4 Bookish Podcasts You Need to Hear

Since Serial entered our lives, I’ve been really into podcasts. They’re awesome for car drives, working out, walking to class, general living…

Here are a couple of my favorite bookish (and not bookish) ones for you to try out!

The Thrilling Adventure Hour!mza_3634691790099778933.600x600-75

This podcast is recorded in the style of old school radio shows, so they have a bunch of funny people act out a story in front of a studio audience. It’s really funny and the episodes aren’t too too long. They have regular cast members, but visiting actors also appear on the show. Think Aubrey Plaza, Nathan Fillion, JK Simmons, Alison Brie.

Invisibilia

icon_510307-915949e80ad42a31e2a2b741f635a7afd01c580e-s800-c15Invisibilia is NPR’s newest podcast is “about the invisible forces that control human behavior,” according to their description on iTunes. It’s really good if you want a longer podcast about ridiculously obvious stuff that you never thought about. I like it because it’s sort of like This American Life in that there’s one theme for every episode, but they kind of shift to at least three different perspectives to tell the story. It’s really cool and smart and engaging.

heres-the-thing-podcast-logoHere’s the Thing with Alec Baldwin

Whoever decided to put Alec Baldwin and a random celebrity/public figure in a room together and record it is a freaking genius. Every episode Here’s the Thing is basically like the best celebrity interview you’ll ever hear. He asks great questions and gets to the point right away, no BS. The Brian Williams episode is SO GOOD! Start with that one, then listen to the Julie Andrews one. Will not disappoint.

The Dead Authors PodcastFXLBERUe
H.G. Wells hosts this podcast in which he travels through time to bring authors to the present to interview them and talk to them about their books and lives. It is excellent, so funny and quick, I absolutely love it. My favorite episodes so far are the ones with Charlotte Bronte, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Edgar Allen Poe (all separate episodes). I’m about to go listen to it now, if I’m being perfectly honest.

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REVIEW: For Darkness Shows the Stars

From Goodreads:

It’s been several generations since a genetic experiment gone wrong caused the Reduction, decimating humanity and giving rise to a Luddite nobility who outlawed most technology.

Elliot North has always known her place in this world. Four years ago Elliot refused to run away with her8306761 childhood sweetheart, the servant Kai, choosing duty to her family’s estate over love. Since then the world has changed: a new class of Post-Reductionists is jumpstarting the wheel of progress, and Elliot’s estate is foundering, forcing her to rent land to the mysterious Cloud Fleet, a group of shipbuilders that includes renowned explorer Captain Malakai Wentforth–an almost unrecognizable Kai. And while Elliot wonders if this could be their second chance, Kai seems determined to show Elliot exactly what she gave up when she let him go.

But Elliot soon discovers her old friend carries a secret–one that could change their society . . . or bring it to its knees. And again, she’s faced with a choice: cling to what she’s been raised to believe, or cast her lot with the only boy she’s ever loved, even if she’s lost him forever.

Inspired by Jane Austen’s Persuasion, For Darkness Shows the Stars is a breathtaking romance about opening your mind to the future and your heart to the one person you know can break it.

I’ve had Diana Peterfreund’s For Darkness Shows the Stars on my list for a while, pretty much only because it’s a re-telling of Persuasion by Jane Austen and, as you know, I kind of like Jane Austen. For Darkness Shows the Stars promised to be a funky, high fantasy vision of Persuasion which made me a bit skeptical. I like high fantasy occasionally, and only when it’s really compelling (example: the Graceling series), so the prospect of a Jane Austen fantasy seemed a little much.

That being said, I think Peterfreund pulled it off pretty well! She tells a great story about responsibility and love and how, sometimes, those things shift focus. Her narrative is well-structured and paced and kept me interested. The character of Elliot is easily the strongest part of the book. She is thoughtful and funny and brave and scared all at once—a very real portrait of a person.

My only issue is with the new world that Peterfreund creates. It sounded interesting and complicated and I wanted to learn more about it. Unfortunately, she doesn’t fully explain a lot about their society. I mean, we do know the important parts, but I just wanted more.

You know when you read those books that just kill you, leave you thinking about them for weeks, drive you crazy? For Darkness Shows the Stars was not one of those books. Not every book can leave you dumbfounded. If they did, nothing would get done let’s be honest. All in all, it was an entertaining read and a cool retelling of a classic Jane Austen

What I read during winter break!

Hello there! I’m officially back in Athens, Ohio after winter break for my last semester of college and I’m preventing myself from straight wiggin’ by doing lots of reading. I’m currently in the middle of a pretty rad book (about which I’ll write a separate post later) and it occurred to me that I never wrote about my winter break books! So here we go.

Picture Me Gone by Meg Rosoff

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Picture Me Gone is my first Rosoff, and it was just as heady as I expected it to be. Rosoff has this lyrical, melodic way of writing that, according to Goodreads reviewers, many people don’t like. I think some peopl just feel that she’s trying to do something with her books that’s just not working. But that rhythm of words is what I loved about Picture Me Gone. Rosoff depicts a new and unusual family dynamic and the conflict one has when caught between lies and family, tinged with just the right amount of romance. This is quick read that left me thinking about it and dazed by it for days. I definitely recommend it.

The Yonahlossee Camp for Girls by Anton DiSclafani

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DiSclafani’s book was a big genre jump for me, but I’ve had it on my to-read list for years and I finally got around to reading it. When she published it in 2013, the reviewers loved it, pretty much everywhere, so I had very high expectations. And although the narrative was so strange, it was incredibly compelling. It’s nonlinear, and DiSclafani’s writing is beautiful and mysterious. She’s a creative writing professor at Washington University and I would die to take a class from her. This book is not for the faint of heart, but if you want a lush and provocative novel set in interwar America, this is for you.

I also read A Little Something Different, but I reviewed that here!

Definitely thought I read more, alas. I did, however, meet my Goodreads Challenge of reading 50 books last year, so huzzah! This year, I’m aiming for 65. We’ll see!