Anais Concepcion

The Bottle Neck | Hans Christian Andersen | Literary Roadhouse Ep 125

Discussion Notes: The Bottle Neck

Find this week’s story here: The Bottle Neck by Hans Christian Andersen

Next week’s story: Defender of the Faith by Philip Roth

Rated: Clean

Michael La Ronn

Michael La Ronn, Author

The Literary Roadhouse hosts welcome back Michael La Ronn, who previously came on our show to disc

uss Life in Stone, Glass, and Plastic by José Pablo Iriarte on Episode 73, and Your Heart is a Muscle The Size of a Fist by Sunil Yapa on Bookclub Episode 4.

Michael is the author of over 40 science fiction & fantasy books including the Android X series, Modern Necromancy series, and the Galaxy Mavericks series. He writes from the great plains of Iowa and has perfected the art of balancing writing with a full-time job and family, writing 5-7 books per year. You can find him at www.michaellaronn.com.

For this week, he recommended a fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen, “The Bottle Neck.” This unusual story follows the adventures of a wine bottle’s neck, and the passions and longing of the bottle and of a young woman who lost her betrothed to the sea days after toasting their engagement with wine from The Bottle Neck. Yes, you read that right. The surprising story didn’t make a fan of all three hosts. Nonetheless, there’s plenty to love about this story.

If you want a host to pick up a story suggestion, drop a line in the comment section, on Twitter @litroadhouse, or in the FB group linked to below.

Have thoughts on this story?

Did we miss a crucial piece of this story? Tell us below! Or on Twitter @litroadhouse or in our FB group.

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

Carnival Nine | Caroline M. Yoachim | Literary Roadhouse Ep 124

Discussion Notes: Carnival Nine

Find this week’s story here: Carnival Nine by Caroline M. Yoachim

Next week’s story: The Bottle Neck by Hans Christian Andersen

Rated: Clean

The Literary Roadhouse hosts discuss the short story finalist for the 2017 Nebula Awards and 2018 Hugo Awards, “Carnival Nine” by Caroline M. Yoachim. Breaking with our recent tendency to agree on stories, the hosts were split with Gerald most enthusiastic about the story, Anais most critical, and Maya conflicted. Science fiction tends to divide out hosts, but typically Anais loves the genre most, and Maya struggles with it. Thus, the hosts take their time in unpacking what they liked and what they didn’t like. By the end of the episode, Anais talks herself into raising her rating by 1.5 points and finds new facets of the story to appreciate.

Stay for a bizarre bonus content in which Gerald and Anais discuss Dreamcatcher by Stephen King.

If you want a host to pick up a story suggestion, drop a line in the comment section, on Twitter @litroadhouse, or in the FB group linked to below.

Have thoughts on this story?

Did we miss a crucial piece of this story? Tell us below! Or on Twitter @litroadhouse or in our FB group.

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Support us on Patreon

We’re still a self-funded podcast. We work hard every week to bring you the best content possible.


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

The Sympathizer | Viet Thanh Nguyen | Literary Roadhouse Bookclub Ep 17

Discussion Notes: The Sympathizer

In June we read The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen.

Next month we will read Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor.

Rated: Explicit

Gael Gilliland, founder of The Legacy Recorder

Guest Gael Gilliland, found of The Legacy Recorder

Winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize, this gripping novel centers around a mole in the Vietnamese army. The story follows his journey after he flees Vietnam. The book  is often funny, sometimes horrifying, and always clever.

Gerald and Anais were joined by Gael Gilliland. She is the founder of The Legacy Recorder (www.thelegacyrecorder.com) which  helps people preserve their favorite moments and wisdom for generations to come. The Legacy Recorder works with both individuals and assisted living facilities to help preserve individual’s life stories.

If she looks familiar, that’s because Gael had previously joined our weekly show for a discussion of The Kitchen Child by Angela Carter. 

We’d love to hear from you

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

Join the Literary Roadhouse Readers FB Group

Join the Literary Roadhouse Readers FB Group

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.

The Proxy Marriage | Maile Meloy | Literary Roadhouse Ep 123

Discussion Notes: The Proxy Marriage

Find this week’s story here: The Proxy Marriage by Maile Meloy

Next week’s story: Carnival 9 by Caroline M. Yoachim

Rated: Clean 

Colette Sartor, Author

Colette Sartor, Author

 

On today’s podcast, we welcome Colette Sartor. She is an award-winning short story author and essayist. Her works have appeared in numerous publications, including The Chicago Tribune, Kenyon Review Online, Carve, Slice, and Colorado Review. She teaches at UCLA Extension Writers’ Program as well as privately. In addition to writing and teaching, Colette is an Executive Director of CineStory Foundation, a mentoring organization for screenwriters and TV writers.

