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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. 

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

May 19, 2010

In this episode, we answer listener emails about how to get a job in publishing; we tell you about some books that have nontraditional reading structures. In segment 3, Ann talks about Woodsburner by John Pipkin, and Michael tells us about Operation Mincemeat by Ben MacIntyre.

How do you get a job in publishing?

We start off with two listener emails asking about careers in publishing. Carrie wants to know how one becomes a buyer at a large bookstore chain like Barnes & Noble. And Weatherly asks how one becomes an editor.  Michael and I attempt to provide some information, mostly through sharing our own career paths. There really is no single "right" way, but the most common ways to get into publishing seem to be working in a bookstore, or starting out in an entry level position in a publishing company.  There are also some degree and certificate programs that can give job seekers a leg up, including:

Don't go page by page (6:33)

Joanne in Canada suggested that we talk about books with unusual structures. Michael and I both immediately thought of books that would fit.

Michael tells you about 253 by Geoff Ryman, which was originally published online in 1998.  Set on a London subway train, the novel give you a peek into the thoughts of every passenger on that particular train. Described as a hypertext novel, it is one of those books where you can jump in anywhere and read the pages in any order. Sadly, it appears that 253 may be out of print in the United States, but you should be able to find it online or at your favorite used bookstore. We found a few copies at and a few copies at (Buying through either link will give Books on the Nightstand a small affiliate fee).

Ann talks about A Field Guide to the North American Family by Garth Risk Hallberg. This non-linear illustrated novella is structured like a field guide, with entries arranged alphabetically. By following the cross-references at the bottom of each entry, you begin to understand that this is the story of two families and the emotional pain that comes with being part of a family.

Two books we can't wait for you to read (15:20)

Woodsburner Operation Mincemeat

In Segment 3, Ann talks about Woodsburner by John Pipkin, a novel that starts with Henry David Thoreau setting a fire that consumes 300 acres in Concord, Massachusetts. Michael tells us about the nonfiction book Operation Mincemeat by Ben MacIntyre, about a little-known part of World War II where two British intelligence officers came up with a plan to subvert the Nazis.

Don't forget to vote in the poll that will determine which books Michael and I will read this summer! Voting closes May 31st, 2010.