Nov 10, 2015
Amazon's new brick and mortar bookstore; our reading plans for 2016; an illustrated book about weather and a new book by Cheryl Strayed.
We got a lot of email requests to discuss Amazon's new brick and mortar bookstore in Seattle, Amazon Books. Neither Michael nor I has been there, and we don't really know very much. Several reporters have visited and reported back, and there have been other articles speculating about Amazon's motivation for opening a brick and mortar bookstore. If any of you have visited, let us know what you think.
There's a thread in our Goodreads group called 2016 Reading Plans, where listeners are discussing personal reading challenges and strategies for 2016. The idea arose to read one book a month from a list of BOTNS's listener favorites. We'd love for you to include your favorites on the list: your favorite book of all time, and your favorite book published in 2015. You can enter your choices in this form, which we will post in the near future.
My plan is to spend some of 2016 focused on the personal essay. A few weeks back I talked about Sarah Bakewell's How To Live and how much it made me interested in Montaigne, who is considered to be the first personal essayist. So now I want to read Montaigne, and I also want to explore other personal essays to discover for myself what I like and what I don't about reading essays.
Michael started out by saying that he was going to just read whatever he wants whenever he wants, but stick to reading one book at a time. But then as our conversation continues, it turns out that he also wants to read from a list of short stories. Of course I couldn't let that pass, so I recommended 100 Years of the Best American Short Stories, edited by Lorrie Moore with coeditor Heidi Pitlor.
Michael recommends Thunder and Lightning: Weather Past, Present, and Future by Lauren Redniss, a graphic nonfiction book of science that it illustrated with incredible images that tell the story of weather in a very unique way. Redniss looks at weather throughout history, from the scientific aspects to the human interest stories behind weather events. It's gorgeous and informative, and very visual, so please do go take a look at the finished book in your local bookstore. Redniss is the author of Radioactive, a book about Marie Curie that was the first illustrated nonfiction to be nominated for a National Book Award.
My pick for this week is Brave Enough by Cheryl Strayed. This is a book of quotes from Cheryl Strayed's work: Wild and Tiny, Beautiful Things are represented here, but there are also quotes from her interviews and other writings. Strayed's words have inspired many, and people have enjoyed sharing quotes from her work via social media. This collection takes the words out of the context in which they originally appeared, which gives them a weight and power of their own. It's a great gift, which Strayed describes as a "mini instruction manual for the soul."