Mar 29

Three mini topics. Plus, don’t you forget about Bel Canto by Ann Patchett and Plenty by Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon.

In addition to candy, my kids got books for Easter. Later that day, Friends came over and we gave their daughter a late birthday gift: a signed copy of Demon Dentist by David Walliams. At one point during the sugar-fueled antics of the day, I looked into the living room to see my son and their daughter reading quietly. It was wonderful!


audiobooksAudiobook of the week (06:44)

Turner House, Angela FlournoyThe Turner House by Angela Flournoy, narrated by Adenrele Ojo, is my pick for this week’s Audiobook of the Week.
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Ten Books, a Whale, and a Library Farm (11:44)

A few different mini topics this week:


Don’t You Forget About Me (27:07)

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Ann recommends an older book that’s new to her: Ann Patchett’s Bel Canto, the story of a terrorist attack on a gala birthday party in an unnamed South American country. Ann calls it brilliant and wonders why no one forced her to read it earlier!

Since Plenty by Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon was first published in 2007, the concept of locavorism has exploded into the mainstream consciousness. Though many people are unlikely to go to the lengths of these authors (eating only food from a 100 mile radius of their home for a full year), readers today will get much information (and entertainment) from this book.

  • Deb

    Thank you Ann & Michael for these great podcasts!! Ann – so glad you read Bel Canto. I read it when it first came out and just loved it! I was very lucky to see the opera based on this book performed by the Chicago Lyric Opera. It was amazing. Not a big opera fan but had to see this! Performed in all the languages the guests spoke and the translator’s character truly took on an important role than you saw reading all in English. I think you had to have read the book to get the most from the opera but it was so beautiful!!


  • tcheer4life

    You’re not the last one to the Bel Canto party. It’s #19 on my TBR, but…

  • Lindsey Mclain

    I commit to reading Bel Canto this month! Its number 16 on my TBR of over 300 books (added back in 2010!!!).

  • Anne Carson

    Thanks for the Moby Dick Big Read recommendation. I have now listened to the first 9 chapters or so. I am a regular audiobook listener and also wondered about the experience of different readers on each chapter. I have to say, I am really enjoying it! It is an enormously long book and the change up for each chapter is refreshing and keeps your concentration on its toes. (An odd metaphor but I hope you know what I mean.) I “read” this book in high school but as I listen now, I know I had no idea of the beauty of the writing. One note, I find myself having to rewind a bit as I drift into consideration of various lovely passages or description and then realize I am a bit lost as the what’s happening now that my attention has returned… though this happens with any audio recording.

    I have one question, on another subject. Michael, you mention your rss feed in this podcast. Can you please provide details on your rss reader? I was an avid “Google Reader” user on my beloved iGoogle page. Both sadly gone today and I never found an appealing replacement.

  • Joanne in Canada

    Glad to hear you enjoyed Bel Canto, Ann. It was my first and favourite Ann Patchett, and I have gone on to read all of her printed works with various levels of enjoyment. I would recommend: Patron Saint of Liars (early, since it is her first novel and good but not her strongest), State of Wonder, This is the Story of a Happy Marriage, and Truth and Beauty, If you like Truth and Beauty, I’d also recommend the companion book, Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy.

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