Jul 14

We have the best listeners and readers around and we always get wonderful feedback on topics we discuss. Today, it’s an entire show filled with your thoughts, observations and a recommendation or two!

In episode 85, we talked about how we choose the next book from our to be read pile, and Shannon from Ohio called in to tell us about the way she uses the to read shelf on Goodreads.

In episode 82, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of To Kill a Mockingbird. We heard from two listeners: one who attended the Monroeville, AL celebration, and one who created a celebration of her own by rereading the book. (For more information on the documentary Hey, Boo, visit this site.)

Episode 84‘s question “Do you buy books or do you use the library?” led to several similar responses of “Both!” It’s clear that book lovers need more than one way to get their fix!

Both Kristen, a librarian, and Ellen from Ohio called to weigh in on our Episode 83 topic, the importance of bestseller lists. We had so many responses to this topic and many people actively avoid reading books on bestseller lists. Anna Marie wrote to tell us about a book, on this subject, that she enjoyed: Bestsellers: A Very Short Introduction by John Sutherland.  Eric wrote in the comments section of the blog that he has decided to read the top bestsellers from every year since 1974, the year of his birth. That’s quite an undertaking Eric. Keep us up-to-date on your progress! Pat emailed us about bestsellers and the other topic we discussed in episode 83, which was the city as character. She loves to read books set in a place she is planning on visiting, but can’t find an easy way to search for books that way. Ann and I searched the web also and couldn’t find anything. Anyone have suggestions for Pat? Ann also reminds us that your local booksellers are a great resource for queries like this.

Mark from Toronto called in a recommendation for Jose Saramago’s Blindness. He recounts the way, as a bookseller, he would tell stories to sell stories. It’s a wonderful call and it made both Ann and me want to pick up Blindness immediately! Please don’t forget that we would love for you to call in your own recommendations. Our voicemail number is 209-867-7323.

  • Patricia Snyder

    Anyone named Pat gets my immediate attention. My suggestion for searching for books set in a particular city is this: go to your local public library’s web site. Then start a search in the library’s catalog by typing in your desired city. Label it as either a “keyword” or a “subject.” Doing both, one at a time, will definitely call up in front of you on your screen all books and other materials featuring the city you’re looking for. I just experimented by searching the catalog of my local county library, using two different cities as keywords and subject. I discovered scores of books.

  • Patricia Snyder

    Anyone named Pat gets my immediate attention. My suggestion for searching for books set in a particular city is this: go to your local public library’s web site. Then start a search in the library’s catalog by typing in your desired city. Label it as either a “keyword” or a “subject.” Doing both, one at a time, will definitely call up in front of you on your screen all books and other materials featuring the city you’re looking for. I just experimented by searching the catalog of my local county library, using two different cities as keywords and subject. I discovered scores of books.

  • To Pat’s question about searching for books set in a certain city/location, the first thing I thought of was a tag search (or “tagmash”) on LibraryThing. Go to http://www.librarything.com, click the tab along the top that says “Search,” and put in two or three “tags” separated by commas.

    Example: I just entered —> novel, Paris
    and it returned a list of 246 titles.
    Less common locale —> novel, Kansas
    returned 140 titles.

    Patricia Snyder’s comment is a good one, too, about searching keyword and subject fields in your local library’s catalog. However, while that should get essentially all the non-fiction, it won’t get all the fiction and literature. Applying meaningful subject headings to fiction, poetry, and drama is a fairly recent practice in “libraryland,” and records for older books (even 1980s) might not have subject headings that will help.

    • Patricia Snyder

      I have to say that when I used a keyword search I got results showing novels, poetry, short story collections as well as nonfiction.

    • There’s also a group on LibraryThing called Reading Globally. They do mostly fiction but don’t exclude non-fiction, and lots of people have asked for location-based recommendations. They’re here: http://www.librarything.com/groups/readinggloballyficti

    • Another feature on LibraryThing that will return books set in a certain location is the Common Knowledge search. Common Knowledge is information about the book input by members of the site. From the main CommonKnowledge page (http://www.librarything.com/commonknowledge/), put the city/state/country in which you are interested into the search box in the top right hand corner and select ‘important places’ from the drop down.

  • To Pat’s question about searching for books set in a certain city/location, the first thing I thought of was a tag search (or “tagmash”) on LibraryThing. Go to http://www.librarything.com, click the tab along the top that says “Search,” and put in two or three “tags” separated by commas.

    Example: I just entered —> novel, Paris
    and it returned a list of 246 titles.
    Less common locale —> novel, Kansas
    returned 140 titles.

    Patricia Snyder’s comment is a good one, too, about searching keyword and subject fields in your local library’s catalog. However, while that should get essentially all the non-fiction, it won’t get all the fiction and literature. Applying meaningful subject headings to fiction, poetry, and drama is a fairly recent practice in “libraryland,” and records for older books (even 1980s) might not have subject headings that will help.

    • Patricia Snyder

      I have to say that when I used a keyword search I got results showing novels, poetry, short story collections as well as nonfiction.

