Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

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. 

Mar 22, 2016

A new podcast; an audiobook narrated by the creator of Hamilton, and questions from the mailbag.


This week Michael tells us about a new podcast, This is the Author, published by the audiobooks division of Penguin Random House. It features short conversations with authors who are in the studio narrating their audiobooks. During the course of that discussion, we also talk about In Other Words, the new book by Jhumpa Lahiri which she narrates in both English and Italian.


More from the virtual mailbag (11:14)

This week we answer (or try to answer) several listener questions:

Jen from Boston asks:

"My kids and I often listen to the barefoot books podcasts which are essentially folk and fairy tales. Are there any "adult" version of this? Like a podcast that is a short stories being read out loud? I am looking for like 10-15 minute story rather than an entire audiobook. Thanks so much!"

Some ideas for Jen:

Mary from Byfield writes:

I am a retired librarian from a private school in MA. One of my former students contacted me recently and asked for book recommendation for her advanced 9 yr old reader(female).This child wants to read adult books. I listen to your Podcasts and wonder if you have ever considered doing a show on adult books for young readers. Or if you and Michael have any personal recommendations for this query. Thanks for any help...a loyal listener and a die hard reader. Ann...thought you'd like to know the next book to be read on my nightstand is A Little Life...

We were a little stumped on this one, so we're looking to our listeners for ideas. A few thoughts we had:

  • Michael immediately thought of Uprooted by Namoi Novik
  • I think this is a great time to introduce classics, because kids of this age aren't yet intimidated by classics. In our house, we started with reading aloud Oliver Twist and Great Expectations, and then my daughter moved on to books that interested her, like Les Miserables, after she had seen the movie.
  • Have your friend take her daughter into a library or bookstore and let the experts work with the child to figure out what she might like.


spancho asks:

Is there a single resource for keeping abreast of author lectures and signings? I'd like to hear Hanya Yanagihara but she doesn't seem to have a website... I'm so pleased with the 2016 TOB authors and I'd like to hear from as many of them as possible!

We don't know of one, though that's a great idea! We recommend that you go to Library Thing and click the "Local" tag (free membership required). That should give you a list of author events near you. Other options are to subscribe to newsletters from bookstores and libraries near you, and to check out author festivals. You may have luck with a particular author by looking at the publisher's website to see if a tour is listed.

Pat8 inquires:

I'm trying to remember where I heard recommendations for novels that revolve around book sellers/bookstores. Len at The Kindle Chronicles thought he'd heard something like this several years ago as well. I've asked over on the Goodreads group as well. Do you remember a list of recommendations like this from a podcast of yours?

In BOTNS #138, we talked about Books About Books, including The Borrower by Rebecca Makkai, which is about a children's librarian, and 84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff.

Goodreads has a list of Books about Bookstores, including Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour BookstoreThe Storied Life of AJ Fikry.

Other titles discussed:


Two books we can't for you to read (31:06)



Michael recommends The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories by Ken Liu, which is a wonderful collection of short stories. The title story is about a young man and his mother who makes origami animals. Please do check out this collection; Ken Liu is a brilliant writer who transcends genre.

I fell in love with The Year of the Runaways by Sunjeev Sahota, which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize this past year but will be published in the US on March 29th. It's the story of 3 young men who immigrate illegally from India to England, and what they go through in order to make a better life for themselves and their families.