of fun to do because Johnny Tremain was a book with a lot of issues in it that were strangely relevant to today's political landscape, and while I think the Overdue boys tend to shy away from getting too political sometimes, I SURE DON'T! Eventually Andrew joins me on my soapbox and it's pretty great. But there's way more to talk about here than just politics. There's an overall message about Johnny's pride and hubris that I relate to way more than it probably good or healthy, and we talk about the impact of tying your worth to your work and what happens to your worth if you're not able to continue that work anymore. Also of course there's the way that Esther Forbes handles the revolution itself and the characters' roles in it, which she does with surprising nuance and subtlety at times. Other times, like Johnny's pride, not so much. Thanks so much to Overdue for joining me, and thank you all for listening! If you want to grab a copy of Johnny Tremain, you can get it here: https://amzn.to/2NiHTD1 If you'd like to grab The Dead Zone in preparation for next month's book club, get it here: https://amzn.to/2wq4kPo
Hello, me hearties! Make yourself a nice cup of tea and mind the gap, because Miles and I are here to talk to you about Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman. Art Credit: https://www.deviantart.com/algesiras/art/Neverwhere-Characters-373759105 I'm so glad that this book was fun to read, because after not liking a couple books in a row, I was a little worried when I saw that Neil Gaiman was the next author on the list. Not to say that I don't like his writing, but overall I haven't been quite as impressed with him as many other readers seem to be, and I was worried that I might get a lukewarm rehashing of some other mythology in this book. I'm happy to say that is not the case. Neverwhere is super imaginative and strange and a little sad, and I love everyday things in the real world being given fantastical hidden aspects. I also thought that the handling of a secret world was handled really well, as it didn't portray the people who have "fallen through the cracks" as the lucky citizens of some gorgeous underground kingdom. Nope, these folks live with constant danger, various levels of filth, and the knowledge that they will go unseen, perhaps forever. This was a really interesting book and it was a lot of fun to talk about. If you're interested in buying it to read, check it out here: https://amzn.to/2AT5F6D Next month's books are Johnny Tremain and The Dead Zone, which you can buy here! Johnny Tremain: https://amzn.to/2OVawXV The Dead Zone: https://amzn.to/2OV9lrK Thanks a million for listening, and I will see you in 2 weeks!
Hey there, lovely listeners! Welcome to the first installment in the Childhood Favorites sub-feed of the Book Club! I'm super excited to be doing my first show with guest Rachel Rosing, who is one of the hilarious co-hosts of Beckett To The Future: A Quantum Leap Podcast. You can find out more about her show here! https://www.beckettfuturepod.com/ This was such a good book, you guys. There is some annoying stuff that we really noticed reading it as grown women, don't get me wrong. Charlotte and Fern and Fern's mom and Mrs. Zuckerman are the ones actually handling their shit while the men just sweep in and get all the credit. HOWEVER. It's still a really well-written and emotional story that is shockingly bittersweet and I'm frankly still sad about it. Thanks so much to you all for listening, and I will see you in two weeks with Neverwhere, which you can pick up here to read along. https://amzn.to/2LJ1q1T You can pick up Charlotte's Web here, if you haven't already got a copy: https://amzn.to/2LJr5qZ And you can get the August Childhood Favorite, Johnny Tremain, here! https://amzn.to/2v35noH
Well this was the most lively Book Club episode in a while! Eleanor & Park was a book that I fully expected to dislike, based on the tone of some reactions I got when I said I would be covering it, and on some random commentary here and there on social media. However (and maybe it's just because I was coming off a couple of books I really didn't like very much) I actually enjoyed this book! Candace, my cohost, did not. The episode actually turned out to be really interesting because Candace and I started off from such different places and gradually began to uncover where our perspectives were coming from and why we saw certain things the way that we did. In particular our discussion of domestic violence and the role it plays in this book evolved over the course of the episode and I think we both saw that there we were bringing some of our own baggage to the table on that, with vastly different results. I would definitely be interested in hearing what you all thought of the book (if you read it) because I'm aware that there are further arguments to be made about some of the points that Candace brings up. Thanks so much for listening, and I will see you in 2 weeks with Charlotte's Web!
