The Idle Book Club
By Idle Thumbs
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A monthly book club podcast conducted by a few amateur book lovers.
||ExplicitThe Idle Book Club 28: NW||Sarah and Chris discuss NW, Zadie Smith's sprawling tale of the London working class. It's a re-read for both co-hosts, and they loved it just as much the second time through. Join in and see if you agree!||1/21/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitThe Idle Book Club 27: Jesus' Son||In the wake of Denis Johnson's passing, Chris and Sarah discuss Jesus' Son, the author's bleak yet beautiful collection of stories centered around the desperation of addiction. We also delve into why short stories are frequently so melancholy, and Chris||7/29/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitThe Idle Book Club 26: A Sight for Sore Eyes||Ruth Rendell is known as a crime novelist, but in A Sight for Sore Eyes she stretches the genre's trappings into a taut and thrilling class-infused generational novel. Join Chris and Sarah as they get sucked into Rendell's bleak but utterly captivating||6/28/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitThe Idle Book Club 25: The Long Goodbye||Sarah and Chris discuss The Long Goodbye, Raymond Chandler's classic noir crime novel. It's a cynical, gripping tale of twists and turns, and it's a whole lot of fun. Join us!||5/29/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitThe Idle Book Club 24: The Handmaid's Tale||With Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale soon to reach a larger audience than ever thanks to a television adaptation, we decided to take on the novel for the Idle Book Club—Chris for the first time, and Sarah for the second. It's a masterful imagini||3/26/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitThe Idle Book Club 23: Silence||Shusako Endo's Silence is a classic of modern Japanese literature, a reflection on faith and humanity that is sweeping and ambitious as well as intensely personal. Inspired to read it after watching Martin Scorsese's recent film adaptation, Sarah and Ch||2/28/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitThe Idle Book Club 22: Wuthering Heights||If you've never read Wuthering Heights, it probably isn't what you expected. And if you haven't read it since high school, it's worth revisiting this unusual novel of obsession and revenge. Rereader Sarah and first-time reader Chris hash out their react||1/30/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitThe Idle Book Club 21: The Sellout||For the final Idle Book Club of 2016, Sarah and Chris wrestle with The Sellout, Paul Beatty's very dark satire on race relations in modern America. Next month: Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte!||12/31/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitThe Idle Book Club 20: I Love Dick||Chris Kraus' I Love Dick is an experimental novel that blurs the line between fiction and memoir. In the years since its release, it has experienced a resurgence of popularity culminating in a recent Amazon TV adaptation. Join Sarah and Chris as they di||11/27/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitThe Idle Book Club 19: What We Talk About When We Talk About Love||What DO we talk about when we talk about love? Whatever it is, from Raymond Carver's point of view, it's not very rosy. Join Sarah and Chris as they discuss this classic collection of particularly short stories. Sorry for the delay!||9/30/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitThe Idle Book Club 18: Runaway||The Idle Book Club tackles Sarah's favorite author, the prolific and award-winning short story writer Alice Munro. It's no surprise that Sarah loved this collection, Runaway, but does Chris? You'll have to listen to find out. (Spoilers: yes.)||8/17/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitThe Idle Book Club 17: The Sympathizer||This month, Sarah and Chris discuss Viet Thanh Nguyen's ambitious and bleakly comic debut novel, The Sympathizer. The story of a Vietnamese communist sympathizer among his fellow refugees in the United States, the book is a scorching examination of insi||7/13/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitThe Idle Book Club 16: Mr. Fox||This month, the Idle Book Club discusses Helen Oyeyemi's Mr. Fox, a 2011 book that blurs the line between novel and short story collection. Join us, as Sarah offers her reactions and Chris offers his confusion! For next month, we'll be reading The Symp||6/8/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitThe Idle Book Club 15: The Man in the High Castle||Chris and Sarah have their first Philip K. Dick experience (in book form, anyway) with The Man in the High Castle, an ambitious and bleak alternate history novel depicting a world in which the Axis powers were victorious. Join us for an enthusiastic dis||5/9/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitThe Idle Book Club 14: Everything I Never Told You||Everything I Never Told You is another story in the "mysteriously dead girl" genre—so how does it stack up? Sarah and Chris discuss the story's themes of racism, family interconnectedness, and empathy. Next month: The Man in the High Castle by Philip||4/13/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitThe Idle Book Club 