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Bibliophilia Podcast

Bibliophilia Podcast

Description

Bibliophilia is a podcast about books, the people who write them, and the ideas they contain. Every week, the host discusses a book with her guest or guests. The discussions often vary in scope, but always strive to be interesting and entertaining. It's a view of literature that allows readers to connect with stories in a way they may have never thought of before. Enjoy!


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Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson


Sun, Jan 22, 2017


In a world of "law and order" it's important to remember that the law is not always just. Bryan Stevenson's book about his work with the Equal Justice Initiative serves as a reminder of just how much work remains to be done.



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Wish Her Safe at Home by Stephen Benatar


Fri, Jan 20, 2017


It's a woman of a certain age and she's slowly going crazy! Sound familiar? Well, this book is a little different. Stephen Benatar has the ability to slowly draw you into the life of Rachel Waring, making sure you feel each bruise developing on her not-so-fragile ego. It's a book that makes you laugh out loud and feel deeply.



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Swing Time by Zadie Smith


Thu, Jan 19, 2017


Whoa...there's a lot going on in this book. Becca focuses on the pain of unreached potential and the problems with assuming money can be a balm for someone else's problems. Loneliness in the midst of strong relationships plays heavily in Swing Time, a book well worth a read.



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Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy


Sun, Jan 15, 2017


What are we going to do about all this income inequality? Should women have equal rights? What is birth control? These are questions that Tolstoy wants to explore, but he does it against the backdrop of a passionate love affair that knows no bounds. Becca reviews this epic of Russian life in the 19th century.



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Against the Death Penalty by Stephen Breyer


Thu, Jan 12, 2017


Sometimes it's difficult for us to live with our principles, and that's when we should turn to Supreme Court justices for answers. Stephen Breyer (and John Bessler) gives some extremely valid arguments against the death penalty in modern America.



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Bleak House by Charles Dickens


Sun, Jan 08, 2017


It's all about class distinctions on this episode of Bibliophilia! Becca talks about ignoring the problems directly outside of our doors, bad Etsy art, and the weirdness of certain kinds of book fairs.



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Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes


Wed, Dec 28, 2016


Sometimes it helps to have someone way more successful than us tell us that we are capable of dealing with our totally relatable problems. Thanks for that, Shonda. This episode is about difficult personal journeys and finding the time to be your own person.



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Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler


Tue, Dec 27, 2016


It's Shakespeare re-told! This isn't exactly Ten Things I Hate About You. It's much much better. Becca talks about female relationships, feminism, and finding out who you are in this review of this very charming book.



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Lost Paradise by Kathy Marks


Tue, Dec 27, 2016


What happens when rape culture gets out of control? Pitcairn Island offers some clues. Becca talks about the patriarchy and the difficulty of coming forward when you feel that you might derail something greater than yourself.



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The Actual One by Isy Suttie


Sat, Dec 24, 2016


This book is all about growing up, getting through that tough breakup, and figuring out what you really want out of a relationship. Becca talks about finding yourself and the difference between American and British humor.



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The Man in the High Castle by Philip K Dick


Fri, Dec 23, 2016


Philip K Dick has a cool middle name, and he wrote a book with an interesting premise. Does he pull it off? Becca talks conclusions, oppression, and the benefits of living in the Rocky Mountains. (Look, there were technical difficulties and this was the fifth recording. Things might be off)



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Playing Dead by Elizabeth Greenwood


Thu, Dec 22, 2016


What does it really mean to fake your own death? What's the best plan, what happens to those you leave behind, and what happens if you get caught? Becca finds out in this episode about a very special book.



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A Wife of Noble Character by Yvonne Georgina Puig


Tue, Dec 20, 2016


First novels are tough, but this book is fantastic! Becca talks about what she loves about love stories, and how to update a book without losing the spirit of the first. Seriously, go read this book now!



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The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood


Mon, Dec 19, 2016


What's the technical term for the economy tanking? Find out here! Also, unlikeable characters, moral compromises, and sex with a teddy bear. Becca laughs at her own terrible jokes a lot in this episode. Enjoy!



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Fear by Gabriel Chevallier


Sun, Dec 18, 2016


This incredible novel of WWI drives home the horror of war with lyrical language that makes the reader feel as though they are really there. While the book is heartbreaking, it is an important read and a warning of the importance of remembering the reality of war for those living it.



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You Learn by Living by Eleanor Roosevelt


Fri, Dec 16, 2016


After watching the world's most depressing press conference, Becca decides to lighten the mood by talking about happier times. Like, you know, the Great Depression. Eleanor Roosevelt offers advice that makes you feel good, but she might not have been prepared for what we are about to face.



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Frankenstein by Mary Shelley


Thu, Dec 15, 2016


Who's the real monster in this story? Hint: It's probably Frankenstein. He's a self-absorbed jerk. Becca talks about being nice to people and taking responsibility for the problems that you create.



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My Sweet Angel by John Glatt


Wed, Dec 14, 2016


What does it mean to need attention in the age of social media, and when does a person take it too far? Becca gets her True Crime fix in this episode, and she's ready to share her thoughts about it with all of you.



