Episode 17: Hate Reading Hemingway

Download Episode 17

In This Episode

The Book Evangelists discuss A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway.

Morning Chatter

  • How can Marian invent a way to keep her new planner cover closed?
  • Should everyone buy a comfy gaming chair for their office?
  • What is hate reading and were we successful at it with this book?

A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway

The description of A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway from goodreads.com:

A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway book cover

Hemingway’s memories of his life as an unknown writer living in Paris in the twenties are deeply personal, warmly affectionate, and full of wit. Looking back not only at his own much younger self, but also at the other writers who shared Paris with him – James Joyce, Wyndham Lewis, Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald – he recalls the time when, poor, happy, and writing in cafes, he discovered his vocation. Written during the last years of Hemingway’s life, his memoir is a lively and powerful reflection of his genius that scintillates with the romance of the city. 


Hemingway accidentally forgot to include that he was living in Paris because of Hadley’s inheritance money.

“He liked the works of his friends, which is beautiful as loyalty  but can be disastrous as judgement” Hemingway, writing about Ezra Pound

“Forgive you for what? Always talk about it or about anything. Don’t you know all writers ever talk about is their troubles?” Hemingway, describing encouragement from Sylvia Beach 

It paints a really good picture of what it is like to be someone who is struggling to find their own voice and grow in their craft.

“I wrote it and left it out.” – the end of his first marriage is not part of this book.

“…my new theory that you could omit anything if you knew that you omitted it and the omitted part would strengthen the story and make people feel something more than they understood.” Hemingway on leaving out a man’s death from the end of a story

Hemingway and Fitzgerald – WOW, so much gossip in this book! We share our best theories on the scene between Hemingway and Fitzgerald comparing personal body parts and studying the statues at the Louvre. Does Hemingway find Fitzgerald attractive? Is Hemingway mentoring Fitzgerald? Why did Hemingway hate Zelda so much?

NaNoWriMo 2020

As we move through #nanoprep season, we start thinking about our potential November projects. We are both posting on Instagram as part of #instawrimo. Lissa recently filled out several of the plot outline worksheets from NaNo Prep101 while her kid set timers and made her finish each one in 10 minutes. Highly recommended technique for exploring your ideas, quickly!

Marian was considering writing literary fiction based on A Moveable Feast but tabled that story because it isn’t the book she wants to write right now. Marian is preparing to write historical fantasy. She is preparing by creating a notebook of interesting ephemera and inspiration.

Lissa is preparing to write something like “librarian-ish on a spaceship-ish on a journey-ish” and is now pondering writing the story in the episodic memoir style of A Moveable Feast, just like Hemingway (only nothing like Hemingway.)

“Okay, but now I just thought of a new idea for my novel.”


How do you get your main character’s voice in your head? How do you get to know that person? What will our stories become? Will we write the stories we are planning? Will we write 50,000 words in 30 days?

Did we mention? You should write a novel this November: https://nanowrimo.org/

Coming Up

Next episode: Marian and Lissa reveal the amazing and interesting stories behind the stories of how their writing projects and experiences with NaNoWriMo 2020 progressed toward victory! Maybe. Probably. We hope.

Our Show Notes include mentions and recommendations, all linked for your convenience. What else would you like to see here? 

Music Credit: The music used during transitions in our podcast is adapted from: Jazzy Sax, Guitar, and Organ at the club by Admiral Bob (c) copyright 2018 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license. http://dig.ccmixter.org/files/admiralbob77/58382 Ft: geoffpeters

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