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Looking for a book club but don't have time to squeeze real-life meetings into your schedule? Join Book Squad Goals, a bi-weekly podcast about—you guessed it—books, plus all the garbage pop culture we consume when we’re not reading (that’s what our “othersodes” are for!). While you’re paying attention, check out our website & blog at booksquadgoals.com, where we have weekly posts about books, pop culture, and probably our pets. We love our pets.
 
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show series
 
Microdose your smoothie and come along for a peaceful journey through the Hulu series "Nine Perfect Strangers," based on the novel by Liane Moriarty. Returning guest Tirzah Price (author of "Pride and Premeditation") joins us for a wild discussion of how this TV adaptation holds up, what’s missing from the book, what the show is saying about body i…
 
Come into the woods with the Book Squad and special guest Leah Rachel von Essen to discuss Sorrowland by Rivers Solomon. We talk about the book’s pacing, Vern’s characterization, gender identity and sexuality, the mistreatment of Black people by white America, and of course, mushrooms. Next, Emily interviews Catriona Ward, author of the novel The L…
 
Grady Hendrix returns to the podcast to talk about the Scream franchise and his new novel, The Final Girl Support Group! We talk about our favorite final girls (and how Sidney stacks up), how Scream revolutionized the slasher genre in the 1990s, how the sequels compare to each other, and why Gale’s hair goes rogue in 2 and 3. Plus, Grady shares a S…
 
Call up your Artificial Friend—it’s time to talk about "Klara and the Sun" by Kazuo Ishiguro. Special guest “Wizzy” of @sailormoonwisdom joins us to discuss the meaning of Klara’s relationship with the sun, why “simple” doesn’t mean “not complex,” whether or not humans are special, and Rick and Josie’s love for one another. Then we catch up with wh…
 
Come back to medieval times with us as we welcome Mac and Zoe from The Maniculum, a podcast featuring some of the strangest, most absurd, and befuddling examples of medieval writing. The co-hosts of The Maniculum help us uncover some of the secrets of A24’s latest film The Green Knight, which stars Dev Patel and Alicia Vikander. From our favorite A…
 
Surf’s up, listeners! Join us for one hell of a party as we discuss "Malibu Rising" by Taylor Jenkins Reid. Special guest RJ Sorrento joins us to talk about the structure of the story, the characters and their motivations, TJR’s writing style, and—you guessed it—a little bit of "Weekend at Bernies." After the party ends, stick around for Mary’s int…
 
It’s time to work till you drop! Just kidding, we’re not about that life. But we are all about discussing the new documentary "WeWork: Or the Making and Breaking of a $47 Billion Unicorn." We are joined by special guest “Nicole,” who has some real-life experience with WeWork, to talk about hustle culture, cult-like workplaces, toxic positivity, and…
 
Jump into the Jazz Age as the Book Squad discusses "The Chosen and the Beautiful" by Nghi Vo, a queer, magical retelling of "The Great Gatsby." We tread new and old territory as we talk about perspective, race, sexuality, magic, and both books’ messages. Next, Kelli hosts a delightful interview with Laura Blackett and Eve Gleichman, authors of "The…
 
Back by popular demand! Hit the streets of Tokyo with the Squad (plus Todd) for the third installment of Book Squad Games. We finally got to inhabit our true supernatural forms as we played Urban Shadows from Magpie Games! Join us on an adventure to save the supernatural beings of Tokyo from a mysterious hunter. Tune in on July 12th for our next Bo…
 
Join us on our spaceship for our discussion of "Earthlings" by Sayaka Murata. We talk about the various pressures women face, society as a monster, the strange and complicated characters, body hair, and that wild ending. Next we get into some listener feedback on "Ready Player Two" and "Make Up Break Up," and then we catch up with what’s on the blo…
 
Put on your haptic feedback suit and jump into the OASIS with us as we discuss Ernest Cline’s Ready Player Two. This is a hate-pisode, and we all knew we’d have mixed feelings going in, but have no fear. The squad is here to detail all of the negative aspects of Ready Player Two, including its trouble with being a sequel, problematic gender represe…
 
