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Terrible Book Club

Author: Chris & Paris

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Join Chris & Paris every other Tuesday to discover if you really can judge a book by its hideous cover, bad title, or weird synopsis.

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165 Episodes
The 9th Colony by Colin Curtis was vanity published through AuthorHouse UK in February of 2023. We received an email from a podcast PR rep asking us to have the author on the show as a guest. We don't have authors on the show, but we get a lot of these emails because some PR companies just send blanket form emails without actually having any idea what the podcasts or other entities they’re contacting actually do. Normally we just skim and delete, but this one caught our eye because it suggested that Mr. Curtis had expertise in the science of human evolution and space exploration and would talk about "the evolution debate". Considering the book was only 128 pages, it seemed worth a read and review for us this year. Disclaimer: Most of this year's episodes were pre-recorded many months in advance. Please keep in mind that when we recorded this review in early 2023, the UAP/UFO hearings in congress that took place in July obviously hadn't happened yet. If you haven't yet watched or read the transcripts of those hearings, it's worth your time: UAP Hearing Wrap Up In addition to our usual barnyard language, today’s episode includes discussion or mention of: aliens, alien abduction, cartoon-level violence, conspiracy theories, and UAPs/UFOs. U.S. Government Alien/UFO Investigations Office of the Director of National Intelligence's Preliminary Assessment of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena National Archives: Project Blue Book Kurzgesagt's Short-Form Videos about Alien Possibilities:  The Fermi Paradox — Where Are All The Aliens? (1/2) The Fermi Paradox II — Solutions and Ideas – Where Are All The Aliens? (2/2) Why Alien Life Would be our Doom - The Great Filter Aliens under the Ice – Life on Rogue Planets What Do Alien Civilizations Look Like? The Kardashev Scale Citations Needed: The Very Real Social Brain Rot of Ancient Aliens and Ancient Apocalypse  
If you're interested in our take on a WWII popcorn spy thriller, it's here! It's hard for us to say no to reviewing a book when you mail it to us. We got a copy of His Majesty's Hope through the magnificence of the US postal system from our Patron EasternSwiss. They asked us to read it for their Patron’s Choice episode this year, telling us that this book is about, "a British tutor [who] becomes a spy to fight Nazis, but neglects her duties, gets her partner killed over dumb shit, and never listens to smart people...her half sister in Germany is...clueless about Nazis despite her mother being a top official with the party! Like how can you know nothing about what's happening!? It's implied Goebbels sometimes visits her house, like c'mon - you know some shit.” In addition to our usual barnyard language, today's episode includes discussion or mention of: Nazis and their whole deal during WWII, but specifically child murder, eugenics, prison camps, and mild violence.
We've got another reddit find for you this week! Paris found this when perusing the latest "What's the worst book you've ever read?" post that surfaces a few times each year in various literary subreddits. In one response, redditor u/lydiardbell explained that Interview with the Devil (Part 1 - Victor's Account) was indeed the worst book they've ever read. What made it really memorable was that the author threatened to burn their house down for the review they wrote for the book. In addition to our usual barnyard language, this episode includes mention or discussion of: cannibalism, violent abuse, r*pe/sexual assault, su*cide, and torture.
This week, we discuss our experience reading Golden (The Golden Wolf Series Book 1) by Shannon Mayer at the request of our Patron Robin. Robin said, “It looks truly abysmal. I can't wait to hear your summary.” Golden is a shifter romance where a wolf is cursed to be a golden retriever and gets wrapped up in the events of Ragnarök (the end of the Norse cycle of renewal) and everything's got a little nü-metal flavor. Paris goes full red-strings-on-corkboard to try to figure out how the elements of the plot could possibly make sense. In addition to our usual barnyard language, today's episode includes discussion or mention of r*pe fantasies and physical violence.
