Welcome to another installment of a collaboration between the Chicago Review of Books and the Your Favorite Book podcast. Malavika Praseed, frequent CHIRB contributor and podcast host, seeks to talk to readers and writers about the books that light a fire inside them. What’s your favorite book and why?
Our guest this week is Ethan Chatagnier, whose debut novel Singer Distance effortlessly combines the space age paranoia of the 1960s, theoretical math, and the high stakes of a love unfulfilled. The book challenges the idea of what it would mean to communicate with another planet, presenting an alternate history where this contact has been made and scientists believe they’ve cracked the latest Martian math challenge set for Earthlings to understand.
Ethan chose a book that also blurs the lines between literary and science fiction, Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go. This seminal work by the Nobel Laureate defies most summaries, with its slowly unfolding plot and piecemeal storytelling. This is one of few YFB episodes that dives headfirst into spoilers, so for those who have not read Never Let Me Go, it’s highly recommended before listening, and a highly recommended book in general.
FINALE (for now): My Favorite Books of 2022 – Your Favorite Book
- FINALE (for now): My Favorite Books of 2022
- On Book Podcasting (Again!) with Julie Strauss (Best Book Ever Crossover)
- The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson with Keenan Norris (Author of Chi Boy)
- I'm Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy with Deeba Zargarpur (Author of House of Yesterday)
- Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro (with Ethan Chatagnier, author of Singer Distance)
Listen to this episode of Your Favorite Book at the link above, and stay tuned for more episodes with other writers in the weeks to come. If you enjoy this episode, check out other episodes of Your Favorite Book on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or other major podcast platforms. Reviews on Apple Podcasts and other platforms are also very much appreciated.
Malavika Praseed is a writer, book reviewer, and genetic counselor. Her fiction has been published in Plain China, Cuckoo Quarterly, Re:Visions, and others. Her podcast, YOUR FAVORITE BOOK, is available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and various other platforms