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Big Book Energy

Author: Jennifer Fain and Paige Downey

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A podcast by book lovers for book lovers! Can't get enough bookish chats? Tune in every week to listen to two archivists chat about their chosen pick based off a variety of themes: everything from books they hate to thrift store finds and beyond. These conversations will address how books were, are, and will continue to be relevant to our every day lives. All hail the mighty codex!
48 Episodes
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This week we discuss a classic of Japanese Literature: Tales of Moonlight and Rain by Ueda Akinari.  Tune in to hear some wild stories and to hear Jennifer's opinion on a classic.Mythology & Folklore: JapanJennifer did her best to give a brief summary of Japanese religious history during this episode, and here are a few of the sources that she used:A bullet list of the main points of Japanese religious history: https://www.uwosh.edu/facstaff/barnhill/244-japan/bits-of-historyWikipedia article on ShintoWikipedia article on Religion in JapanWikipedia article on Japanese MythologyVery cool video that tells the Shinto creation myth with Japanese artwork: https://youtu.be/l3MKdJjQeOwAn impressive 25-minute summary of Japanese history with adorable animations: https://youtu.be/8Zwi3XXLci8And here are the sources for some of the specific folklore bits that Jennifer talked about:An interesting discussion between two Buddhist monks on the Asura Realm: https://youtu.be/SnauEqgUYnwWikipedia article on the Asura RealmAn amazing encyclopedia of Japanese yokai: http://yokai.com/A brief survey of some of the most notorious Yokai: https://youtu.be/Gd1D2gWhDXMPaige Presents Fun with Comics: Lazarus, Image ComicsTales of Moonlight and Rain, Ueda AkinariWikipedia article on Ueda AkinariWikipedia article on Tales of Moonlight and RainBuy a copy for yourself: https://bookshop.org/a/9616/9780231139137Creative’s Corner: a true crime YouTube channel, Brief Case. Discussion QuestionsWhat was the last book you read that made you feel like you were not smart enough to be reading it?What books have you read that you felt suffered from being translated? i.e. something was missing, the word choice or style didn’t come across well, etc.Support the PodFind us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/big_book_energyFind us on Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/big_book_energyDon’t forget to leave us a review if you are enjoying the pod: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/big-book-energy/id1494813078If you are interested in being on the show, check out the Book Elder tier on our Patreon*Some of the links above are affiliate links and we will receive commission from any purchases made through them* Support the show (https://patreon.com/BigBookEnergy)
This season we are doing Phone a Friend for our bonus episodes! Tune in to hear guest host Brooke join us to discuss Leigh Bardugo's Ninth House!Ninth House & Leigh BardugoLearn more about the author on her website: https://www.leighbardugo.com/about/Watch the trailer for the new Shadow and Bone series here: https://youtu.be/vDd_IEBwP2UBuy a copy of Ninth House for yourself: https://bookshop.org/a/9616/9781250751362Folio Facts: The Codex GigasThis month, Paige presents the Codex Gigas, which is not only a big a** book, but is also known as the Devil’s Bible, due to the creepy story of its origin and a huge illustration of Satan himself inside. To learn more:Check out Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codex_GigasOr this youtube video: https://youtu.be/bsDe42IRvVoDiscussion QuestionsWhat were your overall thoughts/opinions of the book? Did you like it?Thoughts on the use of sexual assault and drugs as part of Alex’s backstory?What did you think about the chronological arrangement of this narrative? i.e. three, sometimes four different timelines cutting in and out of each otherDo you have a favorite character?What did you think of the magic system compared to others?Did you guess who the villain was?Support the PodFind us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/big_book_energyFind us on Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/big_book_energyDon’t forget to leave us a review if you are enjoying the pod: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/big-book-energy/id1494813078If you are interested in being on the show, check out the Book Elder tier on our Patreon*Some of the links above are affiliate links and we will receive commission from any purchases made through them*Support the show (https://patreon.com/BigBookEnergy)
