The 2014 Tournament of Books contenders have been announced! Disliking a book that everyone else loves. Recommendations for Kids These Days and The Scar Boys.
Every year it seems that we talk about the Tournament of Books sometime late in March just as it’s ending. Not this year! The full list of titles has been announced, and we know that some of you are hoping to read along. We discussed several of the titles, so be sure the click the above link to see them all.
Who’s your favorite horse in this race?
How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell, narrated by the David Tennant, is Michael’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.
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When You’re the Only One (09:41)
An email from Sarah asked if there were ever times when we disliked a book that everyone else loved, and have we ever been judged to be an uncaring person for not liking a book everyone else loved. To the first part of that question, yes, of course. We’ve always said that we would only talk about books we loved here on the podcast, but, for the first time we each admit to a book we didn’t like and didn’t finish. For Ann, it was Kate Atkinson’s Life After Life, and for me, it was The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt.
Moving on the second part of Sarah’s question, Ann admits to not having liked The Bridges of Madison County, a book that swept the nation in the 90′s, and was loved by many for its romantic story. But she was never judged to be uncaring because of that (that she knows of). Sarah’s questioned stemmed from several people judging her for not liking the writing of Wonder, by R.J. Palacio, even though she thought the book covered an important message. Honestly, judging someone’s character based on what books the like or dislike is just not right.
This brings to mind a recent announcement from the new editor of Buzzfeed Books, who said they would not be running negative reviews. It caused a bit of controversy. In our opinion, it all comes down to a simple question: are you running book reviews, or book recommendations? For us, it’s the later. Because honestly, when’s the last time you asked a librarian or bookseller to tell you about the books they hated?
Two Books We Can’t Wait For You to Read (19:56)
Over the winter break, Ann read Kids These Days by Drew Perry, a book she describes as a cross between Jonathan Tropper and Carl Hiaasen. It’s the story of Walter and Alice (who have a baby on the way), who are forced to relocate to Florida for a free place to live, and a new, shady, job for Walter.
I wholeheartedly recommend The Scar Boys by Len Vlahos, a coming of age story starring Harbinger “Harry” Jones. Set in the 80s, The Scar Boys follows Harry’s life from a bullying incident at age 8 that leaves his face badly scarred, and him addicted to painkillers, through his last year in high school when he and his band-mates embark on a hastily-thrown-together tour that tests their loyalties to each other.