This week, we’re off to South Korea to discuss "Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982" by Cho Nam-Joo (translated by Jamie Chang), a book that helped spark a women’s rights movement when it was first published in 2016. The Squad talks about the controversy surrounding the book and gets into some of our shared experiences of misogyny and sexism in America. After t…
 
Light some candles and gather ‘round the pentagram, because things are getting satanic (panic!) on this episode. Author Clay McLeod Chapman joins us to talk about the 2009 film House of the Devil. We talk about the cultural context of the early 1980s, Greta Gerwig’s pizza performance, and the anxiety-making pacing of the film. Tangents include Cabb…
 
Join the Squad and special guest Tirzah Price to chat about "Make Up Break Up," the first novel for adults by Lily Menon! We discuss the romance, the characters, and of course, the fancy apps the love interests each created. Next we talk to Tirzah about her debut YA novel, "Pride and Premeditation." She tells us about the inspiration for the series…
 
Things get culty in this BSG #Othersode! Join us for our discussion of "The Project" by Courtney Summers and a special author interview with Sarah Edmondson (HBO’s "The Vow") about her book, "Scarred: The True Story of How I Escaped NXIVM, the Cult that Bound My Life." Read along with us for our next #Bookpisode on Lily Menon’s novel "Make Up Break…
 
The Book Squad is off to Brooklyn for a mysterious tale of gentrification and intrigue: When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole! We discuss the book’s thrill factor, the romance, gentrification and racism, and how fiction functions as anti-racist reading. Next we dig into some listener feedback on Transcendent Kingdom and catch up with what’s on the…
 
Pack up your vans and join us for a discussion of the Golden Globe-winning film Nomadland. We talk about Fern (Frances McDormand), grief, capitalism, and the integration of real-life stories in the movie. Then, Emily interviews author Nicole Glover about her debut novel The Conductors, a genre-mixing story of history, mystery, and magic. No spoiler…
 
Get your tissues ready. In this episode, the Squad discusses Yaa Gyasi's novel Transcendent Kingdom. Join us as we chat about mental health, depression, addiction, grief, racism, religion, and, yes, we do cry it out a little bit. You're welcome to join the trust circle and cry along with us. We're all friends here. Don't forget to join us for our n…
 
It’s our 100th episode! Our hundredpisode! Our hundo-sode! Join us as we look back on our favorite books, movies and TV shows we’ve covered—as well as our least favorite things (because we do love to hate on stuff from time to time). We also listen to a few clips of our favorite moments and memories from the past four years and read some listener f…
 
For our FIFTIETH #Bookpisode, the Book Squad discusses "Luster," the debut novel by Raven Leilani. We talk about the Millennial and Gen Z hallmarks of the novel, the bizarre predicament Edie finds herself in, the issue of “likeability” in Black characters, and the overall writing and narration style. Next we catch up with what’s on the #BookSquadBl…
 
Make a wish… Was it that we would talk about Wonder Woman 1984? Good, because your wish is granted! Join us for our discussion of the new film as we talk about Diana and Barbara’s relationship, why Steve is or isn’t great, and some socio-political issues the movie raises. Then we get into some great listener feedback about favorite things of 2020 a…
 
Start a toxic friendship with us while we discuss Lauren Acampora’s novel The Paper Wasp. We talk about the book’s unreliable narrator, the stalker-esque relationship between the main characters, the culty subplot,and that wild ride of an ending. Next we get into some listener feedback for Docile and catch up with what’s on the #BookSquadBlog as we…
 
It’s the MOST wonderful time of the year! (Which isn’t saying much because, you know, this year was 2020.) It’s time for our annual Best of the Year episode. Join us for some much-needed happy talk as we talk about our favorite pop culture things of the year, from books to TV shows to podcasts to music. Some of this year’s podcast guests “stop by” …
 
The Squad goes to dystopian Maryland this week for our discussion of Docile by K.M. Szpara. We talk about slavery, race, capitalism, fanfic and slavefic, and queer relationships. Then we get into some listener feedback for Survivor Song and catch up with what’s on the #BookSquadBlog, including Emily’s 12 Days of Christmas Movies series and televisi…
 
