Aug 25

Coloring books for adults, a bookselling vacation, and two backlist books that we can’t wait for you to read.

 

Have you heard about the new craze rocking the book world? Coloring books for grownups are selling like crazy, and in this episode we talk about what might be driving this craze, and if we are going to try it out. The trend started with books illustrated by Johanna Basford, and now it seems that almost every publisher has some in its lineup. Coming in October: The Official A Game of Thrones Coloring Book and Diana Gabaldon’s Official Outlander Coloring Book.  Michael is intrigued by Highlights Hidden Pictures and Fantastic Cities, which he posted about on the new Books on the Nightstand Instagram page (please follow us if you are on Instagram).  What about you? Have you tried grownup coloring books?

 

 

audiobooksAudiobook of the week (06:37)

 

Woman with a Secret

Woman with a Secret by Sophie Hannah (published in the UK as The Telling Error), narrated by David Thorpe and Julia Barrie, 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

AirB and Bookstore (11:54):

Wigtown AirBnB

Photo thanks to our friends at Shelf-Awareness.com

This week the book world was all excited about a listing on AirBnB, where for £150 per week you can run a bookshop in Wigtown, Scotland and live in the apartment over the shop. This sounds like a dream vacation to us (even though it’s work). Wigtown itself sounds like an amazing book community. There are 10 bookstores in town, with a population of 1000.

Wigtown Airbnb listing

If you’re one of our listeners and decide to go on this bookstore AirBnB adventure, let us know — we’ll make you our roving reporter!

 

Don’t you forget about me (22:32):

 

Into the Wilderness   Z for Zachariah

I was thinking about what books I would recommend to people who love Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, and one of the books I thought about was Into the Wilderness by Sara Donati. It’s not really like Outlander, but it’s historical fiction with a strong romance element. And it’s the beginning of a series, so there’s a lot more reading ahead if you love Into the Wilderness.

Michael recommends Z for Zachariah by Robert C. O’Brien, and the film of the novel is out today as we record. The movie differs a lot from the book, so Michael wanted us to know about it now. It’s the story of a young woman who believes she’s the last person alive after a nuclear war … until she sees a strange man in the valley.

 

Aug 18

 

Bring Your Own Book

Bring Your Own Book

Michael and I are both Kickstarter backers of a game called Bring Your Own Book. We played the game at Booktopia Vermont, and I’ve played the game with my family. Well, now they are fully funded and are taking preorders from the public to ship in October. We’re not affiliated with the company at all, but we do think that book lovers will enjoy this and wanted to share it with you.

 

audiobooksAudiobook of the week (03:52)

 

Any Human Heart

Any Human Heart by William Boyd, narrated by Simon Vance, is Michael’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 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

 

Illustrated Books for Grown-Ups (06:30):

 

This week we look at another BOTNS Bingo square that gives us the opportunity to highlight some cool books: “Written for an adult, but with illustrations.”

S. by JJ Abrams and Doug Dorst, an incredible book that is really an art object, featuring bits of paper and ephemera inside, along with margin notes and other really cool things that as a whole tell the story.

Griffin and Sabine by Nick Bantock, which is notes and postcards between two characters, handwritten and illustrated.

Lots of annotated classics would qualify.

Stephen King’s Joyland will be out in an illustrated edition on September 8th.

The Selected Works of TS Spivet by Reif Larsen

Night Film by Marisha Pessl

An upcoming novel that fits this category is Bats of the Republic: An Illuminated Novel by Zachary Thomas Dodson that will be published in the US on October 6th.

Many more suggestions on our Goodreads thread, including nonfiction (The Art of Raising a Puppy, for instance).

 

Two books we can’t wait for you to read (17:19):

 

The Admissions   Fortune Smiles

 

The Admissions by Meg Mitchell Moore is a novel of a seemingly perfect family, with an older daughter who wants nothing more than to get into Harvard. Meanwhile, secrets run throughout the family, with each member of the family afraid that they will be found out. This is a very entertaining that does an excellent job of portraying the challenges that exist in many “normal” families.

Fortune Smiles by Adam Johnson, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Orphan Master’s Son, is a collection of 6 stories that Michael describes as “punch-you-in-your gut powerful.” The story “George Orwell Was A Friend of Mine” might be Michael’s favorite in this collection, but they are all very strong.

 

 

 

Aug 11

An iphone app to find books by or about people of color; a listener asks, “is it stealing?” and new books by Alex Kershaw and Jennifer McMahon.