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Whatever Happened to Interracial Love by Kathleen Collins


Mon, Dec 12, 2016


These stories are amazing, and delicate, and lovely and Becca loved them. But in order to understand them, you must understand loneliness and how it feels to not belong. A lot of feelings about that are coming up right now, so it's lovely to have this collection of stories to remind us that we are not alone.



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Girl, 20 by Kingsley Amis


Mon, Dec 12, 2016


But we already talked about age disparities in relationships this month! Seems it's an evergreen topic, so Becca takes it on again. This time with a much bigger disparity and a much more shocking result. Funny, but still grounded in reality, Girl, 20 is a worthwhile read for people looking for something different.



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The Impossible Fairy Tale by Han Yujoo


Fri, Dec 09, 2016


This book is all about tricking people into reading experimental fiction. It's a story about redemption, writing, and guilt that is done in a way that a lot of people probably haven't seen before. Also, Becca pontificates on the sound of her own voice. Thanks for listening!



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The Stranger in the Woods by Michael Finkel


Tue, Dec 06, 2016


It's all about loneliness in this episode. What does it mean to be lonely, and what is the difference between being alone and loneliness. These themes and more, plus big decisions by Becca.



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The Woman Next Door by Yewande Omotoso


Mon, Dec 05, 2016


Curmudgeonly old people solve racism. How? By going to the library of course! Becca's not in the greatest mood today, but she does her best when talking about this book that puts a new twist on an older idea.



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Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller


Fri, Dec 02, 2016


Becca talks about her deep-seated hatred of Tom Hardy and how resentment builds. Don't worry, she forgives Claire Fuller for all her past transgressions by the end of this episode. When she's not dropping the f-bomb every two seconds, Becca does manage to get out a little bit about power discrepancies in relationships.



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A Separation by Katie Kitamura


Tue, Nov 29, 2016


This is a fast-past mystery, but the question isn't whodunit, but who are we. With so many people questioning their own lives, it's important to figure how we become who we are. Becca admits that she never lives in the present while discussing this great book coming in February.



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Stamped From the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi


Tue, Nov 22, 2016


Becca wanted to understand Trump supporters, but not really, so she read a book on racism. Stamped From the Beginning is a brilliant book that illuminates exactly why slavery came into being, the evolution of thought, and how we should all work on being anti-racist. It also contains the sickest burn in the history of burns. Take that, Thomas Jefferson!



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Ernesto by Umberto Saba


Thu, Nov 10, 2016


Becca talks about books that don't pander and what it means to create diverse art in a country that devalues diversity. Is there a way out of this? We can only hope.



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Homesick for Another World by Ottessa Moshfegh


Sun, Nov 06, 2016


People are sick and twisted, and Ottessa Moshfegh captures that perfectly in this collection of short stories. Becca discusses this collection, which at first seems too disturbing to be relatable. What a surprise it was!



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The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin


Thu, Nov 03, 2016


Becca talks about The Orchardist and the beauty of writing about the past, as long as it's done well. There's feral children, abuse, apples, and characters who find themselves despite their difficult pasts. It's a good one!



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I Will Send Rain by Rae Meadows


Sat, Oct 29, 2016


When people talk about wishing they had been born in a different era, they mention the roaring '20s or the swinging '60s. No one mentions wanting to be burned in the depressing '30s, which is why this book was so surprising. Becca talks about the Dust Bowl and how our humanity becomes more apparent in difficult times.



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The Mothers by Brit Bennett


Sat, Oct 29, 2016


Brit Bennet wrote a phenomenal book about the secrets we keep and the way they shape us. Becca talks about writing well in the collective voice, ambition, and what it means to be lonely.



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The Spider and the Fly by Claudia Rowe


Sun, Oct 23, 2016


Claudia Rowe doesn't even know that she is trying to figure out the kind of person that she will be, but when she starts exploring the life of a serial killer named Kendall Francois, she explores the nature of shame, isolation, and family secrets as they relate to herself, Francois, and his victims.



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A Really Good Day by Ayelet Waldman


Sat, Oct 22, 2016


Microdosing is exciting!!! But also illegal. Becca talks drug policy and the power of Ayelet Waldman's new book. It may just be the thing that gets suburban moms to hop on the drug policy train to harm reduction land! Woohoo!



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Trainwreck by Sady Doyle


Mon, Oct 10, 2016


This book is a sleeper. While the cover didn't grab her, a review caught her eye, and Becca was quickly drawn into Trainwreck. This book explores so much more that celebrity gossip fodder and goes straight to the heart of why the media treats women the way it does.



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Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple


Sun, Oct 09, 2016


The author of Where'd You Go, Bernadette is back, but can she recapture the magic of her earlier book? Today Will Be Different is an adult take on family and finding peace that's a little different than what we've seen before.



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Rush Oh! by Shirley Barrett


Wed, Oct 05, 2016


This book was sold as a cross between Herman Melville and Jane Austen. Sign Becca up, please! Rush Oh! doesn't disappoint, working as a beach read, and as something much much deeper.



