Sophomore Lit

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

101: Little Women
Apr 17 • 246 min
Christmas isn’t Christmas without presents, and literary podcasts aren’t literary podcasts without an exhaustive conversation about Louisa May Alcott’s essential coming of age book. Shannon Campe discusses….
100: Required reading
Feb 29 • 34 min
Happy 100th episode everybody! For this special Sophomore Lit, I asked random people what they remembered most about their high school literature classes….
99: “Tam O’ Shanter” and “To a Mouse”
Feb 21 • 61 min
Och, please dinnae make fun of non-Scottish people Darren Husted and John as they discuss and try to read aloud excerpts of Robert Burns’s “Tam O’ Shanter” (1791) and “To a Mouse” (1785)….
98: The Martian Chronicles
Jan 21 • 56 min
You’re the Martian now, Dog! Jason Snell discusses frontiers and sad houses in Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles (1950)….
97: A Christmas Memory
Dec 24, 2019 • 30 min
It’s fruitcake weather! John and Marina discuss memory, dog bones, and kites in Truman Capote’s “A Christmas Memory” (1956)….
96: The Way of All Flesh
Dec 18, 2019 • 60 min
It’s a big long book about Victorian religion and railroad investments! Daniel Reifferscheid discusses Samuel Butler’s The Way of All Flesh (1903)….
95: Casey at the Bat
Nov 28, 2019 • 24 min
There is no joy in Mudville. My brother Dan discusses “Casey at the Bat” (1888). Happy Thanksgiving!…
94: The Bear
Nov 16, 2019 • 65 min
And still bellowing he came. Jacob Haller discusses William Faulkner’s “The Bear” (1942)….
93: Mrs. Dalloway
Oct 27, 2019 • 272 min
Does anybody really know what time it is? Zach Powers discusses Virginia Woolf’s 1925 novel, Mrs. Dalloway….
92: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
Sep 18, 2019 • 57 min
I promise we won’t make any jokes about losing our heads. Sarah Ifft Decker discusses Sir Gawain and the Green Knight….
91: The Sword in the Stone
Aug 31, 2019 • 48 min
We didn’t mention that the titular Sword is not the same thing as Excalibur because you already knew that. Rosalynde Vas Dias discusses T.H. White’s The Sword in the Stone (1938)….
90: The Wind in the Willows
Aug 9, 2019 • 43 min
There is nothing half so much worth doing as messing about in boats, except maybe messing about in podcasts. Erin Gambrill discusses The Wind in the Willows….
89: Flatland
Jul 5, 2019 • 51 min
John Siracusa returns to discuss Edwin Abbott’s Flatland (1884). Will it give us a new perspective or will it leave us flat? (Spoiler, John hated it.)…
88: Fifth Business
Jun 12, 2019 • 49 min
After four failed IPOs, we’re sure this one will work! Dan McCoy discusses Robertson Davies’s Fifth Business (1970)….
87: The Importance of Being Earnest
May 14, 2019 • 52 min
The truth is rarely pure and never simple. However, podcasts are both. Ollie Brady discusses Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest (1895)….
86: The Yellow Wallpaper
Apr 24, 2019 • 32 min
Caroline Fulford returns to discuss a nice story about home decorating, Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper.”…
85: The Long Winter
Mar 27, 2019 • 41 min
John’s wife, Marina, returns to discuss strange birds, hidden wheat, and barrel turkeys in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s The Long Winter….
84: Guy De Maupassant
Mar 8, 2019 • 44 min
Anaïs Concepcion returns to discuss necklaces, hypocrisy, and roasted chickens in jelly in Guy De Maupassant’s “The Necklace” and “Boule de Suif.”…
83: The Day of the Locust
Feb 20, 2019 • 60 min
Some people just want to watch the world burn. Josh Hollis and Brian Skinner discuss Nathaniel West’s 1939 novel, The Day of the Locust….
82: Guys and Dolls
Feb 5, 2019 • 70 min
We’ve never done a musical before / now all at once it’s Guys and Dolls forevermore. David Loehr discusses the original high school musical….
81: The Call of the Wild
Jan 15, 2019 • 49 min
Will we answer the Call of the Wild or will we say “new phone, who dis?” Laura Hayes discusses mushing, wolves, and the surprising amount of Socialism in Jack London’s 1903 novel….
80: A Child’s Christmas in Wales
Dec 24, 2018 • 44 min
There were always podcasts at Christmas. Pour some whiskey in your eggnog and join Rosalynde Vas Dias in discussing Dylan Thomas’s A Child’s Christmas in Wales….
