Aug 26

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This week we bring you the first two author talks from Booktopia Boulder, recorded at Boulder Book Store. Please enjoy these talks from Jonathan Miles, author of Want Not, and Kristi Helvig, author of Burn Out.

 

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Aug 12

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It’s here! The new novel from Haruki Murakami, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage, is officially on sale. We can’t attend one of the many midnight parties, so we’re having our own, with this “early release” episode of BOTNS!

 

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki

 

We’re honored to host two special guests on this week’s “Murakami Madness” episode of Books on the Nightstand. Tonight at midnight, independent bookstores across the US will be hosting Murakami parties where fans can be among the first to purchase Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage. This novel sold more than one million copies in the first week in Japan! In an effort to find out what all the madness is about, we talk to bookseller Jeremy Ellis, and super-fan Christian Paula. Listen in for some great conversation (and some less-than-stellar sound quality — as always, we apologize and hope that you’ll find the content worth the audio issues with remote and telephone recording).

audiobooksAudiobook of the week (05:50)

south of the border, west of the sun   South of the Border, West of the Sun by Haruki Murakami, read by Eric Loren, is my pick for this week’s Audiobooks.com Audiobook of the Week. And as always, 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

 

#Murakamania (09:10)

 

Norwegian Wood

 

A great coversation with Jeremy Ellis, General Manager of Brazos Bookstore in Houston, TX. Brazos is hosting one of the many midnight Murakami parties tonight, and we talk to Jeremy to find out more. They’ll be having activities like “Pin the Kafka on the Shore,” and each person who purchases a copy of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage will receive a free Murakami coloring book. But don’t despair: you can order your own copy of What We Talk About When We Talk About Coloring from Brazos Bookstore online.

 

Murakami SuperFan! (18:58)

 

Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman

 

Next we talk with Murakami fan Christian Paula to find out his thoughts about Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage. Did it live up to his expectations?

Christian suggests that the reader new to Murakami start with his stories, such as the collection Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman. To begin with a novel, Christian recommends Norwegian Wood.

Christian can be found on twitter at @drowningn00b, and he writes about Korean indie music at koreanindie.com

Aug 05

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First, a note about author P.S. Duffy’s response to our “Read Whatever You Want” episode, and a tease about next week’s podcast. Then, authors P.S. Duffy and Kelly Corrigan, live from Booktopia, VT.

 

A last, and special, “Read Whatever You Want” follow-up

 

We were honored to host author P.S. Duffy (The Cartographer of No Man’s Land) at Booktopia Vermont this past April, and it was truly wonderful to have the opportunity to spend time with such a warm and fiercely intelligent person. So we were delighted when Penny sent us a letter in response to our “Read Whatever You Want” episode. We tried to read parts of it on our call-in show, but there just was no way to do justice to Penny’s very eloquent and thoughtful letter. It needed to be read in its entirety. You can read it here, and we’d love to know your thoughts.

Also, we’ll have a special episode next week we’re calling “Midnight Murakami,” in honor of the release of Haruki Murakami’s new novel, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage. We can’t attend one of the many midnight bookstore parties in celebration of the novel, so we’re going to release the episode at 12:01 am on Tuesday, August 12th.

 

audiobooksAudiobook of the week (04:37)

The True Meaning of Smekday   The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex, read by Bahni Turpin, is my pick for this week’s Audiobooks.com Audiobook of the Week. Special thanks to Stanley Hadsell of Market Block Books in Troy, NY for the recommendation!

And as always, 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

 

P.S. Duffy and Kelly Corrigan, live from Booktopia Vermont (08:02)

 

The Cartographer of No Man's Land   Glitter and Glue

 

We’re pleased to present the final two author talks from Booktopia Vermont:  P.S. Duffy, author of The Cartographer of No Man’s Land, and Kelly Corrigan, author of Glitter and Glue.

Jul 29

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Authors writing under other names. We look at the 2014 Man Booker Prize Longlist. We recommend The Other Language by Francesca Marciano and The Magician’s Land by Lev Grossman. 

