Jun 07

We answer your burning questions, and then recommend The Happiness Equation by Neil Pasricha, and Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi.


Thank you to everyone who sent us messages, tweets, comments, etc. about the ending of Books on the Nightstand. Though you all shared your disapointment, nearly all of you said you understood why were bowing out now, and thanked us for the nearly 400 episodes. 

Information on our special Two Dozen Books We Can’t Wait For You to Read Sweepstakes is available here. Be sure to enter now!


audiobooksAudiobook of the week (14:38) 

Imagine Me Gone, Adam HaslettImagine Me Gone by Adam Haslett, narrated by Ellen Archer and Robert Fass, 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 100,000 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


The Final Interrogation (18:35)

When we announced the end of BOTNS, we encouraged you all to write in with final Q&A questions. I won’t recount every question and answer in these show notes (you can listen to the podcast for that!), but here are a few questions for which the answers have links:

  • Jessie from Maine asked if we’ll continue to recommend books via social media (yes – twitter: @AnnKingman and @mkindness, and Michael is using Litsy more).
  • Yes, Heidi, the Books on the Nightstand Goodreads group will continue to exist!
  • Joanne asked about becoming a more focused reader. Ann recommends taking a creative writing class (like the one she took at Grub Street in Boston), and also reading Francine Prose’s Reading Like a Writer.
  • Anne asked about how we create the podcast. Awhile back we wrote up our workflow for a presentation we did at BEA. You can find that info at the very end of these show notes.


Two Books We Can’t Wait For You to Read (51:44)

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I recommend The Happiness Equation by Neil Pasricha. It is one book in a sea of books about happiness, but it is speaking to me in a way that other books haven’t. Filled with 9 secrets informed by insights gleaned by the author as well as wisdom from past great thinkers, The Happiness Equation is showing me simple things I can do (and am doing) to be happier every day.

Ann recommends Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. It’s the story of two half-sisters (each unaware of the other) in 18th-century Ghana. One is married off to an Englishman who is a slave trader, and the other is slave, sold by this man. The book then moves forward, tracing the descendants of these two women. Ann knows that this will end up being one of her favorite books of 2016.



Books on the Nightstand Podcast Workflow

  1. Michael and Ann each record on Zoom H2 microphones in their own home offices, while talking on the phone with headsets. Each uses a pop filter while recording to cut down on hard p and s sounds.
  2. We alternate editing duties on a weekly basis. The person who is not editing sends their .wav file to the one who is editing.
  3. Editor uses Audacity to combine the two files. Editor tightens the file by removing mistakes, coughs, etc. Intro music and intermission tracks are added.
  4. File is exported into MP3 format and uploaded to Libsyn (podcast host).
  5. Show notes are written in WordPress, hosted at HostGator. URL of Libsyn file is plugged into WordPress post, and post is published. Post is automatically distributed to iTunes, Instacast, Stitcher, etc.
  6. Show is linked and promoted through Twitter, and other social media networks.

Approximate time – Recording: 1 hour  – Editing: 1 hour. – Show notes – 30 minutes.

  • Geniebean

    SUPER sad face today upon discovering that you are ending the podcast. I just discovered you about a year ago on the recommendation of a friend who attended a couple Booktopias, so at least I have more back issues with which to console myself. I’ll be checking your Twitter feeds for sure! Understandable though, it’s been a great run and a lot of good, including our Goodreads group, has come out of this work, but all good things must come to an end. Wishing you both the best and very happy we will still be able to “visit” with you on social media!

  • Nadine Nys

    I just listened to the episode where you announced the end of the podcast. I was so sad to hear this, but I want to thank you both for all those years of lovely book news and conversations. Yours was the first bookpodcast I discovered, and you will always be remembered fondly. But I will miss you both immensely.
    Ann, if you should visit Leuven (Louvain), Belgium on your European tour, I would be glad to show you around.
    Fond regards,

    • Thank you, Nadine. Sadly, Belgium isn’t on the itinerary this year, but I hope to visit someday.
      Ann Kingman
      Books on the Nightstand: illuminating conversation about books and reading Hosts of Booktopia: connecting authors and readers through in-person weekends of bookish conversation.

  • Britany Arnold

    Super excited about the sweepstakes! Wish this was something we could all subscribe to- maybe someday in the future? I hope the winners share your selections with the rest of us via GoodReads. 🙂 With every episode remaining, my sadness increases.

  • Kirsty

    Hi Ann and Michael, I’m not in the US so unfortunately I can’t enter the sweepstake 🙁 , however I definitely want to be kept updated with anything you do in the future – how do I make sure you have my email address so that this can happen? Thank you for many years of amazing book recommendations – you’ve brought so many great books on to my radar and I’m really going to miss the podcast!

    • mkindness

      Listen to this week’s episode for the link to a separate mailing list

      • Kirsty

        Ah great thanks, haven’t gotten around to this week’s yet

  • Alex MacD

    I’m trying to track down when Michael was talking about creating a ten book “one-in, one-out” system for the immediate TBR shelf. Help!

    • mkindness

      It’s based on something Rob from the Adventures With Words podcast is doing. He talks it about in this episode: http://www.adventureswithwords.com/2016/01/podcast-reading-resolutions/

      Basically, you pick 10 books to be your TBR pile. You only read books from that pile. When you’ve read one, you can add a new book to the pile.

      I’m not sure how successful I’m going to be since I’m having trouble narrowing the pile down to only ten!!

      • Alex MacD

        Luckily, you are allowed to bend your own reading rules 🙂
        My own stack will fluctuate a lot based solely on my library return dates. Silly libraries have no respect for reading lists and timelines!

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