The Second Annual Listeners’ Questions Episode


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The Book Review


Throughout the year, we hear from many of you, and are always glad when we do. From time to time, we try to answer some of your questions on the podcast. This week, for the second time, we dedicate an entire episode to doing just that. Some of the many questions addressed this week:Who are literature’s one-hit wonders?What are some of our favorite biographies?What are empowering novels about women in midlife?How do we assign books to reviewers?Who are writers that deserve more attention?How does the practice of discounted books work?Providing the answers are the book critic Dwight Garner, the editors Lauren Christensen, MJ Franklin and John Williams, and the reporters Alexandra Alter and Elizabeth Harris. Pamela Paul is the host.We mention many more books than usual on this episode. Here’s a list for reference:“A Confederacy of Dunces,” by John Kennedy Toole“Gilead,” by Marilynne Robinson“The Master and Margarita,” by Mikhail Bulgakov“The Goldfinch,” by Donna Tartt“The Secret History,” by Donna Tartt“Natural Opium,” by Diane Johnson“In Trouble Again,” by Redmond O’Hanlon“Into the Heart of Borneo,” by Redmond O’Hanlon“Venice,” by Jan Morris“On the Road,” by Jack Kerouac“Minor Characters,” by Joyce Johnson“The Life of Samuel Johnson,” by James Boswell“William James,” by Robert D. Richardson“Last Train to Memphis: The Rise of Elvis Presley,” by Peter Guralnick“Careless Love: The Unmaking of Elvis Presley,” by Peter Guralnick“Samuel Pepys,” by Claire Tomalin“No One Here Gets Out Alive,” by Jerry Hopkins“The Life You Save May Be Your Own,” by Paul Elie“Virginia Woolf,” by Hermione Lee“The Stone Angel,” by Margaret Laurence“Memento Mori,” by Muriel Spark“The Friend,” by Sigrid Nunez“What Are You Going Through,” by Sigrid Nunez“The Journals of John Cheever”“A Manual for Cleaning Women,” by Lucia Berlin“The Blood of the Lamb,” by Peter De Vries“Go Tell It on the Mountain,” by James Baldwin“Sula,” by Toni Morrison“Lot,” by Bryan Washington“Little Fires Everywhere,” by Celeste Ng“The Yellow House,” by Sarah M. Broom“Sing, Unburied, Sing,” by Jesmyn Ward“The Topeka School,” by Ben Lerner“Modern Lovers,” by Emma StraubThe fiction of Randall Kenan“Popisho,” by Leone Ross“Detransition, Baby” by Torrey Peters“The Magician,” by Colm Toibin“When We Cease to Understand the World,” by Benjamín Labatut“Say Nothing,” by Patrick Radden Keefe“Empire of Pain,” by Patrick Radden Keefe“Bad Blood,” by John CarreyrouThe poetry of Emily DickinsonThe poetry of Ada Limón“Piranesi,” by Susanna Clarke“Klara and the Sun,” by Kazuo IshiguroWe would love to hear your thoughts about this episode, and about the Book Review’s podcast in general. You can send them to