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Summer bookshelf • Episode #162

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Laura’s on a flying visit to London, and so of course we took the opportunity to get together and swap notes on our recent reading. Regular guest Phil Chaffee dialled in from New York to add his picks to the mix. Find out what we thought of summer it-book The Ministry of Time by Kaliane […]

Listen in as we catch up with our summer reads, including book-of-the-season The Ministry of Time and an unputdownable art world memoir, All That Glitters.

Books that Make Us Laugh podcast episode

Books that Make us Laugh • #161

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Inspired by the folk at the New York Times article ‘22 of the funniest novels since Catch 22’, join me (Kate), Phil and Laura as we consider the books that make us laugh. Listen in as we explore the NYT suggestions and add in a few of our own. Find out the author we can’t […]

Inspired by the recent New York Times article ‘22 of the funniest novels since Catch 22’, join Kate, Phil and Laura for their favourite funny reads.

Non-fiction recommendations podcast with Tom Rowley of Backstory

Talking Non-Fiction with Tom Rowley of Backstory • Episode #160

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Listen in to our non-fiction book recommendations as we explore literary worlds outside of the fiction shelves. Join Kate as she heads to South London to visit Backstory, a distinctive indie bookstore founded by former journalist Tom Rowley. Rowley shares his journey from journalism to opening a bookshop, the challenges and joys of running a […]

Exploring literary worlds beyond fiction: a dive into non-fiction with Tom Rowley of indie bookshop Backstory

Browsing the So Many Damn Books bookshelf, with Christopher Hermelin • #159

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So Many Damn Books podcast creator and host Christopher Hermelin joins Kate to swap book recommendations and discuss the magic of book club, recent book discoveries, bookish pet peeves and more… Listen via the media player above, or your preferred podcast player with this Podfollow link. Book list The Eyes & The Impossible by Dave […]

So Many Damn Books podcast creator and host Christopher Hermelin joins Kate to swap book recommendations and discuss the magic of book club, recent book discoveries, bookish pet peeves and more...

The New Life podcast episode

Book club: The New Life by Tom Crewe • #158

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Two marriages, two forbidden love affairs, and the passionate search for social and sexual freedom in late 19th-century London. Publishers Penguin call The New Life by Tom Crewe ‘A brilliant and captivating debut, in the tradition of Alan Hollinghurst and Colm Tóibín’ but what did our book club make of it? Kate is reporting back, […]

Two marriages, two forbidden love affairs, and the passionate search for social and sexual freedom in late 19th-century London, but what did our book club think? Kate and Phil report back.

Mild Vertigo book club podcast

Mild Vertigo, and Japanese literature

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What did our podcast book club make of Mild Vertigo, Japanese author Mieko Kanai’s 1997 novel, recently translated into English by Polly Barton and published by Fitzcarraldo. A ‘modernist masterpiece’ written in sentences that go on for pages with hardly any paragraph breaks might not seem like an obvious book club winner; listen in to […]

We explore Mild Vertigo, modernist Japanese masterpiece by Mieko Kanai, newly translated into English by Polly Barton. But did it make for a good book club read? Kate's joined by two special guests to discuss it.

Books podcast episode

Early Spring Bookshelf • Episode 156

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Join me (Kate) and Laura as we go through our bookstacks and discuss our recent reads. Find out what why Laura can’t put down The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells. Meanwhile I’ve discovered Mrs Miniver, a comfort read from the 1930s that still has a message for us today, Laura’s made a discovery of her […]

From the literary London of Charles Dickens to 21st century Romantasy with sex and dragons, listen in to our recent reads

Books in 2024 podcast episode

Future Reads 2024, with Chrissy Ryan • Episode #155

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We’ve put our 2023 reading lists behind us, and now it’s time to look ahead to 2024. Who better to guide us through all the new titles coming our way than Chrissy Ryan, owner of North London’s buzziest bookshop and social space, Bookbar. New books by favourite authors, a non-fiction page-turner that will have you […]

The books to look out for in 2024, with Bookbar's Chrissy Ryan, plus some tips for avoiding feeling overwhelmed by your TBR

Best Books of 2023

Best Books of 2023 • Episode #154

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What were the best books of 2023? Listen in to our review of the year to find out our absolute favourites. Join me (Kate), Laura and Phil as we look back over a year of reading – over 300 books between us, from new releases to backlist gems. Find out our overall book of the […]

What were the best books of 2023? Listen in to our review of the year to find out our absolute favourites. Join Kate, Laura and Phil for a look back over a year of reading – over 300 books between them, from new releases to backlist gems, and over 50 recommendations.

The Booker Prize 2023

The Booker Prize 2023 • Episode #153

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The Booker Prize 2023: We read all six shortlisted books. Join us as we evaluate them and try to second-guess the Booker judges, before finding out the winner, and so keep listening for our hot take. ‘A novel is a mirror carried along a high road’ says Chair of the Booker judges Esi Edyugan, quoting […]

The Booker Prize 2023: We read all six shortlisted books. Join us as we evaluate them and try to second-guess the Booker judges, before finding out the winner, and so keep listening for our hot take.

Lonesome Dove podcast

Lonesome Dove • Episode #152

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Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry has sold over 2 and a half million copies worldwide since publication in 1985, and won a Pulitzer Prize. With prose as ‘as smooth as worn saddle-leather’, USA today writes ‘If you read only one Western novel in your life, read this one . . . no other has ever […]

With prose as ‘as smooth as worn saddle-leather', USA today writes 'If you read only one Western novel in your life, read this one . . . no other has ever approached the accomplishment of Lonesome Dove'. What did Laura's book club make of it? Listen in for the discussion and our other book recommendations.

