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Unfortunately Required Reading

Unfortunately Required Reading

By Unfortunately Required Reading
Review and relive the books that made you cringe in school, but now with cocktails and sass.
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Sartre Diem (No Exit)

Unfortunately Required Reading

These are the MF Jokes (Oedipus Rex)
This week Amanda and Victoria discuss Sophocles' work Oedipus Rex (aka Oedipus the King) and make surprisingly few jokes about incest.
September 24, 2022
Sexting in the Time of Cholera (Love in the Time of Cholera)
This week Amanda and Victoria read Love in the Time of Cholera.
September 10, 2022
Encanto with Incest (One Hundred Years of Solitude)
This week Amanda and Victoria discuss the most beloved Latin American novel of all time, Gabriel Garcia Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude.
August 13, 2022
Sartre Diem (No Exit)
This week Amanda and Victoria discuss Sartre's one-act play No Exit.
July 31, 2022
A Night with Uncle Tennessee (The Lady of Larkspur Lotion)
This week Amanda and Victoria discuss Tennesse Williams' one act play, The Lady of Larkspur Lotion. 
July 23, 2022
Mimosas are Not the Only Brunch Beverage (Oranges are Not the Only Fruit)
This week Amanda and Victoria discuss Jeanette Winterson's Oranges are Not the Only Fruit.
July 01, 2022
Getting Dragged by Gods (the Iliad)
This week we discuss the Iliad for Pride month. 
June 18, 2022
nolite te bastardes carborundorum (The Handmaid's Tale)
This week Amanda and Victoria discuss The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood and despair.
May 28, 2022
Another Robbie Burns Inspired Book (Of Mice and Men)
This week Amanda and Victoria unpack Of Mice and Men, the exploitation of the American worker, and the utter exhaustion of existence.
May 14, 2022
Like Ducks on a Frozen Pond (Catcher in the Rye)
This week Amanda is drug kicking and screaming into a book they didn't have to read in school and Victoria has flashbacks to dating people who need therapy.
April 23, 2022
Being an Adult at 13 Sucks (Dicey's Song)
This week Amanda and Victoria discuss the heartbreaking book Dicey's Song by Cynthia Voight.
April 09, 2022
Irish Catholic Childhoods are Hard (Angela's Ashes)
his week, Amanda and Victoria discuss the memoir Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt.
March 26, 2022
Unfortunately Apt War Allegory is a War Allegory
This week Amanda and Victoria discuss Art Spiegelman's Maus and the Holocaust. 
March 12, 2022
And Nothing Has Changed Since 1974
This week Amanda and Victoria are exhausted and discuss James Baldwin's If Beale Street Could Talk.
February 19, 2022
A thinly veiled excuse to talk about Cruel Intentions (Dangerous Liaisons)
This week Amanda and Victoria decide to discuss Cruel Intentions instead of Dangerous Liaisons.
February 05, 2022
Button-Induced Trauma (Coraline)
This week Amanda and Tori unpack Neil Gaiman's Coraline, and a lot of childhood trauma in the process. Oh god, those button eyes.
January 22, 2022
Bet You're Pronouncing It Wrong (Eugene Onegin)
This week Amanda and Victoria discuss Alexander Puskin's Eugene Onegin and celebrate a delayed birthday month. 
January 08, 2022
A Different Goddess in Every Port or Group Projects are a Nightmare (The Odyssey)
This week Amanda and Victoria tackle the Odyssey and the audacity.
November 27, 2021
The Amount of Descriptors Tax My Wits
You've waited. You've watched. BARON VON CHEESEPLATE RIDES AGAIN! This week Amanda, Victoria, and the Baron (aka  Jason) return to discuss Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.
November 06, 2021
Really Close Friends, Roommates, Just So Close (Carmilla)
This week Amanda and Victoria discuss Carmilla by J. Sheridan le Fanu.
October 30, 2021
Spooky Incel Sh*t (Sleepy Hollow)
This week Amanda and Victoria go through Washington Irving's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.  Did you know Washington Irving was a George Washington Fanboy?
October 16, 2021
The Very Worst Suicide Squad Film (A Separate Peace)
This week Amanda and Victoria continue pain month with John Knowles' novel A Separate Peace. It is not peaceful. 
September 18, 2021
Only Legal in Washington State (Equus)
This week Amanda and Victoria discuss the Peter Schaffer play Equus and question our life choices. 
September 04, 2021
All Loud on the Eastern Back
This week Amanda and Victoria discuss World War 1 and The Erich Maria Remarque book All Quiet on the Western Front. As mentioned in our content warning this week:
August 21, 2021
I Am Not Feeling Good (Things Fall Apart)
This week Amanda and Victoria discuss Chinua Achebe's novel Things Fall Apart. 
August 07, 2021
Behold the Cathedral in Which I Grove My F***Bois (Hunchback of Notre Dame)
This week Amanda and Victoria go through the slog that is the Victor Hugo novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame. 
July 24, 2021
Amanda and Victoria's Retirement Plan (Arsenic and Old Lace)
Amanda and Victoria discuss the Joseph Kesselring play 'Arsenic and Old Lace' as well as women who kill, and black comedies. 
July 10, 2021
Falling Into the Well of Self Loathing
This week Amanda and Victoria discuss Radclyffe Hall's The Well of Loneliness for Pride Month, and immediately regret it.
June 21, 2021
Don’t Call My Name, Orlando
This week Amanda and Victoria discuss Orlando by Virginia Woolf. 
June 05, 2021
The Worst Pepsi Challenge
This week Amanda and Victoria discuss The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton and PTSD> 
May 22, 2021
The House on Drama Street
This week Amanda and Victoria discuss Sandra Cisneros' The House on Mango Street. 
May 08, 2021
Delusions of Grandeur are More Fun with a Friend (Don Quixote)
This week Amanda and Victoria discuss Don Quixote de La Mancha. 
April 24, 2021
Just Another Victim of Capitalism (Death of a Salesman)
This week Amanda and Victoria discuss Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller, as well as the death of the American dream and a bunch of other depressing things.
April 11, 2021
The Actual Definition of Witch Hunt (The Crucible)
This week Amanda and Victoria discuss the Crucible by Arthur Miller, and Victoria goes way down the rabbit hole of Communism and the HUAC. 
March 27, 2021
Let's Record an Autopsy (Julius Caesar)
This week Amanda and Victoria dive into Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare and celebrate about 1 year of the pandemic. Yeah, celebrate, okay...
March 13, 2021
I Know Why the Caged Bird Records Podcasts
This week we look at three poems by the late great Maya Angelou and rant. So, like the usual?
February 27, 2021
Spear and Sword in Harlem
This week Amanda and Victoria start off Black History month with Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. 
February 06, 2021
All for One, and Evidently All for D’Artagnan, Mother F'er
Amanda and Victoria discuss Alexander Dumas' The Three Musketeers, and reference a lot of D'Jango Unchained. 
January 23, 2021
Madame Will Do (Madame Bovary)
This week Amanda and Victoria discuss Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary, and avoid the text as much as possible.
January 09, 2021
Rejected Members of KISS
Today Victoria makes a huge mistake for her birthday month selection and she and Amanda discuss Faust. Note, we should not record late at night after a work day. 
December 19, 2020
Thanks, It's The Murder (Phantom of the Opera)
This week Amanda and Victoria celebrate Victoria's Birthday month with Phantom of the Opera. 
December 05, 2020
Why are Children saving the world...again?
This week Amanda, Victoria, and special guest Jason (aka Baron Von Cheeseplate) discuss the book A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'Engle.
November 21, 2020
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Afrofuturism
This week Amanda and Victoria discuss the dystopian (but extremely believable) novel by Octavia Butler, Parable of the Sower. 
November 14, 2020
2020 Halloween Spectacular
We celebrate Halloween with too much sweet red wine and Anne Rice's Interview with the Vampire. 
October 31, 2020
Rich White Man Gets Caught (Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde)
This week Amanda and Victoria tackle the word of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, discuss some true crime inspirations, and tell you all about Robert Louis Stevenson. 
October 17, 2020
No One Gets Flowers
This week Amanda and Victoria delve into the trauma that is Daniel Keyes' short story Flowers for Algernon.
September 19, 2020
I'm a Giver
This week we return (woo hoo) to finally discuss the Giver by Lois Lowry. 
September 05, 2020
Forgery for Fun and Divorce (A Doll's House)
This week Amanda and Victoria discuss Henrik Ibsen's most performed play, A Doll's House. 
July 25, 2020
Who Let the Hound Out
For Amanda's Birthday Month we start with the classic Sherlock Holmes story The Hound of the Baskervilles. Oh...and we drink port
July 11, 2020
'Rent' Control
This week Amanda and Tori review the musical phenomena Rent, by watching the Christopher Columbus film and exploring the horrors of the AIDS Crisis. 
