We recap the weird book news and most popular episode of 2023.
Another delightful year of podcasting draws to a close with one of my favorite festive traditions: the Fully Booked Year in Review. Editor-in-chief Tom Beer and I welcome back Kirkus contributing writer Michael Schaub for a convivial conversation centering on the strangest book news of 2023, followed by the unveiling of our most popular episode.
Schaub, who writes Kirkus’ Seen & Heard reports, serves as a congenial guide through the thicket of weird, wild, bewildering book news. This year’s greatest hits include a phallic disclosure in a crown prince’s memoir, a Florida man aghast at a cartoon aardvark’s party (one of the cringier attempts to ban a children’s book among an unfortunate number of contenders), surprise TikTok star Jane Austen, how “Mambo No. 5” nearly cost Stephen King his marriage, and an owl loose in a college library.
We follow our garrulous gabfest with the announcement of the year’s most popular episode featuring…Abraham Verghese! In May, I was joined in conversation by the author of This highly anticipated follow-up to his blockbuster debut novel, Cutting for Stone (2009), tells the story of three generations of a notable South Indian family “marked by passions and peccadillos, conditions and ambitions, interventions both medical and divine” (starred review). He and I spoke of the novel’s epigraph from Rabindranath Tagore (“Not hammer-strokes, but dance of water, sings the pebbles into perfection”), the influence of poetry on fiction, human intervention in the natural world, tragic flaws, family secrets, love stories, and more.
THANKS TO OUR SPONSORS:
Shallcross: The Underwater Panthers by Charles Porter
Death is Potential by Bob Burnett
Fully Booked is produced by Cabel Adkins Audio and Megan Labrise.