4. Kid Gloves / The Thin Place.

Emily thinks the world would be a better place if everyone read Lucy Knisley’s graphic novel account of her difficult pregnancy, Kid Gloves, while Michael rhapsodizes about experiments in empathy and postmodern mysticism spurred on by Kathryn Davis’s The Thin Place. They talk about myths and misconceptions of pregnancy, pain, sex ed, medieval mysticism, and whether reading teaches empathy.

Show Notes.

Kid Gloves by Lucy Knisley.

The Thin Place by Kathryn Davis.

The Dollop’s “Childbirth in America” podcast (in part about twilight sleep).

Lucy Knisley’s Instagram.

Judy Blume by Amanda Palmer.

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3. literally show me a healthy person / The Wife.

Michael found the formal experiments and wild content of Darcie Wilder’s literally show me a healthy person to be compelling but not without knots, while Emily enjoys the nuance of Meg Wolitzer’s novel The Wife. They talk about delayed adolescence, the unacknowledged genius of the wives of ‘great’ men, representation and appropriation, and the twitter aesthetic. Also, Dear Reader observes Michael’s birthday!

Show Notes.

literally show me a healthy person by Darcie Wilder.

The Wife by Meg Wolitzer.

Transcription by Kate Atkinson.

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2. The Penelopiad / Circe / The Lonesome Bodybuilder.

Emily found Margaret Atwood’s The Penelopiad to be a missed opportunity, especially when compared to Madeline Miller’s Circe, while Michael was delighted by Yukiko Motoya’s unsettling and strange short stories in The Lonesome Bodybuilder. They talk about the characters on the margins of great stories, what book to bring to the hospital, adaptating the classics, and what to do with novellas. Emily’s new baby (hooray!) makes a brief cameo.

Show Notes.

The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood.

Circe by Madeline Miller.

The Lonesome Bodybuilder by Yukiko Motoya.

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood.

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg.

Geek Love by Katherine Dunn.

Persuasion by Jane Austen.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.

Middlemarch by George Eliot.

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1. How to Be Famous / Chrono Trigger.

Emily found Caitlin Moran’s How to Be Famous to be both hilarious and politically necessary. Michael went on a 16-bit nostalgia binge with Michael P. Williams’s Chrono Trigger. They talk about bad sex in the #metoo era, the art of translation, persistence in the face of catastrophe, and burning out on reading.

Show Notes.

How to Be Famous by Caitlin Moran.

Chrono Trigger by Michael P. Williams.

Persuasion by Jane Austen.

The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood.

Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf.

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0. Coming Soon.

Dear Reader is a podcast by two old friends. When they were young, Emily and Michael were total bookworms who bonded over a love of literature. Now, two babies and an abandoned PhD later, both of them find it sometimes difficult to get into reading the way they used to. Every episode, Emily and Michael will catch up with each other by asking: read anything interesting lately?

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