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Literature

Overdue

Andrew Cunningham and Craig Getting

+18 FANS
Overdue is a podcast about the books you've been meaning to read. Join Andrew and Craig each week as they tackle a new title from their backlog. Classic literature, obscure plays, goofy murder mysteries: they'll read it all, one overdue book at a tim...Show More
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53:08 | Jun 3rd

Shirley Jackson's We Have Always Lived In The Castle shares some qualities with her best-known short story The Lottery; both feature small New England towns that are the site of some unfortunate mob action. Join us for a conversation about non-supern...Show More

51:35 | Dec 3rd, 2018

Minecraft, one of the most popular games on the planet, has lots of lessons to teach us! Lessons about persistence, about ingenuity, about punching trees. In this kid-friendly novel, Max Brooks details the "true story" of his own experiences on a Min...Show More
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1:15:29 | Sep 17th, 2018

What can be said about Thomas Pynchon's postmodern classic Gravity's Rainbow? Well, it's nearly a thousand pages long so what CAN'T be said, am I right?? Join us for a slightly longer than normal conversation about sexual antics, post-war war mach...Show More

1:12:54 | Jan 15th, 2018

Shhhhhh, everyone, come in closer. Closer! Because we're about to tell you all about The Secret, and we don't want anyone to overhear. Of course, if they hear us talking about all the parts of this book that are bogus, THAT would be fine.

2:25:38 | Sep 26th, 2016

Here it is: the big two-hundo! This week, Andrew tackles David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest in a show that is nearly 2.5 hours long and yet somehow still not quite long enough to get to everything. We break down the plot and the structure, such as...Show More

36:11 | Feb 11th, 2013

Did you pay attention in ninth grade English? Craig did, sort of. This week he reads – or rereads, he’s not sure – John Steinbeck’s classic tale of Depression-era migrant workers. Topics of conversation include foreshadowing, hoosegows, and male cama...Show More

57:10 | Sep 16th

"What if women ended the Peloponnesian War, am I right?" asks Aristophanes in his classic comedy Lysistrata. Famous for its depiction of a sex strike that brings the warring Greek states to their unsexed knees, the play has been remixed countless tim...Show More

1:12:46 | Sep 9th

It's time to play some games! Craig's sister Jillian read Iain M. Banks' The Player of Games, one of several entries in his Culture series that explores a hegemonic utopia influencing as much of outer space as it can. Banks' ideas gameplay may be pri...Show More

1:06:25 | Sep 2nd

Join us as we attempt to bring Pullman's epic god-fightin' trilogy to a close! We start with a brief recap of the first two books, and then we dive into what does and doesn't work for Andrew in the final installment. Train your spyglass on the Fall o...Show More

1:01:21 | Aug 30th

Friend of the show Christina Tucker (Unfriendly Black Hotties, PCHH, her new newsletter, etc.) joins us to chat about Jeff VanderMeer's novel Annihilation. It's the first of his Southern Reach trilogy, a Weird Science Fiction romp through a mysteriou...Show More

1:14:52 | Aug 26th

This week we welcome Renata and Kait from The Worst Bestsellers to talk about Becky Chambers' first entry in the Wayfarer series: The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet. It's a book that's equal parts cozy AND sexy, with plenty of aliens for you to me...Show More

1:08:46 | Aug 19th

The titular Tarzan of the titular Apes is a lot more than "Me Tarzan. You Jane." And Edgar Rice Burroughs is here to tell you all about how and why it's because he's the sire of an English nobleman. Join us for a chat about the lost city of Tarzan...Show More

1:10:25 | Aug 12th

Andrew's Appointment Television co-hosts Kathryn VanArendonk and Margaret H. Willison join us for a chat about siblings, rivalry, and this classic of modern parenting lit from Adele Faber and Elain Mazlish. At the time of recording, Andrew's fathe...Show More

1:12:09 | Aug 5th

It's time to make some more choices! Thanks to a benevolent small business owner, we've been transported back to the time of Arthurian legend and must face the biggest choice of all: food service or secretarial work! Actually, we make plenty of fu...Show More

58:01 | Jul 29th

Philip Pullman followed up The Golden Compass with The Subtle Knife, the adventure of Lyra and Will on their quest to uncover the secret of Dust and (maybe, just maybe) save the world from evil forces within the Church. Like a lot of Second Stories i...Show More

2:04:45 | Jul 26th

Welcome to HELLBOYS, a Divine Comedy podcast from the boys here at Overdue! On our newest show-within-a-show, we're reading Robert and Jean Hollander's translation of Dante's Divine Comedy a few cantos at a time. Some Patreon supporters get these ...Show More

55:08 | Jul 22nd

The horror, the horror! It's time to talk about colonialism, y'all. Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness has inspired plenty of stories about a dude diving deep into nature to find another dude, so we figured we'd get to the...heart...of the matter. Lis...Show More

1:03:05 | Jul 15th

Behind Closed Doors is about a relationship that seems too perfect to be true - except that instead of arguing about the “right” way to load the dishwasher and the way the other person leaves cabinets hanging open all the time, Jack Angel is a full-o...Show More

1:02:53 | Jul 8th

"What if the Napoleonic Wars but with magic?" is a great elevator pitch for Susanna Clark's sprawling novel, but it only scratches the surface of what Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell has to offer. Footnotes, Farnums, and factoids abound in this fun wor...Show More

53:38 | Jul 1st

CW: This week’s book revolves around sexual assault, which we discuss in the episode. We don’t read the specific passage and we try to be as general as possible, but feel free to skip this one if you’re not up to it. Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak ...Show More

1:10:41 | Jun 28th

This episode, instead of a book we read YOUR questions! Topics range from the five characters you'd meet at an Overdue dinner party to what makes a great diaper. We also have a blast chatting with our livestream audience. As always, thanks to our ...Show More

1:10:59 | Jun 24th

Michel Faber's 2002 novel The Crimson Petal and the White has been hailed as a Dickensian novel with a saucy, modern narrator. How exactly does he pull that off in an epic story steeped in the history of Victorian London? And how does he play with ou...Show More

1:04:48 | Jun 17th

In this week's episode, we talk about the very nature of what makes a superhero (or an anti-hero, or a supervillain) a superhero (or anti-hero, or supervillain), in between talking about our ideal Father's Day and how Harry Potter and the D&D alignme...Show More

51:24 | Jun 10th

Lorraine Hansberry's classic play A Raisin in the Sun endures for its insightful portrait of a black family in Chicago fighting for a better life. Inspired by her own family's experience with racial housing discrimination, it's a complex piece about ...Show More

39:24 | May 31st

Our voyage ends with Book 24, which includes one more amazing Odysseus lie and a heaping serving of deus ex machina. Then it's time to reflect on our journey from high school English students enduring a long reading assignment to olive-oiled men who ...Show More

59:54 | May 27th

Caveat lictor: this episode contains mild spoilers for Drowning Ruth. Christina Schwarz's debut novel weaves together three main threads: historical fiction, melodramatic mystery, and sisterhood. The result is an interesting portrait of women in D...Show More

1:14:14 | May 20th

Madeline Miller's Circe is a great chaser for Emily Wilson's translation of The Odyssey, and it's an excellent exploration of a mythological character who has often been maligned. Miller's Circe is modern but also instantly recognizable and easy to r...Show More

47:33 | May 17th

We're almost at the end of our long journey, but before we wrap up with Book 24 and our closing thoughts, we took some time to sit down with Emily Wilson and chat about her wonderful translation of Homer's Odyssey. Among other topics, we talked with ...Show More

1:08:03 | May 13th

Look...if you had one shot (or one opportunity) to undo everything Lee Harvey Oswald ever wanted - in one moment - would you capture it or just let it slip? Stephen King's time-traveling doorstop of a novel 11/22/63 takes us back to the good ol' d...Show More

1:08:51 | May 6th

We kick off May by looking back to the middle of March, courtesy of George Eliot's brick of a novel about an insular English community. Discussion topics include: marriage, weird inheritance rules, and the phrase "pleased as Punch."

58:37 | May 3rd

Just a heads up - this one has explicit language! David Wong's John Dies at the End is a slacker comedy-slash-cosmic horror adventure that may not be for everyone. Talking points include our own hangups as readers of comedy writing, political inco...Show More

55:54 | Apr 29th

This year's Children's Book Week - on the eve of the podcast's first child, no less - is about Raymond Briggs' weirdly existential and British Fungus the Bogeyman, and the much lighter and sillier Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin and Daniel Salmieri.

1:09:21 | Apr 22nd

Scott Lynch's 2006 debut novel is a "sword and sorcery crime novel" about a gang of thieves who get caught up in a power struggle for the fate of their city. The Lies of Locke Lamora bumps up against issues of class and privilege, but it's mostly a s...Show More

56:46 | Apr 15th

Ironically, running out of time to read George Eliot's Middlemarch gave us the time to get to H.G. Wells' foundational sci-fi novella The Time Machine, in which he invents the very concept (or at least the modern nomenclature) of a time machine. Well...Show More

1:41:40 | Apr 8th

Our journey through Stephenie Meyer's world of werewolves, vampires, and teens has come to a close! We wrap up the story of Bella, Edward, and Jacob with Breaking Dawn. It's a book that could probably be at least two books and definitely suffered by ...Show More

1:01:27 | Apr 1st

In Slaughterhouse Five, Kurt Vonnegut uses surprising humor and sci-fi wit to portray one man's experience of the horrific bombing of Dresden. But don't worry - you needn't have read Slaughterhouse One through Four to keep up with our episode on this...Show More

1:15:38 | Mar 29th

Here we go! We're closing in on the end, talking about Books 20-23 of Emily Wilson's Odyssey translation. Odysseus and Penelope pray before the Suitor Bowl. Athena eggs on the suitors. Telemachus yells at his mom. Everyone competes in an archery c...Show More

1:07:41 | Mar 25th

This week's book takes us up to space, where the human race fights sentient lizards and hamsters and befriends a fast-talking all-powerful AI. It's sometimes as fun as it sounds! Sometimes not.

53:47 | Mar 18th

It may not be that classic Audrey Hepburn joint, but Truman Capote's novella Breakfast at Tiffany's quite the fun, poignant portrait of a young socialite named Holiday Golightly. Join us for a morning feast of names, symbolism, and crimes - the th...Show More

1:13:11 | Mar 11th

Our SECRET SURPRISE BOOK this week is related to a SECRET SURPRISE LIFE EVENT for one of your co-hosts! Which one? You'll have to listen to find out!!

1:04:54 | Mar 8th

Nnedi Okorafor's magical teen story Akata Witch centers on a young woman named Sunny who discovers that she has magical powers. She then enlists in an after-school magic club with the rest of her coven and sets off to play soccer and save the world. ...Show More

1:06:35 | Mar 4th

What if kids could live in a world where it was Christmas every day? What if the only way to get there was in a creepy car driven by a deathless vampire man? Joe Hill's NOS4A2 asks these questions and more! It's also the first of his books to engage ...Show More

1:22:18 | Feb 25th

This is a book all about empathy, which is occasionally odd given that its author has had Some Issues extending empathy to certain people over the years. Andrew also has some trouble reading a book made of paper.

1:03:00 | Feb 18th

You want to be popular? You want your ideas to be heard? You want to get a great job? Then Dale Carnegie has the tips for you! His best-selling self-help volume How to Win Friends and Influence People has been helping business men for decades, so we ...Show More

1:05:22 | Feb 11th

Richard Wright's Native Son has been called a "pamphlet" or "protest novel" by writers like James Baldwin, and while there are sections of the book that justify the label, Bigger Thomas and his deeds and motivations defy easy summation.

1:15:57 | Feb 4th

Octavia Butler's Dawn imagines a future where humans are a rung lower on the food chain than usual. And after nearly extinguishing itself in nuclear fire, humanity's only hope is a mysterious alien species that has rescued them for specious reasons. ...Show More

1:02:40 | Jan 28th

This week's book, which can be enjoyed by kingkillers and non-kingkillers alike, manages to be filled with meta-references to fantasy fiction without being annoying, which is rare enough to be the stuff of fantasy all by itself.

1:09:37 | Jan 25th

Odysseus is still old and Telemachus still wants to help kill suitors! In these episodes of our show-within-a-show, we cover books 16-19 of Emily Wilson's translation of The Odyssey. We've got beggars, sad dogs, Instagram filters, and destructive nan...Show More

1:04:19 | Jan 21st

Louise Erdirch's National Book Award-winning novel The Round House is the story of a thirteen-year-old boy seeking justice for a terrible crime committed against his mother. Unfortunately, arcane laws and good old-fashioned racism stand in his way. I...Show More

1:19:19 | Jan 14th

If you can't stand how hot these werewolves are, get out of the kitchen! This week we head back to Forks for the third of the four main Twilight books, and while we had kind of made our peace with reading these in our New Moon episode, we question th...Show More

1:05:41 | Jan 7th

The Golden Compass has cute soul-Pokémon, multiple universes, and armored battle bears, so what's not to like?

1:09:44 | Jan 4th

How is sex different than love? Is privacy a necessity for human identity? For political identity? DOES GOD POOP? With the help of Milan Kundera, we attempt to answer these questions and more in this bonus episode on his classic novel The Unbearab...Show More

1:09:17 | Dec 31st, 2018

This week we're joined by friend of the show (and one half of the hit newsletter Two Bossy Dames) Sophie Brookover to talk about Vladimir Nabokov's epic literary troll novel Pale Fire. The author may be dead and the reader is most certainly bad, but ...Show More

1:03:29 | Dec 24th, 2018

The whole team at Overdue wishes you and yours a very horny Christmas and a sultry New Year with Stefanie London's A Dangerously Sexy Christmas, a book that is equal parts dangerous AND sexy!

45:15 | Dec 17th, 2018

This week's episode is a recording of our live episode from the New England Library Association in Rhode Island in October. We talk about Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Mermaid, which you may also remember from the Disney movie of the same name...Show More

56:42 | Dec 10th, 2018

Naomi Novik's Spinning Silver successfully melds and renews a whole stack of classical fairytales in a story that is anchored by women and deals with real-world anti-Semitism without ever feeling too heavy.

1:13:37 | Nov 30th, 2018

The boys are back in town! Odysseus and Telemachus make it home to Ithaca in this episode of our show-within-a-show, which covers books 12-15 of Emily Wilson's translation of The Odyssey. We've got sirens, vaping, swineherds and some god-granted old ...Show More

1:22:44 | Nov 26th, 2018

The Wheel of Time turns, and we release a new podcast episode. This week, we close out Remember November with a look at the first book in a, um, fourteen book fantasy series with which Andrew is intimately acquainted. The Wheel Of Time has its issues...Show More

57:28 | Nov 19th, 2018

Travel with us back to the Jazz Age and meet Irene and Clare, two women who practice "passing" to get by in New York City. The tragic characters of Nella Larsen's insightful novel Passing show us how suspicions and social status can conspire to bring...Show More

1:02:46 | Nov 12th, 2018

When we talk about judging books by the standards of their time, we’re usually dealing with books that have been written many many decades ago, but Lynne Reid Banks’ The Indian In The Cupboard isn’t far removed from our own childhoods. It’s easy to s...Show More

1:04:09 | Nov 5th, 2018

Remember November commences with us revisiting John Knowles' A Separate Peace. This book about a broken leg boy bored Craig to peaces in high school, but it turns out some books resonate more strongly than you might think. Tune in for a conversati...Show More

1:12:44 | Nov 2nd, 2018

What's spookier than doing a CYOA book with a live bonus episode audience? CHANGING THE COURSE OF HUMAN HISTORY! Actually, this adventure wasn't TOO spooky but we did meet our least favorite passenger on the Titanic: Jessica.

1:06:11 | Oct 29th, 2018

This week we revisit a classic Spooktober trope, the haunted house! Richard Matheson's Hell House definitely does not belong in the upper echelon of haunted house fiction - though it's a page-turner that forwards some interesting theories about the c...Show More

1:13:11 | Oct 22nd, 2018

This week's episode, on Thomas Olde Heuvelt's English-language debut novel, is a good reminder: don't accuse a woman of being a witch, kill her, and then taunt her as she despondently traipses through your small town. Bad things will happen. This see...Show More

57:44 | Oct 15th, 2018

R.L. Stine's Goosebumps series has been spooking tweens since 1992, selling millions of copies and spawning numerous offshoots and film projects. This week we discuss one of the earliest in the series: Say Cheese and Die! Find out what happens whe...Show More

58:22 | Oct 8th, 2018

What's scarier than an authoritative government that censors and corrupts its artists? The literal devil! This week we're talking about The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov, a seminal work in the 20th-century Russian canon and an exploration ...Show More

59:14 | Oct 1st, 2018

Welcome to Spooktober 2018! Our first book this year is Carrie, Stephen King’s first published novel. Even if you know what happens—and you have probably at least encountered the pigs-blood-prom-night thing through cultural osmosis at this point—the ...Show More

1:26:27 | Sep 29th, 2018

After reading a whole bunch of books, we’ve finally gotten to the odyssey part of the Odyssey! Giants, dead people, sort-of-goddesses—these books have it all. Remember, some Patreon supporters get these episodes early every month. Find out more at...Show More

1:29:56 | Sep 24th, 2018

Just like Bella can't resist her vampire beau Edward, we couldn't resist returning to Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series. So we sharpened our fangs and grew out our wolfbeards for a lengthy discussion of the second book in the series, New Moon. We ...Show More

58:37 | Sep 10th, 2018

Louis L'Amour's The Walking Drum, a historical novel set circa the 12th century in Europe and the Middle East, is less concerned with being an adventure story and more concerned with telling the reader about worlds that are different from their own. ...Show More

1:06:15 | Sep 8th, 2018

How far would YOU go for your kids? asks Craig DiLouie in Suffer the Children. Would you listen to a whole podcast about KIDS WHO EAT BLOOD?! This episode was recorded live over the Internet with some of our Patreon supporters in the audience. Fin...Show More

1:25:53 | Sep 3rd, 2018

Johnny Tremain is sort of Revolutionary War fan-fiction and sort of World War II propaganda, but it nevertheless remains a part of the canon because it shows us a side of these characters that most elementary school history books exclude. Natasha fro...Show More

58:10 | Aug 27th, 2018

If you want to relive the 2008 financial crisis, this is the book for you! Behold the Dreamers is the story of the crash through the eyes of immigrants who work for bankers, but Imbolo Mbue resists making any individual character into a hero or villa...Show More

1:13:49 | Aug 20th, 2018

NOTE: This episode does contain explicit language. Welcome back to our good friends Margaret and Sophie! They're here to tell you all about Erich Segal's classic tearjerker Love Story. Get ready to hear about tears, jerks, and unfortunate fate of...Show More

1:02:54 | Aug 13th, 2018

This week we solve a mystery with the Hardy Boys, the indistinguishable sons of a famous detective. They’ll conquer men in wigs, slightly worse detectives, and Hobo Johnny on their way to earning a thousand bucks. Good night!

1:05:44 | Aug 6th, 2018

The Diary of a Young Girl, frequently referred to as The Diary of Anne Frank, chronicles the author's time hiding with her family during the German occupation of Amsterdam in the 1940s. It's also a shockingly personal account of a young woman's quest...Show More

1:05:33 | Jul 30th, 2018

Colson Whitehead's The Underground Railroad is slave fiction with just a hint of magical realism mixed in to heighten the stakes. Whitehead uses a slightly fluid sense of time and location to better highlight the links between the institution of slav...Show More

1:19:50 | Jul 27th, 2018

The experiment continues! It's the show-within-a-show where we read Emily Wilson's new translation of The Odyssey a few books at a time and having a more in-depth chat about it than they do about most books. These episodes cover Books 4-7 of The O...Show More

1:10:58 | Jul 23rd, 2018

You may remember Dennis Lehane's 2001 novel Mystic River from the award-winning 2003 film of the same name. What elevates this murder mystery from other crime procedurals is its attention to human detail, its exploration of our collective moral faili...Show More

1:05:03 | Jul 16th, 2018

Just what the heck is a Ya-Ya, anyway?? We tackle this and other topics—including physical abuse, parenthood, midlife crises, and other topics we have little-to-no direct experience with—as we cover Rebecca Wells' best-known novel.

