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Cracking the Spine

Cracking the Spine is a weekly podcast centered around the world of literature. Topics cover the wide range of issues associated with books, publishing, and the literary world in general. Host Sean Curran is a passionate bookseller and life-long readers who strives for open and honest conversation, occasionally moving into the realm of debate. While the discourse may be serious at times, the hosts hope that there is an air of fun to the proceedings. The goal is for every topic to be handled trut...



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Cracking the Spine
Dec 30, 2017 Sean Curran
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Okay guys, we admit it - it has been longer than a week since we posted. What we intended to be our Halloween/Thanksgiving episode has become our Halloween/Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Year's episode. But we're pretty sure it was worth the wait. Dramatic reading abound!
Cracking the Spine
Nov 28, 2017 Sean Curran
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This WEEK your intrepid friends shake off the dust of a week and get into the deeper recesses of their privileged upbringings. Some kids were afraid of hunger or gun violence. Tune in to listen to the horrific nightmare scenarios that kept us up at night.
Cracking the Spine
Aug 24, 2017 Sean Curran
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Have you ever caught yourself thinking "Damn, if only I knew what personality type Josh is"? WELL WONDER NO MORE! We heeded the suggestion of a listener and together took the Myers-Briggs test. Listen and take the test with along with us, and find out what famous authors (or podcast hosts) you share a personality type with! We took the test at 16personalities.com.
Cracking the Spine
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Everything is kind of the worst, which means we are all relating to dystopian fiction HARD. We get political and discuss how the apocalypse seems to be encroaching at a much slower rate in real life than our books and films would suggest. To summarize: Thanks for nothing, Roland Emmerich.
Cracking the Spine
Jul 7, 2017 Sean Curran
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We're a day late, which we'll go ahead and blame on the holiday weekend (Thanks, AMERICA), but we think you'll be pleased with today's episode. Thanks to an intrepid listener we're able to breathe new life into an old topic. Do we read the novel first, or watch the adaptation? We get introspective and the conversation inevitably turns to Star Trek. Enjoy!
Cracking the Spine
Jun 22, 2017 Sean Curran
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Sometimes you love a book so much that you just feel compelled to rewrite it. Or at least...some people do. This week your intrepid hosts discuss their experience with fan fiction (or lack thereof). We also address a well intentioned but creepy email that we received, and discuss internet manners. So keep your elbows off the table, chew with your mouth closed, and heed our advice.
Cracking the Spine
Apr 27, 2017 Sean Curran
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Welcome to our Passover/Easter spectacular! The gang gets together at an unconventional family gathering, and discuss what it's like to be late to the proverbial party. We welcome Sean's daughter as our newest (and most professional) host, and she makes a valiant effort to keep us on topic. Consider it a spring miracle. Happy belated holidays, listeners!
Cracking the Spine
Apr 20, 2017 Sean Curran
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Have you ever wished for a full hour of Cracking The Spine? Then today is your lucky day! We discuss if we've ever read books to impress anyone...so in true CtS fashion we never get sidetracked or bogged down in minutiae, and we wrap up our very civil discourse efficiently and succinctly. Just kidding, we talk for forever about whatever. We can't be anyone but ourselves.
Cracking the Spine
Mar 23, 2017 Sean Curran
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When the week stretches on as long as this, there's a lot to talk about. The gang catches up on all the reading they've been doing (no, really!), discuss the emotional power of literature, and get worked up about listener emails. Just another week in the CtS universe. Listen and enjoy!
Cracking the Spine
Feb 9, 2017 Sean Curran
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Seems like you can't swing a dead cat around your head these days without hitting one or more depressing news story. So our gang puts on their political hats and talks about the role of literature during tough times. Be warned - it's a politically-themed discussion. Proceed with caution.
Cracking the Spine
Dec 22, 2016 Sean Curran
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Happy merriness and holiday yuletide greetings listeners! We've made it to our second Christmas spectacular. This time around, instead of reading previously published works by famous writers, we opted to read personal missives sent to us by soon-to-be famous (or infamous in some cases) listeners. We got a wide array of letters, from the humorously sublime to the deeply heartfelt. Light up a log (in whatever way is meaningful to you) and give a listen!
Cracking the Spine
Nov 23, 2016 Sean Curran
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Your favorite weekly podcast returns a day early from its normal weekly posting schedule to deliver another week's worth of content and hilarity. We decided to post on Wednesday this week (as opposed to every other week) in case you have some traveling to do. As you might. We post weekly. Oh, we talk about books and podcasts and something this week. Because we post every week.
