Nov 24, 2015
A statement of disclosure; a cornucopia of links, and two books that we don't want you to forget about.
We received a comment asking us to let listeners know when we talk about a book if we've gotten it for free, and to mention when it is discounted. Much of what we read is for work, usually before the book is available to the public. Other times, books are sent to us by publicists who hope that we will cover the book on the podcast. When we accept books from publicists, we are careful to let them know that we may not talk about it. Though we do purchase many books ourselves, for the purposes of this blog and podcast, it is easiest to assume that we have received the books for free. At no time does the cost (or lack of cost) of a book determine if we talk about it on the podcast. We only talk about books that we recommend, and our recommendations are not determined by the price that we pay.
We also don't mention specific retailers or sales when recommending books. We encourage you to buy books from your preferred source. When we mention a price, we mention the publisher's suggested retail price. Many booksellers, both online and bricks and mortar, discount some selection of books, be it bestsellers, books sold at an author event, staff picks, etc. The books discounted vary widely between retailers. It's easier for us to just mention the retail price of the book, and let our listeners buy the book where they choose."
In what appears to be an annual tradition, today's episode is a mishmash of topics: things that we found interesting but that don't warrant an entire show. We hope you enjoy!
Thanks to Hypertext Magazine for interviewing us! If you haven't yet explored Hypertext, please do -- it's a great online magazine featuring fiction, essays, and articles.
Margaret Atwood has lent her name to a line of Certified Bird-Friendly coffee that is available at Balzac Coffee in Canada. This topic is raised in Atwood's novel The Year of the Flood, and I love the real-life way to help the cause.
After the horrible terrorist attacks in Paris, Ernest Hemingway's A Moveable Feast has seen a resurgence in sales. Many think that the book represents the best of the French way of life and is a way to celebrate freedom and not let the terrorists win.
The New Yorker has announced that it will periodically feature novellas on its online site, chosen by Fiction Editor Deborah Treisman. The first one, In Hindsight by Callan Wink, is up this week alongside an interview with the author. Some of our favorite novellas are those in Melville House's "The Art of the Novella" series, On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan, Julian Barnes' The Sense of an Ending, and the forthcoming novella from Graham Swift, Mothering Sunday (which will be published in the US in April 2016).
We liked this Time Magazine article on the history of Young Adult as its own category. Did you know that the category developed through the efforts of librarians?
A listener emailed us this article from Inside Higher Ed: "Station Eleven and an Idea for a Cross-Disciplinary Course on Collapse," by Joshua Kim. It's a fascinating discussion (continued in the comments) about using literature to explore the resilience of the human spirit in the face of societal collapse. Michael is reading a novel in this category called The Wolf Road by Beth Lewis (coming in July 2016) that would fit into this topic.
Author and BOTNS friend Matthew Dicks has launched a new podcast called Boy Vs. Girl, cohosted with sociologist Rachel Leventhal-Weiner, talking about gender and gender stereotypes. It's fun, entertaining and informative, and I think many of our listeners will enjoy it.
And lastly, we tell you about Give A Book, a program sponsored by our employers, Penguin Random House. For every use of the hashtag #GiveABook on Twitter or Facebook between now and December 25th, Penguin Random House will donate one book (up to 35,000) to First Book, a literacy organization that puts books into the hands of children. In addition, if you want to find a place near you where you can donate a book that will go into your local community, please check out the Give A Book Giving Map, which will help you find a bookstore near you that is sponsoring a book drive or other charitable program to get books to those who need them.
NOTE: Our annual holiday BOTNS Gift Guide will go live on Friday morning November 27, 2015. We'll post the link here when we have it, and it will also be featured on the sidebar at booksonthenightstand.com.
Michael recommends The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides, which is in a new, small hardcover Picador Classics edition. It's the story of five sisters in a suburb of Detroit and their demise, told from the point of view of the boys in the neighborhood.
My pick is Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn, a novel told in letters. It's set on the island of Nollop (off the coast of South Carolina) and it tells the story of what happens when, one by one, a society outlaws the use of specific letters of the alphabet. It's a real treat for language lovers!