Episode 22: Romance Tropes

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SHOW NOTES

Our Current Reads

Carrie
Himself, by Jess Kidd
Inside of A Dog: What Dogs See, Smell & Know, by Alexandra Horowitz
Domesticated: Evolution in a Man-Made World, by Richard Francis

Christa
Dive Smack, by Demetra Brodsky
Between Them: Remembering My Parents, by Richard Ford
Stay, by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy

“Stop reading about dogs and TAKE ME FOR A WALK.”

Announcements

Subscribe to our companion TinyLetter for this (and every) episode here
Our Facebook page is here
The Shayla Black “I’m in Your Ass/Saving Your Life” reference

Recommended Reads (listed in the order discussed)

TROPE: The Cute Neighbor
Kissing Max Holden, by Katy Upperman
Lola & The Boy Next Door, by Stephanie Perkins
Wait For It, by Mariana Zapata
Close Enough To Touch, by Victoria Dahl

TROPE: Masturbate For Me
Say Yes To The Marquess, by Tessa Dare
One Good Earl Deserves A Lover, by Sarah MacLean
Too Hot To Handle, by Victoria Dahl
Sweetest Scoundrel, by Elizabeth Hoyt
Proving His Worth, by Cari Quinn

“You know what I think about all this cute-neighbor twaddle…”

 

About This Podcast

Carrie Mesrobian and Christa Desir are two good friends who happen to be YA authors interested in discussing sex. The idea for The Oral History Podcast came out of their daily dog-walking conversations when they realized that others might be as interested in this topic as they were. Each podcast focuses on a topic of sexuality in the lives of teens. Previous podcasts have included discussions about masturbation, first kisses, cheating, illicit relationships, oral sex, and “girl talk” to name a few. Frank, engaging, and filthy, these two podcasters will leave you laughing, blushing, or ready to start writing sex scenes in your novel in an authentic and excellent way.

Episode #21: Young Adult, or Literary Fiction? Who Decides?

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In this episode of the Oral History Podcast, we ask why some books about teenagers are labeled “YA” but others are marketed as “literary fiction.” Tell us what you think on our Facebook page or via email (feedback AT theoralhistorypodcast DOT com).

Click to subscribe in iTunes or Stitcher

SHOW NOTES

Our current reads

Christa:

Almost Missed You by Jessica Strawser

The Association of Small Bombs by Karan Mahajan

Letters to a Young Writer by Colum McCann

Carrie

The Secret Speech by Tom Rob Ford

Robert Lowell: Setting the River on Fire by Kay Redfield Jamison

here, have a picture of Sherlock & Molly kissing; life’s short

Announcements

– subscribe to this episode’s companion piece on TinyLetter here

– purchase podcast t-shirts here (100% of proceeds go to Scarleteen)

– visit us on Facebook here

Books & References 

Big Girl Small by Rachel DeWoskin

Brutal Youth by Anthony Breznican

The V-Word: True Stories of First-Time Sex by Amber J. Keyser, editor

YALSA’s Alex Award

The Impossible Fortress by Jason Rekulak

The Girls by Emma Cline

I Crawl Through It by A.S. King

The Princesses of Iowa by M. Molly Backes

Bone Gap by Laura Ruby

Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Perez

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

Freefall by Mindi Scott

Love Me Back by Merritt Tierce

Catcher in The Rye by J.D. Salinger

Girls On Fire by Robin Wasserman

One of the Boys by Daniel Magariel

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

The Bunker Diary by Kevin Brooks

History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund

The Passion of Dolssa by Julie Berry

Dare Me & The Fever by Megan Abbott

The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides

Other Broken Things by Christa Desir

Drowning Instinct by Ilsa J. Bick

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

“Wow, that’s a lotta books, ladies! Good job!” – Idris Elba, probably

Want more? Subscribe to our accompanying TinyLetter for further discussion on this episode!

About This Podcast

Carrie Mesrobian and Christa Desir are two good friends who happen to be YA authors interested in discussing sex. The idea for The Oral History Podcast came out of their daily dog-walking conversations when they realized that others might be as interested in this topic as they were. Each podcast focuses on a topic of sexuality in the lives of teens. Previous podcasts have included discussions about masturbation, first kisses, cheating, illicit relationships, oral sex, and “girl talk” to name a few. Frank, engaging, and filthy, these two podcasters will leave you laughing, blushing, or ready to start writing sex scenes in your novel in an authentic and excellent way.

Episode 20: School Dances

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In this episode of The Oral History Podcast, we discuss school dances, now and then.  Do you have some terrible and/or delicious memories of school dances you’d like to share, or some books that deal with high school dances in a way you like? Tell us what you think on our Facebook page or via email (feedback AT theoralhistorypodcast DOT com).

 

Click to subscribe in iTunes or Stitcher

SHOW NOTES

Our Current Reads

Carrie

The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge

History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund

Christa

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living by Meik Wiking

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References

Subscribe to our companion piece on TinyLetter

high school dance

San Augustine, Texas. High school students dancing at the Spanish Club banquet; credit here

Recommended Reads (listed in the order in which they were discussed)

Prom by Laurie Halse Anderson

Pointe by Brandy Colbert

Freefall by Mindi Scott

Not That Kind of Girl by Siobhan Vivian

Belle Epoque by Elizabeth Ross

What We Left Behind by Robin Talley

NEW FEATURE: Teen Librarian Toolbox Recommendation Corner, featuring Karen Jensen

Backlash by Sarah Darer Littman

Pretty Amy by Lisa Burstein

The Last Boy & Girl in the World by Siobhan Vivian

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Want more? Subscribe to our accompanying TinyLetter for further discussion on this episode!

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“Okay, let me explain what the deal is with this excellent podcast…”

About 

Carrie Mesrobian and Christa Desir are two good friends who happen to be YA authors interested in discussing sex. The idea for The Oral History Podcast came out of their daily dog-walking conversations when they realized that others might be as interested in this topic as they were. Each podcast focuses on a topic of sexuality in the lives of teens. Previous podcasts have included discussions about masturbation, first kisses, cheating, illicit relationships, oral sex, and “girl talk” to name a few. Frank, engaging, and filthy, these two podcasters will leave you laughing, blushing, or ready to start writing sex scenes in your novel in an authentic and excellent way.

Episode #19: Dating

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In this episode of the Oral History Podcast, we discuss the concept of dating: what it was like when we were teenagers, what it is like for teenagers now, and how some books we recommend handle this variable romantical endeavor. Do you have some insight on dating then/now or any book recommendations that deal with dating in a significant way? Tell us what you think: (feedback AT theoralhistorypodcast DOT com).

click to subscribe in iTunes or Stitcher

SHOW NOTES

Our Current Reads

Christa:

Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead, by Brene Brown
Pasadena, by Sherri L. Smith

Carrie:

Fragrant: The Secret Life of Scent, by Mandy Aftel
The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks About Race, by Jesmyn Ward (editor)
The Leftovers, by Tom Perrotta

Couple at rollerskating rink. Southside, Chicago, Illinois.

Couple at rollerskating rink. Southside, Chicago, Illinois. Link here.

References

Subscribe to our companion piece TinyLetter
Our One-Star Review T-shirt shop (all proceeds go to Scarleteen)
Money Talks, a movie that Christa was not into
This is who Eddie Money is, just FYI
“We’re Now Dating Six People At Once, According To Study”
Ghosting
Bread-crumbing

“Hey you know I only got a flip phone so I gotta ask you out on a date the old fashioned way, baby.”

Recommended Reads (listed in the order in which they were discussed)

Aristotle and Dante Discover The Secrets of The Universe, by Benjamin Saenz Alire
Just Listen, by Sarah Dessen
Freefall, by Mindi Scott
The Female of the Species, by Mindi McGinnis
Dreamland, by Sarah Dessen
Stay, by Deb Caletti

Want more? Subscribe to our accompanying TinyLetter for further discussion on this episode!

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“What’s not to love, eh?”

About This Podcast

Carrie Mesrobian and Christa Desir are two good friends who happen to be YA authors interested in discussing sex. The idea for The Oral History Podcast came out of their daily dog-walking conversations when they realized that others might be as interested in this topic as they were. Each podcast focuses on a topic of sexuality in the lives of teens. Previous podcasts have included discussions about masturbation, first kisses, cheating, illicit relationships, oral sex, and “girl talk” to name a few. Frank, engaging, and filthy, these two podcasters will leave you laughing, blushing, or ready to start writing sex scenes in your novel in an authentic and excellent way.

One Star Review T-Shirt Shop Now Open!

 

Hello there friends and listeners!

We’re happy to announce three great things!

  • First, Christa’s excellent husband redid our logo, so we decided to launch our delightful new look with our custom One Star Review T-Shirt Shop. Yes, you can now get your own #OralHistoryPodcast shirts, three of which feature our favorite lines from lousy reviews of our books.
  • Second,  we’re happy to announce that we’ll be donating all of our t-shirt profits to Scarleteen in an effort to support the good work they do in educating teenagers and young adults about sex. If you don’t know what Scarleteen does, holy shit, do you have some good stuff ahead of you, so click HERE to learn more.
  • Third, we’ll be wearing our shirts at the ALAN workshop next week in Atlanta, so if you’ll be there, come over and say hello. We love meeting our listeners and we’re excited to show off our One Star Review tees and hear what you’ve been reading lately.

Thank you so much for listening and, as always, feel free to email us with your thoughts and questions:

feedback AT theoralhistorypodcast DOT com

 

 

 

Episode 18: Sexual Content in YA Books

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In this episode of The Oral History Podcast, we discuss censorship issues surrounding content in young adult literature and how this affects librarians, editors, authors and teachers, as well as how people who support open fair access to all kinds of books can respond to book challenges and other kinds of content suppression. We’d love to hear your thoughts on this! Tell us what you think on Twitter @ChristaDesir, or via email (feedback AT theoralhistorypodcast DOT com).

