Ep 156; Time To Read & Classics vs. Contemporary Books

This episode Simon and Thomas answer some more listeners questions about time to read and reading contemporary novels vs. the classics.

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Catching Up () Thomas and Simon have a catch up as if he is in hospital, he isn’t they just thought he would be when this episode airs. He will be going in at some point this summer though.

Time To Read () One of our lovely listeners Richard wants to know how Simon and Thomas find so much time to read, so they tell him and all of you. They also book in some therapy and the like as they assess their own reading challenges.

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Classics vs Contemporary Books () Melissa wants to know if Simon and Thomas try and make themselves read the same amount of classic novels as they do contemporary ones. They have a chat about this and ponder if you should try and match it, or simply throw reading responsibly out of the window and read what the heck you like.

Next time on the Readers () The Readers will be back in two weeks when they will be back with more book based banter. If you missed the latest episode of You Wrote The Book do go and listen, Simon’s is joined by Kit de Waal to discuss her incredible debut novel My Name is Leon.

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Ep 155; A Summer Spectacular

This episode Simon and Thomas talk all things summer. There is a summer read-a-long, discussion of summer plans and Simon and Thomas give you five books each they think would be perfect for your summers… Beware though they start with a summer storm.

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Summer Storms Catch Up () In the first part of the show before all the lovely summer sun, Thomas and Simon talk about some of the story weather kind of things that have been going on in their worlds. First up the awful news from Orlando and then the whole Brexit issue…

The Readers Summer Read () Simon and Thomas would like to thank you so much for all of the votes that you cast for what we should all read together this month. Simon and Thomas whittle the list of (over forty) books down to five books each and then do battle. Only one book will become the victor, but which one? Spoiler it is pictured below.

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Summer Reading Plans () Simon and Thomas talk about their reading plans over the summer. One of them has somehow made lots of plans, can you guess which host that is? What summer reading plans do you have?

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The Readers Recommended Summer Reads () In the final part of this summer spectacular Thomas and Simon recommend five books they each think that you should be reading this summer wherever you are spending it.

Thomas recommends…

I Am Charlotte Simmons – Tom Wolfe
Mapp & Lucia – E.F Benson
The Ripening Seed – Colette
The Inn at Lake Devine – Elinor Lipman
Main Street – Sinclair Lewis

Simon recommends…

The Year of the Runaways – Sunjeev Sahota
Up at the Villa – W. Somerset Maugham
All Involved – Ryan Gattis
Boy Erased – Garrard Conley
The Trouble with Goats and Sheep – Joanna Cannon

Books Mentioned in the Show () Cold Earth by Sarah Moss, The Turner House by Angela Floury, Euphoria by Lily King, Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Strabel, Butcher’s Crossing by John Williams, All The Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders, The Mad Woman Upstairs by Catherine Lowell, You Don’t Have To Live Like This by Benjamin Markovitz, The Sympathiser by Viet Thanh Nguyen, The Illuminations by Andrew O’Hagan, The Association of Small Bombs by Karan Mahajan, Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy, The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas, The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton, Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham, Barchester Towers by Anthony Trollope, The Dinner by Herman Koch, Life Only Better by Anna Gavalda, The Girls by Emma Cline, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote and those in the final topic above.

Next time on the Readers () The Readers will be back in two weeks when they will be back with more book based banter. If you missed the latest episode of You Wrote The Book do go and listen, Simon’s was joined by Charlotte Wood to discuss her incredible new novel The Natural Way of Things which is INCREDIBLE, the book – though the interview is a hoot too. The last few episodes have been delayed due to Simon’s personal life being bonkers but it is back next week with Kit de Waal.

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Ep 154; Readalongs, Political Books & London Books

This episode Simon and Thomas answer three questions from lovely listener Pam all about readalongs, books with a political bent and books set in London.