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If This is a Man by Primo Levi


Mon, Oct 03, 2016


It is sometimes important to remind ourselves that the Holocaust happened, if only to give ourselves the opportunity to see what happens when the worst of humanity is amplified instead of the best. Primo Levi's beautiful book about his life in a concentration camp was a difficult read, but necessary.



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Wolf Boys by Dan Slater


Sat, Oct 01, 2016


It's one of those weird true crime books again! Is this one about social issues, or just a weird experience with one person? Well, it's a little bit of both. Dan Slater tries to give us a front row seat to life inside the drug cartel.



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The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy


Wed, Sep 21, 2016


The plot on this is insane, but mostly Thomas Hardy just wants you to recognize that you're a good person. The Mayor of Casterbridge is about how guilt can turn a man into a monster, and what we can do to overcome that.



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Black Hole by Charles Burns


Wed, Sep 14, 2016


Life is hard enough for chess nerds without them getting the worst symptoms of a mysterious STD that has literally no one in town buzzing. This book is pretty heavy with metaphors about puberty, but has a nice love story that keeps it from getting too preachy.



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Reputations by Juan Gabriel Vásquez


Fri, Sep 09, 2016


Is it possible to have Colombian literature that manages to escape the long shadow cast by Garc?a M?rquez? Becca thinks so. Reputations is a modern work of genius with slow reveals that pull the reader in, and lingering questions that lead one to thinking about the true nature of art.



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Authority by Jeff Vandermeer


Wed, Aug 31, 2016


It's the second book of the Southern Reach Trilogy and things are happening pretty quickly. If the last book was an adventure, this one is a mystery. Vandermeer continues to focus on developing strong characters and letting their personalities shine through.



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The Making of Donald Trump by David Cay Johnston


Tue, Aug 30, 2016


Becca tries her best to give an unbiased view of this book. However, it's tough beans. She makes it to the last five minutes so if you're not a fan of the political rants skip out early. If you love political rants, skip to the end.



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Surveys by Natasha Stagg


Sun, Aug 21, 2016


Colleen is a young woman just trying to float through the world, but what is happening in Natasha Stagg's debut novel goes much further. It's an interesting take on fame in the internet world, from a young writer who has a lot to offer.



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The Four Dimensional Human by Laurence Scott


Fri, Aug 19, 2016


When I read The Shallows, I talked about how social media is changing our brains. Laurence Scott writes about how social media affects the ways we look at and interact with the world. It's a fascinating and thought-provoking account of what life is really like in the digital age. Plus, Google Cars will totally ruin Thelma and Louise, but you probably already knew that because it has definitely been written about before.



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The Lost Girls by John Glatt


Sun, Aug 14, 2016


Becca confesses to a love of true crime books, and then contemplates the difference between true crime and other books that seem to be in the same vein, but fall outside of the genre. Then it's all about the weirdness of this crime and what can be done to ensure that things like this don't happen.



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The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene


Mon, Aug 08, 2016


Becca read this book about a really sad, drunk priest and, while she totally gets it, she wishes he would just make a decision already. Graham Greene might be an acquired taste, or maybe there was just too much going on elsewhere in her life for her to muster up the strength to like this book.



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Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer


Thu, Jul 21, 2016


Becca talks trilogies with this, the first in the Southern Reach Trilogy. The book has an interesting set up, which serves as a set up to a larger story. Does it work? Do we want to read on, or has there been too much denouement? Find out here!



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Montauk by Max Frisch


Mon, Jul 11, 2016


This temperamental book put Becca in a mood. Her greatest regret: not reading it all in one go. Montauk transports readers perfectly into the mind and attitude of the narrator, while bringing up issues related to the conflicting ways we handle relationships.



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One of Us by Asne Seierstad


Tue, Jul 05, 2016


In a desperate attempt to better understand how we could collectively deal with mass shootings in a productive way, Becca turned to Norwegian author Asne Seierstad's exploration of the July 22, 2011 massacre in her home country that left 77 people dead, most of them teenagers. She talks feminism, humanity, and frustration in this episode of Bibliophilia.



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Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld


Sun, Jun 19, 2016


This updated version of Pride and Prejudice is not without its issues, but overall it's a fun read. Becca talks about the problems of updating a classic, reality television, modern-day Darcys, and very bitter train drivers. Enjoy!



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Truevine by Beth Macy


Sat, Jun 11, 2016


This book is about George and Willie Muse, who were lured off a tobacco field when they were children and forced to work as circus sideshow freaks without pay for many years. But it's also about so much more! Becca talks about being pleasantly surprised by a book and a society that creates the kind of reality where young men are forced into slavery despite it technically being illegal.



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Animals by Emma Jane Unsworth


Tue, May 31, 2016


Sometimes you're just at the right place in your life for a book. This is one of those books and Becca is having one of those life moments. Animals introduces readers to Laura Joyce, a young woman who just needs to stop making excuses and write her novel already. I wonder why Becca related so much?



