Mar 03

Books coming to theaters this year. We recommend Girl in the Dark by Anna Lyndsey and On Hurricane Island by Ellen Meeropol.

 

A few “books within books” that didn’t make it into last week’s podcast:

  • The seven novels featured in The Nobodies Album by Carolyn Parkhurst
  • The Deity Next Door for which an afterword was written in The Afterword by Mike Bryan

 

audiobooksAudiobook of the week (04:30)

Last Policeman, Ben H. WintersThe Last Policeman (the first book in a trilogy) by Ben H. Winters, narrated by Peter Berkrot, 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 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

 

On Shelves Now, In Theaters Soon (08:14)

The Huffington Post compiled a list of 10 Books That Will Vie for the 2016 Oscars:

Many of these won’t be out until later in the year, giving you plenty of time to read them before you see the movie!

 

Two Books We Can’t Wait For You to Read (22:22)

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Ann recommends Girl in the Dark, a memoir by Anna Lyndsey, which is a pseudonym. As a young woman, Anna was diagnosed with an extremely rare light sensitivity, and in this book she details what that diagnosis and its aftermath have done to her daily life, her relationships, and her existence.

On Hurricane Island, the new novel from our bookselling friend Ellen Meeropol, is both a look at the abuses of governmental powers as well as a page-turner of a thriller. Ellen deftly tells the story of a mathematics professor wrongly detained by Homeland security, and she tells it from the points of view of an array of very different characters.

Feb 24

What books within novels do you most want to read? Don’t you forget about Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro and A Simple Plan by Scott Smith.

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In a New York Times Op-ed, Dr. Oliver Sacks wrote beautifully and poignantly about his terminal cancer diagnosis. It is an extremely touching piece that everyone should read. Dr. Sacks’s memoir, On the Move, will be published April 28.

 

audiobooksAudiobook of the week (04:50)

Big Little Lies, Liane MoriartyBig Little Lies by Liane Moriarty, narrated by Caroline Lee, 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

 

Fictional Books in Fiction Books (08:58)

Over at our Goodreads group, Keith asked which fictional books – books within other books – we would most like to read. We mention quite a few books that don’t really exist (and some that were eventually published in the real world), and then discuss which we’d most like to read ourselves.

What are some of your favorite fictional books? Which would you most like to read? Let us know in the comments below!

 

Don’t You Forget About Me (22:09)

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Ann recommends Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go, published way back in 2005. It’s set in a boarding school, and we know how Ann loves those. It’s very different from Ishiguro’s other books, and it’s very hard to describe without giving anything away. Ishiguro has a new book coming out soon and Ann will be telling you about that as soon as it’s out.

Scott Smith’s A Simple Plan is a propulsive page turner. This dark, and often disturbing, debut novel shows just how quickly an ordinary man can turn violent when money and family are on the line. Plus, it’s filled with lots of scenes in snow, and can’t we all use a little more snow these days? (no.)

Feb 17

The many jobs you can have around books. We recommend The Half Brother by Holly LeCraw, and The Sculptor by Scott McCloud.

audiobooksAudiobook of the week (02:34)

Hounded, Kevin HearneHounded (Book One of the Iron Druid Chronicles) by Kevin Hearne, narrated by Luke Daniels, 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 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

 

Our Most Frequently Asked Question (07:10)

Listener Corey asked two questions: How did Ann and I get our jobs? and What are some possible jobs involving books? For the first question, the short answers are: Ann graduated with three majors including magazine journalism, had trouble finding a job, and was placed at Dell Publishing where she saw a poster celebrating 25 years of Yearling Books. After seeing so many of her childhood favorites on there, she knew she wanted to stick around. I’ve worked in bookstores since I was 15, eventually ending up as a buyer for a bookstore where I worked with and got to know publishers’ sales reps. When one of the Random House reps left, the other one recommended me for the job.

Corey’s second question is a big one. A recent post on the Reading Rainbow blog describes jobs and hobbies that will surround you with books. They list many options. One of the jobs they list is “Publisher,” and Ann and I are able to expand on that one listing quite a bit. There are countless jobs within publishing itself, and as the industry and technologies evolve, there are new types of jobs being created all the time.

