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UNspoiled! Book Club!
94 minutes | Oct 7, 2021
Hey everyone! I'm here with a surprise bit of book coverage with my favorite pair of boy reviewers, Craig and Andrew from Overdue! You can check out their show here! https://overduepodcast.com/This episode, we talk about the YA novel Eragon, in which the plot is so derivative that we use the wrong names by accident several times. Craig is much more on board than Andrew and I were, but I am fairly certain I was the most cranky out of everyone. And I think that should be celebrated. If you'd like to join our Discord and get in on some of the convo, check it out here! Non-patrons welcome! https://discord.gg/rEF2KfZxfV
66 minutes | Oct 22, 2019
James And The Giant Peach (with Overdue!)
Hey there, you gorgeous creatures! I'm here with the final episode of UNspoiled! Book Club, and I'm delighted to be wrapping things up with the wonderful gents from Overdue, Craig and Andrew. If you'd like to listen to more of them (and you should, they're great) you can find them at www.overduepodcast.com This episode we're talking about James And The Giant Peach, by Roald Dahl, and man I forgot how fucking bananas this book is. I don't know why I didn't remember almost anything, but the Cloud Men and the landing in Manhattan were nowhere in my mind, and there was only the barest flicker of recognition at the literal ticker-tape parade at the end. All I remembered were the aunts, and they deserve it. Thank you all so much for listening, and for supporting the show. I can't wait to see you all on the Spoil Me! feed, if you're looking to scratch that Book Club itch!
150 minutes | Sep 20, 2019
Thanks so much to Candace for agreeing to cover this absolutely bananas book with me. I cannot emphasize enough how unlike anything I've read this book is in terms of its scope and tone. While there are certain things it has in common with His Dark Materials, it's far more adult, dark, and feminist. I hope you enjoy the coverage, and I will see you in late October with James And The Giant Peach!
73 minutes | Aug 24, 2019
The Wind In The Willows
Hey there, lovely people! RoShawn was super sick but bravely met with me for this episode anyway, and I'm so glad. I loved this book, and I can't believe that I hadn't read it already considering all of the boxes it ticked in my "favorite things" column: talking animals, Edwardian clothing, english countryside, cozy homes, funny low-stakes hijinks. It's got it all!This is a book I see myself going back to time and again, and I was really glad that RoShawn liked it too. Don't miss me and Candace on August 31st at 2PM CST, when we will be covering Imajica!
100 minutes | Aug 19, 2019
I just want to warn you all that about 5 minutes from the end of this episode, tragedy strikes and RoShawn's internet goes down. She wound up being without internet for almost three hours, and thankfull got it back just in time to record UNsober with me that evening. This book was a rough one. I can see the appeal, and the way RoShawn talks about her connections with some of the folktales before discovering this books totally makes sense for how it connected with her as a kid. But for me, I was just not into it. I tried. Lord knows, I tried. But it made for a good discussion anyhow.Thank you all so much for listening, and I will see you again soon with a new episode!
117 minutes | Aug 4, 2019
The Poisonwood Bible
Thank you so much to Bitches for joining me on this episode, and bearing with me while I work out some very tough personal shit that came up as a result of this book hitting on some really familiar and uncomfortable themes. If you haven't read this book, you're doing yourself a disservice. It's not just about personal experiences of characters whom we get to know and care about (in most cases, anyway), but also about the role that the United States played in bringing down a nation of black people and keeping them down throughout their attempts to take back control. It's really important information, conveyed in a way that feels much less preachy than you'd ever expect. I just loved this book. It's famous for a reason. It's gorgeously written. I just can't recommend it enough. READ IT.
117 minutes | Jun 29, 2019
A Wrinkle In Time
Hey there lovelies! Miles and I are here to talk about Childhood favorite A Wrinkle In Time, a book we had both loved but not revisited for at least a decade. How did it hold up? In truth, it held up GREAT. There's shockingly few problematic elements for a book written when this was and under the particular scrutiny that our generation is prone to use when examining works of fiction. The story is even more chilling for us as adults coming at this work from the lens of capitalism instead of communism, and Miles and I both were moved by it in totally new ways upon this reread. Thank you so much for listening, and I will see you all again next month with The Poisonwood Bible!
6 minutes | Jun 10, 2019
102 minutes | May 18, 2019
Sooooooo funny story about this one. I got the audiobook AND the kindle version, but relied on the audiobook because I had a packed week and it was easier to listen while I took care of chores and housework. UNFORTUNATELY, it turns out that the version I listened to was abridged, and this fact was not included in the title nor was there even a full-length version available at all to alert me of the danger. So. I apologize. That's two book club episodes now where I've dropped the ball and I'm smarting a little from it. I really did like what I heard of this book, and I'm deeply sad that they robbed me of a full experience. I wish I knew why! Thank you to Jaime for commissioning this one, and I will see you all in a couple of weeks with Where The Red Fern Grows!
