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Bookbar, with Chrissy Ryan • #96

We got together with Chrissy Ryan, founder of new North London bookshop and bar Bookbar to talk about her vision for a social space where people feel welcome whether they read a book a day, a week, a month or a year.

You know when you walk into an independent bookshop and the selection is so good you want to buy almost everything on the shelves. In this case, even if you managed to resist the books on display, after five minutes talking with Chrissy you would be staggering out, your arms groaning with new titles, such is her fabulous enthusiasm for books, and skill at matching up the right book with the right reader. Add in the possibility of a coffee or glass of wine and you’ve got a bookshop made in heaven.

We loved hearing about everything from Chrissy’s in-house book club featuring authors like Ingrid Persaud, Brit Bennett and Curtis Sittenfeld to her tailored shelf-medicate book subscription service – as Chrissy says, like having a literary matchmaker on speed-dial.

I tried very hard to stay on track with this interview but inevitably talking to Chrissy, sitting in Bookbar surrounded by books we end up talking our favourite reads. Listen in to hear Chrissy’s essential selection for the books she loves right now or be in-the-know with ones that are coming soon.

We also come up with an idea for a great book club party and figure out our formula for the perfect book club read.

Listen with the media player above or  via your favourite podcast app here.

Book recommendations

Love After Love by Ingrid Persaud

Small Pleasures by Clare Chambers

Leonard and Hungry Paul by Rónán Hession

Empire of Pain by Patrick Radden Keefe

Bad Blood by John Carreyrou

Dopesick by Beth Macy

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

Faultlines Emily Atami

Detransition Baby by Torrey Peters

The Female Persuasion by Meg Wollizer

China Room by Sunjeev Suhota

Sorrow and Bliss by Meg Mason

Red Comet by Heather Clark

Conversations on Love by Natasha Lunn

And Chrissy has handily put together most of the titles in this selection on Bookbar’s website – scroll down for the ‘as discussed on The Book Club Review shelf’


Can’t visit in person? Find Bookbar online and get inspired by Chrissy’s recommendations.

If you enjoyed this episode don’t miss our podcast on Bad Blood by John Carreyrou.



    • brc-admin
      June 30, 2021 at 10:22 pm  - Reply

      Haha. Maybe. Have you been in person, though? I think bookshops are a bit like people – no two are alike. If all the bookshops of north London are similarly buzzing with fantastic books and enthusiastic staff then we are blessed indeed.

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