Aug 13

Michael Crichton’s pseudonym revealed. Can you be a reader without being a collector? Bookish love for The People in the Trees and Night Film.

Another Author Pseudonym Revealedzero cool

Hard Case Crime, publisher of very cool pulp paperbacks, has just announced that they will be publishing 8 early Michael Crichton novels, books the author published, while he was still in Med School, under the pseudonyn John Lange. Ann and I discuss the use of pseudonyms, and how some authors use them today to differentiate between the different genres in which they write. I, for one, can’t wait to read these new/old Michael Crichton books when they are released in October (exact dates to be announced).

Can You Be a Reader and Not a Collector? (7:42)

We recently got a question online, though we can’t remember where the question came from. (More reason to use our Ask a Question form, we don’t lose track of those!) Can you be a reader, but not a collector? Do true “readers” need to be surrounded by books? Ann and I both agree that you’re a reader whether you keep what you’ve read or not. Ann tends to not keep most of what she reads, hanging on to only some signed books and multiple copies of her favorites, so she always has them on hand to introduce to new readers. I, on the hand, keep far too many of my books, though I am getting better. I should do a huge purge of my book collection, but frankly, I’d rather spend that time reading. How about you? Book hoarder? Minimalist? Somewhere in between?

Two Books We Can’t Wait For You to Read (17:00)

trees     nightfilm

Ann recommends The People in the Trees by Hanya Yanagihara. It’s a novel about an anthropologist and a  young doctor, and their 1950 trip to a remote Micronesian island. It’s told in the form of the manuscript of the doctor’s memoir, as dictated to his assistant, and it completely immersed Ann in the story. Click here to read a wonderful interview with the author.

I”m thrilled to finally tell you about Night Film by Marisha Pessl, though I really can’t tell you much. The daughter of a reclusive cult filmmaker Stanislas Cordova commits suicide, or does she? Investigative journalist Scott McGrath has already been burned by the Cordova family once, but can’t resist looking into Ashley’s death. Filled with web pages, mental hospital intake forms, photographs, obituaries, I call this a “novel with stuff.” That stuff will extend beyond the book via a free app that releases on August 20, the same day as the book. Trust me and just read this book.

We decided, spur of the moment, during the recording of this episode, to take next week as a vacation week. I’ll be away, hopefully reading a ton of books (more likely watching my kids to make sure they don’t run headlong into the oncoming waves). Ann didn’t mention that she’ll be guest hosting episode 15 of the Book Riot podcast, because it’s sort of still a secret, so shhhhh…  It will likely go live this coming weekend, so check it out!

  • tcheer4life

    Does vacation mean there is no podcast next week or does it mean you will present one of the unheard recordings from a Booktopia authors night?

    • No episode of BOTNS next week 🙁
      But listen to BookRiot #15. I’ll be guest- hosting!

  • Carol Kubala

    Shouting into the phone – NO! I didn’t know John Lange was Michael Crichton so thanks Michael…Possibly he was concerned about using his professional career name if his books turned out to be duds. Someone will probably track down the why of this. Interesting all the same.

    Bless You to Ann. Hope the cold gets better soon.

    As for the question regarding reading and collecting I find the older I get the easier it is to let go of things, including books. Not to worry, a reader is a reader.

    Ann-You’ve convinced me to add People in the Trees to my pile. Night Film – Still reading and absolutely loving!

  • Maggie

    I love that you guys talked about readers not having to be collectors. I’ve never heard anyone say this but I just know there’s someone out there who (not knowing me) would probably look at my bookshelf & say “you read a lot?” Quite frankly, I just don’t have the budget for buying books frequently or much at all. I only buy every now & then when I know I’m really going to want a copy of something, be it print or e-book. I gladly accept them as gifts though!

    I just listen to a lot of audiobooks from the library & also have been trying to read through what I do have that’s been sitting around for a while & not read before I let myself go crazy on library print or e-books. Then when I’m done with those, if I know I won’t read certain ones again, I donate them to my library’s used bookstore or a book consignment shop downtown that gives you store credit when they sell. I feel good knowing someone else on a budget can enjoy them too.

    Thanks for reaffirming that my frugality is completely justifiable 😀

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  • Mary Grace Tablarin Camacho

    To Ann, I hope you feel better soon and to Michael, happy vacation!

    With regards to readers having to be collectors, in my case, when I was younger, I have a tendency to keep all the books I’ve read especially those that I love to re-read, or those from my favorite authors. But because of the limited shelf space in our house, I have learned to let go of a lot of books and usually donate them to my school’s library. I still keep physical books but that ended pretty quickly four years ago when I moved half-way across the world and I had no choice but to leave my precious books behind (hopefully, I’ll be able to ship it here to Colorado later) and though I love the smell and feel of physical books, that is when I realize that physical books are not travel friendly and so I became an eBook collector but I only keep those eBooks that I actually read and those from my favorite authors. I still have a couple of eBooks on my iPad that I have not read yet most likely about 5-6 eBooks that I haven’t read yet. I do have a very long list of to-read books but for those, I don’t go out and get the eBook until I’m good and ready to read them. And most of the time, I borrow books from the library and if I really like it, then I’d go and buy myself a copy of the eBook for me to keep forever and re-read.

  • crystal deane

    Concerning Michael Crichton writing as John Lange…my colleague who is a film buff says on the Andromeda Strain dvd extras there is an interview with Michael Crichton discussing why he used the pseudonym John Lange. As Carol predicted, it was related to his medical career. Supposedly the name Lange holds special significance – will have to track down the DVD to get the scoop.

  • Darlene

    I just picked up Night Film and am on about page 10 and already it is awesome! I love the extra “stuff.” I want to continue reading, but my family wants dinner – they just don’t understand how cool this is. What’s a mom to do?!

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