59:55 | Jul 9th, 2018

V.E. Schwab's popular Shades of Magic series started with this novel about Kell, a magic man with a magic jacket, and Lila, a thief who dreams of becoming a pirate. They're brought together against forces conspiring to destroy *multiple* Londons, and...Show More

55:37 | Jul 2nd, 2018

This week's episode on Brian Jacques' Redwall was recorded live at the 6th Annual Philadelphia Podcast Festival. Thanks to everyone who was able to join us and to the festival for having us back! We hope you enjoy our wide-ranging discussion about...Show More

1:00:28 | Jun 28th, 2018

You know Aristotle, the Greek philosopher from the 4th century BCE? What if he was a detective who helped solve mysteries? That's exactly what's going on in Margaret Doody's 1978 novel Aristotle Detective.  This episode was recorded live over the ...Show More

1:04:45 | Jun 25th, 2018

We didn’t plan to discuss Cristina Henriquez’s The Book of Unknown Americans during a particularly fraught period in the United States’ immigration debate. But if this book or our discussion can help anyone develop more empathy for those who come to ...Show More

1:05:50 | Jun 18th, 2018

What was it about the first Mistborn book that netted Brandon Sanderson a job wrapping up the Wheel of Time series? That's the central question we attempt to answer in our discussion of Brando Sando's acclaimed novel. Join us for a discussion of a...Show More

59:58 | Jun 11th, 2018

Childhood’s End, Arthur C. Clarke’s first successful novel, starts as a story about a surprisingly chill (if mysterious) alien invasion, but eventually it’s also about the end of the human race. It’s not the aliens’ fault, for once! But they’re defin...Show More

1:04:52 | Jun 4th, 2018

Margaret Craven's 1967 novel I Heard the Owl Call My Name is about a young Anglican vicar's work with a First Nations parish in British Columbia. The simplistic tale centers on the problems facing a culture at risk of disappearing and the work of tho...Show More

1:18:10 | May 31st, 2018

Welcome to a new experiment! For this new show-within-a-show, Craig and Andrew will be reading Emily Wilson's new translation of The Odyssey a book at a time and having a more in-depth chat about it than they do about most books. Patreon supporte...Show More

57:32 | May 28th, 2018

What would you do if you could suddenly zap someone with an electrical charge? What would you do if someone you knew could do it, but you couldn't? What would you do if the world got flipped entirely upside down because said electrical power inverted...Show More

1:38:18 | May 21st, 2018

We couldn't think of a better way to celebrate our 300th episode than with a *biting* discussion of Stephenie Meyer's blockbuster hit Twilight. Will klutzy cipher Bella Swan and perfect baseballboy Edward Cullen make it? Can you practice abstinenc...Show More

1:05:47 | May 14th, 2018

We head back to the Choose Your Own Adventure well this week to solve some rock and roll mysteries - will we get brainwashed by a cult? Will we save rock and roll? You'll have to listen to find out!

1:05:27 | May 7th, 2018

If your kid's all strange in your neighborhood, who you gonna call? PIGGLE-WIGGLE! Betty MacDonald's Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle series chronicles a kindly magical lady as she helps all manner of parents with all manner of difficult children. Won't bathe? ...Show More

1:02:58 | May 3rd, 2018

For April, we covered W.G. Sebald's Austerlitz, a dense yet moving novel about a man discovering his stolen past. The book's themes get a little heavy at times, but thankfully our rowdy chat is always ready to help lighten the mood. Talking points in...Show More

1:23:21 | Apr 30th, 2018

Who better to help us discuss Grace Metalious' 1956 novel about small-town scandal than a couple of Big Apple librarians like Gwen Glazer and Frank Collerius? Our friends from The Librarian Is In were in Philly, so we invited them over for an uncu...Show More

1:02:42 | Apr 23rd, 2018

Kezia Saint Martin is an unwilling heiress, a woman who uses multiple pseudonyms so she can do the work she loves. Lucas John is a paroled convict, a strapping Patrick Warburton type who fights for reform in the prison system. Danielle Steel's 1977 n...Show More

1:04:02 | Apr 16th, 2018

"I read a book one day and my whole life changed," opens Orhan Pamuk's best-selling novel The New Life. Like much of Pamuk's work, The New Life dives deep into how art helps and hinders our efforts to process the world, drawing specifically on the te...Show More

1:06:12 | Apr 9th, 2018

Put another quarter in the coin slot folks, because it's time to talk about Ernest Cline's Ready Player One. Topics include bad fan culture, the narrowness of the characters' "exhaustive" knowledge of 80s popular culture, and why the critical respons...Show More

1:00:43 | Apr 2nd, 2018

Sue Grafton's Alphabet Mystery series stars Kinsey Millhone, a no-nonsense private eye operating in California. "A" is for Alibi is the first book for feature Kinsey, so we spend much of the episode talking about how it sets up the series and how Kin...Show More

1:30:55 | Mar 26th, 2018

Gone With The Wind is an American classic, both in that it is a classic book written by an American author and in that it does a bad job wrangling with America's original sin, slavery. We try to justice both to Mitchell's characterization and sense o...Show More

1:01:20 | Mar 19th, 2018

E.B. White's Charlotte's Web is a beloved classic for plenty of reasons. It's got bloodthirsty spiders, hungry hungry rats, and some terrific, radiant, humble pig named Wilbur. But somehow Craig hadn't read it until THIS WEEK. Other talking points...Show More

57:30 | Mar 12th, 2018

Have you ever wondered what it would be like if the Earth were flat and also being carried by four gigantic elephants who were all standing on the back of a giant space turtle? Us too! Which is why Terry Pratchett's Discworld series remains relevant ...Show More

1:03:34 | Mar 5th, 2018

Audrey Niffenegger's novel The Time Traveler's Wife is equal parts romance and sci-fi. It's a love story about the limits of free will and the power of destiny. It is also a way hornier book than we gave it credit for. Talking points include James...Show More

58:28 | Feb 28th, 2018

For February's bonus episode, we spin, twirl, and jump our way through a conversation about Meg Howrey's The Cranes Dance. This book about sisterhood and ambition draws heavily on the author's experience as a successful professional dancer.