There are also many publishing courses (some Master’s degree and some Summer class) available from colleges and universities: The ones we mention are:

 

Two Books We Can’t Wait For You to Read (30:28)

 

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Holly LeCraw’s The Half Brother follows Charlie Garrett, a teacher at a New England prep school, who falls in love with the headmaster’s daughter. They end their relationship, but things come to a head ten years later when she returns to campus just as Charlie’s magnetic half-brother begins teaching.

The Sculptor by Scott McCloud is a new addition to my all-time favorite graphic novels, and will surely be one of my favorite books of 2015. Struggling sculptor David Smith makes a deal with Death: in exchange for unfettered control over materials, David will die in 200 days. What happens when inspiration still doesn’t strike, but love does?

Feb 10

Booktopia VT authors. Short books for a short month. And we recommend Get in Trouble by Kelly Link, and Single, Carefree, Mellow by Katherine Heiny.

 

Harper Lee is NOT Coming to Booktopia Vermont

Two bits of news to cover in the first segment of this episode.

Up first, is the huge news that Harper Lee will publish her second novel, 55 years after her first, and amid much speculation. Go Set a Watchman will be released on July 14.

We’re thrilled to announce here on the podcast, the full line-up of authors for Booktopia Vermont:

Don’t forget: Northshire Bookstore has a special page set up where you can order these books and have them shipped to you or held at the store for pickup during Booktopia weekend.

audiobooksAudiobook of the week (10:20)

Autumn Balloon, Kenny PorporaThe Autumn Balloon by Kenny Porpora, narrated by the author, is 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

 

Short Month, Short Stories (14:16) 22543938

February is a short month and many short story collections are just out or out very soon. Is there something about reading (and publishing) short stories in the winter? We speculate on a few reasons why this might or might not be the case, and we mention many wonderful collections:

 

Two Books We Can’t Wait For You to Read (28:52)

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I’m thrilled to finally tell you about Get in Trouble by Kelly Link, a collection of stories I read over a period of several months at the end of last year. These are dark, emotional, funny and moving tales that take our familiar world and make one or two key changes, then examine the ramifications.

Single, Carefree, Mellow by Katherine Heiny is Ann’s pick for this week. In her stories, Katherine Heiny creates characters, relationships, and situations that are funny and poignant. Ann devoured this collection in just two days.

Feb 03

Booktopia Boulder talks from Justin Go and Colin McAdam.

audiobooksAudiobook of the week (01:59)

The Day of the Jackal, Frederick ForsythThe Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth, narrated by Simon Prebble, is 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

 

Justin Go and Colin McAdam, from Booktopia Boulder (04:36)

This week we bring you two more author talks from Booktopia Boulder, recorded at Boulder Book Store. Please enjoy these talks from Justin Go, author of The Steady Running of the Hour, and Colin McAdam, author of A Beautiful Truth.

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Jan 27

What “backlist” is, and why it’s important for readers. Plus, don’t you forget about Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield and The Good Thief by Hannah Tinti.

THANK YOU to everyone who supported us for National Readathon Day! We raised over $3,600. Thanks to everyone who joined our team, donated to a team member, or raised money on their own. I read a graphic novel (Seconds) and half of a novel (Elizabeth is Missing), and loved my time reading. Due to the impending storm, Ann’s husband had to work, and she ended up playing chauffeur to her kids, but will do her Readathon reading while snowed in this week!

audiobooksAudiobook of the week (05:25)

Perks of Being a Wallflower, Stephen ChboskyThe Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, narrated by Noah Galvin, is 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

It’s a New Book If You Haven’t Read It (08:58)

What is backlist? Basically, it’s an publishing term meaning books that have been out for awhile (there’s no exact time-frame industry wide). Most of what you’ll find on display tables in bookstores are new books, but you’ll sometimes find displays of things like “all-time favorites,” and in the sections, you’ll often see store/staff favorites faced out. This all really highlights the joy of talking to a great librarian or bookseller; when you ask them for a recommendation, often an old favorite will be the first thing that springs to their mind.

I’ve been going through all of my books, keeping only the books that truly matter to me, and I do so, I’m rediscovering books that I read long ago, that have been on my shelves, but haven’t been “seen” in years. At this point, our discussion evolved into which books to let go of and which to keep. (Ann and I are both under the wonderful sway of Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up).

Don’t You Forget About Me (20:51)

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Ann recommends that you discover, or re-discover Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield, the epic tale of the Battle of Thermopylae (later dramatized in the graphic novel and movie 300) . It’s a book that brought the battles to life, even for Ann, who usually has a problem envisioning battle scenes. Ann also recommends it for fans of The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller.

