Anais Concepcion

It Had To Be Murder | Cornell Woolrich | Literary Roadhouse Ep 85

Discussion Notes: It Had To Be Murder

Find this week’s story here: It Had To Be Murder by Cornell Woolrich.

Next week’s story: Wildwood by Junot Diaz.

Rated: Clean.

This week all four hosts were disappointed to discover that the story behind the movie Rear Window didn’t pack as much punch as the movie. The movie is better than the literature? Is that a reader cardinal sin to say? Anais found the story a bit too obviously sign-posted in some places, and confusing in others. Meanwhile, Gerald did not appreciate the adverb laden prose. As for Rammy, the lack of tension in the climax was a disappointment. While Maya agreed with these critiques, she still enjoyed the story for what it is: a cozy murder mystery.

Did you enjoy the murder mystery? Was the story suspenseful?

Did miss a crucial piece of this story? Tell us below!

Also, don’t forget to rate the story! For the history of our goofy system, see Anais’ post “Read Short Stories or Ray Bradbury Cries.” On a scale of 1-6 Bradberries, how do you rate this story? Tell us in the comments below or via voicemail.

Also your reviews on iTunes help us grow. Please search Literary Roadhouse in iTunes and leave reviews for all of our shows.

Mastiff | Joyce Carol Oates | Literary Roadhouse Ep 84

Discussion Notes: Mastiff

Find this week’s story here: Mastiff by Joyce Carol Oates.

Next week’s story: It Had To Be Murder by Cornell Woolrich.

Rated: Clean.

This week Gerald and Anais strongly disliked the story, while Rammy had lukewarm feelings. Thus, poor Maya was left all alone to defend the brilliance of this story! For Anais, the narrates personality grated her and provided to redeeming qualities as a balm. Meanwhile, Gerald found the prose a bit too sparse. In defense of the story, Rammy pointed to a few effective descriptions which elicited emotional responses. Maya, the strongest champion of the story, believed that the very things which annoyed Gerald and Anais were intentional and part of the story’s greater theme.

Did Maya manage to convince?

Did miss a crucial piece of this story? Tell us below!

Also, don’t forget to rate the story! For the history of our goofy system, see Anais’ post “Read Short Stories or Ray Bradbury Cries.” On a scale of 1-6 Bradberries, how do you rate this story? Tell us in the comments below or via voicemail.

Also your reviews on iTunes help us grow. Please search Literary Roadhouse in iTunes and leave reviews for all of our shows.

Depth Perception | Laura M. Gibson | Literary Roadhouse Ep 83

Discussion Notes: Depth Perception

Find this week’s story here: Depth Perception by Laura M. Gibson.

Next week’s story: Mastiff by Joyce Carol Oates.

Rated: Adult themes, but does not contain explicit language.

This week Maya, Gerald, Anais, and Rammy rave about Laura M. Gibson’s Depth Perception. In a rare feat, all four hosts loved the short story. Gerald enjoyed the vivid descriptions and simple language, while Maya appreciated the loving descriptions of gruff man. As for Rammy, the pacing heightened the tension in just the right places, whereas Anais took notice of the symbols and motifs.

As a whole, all four hosts agree that this short story packed a punch like a novel. Interestingly, neither the romances nor the deaths felt over sentimental. Maya thinks Gibson follows in the tradition of Annie Proulx. Do you agree?

Did we miss a crucial piece of this story? Tell us below!

Also, don’t forget to rate the story! For the history of our goofy system, see Anais’ post “Read Short Stories or Ray Bradbury Cries.” On a scale of 1-6 Bradberries, how do you rate this story? Tell us in the comments below or via voicemail.

Also your reviews on iTunes help us grow. Please search Literary Roadhouse in iTunes and leave reviews for all of our shows.

A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay | Literary Roadhouse Bookclub Ep 11

Discussion Notes: A Head Full of Ghosts

We’re back! Listen to the opening clip to learn more about our break and what you can do to prevent future breaks. Namely, support us! Either at patreon.com/literaryroadhouse and/or by leaving a review on iTunes.

Next month’s novel: White Light by Vanessa Garcia

Rated: Adult Themes, No Explicit Language

Join us as we discuss Paul Tremblay’s A Head Full of Ghosts with author John L. Monk.

John writes and podcasts from Virginia. Has has a degree in cultural anthropology, boldly does the dishes, roots out evil wherever it lurks, and writes his own stunts. If A Head Full of Ghosts whet your appetite for the spooky, check out John’s supernatural thriller, Kick.

You can learn more about John at his website, john-l-monk.com

On today’s show, Anais, Gerald, Maya and John discuss this strange horror story by Paul Tremblay that mixes classic possession stories with modern day reality TV.

The hosts analyze the novel’s views on religion, the spectacle of reality TV, memory, and mental illness.

We’d like to hear from you

Did we miss something? Let us know what you think of the novel in the comment section below. Or, if you prefer, leave a voicemail by clicking on the feature to the right. By the way, we may play your voicemail on our next show, so tell us if you would prefer we did not.

Please leave an iTunes review! It helps us attract a wider audience and keep growing.

We (try to) air the first Friday of every month, and discuss the books on Twitter between shows using #LRHBookclub.

Handicap | Elizabeth Chandler | Literary Roadhouse Ep 82

Discussion Notes: Handicap

Find this week’s story here: Handicap by Elizabeth Chandler.

Next week’s story: Depth Perception by Laura M. Gibson.

Rated: Adult themes, but does not contain explicit language.

This week Maya, Gerald, Anais, and Rammy discuss Handicap by Elizabeth Chandler. Overall, the hosts found the story confusing and couldn’t decipher the themes. Gerald briefly wondered if the story should be interpreted like abstract art. For her part, Maya made a valiant effort to look at the story through that lens, but still couldn’t find the story’s message. Rammy was relieved to discover he wasn’t alone in his confusion. On the positive side, Gerald and Maya enjoyed the prose’s poetics. On the negative, Anais wondered if perhaps the story had been over edited.

Did we miss a crucial piece of this story? Tell us below!

Also, don’t forget to rate the story! For the history of our goofy system, see Anais’ post “Read Short Stories or Ray Bradbury Cries.” On a scale of 1-6 Bradberries, how do you rate this story? Tell us in the comments below or via voicemail.

Also your reviews on iTunes help us grow. Please search Literary Roadhouse in iTunes and leave reviews for all of our shows.

Memento Mori | Nathan Nolan | Literary Roadhouse Ep 81

Discussion Notes: Memento Mori

Find this week’s story here: Memento Mori by Nathan Nolan.

Next week’s story: Handicap by Elizabeth Chandler.

Rated: Adult themes, but does not contain explicit language.

This week Maya, Gerald, Anais, and Rammy discuss Memento Mori by Nathan Nolan. This story forms the basis for Christopher Nolan’s cult movie Memento, and, indeed, Nathan is Christopher’s brother. Prior to reading this story, Maya, Rammy, and Anais had watched the movie. As for Gerald, he had not. Thus, Gerald found himself the most confused by the plot, but the confusing narrative did not detract from his enjoyment of the mood and suspenseful writing.

When it came to the prose, Maya felt the short story shined brilliantly, and even outshone the movie. Anais couldn’t agree more, and Rammy probably speaks more on this episode than any other episode to date. Needless to say, Rammy loved the story, too.

Lastly, Gerald ponders whether or not the story moves backwards through time. Does it? Listen to our arguments then share your own below.

Also, don’t forget to rate the story! For the history of our goofy system, see Anais’ post “Read Short Stories or Ray Bradbury Cries.” On a scale of 1-6 Bradberries, how do you rate this story? Tell us in the comments below or via voicemail.

Also your reviews on iTunes help us grow. Please search Literary Roadhouse in iTunes and leave reviews for all of our shows.

Underground Airlines by Ben Winters | Literary Roadhouse Bookclub Ep 10

Discussion Notes: Underground Airlines

Next month’s novel: A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay

Rated: Clean

Na'amen Tilahun

Na’amen Gobert Tilahun

This month we welcome Na’amen Gobert Tilahun, a California-based writer whose words have appeared in io9.com, Fantasy Magazine, Queers Dig Time Lords, Stone Telling, Full of Crows, The Big Click, faggot dinosaur, Spelling the Hours, Eleven Eleven and others.

Recently, he was named one of 13 Bay Area Writers to Read in 2016 in 7X7 magazine. In June, Night Shade Books published his debut novel The Root. Set in modern-day San Francisco, this second-world epic and urban fantasy brims with gods, sinister government agencies, and worlds of dark magic hidden just below the surface.

To learn more about Na’amen, visit his website at naamen.org.

On today’s show, Tamara Woods returns as a regular host. Anais, Gerald, Tamara and Na’amen discuss Ben Winters’s controversial novel, Underground Airlines. In Underground Airlines, the Civil War never happened and four southern states still old slaves. Victor hunts down fugitive slaves who cross into the free states, and must reconcile his race and his past with his job.

The hosts analyze the novel’s politics, historical re-imagining, cast of characters, and the effectiveness of the thriller-genre narrative. While talking about race can prove thorny, we embrace the discussion rather than shy away from it.

We’d like to hear from you

Did we miss something? Let us know what you think of the novel in the comment section below. Or, if you prefer, leave a voicemail by clicking on the feature to the right. By the way, we may play your voicemail on our next show, so tell us if you would prefer we did not.

Please leave an iTunes review! It helps us attract a wider audience and keep growing.

We air the first Friday of every month, and discuss the books on Twitter between shows using #LRHBookclub.

Restoration | Ann Joslin Williams | Literary Roadhouse Ep 80

Discussion Notes: Restoration

Find this week’s story here: Restoration by Ann Joslin Williams.

Next week’s story: Memento Mori by Nathan Nolan.

Rated: Explicit Themes and Language, though the explicit content is only at the end when we discuss recommendations for next week’s story. Discussion of Restoration itself is clean.

This week Maya, Gerald, Anais, and Rammy discuss another story found in Carve Magazine: Restoration by Ann Joslin Williams. True to his nature, Gerald loved yet another gem from Carve. He wasn’t alone, as Maya, Rammy, and Anais also enjoyed the story immensely. Anais, as the least enthusiastic reader, found it difficult to justify the link between the murder plot and the grieving plot. As for Maya, the wonderful prose appealed to her poetic roots. As for Rammy, the gorgeous imagery of the story hit the mark.

Listen for a brief discussion of what Anais calls “MFA voice”, and why she has over-dosed on it.

Also, don’t forget to rate the story! For the history of our goofy system, see Anais’ post “Read Short Stories or Ray Bradbury Cries.” On a scale of 1-6 Bradberries, how do you rate this story? Tell us in the comments below or via voicemail.

Also your reviews on iTunes help us grow. Please search Literary Roadhouse in iTunes and leave reviews for all of our shows.

A Silver Dish | Saul Bellow | Literary Roadhouse Ep 79

Discussion Notes: A Silver Dish

Find this week’s story here: A Silver Dish by Saul Bellow.

Next week’s story: Restoration by Ann Joslin Williams.

Rated: Clean

This week Gerald, Anais, and Rammy discuss A Silver Dish by Nobel Laureate Saul Bellow. Perhaps because of that lofty award, Gerald and Anais expected more of the story. Gerald found the story’s message too numerous and scattered to properly analyze, and felt the characters to be flat. In contrast, Anais enjoyed the characters and themes, though she agreed the story was opaque to analysis. As for Rammy, the story didn’t move him at all, and various anecdotes outright confused the point of the story in his opinion.

Though there was one anecdote that stumped us all: why did Woody stuff the turkey with hashish? If you know, please explain in the comment section.

Also, don’t forget to rate the story! For the history of our goofy system, see Anais’ post “Read Short Stories or Ray Bradbury Cries.” On a scale of 1-6 Bradberries, how do you rate this story? Tell us in the comments below or via voicemail.

Also your reviews on iTunes help us grow. Please search Literary Roadhouse in iTunes and leave reviews for all of our shows.

Strays | Mark Richard | Literary Roadhouse Ep 78

Discussion Notes: Strays

Find this week’s story here: Strays by Mark Richard.

Next week’s story: A Silver Dish by Saul Bellow.

Rated: Adult themes, but does not contain explicit language.

This week Maya, Gerald, Anais, and Rammy discuss Strays by Mark Richard. Our three writers, Maya, Gerald, and Anais were ovr the moon with this cleverly written, but bleak story of poverty, abandonment, alcoholism, and desperation. However, Rammy did not share the other hosts’ enthusiasm. He found the story lacking in imagery and descriptions to drive home the dreary theme. Meanwhile, Anais was surprised by the effective use of a child’s POV. Gerald loved the clever writing, and Maya got a kick out of the representation of Uncle Trash.

Were the three enamored hosts able to sway Rammy’s opinion?

If you’re a math nerd or a card game geek, stay tuned for the game at the end of the episode.

Also, don’t forget to rate the story! For the history of our goofy system, see Anais’ post “Read Short Stories or Ray Bradbury Cries.” On a scale of 1-6 Bradberries, how do you rate this story? Tell us in the comments below or via voicemail.

Also your reviews on iTunes help us grow. Please search Literary Roadhouse in iTunes and leave reviews for all of our shows.