Reading the End Bookcast, Ep.22: Books for Travel and Marissa Meyer’s Cinder and Scarlet

We couldn’t think of a good game for this episode, but we think you’ll enjoy it anyway. As we head into summer, the Jennys take some time to discuss the types of books you want to read when you’re traveling, and we review the fun and silly books Cinder and Scarlet, the first two in a planned quartet of fairy tale retellings by Marissa Meyer (not to be confused with Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo). 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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Here are the contents of the podcast if you’d like to skip around!

Starting at 1:06 – We discuss literary happenings! Penny Dreadful (watch it here!) is great so far, and I’m very psyched to watch the second episode. The team behind the Lizzie Bennet Diaries has announced a new series for the fall, in partnership with PBS, and it’s Frankenstein MD, in which scientist Victoria Frankenstein works to prove herself in a male-dominated field (squeeeeee!). And last but very much not least, Karen Joy Fowler won the PEN/Faulkner Prize for We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, a book Whiskey Jenny and I raved about in an earlier podcast.

Starting at 10:05 – We talk about the types of books we read when we’re traveling! Take to the comments, dear listeners, and tell us what you like to read while traveling, and what you like to read during your vacations. Any particularly glorious vacation reading memories to share?

Starting at 24:50 – We read Cinder (affiliate links: Amazon, B&N, Book Depository) and Scarlet (affiliate links: Amazon, B&N, Book Depository), described by Whiskey Jenny as “fluffy and not terrible”. In spite of the books not being the greatest things we ever read, we both enjoyed the books a lot and are excited to read the third one, Cress.

At 41:42 – What fairy tales do you wish would get more play in retellings? Tell us in the comments, readers! Whiskey Jenny came up with “Toads and Diamonds,” “The Goose Girl,” and “Little One-Eye, Little Two-Eyes, and Little Three-Eyes,” and I put in a pitch for “The Six Swans,” as I always do because I love that m.f. story.

42:57 – AHA. I FOUND IT. It’s a story called “How I Came to Marry a Herpetologist,” by Nina Kiriki Hoffman, and it was in a short story collection called Twice upon a Time, which I used to own but now it has vanished into the mists of history.

47:08 – Here’s the Karen Joy Fowler short story adaptation of “The Six Swans.” I read it in the wonderful collection My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me, it is called “Halfway People” and contains a line about having a halfway heart that totally wrecks me. Read it here.

47:26 – Recommendation for next time! We’ll be reading if on a winter’s night a traveler, because we like to keep you on your toes. We don’t want you to ever feel like our reading lacks variety.

48:10 – Closing remarks and outro

Credits
Producer: Captain Hammer
Photo credit: The Illustrious Annalee
Song is by Jeff MacDougall and comes from here.

  • I am ALWAYS confusing the Marissas. So glad I’m not alone.

    I LOVE ME SOME Nina Kiriki Hoffman. I can’t wait to listen to this podcast. So excited to see all the fairy tale stuffs! And geez, I wish I had Showtime.

  • anna

    Really, Goose Girl? Others I support, PARTICULARLY 6 swans (hands down one of my favoritest) and toads and diamonds.

  • I am so excited for Frankenstein MD, partly because I have a weird soft spot for that book and partly because I think it’s going to be an amazing adaptation with a female Frankenstein.

    When I travel I tend to look for books that are easy to read. They don’t have to be simple, but they do have to be easy to slip in and out of since I tend to get distracted a lot.

  • I cannot believe you (either of you) haven’t read Toads & Diamonds by Heather Tomlinson! It’s so great!

  • Okay, I have to confess that I had fallen behind on the podcast and am binge-listening to catch up. I’m pretty sure I was muttering to myself about this one as I was walking up Fifth Avenue this morning. Several things: 1) I can’t believe there was a discussion about fairy tale adaptations without mentioning my very favorite fairy tale The Snow Queen and Disney’s recent pseudo-adaptation Frozen. I love that story with a burning passion and probably won’t see the movie because of it, even though I’d probably like it. 2) My favorite book dealing with Andersen fairy tales is not an adaptation exactly but one wrestling with some of the issues — Kathryn Davies’ The Girl Who Trod on a Loaf. I hesitate to recommend it because no one seems to love this book as much as I do. As an added bonus, it has some of the best descriptive writing about music I’ve ever seen in a novel — something that can kill a book for me when it goes awry, as it often does. 3) I’m curious, Gin Jenny, about your feelings about Oscar Wilde’s fairy tales.