Authors Hiding in Plain Sight

Brian from Redondo Beach, CA asked why The Silkworm was published under the name Robert Galbraith, when nearly everyone knows that’s a pseudonym for JK Rowling. Authors choose pseudonyms for many reasons, two of the most popular being wanting to write in a genre different from the one in which they are already known, and wanting to have the books written pseudonymously judged on their own merits, and not compared to the author’s other work. Some authors who have written under other names include:

audiobooksAudiobook of the week (09:49)

Guests on Earth, Lee SmithGuests on Earth by Lee Smith, narrated by Emily Woo Zeller, 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 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

 

The 2014 Man Booker Prize Longlist (12:42)

This year’s Booker Prize Longlist was announced last week, and it’s the first since the rules were updated to put into contention any book written in English, not just books written by a citizen of the UK commonwealth. Many (Americans included) feared that this new rule would lead to glut of US contenders, but, of the 13 titles on the longlist, only four were written by Americans. The shortlist of 6 finalists will be announced on September 9, and the winner will be unveiled on October 14. You can see the full list here.

 

Two Books We Can’t Wait For You to Read (24:12)

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Ann recommends The Other Language by Francesca Marciano, a book she calls a “literary vacation.” It’s a collection of short stories that should appeal to people who don’t like short stories. The title story is one Ann’s favorites in this collection.

I was thrilled to read The Magician’s Land, the final book in Lev Grossman’s Magicians trilogy. It’s a wonderful conclusion to the story and does a great job wrapping up story lines and character arcs. This series has been bought for television, so don’t wait too long to read it!

Jul 22

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A race for the Bingo!, Listeners call in about episode #286, Amy Bloom’s new novel, and a book on helping your kids stay organized.


Michael and I appear to be in a race to the BINGO! though neither of us will achieve it any time soon. We’ve loved seeing your BINGO reports on our Goodreads group, and I’ve added a bunch of books to my to read list from that thread.

There’s still time to participate in our Summer Reading Bingo! Click here to get your personalized BOTNS Bingo card – just be sure to hit refresh once or twice after you click the link.

audiobooksAudiobook of the week (05:53)


This is the story of a happy marriageThis is the Story of a Happy Marriage , 
written and performed by Ann Patchett, 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 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

Listeners Weigh In (09:23):

We asked for your thoughts on BOTNS #286: Read Whatever You Want, and six of you called in with your thoughts. Unfortunately, Elaine’s comment had some technical issues so that we couldn’t use it on the podcast. We present the remaining five calls without comment, but they all have something great to say. I really loved hearing your thoughts — thanks to all who called in.

Please do feel free to call our BOTNS Voicemail line at any time to let us know your thoughts. Just dial (209) 867-7323.

Thanks to Ashley, Bill, Carol K., Anonymous, and Michelle in Colorado!

Two books we can’t wait for you to read (21:01):

Lucky Us   That Crumpled Paper Was Due Last Week

Michael talks about Amy Bloom’s Lucky Us, which goes on sale next week (July 29).  Lucky Us starts in 1939 small town Ohio, where main character Eva discovers that her father has a second family and that she has a half-sister. Much of the story is told through letters between the two sisters.

I talk about That Crumpled Paper Was Due Last Week by Ana Homayoun. The subtitle of the book–Helping Disorganized and Distracted Boys Succeed in School and Life–is somewhat misleading, as I found this to be very helpful in dealing with my daughter’s chronic disorganization. I think that this would be a good book for parents of pre-teens and teens to read before school starts, and I’m going to re-read it to get a refresher on the tips and techniques.

Jul 08

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We follow up some sad literary news with some great book news; we recommend My Accidental Jihad and Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands

 

First, the bad news

 

We are saddened by the report that author Colum McCann was assaulted while trying to help someone during a domestic situation in New Haven, CT. Our best wishes for a speedy recovery.

We also mourn two amazing people who passed away last week: author and ambassador for Young People’s literature Walter Dean Myers and Louis Zamperini, subject of Laura Hillenbrand’s Unbroken.

Lastly, we mourn the end of World Book Night in the United States.

 

audiobooksAudiobook of the week (13:18)

The Farm The Farm by Tom Rob Smith, narrated by James Langton and Suzanne Toren is my pick for this week’s Audiobooks.com Audiobook of the Week. This is a compulsive listen!

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

Now, the good news: (17:05)


http://www.booksabouttown.org.uk/ - London Book Benches as part of Books About Town

Two books we can’t wait for you to read: (24:29)

My Accidental Jihad   Close Your Eyes HOld Hands
Michael’s pick this week is My Accidental Jihad by Krista Bremer, who will be joining us in August at Booktopia Asheville. This memoir, which tells the story of an American woman who marries a Libyan man of a different faith, is engrossing and very honest.
Ann recommends Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands by Chris Bohjalian. It’s the story of a homeless teen struggling to survive in the wake of a nuclear meltdown, and will appeal not only to existing fans of Chris Bohjalian, but will also appeal to older teens and fans of young adult fiction.
Jul 01

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New literary holidays. Separating the author from their work. And we recommend Byrd by Kim Church and The Fever by Megan Abbott. 

Happy Tom Sawyer Days!

Ann and I are making progress on our BOTNS Bingo cards. I’m reading books then seeing if they can count for any squares. Ann is letting the Bingo card guide her reading. If you haven’t printed your card out yet, check out our original post for instructions, and the link to get your own card.

Don’t forget to call our voicemail line (209.867.7323) and share your views about the discussion we had in episode 286 about the recent trend of critics and other writers decreeing what people should and shouldn’t be reading.

A recent article on Bookish.com featured some new literary holidays to celebrate, and further Googling revealed others. Of course, the original bookish holiday is St. George’s Day (April 23, the day of Shakespeare’s death), which is now when World Book Night happens. And, Dr. Seuss’s birthday is now Read Across America Day. What about you? Will you be celebrating Tom Sawyer Days this weekend? Or Hemingway Days later this month?

audiobooksAudiobook of the week (11:55)

Fever: A Novel, Megan Abbott The Fever by Megan Abbott, narrated by Caitlin Davies, Kirby Heyborne, and , is my pick for this week’s Audiobooks.com Audiobook of the Week. It’s also Ann’s “Two Books” pick later in the episode… Sorry, Ann!

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

Separating the Author from their Work (14:49)

It’s another thorny subject this week: Should an author’s personal life affect how and if you read their work? A recent NY Times Bookends article asked the question. That, plus the recent accusations against Marion Zimmer Bradley got us thinking. It’s something we’ve both struggled with: Ann with letting her daughter read The Mists of Avalon, and me with whether or not to read Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card, whose opinions on certain subjects are the polar opposites of mine.

Is your reading or your perception of authors affected by their own history, actions, or beliefs?

Two Books We Can’t Wait For You to Read (27:00)

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I recommend Byrd, by Kim Church, one of our Booktopia Asheville authors. It’s a book Ann read early on and loved, and I also think it’s simply wonderful. It’s the story of Addie Lockwood and unexpected pregnancy that forever alters her life.

Ann recommends The Fever by Megan Abbott, the story of the Nash family: father Tom, son Eli, and daughter Deenie. Deenie’s group of friends are dealing with all of the usual trials of teenagehood when a mysterious illness starts to afflict them.

Jun 24

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A rant on on people who think they know what you should and shouldn’t read; CallMeIshmael; The Quick and The Painter

 

Call Ishmael. Really.

callmeishmael

We just learned about a very cool site, CallMeIshmael, that we love. It’s a site where you can call and leave a short voicemail that tells a story about a book. The site is video, but also works as audio, and we’ve gotten permission to play one of the voicemails on this episode. But if you’re reading the show notes, do check out the site itself to get the full (very cool) experience. The entry we played on the podcast is The Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

 

audiobooksAudiobook of the week (07:49):

 

I know why the caged bird singsI Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, written and read by Maya Angelou, 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 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

 

Read whatever the *%$# you want (14:15):

 

A rant. Between this Slate article on Young Adult novels and the reviews mentioned in this Vanity Fair piece about Donna Tartt, we have had it up to here with people trying to dictate what others should and shouldn’t read. We believe that you should read whatever brings you pleasure. For those of us who are not professional critics, it is more than possible to read a book that is less than perfect yet still enjoy the read.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic, for a special listener voicemail show. Please call our voicemail line: (209) 867-7323, and let us know what you think. We’ll play a selection of responses on an upcoming episode.

