24 episodes

Once upon a time, two writers became friends and we wrote and we read and now we also podcast together about our adventures and explorations.

Marian and Lissa met during National Novel Writing Month many Novembers ago. Every November we write new first drafts of novels, along with performing writerly tasks throughout the year like revising, editing, and more writing.

Thankfully, reading widely and voraciously is an important part of becoming a better writer. And reading and discussing as writers is a fun way to mix up the book reviews we add to Goodreads or the #amwriting reflections we each add to Instagram.
Listen in as we choose books to read and discuss in a variety of genres and answer such pressing questions as:
Does this book deliver on its premise?
What does the author do well here that makes this book work?

We'll also recommend books to each other, share writing advice, and generally try to make the world a better place through reading and writing fiction.

Email The Book Evangelists at thebookevangelists@gmail.com or find show notes at https://thebookevangelists.com/

The Book Evangelists - Reading and Writing Will Save Us All The Book Evangelists

    • Arts
    • 5.0 • 1 Rating

Once upon a time, two writers became friends and we wrote and we read and now we also podcast together about our adventures and explorations.

Marian and Lissa met during National Novel Writing Month many Novembers ago. Every November we write new first drafts of novels, along with performing writerly tasks throughout the year like revising, editing, and more writing.

Thankfully, reading widely and voraciously is an important part of becoming a better writer. And reading and discussing as writers is a fun way to mix up the book reviews we add to Goodreads or the #amwriting reflections we each add to Instagram.
Listen in as we choose books to read and discuss in a variety of genres and answer such pressing questions as:
Does this book deliver on its premise?
What does the author do well here that makes this book work?

We'll also recommend books to each other, share writing advice, and generally try to make the world a better place through reading and writing fiction.

Email The Book Evangelists at thebookevangelists@gmail.com or find show notes at https://thebookevangelists.com/

    Episode 24

    Episode 24

    Episode 24: NaNoWriMo 2021
    The Book Evangelists discuss NaNoWriMo 2021 plus their own novel plans, preparations and community building.
    Morning Chatter
    What else have you been reading lately? Often, not what I’m supposed to be reading!
    Lissa is reading Mickey7 by Edward Ashton (forthcoming, Feb 2022)
    Marian is reading Peril by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa

    Discussion
    Personal preparations for NaNoWriMo
    How many years have you started NaNoWriMo? How many years have you won?
    How is November NaNo different than Camp NaNo?
    How do you approach NaNo differently now than you did when you first started doing it?
    How do you approach NaNoPrep traditionally vs this year?
    What are we doing this year compared to other years and why might it work or not?
    Community building preparations for NaNoWriMo
    What are all the things you have done as an ML?
    What are the things you have done for other writers?
    What are all the things you have done for yourself?
    Coming Up
    Next episode: Marian and Lissa will be busy writing their novels in November. Obviously. But coming in December, we will report back on our NaNoWriMo adventures. Plus, Marian and Lissa are probably maybe joining and/or starting a new book discussion group which is reading The Cloud Roads by Martha Wells. And also discussing the book here. Because discussing books with friends is AMAZING.

    Pssst! Want to See Something Cool?
    Marian's first book A Little Touch of Magic is now available! There are fairies. Someone has a tail. Must be a fairytale. Buy it wherever books are sold, especially for the middle grade fantasy readers in your life.

    Our Show Notes include mentions and recommendations, all linked for your convenience. What else would you like to see here?
    Music Credit: The music used during transitions in our podcast is adapted from: Jazzy Sax, Guitar, and Organ at the club by Admiral Bob (c) copyright 2018 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license. http://dig.ccmixter.org/files/admiralbob77/58382 Ft: geoffpeters

    • 57 min
    EPISODE 23: A WIZARD OF EARTHSEA AND THE BOOK OF THREE

    EPISODE 23: A WIZARD OF EARTHSEA AND THE BOOK OF THREE

    In This Episode
    The Book Evangelists discuss A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula LeGuin and The Book of Three: The Chronicles of Prydain, Book 1 by Lloyd Alexander.

    Morning Chatter
    We discuss book monogamy, DNF (did not finish), and also mention many of the books we have each read since we last chatted about books here.

    Lissa’s reads:
    The Expanse series by James S. A. Corey
    You Don’t Know Everything, Jilly P! By Alex Gino
    Psalm for the Wild Built by Becky Chambers

    Marian’s reads:
    The Rivers of London series by Ben Aaranovich
    Hench by Natalie Zina Walschots
    The Library of the Dead by TL Huchu
    The Anthropocene Review by John Green
    Children of Ash and Elm

    A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula LeGuin
    Ged, the greatest sorcerer in all Earthsea, was called Sparrowhawk in his reckless youth. Hungry for power and knowledge, Sparrowhawk tampered with long-held secrets and loosed a terrible shadow upon the world. This is the tale of his testing, how he mastered the mighty words of power, tamed an ancient dragon, and crossed death’s threshold to restore the balance.

    The Book of Three: The Chronicles of Prydain #1 by Lloyd Alexander
    Taran wanted to be a hero, and looking after a pig wasn’t exactly heroic, even though Hen Wen was an oracular pig. But the day that Hen Wen vanished, Taran was led into an enchanting and perilous world. With his band of followers, he confronted the Horned King and his terrible Cauldron-Born. These were the forces of evil, and only Hen Wen knew the secret of keeping the kingdom of Prydain safe from them. But who would find her first?

    Discussion
    Both of these are classic books, the first in series, and bildugsromans. Which did you prefer?
    Do you think they are similar in form?
    Favorite characters? Least favorite character?
    Did you use audio or paper?
    Is it different to read fantasy as a kid versus only discovering it as an adult? How?
    Do you think stories like this transcend the kid/ya/adult labels? Why or why not?
    Did you get impatient with either book? Why?

    Coming Up
    Next episode: Marian and Lissa are joining and/or starting a new book discussion group which is reading The Cloud Roads by Martha Wells. And also discussing the book here. Because discussing books with friends is AMAZING.

    Pssst! Want to See Something Cool?
    Marian’s first book A Little Touch of Magic is now available! There are fairies. Someone has a tail. Must be a fairytale. Buy it wherever books are sold, especially for the middle grade fantasy readers in your life.

    Our Show Notes include mentions and recommendations, all linked for your convenience. What else would you like to see here?

    Music Credit: The music used during transitions in our podcast is adapted from: Jazzy Sax, Guitar, and Organ at the club by Admiral Bob (c) copyright 2018 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license. http://dig.ccmixter.org/files/admiralbob77/58382 Ft: geoffpeters

    • 58 min
    Episode 22: The Expanse series and N. K. Jemisin's Masterclass

    Episode 22: The Expanse series and N. K. Jemisin's Masterclass

    In This Episode
    The Book Evangelists discuss The Expanse series by James S. A. Corey and a new Masterclass N. K. Jemisin Teaches Fantasy and Science Fiction Writing.

    Morning Chatter
    • We are not yet discussing Ursula LeGuin's A Wizard of Earthsea and The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander. But we will.
    • Lissa is enjoying Delicious in Dungeon manga with her kid.
    • Marian is enjoying Hannah Swensen cozy mystery audiobooks by Joanna Fluke with her kid.
    • Marian is reading the graphic novels for Comic Book Club from Roxanne Coble.
    Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey
    Humanity has colonized the solar system—Mars, the Moon, the Asteroid Belt and beyond—but the stars are still out of our reach.

    Jim Holden is XO of an ice miner making runs from the rings of Saturn to the mining stations of the Belt. When he and his crew stumble upon a derelict ship, the Scopuli, they find themselves in possession of a secret they never wanted. A secret that someone is willing to kill for—and kill on a scale unfathomable to Jim and his crew. War is brewing in the system unless he can find out who left the ship and why.
    Detective Miller is looking for a girl. One girl in a system of billions, but her parents have money and money talks. When the trail leads him to the Scopuli and rebel sympathizer Holden, he realizes that this girl may be the key to everything.
    Holden and Miller must thread the needle between the Earth government, the Outer Planet revolutionaries, and secretive corporations—and the odds are against them. But out in the Belt, the rules are different, and one small ship can change the fate of the universe.
    From goodreads.com
    Discussion
    James S. A. Corey is the pen name of Daniel Abraham and Ty Frank. The story started as an RPG.
    Worldbuilding in The Expanse series is excellent.
    The audiobook versions are excellent.
    Because we are at very different parts in the series, the discussion attempts to be completely spoiler-free!
    Will we watch the television series? Will we keep reading the series? Will the things we hope will happen for the characters come to fruition?
    Other readers who we talk to about science fiction books like and recommend this series - being in a community of readers is pretty awesome.
    Here are two options for what I think will happen. Option A and Option B.
    Marian
    You know how there are all the other letters of the alphabet, C through Z. I feel like that is a spoiler way free to tell you that you are really going to like reading this book to see what happens.
    Lissa
    N. K. Jemisin Teaches Fantasy and Science Fiction Writing is an amazing Masterclass and also N. K. Jemisin is an amazing writer. We are slightly more eloquent or at least more verbose when we discuss it on the podcast.
    Coming Up
    Next episode: Marian and Lissa will really, truly, probably, read and discuss two fantasy books written for youth, which Marian read in her youth and Lissa has not read. Yet.
    • A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula LeGuin
    • The Book of Three The Chronicles of Prydain, Book 1 by Lloyd Alexander
    Pssst! Want to See Something Cool?
    Marian's first book A Little Touch of Magic is now available! There are fairies. Someone has a tail. Must be a fairytale. Buy it wherever books are sold, especially for the middle grade fantasy readers in your life.

