A while back, I recorded an episode of The Incomparable in which we talked about assigned reading. Love it or hate it, most of us had to do it in school. That was a really fun episode with rather a lot of catharsis. Man, we hated some of the stuff we had to read! There’s love in there too—in a few cases, love for books others hated! I recommend the ep if it sounds even the littlest bit interesting to you.
As so often happens, one podcast led to another. If you aren’t aware, John McCoy has a new(ish) podcast called Sophomore Lit, in which he and a guest talk about the books assigned to students. Incomparable panelist John Siracusa pointed out the overlap between our assigned-reading episode and Sophomore Lit, and John (McCoy) was happy to invite folks on to delve more deeply into a single book. You know me. I have trouble passing up an opportunity to podcast!
I sent him a list of books I’d read and remembered, and he asked if I’d be willing to talk about one of the almost-universally assigned books—Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea. And I was! If you’re interested in my thoughts on that slight volume, check out episode 10 of Sophomore Lit.
What I’ve got for you here is so much worse. Or better, depending on your perspective. Continue reading