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.

 

Jun 09

Books are the big winners at the Tony Awards; titles by or about members of the LGBTQ community; Judge This by Chip Kidd and Dietland by Sarai Walker.

 

Publishing goes to the Tonys:

The 2015 Tony Awards took place this past Sunday, and the big winners were both based on books:

Fun Home won for Best Musical, and is based on the graphic memoir by Alison Bechdel

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime won Best New Play, and is based on the novel by Mark Haddon

 

audiobooksAudiobook of the week (04:12)


Our Souls at NightOur Souls at Night by Kent Haruf, narrated by Mark Bramhall, is Michael’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

 

LGBTQ Lit (08:40)

In this episode, we look at books in the category of “LGBTQ Lit,” which also happens to be one of the squares that Michael and I both have on our BOTNS Summer Reading Bingo cards. June is also Gay Pride Month, so we thought it was fitting. Titles we discuss:

Fun Home by Alison Bechdel

More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson

Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown

The Lost Language of Cranes by David Leavitt

The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth

Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan

The New York Times article on transgender lit for kids mentions many titles, including George by Alex Gino (on sale in August) and Gracefully Grayson by Ami Polonsky

She’s Not There by Jennifer Finney Boylan

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jaqueline Woodson

books by David Sedaris

Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

Annabel by Kathleen Winter

The Danish Girl by David Ebershoff

More recommendations at this great list of the 2015 Lambda Literary Award Winners

 

Two books we can’t wait for you to read (24:40):

 

Judge This       Dietland

Michael chose Judge This by Chip Kidd to recommend this week. It’s a book published in the Ted Books series, and it’s about first impressions, and a guide to critiquing things visually.

My book this week is Dietland by Sarai Walker, a satirical novel featuring a main character who puts her life on hold because she weighs 300 lbs., and a group of women who are not content to let their lives be ruled by society’s ideas of how women should be.

Jun 02

Ann recounts her weekend at BookCon, and we recommend The League of Regrettable Superheroes by Jon Morris, and In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume.

 

BOTNS Summer Bingo is underway, don’t forget to download your card here! A listener asked about reading graphic novels, since that is a square on her Bingo card, and I recommend two great online guides to reading comics and graphic novels. Sarah wrote from England to let us know that she and her friend Shona never stopped playing Book Bingo after last Summer. Using the same website we use, they added some categories to our list and have continued to choose their next books based on a Bingo row or column they are trying to fill. They may even keep choosing their books that way forever!

Dan Bloom, who coined the literary term “cli-fi,” sent us a quick note to let us know about his website The Cli-Fi Report, a site I used to prepare for our recent episode, but forgot to mention on the show. Thanks Dan!

 

audiobooksAudiobook of the week (06:21)



Luckiest Girl Alive: A Novel, Jessica KnollLuckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll, narrated by Madeleine Maby, 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

 

BookCon, Year Two (12:25)

Ann has just returned from BookCon, the book convention for readers that took place this past weekend in New York. Only in it’s second year, BookCon was filled with author celebrities like Judy Blume and John Green, celebrity authors like Mindy Kaling and Nick Offerman, and a panel with four superstar vloggers.18692431

Other authors/books mentioned:

Next year, BookCon will be May 14 in Chicago. This fall however, authors will converge on NYC again, as Book Riot hosts its first Book Riot Live event, November 7-8, 2015. And Books on the Nightstand listeners can get $20 of their registration by entering the coupon code NIGHTSTAND during checkout.

 

Two Books We Can’t Wait For You to Read (29:21)

 

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The League of Regrettable Superheroes by Jon Morris is a collection of always odd, often hilariously misguided superheroes whose escapades actually saw the light of day in printed comic books. Filled with original art, this full-color hardcover is a gem for comic book fans.

In the Unlikely Event, is a brand new adult novel by Judy Blume. The story is based the real-life trio of plane crashes that occurred in her hometown of Elizabeth, NJ in the span of two-and-a-half months in the early 1950s. Like most Judy Blume books, this one perfectly captures the life of a teenaged girl,  but with the added dimension of the character’s life as an adult looking back on the tragedies that defined a time in her childhood.

 

May 26

In this episode, we look at a new-ish book genre called cli-fi, and revisit two of our favorite backlist titles, A Stranger in the Kingdom and A Handmaid’s Tale

 

BOTNS Summer Reading Bingo cards are live, and since Memorial Day has passed in the US, it is officially Bingo time! Michael is waiting to start a new book from William Boyd that he just received.

I briefly talk about a newish sitcom that is set in the world of publishing, Younger. I have some mixed feelings about it, but it’s kind of fun in a non-realistic, mindless-tv kind of way.