Click to subscribe in iTunes or Stitcher.

SHOW NOTES

Our Current Reads

Carrie:
SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome by Mary Beard
The Man Without A Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin by Masha Gessen

Christa:
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
We Are Okay by Nina LaCour

Announcements

— Our TinyLetter serves as a companion piece for each episode and guess what: you can subscribe right here!

— Become a part of #OralHistory with one of our four custom One Star Review t-shirts. Order here. 

References

Some links regarding VOYA content warning: here, here, here, and here
School Library Journal’s series on libraries and censorship
A Court of Mist & Fury by Sarah J. Maas
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

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Better Nate Than Ever by Tim Federle
If I Stay by Gayle Forman
I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson
“Mom, what are Polekatz?”
At The Edge of The Universe by Shaun Hutchinson

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“Whoa. That was a lot of opinions.  I have a lot of feelings about them. Think I’ll leave a comment here or email yall my thoughts: feedback AT theoralhistorypodcast DOT com”

Episode 17: YA Sex Scenes

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Episode 17: We discuss craft issues and questions involved in YA sex scenes, whether you’re reading them or writing them, and reference several titles in the process.

Click to subscribe in iTunes or Stitcher.

SHOW NOTES

Our Current Reads

Carrie:

Women In Clothes, by Sheila Heti, Heidi Shulavits and Leanne Shapton
Unbroken Brain: A Revolutionary New Way of Understanding Addiction,  by Maia Szalavitz
The Careful Undressing of Love, by Corey Ann Haydu

Christa:

The Imperfectionists, by Tom Rachman
Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead
Never Look An American in the Eye: A Memoir of Flying Turtles, Colonial Ghosts, and the Making of a Nigerian American, by Okey Ndibe
Rani Patel in Full Effect, by Sonia Patel

Announcements

— Our TinyLetter serves as a companion piece for each episode and guess what: you can subscribe here

— We’re working on an episode about censorship and YA fiction, and how this has occurred at any point in the publication or distribution process, whether you are an author, editor, teacher or librarian. We can keep each submission anonymous if preferred.  We’d love to hear from you! Email here.

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“Let’s break it all down for you.”

Books and Other References

Thief of Shadows, by Elizabeth Hoyt
Wintersong, by S. Jae-Jones
Plus One by Elizabeth Fama
Graceling by Kristin Cashore
The Black Dagger Brotherhood series ,by J.R. Ward
My Year Zero, by Rachel Gold
Three Truths and A Lie, by Brent Hartinger
Underneath Everything, by Marcy Beller Paul
“Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” by Joyce Carol Oates
Smooth Talk movie
“Welcome to the New America: Straight-ish, heteroflexible, and pansexual” 
See No Color, by Shannon Gibney
The Cheating Episode that Carrie’s “condom stalemate” anecdote referenced
The concept of lunarception
Uses For Boys, by Erica Lorraine Scheidt (and why it contains one of Christa’s favorite sex scenes)

Craft Talk Questions

— What is this character’s relationship with masturbation and their body?
— What has this character been taught about sex and desire?
— How does my character express affection?
— What does this character find attractive in general (attraction not being limited to physical beauty but often this is a marker of what complements the character, what he/she is lacking and seeks in a partner for balance)?
— Is this character able to be open about their sexual identity with their families and community?
— How has this character been shown love and support by others?
— Are there certain societal ideal beauty standards in this character’s world? How do they compare to these ideals?
— What kinds of words does this character use to describe any sort of sensory responses?

Some Good Poems About Sex

“What Saves Us” by Bruce Weigl from What Saves Us, Triquarterly, 1992.
“Groceries” by Cathy Smith Bowers, from Traveling in Time of Danger, Iris Press, 1999.
“Everything We Do” by Peter Meinke, from Liquid Paper: New and Selected Poems, University of Pittsburgh Press, 1991.
“Foreplay” by Tony Gloeggler, from One Wish Left, Pavement Saw Press, 2002.
“The Widening” by Carol Moldaw from The Widening, Etruscan Press, 2008.
“First Blowjob” by Meg Kearney, from Never Before: Poems about first experiences, edited by Laure-Anne Bosselaar, Four Way Books, 2005.
“God and the G-Spot” by Ellen Bass, from Mules of Love, BOA Editions, 2002.
“Adolescence” by Sharon Olds, from Strike Sparks, Knopf, 2004.
“Poem to my First Lover” by Sharon Olds, from The Dead and The Living, Knopf, 1995.
“First Sex” by Sharon Olds, from The Gold Cell, Knopf, 1995
“Last Gods” by Galway Kinnell, When One Has Lived A Long Time Alone, Knopf, 1990.
“Life Story” by Tennessee Williams, The Collected Poems of Tennessee Williams, copyright © 1937, 1956, 1964, 2002 by The University of the South.

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Don’t look at us like that. Just tell us what you think! feedback AT theoralhistorypodcast DOT com