33 episodes

a book club, like oprah’s if oprah were two suburban guys from new jersey, or reese witherspoon’s if reese were two suburban guys from new jersey, except without the engine of fame that those two huge stars provide. but come on: oprah is not going to answer your emails. (trust us, we know.) every two weeks, a new book microscoped and surgeried by benevolent despot joey lewandowski and disgraced college professor bobby fischer... with your help! here's a guarantee: every episode ends with an arrestable crime. will it be something boring like credit card fraud or something sexy like a casino heist? listen to find out.

how to win the lottery bobby fischer and joey lewandowski

    • Arts
    • 5.0 • 1 Rating

a book club, like oprah’s if oprah were two suburban guys from new jersey, or reese witherspoon’s if reese were two suburban guys from new jersey, except without the engine of fame that those two huge stars provide. but come on: oprah is not going to answer your emails. (trust us, we know.) every two weeks, a new book microscoped and surgeried by benevolent despot joey lewandowski and disgraced college professor bobby fischer... with your help! here's a guarantee: every episode ends with an arrestable crime. will it be something boring like credit card fraud or something sexy like a casino heist? listen to find out.

    season three theme and reading list

    season three theme and reading list

    we're logging onto the internet for season three of how to win the lottery. all of our books prominently feature the internet and online life. find the full reading list below, and email in your thoughts about any of these books to lottery@cageclub.me. as always, keep reading, and -- like bobby says -- "get off the internet."
    reading list for season three
    a touch of jen by beth morgan
    the shore by katie runde
    literally show me a healthy person by darcie wilder
    17776 by jon bois
    snow crash by neal stephenson
    no one is talking about this by patricia lockwood
    amygdalatropolis by b r yeager
    shitstorm by fernando sdrigotti
    things have gotten worse since we last spoke by eric larocca
    liveblog by megan boyle
    neuromancer by william gibson
    fake accounts by lauren oyler
    we had to remove this post by hanna bervoets

    • 11 min
    interview with bud smith (author of teenager)

    interview with bud smith (author of teenager)

    we’re following up last week’s episode on teenager by bud smith by talking to bud about his work (and his friendship with bobby). we talk about new jersey, bud rejecting bobby’s criticisms of a previous draft of teenager, and bud’s process of re-writing (and re-typing) his novel. bud shares thoughts on writing to keep yourself interested (and surprised), lessons learned from teaching writing, and working with his wife rae buleri on the novel’s art. we all struggle to pronounce a word. bud shares picks for his mini-module:
    don quixote by miguel de cervantes saavedra
    norwood by charles portis
    lonesome dove by larry mcmurtry
    short letter, long farewell by peter handke
    fair play by tove jansson
    to the lighthouse by virginia woolf

    • 1 hr 7 min
    teenager by bud smith

    teenager by bud smith

    our campus season (officially) wraps up with teenager by bud smith, which follows the first how to win the lottery field trip. after serge gainsbourg drops by, we talk about elvis, the “lovers on the run” template, and how the book dissects american systems failing people. we talk about the novel’s underlying darkness, its cinematic nature, and how it demystifies grand american myths. our podcast finds a new villain, we imagine teenager as a movie (and a video game), and we talk about “famous cuck ned carson.”
    reading list for season two
    the bell jar by sylvia plath, 11/4
    prep by curtis sittenfeld, 11/18
    the art of fielding by chad harbach, 12/2
    nickel boys by colson whitehead, 12/16
    the virgins by pamela erens, 12/30
    my education by susan choi, 1/13
    giles goat-boy by john barth, 1/27
    end zone by don delillo, 2/10
    loner by teddy wayne, 2/24
    the secret history by donna tartt, 3/10
    sweet days of discipline by fleur jaeggy, 3/24
    college novel by blake middleton, 4/7
    real life by brandon taylor, 4/21
    the instructions by adam levin, 5/5
    the idiot by elif batuman, 5/19
    either/or by elif batuman, 6/2
    teenager by bud smith, 6/16

    • 55 min
    either/or by elif batuman

    either/or by elif batuman

    campus season continues with either/or, our second elif batuman novel in a row, and this time, we’re following selin’s sophomore year at harvard. we talk about how selin’s story is an unusual (in a good way!) type of book series and how these novels manage to capture the american experience of late adolescence. we talk about noticeable growth within selin, debate her level of agency in the story, and talk about how much she reads — and how it influences her. we also talk about the novel’s darkness, its “boy crazy” section, and how it seems to divorce kierkegaard from religion. do we live ethical or aesthetic lives? how will selin grow in a third novel?
    reading list for season two
    the bell jar by sylvia plath, 11/4
    prep by curtis sittenfeld, 11/18
    the art of fielding by chad harbach, 12/2
    nickel boys by colson whitehead, 12/16
    the virgins by pamela erens, 12/30
    my education by susan choi, 1/13
    giles goat-boy by john barth, 1/27
    end zone by don delillo, 2/10
    loner by teddy wayne, 2/24
    the secret history by donna tartt, 3/10
    sweet days of discipline by fleur jaeggy, 3/24
    college novel by blake middleton, 4/7
    real life by brandon taylor, 4/21
    the instructions by adam levin, 5/5
    the idiot by elif batuman, 5/19
    either/or by elif batuman, 6/2
    teenager by bud smith, 6/16

    • 1 hr
    the idiot by elif batuman

    the idiot by elif batuman

    surprise! the idiot by elif batuman is no longer our season finale, as she wrote another book about selin that we'll cover next episode: either/or. today, though, we're kicking things off with the (presumed?) start of a series as we discuss autofiction, bob's embrace of "boring" as a theme, and yet another book about language (including, finally, math as a language!). we note the importance of it being set in the 1990s, appreciate yet another narrator native to new jersey, and talk about how terrible ivan is. we admire the book's humor and discuss its feelings of isolation and its near-total lack of politics. bob mentions the book of wall, mankind's great unpublished piece of art. joey confuses the belushi brothers.
    reading list for season two
    the bell jar by sylvia plath, 11/4
    prep by curtis sittenfeld, 11/18
    the art of fielding by chad harbach, 12/2
    nickel boys by colson whitehead, 12/16
    the virgins by pamela erens, 12/30
    my education by susan choi, 1/13
    giles goat-boy by john barth, 1/27
    end zone by don delillo, 2/10
    loner by teddy wayne, 2/24
    the secret history by donna tartt, 3/10
    sweet days of discipline by fleur jaeggy, 3/24
    college novel by blake middleton, 4/7
    real life by brandon taylor, 4/21
    the instructions by adam levin, 5/5
    the idiot by elif batuman, 5/19
    either/or by elif batuman, 6/2
    teenager by bud smith, 6/16

    • 1 hr 5 min
    the instructions by adam levin

    the instructions by adam levin

    in spite of this episode about the instructions by adam levin being our longest episode to date (by far!), it still feels woefully incomplete. how do you sum up more than 1,000 pages? it turns out… it’s very difficult! there are backroom deliberations about a second episode about the instructions, but for now…
    we talk about our youngest protagonists so far, yet ones who speak and act and seem like adults. we look at the role the parents play in the novel, ways to read (or interpret) this novel, and the “almost literal magic” that bob finds in the text. we talk about the novel’s humor, violence, villainy, and sadness. we also wonder: is gurion the messiah? does the violence go too far? is this the best book of the 21st century?
    reading list for season two
    the bell jar by sylvia plath, 11/4
    prep by curtis sittenfeld, 11/18
    the art of fielding by chad harbach, 12/2
    nickel boys by colson whitehead, 12/16
    the virgins by pamela erens, 12/30
    my education by susan choi, 1/13
    giles goat-boy by john barth, 1/27
    end zone by don delillo, 2/10
    loner by teddy wayne, 2/24
    the secret history by donna tartt, 3/10
    sweet days of discipline by fleur jaeggy, 3/24
    college novel by blake middleton, 4/7
    real life by brandon taylor, 4/21
    the instructions by adam levin, 5/5
    the idiot by elif batuman, 5/19

    • 1 hr 47 min

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