Jul 28

What Penguin Random House’s sales conference and warehouse are like. Plus, don’t forget about The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell, or Any Human Heart by William Boyd.

 

Thank you to the Twitter user who confessed her initial disappointment with Booktopia talk episodes, but quickly said that she always ends up loving them! We understand!

audiobooksAudiobook of the week (02:13)

Good Girl, Mary KubicaThe Good Girl by Mary Kubica, told by multiple narrators, is Ann’s pick for this week’s Audiobooks.com Audiobook of the Week.

Special thanks to Audiobooks.com for sponsoring this episode of Books on the Nightstand.

Audiobooks.com allows you to listen to over 40,000 audiobooks, instantly, wherever you are, and the first one is free. Download or stream any book directly to your Apple or Android device. Sign up for a free 30-day trial and free audiobook download by going to www.audiobooks.com/freebook

What We Did On Our Podcast Vacation (06:08)

In this episode we share with you an inside peek at what a publishing sales conference is like (or what ours is like at least!). What do we discuss in the meetings? Who do we trust for recommendations?

Penguin Random House Westminster MD

A very special feature of this sales conference was the tour of our warehouse located in Westminster, MD. It’s an amazing place filled with dedicated and hard-working people. Here are a few statistics:

  • 1.25 million square feet (1.5 million counting mezzanine areas)
  • 14 miles of conveyor belts
  • 110 million units in inventory, on average
  • 1 million books shipped per day, on average

Wow! It’s a magical book land!

Don’t You Forget About Me (21:59)

 

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Because of the upcoming book group discussions with Simon and Thomas of The Readers, at Booktopia Petoskey, and because we’re encouraging online discussions, this month’s Don’t You Forget About Me features our favorite books of all time. They’re books that have stayed with us over many years.

Ann’s is The Sparrow, by Mary Doria Russell. Described by the author as the story of “Jesuits in space,” it’s a science fiction book that has been read and loved by so many people who later said they don’t read science fiction. At its heart, it is the story of a man of faith whose faith is tested. He just happens to be on a mission to make first contact with beings on another planet.

My selection is Any Human Heart by William Boyd. Told via the journals of Logan Mountstuart, this novel gives a tremendous look at a life that spans most of the twentieth century. It’s also constructed as if Mountstuart were a real person, and includes footnotes, an index, and notes from an unnamed editor.

Jul 21

This week we bring you two more author talks from Booktopia Asheville, recorded at Malaprop’s Bookstore:

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Jul 13

An out-of-order episode this week, so sorry if we confuse you! Don Winslow’s timely The Cartel, Ta-Nehisi Coates’ very important Between The World And Me, and we talk at length about Harper Lee’s Go Set A Watchman.

Two books we can’t wait for you to read (05:32):

 

The Cartel   Between the World and Me

 

I haven’t had a chance to read the book yet, but since it relates to a topic in the news, I couldn’t wait to tell you about The Cartel by Don Winslow. This is a crime thriller set in the high-stakes, violent world of the Mexican drug cartels. Interestingly, just yesterday, the media reported on the prison escape of El Chapo, the man who has been called Mexico’s most important and high-ranking drug lord.  Winslow’s novel, while fiction, delves deep into this world, and is based on real, solid research.

Michael recommends the very important Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Written as a letter to his adolescent son, Coates examines the idea of race in society and in an individual’s very personal experiences. This is an incredibly powerful book that should be read and discussed on a grand scale.

 

audiobooksAudiobook of the week (18:27)


Go Set a WatchmanGo Set A Watchman by Harper Lee
, narrated by Reese Witherspoon, is my pick for this week’s Audiobooks.com Audiobook of the Week.

Special thanks to Audiobooks.com for sponsoring this episode of Books on the Nightstand.

Audiobooks.com allows you to listen to over 60,000 audiobooks, instantly, wherever you are, and the first one is free. Download or stream any book directly to your Apple or Android device. Sign up for a free 30-day trial and free audiobook download by going to www.audiobooks.com/freebook

 

Much ado about Watchman (22:54):

On the eve of the release of Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman, the media and social media are abuzz with talk about the book. Can it compare to To Kill A Mockingbird? Should it have been published at all? And how should the reader approach it? Jean Louise is 26 in Go Set A Watchman, and Atticus is, well, different from the man we all know and love. Though neither Michael nor I has read the book, we still have opinions–and we’d love to hear yours as well.

