Episode 021: Where’d You Go, Bernadette

Thanks for joining us! This month we’re discussing Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple.

Bernadette Fox is notorious. To other private-school mothers she’s a disgrace; to design mavens, she’s a revolutionary architect. But to 15-year-old Bee, she is simply Mom. Then Bernadette vanishes. It all began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But the idea of this trip sends Bernadette into an agoraphobic spiral. To find her mother, Bee compiles email messages, official documents, and secret correspondence to form a story about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter’s role in an absurd world.

In This Episode We Mention

(We went pretty off-track this time)

The Global Amphibian Assessment;

Where’d You Go, Bernadette – the movie;

Email chains as juicy reading;

Where’d you go, question mark in this book title?;

Swedish Death Cleaning;

Sputnik light fixtures and Alcatraz spoons;

The ideaMILL;

Where’d you go, actual letters?;

Friends of the Winnipeg Public Library;

Our love of hearing from our listeners;

Daylight Savings Time;

Author spot by Brenda Sciberras;

Can You Tell Me A Book You Would Also Like?

Kirsten: Little Fish by Casey Plett;

Alan: You Can Count on Me: A Screenplay by Kenneth Lonergan;

Erica: An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green (also The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and Sleeping Giants);

Trevor: Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

Nerd Words for Word Nerds

Trevor: Epistolary novel (a work of literature written in the style of letters, emails, texts, documents, etc)

Erica: Clever;

Alan: Nonplussed (Bernadette’s definition – “So surprised and embarrassed one doesn’t know how to react”. And Merriam-Webster’s definition – “1: unsure about what to say, think, or do: Perplexed – 2: chiefly US – not bothered, surprised, or impressed by something”);

Kirsten: Chapbook;


Many thanks for their comments to our online buds Karrie, Jazzy5164, oh never more-o, and roadsideattraction addict. Special shout out to Allison for listening to every episode, and to Mr Fan, who is apparently also a fan. And another special shout out to Gemma Swan on Youtube for having a tutorial on how to play the Friends theme on ukulele.

Next month we’re reading Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut. We’re looking forward to hearing what you think about it. Find us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or email at wpl-podcast@winnipeg.ca.

Time to Read is a production of the Winnipeg Public Library. Our panel today included Alan Chorney, Kirsten Wurmann, Erica Ball, and Trevor Lockhart. Occasional comments by Dennis Penner. Our webmaster is Arryn Seburn. Our social media guru is Reegan Breu. Audio production and music by Dennis Penner.

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