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Books on the Nightstand published our final episode in July 2016. This is a place for listeners to find old episodes. 

I'm sorry that we don't have show notes for all of the episodes, and that the episodes do not have consistent filenames. Still, we hope you find that the content is valuable enough to overlook those annoyances.

Thank you to all who have listened to BOTNS over the years and for those who are just discovering the podcast. 

Nov 21, 2011

We tell you about a new UK-based book podcast, look at the category of narrative nonfiction, and talk about The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson and Death in the City of Light by David King.

Meet The Readers:


We open the episode with a call from Simon and Gavin of The Readers, our new favorite books podcast. We love their take on the UK book scene, and we strongly recommend that you download a few episodes and check them out (Michael and I have a cameo in episode 8). Simon and Gavin share their literary Mount Rushmores with us, and I think the call will give you a great sense of what their podcast has to offer.

What is Narrative Nonfiction?


The Unconquered by Scott WallaceDestiny of the Republic

Next, we talk about the category of "Narrative Nonfiction," which some also call "Creative Nonfiction." This is nonfiction that reads like fiction, following a story and incorporating the elements of fiction such as plot, character, pacing, etc. Some examples: John Krakauer's Into Thin Air and Into the Wild, Erik Larsson (Isaac's StormDevil in the White City).

We each have a book of narrative nonfiction on our reading lists: Michael wants to read The Unconquered by Scott Wallace, which will appeal to readers of River of Doubt by Candace Millard or Lost City of Z by David Grann.

On my nightstand is Destiny of the Republic, the new book by Candace Millard. this book looks at the assassination attempt of President James A. Garfield and what happened after Garfield was shot in the back.


Two books we can't wait for you to read:


I love The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson, which won the National Book Critics Circle 2010 award for nonfiction. Wilkerson writes about "The Great Migration," the large-scale movement of southern African-Americans to points north, east and west. Wilkerson follows three people on their journey, telling their stories and what compelled them to leave, the challenges they found, and also the opportunities.

Michael talks about Death in the City of Light by David King, about a serial killer who terrorized Paris during the Nazi occupation. Michael compares this book to Devil in the White City by Erik Larson.

The Warmth of Other Suns   Death in the City of Light

On Thanksgiving morning (that's November 24 for those of you non-US-based listeners), we'll have our annual Holiday Gift Guide ready for download. Look for it here before you dive into your mashed potatoes.