spoiler alert

Me Before You

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Novel Ideas makes its return after too long away. This episode is about Me Before You by Jojo Moyes, a story about a quirky quirkster and a sad sack in a wheelchair. In this one we discuss ableism, depression, class, and assisted suicide, subjects which may cause you to feel icky. We also talk about our obscure theories (this book is secretly an eff you to rich people, this book is an anti-athlete author tract), what constitutes “a thing” (the internet, disabled people, therapy), why career counselors probably shouldn’t push you towards stripping, and that brief moment where Ben gets super judge-y.

The music bump is “The Queen Bee” by Sammy Nestico as performed by the Count Basie band.

107 – Me Before You – Feels Kinda Icky

Our recommendation: Reads easily enough, but you’ll feel icky if you think too hard about it.

Ben: 5/10 on the initial read, 3/10 by the time Gabs and I were done talking about it.

Gabs: 3/10 after we talked about it.

Holy crap, one of us did some research for this episode! Here are a couple of links that Gabs referenced:

Video:

http://youtu.be/Z9bkWJtm-mU

Articles:

http://cdrnys.org/blog/advocacy/hollywood-lies-i-prefer-my-disabled-girlfriend-alive/

http://alexschadenberg.blogspot.ca/2016/05/boycott-me-before-you-disability-death.html?m=1

The Fifth Season

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This month Novel Ideas discusses The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin. This is a recently published fantasy novel, released this summer, so those of you who are inclined to worry about spoilers: There will be spoilers. In this episode we talk about interesting narrative structure, justifiable anger, cast diversity, and slavery parallels. We also mention that Atlantis is not a thing, pirates with ambiguous sexuality, systematic oppression (and why it is bad), and why one shouldn’t ignore a floating amethyst Washington Monument outside of their window.

The music bump is “Lava Lands” by Jeff Lorber, created by his brain, but not violent enough to sunder a continent. Kinda funky though.

99 – The Fifth Season – Brain Volcanoes

Our rating: We were in agreement that this might be the best thing we’ve read this year and not just limiting that to books read for the podcast.

Ben: 10/10. Great world building with deep and complex characters. Not to mention a heavy dose of badass.

Gabs: 9/10 Rings. Lots of unanswered mysteries, but cast diversity is greatly appreciated.

Inferno

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The great Harry Poddercast Extravaganza continues with… Oh, it’s over? Right. In that case, Novel Ideas is back with a non-Potter podcast for the first time in several weeks with Inferno by Dan Brown, a thriller that involves Dante and lots of obscure art knowledge. This episode also launches a new theme month, Bestseller Month, where we examine books that have sold well and recently. We would like to offer a legitimate spoiler alert for this episode, as the book has several plot twists, and even we would be less interested in the story if we had known those twists in advance. If you’ve already read it, or aren’t planning on reading it soon, tune in (Like on a dial? Maybe I don’t understand the internet yet…) to hear us discuss the aforementioned plot twists, infodumps, overpopulation, and feminism. We also talk about unlikely character pairings, victorious villains, the existence of gay people, and the consequences of monologuing. In a very special turn, we also get to experience a couple of minutes of Gabs rage. Hooray!

The music bump is from Franz Liszt’s “Dante Symphony,” which is being performed during much of the climactic scene of this book.

Recommendations:

Gabs: 5/10 If you like thrillers, read it. If you like the stuff we like, skip it.

Ben: 4/10 Pretty dull for a thriller.

Plug Alert!

Check out Epic One, a collaborative fiction project involving Gabs Roman, half of Novel Ideas. The link will take you to the first chapter of an ongoing online e-book.