Book Fight

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 

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

I know you probably think we forgot, but we did not forget. Here at the close of November, we're bringing you a special bonus episode for National Novel Writing Month 2016. We take our usual dive into the NaNoWriMo forums to see what the Wrimers are struggling with this year. What kinds of food should the characters eat in your fantasy world? Where do robots go on dates? And much, much more. 

Direct download: BonusEp_NaNoWriMo_2016.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:37am EDT