1:01:45 | Feb 26th, 2018

Octavia Butler’s Kindred is ostensibly a sci-fi/fantasy novel about time travel, but it also draws heavily from the tradition of first-person slave narratives. Butler’s characters, whether white slaveowners, the slaves themselves, or the time travele...Show More

57:23 | Feb 19th, 2018

Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter and...then what? N.K. Jemisin's award-winning novel The Fifth Season kicks off her Broken Earth trilogy with a tale about serial apocalypses and oppressed earth mages. SPOILER ALERT: We talk about a critical plot point ab...Show More

1:01:58 | Feb 12th, 2018

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Americanah is about a lot of things—it's a love story, it's an immigrant story, it's a story about the Obama moment—but it has the most to say about race. It's about being black in America, but not from the perspective of a...Show More

56:57 | Feb 5th, 2018

Jesmyn Ward's second novel Salvage the Bones is the story of a family in rural Mississippi in the twelve days leading up to Hurricane Katrina's landfall. Equal parts intimate and mythic in proportion, Salvage the Bones is a moving portrait of perseve...Show More

1:07:05 | Jan 29th, 2018

In the wake of Ursula K. Le Guin's tragic passing earlier this month, this week's episode covers her Nebula-award winning The Dispossessed. Part of the "Hainish Cycle," the book deals with capitalism, socialism, anarchism, and human nature in ways th...Show More

1:08:35 | Jan 22nd, 2018

Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses may be the first book we've covered to have caused a full-blown International Incident. Rushdie's notorious fourth novel tackles issues of immigration, identity and revelation, but it's the passages inspired by the...Show More

59:14 | Jan 8th, 2018

A boy and his wolf cross the border into Mexico and things go...rather poorly. That's the premise of Cormac McCarthy's 1994 novel The Crossing. It's a Southwestern Gothic coming-of-age story that also touches on the evil nature of man and the collaps...Show More

56:30 | Jan 1st, 2018

Our first episode of the new year is actually from our live show at the Fall For The Book Festival in Fairfax, VA. Andrew read the original version of Beauty and the Beast, which bears some similarity to the better-known Disney version but kind of go...Show More

1:11:35 | Dec 25th, 2017

It's a family affair for this week's episode, in which Craig, Andrew, Laura, and Suzannah gather 'round the fire to discuss Daphne Skinner's novelization of the hit 1994 Tim Allen film, The Santa Clause. Does Tim Allen murder Santa? How many Santas h...Show More

1:03:52 | Dec 18th, 2017

Markus Zusak's breakthrough novel The Book Thief is the story of a young girl in 1940s Germany told by Death itself. It is equal parts heartening and heartbreaking in its depiction of people just trying to live, and it doesn't shy away from showing h...Show More

57:13 | Dec 11th, 2017

On this week’s show, we ponder the meaning of life, the universe, and everything via Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, a radio-play-turned-book that has been adapted to just about every audiovisual medium known to humankind. We also po...Show More

1:07:14 | Dec 9th, 2017

Our "November" bonus episode, the final entry in "stuff we've read month," is Ray Bradbury's old high school lit class standby Fahrenheit 451. Needless to say, it's hitting us differently now than it did when we originally read it.

1:04:27 | Dec 4th, 2017

Grab your tissues everyone! Wilson Rawls' first novel Where the Red Fern Grows is notorious for how sad it is, and the reputation is well-deserved. It's a story of a boy, his dogs, and "death in its saddest form." You do the math. Also up for disc...Show More

1:26:18 | Nov 27th, 2017

For this week’s show, we attempt to figure out what we can add to a conversation about one of the most-discussed books in all of modern literature! Join us for a chat about what JK Rowling’s first book does well, how useful we find the concept of “so...Show More

1:18:46 | Nov 20th, 2017

Strap in and blast off to space with us Ender Wiggin, the pint-sized protagonist of Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game. It's the story of an ultra-talented youth pushed to the limit as he fights to save humanity. The book's chockablock with laser tag...Show More

1:03:32 | Nov 13th, 2017

This week we put on our flapper outfits and dance back to the Roaring Twenties! F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby bears us ceaselessly back into the past, and we use the Jazz Age as a backdrop for a conversation about the American Dream and also...Show More

1:11:42 | Nov 6th, 2017

Travel through time and space with us to the planet Camazotz and beyond! Learn about love, dictatorships, and cosmic Christian centaurs with us and Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time. Other topics include meeting your husband on Broadway, Grand...Show More

1:00:46 | Nov 3rd, 2017

Trick or Treat! We tricked you - it's a treat! Here's an all-new batch of spooky stories and educational hauntings.  The podcast is coming from inside the house! We have camping trip guidelines, the Highgate Chicken Ghost, Harry and the Woman in t...Show More

1:02:22 | Oct 30th, 2017

This week's penultimate Spooktober entry is Anne Rice's Interview With The Vampire, a first-person vampire story that has spawned nearly two dozen sequels, spin-offs, and connected stories. The actual interview gimmick doesn't add much, but that does...Show More

1:21:52 | Oct 23rd, 2017

This week, Natasha of the Unspoiled Book Club podcast joins us to hash out Stephen King’s Bag of Bones, a book about being a middlebrow fiction writer, small towns, and ghosts. So, you know, most Stephen King novels. This week’s show brought to y...Show More

1:04:42 | Oct 16th, 2017

Mark Z. Danielewski's House of Leaves is out to get you. It is an antagonistic book that's larger on the inside than it appears on the outside. It's also a book about a book about a film about a house that may or may not be a portal to a hellish laby...Show More

56:07 | Oct 9th, 2017

This week we take a double-dip into Edgar Allan Poe's spooky catalogue—Craig reads about the Murders in the Rue Morgue, and Andrew sips from the Cask of Amontillado. Both are sort of spooky in their way, but they're also deeply strange horror stories...Show More

1:10:47 | Oct 6th, 2017

This episode we dive back into the mailbag! We didn't read a book but we did read a bunch of great questions from you about how we make the show, how we program it, and what we eat while we're reading. As always, thanks to our Patreon supporters f...Show More

58:23 | Oct 2nd, 2017

Are you ready to get SPOOKY??? It's the first week of our 2017 Spooktober spectacular, and we're here to talk about R.L. Stine's teen horror series 99 Fear Street. This entry, The First Horror, is the story of Cally and her family, who move into the ...Show More

56:21 | Sep 25th, 2017

Books read 1, alcohol units 4 (bad), chuckles 179 (excellent). This week we tackle Helen Fielding's Bridget Jones's Diary, a book that's carried a long way by its narrator's voice; we also talk about Livejournals we may or may not have had, femini...Show More

1:00:08 | Sep 18th, 2017

How Weird do you like your fiction? Do you dig bogeymen who eat ghosts? Narrators who repeat themselves all the time? How about soul-crushing nihilism that implicates the reader in the demise of civilization? Well then Michael Cisco's The Traitor mig...Show More

56:39 | Sep 11th, 2017

Sara Novic's Girl at War has all the confidence and impact of a firsthand account, despite the fact that it was written almost entirely from secondhand accounts. Detailing one girl's experience in the early 90s Croatian War of Independence and her li...Show More

1:01:34 | Sep 4th, 2017

This week, four conventionally-sized young women approach adulthood in Louisa May Alcott's seminal novel Little Women. It's time to wonder who will marry Laurie, who will sell their novel, and who will frustrate us with their moral lessons. Also:...Show More

1:01:38 | Aug 28th, 2017

You might know George R. R. Martin from an obscure little HBO series called “Game of Thrones.” This week, we go back to his very first (and pre-ASOIAF) novel, the science fiction/romance story Dying of the Light. This book showcases Martin’s...Show More
ARCHIVED: The podcast creator has made this episode no longer available for listening.

