introduction to season two


Conversation started 10 September 2015, 10:14 p.m.

ERIN: Hello!

Here we are, sometime later, at the beginning of season two of Number Five Bus Presents. It is our task to write an introduction. Whenever I have to write an introduction, I always hear the word “introduction” with a French accent. It’s a symptom of having taken many, many ballet classes and ballet exams. Right before the music would begin, the narrator would come on over the speaker and say something like “Adagio. INTRODUCTION!” and then you would begin. The word still makes me nervous.


I figure we should begin at the beginning, again. Phil, you had the great idea this time to let former Bus passengers host their own conversations with a person of their choice. Rather than listening to us blather on and on, readers can now hear from other, more interesting authors, illustrators, or book enthusiasts. The interviews are just starting to roll in and I’m pretty excited about them.

I hope other people enjoy them, too. And please forgive our fluid timeline for when we will post them this year.

Anything else you’d like to introduce?

PHIL: As I write this we’ve been married for 10 years and 1 day, and this is the first time I’m hearing of your phobia of introductions. Introductophobia. Pretty serious stuff.

Likewise, 20+ years of competitive running has made it impossible for me to watch the Olympics without getting a surge of adrenaline when I hear the words: Runners at your mark.

Anyway, you kind of breezed through the details of season two there. We probably shouldn’t assume that our reading public is familiar with what we’re doing. If I were a lawyer on The Good Wife (which I’ve spent way too much time watching so far in 2015) I might use my new favorite phrase right now, which is: Objection!—Assumes facts not in evidence. It’s a handy declaration to have at your disposal when you open the morning paper and find yourself confronted with the underwhelming critical thinking skills of roughly 9/10ths of our current presidential candidates. I’m looking at you, Huckabee. But now I’m on a tangent. Tangents, by the way, are my favorite thing about these Number Five Bus conversations. The most important stuff always seems to come from the tangents. But anyway, here’s a quick explanation of what you’re going to find here in season two of Number Five Bus Presents

Each episode (including this intro) is a complete, unedited transcript of an email conversation that has taken place over the course of days, weeks, or even months. In season one we were the ones initiating conversations with some of our favorite book people. But by the end of the season we were beginning to feel like we were running out of interesting things to say. So for season two we’ve solicited the help of former Bus riders (and a few newcomers as well) to get things rolling. Starting off we have Matthew Cordell who has invited David Ezra Stein aboard the Bus.

These episodes will not appear on any sort of schedule. The conversations are free flowing and we want to give all of the participants the time and space they need to navigate their way through them. So, periodically, without warning, a new episode will drop. Unfortunately we have no presence on social media, so we are relying on you, our readers, to help get the word out when new material is ready. Thanks!

Our goal with this project is to create content that is impervious to the relentless turnover of the internet. These episodes can be read in any order, at any time, and they will still be relevant.

Now, for no particular reason I would like to share with you all my favorite thing I’ve discovered on the internet this year. There is real wisdom here:


Anything to add, Erin, before we hand it over to Matt and David?

ERIN: Nope, I think that covers it!


Conversation ended 13 September 2015, 10:17 p.m.

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