social issues

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.


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This week on Novel Ideas is Holes by Louis Sachar, an award winning YA novel that has become a modern classic. Many of you read it and loved it as children, plus there is a movie that we’re doing a bad job of pretending does not exist. In this episode we talk about the surreal atmosphere of the story, race issues, the justice system, and whether the plot is powered by fate or coincidence. We also touch on the possibility of Newberry Death Month, whether a rooster is just a rooster, and the various little known powers of onions.

The music bump this week is Fiction Plane’s setting of Louis Sachar’s lullaby from the book, though in a form that is not notably lullaby-ish. Also, this setting would probably play over the end credits of the movie version of Holes, if such a movie existed.

41 – Holes – Sam’s Secret Mountain Onion Garden