Read or listen to the first chapter of Go Set A Watchman

New York Times Book Review by Michiko Kakutani

Washington Post review

From the New Republic, “The Suspicious Story Behind Harper Lee’s Go Set A Watchman

How I Found the Harper Lee Manuscript” by Tonja B. Carter

 

 

 

Jul 07

Ann plays book roulette, and we recommend Among the Ten Thousand Things by Julia Pierpont, and Blackout by Sarah Hepola.

 

audiobooksAudiobook of the week (02:30)



Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America, Jill LeovyGhettoside by Jill Leovy, narrated by Rebecca Lowman, is my pick for this week’s Audiobooks.com Audiobook of the Week.

Special thanks to Audiobooks.com for sponsoring this episode of Books on the Nightstand.

Audiobooks.com allows you to listen to over 60,000 audiobooks, instantly, wherever you are, and the first one is free. Download or stream any book directly to your Apple or Android device. Sign up for a free 30-day trial and free audiobook download by going to www.audiobooks.com/freebook

 

Pick a Book, Any Book (07:41)6280345

Ann is feeling very frustrated because none of her work reading is fitting in with any of her Bingo squares. So, she’s diving in headfirst, and committing to the square “A Random Book from a Shelf. Close Your Eyes.” While we were recording this episode, Ann actually walked over to her bookshelves, closed her eyes, and let me pick the shelf # and a general location. The book she chose was Five Finger Fiction by Veronica Brooks (pen name Brooks Sigler), a friend of Ann’s. It’s the story of Lila, a girl who gets a bit lost in her large Irish Catholic family and turns to kleptomania for comfort.

 

Two Books We Can’t Wait For You to Read (20:12)

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Among the Ten Thousand Things by Julia Pierpont takes the traditional story of a family torn apart by infidelity, and tweaks it by having the children be the first to know and be the ones to tell their mother. It also tells the story a bit out of order, which I loved. The writing is wonderful and I couldn’t believe it was the author’s first book.

Ann recommends Blackout by Sarah Hepola. Subtitled “Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget,” this memoir is an honest look at the author’s struggle with alcoholism, as well as an insightful look at the way alcohol affects the brain.

 

Jun 30

Simon and Thomas are coming to Booktopia! Books with animals as key characters. And don’t you forget about: Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life, and Revolutionary Road.

The Readers crash Booktopia

We were thrilled to learn that Simon Savidge and Thomas Otto, co-hosts of The Readers Podcast, will be joining us at Booktopia Petoskey this September (sadly sold out). If you haven’t listened to The Readers, you should definitely check them out, maybe starting with this episode. We’ve each chosen a favorite novel, and during their visit to Booktopia, the four of us will record two live podcasts to talk about those books. Those episodes will likely be more “book-club” style, so if you want to read the books in advance, please do.

 

audiobooksAudiobook of the week (04:48)



The Husband's SecretThe Husband’s Secret
by Liane Moriarty narrated by Caroline Lee, is my pick for this week’s Audiobooks.com Audiobook of the Week.

Special thanks to Audiobooks.com for sponsoring this episode of Books on the Nightstand.

Audiobooks.com allows you to listen to over 60,000 audiobooks, instantly, wherever you are, and the first one is free. Download or stream any book directly to your Apple or Android device. Sign up for a free 30-day trial and free audiobook download by going to www.audiobooks.com/freebook

 

The dog ate my Bingo! card (10:35)

This week we’re taking a look at options to fill in the BOTNS Book Bingo square “with an animal as a key character.” Again, if you’re not playing Bingo, that’s OK — just consider these book recommendations around a single theme.

Still need more suggestions? Check out our Goodreads discussion thread for even more recommendations.

 

Don’t You Forget About Me (20:49):

 

encyclopedia of an ordinary life   revolutionary road

 

It’s time for our monthly focus on a backlist title that we love! This month, Michael recommends Encylopedia of an Ordinary Life by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. It’s a memoir (in encyclopedia form) of a woman that, like the title says, has lived a very ordinary life — and yet, it’s incredibly entertaining and relevant to so many.

