Reading the End Bookcast, Ep.3: J. K. Rowling, Standing in Line, and Americanah

This week, the demographically similar Jennys are here to talk about J. K. Rowling’s excited new pseudonym, discuss things we’re willing to stand in line for, review Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah (affiliate links: Amazon, B&N, Book Depository), PLAY A GAME, and update you on a new polar explorer we read up on! You can listen to the podcast in the embedded player below or download the file directly here to take with you on the go.

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Or if you wish, you can find us on iTunes (and if you enjoy the podcast, give us a good rating! We will appreciate it very very much).

If you want to skip around, here are the contents of the podcast:

1:15: Slander. I have not been trash-talking Whiskey Jenny all week (or at all).

Starting at 1:30: J. K. Rowling has published a book under a pseudonym! We discuss this thrilling news; weirdly elaborate fictional author bios; the lack of intrigue in the publishing profession; and whether Rita Skeeter is worse than Snape (she is not).

(6:24 – 6:32: Harry Potter spoiler. But you should already have read these books, for real.)

Starting at 7:38: We talk about things we’re willing to stand in line for. Yeses include concerts, select food items (but we don’t really know which ones), and sporting events. Noes include cronuts. Hell with you, cronuts. Nobody needs you.

Starting at 14:46: We review Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah (affiliate links: Amazon, B&N, Book Depository), a book I have been excited to talk to Whiskey Jenny about for over a month now. I was worried that she wouldn’t like it (I can’t always predict her reading tastes), but as you will hear, she loved it! The Terry Gross interview I mentioned can be found here.

Starting at 23:40: Some spoilers. It’s not an awfully spoilable book, I don’t think, but anyway, there are some things we talk about in this section that occur after the first quarter of the book. Which I guess counts as spoilers? As ever spoilers baffle me.

Starting at 32:47: GAME TIME! Randon (Captain Hammer) moderates this Sporcle quiz.

(38:54: Please recommend other books that take place in Afghanistan. I want to rectify this baleful state of affairs.)

Starting at 46:15: A polar explorers update (as proposed by Anastasia) on Robert Peary, the Ben Roethlisberger of polar explorers, which is to say, not the guy you’d take as a first or second draft pick in your fantasy polar exploration league, and also an awful person. The page of polar firsts on Wikipedia can be found here.

Starting at 57:13: Closing remarks and outro. If you have any comments, questions, or concerns, please send them to us at readingtheend (at) gmail (dot) com.

Note that the next podcast, which will be posted on 7 August, will be a VERY SPECIAL COMICS PODCAST. Randon and I will be discussing the enduringly wonderful Hawkeye comic by Matt Fraction and David Aja, as well as Brian Michael Bendis’s current run on All-New X-Men. We’d love for you to read along with us and send us your thoughts!

Credits
Producer: Captain Hammer
Photo credit: andreybl / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND
Song is by Jeff MacDougall and comes from here.
The above links to books we’ve discussed are affiliate links. If you click on them and then buy a book from that website, I get a very small amount of money. This in no way influences my reviews.

  • Okay, now I am VERY interested in Americanah. Was not expecting funny, somehow, from an African author (I think of them as very very serious. Who knew that Nigerians are NEVER serious? Clearly, I need to get out more.)

  • I haven’t listened, just skimmed the outline, and I must say that I truly and utterly loathe Rita Skeeter. I can’t decide on the worse than Snape thing since I actually sort of feel for him… but I wish she would stay a bug!

  • Christie

    You just have to read _The Worst Journey in the World_ by Apsley Cherry-Garrard. It’s about a (fairly unsuccessful) journey to reach the South Pole and it is really one of the best books ever. If Robert Peary is the Ben Roethlisberger of polar exploration, this guy is the Drew Brees.

  • Nat

    I love Snape! But yeah, Umbridge is the worst. I don’t believe in the death penalty, but man, every time I read about Umbridge I start screaming TO THE GALLOWS…

    ANYway, have any of you listened to the Caustic Soda Podcast’s episodes on Doomed Expeditions? They include a few examples of polar explorers (and they’re all awful)
    http://www.causticsodapodcast.com/2011/11/28/doomed-expeditions-part-1/
    http://www.causticsodapodcast.com/2011/12/04/doomed-expeditions-part-2/

  • Ooh, I have a book set in Afghanistan to recommend! The Places In Between, in which a young Scottish man walks across Afghanistan in the winter of 2002. Everyone tells him he is crazy and will probably die, but (spoiler) he doesn’t. OK, not a spoiler, since he wrote the book. Anyway, I very much enjoyed it.

    • Gin Jenny

      Awesome, thank you! I will check it out. 🙂