June 28, 2020
Let’s F*** Off to France and Ignore Our Problems (Giovanni's Room)
This week we drink bourbon and ginger ale as we discuss the incredible author James Baldwin, Black Lives, and the LGBTQIA+ Community. 
June 13, 2020
A Spy's Guide to Secret Childhood Trauma
This week, we discuss Louise Fitzhugh's Harriet the Spy in both its book and movie form.   As always, this is not a child-friendly podcast. 
May 30, 2020
Frog and Toad are Queer
Today we delve into the world of Arnold Lobel's Frog and Toad books, along with Queer Theory. 
May 16, 2020
A Hobbit is More Badass Than You
This week we discuss J.R.R. Tolkien (Toll Keen) and the Hobbit while discussing quarantine decisions and the hero's journey. 
April 18, 2020
Let's Pretend This Never Happened (A Midsummer Night's Dream)
Quarantine recording is still going strong as Amanda and Victoria drink in the privacy of their separate homes and discuss a fan favorite. 
April 04, 2020
Our Existential Crisis (The Stranger)
Amanda and Tori record remotely to show their support of Stay at Home protocol, drink what they want, and discuss Albert Camus' The Stranger. 
March 28, 2020
Accidentally Aptly Timed (The Lord of the Flies)
Today we discuss William Golding's Lord of the Flies, the nature of fear, misinformation, and Navy Grog. 
March 14, 2020
Are We Dead or Just Resting? (Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead)
This week we sip Darjeeling Milk punch while discussing Tom Stoppard's play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. 
February 29, 2020
To Read or Not To Read (is that even a question, Hamlet?)
This week, Amanda and Tori tackle the epic plat Hamlet by William Shakespeare. We drink a sweet poison, eat havardi, and the fight me bread comes back as we delve into the text. 
February 15, 2020
Not-So-Quiet Aunt Jane (Pride and Prejudice)
This week we discuss the Jane Austen work Pride and Prejudice, while drinking a cocktail named in her honor and chowing down on scones while discussing class structure. 
January 26, 2020
Withering Interest (Wuthering Heights)
This week we discuss the Emily Bronte novel Wuthering Heights and do our best not to go off the rails with discussing Heathcliff and sipping Lavender French 75's.
January 11, 2020
The 2019 Unfortunate Retrospective
We answer listener questions, share our biggest "ooops" moments and discuss our love for literature.  Happy 2020, all. 
December 31, 2019
Ambrose Bierce Crosses The Line (or a Bridge)
This week's episode is on the Ambrose Bierce short story "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge." We drink a Brandy based cocktail and discuss why Bierce was known as "Bitter Bierce." 
December 15, 2019
Only Women Get Punished for Sex (The Scarlet Letter)
We finish out Pain Month with The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. 
November 16, 2019
Claret Out of Spite (Ethan Frome)
Welcome to Pain Month! For our one year anniversary (yeah, we made it a year) each host has picked a book of loathing. This week we are discussing Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton.
November 02, 2019
Episode 22: It's Franken-Steen
This week we discuss Mary Shelley's genre changing work Frankenstein, while drinking a cocktail of the same name and discussing that weird party in Geneva. Bonus, there will be a video floating around of us doing this in Halloween costumes. 
October 26, 2019
Drunkula (Dracula)
This week's episode focuses on Bram Stoker's Dracula.  We drink sangria, eat Russian Hematoga bars, and much on Irish cheddar while discussing vampires, sexuality, and Abraham Stoker. 
October 05, 2019
This is Not a Guide to Murdering Birds
This week we discuss Harper Lee's to Kill a Mockingbird, the controversy over Go Set a Watchman,  drink whiskey, and discuss racism.
September 21, 2019
Romeo and Juliet is Not a Love Story
This week's episode focuses on the Shakespearean tragedy Romeo and Juliet.  We drink a rose, eat some awesome cheese, and talk about why this is probably not an appropriate play to hand off to hormonal teenager. Check our our show notes at 
September 07, 2019
Abandon All Hope Ye Who Listen Here
This week's episode focuses on Dante's Inferno. Join us as we discuss Italian politics, the Catholic Church, and drink a Chianti from a bottle wrapped in raffia.  
August 24, 2019
The Real Hell is Ye Olde English- Paradise Lost
This week we discuss John Milton's epic poem, Paradise Lost. We drink a fire and iced tea, eat smokey cheese, and contemplate the sexy version of Satan that is very strange.  Oh, and we complain about how long this poem is. 
