Smart Podcast, Trashy Books Podcast

523. Summer Reading (and Shoe) Recs with Amanda

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Amanda and I are catching up. What are we talking about? Shoes we are trying to break in, video games we are playing, and all the books we’ve been reading this summer! Amanda’s into sci-fi mysteries, and I’ve read a whole bunch of different genres. Grab a beverage and come visit with us!

What about you?

What books have rocked your reading time? Have you broken in Birkenstocks? (Am I doomed to agony for eternity?) What are your most comfortable sandals? What is your preferred Mario Kart course? What kind of cracker is the greatest kind of cracker, and why is it Ritz crackers?


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Here are the books we discuss in this podcast:

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A close up of my kindle with iron shavings on the magnets at each corner A close up of the back edge of my kindle with iron clinging to the strip magnets meant to hold on to the cover

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This podcast transcript was handcrafted with meticulous skill by Garlic Knitter. Many thanks.

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  1. Deborah says:

    Just magical wishy wishiness! It’s all, it’s all, it’s all random! That’s why we’re Random House.

    At this point I had to stop reading the transcript and proceed immediately to the linked twitter thread (not passing Go, not collecting $200). (Also? LOL)

  2. Escapeologist says:

    Comfy sandals – Skechers On-the-go slides. So soft.

  3. Lena Brassard/Ren Benton says:

    I’m boycotting S&S for publishing way more than their share of Team Insurrection (no publisher is blameless in that regard, but S&S is noteworthy in their commitment), so I view the testimony through a particularly cynical lens: when they sit in front of those politicians who will decide the future of their business and say things like “We pay AT LEAST $100,000 up front for books, that’s LOW,” it’s effectively a bribe. (And because they can count on that bulk-order dagger on the bestseller list when the speaking engagements are conditional on the host buying thousands of copies, it doesn’t actually cost the publisher anything. The wins just keep coming!) Publishing CEOs couldn’t care less about novels for the plebs, but they’re intimately involved in bestowing gifts on people in a position to do them favors. They’re not really jaw-droppingly detached from reality, they just live in a rarefied one beyond the comprehension of peasants.

    On a less burn-it-all-down-and-salt-the-ashes note, my preferred cracker at the moment is homemade flatbread (seasoned according to mood at the time of dough prep) cut into bite-size pieces and thrown in the oven at a low temp for a couple of hours to dry out until crunchy. Those sourdough crackers tempt me to get a new starter going, though…

  4. Kareni says:

    My feet generally have a very adversarial relationship with new shoes, so you have my good wishes, Sarah.

    As for crackers, I’m fond of Pepperidge Farms butterfly crackers…with brie, yum!

  5. KB says:

    I have not had time to listen yet because I am waaaay behind on podcasts but re: Birkenstocks I just had to say that I bought some this summer as well. I L-O-V-E them now but they took a solid two months of regular wear to break in. Like I bought them in early June and literally the other day I was in Target like “OMG wow my shoes are finally comfortable.” I had a pair in college and remember feeling the love, but that was 25 years ago and I wasn’t sure the new ones would hold up. Turns out they are pretty much the same. Don’t know how long you’ve had yours but if it is less than 2 months of regular wear, keep going! I promise it’s worth it.

  6. Kate says:

    Re Birkenstocks: I developed plantar fasciitis a few years ago and everyone said “get Birks!” Being on a serious budget at the time I got the EVA Gizehs so there was no break in period. As soon as I could afford them I got regular leather & cork clogs and again no break in. The PF is flaring up again and I needed new sandals anyway so just bought some cork Mayaris. The stiffness is actually helping the PF a lot, though I am getting a little blister where the strap meets the sole. Sounds like I am dodging bullets here!

  7. hng23 says:

    Courtesy of AO3, a roundup of antitrust-themed fanfic, possibly NSFW:
    My favourite title so far: A Random Penguin Acquires My Ass, by that famously prolific author, Anonymous.

  8. SusanE says:

    While we’re talking cork sandals, can anyone recommend some with arch support built in? My regular arch inserts would work with sandals but they slide out, and they look funny!

  9. Jill Davis says:

    The best sandals are made by Keen and they are called Uneek – that’s Keen backward with a U to start. They are like old style huaraches made with something like a continuous thin bungie cord. They are soft, pliable, and have a supportive foot bed. Since they are stretchy, there is no need to “break them in.” I have walked miles wearing them. They are a bit pricy – but not more than Birkenstocks – and they last for years.

    Kelly D

  10. Jessica says:

    I love my Birkenstocks breaking them in is a pain .When I bought the soft bed Birkenstocks game changer ….they are already broken in. Worth the extra money.

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