Cracking the Spine
Oct 7, 2016 Sean Curran
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This week, while celebrating a High Holiday, Zane, Sean and Josh tackle the not-at-all controversial topic of our civilization's fascination with Stone Age texts. While (attempting) to stay respectful, they (attempt) addressing the seemingly incongruous connection humanity feels with books written before the advent of any modern kind of thinking. Join us, and remember, it's not offensive!
Cracking the Spine
Sep 29, 2016 Sean Curran
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Based on another great listener suggestion (from what is arguably one of the most powerful emails we've ever received) Josh, Sean and Josh dive into the world of bookstores and libraries. Sure, yeah, they've talked about those amazing respositories before, but not to the extent they delve into it tonight. Listen as they expound on their love of the idea of collecting human understanding in the printed form. Ok, that sounds more serious than it is. Trust me, there's the more than enough of the...
Cracking the Spine
Sep 8, 2016 Sean Curran
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This week your three intrepid hosts. . . HOLD ON! Did you say three?! Why yes, I did, because JOSH IS BACK! Anyway, your three intrepid hosts (one of whom is Josh) discuss an incredibly meta topic - how do you actually read a book? Are you a skimmer? Do you skip ahead? Pore over every word? You may be surprised to learn that Zane, Josh and Sean each have their own preferred method, and we all quickly learn that no one way is the "right way". Did I mention that Josh is back? He so is....
Cracking the Spine
Sep 1, 2016 Sean Curran
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This week marks a triumphant return of 2/3 of the CtS crew! Josh couldn't make it (NO YOU HATERS, WE DIDN'T FIRE HIM) but Sean and Zane sit still long enough to talk about how it feels to get wrapped up in a series that isn't finished. It's kind of like listening to a podcast that is inconsistent in posting episodes. The crew also welcomes on a very special guest for the show, one whose appearance will be the stuff of legends for years to come.
Cracking the Spine
Aug 5, 2016 Sean Curran
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Josh, Zane and Sean take their show on the road, quite literally. With scheduling becoming an issue, the gang takes the opportunity of a long drive to a special dinner to talk about travel books in all their forms. They get distracted by thoughts of meat and alcohol, as well as the meat and alcohol themselves. Buckle up, buckaroos! It's a wild ride!
Cracking the Spine
Jul 22, 2016 Sean Curran
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This week we dip into the Cracking the Spine Reddit in order to get a great topic. Sean, Josh and Zane delve into what books our children will read when they get into high school. Will 1984 stand the test of time, or will The Hunger Games become the new classic. And, like, it's not that we're obsessed with The Hunger Games, but we may or may not spend some time talking about it.... but we talk about other things too.... Listen up. You may learn something (that your kids will learn later).
Cracking the Spine
Jul 14, 2016 Sean Curran
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This week the group makes its triumphant return, and boy are you lucky they did! Taking another awesome listener suggestion, Josh, Zane and Sean talk about their own personal evolutionary arcs as readers. Where did each of their tastes come from? Did the Cro-Magnon steps of their early twenties help influence the homosapien tastes of their now? Is this analogy stretched to its limit? They attempt to apply some intelligent design to the conversation, and delve into the origin of reading. Join in!
Cracking the Spine
Jun 23, 2016 Sean Curran
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For sixty nine episodes we have discussed the human side of books. This week we finally get in touch with our animal sides. Who are the most memorable non-human characters from literature, and what do they reveal about our shared humanity? Sean and Josh, while not as accomplished in the animal world as Zane, try to keep up. You can keep up too by listening! So do it!
Cracking the Spine
Jun 16, 2016 Sean Curran
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How far are we willing to take a joke? Let's say we go one past sixty eight and one before seventy. But it's not what you think. Unless it is what you think. In which case, man, you're smart. Listen. Josh, Zane and Sean go to places in books you've likely never been before.
Cracking the Spine
Jun 9, 2016 Sean Curran
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When our listeners suggest topics, we listen. And this time, we dig down deep to discuss book analysis. You might be surprised that one third of the hosts doesn't think of himself/herself as overly analytic, one third feels he/she is incredibly analytical, and the other comes down right in the middle. The gang also manages to work Skyrim into the conversation, and Zane goes off the reservation and picks her own book to read. Sean is flabbergasted. You'll laugh. We promise.
