Foofer & the Magic Mischa (Short Tales Book 7)

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The fact that David and Maritya are both heading on a collision course adds the mystery to this novel. It's not a face-paced thrilling read, but I found it extremely interesting and moving. Stephen King chose a good one to rave about. Aug 09, Aj rated it really liked it. Fieldwork by Mischa Berlinski is a well-crafted, absorbing novel that fuses travel, anthropology and mystery.

In many respects it feels a bit like a Paul Theroux travelogue, albeit Berlinski is far kinder to most of his subjects. And while this is a work of fiction, the main character certainly bears a strong resemblance to the author in more than just name.

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How do I know this? I worked with Mischa briefly in His speech has a particular cadence, a roller coaster of speed from slow drawls to excited animation and his wit, usually dry and mellow, can also reach an acid exasperation at times. Fieldwork captures the essence of Mischa quite well, giving great life to the novel. Fieldwork follows Mischa, a rather aimless young man, who has tagged along with his girlfriend to Thailand. Amid the odd writing assignments Mischa learns about the story of Martiya van der Leun, a Dutch Malaysian anthropologist who murdered a Christian missionary.

Fieldwork is not a who-dunnit but is, instead, a why-dunnit. Read my entire review of Fieldwork at the Used Books Blog. Oct 12, Lauren rated it liked it Shelves: Fieldwork is rich in scene and setting, and from the very beginning has this intriguing thread that makes the reader want to continue. Then Berlinski, who inserts himself into the story but somehow still fictionalized? That's the story I and probably most of the readership wanted, but had to wait for. Piecing together a life based on other people's impressions, observations, and interactions; it's been done before, and it is done in an interesting way here.

So, gives that "fieldwork" title several new connotations. Honestly, I didn't know whether I should be angry or impressed that he Berlinski was able to get away with this. But I guess it was enough to keep me going My 3-star rating is more like a 3. View all 4 comments. Mar 24, Darcy rated it really liked it.

This story was excellent The anthropologists in this story doing "fieldwork" studying tribes, culture and human behavior were awe-inspiring. The author himself was clearly an anthropologist of sorts and this novel seemed a study of the intricacies of human beings and he seemed driven by a deep curiosity about why someone is compelled to do something.

I happily went along for the ride. The only reason I am not giving this five stars is This story was excellent The only reason I am not giving this five stars is because the ending left me hanging Life is complicated and varied and layered as we all are. So warned, I began, and was immediately swept into this wonderfully digressive semi-fictional portrait of expats, missionaries, and the hill tribes of northern Thailand. What is and isn't fiction here was part of what made this book so compelling for me. Mischa Berlinski is both the name of the author and the protagonist apparently a postmodern trope?

The level of cultural detail described seems enormous for a work of pure fiction, and the somewhat excessive number of finely-described and idiosyncratic characters gives the sense that the author was working from notes rather than imagination. Turns out there is a lot of non-fiction here: Wikipedia searches into the cultural practices and history of the hill tribes Lisu , Hmong , Mien , Karen , Lahu , and Akha suggests the Dyalo culture and the Walker family history were both syntheses of actual hill tribes and missionary families in the region.

Berlinski's descriptions of Chang Mai and Berkeley are from personal experience. But none of this diminishes what seems like a genuine talent for characterization and verisimilitude. I think it's a bit excessive to call this a "novel of ideas" as it was described by the LA Times.

There are, as they point out, ideas there faith vs.

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I do agree with their point that Berlinski doggedly and laudably refuses to cartoon any of his characters, who include among their number Bible literalists and highfalutin anthropologists, low hanging fruit for cartooning if ever there were any. And, on the whole, the writing was unobtrusive and the stories were sufficiently captivating to keep me turning pages, and maybe learning a bit about Thailand along the way. In an afterword to this novel, the author notes that at first he was going to write a nonfiction book about Christian missionary work among a Thai native tribe, but then changed his mind.

I'm so glad he did. Fieldwork is one of those rare novels that comes along in which the quality of writing is simply exquisite. The story is good, well plotted and holds throughout the novel, and the thread of continuity never gets lost among the details. It's also obvious that the author did a great deal of res In an afterword to this novel, the author notes that at first he was going to write a nonfiction book about Christian missionary work among a Thai native tribe, but then changed his mind.

It's also obvious that the author did a great deal of research. His characterizations are vividly real and the story is utterly believable, and his sense of place is well established to the point where you can hear the birds and feel the oppressive heat of the jungle. Every so often, I had to keep reminding myself that this book was fiction. Expat American, young journalist Mischa Berlinski yes, he uses his own name for the main character here , has come to Thailand with his girlfriend, a schoolteacher.