79: The Red Badge of Courage
Dec 17, 2018 • 41 min
Hither and thither, the entire Snell Family is here to discuss Stephen Crane’s The Red Badge of Courage (1895)….
78: A People’s History of the United States
Dec 5, 2018 • 212 min
Rise up and seize the methods of producing history textbooks! Daniel Daughhetee discusses the alternative textbook A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn (1980)….
77: Over the River and Through the Woods
Nov 22, 2018 • 19 min
The horse knows the way—but to WHOSE house? The answer may surprise you. The McCoy Boys are all here for the annual drunk Thanksgiving episode to discuss Lydia Maria Child’s “The New-England Boy’s Song about Thanksgiving Day” (1844)….
76: An Enemy of the People
Nov 5, 2018 • 49 min
Election Day Special: What does a 19th Century play have to do with fake news and ecological disaster? Probably nothing, but Shannon Campe and Zach Powers are here nonetheless to discuss Henrik Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People (1882)….
75: The War of the Worlds
Oct 26, 2018 • 54 min
No one would have believed in the first years of the twenty-first century that this podcast was being listened to keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man’s and yet as mortal as his own. Jason Snell discusses H.G. Wells’s The War of the Worlds…
74: A Prayer for Owen Meany
Oct 16, 2018 • 57 min
Carla Curtsinger talks armadillos, armlessness, and all caps in John Irving’s A Prayer for Owen Meany….
73: Holes
Oct 3, 2018 • 49 min
If only, if only the woodpecker cries, this podcast would adhere to a regular schedule. Matt Skuta returns to discuss Louis Sachar’s beloved middle-reader, Holes….
72: The Westing Game
Sep 21, 2018 • 44 min
Fun for the whole family! Ages 10 and up! Dan McCoy discusses Ellen Raskin’s The Westing Game (1978)….
71: William Carlos Williams
Sep 4, 2018 • 131 min
This is Just to Podcast David Loehr and I will not be making the obvious joke that is just sitting there and which you were probably expecting for a podcast about WCW Forgive me I am not a hack…
70: Waiting for Godot
Aug 13, 2018 • 49 min
Nobody comes, nobody goes, but every few weeks we have a podcast, like this one where Brian Hamilton tries to make sense of Beckett’s Waiting for Godot….
69: Ulysses
Jul 20, 2018 • 74 min
Marina McCoy talks about Ulysses yes and Joyce and Ireland yes and jessamine and geraniums and cactuses yes and shall I wear a red yes…
68: Ender’s Game
Jul 7, 2018 • 66 min
Can’t we play Catan instead? Liz Riegel joins to discuss that most emo young adult novel, Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game….
67: The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Jun 23, 2018 • 65 min
Hope you like the Smiths. Hayden Gibson discusses the modern classic of introvert life, The Perks of Being a Wallflower….
66: Little House in the Big Woods
Jun 7, 2018 • 66 min
Wolves, fiddles, maple candy, and manifest destiny. Lisa Schmeiser discusses Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder….
65: A Streetcar Named Desire
May 24, 2018 • 57 min
Don’t you just love those long rainy afternoons in New Orleans when an hour isn’t just an hour, but an hour spent discussing Tennessee Williams’s best-known play? Gena Radcliffe guest hosts….
64: Winesburg, Ohio
May 4, 2018 • 50 min
Small towns aren’t all fun and games and Journey songs. Erin Gambrill discusses Sherwood Anderson’s Winesburg, Ohio (1919)….
63: A Farewell to Arms
Apr 19, 2018 • 60 min
If the world is in no special hurry to kill you, why not join Jason Snell to discuss war, love and vermouth? It’s Ernest Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms….
62: Frankenstein
Mar 31, 2018 • 74 min
Glenn Fleishman returns to the show to discuss today’s modern Prometheuses. It’s the long-awaited episode on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818-31)….
61: Alas, Babylon
Mar 1, 2018 • 56 min
Time enough at last…to read novels about nuclear Armageddon! Jelani Sims guests to discuss Pat Frank’s Alas, Babylon….
60: The Outsiders
Feb 12, 2018 • 48 min
Nothing gold can stay, but that won’t stop Matt Skuta and John from talking about the greasy hair and switchblades in S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders….
59: John Donne and Andrew Marvell
Jan 25, 2018 • 40 min
Had we but world enough and time, we could talk about more poems than just these two: John Donne’s “A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning” and Andrew Marvell’s “To His Coy Mistress.” Liz Riegel joins the discussion on meter, metaphor, and metaphysics….
