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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.

Victory City by Salman Rushdie book club podcast episode

Victory City by Salman Rushdie • Episode #142

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Victory City by Salman Rushdie is the subject of this book club episode. Victory City has been hailed by fellow author Hari Kunzru as ‘Salman Rushdie at his most virtuosic, a wondrous tale of medieval India which is also, as ever, a fable about the triumph of life – in all its joyous messy excellence – […]

We discuss Victory City by Salman Rushdie, hailed by critics as a masterpiece, but what did Laura's book club think of it? We're joined by Philip Chaffee and Charlie Chichester to find out. Listen in for full and frank discussion of the book, plus our recommendations for follow-on reads and the books we're currently reading.

book club book reviews

Bookshelf: Easter reads • Episode #141

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Our bookshelf episodes are the ones where we compare notes on the books we’ve been reading outside of book club. In this episode Laura has been reading the latest from Animal Life, the latest novel from podcast favourite, Icelandic author Audur Ava Olafsdottir. A short, quiet novel, but one that struck a chord. She’s also […]

Join us as we compare notes on the books we've been reading outside of book club lately, including smash hit Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus, The Mirror Visitor Quartet, a fantasy epic from French author Christelle Dabos and the entertaining classic Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winifred Watson.

Free and The Snow Ball • Book Club, episode #140

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We’re joined by friend and journalist Phil Chaffee to discuss FREE by Lea Ypi, a memoir of her Albanian childhood and of life amid the collapse of Communism. The book won the Royal Society of Literature’s Ondaatje prize and was shortlisted for the Baillie Gifford non-fiction prize and was on many a best-book of 2022 […]

Join us as we read and discuss Lea Ypi's powerful memoir of her Albanian childhood, Free, and contrast this with the sensuous decadence of Brigid Brophy's New Year's Eve novel The Snow Ball. With Phil Chaffee.

Bookshopaholics: The Paperhound • Episode #139

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When in Vancouver, run to the coolest bookstore you can find and interview the owner. Such is the busman’s holiday I’ve recently been enjoying on a visit to Laura’s hometown. It also fits nicely into a new series we’ve been cooking up where we get to indulge our love of independent bookshops. First up is […]

Bookshopaholics is our new series of occasional episodes where we get to indulge our love of independent bookshops. Every episode we'll be visiting a different bookshop, chatting with the owners and pulling some gems off the shelves. This week, taking advantage of a sojourn in Vancouver, Kate visits iconic used and antiquarian bookstore The Paperhound.

Books podcast episode: Spring Reads

Bookshelf: Spring Reads • Episode #138

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Our bookshelf episodes are the ones where we kick back and talk about the books we’ve been choosing for ourselves outside of our book club reading. And so join us as we get swept away by the French Revolution and Hilary Mantel’s spellbinding book A PLACE OF GREATER SAFETY, consider myth and storytelling with a […]

Our bookshelf episodes are the ones where we kick back and talk about the books we’ve been choosing for ourselves outside of our book club reading. And so join us as we get swept away, from Salman Rushdie's latest to a lesser-known work by Hilary Mantel.

Books podcast: Future Reads 2023 episode with Chrissy Ryan from Bookbar

Future reads 2023: Episode #137

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Future reads! It’s always good to have things to look forward to in life, and the books we can see coming up on the horizon are no exception. In this episode we’ll be finding out the books that Chrissy Ryan and her team at Bookbar are excited about. Whether it’s new books from authors we […]

Come with us for a look into the future as we hear from Chrissy Ryan and her team at Bookbar and find out the must-read books coming up in 2023.