Overdue

Overdue

Canada

Overdue is a podcast about the books you've been meaning to read. Join Andrew and Craig each week as they tackle a new title from their backlog. Classic literature, obscure plays, goofy murder mysteries: they'll read it all, one overdue book at a time.

Episodes

Ep 242 - Felidae, by Akif Pirinçci  

This month, we read the first book in Akif Pirinçci’s “Felidae” series. It’s a “bestselling novel of cats and murder,” and it combines over-the-top violence that makes Watership Down look like a book that’s actually appropriate for children. It’s also just surreal enough to be a lot of fun. That said, the book’s author, Akif Pirinçci, espouses some truly vile views about immigration and Muslims—he’s referred to Germany as a “Muslim garbage dump” and has made jokes about sending Muslims to concentration camps. We can’t stress enough how deeply we disagree with these viewpoints, and we spend a bit of time in the episode talking about whether and how to separate art from the artists that made it. There are no good answers, but know that we did purchase a used copy of this book, partly because it’s out of print but also because we don’t want to provide financial support to anyone who says these kinds of things.

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Ep 241 - You Are A Shark (Choose Your Own Adventure) by Edward Packard  

YOU. ARE. A. SHARK. Or so the title of this Choose Your Own Adventure book by Edward Packward would have you believe! Will we be a leader of animals or a follower? Will we dominate the ocean, land, or sky? Plenty of choices await us in this week's episode. This week's episode is brought to you in part by Sirius XM.

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Ep 240 - The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, by Junot Díaz  

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao earned Junot Díaz a Pulitzer Prize in 2008, and it remains one of the most highly regarded novels of our young 21st century. Oscar Wao is a Dominican lad who loves geekery almost as much as he loves women. The only trouble is: he just can't get any. Tune in for a discussion of (toxic) masculinity, nerd alerts, and the Dominican Republic under the rule of El Jefe.

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Ep 239 - From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, by E.L. Konigsburg  

We're at the tail end of Children's Book Week, so we thought it appropriate to discuss E.L. Konigsburg's Newberry Award-winning book From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. The story follows two kids who run away to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, discover a love of Italian sculpture, and meet a kooky old lady who loves secrets. Other talking points include: exercising sucks, children can be miserly, and bus mistakes. Also please visit butteryeggs.org. This week's show is brought to you by Squarespace.

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Ep 238 - Everything is Illuminated, by Jonathan Safran Foer  

NOTE: A short stretch of fairly explicit sex talk earns this one the "Explicit" tag, though as usual we avoid cussing. You've been warned! This week, we illuminate everything about Jonathan Safran Foer's debut novel. It's not Andrew's cup of tea, exactly, but we try our best to dive into where it works, where we think it doesn't quite get there, and why Foer has a reputation for being "overrated" in some literary circles. This week's show brought to you by Blue Apron.

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Ep 237 - Skateboard Tough, by Matt Christopher (Special Bonus Episode)  

Welcome to our rad, bad, extra-jumbo bonus episode on Matt Christopher's Skateboard Tough! It's a jumbo episode because we spend at least 10 minutes reading the titles of every sport book for kids he wrote. This episode attempts to answer the burning question in all of our hearts: what does Skateboard Tough even mean??? Included with your download: surprisingly serious conversation about childhood experiences and the importance of being seen, Matt Christopher's minor league woes, and activist journalism. The song at the end is a snippet of Lupe Fiasco's Kick, Push, a song you should've heard by now.

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Ep 236 - Never Let Me Go, by Kazuo Ishiguro  

Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go explores the inner lives of teens as they learn, love, and discover their full potential. This intimate novel flirts with disturbing science fiction elements, but our buddy Kaz keeps the tone eerily calm and comfortable. Join us for a conversation about clone teens, clone butts, genre boundaries, and our first memories of death. If you haven't noticed, our podcast is weird. This week's episode is brought to you in part by the fine folks at Squarespace.

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Ep 235 - Silas Marner, by George Eliot  

Craig returns this week for a talk about George Eliot (pen name for Mary Anne Evans) and her novel Silas Marner, which starts out as a bummer but gradually becomes an uplifting little story. We also talk about Craig’s vacation and the Baldwin brothers, among other things. This week’s episode is brought to you by Squarespace.

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Ep 234 - The Count of Monte Cristo, by Alexandre Dumas  

Craig’s on his long-delayed honeymoon this week, so Andrew’s wife and other best friend Suzannah is filling in this week to tell you all about Alexandre Dumas’ The Count of Monte Cristo. Did you know that Dumas has upwards of 40 mistresses? Did you know that this book was published in 18 pieces over the course of a couple of years, and that it’s over 1,000 pages long? Did you know that someone actually helped write parts of many of Dumas’ books and never got any official credit for it? Did you know that the Count himself is a Jigsaw-esque murderous vengeance machine? All this and more on this week’s Overdue! This week's show brought to you in part by Blue Apron.

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Ep 233 - Cloud Atlas, by David Mitchell (Bonus Episode)  

David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas is most notable for its uniquely structured narrative, so it's only appropriate we made this the first book we cover while livestreaming for patrons! Other topics include Tom Hanks' henna tattoos, Yoko Ono husbands, and our favorite Disney princes. That's right, princes.

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Ep 232 - The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath  

This week we dive into Sylvia Plath's novel The Bell Jar, a quasi-autobiographical novel about womanhood, depression, and identity. We also discuss the unfortunate circumstances of Plath's early death, country mice moving to big cities, and metaphorical chemistry equipment.

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Ep 231 - The Joy Luck Club, by Amy Tan  

This week the boys join Amy Tan’s Joy Luck Club and read (fictional) stories about the Chinese-American children of Chinese immigrants; they also attempt to navigate some choppy waters around the book’s potential perpetuating of Chinese and Chinese-American stereotypes and the reaction to the 1993 film based on the book.

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Ep 230 - Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson (Live in Philly)  

Well shiver me timbers, it's a live show! They say that dead men tell no tales, but Robert Louis Stevenson sure told a great tale in Treasure Island. Things reach a fever pitch (literally) at our live show at the Free Library of Philadelphia. Topics include pirate radio, Jimbo and Mr. Hands, the game Desert Island, and our favorite entry in the Pirates of the Caribbean series. This show is brought to you in part by Blue Apron.

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Ep 229 - One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez  

This week, we return to the works of Gabriel Garcia Marquez (“Gabo” to his friends) for the first time since our second-ever episode. This time around we get to dive deeper into “magical realism,” the sort of dreamy heightened reality that Marquez employs so successfully, and we also touch on the book’s relationship with Colombian history and our relationship with our own hometowns. This week’s episode brought to you by Squarespace.

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Ep 228 - The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, by C.S. Lewis  

It's time to travel to the magical land of Narnia! It's Craig's first time journeying through C.S. Lewis' The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and it's EVERYONE's first time eating Turkish Delight! Find out what the opposite of delight is, how a lion can be Jesus, and just what happens to Susan when she reaches the Narnia equivalent of the pearly gates.

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Ep 227 - The World According to Garp, by John Irving  

This week we bring you The World According to Garp according to Andrew - we breeze through John Irving’s best-known “middlebrow” novel, touching on its feminist leanings, its surprising progressivism as it regards the transgendered, and both the dark humor and the just-plain-darkness lurking around every corner. This week’s episode brought to you by Blue Apron and Squarespace.

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Episode 226 - Last Act (w/ guest Margaret H. Willison)  

This week we're joined by social media maven (and friend of the show) Margaret H. Willison to talk about Christopher Pike's Last Act, an early entry from the author's prolific career writing YA thrillers. We're here to solve the mystery of a murder in a high school drama club, but our conversation ranges far and wide. Talking points include Margaret's mispronunciations, Andrew's career as a stage performer, and Craig's new favorite book Skateboard Tough. This week's show is brought to you in part by the fine folks at Squarespace.

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Episode 225 - Zami: A New Spelling of My Name  

This week, we tackle Audre Lorde's autobiographical Zami: A New Spelling of My Name. It's an account of Lorde's childhood and early adulthood, focusing specifically on her experiences as a black, out, gay woman in New York City in the 1950s.

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Episode 224 - The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Bonus Episode)  

Mark Haddon's book about a teenager with "Behavioral Problems" is notable less for what happens in it and more for its perspective. It's an affecting study of human thought and behavior that we can't ruin even by talking about Subway for five minutes!

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Episode 223 - Invisible Man  

"I am an invisible man," says the unnamed narrator at the beginning of Ralph Ellison's masterpiece Invisible Man. He then walks the reader through the painful journey that led to this realization, from the Jim Crow South to a less explicitly divided New York City. When we aren't discussing the narrator's struggle to fight for racial justice through and within a Communist party analog, we spend time chatting about the Pigskin Classic, dragging Harold Bloom, and unpacking stereo equipment. This week's show is brought to you in part by the fine folks at Blue Apron and Penn State World Campus.

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