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Carly & Dusty celebrate International Short Story Month by taking a look at Anthony Doerr's "The Deep" and Kayla Rae Whitaker's "Low Boil." Check out these stories as well as our previous episode (#6) about Flannery O'Connor's "Greenleaf."

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Tournament of New-ish Novels, Round 1: Anthony Doerr's All the Light We Cannot See (2014, Pulitzer winner) vs. Kayla Raye Whitaker's The Animators (2017, Carly's choice). Two very different works.

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In which Carly and Dusty undertake a new challenge -- to determine the best / their favorite of eight recently published novels. 2 Pulitzer winners + 3 selections each from their long lists of books to read.

Criteria (5 points each):

Literary quality, theme/message, entertainment value & overall impression.

Round 1 Contenders:

All the Light We Cannot See (Pulitzer '15) vs. Animators (Carly's choice)

Book of Unknown Americans (Dusty's choice) vs. Sympathizer (Pulitzer '16)

Gangster Nation (Carly's choice) vs. Homegoing (Dusty's choice)

Hag-Seed (Carly's choice) vs. Last Ballad (Dusty's choice)

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In this wide-ranging episode, we take a break from the Pulitzer challenge to discuss some of the other books passing through our hands recently. The conversation starts a little dreary, as we realize that the things we have been reading share a curious preoccupation with death, disease, and violence. Toward the end, we talk more about literary diversity and the importance of seeking of different perspectives in the books we read.

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*AUDIO CORRECTED 2/3/17*

After being denied Pulitzers for Main Street and Babbitt, Sinclair Lewis finally won the prize in 1926 for this book about a doctor who holds onto his scientific integrity even when it keeps him from finding fortune and fame. We didn't love the book or the egotistical Dr. Arrowsmith, but we found an hour's worth of things to say about them anyway...

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You can find this book at--

Your local library or bookstore, but make sure you don't pick up an abridged copy by mistake.

We recommend pairing this book with--

Whatever liquor you have handy. Dr. Arrowsmith isn't picky, and you'll need it to get you through his massively detailed life story.

Our Goodreads ratings:

Carly: ***; Dusty **

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Winner of the 1925 Pulitzer, So Big is Edna Ferber's story about a tough widow who toils away on an Illinois farm to ensure that her son has all the opportunities for education, travel, and self-fulfillment that she never had. But will her son fulfill her dreams for him or follow his own?

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You can find this book at--

Amazon.com (in print and e-book form), and probably at your local library.

We recommend pairing this book with--

Honest, hard work. Preferably on a farm.

Our Goodreads ratings:

Carly: ***; Dusty ****

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In 1924, the Pulitzer committee picked this debut novel by Margaret Wilson. The novel is set during and immediately following the Civil War, and shows a Scottish clan that has located in Iowa. 

You can find this book at--

your library...we hope! It is out of print, so we hope you have a well-stocked library!

We recommend pairing this book with-- 

REVENGE.  Or any dish that you like that is nice and cold. 

Our Goodreads ratings:

Carly: ***; Dusty ***

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The Pulitzer Prize has been bestowed upon many novels that have depicted scenes from great wars. But the first of these novels was Willa Cather's One of Ours, the story of a sensitive Nebraska youth who aches for a good reason to leave his farm and family behind. Carly and Dusty have had mixed feelings about the other Cather novels they have read in the past, but they mostly agree that this is one of the author's lesser efforts.

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You can find this book at--

Amazon.com. We read the free Kindle edition.

We recommend pairing this book with--

A glass of milk. Kick your legs up after a long day's work like an early twentieth-century Nebraska farmhand, enjoying the fruit of your labor.

Our Goodreads ratings:

Carly: ***; Dusty **

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In 1921, the Pulitzer committee made a rare choice to embrace controversy and bestowed the award upon Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence. Today, the book is considered a classic, but at the time critics dismissed it as an old-fashioned yarn and an expat's unflattering denunciation of the United States' backwardness.

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You can find this book at--

Amazon.com. We read the free Kindle edition.

We recommend pairing this book with--

Brandy! It calms our nerves when we observe poorly-bred young people showing no respect for manners and tradition.

Our Goodreads ratings:

Carly: ***; Dusty *****

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Considered by some Booth Tarkington's masterpiece, Alice Adams (1921) won the author a second Pulitzer prize and ensured his status as one of the United States' most prominent writers of the 1920s.

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You can find this book at--

Amazon.com. We read the free Kindle edition.

We recommend pairing this book with--

Lemonade. It's sure to quench your beau's thirst when he comes over for a hot summer dinner party.

Our Goodreads ratings:

Carly: ***; Dusty ***

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In 1919, Booth Tarkington won the first of his two Pulitzer Prizes for this novel about the rise of the automobile industry and the fall of the wealthy but undisciplined Amberson clan. Perhaps you recognize the title from Orson Welles's well-liked 1942 film adaptation?

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You can find this book at--

Amazon.com. We read the free Kindle edition.

We recommend pairing this book with--

Mineral water. Because what better represents the needless spending of money?

Our Goodreads ratings:

Carly: ***; Dusty *****Save

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Join us for a discussion of James McGrath Morris' definitive work on the life of Joseph Pulitzer. His book, Pulitzer: A Life in Politics, Print and Power, goes in depth into the man behind the prize. 

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We recommend pairing this book with--

A Mudslide, in honor of how Pulitzer was viewed by history. Get a recipe here.  

Our Goodreads ratings:

Carly: ***; Dusty *****

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