The Good Thief by Hannah Tinti is a book whose atmosphere – one of muddy, nineteenth century New England streets – is one that I’ll never forget. An orphan, missing his hand, is taken in by a con artist, who uses the boy as a distraction for his thieving. Tinti is also editor-in-chief of One Story, a wonderful literary magazine that sends you one story every 3-4 weeks.

Jan 20

Picking books to read on National Readathon Day. We can’t wait for you to read Mort(e) by Robert Repino and The Same Sky by Amanda Eyre Ward.

I have made a decision to alter my New Year’s Reading Resolution slightly. I’m adding a collection of short stories to the current mix of one print book, and one audio book. I’ll only read a story or two in between print books. So I’ll still only be reading one print book at a time, but the story collection will be ongoing. Besides, Ann gave me permission!

audiobooksAudiobook of the week (04:23)

Winnie-the-Pooh, A.A. MilneThe Winnie the Pooh series by A.A. Milne, narrated by Peter Dennis, was recommended to us by listener Kristen, so we’ve chosen it 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 to Readathon (06:59)

NATIONAL BOOK FOUNDATION INC

National Readathon Day is this Saturday, January 24 (there’s still time to donate to – or join – the Books on the Nightstand Team!). What will you be reading from 12-4 on Saturday? A short book or two? Will you start something you’ve been meaning to read? Or, will you make progress in whatever you’re currently reading? Here are some of our suggestions:

Short Books:

Long Books:

and a long graphic novel:

Two Books We Can’t Wait For You to Read (21:53)

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So… Mort(e) by Robert Repino… Yeah. This is a tough one to describe so I’ll just dive right in. Hyper-intelligent ants are waging a war against humanity, and have forced the evolution of household pets to use as soldiers.
Look, just trust me, okay? It’s fantastic.

Ann recommends the far less-unusual, but no less riveting novel The Same Sky by Amanda Eyre Ward. This book follows the story of thirteen-year-old Carla, trying to travel illegally from Honduras to Texas, with her younger brother, and the story of Alice, a woman whose quest to adopt a child has just been thwarted.

Jan 13

Writing in books: good or bad? We recommend The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins and Fram by Steve Himmer.

Ann is just back from New York where she saw the stage version of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, which was produced in a unique way to capture the flavor of the book. I’m very excited to hear that a local theater in Providence has adapted and is producing a stage version of Barry Unsworth’s Morality Play, a book I love. Broadway goers can look forward to seeing Daphne DuMaurier’s Rebecca on the Great White Way.

audiobooksAudiobook of the week (06:49)

Spoiled Brats: Stories, Simon RichSpoiled Brats by Simon Rich, narrated by the author, 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 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

Notation or Desecration? (09:04)

Jeff, a BOTNS listener recently started a thread on our Goodreads group about writing and underlining passages in books. He usually reads e-books where he can use the highlight or note feature, but is worried about actually writing in a physical book. Where did the stigma of writing in books come from? Can underlining sentences, or writing notes to yourself enhance your reading experience? If so, do you underline beautiful or striking sentences? Do you note how something in the story makes you feel? Do you speculate on what an event might mean?

One way to highlight a passage in a book without actually marking up the book is to keep highlighted photos in Evernote (I first learned about this via this blog post. And, while searching for that original post, I also came upon this post: 8 Evernote Tips for Book Nerds.)  You can also enter favorite quotes into Goodreads, or copy them into a commonplace book.

Ann also discovered a blog post by Laura Miller, called “How to Write in a Book,” which includes a very in-depth marking-up system by C.S. Lewis.

Two Books We Can’t Wait For You to Read (25:17)

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Ann recommends The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, a compelling thriller she “literally couldn’t put down.” Rachel, the main character, is an unreliable narrator who’s nearly always drunk. But, she thinks she’s seen events that led up to a crime, and she can’t help but insert herself into the mystery.

Full disclosure: Fram is written by my friend Steve Himmer. Steve was a guest at our very first BOTNS retreat (before it was even called Booktopia!). His new book follows Oscar, an employee of the Bureau of Ice Prognostication. His job, which, to this point, has been all about fabrications, has just become all too real. He’s no longer in his safe, quiet office, and he really has no idea what is happening to him. This was a fun, literary adventure that I highly recommend!