48:30 | Aug 21st, 2017

We’re enjoying a summertime break this week, so we hope YOU enjoy our Philly Podcast Festival show about Anne of Green Gables from last month!

48:29 | Aug 21st, 2017

We’re enjoying a summertime break this week, so we hope YOU enjoy our Philly Podcast Festival show about Anne of Green Gables from last month!
ARCHIVED: The podcast creator has made this episode no longer available for listening.

1:07:28 | Aug 17th, 2017

Ben Lerner's novel 10:04 is about a man named Ben trying to write a novel. Yes, it's meta. Yes, it can get navel-gazey. But there's an underlying humanity and economy that keeps the book afloat. Discussion topics include gatekeeping, listening, di...Show More

1:07:27 | Aug 17th, 2017

Ben Lerner's novel 10:04 is about a man named Ben trying to write a novel. Yes, it's meta. Yes, it can get navel-gazey. But there's an underlying humanity and economy that keeps the book afloat. Discussion topics include gatekeeping, listening, di...Show More

1:04:11 | Aug 14th, 2017

Ranking on multiple Saddest Books Ever lists, Katherine Paterson's Bridge to Terabithia is a classic young adult novel. A young boy makes a new friend, and their friendship blossoms despite the daily grind of middle school. Then someone dies. Weep a...Show More

1:05:03 | Aug 7th, 2017

The Talented Mr. Ripley is a book about apprehension and grifting and murder, which makes it feel like a great selection for this, the Year Of Our Lord 2017. You never like Tom Ripley, exactly, but he’s a fascinating character to inhabit for a few hu...Show More

1:01:02 | Jul 31st, 2017

Hold on to your hors--I mean, rats, it's a live show! We present to you this dispatch from Boston on Robert C. O'Brien's novel Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH. While we don't come away with a newfound love of rats, we do develop an appreciation f...Show More

1:03:39 | Jul 24th, 2017

Laura Esquivel's best-selling novel Like Water For Chocolate is a work of revolutionary magical realism. No really, it takes place during the Mexican Revolution and chronicles the life of a young woman whose strong emotions affect the world around he...Show More

1:02:55 | Jul 17th, 2017

Live shows and a busy summer mean there’s nothing special about our 250th episode, except insofar as each and every one of our episodes is a special wonderful delight! Alias Hook is a 2014 book that asks what Peter Pan and Neverland would seem like ...Show More

56:51 | Jul 10th, 2017

Larry Shue's 1981 play The Nerd is about a gumption-less architect trying to extract a painful person from his life. Did we mention it's a comedy? We cover the play's plot (including its final reveal), the allure of answering machines, anonymous fav...Show More

55:09 | Jul 3rd, 2017

Steve Kluger’s Last Days of Summer isn’t a complicated novel—it’s a nice, emotionally resonant book about a kid without a father and a man without a kid who form a unique and heartwarming bond. Sometimes it’s just nice to read a nice book where (most...Show More

1:00:55 | Jun 26th, 2017

What's hidden in your secret garden? Which weeds need weeding? Which flowers need water, sunlight, and a Pokemon trainer to bring them to life? This week we talk about our own secret gardens, as well as the novel The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson...Show More

1:03:46 | Jun 19th, 2017

We’ve read fantasy adventure books and we’ve read sexy books, but have we read any books that are sexy fantasy adventures? After reading Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel’s Dart, the first in what is currently a nine-book series about sexy angel warriors, w...Show More

59:35 | Jun 12th, 2017

If you could wish for anything, what would it be? Dinosaurs to eat? Money to spend? A Nintendo to live in? The kids in E. Nesbit's story Five Children and It are bad at wishing. Like, really bad. But that means we get to have fun at their expense an...Show More

1:12:07 | Jun 5th, 2017

Do you know the meaning of life? We don't either, but we feel like we're just a little bit closer after reading Hermann Hesse's classic Siddhartha.

1:15:30 | May 29th, 2017

Andrew's out of the country so Craig's wife Laura joins the show to talk about Geraldine Brooks' Pulitzer Prize-winning novel March. March imagines the "offstage" of Mr. March, the largely absent father figure of Louisa May Alcott's classic Little W...Show More

1:00:35 | May 25th, 2017

This month, we read the first book in Akif Pirinçci’s “Felidae” series. It’s a “bestselling novel of cats and murder,” and it combines over-the-top violence that makes Watership Down look like a book that’s actually appropriate for children. It’s als...Show More

1:14:20 | May 22nd, 2017

YOU. ARE. A. SHARK. Or so the title of this Choose Your Own Adventure book by Edward Packward would have you believe! Will we be a leader of animals or a follower? Will we dominate the ocean, land, or sky? Plenty of choices await us in this week's ...Show More

1:04:08 | May 15th, 2017

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao earned Junot Díaz a Pulitzer Prize in 2008, and it remains one of the most highly regarded novels of our young 21st century. Oscar Wao is a Dominican lad who loves geekery almost as much as he loves women. The on...Show More

1:02:18 | May 8th, 2017

We're at the tail end of Children's Book Week, so we thought it appropriate to discuss E.L. Konigsburg's Newberry Award-winning book From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. The story follows two kids who run away to the Metropolitan Mu...Show More

1:15:58 | May 1st, 2017

NOTE: A short stretch of fairly explicit sex talk earns this one the "Explicit" tag, though as usual we avoid cussing. You've been warned! This week, we illuminate everything about Jonathan Safran Foer's debut novel. It's not Andrew's cup of tea, ex...Show More

1:19:56 | Apr 30th, 2017

Welcome to our rad, bad, extra-jumbo bonus episode on Matt Christopher's Skateboard Tough! It's a jumbo episode because we spend at least 10 minutes reading the titles of every sport book for kids he wrote. This episode attempts to answer the burnin...Show More

1:05:58 | Apr 24th, 2017

Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go explores the inner lives of teens as they learn, love, and discover their full potential as... something you need to read/listen to find out. This intimate novel flirts with disturbing science fiction elements, but ou...Show More

1:08:52 | Apr 17th, 2017

Craig returns this week for a talk about George Eliot (pen name for Mary Anne Evans) and her novel Silas Marner, which starts out as a bummer but gradually becomes an uplifting little story. We also talk about Craig’s vacation and the Baldwin brother...Show More

1:25:26 | Apr 10th, 2017

Craig’s on his long-delayed honeymoon this week, so Andrew’s wife and other best friend Suzannah is filling in this week to tell you all about Alexandre Dumas’ The Count of Monte Cristo. Did you know that Dumas has upwards of 40 mistresses? Did you ...Show More

1:01:00 | Apr 6th, 2017

David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas is most notable for its uniquely structured narrative, so it's only appropriate we made this the first book we cover while livestreaming for patrons! Other topics include Tom Hanks' henna tattoos, Yoko Ono husbands, and ...Show More