 

We were thrilled to learn about We Read Too, an iphone app that was developed by Kaya Thomas,  a young woman who couldn’t find books with characters that reminded her of herself. The app is a great resource for booksellers, librarians, teachers and readers who want to discover literary works written by authors of colors with characters of colors that don’t fall into stereotypes.

Find We Read Too in the iOS app store.

We Read Too on Facebook

 

 audiobooksAudiobook of the week (05:13)

 

SerenaSerena by Ron Rash, narrated by Phil Gigante, 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

 

A listener writes in with an ethical dilemma (10:22)

We received an email from Becky:

I have been a longtime fan and listener of your podcast and I recently took a book and I’m wondering if you would consider this stealing or not. . . 
I’m a hospice physician and do home visits to see patients. I visited a patient who lived in an apt building where you had to be buzzed in. I went up to the 2nd floor where my patient lived and in an open alcove next to the elevator was a library of perhaps 100 – 200 books. . . 
After the visit I perused the shelves and there was a lot of mass market stuff plus classics plus everything in between. I ended up taking an Everyman’s library edition of “The Tin Drum” by Gunter Grass. I took it b/c it was a classic that I thought I should read, and also I felt it was probably sthg that was not in high demand so I felt less guilty about taking it, vs. some current best seller. . . I will say that I was slightly influenced to take the book  b/c of all of your talk on the podcast about how many books are pulped, etc. . . so if I did wrong then it’s all your fault! Ha! just kidding. . . 
The other doctor that I work with was appalled at my action and considered that it was definitely stealing. . . maybe she is right?! What do you think?? 
Thanks for all your great work on the podcast!
Michael and I discuss this dilemma, and though we both agree it’s not black and white, we do fall on somewhat different sides of the gray area. Please let us know your thoughts. Was it stealing? Does it matter that it was a classic and not a more popular title? What would you have done?
More information on Little Free Libraries here. Please consider putting one up in your community.

Two books we can’t wait for you to read (21:38):

 

Avenue of Spies   The Night Sister

 

Michael talks about Avenue of Spies by Alex Kershaw, about an American doctor’s experience in Nazi-occupied Paris. He and his family supported the Resistance, all the while being surrounded by in his neighborhood by some of the most well-known Nazis. It’s a propulsive read, for those who love narrative nonfiction.
I highly recommend The Night Sister by Jennifer McMahon, which is compelling and so creepy. I flew through it in two days. We travel back and forth in time, all the while learning about events that happen at a roadside motel in rural Vermont. There’s a murder, two sets of sisters, things that go bump in the night, and a young girl who is obsessed with director Alfred Hitchcock and dreams of going to Hollywood to become a star.

 

Jul 28

What Penguin Random House’s sales conference and warehouse are like. Plus, don’t forget about The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell, or Any Human Heart by William Boyd.

 

Thank you to the Twitter user who confessed her initial disappointment with Booktopia talk episodes, but quickly said that she always ends up loving them! We understand!

audiobooksAudiobook of the week (02:13)

Good Girl, Mary KubicaThe Good Girl by Mary Kubica, told by multiple narrators, 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 40,000 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

What We Did On Our Podcast Vacation (06:08)

In this episode we share with you an inside peek at what a publishing sales conference is like (or what ours is like at least!). What do we discuss in the meetings? Who do we trust for recommendations?

Penguin Random House Westminster MD

A very special feature of this sales conference was the tour of our warehouse located in Westminster, MD. It’s an amazing place filled with dedicated and hard-working people. Here are a few statistics:

  • 1.25 million square feet (1.5 million counting mezzanine areas)
  • 14 miles of conveyor belts
  • 110 million units in inventory, on average
  • 1 million books shipped per day, on average

Wow! It’s a magical book land!

Don’t You Forget About Me (21:59)

 

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Because of the upcoming book group discussions with Simon and Thomas of The Readers, at Booktopia Petoskey, and because we’re encouraging online discussions, this month’s Don’t You Forget About Me features our favorite books of all time. They’re books that have stayed with us over many years.

Ann’s is The Sparrow, by Mary Doria Russell. Described by the author as the story of “Jesuits in space,” it’s a science fiction book that has been read and loved by so many people who later said they don’t read science fiction. At its heart, it is the story of a man of faith whose faith is tested. He just happens to be on a mission to make first contact with beings on another planet.

My selection is Any Human Heart by William Boyd. Told via the journals of Logan Mountstuart, this novel gives a tremendous look at a life that spans most of the twentieth century. It’s also constructed as if Mountstuart were a real person, and includes footnotes, an index, and notes from an unnamed editor.

Jul 21

This week we bring you two more author talks from Booktopia Asheville, recorded at Malaprop’s Bookstore:

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Jul 13

An out-of-order episode this week, so sorry if we confuse you! Don Winslow’s timely The Cartel, Ta-Nehisi Coates’ very important Between The World And Me, and we talk at length about Harper Lee’s Go Set A Watchman.

Two books we can’t wait for you to read (05:32):

 

The Cartel   Between the World and Me

 

I haven’t had a chance to read the book yet, but since it relates to a topic in the news, I couldn’t wait to tell you about The Cartel by Don Winslow. This is a crime thriller set in the high-stakes, violent world of the Mexican drug cartels. Interestingly, just yesterday, the media reported on the prison escape of El Chapo, the man who has been called Mexico’s most important and high-ranking drug lord.  Winslow’s novel, while fiction, delves deep into this world, and is based on real, solid research.

Michael recommends the very important Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Written as a letter to his adolescent son, Coates examines the idea of race in society and in an individual’s very personal experiences. This is an incredibly powerful book that should be read and discussed on a grand scale.

 

audiobooksAudiobook of the week (18:27)


Go Set a WatchmanGo Set A Watchman by Harper Lee
, narrated by Reese Witherspoon, 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

 

Much ado about Watchman (22:54):

On the eve of the release of Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman, the media and social media are abuzz with talk about the book. Can it compare to To Kill A Mockingbird? Should it have been published at all? And how should the reader approach it? Jean Louise is 26 in Go Set A Watchman, and Atticus is, well, different from the man we all know and love. Though neither Michael nor I has read the book, we still have opinions–and we’d love to hear yours as well.

Read or listen to the first chapter of Go Set A Watchman

New York Times Book Review by Michiko Kakutani

Washington Post review

From the New Republic, “The Suspicious Story Behind Harper Lee’s Go Set A Watchman

How I Found the Harper Lee Manuscript” by Tonja B. Carter

 

 

 

Jul 07

Ann plays book roulette, and we recommend Among the Ten Thousand Things by Julia Pierpont, and Blackout by Sarah Hepola.

 

audiobooksAudiobook of the week (02:30)



Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America, Jill LeovyGhettoside by Jill Leovy, narrated by Rebecca Lowman, 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

 

Pick a Book, Any Book (07:41)6280345

Ann is feeling very frustrated because none of her work reading is fitting in with any of her Bingo squares. So, she’s diving in headfirst, and committing to the square “A Random Book from a Shelf. Close Your Eyes.” While we were recording this episode, Ann actually walked over to her bookshelves, closed her eyes, and let me pick the shelf # and a general location. The book she chose was Five Finger Fiction by Veronica Brooks (pen name Brooks Sigler), a friend of Ann’s. It’s the story of Lila, a girl who gets a bit lost in her large Irish Catholic family and turns to kleptomania for comfort.

 

Two Books We Can’t Wait For You to Read (20:12)

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Among the Ten Thousand Things by Julia Pierpont takes the traditional story of a family torn apart by infidelity, and tweaks it by having the children be the first to know and be the ones to tell their mother. It also tells the story a bit out of order, which I loved. The writing is wonderful and I couldn’t believe it was the author’s first book.

Ann recommends Blackout by Sarah Hepola. Subtitled “Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget,” this memoir is an honest look at the author’s struggle with alcoholism, as well as an insightful look at the way alcohol affects the brain.

 

Jun 30

Simon and Thomas are coming to Booktopia! Books with animals as key characters. And don’t you forget about: Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life, and Revolutionary Road.

The Readers crash Booktopia

We were thrilled to learn that Simon Savidge and Thomas Otto, co-hosts of The Readers Podcast, will be joining us at Booktopia Petoskey this September (sadly sold out). If you haven’t listened to The Readers, you should definitely check them out, maybe starting with this episode. We’ve each chosen a favorite novel, and during their visit to Booktopia, the four of us will record two live podcasts to talk about those books. Those episodes will likely be more “book-club” style, so if you want to read the books in advance, please do.

 

audiobooksAudiobook of the week (04:48)



The Husband's SecretThe Husband’s Secret
by Liane Moriarty narrated by Caroline Lee, 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

 

The dog ate my Bingo! card (10:35)

This week we’re taking a look at options to fill in the BOTNS Book Bingo square “with an animal as a key character.” Again, if you’re not playing Bingo, that’s OK — just consider these book recommendations around a single theme.

