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A poem a day? Ten books a month? A million pages a year? In Episode #5, we take a look back at reading goals and challenges that we have set for ourselves and share some reasons why we have found them educational, motivating, and often frustrating. Let us know how you have challenged yourself to read more often and more diversely by leaving us a note at litwit.weebly.com or on our Facebook page.

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What do a girl coming of age in Nazi Germany and a bandit stealing maidens in nineteenth-century Italy have in common? More than you probably expect. In this episode, we talk about two historical novels we like -- Markus Zusak's Book Thief (2006) and Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda's Espatolino (1844) -- with references to Mein Kamph (1925), the novels of Sir Walter Scott, and ... American Horror Story: Asylum. After listening, leave us a Facebook comment about why you think history continues to fascinate both writers and readers.

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Can you recommend a good book? Readers live for this question and the opportunity it provides to share favorite stories with favorite people. But, as we explore in this episode, it can also stir feelings of doubt, anxiety, and disappointment. Listen in as we reveal some titles we recommend to other people, titles we have learned to avoid, and more generally, what advice we have for fellow readers who find themselves answering this wonderful, perilous question. Among others, we talk about Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett's Good Omens, Dennis Lehane's Mystic River and Shutter Island, Monique Truong's Book of Salt, and Roberto Bolaño's Savage Detectives.

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The first two MaddAddam books virtually exterminated humankind, leaving only a handful of survivors. In the third and final volume, these former scientists, hackers, and pole-dancers face their future and must decide, among other things, how they shall build a new society with genetically-enhanced pigs for neighbors. Our aim in this episode is to chat about the highs and lows of the recently-concluded series, but we can't help but also gush a bit about Margaret Atwood--one of our mutual favorites.

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LitWit #1: Graphic Novels

In this first episode we discuss graphic novels--what we like about them, how we read them, and what makes them different from the non-graphic novels we typically read. Specifically, we look at My Friend Dahmer (2012) by Derf Backderf and Artifice (2013) by Alex Woolfson, but we can't help but talk also about Matt Wiegle's Romeo and Juliet (2008), Osamu Tezuka's Buddha series (1972-1983), and the works of Alan Moore. We intend LitWit to be a monthly series and hope you'll join us for this and forthcoming episodes.


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