A local character, another expat, comes to Mischa with a story about a woman named Martiya van der Leun, who came to Thailand some years back to study a hill tribe known as the Dyalo for her PhD work in Anthropology. It turns out that Martiya had been sentenced to fifty years in Chiang Mai prison for the murder of a Christian missionary, but Martiya had committed suicide while serving her term. Berlinski wants to know how this woman went from such a promising life and career to rotting in a Thai prison, and sets out to get her story.

The book has been criticized by readers for many reasons -- the biggest one being that there's too much detail about the missionaries or about the Dyalo, and that the story gets bogged down, but I have to disagree. Just as Martiya felt she had to know things from the natives' point of view to really understand these people, the reader in this case won't really get the whole story without understanding the various factors that led up to the fateful moment that put Martiya behind the walls of Chiang Mai prison. I loved this book and I would recommend it to anyone who wants an extremely well-written and highly intelligent novel.

Books like this one are rare, so you should grab the opportunity. Jan 26, Doug Bradshaw rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Anyone who likes historical novels. A lot of hard work and research went into this excellent work of historical fiction. It is fiction, as the author reminds us at the end of the book and yet, the characters are so excellently described and brilliant that you could swear that this is a biography.

We find out early on that she may be involved in a murder and the author painstakingly researches her life A lot of hard work and research went into this excellent work of historical fiction. We find out early on that she may be involved in a murder and the author painstakingly researches her life and work through interviews with her friends, boyfriends, teachers, the Thai people she is working with and finally, with a family of Christian missionaries who have been involved in missionary work in China since the 30's.

The observations about differences in cultures and what it takes for an anthropologist to leave behind pre-conceived notions of God, sprirituality, morality and what makes the world tick, and then enter into a world so different and yet spiritual and religious in its own way, is the real eye opener of the book. The dedicated anthropologists who do this fieldwork have an experience vastly different and scary compared to say a chemist or physicist doing experiments in a lab somewhere here in the US.

We also get a good dose of what the Christian missionaries are trying to do and how their work can sometimes seem somewhat arrogant and un-needed. And yet, to some of the converts, leaving their old belief system and joining a much simpler belief system like "The Good News" of Christianity, can be liberating. But once our main character has virtually become a member of this Thai tribe and falls for one of the male members, she is devastated as some of them convert to Christianity.

The story is very well told and I walked away with a better understanding that this is a huge and complicated world with many interesting belief systems. I think Mischa Berlinski is here to stay. Mischa, maybe you should come up with a more marketable name. Five Stars and, like Stephen King, I highly recommend that you read it. Mar 26, Jes rated it liked it Shelves: Apr 06, Ruth rated it really liked it Recommended to Ruth by: This novel whose existence I learned of through Rodney's Goodreads, if I'm remembering right was such a delight.

With its thoroughness e.

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Something else I really appreciate: Meandering around like a man looking for peanuts in a desert, this book's less satisfying than an empty sandwich. I can see how the threads relate, but when the intriguing mystery gives way to a dull, slow, muddy walk through the pages, I couldnt enjoy it no more. Too much man rambling! There are facts though! Little gems that are interesting enough. I'm gonna tell my friends about them!

Apr 18, Erica rated it did not like it Shelves: I'm pissed it took me so long to read this book. I would like all the time I spent reading it, added onto the end of my life - whenever that might be. This book could have been four pages. I still would have hated it. In conclusion, I enjoyed reading this book simply because it was funny. It is NOT so much about Thai culture as about an anthropological study of Christian missionaries who finally ended up in Thailand. It also looks at the 70s in the USA. The hippies epoch, the music of those times, the Grateful Dead. Neither did I appreciate that the author placed himself in the novel.

This seemed like a gimmick. So I feel tricked, but yes, it In conclusion, I enjoyed reading this book simply because it was funny. So I feel tricked, but yes, it was funny. An enjoyable light read You see, I can't quite make up my mind what I think. Oh, and the murder mystery? It kind of fizzles out. I am only giving this three stars since I laughed quite a bit. Otherwise it would get only two. I feel desperate at this point. With this novel I am pleased right from the start. Every line is imbued with humor. No, not all, but many.

I am a nut in needing to understand what is going on. For this reason I often reread or re-listen to the beginning of books numerous times so I am sure I know who is who and what has occurred in the recent past and where the events are taking place. This can prove boring if one has to repeat several times the reading process — but not with this book since the lines are so amusing. What makes or destroys a book is every little sentence — not the total plot denouement of a book.

