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MashReads Podcast

Updated 2 days ago

Arts
Books
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Mashable's weekly podcast where we talk about what we're reading and what's happening in the book world. Hosted by: MJ Franklin, Aliza Weinberger and Peter Allen Clark.

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Mashable's weekly podcast where we talk about what we're reading and what's happening in the book world. Hosted by: MJ Franklin, Aliza Weinberger and Peter Allen Clark.

iTunes Ratings

24 Ratings
Average Ratings
18
3
2
0
1

New fave books podcast

By Charles1997630579 - Jun 06 2018
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Book podcasts are so hit or miss and I stumbled on this one somewhat out of the blue. Been listening to back episodes and really liking it, jumping around to different books I’ve liked. Good discussions, excellent host dynamic. I’m into it!

Listen

By Iceangel9 - Oct 03 2016
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These guys are so much fun to listen to and so hard on my TBR list. They always make me smile.

iTunes Ratings

24 Ratings
Average Ratings
18
3
2
0
1

New fave books podcast

By Charles1997630579 - Jun 06 2018
Read more
Book podcasts are so hit or miss and I stumbled on this one somewhat out of the blue. Been listening to back episodes and really liking it, jumping around to different books I’ve liked. Good discussions, excellent host dynamic. I’m into it!

Listen

By Iceangel9 - Oct 03 2016
Read more
These guys are so much fun to listen to and so hard on my TBR list. They always make me smile.

Listen to:

Cover image of MashReads Podcast

MashReads Podcast

Updated 2 days ago

Read more

Mashable's weekly podcast where we talk about what we're reading and what's happening in the book world. Hosted by: MJ Franklin, Aliza Weinberger and Peter Allen Clark.

'The Outsiders' (feat. guest and author S.E. Hinton)

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This week on the MashReads Podcast, we celebrate the 50th anniversary of 'The Outsiders' and chat with the iconic book's author S.E. Hinton.

And as always, we close the show with recommendations:


  • S.E. Hinton has a host of recommendations 'Lost City of Z' by David Grann (and the recent movie adaptation starring Robert Pattinson and Charlie Hunan, as well), 'The Amazons: Lives and Legends of Warrior Women Across The Ancient World' by Andrienne Mayor, and 'The Dry' by Jane Harper. She also recommends rereading Jane Austen. "I reread her novels every year, and I always find some new trick she has pulled.

  • Aliza recommends journalist Lauren Duca's Teen Vogue column 'Thigh-high Politics.' You can check out her latest story here. "She goes through big things from the week in a way that I personally find funny and engaging. It helps narrow what people should be paying attention to."

  • Peter recommends rewatching the anime 'Trigun.' "It's really wonderful. It starts off silly but it gets really deep, in its own. I love the characters and I love the environment and I love the story it wants to tell.

  • MJ recommends listening to 'Nancy,' WNYC's new LGBTQ podcast. "It is so damn good ... It's a really, really great, empathetic, moving podcast."

Apr 26 2017

1hr 8mins

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'I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter' (with guest and author Erika L Sánchez)

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This week, we talk with Erika L Sánchez about her National Book Award nominated YA novel 'I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter.'
 
The book follows the story of Julia Reyes, a 15-year-old Mexican American girl growing up in Chicago. The novel begins with the death of her sister and as the story unfolds she soon learns that her sister isn't as perfect as everyone imagined.
 
"But it's funny!" Sánchez clarifies.
 
And as always, we close the show with recommendations.


  • Erika recommends Don't Call Us Dead by Danez Smith. (You can listen to MashReads' podcast discussion of Don't Call Us Dead here.)

  • Peter recommends the Comedy Central show Nathan 4 You, especially the show's fourth season finale, where Nathan tries to take a 78-year-old Bill Gates on a trip to find the woman he loves. "It's just exceptionally good. It reaches an emotional level that the show never has before while also being as goofy and as silly as the show always is. Just an incredible thing."

  • Aliza recommends Avatar: The Last Airbender. "Everybody needs to watch Avatar: The Last Airbender. It's the greatest show ever made. Everybody should watch Avatar: The Last Airbender."

  • MJ recommends reading "Fiona the hippo's best moments of 2017," a look at the glow up year that Fiona the Hippo has had. "Turns out the the United States is living in a monarchy. We have a queen and her name is Fiona the Hippo. [This post] is what I need to feel light and goodness in the world. I promise, reading this post will make you feel happy."

Nov 15 2017

1hr

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"The Devil in the White City" and our favorite books about secret history

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This week on the MashReads Podcast, we read and discuss Erik Larson's The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America, an investigation into the construction of the 1893 Chicago World's Fair, and the serial killer H.H. Holmes that plagued it.

Then, inspired by Larson's deep dive, we chat about our favorite books that reveal little known or secret histories.

Aug 16 2017

50mins

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Best of 2016

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In honor of 2016 coming to a close, this week on the MashReads Podcast, we reflect on our favorite books of 2016. Join us as we talk about the best new books from 2016, the favorite things we've read this year, books that surprised us and more.

Dec 28 2016

40mins

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'Lincoln In The Bardo' (with guest George Saunders)

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This week on the MashReads Podcast, we read and discuss George Saunders's new postmodern novel 'Lincoln In The Bardo'
And as always, we close the show with recommendations:


  • Aliza recommends the audiobook version of Lincoln In The Bardo. "The audiobook for this book, Lincoln In The Bardo, is amazing. All of the 166 different perspectives have a different voice actor; they're all well known celebrities/ big name actors, and they all apparently knocked it out of the park."

  • Peter recommends rewatching the first John Wick movie (before seeing John Wick: Chapter 2). "What I love so much about that movie is that it all takes place in its own kind of silly world, but it knows it's silly and it's fine being silly."

