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In last week's first podcast review of Books on the Nightstand, I mentioned that I have a special notebook to keep track of the books I got recommended by Ann and Michael. Basically, it's a small, black Moleskine notebook with 76 pages and as I have two such notebooks the one for the recommendations has a sticker of Jenny's Cupcakes, a cupcake bakery here in Frankfurt on it (if you're in Frankfurt, check it out, I can give you directions). It's basically a white sticker with a pink cupcake and "Jenny's Cupcakes" written on it. For each podcast I start a new page, writing down the number and title of the podcast and then I write down the books I want to check out. After each book I leave a lign empty for my own mini-comment on how I liked it.
Now on to the recommendations - at least a few of them.
It all started in the very first podcast Ann and Michael did. There they mentioned The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon, a book I had already read, but deemed note-worthy. It is such a great book!
In the second podcast they first mentioned a book by Valerie Martin, Trespass (as well as in podcast #14), and in one of the last podcasts (#60), Mary Reilly by the same author was mentioned. I believe it was Ann who recommended both books, but I really have to see who recommended which book in my notebook! (Maybe I'll do that this weekend, when I try to relax from the take-home exam I have to hand in tomorrow, before I tackle the paper I have to write.)
In the 20th podcast, it was all about sci-fi for the non-sci-fi-reader. With that one, they really got me, as I found Firmin by Sam Savage in a local book shop soon after the show. Let me just say I fell hard for that book and have since given the book as a present to two friends of mine and am now offering it in my giveaway. I guess that shows how much I love this book.
Then, I believe I really should mention The Road by Cormac McCarthy (podcast #30, #42 and #50). Around the time Ann and Michael recommended it, it was also on my reading schedule for a class. Unfortunately, it was the book that was dropped from the schedule as we were a bit too slow, but with a few other students and our lecturer, we set up a special class to discuss it for those interested. It is such a thought-provoking book, and I'm really glad Dr. V agreed to do the extra class!
Right in the next podcast, #31 (and #50 and #58, as it happens), they spoke about Beowulf at the Beach by Jack Murnighan. In this book, Murnighan talks about all those classics out there, the ones you should really know! And gives a short summary, tells you which parts of the book you can skip and adds other useful information! Can you believe it? I absolutely have to get this book.
Now, to give you even more of an impression of the variety of recommendations, here's a short list of books I noted from the podcasts #60 through #62:
- David Grann: The Lost City of Z
- Eric Larson: The Devil in the White City
- Valerie Martin: Mary Reilly
- Thomas Mullen: The Many Deaths of the Firefly Brothers
- Jaron Lanier You Are Not A Gadget
- Chip Heath & Dan Heath: Made to Stick
- Chip Heath & Dan Heath: Switch
- Georges Perec: A Void
- Georges Perec: Life - A User's Manual
- Rebecca Skloot: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
Of course, even Ann and Michael's recommendations aren't always fool-proof. I have found one book they recommended that I didn't enjoy so far - Nancy Horan's Loving Frank. But if you take into account the many, many books I wrote down and the number of books I already read, this is really not that note-worthy.
Oh yes, and the books I have on Mt. TBR from their recommendations? They are:
- Stieg Larsson: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (actually on Mom's shelves, but so what)
- Suzanne Collins: The Hunger Games
- Yu Hua: Brothers
- Alan Bradley: The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie
- Ninni Holmqvist: The Unit
- Stieg Larsson: The Girl Who Played With Fire (also on Mom's shelves)
- Lev Grossman: The Magician
- Carrie Ryan: The Forest of Hands and Teeth
- Arthut Conan Doyle: The Complee Adventures and Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes