Reading the End Bookcast, Ep.6: Defying Genre; We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves; and J. J. Abrams’s Book Trailer

We have returned once again to talk about more books! This week, we have a discussion about genre and how to make it better (spoiler alert: WHOLE TABLES OF BOARDING SCHOOL BOOKS), review Karen Joy Fowler’s We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves (affiliate links: Amazon, B&N, Book Depository), and answer a listener question about book trailers. Except we say “reader question” in the podcast. We have no idea why we keep saying that. We know you are listeners. We know that.

You can listen to the podcast in the embedded player below or download the file directly to take with you on the go.

Episode 7

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:

Starting at 1:17 – We talk about genre distinctions, which we feel should be more specific in order to make us happy, although we do recognize that if there was a Boarding School Books section at the bookstore, Gin Jenny would never read anything else. Please tell us what your super-specific Netflix genres are! Edited to add: I found this interesting article about how Netflix collects data about what you watch and uses it to recommend more things.

4:46: It IS, and their recommendation feature is here. It has been refined since I last used it — now you can provide them with up to four books that you already like, and they’ll give you ever-carefuler recommendations. Of course it isn’t perfect. I asked it what books I would like if I liked Kage Baker’s Company series, and it thought I might enjoy a book about developing agility and quickness. But I asked what else I would like if I liked The Sparrow and We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, and it recommended me Octavia Butler and Sheri Tepper. So that seems pretty good.

Starting at 15:07: We review We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves. I really liked this one, and I recommend it highly.

34:04: I have an amazingly difficult time saying the word expedition and the name James Tiptree Jr. Not sure what’s up here. Usually my articulation is excellent.

Starting at 36:48 – We answer a listener question about book trailers. Mia asked us (thanks, Mia!) whether we had seen the new JJ Abrams trailer, and what we thought about that marketing strategy plus what we thought about book trailers generally. Here’s the one-minute Abrams teaser, plus a second trailer.

Starting at 43:33 – Whiskey Jenny recommends our book for next time! It’s The Virgins, by Pamela Erens, and I’m looking forward to reading it.

45:03 – Closing remarks and outro.

Photo credit: andreybl / / CC BY-NC-ND
Song is by Jeff MacDougall and comes from here.

13 thoughts on “Reading the End Bookcast, Ep.6: Defying Genre; We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves; and J. J. Abrams’s Book Trailer”

  1. As I was editing the podcast, I kept trying to think of books in terms of Netflix categories. I’m pretty sure I’d be signed on for things like “Dystopian books that feature bartering and modern people trying to figure out agriculture” or “Books featuring a “fellowship” traveling towards a certain place”. Or “Books featuring characters who are pretty much Han Solo.”

    1. I’m realizing now I forgot to mention Oyster! I should have — I bet they’ll end up with lots of Netflix-like categories. That would be amazing. I would pay the subscription fee just for the recommendations if they ended up with a good algorithm.

  2. I am so upset by what the [fictional] family did to all THREE kids that I don’t think I could read this. It is ridiculously sad. But you Jennies make me laugh, and I am in total agreement about genre tables. I would definitely look at the Myths And Fairy Tales Brought To Life In Modern Times In Incredibly Poignant Ways That Tell WAY MORE Of The Story table.

    1. Truly, it’s not SO sad. It’s really funny in a lot of places. I could bring it home next time I visit? Along with the eleventy trillion other books I’ve promised to bring home? :p

  3. I am so very glad you enjoyed We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, as I wanted to read it very much before I heard you endorse it, and now I want to read it even more, though I’d doubted such a thing would be possible. Yay to the power of the Jennies!

  4. I totally want to read We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves BECAUSE of the “my sister is a monkey” thing, so in that case the spoiler-ish thing worked!

    Also! ALSO! I feel that a lot of my genres would overlap with Gin Jenny’s (BOARDING SCHOOLS OMG, and more specifically WWII era boarding schools with plucky heroines?) but I have these ones, too:

    – interwar mysteries featuring aristocratic people and their servants
    – Napoleonic Era high seas adventures with brooding men
    – mid-to-late-20th century children being freaked out by things that could be coincidences and thus harmless but might ALSO be demons/ghosts/witches/etc.

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