  • MJ recommends Kathryn Schulz's 'When Things Go Missing,' a new essay in the New Yorker about grief and the phenomenon of losing things. "It's both a really heartbreaking and emotional essay, but also a masterful one. [Kathryn Schulz] is such a phenomenal writer. I highly recommend you go read this."

Feb 22 2017

1hr 16mins

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'Homegoing' (featuring guest and author Yaa Gyasi)

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This week on the MashReads Podcast, we read and discuss Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi, with Yaa herself.

Homegoing is a novel that follows the family lineage of two half sisters, Effia who is the wife of a British slaver and Esi who is sold into slavery and eventually sent to America. As the story follows each line's family tree, Homegoing offers a brief yet powerful look at history and family, the forces that seek to disrupt them, and the lengths we will go to hold on to them.

Then, as always, we close the show with recommendations:

  • Yaa recommends Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin. And she is currently reading Imagine Me Gone by Adam Haslett.
  • Aliza recommends A Very Potter Musical.
  • Peter recommends Sofia Copala's film The Beguiled.
  • MJ recommends rewatching Legally Blonde, an essay called 'Flying Solo' about relationships and heartbreak in the age of Trump, and the New York Times op-ed 'My Gay Agenda.'

Jul 26 2017

59mins

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Infinite Jest-isode

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This week on the MashReads Podcast, we chat about David Foster Wallace's novel 'Infinite Jest.'

And as always we close the show with recommendations:

  • Peter recommends Lady Bird. "I don't think it's a perfect movie but I think it's an incredibly beautiful one." 
  • Brett recommends This is Water, David Foster Wallace's speech about daily life.
  • Chloe recommends the show Riverdale. I think it's a perfect is a perfect post-modern show and I think David Foster Wallace would love it." (Also check out David Foster Wallace's essay on TV E Unibus Pluram: Television and U.S. Fiction). She also recommends How to A Be A Person In The World by Heather Havrilesky.

Dec 06 2017

51mins

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Books you should absolutely be reading this Spring

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This week on the MashReads Podcast, we are joined by Bustle's book editor Cristina Arreola to talk about all of the books you should be reading this spring. Join us as we talk about what books we absolutely loved and what upcoming books you should keep an eye out for, including The Recovering by Leslie Jamison, The Feamle Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer, An American Marriage by Tayari Jones, and How To Write An Autobiographical Novel by Alexander Chee.

Then, as always, we close the show with recommendations:

  • Martha recommends Kali Uchis’ new album Isolation. “I feel like it got lost in the Cardi B/ Drake wave that happened in music. Her music is just this beautiful fusion of a bunch of different genres like jazz, pop, rob, and her voice is wonderful, and the features that are on the album are fantastic. You have everyone from Georgia Smith to Tyler the Creator to Steve Lacey. It’s just a perfect album to anticipate spring and summer with.”
  • Cristina recommends Radiolab’s "Border Trilogy," a three part series on the border U.S./ Mexico border. “If you’re interested at all in the immigration debate, this series a really good primer and delves deep into it.” She also recommends Francisco Cantú's The Line Becomes A River, a memoir about Cantú's experience growing up on the border and working as a border agent. “It’s just really heart breaking and it’s not polemic and it just humanizes the issue in a way that I think is really necessary.”
  • MJ recommends the Twitter account Modern Glee (@Glee_2018), which imagines the television show Glee would look like if it still existed in 2018. “It reaches these ridiculous peeks the show actually did when it was airing.”
  • Cristina also recommends a tweet of a hilarious photo from a maternity photoshoot with Ronnie from Jersey Shore “It’s one of the funniest thing I’ve ever seen.”
  • Also mentioned on the podcast: 'The Rosary,' an essay by Alexander Chee about becoming a rose gardener.
  • And also, be sure to check out more of Cristina's work by checking out Bustle's books coverage.

Apr 12 2018

46mins

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'Tiny Beautiful Things' and books that taught us important lessons

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"Most things will be okay eventually, but not everything will be. Sometimes you'll put up a good fight and lose. Sometimes you'll hold on really hard and realize there is no choice but to let go. Acceptance is a small quiet room."

So writes Cheryl Strayed in her advice/ essay collection Tiny Beautiful Things.

Tiny Beautiful Things started out as an advice column by Steve Almond in 2009, written on the literary website The Rumpus. Advice came from the anonymous "Sugar" persona, a figure who was both kind and wizened. Later, in 2010, Cheryl Strayed took over the anonymous persona of "Sugar," doling out advice but mixing in personal stories of her own to help her readers make sense of their own struggles. It's this mix of advice and memoir that took Dear Sugar too both internet acclaim and later literary acclaim.

This week on the MashReads Podcast, we read Cheryl Strayed's collection of advice essays Tiny Beautiful Things.

Then, inspired by Tiny Beautiful Things, we talk about the books that have taught us important lessons including The Golden Bough by James George Frazer, The Fault In Our Stars by John Green, Who Cooked Adam Smith's Dinner by Katrine Marçal and The Empathy Exams by Leslie Jamison.
And as always, we close the show with recommendations:


  • Aliza recommends rewatching the pilot of The West Wing. "Sorkin is far from perfect, but I do find the West Wing enjoyable. It's fast-paced, it's quippy. It's a breath of fresh air, in terms of politics."

  • Peter recommends The Familiar: Vol. 3 by Mark Z. Danielewski. "We're definitely entering in the synthesis era of this. Things are coming together where you see how characters fit into each other. It's really coming together slowly but surely, and it's just marvelous."

  • Alex recommends Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond. She also recommends Disney's Zootopia. "It's just really delightful. You guys should watch it."