Cracking the Spine
Jun 2, 2016 Sean Curran
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Have you guys sent us an email recently? If not, you really should. It's a good way to stay in touch with us, but also, it's a great way for us to hear from you. And this week we hear from a listener who gave us a fantastic show suggestion. Memorial Day has come and gone, which means that summer has (unofficially) started. Zane, Josh and Sean talk about what makes a book a particularly good summer read. There's also some J. Lo talk, some klaxons, a frog, and a motorcycle. Just the usual...
Cracking the Spine
May 26, 2016 Sean Curran
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The greatest subreddit on the Internet comes through again with an incredibly interesting topic - in terms of novels, do you prefer a larger world view or something smaller and more intimate? Trust me: Sean, Zane and Josh have opinions on this. They also coo over a business card and lament the very real threat of book censorship.
Cracking the Spine
May 19, 2016 Sean Curran
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A listener comes through again this week with another great topic: is there any truth behind the perception that reading a book is a "smarter" way of getting a story or is it just a time-honored bias that has no meaning. You'll discover that the crew has no easy answers. Unless the question is, "What is Josh's big snack this week?" Tune in, and we guarantee* you'll be smarter than before you listened! (*not a guarantee)
Cracking the Spine
May 12, 2016 Sean Curran
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Once again the listeners come through with a topic that at first glance may seem trivial, but is in fact quite thought-provoking. Josh, Sean and Zane discuss the pressure one feels from loaning out a book, or from having a book loaned to them. They each come at the stress of the idea from a different place, making this week's show feel more like group therapy than a podcast. And when you consider how much some people pay for psychoanalysis, you're pretty lucky to get this for free! And they...
Cracking the Spine
May 5, 2016 Sean Curran
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This week the crew discusses a topic of Sean's choosing - the protagonists that you love to hate. And with these three, you know the vitriol is all over the place. There's also talk of Hugo Award puppies, a show listener's first published novel, and, of course, Mr. Chuck Tingle. If you love hate, this is the show for you! Books mentioned:   Thirst by: Benjamin Warner Soolie Beetch And The Dying Light by: Gypsie Raleigh The Name Of The Wind by: Patrick Rothfuss Don’t You Cry by: Mary Kubica...
Cracking the Spine
Apr 28, 2016 Sean Curran
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Your heroes (that is: Zane, Josh and Sean) get a suggestion from one of their heroes (that is: you wonderful listeners) and talk about villains (that is: bad guys). They do such a good job of it, that we're pretty sure they talk about every single villain in all of written literature. You should listen to see if they missed anyone. There's also a lengthy (but very much needed) discussion of the world of Paw Patrol. It's deep. Books mentioned:   Don’t You Cry by: Mary Kubica Fellside by: M....
Cracking the Spine
Apr 21, 2016 Sean Curran
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This week the gang stays completely on topic and never once wavers nor gets off on tangents. Really. Never. Not even once. We stay so laser-focused on the topic of book clubs that if you pointed this week's episode at a mass of hydrogen gas, there would be pure nuclear fusion. You've never heard us so focused. Don't believe me? Listen up and learn something! Books Mentioned:   The Woman In Cabin 10 by: Ruth Ware Fellside by: M.R. Carey The Girl With All The Gifts by: M.R. Carey The Devil in...
Cracking the Spine
Apr 14, 2016 Sean Curran
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This week you get to listen to an audio podcast with audio hosts talking about audio books. This is one from way back in the listener suggestion vault, but no less worthy for sitting for so long. Sean, Zane and Josh opine on what literary audio excursions they've been on, and how often they make the trip. Come along and LISTEN! Books Mentioned:   Disappearance At Devil’s Rock by: Paul Tremblay Pax by: Sara Pennypacker The Woman In Cabin 10 by: Ruth Ware In A Dark, Dark Wood by: Ruth Ware But...
Cracking the Spine
Apr 7, 2016 Sean Curran
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Our listeners come up with the best stuff! This week we get the suggestion of remakes and retelling. While we start off on books, we quickly jump over into the world of movies (who could've guessed?!). Do we love hearing the same stories over and over again? Hate it? Feel 100% apathetic about it? Listen and we'll find out together. Books mentioned:   Disappearance At Devil’s Rock by: Paul Tremblay I’m Thinking Of Ending Things by: Iain Reid But What If We're Wrong?: Thinking about the...
