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

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 the hands of Katherine Rundell, and her Baillie-Gifford prizewinner Super-Infinite. But were Kate’s book club unanimous in their praise?

Discover more great reads as we delve into our recent reading piles, plus those of our guest and book-bestie, journalist Phil Chaffee. Find out the hits and misses, plus the books we’ve got on the go right now.

Listen via the media player above, or in your preferred podcast app with this podfollow link.


The Years by Annie Ernaux

Super-Infinite by Katherine Rundell

The Banished Immortal by Ha Jin

Grey Bees by Andrei Kurkov

Avid Reader by Robert Gottlieb (and we also mentioned the film Turn Every Page)

Book Lovers by Emily Henry

Watch us Dance by Leila Slimani (and we also mentioned her other books Lullaby or The Perfect Nanny, and The Country of Others)

Birnam Wood by Eleanor Catton (and we also mentioned her previous book The Luminaries)

Monsters by Claire Dederer

The Great Reclamation by Rachel Heng

Drive Your Plow over the Bones of the Dead by Olga Tocarczuk

Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry

The Late Americans by Brandon Taylor


Watch the trailer for Turn Every Page here.


[coming soon]



  • Toni
    August 11, 2023 at 8:54 pm  - Reply

    Dear Kate, Laura, and Phil,
    I loved this most recent episode. In fact, my faves are the ones in which you all discuss current and recent reads. I just wanted to add that the audio of Birnam Wood is extremely well done. The narrator (Saskia Maarleveld) is so good at characters’ voices — without going overboard — that I always knew who was speaking. And the pacing is fantastic. I stayed awake nearly all of one night listening in bed, too engrossed to turn it off and get some sleep. Riveting! Glad to hear that Phil liked it as much as I did.

    • Kate
      August 17, 2023 at 9:13 pm  - Reply

      I’m definitely sold on Birnham Wood, and the audio sounds like a fun experience. I’m just finishing off The Years. Yes, we love doing these kinds of episodes too – in fact I think we’ve realised combining the book club shows and the reading round ups is probably the way to go, so expect more like this one. Thanks for writing in, lovely to hear your thoughts.

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