  • MJ recommends Wild by Cheryl Strayed. He also recommends Roxane Gay's new short story collection Dangerous Women. "I'm only a few stories but every short story has stuck with me. [Her stories] are creative. They are these soaring indictments of how society treats women."

Jan 25 2017

52mins

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The Goldfinch and our favorite (non YA) coming of age novels

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This week on the MashReads Podcast, we read and discuss Donna Tartt's Pulitzer Prize winning novel The Goldfinch.
The Goldfinch starts with a boy named Theo as he experiences a terrorist attack at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The attack kills his mother, and in the confusing aftermath of the attack, Theo accidentally steals a painting called 'The Goldfinch' from the museum. From there, we follow Theo as he grows up, traveling from New York to Vegas and back to New York, all the while dealing with the grief of his mother's death and the anxiety of possessing a stolen and wanted painting.
Join us as we talk about writing about art, the difference between character and caricature and what Donna Tartt got right (and wrong) when writing about relationships in The Goldfinch.
Then, inspired by The Goldfinch we talk about our favorite non-YA coming of age stories including Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, The Magicians by Lev Grossman and The First Bad Man by Miranda July.
And as always, we end the show with recommendations.


  • Aliza recommends the Netflix adaptation of The Magicians. "Even at the points where I feel complicated about it, I like how it makes me think." She also recommends Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng.

  • Peter recommends the Iranian horror movie Under The Shadow. "It was just a very effecting and very moving movie."

  • MJ recommends Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. "When I finished reading this book, I immediately wanted to go re-read it again."

Jan 11 2017

1hr 3mins

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'Wonder Woman' and the most incredible, badass women in literature

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This week on the MashReads Podcast, we read and discuss Wonder Woman Vol. 1: The Lies, from D.C.'s new Rebirth run. Then, inspired by Wonder Woman, we talk about the most incredible, badass women in literature.

Jun 15 2017

57mins

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'Cat's Cradle' and our favorite satire

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This week on the MashReads Podcast, we read and discuss Kurt Vonnegut's book Cat's Cradle, a novel that defies description partially because of how absurd the plot is.
 
The book follows a journalist John (who at the beginning of the novel requests to be called Jonah) as he investigates the inventor of the atomic bomb. It's this investigation that leads him to discovering Hoenikker's eccentric children, the mysterious substance Ice-nine, the secluded island San Lorenzo, a new religion called Bokononism (whose basic tenant is that everything in the religion is a lie), all of which ultimately lead to the end of the world.
Sound crazy? We know!
Join us as we talk about Vonnegut's absurd storytelling, how Vonnegut writes bout science vs. religion, whether this is book is satire and the genius of Cat's Cradle.
And as always, we close the show with recommendations.


  • Aliza recommends the new Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone movie La La Land. "It was beautiful and moving and amazing and I loved everything about it."

  • Peter recommends Better Living Through Criticism: How to Think About Art, Pleasure, Beauty and Truth by New York Times critic A.O. Scott. "It is just a very, very deep, extremely readable and fascinating book. I really recommend it."

  • MJ recommends GQ's completely bonkers profile of Tom Ford "Tom Ford on Sex, Death, and Penetration." "Talk about absurdism. This profile is crazy...it's just hilarious and phenomenal."
Next week we are reading and discussing Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. We hope you'll join us.

Dec 14 2016

49mins

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Black Panther

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This week on the MashReads Podcast, we talk about all things Black Panther. Join us as we talk about Marvel's new 'Black Panther' movie. Then we revisit 'Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet,'  the 2016 Ta-Nehisi Coates 'Black Panther' comic book run.

And as always, we close the show with recommendations. 


  • Brian de los Santos, Mashable's assistant editor who joined us this week, recommends hyphy music, especially because of the Black Panther soundtrack. "It was the soundtrack to my high school experience, t was the one moment in which the Bay Area, growing up, had reached the map. Hyphy music has influences on the [Black Panther] soundtrack — E-40, Mac Dre, go ahead and listen to every song they've done. It's very related to this [Black Panther] discussion, and Oakland, and it's just very good music overall."

  • Martha recommends Queer Eye, Netflix's reboot of the early 2000's show Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. "It's one of those TV shows where you can go home, and sit on the couch and escape in it, and feel good."

  • Peter recommends The New York Times' podcast Still Processing. "We've talked about it on this podcast, but they've had back to back episodes that have really been wonderful to me. They did a fantastic one this week about Black Panther with Ta-Nehisi Coates. And the week before that they did a show on Three Billboards Outside Of Ebbing, Missouri and they were to succinctly describe my dissatisfaction with that film in a way that I was never able to put together in my head."

  • MJ recommends all of the hilarious writing about Fergie's, um, colorful, national anthem performance, including "Fergie Apologizes for Giving America the National Anthem It Deserves" from The Root" and "A Brief, Fraught Timeline of My Attempt to Watch Fergie’s Whole Rendition of the National Anthem" from The Ringer. "The rendition was not the greatest. The writing about the rendition has been phenomenal."

  • And be sure to check out Brian de los Santos' story "Someone hijacked my Spotify. Here's what happened when I fought back."

  • And if you want to discover more Black Panther, be sure to check out Mashable's comprehensive coverage with 'Black Panther Week' here.

Feb 21 2018

54mins

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'The Sun Is Also A Star' (with guest Nicola Yoon)

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This week on the MashReads Podcast, we are joined by New York Times bestselling author Nicola Yoon to talk about her new novel The Sun Is Also A Star.
The Sun Is Also A Star follows two strangers -- romantic poet Daniel and science whiz Natasha -- who have very different opinions on love. When Natasha and Daniel run into each other on a fateful day in New York, Daniel believes he has found The One and embarks on a quest to convince Natasha to fall in love with him. The only problem: at the end of the day Natasha is being deported to Jamaica at the end of the day.
 