Jan 06

A discussion with Jynne Martin, one of the folks responsible for National Readathon Day.

My New Year’s resolution of reading only one book at a time has been working incredibly well. On December 31, I was currently reading six books. As of the evening of January 5, I had completed all six of those by focusing on them one at time, giving each my full attention. Now, I don’t start a new book until I’ve finished the last one.

Ann mentioned an article that suggests reading non-fiction during the day, and fiction right before bed. That’s from a list by Austin Kleon called “How to Read More.” He also published “33 Thoughts on Reading,” which I love. Also, here’s a link to the post where I downloaded the “Read a Book Instead” lock-screen image for my iPhone.

audiobooksAudiobook of the week (09:55)

Dollbaby: A Novel, Laura L. McNealDollbaby by Laura L. McNeal, narrated by January LaVoy, 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

 

A National Readathon Day Discussion with Jynne Martin (13:05)

This week we present a conversation Ann had with Jynne Martin, Publicity Director and Associate Publisher at Riverhead Books, a division of Penguin Random House. Jynne was one of the people involved in creating National Readathon Day, and Ann talks with her about the genesis and reasons for NRD. Jynne’s also a writer, and her first collection of poetry, We Mammals in Hospitable Times, comes out on February 3.

 

Also, a reminder about our fundraising efforts for National Readathon Day. Go to bit.ly/botnsreadathon to make a donation or join our team!

 

Two Books Jynne Can’t Wait For You to Read (25:10)

As we usually do when we have a guest on the show, we asked Jynne to recommend two books she can’t wait for you to read. She decided to be “mean” and tell you about books that you won’t be able to get for awhile. So add these to your TBR pile and make a note in your calendar!

The Rocks by Peter Nichols is a novel that begins with an elderly couple having a terrible fight. Their story, and the book, is then told in reverse over the course of 80 years. On sale in June 2015

Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff. Jynne calls this a “huge ambitious novel of family and marriage” from the author of Arcadia, The Monsters of Templeton, and Delicate Edible Birds. On sale in September 2015 (no cover or Goodreads listing yet!)

 

 

Dec 23

Five more favorite reads from 2014, and our reading plans for 2015!

 

It’s our last episode of 2014!

 

Thank you to all who’ve joined the Books on the Nightstand team for National Readathon Day, which is a fundraiser for the National Book Foundation! Mark your calendars now to spend a 4 hour block of time reading on January 24th.  If you’d like to make a donation to our team or raise funds yourself, you can do that here. To find our more, visit the official National Readathon page. We’ll have much more about National Readathon Day in upcoming episodes, so stay tuned.

 

We Were Liars   The Painter    The Answer to the Riddle is Me

Americanah    Cartographer of No Man's Land

 

Many of you reached out to me to ask what book I left off of my Favorite Books of 2014 list. If you remember, I waited until the very last minute to commit to the final book.

A few of you guessed, correctly, that the sixth book was We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. This was one of my favorite novels of the year in any genre. There was also one other book that pained me to leave off, and that was The Painter by Peter Heller.

Michael would have added The Answer to the Riddle is Me: A memoir of amnesia, by David Stuart McLean.

There were two other books that were favorite reads of 2014, but they were published in 2013, so they didn’t make the list. So I’ll add them here: Americanah by Chimimanda Adiche and The Cartographer of No Man’s Land by P.S. Duffy.

 

audiobooksMichael’s Audiobook of the Year (02:24)


Brown Girl Dreaming    Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson, narrated by the author, is Michael’s pick for Audiobooks.com Audiobook of the Year.

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

Thank you so much to Audiobooks.com for sponsoring Books on the Nightstand this year!

 

Our reading plans for 2015:

 

Michael has made a reading resolution for 2015: he’s going to try to read just one book at a time, with the exception of audiobooks.

Since I failed spectacularly in my 2014 reading resolution (to read 10 books in translation), I’m not making one for 2015. I am going to try to track the books I read for the duration of 2015. Normally, I fall out of the habit by March. This makes it very difficult to choose a list of favorites for the year, since I tend to forget about all of the books I’ve read.

Michael and I are both committed to reading Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier and Swann by Carol Shields. This grew out of a pact we made with Simon and Thomas of The Readers Podcast — we agreed to read their favorite books, and they are reading ours (The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell and Any Human Heart by William Boyd).

 

 

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