Still need more suggestions? Check out our Goodreads discussion thread for even more recommendations.

 

Don’t You Forget About Me (20:49):

 

encyclopedia of an ordinary life   revolutionary road

 

It’s time for our monthly focus on a backlist title that we love! This month, Michael recommends Encylopedia of an Ordinary Life by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. It’s a memoir (in encyclopedia form) of a woman that, like the title says, has lived a very ordinary life — and yet, it’s incredibly entertaining and relevant to so many.

A book that I recommend often in real life but haven’t discussed on the podcast is Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates. It’s a bleak and depressing look at one couple, Frank and April Wheeler, who despair of their situation in 1950s suburban America, and it’s an incredible piece of literature. Yates has influenced so many writers and he deserves to be more widely read.

Jun 23

We delve into pop psychology books, and also recommend Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healy, and In the Country by Mia Alvar.

booktopia 2015 logo

We’re thrilled to announce that the following authors will be attending Booktopia Petoskey. Each author’s name links to their page on Goodreads, which lists all of their books.

Even if you’re not attending, you can still get books signed, by order them through McLean & Eakin’s special Booktopia page. Just indicate in the notes for the order that you’d like the books signed during Booktopia, then shipped to you!

 

audiobooksAudiobook of the week (02:00)


Uprooted, Naomi NovikUprooted
by Naomi Novik, narrated by Julia Emelin, is my pick for this week’s Audiobooks.com Audiobook of the Week.

During the month of June, which is Audiobook Month, Audiobooks.com is giving away a different free audio every day!

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

 

What is Popular Psychology? (07:53)

Thomas and Simon from The Readers podcast are playing along with BOTNS Bingo, but Simon tweeted, wondering what “popular psychology” is. We’re here to help! Many of today’s self-help books use psychology to help readers understand why we do what we do and how to make changes. And some pop psychology books have a business-oriented focus. Here are the titles we discuss in this episode:

While researching titles for this episode, I came upon a great blog post entitled “50 Must-Read Psychology Books,” that mentions some of the books we discussed along with many others.

 

Two Books We Can’t Wait For You to Read (19:37)

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I loved Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healy, when I read it back in January, but somehow never talked about it here on the podcast. Maud, the main character, is losing her memory due to dementia. But she does remember her friend Elizabeth, and the fact that Elizabeth hasn’t been seen in some while. That, and the disappearance of Maud’s sister during WWII, are the core mysteries at the heart of this twisty novel.

Ann recommends In the Country by Mia Alvar, a collection of beautiful stories that range across many different types of people and experiences, but all of which share a connection with the Philippines. Ann is parceling out these stories, reading them slowly, and savoring them.

 

Jun 16

Big books to read this summer. Plus, we (with a little help) recommend I Saw a Man by Owen Sheers, and The Fold by Peter Clines. 

audiobooksAudiobook of the week (03:33)

Delicious Foods: A Novel, James HannahamDelicious Foods by James Hannaham, narrated by the author, is Ann’s pick for this week’s Audiobooks.com Audiobook of the Week.

During the month of June, which is Audiobook Month, Audiobooks.com is giving away a different free audio every day!

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

 

500 Pages Plus (10:16)

Looking for a big book to read this Summer? If you’re playing BOTNS Book Bingo, and one of your squares is “Longer than 500 pages,” then this podcast is for you! If you use Goodreads, and would like to sort books on your shelves by page number, you can add the “Num Pages” column by clicking on settings above your book list, then click the column to sort by it. Here are the titles we discussed in this episode:

There are several “big books” lists on Goodreads, but be careful, as some of these lists have books that are not over 500 pages!

 

Two Books We Can’t Wait For You to Read (23:33)

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If you’re a fan of Ian McEwan, Ann recommends I Saw a Man by Owen Sheers, a book with an opening so compelling that the UK edition of the book has the first sentence printed on the front cover: “The event that changed all of their lives happened on a Saturday afternoon in June, just minutes after Michael Turner – thinking the Nelsons’ house was empty – stepped through their back door.”

This week, I call on my colleague Eric Buscher to tell us about The Fold by Peter Clines, a fun read that tells the story of schoolteacher from Maine who, because of his unique and infallible memory, is called in to investigate possible problems with a science experiment that may have resulted in teleportation.

 

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