August 10, 2019
Friends Don't Let Friends Go Bohemian
On this episode we discuss the poetry of Charles Baudelaire and partake of a Corpse Reviver: part 2,.  For show notes and more details, visit 
July 27, 2019
Anxiety Makes Terrible Murderers
As it's Amanda's birthday month, we are delighting in drinking Corpse Revivers while discussing Edgar Allen Poe's The Tell-Tale Heart,  cousin love way too young, and thirst letters before Twitter was a thing. 
July 06, 2019
Short Story: Rimbaud and Verlaine, Bad Boys of French Poetry
This week's short story rounds out Pride month with Amanda covering the two bad boys of French Poetry, Arthur Rimbaud and Paul Verlaine. 
June 22, 2019
Much Ado About Sappho
 This week's episode is dedicated to melancholy and ouzo as we discuss the works of the poet Sappho. Often maligned, never duplicated, Sappho is a little hard to pin down as quite a bit of her history has been lost or glossed over with satire.  
June 15, 2019
Short Story: Goodnight Moon and Margaret Wise Brown
A quick look to celebrate Margaret Wise Brown. 
June 10, 2019
Dorian Gray's Not-So Excellent Homoerotic Adventure (Now With Full Audio)
 This episode does a dive into The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde and features sipping champagne with ice cubes in it, witty banter, the Menger hotel, and odd facts about a fantastic icon.  
June 02, 2019
The Pride Month Primer
Do you know the difference between pansexual and bisexual? Are you confused about what the heck Stonewall was? We provide you with a brief primer on terms on the LGBTQIA+ community. 
June 01, 2019
Better than Lord of the Flies
This episode is focused on Toni Morrison's Sula. For this week, we drink a mocktail, discuss the difference between blackberries and nightshades, and finish out Toni Morrison month. 
May 18, 2019
Episode 11: Slavery and Spiteful Ghosts
In which we discuss Toni Morrison's Beloved, drink the most painful red wine possible in honor of the color red, and eat cheese to try to deal with our lives. 
May 05, 2019
Their Eyes Were Watching Halle Berry and the Case of the Missing Audio
Sooooo Anchor didn't upload our full audio. Here's the full episode with no ads, because you deserve it and we're sorry for technical difficulties. 
April 24, 2019
Short Story: The Proletariat Comma
A brief argument about the Oxford Comma. 
April 07, 2019
Our First Catastrophic Recording Failure
I'm sorry, so sorry. 
April 07, 2019
A Short Story: Victoria Reads 50 Shades of Grey
You listened. We tortured Victoria. Listen to Victoria read a few passages from 50 Shades of Grey while Amanda cackles in delight.  This is not a full episode, but a brief segment we like to refer to as one of our Short Stories. 
March 23, 2019
Furry Mr. Nihilism
In which we discuss Grendel by John Gardner, relive the depressing goth days of our high school youth and decide we like mead without added pepper, thank you very much.
March 16, 2019
A Scandinavian Warrior Walks Into A Mead Hall
Today's episode is about the epic poem Beowulf, how much we love Mead, how terrible the 2007 movie version of this epic poem is, and Beowulf's mom, Sheila. 
March 03, 2019
A Really Sh**ty Island Vacation
In which we discuss Wide Sargasso Sea, Jean Rhys, and the dangers of drinking only the rum layer of a Dark and Stormy. 
February 16, 2019
Eyre BnB
In which we discuss Jane Eyre, sip port, and discuss the horror of a wife in the attic. 
February 10, 2019
Victory Gin and Rats to the Face
In which we struggle to survive George Orwell's 1984 with a single shot of Victory Gin, quietly consume a cheese plate off mic, and tell you about The Spanish Civil War and British Colonialism. 
January 19, 2019
That Time Being Gay Ruined a Perfectly Good Dinner
Episode 4 discusses Tennessee William's play The Glass Menagerie, while we sip Ramos Gin Fizzes and contemplate Southern parenting. 
January 05, 2019
The Toxic Masculinity Also Rises
In which we drink absinthe, help you write your paper on The Sun Also Rises by telling you about Paris and Spain as characters, and discuss Hemingway and the original tell-all novel.
December 15, 2018
The Not-So-Great Gatsby
In which we analyze not only Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, but also help every AP English student required to write a paper on the book.
November 17, 2018
Episode One: Watership Man Down
Welcome to the first episode of Unfortunately Required Reading. We learn Lapine and drink the cocktail Watership Down as we discuss the Richard Adams book of the same name.
November 03, 2018