Episode Archive

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A monthly book club podcast conducted by two amateur book lovers. Each month Chris and Sarah discuss a piece of literature they've loved or have been wanting to read, and let the listeners weigh in as well. For February, we're reading Emily Wilson's new translation of The Odyssey. Join us!

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March 10, 2016 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 sure to stop by!

February 23, 2016 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 appropriate to pay our respects—and share some choice quotes and personal experiences. Join us!

Books Discussed: The Name of the Rose, Foucault's Pendulum, The Island of the Day Before, Baudolino, The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana, The Prague Cemetery, Numero Zero

February 9, 2016 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 endorsed by President Obama.

Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff

December 31, 2015 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 swing of things, we share our thoughts on two other books we've recently read: My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante, and The Secret History by Donna Tartt. Join us!

July 9, 2013 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 Gently's Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams.

April 12, 2013 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.

March 11, 2013 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.

February 8, 2013 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 Ullman's By Blood.

January 11, 2013 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 month for The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon.

December 22, 2012 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 by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

November 10, 2012 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.

October 5, 2012 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.

September 14, 2012 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.

The Idle Book Club

A monthly book club podcast conducted by two amateur book lovers. Each month we discuss a piece of literature we've loved or have been wanting to read, and let our listeners weigh in as well.