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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. 

Dec 12, 2012

We explore the new category of New Adult, and give you 12 ways to break out of your reading slump. Plus, we recommend The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis, and Sailor Twain by Mark Siegel.

Congratulations to Melissa R. who won our giveaway of Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm by Philip Pullman!

What the Heck is New Adult?

A recent writing contest by St. Martins gave the name "New Adult" to a genre of stories featuring protagonists in their late teens and early twenties. Here are our questions: do we need a new category for this type of story? should these books have their own section in a bookstore? A few books that might fall into this category are Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld, Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close and Commencement by J. Courtney Sullivan. The blog NA Alley has a list of recommended New Adult books. We'd love to hear what all of you think about this categorization of books and what titles you think might fit.

How to Break a Reading Slump (9:10)

There are many reasons you might end up in a reading slump, including finishing a book you love so much that books that follow it pale by comparison. (Ann is currently reading On Sal Mal Lane by Ru Freeman and she knows the next book she reads will have a lot to live up to!) Whatever the reason, we hope these 12 suggestions can break you out of your slump!

Reread a favorite book  Sometimes revisiting characters and settings that you love will let you fall back into the reading habit.

Switch genres  If you’re a mystery fan, try reading some fantasy. If you love fiction, try a book of narrative nonfiction. After all, we get tired of eating the same thing day after day; the same happens with reading.

Find a book that is hugely popular  Blockbuster bestsellers usually have a strong element of story telling that an capture even some of the most reluctant readers. It might capture you, too.

Shop your own shelves  If you’re an avid book lover, chances are that you have at least a few books that you’ve purchased but haven’t yet read. If you’re anything like us, you have piles of them. Buried in one of those stacks is a book that may just get you out of your reading slump!

Don’t read -- listen  Take an audiobook with you to the grocery store, or listen while cleaning the house, walking the dog, gardening … a well-chosen audiobook with a great narrator will sweep you up into the story.

Let someone else tell you what to read  Put your reading fate into someone else’s hands. Before asking for a recommendation, promise yourself that you will take the suggestion. Then seek out a bookseller, librarian, or book-loving friend to tell you what to read next.

Read with a friend  Have an impromptu book club! Choose a friend and a book, and commit to reading together. The knowledge that your friend is also reading the same book may keep you going, and you can look forward to a fun discussion after.

Go for the quick fix -- read some short stories or essays  Short pieces work really well as “palate cleansers.” Reading a short story may be just what you need before moving on to another big novel or work of nonfiction.

Try YA  Young adult novels tend to be more tightly written and action-packed than many adult novels, and so may be more likely to keep you engrossed in the story. There are young adult novels in every genre, so if you love mystery, pick up a mystery YA.

Peruse the Reviews  Make it a project: read book reviews until you find something that grabs you. The New York Times Book Review, Entertainment Weekly, reviews on Goodreads are all great places to see what people are saying about the newer books that are out in stores.

Seek out fan fiction  If your slump is caused by the end of a beloved series, chance are that someone is writing fan fiction with the same characters in the same world. Some fan fiction is good, others not so much, but it’s a fun way to stay in your favorite series just a little bit longer. Check here to see if your favorite books have fan fiction.

Step away from the books  Sometimes it’s OK to take a break from reading. Whether you attend to the details of your life, or spend your free time watching television or movies, a little distance can be a good thing. If you are truly a reader, you’ll get back to the books when you’re ready.

Two Books We Can't Wait For You to Read (23:43)

Oprah has stolen Ann's thunder. Several months ago Ann read The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis, a book originally scheduled for January. Well, Oprah chose it for her Book Club, and the publisher secretly rushed it out a month early. In any case, it's out now, and Ann loves this novel which follows one family and their experiences during the Great Migration.

Sailor Twain, written and illustrated by Mark Siegel, is an atmospheric graphic novel set on the Hudson River in 1887. Blending the lore of mermaids with the era of steamships, this tale tells the story of a lonely captain, the ship's rakish owner and the sea creature whose beauty and song connect them.