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Readers Read-a-Long’s () The first question that Pam asks Simon and Thomas if they might ever bring back a readalong on the podcast like when they read The Night Guest, as well as when they have done readalongs with Ann and Michael or The Readers Book Club. So Thomas and Simon discuss the idea and have come up with a plan… They are going to start doing Summer and Winter ones and they would like your suggestions for the Summer one, get set, go!!!

Political Books () Pam’s second question is about books with a political twist as it is presidential season/madness in the US, and also EU political madness in the UK. Simon and Thomas have a chat about this and recommend some books that you might want to give a whirl. They would also like some recommendations especially ones that Simon will love as much as he does The Good Wife & House of Cards.
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London Books () Pam is off to London this month and she would like to know which books we would recommend with a London book setting. Thomas loves books set in London, Simon is not such a fan of them – which might be an understatement. They still talk about it though because that is how dedicated they are.

Books Mentioned in the Show () The Life of Elves by Muriel Barberry, The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan, Crooked Adam by D.E Stevenson, The Night Guest by Fiona MacFarlane, Pleasantville by Attica Locke, Echo House by Ward Just, Babbit by Sinclair Lewis, The Paliser Series by Anthony Trollope, Run by Ann Patchett, Dreams of My Father by Barack Obama, All The King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren, The Year of the Runaways by Sunjeev Sahota, most of Anita Brookner’s books, Under The Net By Iris Murdoch, Offshore and Human Voices by Penelope Fitzgerald, The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins, most of Sherlock Holmes, Brick Lane by Monica Ali, Capital by John Lancaster, Ben Aaronovich’s books, Howard’s End by E.M. Forster, Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham, Sharon Bolton and Jake Arnott’s books, A Man Lies Dreaming by Lavie Tidhar, 84 Charing Cross Road and The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street by Helene Hanff, All Passion Spent by Vita Sackville-West, The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham, The Bricks That Built the Houses by Kate Tempest, NW by Zadie Smith, the Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing, While England Slept by David Levithan, Persephone novels, Bridget Jones Diary by Helen Fielding, Down and Out In Paris and London by George Orwell, Letters from London by Julian Barnes, The Night Watch and The Paying Guest by Sarah Waters, London by Peter Ackroyd, London Fields by Martin Amis, A Girl of Slender Means ­By Muriel Spark, Excellent Women by Barbara Pym, Mother London by Michael Moorcock, Not Working by Lisa Owens, Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson, The Gustav Sonata by Rose Tremain.

Next time on the Readers () The Readers will be back in two weeks when they will be back with more book based banter. If you missed the latest episode of You Wrote The Book do go and listen, Simon’s was joined by Charlotte Wood to discuss her incredible new novel The Natural Way of Things which is INCREDIBLE, the book – though the interview is a hoot too. Last week’s episode has been delayed but a special live show will be up next week with Maggie O’Farrell.

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Ep 153; Endings (and a Bit of Bingo!)

This episode Simon and Thomas talk about endings… And the possibility of playing bingo over this summer.

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logo3_728-x-90111Catching Up () Thomas and Simon start the show with a catch up and see who can one up the other for who has been the most sick.

Bye Bye Books on the Nightstand () We couldn’t let this episode of The Readers go by without talking about the sad news that Ann Kingman and Michael Kindness have finished Books on the Nightstand. Simon talks about how BOTNS have been a brilliant both for listening to, inspiring the birth of The Readers and then went onto Booktopia and has lead to some wonderful listeners and some wonderful friends.

BOTNS Bingo () In honour of Ann and Michael and Books on the Nightstand, Thomas and Simon have decided that they will take part in Books on the Nightstand Bingo, now if you haven’t played before you can go to the emotional episode of BOTNS where they explain it. Briefly though you use a bingo card to help you choose what you are reading for the year ahead. Simon is sure that Thomas has cheated with his…

tumblr_static_literature-books-584Books Mentioned in the Show () It Can’t Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis, The Plot Against America by Philip Roth, The Portable Veblen by Elizabeth McKenzie, The Dinner by Herman Koch, War of the Worlds by H.G Wells, The Time Machine by H.G Wells, Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler, A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara, The Magician’s Assistant by Ann Patchett, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, Beside The Sea by Veronique Olmi, Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce, The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy by Rachel Joyce, Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L James, Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee, Black Water by Louise Doughty, Apple Tree Yard by Louise Doughty.