Join us as we talk with Nicola about YA, writing about race and immigration, love at first sight and The Sun Is Also A Star.

Dec 02 2016

51mins

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'Cat Person' and extremely relatable books

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This week on the MashReads Podcast, we read and discuss 'Cat Person' by Kristen Roupenian. Then, we move on and discuss books and stories that we extremely related to.
And as always, we close the show with recommendations:


  • Chloe recommends 'Difficult Women' by Roxane Gay. "It's great. I assume that if you're listening to this podcast, you'd be into very interior female protagonists. It's full of them. It's great."

  • Nicole recommends 'A Life Apart' by Neel Mukherjee. She also recommends 'Voyeur,' a documentary on Netflix about Gay Talese's 'New Yorker' article "The Voyeur's Motel." "It is fascinating. It made me think about who we are as people and what's okay and what's not okay, and it's very nuanced. And it was also great to see Gay Talese talking about being a writer, and to get a peek into his life as well."

  • Peter recommends 'Blood, Sweat, and Pixels: The Triumphant, Turbulent Stories Behind How Video Games Are Made' by Jason Schreier, a news editor at Kotaku. "It is fascinating to me because it's an industry with no parallel in the world."

  • MJ recommends The Rules Do Not Apply by Ariel Levy. "What I love about the book is: she observes the world in such a specific, unique way, and she writes about it so well." He also recommends listening to Into Strangers, a mashup of Ariana Grande's "Into You" with the Stranger Things theme song.
Also mentioned on this show:

Dec 15 2017

52mins

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Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda and books we wish had growing up

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This week we are joined by two guests  — Martha's roommate Zach and MJ's brother Marc — to chat about 'Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda,' A.K.A. the book that inspired the movie 'Love, Simon.'

Then, inspired by Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda, we talk about books we wish we had growing up, including The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi, Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman, and The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chobosky.
And as always, we close the show with recommendations:


  • Zach, Martha's roommate, recommends the Netflix show The Words Most Extraordinary Homes. "The show is perfect because one: it is British. There are two British co-hosts and they are just lovely people, because they are absolutely the most genuine. They just go around and look at beautiful homes and talk about the architecture. It's so simple and so perfect."

  • Marc recommends Bravo's reality TV show Vanderpump Rules. "It is pop culture junk food. It's an awful, awful show. But you see yourself in it, in a strange way." He also recommends Scaachi Cole's essay on Buzzfeed “'Vanderpump Rules' Is The Worst Show On TV That You Should Be Watching." "It's super, super funny read, and it's just a super well written essay."

  • Martha recommends Vince Staple's Go Fund Me project "Get Off My D*ck or Fund My Lifestyle," which was a response to critics saying that Vince Staples raps over low quality robot beats. "I love the song first of all and I love him. But it made me think about the larger cultural conversation about people's critiques about black art, and how a lot of people who write online, or talk about hip hop, don't get it."

  • MJ recommends "I wore Adidas tracksuits for week like Armie Hammer," a first person story where Elle writer Estelle Tang, well, wore Adidas tracksuits for a week like Armie Hammer. "The story she wrote is phenomenal, it's so funny. It's just this really great hilarious article about someone doing this ridiculous stunt."

  • Also mentioned on this podcast: our interview with Tomi Adeyemi, author of Children of Blood and Bone and Alim Kheraj's article for GQ "The Bright Future of Queer Literature Is the Young-Adult Novel."

  • And be sure to check out MJ's review of Love, Simon here.
Next week, we're reading A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L'Engle. We hope you'll join us. If you're looking for more books coverage, be sure to follow MashReads on Facebook and Twitter.

Mar 15 2018

55mins

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'My Absolute Darling' (featuring guest and author Gabriel Tallent)

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This week on the MashReads Podcast, we read and discuss 'My Absolute Darling' by Gabriel Tallent with Gabriel himself.

The book follows Turtle Alveston, a young girl living in northern Calfornia, as she fights to escape unthinkable abuse from her father.

Then as always, we end the show with recommendations:

  • Gabriel recommends ‘Little Fires Everywhere’ by Celeste Ng and 'Beloved' by Toni Morrison.
  • Aliza recommends Ronan Farrow’s piece in the New Yorker about the Harvey Weinstein allegations "For Aggressive Overtures to Sexual Assault: "Harvey Weinstein's Accusers Tell Their Stories." "It didn’t break the news about the Weinstein abuses but it really delved into what was going on ... My recommendation is to listen to women, especially when they tell you about trauma. And read Ronan's New Yorker piece."
  • Peter recommends Netflix's new show 'American Vandal.' “Even though I do have faults with the plot as it’s told, it is an extremely well done fictionalized mystery, with some fantastic acting from some very young actors.” Peter also recommends watching the french horror movie 'Raw' in October for Halloween. You can see Peter's full list of Netflix hidden-gem horror movie recommendations here.
  • MJ recommends reading 'Call Me By Your Name' by André Aciman. “Boy is that a beautifully written novel.” He also recommends all of the Armie Hammer dance club mashups that riff of of the movie 'Call Me By Your Name', especially this one of Armie dancing to Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Cut To The Feeling.”

Next week we're reading John Green's new novel 'Turtles All The Way Down.' We hope you'll join us!

Oct 14 2017

49mins

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The Immortalists (with guest and author Chloe Benjamin)

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Feb 06 2018

1hr 11mins

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MashReads Mini: 'Harry Potter' turns 20 years old

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The 'Boy Who Lived' just entered a new decade.