58: Watchmen
Jan 9, 2018 • 46 min
What do you see when you look at this inkblot: a masterpiece of sequential art, or a confusing mess? Christy Admiraal discusses the unavoidable Moore / Gibbons comic Watchmen….
57: A Tale of Two Cities
Dec 16, 2017 • 58 min
It may not be the best of times, it may not be the worst of times, but it’s time for a new episode so let’s discuss Charles Dickens’s novel of beheading and knitting. Rosalynde Vas Dias joins….
56: From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
Dec 1, 2017 • 48 min
Time to appreciate the finer things in life, by sleeping on them. Tamar Avishai discusses E. L. Konigsburg’s From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler….
55: The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
Nov 23, 2017 • 21 min
ARRR, it be Thanksgiving so it’s time for gettin’ drunk and talkin’ poems with family. Dan and Rob McCoy join in to discuss Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.”…
54: The Haunting of Hill House
Oct 30, 2017 • 65 min
Gena Radcliffe discusses sanity and shuffles in Shirley Jackson’s spookifying The Haunting of Hill House. Happy Halloween!…
53: The Awakening
Oct 20, 2017 • 56 min
Beth Auron discusses why you should never swim less than 20 minutes before reading Kate Chopin’s The Awakening….
52: Lamb to the Slaughter
Oct 5, 2017 • 38 min
If only he’d been a vegetarian. Shannon Campe returns to discuss one of Roald Dahl’s shockers for adults, “Lamb to the Slaughter.”…
51: A Wrinkle in Time
Sep 9, 2017 • 58 min
What happens when you don’t take your clock out of the dryer soon enough? You get A Wrinkle in Time. Matt Skuta returns to discuss tesseracts and bouncing balls….
50: Dubliners
Aug 25, 2017 • 62 min
Sophmore Lit hits 50 episodes with the return of John Siracusa as we sort the living from The Dead in James Joyce’s Dubliners (1914)….
49: McTeague
Aug 4, 2017 • 57 min
Despite all my rage, I am still just a canary in a cage. Jason Snell returns to discuss San Francisco, steam beer, and gold teeth in Frank Norris’s McTeague. Reading: David Loehr. Theme music: Malcolm Nygard….
48: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Jul 21, 2017 • 57 min
What’s waiting ‘round the bend, my Huckleberry friend? Jelani Sims helps make sense of the glorious mess that is Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn….
47: The Handmaid’s Tale
Jul 7, 2017 • 58 min
Before the Hulu series that everyone told you you had to watch was the Margaret Atwood novel that everyone told you you had to read. Caroline Fulford returns to discuss dystopias and how to tell your waves of feminism apart….
46: Annie John
Jun 27, 2017 • 54 min
Sometimes, a girl just wants to play marbles. Kwame Phillips discusses the Caribbean, doctor fish, and Jamaica Kincaid’s Annie John….
45: Hawthorne tales
Jun 8, 2017 • 51 min
Unsightly blemishes! Toxic maidens! David Loehr returns to discuss two short stories by Nathaniel Hawthorne, “The Birthmark” and “Rappaccini’s Daughter.”…
44: Invisible Man
May 1, 2017 • 59 min
And you thought your electric bill was nuts. Jane Dempsey returns to discuss Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man….
43: The Glass Menagerie
Apr 10, 2017 • 57 min
It’s nothing a little glue won’t fix. David Loehr is here to discuss Tennessee Williams’s The Glass Menagerie….
42: The Stranger
Mar 30, 2017 • 64 min
Do you cry at funerals? If not, maybe you’re the protagonist of Albert Camus’s The Stranger. Matt Skuta returns to puzzle this absurd novel out….
41: Forever…
Mar 1, 2017 • 51 min
Guys let’s all be mature about this. Shannon Campe returns to discuss Judy Blume’s forbidden book for teens, “Forever…”…
40: Absalom, Absalom!
Feb 3, 2017 • 50 min
Ashley Challinor and John spend a long still hot weary dead September afternoon discussing not merely a Absalom, Absalom! by Faulkner, nor yet the ideal of the great Southern novel, but in fact the very podcast of an ideal of a thought of a concept of a…
39: Slaughterhouse Five
Jan 26, 2017 • 59 min
We return to both Kurt Vonnegut and to Jason Snell, as we discuss the most famous book about time and birdsong ever written, Slaughterhouse Five….
38: Edna St. Vincent Millay
Dec 19, 2016 • 56 min
Are you unsure of how candles work? Then join Megan Tripp and John as we discuss the poetry of Edna St. Vincent Millay….
