Jun 5, 2012
It's a crazy, busy month for Books on the Nightstand, as we head off first to Book Expo America, then Booktopia:Oxford, and finally our Random House sales conference. However, we will still have content for you every week--it may just be a little bit different than our "normal" 3-segment episodes. Next week and possibly the week after, we'll have the final 4 authors from Booktopia:Manchester.
Our friends at Algonquin Books let us know about a cool event. On June 19th, the legendary Judy Blume will be interviewing Booktopia:Santa Cruz author Tayari Jones. I loved Tayari's novel Silver Sparrow, and evidently Judy Blume does, too! The interview will happen live at a New York City Barnes & Noble bookstore, but it will be webcast live on Algonquinbooksblog.com. You can find more information at the website. I'm going to try my best not to miss this!
Nichole Bernier's The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D. is a book that I've been calling "the book club book of the year." When Kate is left a trunkful of journals by her deceased friend Elizabeth, nobody is quite sure why. As Kate begins to read these journals, she quickly becomes obsessed, and so do we. What secrets do these journals hold? Where was Elizabeth really going when she died in a freak plane crash? It's a book that will primarily appeal to women, because at its heart the book is about choices that women often must make when it comes to family and career. But this novel is also so much more than that -- there are elements of secrecy and suspense, and a driving narrative that kept me eading far too late into the night.
Michael talks about Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, author of Sharp Objects and Dark Places. Michael calls Gone Girl "astonishing." It's one of those books that you'll need to discuss with someone when you finish. The book opens on the 5th anniversary of Nick and Amy Dunne, when Nick finds that his wife has gone missing. The narrative alternates between Nick's story and Amy's journals from early on in their courtship. Beyond that, it's difficult to say too much without giving away crucial plot twists. You'll need to discover the rest yourself.
The third book we talk about is a young adult novel that I absolutely loved. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo is the first in a fantasy trilogy set in a world that is built on Imperial Russia, which is what initially drew me in. The book is set in a war-torn nation called Ravka. Near the edge of Ravka is The Shadow Fold, a large region of darkness that is filled with monsters, and it separates Ravka from the sea, causing economic turmoil. Alina, our main character, is a Grisha -- one who is gifted with magical powers. Alina may have the power to save Ravka, but she must first deal with The Darkling, a man who may or may not be evil. As I say in the podcast, I haven't read a lot of young adult fantasy, but this book completely captivated me and I cannot wait for the next book in the series.