Rank #1: Episode 050: Fifty Shades of Grey
Rank #2: Episode 200 - Infinite Jest
We break down the plot and the structure, such as they are, and we also dive deeper into the role of addiction and depression in the book and the book’s at-times antagonistic relationship with the reader. It’s a book worth reading, but perhaps more than anything we’ve yet done for the show, it resists being read.
Rank #3: Ep 300 - Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer
We couldn't think of a better way to celebrate our 300th episode than with a *biting* discussion of Stephenie Meyer's blockbuster hit Twilight.
Will klutzy cipher Bella Swan and perfect baseballboy Edward Cullen make it? Can you practice abstinence in the world that gave rise to Fifty Shades? And when you become a vampire, does it make you HOT?
Find the answers to these questions and more in our tricentennial extravaganza!
Rank #4: Episode 161 - It
But it's not all good; the book is longer than it probably needs to be and it lingers on certain aspects of pre-teen sexuality just a BIT more than seems advisable.
Anyway, come on down and enjoy this week's episode! We all float down here.
And you'll float, too.
Rank #5: Episode 072: Pride and Prejudice
Rank #6: Ep 320 - Twilight: New Moon, by Stephenie Meyer
Just like Bella can't resist her vampire beau Edward, we couldn't resist returning to Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series. So we sharpened our fangs and grew out our wolfbeards for a lengthy discussion of the second book in the series, New Moon.
We bemoan the dearth of quality humans in Bella's life. We discuss our #TeamJacob leanings despite some concerns about his "Nice Guy" persistence. And we express our frustration with a book that doesn't WANT to be a metaphor for power dynamics despite being about a teenage girl DEALING WITH SUPERNATURAL MONSTER BOYS.
Rank #7: Episode 117: Outlander
Rank #8: Episode 182 - Jane Eyre
Is it a romance? Is it spooky? Do we like Mr. Rochester or does he well and truly stink? We'll attempt to answer these questions and more in between revisiting #MomSwears, solving some Scooby Doo mysteries, and traveling through Internet tubes.
This week's episode is brought to you in part by Kinyo Poetry and Squarespace.
Rank #9: Episode 100: Fifty Shades Darker
Added reading:"Feminists can be kinky too" from Femmeuary: https://femmeuary.wordpress.com/2014/02/03/feminists-can-be-kinky-too/"The two mantras of BDSM" from The Kink Factory: http://thekinkyfactory.com/bdsm-for-beginners/ssc-rack/
Rank #10: Ep 338 - Twilight: Eclipse, by Stephenie Meyer
If you can't stand how hot these werewolves are, get out of the kitchen! This week we head back to Forks for the third of the four main Twilight books, and while we had kind of made our peace with reading these in our New Moon episode, we question the wisdom of that decision this time around.
Rank #11: Episode 150 - Fifty Shades Freed
It's not that a book about a BDSM relationship (complete with graphic sex scenes) can't be good, it's just that THESE books are intensely frustrating. The repetitive prose and awkward sex end up back in our crosshairs, but this time around we pay especial attention to Ana and Christian and just how frustrating they are as characters.
Rank #12: Episode 067: Bossypants
Rank #13: Episode 134 - LOTR: The Fellowship of the Ring
Talking points include elven paradises, stranger danger, bath time songs, and the difference between dipping and bouncing.
Rank #14: Episode 089: The Handmaid's Tale
Rank #15: Ep 291 - Gone With The Wind, by Margaret Mitchell
Gone With The Wind is an American classic, both in that it is a classic book written by an American author and in that it does a bad job wrangling with America's original sin, slavery. We try to justice both to Mitchell's characterization and sense of place while also accounting for her blind spots.
Rank #16: Episode 169 - Flowers in the Attic (hosted by Two Bossy Dames)
The Dames read VC Andrews' Flowers in the Attic, which is apparently MUCH more about incest than the books we normally read! But they handle it ably, answering questions like: is this supposed to be titillating? IS it titillating? Why is our culture so bad at exposing young women and girls to sex in a healthy, non-creepy way? And more!
You can subscribe to Two Bossy Dames and view an archive of past letters (including the one we did!) at www.tinyletter.com/twobossydames.
Rank #17: Episode 039: The Hound of the Baskervilles
later, the popular detective returned in The Hound of the Baskervilles,
much to the delight of Doyle's mother.
Why was Doyle unable to abandon his creation? Why have the zany detective
and his Everyman sidekick Watson endured for over a century? Maybe we'll
answer those questions. At the very least, we'll talk about how nerds have
kept the crime-fighting duo alive for new generations to enjoy in print and
In this week's episode, we'll also discuss the adventures of Sir Arthur
"Iggy" Conan Doyle, Professor Challenge, nerd rage, and (last but not
Rank #18: Episode 118: Blood Meridian
Rank #19: Episode 062: The Giver
Lois Lowry's The Giver imagines a world without color, without hills, without difference and most importantly without memory. Winner of the 1994 Newberry Award, The Giver shares thematic DNA with classic "Kid Who Is More Special Than Anyone Else Ever" literature like The Hunger Games, Ender's Game, and Harry Potter.So naturally we take a big old swing at Quidditch. Other targets of our (perhaps misplaced ire) include Nebraska, bachelor weekends, and dreams.
Rank #20: Episode 087: Gone Girl