So Late in the Day by Claire Keegan book podcast episode

So Late in the Day by Claire Keegan • Episode #151

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Irish author Claire Keegan is generally considered to be one of the finest writers working today. ‘Every word is the right word in the right place, and the effect is resonant and deeply moving’ said Hilary Mantel, of her work, while for Colm Toíbín ‘Claire Keegan makes her moments real – and then she makes […]

What did our podcast book club think of So Late in the Day, the short story from Booker shortlisted author (and Irish national treasure) Claire Keegan? We also catch up on our recent reading, listen in to find out our hits and misses.

Jonny Thomson of Mini Philosophy for podcast episode

Fiction and Philosophy, with Jonny Thomson • Episode #150

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Is there any point in doing a nice thing if you can’t flaunt it on social media? Can we ever know what it’s like to be a bat? If we know Cinderella isn’t real, why do we care about whether or not she marries the prince? In this episode Kate is joined by Jonny Thomson, […]

We're feeling philosophical this back-to-school season, with Jonny Thomson, author of Mini Philosophy and Mini Big Ideas. Listen in as we discuss Tolstoy's morbid novella The Death of Ivan Illyich, Death and the Penguin by Andrey Kurkov and international bestseller Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

late summer reading podcast episode book stack

Late Summer Reading, with Bookbar • Episode #149

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Late summer reading – the best kind of reading? Whether you’re after fly-through-them page-turners or immersive long-reads, or perhaps you’re after a challenge, or the perfect discussion book, we’ve got the list for you. Find out our expert picks from indie-bookshop Bookbar’s Chrissy Ryan, a woman at the centre of a hub of reading recommendations […]

Late summer reading – the best kind of reading? Whether you're after fly-through-them page-turners or immersive long-reads, or perhaps you're after a challenge, or the perfect discussion book, we've got the list for you. We compare notes with Bookbar's Chrissy Ryan and find out the books not to miss for late summer and early Autumn.

Book Club podcast episode The Years and Super Infinite

The Years by Annie Ernaux and Super-Infinite by Katherine Rundell, plus recent reads • #148

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If you’ve been wondering whether or not to tackle the work of Nobel-prizewinner Annie Ernaux, and in partiular The Years, generally considered to be definitive, listen in and find out what Laura’s book club thought (you might be surprised). We’re also generally delighted by how interesting the life of 17th-century poet John Donne is in […]

Find out what our book clubs thought of The Years by Annie Ernaux, and Super-Infinite by Katherine Rundell (both winners of more prizes than you can shake a stick at) plus the hits and misses from our recent reads.

Books on the Hill bookshop podcast episode

Bookshopaholics • Books on the Hill • Episode #147

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Join Kate in the historic market town of St. Albans, home to a cathedral, some impressive Roman ruins and one of Kate’s favourite independent bookshops. Books on the Hill is owned and run by a mother and daughter duo who launched it just before the pandemic. Listen in and find out what makes it so […]

Come book-shopping with us to the historic market town of St. Albans, home to a cathedral, some impressive Roman ruins and one of Kate's favourite independent bookshops, Books on the Hill.

Fiction Prescriptions podcast episode with Ella Berthoud

Fiction Prescriptions with Ella Berthoud • Episode #146

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Join us as professional book-recommender and Bibliotherapy queen Ella Berthoud helps us figure out how to overcome life’s essential problems (if you’re a reader, that is), namely how to cope with all the books there are in the world, what to do when you feel stuck in a reading rut, and the ultimate question, if […]

Join us as professional book-recommender and Bibliotherapy queen Ella Berthoud helps us figure out how to overcome life’s essential problems (if you’re a reader, that is).

The Women's Prize 2023

The Women’s Prize 2023 • Episode #145

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The Women’s Prize 2023, one of our favourite episodes to read for and discuss. We’re joined by old friend Sarah Oliver and new to the pod Nina Davies: listen in as we share our thoughts this year’s list. As ever, you’ll hear our frank opinions about the books, but we won’t spoil the plots for […]

The Women's Prize 2023 episode is here. Listen in for full and frank opinions on the shortlist, but no plot spoilers. Find out our picks to win and the best book club reads. With Sarah Oliver and Nina Davies.

Summer reading podcast episode

Bookshelf: Summer vibes • Episode #144

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Summer reading is in the air. Listen in as Kate and Laura swap feel-good early summer reads. Much to their relief after Rodham, the sex in Curtis Sittenfeld’s latest novel ROMANTIC COMEDY turns out to be as good as the rest of it. Meanwhile Kate is surprised and entertained by Monica Heisey’s REALLY GOOD, ACTUALLY. […]

We're feeling the summer feels in this latest Bookshelf episode and reaching for feel good reads. Listen in to hear some of our recent favourites.

So Many Damn Books interview with Christopher Hermelin

So Many Damn Books • Episode #143

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So Many Damn Books is a show that aims to celebrate reading in all its forms, and to do so with a cocktail in hand. For over 200 episodes now Christoper Hermelin has been chatting to authors and crafting them bespoke drinks. From George Saunders and Ruth Ozeki to lesser-known but no less interesting authors, […]

So Many Damn Books is a show that aims to celebrate reading in all its forms, and to do so with a cocktail in hand. Kate catches up with host Christopher Hermelin to discuss crafting the perfect cocktail, all-time favourite reads and how to stay on top of the TBR.