‘night Mother

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After an unscheduled delay caused mostly by a certain male sibling’s recent life changes/laziness, Novel Ideas returns with ‘night Mother by Marsha Norman. We read this play because it is award winning and unlike our previous two plays, written by a female playwright. We brought back special guest Jessica Showers (at least at the time of recording) because she works in the theater industry. In this episode, we discuss women and Broadway, depression, conformity, and detachment. We also talk about the possibility of cotagonists, Sno Balls (and how they are the worst), candy, and a few terrible alternate endings.

The music bump is “Communication” by Bela Fleck and the Flecktones and was inspired by our discussion of the theme of the play.

‘night Mother – Suicide is Hard to Joke About


An award winning play that would definitely be worth seeing staged. Is it worth reading? Tougher question to answer.

Gabs: 7/10. Interesting, but hasn’t stuck with me completely.

Ben: 7/10. About the same.


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Novel Ideas returns with Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, a book about a traumatized high school freshman. A quick warning: if rape is a sensitive subject for you, this would be a good week not to tune in, as it is a key point in this book. We’ll also be discussing tense as a storytelling device, post-trauma emotional states, conformity, and the importance of speaking up. Additionally, we’ll also be talking about ubernerds, Ben’s idiocy, Ben’s sexy cold induced phlegm voice, and a special anti-recommendation from Gabs. There will be one or two weird moments in this episode as Ben’s disgusting wet coughs have been deleted, but not his laughter infused voice after Gabs’s disgusted reaction. So we’ll blame contextless laughter on cough deletion this week.

The music bump is “This Long Silence” by Porcupine Tree, which may or may not have anything to do with the book other than the title.

Following a suggestion from Kevin, we are also rating this book on a 1-10 scale to help out those of you who are trying to decide if they want to read the book to avoid spoilers before they listen to the episode.

Ben: 7/10

Gabs: 7 out of 10 possible seconds of silence

This book is good, not great. But it’s worth reading for a good treatment of sensitive topic.

Page count is just under 200.

The Chocolate War

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Banned book month (Novel Ideas edition) continues with The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier, a YA classic that is one of the perennially most challenged books. This is a tale of corruption, disillusionment, and challenging authority, so you know that it must be a light, happy read. In this episode we talk about all of those things and the inevitable crushing beneath the bootheel of authority, as well as French names, gayness, whether there is too much jacking off in this book, and the disturbing lack of women. If all of this sounds depressing, don’t worry, our wrap up is far less disturbing than the end of the book.

The music bump is “The Creator Has a Mastertape” by Porcupine Tree, not for any specific connection, but rather a general sense of darkness. And the fact that Ben thinks it’s cool.

27 – The Chocolate War – SUBMIT