Sophomore Lit artwork

Sophomore Lit

160 episodes - English - Latest episode: 22 days ago - ★★★★★ - 52 ratings

A podcast about your 10th grade reading list, hosted by John McCoy.

Books Arts
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Episodes

160: Why I Live at the P.O.

June 21, 2024 18:45 - 44 minutes - 35.4 MB

Stick some stamps on the top of our heads. Deborah Stanish discusses Eudora Welty’s “Why I Live at the P.O.” (1941) John McCoy with Deborah Stanish.

159: The Phantom Tollbooth

May 30, 2024 20:04 - 52 minutes - 42 MB

The most important reason for going from one place to another is to see what’s in between. Moisés Chiullán discusses Norton Juster’s The Phantom Tollbooth (1961). [We’ve re-issued this episode to correct an audio problem.] John McCoy with Moisés Chiullán.

158: A Perfect Day for Bananafish

April 22, 2024 19:24 - 37 minutes - 30.5 MB

Podcasters: What Do They Know? Do They Know Things?? Let’s Find Out! Jason Snell talks about marine life in J.D. Salinger’s “A Perfect Day for Bananafish” (1948). John McCoy with Jason Snell.

157: The Veldt

April 05, 2024 17:21 - 30 minutes - 24.9 MB

Lions and tigers and bea— you know what, just lions. Jordan Morris is here to discuss Ray Bradbury’s story “the Veldt” (1950). John McCoy with Jordan Morris.

156: Heart of Darkness

March 15, 2024 18:21 - 58 minutes - 47.3 MB

The Podcast! The Podcast! John Holt discusses the ill-fated cruise that is Joseph Conrad’s novelette Heart of Darkness (1899). John McCoy with John Holt.

155: Tom Sawyer

February 01, 2024 21:05 - 59 minutes - 48.4 MB

Though his mind is not for rent, it still is the subject of this episode. Jacob Haller discusses Mark Twain’s Tom Sawyer (1876). John McCoy with Jacob Haller.

154: Wide Sargasso Sea

January 10, 2024 20:44 - 51 minutes - 35.9 MB

Actually, I need this sea in an extra wide. Caroline Fulford discusses postcolonialism and recurring fires in Jean Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Sea (1966). John McCoy with Caroline Fulford.

153: The Burglar's Christmas

December 24, 2023 17:00 - 22 minutes - 18.5 MB

The Burgermeister Meisterburger has nothing on this burglar! My wife Marina joins me for our annual Christmas episode. This time we discuss Willa Cather’s “The Burglar’s Christmas” (1896). John McCoy with Marina McCoy.

152: The Prince in Waiting

December 07, 2023 17:18 - 47 minutes - 38.7 MB

The waiting is the hardest part. Ross Cleaver and James Randall discuss the apocalypse, palace intrigue, and the charm of 80’s BBC television in this episode about John Christopher’s The Prince in Waiting (1970). John McCoy with Ross Cleaver and James Randall.

151: Thanksgiving Special: Poor Richard's Almanack

November 22, 2023 22:00 - 24 minutes - 19.8 MB

Fish and visitors stink in three days, but podcasts are evergreen! Dan and Rob return for the annual Thanksgiving nonsense with Benjamin Franklin’s Poor Richard’s Almanack (1732-1758). John McCoy with Dan McCoy and Rob McCoy.

150: Valley of the Dolls

November 10, 2023 15:04 - 56 minutes - 45.8 MB

Raggedy Ann, Barbie, Chucky—they’re all here. That’s what this book is about, right? Erin Gambrill discusses Jacqueline Susann’s Valley of the Dolls (1966). John McCoy.

149: On the Beach

October 11, 2023 15:13 - 40 minutes - 28.5 MB

Why just sit around waiting for the end of the world when you can hear a podcast about it? Jelani Sims discusses Nevil Shute’s On the Beach (1957). John McCoy with Jelani Sims.

148: History of the Peloponnesian War

September 07, 2023 19:30 - 38 minutes - 30.9 MB

Kids today love Thucydides, right? Anyone? Daniel Daughhetee returns to discuss this late fifth century BCE chronicle of Athens v. Sparta. John McCoy with Daniel Daughetee.

147: James Thurber

August 07, 2023 19:30 - 42 minutes - 34.7 MB

It’s a naive literary podcast without any breeding, but I think you’ll be amused by its presumption. Dan Cassino discusses James Thurber’s “The Catbird Seat” (1942) and The 13 Clocks (1950). John McCoy with Dan Cassino.

