Anais Concepcion

The Last Question | Isaac Asimov | Literary Roadhouse Ep 89

Discussion Notes: The Last Question

Find this week’s story here: The Last Question by Isaac Asimov.

Next week’s story: Herding Vegetable Sheep by Ekaterina Sedia.

Rated: Clean.

This week our hosts discuss The Last Question by Isaac Asimov. From the beginning, Rammy and Anais loved this story and could hardly contain their excitement. Gerald started lukewarm and slowly grew to love the story as well, particularly for the subtle and clever ways that humans the Mulivac evolve over time. Meanwhile Maya could concede that the story’s twist ending was satisfying, but the lack of deep characterizations were not. Bad news for Maya, however, as Anais’s love of the story and Asimov’s ideas means that she’ll try to get more Asimov on the show. Poor Maya!

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.

The Street | H. P. Lovecraft | Literary Roadhouse Ep 88

Discussion Notes: The Street

Find this week’s story here: The Street by H. P. Lovecraft.

Next week’s story: The Last Question by Isaac Asimov.

Rated: Clean.

This week our hosts discuss H. P. Lovecraft’s The Street, a departure from Lovecraft’s infamous alien horrors. The Street’s a supernatural story dripping with a xenophobic political message. Unable to accept the politics, all four hosts struggled with how to criticize the story. Maya focused on the language and did her best to separate the art from the artist. Rammy and Anais rejected that approach on the premise that the art itself is the vehicle for politics they couldn’t support. Meanwhile, Gerald tried to follow in Maya’s footsteps, but couldn’t quite look past the story’s racism. Despite these difficulties, the hosts manage to analyze the language and craft and enjoy a fun alien personality quiz at the end.

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.

White Light | Vanessa Garcia | Literary Roadhouse Bookclub Ep 12

Discussion Notes: White Light

Next month’s novel: The Association of Small Bombs by Karan Mahajan

Rated: Explicit themes and language

On today’s show, Anais, Gerald, and Maya gush over this literary novel that delves into the artistic process, loss, body image, and relationships, both romantic and familial.

The hosts analyze the novel’s characters, themes, motifs, and framing devices. All three hosts were impressed with the way traditional and visual art is threaded throughout the novel to highlight emotional beats and themes. In particular, Maya loved the poetics and raw craft. As for Anais, the astute renderings of fictional characters so they resembled people she'[s encountered in life was hair raising. Meanwhile, Gerald fawned about the depth of the themes which lurked beneath a simple plot.

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.

All the Assholes in the World and Mine | Charles Bukowski | Literary Roadhouse Ep 87

Discussion Notes: All the Assholes in the World and Mine

Find this week’s story here: All the Assholes in the World and Mine by Charles Bukowski.

Next week’s story: The Street by H. P. Lovecraft.

Rated: Explicit.

This week our hosts discuss Charles Bukowski’s short story about an alcoholic who is diagnosed with hemorrhoids and undergoes surgery. The story divides the hosts. Rammy hates the story and breaks podcast rating convention. Meanwhile, Gerald does his best to find something positive to say about a story he finds distasteful without merit or message. On the ladies’ side, Maya enthusiastically embraces the story’s vulgarity for its honesty. In Anais’s opinion, the vulgarity has pros and cons which she explores in the discussion.

Stay tuned for a side-splitting quiz about…. you guessed it!

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.

Wildwood | Junot Diaz | Literary Roadhouse Ep 86

Discussion Notes: Wildwood

Find this week’s story here: Wildwood by Junot Diaz.

Next week’s story: All the Assholes in the World and Mine by Charles Bukowski.

Rated: Explicit.

This week our hosts discuss Wildwood by Junot Diaz, a short story that fits into Diaz’s novel The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. Having read the novel, Maya and Anais understood the greater context that forms the emotional universe of the narrator’s relationship with her mother. Because Gerald and Rammy did not read the novel, they were at times bewildered by the mother’s over the top caustic personality. Rammy noted that the short story felt as though it had a lot of loose ends. As for Gerald, the language and vividness of the characters saved the story from itself.

Maya and Anais were both impressed with Junot Diaz’s ability to write nuanced women who felt real. For that reason, the story prompted a great discussion of mother-daughter relationships and female competition.

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.

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.