Cracking the Spine
Mar 31, 2016 Sean Curran
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Zane and Sean enjoy the quiet efficiency of a Josh-less show to take on another great listener suggestion. Everyone knows about the concept of a novel's voice - first person, third person omniscient, and the ever-elusive second person, but how does one choose a favorite? Tune in to find out! (And listen for Sean's improving klaxon skills.) Books mentioned:   Clive Barker’s Books Of Blood 1-3 by: Clive Barker Don’t You Cry by: Mary Kubica Disappearance At Devil’s Rock by: Paul Tremblay...
Cracking the Spine
Mar 24, 2016 Sean Curran
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This time out, Zane, Josh and Sean discuss the idea of reading and seeing plays. What is it about play scripts that make them such a different literary experience, and why do we love them so? Well, we don't all love them. Josh's relationship with plays would be better described as. . . well. . . just listen and find out. Make sure to stick around for the triumphant return of the dramatic reading! Books Mentioned:   Clive Barker’s Books Of Blood by: Clive Barker Inherit The Wind by: Jerome...
Cracking the Spine
Mar 17, 2016 Sean Curran
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We set out trying to tackle the gigantic beast that is the Amazon Kindle store, but end up getting completely hung up on one specific author. Really, there are a lot of weird, weird, WEIRD things that you can buy for your e-reader. Maybe stick to real books? Black Chalk by: Christopher J. Yates My Best Friend’s Exorcism by: Grady Hendrix What If We’re Wrong? by: Chuck Klosterman Lexicon by: Max Barry Hedging His Bets by: Celia Kyle Dragon Her Feet by: Celia Kyle Gay T-Rex Law Firm:...
Cracking the Spine
Mar 10, 2016 Sean Curran
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Proving that you can find anything on the internet, the gang this week tackles the evil inherent in coloring mandalas in adult coloring books. Yes, apparently there are people out there who will tell you that coloring symbols of Eastern philosophy literally leads to demons possessing you. Sean, Zane and Josh have feelings on that. They share those feelings. You listen. That's how this whole thing works.
Cracking the Spine
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There's nothing sacred for your intrepid show hosts, as this week they peek behind the bathroom door to find out what they're reading on the toilet. Or, you know, what they're not reading. Naturally, this leads to a discussion of how one becomes Voldemort. Listen up, and no hand washing needed! Books mentioned: The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America by: Erik Larson But What If We're Wrong?: Thinking about the Present as If It Were the Past by:...
Cracking the Spine
Feb 25, 2016 Sean Curran
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Thanks once again to a listener's suggestion, Zane and Sean get deep into the literary tropes they love and hate. Which cliches never fail to lure them in, and which ones have become hackneyed. Meanwhile, Josh is nowhere to be found. Books mentioned: The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America by: Erik Larson My Best Friend’s Exorcism by: Grady Hendrix But What If We're Wrong?: Thinking about the Present as If It Were the Past by: Chuck Klosterman...
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There are fifty two weeks in a year, and this is episode fifty and two, so we're declaring this the Official Cracking the Spine One Year Anniversary show! We couldn't have made it this long without such great support from our listeners, and we once again draw on that support for this week's topic. Our hosts discuss the books that are the most important books in each of their lives. While every book is important to someone, what is that one book (or more than one book) that Zane, Josh and Sean...
Cracking the Spine
Feb 13, 2016 Sean Curran
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Because we love you so much (so very very much... like... really... it could be considered an unhealthy amount of love) we bring you a special Valentine's Day episode of CtS! Sean, Josh and Zane share stories and letters of love, love and MORE LOVE OH MY GOD SO MUCH LOVE! We hope you enjoy it, maybe even... love? it?
Cracking the Spine
Feb 11, 2016 Sean Curran
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Come with me and we'll be in a world of pure imagination! The gang jumps all over another listener suggestion to talk about what genre they would stock their dream library with. 2/3 of your hosts know exactly where to go. One of them, let's call her "Zane", isn't so sure.   Books mentioned: Security by: Gina Wholsdorf The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America by: Erik Larson Dark Matter by: Blake Crouch The Regional Office Is Under...
Cracking the Spine
Feb 4, 2016 Sean Curran
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Man, our listeners come up with the best ideas! This week, at the suggestion of one of those awesome listeners, your hosts and friends (and potential Valentines) discuss all those books they've always wanted to read, but never got around to. Josh's list is longer than most...   Books mentioned:   The Devil In The White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America Trade Book by: Erik Larson In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin...
