Educated: May Pick for “Now Read This”

Educated by Tara Westover is the May 2018 selection for the PBS NewsHour—New York Times “Now Read This” Book Club

Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, Tara Westover did not go to the doctor or attend school—until she taught herself enough mathematics, grammar, and science to take the ACT and was admitted to Brigham Young University. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge University.

Westover told the New York Times: “I wrote the book I wished I could have given to myself when I was losing my family. When I was going through that experience, I became aware of how important stories are in telling us how to live—how we should feel, when we should feel proud, when we should feel ashamed. I was losing my family, and it seemed to me that there were no stories for that—no stories about what to do when loyalty to your family was somehow in conflict with loyalty to yourself. And forgiveness. I wanted a story about forgiveness that did not conflate forgiveness with reconciliation, or did not treat reconciliation as the highest form of forgiveness. In my life, I knew the two might always be separate. I didn’t know if I would ever reconcile with my family, and I needed to believe that I could forgive, regardless.”

Listen to this sample, and buy the Educated  audiobook on to support your local, independent bookstore with your purchase!

You can submit questions about Educated to the Now Read This Book Club Facebook Group. Are you reading the book with your friends? Use these discussion questions to get your conversations started.

100 Notable Books of 2017 from the New York Times Book Review

This past week, the New York Times Book Review released its 100 Notable Books of 2017, including poetry, non-fiction, and fiction. The list represents books reviewed after December 4, 2016, when last year’s list was published. You can find these titles on’s 100 Notable Books of 2017 playlist… Happy Listening!

This list includes many fantastic titles, but you may find yourself disappointed about some of your favorite books that did not make the list. If you’re wondering about how titles on the list are selected, read on for information from the New York Times Book Review editor.

So what exactly determines whether a book makes the list?

The 100 Notables are books that stand out from the thousands we review or otherwise cover throughout the year, selected by staff editors at the Book Review, several of whom have been working here for more than three decades – some very experienced and picky judges.

How is the list narrowed down and ultimately selected?

The Book Review gathers all Editors’​ Choice columns from the entire publishing year into a huge document, and then all the editors get involved in ​the torturous rounds of elimination.

Has the process changed over the years?

Yes. It used to be that every single Editors’ Choice book became a Notable of the year, and the list went on forever; and though it made many authors happy, it was a bit overwhelming for readers. In 2004, then-editor Sam Tanenhaus made the wise decision to narrow the list to 100, dividing it evenly between fiction (including poetry) and nonfiction.

*Q&A adapted from Book Briefing: The story behind our 100 Notable Books of 2017


May Book of the Month: The Nest

Our May Book of the Month is Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney’s instant New York Times bestseller, The Nest. A warm, funny and acutely perceptive debut novel about four adult siblings and the fate of the shared inheritance that has shaped their choices and their lives.

Listen to a preview


“Welcome to the strikingly dysfunctional Plumb family: four siblings connected by little more than ‘The Nest,’ a joint trust fund that each has earmarked to support their unrealistic lifestyles. When Leo, the older brother and the center of the Plumb family universe, injures himself and a 19-year-old waitress in a scandalous car accident and endangers ‘The Nest’ just months before the funds are to be made available, the siblings come together for damage control. Sweeney artfully touches on each family member as they scramble to save the precarious lives they have built for themselves, bringing light and humor to her characters’ various plights. Funny, thoughtful, and filled with unique and complex characters — this book is a must-read.”

– Jennifer Oleinik, University Book Store, Seattle, WA

The Nest - 1

Let’s talk about The Nest

Join readers and listeners all month on social media to discuss The Nest. Use the hashtag #thenest and find us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.