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 259 - Girl at War, by Sara Novic  

Sara Novic's Girl at War has all the confidence and impact of a firsthand account, despite the fact that it was written almost entirely from secondhand accounts. Detailing one girl's experience in the early 90s Croatian War of Independence and her life in America afterward, it's a compelling account of internal and external conflict from a character who has two homes and doesn't quite belong in either.

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Ep 258 - Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott  

This week, four conventionally-sized young women approach adulthood in Louisa May Alcott's seminal novel Little Women.

It's time to wonder who will marry Laurie, who will sell their novel, and who will frustrate us with their moral lessons. Also: what's the deal with the limes?!

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Ep 257 - Dying of the Light, by George R. R. Martin  

You might know George R. R. Martin from an obscure little HBO series called “Game of Thrones.” This week, we go back to his very first (and pre-ASOIAF) novel, the science fiction/romance story Dying of the Light.


This book showcases Martin’s gift for organic, engrossing world building, but the material is let down a bit by its characters and its protagonist in particular. All in all, a good first effort from the guy who would go on to write one of modern fantasy’s biggest juggernauts. 


This week’s show brought to you by Squarespace.

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Ep 256 - Anne of Green Gables (Live from Philly), by L.M. Montgomery  

We’re enjoying a summertime break this week, so we hope YOU enjoy our Philly Podcast Festival show about Anne of Green Gables from last month!



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Ep 255 - 10:04, by Ben Lerner (Bonus Episode)  

Ben Lerner's novel 10:04 is about a man named Ben trying to write a novel. Yes, it's meta. Yes, it can get navel-gazey. But there's an underlying humanity and economy that keeps the book afloat.

Discussion topics include gatekeeping, listening, dinosaurs, and superstorms.

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Ep 254 - Bridge to Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson  

Ranking on multiple Saddest Books Ever lists, Katherine Paterson's Bridge to Terabithia is a classic young adult novel. A young boy makes a new friend, and their friendship blossoms despite the daily grind of middle school. Then someone dies. Weep along with us as we swap sibling stories, chat about teacher feelings, and make at least *two* Will Smith references. This episode is brought to you in part by Squarespace.

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Ep 253 - The Talented Mr. Ripley, by Patricia Highsmith  

The Talented Mr. Ripley is a book about apprehension and grifting and murder, which makes it feel like a great selection for this, the Year Of Our Lord 2017. You never like Tom Ripley, exactly, but he’s a fascinating character to inhabit for a few hundred pages. This episode is brought to you in part by Blue Apron.

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Ep 252 - Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH (Live in Boston), by Robert C. O'Brien  

Hold on to your hors--I mean, rats, it's a live show! We present to you this dispatch from Boston on Robert C. O'Brien's novel Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH. While we don't come away with a newfound love of rats, we do develop an appreciation for their arts and culture and their will to survive. Other topics include mouse marriage, Beantown humor, and the scientific process. This episode is brought to you in part by Squarespace.

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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 - Last Days of Summer, by Steve Kluger  

Steve Kluger’s 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? Which weeds need weeding? Which 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, by 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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