Cracking the Spine
Jan 28, 2016 Sean Curran
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This week another listener has tossed out a great topic, and your three undaunted hosts tackle it head on. Zane, Josh and Sean are forced to think about what book they would write, were they tasked to write a book. It's not quite as easy as you may think. Also, Josh doesn't have a FitBit and is mocked soundly for it. Books mentioned: Star Wars: The Force Awakens by: Alan Dean Foster The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America by: Erik Larson The...
Cracking the Spine
Jan 21, 2016 Sean Curran
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This week, Zane, Josh and Sean take another great listener suggestion to talk about how we store and maintain our libraries. Books are very important in our lives, so taking care of them merits a conversation. You decide if it's interesting! Also, there's a Valentine surprise at the end... Books mentioned: The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith Lovecraft Country by: Matt Ruff Star Wars: The Force Awakens by: Alan Dean Foster Something Wicked This Way Comes by: Ray Bradbury Quicksilver:...
Cracking the Spine
Jan 14, 2016 Sean Curran
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Happy new year spine crackers! The gang makes its triumphant 2016 debut (albiet a week late...)with another great listener suggestion. With a recent announcement from George RR Martin, we decided to tackle the idea of media creators who do (or don't) match the expectation of the audience. Listen on up! Books mentioned: The Bazaar of Bad Dreams by: Stephen King Lovecraft Country by: Matt Ruff The Gunslinger by: Stephen King Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire by: George R. R. Martin Harry...
Cracking the Spine
Dec 24, 2015 Sean Curran
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The CtS team wants to wish you and yours nothing but joy and merriment at this festive time of year. So this week we bring you a trio of Christmas readings from some of our favorite writers. We hope that this show brings some comfort and cheer to your Yuletide season.
Cracking the Spine
Dec 17, 2015 Sean Curran
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When in the course of human events does it become acceptable to hate an artist, regardless of the relative quality of the art, based on his personal lifestyle? Our intrepid trio delve into this thorny issue. Music Used: Fractal Planetoid by: *imp*   Books mentioned: The Bazaar Of Bad Dreams by: Stephen King Abomination by: Gary Whitta The Fireman by: Joe Hill Ender’s Game by: Orson Scott Card Atlas Shrugged by: Ayn Rand A Million Little Pieces by: James Frey
Cracking the Spine
Dec 10, 2015 Sean Curran
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Dipping back into the listener mailbag, Zane and Sean discuss their own personal golden ages of writing. Josh sits this one out with a newly discovered illness. Enjoy! Music Used: Fractal Planetoid by: *imp*   Books Mentioned: The Fireman by: Joe Hill The Cuckoo’s Calling by: Robert Galbraith The Bazaar of Bad Dreams by: Stephen King American Psycho by: Bret Easton Ellis Twilight by: Stephenie Meyer
Cracking the Spine
Dec 3, 2015 Sean Curran
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The crew meets at a family Thanksgiving get together to talk about what they're thankful for, as well as reading some listeners gratitude. Spoiler alert: a lot of people are indebted to butts. Music used: I Want to Believe by: Honeychurch   Books mentioned: Abomination by: Gary Whitta Dodgers by: Bill Beverly The Cuckoo’s Calling by: Robert Galbraith The Fireman by: Joe Hill The Da Vinci Code by: Dan Brown
Cracking the Spine
Nov 25, 2015 Sean Curran
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A listener suggestion gives Zane, Sean and Josh fits as they struggle to come up with their favorite character, in any medium. Also,the gang gives thanks. Music Used: Sean’s Song by: Honeychurch   Books mentioned:   A Decent Ride by: Irvine Welsh Dodgers by: Bill Beverly The Cuckoo’s Calling by: Robert Galbraith The Count Of Monte Cristo by: Alexandre Dumas American Psycho by: Bret Easton Ellis Maniac Magee by: Jerry Spinelli Lolita by: Vladimir Nabokov Anathem by: Neal Stephenson Harry...
