Every month, host Dave Pezza and an all-star guest pick a book, give it a read, and record their qualms, praises, and bad jokes. Nothing is off the table, and we’re mostly sober. If you’ve had the book club blues like us, then NovelClass is your newest, nerdiest friend. No rubber stamps, no shameless plugs, only friendly banter and constructive criticisms. NovelClass is part of the Writer's Bone Podcast Network.
Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow
44:28Welcome back to NovelClass, your book club podcast! Joining host Dave Pezza on today’s episode author, podcast sherpa, and NovelClass regular Daniel Ford. Ford returns to discuss Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin. Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow was published on July 5, 2022 by Knopf and is Zevin’s tenth novel. Set in Boston and Los Angeles in the late ‘09s and early 2000s, the book chronicles the friendships and love affairs of Sadie Green and Sam Mauser from their first meeting in a children’s hospital rec room to successful video game developers. Through their friendship, Zevin tells a decades-long coming of age story and explores the deeper understanding of true friendship and self-realization. Please enjoy our discussion of Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow.
Crossroads by Jonathan Franzen (With Guest Host Erin Somers)
58:37NovelClass is back! Host Dave Pezza is joined by Erin Somers, author of Stay Up With Hugo Best and co-host of the Mr. Difficult podcast, and Daniel Ford, author of Black Coffee and co-founder of the Writer's Bone Podcast Network. The trio discuss Jonathan Franzen's most recent novel, Crossroads. NovelClass is proudly sponsored by Libro.fm (NOVELCLASS), Daniel Paisner's Balloon Dog, and A Mighty Blaze podcast.
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5.04: Nick and The Great Gatsby
44:12In Episode 5.04, host Dave Pezza and guest host Daniel Ford (Black Coffee, Sid Sanford Lives!) channel their inner Nick Carraway and sit in the corner and make note of all the goings on in Michael Farris Smith's Nick and F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic The Great Gatsby.
5.03: Whereabouts by Jhumpa Lahiri (With Guest Host Mark Cecil)
49:18In Episode 5.03, author and journalist Mark Cecil, host of The Thoughtful Bro author interview series with A Mighty Blaze, joins host Dave Pezza to discuss Whereabouts by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jhumpa Lahiri. As if Lahiri’s body of work wasn’t impressive enough, she had to raise the bar even high with Whereabouts, which was published in April 2021 by Knopf. The author fell in love with Italy and Italian so deeply that she wrote this book in Italian first and then translated it to English. So take a minute, mourn your mere mortal writing process. Considering the book’s short page count, any plot synopsis might be longer than the novel itself, so we’re going to get you right to it. Enjoy the NovelClass discussion of Jhumpa Lahiri’s Whereabouts. Keep reading, everyone.
5.02: The Five Wounds by Kristin Valdez Quade (With Guest Host Steph Post)
59:12On today’s episode, Steph Post, author of Holding Smoke, returns to NovelClass to discuss Kristin Valdez Quade’s debut novel The Five Wounds. The Five Wounds was published on March 30, 2021 by W. W. Norton & Company and is author Kristin Valdez Quade’s debut novel. Set in Las Penas, New Mexico in the late 2000s, The Five Wounds tells the story of Amadeo Padilla and his family. Amadeo, 33, unemployed, and living with his mother, has been recently inducted into a secret Catholic society within the community. Amadeo is chosen by his great-uncle, the leader of the group, to reenact the passion of Christ during the community’s Good Friday procession. As Amadeo hopes the society and his new role will be a catalyst for a new lease on life, Angel, Amadeo’s16-year-old pregnant daughter, arrives at his door after fleeing from her mother’s home. Over the course of the next year, Amadeo, his daughter, and his mother will face a myriad of challenges and make countless sacrifices to keep their family and their faith intact. In a remarkable debut, Kirstin Valdez Quade crafts an incredible cast of characters who, despite their best efforts, continue sabotage their own lives. Set during a difficult period for many Americans, Quade’s narrative is a testament to the resilience of family and the America spirit. Today's episode is sponsored by Libro.fm.