It seems that this book is about a woman in her fifties who is in a Thai prison located in Chiang Mai, the second largest city in Thailand. She was of Dutch and Malaysian background but had lived her first six years in a small village of the southern Kalawi region on the Indonesian island Celebes. She had been accused of murder and then she too is found dead.

Suicide or was this murder also? I have no idea since the book has just begun………but I certainly am curious and want to know and enjoy every line as I begin the search for understanding. Oct 15, David Donald rated it really liked it. And not typical at all. Particularly interesting for those who live or have lived in Thailand or ventured in the Golden Triangle of Burma, Thailand.

Or ever dreamed of going there. While "The Dyalo" of this book are not real, much of the social structures and village life that he draws on for mis-en-scene, is quite real. Even as my family is modernised in many ways, they are still products of the dual-cultures of 'before and after' Christianity's arrival in their villages. The christian and animist mixed inseparably, slipping back and forth as situations dictate.

I also recognise parts of the missionary world depicted, because my marriage took place in a similar missionary compound in Chaing mai, surrounded by a large Lisu congregation, and several generations of missionary families. I was even rebaptised in a tub with a 9 person choir singing hymns in Lisu as I was dunked.

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Just to make sure I was good for their sect's strictures. Some other reviewers made critiques at technique of the writer. Without knowing the extremes of the missionary culture also, we can not really understand the profound changes that the protagonist anthropologist was observing in the Dyalo world and her own sense of place in it. Changes that sent her over the edge. And all of the multiple western characters comparing each other to their own ' home cultures' and then the Dyalo.

Theirs nearly fading away in their minds, or rendered somehow foreign, because of time and distance from home for the narrator and his characters. That the author is narrator is not an issue, because, for me it lends first hand experience to the story. So have a nice read here and remember, always keep Rice happy. Mar 22, Zoe Zolbrod rated it it was amazing. A great read for anyone interested in Northern Thailand, this story within a story explores the tensions between a hill tribe based on the Lisu, an anthropologist who sets up permanent residence with them, and missionaries who have worked in the golden triangle region for generations.

Man, I want to go read this book again right now. Jan 20, Laura added it Shelves: I honestly don't know how to rate this book. On the sentence level, it's no great shakes, but wow, is it a good story. As an anthropologist, I can't help but enjoy the fictive ethnographic detail, the references to famous and infamous "forefathers" Malinowski, Pritchard, etc. There's a fascinating way in which the obsessive Curiosity of the anthropologist gets mirrored in the obsessive search for answers by ou I honestly don't know how to rate this book. There's a fascinating way in which the obsessive Curiosity of the anthropologist gets mirrored in the obsessive search for answers by our narrator who, incidentally, is perhaps the only underdeveloped character in the book.

Without giving too much away, I want to say I'm both deeply gratified and sorely disappointed that we get these answers. This was an interesting read. I liked how it kept me uncertain even after finishing it about what it was all about. Was it about the conflict between the anthropological desire to protect and understand cultures and the missionary desire to convert? Was it about how crazy strong belief can make you? Was it about how love or is it lust? I don't think I'm supposed to have a firm handle on it.

Aug 29, Storyheart rated it it was amazing Shelves: Mar 05, Jos M rated it liked it Shelves: Solid, engrossing literary thriller, exploring the reason for the murder of a missionary by an anthropologist amongst hill tribes in northern Thailand. There were a lot of strong elements to this -- the sense of a the sweep of history amongst a people who are quite remote from the whys and wherefores of the Cold War; the family saga of the Walkers in the "Orient" and their gradual enrichment; the exploration of being a missionary versus being an anthropologist and whether the fact that missionar Solid, engrossing literary thriller, exploring the reason for the murder of a missionary by an anthropologist amongst hill tribes in northern Thailand.

There were a lot of strong elements to this -- the sense of a the sweep of history amongst a people who are quite remote from the whys and wherefores of the Cold War; the family saga of the Walkers in the "Orient" and their gradual enrichment; the exploration of being a missionary versus being an anthropologist and whether the fact that missionaries engage with local people on a similar level in terms of beliefs in a cosmological world versus the cold, rational curiosity of the anthropologists is worse. I also really like how Berlinkski understands that the Dyao are people with their own complex reasons for turning towards Christianity, and they are relatively well-sketched out.