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Nov 19, 2015 Sean Curran
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This week, Sean admits a bit of an addiction to coffee table books, Zane brings her usual awesome statistical analysis to the discussion, and Josh likes nekkid ladies. Makes a great gift! Music Used: Winter Pageant by: Honeychurch   Books Mentioned: Abomination by: Gary Whitta And Again by: Jessica Chiarella A Decent Ride by: Irvine Welsh Bunny Yeagers Pin-Up Girls Of The 1950s by: Bunny Yeager  
Cracking the Spine
Nov 12, 2015 Sean Curran
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Josh and Sean get really deep down in the geekery this week, discussing the points where Peter Jackson's film adaptations depart from the source Tolkien mythology. Fortunately for Zane, she misses the whole thing. Music Used: Tennessee Valley by: Honeychurch   Books Discussed: Abomination by: Gary Whitta A Head Full of Ghosts by: Paul Tremblay And Again by: Jessica Chiarella The Nerdy Nummies Cookbook by: Rosanna Pansino The Hobbit by: J.R.R. Tolkien The Lord of the Rings by: J.R.R. Tolkien  
Cracking the Spine
Nov 5, 2015 Sean Curran
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Music used: The Dinner Song by: Honeychurch   Books mentioned: The Fold by: Peter Cline Make Something Up: Stories You Can’t Unread by: Chuck Palahniuk The Children’s Home by: Charles Lambert Made To Kill by: Adam Christopher And Again by: Jessica Chiarella Mad Max: Fury Road by: Lee Bermejo, George Miller A Story Of God And All Of Us by: Roma Downey, Mark Burnett  
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Oct 31, 2015 Sean Curran
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Happy Halloween from your friends at Cracking the Spine! Sean, Josh, and Zane bring you a trio of scary stories to celebrate the spooky day.
Cracking the Spine
Oct 29, 2015 Sean Curran
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The usual gang o'three get together to discuss the phenomenon of binging out on media. Television shows, authors, and other kinds of binge consumption of entertainment are broken down to their core elements. It's neat! Music Used: Miko II by: Honeychurch   Books Mentioned: The Children’s Home by: Charles Lambert The Fold by: Peter Clines Berkeley Breathed S Academia Waltz and Other Profound Transgressions by: Berkeley Breathed There Is No God And He Is Always With You: A Search For God In...
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Oct 22, 2015 Sean Curran
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This week the gang delves deeply and greedily into a topic near and dear to their hearts - video games. While most of the conversation centers around Skyrim, it turns out there are other games too. This week is dedicated to Don Barnes, Donnie Van Zant, and everyone who holds on loosely. Music used: Never by: Honeychurch   Books mentioned: Sleeping Giants by: Sylvain Neuvel Mr. Eternity by: Aaron Thier Abomination by: Gary Whitta The Fold by: Peter Clines
Cracking the Spine
Oct 15, 2015 Sean Curran
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Once again we go to the listener mailbox for a topic, this time taking on why people don't read. Josh, being a bit of an expert in these things, weighs in. Sean and Zane provide some insight as well. You decide if that insight is worthy! Music used: Welcome Home, Spacegirl by: Honeychurch   Books mentioned:   The Windup Girl by: Paolo  Bacigalupi Abomination by: Gary Whitta Sleeping Giants by: Sylvain Neuvel The Fold by: Peter Clines Armada by: Ernest Cline The Diary Of A Young Girl by: Anne...
Cracking the Spine
Oct 8, 2015 Sean Curran
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This week we discuss young adult literature, and why we do or don't read it. It doesn't quite come to blows, but boy, it comes close! Music used: The Dream is Over by: Honeychurch   Books mentioned:   Abomination by: Gary Whitta Duma Key by: Stephen King The Windup Girl by: Paolo Bacigalupi Sleeping Giants by: Sylvain Neuvel Mad Max: Fury Road by: Lee Bermejo, George Miller The World’s Worst Poetry by: Stephen Robins The Joy Of Sex by: Alex Comfort, Susan Quilliam Maniac Magee by: Jerry...
Cracking the Spine
Oct 1, 2015 Sean Curran
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Zane and Sean tackle the perception of science fiction in popular culture. Is it just for stunted male children, or can anyone explore the worlds of the genre? Listen and learn!   Music Used - Chancery Lane by: Honeychurch   Books mentioned: Abomination by: Gary Whitta Bream Gives Me Hiccups by: Jesse Eisenberg Duma Key by: Stephen King The Martian by: Andy Weir The Girl On The Train by: Paula Hawkins Corrections by: Jonathan Franzen Freedom by: Jonathan Franzen Killing Regan: The Violent...