Alright, Patrons, please tell me what I ever did to you? Because this is 2 books in a row now that I didn't really like at all, and the blame lies squarely with YOU, my "friends"! Okay that's not entirely fair, because I didn't hate The Atrocity Archives the way that I hated most of A Dirty Job, but I'm not a huge fan. It's not something that I would pick up again, or recommend, and Krista (who generously agreed to cohost again after the disaster last month) liked it even less than I did. Really when you step back and look at the whole thing, I had a lot of the same problems with this book as I did with A Dirty Job (minus the racial stereotyping). It was a hugely creative idea with a ton of potential, and took place in a world I found really entertaining and compelling. But sadly, this writer couldn't get out of his own way when it came to things like referencing super-nerdy inside jokes (specifically IT jokes) and going way too in-depth about the tech. Maybe the knowledge he brought to the book was meant to be impressive, but nowadays it's not only out-of-date but feels really superfluous to a population that can simultaneously be pretty adept at working with computers while knowing nothing about how they actually work. I really loved the concept of a bunch of Nazis that literally ran away through a portal to another planet and hid there, then got jumped by their own monster. Huge fan of this idea. But really, they get lured there because he has to rescue his kind-of girlfriend? Who is one of only three (okay technically four) women in the entire book? Ugh. I GUESS. Anyway, I would be interested to hear what you all thought of this book, so hit me up and let me know!
Hey everyone. Bad news is, we lost the episode due to some miscommunications on my part. On the plus side, I really didn't like this book and I feel no urge to make time to re-record it. So here's a short blurb on why I feel the way I do, and I will see you all next month with The Atrocity Archives by Charles Stross, which you can buy here! https://amzn.to/2IpUSmU
I'm here with the next installment of the UNspoiled! Book Club, and this time it's Jaime Smith joining me to talk about The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak. This is a book from a unique perspective, to say the least, and it's understandable why it's grown as acclaimed as it has. However, I have to be honest. I didn't love this book. Don't get me wrong, it's a really captivating idea and overall I found the plot to be interesting, as well as the peeks at how ordinary Germans who weren't in danger of camps lived during the Second World War. All of that was compelling and frankly lined up with America in 2018 in ways that I found to be unnerving. But the prose was simply not my cup of tea, and I found it really distracting. The term Jaime used was "purple prose" and I think that comes the closest to describing it. There are times when using words in unusual and unexpected ways can work for an author, and bring special attention to a certain moment, but in this book the wild phrasing and pulpy descriptions happened every other sentence. I would spend more time thinking about the previous sentence and whether that really worked than I would spend paying attention to the story. But like I said, I didn't hate this book. It simply didn't wow me the way I had expected from the way in which people talked about it. I would be very interested to hear what you thought of it! If you haven't read it yet, you can find it here: https://amzn.to/2qFzbVX And if you're ready to move onto the May book, A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore, you can find that book here! https://amzn.to/2qFDC2h
My main takeaway after reading this book was a sense of surprise at how much of the book was virtually unchanged for the movie, and how much that worked on-screen, while being impressed at the detail of story aspects that wouldn't have been interesting on-screen at all. Basically, if you asked me whether the book or the movie was better, I wouldn't be able to answer because I feel that they were each perfectly suited to the medium in which the story was being told. For the movie, you can gloss over the logistics and the science and the backstory on all the characters, and just focus on the adventure and the danger of the dinosaurs, and that resulted in a classic film that holds up unbelievably well to this day. However, the logistics and science and backstory are really compelling to me (NERD ALERT!) and I deeply enjoyed reading about them. Overall I was just really surprised at how much I enjoyed this, even though there are sections of the plot that Money and I realized didn't make much sense upon closer inspection. Or else there were plot threads that were entirely dropped. But that's okay, no book is perfect. I hope you all enjoy listening, and if you haven't read this book and you'd like to, you can get it here: http://amzn.to/2FgdEss For next month's The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, you can go here! http://amzn.to/2oRVDJE Thanks again everyone, and have a great weekend!
In which RoShawn and I discuss white fragility and the realities of racism.