Overdue

with Craig Getting and Andrew Cunningham

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 time.

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    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 Depression-era Wisconsin striving for self-determination. Additional talking points include knock-knock tips, Jonathan Franzen's Oprah complaints, and the Tooth Fairy's pyramid scheme.

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    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 reconcile with her classical depictions.

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    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 her about her process, Telemachus' entertaining whining, and why all these boys are oiling themselves up all the time.

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    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' days when men were men who made plans to assassinate presidents. Discussion points include time travel rules and how much time travel rules, past slang and past meats, and the introduction of Craig's new timehopping bud.

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    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."

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    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 incorrectness, and the legacy of Cracked magazine's SHUT UP jokes. Oh - and ska.

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    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.

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    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 story about cool thieves doing cool cons. Talking points include Omar Little, fantasy theatrics, and crossing the double-crossers.

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    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. Wells' protagonist is, surprisingly enough, able to make guesses about sentient life from 800,000 years in the future that just happen to align with his present-day worldview.

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    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 the odd pacing of the series' prior entries. Join us for a discussion of the mind internet, fan fiction and world-building, and just how much we HATE werewolf imprinting.

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    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 classic.

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    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 contest. Then it's time to kill some suitors! Our Heroes' utter lack of mercy doesn't play especially well in Wilson's translation, but that's by design.

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    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.

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    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 three food groups!

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    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!!