Book Fight

Kind of a tease this week: a free preview of a special episode you can get by being a donor to our show's annual fund drive. If you'd like to get the full episode, just visit us at and click on the piggy bank. We'll be back next week with a regular episode to kick off the new year.

Direct download: BonusEpisodePreview.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:22pm EDT

What's that under the tree? Is it a very special episode of your favorite literature-adjacent podcast? (Spoiler: it is.) Since last year's Christmas episode was such a fan favorite, this year we're back with another supersized, end-of-the-year holiday blowout. We've read two books--one a steamy, Christmas-themed romance, the other ... some dumb thing by James Patterson. Both of which we'll dissect for your entertainment. So throw another yule log on the fire, add an extra shot of brandy to your eggnog, and tune out your loved ones by listening to the dulcet tones of your two favorite podcasters as they get increasingly angry about crimes against both Christmas and literature.

Direct download: Ep50-2013ChristmasSpectacular.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

We welcome back special guest Jaime Fountaine for this week's Writers Ask episode, during which we pepper her with questions about how to run a successful reading series. We also talk about using real names in nonfiction, and subject Jaime to the patented Book Fight Lightning Round. 

You've got until the end of the month to donate to our fund drive, if you want your donation to count toward our goal (and toward us reading whatever ridiculous book our listeners force on us). Visit us online at to make your tax-deductible donation today. Thanks!

Direct download: WritersAsk-LivinOnMaybes.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

We welcome special guest Jaime Fountaine to discuss the 1976 novel The Easter Parade, a beautifully sad story about two sisters whose lives are ... well, pretty sad. Talking points include: sweatpant jeans, New Yorker fiction, South Philly style, art school, and erectile dysfunction. Plus we debut a new segment: What's In The Bag? 

Direct download: Ep49-RichardYates_EasterParade.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

Another super-sized Writers Ask this week, not so much because we're answering lots of questions but because we've got lots of opinions. Do you want to know what Tom thinks about the television show The View? Do you want to hear about the time in college when Mike was on a Dating Game-style game show in his dorm? Would you like some literary blind items about bad readings? If so, this is the episode for you. Also, we (nominally) answer some listener questions about, like, writing and junk.

Direct download: WritersAsk-AngryPeacocks.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

Tom introduces Mike to the Sherlock Holmes universe, which up till now he's known only through various parodies. And Mike wants to know: Is Sherlock Holmes supposed to be a giant dick? We also workshop some new segment ideas for the show, including Q-Tips and Speaking Truth to Power. And Tom mansplains his opinion on mansplaining. 

Direct download: Ep48-ArthurConanDoyle_HoundofBaskervilles.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

A super-sized episode this week. We answer a couple questions about MFA programs, then we dive headfirst into National Novel Writing Month. Mike reads an excerpt of his novel-in-progress, and we field questions from the official NaNoWriMo message boards: how to name characters, how to manhandle a dinosaur, what to do with time-travel skills, and many many more. 

We're knee-deep in our annual fundraising efforts, and with your help we can become head-deep. Head-deep? Is that how that metaphor works? Either way, please give us some money! You can do so online, at Thanks!

Direct download: WritersAsk_Running_a_train.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

A jam-packed episode this week. We talk about the first of Updike's Rabbit books, Mike gives an update on his NaNoWriMo adventure, we consider whether quality television dramas are putting the heat on novelists, and we've also got our first-ever Rating Reconsidered. Buckle up!

For more, and to donate to our fund drive, visit us online at 

Direct download: Ep47-JohnUpdike_RabbitRun.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Last year we made fun of National Novel Writing Month, but this year Mike is actually thinking about participating, and he's got until the end of the episode to make a decision. Will trying to write a "novel" in 30 days get him out of his funk, or drive him deeper into despair? We also answer--okay, mostly make fun of--actual questions being asked by Nanowrimo participants. Strap yourselves in, listeners, this one gets a little nuts. For more, check us out online at

Direct download: WritersAsk-Your19thNervousBreakdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

Well, it finally happened: we had to re-record an episode because the usually trusty Book Fight laptop ate our first effort. Technological woes aside, this week we're talking about Cat's Cradle, a book we both read as teenagers and are revisiting now as adults. We also discuss the behavioral proclivities of haters, beer can design, and why you should give us some of your hard-earned money. 

Direct download: Ep_46-Kurt_Vonnegut_Cats_Cradle.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT