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Cracking the Spine
A fun look at the world of books and literature!
Category: Literature
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by Sean Curran
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June 22, 2016 09:00 PM PDT

For sixty nine episodes we have discussed the human side of books. This week we finally get in touch with our animal sides. Who are the most memorable non-human characters from literature, and what do they reveal about our shared humanity? Sean and Josh, while not as accomplished in the animal world as Zane, try to keep up. You can keep up too by listening! So do it!

June 15, 2016 09:00 PM PDT

How far are we willing to take a joke? Let's say we go one past sixty eight and one before seventy. But it's not what you think. Unless it is what you think. In which case, man, you're smart. Listen. Josh, Zane and Sean go to places in books you've likely never been before.

June 08, 2016 09:00 PM PDT

When our listeners suggest topics, we listen. And this time, we dig down deep to discuss book analysis. You might be surprised that one third of the hosts doesn't think of himself/herself as overly analytic, one third feels he/she is incredibly analytical, and the other comes down right in the middle. The gang also manages to work Skyrim into the conversation, and Zane goes off the reservation and picks her own book to read. Sean is flabbergasted. You'll laugh. We promise.

June 01, 2016 09:00 PM PDT

Have you guys sent us an email recently? If not, you really should. It's a good way to stay in touch with us, but also, it's a great way for us to hear from you. And this week we hear from a listener who gave us a fantastic show suggestion. Memorial Day has come and gone, which means that summer has (unofficially) started. Zane, Josh and Sean talk about what makes a book a particularly good summer read. There's also some J. Lo talk, some klaxons, a frog, and a motorcycle. Just the usual joyousness that is Cracking the Spine!

May 25, 2016 09:00 PM PDT

The greatest subreddit on the Internet comes through again with an incredibly interesting topic - in terms of novels, do you prefer a larger world view or something smaller and more intimate? Trust me: Sean, Zane and Josh have opinions on this. They also coo over a business card and lament the very real threat of book censorship.

May 18, 2016 09:00 PM PDT

A listener comes through again this week with another great topic: is there any truth behind the perception that reading a book is a "smarter" way of getting a story or is it just a time-honored bias that has no meaning. You'll discover that the crew has no easy answers. Unless the question is, "What is Josh's big snack this week?" Tune in, and we guarantee* you'll be smarter than before you listened!

(*not a guarantee)

May 11, 2016 09:00 PM PDT

Once again the listeners come through with a topic that at first glance may seem trivial, but is in fact quite thought-provoking. Josh, Sean and Zane discuss the pressure one feels from loaning out a book, or from having a book loaned to them. They each come at the stress of the idea from a different place, making this week's show feel more like group therapy than a podcast. And when you consider how much some people pay for psychoanalysis, you're pretty lucky to get this for free! And they obviously couldn't avoid the one, the only Dr. Chuck Tingle.

Books mentioned:


But What If We're Wrong?: Thinking about the Present as If It Were the Past by: Chuck Klosterman

The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America by: Erik Larson

I’m Thinking Of Ending Things by: Iain Reid

Soolie Beetch And The Dying Light by: Gypsie Raleigh

War Porn by: Roy Scranton

Haunted by: Chuck Palahniuk

The Fireman by: Joe Hill

Snow Crash by: Neal Stephenson

April 27, 2016 09:00 PM PDT
April 20, 2016 09:00 PM PDT

This week the gang stays completely on topic and never once wavers nor gets off on tangents. Really. Never. Not even once. We stay so laser-focused on the topic of book clubs that if you pointed this week's episode at a mass of hydrogen gas, there would be pure nuclear fusion. You've never heard us so focused. Don't believe me? Listen up and learn something!

Books Mentioned:


The Woman In Cabin 10 by: Ruth Ware

Fellside by: M.R. Carey

The Girl With All The Gifts by: M.R. Carey

The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America by: Erik Larson

Thirst by: Benjamin Warner

Haunted by: Chuck Palahniuk

Feeling The Bern In My Butt by: Chuck Tingle

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