Alternative book clubs, an “elevator pitch” to describe books we like, and new books about knights and gut microbes.
I was intrigued by this story, “The Rise of the Alternative Book Club,” including a “walking book club,” so I thought I’d share it with you. In the past we’ve talked about knitting book clubs and other interesting iterations of book discussion groups. Are you part of a reading group with a unique twist? Let us know in the comments.
Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl, narrated by Simon Vance, 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.
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Why we like the books we do (09:50)
We received an email from Elaine in Maine, which reads in part: “What I rely on to pick books I might read are the short reviews, interviews and podcasts. I try to pick fascinating characters likable or not, intriguing story plots. In non-fiction prefer biographies over memoirs, exploration of places and events.” This got us thinking: can we sum up our reading preferences as succinctly and directly as Elaine has? Please join us as Michael and I explore and try to express why we like the books we do. We don’t talk a lot about specific titles, but we do mention a few:
Stitches by David Small
Asterios Polyp by David Mazzucchelli
Judge This by Chip Kidd
Books by Wally Lamb. I don’t know Wally Lamb was the example that jumped into my mind when we were discussing blurbs, but I do enjoy his books.
We completely failed to come up with a two-sentence “elevator pitch” about what we like to read, and we admire Elaine greatly for being able to pinpoint her preferences so well. What about you? Can you boil down your reading preferences into two sentences that will help others recommend books to you? Share them here, if you like. I’d love to read them.
Two books we can’t wait for you to read (31:13)
My recommendation this week is Rules for a Knight by Ethan Hawke (yes, that one). Written in the form of a letter to his children by a Medieval knight who is going off to war, it’s a wonderful book of parables and life lessons. This is perfect for ages 10 through adult, or you can have fun reading it to a younger child. I really love the design of the book and the way that it feels in the hand.
Michael recommends Follow Your Gut: The Enormous Impact of Tiny Microbes by Rob Knight with Brendan Buhler, which is an accessible look at the importance of the microbes in our system, and how they impact things like antibiotics, probiotics, and antibacterial soap. It’s entertaining and informative that makes a very complicated topic very easy to understand.