Fairy tales, the deaths of Harper Lee and Umberto Eco, and two rediscoveries that we can’t wait for you to read.
We start the episode with a brief discussion of an article on io9.com had an interesting article entitled “10 Books that Will Change How You Think About Fairytales” by Charlie Jane Anders, author of All The Birds in the Sky, which Michael talked about in BOTNS #366.
The Widow by Fiona Barton, narrated by Hannah Curtis, Nicholas Guy Smith, Mandy Williams, Jayne Entwistle, and Steve West, 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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A sad day for readers (07:49)
On Friday, February 19th, 2016, the world lost two literary luminaries, Harper Lee and Umberto Eco. Coverage of these authors’ deaths went beyond the book community into the national news. We were pleased to see the outpouring of stories and postings about how these authors influenced many of today’s readers and writers. Lee, of course, is best known for To Kill a Mockingbird, and Eco was best known for his historical mystery The Name of the Rose.
A few articles about Harper Lee and Umberto Eco:
- “Harper Lee, author of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ dies at 89“
- Umberto Eco, 84, Best-Selling Academic Who Navigated Two Worlds, Dies
- “Translators to be eligible for Man Booker Prize” (Umberto Eco on his translator William Weaver)
- “When Harper Lee, of ‘Mockingbird,’ Corresponded With Opus the Penguin’s Creator“
- “The Dirt-Cheap Apartment Where Harper Lee Would Hide Out“
- Umberto Eco walking through his library (Facebook video)
The authors’ books we mention in this episode:
- To Kill a Mockingbird
- Go Set a Watchman
- The Name of the Rose
- Foucault’s Pendulum
- Numero Zero
- On Ugliness
- History of Beauty
Don’t you forget about me (22:05)
Michael tells us about Jonathan Lethem’s Motherless Brooklyn, a literary take on the noir detective novel, featuring a main character detective with Tourette’s Syndrome.
My “rediscovery” of the month is Kindred by Octavia Butler. Butler is now posthumously becoming very well recognized and respected for her work as a science fiction author. Kindred was written in 1979, and is a novel that features time travel. The main character, Dana, is transported from 1976 California to a slave plantation in 1815 Maryland. This is a novel that is both entertaining and important.