May 13

 All the Light We Cannot See; Michael shaves his head; Twists and spoilers; We Were Liars

We can’t read this, but you totally should:


all the Light We Cannot See

The book that is at the top of my “want to read” list is a book I won’t get to read until my summer vacation. But it’s been getting so many raves and reviews and so much love from booksellers and others that I trust, that I don’t want to wait to recommend it to you. We may do this from time to time, since so many of you love to hear about what’s new and what’s getting buzz. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr has gotten amazing reviews, is a #1 IndieNext pick for May, and is much-loved by so many of my bookselling friends.

 audiobooksAudiobook of the week (06:48)

Fault in our Stars The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, narrated by Kate Rudd, is Michael’s pick for this week’s Audiobook of the Week. While it didn’t make Michael cry, I know many others who did need a tissue or two while listening to this audiobook.

Special thanks to for sponsoring this episode of Books on the Nightstand. allows you to listen to over 40,000 audiobooks, instantly, wherever you are, and the first one is free. Download or stream any book directly to your Apple or Android device. Sign up for a free 30-day trial and free audiobook download by going to


Michael Shaves his Head at 08:56:

Kids Cancer Buzz Off - Sponsor Michael

This was mentioned in the Audiobook of the Week segment, but I don’t want anyone to accidentally overlook it:  On June 8th, Michael is having his head shaved as a way to raise money for cancer research. If you’d like to donate, check out Michael’s page or before June 8, 2014.


Jaw-dropping books: (12:43)

This segment was inspired by a discussion on our Goodreads group: “Jaw-Dropping Books?”. Though the original poster asked for recommendations of “jaw-dropping books’ like Gone Girl, I worry that talking about a “huge plot twist” is a form of spoiler. If I know there’s a big twist or surprise, I keep that in the back of my mind as I read, trying to anticipate or predict what the twist will be.

So we’ve decided to create a short poll:


Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world’s leading questionnaire tool.

If you can’t see the survey, please follow this link to answer.

Feel free to share this survey with your book-loving friends. The larger the sample size, the more accurate the data! Thanks.


One book we can’t wait for you to read: (18:55)


We Were Liars


At the end of last year, one of our trusted colleagues at work sent a manuscript to me and Michael saying, “You have to read this.” The book was We Were Liars by E. Lockheart. It’s a book that will appeal to both young adults and to adults, who may or may not like YA books. It’s the story of a young 17 year old who has suffered an accident, but doesn’t quite remember the circumstances around the accident. Now, two years later, she’s returning for the first time to the private island where her very wealthy family has a summer compound, and where the accident happened. We can’t say more. Really. We can’t. Just read it. We think you’ll love it.

Author E. Lockhart will be joining us at Booktopia Asheville in August, and we’ll post her author talk on a future episode of Books on the Nightstand.

  • coleena312

    I literally picked All The Light We Cannot See at Sam’s yesterday and only by sheer will power put it back down. Your recommendation has broken me…I ordered it on my nook. Thanks!

  • ClassicsBuff

    I was sold on Anthony Doerr after reading Four Seasons in Rome about his sabbatical in Rome with his young twins. If you are looking for an introduction to this author, or if you are planning to visit Rome, I highly recommend this short non-fiction piece.

  • The Wright Place

    I just ordered All The Light We Cannot See. It looks wonderful. I read the first few chapters and am already invested in the story.

  • Melissa

    I ordered We Were Liars…it is coming today and my two week vacation starts at 5 p.m. today!

  • Jenbubb

    I downloaded “All The Light We Cannot See” and “We Were Liars” onto my Nook as soon as I finished listening to the podcast. I finished “We Were Liars” last night. Loved it. I recommended to my nephews who seem to be reading all of the YA books on my TBR list! Thanks for the great recommendations!

  • javontay

    I’ve found these awesome science fiction short stories just a couple a weeks ago, I’ve read these books front to back twice now. The names of these books are the wrath of heaven by Bernard Gray and Chilled Liquid by Bernard Gray. These two books are good, quick, exciting easy reads. You guys should check’em out.

  • Denise

    I read We Were Liars on your recommendation, and I can’t stop raving about this book and pushing it on people. I don’t generally mind if there are spoilers in reviews, blurbs, etc, but on this book I tell everyone not to read anything about the book — just read the book. And it is now on top of my list of favorite reads year-to-date. Thank you for a wonderful recommendation.

  • lstcl4563

    If you’re going to mention The Fault in Our Stars, you should also mention This Star Won’t Go Out the biography of Esther Earl, the girl who the book is dedicated to.

    I would also like to make the important distinction that The Fault in Our Stars is not based on her life. I’m not sure if it was included in the Kate Rudd version but in the version read by John Green he emphasizes this. Esther was a member of the community Nerdfighteria, which was created around the YouTube channel of John and his brother Hank. She had cancer when she met John and their friendship allowed him to complete a story he had been working on for several years prior. If you enjoyed the book I encourage you to go to because there is a great community filled with people who value reading.

  • Renee

    Sorry guys, but I was pretty disappointed by We Were Liars. It wasn’t awful but I’m surprised you were both raving about it. I still trust your judgment! But this was a swing and a miss for me.

  • Claudine

    I just wanted to let you guys know that I read both We Were Liars and All the Light We Cannot See on your recommendation (Bingo square, check!). While We Were Liars didn’t resonate with me, I can’t stop talking to anyone who’ll listen about All the Light We Cannot See. What a beautiful book!! I had read about 50 pages in stops and starts over a week or so, but then on a rainy 4th of July I read the whole rest of the book in one day. I never, ever do that, as I work full time and have 2 young boys. But luckily everyone was in a calm, indoor mood due to the rain, so I escaped to war-torn Paris, St. Malo, and various locations throughout Germany. Not really your typical escape, but you know what I mean. The language, the story, the characters, the mood….all just perfect. Thank you for this terrific recommendation!!

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