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 251 - Like Water For Chocolate, by Laura Esquivel  

Laura Esquivel's best-selling novel Like Water For Chocolate is a work of revolutionary magical realism. No really, it takes place during the Mexican Revolution and chronicles the life of a young woman whose strong emotions affect the world around her. Join us for a chat about exploding showers, sexual food, and everyone's favorite birthday boy Waluigi.

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Ep 250 - Alias Hook, by Lisa Jensen  

Live shows and a busy summer mean there’s nothing special about our 250th episode, except insofar as each and every one of our episodes is a special wonderful delight! Alias Hook is a 2014 book that asks what Peter Pan and Neverland would seem like from the perspective of one Captain James Hook. The answer is: not great! But as with so many works of fiction that put us in the shoes of sometime antagonists, it adds interesting layers to Hook and to the Peter Pan-theon even if the straight action and romance sequences aren’t anything to write home about.

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Ep 249 - The Nerd, by Larry Shue  

Larry Shue's 1981 play The Nerd is about a gumption-less architect trying to extract a painful person from his life. Did we mention it's a comedy? We cover the play's plot (including its final reveal), the allure of answering machines, anonymous favors, and the Nintendo Switch. This week's show is brought to you in part by Blue Apron.

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Ep 248 - The Last Days of Summer, by Steve Kluger  

Steve Kluger’s The Last Days of Summer isn’t a complicated novel—it’s a nice, emotionally resonant book about a kid without a father and a man without a kid who form a unique and heartwarming bond. Sometimes it’s just nice to read a nice book where (mostly) nice things happen, you know?

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Ep 247 - The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett  

What's hidden in your secret garden? What weeds need weeding? What flowers need water, sunlight, and a Pokemon trainer to bring them to life? This week we talk about our own secret gardens, as well as the novel The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Other talking points include New Women, stolen identities, and The Secret.

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Ep 246 - Kushiel's Dart, by Jacqueline Carey  

We’ve read fantasy adventure books and we’ve read sexy books, but have we read any books that are sexy fantasy adventures? After reading Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel’s Dart, the first in what is currently a nine-book series about sexy angel warriors, we can now definitively say “yes.” We have a chat about how Carey builds her world atop a real-world foundation, how the sexy stuff is intermixed with the political machinations, and how most of the characters are actually people who want things and not just sexy bodies.

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Ep 245 - Five Children and It, E. Nesbit  

If you could wish for anything, what would it be? Dinosaurs to eat? Money to spend? A Nintendo to live in? The kids in E. Nesbit's story Five Children and It are bad at wishing. Like, really bad. But that means we get to have fun at their expense and perhaps learn a little bit about the perils of cutting corners. Also, if anyone finds out what Andrew would wish for if he met a genie, please tell us. The world needs to know.

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Ep 244 - Siddhartha, by Hermann Hesse  

Do you know the meaning of life? We don't either, but we feel like we're just a little bit closer after reading Hermann Hesse's classic Siddhartha.

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Ep 243 - March, by Geraldine Brooks  

Andrew's out of the country so Craig's wife Laura joins the show to talk about Geraldine Brooks' Pulitzer Prize-winning novel March. March imagines the "offstage" of Mr. March, the largely absent father figure of Louisa May Alcott's classic Little Women. What happens to an idealistic pacifist when confronted with the horrors of the Civil War? Where exactly did school recess come from? And who knew that Alcott's father ran a failed vegan compound in 19th-century Massachusetts?

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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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