    • There’s also a group on LibraryThing called Reading Globally. They do mostly fiction but don’t exclude non-fiction, and lots of people have asked for location-based recommendations. They’re here: http://www.librarything.com/groups/readinggloballyficti

    • Another feature on LibraryThing that will return books set in a certain location is the Common Knowledge search. Common Knowledge is information about the book input by members of the site. From the main CommonKnowledge page (http://www.librarything.com/commonknowledge/), put the city/state/country in which you are interested into the search box in the top right hand corner and select ‘important places’ from the drop down.

  • Scott Pett

    One small note… The correct pronounciation of Saramago’s first name is with the “J” sound, he being from Portugal. It is the same “J” you hear in “bonjour”. Not a big deal. Just thought you’d want to know.

    • thanks for the correction Scott. This is just the latest in a long line of foreign words and names that Ann and I have mangled on Books on the Nightstand! 🙂

  • Scott Pett

    One small note… The correct pronounciation of Saramago’s first name is with the “J” sound, he being from Portugal. It is the same “J” you hear in “bonjour”. Not a big deal. Just thought you’d want to know.

    • thanks for the correction Scott. This is just the latest in a long line of foreign words and names that Ann and I have mangled on Books on the Nightstand! 🙂

  • Patricia Snyder

    One of the cities I searched was Venice. I tagged it as a keyword, and it brought up nonfiction, travel books, fiction (many mysteries written by Donna Leon, of course), DVDs and so much more. I used the Santa Cruz County Public Library web site. I find that using library web sites are much more productive than asking someone in a bookstore who may not have any in depth knowledge of all the choices and would probably go to his or her computer to do a search or take me on an in-store tour of books available on the shelves.

    We often do not use our public libraries as much as we should.

  • Patricia Snyder

    One of the cities I searched was Venice. I tagged it as a keyword, and it brought up nonfiction, travel books, fiction (many mysteries written by Donna Leon, of course), DVDs and so much more. I used the Santa Cruz County Public Library web site. I find that using library web sites are much more productive than asking someone in a bookstore who may not have any in depth knowledge of all the choices and would probably go to his or her computer to do a search or take me on an in-store tour of books available on the shelves.

    We often do not use our public libraries as much as we should.

  • Shinke

    In response to Pat’s question there is a website called http://www.whichbook.net/ where you can choose many different aspects of a book and get a recommendation, including location. You can choose the mood of the book, the type of characters, race, age, sexuality, etc, the plot type, even the length of the book. It’s a fun little website to fiddle around with when you need recommendations. I hope this helps.

    Love the podcast. Keep up the good work. 🙂

  • Shinke

    In response to Pat’s question there is a website called http://www.whichbook.net/ where you can choose many different aspects of a book and get a recommendation, including location. You can choose the mood of the book, the type of characters, race, age, sexuality, etc, the plot type, even the length of the book. It’s a fun little website to fiddle around with when you need recommendations. I hope this helps.

    Love the podcast. Keep up the good work. 🙂

  • Susan R

    I don’t have a particular method for choosing ‘the next book’. I look at what is new, what I’m in the mood for, who the author is, and what kinds of projects I’m involved in that require some preparation. Sometimes I listen to Eye on Books or the BOTN podcasts with my library system on another tab so that I can request books as they are mentioned, and read them when they become available.

    Love the blog and podcasts- what a fun resource for bookworms!

    • Susan, thanks! I’m going to check out Eye on Books. Love the idea of the library wishlist open in another tab!

  • Susan R

    I don’t have a particular method for choosing ‘the next book’. I look at what is new, what I’m in the mood for, who the author is, and what kinds of projects I’m involved in that require some preparation. Sometimes I listen to Eye on Books or the BOTN podcasts with my library system on another tab so that I can request books as they are mentioned, and read them when they become available.

    Love the blog and podcasts- what a fun resource for bookworms!

    • Susan, thanks! I’m going to check out Eye on Books. Love the idea of the library wishlist open in another tab!

  • Jill M

    Regarding book suggestions by location: Librarian to the World, Nancy Pearl, will have a new book out in October 2010 called “Book Lust to Go: Recommended Reading for Travelers, Vagabonds and Dreamers” that will focus on travel writing and setting. Her other books, “Book Lust” and”More Book Lust”, also have many sections/suggestions for books (fiction and no-fiction) by particular city/country locations.

    Love to listen to Book on the Nightstand on my iTouch while gardening. I’ve heard every episode! Thanks!

  • Jill M

    Regarding book suggestions by location: Librarian to the World, Nancy Pearl, will have a new book out in October 2010 called “Book Lust to Go: Recommended Reading for Travelers, Vagabonds and Dreamers” that will focus on travel writing and setting. Her other books, “Book Lust” and”More Book Lust”, also have many sections/suggestions for books (fiction and no-fiction) by particular city/country locations.

    Love to listen to Book on the Nightstand on my iTouch while gardening. I’ve heard every episode! Thanks!

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