Episode 50: Comfort with Carolyn



We made it to fifty episodes! In this very special post-election installment of Bellwether Friends, we talked to founding Friend Carolyn about comforting pop culture (and food) to consume when we’re trying to recharge our batteries.

Via Two Bossy Dames,  “A post specifically for white women from a white woman

Code Switch, “A Muslim and a Mexican Walk into a Bar…

Still Processing, “The Day After


Bustle, “52 Songs To Cheer You Up Every Time

One Way Road” by John Butler Trio
My IQ” by Ani DiFranco
Born Free” by MIA
Sheep” and”Sitting on a Fence” by The Housemartins
Spotify playlists: 80s Ladies for Margaret
Hamilton Mixtape
Inc.com, “Neuroscience Says Listening to This Song Reduces Anxiety by Up to 65 Percent
Borderline (An Ode to Self Care)” by Solange
I’ll Make a Man Out of You” from Mulan
Stop” by Spice Girls
Hasa Diga Eebowai” from The Book of Mormon
Fight Song” by Rachel Platten


30 Rock
The Muppet Show
Law and Order
Gilmore Girls
The West Wing
Sports Night
Sleepy Hollow Season One
The Shannara Chronicles
The Dresden Files
Person of Interest
The Flash
Inspector Morse


Best in Show
Saving Face
Pitch Perfect
Love Actually
Shaun of the Dead
The Sure Thing
Hallmark Channel Christmas Movies
Pretty in Pink
Kate McKinnon


Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer by Kelly Jones
The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison
Vorkogisan series by Lois McMaster Bujold
Latin@ Rising: An Anthology of Latin@ Science Fiction and Fantasy
Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova
The Ladies of Missalonghi by Colleen McCullough
The Blue Castle by L. M. Montgomery
Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie
Phryne Fisher mysteries by Kerry Greenwood, read by Stephanie Daniel


27 Uplifting Foods to Get You Through Uncertain Times
Mushroom Marsala Pasta Bake
Dill pickle Halfpops


Warm Beverages


Anna: Lego sets
Alene: Supergirl recaps on Autostraddle
Carolyn: Cider with bourbon

Musical Obsessions

Anna: “They Don’t Know” by Ariana Grande from Trolls
Alene: “Get Back Up Again” by Anna Kendrick from Trolls
Carolyn: “U-Turn” by Tegan and Sara

Episode 49: Musicals with Rebecca




In this epic episode, we discussed musicals with musical theater major Rebecca for nearly two hours! There were some differences of opinion (*cough* Sondheim *cough*) but we all parted as friends after a musical quiz!


International Delight Peppermint Mocha
Mary Poppins
West Side Story
The Sound of Music
My Fair Lady
Jesus Christ Superstar
The Pirates of Penzance
Robin Hood
The Aristocats
Alice in Wonderland
Lady and the Tramp
Bells are Ringing
The Phantom of the Opera
Andrew Lloyd Webber
Annie Get Your Gun
Fiddler on the Roof
Sweeney Todd
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
The Little Mermaid
Beauty and the Beast
South Pacific
The Music Man
Silent E is a Ninja” BONUS TRACKS “Hard/Soft G” and “Hard/Soft C” “Bossy ‘r’
Judy Garland
In The Good Old Summertime
Grease 2
White Christmas
Singin’ in The Rain
Easter Parade
South Park: Bigger, Longer, & Uncut
The Book of Mormon
Kyle’s Mom is a Bitch
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
Miss Saigon
Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers
Avenue Q
Les Miserables
Sunday in the Park with George
Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Fun Home
War Paint
Saving Aimee
Steven Sondheim
Into the Woods
Moulin Rouge
Ladies Who Lunch
You Can Drive a Person Crazy
Another Hundred People
Moments in the Woods
Maybe They’re Magic

Favorite Musicals Right Now
Rebecca: Xanadu
Anna: A Chorus Line
Alene: Hamilton

Favorite Songs from Musicals
Rose’s Turn
Something’s Coming
Goodnight My Someone
I Have Confidence
Wait For It
The Lonely Goatherd
Part of Your World
Arabian Nights
Simon Zealotes

Quiz Playlist (spoilers!) – includes favorite songs

How Many Movie Musicals Have You Seen?
Top 10 Best Movie Musicals
59 Broadway Songs That Will Devastate You
43 Best Musicals Since 2000

Musical Obsessions
Rebecca: “Sexy Getting Ready Song,” “Heavy Boobs,” and “Love Kernels” from Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
Anna: “Over You” covered by Cassadee Pope
Alene: “Popular

Rebecca: David S. Pumpkins
Anna: Conviction
Alene: Christmas shopping

Episode 48: Book Buzz Fall 2016




In this episode, we bring you our picks from the publisher book buzz we attended in October 2016. Fiction! A surprising amount of nonfiction! Plus our usual obsessions. Prepare to be interested in some books!