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The Mark and the Void by Paul Murray


Sun, May 29, 2016


Paul Murray made himself a character in his own book, but he made himself a miserable, misogynistic, bitter, pathetic, and generally terrible person, so it's okay. The Mark and the Void was a surprising funny and incredibly heartfelt story about banking, greed, and writing great novels.



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Look Who's Back by Timur Vermes


Mon, May 23, 2016


Hitler's back and it's a laugh a minute, until it's not. This book is part time travel adventure and part disturbing look at how we view dangerous ideas. Vermes' book is designed to make you think and to leave you feeling uncomfortable. Becca make comparisons to modern politicians and wonders where we draw the line.



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Down the Rabbit Hole by Holly Madison


Tue, May 17, 2016


Becca loved The Girls Next Door, so finding out what happened behind the scenes was a must! This book isn't perfect, but if you apply the lessons that Holly learns to your own life you should come out ahead. Becca enjoyed it, but took things with a grain of salt.



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The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin


Mon, May 16, 2016


Becca imagines Shevek as Jordan Peale because it's always good to put comedians in dramatic roles. This book asks us to look at two very different and equally dissatisfying economic and social systems. The solution is obvious: have a revolution in your heart.



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Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding


Sat, May 14, 2016


Becca takes a break from being super serious to talk about how books change as you get older and how life can sometimes just fall apart without you meaning for it to happen. She also apologizes for all the other Rebeccas/Beccas/Beckys of the world, as it seems y'all have some kind of problem with them. Sorry.



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The Art of Waiting by Belle Boggs


Mon, May 09, 2016


The Art of Waiting isn't coming out for a few months, but Becca wants to tell you all about it now because it is just that good. This book is perfect for nearly everyone, but it will likely really hit a chord with women who are putting off motherhood until they have the economic and social means to ensure a positive outcome.



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Drop City by T.C. Boyle


Fri, May 06, 2016


Becca put this book on her TBR list about ten years ago and she finally read it! It is possible to get through the list! If you dream it, you can do it! This also seems to be the motto of the residents of Drop City. They have a different experience. Limits are tested and people find out who they really are.



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Beauty is a Wound by Eka Kurniawan


Thu, Apr 28, 2016


You know when you really want a book to be one way, but then it's another way? How sometimes it really works out, but other times it doesn't? This book is one of those books that isn't what was expected, but which direction did it go in? You'll have to listen to find out if Becca loved or hated Beauty is a Wound.



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August is a Wicked Month by Edna O'Brien


Sat, Apr 16, 2016


Hey! It's sexy times in the South of France! ...Well, actually it's just kind of awkward and humiliating, but that's the strength of this fantastic and feminist novel. Ellen is a woman who wants to have a good time but who still remains relatable and real in a way many modern heroines don't. This book is totally worth a read, if you can find it.



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Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick


Sun, Apr 10, 2016


In this episode, Becca goes back for more of that sweet sweet YA goodness. It's another book about a teenaged boy, but this one packs a big emotional punch and is easy to like. The talk covers romanticizing mental illness, teachers going above and beyond, and whether teenaged boys can really be likable. Thanks for listening!



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Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye


Fri, Apr 08, 2016


Do classic books become better when you add murder? That's the question in today's episode. Becca also discusses people who want you to have "positive vibes", how some people internalize guilt, and writing murderers who readers don't hate. 



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The Shallows by Nicholas Carr


Thu, Mar 31, 2016


Why is it taking Becca so long to finish books? Blame it on Snapchat! This book covers neuroplasticity, e-readers, and the problem of getting distracted. Speaking of getting distracted, there are some really strange wikipedia pages out there. Hope you enjoy!



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Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews


Mon, Mar 21, 2016


Hey! It's a YA book that Becca actually likes! There's a lot of humor and heart, but are there some problems? Yes, there are problems. This is how children slip between the cracks, folks, and Becca's not too pleased.



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The Sleepwalker's Guide to Dancing by Mira Jacob


Sat, Mar 19, 2016


There's an awful lot of cooking in this book. It seemed like it might be an issue, but Becca explains why it works within the context of the story. This book is about family relationships and strong women, but perhaps carrying around a hardcover for a week wasn't the greatest idea. The clear solution: read faster!

Thanks for listening!



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The Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy


Sat, Mar 12, 2016


This book is ridiculous! There's a man dyed entirely red, every character attempts death by grief, and there's bonus witchcraft! It's not like any Thomas Hardy novel Becca has ever read before, but that makes it a special butterfly and much more fun to talk about.



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We Love You, Charlie Freeman by Kaitlyn Greenidge


Sun, Mar 06, 2016


Just listening to the premise of this book might make you shake your head and say, "well, that's a bit problematic" but Kaitlyn Greenidge manages to pull it off. Becca discusses language, young love, and what might happen when you adopt a chimpanzee. Enjoy!



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Five Days at Memorial by Sheri Fink


Fri, Mar 04, 2016


Becca tries to come to terms with humanity over the course of this episode about Sheri Fink's very impressive Five Days at Memorial. How do we make the choices we do? What happens in an emergency situation? These are tough questions that may never be fully answered to anyone's satisfaction. If there's one takeaway from this book it is that you should always try to help. If you see a need, and you can offer immediate assistance, don't wait for permission. Just help.



