Book Fight

It's our last Winter of Wayback episode before we have to finally admit that spring has sprung. This week we're traveling to 1916, where we read a P.G. Wodehouse story ("Jeeves Takes Charge"). We also talk about art manifestos, and speculate about why there aren't any these days. Other topics covered include: elephant executions, the most lopsided college football game of all time, terrorist acts, taxes, and the early years of Piggly Wiggly.

You can read the Wodehouse story at this link: "Jeeves Takes Charge." And you can learn more about the show, and get links to some of what we talked about in today's episode, at our website,

Direct download: WinterEp7_1916.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

This week's book is an addiction and recovery memoir by celebrated journalist David Carr, who recently lost a battle with cancer (after surviving lymphoma, as detailed in the book). Carr takes an unusual vector through his own drug-fueled past, employing the skills he learned as a journalist to interview friends, family, colleagues and lovers, in an attempt to piece together an account of his own life more objective than what he could glean from memory alone.

In the second half of the show, we dip into the ol' mailbag. We've got a question about submitting your work for publication, and one about the recent Harper Lee news. Plus a listener calls us out on our anti-Meatloaf bias.

For more, including links to things we talked about on the show, and your chance to nominate a book for an upcoming bonus episode, visit us online at

Direct download: Ep81_Carr_NightOfTheGun.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

A bit of a reading detour this week as we take up two stories from pulp writer Robert E. Howard, who invented both Conan the Barbarian and Sailor Steve Costigan, the sailor who loved to fight. We also talk about the origins of both Goofy and Betty Boop, Australia's "emu war," and Olympian/professional golfer Babe Didrikson. Everything you ever wanted to know about 1932!

For more, including video clips of cartoons and other stuff we talked about, visit us online at

Direct download: WinterEp6-1932.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

We're joined this week by Dave Housley (author of the new story collection If I Knew The Way, I Would Take You Home) to discuss Nathan Rabin's 2013 book investigating the cult followings of both Phish and Insane Clown Posse. The book tracks Rabin's experiences at several Phish shows and the annual Gathering of the Juggalos, as well as his near-breakdown during what sounds like a pretty rough year.

We also talk about Dave's obsession with aliens, and his Twitter friendship with several members of the alien network MUFON. Plus: a new segment called "Things Mike Found in Tom's House."

Direct download: Ep80_Rabin_YouDontKnowMe.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

This week we're traveling back to 1944, reading a Raymond Chandler essay about what makes a good story, and talking about various events not related to D-Day, because we're pretty sure that's been covered at this point. Instead we'll tell you about the origins of the Chiquita Banana song, a racially motivated labor strike in Philadelphia, Paul McCartney's lesser-known musician brother, and Miss America 1944's later career as a finger-wagger and gun owner. For more, including links to some of the things we talked about in the episode, visit us online at

Direct download: WinterEp5_1944.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT