Books That Burn

A book review podcast where we discuss how authors treat and traumatize their characters.

Highlight 6: The Cat Who Sniffed Glue - Lilian Jackson Braun

May 3rd, 2021

This fortnight we’re discussing “The Cat Who Sniffed Glue”, part of the Cat Who series by Lilian Jackson Braun. We're joined by special guest Dare. You can follow Dare on Twitter or find more info and links on their LinkTree.

Book TW for ableism, sexism, homophobia (brief), drug use (not depicted), car accident, violence, animal death (not depicted), suicide (not depicted), death (not depicted).

Topic 1: Belle - Erasure. Begins at (1:30), CW for loss of identity, classism, racism example in discussion.

Topic 2: Qwilleran - Car Accident. Begins at (19:30), CW for car accident, pets in danger.

Topic 3: The Fitch’s - Murder/Suicide. Begins at (31:20), CW for character death, murder, car crash, prison mention.

Promo for Fun & Games; Spoiler-free wrap-up and ratings: Begins at (53:00).

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If you'd like to make a monthly donation, please check us out on Patreon.

To make a one-time donation please support us on Ko-Fi.

Find all our links on our Carrd.

Music provided by HeartBeatArt and is used with permission.

Stand-Alone 9: Beneath The Citadel - Destiny Soria

April 19th, 2021

This fortnight we’re discussing “Beneath The Citadel” by Destiny Soria. We're joined by Christian from The Lazy Gringo Podcast

Book TW for panic attacks, violence, child abuse, suicide, child death, major character death, death. 

Topic 1: Child abuse. Begins at (1:35), CW for child abuse, dislocation, injury mention, panic attacks, suicide mention. 

Topic 2: Memory Loss. Begins at (12:54), CW for Memory loss, memory theft, loss of personality, loss of bodily function. 

Topic 3: Death and the specter of mortality. Begins at (24:35), CW for suicidal ideation. 

Promo for ComicsQuest; Spoiler-free wrap-up and ratings: Begins at (33:55). 

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If you'd like to make a monthly donation, please check us out on Patreon

To make a one-time donation please support us on Ko-Fi

You can check out Robin's written review of the book at Reviews That Burn

Find all our links on our Carrd

Music provided by HeartBeatArt and is used with permission. 

Stand-Alone 8: The Very Hungry Caterpillar - Eric Carle

April 1st, 2021

We have a fun episode for you this time! We're joined by Andrea for a special discussion of one of our favorite kidlit books, The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. Episode TW for possible derealization, please refer to additional details below the topic list if this is a concern for you. 

This book has a film adaptation which you can find here. 

Link to monkey study discussed in the episode. 

Topic 1: Absent Parents. Begins at (0:00), CW for abandonment, neglect. This topic had a small recording issue and is a highlight reel from our discussion. The episode starts properly with Topic 2. 

Topic 2: Food Insecurity. Begins at (5:50), CW for food insecurity, food deserts, hunger, eating disorders, body horror. 

Topic 3: Illness. Begins at (16:20), CW for death, illness, body horror. 

Spoiler-free wrap-up and ratings: Begins at (28:18). 

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This is an April Fool's Day episode. While we love a good joke, we don't want to distress our audience. This episode may invoke feelings of derealization (unreality and disorientation) as we take very seriously a book which perhaps on its own might not warrant the level of scrutiny we grant it in this episode. 

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You can find Andrea on Twitter, TikTok, and on Good Idea

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If you'd like to make a monthly donation, please check us out on Patreon

Find all our links on our Carrd

Music provided by HeartBeatArt and is used with permission. 

Interview 5: JP Jackson, Part 1 of 2

March 26th, 2021

Please enjoy the spoiler-free portion of our interview with author JP Jackson, discussing his books, "Daimonion" and "Magic or Die". Timestamps are marked for the interview questions. Become a Patron at any level to receive the spoiler-filled second half of the interview.

  • Intro (0:00) 
  • Can you talk a little about the way trauma works in your writing? (0:40) 
  • Do you put more thought into the trauma itself or the aftermath when thinking about the effects on your characters? (1:40) 
  • Have you ever started writing a trauma in one of your books, and had it take over or have more of a story impact than originally intended? (7:30) 
  • Has a traumatic event in your books ever changed your perception of a character? (9:28) 
  • What is your approach to incorporating visible characters of color in your work? (11:04) 
  • What is your approach to incorporating characters with disabilities in your work? (15:15)
  • Do you tend to write characters with a specific orientation? Do you generally stick to depictions of queerness which match parts of your identity? (18:58)
  • If you have a character whose identity doesn’t match yours, do you have an approach for how to write about them without it being about that piece of them? (23:15)

--- Wrap-Up and Outro: Included in Part 1 and Part 2 ---  

  • What is your favorite non-traumatic thing in any of your books? (29:08)
  • Do you have a favorite book written by someone else, and if so what makes it your favorite? (32:17)
  • Do you have any queer authors and/or authors of color whose work you’d like to shoutout? (35:56)
  • Where can our audience find you? (38:05) - Some of his social media handles were updated after this interview, please refer to the links below.

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Check out JP Jackson's blog for more info about his writing, you can follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, and Tumblr, or check out his Goodreads profile, Amazon Buy Link, and NineStar Press page.

The major works discussed in this interview are "Daimonion" and "Magic or Die".

The "book coming out in March" referenced in this interview is "Summoned" by JP Jackson, released April 19, 2021 by NineStar Press. Preorder it here.

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If you'd like to make a monthly donation, please check us out on Patreon. Patrons at any level will receive part two of this two-part interview.

You can find Robin's written review of Daimonion and Magic or Die at Reviews that Burn.

Music provided by HeartBeatArt and is used with permission. 

Series 8, Episode 4: The Will of the Empress - Tamora Pierce

March 22nd, 2021

This fortnight we’re discussing “The Will of the Empress” by Tamora Pierce. This was the first book published in The Circle Reforged, part of the Emelan series, but we recommend reading it after "Battle Magic" and before "Melting Stones" for the best first-time experience. This series as a whole features four main characters and this time we're focusing on Sandry. We're joined by Anna and MJ, the hosts of The Circle of Friendship Podcast where they discuss all things Emelan. 

Book TW for mental illness, kidnapping, confinement, sexual assault (backstory). 

Topic 1: Zhegorz - Mental Illness. Begins at (0:50), CW for mental illness, institutionalization, abuse, magical abuse, homelessness. 

Topic 2: Sandry - Abandonment. Begins at (10:50), CW for miscommunication trope. 

Topic 3: Sandry - Kidnapping. Begins at (24:14), CW for kidnapping, sexual assault mention, rape culture, claustrophobia, loss of agency. 

Promo for Another Pass from the CPOV network. Spoiler-free wrap-up and ratings: Begins at (35:54). 

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If you'd like to make a monthly donation, please check us out on Patreon. Patrons at any level will receive the bonus Epilogue episode for this series. 

Find all our links on our Carrd

Music provided by HeartBeatArt and is used with permission. 

Series 8, Episode 3: Battle Magic - Tamora Pierce

March 8th, 2021

This fortnight we’re discussing “Battle Magic” by Tamora Pierce. This was the third book published in The Circle Reforged, part of the Emelan series, but we recommend reading it before "The Will of the Empress" and "Melting Stones" for the best first-time experience. This series as a whole features four main characters and this time we're focusing on Briar. We're joined by Anna, one of the hosts of The Circle of Friendship Podcast where they discuss all things Emelan.

Book TW for torture, death, animal death, PTSD, war, massacre.

Topic 1: Disability. Begins at (0:50), CW for ableism, disability, PTSD, death, near-death experience. 

Topic 2: Death and Loss. Begins at (8:06), CW for war, PTSD, casualties of war, animal death, spoilers for Briar's Book. 

Topic 3: Torture (animal death). Begins at (17:30), CW for animal death, cruelty to animals, physical torture, psychological torture, threats of harm to loved ones, descriptions of torture, mention of nudity, animal abuse, slavery, PTSD, mention of the horrors of war, mention of civilian casualties. 

Spoiler-free wrap-up and ratings: Begins at (35:03). 

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If you'd like to make a monthly donation, please check us out on Patreon. Patrons at any level will receive the bonus Epilogue episode for this series. 

You can check out Robin's written review of the book at Reviews That Burn. 

Find all our links on our Carrd

Music provided by HeartBeatArt and is used with permission. 

Series 8, Episode 2: Shatterglass - Tamora Pierce

February 22nd, 2021

This fortnight we’re discussing “Shatterglass” by Tamora Pierce. This is the fourth book in The Circle Opens quartet, part of the Emelan series. This series features four main characters and this time we're focusing on Tris. We're joined by Anna and MJ, the hosts of The Circle of Friendship Podcast where they discuss all things Emelan. 

Book TW for child neglect, child abuse, ptsd, violence, parental death (not depicted). 

Topic 1: Glaki, Yali, and Iralima (abandonment). Begins at (0:50), CW for parental death, child abandonment. 

Topic 2: Kethlun (KETH-luhn) - Near-death and disability. Begins at (15:05), CW for ptsd, cptsd, murder mention, near death experience, physical disability. 

Topic 3: Tris - Powerlessness. Begins at (28:25), CW for plague, epidemic, Covid-19 mention, serial murder, helplessness, assault. 

Promo for The Derek Duvall Show; Spoiler-free wrap-up and ratings: Begins at (41:17). 

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If you'd like to make a monthly donation, please check us out on Patreon. Patrons at any level will receive the bonus Epilogue episode for this series. 

Find all our links on our Carrd

Music provided by HeartBeatArt and is used with permission. 

Series 8, Episode 1: Daja’s Book - Tamora Pierce

February 8th, 2021

This fortnight we’re discussing “Daja's Book” by Tamora Pierce. This is the third book in The Circle of Magic quartet, part of the Emelan series. This series features four main characters and this time we're focusing on Daja. We're joined by Anna and MJ, the hosts of The Circle of Friendship Podcast where they discuss all things Emelan. 

Book TW for child abuse (not depicted), death. 

Topic 1: Frostpine - Child Abuse. Begins at (1:30), CW for ostracization, child enslavement, child abuse, abandonment, PTSD. 

Topic 2: Polyam - Disability. Begins at (17:15), CW for Description of physical injuries, ostracization, victim-blaming (disaster survivor), PTSD. 

Topic 3: Daja - Ostracization. Begins at (38:35), CW for Ostracization, bullying, queerphobia. 

Promo for Midwest Meltdown; Spoiler-free wrap-up and ratings: Begins at (58:08). 

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If you'd like to make a monthly donation, please check us out on Patreon. Patrons at any level will receive the bonus Epilogue episode for this series. 

Find all our links on our Carrd

Music provided by HeartBeatArt and is used with permission. 

Highlight 5: Ender’s Game/Shadow - Orson Scott Card

January 25th, 2021

This fortnight we’re discussing “Ender's Game" and "Ender's Shadow” by Orson Scott Card. These books cover approximately the same span of time and most of the same characters as each other. We focused our discussion on three events/traumas which are shown in both books from the perspective of their respective main characters. We're discussing these as books we used to love (and might still) but do not recommend to new readers.

Book TW for antisemitism, racism, homophobia, ableism, ableist slurs, assault, murder, eugenics, genocide

Topic 1: Abuse and PTSD. Begins at (1:30), CW for abuse, bullying, ptsd,

Topic 2: Murder and PTSD. Begins at (21:30), CW for murder, bullying, abandonment, emotional isolation, gaslighting

Topic 3: Genocide and Consent. Begins at (34:52), CW for violation of consent, ptsd, genocide, mental health crisis, emotional breakdown, coma mention

Promo for Book Reports Pod; Spoiler-free wrap-up and ratings: Begins at (53:05).

Recommended books to read instead:

Animorphs by K. A. Applegate

War Girls by Tochi Onyebuchi

The Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb

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If you'd like to make a monthly donation, please check us out on Patreon. Patrons at any level will receive the bonus Epilogue episode for this book.

You can check out Robin's written review of Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow at Reviews That Burn.

Find all our links on our Carrd.

Music provided by HeartBeatArt and is used with permission.

Stand-Alone 7: The Raven Tower - Ann Leckie

January 11th, 2021

This fortnight we’re discussing “The Raven Tower” by Ann Leckie, with special guest Andrew of Bea Nostalgic

Book TW for brief transphobia, discussion of infanticide, discussion of suicide, anti-twin prejudice in a fictional culture, massacre, parental death, major character death. 

Topic 1: Oskel and Okim - Microaggressions. Begins at (1:30), CW for suicide, infanticide, child sacrifice, microaggression descriptions. 

Topic 2: Eolo - Dissociation and Dysphoria. Begins at (18:00), CW for dysphoria, misgendering. 

Topic 3: The Raven’s Lease - Advocated Suicide as Honorable Volunteer Sacrifice. Begins at (41:10), CW for suicide, society-advocated suicide, self-sacrifice, self-harm, murder. 

Promo for Pretty Nice Podcast; Spoiler-free wrap-up and ratings: Begins at (1:03:35). 

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If you'd like to make a monthly donation, please check us out on Patreon

You can check out Robin's written review of the book at Reviews That Burn

Find all our links on our Carrd

Music provided by HeartBeatArt and is used with permission. 

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