37: The Giver
Dec 8, 2016 • 69 min
When it comes to these podcasts, we give and give and you take and take! But that’s okay, because this time Matt Skuta and I are discussing Lois Lowry’s The Giver….
36: The Seagull
Dec 2, 2016 • 69 min
In mourning for your life? Then why not join Ethan Warren and John as they discuss Anton Chekov’s The Seagull….
35: The Courtship of Miles Standish
Nov 23, 2016 • 34 min
Look, it’s Thanksgiving and Dan and I are drunk. Let’s discuss Longfellow’s The Courtship of Miles Standish….
34: Crime and Punishment
Oct 30, 2016 • 69 min
Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time. We’re talking about 600 pages of time. Zach Powers joins the discussion of Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment….
33: Stories of Ambrose Bierce
Oct 20, 2016 • 55 min
It’s a good thing the rope broke so now we have time to talk about Ambrose Bierce’s “A Horseman in the Sky” and “Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge.” Spencer Seams of coming podcast Tune In Tonight is here to discuss stories that end happily with no…
32: Bless Me, Ultima
Sep 14, 2016 • 87 min
Have you heard the Good News about the Golden Carp? Joel Torres is here to help us survive the perilous childhood of Rudolfo Anaya’s Bless Me, Ultima….
31: The Rivals
Aug 21, 2016 • 84 min
Quick, what was George Washington’s favorite play? If you guessed Richard Sheridan’s The Rivals, congratulations, you know how to use Google! Darren Husted joins in to discuss….
30: To the Lighthouse
Aug 4, 2016 • 64 min
Will a family of repressed middle-class Brits ever, in fact, make it To The Lighthouse? Join Trevor Gibson and John as we attempt not to be afraid of Virginia Woolf….
29: Edgar Allan Poe
Jul 4, 2016 • 62 min
Need something to do while you’re holed up in the palace avoiding the plague? Why not discuss a couple of Edgar Allan Poe stories with Daniel Daughhetee?…
28: Their Eyes Were Watching God
Jun 15, 2016 • 59 min
Jane Dempsey discusses the birds and the bees—well, the bees at least—in Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God….
27: The Little Prince
Jun 2, 2016 • 74 min
What is essential is invisible to the eye—but we can still podcast about it. Anaïs Concepcion discusses The Little Prince….
26: Brave New World
May 13, 2016 • 76 min
Time for a Soma Holiday! This time Jason Snell discusses Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World….
25: Stories II: Jackson and O’Connor
Apr 24, 2016 • 76 min
Our high school years were full of teen angst. Let’s really give ourselves something to be upset about! Shannon Campe and Caroline Fulford discuss the brutal stories “The Lottery” (Shirley Jackson) and “A Good Man is Hard to Find” (Flannery O’Connor)….
24: Moby-Dick
Apr 5, 2016 • 119 min
Is it a damp, drizzly November in your soul? Then why not spend two hours with Glenn Fleishman discussing Herman Melville’s leviathantic Moby-Dick?…
23: Death of a Salesman
Mar 24, 2016 • 85 min
The only thing you’ve got in this world is what you can sell. And we’re selling this fine podcast! Check out the quality workmanship that Nicolas Hoffman brings to this discussion of Arthur Miller’s inevitable Death of a Salesman….
22: Jane Eyre
Mar 15, 2016 • 85 min
Reader, we take on Jane Eyre: Caroline Fulford discusses bad childhoods, brooding noblemen, and something cray cray in the attic….
21: Watership Down
Mar 6, 2016 • 90 min
Bunnies. ‘Nuff said. Malcolm Nygard joins to discuss Richard Adams’s epic tale of lagogmorphs, Watership Down….
20: Animal Farm
Feb 22, 2016 • 69 min
Elliott Kalan joins in for a quiet weekend in the country with George Orwell’s Animal Farm. Four legs: good! Four eyes: nerd!…
19: Romeo and Juliet
Jan 20, 2016 • 74 min
Two co-hosts, alike in dignity, Sharlene Wellington and Stuart Wellington join in for a star-crossed discussion of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Can we possibly say anything new about the most famous play ever? Probably not, but we sure giggle a…
18: Stranger in a Strange Land
Jan 13, 2016 • 102 min
You asked for it. Oh, why did you ask for it? Jason Snell returns to discuss Robert A. Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land, in a double-sized podcast that will take as long to listen to as the book does to read….