Cracking the Spine
Sep 24, 2015 Sean Curran
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The gang sets off with no road map, no destination, and no stated topic for discussion. They end up talking hobbies, sharpening pencils, and the bossiness of a host's child. Music Used: Falling Leaves by Honeychurch   Books mentioned: Abomination by: Gary Whitta Dead House by: Dawn Kurtagich The Cure For Dreaming by: Cat Winters Bream Gives Me Hiccups by: Jesse Eisenberg  
Cracking the Spine
Sep 17, 2015 Sean Curran
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This week we discuss the art form of making words into things called poems. Originally the gang is all pretty convinced that it is a crap form, but come to discover that maybe it's awesome? And then Josh and Sean battle, slam-poet style. Can you dig it, Jackson?   Music used: Before you Leave by: Honeychurch   Books mentioned: The Cure For Dreaming by: Cat Winters Dead House by: Dawn Kurtagich Bream Gives Me Hiccups by: Jesse Eisenberg Press Start To Play by: Daniel H. Wilson, John Joseph...
Cracking the Spine
Sep 10, 2015 Sean Curran
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This week our valiant trio talks titillating (a word that always makes Josh giggle) books, as well as love stories. Together they discover that creating believable romance in literature isn't as easy as it seems. We also hear the triumphant return of JoshBot. And as a bonus: fifty shades of a dramatic reading! Music Used: Bottle of Tears by: Honeychurch
Cracking the Spine
Sep 3, 2015 Sean Curran
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Zane and Sean take another listener suggestion and delve into the world of banned books. Who is banning these things? Why would that happen? The bad news: Josh had a last minute emergency and couldn't make it. The good news: We were able to plug in a replacement co-host. Enjoy! Music Used: Sean’s Song by: Honeychurch   Books mentioned: The Executioner’s Heart by: George Mann Blackbirds by: Chuck Wendig Press Start To Play by: Daniel H. Wilson, John Joseph Adams The Essential Bernie Sanders...
Cracking the Spine
Aug 27, 2015 Sean Curran
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Endings. Every book has at least one. This week we delve into what makes an ending successful, or what makes it the opposite word of what successful means. We also yell at Zane. A lot.   Music Used: Winter Pageant by: Honeychurch   Books mentioned: The Immorality Engine by: George Mann The Executioner’s Heart by: George Mann The Missing by: Sarah Langan American Psycho by: Bret Easton Ellis Contact by: Carl Sagan Little Women by: Louisa May Alcott Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows by: J....
Cracking the Spine
Aug 20, 2015 Sean Curran
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This week those wacky Cracking the Spine kids talk about authors who may or may not have lost contact with reality. Is insanity a rare find in literature, or is it almost a prerequisite? And Sean channels his inner goddess to deliver an empowering self-help dramatic reading. Music Used: A Work Suspended by: Honeychurch      Books mentioned: Aurora by: Kim Stanley Robinson A Head Full Of Ghosts by: Paul Tremblay Make Something Up: Stories You Can’t Unread by: Chuck Palahniuk One Flew Over...
Cracking the Spine
Aug 13, 2015 Sean Curran
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This week the gang serves up the laughs and chuckles as they delve into the topic of bleak and depressing books. Why do we read them? What do we gain? It's also a week of firsts as we give our first ever birthday shout-out, as well as witnessing our first ever dramatic reading rage-quit. Let's go! Music used: I Want to Believe by: Honeychurch   Books mentioned: Aurora by: Kim Stanley Robinson A Head Full Of Ghosts by: Paul G. Tremblay The Girl With All The Gifts by: M. R. Carey The Road by:...
Cracking the Spine
Aug 6, 2015 Sean Curran
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Once again our hosts take a listener suggestion, this time talking about the aesthetics of books. That is, does the physical appearance of a book influence our decision to read (or not) a particular work. With the dramatic reading, it's fair to say we've spared no expense. Music used: Turning Leaves by Honeychurch   Books discussed: Aurora by: Kim Stanley Robinson Crooked by: Austin Grossman Horrorstör by: Grady Hendrix Marabou Stork Nightmares by: Irvine Welsh Filth by: Irvine Welsh The...
Cracking the Spine
Jul 30, 2015 Sean Curran
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This week's topic, suggested by a loyal listener, is guilty pleasures. What books make our hosts red-faced if they get caught reading them? And today's dramatic reading takes us deep inside the mind of Dr. Sam Beckett. Music: The Winter Part One by: Honeychurch Books mentioned: The Name Of The Wind by: Patrick RothfussHorrorstör by: Sam Stall, Grady HendrixUntil We Meet Again by: Renee CollinsThe Maze Runner by: James DashnerThe Vampire Diaries: The Awakening by: L. J. SmithThe Hunger Games...