Next time on the Readers () The Readers will be back in two weeks when they will be back with more book based banter. If you missed the latest episode of You Wrote The Book do go and listen, Simon’s is joined by Charlotte Wood to discuss her incredible new novel The Natural Way of Things which is INCREDIBLE, the book – though the interview is a hoot too.

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Ep 152 (Again); Favourite Authors We Have Never Actually Read & Books That Teach Us Something

Let’s try this week’s episode again. 

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Books That Teach Us Something () One of our diehard listeners Sarah had the following question for Simon and Thomas “are the books we love the most the ones that teach us something? By this, I mean teaching in many forms – it could be that we find a wonderful character that helps us to grow as a person, or it could be that we develop a fascination with a new place or landscape, or feel that we have evolved in some way after reading something meaningful.” Simon and Thomas try and answer this…

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Favourite Author’s You Haven’t Read Yet () In the second section of the show Simon and Thomas talk about authors that they have never read and are sure they will be favourites, as requested by Ruthiella after a post she saw on Simon’s blog. They have a chat about those authors and why  they feel sure that they will love them.

Other Books Mentioned in the Show () Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, Touching The Wild by Joe Hutto, The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton, Wild by Cheryl Strayed, Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier, The Last Act of Love by Cathy Rentzenbrink, The Blue Flower by Penelope Fitzgerald, Moon Tiger by Penelope Lively, The Inevitable Gift Shop by Will Eaves, The Absent Therapist by Will Eaves, Return of the Soldier by Rebecca West, Angel by Elizabeth Taylor, Ten Days by Gillian Slovo, Cleopatras Sister by Penelope Lively.

Next time on the Readers () The Readers will be back in two weeks when they will be back with more book based banter. If you missed the latest episode of You Wrote The Book do go and listen, Simon’s guest is Dr Suzanne O’Sullivan and they discuss her Wellcome Prize winning It’s All In Your Head. He will be joined next week by Charlotte Wood to discuss her incredible new novel The Natural Way of Things.

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Ep 151; A Really Random Unplanned and Pretty Much Unedited Episode

Welcome to the latest episode of The Readers, which starts off meaning to be one episode and then ends up being another episode completely…

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Random Tangents and Catch Ups () Initially this week was meant to be an episode answering two of our lovely listeners problems. However as Simon and Thomas actually hadn’t recorded in ages they just ended up having a really big tangential catch up which covers;  readathons, London, book prize parties, Simon’s book shopping spree with Gavin, rainy day reading, Thomas joining a library, whether you should be shaming your TBR, the timings of book buying, bookshops, republished books, shipped over books from overseas, the Baileys shortlist and longlist, scheduled reading, what they are reading and much, much more.

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Next time on the Readers () Thomas and Simon will be back in two weeks when they will be back with more structured book based banter. Simon was also back with of You Wrote The Book last week when he was joined by the wonderful  Garth Greenwell to talk about his quite incredible debut novel What Belongs To You, do go and have a listen.

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Ep 150; Bookshelf Bingo

Welcome to the latest episode of The Readers, where Simon and Thomas celebrate their official 150th episode with a game of bookshelf bingo!