A book that I recommend often in real life but haven’t discussed on the podcast is Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates. It’s a bleak and depressing look at one couple, Frank and April Wheeler, who despair of their situation in 1950s suburban America, and it’s an incredible piece of literature. Yates has influenced so many writers and he deserves to be more widely read.

Jun 23

We delve into pop psychology books, and also recommend Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healy, and In the Country by Mia Alvar.

booktopia 2015 logo

We’re thrilled to announce that the following authors will be attending Booktopia Petoskey. Each author’s name links to their page on Goodreads, which lists all of their books.

Even if you’re not attending, you can still get books signed, by order them through McLean & Eakin’s special Booktopia page. Just indicate in the notes for the order that you’d like the books signed during Booktopia, then shipped to you!

 

audiobooksAudiobook of the week (02:00)


Uprooted, Naomi NovikUprooted
by Naomi Novik, narrated by Julia Emelin, is my pick for this week’s Audiobooks.com Audiobook of the Week.

During the month of June, which is Audiobook Month, Audiobooks.com is giving away a different free audio every day!

Special thanks to Audiobooks.com for sponsoring this episode of Books on the Nightstand.

Audiobooks.com allows you to listen to over 60,000 audiobooks, instantly, wherever you are, and the first one is free. Download or stream any book directly to your Apple or Android device. Sign up for a free 30-day trial and free audiobook download by going to www.audiobooks.com/freebook

 

What is Popular Psychology? (07:53)

Thomas and Simon from The Readers podcast are playing along with BOTNS Bingo, but Simon tweeted, wondering what “popular psychology” is. We’re here to help! Many of today’s self-help books use psychology to help readers understand why we do what we do and how to make changes. And some pop psychology books have a business-oriented focus. Here are the titles we discuss in this episode:

While researching titles for this episode, I came upon a great blog post entitled “50 Must-Read Psychology Books,” that mentions some of the books we discussed along with many others.

 

Two Books We Can’t Wait For You to Read (19:37)

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I loved Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healy, when I read it back in January, but somehow never talked about it here on the podcast. Maud, the main character, is losing her memory due to dementia. But she does remember her friend Elizabeth, and the fact that Elizabeth hasn’t been seen in some while. That, and the disappearance of Maud’s sister during WWII, are the core mysteries at the heart of this twisty novel.

Ann recommends In the Country by Mia Alvar, a collection of beautiful stories that range across many different types of people and experiences, but all of which share a connection with the Philippines. Ann is parceling out these stories, reading them slowly, and savoring them.

 

Jun 16

Big books to read this summer. Plus, we (with a little help) recommend I Saw a Man by Owen Sheers, and The Fold by Peter Clines. 

audiobooksAudiobook of the week (03:33)

Delicious Foods: A Novel, James HannahamDelicious Foods by James Hannaham, narrated by the author, is Ann’s pick for this week’s Audiobooks.com Audiobook of the Week.

During the month of June, which is Audiobook Month, Audiobooks.com is giving away a different free audio every day!

Special thanks to Audiobooks.com for sponsoring this episode of Books on the Nightstand.

Audiobooks.com allows you to listen to over 60,000 audiobooks, instantly, wherever you are, and the first one is free. Download or stream any book directly to your Apple or Android device. Sign up for a free 30-day trial and free audiobook download by going to www.audiobooks.com/freebook

 

500 Pages Plus (10:16)

Looking for a big book to read this Summer? If you’re playing BOTNS Book Bingo, and one of your squares is “Longer than 500 pages,” then this podcast is for you! If you use Goodreads, and would like to sort books on your shelves by page number, you can add the “Num Pages” column by clicking on settings above your book list, then click the column to sort by it. Here are the titles we discussed in this episode:

There are several “big books” lists on Goodreads, but be careful, as some of these lists have books that are not over 500 pages!

