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Welcome to bestseller month! Or maybe it’s bestseller six weeks with one interruption. Something like that. We’re kicking off the festivities with Divergent by Veronica Roth, a very popular YA novel. The sequel, Insurgent has been at the top of NY Times bestseller list in the YA/children’s category for several weeks. Starting with a sequel seemed a little odd to us, so we decided to back up and try the original. This episode is named partly in honor of the landscapers, who have been oddly absent for several episodes now, and partly because this book is such an excellent example of what’s hot in the YA genre these days. Strong female lead? Check. Suffering teenagers? Check. Violence? Check and check again. We also cover dystopia, authenticity of the love plot, what makes a good villain, and the quality of the aptitude test.

The music bump is “This is War” by 30 Seconds to Mars because, apparently, I am a very literal person. Also, if you knew how many horrible jokes I avoided while perusing my music library, you would thank me. (#Ben)

18 – Divergent – YA Landscapers

The Merchant of Venice, Part 2

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Welcome back for part 2 ofThe Merchant of Venice podcast! In this episode, guest star Anthony Funari returns to wrap up the discussion. We cover the stuff we didn’t quite get to in part 1, such as Shylock. He’s just a little bit important. We also discuss whether the fifth act is even necessary, how this play stands out compared to other plays of its time, and give a few suggestions on what other Shakespeare plays you might want to read. We once again set the bar high in broadcast professionalism as this episode was almost titled “Revenge of the Landscapers.” As it turns out, they get upset when you keep them off the air for a few weeks.

Administrative note: There have been a couple of minor changes to the schedule, due primarily toThe Stand being 1,745,122 pages long. Check the schedule page if you want to see what’s really going to happen around here the next couple weeks.

The music bump is once again Mendelssohn’s “Overture to a Midsummer’s Night Dream” for the same reasons as last week, with the additional reason of “we’re too lazy to come up with a new piece of music this week.”

10 – The Merchant of Venice, Part 2 – Shylock’s Revenge