We begin our episode with a discussion of the recent Moby Dick Marathon that took place at the New Bedford Whaling Museum. Several of the marathon readers read from a Nook, Barnes & Noble’s e-reader. E-readers were also big at the recent Consumer Electronics Show, where several new models debuted.
Ann begins our discussion of “Big Idea” books – books whose scope goes beyond any one section in the book store – with You Are Not a Gadget, which is a look the internet and digital design and how they shape our lives for better or worse. (Be sure to check out the publisher’s Facebook discussion area, featuring an excerpt and several questions inspired by the book.) A classic “Big Idea” book that came out a few years ago is Made to Stick (which Ann wrote about here). The authors of that book have a new one out called Switch, and it’s about the difficulty of making lasting change, and the ongoing struggle between the rational and emotional parts of your brain.
In segment three, Ann tells us about The Patience Stone, the story of an Afghan woman sitting at the bedside of her injured husband. The prayers she says for him turn into a near-confession of her thoughts and troubles. Michael talks about The Many Deaths of the Firefly Brothers, the new novel from Thomas Mullen, author of The Last Town on Earth. Check out this video trailer for the book: