For their annual summer reading episode, Caroline and Cristen discuss the impact of gendered book covers, the viral "cover flip" challenge, and whether books written by women are taken as seriously by publishers and critics.

Is Chick Lit Getting Better For Women?

What are the most commonly banned books? In this episode, Cristen and Caroline read between the (banned) lines of history, from a legal timeline of book banning to the primary reasons books are banned in the first place: sex, language and the occult.

Believe it or not, romance novels are the best-selling fiction genre. Join Cristen and Caroline as they explore the common romance novel heroes, heroines and themes, ultimately asking what romance novels tell us about female arousal.

The Ultimate 2011 Stuff Mom Never Told You Summer Reading List

Thanks to our Facebook fans and Twitter followers who contributed to the Stuff Mom Never Told You Summer Reading List 2011 (SMNTYSRL2K11)! Here's a selection of reading recommendations to get you through this mind-melting summertime swelter.

She Loves, and He Argues

In case you haven't seen Chris Harrison's infographic of how "he" and "she" have been used in literature over the past 200 years, check it out. Harrison, host of "The Bachelor" documentary series on romance in modern America a PhD student at Carnegie Melon, plotted out instances of "he" and "she" from an enormous Google Books data set, then links them up with second and third-most common words to follow.

In this episode, Molly and Cristen talk about feminist role models in children's literature, specifically citing three beloved children's series as examples of literature that provides strong role models for girls.

Nancy Drew is a classic heroine from literature who has inspired generations of girls and women. Molly and Cristen take a closer look at literature's beloved female detective -- including her surprising origins -- in this podcast from