Ep11: Michael Kindness and Ann Kingman, Books on the Nightstand & Penguin Random House
We are fucking thrilled to have Michael Kindness and Ann Kingman on Episode 11. Michael and Ann are the hosts of the late, great Books on the Nightstand podcast and sales reps for Penguin Random House.
This episode is sponsored by Books & Whatnot, the newsletter dedicated to books, bookselling, and bookish folk. We were too excited about hosting Books on the Nightstand to mention Books & Whatnot on air, but you should definitely check out the newsletter archive here. Follow Books & Whatnot on Twitter at @booksandwhatnot.
In Which Ann Doesn’t Let Us Set Anything on Fire, Emma Makes Coworkers Awkward, Michael Activates Host Mode, and Kim Finds a Book Too Relevant
We’re drinking Cider House Drools (local hard cider, shot of rum, dash of bitters). The alternate drink is the Out-cider (sub bourbon for rum). Or, if you’re Michael and rockin’ the cold medicine, tea.
Ann had originally planned to have us drink Charles Dickens’s punch, which involves a shit ton of alcohol and, uh, fire. If you’re braver than we are, here’s the recipe: https://food52.com/blog/18626-the-punch-you-add-a-spoonful-of-fire-to-literally
What We’re Reading:
Emma is reading: Where Am I Now?: True Stories of Girlhood and Accidental Fame by Mara Wilson and Life Among the Savages by Shirley Jackson (Bonus reading! Check out The New Yorker article about the new Shirley Jackson bio: The Haunted Mind of Shirley Jackson)
Ann is reading: The Stars Are Fire by Anita Shreve (pubs 2 May 2017)
Kim is reading: Trainwreck: The Women We Love to Hate, Mock, and Fear… and Why by Sady Doyle
Emma and Kim just read Vicious by V E Schwab (shout out to book club!)
Chapter I [11:00]
In Which We Discuss the Noble Role of the Bookseller to Booksellers and How To Be an Introvert in a Socially-Focused Industry
Ann and Michael work for this little publishing house you’ve probably never heard of named Penguin Random House. Yeah, we think they should have called themselves the Random Penguin House, too.
Be among your people at BookRiot Live. They have designated reading rooms, for all y’all introverted book nerds. We see you.
Chapter II [19:20]
In Which We Unveil the Creation Story of Books on the Nightstand, Michael Issues a Mea Culpa for not Reading Ann’s Recs Sooner, and Kim Wonders About Knitting Podcasts
Books on the Nightstand readers voted on what Michael should read over the summer. The results:
So, due to popular demand, Michael finally read Ann’s recommendations from yeeeeeeears ago: Stoner by John Williams and The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. He also recently discovered how great Stephen King is and treated himself to Salem’s Lot for Halloween.
Ann recently reread The Secret History by Donna Tartt. She also loved The Nix by Nathan Hill and Hero of the Empire: The Boer War, a Daring Escape, and the Making of Winston Churchill by Candice Millard
BTW, Booktopia is still alive via Northshire Bookstore in Manchester, VT. Field trip?
Michael’s Recent Favorite Comics/Graphic Novels/Graphica:
Chapter III [35:10]
In Which Ann Wants to Read The Road Set at a Boarding School, Kim is Uncomfortable with Magical Realism, and We Crush on Bookstores
Ann’s book description guaranteed to get her reading: A dark and disturbing apocalyptic story collection of thrillers set in boarding schools.
- The Unfinished World: And Other Stories by Amber Sparks
- The Secret History by Donna Tartt
- The Secret Place by Tana French
- Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel
- The Road by Cormac McCarthy
Favorite Short Story Collections
- Strange Pilgrims: Twelve Stories by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
- Emma has to name drop Kelly Link (obvi) and everybody flips out.
- Ann: Tenth of December by George Saunders. She also loves the individual stories “Anything Helps” by Jess Walter (from We Live in Water) and “Governor’s Ball” by Ron Carlson (expanded upon in Ron Carlson Writes a Story)
Desert Island/Station Eleven/Wild Books
- Michael used to say The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, but he doesn’t actually… like reading Shakespeare, so maybe not. So then he thought he’d pick 100 Skills You’ll Need for the End of the World (as We Know It) by Ana Maria Spagna, illustrated by Brian Cronin. But, naw, nevermind. He’d bring DC: The New Frontier by Darwyn Cooke.
- Ann would take The Complete Essays by Michel De Montaigne, because she got a crush on him due to How to Live: Or a Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer by Sarah Bakewell.
- Michael: Any Human Heart by William Boyd and Stoner by John Williams
- Ann – The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell (IT’S ABOUT JESUITS IN SPACE, GUYS)
- Michael still hasn’t read Great Expectations. But, I mean, he read A Christmas Carol, so he’s read Dicken’s okay? Also, he hasn’t read Sandman by Neil Gaiman. Neither has Emma. Or Kim. But we’ve read Alan Moore’s Watchmen, so that balances out, right? Right??
- Ann convinced hundreds of people to read War and Peace with her, but only got to page 75. At least she’s inspiring.
- Ann: Green Apple in San Francisco, CA (featured in Ep 8 with Pete Mulvihill)
- Michael: Powell’s Books in Portland, OR (featured in Ep 3 with Kevin Sampsell)
Favorite literary podcasts
Chapter IV [52:45]
In Which Michael and Ann Tell Us About Two Three Books They Can’t Wait for Us to Read
- Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah
- Gilded Cage by Vic James (pubs 14 Feb 2017)
- The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley by Hannah Tinti (pubs 28 March 2017)
- The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit by Michael Finkel (pubs 7 March 2017)
- American War by Omar El Akkad (pubs 4 April 2017)
- Standard Deviation by Katherine Heiny (pubs 23 May 2017)
You can follow Ann and Michael on Twitter at:
They’re also on Instagram, Litsy, and Goodreads, so look them up there.
You can find us on Twitter at @drunkbookseller and everywhere else as DrunkBooksellers (plural).
Aaaaaaand, we’re about to launch an Instagram account, so you should probably start following that @DrunkBooksellers. Our dear friend and fellow bookseller is in charge of it, and it’s gonna be weird and wonderful. Here’s a teaser:
Kim tweets occasionally from @finaleofseem, but don’t expect too much.