Cracking the Spine
Jul 23, 2015 Sean Curran
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Fantasy! Sean, Zane and Josh delve into the fantastical world of the fantasy genre. What makes it tick? Why do we read it? Apologies for no dramatic reading this week... Books mentioned:   The Fold by: Peter Clines The Name Of The Wind by: Patrick Rothfuss Horrorstör by: Grady Hendrix Go Set A Watchman by: Harper Lee To Kill A Mockingbird by: Harper Lee The Lies Of Locke Lamora by: Scott Lynch Eragon by: Christopher Paolini Anathem by: Neal Stephenson A Game Of Thrones by: George R. R. Martin...
Cracking the Spine
Jul 16, 2015 Sean Curran
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Today Zane and Sean get into a discussion over old-fashioned paper books as compared to e-books/tablets/etc. Also Zane provides an informative and lively reading from a children's picture books (note to self: picture books are tough for an audio podcast...)   Books discussed: Let The Right One In by: John Ajvide Lindqvist Blood And Salt by: Kim Ligget Hollow Man by: Mark Pryor The Name Of The Wind by: Patrick Rothfuss The Hunger Games by: Suzanne Collins A Game Of Thrones by: George R. R....
Cracking the Spine
Jul 9, 2015 Sean Curran
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Sean and Josh give Zane a much needed break from their stupidity this week and delve into a conversation about comedy. Two of the funniest living humans talk comedy. It literally cannot go wrong. Or can it? Books discussed:   A Head Full of Ghosts by: Paul Tremblay The Fold by: Peter Clines The Name of the Wind by: Patrick Rothfuss Bossypants by: Tina Fey Not That Kind of Girl by: Lena Dunham Born Standing Up by: Steve Martin Modern Romance by: Aziz Ansari The Time Machine Did It by: John...
Cracking the Spine
Jul 2, 2015 Sean Curran
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This week our intrepid trio (that's right, Josh is back!) talk about truth versus fiction. Why pick one over the other? Josh also gives a dramatic reading from a "political text" from a Fox News host. Classic Josh... Books Discussed:   The Girl With All The Gifts by: M. R. Carey The Unbearable Lightness of Being by: Milan Kundera Adios America by: Ann Coulter Scrapper by: Matt Bell The Fold by: Peter Clines The Drafter by: Kim Harrison The Name of the Wind by: Patrick Rothfuss A...
Cracking the Spine
Jun 25, 2015 Sean Curran
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Zane and Sean decide to give Josh the week off today (though he may or may not have made an appearance). The duo dig deeply into the horror genre, a personal favorite of each of them. There's also a spooky reading from a *terrifying new novel (* - not a guarantee of terror). Pull the covers up tight and prepare for the nightmares! Music - Fields on Fire by: Honeychurch Books discussed: The Girl With All The Gifts by: M. R. Carey The Fold by: Peter Clines Scrapper by: Matt Bell The Drafter by:...
Cracking the Spine
Jun 18, 2015 Sean Curran
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This week the gang takes a suggestion from a listener and talk about the books that they read when they were younger. From Judy Blume to Stephen King to Gary Paulson and everything in between. Sean also treats us to another dramatic reading from a new American classic. Join us, won't you? Music - Tennessee Valley by: Honeychurch Books discussed: A Head Full Of Ghosts by: Paul Tremblay The Book Of Five Rings by: Musashi Miyamoto Armada by: Ernest Cline The Fold by: Peter Clines The Girl With All...
Cracking the Spine
Jun 11, 2015 Sean Curran
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This week's topic - how do you choose what you're going to read, and when is it okay to give up on a book? Also: Josh expresses a fraction of his discontent for a big upcoming release; and Zane provides the world with a dramatic reading from a seminal work of our times. Music - The Dream is Over by: Honeychurch Books discussed: Zer0es by: Chuck Wendig A Head Full Of Ghosts by: Paul Tremblay House Of Thieves by: Charles Belfoure Trust No One: A Thriller by: Paul Cleave The Time Machine Did It...
Cracking the Spine
Jun 4, 2015 Sean Curran
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This week Josh has a bee in his bonnet regarding the cavalier method modern films have taken with setting. The crew talks over what works about settings in fiction, literary and cinematic, and what doesn't. Music - The Dinner Song by Honeychurch Books discussed: House Of Thieves by: Charles Belfoure Zer0es by: Chuck Wendig The Time Machine Did It by: John Swartzwelder A Headful Of Ghosts by: Paul Tremblay Armada by: Ernest Cline Reamde by: Neal Stephenson Zodiac by: Neal Stephenson Grendel by:...