Today marks the 20 anniversary since 'Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone' debuted in the UK. To celebrate the occasion, we sat down and reflected on Harry Potter and the impact that it has had over the past 20 years.

Jun 26 2017

21mins

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'Turtles All The Way Down' and books about mental health

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John Green is back!

This week on the MashReads Podcast, we read and discuss 'Turtles All the Way Down,' John Green's first book in 6 years after 'The Fault In Our Stars.' The book follows Aza, a 16-year-old would-be detective living in Indianapolis who is trying to track down a missing billionaire, Russell Pickett, with her friend Daisy, all the while grappingly with her own severe OCD and anxiety.

Then, inspired by 'Turtles All The Way Down,' we chat about our favorite books that explore mental health, including 'The Catcher in the Rye' by J.D. Salinger, 'Fangirl' by Rainbow Rowell, 'Our Numbered Days' by Neil Hillborn, 'One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest' by Ken Kesey, and 'Looking For Alaska' by John Green.

And finally, we close the show with recommendations:

  • Aliza recommends Kesha's album 'Rainbow.' "Something that has gotten me through the heaviness of being a woman on the internet in the past few weeks has been the album 'Rainbow' by Kesha Rose. (Bonus reading: Check out Mashable's Deputy Managing Editor Alex Hazlett's review of a Kesha concert here.)
  • Proma recommends watching 'Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.' "It's laugh out funny, but also extremely dark, and so stupidly well made."
  • Peter recommends 'The Florida Project.' "It is just a marvelous movie. Really wonderful to watch." He also recommends reading Sarah Polley's New York Times op-ed "The Men You Meet When Making Movies."
  • MJ recommends reading Mashable's Senior Space Reporter Miram Kramer's essay "The discovery that Earth's gold formed in the stars changes the way I see the world."

Other things we mentioned in the episode:

Next week we're reading Shirley Jackson's classic horror novel The Haunting of Hill House. We hope you'll join us.
 
Also, if you're looking to sink your teeth into something longer, we have a new MashReads book club book for the month — 'I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter' by Erika Sánchez. We'll be chatting with Sánchez about the book IRL on Monday, Nov. 13 at 6:30pm ET. RSVP here and join us!
And if you're looking for even more book news, don't forget to follow MashReads on Facebook and Twitter.

Oct 19 2017

1hr 5mins

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Our summer readings lists

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This week on the MashReads Podcast, we discuss our summer reading lists and what exactly qualifies as a beach read before taking a hiatus until the fall.

Chloe recommends:

  • “China Rich Girlfriend” by Kevin Kwan
  • “The Third Hotel” by Laura van den Berg
  • “Meet Me in the Bathroom” by Lizzy Goodman

Martha recommends:

  • "The Wedding Date" by Jasmine Guillory
  • "The Female Persuasion" by Meg Wolitzer
  • "Barracoon" by Zora Neal Hurston
  • "Children of Blood and Bone" by Tomi Adeyemi
  • "To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before" by Jenny Han

Jul 05 2018

25mins

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'The Pisces'

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This week on the MashReads Podcast, we read and discuss Melissa Broder's novel "The Pisces," a story about a woman who falls in love with a merman. Then, inspired by the book, we talk about other unexpected romances/ surprising couples in literature.

And as always, we close the show with recommendations:

  • Chloe recommends Motherboard's internet-themed crossword puzzle "Solve The Internet." "It's really fun and they are a little bit easier than the New York Times crossword puzzles, so if you get stuck on the Wednesday puzzle like I do, turn to this one. It's so fun."
  • Martha recommends the app Wordscapes, a word-based puzzle game. "I'm addicted to it!"
  • MJ recommends "Queer Love In Color" a photo essay that ran in the New York Times for Pride Month that documents black queer couples. "It's just so beautiful. It has a beautiful message to it, the photos are gorgeous, and it's celebrating Pride and love, and you'll look at those photos and feel good."

Jun 28 2018

44mins

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'Florida' (with guest and author Lauren Groff)

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This week on the MashReads Podcast, we chat with Lauren Groff, author of 'Fates and Furies,' 'Delicate Edible Birds,' and more, about her new story collection, 'Florida.'

"This book is about Florida. But it’s not just the state, it’s about the state of dread and premonition and the desire to push outside the realm of domesticity and how to raise little boys and make them into good people and it’s about snakes and it’s basically everything that you can come up with."

Also mentioned in the show: Groff's 'New York Times' By The Book interivew:

"My point is: when people in authority mention writers, they confer upon those writers a leg up into the cannon, and the same people get mentioned over and over again and become cannon. If we're not reading outside of the bounds of what we're told to read, if we're not reading outside of white male supremancy as it's been over the past millenia, then we're doing a profound disservice to the present and to the writers of the past who have been overlooked."

Then, as always, we close the show with recommenations.

  • Lauren recommends Rachel Cusk's book 'Kudos.' "I just finished 'Kudos' by Rachel Cusk on the train and I am still cogitating over it because it ends with this incredible... wait, maybe I shouldn't what it ends with, I don't want to do a spoiler! Someday if you see me and you've read this book, let's talk about the ending because I don't know what to think about."
  • MJ recommends 'Motherhood' by Sheila Heti. "It's astounding. Sheila Heti is such a phenomenal writer."

Jun 21 2018

35mins

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"Little Fires Everywhere" and our favorite books about the suburbs

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This week on the MashReads Podcast, we read and discuss Celeste Ng's novel "Little Fires Everywhere." Then, inspired by the book, we talk about our favorite books about the suburbs/ the suburban experience.