146: Through the Looking-Glass

July 18, 2023 17:54 - 58 minutes - 46.9 MB

If you’ve believed six impossible things before breakfast, why not listen to this podcast before lunch? Phil Gonzales discusses Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There (1871). John McCoy with Phil Gonzales.

145: The Grapes of Wrath

July 03, 2023 19:45 - 59 minutes - 48.5 MB

After eight years of the podcast I finally do the inevitable. Shelly Brisbin discusses John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath (1939). John McCoy with Shelly Brisbin.

144: Howl's Moving Castle

June 10, 2023 19:00 - 45 minutes - 37.2 MB

Howl likes to move it, move it. Audrey Lazaro and Dan McCoy are on to discuss Diana Wynne Jones’s book Howl’s Moving Castle (1986). John McCoy with Dan McCoy and Audrey Lazaro.

143: Long Day's Journey Into Night

May 12, 2023 16:57 - 49 minutes - 40.3 MB

I don’t care how long this day’s journey has been, so help me I will turn this car around if you kids don’t stop. Kris Markel discusses Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey Into Night(written 1941, published 1956). John McCoy with Kris Markel.

142: The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

April 18, 2023 18:00 - 58 minutes - 47.7 MB

Jean, Jean, the roses are red and all of the leaves have gone green, so Glenn Fleishman and John are discussing Muriel Spark’s The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1961). John McCoy with Glenn Fleishman.

141: Carrie's War

April 03, 2023 19:00 - 37 minutes - 30.8 MB

Ross Cleaver discusses Carrie’s War (what is it good for?), Nina Bawdwin’s 1973 children’s book about evacuations, skulls, and grumpy Welshmen. John McCoy with Ross Cleaver.

140: The Snows of Kilimanjaro

March 20, 2023 23:03 - 41 minutes - 33.4 MB

Grab a whisky and soda and put your leg up. My dad and I discuss Ernest Hemingway’s “The Snows of Kilimanjaro” (1936). Bonus content: a visit to the Hemingway Home in Key West!

139: Beloved

March 02, 2023 16:30 - 53 minutes - 43.1 MB

Jelani Sims returns to discuss the literal and metaphorical ghosts of Toni Morrison’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel Beloved (1987).

138: Great Expectations

January 20, 2023 17:00 - 1 hour - 50.3 MB

I have good feelings about this one! Zach Powers returns to discuss desparate criminals and mysterious benefactors in Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations (1861).

137: A Christmas Carol

December 24, 2022 19:23 - 31 minutes - 25.2 MB

There are many podcasts from which I might have derived good, by which I have not profited. John and Marina discuss Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol (1843).

136: Stuart Little

December 07, 2022 11:00 - 57 minutes - 46.5 MB

This is one weird mouse book. Phil Gonzales and John discuss E. B. White’s Stuart Little(1945).

135: Thanksgiving Special: The Wreck of the Hesperus

November 24, 2022 14:00 - 18 minutes - 15 MB

It’s Thanksgiving, so of course Rob, John, and Dan drink and discuss “The Wreck of the Hesperus” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1842).

134: Macbeth

November 13, 2022 17:15 - 48 minutes - 39.5 MB

Probably best not to listen to this episode while you’re in a theatre. Shannon Campe and John discuss Shakespeare’s Macbeth (1605-ish).

133: The Picture of Dorian Gray

October 06, 2022 16:00 - 53 minutes - 21.8 MB

The podcasts that the world calls immoral are podcasts that show the world its own shame. Tamar Avishai and John discuss Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray (1831).

132: The Canterbury Tales

September 25, 2022 14:26 - 51 minutes - 21 MB

Those smale foweles maken melodye got nothin’ on us: Kathy Campbell and John discuss Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales (c. 1400).

131: Beowulf

August 28, 2022 20:48 - 50 minutes - 20.5 MB

The original Farewell to Arms. Nathan Alderman discusses Beowulf (c. 1000).

130: Epic of Gilgamesh

July 29, 2022 16:57 - 1 hour - 29.3 MB

Gilgamesh, a king, at Uruk. It’s not just a Star Trek meme. Gregory Fried talks ritual sex, heavenly bulls, and sneaky snakes in the Epic of Gilgamesh.

129: The Metamorphosis

June 24, 2022 19:45 - 39 minutes - 16.3 MB

Gregor’s mother warned him about days like this. Jason Snell discusses Franz Kafka’s inescapable novella, The Metamorphosis (1915).