 

audiobooksAudiobook of the week (08:12)


Boys in the BoatThe Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown, narrated by Edward Hermann, 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

 

 

What the heck is cli-fi? (13:35):

 

Michael ran across the term “cli-fi” not too long ago, and a quick web search showed that it’s shorthand for “climate fiction”: fiction set in a world affected by climate change, or where climate takes center stage. We thought we’d talk about it and take a look at some titles that might be considered to be cli-fi.

The Water Knife

Titles we talk about:

The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi, who is known for The Wind-Up Girl and Shipbreaker, is set in a world where water is the resource that is valued above all else.

The Massive, a series of graphic novels by Brian Wood, Kristian Donaldson, and Garry Brown.

The Gracekeepers by Kirsty Logan.

Margaret Atwood’s MaddAddam series, starting with Oryx and Crake

On Such a Full Sea Change-Rae Lee

Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver

Odds Against Tomorrow by Nathaniel Rich

Make Room! Make Room! by Harry Harrison

and one nonfiction book that could be a great companion read: Elizabeth Kolbert’s The Sixth Extinction

 

Don’t you forget about me (25:45):

 

A STranger in the Kingdom   The Handmaid's Tale

 

Michael’s backlist recommendation for this month is A Stranger in the Kingdom by Howard Frank Mosher, which will see a sequel published this fall. It’s set in Northern Vermont in 1952, where a young girl has been murdered and the town comes to suspect the newcomer to the town, a black man who is the new town minister.

My recommendation is The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, one of my top five books of all time. It’s considered speculative fiction, set in the Republic of Gilead (current day Massachusetts) in the future, which is a community where women are forced into specific roles that are deemed to be for the good of society.

 

May 19

Download your BOTNS Summer Bingo card. Michael commits to reading 13 short stories this summer. And we recommend The Knockoff by Lucy Sykes & Jo Piazza, and Girl at War by Sara Novic.

Memorial Day is this weekend, so it’s time to get your BOTNS Summer Bingo card, which can be downloaded here. The Bingo game will run Memorial Day (May 25) – Labor Day (September 7), and, as in the past, the rules are pretty much up to you (five-in-a-row, four corners, how to use the Free Space, etc.). We’ve set up a folder on our Goodreads group where you can share ideas and ask for book suggestions for specific squares. We’ve gotten some discussion threads started, but if you don’t see the square you need help with, start a new discussion thread in that folder, with the square topic as the title.

Happy summer reading, and have fun!

audiobooksAudiobook of the week (11:42)


Mapmaker's Children: A Novel, Sarah McCoyThe Mapmaker’s Children
by Sarah McCoy, told by multiple narrators, 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

 

Michael Actually Commits to a Reading Challenge (16:47)

Despite loving my recent freedom from reading challenges, I have found a list of 13 short stories that I plan to read this summer. They are billed as stories with shocking twists, but I’m primarily drawn to the list because it will fill in some embarrassing gaps in my short story reading: I’ve never read “A Good Man is Hard to Find” by Flannery O’Connor, or anything by James Thurber or Alice Munro, or any of J.D. Salinger’s short stories. Clearly, I’ve got some catching up to do, and I intend to do it this summer. Check the list out and see if there are any (or all?) on here that you’d like to read as well!

Two Books We Can’t Wait For You to Read (22:44)

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Ann recommends something that is not dark and depressing! The Knockoff by Lucy Sykes & Jo Piazza is a smart, snarky, and funny novel about the editor-in-chief of a fashion magazine who returns from six months of medical leave to find that her former assistant, a digital and social media-savvy twenty-something, is now in charge.

Girl at War by Sara Nović is the beautiful and heartbreaking tale of a 10-year-old girl witnessing the start of the Croatian War of Independence, as well as the story of her life as an adult in America, still haunted by what she saw and did, and who she lost.

 

May 12

When TV shows diverge from books; new novels from Mary Doria Russell and Jim Shepard.

 

We’ve closed out our survey for Summer Book Bingo square ideas, and we’ll be announcing the new link for your 2015 BOTNS Summer Book Bingo card. That should give you a chance to plan your reading in time for our official start, May 25th. Be sure to tune in next week to hear more!

audiobooksAudiobook of the week (02:30)

SpinsterSpinster, by Kate Bolick is my pick for this week’s Audiobooks.com Audiobook of the Week, and it’s read by the author.

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

 

It Doesn’t Say That in My TV Guide (08:16)

This week we discuss books that have become movies or TV shows, and where the story arcs in the media diverge significantly from the books. The topic was inspired by an article that Michael read about Game of Thrones season 5, which speculates that characters from the book may be killed off in the television series.