    Music Credit: The music used during transitions in our podcast is adapted from: Jazzy Sax, Guitar, and Organ at the club by Admiral Bob (c) copyright 2018 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license. http://dig.ccmixter.org/files/admiralbob77/58382 Ft: geoffpeters

    • 53 min
    Episode 21: The Splendid and the Vile

    Episode 21: The Splendid and the Vile

    The Book Evangelists discuss The Splendid and the Vile by Erik Larson
    Morning Chatter
    We are finally discussing The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz.
    Our region of the country is experiencing all of the seasons this week: several inches of late April snow, lovely spring plants flourishing, an upcoming afternoon forecast in the 80s. Cover the tomatoes at night, that’s the plan.
    The Splendid and the Vile
    On Winston Churchill’s first day as prime minister, Adolf Hitler invaded Holland and Belgium. Poland and Czechoslovakia had already fallen, and the Dunkirk evacuation was just two weeks away. For the next twelve months, Hitler would wage a relentless bombing campaign, killing 45,000 Britons. It was up to Churchill to hold his country together and persuade President Franklin Roosevelt that Britain was a worthy ally–and willing to fight to the end.
    In The Splendid and the Vile, Erik Larson shows how Churchill taught the British people “the art of being fearless.” It is a story of political brinkmanship, but it’s also an intimate domestic drama, set against the backdrop of Churchill’s prime-ministerial country home, Chequers; his wartime retreat, Ditchley, where he and his entourage go when the moon is brightest and the bombing threat is highest; and of course 10 Downing Street in London. Drawing on diaries, original archival documents, and once-secret intelligence reports–some released only recently–Larson provides a new lens on London’s darkest year through the day-to-day experience of Churchill and his family: his wife, Clementine; their youngest daughter, Mary, who chafes against her parents’ wartime protectiveness; their son, Randolph, and his beautiful, unhappy wife, Pamela; Pamela’s illicit lover, a dashing American emissary; and the advisers in Churchill’s “Secret Circle,” to whom he turns in the hardest moments.
    Discussion Questions
    How real is real, even when exhaustively researched?
    Does this make you want to keep a detailed diary? How will personal text messages or emails be treated in future memoirs and historical record?
    What can we learn as writers from this book? How does this story turn reality into an exciting/interesting narrative that follows the “rules” of fiction?
    Why did it take each of us so long to read this book?
    Bonus Book in Progress
    We are both currently reading The Power of Ritual: How to Create Meaning and Connection in Everything You Do by Casper ter Kuile and bringing some of the sacred reading suggestions into our discussion here.

    Reading about other people improves our ability to understand and cooperate with others and ultimately to understand ourselves
    Could this book, The Splendid and the Vile, or the original speeches by Churchill, or some of the letters or diaries– be something for a sacred reading/discussion? What would we each want to choose as a sacred text?
    Coming Up
    Next episode: Marian and Lissa will read and discuss two fantasy books written for youth, which Marian read in her youth and Lissa has not read. Yet.

    A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula LeGuin
    The Book of Three The Chronicles of Prydain, Book 1 by Lloyd Alexander
    Pssst! Want to See Something Cool?
    Marian’s first book A Little Touch of Magic is now available! There are fairies. Someone has a tail. Must be a fairytale. Buy it wherever books are sold, especially for the middle grade fantasy readers in your life.

    Our Show Notes include mentions and recommendations, all linked for your convenience. What else would you like to see here?

    Music Credit: The music used during transitions in our podcast is adapted from: Jazzy Sax, Guitar, and Organ at the club by Admiral Bob (c) copyright 2018 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license. http://dig.ccmixter.org/files/admiralbob77/58382 Ft: geoffpeters

    • 46 min
    Episode 20: Why Fish Don't Exist

    Episode 20: Why Fish Don't Exist

    Episode 20: Why Fish Don’t Exist
    In This Episode
    The Book Evangelists discuss Why Fish Don’t Exist: A Story of Loss, Love, and the Hidden Order of Life by Lulu Miller
    Morning Chatter
    Why aren’t we discussing The Splendid and the Vile yet?
    What else have we been reading lately when we were supposed to be reading The Splendid and the Vile?
    Reading: Uncharted Territory by Connie Willis, The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman, Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie
    Why Fish Don’t Exist
    A wondrous debut from an extraordinary new voice in nonfiction, Why Fish Don’t Exist is a dark and astonishing tale of love, chaos, scientific obsession, and—possibly—even murder.
    David Starr Jordan was a taxonomist, a man possessed with bringing order to the natural world. In time, he would be credited with discovering nearly a fifth of the fish known to humans in his day. But the more of the hidden blueprint of life he uncovered, the harder the universe seemed to try to thwart him. His specimen collections were demolished by lightning, by fire, and eventually by the 1906 San Francisco earthquake—which sent more than a thousand of his discoveries, housed in fragile glass jars, plummeting to the floor. In an instant, his life’s work was shattered.
    Many might have given up, given in to despair. But Jordan? He surveyed the wreckage at his feet, found the first fish he recognized, and confidently began to rebuild his collection. And this time, he introduced one clever innovation that he believed would at last protect his work against the chaos of the world.
    When NPR reporter Lulu Miller first heard this anecdote in passing, she took Jordan for a fool—a cautionary tale in hubris, or denial. But as her own life slowly unraveled, she began to wonder about him. Perhaps instead he was a model for how to go on when all seemed lost. What she would unearth about his life would transform her understanding of history, morality, and the world beneath her feet.
    Part biography, part memoir, part scientific adventure, Why Fish Don’t Exist reads like a fable about how to persevere in a world where chaos will always prevail.
    Quotes
    “While other people don’t matter, either, treat them like they do.”
    ― Lulu Miller, Why Fish Don’t Exist: A Story of Loss, Love, and the Hidden Order of Life

    “Slowly, it came into focus. This small web of people keeping one another afloat. All these minuscule interactions- a friendly wave, a pencil sketch, some plastic beads strung up a nylon cord- they might not look like much from the outside, but for the people caught inside that web? They might be everything, the very tethers that keep one bound to this planet.”
    ― Lulu Miller, Why Fish Don’t Exist: A Story of Loss, Love, and the Hidden Order of Life
    Little known fact: If Lissa really loves you, she probably texts you screenshots from this app: Fish: a tap essay by Robin Sloan but if you don’t know her well enough for that yet, download it for yourself!
    Cheesecake, from the small web of people keeping one another afloat in Lissa’s life. This podcast is another obviously delicious example.
    Coming Up
    Next episode: Marian and Lissa read and discuss Erik Larson’s The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz. For real this time. Not like the previous TWO episodes when we discussed other books after advertising that we would discuss the Erik Larson.
    Pssst! Want to See Something Cool?
    Marian’s first book A Little Touch of Magic is now available! There are fairies. Someone has a tail. Must be a fairytale. Buy it wherever books are sold, especially for the middle grade fantasy readers in your life.
    Our Show Notes include mentions and recommendations, all linked for your convenience.
    Music Credit: The music used during transitions in our podcast is adapted from: Jazzy Sax, Guitar, and Organ at the club by Admiral Bob (c) copyright 2018 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license. http://dig.ccm

    • 52 min
    Episode 19: Cozy Mysteries

    Episode 19: Cozy Mysteries

    Episode 19: Cozy Mysteries: Reading and Writing
    In This Episode: The Book Evangelists discuss reading and writing cozy mysteries.
    Morning Chatter
    Why aren’t we discussing “The Splendid and the Vile” yet?
    What are our hot caffeinated beverages of choice?
    Lissa’s Reading Slump is OVER! So MUCH READING! She recently finished
    The Roommate by Rosie Danan
    Beach Read by Emily Henry
    Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times by Katherine May
    Big Friendship: How We Keep Each Other Close by Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman
    Miss Buncle’s Book by D.L. Stevenson
    Cozy Mysteries and Writing Craft books
    Marian read:
    The Christmas Egg by Mary Kelly
    Fundraising the Dead by Sheila Connolly
    The Art of the English Murder by Lucy Worsley
    The Inspector and Mrs. Jeffries by Emily Brightwell
    Lissa read:
    Death at Wentwater Court by Carola Dunn
    The Winter Garden Mystery by Carola Dunn
    Murder on the Flying Scotsman by Carola Dunn (past the murder, not to the solving bit yet)
    Pies and Prejudice by Ellery Adams (just the opening setup, stopped before a murder)
    “How to Outline a Cozy Mystery” workbook by Sara Rosett
    Tvtropes.com article on Cozy mysteries
    What we discussed:
    Could you, would you, write a mystery?
    Does the “cozy” aspect make murder more palatable?
    Did you notice that cozies predominantly feature female protagonists?
    How does one plan and plot and outline a more complicated story when one usually is not a planner?
    Free Cat Content
    This episode ends with some free cat content, coinciding with our very first SURPRISE PODCAST GUEST. If you like purring, you’ll like this last bit quite a lot!
    Coming Up
    Next episode: Marian and Lissa read and discuss Erik Larson’s The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz.
    Our Show Notes include mentions and recommendations, all linked for your convenience. What else would you like to see here?
    Music Credit: The music used during transitions in our podcast is adapted from: Jazzy Sax, Guitar, and Organ at the club by Admiral Bob (c) copyright 2018 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license. http://dig.ccmixter.org/files/admiralbob77/58382 Ft: geoffpeters

    • 55 min

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