Jun 14

We recommend tons of podcasts, then rave about Anatomy of a Solder by Harry Parker, and The Girls by Emma Cline.


The Summer reading packet came home from Ann’s daughters’ school. In addition to reading David Copperfield, the students must choose one of the following contemporary books: The Handmaid’s Tale, The Interestings, or The Poisonwood Bible. They also must read selected chapters from How to Read Literature Like a Professor, and also must keep a reading journal using the prompts included in the handout

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

If you’d like to join the mailing list for possible future BOTNS news (no promises!), but can’t enter the sweepstakes because you live outside the US, you can sign up here.


audiobooksAudiobook of the week (10:30) 

Man Called Ove, Fredrik BackmanA Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman, narrated by George Newbern, is Ann’s 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


Podcasts to Keep Your Nightstand Full (14:07)

When we announced the end of BOTNS, a common cry from listeners was, “What will I listen to now?” This podcast is your resource. Here are many bookish podcasts for you to check out! (Keep in mind, what’s included here is just the list. For descriptions of the podcasts, be sure to listen to this episode.)

Lastly, we recommend several non-bookish podcasts:


Two Books We Can’t Wait For You to Read (39:55)

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Ann recommends Anatomy of a Soldier by Harry Parker. The novel follows British soldier Captain Tom Barnes, but, in a unique twist, the story is told from the points of view of objects that interact with Barnes: dog tags, boots, medical instruments used to keep him alive after an explosion powered in part by another “narrator” – a bag of fertilizer.

I wholeheartedly recommend The Girls by Emma Cline. This debut novel follows a young teen in Northern California of the late 1960s, who gets pulled into a Charles Manson-like cult. The writing is astonishingly good and it will surely be one of my favorite books of 2016.
Ann also loved The Girls, and mentions listening to You Must Remember This, a podcast about old Hollywood, that did several episodes about the Manson murders.

  • Carol Kubala

    It’s episodes like this that confirm how sad I will be when the sound goes off on BOTNS.
    Thank you both for taking the time to give us some additional suggestions for podcasts that we might listen to. There are new ones listed for me and I look forward to checking them out.
    Also, thank you for your kind comments.

  • Lisa W

    All The Books (a Book Riot podcast) is my personal favorite for weekly book recommendations. I’ve discovered so many good books there, which is why I listen to book podcasts. I also second the recommendation for the Readers UK (love listening to Simon and Thomas). I will miss you, Ann and Michael!

  • Guilty Feat

    I’m a relative latecomer to podcasts about books and I’m ashamed to say I only discovered you guys in the past year. I haven’t always seen eye to eye with the way you do things, but this episode was absolutely essential, so thank you!

    There are only two other podcasts that I would mention that you didn’t.

    So Many Damn Books (http://www.somanydamnbooks.com/) is brimming with enthusiasm and a genuine love of reading. Christopher and Drew share a similar dynamic to Simon and Thomas at The Readers but they are less self-conscious and sound less likely to punch each other off air.

    Bookshambles (http://cosmicgenome.com/shambles/) is hosted by two British comedians, Josie Long and Robin Ince, who clearly love books and love reading. They have a guest each week and they quiz them about the books they read growing up and make them bring in books to talk about. It’s brilliant.

  • Shianne Nocerini

    I both love and hate this episode. I love it for all of the great recommendations. But I hate it because it just means that we are one more episode closer to the end of this podcast. Also my husband and I listen to Good Job Brain in the car with our son because it is good for little ears.

  • Bookworm9798

    I’m halfway through this episode and can’t wait to check out all the suggestions!

    I’m curious whether those not lucky enough to win the sweepstakes (I squeed like a fangirl while listening to the episode where you first described it and that is not my usual persona — ha, ha) will know what books were chosen each month? Obviously it would be great if one of the winners was in the Goodreads group and could share there, but if not, I was curious whether Penguin Random House would be sharing that information.

  • Jenn

    This episode made me really start to grieve the ending of y’all’s podcast; I will miss it so! Thanks for all the great suggestions!

  • Katrina

    This episode made my day (so many new podcasts to listen to!) but also broke my heart. Books on the Nightstand was one of the podcasts that I listened to immediately every week. I will miss it dearly.
    A non-book podcast that listeners may enjoy is Lore, a delightfully creepy podcast that explores the truth behind urban legends and myths. It’s like sitting around the campfire listening to a friend (host Aaron Mahnke, who writes and produces each episode) tell spooky stories. Nothing is too graphic; it is strictly PG-13. Great production, too. So, not book related but still about storytelling. http://www.lorepodcast.com/

  • Grace

    BOTNS was my first book podcast, and I will miss you. Thanks for all you’ve brought us.
    I wanted to get in a plug for another favorite of mine, Book Fight (https://bookfightpod.com/), in which two Philly guys, teachers of creative writing at Temple University, pick a book every other week to discuss, typically working out their thoughts on it as they talk. Sometimes they have guests, and they frequently don’t love the book they’ve just read (in fact, their early disdain for The Art of Fielding, which echoed my own, is part of what cemented this podcast on my weekly list).
    On alternate weeks, when they’re not covering a book, they read and discuss a short story or essay, and the topic or theme of that piece depends, literally, on the season. They’re just finishing up the Spring of Success, in which they read breakthrough pieces by contemporary authors (Elizabeth Gilbert, Jonathan Franzen, Wells Tower, and some others) and then talked about how that piece got published or what then happened. They’ve also twice done the Winter of Wayback in which they randomly select a bygone year, read something from then, and then delve into what was happening in the world at the time, with special focus on tugboats and the Beatles (listen to understand). In thanks for donations or promotion on social media, they write over-the-top blurbs for supporters based on nothing at all except their desire to write creatively and their disdain for how over the top book blurbs can be.
    It’s not for everyone — if you want your book podcast to be succinct, always on topic, or reverent about books (there’s plenty of swearing), look elsewhere — but it might be my favorite and I recommend you give it a try.

    • gapman

      thanks for the new podcast suggestion, it looks quite interesting. 🙂

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