Tea or Books? #2: long vs. short books, and The Catcher in the Rye vs. The Go-Between


Tea or Books logoWelcome to the second episode of our podcast! In this episode, Rachel and I are discussing long books vs. short books and The Catcher in the Rye vs. The Go-Between. Buckle up; it’s a long episode. We certainly loved having our chat. AND I got a new mic, and… well, the editing time was certainly cut down drastically. We’re getting there!

You can listen by clicking on the audio above, or (hopefully!) on iTunes. I don’t know how this RSS feed thing works, but the episode should appear if you search for Tea or Books? on iTunes, or here. (It’s not there just after I published, but I assume these things take a while to register.) (UPDATE: it worked!)

The books we mention in this episode, in case you’re listening and want to nab one of recommendations, are…

Gillespie and I – Jane Harris
Wolf Hall – Hilary Mantel
Bloomsbury’s Outsider – Sarah Knights
Wartime: Britain 1939-1945 – Juliet Gardiner
The Goldfinch – Donna Tartt
The Secret History – Donna Tartt
The Luminaries – Eleanor Catton
The Little Stranger – Sarah Waters
On Chesil Beach – Ian McEwan
Black Dogs – Ian McEwan
Being Dead – Jim Crace
The Love-Child – Edith Olivier
Lady Into Fox – David Garnett
Love of Seven Dolls – Paul Gallico
Flowers for Mrs Harris – Paul Gallico
Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie – Muriel Spark
Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
Letters of the Mitford Sisters
A Curious Friendship – Anna Thomasson
Germany: Memories of a Nation – Neil MacGregor
Virginia Woolf – Hermione Lee
Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
The Warden – Anthony Trollope
Barchester Towers – Anthony Trollope
Can You Forgive Her? – Anthony Trollope
Our Mutual Friend – Charles Dickens
The Moonstone – Wilkie Collins
David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
The Go-Between – L.P. Hartley
The Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger
The History Boys – Alan Bennett
My Salinger Year – Joanna Rakoff
I Capture the Castle – Dodie Smith
Guard Your Daughters – Diana Tutton
The Death of the Heart – Elizabeth Bowen
A House in Paris – Elizabeth Bowen
Virginia – Jens Christian Grøndhal

18 thoughts on “Tea or Books? #2: long vs. short books, and The Catcher in the Rye vs. The Go-Between

  • June 23, 2015 at 10:51 pm
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    Looking forward to listening to this, Simon. It duly appeared in my Podcasts app so I may start listening on the way home tonight. I’ve read quite a few of the books on your list so I’ll be interested to hear what you both think (although I already know where you stand on long vs short books!).

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    • June 25, 2015 at 10:55 pm
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      Hurray that it appeared in the right place, Lyn! Hope you enjoy it – and you shan’t be surprised at all by my thoughts on long vs short, though I’m expecting you to disagree ;)

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  • June 24, 2015 at 7:42 am
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    Nice actor type voice Simon.

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    • June 25, 2015 at 10:55 pm
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      Ha, thank you! I play myself in this one ;)

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  • June 24, 2015 at 8:22 am
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    Simon looks and sounds like vintage expert Mark Hill.Do you agree?

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    • June 25, 2015 at 10:56 pm
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      Do I agree? I don’t actually know who he is! But a google image search does suggest he looks rather like me… but having a twin has made me rather used to people looking like me (!)

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    • June 25, 2015 at 10:56 pm
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      Thanks Karen! :D

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  • June 25, 2015 at 1:48 am
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    Loved the podcast and especially the excellent sound on EP 2 Really looking forward to next episode

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    • June 25, 2015 at 10:56 pm
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      Aw, thanks so much, Ana!

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  • June 25, 2015 at 5:23 am
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    Oh, ‘The Luminaries’! Those last few chapters were SO disappointing – how in the world did it go downhill so thoroughly? Rachel has almost persuaded me to read ‘Catcher in the Rye’ as an adult. Thanks again to you both and for putting together the list of books!

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    • June 25, 2015 at 10:57 pm
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      I have not been tempted even to open The Luminaries, and Rachel’s report on it has not encouraged me further…

      I feel like I should give Catcher in the Rye another go. But I suspect I won’t.

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  • June 25, 2015 at 12:54 pm
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    I particularly enjoyed the discussion on the merits of The Catcher in the Rye v The Go Between, especially the comments about the difference between the American and English perspective. I recently read Elaine Dundy’s The Dud Avocado, which I didn’t like, but thought that would make an interesting ‘coming of age’ comparison with Salinger’s book. I was going to re-read Catcher in the Rye, but I’m scared I may no longer love it the way I did when I was 18!

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    • June 25, 2015 at 10:58 pm
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      Thanks Christine! I wish we’d had a chance to talk more about the American vs English issue – but I felt rather ill-equipped to talk more widely on that topic, having read so few American bildungsroman!

      I’ve heard strong feelings on both sides about The Dud Avocado, so should really pick it up at some point…

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  • June 25, 2015 at 3:01 pm
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    Fab again, and the better mic helped. In long vs short – I *try* to think about pages read rather than number of books so that any length of book earns its place, but I do naturally go for shorter ones mostly.

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    • June 25, 2015 at 10:59 pm
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      I’ve now got to the point where I’m more likely to buy short books – for ages I thought long books were better value (which, technically, I suppose they are) – only I never got around to reading the long books.

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  • June 25, 2015 at 8:19 pm
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    Rachel my love, I volunteer to get your copy of the Juliet Gardiner book if you decide you simply can’t be bothered with it. I VOLUNTEER. It’s awfully good, though, and you should read it, despise the length. The chapters go by very easily; it’s not at all difficult to get through. Promise.

    (Jennie!!! I love that book! In the US it was published as The Abandoned, but unsurprisingly, I love the British title better. It is, however, the only Paul Gallico book I can bear to read. I think most of his books are quite sad. Even Jennie is quite dark in its way.)

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    • June 25, 2015 at 11:01 pm
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      Your kind, kind volunteering! ;)

      His books are definitely quite sad, for the most part, or at least have sad moments. But I think you’d find Love of Seven Dolls darkly fascinating. Ditto The Foolish Immortals, maybe.

      Reply

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