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Reclaiming the Book Club: Forget The Wine

Laura Berendts
35 episodes   Last Updated: Jun 28, 23
Lively disucssions of modern literature from two friends living halfway accross the world.


Madeline and Laura dive into beauty editor Cat Marnell's memoir, How to Murder Your Life. They discuss Cat's unique voice, the collapse of the magazine publishing industry, and of course, addiction. 
Madeline and Laura take on Ottessa Moshfegh's latest polarizing novel Lapvona. They discuss whether the extremely, er, vivid descriptions added or distracted from the exploration of spirituality and what the goings on of the medieval village portrayed in Lapvona have to say about the pandemic and the rise of Trumpism.Content Warning - we discuss the themes and events of Lapvona which are intense. CW for sexual assault, cannibalism, violence, miscarriage, abuse and more.  
Madeline and Laura read Julia May Jonas' novel about an English Professor who, while navigating the aftermath of her husbands' affairs, becomes entangled with a much younger colleague, Vladimir. We discuss the novel's Nabokovian influences, its handling of depicting college students and our narrator's incisive voice.
This week, Laura and Madeline cover Coco Mellors' 2022 novel Cleopatra and Frankenstein. They discuss whether the formal using multiple perspectives helped or hurt the narrative, whether they believed Cleo and Frank were good for each other, and how they felt about a very memorable scene involving a sugar glider. 
Madeline and Laura cover Rachel Yoder's debut novel Nightbitch. We discuss whether the book's marketing set readers up for disappointment, our hopes for the film adaptation starring Amy Adams, and whether female rage is explored with enough nuance in modern art.NOTE: Technical issues impact the quality of Laura's audio in this episode - this will be resolved for all future eps. 
Madeline and Laura cover actor Ethan Hawke's newest work of fiction. They discuss how Hawke reckons with masculinity, infidelity, and artistic worth through his protagonist William and try to determine if Hawke is a good writer for a famous actor, or just a good writer. 
Madeline and Laura discuss the skyrocketing popularity of Colleen Hoover. Episode includes mini-discussions of three popular Colleen Hoover novels including It Ends With Us, Ugly Love, and Verity. 
Laura and Madeline discuss Lisa Taddeo's 2021 novel centering feminine rage, Animal. They debate the effectivity of the work's unrelenting disturbing content and examine the narrator, Joan, to determine if she's a new breed of anti-heroine or a one-dimensional monster. STRONG CONTENT WARNING for this discussion.
Madeline and Laura discuss Sally Rooney's third novel, Beautiful World, Where Are You. They unpack the archetype of the "Rooney Girl",  debate the book's take on religion and rank the work within Rooney's canon. 
Laura and Madeline discuss Lara Williams' 2022 novel The Odyssey. They debate whether the work functions as a takedown of capitalism and the gig economy, if Williams nailed the reality of working in remote conditions and the absurdity of having a 42 year old bald son named Brian.