 

Two Books We Can’t Wait For You to Read (23:33)

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If you’re a fan of Ian McEwan, Ann recommends I Saw a Man by Owen Sheers, a book with an opening so compelling that the UK edition of the book has the first sentence printed on the front cover: “The event that changed all of their lives happened on a Saturday afternoon in June, just minutes after Michael Turner – thinking the Nelsons’ house was empty – stepped through their back door.”

This week, I call on my colleague Eric Buscher to tell us about The Fold by Peter Clines, a fun read that tells the story of schoolteacher from Maine who, because of his unique and infallible memory, is called in to investigate possible problems with a science experiment that may have resulted in teleportation.

 

Jun 09

Books are the big winners at the Tony Awards; titles by or about members of the LGBTQ community; Judge This by Chip Kidd and Dietland by Sarai Walker.

 

Publishing goes to the Tonys:

The 2015 Tony Awards took place this past Sunday, and the big winners were both based on books:

Fun Home won for Best Musical, and is based on the graphic memoir by Alison Bechdel

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime won Best New Play, and is based on the novel by Mark Haddon

 

audiobooksAudiobook of the week (04:12)


Our Souls at NightOur Souls at Night by Kent Haruf, narrated by Mark Bramhall, is Michael’s pick for this week’s Audiobooks.com Audiobook of the Week.

During the month of June, which is Audiobook Month, Audiobooks.com is giving away a different free audio every day!

Special thanks to Audiobooks.com for sponsoring this episode of Books on the Nightstand.

Audiobooks.com allows you to listen to over 60,000 audiobooks, instantly, wherever you are, and the first one is free. Download or stream any book directly to your Apple or Android device. Sign up for a free 30-day trial and free audiobook download by going to www.audiobooks.com/freebook

 

LGBTQ Lit (08:40)

In this episode, we look at books in the category of “LGBTQ Lit,” which also happens to be one of the squares that Michael and I both have on our BOTNS Summer Reading Bingo cards. June is also Gay Pride Month, so we thought it was fitting. Titles we discuss:

Fun Home by Alison Bechdel

More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson

Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown

The Lost Language of Cranes by David Leavitt

The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth

Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan

The New York Times article on transgender lit for kids mentions many titles, including George by Alex Gino (on sale in August) and Gracefully Grayson by Ami Polonsky

She’s Not There by Jennifer Finney Boylan

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jaqueline Woodson

books by David Sedaris

Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

Annabel by Kathleen Winter

The Danish Girl by David Ebershoff

More recommendations at this great list of the 2015 Lambda Literary Award Winners

 

Two books we can’t wait for you to read (24:40):

 

Judge This       Dietland

Michael chose Judge This by Chip Kidd to recommend this week. It’s a book published in the Ted Books series, and it’s about first impressions, and a guide to critiquing things visually.

My book this week is Dietland by Sarai Walker, a satirical novel featuring a main character who puts her life on hold because she weighs 300 lbs., and a group of women who are not content to let their lives be ruled by society’s ideas of how women should be.

Jun 02

Ann recounts her weekend at BookCon, and we recommend The League of Regrettable Superheroes by Jon Morris, and In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume.

 

BOTNS Summer Bingo is underway, don’t forget to download your card here! A listener asked about reading graphic novels, since that is a square on her Bingo card, and I recommend two great online guides to reading comics and graphic novels. Sarah wrote from England to let us know that she and her friend Shona never stopped playing Book Bingo after last Summer. Using the same website we use, they added some categories to our list and have continued to choose their next books based on a Bingo row or column they are trying to fill. They may even keep choosing their books that way forever!

Dan Bloom, who coined the literary term “cli-fi,” sent us a quick note to let us know about his website The Cli-Fi Report, a site I used to prepare for our recent episode, but forgot to mention on the show. Thanks Dan!

 

audiobooksAudiobook of the week (06:21)



Luckiest Girl Alive: A Novel, Jessica KnollLuckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll, narrated by Madeleine Maby, is Ann’s pick for this week’s Audiobooks.com Audiobook of the Week.

During the month of June, which is Audiobook Month, Audiobooks.com is giving away a different free audio every day!

Special thanks to Audiobooks.com for sponsoring this episode of Books on the Nightstand.