Publishers on Twitter (a list)
Our publishing colleagues (sign up for their newsletters!): W. W. NortonMelville HouseHachetteSimon & SchusterPenguin Random House, Macmillan, Workman, Sourcebooks, HarperCollins, Sterling
Buzzword list

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman (W. W. Norton, February 2017)
The Norse Myths: A Guide to Viking And Scandinavian Gods and Heroes by Carolyne Larrington (W. W. Norton, February 2017)
Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough [#wtfthatending] (Flatiron Books/Macmillan, January 2017)
Spoilers, Sweetie!

The Bedlam Stacks
by Natasha Pulley (Bloomsbury, August 2017)
The Standard Grand by Jay Baron Nicorvo (St. Martin’s Press/Macmillan, April 2017)
I Love My Computer Because My Friends Live In It: Stories From An Online Life by Jess Kimball Leslie (Running Press/Hachette, April 2017)
Never Look An American In The Eye: Flying Turtles, Colonial Ghosts, And The Making Of A Nigerian-American by Okey Ndibe [video] (Soho, available now)
Abandon Me by Melissa Febos [also: Whip Smart] (Bloomsbury, February 2017)
Make Trouble by John Waters (Workman, April 2017)
The Totally Unscientific Study Of The Search for Human Happiness by Paula Poundstone (Algonquin/Workman, May 2017)
Get Your Sh*t Together by Sarah Knight [The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck] (Hachette, December 2016)
Confessions Of A Domestic Failure by Bunmi Laditan [@HonestToddler] (Harlequin/Mira, May 2017)
The Original Ginny Moon by Benjamin Ludwig (Harlequin/Mira, May 2017)
Impossible Fortress by Jason Rekulak (Simon & Schuster, February 2017)
The Hearts Of Men by Nickolas Butler [Shotgun Lovesongs] (HarperCollins, March 2017)
A Very English Scandal: Sex, Lies, And A Murder Plot At The Heart Of The Establishment by John Preston (Other Press, available now)
Moonshine Mixology: Over 50 Recipes For Flavoring Spirits and Mixing Cocktails (Sterling, April 2017)
The New York Times Book of Crime: More Than 164 Years of Covering the Beat (Sterling, March 2017)
Astrophysics For People In A Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson (W. W. Norton, May 2017)
Beyond Infinity: From Uncountable Numbers To A Chicken Sandwich Sandwich, An Exploration Of  Math’s Biggest Topic by Eugenia Cheng (Basic Books/Ingram, March 2017)
“You’re In The Wrong  Bathroom!” and 20 Other Myths and Misconceptions About Transgender and Gender Nonconforming People by Laura Erickson-Schroth and Laura A. Jacobs (Beacon Press, May 2017)
Writing Hard Stories: Celebrated Memoirists Who Created Art From Trauma by Melanie Brooks (Beacon Press, May 2017)
The Spectacular Sisterhood of Superwomen: Awesome Female Characters From Comic Book History by Hope Nicholson (Quirk Books, May 2017)
Cat Castles: 20 Cardboard Habitats You Can Build Yourself by Carin Oliver (Quirk Books, December 2016)
Through Darkness To Light by Jeanine Michna-Bales (Princeton Architectural Press/Chronicle, February 2017)
Wright Sites (Princeton Architectural Press/Chronicle, May 2017)
Victoria: A Novel Of A Young Queen by Daisy Goodwin (St. Martin’s Press/Macmillan, November 2017)
Is It All In Your Head?: True Stories Of Imaginary Illness by Suzanne O’Sullivan, M. D. (Other Press, January 2017)
Insomniac City: New York, Oliver, And Me by Bill Hayes (Bloomsbury, February 2017)
In The Great Green Room: The Brilliant And Bold Life Of Margaret Wise Brown by Amy Gary (Flatiron Books/Macmillan, January 2017)
The Women In The Castle by Jessica Shattuck (William Morrow/HarperCollins, April 2017)
No One Can Pronounce My Name by Rakesh Satyal (Picador/Macmillan, May 2017)
Phenomena: The Secret History Of The U. S. Government’s Investigations Into Extrasensory Perception by Annie Jacobsen (Little, Brown/Hachette, March 2017)
The Confessions of Young Nero by Margaret George (Berkley/Penguin Random House, March 2017)
Dust Bowl Girls: A Team’s Quest for Basketball Glory by Lydia Reader (Algonquin/Workman, January 2017)
Down Below by Leonora Carrington (New York Review of Books, April 2017)
Ernesto by Umberto Saba (New York Review of Books, February 2017)
Castle: A History Of The Architecture That Shaped Medieval Britain by Marc Morris (Pegasus/W. W. Norton, April 2017)
Red Sphinx by Alexandre Dumas (Pegasus/W. W. Norton, January 2017)
The Tea Girl Of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See (Scribner/Simon & Schuster, March 2017)
Why I Am Not A Feminist: A Feminist Manifesto by Jessa Crispin [@thebookslut] (Melville House, February 2017)
This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel (Flatiron/Macmillan, January 2017)
Difficult Women by Roxane Gay (Grove/Atlantic, January 2017)
Out of Bounds by Val McDermid [Karen Pirie series] (Grove/Atlantic, December 2016)


All the fangirling

Ragdoll by Daniel Cole (HarperCollins, April 2017)
Cannibalism: A Perfectly Natural History by Bill Schutt (Algonquin/Workman, February 2017)
For Time And All Eternities by Mette Ivie Harrison [Linda Walheim] (Soho, January 2017)
Havana: A Subtropical Delirium by Mark Kurlansky (Bloomsbury, March 2017)
All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai (Dutton/Penguin Random House, February 2017)

Musical Obsessions

Anna: “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” by Johann Sebastian Bach
Alene: “Wait For It” by Leslie Odom, Jr.