Jun 13 2018

44mins

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'An American Marriage' and our favorite love stories

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This week, we are joined by Whitney Hu, Director of Public Programs at the Natinoal Book Foundation, to talk about "An American Marriage" by Tayari Jones. The book tells the story of newly married couple Roy and Celeste, after Roy is falsely convicted of a crime he didn't commit and is incarcerated for 5 years. The story then explores what happens to Roy and Celeste's marriage when the time they thought they'd have together is stolen from them.

Then, inspired by "An American Marriage" we talk about our favorite love stories including A Little LifeTiny Beautiful Things, and They Both Die At The End.

And, as always, we close the show with recommendations:

  • Martha recommneds "Bubblin" by Anderson Pack, which she nominates for song of the summer. "It's just such a vibe. I don't know how to explain it. You just have to listen to it, it'll make you feel happy."
  • Whitney recommends 5 songs that she thinks would be on Celestial's music playlist in "An American Marriage": 'Love Me Right' by Amber Mark, 'Holy' by Jamila Woods, 'Distance' by Emily King, 'Focus' by Her, and 'Tender Love' Michelle Ndegeocello. "I think all of those songs, when you listen to them, have this women empowerment/ also 'love is really complicated and I have feelings for you, why do you have to treat me so wrong' vibe."
  • MJ recommends two Twitter videos that'll make you laugh. The first is an interview where Mariah Carey apparently learns that people have to pay bills. The second is a video of the very polite rage expressed by a woman Kim when a customer Ginger won't say whether or not she wants to buy a cheesecake.

Jun 01 2018

41mins

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'The Ensemble' (featuring guest and author Aja Gabel)

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This week on the MashReads Podast, we're joined by Aja Gabel, author of "The Ensemble."

"It's a book about music, classic music in particular, but put another way, it's really just a book about people who happen to play music."

And, as always, we close the show with recommendations:

  • 'The Third Hotel' by Laura van den Berg. "It's one of those books where you're like 'I've never read anything like this.'"

May 23 2018

42mins

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Fahrenheit 451 and our favorite books about books

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This week on the MashReads Podcast, we read and discuss Ray Bradbury's novel Fahrenheit 451.

Then, inspired by the novel, we talk about other books about books.

And finally, we end the show with recommendations:


  • Martha recommends Spotify music podcast 'Dissect.' Each season of the podcast focuses in on one music album, devoting each episode in the season to dissecting one song. The show just launched their third season which focuses on Frank Ocean's album 'Blonde.' "It's really, really fascinating. the host takes on each song and breaks down, track by track, the lyrics, the production. It's pretty fantastic."

  • Peter also recommends a podcast: 'The Next Picture Show.' The show is a movie discussion podcast that takes a new movie and puts it in conversation with an older movie that it echoes. "The speak about movies with a level of depth and knowledge that I really hope to possess one day. I really love these voices and these people and I think they're some of the best film reviewers in the world and I am glad I get to listen to them every two weeks.

  • MJ recommends two books. First he recommends 'The Power' by Naomi Alderman, a novel that envisions a world where women suddenly have the power to shoot electricity from their hands. The book then explores what happens when women are given this power that men do not have. "Once I started I could not put it down. What I love about the book is that premise is so simple, but I think the idea is so fully realized." He also recommends 'Tin Man' by Sarah Winman, which follows two characters and looks at love, grief, friendships, and more over the course of their lives. "The book is so emotionally rich. It's beautiful, the entire book feels like poetry."

May 17 2018

50mins

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The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and our favorite sci-fi books

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This week on the MashReads Podcast, we read and discuss Douglas Adam's classic sci-fi novel 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Then, inspired by the novel, we chat about our favorite sci-fi including 'Snow Crash' by Neal Stephenson, 'Station Eleven' by Emily St. John Mandel, 'The Afterlives' by Thomas Pierce, 'Neuromancer' by William Gibson, Kindred' by Octavia Butler, and 'Annihilation' by Jeff Vandermeer.

Then as always, we close the show with recommendations:

  • Martha recommends the movie Kodachrome with Elizabeth Olsen and Jason Sudeikis.
  • Peter recommends Ta-Nehisi Coates' new essay 'I'm Not Black, I'm Kanye.'
  • MJ recommends Slate's new podcast Decoder Ringer, and specifically their episode Laff Box, which is all about the history of the laugh track.

May 09 2018

48mins

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Merry Spinster and books inspired by fairy tales

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This week on the MashReads Podcast, we read and discuss Daniel Mallory Ortberg's new short story collection "Merry Spinster." The book reimagines classic fairy tales but with very dark twists.

Then, inspired by "Merry Spinster" we move on to discuss other books inspired by fairy tales that we love.

And as always, we close with recommendations:

  • Peter recommends the video game "God of War." "It is just an incredibly well rought game in terms of basically everything. It feels great, it looks great, but I think what's captivated me most about it is how the story itself is such a mature standing for a character that had previously been an incarnation of greedy bloodbaths. I think it's symobolic of a lot of growth in the video game inudstry as a whole." (You can check out Mashable's review of the game here.)
  • Martha recommends the 1997 version of Cinderalla featuring Brandy and Whitney Houston. "These are all legends and it's fantastic. It's the black Cinderella. It's perfect." She also recommends doing facemasks during your flights. "You put your facemask on and so that you wake up wherever you're landing, you feel fantastic and you look fantastic."
  • MJ recommends the New York Times podcast Still Processing's episode about Beychella, Beyonce history-making Coachella performance. "They talk about Beychella in terms of pop culture, pop culture history, race. It's the smartest deconstruction and reading of what this performance is."

Next week we are reading "The Rosary," an essay by Alexander Chee from his new collection How To Write An Autobiographical Novel. You can find it online here and we hope you'll join us in reading it.

Apr 26 2018

42mins

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Books we really love and think you should love too

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This week on the MashReads Podcast, we pull together a panel of our past guests to chat about books we really love and think you should know about.

