Fiction Between Friends

Fiction Between Friends

Part book club, part podcast, Fiction Between Friends is a celebration of how a really good book can come into your life and change it. No scathing reviews or negative commentary, just great books and engaging conversations. Hosted by four childhood friends from the suburbs of Massachusetts, each episode covers either four books they’ve loved from the past, or a new release that just hit the bookshelves. It is an idyllic place for bibliophiles to rekindle their love for an old favorite or find a new one to read.

Episodes

May 16, 2022 55 min

This week the gang reads historical fiction. Alisa and Aileen are old pros at this sub-genre while Josie and Lauren are more like dabblers. Ironically, almost all of the picks were in the WW2 category while Josie was the odd duck who traveled back to medieval Europe.

Aileen read Moloka’i by Alan Brennert. She’s been trying for years to read this book but every time she picked it up, she’d put it back down after asking herself, “do I...

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Ever wonder how your favorite book becomes a movie or a TV show? Well, wonder no longer because we have brought in a bona-fide filmmaker to explain it.

Lauren couldn’t be with us, but we had our first guest speaker, Barbara Stepansky on in her place. Barbara is an award-winning screenwriter and a director who writes for the show Outlander. 

She had us read Kate Morton’s The Forgotten Garden as a hypothetical book-to-miniseries projec...

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April 18, 2022 51 min

This week on Fiction Between Friends, anything goes! It was the “What’s on Your Nightstand?” episode.
 
Aileen read Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld. A modern re-telling of Pride and Prejudice.
 
Lauren swung for the fences and read a book in Spanish that she’s been trying to read forever. En los Zapatos de Valeria by Elisabet Benavent, about 4 women who are best friends (sounds familiar) who are all on different paths in their lives and ...

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We talked about it, and we’ve decided that the pandemic is over. For now at least. And we wanted to celebrate by talking about what helped get us through it. Each other, of course, but also what we read.

Aileen talked about how much she loved reading Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid.  Lauren reminisced about Ross Poldark, the first book in the Poldark series by Winston Graham.

And Alisa and Josie went non-fiction with ...

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This week we all read books that were set in our neck of the woods. New England!

Aileen starts us off with On Beauty by Zadie Smith.  Lauren covers The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe.  Josie read The Secret History by Donna Tartt.  But Alisa probably “won” this week with her read, We Ride Upon Sticks by Quan Barry.  

Trigger warnings: heavy drug and alcohol abuse, suicide.

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March 7, 2022 57 min

We felt like we needed to lighten up a bit, so this week we read books that made us laugh.

Lauren read an old favorite, One for the Money by Janet Evanovich.  Alisa read Faking It by Jennifer Cruise. Aileen read The Humans by Matt Hague. And Josie read one of her favorites, Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett. 

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February 21, 2022 57 min

Aileen had always wanted an excuse to read Nora Ephron, so she read Heartburn by Nora Ephron. Lauren got her sweet tooth fix with an old copy of Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel.  Alisa read A River Runs Through It by Norman McClain, and Josie dug up her copy of Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.

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February 7, 2022 60 min

Happy (early) Valentine’s Day! 

Lauren read The Ex Talk by Rachel Lynn Solomon. Fun, vivacious dialogue and tons of red hot lovin’.

Aileen had a much more PG rated read with The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion, about a quirky, schedule-obsessed hero, and the innocent, light-hearted love that he develops for the girl who breaks all the rules.

Alisa had the heaviest read this week with Normal People by Sally Rooney, about two people le...

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January 24, 2022 59 min

Aileen is a huge Stephen King fan and has been for as long as we can remember. This week she picked a book of his for each of us to read. 

Aileen read one of King’s more recent books, Billie Summers. A crime thriller that’s something of a departure from what we all think of as a typical Stephen King novel. 

Alisa should have read 11.22.63 like Aileen asked her to, but instead she read The Institute

Lauren also deviated from Aileen’s...

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Right now in our country there are towns, cities, and states making lists of books that certain people want banned from schools and libraries, and we are absolutely horrified by this.

So, each one of us pick an AMAZING book that is on one of these nefarious lists and read the heck out of ‘em. Aileen read The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison, and had her mind blown. 

Alisa found Black Girl Unlimited: The Remarkable Story of a Teenage Wiz...

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December 20, 2021 59 min

Our final episode of the season!  We'll be off for three weeks and then be back January 10 for Season 2.

Things get quite steamy in this episode, as Aileen warms us up with Jennifer Weiner’s, Big Summer. Then Lauren goes full romance with Robyn Carr’s, Virgin River, and Alisa  gives a  saucy reading of one of the love scenes.  Alisa then brings back a group favorite with Helen Fielding’s, Bridget Jones’s Diary.  And Josie emptie...

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We tried something a little different for this episode and chose to partner up and cover two books instead of four.
 
Aileen and Lauren read Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman, the smart, warm, and uplifting story of an out-of-the-ordinary heroine whose deadpan weirdness and unconscious wit make for an irresistible journey as she realizes that the only way to survive is to open your heart. The book is soon to be a m...

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We read books recommended by Lauren, our in-house librarian, who is still out of commission, and it’s unanimous. She’s a book whisperer.

Aileen read and thoroughly enjoyed Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal a lively, sexy, and thought-provoking East-meets-West story about community, friendship, and women's lives at all ages.

Alisa read Deborah Harkness’s A Discovery of Witches and her lifelong mission now is g...

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Unfortunately, Lauren couldn’t make it, but the remaining gang soldiers on without her and discusses captivity and survival stories.

Aileen re-read Flowers in the Attic by V. C. Andrews and found that her opinion of this once beloved book had changed drastically since her teen years. Many of the things she adored about this “forbidden read” shocked her now, and the gang discussed how the Me Too movement has changed the way many boo...

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We chose to go dark on this one, all except for Lauren who went with some lighter fare because sometimes you read what the book gods send your way and you don't ask any questions.

Aileen tips off the book talk with her pick, The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier. Alisa cuts the line with Lord of the Flies by William Golding. Lauren brightens the mood with A Season for Second Chances by Jenni Bayliss, and Josie wraps things up wit...

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November 15, 2021 55 min

What is it about certain books that brings us back, again and again? Why re-read at all, considering there are so many great books waiting on our TBR lists?  Well, this week we break down our favorite re-reads.

Aileen dusts off her old copy of Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret by Judy Blume.

Lauren shares A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith.

Alisa comes prepared with her stack of Twilight novels by Stephanie Meyer.

And Josie le...

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Since this is a podcast celebrating books and friends we thought it was important for our second episode to cover books centered around friendships.

We discuss Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells, Ivy Aberdeen's Letter to the World by Ashley Herring Blake, Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg, and The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares.

We also discuss the terms plotter...
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Since this is our very first episode we thought it would be appropriate to make the theme for this one, "Books that made us fall in love with reading".

We cover Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson, Ramona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary, and Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery (published as L. M. Montgomery).

We also discuss the recent trend of sensitivity editors in the pub...

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