Season 1 – Episode 5 – Beauty Will Save the World




This week we put on our philosopher hats and talk about aesthetics, or the study of beauty. We tackle baffling questions such as, “Why do art and beauty matter?” “When we ascribe value to a thing, do we in fact cheapen it?” and “Will Hannah be able to decipher the chicken scratch in the margins of her notes?” We also talk about zombies, naturally.

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Season 1 – Episode 4 – Hobbits and Rabbits and Gnomes (Oh, my!) Favorite Childhood Books


hobbits rabbits gnomes favorite childhood books


Clare and Hannah dive down the rabbit/hobbit hole to discuss their favorite childhood books, and marvel at how trippy old cartoons are.

Our favorite childhood books are:

Watership Down by Richard Adams

Gnomes by Will Huygen and Rien Poortvliet

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter

Interesting: Hobbits, rabbits, and gnomes all live in holes in the ground. Why do all of our childhood favorites revolve around subterranean creatures? We’ll have to mention this to our therapist.

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Season 1 – Episode 3 – Taking the Mystery out of Mysteries



This week, Clare and Hannah discuss the differences between hard-boiled, classical and cozy mysteries. Knowing the literary conventions and formulae of each type of mystery story enhances your enjoyment of the genre for a couple reasons:

First, after listening to our discussion, you’ll probably get an idea of the sub-genre you prefer, which will guide you as you select books to read. The sub-genre to which a detective story belongs is often made clear by the title, the cover, and the synopsis of the book. 

Secondly, even if you realize that you enjoy all the sub-types of detective mysteries, knowing which one you’re about to read will mentally prepare you, so that you can enjoy each book for what it is, rather than being unpleasantly surprised to learn that  Farewell, My Lovely is a violent, gritty noir tale about murder in the Big City and not lighthearted, whimsical fluff about, oh, I don’t know, a murder at the annual Christmas cookie baking contest.

Click “Read More” to listen and for other cool stuff!

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Season 1 – Episode 2 – The Idea of Autumn



In this episode we discuss “the idea of autumn,” as described by C.S. Lewis, the Danish idea of Hygge, or “coziness,” and the Japanese concept of wabi-sabi, the beauty to be found in impermanent things. We also geek out about Legend of the Five Rings, and Augustus Gloop gets an honorable mention for some reason.

Click “Read More” to listen and enjoy some cool links!

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Season 1 – Episode 1 – Tolkien: The Man, The Legend, the Movie


In our first episode, we discuss the 2019 movie “Tolkien,” directed by Dome Karukoski and starring Nicholas Hoult and Lily Collins. We explore the inspiration that Tolkien drew from his idyllic childhood home and the trenches of World War II, as well as the effects of trauma on the brain and the power of art and beauty to heal that trauma.

Click “Read More” to listen to the episode and to enjoy some cool links!

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