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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. 

Mar 19, 2011

In this episode, I interview my favorite author of all time, Ian McEwan. As you can imagine, I'm just a little bit excited...

If you could interview your favorite author and ask them just one question, who would it be and what would you ask? Please call our voicemail line at 209/867-7323 and let us know.

The reason I'm asking is that this week I had the honor and privilege of interviewing my favorite author, Ian McEwan.  McEwan's novel Solar is just out in paperback, and he found some time during his busy promotional schedule to talk to all of us at Books on the Nightstand. I hope you enjoy listening as much as I enjoyed talking with him. I do wonder, though, where do people go to learn how to interview their literary idols?

If you are attending the BOTNS Weekend Retreat in April, please know that we sent out the official schedule of events via email on March 17th. Registration for individual author sessions opens on March 24th at 12 noon EST. If you did not receive the email, please let us know.

Also, if you've left us a voicemail and we haven't yet played it, please accept our apologies. Google Voice, our voicemail provider, has stopped sending us email notifications of new messages. We thought that you had all abandoned us! Instead, we found a backlog of messages that we will put together in an upcoming show. Thank you for your patience.

Solar by Ian McEwan

The interview: (4:45)

So what did Ian and I talk about? Well, you'll have to listen. It was a fascinating conversation about becoming a reader, about ebooks and bookstores (and possibly a little bit of controversy about bookstores), how he approached the writing of Solar, and how he came up with his character Michael Beard.

I also asked him what to read after you've spent some time with Solar. The topic of climate change and global warming is a serious one, and I know that many people who come to the topic through fiction may want to read nonfiction to further understand it. McEwan recommends Heat: How to Stop the Planet From Burning by George Monbiot  and Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet by Mark Lynas. But McEwan also reminds us that instead of reading books that make us feel helpless,  it might be better to read instead books that celebrate our planet to encourage change: in this vein he recommends Edward O. Wilson's Biophilia.

And of course, I couldn't let the occasion pass without asking my favorite author to give us 2 Books He Can't Wait for Us to Read:  Hans Fallada's Every Man Dies Alone (published in the UK as Alone in Berlin), and The Radetzky March by Joseph Roth. You know they are both going on my nightstand...