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Fan's Notes
A Conversation about books and basketball
Category: Books
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May 23, 2019 10:37 AM PDT

Here's an odd book. Green's style is all his own, delightful and perverse, marked by clipped adverbs and a disdain for interiority. It's a talky book; like much of Green's work, the action takes place mainly in dialogue. Set among the English servants at a castle in Ireland during World War II, Loving is funny and confounding and a bit horny. It seems at times like it shouldn't work, which makes it all the more satisfying when it does.
At the 54 minute mark, we pivot to the NBA playoffs, to remember the Blazers and Sixers, ponder the still-in-progress Eastern Conference Finals, and savor the fun quotient of the Durant-less Warriors.
Up next: The 1930s, with John O'Hara's Appointment in Samarra.

May 04, 2019 08:10 AM PDT

We begin in the 1950s, with Evan S. Connell's Mrs. Bridge, a sneakily moving novel comprised of short, comic vignettes in the life of a Kansas City housewife.
At the 47 minute mark, we turn to the second round of the NBA Playoffs. We check in on Warriors-Rockets, Raptors-Sixers, Bucks-Celtics and Nuggets-Blazers, before finishing with an exaltation of Damian Lillard, the flat-out coolest player in the league.
Next up: the 1940s, with Henry Green's Loving.

April 13, 2019 01:51 PM PDT

In the first pod recorded in Jesse's distinctly unsoundproofed new office, we tackle Muriel Spark's wonderful 1961 novella The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.
At the 42 minute mark, Lynwood Robinson joins us to predict the various playoff series.
Apologies to Charles Chace, who we wanted to call in for his takes on the 3-6 matchups; we realized too late that the recorder was paused. Timecodes for particular series:
00:49-00:52 Warriors vs Clippers
00:52-00:54 Bucks vs Pistons
00:54-01:00 Nuggets vs Spurs
01:00-01:08 Raptors vs Magic
(01:03-1:07 Sidebar discussion of All NBA 3rd Team forwards)
01:08-01:12 Trailblazers vs Thunder
01:12-01:16 76ers vs Nets
01:16-01:23 Rockets vs Jazz
01:23-01:28 Celtics vs Pacers
01:28-end Conference Finals and Finals predictions
Next up: The 1950s, and Evan S. Connell's Mrs. Bridge

April 03, 2019 05:59 AM PDT

This book is great! Highly recommended. And for the first 20 minutes or so we remain focused on a discussion of what it does so expertly. After that we pursue like cats after a laser pointer a long digression of what autofiction means and whether it's a genre distinction that holds value. It may be of interest; it may be utterly tedious. Our apologies if you were hoping for a more fulsome analysis of Adler's book. To repeat, it's great and should be read!
At the 53 minute mark, we again bemoan the overlong NBA regular season, which is mercifully nearing its end, and look ahead to potential playoff matchups.

February 28, 2019 04:57 AM PST

This book has it all: busted shoelaces, advances in drinking straw design, a subtle and supple close reading of the intimacies and formalities of the late 20th Century American workplace. It's delightful and poignant and only 132 pages long! We chew it over, and at the 53 minute mark -- you'll know by the chime of music that plays! -- we move to a short discussion of Zion's exploding sneaker and the senseless logic of the NBA gap year rule, which may finally and mercifully be coming to an end.

February 10, 2019 04:10 AM PST

Today we marvel at The Last Samurai, the maddening, brilliant debut novel byHelen DeWitt, before turning (at the 53 minute mark) to discuss the various machinations and maneuverings of the NBA trade deadline. Next up: Renata Adler's Speedboat.

January 16, 2019 12:54 PM PST

We ponder the depths of the satire and self-awareness in Andrew Martin's 2018 debut novel Early Work. Fifty minutes in, pivoting off a scene in the book in which its characters watch James Harden in the 2015 Western Conference Finals, we discuss Harden's astonishing level of play over the last month, and whether that means he'll be usurping the MVP crown from Giannis come season's end.

January 06, 2019 07:16 AM PST

On this episode we discuss Gabe Habash's 2017 novel Stephen Florida, which leads us to wonder what we mean when we say a book is "voicey." Around the 59 minute mark, we revisit some of our preseason NBA predictions to see what we got right and what we got wrong. Don't miss Dončić Corner (1hr 6 mins), wherein Jesse describes what it was like to see Luka Dončić up close and personal in Charlotte earlier this week. Next up is Andrew Martin's Early Work -- join us!

December 11, 2018 10:12 AM PST

In this episode we chat about the novel Eileen, before pivoting, at the 36 minute mark, to an appreciation of Luka Dončić, the Slovenian phenom currently taking over the NBA and making the Dallas Mavericks appointment television. Next up, we'll be reading and discussing Gabe Habash's novel Stephen Florida.

November 24, 2018 09:51 AM PST

On today's show, we discuss Schweblin's seriously creepy novel Fever Dream, which was longlisted for the 2017 Man Booker prize. We highly recommend it, although you may need to sleep with the lights on afterwards. 47 minutes in, we chat about the Jimmy Butler trade and the Draymond-Durant dust-up, and how to determine the cost-benefit of star players with a history of making life difficult for others in the locker room as they approach their third contract.

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