Aug 5, 2009
We start this week's podcast with a new segment we're calling
Nightstand Newsbites. Occasionally we'll tell you about interesting
book related stories we've heard about, and link to the full
stories online. Here are the four we talked about this time:
*Britain's most avid reader, 91, has borrowed 25,000 library books - Telegraph
*Students offered scholarships from fictional crimefighter, Jack Reacher | Books | guardian.co.uk
*Reading cuts stress levels by 68% | Health news | Marie Claire
*Roald Dahl proves a man of a great many letters for his biographer - Telegraph
Ann pays tribute to Frank McCourt, who recently passed away, by remembering his wonderful memoir Angela's Ashes. I admit to never having read the book, but will track down the unabridged audio book read by Mr. McCourt.
I continue the memoir theme by discussing two of the most powerful and moving memoirs I've ever read. Love in the Driest Season is the story of journalist Neely Tucker and his wife Vita. While in Africa they cared for, and came to love, an orphaned girl named Chipo. This book is the story of their struggle against societal taboos that believe foreigners should not be allowed to adopt Zimbabwean children.
The Bear's Embrace, by Patricia Van Tighem, is the story of the author and her husband, who are attacked by a bear while hiking in the Canadian Rockies in 1983. They both survive, but Patricia's road to recovery was particularly difficult. Sadly, while researching the show notes (and after recording this episode), I discovered that Patricia committed suicide in 2005.
Segment three is a little different this week, as Ann and I each tell you about a book we can't wait to read. The weekly schedule means we'd need to have a new book that we've read and loved, every week. Neither Ann nor I read that quickly! So, we'll occasionally tell you about a book we're hearing a lot about; a book we want to read, but haven't gotten to yet. This time around I discuss Big Machine by Victor LaValle, an author the Wall Street Journal says is being compared to Ralph Ellison and Thomas Pynchon. Ann tells us about a book called Heroic Measures by Jill Ciment, a book Ann found interesting long before Oprah discovered it. Jill Ciment is a favorite author of many of the Random House reps, including me!
Finally, thanks to Chris, Nora and Karen for calling in and singing our Voice Mail number. We hope you enjoy their renditions as much as we did!
Full details of the books discussed are at our blog: www.booksonthenightstand.com
Please visit us there.