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Berg by Ann Quin


Thu, Mar 03, 2016


Berg is a strange book. There's a giant ventriloquist dummy, a dead bird, lots and lots of hair tonic, and a crazy amount of misogyny. Becca didn't quite know what to make of it all, other than that there were some very Oedipal themes throughout. Enjoy!



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It Can't Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis


Tue, Mar 01, 2016


Becca talks about the rise of fascism, plot-driven books, and questioning things you want to believe in. This episode also features boring characters and the first ever in episode correction (you have to wait until the very end to hear Becca swallow her words and admit making a mistake, but it's there). Hope you enjoy!



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Blackass by A. Igoni Barrett


Thu, Feb 25, 2016


This is one of the more interesting novels Becca has read this year. Exploration of another culture, gender issues, and what we do to get ahead all make an appearance in this episode. Plus, we extol the virtues of Graywolf Press and remind you who composed the theme music. Thanks for listening!



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The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro


Tue, Feb 23, 2016


This book will break your heart, but it will do so quietly and without you noticing that it is coming. There's a lot to cover here with Becca talking about estate houses, emotional restraint, and writing that is both complex and simple at the same time. How does that last one work? We don't even know, but it does. Enjoy!



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13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl by Mona Awad


Sun, Feb 21, 2016


Becca really, really wanted to like this book but, in the end, well... it's complicated. The writing's great, but there are some food issues. Becca discusses hating food issues, finding ways to relate to other women, and how different people respond to the same issues in different and complicated ways. Enjoy!



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Satin Island by Tom McCarthy


Sun, Feb 21, 2016


What does it all mean? What does life mean? What is our purpose? Becca doesn't know, and she probably won't figure out by reading this book. She will, however, be able to put another notch in her belt of weird, existential books that were inexplicably enjoyable. I guess that's all anyone can ask for in life.



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Descent by Tim Johnston


Sat, Feb 20, 2016


Becca says thriller with her thriller voice, then rambles about what she hates about traditional thrillers for approximately six minutes before discussing all the things that she actually likes about this book. Fortunately, it was not a traditional thriller. Flawed characters, towns with character, and trying to avoid reading ahead all make an appearance in typical Becca fashion.



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The Last Illusion by Porochista Khakpour


Tue, Feb 16, 2016


Today, Becca explains how a book is like a taffy pull. She also discusses selling marijuana to authors (not really), how to get distracted while reading, and the importance of letting people tell their own stories. Enjoy!



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Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist by Sunil Yapa


Mon, Feb 15, 2016


The system is f-----d! Becca talks about good cake, rants about the grocery store by her apartment, and drops the f-bomb a lot. Fight the power! (But, like, love is important too.)



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The Fever by Megan Abbott


Fri, Feb 12, 2016


Becca decided to go all in for a mystery novel today, and came out pleasantly surprised. The Fever allowed her to talk about female friendships, boy trouble, and how cell phones keep us connected in the modern world. Plus, there's a pretty intense story at the heart of this book that keeps the reader excited!



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The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer


Mon, Feb 08, 2016


Someone won at sports ball, but Becca was too wrapped up in this book for it to register.  The Interestings brings up some important questions about the nature of our relationships, but it also made Becca yell at the book. That was probably weird for her neighbors.



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Your Face in Mine by Jess Row


Sat, Feb 06, 2016


Remember Rachel Dolezal? This book actually came out before that story broke. It's about racial reassignment surgery, which Ms. Dolezal probably would have loved. Don't worry, RRS is not a real thing. If it were, the kids on Tumblr would find it very "problematic". Becca finds it an interesting premise for a book, and was completely sucked in.



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Unrequited by Lisa A. Phillips


Tue, Feb 02, 2016


Unrequited love is tough, y'all, but you still shouldn't pee in front of your lover's house. Becca chats about reading the book, being in unrequited love, playing it safe emotionally, and what to do when you lose a job that you don't really like. She also admits to some pretty embarrassing facts about her own life. If you've been hating on Becca and wishing for her downfall, this episode will give you plenty of fodder to use against her. Enjoy!



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The Expatriates by Janice Y.K. Lee


Fri, Jan 29, 2016


In this episode all about The Expatriates, Becca decides that labeling books as "book club" books is a way to dismiss certain kinds of writing. She discusses motherhood, relating to characters, and the difficult place between college and adulthood.



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The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne by Brian Moore


Thu, Jan 28, 2016


Becca reveals that her mind is constantly in the gutter in this review of Brian Moore's The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne. There are grotesque characters and desperate women. Someone questions their faith, and Becca gives the first trigger warning that she's ever felt the need to give. It's pretty intense.



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On Immunity by Eula Biss


Thu, Jan 21, 2016


Becca didn't get her flu shot and therefore failed to uphold her end of the social contract. That's probably why she's suffering with the flu right now. On Immunity is about parenting, disease, and trying to control that which is uncontrollable. There's also stories on getting bad information from the internet, and when you should be wary of vaccines (cows are involved). Enjoy!



