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That Book is your guide to terrible good books and good terrible books.  You know that book: the one you see everyone reading on the subway, the one gathering dust on your stepmom’s nightstand, and the one that the library has twenty untouched copies of. Hosted by Hannah Weaver and Michael Goldsmith, readers with high expectations and low standards.  

By day, Hannah is a Ph.D. candidate in Romance Languages and Literatures at Harvard University. By night, she can be found making a mess of the kitchen, insisting on taking a walk, and reading schmaltzy paperbacks from the public library. A Midwesterner by birth, she now lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts with her husband and two cats.

Michael is an actor living in Brooklyn. Maybe you've seen him die horribly on shows like Doctor Who and Gotham, but he's mostly a theatre guy--having performed in London, NYC and across the US in all kinds of plays that aren't musicals. He blames books for everything good in his life (knowledge, etc.) and everything bad (bouts with childhood obesity).

Jul 30, 2019

Inspired by the 1998 Meryl Streep weepie, One True Thing, Hannah and Michael cough gently into their handkerchiefs and discuss the “Sick Lit” phenomenon, spearheaded by Lurlene McDaniel and her 70+ books about children dying. 

Books mentioned: Lurlene McDaniel, Six Months to Live, Don’t Die, My Love, Somewhere...

Jul 23, 2019

Hannah and Michael talk about the UK’s answer to Thomas Kinkade, moving with books, and hot takes on literature.


Jack Vettriano Profile in the Independent (2010)

NYPL List of New York Books

Hot Takes Thread

Books mentioned:

Robert Caro, The Power Broker

Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch

Ben Lerner, 10:04

Jul 16, 2019

Michael and Hannah hang with Meryl in Lyme Regis in the 1981 adaptation of John Fowles’s 1969 The French Lieutenant’s Woman. We are remarkable people!

Books mentioned: John Fowles, The French Lieutenant’s Woman, The Collector, The Maggot; Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea; A.S. Byatt, Possession; Michael Faber, The...

Jul 9, 2019

Michael and Hannah dive into Nora Ephron’s Heartburn and learn that Nora knows what to do. Also: Lillian Hellman remains the worst, Mandy Patinkin gets screwed, and Carly Simon goes wild.

Nora on her apartment and her cookbook crushes.

Heartburn Clips here and here.

The cover of Michael’s copy of Heartburn.


Jul 2, 2019

In this installment of #TheMerylSeason, Michael and Hannah tackle Lauren Weisburger’s The Devil Wears Prada and its sequels, and try desperately to master Meryl’s iconic affect in the eponymous movie. Plus, a quiz!

Research Links:

On Lauren Weisburger: here

On The Devil Wears Prada (book): here.

On The Devil Wears...