The hate-to-love narrative within the romance genre is a delicious one for both the writer(s) and the audience. It has the potential to set the story on fire and bring the audience along for a roller coaster of a ride.
Rachel Lynn Solomon‘s novel, The Ex Talk, was published in early 2021. Shay Goldstein has spent the last ten years climbing up the career ladder at her local NPR station in Portland, Oregon. Dominic Yun is fresh out of grad school and throwing his degree around as if it were a frisbee. Their initial relationship is as compatible as oil and water.
When the station manager announces layoffs due to a downturn in revenue, Shay comes up with an idea to save the station and everyone’s jobs. Her boss quickly gives the go-ahead. The new program is called The Ex Talk. Two people who are no longer together will give advice about life and love. Instead of choosing two real-life exes, Shay and Dominic pretend that they were once a couple. In spite of their mutual dislike, they agree to the deception.
The podcast soon becomes a hit. As Shay and Dominic go along with the story, they start to understand and fall for one another. But there is a growing suspicion that it is nothing more than an act. When the other shoe falls, where will Shay and Dominic land?
I loved this book. It is cute, charming, and gets the heart fluttering. Solomon’s writing is easy to read and quickly engrosses the reader. I found myself swept away on a tidal wave of a story that was is absolutely one of the best romance novels I’ve read in a long time.
From the outside looking in, radio is not what it used to be. But, upon further inspection, one would discover that podcasts are the 21st century version of what was traditionally the radio.
The podcast, Here’s The Thing has been hosted by Alec Baldwin since 2011. After nearly a decade of airing on WNYC, it has recently moved to iHeartRadio. On the podcast, Baldwin sits down with influential people from the worlds of politics, art/entertainment, and sports.
I enjoy this podcast. Baldwin has an easy, down to earth demeanor, allowing his interviewees to open up and introduce the listener to the person behind persona.
The thing that hooked me with this podcast and keeps me hooked is the intelligent (and sometimes eye-opening) conversations between the hosts and the guests. The most recent episode talked about The Phantom Menace. Though I love the franchise as a whole, I loathe the prequels and The Phantom Menace in particular. As both a writer and a fan, these movies fall short of the reputation that was crafted by their predecessors.
One of the topics that were brought up during the most recent episode was the glossing over of midi-chlorians. In laymen’s terms, midi-chlorians are the microscopic-sized life forms that if exist in significant numbers in an individual, give that individual Force abilities.
Writing-wise, the question asked was why midi-chlorian and the role they played in the conception of Anakin Skywalker (Jake Lloyd) was not given it’s due. Instead of being a major part of the narrative, it was a throw-away line that only the most ardent Star Wars fan would have noticed.
With most of us locked in our homes nearly 24/7, intelligent conversation seems to be one of those things that we are relying on to keep us sane. I will take any intelligent conversation about Stars Wars, especially these days.
That, dear reader is why Thank the Maker: A Star Wars Podcast is my new favorite podcast and it should be yours as well.
I hate the feeling of being excited about a book and then feeling disappointed. This book is one of many to address the obvious societal and political change in America. I initially picked up the book because On the Media is one of the podcasts that I regularly listen to. The problem with this book is that Garfield gets so wrapped up in his ideas that he loses the reader. I wanted to be inspired by this book, but I was not.
There is an old inside joke about Jews: For every two Jews, there are three opinions. From my perspective. is the backbone of Unorthodox. Created by Tablet Magazine, the podcast is hosted by Mark Oppenheimer, Stephanie Butnick and Liel Leibovitz. Every week they talk about news relating to the Jewish world and have two guests: one Jewish and one not Jewish. What I appreciate about this podcast is that Mark, Liel and Stephanie not only mesh well together, but their unique world views allow all three to stand out in their own way. I’ve been listening for a couple of years; it’s a pleasure to wake up on Thursday morning knowing that the week’s episode is waiting for me.
Can I Just Say
Pop culture podcasts can sometimes get a little dull. Either they can veer too much into the fan boy or fan girl lane or they are just a tad too intellectual.
Thankfully, Can I Just Say is the perfect pop culture podcast. Hosted by Daphne Olive and Elizabeth Stevens, the ladies have unique and stimulating conversations about everything from Star Wars (their newest podcast about The Last Jedi was very interesting) to novels and their various adaptations (their comments about Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility got me thinking) to a hand-picked selection of Baz Lurhmann films opened my eyes to his abilities as a filmmaker. They also host a podcast entitled Fathoms Deep: A Black Sails Podcast, an equally interesting podcast about the television series Black Sails.
I hate to say it, but we all fail once in a while. Whether is because of poor judgement, lack of knowledge or another reason, we all fail at least once.
One of the podcasts I listen to regularly is on a website entitled Problogger. Run by Darren Rowse, a successful blogger who has found a way to earn a living as a blogger, he talks about anything and everything that has to do with blogging.
This week’s podcast was about how to overcome failure in six steps. The thing that struck me about not only the subject of the podcast, but the suggestions laid out, is that the steps don’t just apply to bloggers and blogging. They can be used by anyone for any aspect of their life.
Failure is hard. It’s depressing, it’s ego bruising and not a fun experience to say the least. But we all go through it and the old adage is true. What doesn’t kill us really does make us stronger.
One of the most comforting thing I’ve heard about failure came from Oprah Winfrey. A failure is merely a course correction. Of course it’s difficult, but sometimes it is necessary.
I highly recommend this particular episode to all of my readers and Problogger in general to anyone who has a blog or is considering starting a blog. The experience will be well worth it.
I'm a retiree in his seventies. That may not be significant to many, since there is a bunch of us Baby Boomers around. However, in the year 2,000, when I received a diagnosis of Multiple Myeloma, I expected to be dead in three to five years.