This episode we dive into the Witcher franchise with The Last Wish. Tune in to continue our talks on Slavic folklore and our thoughts on the Witcher book and Netflix series.Slavic Folklore ResourcesBrendan Noble on the Striga: https://youtu.be/eIAUemZb1voDogman Narrative’s Recap of a Strigoi Legend: https://youtu.be/DBmXA0SKyk8Listen to a podcast episode reading the story of Vasalisa the Wise and the Sea Tsar: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-sea-tsar-and-vasilisa-the-wise-a-russian-folk-tale/id1504182068?i=1000469626290Paige Presents Fun with Comics: In the Bleak Midwinter, WebtoonThe Last WishLearn more about Adrej Sapkowski:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrzej_SapkowskiWatch the Netflix Show:https://www.netflix.com/title/80189685Buy a copy for yourself: https://bookshop.org/a/9616/9780316438964Creative’s Corner: Henry Sotheran’s Rare Bookseller Discussion Questions:What did you think of the book?Book vs TV show?What did you think about the Law of Surprise? Do you believe Stregobor or Renfri?Support the podFind us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/big_book_energy Find us on Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/big_book_energy Don’t forget to leave us a review if you are enjoying the pod: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/big-book-energy/id1494813078 If you are interested in being on the show, check out the Book Elder tier on our Patreon*Some of the links above are affiliate links and we will receive commission from any purchases made through them*Support the show (https://patreon.com/BigBookEnergy)
We open up season 3 with The Bear and the Nightingale, a story inspired by Slavic and Russian Folklore. Tune in to learn a bit about this story and the mythology it is based on.Russian Folklore ResourcesRussian Folklore: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Folklore_of_RussiaA Brief History of Russian Folklore: https://www.pushkinhouse.org/blog/2020/5/13/a-brief-history-of-russian-folkloreRoutledge Companion to Russian Literature: https://www.google.com/books/edition/The_Routledge_Companion_to_Russian_Liter/k2BO7K6tYIoC?hl=en&gbpv=0Father Frost tale: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Father_Frost_(fairy_tale)Vasilisa the Beautiful: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vasilisa_the_BeautifulOther fun source for Russian mythology: https://meettheslavs.com/russian-mythology/Paige Presents Fun with Comics: Lore Olympus, WebtoonThe Bear and The NightingaleLearn more about Katherine Arden: http://katherinearden.com/Buy a copy for yourself: https://bookshop.org/a/9616/9781101885956Creative’s Corner: Tale FoundryYouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCusb0SpT8elBJdbcEJS_l2AWebsite: https://thetalefoundry.com/about/DiscussionWhat are some similarities and differences you can see between Russian/Slavic folklore and Western folklore or fairy tales?Vasya’s socially acceptable choices are get married or go to a convent. She chooses neither and runs off on her own. If you lived in this society or time period, what do you think you would have done?What are some modern folk tales that you are familiar with? Would you want to read a book inspired by them?Ivan Bilibin was the artist Jennifer was talking about during the discussion, you can learn more about him here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivan_BilibinOr see a portfolio of his work here: https://www.wikiart.org/en/ivan-bilibinSupport the podFind us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/big_book_energyFind us on Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/big_book_energyDon’t forget to leave us a review if you are enjoying the pod: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/big-book-energy/id1494813078If you are interested in being on the show, check out the Book Elder tier on our Patreon*Some of the links above are affiliate links and we will receive commission from any purchases made through them*Support the show (https://patreon.com/BigBookEnergy)
Season 3 Trailer

