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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. 

Jun 14, 2010

In this episode, we read some listener email, talk about the 50th anniversary of To Kill A Mockingbird, and recommend two great new books that are just out: The Nobodies Album by Carolyn Parkhurst, and Blind Descent by James Tabor.

We love email!

We start this episode with two listener emails. Richard thanks us for recommending Stoner, and responds to our inquiry about novels with nontraditional reading structures. Richard suggests that we take a look at the novels of David Markson, who recently passed away. Richard suggests that we start with The Last NovelReader's BlockVanishing Point, or This Is Not a Novel.

Katherine wrote in to correct Michael's pronunciation of a name in his recent recommendation of Operation Mincemeat. "Cholmondeley", it turns out, is actually pronounced "Chumley." Katherine goes on to say:

"As I was writing the above, I remembered a limerick Willard Espy included in one of his wonderful compilations on language, probably Words at Play. He noted several English names that were not pronounced as written, one of which was Cholmondeley and another Beauchamp, or "Beechum." Then he wrote:

A naughty young fellow named Beauchamp
Said: "These jelly tarts--how can I reauchamp?
To my parents I'd go
But they always say no,
No matter how much I beseauchamp."

The English language can be endless fun, especially in rhyme."

Thanks to Richard and Katherine for taking the time to write in. We encourage all of our listeners to contact us at any time, using any of the methods in our About/Contact Us page.

Happy 50th to an American classic! (4:45)


July 11th, 2010 is the 50th Anniversary of To Kill A Mockingbird.

Both Michael and I are hoping to listen to the audiobook, which is read by Sissy Spacek. Harper Collins has a website set up for all information regarding the 50th anniversary. They also just released Scout, Atticus and Boo by Mary McDonagh Murphy, which is a compliation of essays from well-known writers and celebrities about the effect that To Kill A Mockingbird had on their lives.

There are many events around the US to celebrate the anniversary. A full schedule is at

Two books we can't wait for you to read (11:20)

I love, but cannot coherently explain, The Nobodies Album by Carolyn Parkhurst. In this novel, main character Octavia Frost attempts to reconcile with her estranged son Milo, a rock star who has been arrested for the murder of his girlfriend. Much of the story is told through summaries of Octavia's successful novels, with newly-rewritten endings that make up her next novel. It sounds confusing, but the reading experience is not. And to add an additional layer of interest, author Carolyn Parkhurst has also created an author website for her novelist-character Octavia, where you can see book jackets, read a Q&A, and experience Octavia in a new way.

Michael talks about Blind Descent by James Tabor about two men who each believe that he has discovered the deepest cave in the world.  It's not a book for the claustrophobic, but if you're a fan of Shadow Divers, you'll love the adventure elements of this book. If you've ever wondered about the various ways you could die in a super-cave, this book is for you -- turn immediately to chapter 4!

The Nobodies Album Blind Descent