Popcorn Book Club

Popcorn Book Club

A group of smart, funny friends meet together every week to talk about the book they’re reading—a book that just so happens to be incredibly buzzy and in the zeitgeist because it has an adaptation coming up on the big screen or via streaming. Because when everyone at work is talking about it, we want to be the smug ones who can say we actually read the book first. Hosted by Dana Schwartz, Jennifer Wright, Korama Danquah, Melissa Hunter, and Tien Tran. New episodes every Monday!... Show More

Episodes

September 21, 2020 62 min
I know one thing I’m fond of saying is that this show is not English class — there’s no required reading... or watching for that matter. But this week we are diving into our first piece of bona fide English lit required reading — Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. There’s a pretty good chance you had to read this in 11th grade, and we are reading it now because it’s been adapted into a series on the NBC streaming service Peacock. But...
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September 14, 2020 54 min
I don’t know what your Twitter timeline looks like, but if it’s anything like ours, every week, like clockwork, it has been filled with people absolutely freaking out about HBO’s Lovecraft Country—how scary it is, how surprising, how interesting and refreshing a show it is. We covered the book a few episodes ago and now that the show is about halfway through its season, we are returning to Lovecraft Country to talk about how the ad...
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September 7, 2020 71 min
One of the cool things about doing a show about books by contemporary writers is that…they are contemporaries. Like, if you have a question about Frankenstein, you can’t go ask Mary Shelley, she’s dead. But after our conversations about The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, we all had questions. And so we asked her! We’ve been really excited to bring you this episode because as you’re about to hear, Angie Thomas is brilliant and cool an...
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August 31, 2020 56 min
This week we continue our discussion of Angie Thomas’ novel “The Hate U Give.” The book follows 16-year-old Starr Carter, a young black woman, who sees her best friend Khalil shot and killed by police in front of her during a routine traffic stop. Now, we recorded this discussion a few weeks ago, and I want to say that it is heartbreaking that this work of fiction from 2017 is so immediately relevant in our world. It shouldn’t be. ...
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August 24, 2020 68 min
Just in case you are listening to this from the future, here’s a quick refresher that the summer of 2020 was… “unusual,” though there are a lot of other words we could use. It was notable for the Black Lives Matter protests and violent clashes with cops in cities across the country sparked by a number of black people being killed by police officers. So it might be tempting to look at Angie Thomas’ 2017 novel The Hate U Give as pres...
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August 17, 2020 91 min
This is a show about books and adaptations and one subject we’ve returned to a couple of times is who gets to tell stories. Today we’re continuing our discussion of Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff. Now, Matt is white, and the adaptation now on HBO counts Misha Green and Jordan Peele among its executive producers. And that is significant because not only are these black creators taking control of a black story, but also Jordan Peele ...
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August 10, 2020 105 min
We don’t necessarily need to seek out literature to fill us with a creeping sense of existential dread, seeing as how we have… everything else happening right now. But there is something to be said for using horror to reclaim power. This week, we’re starting up a discussion of Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff, now a series on HBO premiering August 17th. We’ll talk about the terrifying monsters hiding in the woods AND the ones right o...
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August 8, 2020 4 min
Dana and Korama's friendship goes back many years, and they have mutually decided to throw all that away for an episode of Food Court with Richard Blais. We're sharing an excerpt of this week's episode, a fight between french fries and sweet potato fries. Hear the full episode with Blais' final verdict here! And subscribe to Food Court with Richard Blais wherever you get your podcasts!
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August 6, 2020 87 min
Domenico's story is over, and Dominick is reckoning with the idea of redemption. Will he get the answers he's looking for? Let's find out! Follow us on Twitter! @DanaSchwartzzz @JenAshleyWright @koramadrama @MelissaFTW and Tien has wisely gotten off Twitter but is on Insta @hanktina Next week, we're starting a new book, Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff.
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August 3, 2020 67 min
You know how grandparents are normally sweet and adorable? Okay, well throw all that out the window. This episode we’ll continue our discussion of Wally Lamb’s novel I Know This Much Is True. We’re diving into the story of Domenico Onofrio Tempesta, the grandfather of the Birdsey twins. Things get weird. Follow us on Twitter! @DanaSchwartzzz @JenAshleyWright @koramadrama @MelissaFTW and Tien has wisely gotten off Tw...
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July 27, 2020 44 min
We are deep in the middle of this story about anger and sadness but we are here for you, friends! We’re continuing our discussion of I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb, now a series on HBO. This week we finally get a peek into Dominico’s memoirs! And they are… something. Follow us on Twitter! @DanaSchwartzzz @JenAshleyWright @koramadrama @MelissaFTW and Tien has wisely gotten off Twitter but is on Insta @han...
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July 20, 2020 66 min
It's tragedy bingo from our friend, Wally Lamb. Infant death, child pornography, rape, murder, suicide... am I missing anything? Follow us on Twitter! @DanaSchwartzzz @JenAshleyWright @koramadrama @MelissaFTW and Tien has wisely gotten off Twitter but is on Insta @hanktina Next week, we'll wrap up chapters 15 - 30 if you want to keep up.
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July 13, 2020 83 min
I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb is getting an HBO adaptation with two Mark Ruffalos (double Ruffali!) so dive into the tragic story of the Birdsey twins. Follow us on Twitter! @DanaSchwartzzz @JenAshleyWright @koramadrama @MelissaFTW and Tien has wisely gotten off Twitter but is on Insta @hanktina Next week, we'll cover chapters 15-30.
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July 6, 2020 74 min
We finish up Normal People, and trace Marianne and Connell's strange intimacy to its end. Next time, we're reading I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb, chapters 1–15 in case you want to read along.
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It's the very first episode of our show about books that have been getting the Hollywood treatment! Our first read: Normal People by Sally Rooney, now a series on Hulu. Read along with us! Or don't — this isn't English class, we won't tell. In the first part of our discussion, we talk Marianne at high school, and why we'll never forgive Connell for not taking her to Debs. Follow us on Twitter! @DanaSchwartzz...
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June 17, 2020 1 min
A group of smart, funny friends meet together every week to talk about the book they’re reading—a book that just so happens to be incredibly buzzy and in the zeitgeist because it has a big screen adaptation coming up. Because when everyone at work is talking about it, we want to be the smug ones who can say we actually read the book first. 
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