13: Never Let Me Go||Something sinister and tragic is at play in an English countryside boarding school, and we're going to spoil it all. Join Chris and Sarah for their discussion of Kazuo Ishiguro's 2005 novel Never Let Me Go. This one had a great forum thread too, so be s||3/9/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitThe Idle Book Club 12: Umberto Eco||Chris and Sarah stop into the studio for an impromptu podcast in honor of Umberto Eco, the Italian semiotician and author of esoteric novels including The Name of the Rose and Foucault's Pendulum. Eco passed away just days ago, and we felt it was approp||2/22/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitThe Idle Book Club 11: Fates and Furies||The first full episode of the new Idle Book Club season tackles Lauren Groff's Fates and Furies, a novel depicting two surprising sides of a marriage—and Sarah and Chris frequently found themselves at odds as well. This battle of the sexes was endorse||2/8/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitThe Idle Book Club 10: The Idle Book Club Returns||The Idle Book Club is back! After a two-year hiatus, we're ready to start discussing books again each month, with one returning host and one new one. This episode, we announce our first book: Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff. Then, to get back in the sw||12/31/2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitThe Idle Book Club 9: Summer Reads||After a scheduling hiccup (snafu? derailment? disaster?) the guys are back to bring you their summer reading selections. On offer this month: The Spy Who Came In From the Cold by John le Carre, Consider the Lobster by David Foster Wallace and Dirk Gentl||7/8/2013||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitThe Idle Book Club 8: Cosmicomics||This month, Italo Calvino sends Chris and Sean swirling through time and space with his enchanting book of short stories. The nuances of literary translation and the magic of Mr. DNA are also discussed.||4/12/2013||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitThe Idle Book Club 7: By Blood||Sean and Chris have mixed feelings about By Blood, a San Francisco-set novel told from a disturbing and compelling voyeuristic perspective, but they ultimately decided it was worth the read.||3/11/2013||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitThe Idle Book Club 6: The Crying of Lot 49||Chris, Sean, and Jake start to fill a hole in their reading history as they dive into Pynchon for the first time. Enjoy their inexpert but enthusiastic flailing amidst the baffling waters of postmodernism. Join us next month for a discussion of Ellen Ul||2/8/2013||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitThe Idle Book Club 5: The Great Gatsby||Pop the champagne and don a pink seersucker because it's an Idle Thumbs reunion. Nick Breckon has traveled from the far eastern states to join Chris, Sean, and Jake in a lively discussion of F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic The Great Gatsby. Join us next m||1/11/2013||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitThe Idle Book Club 4: Evidence of Things Unseen||Chris and Sean are transported to post WWI America with the masterful Marianne Wiggins as their guide. While not without its hiccups, Evidence of Things Unseen is a small story about the incredible and is not to be missed. Next month: The Great Gatsby b||12/21/2012||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitThe Idle Book Club 3: Telegraph Avenue||Chris and Sean dig into Michael Chabon's latest, Telegraph Avenue. While swept up by Chabon's prose, they can't quite get over some aspects of the plot. Next month's book: Evidence of Things Unseen by Marianne Wiggins.||11/9/2012||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitThe Idle Book Club 2: Cloud Atlas||Chris and Sean heap praise upon the masterful David Mitchell, revel in their favorite passages of the book, and ponder the importance (or lack thereof) of authorial intent. Also Sean watches a film trailer and wishes he hadn't.||10/5/2012||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitThe Idle Book Club 1: The Sense of an Ending||The Idle Book Club kicks off with discussions of the impermanence of memory, the importance of perspective, and what it means to be telling someone else's story, through the lens of Julian Barnes' The Sense of an Ending.||9/14/2012||Free||View in iTunes|
Worth a Listen
A spin-off of the brilliant Idle Thumbs video games podcast, that instead features a thoughtful conversation about a particular book each month. I've enjoyed both of the first two episodes and am looking forward to the third.
This podcast is wizard
Anyone familiar with original-flavor Idle Thumbs knows that it's the most feelgood product substance in the videogames podcast brandspace. Well, now you can consume that same delicious, technically nourishing earfood in dead tree medium edition!
In all earnestness, this crew has long been secretly famous for their thoughtfulness as video game developers and critics, and for the goofy wit of their long running (then stopping, then running, etc.) podcast. They're equally intelligent and entertaining when discussing books. Give them a listen.
It's pretty good.
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