strong women

Twelfth Night

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Shakespeare is back on Novel Ideas! Well, one of Shakespeare’s plays is a topic for Novel Ideas, Shakespeare himself is a bit bigger get than we are currently capable of. But we were able to get the very capable Dr. Anthony Funari back as a guest to discuss William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, a comedy full of cross dressing, something the English still find absolutely hilarious in the twenty-first century. In this episode we discuss queer spaces, Shakespearean comedic heroines, puritanism, and inversion. We also talk about crossing the (drama) streams, Elizabethan drama franchises, unlikely sibling casting, and humorless dicks.

Also check out this link to Tony’s website, The Mad Literature Professor.

The music bump is one of Feste’s song from the 1996 movie production.

Twelfth Night – Star Cross Gartered Lovers


One of Shakespeare’s later comedies, is both hilarious and full of academic interest, if you’re into those things. Read it. Or better yet, find a good stage production of it.

Gabs: 10/10 It’s so good. Queer spaces –  good. Female agency – good. Puritan baiting – good!

Ben: 12/12 Definitely the best of the “Nights” franchise. But seriously, probably my favorite Shakespeare play. So far.

Tony: 10/10 Very interesting in that it is the transition play from comedy to romance, plus Feste is probably Shakespeare’s best fool.


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This week on Novel Ideas, we discuss Boneshaker by Cherie Priest, a sci-fi steampunk alternate history zombie story about the importance of family. In this episode we discuss characterization, possible racism, the motives of villains, and what about this book could use editing. We also the discuss the possibility of Disney accidentally creating zombies, moms who are also sharpshooters, steampunk naming conventions, and all the ways this book is like Peter Pan. There’s also an announcement at the end about our exciting July project extravaganza (more or that in the next day or two here if you’re avoiding the episode for spoilers).

A quick note: During the episode we wonder what the publication date was for this book, it was in 2009 and nominated for a Hugo award in 2010.

The music bump this week is “The Wall” by Kansas, though I’m pretty sure their version of the wall was not a literal wall containing poison gas and zombies.



Ben: 5/10 Definitely not bad, but not memorable

Gabs: 4/10 Not my bag

Love in the Time of Cholera

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After a week off, your favorite intrepid, book-loving, podcasting siblings have returned. This time to examine Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. This book is an examination of love, Colombian style. Probably. The author won’t really tell anyone for certain. In our discussion we cover the difficulties of translating literature, magical realism, love, honor, sex, and strong women. And cholera, though not nearly as much as you would expect from the title. Not to mention the fact that every character in this novel is crazy.

We also made a major update to our schedule yesterday, filling it up through the end of August. We’re going on a bestsellers kick, so most of what is on the schedule has been on the NY Times bestseller list for several weeks. Be sure to check it out if you want to read along with us.

This week’s music bump is Toto’s “Hold the Line,” because… Toto. Oh yeah, and it kind of describes Florentino Ariza to an almost uncanny degree.

17 – Love in the Time of Cholera – Extreme Personalities