74 minutes | May 4, 2019
Hey folks! So, unfortunately I had a bit of a hiccup with the person who was supposed to guest-host this episode. They had a personal emergency and forgot to let me know they wouldn't be available, so I was sitting in front on my camera with Crowdcast turned on when I found out. I decided to go on and record by my lonesome, and I think it still went pretty well. This book was a little less whimsical than I expected, because there were actually pretty hardcore stakes; if the little boy didn't stop the cook or help the Clocks escape, they would all die. All of them! And what's surprising is that we don't actually get any confirmation that they're okay at the end. We don't SEE them escape, we just have to take the word of the woman who is telling the story. Not only that, but the cook doesn't get any comeuppance for being pretty much terrible! As a kid I think that would have bothered me a lot, but frankly as an adult I was like, "Well that's how it goes." Anyway, I liked this book and it was kind of weird and I'm low-key interested in reading the sequels. Thanks to everyone who hung out with me at the Crowdcast, and make sure to pick up the book for next month's Childhood Favorite, Where The Red Fern Grows!
100 minutes | Apr 27, 2019
The Time Traveler's Wife
Hey all you lovely people! I am finally here with the episode for this month's Book Club, and Jaime is going to talk about it with me! The Time Traveler's Wife falls under the heading of "books I had heard of a million times but had no interest in" and I'm happy to say that I enjoyed it despite my crotchetiness. Niffenegger comes up with a really wild idea for this book: what if time travel wasn't something you needed equipment to complete, but also something that you couldn't control? Henry is a dude afflicted with a really weird condition that causes him to unexpectedly time-travel at random moments, and wherever he ends up he's naked and completely vulnerable. Claire is his wife, and the book is structured in such a way that we first see them together when Henry first meets her, even though by the time he meets her, Claire has already known him for some time. Yeah, it's complicated. Thank you all so much for listening, and I hope you enjoy the show!
111 minutes | Apr 9, 2019
Many thanks to Jaime for joining me for this episode of UNspoiled! Book Club: Childhood Favorites! I'm personally excited about revisiting this book, and I was able to zero in on a really good audiobook version which I was going to link to, but now Audible says isn't available. :( It was Kate Reading, in case it comes back! This book wasn't an easy one for Jaime who usually doesn't warm to period novels very well, but she found some things really resonated with her. We both found it sort of sad and fascinating how much this book seemed to fly in the face of everything Louisa May Alcott believed, but she was able to write it with such sincerity that you'd never know it.Then there are parts of the story that are problematic by today's standards, and we deal with them while acknowledging that there were probably things that Alcott just didn't have the vocabulary for at the time. How interesting it would have been for her to explore the modern era! Thank you all so much for listening, and I will see you in a few weeks with a new episode!
99 minutes | Mar 26, 2019
Crazy Rich Asians
Hey everyone! Candace joined me for this episode, and this time around I actually did watch the film that came out based on the book before recording, so there's going to be some references to that in this episode. Forgive me! I have to confess that while Candace and I talk about a lot of different issues we had with this book, I still had a great time listening to the audiobook. If you have the inclination, I highly recommend it. I don't know if I would have had the same reaction to the story if I had been reading it, because there's something about it being narrated by someone who speaks the language and who can do the accents correctly that adds an extra dimension of ease to absorbing the material without getting mentally hung up on how to pronounce things. This book was fun, but there were certain things that felt really contrived because the author wanted huge dramatic moments. Nick is really one of the most frustrating characters ever. You want to like him and give him the benefit of the doubt, but you also can't help but think he must be a complete fool if he doesn't see some of this shit coming. And does Rachel want to marry someone that foolish? Anyway, I would be really interested to hear what you thought of this book! Let me know!
97 minutes | Mar 12, 2019
Little House In The Big Woods
Hey everyone! It's time for the next Childhood Favorite, this month hosted by Gena Radcliffe fof Kill BY Kill Podcast! Gena, like me, loved these books as a child, and unlike me, went on to become a fan of the TV show as well. I only saw a few minutes of one ep and decided it was not for me, and you won't believe what Gena tells me happens in the final episode (unless you've seen it in which case, whaaaaaat were they thinking???). I was a little worried about this reread, but it turns out that a lot of the more objectionable stuff is in her later book, Little House On The Prairie. In fact, this book is much more like Farmer Boy than it is like the other Little House books, because it's so much more focused on the how-tos of self-sufficiency. No wonder I like this one so much, it's practically a DIY book.Thanks a ton to all of you for listening, and to Gena for guesting! See you next month with Crazy Rich Asians and Little Women!
