Book Fight

This is the last week for our Fall of Failure. We're reading a short, unconventional essay by Brian Oliu called "As Is," in which the author attempts to sell his torso via ebay. We're also talking about the psychology of failure. Why do we feel the need to attach a narrative to our personal and collective failures, and what can we learn from the particular narrative we choose? 

For more, visit us online at bookfightpod.com

Direct download: Failure8_Oliu.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EST

Pour yourself some eggnog, light a fire, and curl up with a couple Christmas books of questionable quality. As we have the last two years, we're taking a break from our usual reading list to check out some mass-market Christmas tales. This year's selections: Janet Evanovich's Visions of Sugar Plums, and Jennifer Bernard's It's A Wonderful Fireman.

 

Direct download: ChristmasSpectacular_2014a.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EST

This week's story is Stefan Zweig's "The Royal Game," which he sent off to his publisher along with the manuscript of his memoir and also his suicide note. We also talk about a variety of failed comebacks, including the rather remarkable story of America's late-19th-century King of Gum.

For more, check us out online at bookfightpod.com

Direct download: FailureEp7_Zweig.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EST

In keeping with our fall theme, this week we're reading a memoir about failure: personal, professional, artistic ... basically all the failures. Greg Baxter moved to Dublin after failing to sell his first novel, got divorced, and wrote a memoir while essentially attempting to destroy his own life. 

In addition to the book discussion, we've got a new installment of Raccoon News, and we once again delve into the NaNoWriMo forums.

For more, visit us at bookfightpod.com

Direct download: Ep74_Baxter_PreparationForDeath.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EST

Our short story this week is called "Here I Am," about a man who goes on living after his head is separated from his body. We also talk about artistic failures: in particular, the story of Poe's vengeful nemesis, and why those treacly lists of "famous failures" bug us so much. For more, visit our website at bookfightpod.com

Direct download: FailureEp6_Hoyt.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EST

We're joined this week by Gina Myers (poet, reviewer, recent transplant to Philadelphia) to discuss Mark Binelli's examination of Detroit. Binelli grew up in and around the city, and returned to live in its Eastern Market neighborhood, meet some locals, and investigate what was going right, and wrong, in the city that's become America's favorite allegory. 

Direct download: Ep_73-Binelli_DetroitCityIsPlaceToBe.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EST

This week we're reading Kevin Sampsell's essay "I'm Jumping Off The Bridge" and talking about failed utopias: shakers, fruit-lovers, dangerous cults, and more.

For more, visit us at bookfightpod.com.

Direct download: FailureEp5_Sampsell.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EST

This week's book is a Tom pick, and was also the runner-up in last year's listener poll, narrowly losing out to The Silver Linings Playbook. Also: it's November, so we're once again talking about National Novel Writing Month, delving into the NaNoWriMo forums to see what this year's participants are struggling with.

Direct download: Ep72_Mangla.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EST

This week's essay is a Tom pick, an essay by Eula Biss called "Time and Distance Overcome," which is about, among other things, early telephone technology, resistance to telephone poles, and the widespread lynching of black men in early 20th century America.

We're also talking about failed amusement parks this week: parks that were proposed but never built, and some that probably shouldn't have been built, including a wild-animal safari in New Jersey and Dickens World in the UK.

For more, visit us online at bookfightpod.com

Direct download: FailureEp4_Biss.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EST

This week we're discussing a novel that hit an awful lot of Best of 2013 lists, about a man who puts his young daughter into a Mini Cooper and runs away from his wife and--in a certain sense--himself. Also: Another installment of Raccoon News, plus Sticks & Stones. For more, check out our website, bookfightpod.com

Direct download: Ep71-Gaige_Schroder.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EST