1:11:12 | Apr 3rd, 2017

This week we dive into Sylvia Plath's novel The Bell Jar, a quasi-autobiographical novel about womanhood, depression, and identity. We also discuss the unfortunate circumstances of Plath's early death, country mice moving to big cities, and metaphori...Show More

1:03:18 | Mar 27th, 2017

This week the boys join Amy Tan’s Joy Luck Club and read (fictional) stories about the Chinese-American children of Chinese immigrants; they also attempt to navigate some choppy waters around the book’s potential perpetuating of Chinese and Chinese-A...Show More

1:03:55 | Mar 20th, 2017

Well shiver me timbers, it's a live show! They say that dead men tell no tales, but Robert Louis Stevenson sure told a great tale in Treasure Island. Things reach a fever pitch (literally) at our live show at the Free Library of Philadelphia. Topics...Show More

1:10:47 | Mar 13th, 2017

This week, we return to the works of Gabriel Garcia Marquez (“Gabo” to his friends) for the first time since our second-ever episode. This time around we get to dive deeper into “magical realism,” the sort of dreamy heightened reality that Marquez em...Show More

1:14:07 | Mar 6th, 2017

It's time to travel to the magical land of Narnia! It's Craig's first time journeying through C.S. Lewis' The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and it's EVERYONE's first time eating Turkish Delight! Find out what the opposite of delight is, how a l...Show More

1:07:55 | Feb 27th, 2017

This week we bring you The World According to Garp according to Andrew - we breeze through John Irving’s best-known “middlebrow” novel, touching on its feminist leanings, its surprising progressivism as it regards the transgendered, and both the dark...Show More

1:06:46 | Feb 20th, 2017

This week we're joined by social media maven (and friend of the show) Margaret H. Willison to talk about Christopher Pike's Last Act, an early entry from the author's prolific career writing YA thrillers. We're here to solve the mystery of a murder ...Show More

1:01:59 | Feb 13th, 2017

This week, we tackle Audre Lorde's autobiographical Zami: A New Spelling of My Name. It's an account of Lorde's childhood and early adulthood, focusing specifically on her experiences as a black, out, gay woman in New York City in the 1950s.

54:46 | Feb 10th, 2017

Mark Haddon's book about a teenager with "Behavioral Problems" is notable less for what happens in it and more for its perspective. It's an affecting study of human thought and behavior that we can't ruin even by talking about Subway for five minutes...Show More

1:04:09 | Feb 6th, 2017

"I am an invisible man," says the unnamed narrator at the beginning of Ralph Ellison's masterpiece Invisible Man. He then walks the reader through the painful journey that led to this realization, from the Jim Crow South to a less explicitly divided ...Show More

1:18:34 | Jan 30th, 2017

Who has the conch? Somebody find the glasses! We're trapped on a podcast island with the amazing Gwen Glazer and Frank Collerius of the New York Public Library's show The Librarian Is In. Actually, Gwen and Frank were kind enough to have us in their...Show More

1:04:00 | Jan 23rd, 2017

What will you remember? What will you be remembered for? Emily St. John Mandel's Station Eleven asks these questions of most of its characters as they struggle to survive before and after an apocalyptic flu outbreak. We also talk Mandel's work crunc...Show More

1:37:44 | Jan 16th, 2017

We the Hosts of Overdue, in Order to form a more perfect Podcast, establish Humor, insure earbud Tranquility, provide for uncommon offense, promote our listeners’ Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Goofs to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain an...Show More

1:02:09 | Jan 9th, 2017

This week, Andrew brings his oddly deep and specific knowledge of The Simpsons to bear on Anne Washburn's Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play. In a post-apocalyptic world in which Simpsons quotes were treated as currency, he would pretty much run the pla...Show More

1:07:26 | Jan 2nd, 2017

Welcome to 2017! Our first book of the year is Angel by Elizabeth Taylor, a somewhat forgotten mid-century classic about an author shaping her world through fiction. Because it's us, we HAD to spend time talking about the other Angels and Elizabeths...Show More

54:07 | Dec 30th, 2016

Up in the sky, look! It's a bird...it's a plane...it's a podcast about Superman! Lucas Brown (host of the podcast "The Math of You") joins us for a discussion of Grant Morrison's timeless Man of Steel collection All-Star Superman. We talk about ori...Show More

1:03:38 | Dec 26th, 2016

For our last regular show of 2016, we come to Ruth Ozeki’s A Tale for the Time Being and get schooled on the relationship between the writer and reader and the nature of time itself. We also touch on Christmas gifts from the future-past, good names ...Show More

57:03 | Dec 19th, 2016

This week we learn all about the "quick, dirty, and over-the-top" erotic fiction of Alexa Riley - and since Stealing Christmas is holiday-themed, we get into the spirit of the season, too! Join us for a frank and explicit discussion of mall barons, ...Show More

1:02:02 | Dec 12th, 2016

Show me Zadie Smith's WHITE TEETH! Join us for a discussion about her debut novel that tackles immigration, assimilation, and our collective struggle to control the lives we lead. We'll also reference Lady Gaga, share some rules for fistfighting (an...Show More

1:04:11 | Dec 5th, 2016

S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders was written when the author was just 16, which is impressive not just because the book has an atypical amount of empathy and perspective for something written by a teenager, but because the author is especially close to he...Show More

1:03:39 | Nov 28th, 2016

The History of Love is littered with catchphrases. Bazinga! Time to make the donuts! Not the Mama! That is to say, our episode on The History of Love is littered with catchphrases. The 2005 novel by Nicole Krauss stars Leo and Alma, whose fates are ...Show More

1:03:30 | Nov 21st, 2016

Neil Gaiman started 2013's The Ocean at the End of the Lane as a novella for his wife, who "doesn't really like fantasy." This gives the book a different vibe from some of Gaiman's other work, though any book that features a tattered sentient bedshee...Show More

1:24:23 | Nov 18th, 2016

No book for this month's bonus episode, gang, and we're also releasing it at the same time for both patrons and everyone else in the interest of being timely. We were both deeply saddened by the results of last week's United States presidential elec...Show More

1:04:59 | Nov 14th, 2016

What does pizza murder have to do with a linguistic virus that dates all the way back to Ancient Sumeria? Find out as we discuss Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash. Other talking points include Stephenson's "Multiverse," anime, and "pooning." Thanks agai...Show More

1:07:37 | Nov 7th, 2016

Magic Bites, the first novel in a longrunning series by wife-and-husband writing team Ilona and Andrew Gordon (known collectively as Ilona Andrews) does throw out some interesting ideas. The relationship between magic and science is neat, and some of...Show More
ARCHIVED: The podcast creator has made this episode no longer available for listening.

