311. A Nerdy Bookish Deep Dive into My Oxford Year with Julia Whelan

After we recorded our interview about My Oxford Year, author Julia Whelan asked if I ever did more spoiler-heavy analytical conversations about books after they’re published. Well, we do now!

In this episode, we do a deep-dive into the book, the themes and Easter eggs hidden within it, and the structural and stylistic decisions that went into the creation of the story. If you haven’t read it and you think you might want to, beware of all the spoilers herein.

We talk poetry, and the reasons to tell a story with a big twist. We talk about the ways information is hidden in first person present tense narratives, and why trust is a big component of making that narrative choice work. We talk about grief and the challenge of perseverance when facing and departing from loss, and how writers have communicated grief. I also have questions from folks on Twitter, and from the Patreon community as well. There’s a lot of nerdy literary talk, so if you’re a book nerd, welcome! Come join us! The water’s fine.

Thanks to folks who supported the podcast Patreon, and to folks on Twitter who asked thoughtful questions: Sarah Rider, Ellen Grafton, Cat McGuire, Hayley Ann Gienow-McConnell, and Megan Larsen.

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Here are the books we discuss in this podcast:

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This Episode’s Music

Caravan Palace double album set of Caravan Palace and Panic Our music is provided each week by Sassy Outwater, whom you can find on Twitter @SassyOutwater.

This is from Caravan Palace, and the track is called “La Caravane.”

You can find their two album set with Caravan Palace and Panic on Amazon and iTunes. And you can learn more about Caravan Palace on Facebook, and on their website.


Podcast Sponsor

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Transcript Sponsor


Defending Allye

Today’s podcast transcript is brought to you by Defending Allye by Susan Stoker.

Love is a life-and-death risk for the Mountain Mercenaries in New York Times-bestselling author Susan Stoker’s explosive new series of alpha heroes, hot action, and hard passion.

Ever since his last rescue op off the Pacific Coast, Mountain Mercenary Gray Rogers hasn’t been able to forget his latest “job”—Allye Martin. Any other woman would have panicked during a rescue, but the wily dancer kept her cool—even after being kidnapped by an elusive human trafficker. And Gray couldn’t be happier when a grateful Allye follows him home to Colorado Springs.

For Allye, finding sanctuary in the arms—and bed—of the former Navy SEAL is only temporary. People are disappearing off the streets of San Francisco, victims of the same underground trade that targeted her, and Allye could be the key to dismantling the entire operation. She’s willing to do anything to bring them down. Gray isn’t—for good reason. But you don’t say no to a tough girl like Allye who refuses to play it safe.

Now Gray is risking more than ever before. The Mountain Mercenaries have his back. But is it enough to keep the woman he loves out of harm’s way?

Perfect for readers who love hot Navy SEALs; smart and tough heroines, and action-packed suspense! Defending Allye by Susan Stoker is published by Montlake Romance, and is available now wherever books are sold.

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