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 Knausgård
  • 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


episode 3: lists & the Millions.com Great Book Preview

If you don’t keep a book list, how do you know you’ve read them? Melissa Amos joins us to talk about the satisfactions of a good spreadsheet, and then we dish our top five from The Millions hotly anticipated Great Second-Half 2016 Book Preview.

This episode features a phone ding, hound bark, ice clinking, the caws of 1000 crows.

Books we reference, or sort of reference

Melissa’s Top Five
1. White Nights in Split Town City – Annie DeWit
2. Here I am – Jonathan Safran Foer
3. The Fortunes – Peter Ho Davies
4. Today Will Be Different – Maria Semple
5. The Unseen World – Liz Moore

Michelle’s Top Five
1. Problems – Jade Sharma
2. Black Wave – Michelle Tea
3. White Nights in Split Town City – Annie DeWit
4. The Private Life of Mrs. Sharma – Ratika Kapur
5. Swing Time – Zadie Smith

Isaac’s Top Five
1. The Underground Railroad – Colson Whitehead
2. The Insurrection – Rion Amilcar Scott
3. The Gambler’s Anatomy – Jonathan Lethem
4. Pond – Claire Louise-Bennett
5. Behold the Dreamers – Imbolo Mbue

Melissa: The Wangs vs. The World – Jade Chang
Michelle: The Terranauts – T.C. Boyle
Isaac: The Nix – Nathan Hill

Also mentioned:

Special Topics in Calamity Physic – Marisha Pessl
NW – Zadie Smith
A Little Life – Hanya Yanagihara
City on Fire – Garth Risk Hallberg
Where’d You Go Bernadette – Maria Semple
Fortress of Solitude – Jonathan Letham
Motherless Brooklyn – Jonathan Letham
Everything is Illuminated – Jonathan Safran Foer
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close – Jonathan Safran Foer
The Sellout – Paul Beatty
Drop City – T.C. Boyle
The Lord of the Flies – William Golding
The Secret Place – Tana French
The Dark Tower series – Stephen King
The Red Parts – Maggie Nelson

Bunch of writers we discuss without mentioning their books

Joy Williams
Steve Almond
Annie Dillard
Celeste Ng
Thomas Pynchon
Michael Chabon
Ben Lerner
Ben Marcus

Errata and mea culpas

We kind of collectively slaughtered Marisha Pessl’s name and book title.

What we’re reading

Melissa: just finished Before the Fall by Noah Hawley, starting Elligible – Curtis Sittenfeld
Isaac: The Border of Paradise – Esme Wang
Michelle: The Sellout – Paul Beatty



episode 2: a trip through time

In episode 2, we learn about Isaac’s early years as a beat, and Michelle uses the word “formative” excessively. Throughout, we talk about our evolution as readers.

This episode features chicken clucking, light traffic noise. Michelle’s pen was banned.

 Books we reference, or sort of reference

  • Metamorphoses – Ovid
  • Japanese Children’s Favorite Stories – Florence Sakade
  • Peanuts Treasury – Charles Schulz
  • Life Before Man – Margaret Atwood
  • Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
  • Wuthering Heights – Emily Brontë
  • Pride and Prejudice and Zombies – Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith
  • The Thorn birds – Colleen McCullough
  • Flowers in the Attic – V.C. Andrews
  • The Shining – Stephen King
  • Howl and Other Poems – Allen Ginsberg
  • On the Road – Jack Kerouac
  • Naked Lunch – William S. Burroughs
  • Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain
  • Tom Sawyer – Mark Twain
  • The Bible
  • Harriet the Spy – Louise Fitzhugh
  • The Long Secret – Louise Fitzhugh
  • London Fields – Martin Amis
  • Portrait of a Lady – Henry James
  • Tigers Are Better Looking – Jean Rhys
  • A Million Little Pieces – James Frey
  • My Friend Leonard – James Frey
  • Rabbit, Run; Rabbit Redux; Rabbit is Rich; Rabbit at Rest – John Updike
  • Maus – Art Spiegelman
  • Cruddy – Lynda Barry
  • Fun Home – Alison Bechdel
  • The World According to Garp – John Irving
  • Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad

Bunch of writers we discuss without mentioning their books

  • Dean R Koontz
  • Lynda Barry
  • Charles Bukowski
  • Richard Ford
  • Jo Nesbø
  • Louise Penny

Errata and mea culpas

Michelle slaughtered the reference to Fun Home by Alison Bechdel and is embarrassed.

What we’re reading

  • Isaac: HHhH – Laurent Binet
  • Michelle: The Sellout – Paul Beatty

episode 1: reading obligations

Welcome to the first episode of  Go away, I’m reading, a podcast about books and reading. To kick things off, we talk about obligatory reading, the reading we’re required to do, and why we resist it, even if we inflict it on ourselves.

Please also enjoy creaks of door, clicks of pen, traffic, sirens, a cough.

 Books we reference, or sort of reference

  • Moby Dick – Herman Melville
  • The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle – Haruki Murakami
  • City on Fire – Garth Risk Hallberg
  • The Sympathizer – Viet Thanh Nguyen
  • Bret Easton Ellis and Other Dogs – Lina Wolff
  • The White Tiger – Aravind Adiga
  • A Little Life – Hanya Yanagihara
  • The Sellout – Paul Beatty
  • How the Dead Dream – Lydia Millet
  • Song of Solomon –  Toni Morrison
  • Tenth of December – George Saunders
  • The Brothers Karamazov – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  • The Brothers K – David James Duncan
  • The Master and Margarita – Mikhail Bulgakov
  • Mrs. Dalloway – Virginia Woolf
  • The Origin of the Brunists – Robert Coover
  • My Struggle – Karl Ove Knausgård
  • Smilla’s Sense of Snow – Peter Høeg
  • The Quiet Girl – Peter Høeg
  • Infinite Jest – David Foster Wallace
  • Blood Meridian – Cormac McCarthy
  • The Turner House – Angela Flournoy
  • HHhH – Laurent Binet

Short stories

  • Barn Burning – William Faulkner
  • So Much Water So Close To Home – Raymond Carver
  • What We Talk About When We Talk About Love – Raymond Carver

Errata and mea culpas

We acknowledge that Isaac’s appreciation for Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky translations of Russian novels is not shared by Janet Malcolm.

What we’re reading

  • Isaac: Song of Solomon – Toni Morrison
  • Michelle: The Turner House – Angela Flournoy