Book Fight

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,

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

This week we're talking about the story "Strawberry Lipstick" from Kseniya Melnik's debut collection, Snow in May, published this spring by Macmillan. We're also, in keeping with our Fall of Failure theme, talking about failed dog breeds, including the "turnspit," a dog people used to put in the oven, because humans are garbage monsters. Talking points include: long stories, post-Stalin Russia, class warfare, eugenics, and why The Melting Pot is a ripoff. Find more at our website,

Direct download: FailureEp3_Melnick.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

This week we're reading Faulkner's As I Lay Dying. We talk about stream-of-consciousness narration, and whether the book should be considered a comedy. Also lots of other stuff. For more, including links to our weekly recommendations, check out our website at

Direct download: Ep70-Faulkner_AsILayDying.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

Our first-ever live episode, recorded at The Spiral Bookcase in Manayunk, just outside Center City Philadelphia and a few blocks from Tom's ancestral home. We're joined by Ann Tetreault (owner of the bookstore in question), Joey Sweeney (writer, musician, founder of, Katherine Hill (fan favorite, author of The Violet Hour) and Lee Klein (author of Thanks and Sorry and Good Luck, and The Shimmering Go-Between). 

We talk publishing, book-selling, offensive mascots, Philadelphia's culture of protest, Kickstarter annoyances, street fights, rejection, and rebounding from failure. Plus there's live music, audience interaction, and a cat (spoiler: you can't hear the cat).

For more, visit us online at

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