Jun 15, 2011
We're feeling a bit feisty today as we talk about a couple of controversial topics -- well, controversial in the book world, anyway.
First, we discuss "literary exclusives" -- books that are available only through one retail source. This was sparked by Michael's enjoyment of The Adventures of Huckelberry Finn, narrated by Elijah Wood. This audiobook is available only through Audible.com, an online audiobook download service, as part of their Audible Signature Classics program. You can't (as far as we know) borrow this audio from the library or purchase it at your local bookstore. Here at Books on the Nightstand, we do our best to recommend books that are easily available to most of our listeners (with an admitted US bias). We don't want to rave about a book and then have it be frustrating for you to find. We will occasionally break this rule for an out-of-print book or something very special, but as a rule, we want our recommendations to be available to the widest number of listeners possible.
So Michael's love of the audio sparked a discussion about exclusives, including a forthcoming book by Barry Eisler which will be published by Amazon's new publishing division, and will appear as an e-book exclusively available on the Kindle platform.
How do you feel about books that are published like this? We'd love to know your thoughts.
We also stumbled upon another controversy that was in the news this week. Recently, Esquire posted a slideshow of "The 75 Books That Every Man Should Read". Only one of those 75 books was written by a woman. Joyland Magazine countered with "250 Books by Women All Men Should Read". Michael and I wander through various bits of debate related to these lists. Are these books that only "manly men" should read? How has Michael gotten this far without reading Raymond Carver? It's a little rambly, but in the end Michael and I discover our mutual love for George Saunders and his story collection Civilwarland in Bad Decline. Gotta love a conversation with a happy ending.
Life with Mr. Dangerous by
Paul Hornschemeier, a graphic novel that depicts the "everyday" of
a 20-something young woman who is obsessed with a television show.
There are no superheroes in this book, but Michael was blown away.
Ann is crazy about Jesse Ball's The Curfew, a dystopian novel that is a
father-daughter story with a puppet show at the center. Don't let
that scare you off -- it's a brilliant, amazing (and short)