Anna: The Trespasser by Tana French
Alene: Arrow


Episode 47: Audiobooks with @Nerdista




We talked with our friend Paula (aka @Nerdista) to talk about a variety of hot topics and burning questions related to audiobooks. Anna had some trouble managing with twice the normal number of Alenes.


And the Audie Goes To…Library Journal article
More from Anna (2010)
National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
As Far As Your Brain Is Concerned, Audiobooks Are Not ‘Cheating’ New York Magazine article
13 Audiobooks That Make Every Drive Worth It
36 Best Audiobooks For Your Road Trip

Breakthrough Audiobooks
Alene: Harry Potter books by J. K. Rowling read by Jim Dale
Anna: Stephanie Plum books by Janet Evanovich read by Lorelei King (and others)
Paula: Agatha Raisin mysteries by M. C. Beaton read by Penelope Keith

Favorite Narrators
Jim Dale
Bronson Pinchot
George Newbern
Simon Vance: Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson
Kate Reading: Bellwether by Connie Willis
Stephanie Daniel: Phryne Fisher mysteries by Kerry Greenwood
Wil Wheaton: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, Redshirts by John Scalzi
Jeremy Irons: Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
Steven Weber: Myron Bolitar books by Harlan Coben, It by Stephen King
Davina Porter: Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon
Katherine Kellgren: Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place by Maryrose Wood

Full Cast Productions
Tamora Pierce
A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
As You Wish by Cary Elwes


Cary Elwes finds Alene fascinating

Read by the Author
Bossypants by Tina Fey
Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling
Krakatoa, The Men Who United the States by Simon Winchester
The Clancys of Queens by Tara Clancy

Best Experience/Recommendations
Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher, read by James Marsters
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel, read by Simon Slater
Temeraire books by Naomi Novik, read by Simon Vance
Vorkosigan Saga by Lois McMaster Bujold, read by Grover Gardner
Dublin Murder Squad books by Tana French, read by various
SPQR by Mary Beard, read by Phyllida Nash
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, read by the author
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion, read by Dan O’Grady
The Passage by Justin Cronin

Musical Obsessions
Anna: “We Used To Be Friends” by The Dandy Warhols
Paula: “Tilted” by Christine and the Queens
Alene: “#1 Spice” by Young Cardamom & HAB

Paula: My Favorite Murder podcast, Wallander
Anna: Goldie Vance , Crossover Appeal podcast*
Alene: Law & Order mothership , bacon cheeseburgers

*Anna has now listened to all of this, and it’s great!


Episode 45: Comedy Hour with Shayera Tangri


Shayera Tangri joined us from the other coast to discuss funny books, movies, television, and other humorous pop culture. Much pun was had by all.

BuzzFeed: 21 Puns
BuzzFeed: Clever Jokes
O. Henry Pun-Off World Championships
A Chocolate Moose for Dinner by Fred Gwynne
Bennet Cerf
Silver Woven in my Hair by Shirley Rousseau Murphy
The Ordinary Princess by M. M. Kaye

Funny Movies
Blazing Saddles
Best in Show
Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy: Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, The World’s End
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Blades of Glory

Funny TV Shows
Waiting for God
30 Rock
Parks and Recreation
Black Books
Great British Bake Off
Rupaul’s Drag Race

Funny Books
Aunts Aren’t Gentlemen by P. G. Wodehouse


Wooster and  Jeeves

Pest Control by Bill Fitzhugh
Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh (caaaaaake)
Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie
Gail Carriger
Chopsticks by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson
Bossypants by Tina Fey
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling
The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer
Shelly Laurenston/G. A. Aiken

Live Comedy


Eddie Izzard

Two Dope Queens: Phoebe Robinson and Jessica Williams (PARENTAL ADVISORY: EXPLICIT)
Eddie Murphy: Raw

Funny Twitter
@mysadcat (@cox_tom)
Take My Wife @cameronesposito and @rheabutcher
The Bugle

Musical Obsessions
Alene: “Dancing With Myself“by The Donnas
Shayera: “Everlong” by Foo Fighters (also acoustic), “Just Like Fire” by P!nk
Anna: “God is a DJ” by P!nk

Anna: Acorns (the nut. really.)
Shayera: Tsum Tsums
Alene: Fried dough