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Bookshelf Bingo () Thomas and Simon were pondering the right way to celebrate 150 official, though there have been a few extra, episodes of The Readers and Simon came up with the idea of Bookshelf Bingo. Listeners simply pick two numbers at random and Simon and Thomas find the books that correspond with those shelf and book numbers and talk about the books. Get ready for a lot of book chatter and whole host of book recommendations…
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Here are all the books mentioned in the show…

The Edwardians – Vita Sackville West
The Vegetarian – Han Kang
Marry Me – Dan Rhodes
Gold – Dan Rhodes
Mrs Gaskell – Arthur Pollard
The Weed That Strings The Hangmans Bag – Alan Bradley
Surprising Myself – Christopher Bram
My Policeman – Bethan Roberts
The Finishing School – Muriel Spark
The Fox and the Star – Coralie Bickford Smith
Sunset Park – Paul Auster
Watson’s Apology – Beryl Bainbridge

Arthur & George – Julian Barnes
The Girl with Glass Feet – Ali Shaw
Minotaur – Benjamin Tammuz
The World of Upstairs Downstairs – Molly Hardwick
The Natural Way of Things – Charlotte Wood
Family Values – Wendy Cope
The Ripening Seed – Colette
Hotel du Lac – Anita Brookner
A Start in Life – Anita Brookner
Some Tame Gazelle – Barbara Pym
The Cement Garden – Ian McEwan
Flesh & Blood – Michael Cunningham
Wait For Me – Deborah Devonshire
1984 – George Orwell
Ordeal – Nevil Shute
Kafka on the Shore – Haruki Murakami
A Shower of Summer Days – May Sarton
Falling Angels – Tracy Chevalier
Andorra – Peter Cameron
Some Kind of Fairytale – Graham Joyce
The Loved One – Evelyn Waugh
The Making of the English Landscape – W G Hoskings
Mystery in White – J Jefferson Farjeon
Human Voices – Penelope Fitzgerald
Offshore – Penelope Fitzgerald
Scottsboro – Ellen Feldman
Leaves of Grass – Walt Whitman
Mariana – Monica Dickens
The Happy Prisoner – Monica Dickens
The Tigers Wife – Tea Obrecht
In The Wet – Nevil Shute
The Queen & I – Sue Townsend
The Age of Miracles – Karen Thompson Walker
Under The Tuscan Sun – Frances Mayes
The Birds and Other Stories – Daphne Du Maurier
Run – Ann Patchett
The Pure Gold Baby – Margaret Drabble
The Room of Lost Things – Stella Duffy
Delta of Venus – Anais Nin
A God in Every Stone – Kamila Shamsie

Next time on the Readers () Thomas and Simon will be back in two weeks when they will be back with more book based banter. Next week Simon will return with a new series of You Wrote The Book with Garth Greenwell – if you have missed the last ones do go and listen, his last guest was Joanna Cannon and they discussed her wonderful debut novel The Trouble With Goats and Sheep.

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A Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction Special; Part Two

Welcome the first episode of an occasional special series of The Readers, where Simon is joined by a special co-host Eric of LonesomeReader, to discuss all things Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction 2016, In this episode they introduce the Baileys shortlist 2016 having read the whole longlist.

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The Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction Shortlist 2016 () In the second of a special occasional series around this years Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction, Simon and Eric have a catch up in a London park to discuss some of the highlights of this years longlist before going on to sharing their thoughts on this years shortlisted books which are…
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  • Ruby – Cynthia Bond (Two Roads)
  • The Green Road – Anne Enright (Jonathan Cape)
  • The Glorious Heresies – Lisa McInerney (John Murray)
  • The Portable Veblen – Elizabeth McKenzie (Fourth Estate)
  • The Improbability of Love – Hannah Rothschild (Bloomsbury)
  • A Little Life – Hanya Yanagihara (Picador)

Next time on the Readers () Thomas and Simon will be back later this week for their ‘official’ 150th episode so keep your ears peeled for that. If you missed the latest (and last in the series) of You Wrote The Book do go and listen, his guest is Joanna Cannon and they discuss her wonderful debut novel The Trouble With Goats and Sheep.

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A Wellcome Prize Shortlist Discussion

An Expected Bonus Episode

Simon Hosted a ‘Meet the Authors’ event for the Wellcome Book Prize Shortlist:

Worth £30,000, the Wellcome Book Prize celebrates the best new books that engage with an aspect of medicine, health or illness, showcasing the breadth and depth of our encounters with medicine through exceptional works of fiction and non-fiction.

