October is finally here, and with it, the start of spooky season! Bring on the pumpkins, the apple cider, the black cats, and copious amounts of candy. Here at BBE, we have tried our very best to reflect the scary and supernatural in our book picks for this month. This is all with the caveat that Jennifer literally *cannot* handle any kind of horror or even suspense, so you won’t be seeing The Shining or Rosemary’s Baby down below – though there is one exception. What you can expect is some true crime, serial killers, haunted houses that draw the reader into their own madness, and finally, some mind-bending sci-fi thrill. Hold on to your butts!
This month, Jennifer is bringing in the big guns, one of her favorite books of all time: The Devil in the White City, by Erik Larson. A beautifully written historical account about the building of the World’s Fair of 1893 in Chicago, this story is also intertwined with that of one of the most sinister serial killers of them all.
Our exception to the tame scary books requirement, Paige’s pick for this month is Mark Z. Danielewski’s horrifying House of Leaves. Look any list of all-time scariest books, guarantee this one will make the cut. Hopefully our mere discussion won’t give Jennifer nightmares.
Finally, our bonus Movie Magic episode for this month will be on Jeff Vandermeer’s Annihilation, recently turned blockbuster film starring Natalie Portman among others. One part sci-fi, one part thriller, one part mystery, one part horror, this book really does it all. Tune in to find out which one wins: book or movie.
And that is a wrap for our October Sneak Peek. To keep up with BBE this month, be sure to follow us on social media (linked above). If you are enjoying the podcast so far, we would dearly appreciate a review or you can send us an email. And finally, if you’d like to support the podcast, you can check out our Bookshop store, or our Patreon to get access to our full bonus episodes. Stay nerdy, bookish peeps!
It is that time again somehow, bookish peeps. August has absolutely flown by and we are staring down September. With that in mind, it is time to reveal our lineup for the coming month. Click through the gallery to preview our book pics! Let us know what you think and if you are also excited for some serious fall vibes.
Jennifer is bringing you BBE’s first academic history with Caroline Walker Bynum’s Holy Feast and Holy Fast. How much does Jennifer love this book? Well she *willingly* wrote three papers on it in grad school…so you could say a lot. CW: we will be talking about restricted eating behaviors.
Paige’s Books We Love pick for the month is Ausma Zehanat Khan’s The Bloodprint. An epic fantasy set in a Middle-Eastern inspired world, Paige loved this book for its world building and powerful female characters. Defeating a slave trade with the power of books? Sounds like an archivist’s dream.
BBE is SO excited to present this month’s Movie Magic episode: Hidden Figures. Margot Lee Shetterly’s book turned into a major motion picture. This could be our toughest call in Movie Magic yet.
And that is a wrap for our September Sneak Peek. To keep up with BBE this season, be sure to follow us on social media. If you are enjoying the podcast so far, we would dearly appreciate a review or you can send us an email. And finally, if you’d like to support the podcast, you can check out our Bookshop store, or head on over to our Patreon to get access to our full bonus episodes (link below). Stay nerdy, bookish peeps!
This August we are excited to bring back another round of Books We Love and Movie Magic. Listeners are extra lucky this month because there are three Mondays in August rather than two, which means four total episodes! We are bringing in some serious literary fire-power with these picks, so keep scrolling to check it out:
Apparently we really can’t get enough of giant classics, because after our Count of Monte Cristo episode, Paige is following up this month with Anna Karenina.
A true staple of Jennifer’s childhood (and beyond) obsession with dinosaurs, when it comes to sci-fi it doesn’t get much better than Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park.
Another oddity of this August, our bonus Movie Magic episode will drop before our last regular episode! We are ready for the drama.
Finishing out the month with another [sci-fi] classic, Paige will be raving about Ursula K. Le Guin’s groundbreaking The Left Hand of Darkness.
And that is a wrap for our August Sneak Peek. To keep up with BBE this season, be sure to follow us on social media. If you are enjoying the podcast so far, we would dearly appreciate a review or you can send us an email. And finally, if you’d like to support the podcast, you can check out our Bookshop store, or head on over to our Patreon to get access to our full bonus episodes (link below). Stay nerdy, bookish peeps!
Welcome back book nerds and book ninjas! We are so excited to be entering Season 2 of Big Book Energy. Thanks to our listeners, we have two new themes for this season. Regular episodes will be Books We Love picks, a chance for us to rave about some of our all time favorite books. The theme for our bonus episodes this season is Movie Magic, where we read a book and then watch the movie to compare the two, probably trashing the movie to bits – but you never know! Season 2 is also bringing some other significant changes. We are changing our schedule, dialing back to posting an episode every other Monday, with one bonus episode per month. We are also introducing three new segments for our episodes: BBE Bookstore, Folio Facts, and Creatives’ Corner. Thanks for joining us for another awesome season.
Keep scrolling to see our July lineup:
Paige’s first Book We Love pick is none other than the Hugo award-winning first novel of N.K. Jemisin’s Broken Earth series: The Fifth Season. A gritty fantasy set in a truly imaginative world, this one is sure to rock your socks off. (Bad pun only applicable if you’ve read the books!)
While Paige went contemporary, Jennifer took a turn for the classics this month with one of her oldest all time favorites: Alexandre Dumas’ The Count of Monte Cristo. Perhaps one of the greatest revenge stories of all time, the 1,000 pages are 1,000% worth the read.
Our July Movie Magic pick is Rebecca Skloot’s The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. We didn’t know that this book was even made into a movie? But the story is incredibly compelling, and come to find out Oprah stars as Deborah Lacks?! We are excited to say the least.
