Apr 6, 2011
It's a listener call-in show this week, as we answer many of
the calls that were piling up in our voicemail box.
We have not been getting notifications of voicemail messages, and we are embarrassed by the number of messages that have piled up! So this show is alistener call in show. We are crazy busy getting ready for the retreat, so I hope you'll excuse the very brief show notes. We had a number of callers discuss things that we've talked about in recent episodes, like "snow" books, the Tournament of Books, and the future of publishing.We also have an interesting conversation about spoilers, as it appears that I accidentally ruined Swamplandia for one of our listeners. If that happened to you, please accept my apologies.
Kate from New York called to rave about A Novel Bookstore, which is published by Europa Editions. Michael and I are big fans of everything that Europa does (The Elegance of the Hedgehog is perhaps the most well-known), and a new Europa book, The Hottest Dishes of the Tartar Cusine by Alina Bronsky is on my nightstand.
One of our favorite regular callers, Kristen, tries to stump us with 2 questions -- I think we successfully answered one, but we'll need your help on her second question. For her first question, Kristen wanted to know how to find historical novels that aren't romances. Michael thought about Bernard Cornwell (Stonehenge, and many series) and James Michener. I am a big fan of Edward Rutherfurd (Sarum, London, New York) and Alison Weir, but want to remind readers not to discount Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series, which walks the line between historical fiction and romance, but has a ton of well-researched history.
Kristen's second question stumped us. She's looking for recommendations for children's books that teach children about history by featuring an animal as a main character. Kristen's question was inspired by two books: The Cats in Krasinski Square by Karen Hesse, and Benno and the Night of Broken Glass by Meg Wiviott, which features a cat witnessing the Nazis coming to Berlin. I found Ben and Me by Robert Lawson, about a mouse named Amos who helped Ben Franklin. But other than that, we came up blank. Can you help?
A note about next week's show: we are going to try to record the Celebration of Authors at the Books on the Nightstand weekend retreat. If all goes without a hitch, it will be a super-special double-episode. If technology fails us, we are going to take the week off to recover from the Retreat revelries. Either way, we'll be back with a regular episode in two weeks.