episode 19: Amanda Bullock talks Wordstock and books – so many books

It’s Wordstock season in Portland, the time of year when book lovers extrovert for a day, leave the safety of their reading nooks to gather around authors all over the park blocks in downtown Portland. Amanda Bullock, Director of Public Programs at Literary Arts, joined us to talk about what goes into putting on this major holiday for book lovers. We probed for juicy stories of writers behaving badly, talked about stalking chefs, and got the lowdown on all the books we’ll be reading in the coming year. We’ve moved away from the exhaustive list, but here are some of the books Amanda mentioned that have delighted, moved, awed, or otherwise gut punched her in the last little while.

Sing, Unburied, Sing – Jesmyn Ward
Wait Till You See Me Dance – Deb Olin Unferth
The Dark Stories – Samantha Hunt
My Misspent Youth – Meghan Daum
Animals Strike Curious Poses – Elena Passarello
Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI – David Grann
We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy – Ta-Nehisi Coates
On Immunity: An Inoculation – Eula Biss
Flings: Stories – Justin Taylor
Against Everything: Essays – Mark Greif
The Answers: A Novel – Catherine Lacey
Lincoln in the Bardo: A Novel – George Saunders
Everything is Flammable – Gabrielle Bell


episode 17: How do you say Lepucki? (with Jason Gurley)

Hey! We’re back. AND WE ARE RUSTY. Our good friend Jason Gurley joined us to help ease us back into things.

Fair warning: This episode is sloppy as hell, way more so than usual. Every five minutes I’d look over at the monitor where we were recording and see a warning that the destination disk was almost full. I panicked; I let things fall apart.

We’re not doing a whole big blog post for this one. Michelle is away on a writing retreat, and I’m at home parenting for three weeks…who has time for blogging? Or podcasting, even! But hey, we’re planning some new episodes, and we hope they trickle out over the coming months.

And we still don’t know how to pronounce her name. Lepucki. How do you say that?


episode 4: Rachel Yoder and our feelings (kind of)

In this episode we welcome Rachel Yoder to talk about books that make us laugh, cry, sweat, squirm, and drink.

Rachel is a co-editor of Draft: The Journal of Process and the host of the Fail Safe Podcast (where she talks to writers about her obsession with failure). She’s also written a great number of stories and essays. Please follow her. She’s a great talent.

Books we reference, or sort of reference

  • Blood Meridian* – Cormac McCarthy
  • Gold Fame Citrus – Claire Vaye Watkins
  • Arcadia – Lauren Groff
  • Fates and Furies – Lauren Groff
  • The Power and the Glory – Graham Greene
  • Housekeeping – Marilynne Robinson
  • The Last Samurai – Helen DeWitt
  • Big Kids – Micheal DeForge
  • Safari Honeymoon – Jesse Jacobs
  • The Invisibles – Grant Morrison
  • Fun Home – Alison Bechdel
  • Black Hole – Charles Burns
  • X’ed Out – Charles Burns
  • The Dark Tower** – Stephen King
  • Democracy – Joan Didion
  • Play It As It Lays – Joan Didion
  • The Garden of Eden – Ernest Hemingway
  • The Sun Also Rises – Ernest Hemingway
  • A Moveable Feast – Ernest Hemingway
  • The Secret History – Donna Tartt
  • Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger
  • A Little Life*** – Hanya Yanagihara
  • The Argonauts – Maggie Nelson
  • The Small Backs of Children – Lidia Yuknavitch
  • For the Time Being – Annie Dillard
  • In Cold Blood – Truman Capote
  • Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
  • Pride and Prejudice and Zombies – Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith
  • Eleven Hours – Pamela Erens
  • A Collapse of Horses – Brian Evenson
  • Imagine Wanting Only This – Kristen Radtke
  • Black Wave – Michelle Tea
  • My Struggle – Karl Ove KnausgÃ¥rd
  • Eligible – Curtis Sittenfeld
  • The Underground Railroad – Colson Whitehead

*Isaac is sorry he brought this up, as if there weren’t dozens and dozens of other books to better prove his point.

**Isaac has got to stop implying he doesn’t 100% enjoy Stephen King. Repeatedly, this is his one regret about every episode.

***This is the last time Isaac will ever complain about this book on this podcast.

Writers we discuss without mentioning their books

  • Ursula K. Le Guin
  • Andre Dubus
  • Haruki Murakami
  • Joy Williams