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.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

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.

Reading the End Bookcast, Ep.2: Sarah Dessen, The Kings and Queens of Roam, and A GAME

And now, the second podcast you’ve all (hopefully) been waiting for! This week, the demographically similar Jennys are here to update you on Claire Messud, report on an author event attended by Whiskey Jenny, review Daniel Wallace’s The Kings and Queens of Roam, and answer your mail! You can listen to the podcast in the embedded player below or download the file directly here to take with you on the go.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

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:

1:30: I provide an update on why the question Claire Messud was asked in the Publishers Weekly interview (discussed in our last podcast) was even more annoying than it appeared at first glance.

3:05: Whiskey Jenny went to a reading with Sarah Dessen and several other YA authors, and she reports back to us on how that went and what was said.

8:32: We poke fun at ourselves for saying “lovely” and “charming” too much. We’re sorry. We’re trying to cut back.

8:38: We review Daniel Wallace’s new book The Kings and Queens of Roam (Amazon, B&N, Book Depository). There are some spoilers in this review, which we do flag before we go ahead with them, but just so you’ll be warned, I’ll give you the time signatures. Spoilers occur between 12:42 and 13:55.

16:51 – I explain why, contrary to what you probably learned in history class, Thomas a Becket was kind of a jerk and needed to be stopped. Not with death. But maybe with defrocking? He really was being a prat. If I were Henry II I would have been frustrated too. You can skip this. It’s not that relevant to the review of The Kings and Queens of Roam (it’s a smidge relevant but that’s it). I just needed to get the truth out there. The play that I’m quoting from is Christopher Fry’s wonderful Curtmantle (Amazon, B&N, Book Depository).

18:41 – Our review of The Kings and Queens of Roam continues.

22:40 – WE PLAY A GAME. In case this is unclear, the answers are being revealed to us as we go along by our producer, who speaks in my ear. Next time, to make it a little more fair, we’re going to have Captain Hammer read the quiz, and that way we’ll both be hearing the questions at the same time. Also it will make more sense for you, our listeners.

27:39 – In the course of the game, I make a super dumb mistake. Please try not to judge me. I wanted to cut this bit out, but Captain Hammer thought it was funny. In the end I decided it would be humbling and thus improving to my character to leave it in.

29:28 – The correct pronunciation of the guy’s last name is CHAY-peck. So now we all know.

29:51 – Non-Imaginary Listener Mail! If you have any comments, questions, or concerns, please send them to us at readingtheend (at) gmail (dot) com.

30:35 – During our responses to one piece of Listener Mail, I mention Patton Oswalt’s filibuster on Parks and Recreation. Believe me when I say that it is worth watching in its entirety, and not just because it gives you a sense of how to talk about books at parties in a way that will make people back away from you slowly.

35:24 – Closing remarks, new book recommendation by Whiskey Jenny, and outro.

As a reminder, the next book we’ll be discussing will be Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s wonderful Americanah. If you would like to read along with us and send us your two cents for the next podcast, we’d be delighted to hear 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.

Reading the End Bookcast, Ep.1: Jennifer Weiner, Where’d You Go Bernadette, and Arctic explorers

At last, at last, the promised podcast commences! Welcome to our inaugural (and slightly disorganized) Reading the End Bookcast (with the demographically similar Jennys). You can listen to the podcast in the embedded player below or download the file directly here to take with you on the go.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Or if you wish, you can find us on iTunes.

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

Starting at 0:43 – Jennifer Weiner and Claire Messud are NEMESES. (NB they are not actually nemeses) Here is the (Publishers Weekly, not New Yorker! sorry, I got that wrong) interview in which Claire Messud is asked about whether you’d want to be friends with her protagonist. Here is the follow-up in which Claire Messud says the annoying thing about serious endeavor. Here is Jennifer Weiner’s response, and here is the history of Jennifer Weiner’s literary fights.

We also talk about the VIDA study about the presence of women in literary review sections of various periodicals. The 2012 study can be found here, if you don’t mind being made depressed.

Starting at 16:20 – We discuss the interactive webseries Welcome to Sanditon, by the creators of the marvelous Lizzie Bennet Diaries. You may notice a change in sound quality — that’s because we recorded this segment later, after we had acquired our fancy microphones.

Starting at 22:55 – We review Where’d You Go, Bernadette (Book Depository, B&N, Amazon), a book we both adored. I confirm herein that the author, Maria Semple, is indeed a TV writer but appears to have been a producer, and not a writer, on Arrested Development.

Starting at 34:10 – In the midst of reviewing Where’d You Go, Bernadette, Whiskey Jenny takes a beat to tell us some fun information about polar explorers. Specifically, Ernest Shackleton.

Starting at 37:49 – We recommend books to each other for the next podcast. We had this idea that we would review two books per podcast, but that turns out to be tricky, so we’ve given it up (for now). Our recommendations:

Starting at 45:27 – Closing remarks and outro

If you wish to get in touch with us to make recommendations or ask questions, we would be delighted to have you do so! Get in touch with us at readingtheend (at) gmail (dot) com. WE LOVE QUESTIONS. Also comments. Also recommendations.

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.