Book Fight (general)

This novel combines elements of familiar fairy tales and mythic narratives to create a world that feels pretty original. It's a dark world, and a pretty sad one, yet the book also has a sense of humor, and a strong sense of play. 

We also talk about raccoons, since that's a thing we do, and we mark the return of a long lost segment that has to do with Tom's pants.

Direct download: Ep165_BookOfLostThings.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

L.H. Sintetos had a story featured in the 1978 Best American Short Stories anthology and then seemed to disappear from the literary world. Which is especially surprising, given how good the story is. We talk about why we like "Telling the Bees," and we try to figure out what happened to its author. Plus, plenty of other 1978-themed stuff: political turmoil in Philadelphia, serial killers, a Pope conspiracy, an owl man, and GREASE! 

For more, visit us online at bookfightpod.com. 

Direct download: Ep164_Winter17_1978.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

Our book this week is about a young woman whose life was ripped apart by the Yugoslav Civil War, which took her parents and turned her, briefly, into a child soldier, before she made it to Philadelphia, where she tried her best to put her past in the past and move on with her life as an American. 

In the second half of the show, it's the triumphant return of Fan Fiction Corner. Ever wonder what kind of fan fiction people are writing about HGTV shows? No? Well, you're going to find out anyway!

Direct download: Ep163_GirlAtWar.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

This week we're traveling back to 1988 to read a story by Mary LaChapelle, who that year won a Whiting Award and had her debut story collection praised in a number of publications, including The New York Times. Since then, LaChapelle has published nothing that we could find. We talk about her story "Anna in a Small Town," about a mime and a giant, and cover some other crucial 1988 news, including a Philadelphia garbage barge that went on a world tour, and why ALF was a lot more fun to watch than to work on.

For more, visit us online at bookfightpod.com

Direct download: Ep162_Winter17_1988.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

We've talked about Jennifer Weiner on the show before, usually when she's written (or tweeted) something that's caused a stir in the literary world, or when she and Jonathan Franzen have gotten into one of their famously catty spats. We also read one of her stories back in the Spring of Success. But this is the first time we've dived into one of her novels. She's argued that her work is unfairly pigeonholed, and so we were curious to check it out for ourselves.

For more, visit us online at bookfightpod.com

Direct download: Ep161_Weiner_GoodInBed.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

Our first Winter of Wayback episode for 2017! We're time-traveling back to 1966, a year when the Beatles were bigger than Jesus, the Church of Satan was founded, and Philip K. Dick published the short story that would later be the basis for the movie Total Recall. 

Direct download: Ep160_Winter2017_1966.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

As is our holiday tradition, we've got two Christmas books this week in a jam-packed, super-sized episode of Book Fight. First we talk about a novel ostensibly about Christmas but really more about punching and shooting and also racism towards Native Americans. In the second half of the show we talk about a sexy Christmas romance novella in which an undercover cop and a fake stripper fall in love (and have SO much sex it's a wonder their privates didn't fall right off). We've also got a very special guest joining us for the second half of the show. We can't tell you who it is, but longtime listeners will be VERY excited.

Direct download: Ep159_Christmas_2016.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

This week, prompted by a book that's been named to a bunch of Best of 2016 lists, we talk about how those lists are constructed, and whether they're a good representation of a given year's literature. We also talk about empathizing with murderous characters, and novels that portray contemporary political events. In the second half of the show, we try out some snacks that were sent to us by a listener in Japan, including some boozy Kit Kats, a drink that looks like watery milk, and some dried and salted fish.

Thanks to this week's sponsor, M.B. Manthe, whose poetry and publishing projects you can learn more about at her site.

Direct download: Ep158_Mahajan_SmallBombs.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

This week's story is about an aging boxer who just wants one last payday (and a big juicy steak). But first he'll have to use all his wiles to defeat a younger, fitter opponent. We also enjoy a grab bag of snacks that are new to us, including Faygo Red Pop, Chocodiles, and some weird and, frankly, unsettling 7-11 chips.

 

Direct download: Ep157_Fall16_JackLondon.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

We welcome guest Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib (author of, most recently, The Crown Ain't Worth Much) to talk about the collected writings of music critic Lester Bangs, assembled as a book after Bangs's death. We talk about good music writing versus bad music writing, how to make an argument about things you love and things you hate, how to keep nostalgia in its proper place, and why the NBA is a better ethical choice for sports fans than the NFL. 

For more, visit us online at bookfightpod.com. 

Direct download: Ep156_LesterBangs_PsychoticReactions.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT