100 episodes

Join Aaron Armstrong, Dave Schroeder, Scarlet Hiltibidal and friends as they talk about the books they love (and many they really don't) to help you be a better reader.

Table of (Mal)Contents Aaron Armstrong, Dave Schroeder, Scarlet Hiltibidal and friends

    • Books
    • 4.8 • 102 Ratings

Join Aaron Armstrong, Dave Schroeder, Scarlet Hiltibidal and friends as they talk about the books they love (and many they really don't) to help you be a better reader.

    Prog Rock, Christmas Persecution, & Christmas Seminary

    Prog Rock, Christmas Persecution, & Christmas Seminary

    We're about to enter into that special time of year that is full of holiday cheer, and so we are going to try to celebrate it well here on the podcast. But in order to really kick it off well, we felt the best way to do it was to ask the man who loves Christmas more than anyone else to join us for the conversation. This week, Ronnie Martin, pastor at Substance Church, author and co-author of several books, and the co-host of The Happy Rant Podcast and The Art of Pastoring, joins us to talk all things merry and bright. Listen in as we discuss:

    The question Aaron's been saving for Ronnie for more than a year

    When is the appropriate time to start celebrating Christmas (and for how long)

    How to pronounce "accreditation"

    The best Christmas books and authors

    Ronnie's favorite type of Christmas persecution

    Defining what makes a Christmas movie (and why they only make superhero movies)

    The start of a grassroots campaign to get Ronnie's future festive book, The Christmas Tree Farm, published

    The godfather of Christmas stories


    A few of the books mentioned on the show


    The Best Gift Ever Given by Ronnie Martin


    The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk MD


    Every Moment Holy by McKelvey Davis


    No One Asked For This by Cazzie David


    A Promised Land by Barack Obama


    Batman: The Three Jokers by Geoff Johns & Jason Fabok


    A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens


    The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien


    A Wild Winter Swan by Gregory Maguire


    Spirit of Steamboat by Craig Johnson


    Sharing and supporting the show

    Leave a five-star rating and review of the show on Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen to the show.

    Give us a follow on Twitter and Instagram at @MalContentsPod


    Interested in sponsoring Table of (mal)Contents? Let's talk via email or DM us on Twitter or Instagram.

    • 1 hr 4 min
    Yes, Christians Can Write Good Fiction Too

    Yes, Christians Can Write Good Fiction Too

    Okay, I'll admit: when I see the words "Christian" and "fiction" together, I generally assume the book with that label will be terrible. But that is also totally unfair of me, because while there is a lot of bad fiction written by and for Christian audiences, there are are also really good books that can fall under this label. And our friend Jared Wilson, author of many, many books, has written one of them that's out now called Echo Island. Jared joined Dave and me (while Scarlet was reading the book on a plane) to talk about storytelling, Vermont, and the good news that this is not a Rapture book.


    Listen in as we discuss:


    Why Jared wanted to write this story
    Why we can't actually talk about the book too much without giving away pretty much the whole plot
    The honesty of New Englanders about their faith (or lack thereof)
    Why calling Echo Island a good book isn't a throwaway compliment
    How fiction help your imagination as a writer and as a reader
    The relationship between storytelling and close-up magic
    Why people who are jaded or cynical toward Christian fiction (or fiction by Christians) should give this book a shot



    Echo Island is available now through your favorite bookseller. Get a copy for yourself



    Sharing and supporting the show

    Leave a five-star rating and review of the show on Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen to the show.
    Give us a follow on Twitter and Instagram at @MalContentsPod
    Be sure to use the Amazon affiliate links above to help us pay for the costs of producing and hosting the show.

    Interested in sponsoring Table of (mal)Contents? Let's talk via email or DM us on Twitter or Instagram.

    • 45 min
    All the Tenuous Connections

    All the Tenuous Connections

    Sometimes a conversation is full of… how can I say this? Tenuous connections. Abrupt changes of topic, subject matter, and tone is often the way a real-life conversation goes. And this week, Dave and I are joined by our friends Nick Rynerson and Richard Clark to talk about, well, pretty much everything—including their new podcast network, Area Code. Listen in as we discuss:


    Conspiracy theories and the power of the word "Consider" to make anything sound sinister
    Finding the Dark Web
    What is the Area Code Network and why are we talking about it on our show?
    Why Nick needs to read our meeting requests
    How good a job I'm doing at being my own executive assistant


    A few of the books we mentioned on this episode


    Ducks, Newburyport by Lucy Ellmann

    Weather by Jenny Offill

    Make Russia Great Again by Christopher Buckley

    Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

    Sell Montana by Steve Gilreath

    Lipstick Traces by Greil Marcus

    The Varieties of Religious Experiences by William James

    The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry by John Mark Comer

    Privilege the Text by Abraham Kuruvilla



    Sharing and supporting the show

    Leave a five-star rating and review of the show on Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen to the show.
    Give us a follow on Twitter and Instagram at @MalContentsPod
    Be sure to use the Amazon affiliate links above to help us pay for the costs of producing and hosting the show.