128: Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Tale of Wall Street

May 17, 2022 17:07 - 1 hour - 24.4 MB

Audrey Lazaro discusses Mellville’s 1853 story, “Bartleby the Scrivener,” one of the top three bits of scrivener fiction ever.

127: The Egypt Game

April 15, 2022 18:29 - 55 minutes - 22.6 MB

No, I won’t make a Bangles joke. Erin Gambrill discusses Zilpha Keatley Snyder’s The Egypt Game (1967).

126: Bambi, a Life in the Woods

March 28, 2022 21:06 - 44 minutes - 18.1 MB

Bambi’s not so cute in this gritty new reboot. Glenn Fleishman discusses Felix Salten’s 1923 parable about what goes on in the woods. Also we talk a lot about copyright.

125: At the Mountains of Madness

March 01, 2022 21:46 - 1 hour - 30 MB

Climb ev’ry mountain—except these mountains, they’re nuts. Phil Gonzales discusses H.P. Lovecraft’s “At the Mountains of Madness,” written in 1931 and published in 1936.

124: Under Milk Wood

February 04, 2022 21:39 - 52 minutes - 21.2 MB

To begin at the beginning: David Loehr is back in the slow, black, crowblack, podcast-bobbing sea to discuss Dylan Thomas’s Under Milk Wood (1954).

123: The Bell Jar

January 01, 2022 14:00 - 43 minutes - 17.8 MB

New Year’s is a time for optimism, but instead Christy Admiraal discusses Sylvia Plath’s 1963 roman à clef, the Bell Jar. Also, John totally gets the dates wrong for this book’s complicated publishing history.

122: Christmas Special: Gift of the Magi

December 24, 2021 21:15 - 21 minutes - 9.1 MB

But I sold my Zune to buy you this podcast! Marina and John discuss hair, watches, and O. Henry’s “The Gift of the Magi.”

121: Thanksgiving Special: Burma-Shave

November 25, 2021 14:00 - 39 minutes - 31.8 MB

It’s turkey time / once again / Dan and Rob / dive right in / we discuss / Buma-Shave!

120: Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog)

November 16, 2021 21:00 - 46 minutes - 32 MB

Let your boat of life be light, packed with only what you need—a podcast, for example, where Bill O’Donnell discusses Jerome K. Jerome’s very silly Three Men in a Boat (1889).

119: Peter Pan

October 11, 2021 15:31 - 1 hour - 29.1 MB

Grab on to your happy thought and join Shannon Campe in discussing James Barrie’s complicated children’s novel Peter Pan (1911), originally called Peter and Wendy.

118: Spoon River Anthology

September 09, 2021 20:44 - 54 minutes - 62.8 MB

Spoon River…wider than a mile. Okay, now that we have that out of our way, join Lisa Schmeiser as we discuss Edgar Lee Master’s poetic collection *Spoon River Anthology *(1915).

117: The Dispossessed

August 19, 2021 14:00 - 1 hour - 70.2 MB

Anarchy in the U. K. (LeGuin)! David Woken talks a lot of politics and a little story as we discuss The Dispossessed (1974).

116: Kerouac and Ginsberg

July 26, 2021 13:00 - 54 minutes - 25.2 MB

Gena Radcliffe and John don’t blab any drab gab—they chatter hep patter about Jack Kerouac’s “October in the Railroad Earth” (1957) and Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl” (1954-55).

115: Flowers for Algernon

July 03, 2021 13:23 - 51 minutes - 71.5 MB

I no I wil be smart won day. Until thin I will diskus Daniel Keyes’s epistolary novel Flowers for Algernon (1966) with Jason Snell.

114: Dracula

June 23, 2021 17:00 - 1 hour - 58.2 MB

Please invite in Jelani Lee and Matt Skuta to discuss Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1897). We can’t start until you do.

113: Hans Christian Andersen

May 21, 2021 20:35 - 1 hour - 15.5 MB

Let’s all hunker around this match and discuss some of the tales by Hans Christian Andersen. David Loehr returns.

112: George Orwell Essays

April 30, 2021 19:22 - 53 minutes - 12.5 MB

It’s phraseology and pachyderms, as Daniel Daughetee discusses Orwell’s “Politics and the English Language” (1946) and “Shooting an Elephant” (1936).

111: Our Town

March 31, 2021 20:10 - 59 minutes - 14 MB

Enjoy every, every minute of Phil and John discussing Thornton Wilder’s Our Town (1938).