Jan 05

Slimming down (our book collections) in the New year. Plus, we recommend Lum by Libby Ware and The Productivity Project by Chris Bailey.

Attention anyone planning on reading BOTNS Listener Faves during 2016: In addition to the list we collected, Mindy, from our Goodreads group, collected responses from commenters there and created a separate list which you can find here. Thanks again to everyone who shared their favorite books, and thanks to Mindy for compiling the list!

audiobooksAudiobook of the week (02:56)

Lightless, C. A. HigginsLightless
by C. A. Higgins, narrated by Fiona Hardingham, 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 60,000 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


Newer Year, Fewer Books (06:31)

During our holiday break, Ann and I each watched a bit of television. Ann binge-watched Making a Murderer, and I worked my way through Jessica Jones.

25614984In addition to watching TV, our families, coincidentally, each ended up doing some purging of clutter, moving some books, and culling some books. These processes put us in mind, of course, of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Marie Kondo’s recommendations on getting rid of books doesn’t sit well with most true book lovers. (She basically recommends only keeping a few beloved books, and none that you haven’t read yet.) Ann and I have each “Kondo-ed” our book collections, to varying degrees, and we discuss what that process has been like and how we feel about the books we did keep.

Marie Kondo’s new book Spark Joy, expands on her method somewhat and includes many illustrations on her folding methods and other organizational ideas.


Two Books We Can’t Wait For You to Read (29:53)

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One of the books Ann was able to find more easily after reorganizing her books was Lum by Libby Ware. The story follows Columbia who, at age eight, is diagnosed as intersex (physically both female and male). In her early thirties she moves among the houses of family members, helping out where she can. This outsider existence is thrown into turmoil when construction of the Blue Ridge Parkway threatens her family’s farm.

I recommend Chris Bailey’s The Productivity Project, a look a what he learned during the year he spent experimenting with multiple productivity methods, strategies, and apps. What I love about this book so far is how “hands on” it is: each chapter ends with a short exercise for the reader, exploring the topics and ideas just covered.

  • KilianMetcalf

    Regarding collecting books, isn’t too bad we don’t have an alternative to bookshelves and physical books? Something electronic that you could use to read a book and store it somewhere else when finished that wouldn’t take up any room in our physical world, a place we could find a book immediately? Oh, wait . . .

    When I moved from New Mexico to Arizona, I had 40 boxes of books. Now I have thousands of book on my Kindle, and four bookcases for cookbooks, CDs, and reference books. I call it progress.

    • I have hundreds of books on my iPad, but I find that for me, it’s out of sight, out of mind.

  • Carol Kubala

    I know this isn’t a cooking podcast but when Michael gets talking about food and what he might be cooking I get curious. Are you going to share any of those 4 or 5 meals you are cooking this week? Way back you started a cookbook blog but I imagine you got too busy to keep it going. Perhaps you could tell us about a cookbook you own and something that you cooked from it that was a success.

    • mkindness

      I’ll try Carol, but I can’t promise anything. I know I’ll never write a blog post… maybe it can be something I just mention on the podcast occasionally!

      • Carol Kubala

        Would love that Michael but do realize you’ve got much in the book world to talk about.

  • Pierre Roy

    Regarding reducing our overflowing book collections, I have recently come up with a strategy to get it more manageable.

    In the first week of December [maybe], I spent a little time winnowing down my collection when I noticed that there were many books that I have had for five years or more that I hadn’t read yet but still really wanted to read. This small collection of neglected books has now made its way to three shelves in my bookcases.

    I resolved then that, by Christmas 2017, all of those books would be read, re-shelved as a favourites or shared with others. Those books that have not been read will make their way to my favourite second-hand book store.

    Because of this resolution, I have had the pleasure of relishing A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry over Chirstmas (an absolute brick that probably would not have been read without the extra push of the resolution). I have also rediscovered the genius of Toni Morrison by reading The Song of Solomon.

    I have also resolved to read all of the new and new to me books that come through the door in-between books from the neglected shelves. The two techniques together, I think, will help me to get control of the overwhelming collection of books that’s been taking over my basement, night stand and basically every other flat surface in my house.

    Happy New Year! Great show!

    • Wow, you’ve really thought it through! Good luck!

  • Joanne in Canada

    Ann, I always seem to hear about “hot” things showing on Netflix from you before the buzz hits the fan. This podcast may interest you or any other Making a Murderer viewer: http://www.michaelspratt.com/poadcast-legal-matters/ (I heard the item on the CBC.)

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