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The Book Report

The Book Report

By Joel Dean & Stephen Reece
Two guys with way too much literary and pop culture knowledge try to convince you to read.

We will be doing deep dives into classic, brand new novels and book series. We'll be making recommendations, debating their merits and making utter fools of ourselves for your enjoyment.
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S2E20: Peace Talks

The Book Report

S3E9: Softballs
Remember when we recommended books? remember how we rewrote the terrible book descriptions into things that actually represented what you were about to read? Well, this episode is just that! We turned it into a game, forcing each other to come up with book descriptions on the fly for our embarrassment and your enjoyment! remember to like share and subscribe.
February 24, 2021
S3E8: Ping Pong Paradigm
I promise we start talking about the episode's main topic eventually, if you want to skip over all the perfection that is Redwall, Ping-Pong drugs and Wheel of Time bashing go to approx. the 21 mark. Today we discuss the books that changed the course of a genre, that added or reorganized or retold a story in such a unique way it changed the way we think about stories.  We also gave each other new writing prompts they are as follows: Stephen's prompt for Joel: I would like you to write a thriller that takes place at the Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station. It cannot be supernatural.  Joel's Prompt for Stephen: The dark one rose, the scholars and prophets scoured the countryside to find the foretold chosen one. Its now the last battle the forces of good and evil are fighting what could be Armageddon but everyone knows that no matter what heroics take place on the battlefield the outcome will be determined by the true fight between chosen hero and great evil. But… two chosen ones have shown up. They both fulfill every minute detail of the prophecies but the foresights also all agree that the final battle is to be one on one. The dark one is here how do you decide who to send out and fight.
February 15, 2021
S3E7: Humorous... Like the Bone
We're back!!! Holidays took a lot longer than we planned and well we kinda forgot to record for a month. Inertia is a difficult piece of reality to overcome. Anyways we finally read our latest short stories and with no restraint on SPOLIERS discuss the Space Trilogy beginning with the Three Body Problem! As a reminder here are the prompts from over a month ago: Stephen's Prompt: Tell me about a normal event from a non-human pov (inanimate object, animal, alien, fairy, demon etc) in a way that makes it bizarre (humerus or horrifying) don't explain the event or what you the pov character are but give enough context for me to guess. Joel's Prompt: Write from the perspective of an AI tasked with creating paperclips as they slowly realize they are destroying the world that created them.
February 8, 2021
S3E6: Book Tropes
So today we're gonna talk about things that annoy us (What else is new) Book Tropes and Cliches and the best ways authors have avoided them. Also, we didn't read any more Out of The Silent Planet sry. But we do have new Writing Prompts!! Stephen's Prompt: Tell me about a normal event from a non-human pov (inanimate object, animal, alien, fairy, demon etc) in a way that makes it bizarre (humerus or horrifying) don't explain the event or what you the pov character are but give enough context for me to guess. Joel's Prompt: Write from the perspective of an AI tasked with creating paperclips as they slowly realize they are destroying the world that created them.
December 14, 2020
S3E5: Six Seasons and a Movie?
This isn't an episode about Community... because as amazing as it is, it isn't a book. We are talking about how we hope The Expanse gets at least one movie to wrap up the last 3 books.  Then joel goes on several rants about how book adaptations have a bunch of major problems. Beware of Spoilers for DRESDEN FILES and THE EXPANSE  We read along Out of The Silent Planet Chapters 9-10
November 30, 2020
Books have been banned for a lot of very very very stupid reasons. That was the original point of this episode it ended up being an excuse for each of us to rant about politics and social issues for an hour... and every now and then relate it back to books. We also go over chapter 7&8 of Out of The Silent Planet in our book club section!
November 23, 2020
S3E3: You're Not Wrong
Well, we're finally here... After judging and discussing hundreds of other professional writers works now you get to do the same to original works written for this podcast... For the read along we are going over Chapters 4, 5, & 6 of CS Lewis' Out of the Silent Planet.
November 9, 2020
S3E2: Hindsight is 20/200
We once judged books by their covers. Joel read a couple, Stephen did not. Skip that part of the podcast. It's dumb.  In part 2. We give an overview of the first 3 chapters of C.S. Lewis' "Out of the Silent Planet" in the first segment of our read-along!! In Part C: We give each other a writing prompt for next week. Joel has to write about the moon. Stephen is doing something about Easter Island. It will be a trainwreck. And like all trainwrecks, you should probably watch, at least for entertainment purposes.  Link to full text of Writing Prompts (only view if you want them spoiled)
November 2, 2020
S3E1: The Hokey Pokey
Did you know that the Hokey Pokey is an innuendo? Find out more by listening to today's episode! Joel and Stephen discuss their opinions on literature. Is it worth listening to? Probably not.  Are you doing anything more important? Also probably not.  Is that a recommendation you can pass up? Prob-- You get the idea. Just go listen to the episode. 
October 26, 2020
S2E21: The Broken Earth Trilogy (Season Finale)
We have closed out Season Two (because our lives got busy for a bit) by bringing everything full circle and finishing out bothe entire series we discussed in our very first episode! BEWARE SPOILERS for N.K. Jemisin's Broken Earth Trilogy!!
September 4, 2020
S2E20: Peace Talks
If you have not read book 16 of the Dresden Files entitled Peace Talks STOP NOW. This episode will be filled with spoilers for this book and the entire Dresden files series.  If you have read the book or don't care about spoilers. check out our no holds barred spoiler filled honest look at the newest novel in the adventures of Harry Dresden,  Fomor explanation done much better than Joel ever could:
August 28, 2020
S2E19: Either and Ether are not Homonyms (Black Sun Rising and The Lathe of Heaven)
Fantasy can be whatever you want it to be. These two books prove that, and then go beyond by bringing together genres in ways that bend the mind, entrap the senses, and turn the eye towards things greater than ourselves.  This week we explore Black Sun Rising by C.S. Friedman and The Lathe of Heaven - Ursela K. Le Guin
August 21, 2020
S2E18: Bring back the Guillotines (American Gods and Dawn)
We're bringing back the french revolution! Well....Actually we're talking about good ideas that weren't properly executed. You know the trope. . . Green ketchup.  Furby as the next great cuddly toy.  Giving your dog a chew-toy shaped exactly the same as your favorite pair of shoes.  So we're going to explain two books. American Gods, by Neil Gaiman, and Dawn, by Octavia Butler.  Both of these novels have exceptional ideas behind them worth exploring. Unfortunately, the books both fail to live up to expectations. Tune in this week to hear Joel try to explain his way out of a "totally not hentai" book. 
August 10, 2020
S2E17: Panda Meat (Forging Hephestus & Heroes Die)
No pandas or polar bears were harmed in the making of this episode... unless you are a federal officer in which case we plead the fifth. 
July 28, 2020
S2E16: Smart People Books
The books today are anything but ordinary. One the one hand, we explore the all-too-real world of hacking for profit. On the other hand, we delve into the depths of human depravity where men fight one another underground in order to further their national interests. These non-fiction books are worth the read, so if you don't listen to the full podcast, make sure to jot down each of these titles, as they will keep you on the edge of your seat like no fiction novel ever could. As they say, the truth is often stranger than fiction. 
July 17, 2020
S2E15: Book Adaptations
Books vs. movies? Which are better?  We struck down the time old question that divides families and said, Por que no los dos? Yes, that's right. Today we explore the books that were turned into movies. The good, the bad, the ugly, and even the dirty (harry). Well, not that last one...I'm not sure dirty harry ever read a book, but we do mention Die Hard, so close enough.  Anyways, I won't spoil the ending for you. Go listen for yourself. 
June 29, 2020
S2E14: No intro Needed?
The guys go back to the basics (because it had been too long since they did an episode and didn't have a clever idea for a new one) and recommend three new books! James Clavell's: Shogun & Diana Wynn Jones': Howl's Moving Castle and Castle in the Air
June 22, 2020
S2E13: Mistborn Trilogy
I was very lazy editing and getting this episode up. listen its been a hell of a weekend and Monday and frankly year the whole world is insane. 
June 2, 2020
S2E12: Top 10 list!
We tried to wing an intro twice, we failed to record, Joel momentarily deleted all the audio… This episode went through a lot to get to you. Hopefully it's worth it to hear about 20 of our favorite books of all time for the longest recommendation list yet! Stephen’s Top Ten 10. Watership Down - Richard Adams 9. The Mistborn Trilogy - Brandon Sanderson 8. Ivanhoe - Sir Walter Scott 7. The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood - Howard Pyle 6. The Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne - Brian Staveley 5. The Walking Drum - Louis L'amour 4. The Book of Three - Lloyd Alexander 3. Redwall - Brian Jacques 2. The Once and Future King - T.H. White 1. Under Heaven - Guy Gavriel Kay Joel’s Top Ten 10. Nemesis Games – James S. A. Corey 9. What the Hell did I just Read? – David Wong 8. Reaper Man – Terry Pratchett 7. ORYX and CRAKE – Margret Atwood 6. Second Foundation – Isaac Asimov 5. RANT – Chuck Palahniuk 4. Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury 3. The Kingkiller Chronicle – Patrick Rothfuss 2. RX: A Tale of Electronegativity – Robert Brockway 1. Ender’s Game – Orson Scott Card
May 26, 2020
S2E11: Etcetera as literature.
Every show, movie, and song you’ve ever been exposed to was written by someone, or even multiple someones, so maybe it’s time to give credit to those guys.
May 20, 2020
S2E10: Judging Books by their Covers
We've never read these books, but that doesn't stop us from judging, assessing, ranking, and micro-aggressing the H. E. double entendre out of these (potentially) fantastic novels.  Books we discussed: Malazan book of the fallen - Steven Erikson Borne -- Jeff VanderMeer Noble House -- James Clavell Catacombs -- Mary Ann Evans Heros Die -- Matthew Woodran Stover The Song of Achilles -- Madeline Miller
May 11, 2020
S2E9: Perverse Pride
We invite to the stage . . . drumroll please . . . . a guest who needs no introduction, so we won't be giving her one. Our guest today introduces us to the parody of Fanfiction which is "Carry On" by Rainbow Rowell. Buckle your seatbelts and grab your butterbeer, cause this is one bumpy ride for fans of the Harry Potter franchise! In Other Lands by Sarah Rees Brennan Hannah's Twitter handle= @disabldlinguist 
April 27, 2020
S2E8: Burning Books? Literary Theory Grab Bag
We talk Dystopian fiction, The best endings, and the proper way to do a Twist in our final (at least for now) literary theory episode!
April 20, 2020
S2E7: In the beginning, the earth was formless and void.
"And I think to myself, what a wonderful world" -- Louis Armstrong.  Worldbuilding is all about crafting a playground for the imagination. Top-notch storytellers create worlds that feel every bit as real as our own, but how do they do it?  In this episode of The Book Report, we discuss worldbuilding. 
April 13, 2020
Quarantine #2: The Masque of the Red Death
Link to readable PDF: Link to Youtube version:
April 9, 2020
S2E6: We should have just done this whole episode about Tiger King
Here are all the books we mentioned: Peter Pan The adventures of Robin Hood Chronicles of the Unhewn Throne Harry Potter Series A Series of Unfortunate Events Children of Time Foundation Series The Expanse Animorphs Series Journey to the West Dresden Files John Dies at the End The Brothers Karamazov
April 6, 2020
S2E5: If I didn't have a father he would look like Dennis Quaid
Question: What makes a story? Is it the characters? The setting? The plot? A combination of all three?  In this episode, Joel and Stephen begin a journey into literary theory and discuss exactly what it is that makes our favorite stories tick. From the overarching theory of the "Hero's Journey" to the more tried and true "Rag's to Riches" storyline, this episode will enlighten your mind slightly more than the usual drivel churned out on The Book Report. 
March 30, 2020
Qurantine #1: Children of TIme Redux
Stephen finally read a book Joel recommended, so in this episode, they discuss Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky in excruciating detail. (Don't worry, this book is awesome).  Oh, and there special outtakes in this episode that you can skip, because our editor in chief has no sense of taste. 
March 25, 2020
S2E4: Classics Hate
We all remember the books we read for High School English. Some were transformative works of literature that transcended the heights of human experience, while others . . . not so much.  In this episode, Joel and Stephen discuss the shortcomings of several books now regarded as "Classics" and discuss why these books might not be all they are cracked up to be. 
March 23, 2020
S2E3: Fighting back against the Litera-ti
Pop culture is mindless drivel, the likes of the Twilight Saga, or the books you see in an airport bookstore and think "I'm better than that."  . . . Actually, pop culture is awesome and deserves its place among the hallowed halls of Chaucer, Dickens, and Shakespeare.  In this episode, we discuss the merits of pop culture and the effects it has on the wider world at large. Tune in to this episode for some surprising insights into how pop culture influences our beliefs about everything from police officers to government propaganda. 
March 16, 2020
S2E2: Setting the women's movement back 50 years (The Phantom Tollbooth).
Our first ever guest episode! Join us as Jennifer tells us about her favorite book,  The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. Also enjoy Joel and Stephen, cause they're just so nice to look at. 
March 9, 2020
S2E1: Stop saying you "trust me" so condescendingly!
We're back with SEASON TWO!! New Logo. New show format. Same old hosts you know and love.  We're going way too deep into the expansive epic fantasy that is Brent Weeks' Lightbringer Series. So buckle your seatbelts, strap on a pair of colored spectacles, and plug your ears through all the plot spoilers. 
March 2, 2020
Season 2 extended preview
We're back next Monday!  Beware of Spoilers for the Lightbringer Series which we will cover in depth next week!!
February 23, 2020
Ep. 22: Season Finale
We've arbitrarily decided this is the final episode of Season 1! In this, we discuss the origins of the podcast and the absolute best modern fantasy, Patrick Rothfus' Kingkiller Chronicle Beware of spoilers, as well as fan theories, awkward silences and Joel going full nerd. but enjoy and come back next season when we have guest episodes lined up multi-part episodes and we take on some classics. Thanks for listening if you like us tell someone else about the podcast!
February 3, 2020
Ep. 21: The Riff-Raff are Gone (DUNE and The Extraordinary Adventures Of Alfred Kropp)
This is up late due to technical difficulties (Read User Error) but we're back with more book recommendations! Joel tells us about a Sci-Fi classic; hopefully soon to finally be an actually good feature film: Frank Herbert's, Dune Stephen takes us on a fun trip involving Ninja's, Monk's, Car chases and magic. (Not totally sure I didn't make up the ninja's) in The Extraordinary Adventures Of Alfred Kropp by Rick Yancey We're also back with a new extended Read-Along segment!!
January 18, 2020
Ep. 20: Happy Birthday Stephen! (The Starless Sea and Susan You Mafan)
It's our first episode of the new year! It's a birthday episode! Its the return of the read-along segment!  Oh and we talk about the experimental storytelling of Erin Morgenstern's second book "The Starless Sea" and a Chinese learning book called "Susan You Mafan" by Terry Waltz.
January 10, 2020
Ep. 19: Book Fights!
In this auspicious first episode where both hosts are in the same room we decided to go for a special Book Fight!. We discuss two stories we hated or at least one of us hated.  This also has the next installment of read along!
December 27, 2019
Ep. 18: Does punctuation really matter? (Candor and The Walking Drum)
We have recovered finally from the Nantucket joke... sorta Join us as we talk about a book Joel read in one setting: Pam Bachors, Candor; and Stephen tells us about the one non-western Louis L'amor novel, The Walking Drum!
December 13, 2019
Ep 17: The Man from Nantucket: A Promethian Limerick (Shadow in Summer & A Boy and his Dog at the End of the World)
Joel talks about the C. A. Fletcher novel, A Boy and his Dog at the End of the world, then after a master class in digression Stephen tries to get them back on track by talking about Daniel Abraham's A Shadow in Summer. 
December 6, 2019
Ep. 16: That's How the Alphabet Works (The Chronicles of the Shadow War and The Wheel of Time)
The guys tackle two huge fantasy series. Robert Jordan's vast and influential Wheel of Time, and the criminally under-known George Lucas and Chris Claremont collaboration, Chronicles of the Shadow War. 
November 22, 2019
Ep. 15: You don't know how old I age (The Dresden Files)
In our second (but this time planned) special episode the guys deep dive into a freewheeling discussion of the ongoing Jim Butcher series,  The Dresden Files. Beware of spoilers for just about every book in the series but please don't let that dissuade you from listening and of course you should definitely go read these books!!!
November 15, 2019
Ep. 14: A very enthusiastic attempt to save a child (Good Omens/On Writing and Worldbuilding)
Stephen goes to another book-turned-TV show with Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman's collaborative work "Good Omens". Joel Kicks off NaNoWriMo with some advice from Tim Hickson's "On Writing and Worldbuilding". 
November 8, 2019
Ep. 12: The 3 r's, reading, (w)riting, and more reading (Aeronauts Windlass and Annihilation)
Happy NaNoWriMo! Before we all start writing our own novels, let's dive into the excellent works that are Jim Butcher's Aeronauts Windlass, and Jeff VanderMeer's Annihilation. 
November 1, 2019
Ep. 13: Little Cocaine Baggies (2BOR02B & SaR officer)
It's a short spooky read Halloween special! Joel takes us to the NoSleep subreddit and tells us about a search and rescue officer. Stephen takes us to explore life or death decisions in Kurt Vonnegut's short 2BOR02B.  Links to both reads are below.  Happy Halloween!!
October 31, 2019
Ep. 11: A Giant Microagression (Alice isn't Dead, Extreme Ownership)
Stephen dips back into the Non-fiction with Jocko Willink and Leif Babin's book on leadership, Extreme Ownership. Joel gets spooky with Joseph Fink's Road trip adventure, Alice Isn't Dead.  Next week tune in on Halloween for a special episode!
October 25, 2019
Ep. 10: No one here is a cat pornographer (Identity Crisis and The Magicians)
Stephen makes some wild claims and guarantees this episode an explicit rating, but makes a valiant effort to convince us all to read Lev Grossman's "The Magicians". Joel meanwhile takes another detour from his traditional reads and takes us to the world of DC Comics discussing Brad Meltzer's limited series "Identity Crisis".
October 18, 2019
Ep. 9: Insert Clever Title (Stay Sexy and Don't Get Murdered & Guns, Germs and Steel)
The guys get real this week with two non-fiction books! Stephen takes us to school with a fascinating historical look on why the world is the way it is in Jared Diamond's "Guns, Germs and Steel." Joel takes us to therapy with Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark's joint memoir "Stay Sexy, and Don't Get Murdered"   The guys also forgot to come up with a comical title and spend way to much time next week trying to figure one out. 
October 11, 2019
Ep. 8: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (The Warded Man & The Three Body Problem)
We discover movies that came out in the 1950s!  Oh..... and Stephen tells us about Peter V. Brett's "The Warded Man" while Joel struggles to pronounce Cixin Liu who wrote "The Three-Body Problem." 
October 4, 2019
Ep. 7: "I wish I were a big elderly woman" (Airframe and Libriomancer)
Stephen takes us through a tale of corporate espionage in the high flying world of aviation with Michael Crichton's Airframe. Joel begins a magical journey through all possible fictional stories in Jim C. Hines, Libriomancer.  This is also the beginning of our first Book Giveaway. Subscribe, Rate and Review our podcast to be entered into a drawing to win one of the books we have recommended!!
September 27, 2019
Ep. 6: Lord of the Fiberglass... in space (MAJOR SPOILERS for Elantris and Ender's Game)
In this special episode, Joel had some stuff he needed to work through and Stephen is a good sport, our host's detour from recommending books to one another and take a SPOILER filled look at two of their favorite books that they know the other had read. So without further ado, today's books are  Orson Scott Card's masterpiece, Ender's Game; and Brandon Sanderson's inaugural work Elantris.  Sorry for the choppy opening but enjoy the chaos of us having to censor ourselves in editing.  Remember to subscribe and leave a comment! We will be back to our normal episodes next Friday.
September 20, 2019
Ep. 5: Literary Condoms protect you from Book Worms (Animorphs & The Emperor's Blades)
In our only episode this week Joel takes us deep into his childhood on a nostalgic trip through the massive Animorphs series by K.A. Applegate. Stephen tells us about the estranged siblings in The Emperor's Blades by Brian Staveley. 
September 13, 2019
Ep. 4: This Book is Full of Spiders: Seriously, Dude, Don't Touch It. & Under Heaven
In Honor of #ReadABookDay we're bringing you this episode a week early! Joel continues his spider obsession with David Wong's hilarious yet terrifying novel, This Book is Full of Spiders: Seriously, Dude, Don't Touch It. Stephen transports us to ancient China with Guy Gavriel Kay's Under Heaven. This episode contains some Language.
September 6, 2019
Ep. 3: Tai-Pan & the Children of Time
Stephen regales us with a story of British Imperialism in James Clavell's Tai-Pan. Joel takes us to the far flung future of humanity in Adrian  Tchaikovsky's Children of Time. (updated audio to remove audio spikes... hopefully) 
September 6, 2019
Ep. 2: Survivor & London
Joel depresses and inspires us with the enthralling nihilism of Chuck Palahniuk's, Survivor. Stephen takes us on a trip through the entire 2,000 year history of one of the greatest cities in history with Edward Rutherford's London
August 30, 2019
Ep 1: The Black Prism, The Fifth Season
The inaugural episode, Stephen presents The Black Prism by Brent Weeks and Joel tells us all about The Fifth Element by N. K. Jemisin. Please excuse the fact that we hadn't quite figured out how to make our audio sound like it wasn't recorded with a couple of tin cans and some string.  
August 30, 2019
Preview Episode
Our first two full episodes launch tomorrow Friday, Aug. 30 In the mean time enjoy these out of context teaser clips, stay tuned for so much more!
August 29, 2019