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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. 

Apr 5, 2016

We're thinking about summer, trying not to be book snobs, and raving about The Caped Crusade and Lab Girl.


It's time to start thinking about summer (even though there is snow out my window right now). Specifically, we'd like you to help us create the categories that will appear in this year's Books on the Nightstand Bingo cards, which will go live sometime around Memorial Day (end of May). You may add your suggestions to the Google form. Before you add your categories, please do check our existing categories to see if you idea has been taken. This will help us not have to filter through a lot of duplicates. Thank you for your help.


When a friend discovers the joy of reading, but you don't like her taste (08:16)

We received this email from a listener:

A friend--not a close one, but a long-term one--has JUST discovered books (at 63!). She read a whole series and got so excited about how HILARIOUS they are that she mailed all three books in the series to me and is now dying to have me read them AND REPORT!

I'm thrilled she's reading--truly I am--but when the books arrived and I began dipping into them, I immediately recognized they are NOT MY CUP O' TEA!... I am skimming so I can talk about them with her--clearly what she desires--but I can hardly bear the thought of saying anything to her about them.

I may be (am) a book snob, but I surely do not want to be discovered as such, and I sure don't want to rain on her new reading hobby. What shall I do? What would YOU do??

Our listener also posted this question on Goodreads and had a number of good suggestions, including helping the new reader to find a book club with similar tastes, and telling the friend that you've been reading so long that you like more "experimental" fiction. Michael and I firmly believe that the main thing is to not make the new reader feel judged, but we're not exactly sure how best to do that. I'm in favor of asking the new reader what she liked about the book series, and then finding similar books to recommend. Michael worries that the new reader will infer that you want to read them together. It's a tricky spot, but we love that our listener wants to encourage her friend to keep reading.


Two books we can't wait for you to read (20:30)


Caped Crusade   Lab Girl

Michael recommends The Caped Crusade: Batman and the Rise of Nerd Culture by Glen Weldon. It's a cultural and sociological history of Batman, organized by "eras" of Batman.

I can't wait for you read Lab Girl by Hope Jahren, a book that is part memoir, part love letter to science and plants. You'll never look at a tree the same way again.