Apr 19 2018

23mins

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Books you should absolutely be reading this Spring

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This week on the MashReads Podcast, we are joined by Bustle's book editor Cristina Arreola to talk about all of the books you should be reading this spring. Join us as we talk about what books we absolutely loved and what upcoming books you should keep an eye out for, including The Recovering by Leslie Jamison, The Feamle Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer, An American Marriage by Tayari Jones, and How To Write An Autobiographical Novel by Alexander Chee.

Then, as always, we close the show with recommendations:

  • Martha recommends Kali Uchis’ new album Isolation. “I feel like it got lost in the Cardi B/ Drake wave that happened in music. Her music is just this beautiful fusion of a bunch of different genres like jazz, pop, rob, and her voice is wonderful, and the features that are on the album are fantastic. You have everyone from Georgia Smith to Tyler the Creator to Steve Lacey. It’s just a perfect album to anticipate spring and summer with.”
  • Cristina recommends Radiolab’s "Border Trilogy," a three part series on the border U.S./ Mexico border. “If you’re interested at all in the immigration debate, this series a really good primer and delves deep into it.” She also recommends Francisco Cantú's The Line Becomes A River, a memoir about Cantú's experience growing up on the border and working as a border agent. “It’s just really heart breaking and it’s not polemic and it just humanizes the issue in a way that I think is really necessary.”
  • MJ recommends the Twitter account Modern Glee (@Glee_2018), which imagines the television show Glee would look like if it still existed in 2018. “It reaches these ridiculous peeks the show actually did when it was airing.”
  • Cristina also recommends a tweet of a hilarious photo from a maternity photoshoot with Ronnie from Jersey Shore “It’s one of the funniest thing I’ve ever seen.”
  • Also mentioned on the podcast: 'The Rosary,' an essay by Alexander Chee about becoming a rose gardener.
  • And also, be sure to check out more of Cristina's work by checking out Bustle's books coverage.

Apr 12 2018

46mins

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Paper Menagerie and books about the immigrant experience

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This week on the MashReads Podcast, we read and discuss Ken Liu's short story The Paper Menagerie, (you can read it online here) and then, inspired by the story, we discuss our favorite stories and books that describe the immigrant experience.

Apr 05 2018

38mins

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A Wrinkle In Time and books we want to see turned into movies

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This week, we read and discuss Madeline L'Engle's classic children's book 'A Wrinkle In Time.' Then, inspired by the book (and it's recent big screen adaptation), we talk about books we want to see turned into movies.

Next week, we're reading and discussing Ken Lui's short story 'Paper Menagerie.' We hope you'll join us. You can read it online here.

Mar 28 2018

42mins

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Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda and books we wish had growing up

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This week we are joined by two guests  — Martha's roommate Zach and MJ's brother Marc — to chat about 'Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda,' A.K.A. the book that inspired the movie 'Love, Simon.'

Then, inspired by Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda, we talk about books we wish we had growing up, including The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi, Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman, and The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chobosky.
And as always, we close the show with recommendations:


  • Zach, Martha's roommate, recommends the Netflix show The Words Most Extraordinary Homes. "The show is perfect because one: it is British. There are two British co-hosts and they are just lovely people, because they are absolutely the most genuine. They just go around and look at beautiful homes and talk about the architecture. It's so simple and so perfect."

  • Marc recommends Bravo's reality TV show Vanderpump Rules. "It is pop culture junk food. It's an awful, awful show. But you see yourself in it, in a strange way." He also recommends Scaachi Cole's essay on Buzzfeed “'Vanderpump Rules' Is The Worst Show On TV That You Should Be Watching." "It's super, super funny read, and it's just a super well written essay."

  • Martha recommends Vince Staple's Go Fund Me project "Get Off My D*ck or Fund My Lifestyle," which was a response to critics saying that Vince Staples raps over low quality robot beats. "I love the song first of all and I love him. But it made me think about the larger cultural conversation about people's critiques about black art, and how a lot of people who write online, or talk about hip hop, don't get it."

  • MJ recommends "I wore Adidas tracksuits for week like Armie Hammer," a first person story where Elle writer Estelle Tang, well, wore Adidas tracksuits for a week like Armie Hammer. "The story she wrote is phenomenal, it's so funny. It's just this really great hilarious article about someone doing this ridiculous stunt."

  • Also mentioned on this podcast: our interview with Tomi Adeyemi, author of Children of Blood and Bone and Alim Kheraj's article for GQ "The Bright Future of Queer Literature Is the Young-Adult Novel."

  • And be sure to check out MJ's review of Love, Simon here.
Next week, we're reading A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L'Engle. We hope you'll join us. If you're looking for more books coverage, be sure to follow MashReads on Facebook and Twitter.

Mar 15 2018

55mins

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'Call Me By Your Name' and our favorite love stories

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On this week's episode of the MashReads Podcast, we're continuing our lovely streak of books that happened to have been turned into feature films. We discuss the brilliance of Andre Aciman and his stunning 2007 novel, Call Me By Your Name

The premise is simple: Elio, an intelligent 17 year-old, meets and falls for Oliver, the 24-year-old American graduate student staying with the family for six weeks in the summer. Elio and Oliver embark on a friendship and love story set in Italy of the 1980s. The two wrestle with their feelings, take about a million swims in a pool, and ultimately will have you feeling like a love-obsessed teen by proxy. 

But because this book is much more than it's detailed descriptions of bodily fluids, inspired by Elio and Oliver's love, we also discussed all our favorite love stories including everything from The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien to The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan.

  • Martha recommends checking out Spotify's newest podcast "Microphone Check" about all things hip-hop music—and things that fall under the grander ethos of hip-hop. It formerly had a home within NPR Music but the new reiteration of the show can be listened to here.

