Tuesday, December 17, 2013

What Did We Talk About on the Kathleen Dunn Show?

On Monday I spent another fun hour on the Kathleen Dunn show, talking about why we had poetry riches but biography rags, why the JFK books seemed to have underperformed, and whether the "it" novels being so particularly long have perhaps dulled interest slightly. Kathleen Dunn talked about her top favorite books of the year, but couldn't be definitive, as she knew Bully Pulpit was going to squeeze its way in.

Listen to the show here. I've indicated when a mentioned title was published before 2013.

Books discussed on the Kathleen Dunn Show, December 16, 2013

Our hot fiction:
The Luminaries, by Eleanor Catton
The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt

Books that drove customers in the bookstores in years past.
Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson
Fifty Shades of Grey, by E.L. James
Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins

Hot nonfiction:
The Bully Pulpit, by Doris Kearns Goodwin
David and Goliath, by Malcolm Gladwell

Backlist books that never go away:
Outliers, by Malcolm Gladwell (2008)
The Glass Castle, by Jeannette Walls (2005)

Not enough great biographies this fall:
Book of Ages: The Life and Opinions of Jane Franklin, by Jill Lepore
Queen Anne: The Politics of Passion, by Anne Somerset
Jim Henson, by Brian Jay Jones

Group biographies
The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II, by Denise Kiernan
The Astronaut Wives Club: A True Story, by Lily Koppel
The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, by Daniel James Brown

Kennedy books:
Cruel and Shocking Act: The Secret History of the Kennedy Assassination, by Philip Shennon
Camelot's Court: Inside the Kennedy White House, by Robert Dallek

Hot Literary Books by Men in Short Supply:
The Good Lord Bird, by James McBride

A Dunn pick:
The Unwinding, by George Packer, which won the National Book Award

Listener recommendation:
The Perfect Storm, by Sebastian Junger (1997)
The Kennedy Assassination Tapes (2004) (out of print)
The Round House, by Louise Erdrich (2012)
Flight Behavior, by Barbara Kingsolver (2012)
How the Light Gets In, by Louise Penny
Wonder, by R. J. Palacio (2012)

Adults Reading Kids Fiction:
Three Times Lucky, by Sheila Turnage (2012)
Counting by 7s, by Holly Goldberg Sloan
The Fault in our Stars, by John Green (2012)
The Book Thief, by Markus Zuzak (2006)
Out of my Mind, by Sharon Draper (2012)
Better Nate than Ever, by Tim Federle

Kathleen Dunn’s pick for theater fans:
Drama High, by Michael Sokolove

A Listener recommendation:
The Last Train to Zona Verde, by Paul Theroux

Local Books are hot:
Good Stock, by Sanford D’Amato
Wisconsin Supper Clubs, by Ron Faiola
Schlitz: Brewing Art, by Paul Bialas
The History, Art, and Imagery of The Pfister Hotel, by Thomas J. Jordan
Layton’s Legacy, by Eric Vogel and John Eastberg

More Listener recommendations:
Bottoms Up: A Toast to Wisconsin's Historic Bars and Breweries, by Jim Draeger
The Moth, edited by Catherine Green

More literary books by men:
Benediction, by Kent Haruf
The Circle, by Dave Eggers
A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, by Anthony Marra

National Book Award nominees
Someone, by Alice McDermott (longlist)
The Flamethrowers, by Rachel Kushner (shortlist)

Great essay collections:
This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage, by Ann Patchett
The Book of My Lives, by Aleksandar Hemon

Daniel’s favorite nonfiction book:
Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted, by Jennifer Keishin Armstrong

Another listener recommendation:
Wisconsin Poet’s Calendar

A Good Fall for Poetry:
Aimless Love, by Billy Collins
Dog Songs, by Mary Oliver

A few more Listener recommendations:
Dying to be me, by Anita Moorjani (2012)
A Tale for the Time Being, by Ruth Ozeki (paperback out 12/31)
The Son, by Phillipp Meyer

One last book from Daniel:
A Little History of Literature, by John Sutherland
The early American writer I was trying to recall was Anne Bradstreet

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