103 minutes | Feb 25, 2019
Children Of Blood And Bone
Hey everyone! Candace and I are here to discuss Children Of Blood And Bone, an epic fantasy novel that centers a black woman and is in a country populated by black people. It's really unusual and really emotional and I highly recommend it. The story follows Zelie, a young woman born of meji parents with magical ability, who all lost their abilities for unknown reasons and have had to live as slaves and scapegoats in the country of Orisha. Amari, a princess belonging to the non-magical race of people, realizes her father is a monster and flees the city with one of his most important weapons, and their paths collide. I really hope that you all check this book out and I will see you in a couple weeks with Crazy Rich Asians!
105 minutes | Feb 5, 2019
Childhood Favorites- The Enchanted Castle
Hello, my good people! It's time for one of my personal childhood faves, The Enchanted Castle by Edith Nesbit! Candace wasn't as enraptured with it as I was, but that's okay. I suppose eventually I may forgive her.When I think about British children's literature, this is what I think of. And informal third-person with occasional breaks in the 4th wall (so to speak) where the author addresses the reader directly, coupled with a small group of kids and some wacky adventures involving different levels of magical interference. The Enchanted Castle is actually one of Nesbit's less popular novels, but it's my #1 favorite and I will always put it in my top 5 favorites list. Thanks a ton to all of you for listening, and if you'd like to get the book you can do so here! https://amzn.to/2t4y4Qn
96 minutes | Jan 28, 2019
RoShawn and I have a LOT to say about this disturbing, gripping, haunting book. We both really felt spoken to by the focus of the story on mother-daughter relationships, and the slow build of mystery and upsetting details is really really effective. This is a marked departure from the pulpy, humorous sort of story the Flynn wrote with Gone Girl; Sharp Objects is like a nightmare that you can't make yourself look away from. Thank you so much to everyone who recommended this book, and I will see you next week with The Enchanted Castle!
94 minutes | Dec 22, 2018
Bridge To Terabithia
Alright folks. We didn't like this book. There, I said it. I just wanted to warn you in case you are very attached to this book and have a lot of loving nostalgia around it, because I figure that even something if I know is problematic but I loved it as a child, I wouldn't particularly want to listen to it get shredded to bits by folks who just discovered it. But that's pretty much what Rachel and I do, so be forewarned. Between the misogyny, fatphobia, manic-pixie-dreamgirl troping, fridging, and generally treating all the female characters pretty terribly, there just wasn't a whole lot left to like in this book, at least for me. Also, there's that weird milk scene. *shudders*Many of you will remember Rachel from her guest spot on Charlotte's Web a few months back, and if you're interested in finding more of her you can check out her Quantum Leap podcast called Beckett To The Future by going here! https://www.beckettfuturepod.com/
100 minutes | Dec 17, 2018
The Last Wish
It's the final episode of the main UNspoiled! Book Club list for 2018, and in this episode RoShawn and I discuss Andrezej Sapkowski's The Last Wish, the first book in The Witcher series. RoShawn and I liked the mythology and stories in this book, but we had a big problem with the structure and the way the whole thing was presented. We both listened to the audiobook, which was probably part of the problem, but frankly I'm not totally convinced this would have worked that much better for me if I had sat down and read it. When we were able to follow along, we were surprised and interested to see that there are a lot of callouts and homages to some really classic fairy tales, which I don't think either of us were expecting. I really liked the concept of Witchers, who are basically for-hire monster-hunters with really intense training and even some biological alterations to make them more adept fighters. As much as I liked the universe, though, I don't think this first book was a good introduction to it and I'm left somewhat frustrated. What do you all think of this book?
108 minutes | Dec 10, 2018
Childhood Favorites: The Phantom Tollbooth
Many thanks to Erin Ayers from Over The Tabletop (which you can find out about here : https://overthetabletoppodcast.libsyn.com/) for joining me on this episode of Childhood Favorites! The Phantom Tollbooth was a book that so many people wanted to join me for, and I can really see why. It's a very unusual book that seems to combine elements of the over-the-top style of Roald Dahl and Dr. Seuss with some pretty intense elements that I would assign to a more Neil Gaiman type mind. I'm so sorry I'm releasing this recording so late, but between my trip to LA being the day after we recorded, and then being sick when I got home...well, things go away from me. I hope you enjoy the show, and I will see you all soon with The Last Wish.
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