Apr 05

We’re thinking about summer, trying not to be book snobs, and raving about The Caped Crusade and Lab Girl.


It’s time to start thinking about summer (even though there is snow out my window right now). Specifically, we’d like you to help us create the categories that will appear in this year’s Books on the Nightstand Bingo cards, which will go live sometime around Memorial Day (end of May). You may add your suggestions to the Google form. Before you add your categories, please do check our existing categories to see if you idea has been taken. This will help us not have to filter through a lot of duplicates. Thank you for your help.



audiobooksAudiobook of the week (03:39)

The Nest The Nest, by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney read by Mia Barron 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

When a friend discovers the joy of reading, but you don’t like her taste (08:16)

We received this email from a listener:

A friend–not a close one, but a long-term one–has JUST discovered books (at 63!). She read a whole series and got so excited about how HILARIOUS they are that she mailed all three books in the series to me and is now dying to have me read them AND REPORT!

I’m thrilled she’s reading–truly I am–but when the books arrived and I began dipping into them, I immediately recognized they are NOT MY CUP O’ TEA!… I am skimming so I can talk about them with her–clearly what she desires–but I can hardly bear the thought of saying anything to her about them.

I may be (am) a book snob, but I surely do not want to be discovered as such, and I sure don’t want to rain on her new reading hobby. What shall I do? What would YOU do??

Our listener also posted this question on Goodreads and had a number of good suggestions, including helping the new reader to find a book club with similar tastes, and telling the friend that you’ve been reading so long that you like more “experimental” fiction. Michael and I firmly believe that the main thing is to not make the new reader feel judged, but we’re not exactly sure how best to do that. I’m in favor of asking the new reader what she liked about the book series, and then finding similar books to recommend. Michael worries that the new reader will infer that you want to read them together. It’s a tricky spot, but we love that our listener wants to encourage her friend to keep reading.


Two books we can’t wait for you to read (20:30)


Caped Crusade   Lab Girl

Michael recommends The Caped Crusade: Batman and the Rise of Nerd Culture by Glen Weldon. It’s a cultural and sociological history of Batman, organized by “eras” of Batman.

I can’t wait for you read Lab Girl by Hope Jahren, a book that is part memoir, part love letter to science and plants. You’ll never look at a tree the same way again.

  • Michelle

    I love what you said about unsolicited recommendations. While I love when friends recommend books to me (some even lend me their copy), I get somewhat frustrated when they come back a couple of weeks later assuming I read it right away and then continue to berate me about it after. I have my own way of reading and getting recommendations and some of my “non-reader” friends don’t really understand when I can’t get to a book right away. I guess I never found a good response to this, and this podcast has helped with some of my “blanket responses” in the future.

  • Michelle

    A suggestion about the awkward reading situation: Be honest and tell your friend that these books are not your cup of tea. But, you are so excited that she is reading now and wants to share books with you. Suggest that the two of you find a book that you are both interested in to read together and then discuss. Or play her game and send her an unsolicited book 🙂

    Ann — your description of Lab Girl was perfection and made me want to go out right now and buy it!!

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