We consider this week’s podcast a gift to our listeners — or a gift between us and our listeners. Throughout the year, we hear from many of you, and are always glad when we do. From time to time, we try to answer questions that come over the transom. We dedicate this episode to doing only that. Some of the many questions addressed:
Has anyone become a Kindle convert during the pandemic?
What are some of our favorite individual short stories?
How did we manage to get jobs reading for a living?
What books should high school students be encouraged to read in 2021?
How does a reviewer go from reading and rereading a book to actually writing the review?
Is the novel dead? (We know, you’ve heard this one before.)
Here to answer are Times staff members Elisabeth Egan, MJ Franklin, Tina Jordan, Dave Kim, Parul Sehgal and John Williams. Pamela Paul is the host.
We mention many more books than usual on this episode. Here’s a list for reference:
“I Capture the Castle,” by Dodie Smith; “Anne of Green Gables,” by L.M. Montgomery; “Emily of New Moon” by L.M. Montgomery; “The Portrait of a Lady,” by Henry James; “The Turn of the Screw,” by Henry James; “The Great Believers,” by Rebecca Makkai; “Hamnet,” by Maggie O’Farrell; “Nothing to See Here,” by Kevin Wilson; “A Bite of the Apple,” by Lennie Goodings; “The Erratics,” by Vicki Laveau-Harvie; “How to Pronounce Knife,” by Souvankham Thammavongsa; “Ducks, Newburyport,” by Lucy Ellmann; “All My Puny Sorrows,” by Miriam Toews; “A Jest of God,” by Margaret Laurence; “Inside Story,” by Martin Amis.
And a few more:
Lawrence Block’s Matthew Scudder series; the work of Raymond Chandler, Patricia Highsmith, Tana French and Emmanuel Carrère; “CoDex 1962,” by Sjon; “Exhalation,” by Ted Chiang; “I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter,” by Erika L. Sánchez; “The Nickel Boys,” by Colson Whitehead; “The Undocumented Americans,” by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio; “Go Down, Moses,” by William Faulkner; “The Mezzanine,” by Nicholson Baker; “The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis”; “Tiny Beautiful Things,” by Cheryl Strayed; “Slouching Towards Bethlehem,” by Joan Didion; “An Inventory of Losses,” by Judith Schalansky.
Wait, not quite done:
“Delicate Edible Birds,” by Lauren Groff; “Tenth of December,” by George Saunders; “The Tree Line, Kansas, 1934,” a short story by David Means; “End of the Game,” a short story by Julio Cortázar; “The Finkelstein 5,” a short story by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah; “Trust Exercise,” by Susan Choi; “A Saint from Texas,” by Edmund White; “The Abstainer,” by Ian McGuire; “Minor Detail,” by Adania Shibli; “Asymmetry,” by Lisa Halliday; “Say Nothing,” by Patrick Radden Keefe; “There There,” by Tommy Orange.