Jul 22

A race for the Bingo!, Listeners call in about episode #286, Amy Bloom’s new novel, and a book on helping your kids stay organized.

Michael and I appear to be in a race to the BINGO! though neither of us will achieve it any time soon. We’ve loved seeing your BINGO reports on our Goodreads group, and I’ve added a bunch of books to my to read list from that thread.

There’s still time to participate in our Summer Reading Bingo! Click here to get your personalized BOTNS Bingo card — just be sure to hit refresh once or twice after you click the link.

audiobooksAudiobook of the week (05:53)

This is the story of a happy marriageThis is the Story of a Happy Marriage , 
written and performed by Ann Patchett, is my 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.

Audiobooks.com 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 www.audiobooks.com/freebook

Listeners Weigh In (09:23):

We asked for your thoughts on BOTNS #286: Read Whatever You Want, and six of you called in with your thoughts. Unfortunately, Elaine’s comment had some technical issues so that we couldn’t use it on the podcast. We present the remaining five calls without comment, but they all have something great to say. I really loved hearing your thoughts — thanks to all who called in.

Please do feel free to call our BOTNS Voicemail line at any time to let us know your thoughts. Just dial (209) 867-7323.

Thanks to Ashley, Bill, Carol K., Anonymous, and Michelle in Colorado!

Two books we can’t wait for you to read (21:01):

Lucky Us   That Crumpled Paper Was Due Last Week

Michael talks about Amy Bloom’s Lucky Us, which goes on sale next week (July 29).  Lucky Us starts in 1939 small town Ohio, where main character Eva discovers that her father has a second family and that she has a half-sister. Much of the story is told through letters between the two sisters.

I talk about That Crumpled Paper Was Due Last Week by Ana Homayoun. The subtitle of the book–Helping Disorganized and Distracted Boys Succeed in School and Life–is somewhat misleading, as I found this to be very helpful in dealing with my daughter’s chronic disorganization. I think that this would be a good book for parents of pre-teens and teens to read before school starts, and I’m going to re-read it to get a refresher on the tips and techniques.

  • Jess

    Would you recommend THAT CRUMPLED PAPER THAT WAS DUE LAST WEEK for teachers? As a teacher, I’m always looking for new ways to help the middle schoolers that I teach, and more often than not, they’re VERY disorganized.

    • Yes, many teachers and counselors read it as a way to help improve organization and time-management to students.

      • Thanks for answering, Ana. I’m not a teacher, so your response is very helpful. And I apologize for butchering your name on the podcast!

        Thanks again for writing the book and helping us tackle the disorganization monster.

        • Ann, Thanks so much for featuring the book on your podcast – I am glad to see you found it helpful! And, please no worries on butchering my name – it was a valiant effort, and my last name is a tough one! Thanks again.

  • majoraphasia

    The problem with “YA lit” is defining “YA lit”, another somewhat dubious classification that may make the local bookstores easier to organize but doesn’t necessarily speak of content, intellectual rigor or other things that readers value.
    One is almost tempted to think that outstanding fiction is beyond qualification. Or, if we must, great novels for young readers (I’m thinking of Liar & Spy by Rebecca Stead) may be a special kind of challenge for a gifted writer: how to make challenging themes and multi-dimensional characters even more vivid so that a middle reader may understand? The insult of “YA is yours to read, adults, though feel embarrassed by that” not only shames the adult reader but all readers and, alas, the writer. There are good and bad examples among all varieties of literature and singling out an entire “genre”, if that is even what YA really is, is to ignore that the majority of novels that get sold at the local B&N could be classified as YA in either their themes or writing.

  • All reading is not equal, and I agree with Ruth Graham’s basic premise, because I have serious issues with our society’s extension of adolescence into middle-age. Emotional and mental maturity is A Good Thing. Kids want and need adults who are Grown-Ups.

    I think Graham adequately explains her position when she says ” . . .But if they are substituting maudlin teen dramas for the complexity of great adult literature, then they are missing something.” IMO The word “substituting” is key to her entire POV, as well as other clarifications such as “There’s room for pleasure, escapism, juicy plots, and satisfying endings on the shelves of the serious reader”.

    We make judgments about books and reading all the time, even though it’s not PC to admit it. I agree that we can’t make those judgments for others, but it isn’t a disservice to point out that if one wants to experience diversity and quality in their reading, they should pursue books other than the typical YA trilogy where the gorgeous but witless young girl is the obsession of an ancient powerful man. Which on some planets is illegal.

  • Mystica

    I’ve seen the Bloom book around with reviews but the Crumpled Paper is new to me. That seems a very good one for parents!

  • Can’t wait to read Lucky Us after also hearing about it on NPR last week! If I hear about a book from you guys AND NPR I know it’s going to be good! 🙂

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