  • Proma Khosla, who joined us for this episode, recommends the film Thoroughbreds, which is as she describes it, a "great movie for staring." It features the late Alton Yelchin and, according to Proma, the acting—and the sound—is incredible and striking. Watch the trailer here

  • Peter read a book and thinks you should too. He recommends Alone by Christophe Chabouté, a graphic novel that is "kind of wonderful" about a lighthouse occupied by a deformed man and his imagination. "The art style is captivating and it's quiet itself," Peter says. You can check it out here

  • MJ recommends reading Jo Ann Beard's 1996 New Yorker essay "The Fourth State of Matter." It chronicles the 1991 shootings at The University of Iowa and the death of her co-workers. "What I love about this story is it zigs when you expect it to zag," MJ says. You can read the story, with both zags and the zigs, here

Mar 07 2018

40mins

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Annihilation and books that make us go WTF

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This week on the MashReads Podcast, we read and discuss Annihilation, the first book in Jeff VanderMeer's Southern Reach trilogy. Join us as we talk about the mysterious Area X, VanderMeer's unique approach to suspense, and what makes Annihilation so singular.

Then, inspired by Annihilation, we talk about books that make us go "WTF?!" including: Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro, The Windup Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami, and Wool by Hugh Howey.
And as always we close the show with recommendations:


  • Dustin, Mashable's art director who join us to talk about 'Annihilation,' recommends 'The Power' by Naomi Alderman. "It was a really cool book and also it was a really fast read."

  • Martha recommends 'Black photographers and the civil rights struggle'. "If you get a chance, please look at those photographs. I want every one of them framed and printed in my future home." She also recommends rewatching Season 1 of 'Atlanta.' "It's a fantastic show and it's very trippy."

  • Peter recommends the BBC comedy 'Derry Girls.' "I think it's pretty wonderful... It's this really goofy comedy that is in a really serious setting, and I just really enjoyed it a lot."

  • MJ recommends Mashable's three-part series investigating climate change refugees and the nuclear legacy of the Marshall Islands. (Part I: The Poison and the Tomb: One family's journey to their contaminated home, Part II: On Standby: When you leave the Marshall Islands, you buy a one-way ticket, Part III: A new home, somewhere else.) He also got to go to a screening of 'Love, Simon.' "It makes my heart sing, it's so so charming. You can read his review of the movie here.

Mar 01 2018

45mins

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Catching up with David Levithan

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This week on the MashReads Podcast, we chat with David Levithan, author of 'Boy Meets Boy,' 'Two Boys Kissing,' and 'Every Day' (which was recently adapted into a movie).

Join us as we talk about the queer message behind 'Every Day,' writing queer novels, and how YA literature has grown.

And as always, we close the show with recommendations.


  • David recommends Julien Baker "I think everybody should listen to her. She is incredible. I have a massive musical crush on her."

  • David also recommends a host of upcoming books including: I Felt a Funeral In My Brain by Will Walton, Not If I Save You First by Ally Carter, and I Lost My Way by Gayle Foreman.

  • MJ recommends the band Thirdstory. "Those guys can saaaang."
Next we're reading and discussing Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer, just in time for the movie release. We hope you'll join us.

Feb 23 2018

49mins

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Black Panther

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This week on the MashReads Podcast, we talk about all things Black Panther. Join us as we talk about Marvel's new 'Black Panther' movie. Then we revisit 'Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet,'  the 2016 Ta-Nehisi Coates 'Black Panther' comic book run.

And as always, we close the show with recommendations. 


  • Brian de los Santos, Mashable's assistant editor who joined us this week, recommends hyphy music, especially because of the Black Panther soundtrack. "It was the soundtrack to my high school experience, t was the one moment in which the Bay Area, growing up, had reached the map. Hyphy music has influences on the [Black Panther] soundtrack — E-40, Mac Dre, go ahead and listen to every song they've done. It's very related to this [Black Panther] discussion, and Oakland, and it's just very good music overall."

  • Martha recommends Queer Eye, Netflix's reboot of the early 2000's show Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. "It's one of those TV shows where you can go home, and sit on the couch and escape in it, and feel good."

  • Peter recommends The New York Times' podcast Still Processing. "We've talked about it on this podcast, but they've had back to back episodes that have really been wonderful to me. They did a fantastic one this week about Black Panther with Ta-Nehisi Coates. And the week before that they did a show on Three Billboards Outside Of Ebbing, Missouri and they were to succinctly describe my dissatisfaction with that film in a way that I was never able to put together in my head."

  • MJ recommends all of the hilarious writing about Fergie's, um, colorful, national anthem performance, including "Fergie Apologizes for Giving America the National Anthem It Deserves" from The Root" and "A Brief, Fraught Timeline of My Attempt to Watch Fergie’s Whole Rendition of the National Anthem" from The Ringer. "The rendition was not the greatest. The writing about the rendition has been phenomenal."

  • And be sure to check out Brian de los Santos' story "Someone hijacked my Spotify. Here's what happened when I fought back."

  • And if you want to discover more Black Panther, be sure to check out Mashable's comprehensive coverage with 'Black Panther Week' here.

Feb 21 2018

54mins

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The Monk of Mokha (featuring Dave Eggers and Moktar Alkhanshali )

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This week on the MashReads Podcast, we chat with Dave Eggers and Moktar Alkhanshali about Dave Eggers' new biography of Moktar Alkhanshali and the history of coffee, 'The Monk of Mokha."

Feb 14 2018

1hr 5mins

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The Immortalists (with guest and author Chloe Benjamin)

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Feb 06 2018

1hr 11mins

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