Anais Concepcion

American Pastoral | Philip Roth | Literary Roadhouse Bookclub Ep 23

Discussion Notes: American Pastoral

In December we read American Pastoral by Philip Roth.

Next month we will read Milkman by Anna Burns.

Rated: Adult Themes, Clean Language

Gerald, Anais, and Colette discuss American Pastoral by Philip Roth, the Pulitzer Prize winning book of 1998 about how a happy and conventional upper middle class life is ruined from within. All three hosts thoroughly enjoyed the book, but took some issue with the repetitive prose. Nonetheless, the brilliant insights into humanity, immigration, assimilation, violence, and the futility of control sucked our hosts right into the plot and characters’ lives. They discuss the novel’s unusual framing device, clever setting, and much, much more.

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Psst: Full list of books discussed on the podcast >>

(REWIND) Year’s End | Jhumpa Lahiri | Literary Roadhouse Ep 47

Discussion Notes: Year’s End

Happy New Year! We’re still off this week and will return next week with a brand new episode. This week we’re replaying an episode from our archive. We picked this story because it’s one of our favorite discussions to date.

Find this week’s rewind story here:  Year’s End by Jhumpa Lahiri

Next week’s episode:  The Adulterous Woman by Albert Camus

Rated: Clean

This week we discuss Year’s End, a story about a young Indian-American college student who must once again process the death of his mother after an announcement that his father has re-married several years after his mother’s death. This story sparked some great discussion on pain, clichés and culture in literature. 

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Psst: Full list of short stories discussed on the podcast >>

(REWIND) The Piano Tuner | Peter Meinke | Literary Roadhouse Ep 35

Discussion Notes: The Piano Tuner

Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays! We’re off this week and next, but we still want to bring you great literary fiction. This week we’re replaying an episode from our archive. We picked this story because it’s one of our favorite discussions to date.

Find this week’s rewind story here:  The Piano Tuner by Peter Meinke

Next episode we will also by replaying an episode:  Year’s End by Jhumpa Lahiri

Rated: Explicit

What in the world did Gerald make us read! This story left Rammy feeling blah, and both Anais and Gerald loving it. During the conversation Rammy piped up with an interesting take and then Gerald added to it with information from an interview the author did years ago. That extra information left Maya incensed! Great discussion, tons of laughter and the most NSFW discussion we have ever had and worth every second.

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Psst: Full list of short stories discussed on the podcast >>

A Sound of Thunder | Ray Bradbury | Literary Roadhouse Ep 146

Discussion Notes: A Sound of Thunder

This week’s story:  A Sound of Thunder by Ray Bradbury

Next week’s story: The Adulterous Woman by Albert Camus

Rated: Clean

Gerald, Rammy, and Anais discuss “A Sound of Thunder” by Ray Bradbury, a brilliantly visual story that sets the pace for an entire genre of plot structures, and explores a theme of man v. nature v. time. Man’s hubris is put to the test with dire, unintended consequences.

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Psst: Full list of short stories discussed on the podcast >>

The Bet | Anton Chekhov | Literary Roadhouse Ep 145

Discussion Notes: The Bet

This week’s story:  The Bet by Anton Chekhov

Next week’s story: A Sound of Thunder by Ray Bradbury

Rated: Clean

Gerald, Rammy, and Anais discuss “The Bet” by Anton Chekhov, a deceptively simple story. Through discussion, our hosts discover that the moral of this story is buried deep in the narration’s point-of-view, in the rambling letter of a mad man, and the hypocrisy of a greedy would-be murderer.

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Psst: Full list of short stories discussed on the podcast >>

Sing, Unburied, Sing | Jesmyn Ward | Literary Roadhouse Bookclub Ep 22

Discussion Notes: Sing, Unburied, Sing

In November we read Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward.

Next month we will read American Pastoral by Philip Roth.

Rated: Difficult Themes, One F-bomb

Gerald, Anais, and Colette discuss Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward, a book the three of them thoroughly enjoyed. Despite being under 300 pages long, the novel felt full of spirit, meaning, and plot. Tune in to the gush fest and dig deeper into the themes Ward explores through her poetic prose, resonant symbols, and perfectly paced plot.