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Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy


Wed, Jan 20, 2016


Becca reads the most depressing book ever written and learns some very important lessons. The lessons are as follows: 1) Don't get married. 2) Don't ever try for anything ever.

It's a fun day, and a very fun episode!



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Welcome To Braggsville by T. Geronimo Johnson


Fri, Jan 15, 2016


Becca talks Welcome to Braggsville, PC culture, and the worst class she ever took in college. There was a feelings journal involved. It didn't go well. This book is tough to read, and forces readers to confront some truths about the way they live their lives. It's not for everyone, but that's what makes it special.



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Marie Antoinette: The Journey by Antonia Fraser


Tue, Jan 12, 2016


Becca talks Marie Antoinette. Fraser's book has the uncanny ability to draw the reader into the world of the French court in unexpected ways. It's not just the story of a woman changed by her position, but of a woman coming into her own and finding solace in her family. Incredibly moving and powerful, even if it was a little disappointing to discover that La Fayette looked nothing like Daveed Diggs.



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Chocky by John Wyndham


Fri, Jan 08, 2016


It's an alien invasion!!! Actually, it's a surprisingly feminist text with a gender fluid character. Once again we explore the idea of madness as it relates to society. Also, people in the 1960s were kind of weird about their children. Stranger danger! It's real kids.



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Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit


Thu, Jan 07, 2016


Feminist essays, as chatted up by Becca. She explains mansplaining, chats about street harassment, and discusses the frustration of never being listened to. This episode isn't going to be everyone's cup of tea, but it certainly explains a bit about Becca's life and the way she sees the world. Thanks for listening!



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The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy


Wed, Jan 06, 2016


Sally Jay Gorce is a young woman with a lot to learn, and Becca enjoyed taking that journey with her. While this book wasn't the laugh-a-minute festival that she initially thought it would be, it was an enjoyable ride through a different time in the world. 



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Emma by Jane Austen


Fri, Dec 25, 2015


Becca ponders what makes a happy marriage in this discussion of Emma. It's been 200 years since the book was published, and while it is not the perfect novel, it is quite delightful. In this novel we are introduced to three different couples, but what really makes the relationships work? Who will have a happy marriage? How do you know that someone is the right person for you? There are a lot of questions, but I think we all already know the answers.



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Our Spoons Came From Woolworths by Barbara Comyns


Mon, Dec 21, 2015


Becca is miserable and upset and she hates her apartment. For some reason, reading stories about other people who are miserable and upset is helping her to cope with these issues. Our Spoons Came From Woolworths offers up a great opportunity to think about what it means to be poor, and what it means to persevere. 



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The Room by Jonas Karlsson


Fri, Dec 18, 2015


Becca tries to talk about this book without giving you any spoilers. It's difficult. There are some reviewers who compare this book to the movie Office Space, the show The Office, and the book And Then We Came to the End, but is it really a workplace comedy or is it something more? Why did I ever decide to discuss this book without bringing someone else along for the ride? Should we do another episode on it later? These questions, and more, on today's episode of Bibliophilia.



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Mansfield Park by Jane Austen


Fri, Dec 11, 2015


Becca discusses Mansfield Park by Jane Austen. Fanny Price, initially seen as boring, is actually an amazing example of what a rich inner life offers a person. Her strength of character in the face of the misbehavior of others is astounding. Also, the book is kind of an allegory for slavery. There's a lot of interesting stuff in here, and a big revelation at the end!



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Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen


Sat, Dec 05, 2015


Becca and Kiyomi talk about Jane Austen's most obscure novel Pride and Prejudice. We talk about class systems, a modern comedy of manners, the Kardashians, and the dreamy Mr. Darcy. How much of what he does for Elizabeth is rooted in his wealth, and how much is he capable of without it?



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Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen


Tue, Nov 24, 2015


Why does this episode start with a rumination of the Harry Potter houses? Well, because it just does. I don't feel the need to explain my art to you, Warren.

Anyway, in this episode, Becca explains what it means to be a Marianne, why she might not be a Fanny, and tells you what happened to the girl who played Margaret in the 1995 movie. Also, there's a bit on the problem with Lucy Steele. Is there a British equivalent of a redneck? Yes? No? Let us know.



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Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen


Sun, Nov 22, 2015


Becca explains a bit about the first Jane Austen novel in this run. Northanger Abbey has a heroine who's a little dopey, more sex than expected, and roots in Gothic novels. Of course it all works out in the end. That satisfied Jane feeling comes on strong!



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Fardwor, Russia! by Oleg Kashin


Thu, Nov 19, 2015


Listen to Becca angry sigh as she discusses frustration with the government. There's a bit about the difference between oppression and corruption, a lot about xenophobia, some concern over the treatment of little people, and a lot of comparisons to Master and Margarita. It's short so that she can get back to angry sighing. 