For more information, please visit colettesartor.com.

By the way, we discussed two of Colette’s short stories. Listen to our discussions of La Cuesta Encantada and Once Removed.

Interview bonus! To listen to our author interview with Colette on Youtube. She and Anais discuss the CineStory Foundation, and how to write vulnerably.  Colette also shares how she manages loved ones who see pieces of themselves in her fictional characters.

As for today’s story, Colette and the LRH hosts discuss The Proxy Marriage by Maile Meloy, a romantic short story with a rare happy ending. Unable the find any flaws, the podcast quickly becomes a love fest. The hosts and guest fawn over the elegant prose, brilliant pacing, and smart time markers and structure.

Stay for some surprising wedding facts in the game at the end of the show.

Have thoughts on this story?

Did we miss a crucial piece of this story? Tell us below! Or on Twitter @litroadhouse or in our FB group.

Join the Literary Roadhouse Readers FB Group

Join the Literary Roadhouse Readers FB Group

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The Drowned Giant | J. G. Ballard | Literary Roadhouse Ep 122

Discussion Notes: The Drowned Giant

Find this week’s story here: The Drowned Giant by J. G. Ballard

Next week’s story: The Proxy Marriage by Maile Meloy

Rated: Clean

At the behest of longtime listener Todd Williams, the Literary Roadhouse hosts discuss “The Drowned Giant” by J. G. Ballard.  While technically a science fiction story centered around a mysterious giant that washes up on shore, the work felt grounded in a social reality the hosts recognized. Through discussion, they discover new layers of meaning and nuance, and an intellectual chewiness that inspires admiration. They compare the story to “The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World” by Gabriel García Márquez which was discussed on episode ten. By the end of the episode, all 3 hosts rate the story 5.5 out of 6 across the board. (Our interests are converging. The hivemind will arrive soon.)

If you want a host to pick up a story suggestion, drop a line in the comment section, on Twitter @litroadhouse, or in the FB group linked to below.

Have thoughts on this story?

Did we miss a crucial piece of this story? Tell us below! Or on Twitter @litroadhouse or in our FB group.

Join the Literary Roadhouse Readers FB Group Join the Literary Roadhouse Readers FB Group

Support us on Patreon

We’re still a self-funded podcast. We work hard every week to bring you the best content possible.


Support Literary Roadhouse on Patreon


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

And of Clay Are We Created | Isabel Allende | Literary Roadhouse Ep 121

Discussion Notes: And of Clay Are We Created

Find this week’s story here: And of Clay Are We Created by Isabel Allende

Next week’s story: The Drowned Giant by J. G. Ballard

Rated: Clean

The Literary Roadhouse hosts discuss “And of Clay Are We Created” by Isabel Allende, a short story loosely based on the 1985 eruption of the Nevado del Ruiz volcano in Colombia. Throughout the discussion, Rammy wrestles with how to feel about a story that super imposes fiction on a highly publicized world event. Meanwhile, Gerald reflects on the heavy themes, while Anais latches an intrigue buried in lines. As is typical on this show, those four lines inspired a tangential conversation that, this time on gender dynamics in relationships. Along the way, Anais gets a new book idea. Overall, the hosts liked the story, but discovered a lack of enthusiasm.   

Oh and Anais finally wins a game to secure a win for long time listener Todd Williams. For months he has been patiently waiting for a discussion of The Drowned Giant. If you want a host to pick up a story suggestion, drop a line in the comment section, on Twitter @litroadhouse, or in the FB group linked to below.

Have thoughts on this story?

Did we miss a crucial piece of this story? Tell us below! Or on Twitter @litroadhouse or in our FB group.

Join the Literary Roadhouse Readers FB Group Join the Literary Roadhouse Readers FB Group

Support us on Patreon

We’re still a self-funded podcast. We work hard every week to bring you the best content possible.


Support Literary Roadhouse on Patreon


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

Who Will Greet You at Home | Lesley Nneka Arimah | Literary Roadhouse Ep 120

Discussion Notes: Who Will Greet You at Home

Find this week’s story here: Who Will Greet You at Home by Lesley Nneka Arimah

Next week’s story: And of Clay Are We Created by Isabel Allende

Rated: Clean

The four Literary Roadhouse hosts discuss the Caine Prize for African Writing runner up “Who Will Greet You at Home” by Nigerian writer Lesley Nneka Arimah. This story polarized our hosts sharply and along gender lines. On the ladies’ side, Maya and Anais had nothing by love and admiration for this sharp portrayal of motherhood, in particular the cycle of longing and shame. The boys weren’t moved by the theme, in large part because of magical realist elements that made the context feel alien. Our hosts debate whether or not gender plays a role in the understanding of this story. What do you think? We’re curious to know if men and women receive this story very differently.

Have thoughts on this story?

Did we miss a crucial piece of this story? Tell us below! Or on Twitter @litroadhouse or in our FB group.

Join the Literary Roadhouse Readers FB Group Join the Literary Roadhouse Readers FB Group

Support us on Patreon

We’re still a self-funded podcast. We work hard every week to bring you the best content possible.


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Top 10 Short Stories (from Episodes 1 through 30)

 

Top 10 Short Stories (from episode 1 thru 30)

We’ve discussed 100s of short stories over the past 3+ years. To help new listeners find the absolute best stories, Anais has curated her personal top 10 short stories from the first 30 episodes.

Why the first 30? Picking the top 10 stories from our podcast archive was just too dang hard. So, Anais decided to make it easier on herself by selecting her top 10 stories of the first 30 episodes. She’ll continue making things easy for herself by taking a look at the stories we’ve discussed in batches of 30.

Also, you can click on any slide and it’ll open a link to the episode in a new tab. Hooray!

For long time listeners, did Anais miss an important story from the first 30? Remember, you can view the full list whenever you like at the list of short stories page.

 

Want to discuss any story with us?

The Literary Roadhouse Readers group is a place where listeners can discuss any story, and not just this week’s story. Because all hosts are a part of the group, it’s a great way to speak with us directly. So if you’re new, listened to an old episode, and want to chime in, you can! Click the button below to join the group.

Join the Literary Roadhouse Readers FB Group

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The Kitchen Child | Angela Carter | Literary Roadhouse Ep 119

Discussion Notes: The Kitchen Child

Find this week’s story here: The Kitchen Child by Angela Carter

Next week’s story: Who Will Greet You at Home by Lesley Nneka Arimah

Rated: Explicit (discussion of sexual content)

Gael Gilliland, founder of The Legacy Recorder

Guest Gael Gilliland, found of The Legacy Recorder

On today’s podcast, we welcome a special guest Gael Gilliland. She is founder of The Legacy Recorder (www.thelegacyrecorder.com) which  helps people preserve their favorite moments and wisdom for generations to come. The Legacy Recorder works with both individuals and assisted living facilities to help preserve individual’s life stories.

 

Patreon bonus! Anais interviewed Gael! Subscribe to hear Gael talk about preserving memories and how young volunteers are helping the elderly put their stories down on paper.

As for today’s story, Maya, Gerald, Anais and Gael discussed The Kitchen Child by Angela Carter. Set in England, this rowdy comedy centers around a boy born to an estate’s cook, and whose father remains a puzzling mystery. Opinions diverged. On the most positive side, Anais and Gael enjoyed the humor and cartoonish aspects of the story. Meanwhile, Gerald took issue  with the mistreatment of the female cook, and Maya struggled with what could be seen as assault dismissed for laughs. Boy, what a debate!

Stay for a culinary quiz and test your continental chops.

Have thoughts on this story?

Did we miss a crucial piece of this story? Tell us below! Or on Twitter @litroadhouse or in our FB group.

Join the Literary Roadhouse Readers FB Group

Join the Literary Roadhouse Readers FB Group

Support us on Patreon

We’re still a self-funded podcast. We work hard every week to bring you the best content possible.


Support Literary Roadhouse on Patreon

The Heirs | Susan Rieger | Literary Roadhouse Bookclub Ep 16

Discussion Notes: The Heirs

Next month’s novel: The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen

Rated: Adult Themes

Guest host Susan Pogorzelski

Susan Pogorzelski, YA Author and Editor

In May we read The Heirs by Susan Rieger, a character-driven novel chock full of thrilling plot twists. Gerald and Anais were joined by guest host Susan Pogorzelski (www.susanpogorzelski.com), the author of the Gold in the Days of Summer novella series. She’s a YA author who founded Brown Beagle Books (www.brownbeaglebooks.com) to help emerging writers share their literary vision and develop their writing talents.

 

All three hosts loved the story which Anais and Susan described as a mature, subdued soap opera. Gerald fell in love with Eleanor, Susan loved Sam, and Anais could not stand Jim. Surely characters that elicit such strong responses must be vivid and worth the read.

The hosts also analyzed the novel’s prose and themes.

We’d like to hear from you

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

Join the Literary Roadhouse Readers FB Group

Join the Literary Roadhouse Readers FB Group

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.