1:11:53 | Nov 3rd, 2016

Listener beware, we're choosing the scares! In this, our final Spooktober entry of 2016, we bounce around the pages of R.L. Stine's Give Yourself Goosebumps #6: Beware of the Purple Peanut Butter. It's time to get the heebies AND the jeebies as we...Show More

1:04:49 | Oct 31st, 2016

Hold on to your VHS tapes! It's time to talk about Koji Suzuki's Ring, the 1991 novel that inspired that movie everyone's heard of with the tape and the phone call and the seven days until your death. He may not be Stephen King, and he may not like ...Show More

1:04:19 | Oct 26th, 2016

It’s time to get *very* professional with the fourth book of Spooktober 2016! Guy Endore’s Werewolf in Paris is widely regarded as The Werewolf Novel, but it isn’t all full moons and silver bullets. Set in and around in the Paris Commune of 1871, the...Show More

1:05:35 | Oct 17th, 2016

Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House has been hailed as "the greatest haunted-house story ever written." The house itself is vile. It's dark and impossible to navigate. It's dripping with blood. So why are four people trying to spend their su...Show More

1:05:05 | Oct 15th, 2016

Come Peter Panning with us as we discuss the 1991 Steven Spielberg film Hook, inspired by the classic book Peter Pan (Episode 165). It's time to name of a bunch of films, discuss the perils of overstaying your welcome in Neverland, and explore how su...Show More

1:01:44 | Oct 10th, 2016

We get Spooktober rolling in earnest this week with Susan Hill's The Woman in Black, a ghost story written in the 1980s that intentionally invokes Gothic and Victorian storytelling techniques and language to create a tale that feels timeless.

1:02:54 | Oct 4th, 2016

This week is the start of Overdue’s third-annual Spooktober spookfest, a month full of scary (or at least somewhat spooky) books that will get you in the mood for Halloween! Our first book is Diana Wynne Jones' Howl's Moving Castle, a book about a y...Show More

1:05:22 | Sep 19th, 2016

It's my life...and it's now or never. I ain't gonna live forever! OR AM I? Natalie Babbitt's beloved children's novel Tuck Everlasting tackles the tough questions. What would happen if I could live forever? What will I do with the time I'm allotted ...Show More

1:07:52 | Sep 12th, 2016

What if magic were real? What if your favorite fantasy world was a place you could actually go? Would you be happy? Could you be happy? These are the questions posed by Lev Grossman's The Magicians, an en*gross*ing urban fantasy novel that's spawned...Show More

58:29 | Sep 5th, 2016

Something a little different this week: Andrew read a non-fiction book about the personal computer era, something he was reading about mostly because he was also watching AMC’s Halt and Catch Fire. There’s an interesting story at the heart of it, but...Show More

55:00 | Sep 1st, 2016

If you came out to our second-ever live show at the Philadelphia Podcast Festival, you've already heard this one! But for the rest of you, settle in for a conversation about bunny theology, rabbit puns, tattooed moms, and our normal shenanigans.

1:00:38 | Aug 29th, 2016

With The Beggar's Opera, John Gay attempted to skewer 18th-century British government, the rich, and Italian operas. Did his satire succeed? Maybe you'll find out on this rather free-wheeling episode. Off-topic topics include: the firm of Borowitz, ...Show More

1:08:07 | Aug 22nd, 2016

Shrink your bodies and expand your minds with this week's Choose Your Own Adventure book: Prisoner of the Ant People by R.A. Montgomery. This week's choices include tossing out the rules, annoying robots and nicely-shaped Martians, and starting almo...Show More

56:30 | Aug 15th, 2016

What happens when you take some Ray Bradbury, add some undead, stir in a pinch of Doctor Who, sprinkle with dark humor, and bake in the eternal flames of Hell? You get Jonathan L. Howard's Johannes Cabal the Necromancer, the first in a series of book...Show More

1:04:50 | Aug 8th, 2016

"Bond. James Bond." "Shaken, not stirred." "It's no good crying over spilt milk." This week we find out which one of these classic James Bond catchphrases does NOT appear in Ian Fleming's debut novel Casino Royale. We also discuss test tube Olymp...Show More

1:00:02 | Aug 4th, 2016

Andrew's other podcast pals Margaret and Kathryn give Craig a break this month, and we all talk about Norton Juster's classic The Phantom Tollbooth. Kathryn wasn't totally on board since she never read the book as a kid, but there are plenty of puns ...Show More

1:07:11 | Aug 1st, 2016

This week Andrew reads Rainbow Rowell’s pitch-perfect YA novel Eleanor and Park, and it spurs a discussion of 80s nostalgia, first kisses, censorship, body image issues, and teen life.

59:47 | Jul 25th, 2016

Daniel José Older's novel Shadowshaper is the story of Sierra Santiago, a young woman with the power to infuse art with spirits and save her community from destruction. Set in Older's modern, magical Brooklyn, Shadowshaper shows us the supernatural p...Show More

1:05:45 | Jul 18th, 2016

This week, we use Tana French’s outstanding sequel The Likeness as an opportunity to comment on everything from the semi-serialized nature of crime stories to tips for going undercover to Pokémon Go. We read French’s first novel, In The Woods, for t...Show More

1:18:53 | Jul 11th, 2016

Sometimes an author’s prose is so distracting in so many ways that it totally derails their stories—such is the case with Nicholas Sparks’ A Walk to Remember. Sparks always tells but rarely shows. He gives us one- or two-word descriptions that are me...Show More

1:07:24 | Jul 4th, 2016

Scott O'Dell began writing Island of the Blue Dolphins because of "anger, anger at the hunters who [...] slaughter everything that creeps or walks or flies." The Newberry Award-winning story that resulted is a compelling account of the Lone Woman of ...Show More

1:29:24 | Jun 30th, 2016

You asked, we answered! For this month's bonus show we didn't read a specific book, but instead went through some listener-submitted questions about the show and about us and gave semi-thoughtful answers. Join us to hear a dramatic reading of our fi...Show More

56:55 | Jun 27th, 2016

Joanne Harris’ The Gospel of Loki is part straightforward myth written for a modern audience and part fanfiction, and we don’t mean that in any sort of pejorative sense. Harris sees the Norse pantheon as inherently modern, and it’s hard to disagree ...Show More

1:04:43 | Jun 20th, 2016

"In Soviet Hungary...nanny hires you!" Time to talk about The Door, a lesser known but very powerful book by celebrated Hungarian author Magda Szabo. It's set in the 1960s and 70s, so we read up a little on the Eastern Bloc to make sure we knew what...Show More

1:06:59 | Jun 13th, 2016

This week Andrew completes the Brontë trilogy with Charlotte Brontë's seminal novel Jane Eyre. Is it a romance? Is it spooky? Do we like Mr. Rochester or does he well and truly stink? We'll attempt to answer these questions and more in between revis...Show More

1:07:00 | Jun 10th, 2016

Here's a fun fact: Did you know that Marcia Clark, lead prosecutor on the OJ Simpson case, wrote legal thrillers? Neither did we! But Craig's fascination with the American Crime Story version of the trial and a well-placed ad on Andrew's Kindle led t...Show More