The Man Without Qualities by Morris Berman was recommended by listener (and author!) O.F. Cieri back in December of 2020. It was recommended to them by a friend who said this book "would change America" and that "we were all going to look at each other differently "- "a new culture would emerge from this book!" Although this book is supposedly intended as satire, it left us wondering how much of it or what elements were supposed to be funny. Check out O.F. Cieri's urban fantasy, Lord of Thundertown In addition to our usual barnyard language, this episode includes discussion of: American politics (specifically the 2015-2016 brand) & jokes based on ethnicities and gender.  Correction: Around 2:00 and 9:50 we mention that we were told this author was a "major conservative thinker who worked for the Nixon administration" by the original person who recommended it to O.F. We later discovered that neither of those things were true - Morris Berman is an American historian and social critic and is not typically categorized as conservative. He also never worked for the Nixon administration. Whoops! Apologies for the accidental misinformation. Sherry Turkle: 2012 TEDtalk: Connected, but alone? Turkle's Books & Articles U.S. Socioeconomic & Political Background Info: Poverty & Disenfranchisment: Police Brutality: March & Protest Statistics:
Waldo Beyond the Walls: Adventures in the Galaxy by Bill Shook was recommended by an anonymous fan who has been a devoted listener to the podcast for 5 years. Thanks, anonymous friend! We very much appreciate your devotion. Our wonderful anonymous listener here recommended this book because, “It read not like…someone's first pass at writing something...It was so utterly abysmal that it deconstructed my brain…and put me off reading for a wh[o]le week…I ran the [book] by [4 family members, one of whom is] a professionally published writer. Their opinions were in line with my own, and I'm sure yours will be as well…It has been optioned for a movie; these truths need [to] be expressed [so] that [Waldo Beyond the Walls] may be extinguished.” In addition to our usual barnyard language, today's episode includes some discussion of 1990s-era "multiculturalism" which means we'll be touching on race and racism but not heavily. Vikings in North America: or the video version: Massa-two-setts:  
Chris found this being discussed on various subreddits related to men writing female characters. The book was pulled from Amazon and other platforms shortly after the internet criticism began, but someone managed to save it on an page. Thanks to them, our minds are now poisoned - and yours can be, too! In addition to our usual barnyard language, this episode includes mentions or discussion of nearly every heinous thing you can imagine, some of which include: auto-cannibalism, blood drinking, domestic partner abuse, r*pe/sexual assault, racism, and deadly amounts of misogyny. If tackling red-pilling and misogyny feels too big and heavy, follow Sam Kirsch for a quick anti-patriarchy tip of the day and other men's mental health topics in short form (and also some features on books, body mods, guitars, & heavy metal) If you're OK with being slowly eaten alive by a woman you hate for the chance to have sex, consider therapy and other health resources instead:
Our Patron Julius the Nice Dragon requested today's book saying, “I want to nominate...“First Impressions” by SJ Saunders…It’s the first of three installments in a rather short trilogy I found floating on audible, but it never found an audience. Several years later it has about five total reviews online! So I think the question [for] this book is - Why did it flop the YA “dystopia” space? Is it too mediocre? Just got bad and irrelevant? Good but undiscovered?" We return to The Dunks! This book is all about cyborgs and supersoldier cloned teens in future Boston. Naturally, we discuss the MBTA for too long because we discover that even in an imagined highly advanced technological society, it still doesn't work. In fact, there is so much Boston-talk in this episode that it may be dangerous to listeners outside of New England. Please be advised.
Our Patron Lucek requested today's book saying, “Drew Hayes is becoming one of my favorite comedic authors. His NPCs and Fred the Vampire account series are very good. . . but we all have to start somewhere. So, I was hoping you'd read his first published novel, Pears and Perils.” Join us on the island of Kenowai for a Scooby Doo-esque friendship adventure including a cat who is king, a magical pear, and capitalist buffonery.
This week, we were asked to review The Long Moonlight by our Patron Arrant with nary another word. Such mystery - why was this recommended for the show? Why is this moonlight so very löng? Many thanks to Arrant for their longtime patronage of the show! In addition to our usual barnyard language, this episode includes discussion of general fantasy violence/gore.
