slavery?

Little Women

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Happy New Year! We’re back with a classic in Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, a book that many would call a quintessential American girl’s tale. Do we agree with this assessment? You’ll find out if you listen to this episode. You’ll also discover what we think about feminism in historical context, question certain self-improvements, agree with the narrator’s opinion on spinsters, and discuss the lack of passion in this story. We also talk about ladies who don’t like ladies, the creation of shipping, obnoxious children, and (perhaps oddly) lobsters.

The music bump is Chopin’s Mazurka in A minor, op. 17 due to period appropriateness. Feel free to imagine Beth playing it in heaven if that makes you feel better about it.

109 – Little Women – Marmee is the Worst

Our recommendation: Short version is that it doesn’t really hold up that well.

Ben: 5/10. Didn’t love it, didn’t hate it. I liked that there were a lot of things to discuss, as there usually are with classics.

Gabs: 5/10. 6/10 for part 1, 4/10 for part 2.

Quick administrative note: We’re hoping to post more often this year, though of course we guarantee nothing. As part of this “do more stuff” plan, we would like to be a little more responsive to our listeners. Please leave some requests/recommendations/suggestions for books for future episodes either in the comments for this episode or on our suggestions page.

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2013-2014 Year in Review

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We’re capping year two of Novel Ideas with our Year in Review episode. In this episode we list our Top and Bottom 5 books of the year, as well as handing out various awards for books we read this year. Subjects include the typical, such as: classics, YA, science fiction, bestsellers, characters, and social issues. We also get into some of our usual silliness like the importance of staying alive versus finding a boyfriend, weird sex, Gabs ships, and terrible ad copy. For those of you playing at home, see if you can guess which twenty minutes were punched in after the fact.

The music bump is “Happy” by Pharrell Williams.

2013 – 2014 Year in Review

At the end of this episode, we will tell you that our next episode will be a “A Good Man is Hard to Find” by Flannery O’Connor, but I think it will actually be The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

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Novel Ideas Harry Poddercast Extravaganza continues with Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling. (Turns out all of them are by J.K. Rowling, go figure.) In this episode, we discuss the longest (thus far) book in the series, covering some topics we’ve already visited, such as wizard racism, and some topics that you would assume we’ve covered, such as feminism. Not to mention editing errors, elaborate villain schemes, the importance of world building, and whether 700 pages is too long. And that’s before we get into Draco’s secret pain, shaving mishaps, face punching, and whether Voldemort would be even creepier with a weird mustache. We hope you enjoy!

The music bump is Mike Relm’s “Harry Potter Remix of Death,” one of many Harry Potter remixes floating around the internet.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Recommendations:

I probably don’t even have to mention that we highly recommend this book, but just in case, we highly recommend this book.