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.

We’d love to hear from you

Did we miss something? Tell us below! Or on Twitter @litroadhouse or in our FB group.

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Psst: Full list of books discussed on the podcast >>

Birdsong | Jahnavi Barua | Literary Roadhouse Ep 144

Discussion Notes: Birdsong

This week’s story:  Birdsong by Jahnavi Barua

Next week’s story: The Bet by Anton Chekhov

Rated: Clean

Gerald, Rammy, and Anais discuss a very short story called “Birdsong” written by renowned Indian author Jahnavi Barua.  This discussion will give aspiring writers a lot to chew on. Our hosts marvel at Barua’s writing craft, and her talent for guiding mystery, tension, and mood. Interestingly, Gerald and Rammy were confused by the ending, which Anais absolutely loved.

Did the ending leave you confused or enchanted?

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Psst: Full list of short stories discussed on the podcast >>

The Signal-Man | Charles Dickens | Literary Roadhouse Ep 143

Discussion Notes: The Signal-Man

This week’s story:  The Signal-Man by Charles Dickens

Next week’s story: Birdsong by Jahnavi Barua

Rated: Clean

Gerald, Rammy, and Anais discuss a classic Charles Dickens ghost story, “The Signal-Man.” Anais notices a pattern in Dickens’ ghost stories, and draws parallel to another Dickens story we discussed on the podcast, “The Trial for Murder.” Meanwhile, Rammy felt chills while reading this week’s story, and Gerald enjoyed the imagery. Listen for a fascinating story of Charles Dickens’ real life brush with death, and how it manifests not in this story’s wraiths, but in its setting.

If you’re wondering where Maya’s been, she’s been MIA as she devotes herself to getting her nomadic artist life in full gear. She’s been getting her hands dirty with some DIY van updates and camping hacks.

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Psst: Full list of short stories discussed on the podcast >>

Roman Fever | Edith Wharton | Literary Roadhouse Ep 142

Discussion Notes: Roman Fever

This week’s story:  Roman Fever by Edith Wharton

Next week’s story: The Signal-Man by Charles Dickens

Rated: Clean

Guest host, author Tim Weed

This week the Literary Roadhouse welcomes guest Tim Weed, an author whose short fiction collection, A Field Guide to Murder & Fly Fishing, made the 2018 Eric Hoffer Book Award Grand Prize Shortlist and was a finalist in the short story category for the American Fiction Awards and the International Book Awards.

His first novel, Will Poole’s Island, was named to Bank Street College of Education’s list of the Best Books of the Year. Tim is also the winner of a Writer’s Digest Popular Fiction Award and his writing has appeared

 in Literary Hub, The Millions, Talking Points Memo, Colorado Review, The Daily News, The Writer’s Chronicle, Fiction Writers Review, and elsewhere. He teaches at GrubStreet in Boston and in the Newport MFA in Creative Writing.

He’s the co-founder of the Cuba Writers Program and works as a featured lecturer for National Geographic in Tierra del Fuego, Spain, and Portugal. 

To learn more about Tim, visit his website at timweed.net.

Tim suggested we read “Roman Fever” by Edith Wharton, and we couldn’t be more grateful. All four hosts dive deep into this story that’s smart, gripping, and instructional on how to structure a great story with an omniscient point of view.

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Psst: Full list of short stories discussed on the podcast >>

Enough for Me | Becca Krock | Literary Roadhouse Ep 141

Discussion Notes: Enough for Me

This week’s story:  Enough for Me by Becca Krock

Next week’s story: Roman Fever by Edith Wharton

Rated: Explicit

This week Gerald, Rammy, and Anais discuss a story from Gerald’s favorite literary journal, Carve Magazine. Through discussion, ours hosts’ opinions of “Enough for Me” by Becca Krock evolve. Gerald’s and Anais’s scores rise steadily as they discover more depth and color in the story, but Rammy remains a steadfast dissenter. At the end, Anais offers some insight into Rammy’s harsh grading style. It all goes back to their shared experience as highschool English students.

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Psst: Full list of short stories discussed on the podcast >>