Audiobooks.com allows you to listen to over 60,000 audiobooks, instantly, wherever you are, and the first one is free. Download or stream any book directly to your Apple or Android device. Sign up for a free 30-day trial and free audiobook download by going to www.audiobooks.com/freebook

 

BookCon, Year Two (12:25)

Ann has just returned from BookCon, the book convention for readers that took place this past weekend in New York. Only in it’s second year, BookCon was filled with author celebrities like Judy Blume and John Green, celebrity authors like Mindy Kaling and Nick Offerman, and a panel with four superstar vloggers.18692431

Other authors/books mentioned:

Next year, BookCon will be May 14 in Chicago. This fall however, authors will converge on NYC again, as Book Riot hosts its first Book Riot Live event, November 7-8, 2015. And Books on the Nightstand listeners can get $20 of their registration by entering the coupon code NIGHTSTAND during checkout.

 

Two Books We Can’t Wait For You to Read (29:21)

 

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The League of Regrettable Superheroes by Jon Morris is a collection of always odd, often hilariously misguided superheroes whose escapades actually saw the light of day in printed comic books. Filled with original art, this full-color hardcover is a gem for comic book fans.

In the Unlikely Event, is a brand new adult novel by Judy Blume. The story is based the real-life trio of plane crashes that occurred in her hometown of Elizabeth, NJ in the span of two-and-a-half months in the early 1950s. Like most Judy Blume books, this one perfectly captures the life of a teenaged girl,  but with the added dimension of the character’s life as an adult looking back on the tragedies that defined a time in her childhood.

 

May 26

In this episode, we look at a new-ish book genre called cli-fi, and revisit two of our favorite backlist titles, A Stranger in the Kingdom and A Handmaid’s Tale

 

BOTNS Summer Reading Bingo cards are live, and since Memorial Day has passed in the US, it is officially Bingo time! Michael is waiting to start a new book from William Boyd that he just received.

I briefly talk about a newish sitcom that is set in the world of publishing, Younger. I have some mixed feelings about it, but it’s kind of fun in a non-realistic, mindless-tv kind of way.

 

audiobooksAudiobook of the week (08:12)


Boys in the BoatThe Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown, narrated by Edward Hermann, is Michael’s pick for this week’s Audiobooks.com Audiobook of the Week.

Special thanks to Audiobooks.com for sponsoring this episode of Books on the Nightstand.

Audiobooks.com allows you to listen to over 60,000 audiobooks, instantly, wherever you are, and the first one is free. Download or stream any book directly to your Apple or Android device. Sign up for a free 30-day trial and free audiobook download by going to www.audiobooks.com/freebook

 

 

What the heck is cli-fi? (13:35):

 

Michael ran across the term “cli-fi” not too long ago, and a quick web search showed that it’s shorthand for “climate fiction”: fiction set in a world affected by climate change, or where climate takes center stage. We thought we’d talk about it and take a look at some titles that might be considered to be cli-fi.

The Water Knife

Titles we talk about:

The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi, who is known for The Wind-Up Girl and Shipbreaker, is set in a world where water is the resource that is valued above all else.

The Massive, a series of graphic novels by Brian Wood, Kristian Donaldson, and Garry Brown.

The Gracekeepers by Kirsty Logan.

Margaret Atwood’s MaddAddam series, starting with Oryx and Crake

On Such a Full Sea Change-Rae Lee

Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver

Odds Against Tomorrow by Nathaniel Rich

Make Room! Make Room! by Harry Harrison

and one nonfiction book that could be a great companion read: Elizabeth Kolbert’s The Sixth Extinction

 

Don’t you forget about me (25:45):

 

A STranger in the Kingdom   The Handmaid's Tale

 

Michael’s backlist recommendation for this month is A Stranger in the Kingdom by Howard Frank Mosher, which will see a sequel published this fall. It’s set in Northern Vermont in 1952, where a young girl has been murdered and the town comes to suspect the newcomer to the town, a black man who is the new town minister.

My recommendation is The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, one of my top five books of all time. It’s considered speculative fiction, set in the Republic of Gilead (current day Massachusetts) in the future, which is a community where women are forced into specific roles that are deemed to be for the good of society.

 

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