Attending the event were:

Speakers
· Simon Savidge (host)
· Amy Liptrot – shortlisted author of The Outrun
· Suzanne O’ Sullivan – shortlisted author of It’s All in Your Head
· Alex Pheby – shortlist author of Playthings
· Cathy Rentzenbrink – shortlisted author of The Last Act of Love

This year’s winner, revealed on 25 April, will be the prize’s seventh overall, joining an exceptional alumni including Marion Coutts and her critically lauded memoir, The Iceberg (2015) Andrew Solomon for Far From the Tree: Parents, children and the search for identity (2014), Thomas Wright for Circulation (2012), Alice LaPlantefor Turn of Mind (2011) Rebecca Skloot for The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (2010), and Andrea Gillies for Keeper: Living with Nancy – A Journey into Alzheimer’s (2009).

The 2016 judges are author, journalist and broadcaster Baroness Joan Bakewell (Chair), academic and author Professor Frances Balkwill, writer columnist and salonnière Damian Barr, writer and academic Professor Tessa Hadley and award-winning writer and journalist Sathnam Sanghera.

Simon and Thomas will be back in two weeks. 

Ep 149; Irish Books and Clever Books, Not That Irish Books Aren’t Clever

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The Best of Irish () As St Patricks Day was looming as Thomas and Simon recorded this episode they thought that they would talk about Irish fiction – which in hindsight might have been a bad move as they realised they weren’t at all qualified for it. They talk about their thoughts on Irish fiction, from the limited ones that they have read, and what Irish fiction and writing means to them. They would love your recommendations of some Irish books.

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Clever Books () In the second section of the show Simon and Thomas talk about ‘clever books’ either books that really are clever and do something quite unusual, or books that think they are really clever and actually need to be told they are not. They have a very clever chat about it all.

Other Books Mentioned in the Show () The Casual Vacancy – JK Rowling, Moby Dick – Herman Melville, A Little Life – Hanya Yanagihara, At Hawthorn Time – Melissa Harrison, Victoria 4.30 – Cecil Roberts, The Green Road – Anne Enright, The Gathering – Anne Enright, The Good Son – Paul McVeigh, Brooklyn – Colm Toibin, Mother and Sons – Colm Toibin, The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox – Maggie O’Farrell, The Secret Scripture – Sebastian Barry, The Commitments – Roddy Doyle, Dracula – Bram Stoker, The Little Red Chairs – Edna O’Brien, Ulysses – James Joyce, A Girl is a Half Formed Thing – Eimear McBride, Hawthorn & Child – Keith Ridgway, The Secret Chord – Geraldine Brooks, With A Zero At Its Heart – Charles Lambert, What Belongs To You – Garth Greenwell, How To Be Both – Ali Smith, Shark – Will Self, The USA Trilogy – John Dos Passos, HHhH – Laurent Binet, The Wake – Paul Kingsnorth, Mitko – Garth Greenwell, A Brief History of Seven Killings – Marlon James, All The Birds, Singing – Evie Wyld, The Night Watch – Sarah Waters, The Cauliflower – Nicola Barker, Fates and Furies – Lauren Groff, Any Human Heart – William Boyd, The Magnificent Spinster – May Sarton, Mothering Sunday – Graham Swift, Happenstance – Carol Shields, The Alexandria Quartet – Lawrence Durrell, One Point Two Billion – Mahesh Rao, The Redemption of Galen Pike – Carys Davies, The Year of the Runaways.

Next time on the Readers () Thomas and Simon will be back in two weeks when they will be back with more book based banter. If you missed the latest (and last in the series) of You Wrote The Book do go and listen, his guest is Joanna Cannon and they discuss her wonderful debut novel The Trouble With Goats and Sheep. You Wrote The Book will return in mid to late April.

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