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The Good Lord Bird by James McBride


Mon, Nov 16, 2015


We're going to stop calling these "Mini Episodes". In this EPISODE, Becca discusses James McBride's National Book Award Winning novel The Good Lord Bird. This is an episode about being true to yourself, and being the spark that helps lead people to freedom. Becca's not sure how to do that, so she talks it out.



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Mini Episode 07: Changing My Mind by Zadie Smith


Fri, Nov 13, 2015


Becka discusses Zadie Smith's book of essays, Changing My Mind. She's really mean in this episode, which includes an impression of everyone, kicking Beyonce out of her friend group, and other people not getting the joke. Also announced: a format change that is coming soon!



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Mini Episode 06: Eileen


Tue, Nov 03, 2015


I read Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh. This is a fascinating episode in that I start out very 'meh' about the novel, and then slowly start to love it the more I talk about it. If you've ever wanted to listen to someone discover what is good about a book while still processing said book, this is the episode for you! I also try to convince listeners to leave their homes, and give warning to people drag racing at midnight.



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Mini Episode 05: Everything I Never Told You


Tue, Oct 27, 2015


Becca read Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng in a day, and now she's going to talk about it. There are a few feelings on otherness, what it means to be stupid, and what it's like to be the most boring person on the planet. Also, Garageband was acting up a bit. The problem shall be fixed on subsequent episodes. Sorry about this one.



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Mini Episode 04: The Witches


Mon, Oct 26, 2015


Becca discusses The Witches by Stacy Schiff and the Salem Witch Trials. It's an interesting subject matter, but it's a little difficult to explain the book. Lots of cool names, more sex than you would imagine, and no one doubting the words of teenaged girls. Yes, the 17th century was a different time. Let's not go back.



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Mini Episode 03: Books v. Cigarettes


Tue, Oct 20, 2015


Becca takes on George Orwell's Books v. Cigarettes, but mostly talks about how she quit smoking. It's a funny book. Something for everyone including annoying bookstore requests, sexual deviance, and nazism. I highly recommend it.



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The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley


Fri, Oct 16, 2015


Kiyomi came to Denver specifically to talk about Natasha Pulley's The Watchmaker of Filigree Street. We discuss it as a genre novel, talk about how it fits in with the era, and try to decide who we would recommend it to. Then we ramble about Kanye West, bookshelves, and literary fiction. Enjoy!



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Mini Episode 02: The Small Backs of Children


Sun, Oct 11, 2015


Becca reviews Lidia Yuknavitch's novel, The Small Backs of Children. This book pushes the limit when it comes to the combination of sex and violence. Is it worth it in the end?



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Mini Episode 01: Our Mutual Friend


Thu, Oct 08, 2015


Newsflash: I'm pretty terrible at going on hiatus. In this episode I (Becca) review Our Mutual Friend as quickly as I can. It still takes over 20 minutes. There will be more mini-episodes coming soon.



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A Very Special Episode


Thu, Oct 01, 2015


Becca rambles on about her neighbors, and reviews a few books before the show goes on its month-long hiatus. She discusses You Too Can Have A Body Like Mine by Alexandra Kleeman, The Lost Daughter by Elena Ferrante, and Did You Ever Have A Family by Bill Clegg. All very good, but in different ways. 

 

Ramble, ramble, ramble.

 

See you in November!



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Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay


Thu, Sep 24, 2015


Using Roxane Gay's Bad Feminist as a guide, Becca and Kiyomi discuss being likable, the problem of trigger warnings, loving pop culture unapologetically, and what it means to be a bad feminist. 

Turns out that Becca is the worst feminist ever, but that's okay.

Hope you enjoy!



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Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel


Thu, Sep 17, 2015


Becca and Hilary discuss dystopia, cults, pandemics, and creating well-developed characters in this episode about Station Eleven. Just a note: it's not an adaptation of King Lear. We were both pretty disappointed by that fact. We feel mislead. It may have been Becca who mislead Hilary, but someone mislead her first.



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A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens


Fri, Sep 11, 2015


It's a full scale revolution, but Becca isn't so sure she wants to participate. Allison joins us to talk about fiber arts as subversive, and Becca discusses what happens when a good revolution goes bad. Also, Charles Dickens is maybe a little better when he writes longer works instead of relatively short pieces like A Tale of Two Cities.



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The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil by Stephen Collins


Thu, Sep 03, 2015


Becca tried something different this time. She went out into the world, armed only with a microphone, and attempted to find people to discuss chaos and beards with her. It was a terrible failure. Of course, failure is only really failure if you fail to learn. She will plan better in the future. However, for this episode, she just went to talk to her friend Matt about his beard.



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A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole


Mon, Aug 24, 2015


There was a bit of a technical error when we recorded the original episode for A Confederacy of Dunces. In this special bonus episode, Hilary and Becca try to recreate the magic. Do we fail? Do we succeed? That's for the listener to decide. What we most certainly do achieve is a discussion of likable characters, weird authors, and sexual perversions. 

Seriously? The dog is what does it?

Thanks for listening!



