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!
The 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.
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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)
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.