And that is a wrap for our July Sneak Peek. To keep up with BBE this season, be sure to follow us on social media. If you are enjoying the podcast so far, we would dearly appreciate a review. And finally, if you’d like to support the podcast, you can check out our Bookshop store, or head on over to our Patreon to get access to our full bonus episodes (link below). Stay nerdy, bookish peeps!
Well book nerds and book ninjas, we have entered the final month of Season 1! It seems like only yesterday we published our very first episode way back in January, and were subsequently shocked that people actually listened to it. Thanks to everyone that has tuned in all season, we can’t wait to come back better than ever for Season 2, starting July 2020.
Scroll on for a Sneak Peek of the picks we are covering in May:
The first pick for Books We Hate this month, Paige selected another grimdark fantasy, Brian Staveley’s The Emperor’s Blades.
Jennifer’s final Thrift Store Find pick is a sci-fi classic, Isaac Asimov’s Foundation. Jennifer typically dislikes sci-fi, so we will see how this goes? There may be some crossover with Books We Hate this week.
Jennifer has tried to read through Jane Eyre several times…and failed every time. Will Paige make it through? Will she become another adoring fan of this Bronte classic?
Written by a Mayan Elder and priest, The Book of Destiny is Paige’s final Thrift Store Find of the season. Apparently this book will help BBE unlock their destinies and fulfill their true potential. Quite a finale for the regular season!
This month’s bonus episode is our last Deep Dive episode into the world of Tolkien. Posthumously published, The Silmarillion is Jennifer’s favorite Tolkien work and she can’t wait to hear what Paige thinks. Full episode available only through Patreon.
And that is a wrap for our May Sneak Peek! Follow the links below to keep up with BBE on social media during our break. If you would like to support the podcast, you can head on over to our Patreon (also linked below). Stay nerdy, bookish peeps!
We are into month three of Big Book Energy! Many thanks to our listeners for supporting us so generously so far. Scroll below to see our March Sneak Peek and preview what books we will be covering this month:
Green, by Jay Lake is our first Book We Hate pick of the month. Green is the story of how one girl, sold into slavery, overcomes her circumstances to overthrow the government responsible for her exploitation and serve the new goddess she has found. Sounds uplifting, but Lake’s work leaves much to be desired.
Out Thrift Store Finds have a theme of their own this month: Chicken Soup for the Soul. Jennifer’s pick is for the Woman’s Soul, whatever that may mean to the editor’s of this compilation.
Forced to read In the Lake of the Woods in high school, Jennifer has hated it ever since. Tim O’Brien won the James Fenimore Cooper Prize for his work, a nightmarish journey into the mind of Vietnam War veteran John Wade as he struggles to piece together what has happened to his wife, Kathy.
Though the Goodwill offered perhaps the entire range of Chicken Soup books, Paige chose for the Soul at Work for this month. Perhaps the uplifting stories of “Courage, Compassion & Creativity” will inspire us at our workplace. Or perhaps we’ll get some good laughs out of it, idk you’ll have to tune in to find out.
Our bonus episode for the month of March is the next in the LOTR series, The Two Towers. For this episode we will be incorporating more of Tolkien’s life and how it may have impacted his work. A teaser of this episode will be available to everyone on all our platforms, but to listen in full, head on over to Patreon and become a supporter of the podcast!
And that’s a wrap for our March Sneak Peek. Follow the links below to find us on social media or to support the podcast on Patreon. Keep being awesome, bookish peeps!
First, a huge shout out to everyone that tuned in during Big Book Energy’s inaugural month! We hope this coming month is just as entertaining. We’ve lined up some uplifting picks filled with booze, SFF genocide, pandemics, and more muddling in philosophy because apparently past Jennifer really hated all things abstract and ambiguous. Scroll down to see the February Sneak Peek:
The Mirror Empire by Kameron Hurley is Paige’s pick for Books We Hate this month. A contribution to the grimdark subgenre of fantasy, Hurley’s ambitious work incorporates several relevant trends such as exploring gender. Despite these positive strides, The Mirror Empire left Paige a little wanting. Will Jennifer hate this book as much as Paige did?
Continuing our lighthearted line up for February, John M. Barry’s nonfiction work, The Great Influenza covers the 1918 flu pandemic that killed more that WWI and WWII combined. This outbreak occurred at a critical moment in modern medicine, and this Thrift Store Finds pick comes at a highly relevant time!
Our second Books We Hate pick of the month, Jennifer hated this Paulo Coelho classic when she first read it. In fact…she has admitted that it was so distasteful to her, she didn’t even finish it. Will Paige feel the same? Or will she agree with the countless fans of The Alchemist?
Another nonfiction offering, Linda Himelstein’s The King of Vodka follows the life and times of Pyotr Smirnov, creator of Smirnoff vodka. Sit back, have an adult beverage or two, and follow along for a stranger than fiction tale.
Our Deep Dive pick for February is a continuation of our Tolkien theme. We will be discussing part one of Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring. Our theme this week will be exploring how Tolkien’s personal history helped him to create the vibrant world of Middle Earth and devise the story of the Lord of the Rings. Keep in mind Deep Dive picks are bonus episodes only available in full to Patreon subscribers, though a short teaser will be available for everyone. If you would like to unlock this episode and support BBE in the process, check out the link to our Patreon page above.
And that is a wrap for February 2020! Follow up on social media (links above) if you want to keep connected with all the latest BBE news.