Novel

Episode 41 — To Kill a Mockingbird

Ali discusses Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. She reads memorable passages from this noteworthy work of fiction, praising the main characters’ values while highlighting the important themes of empathy, courage, morality and justice.

Short Story, Television

Episode 39 — The Big Bang Theory + “The Left and Right Brain Dichotomy”

Ali discusses the hit sitcom, The Big Bang Theory, created by Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady. She shares her favorite episodes, memorable scenes and sweet couple milestones. She also shares fun behind-the-scene details from her experience attending a taping of one of the final few episodes of the series. Afterward, she shares a Big Bang Theory story she wrote called “The Left and Right Brain Dichotomy.”

Movie, Novel

Episode 37 — The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

Ali discusses the movie adaptation of the first book in Ann Brashares’ bestselling young adult novel series, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. She tracks the story arcs of each of the four main characters while touching on the timeless themes of self-love, growth, family, grief and, above all else, the true bond of everlasting friendship.

Animation, Movie

Episode 36 — Aladdin

Ali discusses her all-time favorite Disney movie, Aladdin. She quotes her favorite lines and reminisces about watching the film repeatedly as a kid. She also compares the movie to its Broadway musical adaptation.

Animation, Television

Episode 35 — SpongeBob SquarePants

Ali discusses the nautical Nicktoon, SpongeBob SquarePants, created by Stephen Hillenburg. She shares her favorite episodes, hilarious quotes, classic songs and various memories growing up with this iconic show. She also reminisces about seeing The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie and SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical.

Short Story

Episode 33 — “Who Will Greet You at Home”

Ali discusses the short story, “Who Will Greet You at Home,” admiring the creative yet heartbreaking tale from a book of short stories called What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky by Lesley Nneka Arimah. She also talks about the reason she bought the book per a recommendation from the creator of one of her all-time favorite TV shows and how she had the opportunity to meet him and chat with him about it.

Novel

Episode 32 — The Catcher in the Rye

Ali discusses J. D. Salinger’s popular novel, The Catcher in the Rye. She analyzes the main character, Holden Caulfield, focusing on his unique way of speaking, his hypocritical hatred of all things phony and his cynical feelings toward growing up. She also talks about important symbolism throughout the novel and the key theme of preserving innocence.