Pull up a seat.
It's been a weird week down in South Georgia/North Florida. Hurricane Irma was forecast to come straight at us as a Category 3 hurricane, but she mercifully made a jagged landfall and fell apart into a weak Tropical Storm before she could do too much damage in the immediate vicinity of the Bookshelf. I only lost power for about twelve hours, so I got to read comic books in bed with a headlamp before the "camping at home" novelty had a chance to wear off. (Not so much the hurricane prep, but the headlamp reading I totally recommend.) Still, with the lights on, the Cheez-Its and beef jerky I bought as hurricane snacks seem just a little less appetizing.
One of the weird consequences of everyone preparing for impending doom is the preemptive cancelation of university classes, which freed up my week considerably since, as you probably know, I teach at Florida State University. As I'm typing this on a Wednesday afternoon, I would normally be lecturing on the literary importance of the Venerable Bede or the Germanic context of "Cynewulf and Cyneheard," but that's not how Irma saw fit to frame things.
Instead, I get to pioneer the new, exclusive From the Front Porch weekly newsletter. It's just for you, our Patreon supporters. I am totally stunned by the response we've received thus far, and it's only been a week since our announcement. Thank you SO MUCH for your support. I can't wait to make real headway on improving what Annie and I have been doing for the past couple years. We couldn't and wouldn't do this without you.
Chris's Media Log
One of the things I want to do in this newsletter is give you a glimpse into what kinds of media I'm consuming and producing in a given week, which we don't typically talk about on the podcast because I don't include comic books or my dissertation work in my Reading Recap contributions. Because of the hurricane, this week has been a little atypical, so I'm opting to give you the first week of September.
I am SO excited about The Afterlives by Thomas Pierce, on sale from Riverhead in January. The closest comp title I can think of is The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Nieffenegger, but leaning less heavily on any real sci-fi concepts until the last hundred pages or so.
I also want to draw your attention to Calling a Wolf a Wolf, a gorgeous new poetry collection from Kaveh Akbar that came out just this week. Kaveh is a force in the contemporary poetry world, and his name is in the mouths of a lot of authors you've probably read--Roxane Gay and John Green, to name a couple. Don't wait on this one. Trust me.
Geoffrey of Monmouth, History of the Kings of Britain, x.12 – xi.4
Spencer, Secret Empire #9 – 10
Happy Endings, season 1, episodes 9 – 10
Pierce, The Afterlives, pp. 1 – 156
Pierce, The Afterlives, pp. 157 – 203
Bendis, Spider-Men II #2
Wilson, Ms. Marvel #21
Ewing, Ultimates #100
Happy Endings, season 1, episode 11
Pierce, The Afterlives, pp. 204 – end
Ewing, Royals #5 – 6
Layamon, Brut, ll. 9893 – 10128
Happy Endings, season 1, episode 12
Bendis, Infamous Iron Man #11
Ewing, USAvengers #9
The The Adventure Zone Zone
Reply All, episode 104
Bennett, The Mothers, ch. 1 – 2
Akbar, Calling a Wolf a Wolf
Annie's Quick Review
Stay with Me--the debut novel by Nigerian author Ayobami Adebayo--is exquisite. The book features the love story of Yejide and Akin, a couple defying their culture's traditions by refusing to engage in polygamy... until Yejide struggles to conceive. Give yourself a few chapters to become immersed in Adebayo's prose, then be prepared to read until the wee hours. Once I gave myself over to the story, I was completely hooked. (One word of warning: Stay With Me is heavy reading; Adebayo tackles infertility and the struggles surrounding it; sensitive readers--particularly mothers--might want to mentally prepare.)
One last thing!
Regarding your other rewards... Deleted Content, which includes Chris/Annie dialogue cut from the show and occasionally just some behind the scenes technical banter, will release semi-weekly alongside From the Front Porch. I've already got the next six weeks queued up.
Unpopular Opinions, our "bonus" podcast in which one or both of us goes against the grain of society, will release the first Thursday of every month.
My deep apologies if the formatting of this email makes no sense. This is my first time using MailChimp. Let's get better together!
PS: Here's a picture of my cats.