Unknown Friends book review podcast: Season 1 Wrap-up!

Well, the last episode of my first season of Unknown Friends comes out tomorrow. Crazy that I started this little book review podcast seven months ago and it wasn’t remotely on my radar to think in terms of “seasons” then. But here we are, wrapping up Season One with my 30th episode tomorrow morning, and I want to say thank you to each of you who listen to the podcast.

After my review of C. S. Lewis’s The Great Divorce tomorrow, I plan to take several weeks off for the holidays, but in the meantime I am cooking up some bonus episodes for you guys. To start us off, next week I’ll be posting a short episode taking a quick look over the first season, and I’ll share my top recommendations from all the books I’ve reviewed so far. There have been several books I’ve really loved this season so it’s hard to choose favorites, but I’ve done my best to narrow my list until I can give you a very short rundown of the books I liked best from Season One.

For easy access, I’ve also compiled a written list of all the episodes from Season One (except tomorrow’s Episode 30). Below, you can click on any episode title to listen to it on Apple Podcasts.

Unknown Friends, Season One

  1. Encountering the divine in Till We Have Faces (C. S. Lewis)
  2. Growing up together in Little Women (Louisa May Alcott) — with my sister LaRae as guest!
  3. Shared stories in Navigating Early (Clare Vanderpool)
  4. Young Charles Dickens and The Pickwick Papers (Charles Dickens)
  5. Unspoken tragedy in Never Let Me Go (Kazuo Ishiguro)
  6. Nonfiction special: A Praying Life (Paul Miller) & Women of the Word (Jen Wilkin)
  7. Patience and communication in Persuasion (Jane Austen) — with LaRae
  8. Self-knowledge and “direct desire” in A Room with a View (E. M. Forster)
  9. Prodigal sons and everyday wonders in Gilead (Marilynne Robinson)
  10. Conscience, corruption and reform in The Warden (Anthony Trollope)
  11. “A blazing song of innocence” in Peace Like a River (Leif Enger)
  12. Folly and integrity in The House of Mirth (Edith Wharton)
  13. Thinking more of others in Wives and Daughters (Elizabeth Gaskell)
  14. Serving a strange land in Death Comes for the Archbishop (Willa Cather)
  15. Classic British humour in Three Men in a Boat (Jerome K. Jerome) & Leave it to Psmith (P. G. Wodehouse)
  16. One strange, nostalgic summer in Dandelion Wine (Ray Bradbury)
  17. Duty and destiny in Roderick Hudson (Henry James)
  18. Upturning the world in The Poet and the Lunatics (G. K. Chesterton)
  19. Media and thought control in The Space Merchants (F. Pohl and C. Kornbluth)
  20. The beauty of restraint in Sense and Sensibility (Jane Austen)
  21. Hasidism, Modern Orthodoxy, and friendship in The Chosen (Chaim Potok)
  22. Medieval myth and Biblical questions in The Book of the Dun Cow (Walter Wangerin Jr.)
  23. “Destroyed but not defeated” in The Old Man and the Sea (Ernest Hemingway)
  24. Servants and victims in Little Dorrit (Charles Dickens)
  25. Asking the right questions in The Magician’s Elephant (Kate DiCamillo)
  26. Ruthlessness and empathy in Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)
  27. Making our home on earth in Hannah Coulter (Wendell Berry)
  28. Moments and meetings in Mrs. Dalloway (Virginia Woolf) — with LaRae
  29. Science, art, and wonder in All the Light We Cannot See (Anthony Doerr)

Tune in tomorrow for the season finale, Episode 30! I’m so excited to be discussing one of my favorite books, The Great Divorce (which, side note, was a HUGE influence on my play Narrow Escape).

I don’t have an official launch date for you for Season Two yet, but I can confirm that the new season of book reviews will be coming out early next year. Stay tuned for more specifics, and over the holidays don’t forget to check my social media accounts and the podcast webpage for notifications about bonus episodes!

Lastly, I’d love to hear from you! Comment below with your favorite episode from Unknown Friends Season One or your suggestions for books I should discuss in future, or let me know you if you read and enjoyed a particular book after hearing me review it this year. Thanks again for supporting the podcast!



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