Reading the End Bookcast, Ep.71: What We’re Thankful For, and Brit Bennett’s The Mothers

Happy Wednesday, team, and happy early Thanksgiving to all the Americans! This is our sad and subdued post-election podcast in which we nevertheless try to find things to be thankful for. 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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Ask us for our gift book recommendations over at the Holiday Gift Guide! We’ll be giving out recs on the podcast that airs on December 14th, so hurry and get your requests in!

Here’s my tweetstorm about how to be a good ally.

What We’re Reading

Tarcutta Wake, Josephine Rowe
City on Fire, Garth Risk Hallberg
Crooked Kingdom, Leigh Bardugo
The Wangs vs. the World, Jade Chang
Multiple Choice, Alejandro Zambra

(but not The Revolutionaries Try Again)

What We’re Thankful For

My Dad Wrote a Porno podcast
“Seriously,” by Sara Bareilles; performed by Leslie Odom, Jr.
the NBC show The Good Place
Writers I’m grateful for: Ijeoma Iluo, Ann Friedman, Gene Demby, Kat Chow, Wesley Morris, Wesley Lowery, Mychal Denzel Smith, Nikole Hannah-Jones, and Alexandra Petri (“Five Stages of Trump Grief”)

They Can’t Kill Us All, Wesley Lowery
The Reactionary Mind, Corey Robin
The Power Broker, Robert Caro
13th, dir. Ava DuVernay
The New Jim Crow, Michelle Alexander

Trump 2.0 Syllabus and Rape Culture Syllabus from Public Books

Watership Down, Richard Adams
Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi
Gifted, dir. Marc Webb (heartwarming trailer here)
Station Eleven, Emily St. John Mandel

The Mothers, Brit Bennett

After recording the podcast, I found this article where Brit Bennett says she doesn’t want her writing career to be about translating black pain to white audiences. So hey, the thing I liked about this book was a thing she specifically set out to do. Yay!

Additional podcast note: Whiskey Jenny has told me several times that even if she’s dead for five years, it’s not okay by her for me to get with her grieving boyfriend/fiance/husband. We had this discussion when we were watching Arrow together, because I felt that Oliver was being totally unreasonable to object to Laurel dating Tommy. I told Whiskey Jenny she can feel free to get with my person if I have been dead for five years. We differ on this point.

ETA: Mallory Ortberg kind of ruled on this in a recent Dear Prudence column.

(If it helps, I once had a weeks-long, only-sort-of-joking quarrel with a partner about how long each of us should wait for the other if we were lost at sea, so I know the pain of getting suckered into an argument about something that will probably never happen but feels deathly important. The correct answer, by the way, is a baseline six months out of respect/odds of a miraculous ocean rescue, plus one additional week of waiting for every month of the relationship’s duration.)

Get at me on Twitter, email the podcast, and friend me (Gin Jenny) and Whiskey Jenny on Goodreads. Or if you wish, you can find us on iTunes (and if you enjoy the podcast, give us a good rating! We appreciate it very very much).

Producer: Captain Hammer
Photo credit: The Illustrious Annalee
Theme song by: Jessie Barbour

  • Stefanie@SoManyBooks

    Read your wonderful tweetstorm, so good! I had the awkward conversation that turned into an argument about race and police with my mom not long ago. I felt like crap but I couldn’t let it go and refused to back down until she said “well I guess we just disagree” which, how do you respond to that?

    Thanks for the link to the Trump syllabus. I missed that one. Say, are you going to do any “readlong” sorts of things for the rape syllabus? Just wondering cuz if you are count me in. 🙂

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Jeanne

    I am with you. If I am dead for a month, I hope one of my friends wants to get with Ron because otherwise he would have to stay lonely and sad, and I think a month is about the limit for that much sadness in someone I love.

  • Hmmm…the selfish part of me thinks that no one should take my man no matter how long I have been dead. Then there is the part of me that wonders if anyone would actually want him. He’s not the easiest person to love after all. I must give this some more consideration now thanks to you too!

  • JeanPing

    If I die I hope he finds somebody else, and a friend would be fine. I’m pretty sure he’d curl up and die, if he stayed alone.

    As a general thing, men who have been happily married seem to get married again really soon–sooner than most people are comfortable with. I’ve seen it myself.

  • Thanks for the podcast. It’s nice to hear how you are trying to come to terms with what is happening in the United States. I still haven’t returned to my “normal.” I don’t even know what “normal” is now (I’ve honestly had to deal with questions from my kids about why Americans hate families like ours). Like you, I hope our democratic institutions are able to keep the damage to a minimum, but the pessimistic side of me thinks about all of the horrible Reagan Era, Bush I, and Bush II policies and appointments we’re still dealing with (Clarence Thomas, for example). I wish I had a better outlook on this than I do.