Other articles, books and shows discussed:

“Game of Thrones actor explains his surprisingly early exit” by James Hibberd in Entertainment Weekly (warning, spoilers for TV show)

Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay

“The Book Was Better”: Why Readers of TV Adaptations Need to Let Go by James Poniewozik in Time

The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman

“Book Series vs. TV Series: Rizzoli and Isles”

The Surgeon by Tess Gerritsen (Rizzoli and Isles #1)

 

Two Books We Can’t Wait for You to Read (19:38)

 

epitaph   The Book of Aron

 

Michael talks about Epitaph, the new novel by Mary Doria Russell that takes a fresh look at Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, and the shootout at the O.K. Corral. You don’t have to have read Mary’s earlier book, Doc, to enjoy Epitaph, but they go together wonderfully.

The Book of Aron by Jim Shepard was called “A Masterpiece” by Washington Post Book Reviewer Ron Charles. It’s a story set in the Warsaw Ghetto during the Nazi Occupation, told through the eyes of Aron, a young boy who wants only to protect his family. This is as much a coming of age story as it is a Holocaust story, though of course we know what’s coming.

 

May 05

This week we bring you the first three author talks from Booktopia Asheville, recorded at Malaprop’s Bookstore:

 

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Apr 28

Celebrate Independent Bookstore Day! And, don’t forget about Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton, and The Rope Walk by Carrie Brown.

 

Summer is just around the corner, and that means the return of BOTNS Beach Blanket Book Bingo. Full deatils will be announced before Memorial Day, but in the meantime, we’d love your ideas for categories for the Bingo squares. We’ve set up a survey where you can suggest topics for squares, so let us know your ideas.

 

audiobooksAudiobook of the week (04:15)

Book of Unknown Americans: A novel, Cristina HenriquezThe Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez, told by multiple narrators, 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

 

Independent Bookstore Day (07:42)

 

This Saturday, May 2, is Independent Bookstore Day. Four hundred bookstores across the country are planning special events, and many will be selling special items only available on May 2 (not all items available at all stores).

May 2 is also Free Comic Book Day, so head out to your local book stores and comic book stores to celebrate the written word, and the folks in your community that bring it to you!

 

Don’t You Forget About Me (12:40)

 

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Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton is a 25-year-old thriller that is still scary and fun today. If you haven’t read it yet, this should be one of your Summer vacation reads!

Ann recommends The Rope Walk by Carrie Brown, a book she nearly forgot about until a colleague mentioned it the morning we recorded. It tells the story of Alice, and a summer she spent exploring the woods of Vermont with two friends who are newcomers to her small town.

Apr 21

Earlier this week, I was honored to be a guest on the Covered podcast, hosted by Harry Marks. Harry and I talked about The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. I had a great time, and I hope you give it a listen … and check out the other episodes of Covered, too!

audiobooksAudiobook of the week (02:49):

SweetlandSweetland by Michael Crummey, narrated by John Lee, 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 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 Writer on the Page (07:58):

Michael and I were recently interviewed by Julia Pistell (of the great Literary Disco podcast), for the opening event of the 4th Annual Writers Weekend at the Mark Twain House and Museum. One of the questions that Julia asked us inspired this episode. Julia asked if, as readers, we think about the author as we read.

Michael loves to notice beautiful sentences, while I prefer to get lost in a story and sometimes feel pulled out of a book if the author’s hand is too visible. But in the end, I feel that Michael and I are probably more similar in the way we read than we we are different. Writers and readers, we’d love to hear your thoughts. Please leave a comment hear, or call our voicemail line (209/867-7323) and leave us a (short) message.

Books mentioned in our discussion:

Girlchild by Tupelo Hassman

Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offil

The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes

The Painter by Peter Heller

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

God Help the Child by Toni Morrison

Atonement by Ian McEwan

On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Defending Jacob by William Landay

 

Two books we can’t wait for you to read (29:05):

 

El Deafo   The Folded Clock

 

In this episode, Michael recommends El Deafo, a graphic memoir by Cece Bell. The author, who lost hear hearing at the age of four, tells about growing up deaf in a hearing world, and being helped by a Phonic Ear that allows her to hear. It’s smart and funny, and deserving of its status as a Newbery Honor Book.

My pick this week is The Folded Clock by Heidi Julavits, which is a diary of sorts — it’s a series of entries that the author put together from a few years of her own diary entries, combined in a non-chronological way to tell the story of Heidi Julavits, wife, mother, writer, traveler. I really loved this book, which read to me like a very cohesive collection of essays. Each entry starts with “Today I…” and it made me want to start a diary of my own. Check out Heidi’s tumblr for the book, too — it’s really wonderful.

 

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