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Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain


Thu, Aug 20, 2015


Becca and Hilary discuss Vera Brittain's memoir of WWI, Testament of Youth. We talk about love during war time, dramatic movie adaptations, and what would have to happen for the world to find itself in another world war. Also, what the loss of love letters does for society.



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The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton


Thu, Aug 13, 2015


Becca and Kat have a chat about Edith Wharton's House of Mirth. We talk about what makes a person a keeper, loving people without reservation, and the odd phenomenon of having never read the Harry Potter books. There's a lot of discussion about friendship, integrity, and love.

Thanks for listening!



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The Symposium by Plato


Thu, Aug 06, 2015


In this very special episode, Becca tries to understand love. With Plato's Symposium as her guide, she talks to friends, family, and one girl that she found hanging around where she was recording about what defines love. The answers are varied, but that's what makes life interesting.



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A Tale For The Time Being by Ruth Ozeki


Thu, Jul 30, 2015


Becca and Kiyomi discuss Ruth Ozeki's 'A Tale For the Time Being'. This episode was recorded away from our usual studio, which is why the sound is doing what it is. However, we make up for it by discussing the permenance of life, mother/daughter relationships, and what it really means to be zen. Enjoy!



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Howards End by E. M. Forster


Thu, Jul 09, 2015


In this episode of Bibliophilia, Becca and Hilary discuss E. M. Forster's classic novel, Howards End. We talk about women's roles in the early 20th century, how culture and class interact, and how to really help the poor. The novel was a bit melodramatic, but overall had a good message at its heart. 



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Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson


Thu, Jul 02, 2015


Becca and Greg talk about Hunter S. Thompson's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. We discuss gonzo journalism, and Greg's experience meeting Thompson and Steadman. Greg brings a lot of insight to this topic. Don't forget to check out his book, A Western Capitol Hill.



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Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman


Thu, Jun 25, 2015


Becca and Kat discuss Charlotte Perkins Gilman's Herland, a novel that doesn't make a lot of sense, but is surely a lot of fun. We make plans for a Comicon but for books, discuss abortion, and talk about the pain of wearing banana pillows between your boobs. 



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Cat's Eye by Margaret Atwood


Thu, Jun 18, 2015


Becca is joined by Hilary, and they discuss Margaret Atwood's Cat's Eye. Within the hour we barely skim the surface of this complicated novel on women's relationships. While we can't say that this is our favorite Atwood novel, it definitely is one worth reading.



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Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi


Thu, Jun 04, 2015


There's no easy way to talk about this book. Boy, Snow, Bird gave us so much to think and talk about. This discussion wasn't easy, and it was a learning experience for everyone. Join Becca, Kiyomi, and Ronell as they talk about the racial and transgender issues in Helen Oyeyemi's powerful novel.



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Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy


Thu, May 28, 2015


Becca and Kiyomi talk about Thomas Hardy's Far from the Madding Crowd. This is Becca's favorite book, and Kiyomi hated it. We had a fight. We talked things out, played date/marry/kill with some surprising results, and debated whether it is better to be loving or to be loved. 



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A High Wind in Jamaica by Richard Hughes


Thu, May 07, 2015


Becca and Jon discuss A High Wind in Jamaica by Richard Hughes. This book is a quick favorite. It contains some very dark themes. We discuss the cruelty and loneliness of childhood, and what it means to grow up in difficult circumstances. We also talk about good versus evil, and how we can contain moral barriers even when doing bad things.



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The Monkey Wrench Gang by Edward Abbey


Thu, Apr 23, 2015


When life hands you lemons, make lemonade. Then blow things up and pretend it's retaliation against the ominous "they". 

In this episode, Becca and producer Gabe talk about Edward Abbey's The Monkey Wrench Gang. They also discuss a very recent "holiday" in Colorado, various presidential assassinations, and a strange interaction with someone claiming to be a representative of E.L.F. This episode goes places no episode before has ever gone, maybe that's a good thing. 



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The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte


Thu, Apr 09, 2015


It's the final book in our Bronte run! Join us as we discuss Anne Bronte's The Tenant of Wildfell Hall! We'll debate whether Gilbert and Helen are good people, discuss what life was like for women during the 1820s, and dive into the ancient art of "wife-selling". Yes, that did used to be a thing. Don't forget to subscribe!



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Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte


Thu, Apr 02, 2015


Kat's here, and we're discussing Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. In this episode we discuss who's the worst of the worst *cough*Edgar*cough* and debate whether or not love can exist outside of a bubble. Also, there's a game of date, marry, kill and we briefly discuss the early 2000's MTV television movie adaptation.



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Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte


Thu, Mar 26, 2015


Kiyomi is back, and we're discussing Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. Is this a feminist novel? Do we feel compassion for Mr. Rochester? How did all these people get their money? These are all questions that we attempt to answer in this week's installment of Bibliophilia.



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The Monk: A Romance by Matthew Lewis


Thu, Mar 19, 2015


In this episode Becca and guest, Kiyomi, talk about Matthew Lewis' satirical work, The Monk. We wade through the difficult plot, and discuss the issue of purity as it pertains to the characters in the novel. Moral of the story: Don't make a deal with the devil.



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