Season 3 Trailer

2021-01-1102:45

We're back for Season 3! This season is all about mythology and folklore. We're also bringing on some of our listeners as special co-hosts during our bonus episodes. Tune in for another exciting season of BBE!Support the show (https://patreon.com/BigBookEnergy)
We are finishing out the season with our final Movie Magic Pick, cult favorite The Princess Bride. Listen in as we gush over a mutually favorite movie title... and also the book.You can support BBE at patreon.com/bigbookenergy or through our bookstore at bookshop.org/shop/BigBookEnergy Support the show (https://patreon.com/BigBookEnergy)
Paige chooses one of her favorite SciFi books to read for the final episode of Books We Love: The White Plague by Frank Herbert. It's a great book, but perhaps the middle of a pandemic was not the best time to read it.Folio Facts: Oldest printing press in British North AmericaBBE Bookstore: Sick by Porochista KhakpourCreatives' Corner: Roman Empire, NetflixYou can support BBE at patreon.com/bigbookenergy or through our bookstore at bookshop.org/shop/BigBookEnergy    Support the show (https://patreon.com/BigBookEnergy)
For Spooky Season's Movie Magic pick, we pushed the limits of Jennifer's horror endurance. Tune in to hear if she thought the book was scary or not.You can support BBE at patreon.com/bigbookenergy or through our bookstore at bookshop.org/shop/BigBookEnergy Support the show (https://patreon.com/BigBookEnergy)
For Paige's Spooky Season pick, she has chosen a book that gave her nightmares last time around. Tune in to hear about a book that has consistently shown up on internet lists as one of the scariest books ever written.Folio Facts: Agatha Christie novels solve real world crimesBBE Bookstore: Humans by Brandon StantonCreatives' Corner: Watercolor by Shibasaki, YouTubeYou can support BBE at patreon.com/bigbookenergy or through our bookstore at bookshop.org/shop/BigBookEnergy Support the show (https://patreon.com/BigBookEnergy)
It's official. Jennifer has declared a favorite book and it is The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson. Tune in to hear about H.H. Holmes and the Chicago World Fair.Folio Facts: Tale of GenjiBBE Bookstore: Njal's SagaCreative's Corner: Bookish Realm, YouTube You can support BBE at patreon.com/bigbookenergy or through our bookstore at bookshop.org/shop/BigBookEnergy   Support the show (https://patreon.com/BigBookEnergy)
For today's episode, Paige has chosen The Bloodprint by Ausma Zehanat Khan, a fantasy novel based in Middle Eastern culture. Tune in as Paige explains why she chose this book, even though it has a lower Goodreads rating than you might expect from a book we love.Folio Facts: Carnegie Library Book HeistBBE Bookstore: The Little Book of Hygge by Meik WikingCreative's Corner: Biographics, YouTubeSupport the show (https://patreon.com/BigBookEnergy)
We continue our Movie Magic theme with a popular movie choice: Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly. There were some unexpected differences between the book and movie which left both of us with feelings.You can support BBE at patreon.com/bigbookenergy or through our bookstore at bookshop.org/shop/BigBookEnergy  Support the show (https://patreon.com/BigBookEnergy)
BBE gets Academic for this episode. Check out a favorite from Jennifer's graduate school days: Holy Feast and Holy Fast by Caroline Walker Bynum. Tune in for a discussion about Medieval Saints, food, and history.Folio Facts: Voynich ManuscriptBBE Bookstore: A Dead Djinn in Cairo by P. Djeli ClarkCreative's Corner: Lindsay Ellis, YouTubeSupport the show (https://patreon.com/BigBookEnergy)
For this episode, Paige has selected a book that made her stop and think: The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin. Tune in to hear about a society with no gender by one of Science Fiction's great authors.Folio Facts: World's Oldest BookstoreBBE Bookstore: Me and White Supremacy by Layla SaadCreative's Corner: Netflix's Wellness You can support BBE at patreon.com/bigbookenergy or through our bookstore at bookshop.org/shop/BigBookEnergy  Support the show (https://patreon.com/BigBookEnergy)
 Continuing our Movie Magic theme for this season's bonus episodes, we took a dive into a modern classic: Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Let's just say that we were both less than impressed. Paige Presents Fun with Comics: Wytches by Scott Snyder and JockYou can support BBE at patreon.com/bigbookenergy or through our bookstore at bookshop.org/shop/BigBookEnergy   Support the show (https://patreon.com/BigBookEnergy)
Jennifer takes us through a nostalgic read for her this episode: Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton. For the discussion, Jennifer gets into the hubris of scientists and some insight by one of the most annoying characters.Folio Facts: Destroyed Library of BaghdadBBE Bookstore: Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn MuirCreatives Corner: Samosas and SirensYou can support BBE at patreon.com/bigbookenergy or through our bookstore at bookshop.org/shop/BigBookEnergy  Support the show (https://patreon.com/BigBookEnergy)
For this episode's book, Paige brought in her favorite book of all time: Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. Tune in to hear about Paige's thoughts and Jennifer & Paige's disagreement about the movie adaption.Folio Facts: Book SmellBBE Bookstore: Sapiens by Yuval Noah HarariCreative's Corner: Overly Sarcastic ProdcutionsSupport the show (https://patreon.com/BigBookEnergy)
For our second episode, Jennifer has chosen perhaps the greatest revenge story in book history: The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. Tune in for a summary of this awesome book and a discussion on things like vigilante justice.Folio Facts: Medieval Comic BooksBBE Bookstore: All Systems Red by Martha WellsCreative's Corner: Artisan GeekYou can support BBE at patreon.com/bigbookenergy or through our bookstore at bookshop.org/shop/BigBookEnergy Support the show (https://patreon.com/BigBookEnergy)
For the first episode of Season 2, Paige comes out swinging with what she considers to be the gold star of fantasy writing: The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin. Tune in to learn more about the first book in Jeminin's Broken Earth trilogy and a discussion on world building and aesthetics in books.Folio Facts: the most expensive book ever soldBBE Bookstore: Why We Sleep by Matthew WalkerCreative's Corner: Our Fake HistoryYou can support BBE at patreon.com/bigbookenergy or through our bookstore at bookshop.org/shop/BigBookEnergy Support the show (https://patreon.com/BigBookEnergy)
Season 2 Trailer

Season 2 Trailer

2020-07-0602:23

Big Book Energy is back from our break with a new theme, new segments, and an awesome new song! You can learn more about what to expect from us this season here!First full episode of season 2 drops on July 6th.Support the show (https://patreon.com/BigBookEnergy)
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