Just Chilling

I’m back, you guys!

And we’re starting off a little differently this year! Instead of a book *gasp* I’m coming at you with Pete Real‘s literary podcast ChillsAtWill.

Here’s what I love about this podcast–he doesn’t just analyze lit like your freshman year high school teacher probably did (though he does teach English and Spanish). But in addition to giving summaries and analyses, he links literature, as well as poetry and a variety of other subgenres, to pop culture and current events.

For example, in Episode 10, Langston Hugh’s poetry is used as a way to look at and process the then-recent murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, among others.

But, in Episode 23, for example, he discusses SE Hinton and The Outsiders. I particularly love his excitement around the (I’ll say it) meta-ness of Ponyboy’s end-of-year paper being the book; or his reference to some of Ralph Macchio’s other iconic roles when talking about Johnny’s character.

I also found it amusing that in the episode descriptions, at least on podbean.com (I’m not sure about Apple Podcasts or Spotify) that Pete’s included links to GIFs, other authors, songs, etc. that he alludes to throughout the episode.

While Pete describes it as a “passion project,” I think it’s pretty safe to say that it comes across as more than that. It all seems very professional and well thought out, and I love the variety of books and topics he tackles throughout the various episodes.

This professional air is only amplified by the fact that Pete’s been able to interview a variety of authors and other individuals in the literary/writing world. I know, as a journalist, I always get excited to speak to authors, and so the jealousy is real.

I think my only “critiques,” just have to do with the fact that the intro/outro music is sometimes a little long–but that’s personal preference–and the homepage seems to show the entire show notes. That might not be a big deal for you, but for me it was a bit frustrating just because I wanted a quick list of episodes. Then again, maybe I just didn’t click on the right button.

I don’t think it’s fair to really critique the individual episodes because, like with any podcast or TV show for that matter, you’ll always have some episodes you like more than others. And it would be even more unfair for me to critique his reviewing style because everyone is different–I really enjoyed his mix of reading excerpts and personal thoughts, but maybe you think he needs more of this or that.

Overall, I think it’s a great podcast, especially to listen to at work, or while on a walk, or something. So, if you’re a podcast kind of person, if you like reading reviews, I do think you’ll enjoy ChillsAtWills, and if you’re not sure if you like that, give it a shot.

That’s all I’ve got for this week, be sure to look out for my next posts on Capfield: The Racketeer by EP Spiegel!

Happy Reading!

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