This week, we have a little fun and answer a set of Valentine’s-influenced bookish questions. Find out all about their literary breakups, long-term relationships, flings and more. Love is in the air!

To celebrate the season, we each pick books that fit in the following categories, and we want to hear from you!

  • A book you broke up with
  • A book you regret that it just wasn’t meant to be
  • A book you had a fling with
  • “It’s complicated”
  • “Love at first sight”
  • A book you’d love to check out
  • A book you’d love to get your hands on
  • A book with which you have a committed, long-term relationship

So what books come to mind for you when you hear these categories? Please share with us!


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We appreciate so much the support we receive on Patreon to help cover the costs of this fun venture! Each Patreon supporter gets early access to episodes as well as (mostly) monthly bonus episodes.

To subscribe, go here.



  • Joseph and His Brothers, by Thomas Mann, translated by John E. Wood
  • Grand Hotel, by Vicki Baum, translated by Basil Creighton, with revisions by Margot Bettauer Dembo
  • Translating Myself and Others, by Jhumpa Lahiri
  • This Little Art, by Kate Briggs
  • The Birthday Party, by Laurent Mauvignier, translated by Daniel Levin Becker
  • The Guest Lecture, by Martin Riker
  • The High Sierra: A Love Story, by Kim Stanley Robinson
  • War and Peace, by Leo Tolstoy
  • House of Leaves, by Mark Z. Danielewski
  • The Vegetarian, by Han Kang, translated by Deborah Smith
  • The White Book, by Han Kang, translated by Deborah Smith
  • Human Acts, by Han Kang, translated by Deborah Smith
  • Greek Lessons, by Han Kang, translated by Deborah Smith and Emily Yae Won
  • Kin, by Miljenko Jergovi?, translated by Russell Scott Valentino
  • Solenoid, by Mircea C?rt?rescu, translated by Seán Cotter
  • The Marriage Plot, by Jeffrey Eugenides
  • The Virgin Suicides, by Jeffrey Eugenides
  • Middlesex, by Jeffrey Eugenides
  • The Dresden Files, by Jim Butcher
  • Beloved, by Toni Morrison
  • The Ghost Writer, by Philip Roth
  • Death on the Installment Plan, by Céline, translated by Robert Manheim
  • Annals of the Former World, by John McPhee
  • The Feast, by Margaret Kennedy (McNalley Editions)
  • The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne, by Brian Moore (NYRB Classics Edition)
  • Your House Will Pay, by Steph Cha
  • Keeper of Enchanted Rooms, Charlie N. Holmberg
  • The Diaries of Franz Kafka, translated by Ross Benjamin
  • Kafka: The Early Years, by Rainer Stach, translated by Shelley Frisch
  • Kafka: The Years of Insight, by Rainer Stach, translated by Shelley Frisch
  • Kafka: The Decisive Years, by Rainer Stach, translated by Shelley Frisch
  • Metamorphosis and Other Stories, by Kafka, translated by Michael Hofmann
  • The Penguin Book of French Short Stories, Vol. 1: From Marie de France to Marcel Proust
  • The Penguin Book of French Short Stories, Vol. 2: From Colette to Marie NDiaye
  • David Copperfield, by Charles Dickens
  • William Trevor: The Collected Stories, Two-Volume Giftset

Other Links

  • Martin Riker’s review of The Birthday Party
  • Article about straight men
  • Literary Disco Your House Will Pay

About the Podcast

The Mookse and the Gripes Podcast is a book chat podcast. Every other week Paul and Trevor get together to talk about some bookish topic or another.

Please join us! You can subscribe at Apple podcasts or go to the feed to import to your favorite podcatcher. You can also listen to us on YouTube, if that’s your thing.

Many thanks to those who helped make this possible! If you’d like to donate as well, please visit our Patreon page. Patreon subscribers get a monthly bonus episode and early access to all episodes! Every supporter has their own feed that he or she can use in their podcast app of choice to download our episodes a few days early. Please go check it out!

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