    Interested in sponsoring Table of (mal)Contents? Let's talk via email or DM us on Twitter or Instagram.

    • 52 min
    A (Thankfully) Short Talk About Being Thankful

    A (Thankfully) Short Talk About Being Thankful

    We're two days past Halloween, which means two things: higher blood sugar for all, and stores have become winter wonderlands overnight. But we don't want to be grumpy about it—instead, we're reclaiming the season, standing in the gap as it were, and choosing to be thankful. About what? Well, a few things as you'll hear in this episode. Listen in as we discuss:


    Who we're thankful for that helped us to develop a love of reading
    Aerosmith and the possibility of an asteroid hitting Earth on Wednesday
    Some friends who are going to be joining us on the show in the next few weeks
    Scarlet caring for a doglet


    All that and a few other teases in a whopping 28 minute show!


    A few of the books we mentioned on this episode


    Wild and Crazy Guys by Nick de Semlyn

    Echo Island by Jared Wilson

    Questioning Evangelism by Randy Newman

    North! Or Be Eaten by Andrew Peterson



    Sharing and supporting the show

    Leave a five-star rating and review of the show on Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen to the show.
    Give us a follow on Twitter and Instagram at @MalContentsPod
    Be sure to use the Amazon affiliate links above to help us pay for the costs of producing and hosting the show.

    Interested in sponsoring Table of (mal)Contents? Let's talk via email or DM us on Twitter or Instagram.

    • 28 min
    Spooky Season, Christmas, & Mormons at the Door

    Spooky Season, Christmas, & Mormons at the Door

    It's almost Halloween, and we're talking… well, we're talking Christmas, apparently. But not intentionally. Dave wanted to talk about Halloween and spooky books, but we don't really read those all that often. We don't even watch those movies. So, instead we have some fun talking through some listener questions! Listen in as we discuss:


    What happened when Mormons came to the door while we were recording
    If Scarlet and her girls have read Bunnicula

    What books we read around Christmas times
    Unexpected Christmas books from unlikely authors
    How we feel about book clubs (a longer discussion can and should be listened to here)
    The Christmas songs that annoy me (Aaron) the most


    All this and a whole bunch of apologies from… well, you'll see.


    A few of the books we mentioned on this episode


    Bunnicula by James Howe

    Skipping Christmas by John Grisham

    The 19th Christmas by James Patterson & Maxine Paetro

    The Christmas Train by David Baldacci

    The Expected One by Scott James

    A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

    Wild and Crazy Guys by Nick de Semlyn

    Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris

    Wait for Signs by Craig Johnson

    Echo Island by Jared Wilson



    Sharing and supporting the show

    Leave a five-star rating and review of the show on Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen to the show.
    Give us a follow on Twitter and Instagram at @MalContentsPod
    Be sure to use the Amazon affiliate links above to help us pay for the costs of producing and hosting the show.

    Interested in sponsoring Table of (mal)Contents? Let's talk via email or DM us on Twitter or Instagram.

    • 46 min
    Politics, Reading Lists, & Other Dinner Conversations

    Politics, Reading Lists, & Other Dinner Conversations

    There are two topics you traditionally don't bring up at family dinners over the holidays: religion and politics. (Scarlet, meanwhile, is glad she missed out on this one.)


    The spectrum of types of political books and the weirdness of that part of the publishing industry
    John Quincy Adams being a terrible president and a great congressman
    What conservatism means
    Why the Great American Reads booklist is problematic
    If changing your Good Reads Reading Challenge is cheating (it's not and Dave is wrong)
    A Lonesome Dove update


    All this and a whole bunch of apologies from… well, you'll see.


    A few of the books we mentioned on this episode


    The Lions of Lucerne by Brad Thor

    John Quincy Adams by Harlow Giles Unger

    Decision Points by George W. Bush

    The Truths We Hold by Kamala Harris

    The Politics of Prudence by Russell Kirk

    A Grief Observed, The Great Divorce, and Surprised by Joy by C.S. Lewis

    Blood, Sweat, and Pixels by Jason Schreier



    Sharing and supporting the show

    Leave a five-star rating and review of the show on Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen to the show.
    Give us a follow on Twitter and Instagram at @MalContentsPod
    Be sure to use the Amazon affiliate links above to help us pay for the costs of producing and hosting the show.

    Interested in sponsoring Table of (mal)Contents? Let's talk via email or DM us on Twitter or Instagram.

    • 50 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
102 Ratings

102 Ratings

Ked1992 ,

Great Pod

I am a fan of Scarlets book “Afraid Of All The Things” so I was excited when I found out she was a co host of a podcast. You all are so fun to listen to and have inspired me to read more. Two thumbs up! Highly recommend.

ryanlaustin3861 ,

Love these guys!

Love this podcast and love hearing of their favorite books and discussions each podcast! Keep it up.

TimothyWasHere ,

Books books and wonderful host

A woman, Canadian and a beach bum walked into a recording booth to talk about books. I enjoy the show every week.

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