Two books we can’t wait for you to read (31:14):

 

The Quick      The Painter

Michael recommends The Quick by Lauren Owen. He absolutely loves it, and absolutely can’t tell you much about it.  A crumbling manor house outside of London in the late 1800s, a disappearance, and a secret society should be enough to whet your appetite for The Quick.

My pick for this week is The Painter by Peter Heller. I love this novel so much, even more than I loved The Dog Stars, which I wouldn’t have thought possible. I think this is a book that will appeal to so many of you: those of you who love beautiful sentences, those that like intriguing characters, those that love great descriptions of the landscape, and all of you that love a fully-realized story. Don’t miss this one.

Jun 17

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John Demos, author of The Heathen School, and Rupert Thomson, author of Secrecy, recorded at Booktopia Vermont.

audiobooksAudiobook of the week

Reality Boy, A. S. KingReality Boy by A. S. King, narrated by Michael Stellman, 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 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

John and Rupert in Booktopia (04:25)

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We’re pleased to present the sencond two author talks from Booktopia Vermont:  John Demos, author of The Heathen School, and Rupert Thomson, author of Secrecy.

Jun 10

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Ann goes to BookCon, Ian McEwan archives in Austin, TX, Emma Straub’s The Vacationers, and Archie meets zombies.

 

Michael bald

 

Michael achieved his goal of $1500 and has now shaved his head to raise money for cancer. Thank you to all Books on the Nightstand listeners who supported him!

 Ann goes to BookCon

 

In other news, I report in this episode on my trip to BookCon, which was held in New York City on Saturday, May 31st. It was a day filled with author panels, autographings, and 10,000 book fans — many, many of whom were teenage girls delighted to see their favorite authors like John Green and Veronica Roth. As I said on the podcast, this was a place where it was cool to be a Book Nerd. And though I limited myself to bringing home only 3 Advanced Reading Copies from BookCon, I was so busy that I ended up with only two: Rainey Royal by Dylan Landis, and Maplecroft by Cherie Priest. That led Michael to recommend The Borden Tragedy, a graphic novel by Rick Geary.

Did you attend BookCon? We’d love it if you would call our voicemail line and share your thoughts about it (209-867-7323).

 

audiobooksAudiobook of the week (15:25)

Eleanor and Park Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell, narrated by Rebecca Lowman and Sunil Malhotra, is my pick for this week’s Audiobooks.com Audiobook of the Week. It’s a Young Adult novel that I really loved.

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

 

Archiving Authors (18:50)

 

Inspired by the story that the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin purchased Ian McEwan’s archives for $2 million, Michael and I discuss the appeal of access to an author’s papers, letters, and early drafts of beloved books. In the course of the conversation, we talk about the  extensive literary archives at the Harry Ransom Center and now I want to take a road trip to Austin.

Other books mentioned in this segment:

Building the Monkey House: At Kurt Vonnegut’s Writing Table by Kurt Vonnegut and Gregory D. Sumner (ed).,

The Original of Laura by Vladimir Nabokov

 

Two books we can’t wait for you to read (27:56)

 

Afterlife with Archie  The Vacationers

 

This week Michael recommends a graphic novel that he believes will have appeal beyond graphic novel fans: Afterlife with Archie by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa with art by Francesco Francavilla. In this book, Archie, Jughead and the rest of the Riverdale crew encounter zombies. Definitely not for children, it’s dark and creepy and a lot of fun.

I had a “literary vaction” with Emma Straub’s The Vacationers, a wonderful novel of a family and assorted others who spend two weeks vacationing together on the Spanish island of Mallorca. Straub’s characters quickly came to feel like my own family and friends, to the point where I missed them when I finished the novel. I can’t recommend this more highly to take with you on your own vacation.

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