I also like how, Wuthering Heights style, everyone gets the opportunity to tell their own skewed viewpoint to our callow narrator. I liked the elements of the rice ritual, and even Martiya's possible possession by Rice, but I did think that playing with this supernatural "Eastern" element is somewhat problematic. There's a lot of phone calls to California in the middle of the night, a lot of drinking cups of tea or orange juice on various interested party's couches whilst waiting a breakthrough.

The central murder mystery on really picks up steam at the very end. So while I liked it, I didn't find it terribly propulsive. A strange, compelling story of a western writer in rural Thailand who gets caught up in the account of an anthropologist who murders a missionary. It is so well written, and the characters so distinctly composed I had to keep reminding myself that the events described never actually took place. Jun 04, Maya rated it it was amazing. There are few books I enjoyed reading literally cover to cover what fantastic acknowledgments and important notes-from-the-sources sections!

This book is at once deep and profound and simultaneously truly funny and quirky. I cannot recommend highly enough for that perfect balance of life's humor and bigger questions, of exploring the world but also thinking about ourselves introspectively. A riveting story, a great narrator, memorable and lovable-despite-serious-flaws char There are few books I enjoyed reading literally cover to cover what fantastic acknowledgments and important notes-from-the-sources sections! A riveting story, a great narrator, memorable and lovable-despite-serious-flaws characters, and a fascinating exploration of anthropologists and missionaries, what unites them and puts them in constant conflict.

Cannot recommend highly enough! We thought Sweet Valley High was rapey. Join us for this hilarious and disturbing episode, as we marvel at what was acceptable for kids to read 30 years ago. But does her latest novel, the New York period piece Manhattan Beach, keep up the winning streak? It made a lot of Best Of lists, but the Disco trio is a bit divided. Are these characters realistic?

Is the dialogue cliched? Tod, Julia, and Rider dig deep into classics and new books for kids. One of the most popular books of , The Fact of A Body is part true crime, part memoir. After a summer spent interning for a law firm in Louisiana, Alexandra Marzona-Lesnevich examines a murder case and how it resonates within her own life. Get ready to snap your fingers and bang your bongos. On this episode, we discuss three of your poets our next episode will focus on spoken word performances. They vary in style and substance, and will only take a few minutes to read, links below. Poetry is always an intriguing subject, and even though this is a short reading, we managed to have a wide ranging discussion.

Let us know your thoughts! Here are ten of her poems. Like most people, you probably thought the deadliest job in America had something to do with catching fish. In Tower Dogs, Delaney recounts his career climbing impossibly tall towers to fix parts, install upgrades, and narrowly escape death. And so, on this episode of the Disco, we tackle some of the thorny issues surrounding cultural appropriation….

Does the ethnicity of an author matter? After some technical difficulties uh, Tod we now have another Lost Episode. Goodbye, , we barely knew ya. Even Julia, who was way too young to see any of them in the theater, has a lot to say. You read it in high school. Back from a long absence, we explain where we were, what we were doing, and what you should have been reading all along. This episode, we enter the compelling world of Octavia E. Post-apocalypse, aliens, tentacles and even…interspecies orgies?

This little novel sends us down a rabbit hole of slavery, feminism, and the ethics of alien meddling. For the first time on the Disco, we discuss a book on the craft of writing. Why We Write About Ourselves: These essays are brief, interesting glimpses behind the curtain; a chance to see how some writers approach their material. And, perhaps not surprisingly, the process and philosophy varies greatly from writer to writer.

This month we read a nonfiction classic about the movies that changed Hollywood— hear us battle it out between Dr. This episode we discuss an essay by Colby Buzzell appearing in the March Issue of Esquire, available here. Buzzell offers a look at the life of American Muslims and the armed protestors who regularly appear outside of their mosques.

We cover our favorite books, and then, as is Literary Disco tradition, we digress into countless other favorites…. We got you what you like best: Join us for a Christmas-themed romance novel around the fire! We continue our discussion with New York Public librarian Gwen, who recommended two books for us to read and discuss. George, by Alex Gino, is a coming of age story set in your typical American school and family.

It just so happens our protagonist is a girl that everyone keeps assuming is a boy. Gino tackles a difficult subject in a direct and personal way, and we discuss the hurdles that may face a transgender novel written for middle-grade readers. The graphic novel Lumberjanes is similar only in that it defies gender expectations.

This novel was published in and has attracted devotees ever since. A long-lost episode finally appears! You should be able to guess at least one of these: This episode has it all: Have fun and laugh along like you were there.

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Vacation is upon us and our book lists are piling up! And these are readers in my very own neighborhood. Which begs the question, what kind of books end up in a free library? Do they reflect popular taste? Are the books there because no one wants to keep them? Or are these the books people want to share the most?

I was going to pick one at random to read, but then I had a better idea. I took a photo of the shelves. The survey list starts in the upper left hand corner and moves clockwise through the shelves. We will read whatever book gets the most votes. But not before we do a bookshelf roulette that brings us to favorites old and new.

And it left us feeling hopeful, despite the fact that the journey itself was a failure. But most importantly, this is the episode where Tod reveals his secret passion project involving food. And who knew that this much discussion of probate law would launch one of the most beloved and imitated characters of all time? Here we go again. No genre, subject, or style is as hotly debated as Story Songs. An incident with a gun. A disfigured game designer. His play-by-mail roleplaying game.

Yes, we mispronounce his name for the first half of the show. Click here to purchase from an independent bookseller. Fathers, sons, the American south, writing, sex, and death. All the ingredients of a classic Literary Disco episode. Today we examine whether or not every work by a master is a masterpiece.

There may be some yelling. How do movies affect us? How can we best write about them? Do we think in movie narratives now? What are the best books about movies? We start off the year with a book that was hailed as one of the best of What was the best thing we read outside of it? And who exactly is our man of mystery, producer Tucker Ives? What are Julia, Tod, and Rider thankful for this year? These questions may or may not be answered in this holiday episode. This week, at your request, dear listeners, we take on one of the silliest, most lovable books in the known universe.

We discuss the difference between satire and parody, South Park, and a rare unanimous agreement on the best satirical living writer in America. Hirsch may make us cry and yes, that means each of us, many times but we are also awed by his craft and uplifted by this ambitious poem. Up first, we each talk about our favorite father-son work of literature. Zombies, ghosts, vampires— or bizarre novels about torture based on true events?

We begin with some fun stuff, like why it took zombies so long to catch on, and what the next zeitgesity beast might be. Join us, and please share your thoughts on our Facebook Page. When she was 13, Wendy C. In her new memoir, Excavation, she returns to the years she spent maintaining this secret relationship. And Julia regales us with stories of sleepwalking…. A Pulitzer Prize winner none of us had read, Tinkers is a short, innovative, and compelling novel, first released in Join us as we discuss death vigils, hermits, epilepsy, and depressed mothers.

Not to be missed: Up first, the return of the Bookshelf Revisit. Rider delves into Celine Dion.

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  6. Tod talks about going Against Football. And Julia buys the new David Mitchell. Morgan, Moby-Dick, and the difference between boats and ships. Followed by a piece Julia wrote aboard the Morgan. Enjoy this unique back-to-school special! The Atavist publishes digital essays, articles and books. One of their latest, most experimental pieces was written by Hari Kunzru. Twice Upon a Time is equal parts poem, musical experience, essay, and memoir. The discussion begins with the piece itself, then moves to the broader question of form.

    Should we be swiping and listening while we read? Up first, Julia gives a short recap of her time on the open seas. Rider talks about his time as a werewolf, Julia gets poetic, and Tod loves the 4th of July. In this episode, we read his collected work and discuss the rural landscape he explored. Rider first stumbled upon Submergence by JM Ledgard when it was given as an example of complex grown up literature within an article about the popularity of Young Adult work.

    The trio decided to give it a try, and are pretty unanimous in its brilliance. Specifically, the group discusses how the worldliness and scientific complexity of Submergence might not be enough to make up for its minimal plot. Up first, the triumphant return of Judging a Book by Its Cover. Will the trio be able to tell things about a book from the first paragraph? Will they maybe know exactly which book it is? Undeniably, however, the poems of W. Butts collected in The Cathedral of Nervous Horses are thoughtful, touching, and all around damn good. The Disco trio discusses his work, and then more generally, the mysterious life of working-class poets — those who dedicate their days writing in a form that barely gets any recognition.

    But first up, a Bookshelf Roulette. Read along with these short stories and enjoy our descent into our usual madness now, with more stoning! We asked Heather to treat us like a class: Then she gave us an online reading quiz. The results may surprise you. If you thought this book was weird when you were in high school, guess what? A classic night at the Disco!

    You are on the web, trying find something to listen to. You see a link to the latest Literary Disco episode, a podcast you love. You click on it. If you are too young to know what the hell a CYOA is, good for you youngin, click here. You begin to listen to the episode, which is about a spy-themeed Choose Your Own Adventure.