Join the Squad on a sci-fi/fantasy/horror adventure as we discuss the HBO series "Lovecraft Country." We talk about HP Lovecraft and race, how the show plays with genre, the unique structure of the series, and our favorite characters. Next, we dig into some listener feedback on "The Haunting of Bly Manor" and catch up with what’s on the #BookSquadB…
 
Escape the real pandemic with a fictional outbreak as we discuss Survivor Song by Paul Tremblay! We talk about how the novel’s events relate to current events, how the main characters are used to tell the story, and whether or not this is a zombie narrative. Next, we get into some listener feedback on The Vanishing Half and catch up with what’s on …
 
Grab your cake batter and badly-made tea because the Book Squad is discussing "The Haunting of Bly Manor." We talk about all of the Henry James literary connections, the (sometimes hidden) ghosts, grief and memory, and of course, love stories. Then we get into some listener feedback about "I’m Thinking of Ending Things" and catch up with what’s on …
 
Join the #BookSquad for a chat about Brit Bennett’s newest novel, "The Vanishing Half." We discuss memory and time, identity and choice, and performance, as well as our favorite stories about twins. Next, we read some listener feedback on "Magic for Liars" and "We Set the Dark on Fire" and catch up with what’s on the #BookSquadBlog, including a spo…
 
Pack up the car for a super weird road trip and our discussion of "I'm Thinking of Ending Things," the new Charlie Kaufman film based on the novel by Iain Reid. We talk about how the movie differs from the book, the acting (shout out to Toni Collette), and what the heck is actually going on here. Next, we get a delayed take on "The Secret Garden" a…
 
Throw on your resistance gear and join the squad as we rise up against The System with a discussion of Tehlor Kay Mejia’s “We Set the Dark on Fire.” We talk about the book’s real life parallels to the broken immigration system in our country, how the novel handles the patriarchy of it all, and of course, most importantly, the ROMANCE PLOT. After ou…
 
Get out of your big ornate bed and join us in "The Secret Garden" as we discuss the new 2020 adaptation of the classic children’s novel! We discuss the key changes in this adaptation, including the setting and the narrative arc of the children’s parents. We also answer the very important question: Is Colin Firth a daddy? Next, Emily interviews Adri…
 
Things get a little magical this week as the Book Squad discusses "Magic for Liars" by Sarah Gailey. We cover the inevitable comparisons to those *other* books set in a magical school, how this book works as a mystery novel, and how we feel about our narrator, Ivy. Then, Emily interviews Karen Salyer McElmurray, author of "Wanting Radiance." Later,…
 
Join us *in the room where it happens* to talk about "Hamilton," the 2015 hit Broadway musical that recently became available to stream on Disney+! We talk about our favorite characters and moments, how women are represented, deviations from history (but in a not-annoying way!), other musicals that have had crossover cultural success, and how "Hami…
 
Join the #BookSquad—and special returning guest Said!—for our discussion of The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates. We talk about memory and storytelling, the “magic” of the story, how women are represented in the book, complicated characters, and enslavement. Next, we dig into some listener feedback from Ninth House and offer some reading suggestion…
 
As the United States enters the sixth week of national protests over the brutal police murders of unarmed Black people, we thought it best to interrupt our regular schedule for some anti-racism reading and reflection. So this week, we're discussing Ibram X. Kendi’s "Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America." We …
 
We’re off to sunny, sweaty Florida to talk about “Mostly Dead Things,” the debut novel by Kristen Arnett. We discuss taxidermy, the characters, grossness, and the ideas of masculinity and vulnerability. Then, Emily interviews Erica Boyce, author of the new book “Lost at Sea.” Then we dig into some listener feedback from a few of our earlier book pi…
 
Join the Book Squad as we discuss "Atlanta’s Missing and Murdered: The Lost Children," an HBO docuseries that is more relevant than ever. We discuss the nature of the crimes, the racial tensions and violence plaguing Atlanta in the 1970s and 80s, the questionable “evidence,” and how well the series works as a whole. Next, Susan interviews Mary Kay …
 
