43 episodes

Arlington VA Public Library is reading "Moby-Dick" this summer, and we're going to have a seriously good time while we do it.

Each week on the podcast, librarians Jennie, Megan, Pete and special guests will discuss the reading, drop pop culture references, and ask or answer questions that come up during the Sunday discussion.

Big Book Club's "What the Whale!‪"‬ Arlington VA Public Library

    • Arts
    • 5.0 • 8 Ratings

Arlington VA Public Library is reading "Moby-Dick" this summer, and we're going to have a seriously good time while we do it.

Each week on the podcast, librarians Jennie, Megan, Pete and special guests will discuss the reading, drop pop culture references, and ask or answer questions that come up during the Sunday discussion.

    Prologue: So What Do We Know About Moby-Dick?

    Prologue: So What Do We Know About Moby-Dick?

    We're ready to set sail with plenty of whale puns...
    Don't have your book yet?
    The Library has unlimited copies in eBook and eAudiobook. Or you could listen to the Moby-Dick Big Read podcast produced by the Arts Institute at the University of Plymouth.
    And don't forget to join the What the Whale! Facebook group before Sunday night's online discussion at 8 p.m.
     
    Palate cleansers:
    Jennie - "Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland" by Patrick Radden Keefe Pete - "Emergency Contact" by Mary H. K. Choi Megan - "Bookish Boyfriends: A Date with Darcy" by Tiffany Schmidt Alex - "Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps that Explain Everything About the World" by Tim Marshall  

    • 18 min
    Who exactly is this Ishmael guy?

    Who exactly is this Ishmael guy?

    This week we realize that running off to sea and adopting a nome-de-mer is usually a sign that you're trying to escape from something...
    PSA: You can learn pirate in the Mango Languages app, free with your library card.
    Palate cleansers:
    Megan - Lore Olympus web comic Pete - "Good Omens" by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett Jennie - "Comrade Detective" comedy TV show on Amazon Prime and "Chuck Norris vs. Communism" documentary Alex - "Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster" by Svetlana Aleksievich

    • 25 min
    Our Cast Is Introduced, and We are Underwhelmed...

    Our Cast Is Introduced, and We are Underwhelmed...

    180 pages in, and we've barely left port...
    This week we discussed knowing that we're reading a "Big Book," and therefore expecting more drama out of Ahab as character. We also wondered whether, if we'd read Moby-Dick when it first was published, would we have been bored out of our minds by this point?
    Books we reference:
    "A History of the World in Six Glasses" by Tom Standage "Banana: the Fate of the Fruit that Changed the World" by Dan Koeppel Palate cleansers:
    Megan - "Educated: A Memoir" by Tara Westover Pete - Watched the film "Burning" based on the Haruki Murakami short story "Barn Burning," which is based on the William Faulkner short story "Barn Burning." Jennie - This Land podcast and Galavant TV show Alex - Apollo 11: Beyond the Moon podcast and the Apollo 11 documentary film  

    • 25 min
    To read all of Melville's Cetology, or to skip that chapter...

    To read all of Melville's Cetology, or to skip that chapter...

    Who got the gold star for reading all about whale-fish, including the footnotes? Who is actually caught up on the reading? Who thinks Ahab is headed for a reconning of, well, mythic proportions?
    And who is ready to read something completely different this week?
    We referenced:
    "I''ll Make a Man Out of You" from the Disney musical, Mulan.
    On the tv show Friends, couple Ross and Rachel "take a break," and then have a fight about what it meant to "take a break" after Ross slept with another woman during the break.
    Palate cleansers
    Megan - "Queenie" by Candice Carty-Williams and "Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors: a novel" by Sonali Dev Pete - "Convenience Store Woman" by Sayaka Murata Jennie - "I Love You So Mochi" by Sarah Kuhn and "Dear Los Angeles: the city in diaries and letters 1542 to 2018" edited by David Kipen Alex - "Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating" by Christina Lauren  
     
     

    • 22 min
    Herman "Not Suble" Melville

    Herman "Not Suble" Melville

    In discussing chapters 42-59, we mentioned  "The Card Turner," a YA novel by Louis Sachar.
    Also, giant squid are scary, Fedallah's whaleboat crew are eerie, and and Melville is not subtle.
    Palate cleansers:
    Jennie - "Ayesha At Last" by Uzma Jalaluddin and "The Lady and the Highwayman" by Sarah M. Eden Alex - "Storm of Locusts" by Rebecca Roanhorse Pete - "Bukowski in a Sundress: Confessions From a Writing Life" by Kim Addonizio  
     

    • 21 min
    Whaling: Not for the faint of heart

    Whaling: Not for the faint of heart

    This week we tackled the most action packed reading yet, chapters 60-70, in which we encountered bloody whale killing, racial stereotyping, and ugly power structures.
    Palate cleansers:
    Megan - "Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nuter, Witch" by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman Jennie - "Sixth The Musical" Alex - "Somewhere Only We Know" by Maureen Goo Pete - "The Pandemic Century: One Hundred Years of Panic, Hysteria, and Hubris" by Mark Honigsbaum and  "Circe" by Madeline Miller

    • 23 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
8 Ratings

8 Ratings

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