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06-27-09: A Podcast Frankenstein : Pat Murphy Reads "Clap If You Believe" in 2008 and 2009

It didn't occur to me until this moment that I'd performed by own Frankensteinian construction in the world of audio. Let me first state that hearing Pat Murphy read is always a pleasure even if she hasn’t got an entire story for you. The readings at SF in SF are live events, and must be viewed in that context. But when she told us last Saturday that she was reading the end of a story he had begun last year, I began to wonder.

It struck me as Murphy read the end of the story now with the working title "Clap if You Believe," that I might have the beginning still available for a bit of cut-and-paste. Fortunately, I have a disk-mirroring system so that when these tings fail, I don’t lose everything. And I structure my archives in a manner in which at least I can find old stuff pretty easily. The upshot is that I was able to Frankenstein the reading of the first half of the story, from 2008 with the reading of the second half of the story, from 2009. The audio quality is pretty much the same, so now for your uninterrupted listening pleasure, I present "Clap if You Believe," the complete story, via this link to the MP3 audio file.




06-26-09: Michaela Roessner Reads at SF in SF : Fish Story

I'd never read Michaela Roessner before hearing her at SF in SF on Saturday, June 20, but that's a date that's going to stick in my memory. Her story, 'Fish Story' told in the second person is truly a command performance that will change forever the way you look at fish — and religion.

Short story writing can seem on the face of it, pretty similar to novel writing. But then something like this story comes along, knocks your socks off, and makes you realize that short form is capable of power that you just can't achieve in the long form. I can't say anything else about this story beyond this: click the link and listen.



06-25-09: Pat Murphy Reads at SF in SF : "Clap If You Believe"

I had a blast at the Brazen Hussies SF in SF show. Everything was superb. And happily, Pat Murphy returned, one day less than a precise year after her reading last year, to read the second half of the story she started then, "Clap If You Believe."

So here's the deal. Today, I'm podcasting Pat Murphy's reading from June 20, 2009. It's the second half of "Clap If You Believe," which was untitled when she read the first half back on June 21, 2008. In this reading, she offers a very effective summary of the first part of the story, so if you missed the first part or heard it and need a recap, you've got, along with the rest of this funny and moving work, at this link to the MP3 audio file.



06-23-09: Agony Column Podcast News Report: Lisa Goldstein Reads at SF in SF : A Family

Saturday — June 20, 2009 —
at SF in SF, the Variety Children's Charity and Tachyon Publications played host to the Brazen Hussies that's Lisa Goldstein, Pat Murphy and Michael Roessner. I'll have a lot more to report on all of this, but we're going to start with the beginning, in this case, Lisa Goldstein.

As usual, each writer read, in this case for about 20 minutes (since there were three writers). Lisa Goldstein started off with a reading from an as-yet unpublished novel, which, one hopes, her publishers will hurry and bring to us as soon as she turns it in. In the interim, you can hear her read from this linked MP3 audio file.



  Amy Stewart
06-22-09: A 2009 Interview with Amy Stewart : "A very poisonous plant, and that is not to say that you should not grow it in your yard"

Amy Stewart has a poison garden. This is the first thing you need to know about her. The next thing you need to know is that she is a storyteller. So when you pick up 'Wicked Plants: The Weed That Killed Lincoln's Mother and other Botanical Atrocities,' bet that you’re getting more than a guide to knocking off the neighbors.

I sat down with Am Stewart in my personal bookstore studio, the office at Capitola Book Café to talk about her gripping volume of gruesome plants. I must admit that it takes a few moments to reconcile her sunny personality and her obvious enthusiasm for her subject with her subject itself. You'd be surprised at how inviting she can make the Suicide Tree sound, for example. It' a native of Kerala, where the alien red rain fell last year, and one might well wonder if this tree's origin are not of this earth. It’s certainly friendly only to those who hope to hasten their own or anther's departure from this veil of tears.

Stewsrt and I talked about her resesarch for the book, and the unique format for the book, as well as the outstanding art, done, as she tells us, with a 300 year-old method of copper engraving. For the picture of the nettle pant alone, this book rates buying. But frankly, it's the quality of the stories and the prose that makes this book one worth setting out where others can find it. Stewart doesn't just dish up facts about plants, she finds the people and stories behind the plants she covers. You can hear her dish the dirt, so to speak, on the oh-so-green killers with whom we share the planet by following this link to the MP3 audio file.


New to the Agony Column

04-17-15: Commentary : Erik Larson Follows a 'Dead Wake' : Countdown to Destiny

Agony Column Podcast News Report : A 2014 Interview with Erik Larson : " "...said to have been found in the arms of a dead German sailor..."

Agony Column Podcast News Report UPDATE: Time to Read Episode 201: Erik Larson : Dead Wake

04-15-15: Commentary : Peter Bell Reflects 'A Certain Slant of Light' : Strange Stories of Modern Scholars

Agony Column Podcast News Report : A 2014 Interview with Peter Bell : "...I looked up some of the old books..."