Come behind the Veil with us as we discuss Leigh Bardugo’s novel "Ninth House." We talk about fantasy and mystery, class and privilege, trauma and more in Bardugo’s first novel for adults. Then we have a special interview with Veronica Roth, author of "Chosen Ones" and the Divergent series. Next, we dig into some listener feedback from some throwba…
 
It has been predetermined that you will listen to this episode. This week on #BookSquadGoals, we examine "Devs," the FX series on Hulu. We discuss determinism vs. free will vs. multiple universes, religion, the characters, and all the Alex Garland-ness of the series, including his casting choices. Plus, it’s our third birthday! We exchange “Secret …
 
In the myriadic year of our lord—the twenty thousand and twentieth year (after death), the year of the COVID-19 pandemic!—the Book Squad packs our pets, our books, and our dirty magazines, and we escape to the House of the Ninth. Joined by guest Leah Rachel Von Essen, we engage in a rousing discussion of “Gideon the Ninth” by Tamsyn Muir, the first…
 
Special guest Grady Hendrix joins the Book Squad this week to discuss the 2020 Netflix/BBC series "Dracula." We talk about Dracula lore, departures from Bram Stoker’s novel, the historical depiction of vampires, recent television trends, and the overall weird, wild ride that is this three-episode series. Next, we ask Grady all about his newest book…
 
Escape the pandemic and join us in 1920s Mexico for a discussion of Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s “Gods of Jade and Shadow.” From more than six feet apart, we talk about the book’s fairy tale structure, the unlikely romance at its center, and whether or not it’s actually a YA novel (spoiler: it’s not). Then, Emily treats us to her lovely interview with Jo…
 
Call your lady squad because it’s time for the second edition of #BookSquadGames! This time we play Velvet Glove (by Sara “doombringer” Richardson), an RPG focused on gritty girl gangs in the 70s. Follow us as we prep for the big 4th of July drag race and try to solve a mystery! Next we catch up on what’s on the #BookSquadBlog. Read along for our n…
 
Dive into the pit with the Squad as we discuss The Need, a novel by Helen Phillips. We talk about genre fusion, motherhood, and what exactly “the need” is. After we dig into The Need, Emily interviews author Julie Marie Wade about her book, Just an Ordinary Woman Breathing. Then we read some listener feedback about Elevation and tell you about the …
 
Things get spoooooky on this #othersode as the squad discusses "The Remaking" by Clay McLeod Chapman. We talk about storytelling, remakes, trauma, and of course, ghosts! Next we dig into some hot takes on "Little Women" in our listener feedback. Head to the #BookSquadBlog for TV recaps, Oscars talk, comic reviews, and Emily’s February Foreign Films…
 
The #BookSquad returns to Castle Rock for a short, uplifting novella by Stephen King. We dig into Elevation to discuss small town politics, tolerance, body issues, and what the heck is going on with our protagonist’s strange weight loss. Plus, we interview Kelly Watt, author of the novel “Mad Dog.” Join us for an extra book in our next #othersode o…
 
Join your four favorite Little Women (aka the Book Squad) for a discussion of Greta Gerwig’s film adaptation of – you guessed it – "Little Women." We talk about the film’s narrative structure, the characters and casting, and the ending – all the while comparing notes from the 1994 film adaptation and Louisa May Alcott’s novel. Then we get into some…
 
Explore the meaning of “nature” with the Squad as we discuss "Nature Poem" by Tommy Pico. We dig into the book-length poem to talk about what constitutes a “nature poem,” how the speaker’s identity affects his connection to nature, and how Pico uses language to analyze questions of white privilege, queer sexuality, indigenous issues and more. Check…
 
It's the most wonderful time of the year: #BSG Best of the Year episode time! The Squad breaks down each of our top three favorite pop culture things of 2019 — including books, movies, TV shows, podcasts, video games, and new music. Then we exchange Secret Santa gifts and give you that delicious ASMR wrapping paper noise you've been craving. Write …
 
Grab your night-vision goggles and discrete compact because it’s time for some espionage! This week, the #BookSquad covers American Spy by Lauren Wilkinson. We talk about the novel’s epistolary form, racism and sexism in America, questions of loyalty, and the romance at the center of the story. Then we get into some listener feedback about Evvie Dr…
 
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