Our Patron Donnie wrote to us to request Things in Jars saying that neither he nor his wife - nor anyone in their neighborhood book club - was able to finish it, find it enjoyable, or even determine exactly what was happening within the plot. He wanted to know if it was just them or if this book did indeed have a terrible tinge. We were happy to take the case this week and ended up having a lot to discuss in the realms of good, bad, and beyond.  Thank you, Donnie - we very much appreciate your patronage and this recommendation especially! In addition to our usual barnyard language, this episode includes discussion or mention of: child abduction, decapitation, jarred specimen, surgery, and our non-graphic but ever present ghoul, sexual assault.
This time, our Patron Austin requested that we read Sword Woman by legendary fantasy author Robert E. Howard. We learn that Chris doesn't know how to use a Table of Contents and Paris confesses her fear of reading Howard and potentially inviting the fury of her entire musical subculture. Our thanks go out to Austin for this recommendation because it was (a) not porn and (b) didn't suck!
This week's review of Millenium University is the product of another of Chris's Amazon Short Reads explorations. Join us this time for some true book sins, like writing out counts for arm stretches, accidentally sentient kitchens, and pacing whiplash!
Tanner's basement book pile produces a new treasure - but at a cost. We just wanted to play with our cats and now we're in another cult. Why does this keep happening to us?  
Listener and friend-of-the-show Charlotte donated Afterlife Love to the show and one look at the cover was enough to secure it a place on the schedule for 2023. This week, we take a trip back to Arizona in 1999 and then onward to all of the etheric and astral planes! Content Warnings: In addition to our usual barnyard language, this episode includes discussion of: cults, dangerous levels of woo-woo, astral travel, pyramid/MLM schemes, sex, and sexual assault/r*pe.  
It’s Valentine’s Day so we thought, "Why not celebrate with multiple wives?" Friend-of-the-show Tris recommended Tarryn Fisher's The Wives to us after she read it in 2021 and wondered how the ending could've been quite so bad. We're back from our nearly 3 month winter break and re-entry to our 8th year of terrible books was a painful one. Content Warnings: In addition to our usual barnyard language, today’s episode includes discussion or mention of: domestic violence, mental health struggles, miscarriage, misogyny (both internalized and externalized!), & polygamy
It's Paris's birthday today so Chris gave her the gift of skipping this episode! Instead, Mary Parker is here with Chris to discuss their experience reading this novelization of the popular 80s Spielberg film. Even though this book is supposed to be based on Melissa Mathison's screenplay, Kotzwinkle really took some wild "I'm-a-dude-in-the-80s" liberties with her story. Content Warnings: aliens, government abductions, medical torture, and interspecies MILF longings.
Since the well of terrible Carnacki stories has run dry, the Antiques Freaks are here today with us to read a terrible Sherlock Holmes story! The Adventure of the Creeping Man is less of an adventure and more about young people being upset that older people have sex. Content Warnings: In addition to our usual barnyard language, this episode includes: mild sexual humor, mention of drugs, and various bad Victorian ideas and opinions.
Happy New Year, listeners! We're starting Season 8 with Pepper’s Quest by Felicity Brown at the request of our Patron Dee (that’s right, Dee of Antiques Freaks also has Patron rights and boy - do they know how to pick ‘em!) These books were created to flesh out the Bella Sara horse toy/video game/trading card universe that you are probably familiar with if you’ve been to a toy store or near children in the last few decades.
This time, we read The Labyrinth of Dreaming Books by Walter Moers, translated by John Brownjohn. This was recommended to us by our patron Martin who recommended it because this book made fans of Moers question his actual existence - surely, Moers must be a collective of authors whose best member(s) left or perhaps Moers died! Join us in Bookholm this week for another round of us attempting to sing the fake songs featured in the book. Thank you, Martin - this was a great recommendation for the show and we very much appreciate your long and continued patronage. We hope you're all having a lovely holiday season & reading books you like!
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