ALLISON AUBREY, HOST:
If you’re searching for the last-minute gift for that book lover in your life, we have got a handy tool that can aid. NPR’s Book Concierge on npr.org has far more than 300 recommendations from NPR staffers and freelancers. Books editor Petra Mayer joins us now in the studio to walk us by means of it.
Hi there, Petra.
PETRA MAYER, BYLINE: Hi, Allison. Thanks for possessing me.
AUBREY: Yeah, certain. So tell us – how does the Book Concierge work?
MAYER: It really is extremely simple. Well, you can make it as complex as you like, in fact.
MAYER: It’s a giant matrix of much more than 300 books. And down the left side of the screen is a list of filters, and there are things like book club suggestions, ladies first, science fiction and fantasy, funny stuff, short, long – you name it, we’ve believed of a filter for it. And those filters are stackable, so you can choose much more than 1. You know, you can click – I want a nonfiction book, and I want it to be kind of long since I want to although away the lengthy winter nights. I picked those…
AUBREY: Got it.
MAYER: …Tags at random. But you can – that is how you can sort items.
AUBREY: I get it. So you can pick your filters. So let’s say I want a book for a buddy of mine who loves to cook. She also likes mystery novels, and she loves to travel. What do you got for me?
MAYER: So we have just the thing for you. It is named, “Yashim Cooks Istanbul.” And it really is…
AUBREY: “Yashim Cooks Istanbul”?
MAYER: Yeah. It really is based on a series of mysteries set in 19th-century Istanbul about an inspector, Yashim. And as he solves mysteries, he cooks. And so the guy who writes the series, you know, I guess he got lots of requests for the recipes because they sound so delicious. And so he ended up performing a cookbook of all the items. So you can cook appropriate along with Yashim as he solves crimes. And they are, like, incredibly, delightfully evocative names like assassin’s steak tartare, ladies thighs – which I had to look up due to the fact I was like, what’s that? – it really is a type of lamb meatball, apparently, that you deep-fry.
AUBREY: OK. I love it. So it’s mystery stacked with food…
AUBREY: …Lots of intrigue there. I want to challenge you right here for a moment.
AUBREY: I’m hunting for a nonfiction book. It really is got to be quick. And I want it to appeal to the other individuals in my book group. So if I toggle by means of and I check – you know, book group, nonfiction, brief side – do you have anything?
MAYER: You will get a real treat. You will get “Alive, Alive Oh!” by Diana Athill. And she is a legendary British author and book editor. She was an editor for some thing like 50 years, and she worked with quite significantly every single huge name of the 20th century, like absolutely everyone from Jack Kerouac to Margaret Atwood. And she also has written a series of actually exciting memoirs. I mean, she’s had this crazy life and worked with all these well-known individuals. It really is a superb book club concept, actually, simply because Diana Athill connects to, sort of, six degrees of separation-style to so a lot of other authors.
AUBREY: Sounds great. Petra, what are you obtaining about how men and women are utilizing this site? What do they search for the most?
MAYER: The most common issue men and women have a tendency to search for each year is staff picks, which is fantastic for us this year because we have way more staff picks than ever. It’s lots of fun due to the fact you get books that way that sort of aren’t the huge buzz books. You get the items that tweaked people’s person interests. And in a place like this, people’s person interests are really exciting.
AUBREY: I see that there’s a category for books on the dark side. Wondering if there is something that skews the opposite – a small more affirmative, uplifting.
MAYER: You know…
AUBREY: Please, inform me there’s something.
MAYER: Nicely, there’s plenty of affirmative and uplifting books in the Concierge. But we don’t have a particular tag for it however.
AUBREY: Men and women just never search that way.
MAYER: No, no. But there is a lot of dark books, so we had to kind – we felt like we had to kind of set that aside on its own specific tag.
AUBREY: OK. We’ll leave it at that.
AUBREY: NPR’s Petra Mayer and the NPR Books group put with each other our Book Concierge. You can check it out at npr.org/bestbooks.
MAYER: Thank you.
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