17: Pride and Prejudice
Dec 21, 2015 • 84 min
Let’s not jump to conclusions. This time Sammi C joins in to discuss Jane Austen’s inescapable classic, Pride and Prejudice. Put on your empire dresses, grab your dance cards, and let’s do this!…
16: The Scarlet Letter
Dec 7, 2015 • 59 min
This time historian Daniel Daughetee of The Lesser Bonapartes joins in to discuss Nathaniel Hawthorne’s inescapable novel The Scarlet Letter. What? You somehow made it through high school without reading it? You should have to wear a symbol of your shame…
15: The Chocolate War
Nov 22, 2015 • 63 min
Do you dare disturb the universe? If not, do you dare to read the über-depressing novel The Chocolate War by Robert Corimer? Join Shannon Campe as we discuss the surprising number of autoerotic scenes in this seminal work of teen literature. Also! A new…
14: A Raisin in the Sun
Oct 30, 2015 • 79 min
Ocomogosiay! This time John atones for the shame of not having read Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun back at his lily-white high school. Fortunately, first-time podcaster Dominique Garnette joins in to discuss life in the South Side….
13: Short Stories I: The Lady, or the Tiger?, The Monkey’s Paw, The Most Dangerous Game
Oct 1, 2015 • 70 min
Careful which door you choose. Or what you wish for. Or which island you wind up stranded on in the middle of the night with a couple of crazy foreigners. John Siracusa returns to discuss a trio of twisty stories, “The Lady, or the Tiger?,” “The Monkey’s…
12: Poetry: Frost and Sandburg
Sep 8, 2015 • 47 min
Don your berets! This time Erik Stadnik joins in to look at some of the poems we read in high school, by flinty New Englander Robert Frost and exuberant Midwesterner Carl Sandburg. Get in touch with your sensitive side (for once)!…
11: Cat’s Cradle
Sep 4, 2015 • 69 min
Don’t be a stuppa. Forget your granfalloon and let this podcast be your wampter. Jason Snell joins in to discuss Kurt Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle. Busy, busy, busy!…
10: The Old Man and the Sea
Aug 28, 2015 • 43 min
What must a man endure? Must a man endure a podcast about Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea? Sure, why not. Erika Ensign joins in to discuss marlins, sharks, and the Great DiMaggio….
9: The Skin of Our Teeth
Aug 18, 2015 • 68 min
Dinosaurs and mammoths and the end of the world, oh my! This time Phil Gonzales joins in to discuss the time we made it through by The Skin of Our Teeth. Is Thornton Wilder’s play still relevant? Is it understandable? Why aren’t you watching it right now?…
8: Wuthering Heights
Jul 16, 2015 • 84 min
I’m so co-o-o-old, let me in-a your window so we can talk about Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights. This time I’m joined by Shannon Campe to discuss those crazy kids Heath and Cathy….
7: Of Mice and Men
May 23, 2015 • 48 min
Wee, sleekit, cow’rin, tim’rous beastie, O, what a podcast for thy iPhone! David Kalan joins in for a discussion of John Steinbeck’s meditation on bindlestiffs and sausages, Of Mice and Men….
6: A Separate Peace
May 17, 2015 • 32 min
A lot of the books we read in high school were downers, but only one book was literally about falling down, out of a tree. Al Lewis attended the real school where A Separate Peace took place and lived to tell about it, which (spoiler alert) is more than…
5: To Kill a Mockingbird
May 11, 2015 • 51 min
Don’t go poking around the old Radley house. But if you do, bring along bona fide southern belle Beth Lewis Auron as we discuss Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird….
4: Fahrenheit 451
Apr 20, 2015 • 66 min
As Nelly might say, It’s getting hot in here, so put away all your books. Liza Daly joins me in discussing a world without books (which for our younger listeners are dead trees with printing on them), Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451….
3: The Great Gatsby
Feb 15, 2015 • 52 min
Do you believe in the Green Light? Guest host Carla Curtsinger does. Join us as we discuss yellow cars, neglected babies, and giant eyes on billboards. It’s F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby….
2: The Catcher in the Rye
Feb 2, 2015 • 73 min
Phonies watch out. This discussion of J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in The Rye is extra long. Who’d have guessed that John Siracusa would have so much to say? Check into a seedy hotel and have a listen, won’t you?…
1: Lord of the Flies
Jan 22, 2015 • 52 min
In our first episode we explore how similar-sounding a host’s and guest’s voices can be as John is joined by his brother, Dan, of the Flop House Podcast. We talk about everyone’s favorite story of Man vs. Nature vs. Man’s Dark Heart vs. Pig, Lord of the…