Episode 47: Heart of Darkness, Part 3

July 11, 2017

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Here's something different for those of you who like different things. Our heroes conclude their discussion of Heart of Darkness by interviewing their good friend Pastor Lucas Weeks, who actually grew up in the Congo. He's played with monkeys, seen terrifying native tribal dances, and been escorted from his home by US Marines while machine gun fire echoed in the distance. So arguably he can bring more perspective to Heart of Darkness than even the Mysterious Phantom did. 

Next week Dame Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express.

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Episode 46: Heart of Darkness, Part 2

July 5, 2017

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Let's face it. Nathan, Brandon, and Jake are probably the three bravest men ever to have walked the face of the earth. So it shouldn't come as any surprise that in this episode, our heroes delve fearlessly into the murky depths of Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, asking tough questions like "was Marlowe wrong to lie to that lady at the end?" and "Is Joseph Conrad a 'bloody racist?'"

It's also entirely possible that a very special guest shows up near the end of the episode, someone who has some very particular bones to pick with our heroes. WHAT HAPPENS NEXT WILL SHOCK YOU!!!!!!!!!

Next week more Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness

Coming thereafter Dame Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express.

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Episode 45: Heart of Darkness, Part 1

June 28, 2017

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This week Nathan, Jake, and Brandon begin their journey into ... THE HEART OF DARKNESS! (Nolanesque musical sting). Our heroes discuss Joseph Conrad's journey from Polish orphan to French sailor to English novelist, why King Leopold of Belgium was a real jerk, and whether Jake's shoes glow in the dark. 

Next week more Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness

And soon thereafter Dame Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express.

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Episode 44: Our kids talk Boys of Blur

June 21, 2017

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Kids certainly do say the darndest things, and given that 3 of our heros' kids had read N.D. Wilson's Boys of Blur (and what's more, loved Boys of Blur), we figured they'd have the darndest things to say about it. Spoiler: we weren't wrong.

Special thanks to Elissa, Eliot, and Peter for a fun and fascinating ep! Tell all your friends and family to support us A.S.A.P, so they'll get their Skittles bribe.

Yes, next week we're finally getting to Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness

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Episode 43: How Not to Redeem the Culture Through Art

June 14, 2017

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In today's episode, our heroes (sadly sans Brandon) continue their discussion from the Newbery ep about why reading is not some kind of big inherent virtue like so many educators and pundits make it out to be. As our heroes point out:

1. Reading, like any discipline, requires actual work. Sometimes mundane work. It is not (merely) a glorious series of transcendent moments and discoveries, like, y'know Reading Rainbow kinda makes you think.

2. Reading (or any art) is not the ultimate point of the well-lived god-honoring life.

3. If you're one of those Christians who thinks he's going to redeem the culture through it engaging it with the arts, you're pretty dumb.

CORRECTION: Nathan very well may be wrong at the end of the episode when he says that next week we start Joseph Conrad's Heart of DarknessIf all goes according  to plan, next week we hope to have a Very Special Episode to finish out our discussion of children's literature. After that, Conrad, baby!

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Episode 42: Newbery Awards and Good Kid Books

June 7, 2017

Mr. Popper's Penguins. 

Call It Courage.

Maniac Mcgee.

The Bridge to Taribithia. 

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry.

What do these books have in common you ask? They're Newbery Medal winners of course, and in this episode our heroes use Newbery as a springboard into a discussion of the invention of kids lit and young adult fiction, and whether kids should be taught to read what they enjoy ... or enjoy what they read.

One thing is for sure. Everyone hates Johnny Tremain. 

Please click here to support The Bookening for a low monthly amount and help us continue making the podcast. Thank you!

Next week we begin Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness.

 

Music Credit:
"Loping Sting" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

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Episode 41: Boys of Blur, Part 2

May 31, 2017

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Here's a pretty pickle. Our heroes like N.D. Wilson and what he's doing in Boys of Blur. On the other hand, they did have some difficulties with the book that made for some interesting discussions about literature, writing, story, etc. Which, it turns out, is one of the primary functions of their podcast. Never ones to shirk their duty, our heroes solider on, discussing the weaknesses of a book they would 100% recommend for boys in the target demographic.

Hey, we talked about Steinbeck's weaknesses, too.

Click here to buy the book.

Next week, we'll be discussing the Newbery Awards and kids lit in generalAfter that, Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness.

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Episode 40: Boys of Blur, Part 1

May 24, 2017

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In episode 40, our heroes talk about N.D. Wilson's young adult horror/fantasy/action novel Boys of Blur. For such a slim volume, this book packs a lot in, and our heroes find themselves with plenty to discuss, including small towns, football rivalries, race relations, C.S. Lewis-wannabees, useless clichés, useful tropes, extravagant character names that are good, and one character name that they weren't such a huge fan of. 

By the way, here's some footage from the event that Jake mentions involving Nate's dad Doug.

Click here to buy the book.

Next week, more Boys of Blur. After that, Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness.

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Episode 39: Winnie the Pooh

May 17, 2017

 

 

'My father's relationships were always between equals, however old or young, distinguished or undistinguished the other person. Once, when I was quite little, he came up to the nursery while I was having my lunch. And while he was talking I paused between mouthfuls, resting my hands on the table, knife and fork pointing upwards. "You oughtn't really to sit like that," he said, gently. "Why not?" I asked, surprised. "Well..." He hunted around for a reason he could give. Because it's considered bad manners? Because you mustn't? Because... "Well," he said, looking in the direction my fork was pointing, "Suppose somebody suddenly fell through the ceiling. They might land on your fork and that would be very painful."'

-Christopher (Robin) Milne on his father

It's another episode of The Bookening and this time our heroes are discussing Winnie the Pooh and The House of Pooh Corner. This proves to be a more delicate task than expected, as our heroes realize that while there are many things to admire and love about A. A. Milne and his creations, there are things to be wary of, too.

There's something weird about these stories. Something sort of off. They're not quite children's stories. And the cumulative effect is a little different than just some silly stories a humble father made up for his kid. Plus, there's the matter of Milne's own history, and his relationship with his son Christopher, which wasn't half as magical as the stories make it out to be.

Will our heroes get to the bottom of this Heffalump pit? Or will this journey into the 100-acre woods prove to be their undoing????????????????

Click here to become a supporter (pretty please). 

Click here to buy the book from Amazon. 

Next time Boys of Blur by ND Wilson!

 

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Episode 38: As I Lay Dying, Part 2 of 2

May 10, 2017

If you like episodes about literary theory and how literature works, this one is for you, as Brandon and Nathan go deep-diving, trying to figure out what on earth William Faulkner was trying to accomplish with As I Lay Dying and whether it was a good thing. 

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Click here to buy the book from Amazon. 

Next we're reading The Complete Winnie the Pooh ... and after that Boys of Blur by ND Wilson 

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