Burned by Books

Burned by Books


A podcast for writers and readers who are obsessive about their books. Interviews with established and up-and-coming writers, and recommendations for the best in contemporary fiction, poetry, and drama. Hosted by Chris Holmes. Chris is Chair of Literatures in English and Associate Professor at Ithaca College. He writes criticism on contemporary global literatures. His book, Kazuo Ishiguro as World Literature, is under contract with Bloomsbury Publishing. He is the co-director of The New Voices Festival, a celebration of work in poetry, prose, and playwriting by up-and-coming young writers. You can visit the "Burned by Books" website here.

Nell Freudenberger, "The Limits" (Knopf, 2024)

April 2, 2024

The Limits

Nell Freudenberger
Hosted by Chris Holmes

The most thrilling work yet from the best-selling, prize-winning author of The Newlyweds and Lost and Wanted, a stunning new novel set in French Polyn…

Marie Mutsuki Mockett, "The Tree Doctor" (Graywolf Press, 2024)

March 23, 2024

The Tree Doctor

Marie Mutsuki Mockett
Hosted by Chris Holmes

When the unnamed narrator of Marie Mutsuki Mockett's stirring second novel returns to Carmel, California, to care for her mother, she finds herself st…

Scott Alexander Howard, "The Other Valley" (Atria Books, 2024)

March 14, 2024

The Other Valley

Scott Alexander Howard
Hosted by Chris Holmes

Sixteen-year-old Odile is an awkward, quiet girl vying for a coveted seat on the Conseil. If she earns the position, she'll decide who may cross her t…

Marie-Helene Bertino, "Beautyland" (FSG, 2024)

February 27, 2024


Marie-Helene Bertino
Hosted by Chris Holmes

At the moment when Voyager 1 is launched into space carrying its famous golden record, a baby of unusual perception is born to a single mother in Phil…

Cameron McWhirter and Zusha Elinson, "American Gun: The True Story of the AR-15" (FSG, 2023)

February 20, 2024

American Gun

Cameron McWhirter and Zusha Elinson
Hosted by Chris Holmes

In the 1950s, an obsessive firearms designer named Eugene Stoner invented the AR-15 rifle in a California garage. High-minded and patriotic, Stoner so…

Samantha Harvey, "Orbital" (Atlantic Monthly Press, 2023)

January 26, 2024


Samantha Harvey
Hosted by Chris Holmes

A slender novel of epic power, Orbital (Atlantic Monthly Press, 2023) deftly snapshots one day in the lives of six women and men hurtling through spac…

Julius Taranto, "How I Won a Nobel Prize" (Little, Brown, 2023)

January 19, 2024

How I Won a Nobel Prize

Julius Taranto
Hosted by Chris Holmes

Helen is one of the brightest minds of her generation: a young physicist on a path to solve high-temperature superconductivity (which could save the p…

Raul Palma, "A Haunting in Hialeah Gardens" (Dutton, 2023)

January 15, 2024

A Haunting in Hialeah Gardens

Raul Palma
Hosted by Chris Holmes

A genre-bending debut with a fiercely political heart, A Haunting in Hialeah Gardens (Dutton, 2023) explores the weight of the devil's bargain, follow…

Courtney Denelle, "It's Not Nothing" (Santa Fe Writers Project, 2022)

January 12, 2024

It's Not Nothing

Courtney Denelle
Hosted by Chris Holmes

Rosemary Candwell's past has exploded into her present. Down-and-out and deteriorating, she drifts from anonymous beds and bars in Providence, to a ho…

Mark Ernest Pothier, "Outer Sunset" (U Iowa Press, 2023)

January 10, 2024

Outer Sunset

Mark Ernest Pothier
Hosted by Chris Holmes

Jim Finley--a recently retired English teacher living alone on the shifting edge of San Francisco--has been set, unwittingly, on the back porch of lif…

Rebecca Turkewitz, "Here in the Night" (Black Lawrence Press, 2023)

January 5, 2024

Here in the Night

Rebecca Turkewitz
Hosted by Chris Holmes

The thirteen stories in Rebecca Turkewitz's debut collection, Here in the Night (Black Lawrence Press, 2023), are engrossing, strange, eerie, and emot…

Kyle Dillon Hertz, "The Lookback Window" (Simon and Schuster, 2023)

January 3, 2024

The Lookback Window

Kyle Dillon Hertz
Hosted by Chris Holmes

Growing up in suburban New York, Dylan lived through the unfathomable: three years as a victim of sex trafficking at the hands of Vincent, a troubled …

Lexi Freiman, "The Book of Ayn" (Catapult, 2023)

December 29, 2023

The Book of Ayn

Lexi Freiman
Hosted by Chris Holmes

An original and hilarious satire of both our political culture and those who rage against it, The Book of Ayn (Catapult, 2023) follows a writer from N…

Eliza Minot. "In the Orchard" (Knopf, 2023)

December 22, 2023

In the Orchard

Eliza Minot
Hosted by Chris Holmes

A novel about womanhood, modern family, and the interior landscape of maternal life, as seen through the life of a young wife and mother on a single d…

Booksellers' Best Books of 2023

December 18, 2023

Booksellers' Best Books of 2023

Christine Bollow and Lisa Swayze
Hosted by Chris Holmes

Every year one of my absolute favorite episodes is the Booksellers Best-Of episode for which I get to interview independent bookstore managers, owners…

Bryan Washington, "Family Meal" (Riverhead Books, 2023)

December 15, 2023

Family Meal

Bryan Washington
Hosted by Chris Holmes

From the bestselling, award-winning author of Memorial and Lot, an irresistible, intimate novel about two young men, once best friends, whose lives co…

Julie Schumacher, "The English Experience" (Doubleday, 2023)

December 8, 2023

The English Experience

Julie Schumacher
Hosted by Chris Holmes

Today I talked to Jule Schumacher about her new novel The English Experience (Doubleday, 2023). Jason Fitger may be the last faculty member the dean …

Alexandra Chang, "Tomb Sweeping: Stories" (Ecco Press, 2023)

December 1, 2023

Tomb Sweeping

Alexandra Chang
Hosted by Chris Holmes

Compelling and perceptive, Tomb Sweeping (Ecco Press, 2023) probes the loyalties we hold: to relatives, to strangers, and to ourselves. In stories set…

Laura Sims, "How Can I Help You" (Putnam, 2023)

November 17, 2023

How Can I Help You

Laura Sims
Hosted by Chris Holmes

No one knows Margo's real name. Her colleagues and patrons at a small-town public library only know her middle-aged normalcy, congeniality, and charm.…

Mina Seçkin, "The Four Humors" (Catapult, 2022)

November 10, 2023

The Four Humors

Mina Seçkin
Hosted by Chris Holmes

Mina Seçkin's novel The Four Humors (Catapult, 2022) follows a young Turkish-American woman who, rather than grieving her father's untimely death, see…