    Your Code Name is Jonah. The episode starts with Tod, Julia, and Rider doing a Bookshelf Revisit about their favorite spy-related literature. And pretty soon, the three friends are discussing the convoluted plot, stale prose, and strangely dissatisfying sensation of wading through a book with 40 different endings. But nostalgia for the 80s, weirdly inserted whale activism yes, really , and the camaraderie of the Disco trio all draw you in. It makes you laugh and think in equal measure. Beautiful women with tails, peeling out of your own skin, bad acid trips, cat-faced kids…we must be discussing the graphic novel Black Hole by Charles Burns.

    And so, for the Bookshelf Revisit, the Disco trio pulls down their favorite teen-themed work of literature. We take on the two most important sports in American history: This month, first we talk about our favorite sports in fiction and nonfiction. Horses may or may not come up again. Then we get on to the main event: Which begs valuable questions like, could you eat a tarantula? What about a horse? The episode opens with a food-themed bookshelf revisit, which in typical Literary Disco fashion , manages to cram Nick Cage, corn dogs, the movie Quiz Show and the country of Ghana all into one discussion.

    Which, at pages, turns out to be one of the shortest books Will could have selected from this author. The discussion lands only on the book briefly, though, as the gang delves into the nature of fantasy itself. What makes for good fantasy, and how is that different from other genres? What about moral complexity? Opinions vary, but on the whole, the Disco trio is in agreement that these are some mighty fine stories. In the opening revisit, Tod brings up an essay and a boxing book, Julia talks urban renewal, and Rider talks dialect.

    In this delightful, coffee-fueled episode, we each choose a book for the hall of fame and name our favorite books we read this year. Happy New Year from the Disco! For the first time ever, the Disco takes on a dead poet. And not just any one, but perhaps the most celebrated and popular of American poets, Robert Frost. What follows includes some strong but relatively peaceful disagreements about Frost and his legacy. Up first, in a themed Bookshelf Revisit, your hosts each present a favorite place-based piece of writing.

    The disco trio discusses the books insights on war, class, and politics. Who in the world still has personalized license plates? Seriously, does anybody remember? But first, we bring to the Bookshelf Revisit the books and stories that scared us the most, either as a child or an adult. Which sends Rider into a tailspin of skepticism i. Lots of songs, as Rider introduces his latest lyrical discovery, Tod talks rock-drug-memoirs, and Julia discusses a book titled, Born to Run…which, perhaps predictably, inspires some Springsteen singing.

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    But up in two weeks: The discussion dives headfirst into the nature of sexual identity, and eventually, Tod will ask pressing ridiculous questions about the craft of stage acting i. How do they not pee? But first, in the Bookshelf Revisit: And then, David Foster Wallace gets a well deserved lengthy discussion regarding his hysterical, career-making article about the miserable week he spent on a cruise ship: Which, perhaps inevitably, leads Julia, Rider and Tod to share their personal cruise ship horror stories. Why is summer so meaningful in our lives? Why is Tod singing Toni Braxton?

    Then Tod brings the Poet Voice to the masses. We let the audience vote on which of his dramatically intoned selections is actually a poem. LA noir, postmodern pulp, and somehow, existential ennui are all squeezed into one little, psychotic book. Given his years of studying and teaching Joyce, can he make the book more accessible for those of us engaged in Finnegans Wake-Up? This week, we catch a big fish: Today, August 1st, marks day one. Right now, the discussion has begun in earnest in our Goodreads Group. Click here to purchase Thunderbird from an independent bookseller.

    In this episode, the disco trio finally takes on graphic novels. But should they be empathetic? Opinions clash as these two very different books come under the microscope. Not surprisingly, the addition of visual art changes the entire reading experience and the discussion. But first, in the Bookshelf Revisit, Rider will say the name Guybrush Threepwood, Tod will narrate the inner voice of a fish, and Julia heads to Shawshank.

    The answer is more complicated than Julia, Tod, and Rider expected…. But first, on our Bookshelf Revisit, Tod talks author correspondence, and trying to give an inspiring speech to his students. Julia binges on Stephen King. An idea that actually might kill them — or at least render the three of them serious substance abusers — but all in the name of literature.

    Should they do it? Today we go to the one genre where our tastes truly collide: This is the book that we almost murder Rider for even suggesting it might be a classic of any sort. This is the book that is way too dramatic. Flowers in the Attic. Would you rather be the Assassin, or Happy to be Alive? Scott Fitzgerald a hack? What is the difference between drama and melodrama?