Agony Column Podcast News Report UPDATE: Time to Read Episode 200: Peter Bell : Strange Epiphanies and A Certain Slant of Light

03-14-15: Commentary : Marc Goodman Foresees 'Future Crimes' : Exponential Potential

Agony Column Podcast News Report : A 2015 Interview with Marc Goodman : "...every physical object around us is being transformed, one way or another, into an information technology..."

Agony Column Podcast News Report UPDATE: Time to Read Episode 199: Marc Goodman : Future Crimes: Everything Is Connected, Everyone Is Vulnerable and What We Can Do About It

03-01-15: Commentary : William Ury on Getting to Yes with Yourself: And Other Worthy Opponents : To the BATNA, Robin!

Agony Column Podcast News Report : A 2015 Interview with William Ury : ...he proceeded to shout at me for approximately 30 minutes..."

Agony Column Podcast News Report UPDATE: Time to Read Episode 198: William Ury : Getting to Yes with Yourself: And Other Worthy Opponents

02-22-15: Commentary : Jennifer Senior Experiences 'All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood' : Reading Fun for the Whole Fambly!

Agony Column Podcast News Report : A 2015 Interview with Jennifer Senior : "...it becomes a source of enormous tension once a baby comes along..."

Agony Column Podcast News Report UPDATE: Time to Read Episode 197: Jennifer Senior : All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood

02-09-15: Commentary : Stewart O'Nan Looks 'West of Sunset' : Twilight of the Great

Agony Column Podcast News Report : A 2015 Interview with Stewart O'Nan : "...we see him as a tragedian because is life is a tragedy..."

Agony Column Podcast News Report UPDATE: Time to Read Episode 196: Stewart O'Nan : West of Sunset

02-04-15: Commentary : Armistead Maupin Maps 'The Days of Anna Madrigal' : Swiftly Flow the Years

Agony Column Podcast News Report : A 2015 Interview with Armistead Maupin : "I could see what silliness was going on while it was happening..."

Agony Column Podcast News Report UPDATE: Time to Read Episode 195: Armistead Maupin : The Days of Anna Madrigal

01-31-15: Commentary : Christine Carter's Path to 'The Sweet Spot: How to Find Your Groove at Home and Work' : Neurohabits

Agony Column Podcast News Report : A 2015 Interview with Christine Carter, Ph.D. : "...a real tipping point..."

Agony Column Podcast News Report UPDATE: Time to Read Episode 194: Christine Carter, Ph.D. : The Sweet Spot: How to Find Your Groove at Home and Work

01-23-15: Commentary : Jake Halpern Pushes 'Bad Paper: Chasing Debt from Wall Street to the Underworld' : Non-Fiction 21st Century Noir

Agony Column Podcast News Report : A 2015 Interview with Jake Halpern : "...he goes to Las Vegas to this debt-buyers' convention..."

Agony Column Podcast News Report UPDATE: Time to Read Episode 193: Jake Halpern : Bad Paper: Chasing Debt from Wall Street to the Underworld

01-19-15: Commentary : David Shields and Caleb Powell Assert 'I Think You're Totally Wrong' : The Power to Bicker

Agony Column Podcast News Report : A 2015 Interview with David Shields and Caleb Powell : "I read no book reviews any more; the level of discussion is really pedestrian." David Shields "I'm just saying it's a conflict of interest!" Caleb Powell

Agony Column Podcast News Report UPDATE: Time to Read Episode 192: David Shields and Caleb Powell : I Think You're Totally Wrong

01-17-15: Commentary : Charles Todd Expects 'A Fine Summer's Day' : We Interrupt This Program...

Commentary : Charles Todd Engages In 'A Test of Wills' : The Politics of Passion and Policing

Agony Column Podcast News Report : A 2014 Interview with Charles and Caroline Todd : "...let them be themselves and sort it out..." Caroline Todd "...it's more on a personal level..." Charles Todd

Agony Column Podcast News Report UPDATE: Time to Read Episode 191: Charles Todd : A Fine Summer's Day

01-13-15: Commentary : Rosalie Parker Unearths 'The Old Knowledge' : The New Old World

Agony Column Podcast News Report : A 2014 Interview with Ray Russell and Rosalie Parker : "I thought I'd write something for fun.." Ray Russell "..there was a side of me of that was interested in the strangeness..." Ros Parker

01-12-15: Commentary : Richard Ford 'Let Me Be Frank with You' : The Default Years

Agony Column Podcast News Report : A 2014 Interview with Richard Ford : "...most of our politicians are morons..."

Agony Column Podcast News Report UPDATE: Time to Read Episode 190: Richard Ford : Let Me Be Frank with You

01-06-15: Commentary : Bessel van der Kolk 'The Body Keeps the Score' : Human Trauma

Agony Column Podcast News Report : A 2014 Interview with Bessel van der Kolk : "...being able to see what happens in the brain really helps us to understand certain things..."

Agony Column Podcast News Report UPDATE: Time to Read Episode 189: Bessel van der Kolk : The Body Keeps the Score

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