5.01: Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro
59:24For the Season 5 premiere, host Dave Pezza is joined by NovelClass co-creator, author, and host of the Writer’s Bone podcast Daniel Ford. The pair discuss Klara and the Sun by Nobel Prize laureate Kazuo Ishiguro. Published on March 2, 2021 by Faber and Faber, Klara and the Sun is narrated by the titular Klara, an artificial friend, who has been bought as a companion to Josie, a sickly teenage girl. In her new home Klara must learn as much as she can about her new friend and the dystopian world in which they live. Set in perhaps a not-so-distant future, Klara and the Sun, Ishiguro’s eighth novel, is a powerhouse of emotion and a deep probe into the complexities and shortcomings of the human condition. Fresh off his Nobel Prize in literature, Ishiguro cautiously leads his readers into a shockingly and terrifyingly recognizable world where compassion and hope can only be found in the least likely of places. Today's episode is sponsored by Libro.fm.
4:12 The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
24:32In the Season 4 finale, Dave Pezza and guest host Daniel Ford (Writer's Bone co-host and author of Black Coffee) close out the year by discussing Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes story "The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle." This episode is sponsored by Libro.fm.
4.11: Hanukkah Special With Author Gila Green
28:58Welcome to NovelClass’ Hanukkah Special! Dave Pezza is joined today by author Gila Green. Gila and Dave sat down to talk about her Hanukkah story “Roller Coaster” off of her 2019 short story collection, White Zion. White Zion was published on May 3, 2019 by Cervena Barva Press is collection of linked stories following the journey of a Yemenite family. Please enjoy our discussion of “Roller Coaster” and Happy Hanukkah! Today's episode is sponsored by Libro.fm.
4.10: Simon Han's Nights When Nothing Happened
41:21On today’s episode, Daniel Ford, author and host of the Writer’s Bone podcast, reprises his role as co-host. Daniel and host Dave Pezza sat down to discuss Nights When Nothing Happened by Simon Han. Nights When Nothing Happened was published on November 17, 2020 by Riverhead Books and is Simon Han’s debut novel. Set in Plano, Texas in November of 2004, Nights When Nothing Happened follows the Cheng family, immigrants from the Chinese city of Tianjin. As the family’s matriarch, Patty Cheng attempts to live the American dream, creating revolutionary cell phone technology at Texas-based tech giant. While Patty commutes to work early and leaves late to accommodate her global team, Liang Cheng cares for the family’s two children, Jack and Annabel, while running a mall-based photography studio from home. But like all families, the Cheng’s have their own secrets and hardships, including a husband’s mysterious past, a wife’s waning love, and a pair precocious children stuck in the middle. In Nights When Nothing Happened, Han delivers the truth about the American dream, complete with lingering doubts, disjointed familial bonds, unbridled aspirations, systemic racism, and cultural disconnects. Here, Han creates a complex family with mysterious external and internal struggles that keep the reader in a penumbra of doubt about their intentions and actions. In his debut novel, Han establishes himself as a sound architect of the human condition as well as the pitfalls of chasing success in America. Please enjoy our discussion of Nights When Nothing Happened. This episode is sponsored by Libro.fm.
4.09: Stephen Graham Jones' The Only Good Indians
53:51In Episode 4.09, host Dave Pezza is joined by his good friends Guido Fargiorgio and Eric Prive. Eric, Guido, and Dave discussed The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones. Published on July 14, 2020 by Saga Press, The Only Good Indians is the story of four childhood Native American friends of the Blackfoot Tribe and their fate years after a hunting trip gone wrong. As adults, they are not only challenged by the struggles that many Native Americans face living on a reservation, including racism, alcoholism, and poverty, but they must also come to terms their own guilt. In The Only Good Indians, Jones offers a truly bizarre story of revenge, guilt, fatalism, and the remarkable resilience of Native American tradition and culture. Through his intriguing and challenging writing style, Jones crafts a wonderfully macabre tale that shocks, disgusts, laments, and entirely absorbs the reader in a world where actions have bitter, unrelenting consequences. Please enjoy our discussion of The Only Good Indians. Today's episode is sponsored by Libro.fm.