Marlon and Jake Read Dead People 16/31 #sol23

Since September 2021, my favorite podcast has only released two episodes. There have been periodic promises of more, one-minute teasers that would pop up in the podcast feed and get my hopes up. But then months would go by with nothing.

Until yesterday. Yesterday morning, I opened my podcast app to select something to listen to on the drive to work, and there they were: Marlon and Jake Read Dead People.

Marlon is the Booker Prize-winning author Marlon James, and Jake is Jake Morrissey, his editor. Theirs is a bookish podcast with a twist: they only discuss books by authors who are safely dead.

Their conversations are like eavesdropping on your two smartest and funniest friends talking books. They’re erudite and quick-witted, with no pretension whatsoever. Their conversations range over hundreds of years of literature, both the great and the not-so-great. There is plenty of talk about the classics–and they talk in a way that brings these books to life, makes them feel vital and necessary to read. And there is also plenty of talk about the 1960s and 1970s pulpy blockbusters that I remember seeing on my grandmother’s bookshelves.

They typically discuss a range of titles in each episode, but because they read so carefully and thoroughly, the talk also runs deep. Certain titles come up again and again, especially for Marlon. I’m eventually going to reread Sula and Wide Sargasso Sea and We Have Always Lived at the Castle, simply because he keeps reminding me about them.

Although I thoroughly enjoyed it, the newest episode isn’t going to become a favorite, so if you’re interested in trying out the podcast, I’d recommend starting with an earlier episode. Maybe Books We Wish We Had Written or Literary Grudge Match.

If you’re a podcast listener, I’d love to know your favorite podcast.






8 responses to “Marlon and Jake Read Dead People 16/31 #sol23”

  1. arjeha Avatar

    I am not a podcast listener, but what you have written intrigues me. I just might check it out. Thanks for the suggestion.

  2. tlmbrosch Avatar

    Thanks for the rec! Adding to my list now.

  3. Fran McCrackin Avatar

    “Their conversations are like eavesdropping on your two smartest and funniest friends talking books.” this line sold me and I am now following their podcast! I also love your line about pulpy blockbusters you remember seeing on your grandmother’s bookshelves! Perhaps you might “slice” about that sometime and tell us more!

  4. Alice Avatar

    Hi Elisabeth. This sounds like a great podcast! Fortunately, there aren’t too many episodes to catch up on, so it’s one I won’t likely skip. You had me at “bookish podcast with a twist: they only discuss books by authors who are safely dead.” LOL!

    I have tapered off a little on my podcasts, but one I enjoyed was Brené Brown’s Unlocking Us. Another one I enjoyed, but haven’t listed to in a while is Jay Shetty’s On Purpose. I usually listen to audiobooks, so I have to make a choice on which ones to listen to regularly.

    Thanks for the suggestion.

  5. Jill Bless Avatar

    Thank you for the recommendation. I’m always looking for a new podcast. And so happy for your pleasant surprise this am!

  6. Trina Avatar

    I listen to a lot of podcasts and always appreciate new recommendations!

  7. Amanda Potts Avatar

    Ooh! Adding this to my list. Some of my faves (aside from the My Favorite Murder “minisodes” which are hilarious, include Ezra Klein’s podcast & The Slowdown (5 min every day – a little reflection & a poem).

  8. Celia Fisher Avatar

    I will definitely add that to my list. I listen to several podcasts but they’re all a bit ‘localised’ (Australian) and ‘writerly’. There are a couple of British ones I enjoy, one is called Somethin’ Rhymes with Purple about words and Empire, if you are interested in history, but it is from a British aspect.

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