Ep 109; The Readers on the Nightstand 

Welcome to the latest episode of The Readers. This fortnight there may be a little less of Thomas than normal. Don’t fret though because Simon is joined by Thomas at the top and tail end of the show and then podcast royalty in the middle as Ann Kingman and Michael Kindness of Books on the Nightstand join him in answering some questions from some of you. What a special episode hey?

Don’t forget you can find us on TwitterGood Reads and Facebook now as well as subscribing to us on iTunes here.

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The Readers on the Nightstand () In a very special middle section of the show, after he has chatted to Thomas and told him all about the delights of Booktopia, you get to hear the second half of a conversation between Simon and the podcast royalty that are Ann and Michael from Books on the Nightstand. The three of them answer more questions from the lovely people of Booktopia (including E Lockhart) which they hope you will enjoy. You can also hear the three of them come up with a reading challenge that Thomas will add to at the end of the show. DONT FORGET TO HEAD TO BOOKS ON THE NIGHTSTAND FOR PART ONE. Thank you…

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A Challenge & Books You Think We Might Not Read () In a quick final section of the show, Thomas adds his title to the list of books that Ann, Michael, Simon and himself will be reading as each others favourite books. They also have a chat about some of the books that people might not think that they would read as inspired by Eric when he learned Simon likes Batman and superheros in general at Booktopia.

Books mentioned in this show () Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier, The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell, Any Human Heart by William Boyd, Swann by Carol Shields, Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, We Were Liars by E. Lockhart, Alex by Pierre Lemaitre, The Firm by John  Grisham, Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? by Agatha Christie, The Martian by Andy Weir, The Explorer by James Smythe

Next time on the Readers () Thomas and Simon will be back in two weeks with more book based banter. Before then Simon will be back next Wednesday with guest Victoria Hislop for the latest You Wrote The Book! Until next time thanks again for listening…

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You can subscribe to our weekly podcast on iTunes here.

Ep 108; Two Reader in One Room Talking Book Recommendations

Welcome to the latest episode of The Readers. This fortnight you are in for a treat as this week Simon and Thomas are live (well they were when they recorded it) in the same room at the same time talking all things book recommendations. Be it recommendations from friends, an author, a bookshop or a books blurb Simon and Thomas look at the pro’s and con’s of recommending books and how to make a recommendation really count.

Don’t forget you can find us on Twitter, Good Reads and Facebook now as well as subscribing to us on iTunes here.

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Book Recommendations () In a very special episode of The Readers both Thomas and Simon are in the same room (hence why there is a bit of an echo) as each other to discuss book recommendations. Not only do they discuss how books get recommended to them, and Thomas has a small rant at this point, they discuss blurbs, author quotes and how to make a recommendation really count. Should you tell people if there are twists? How much of a plot should you tease someone with if you really want them to read it? Should you trust a blurb? Has an author really read the book they have a quote on. All these things are discussed and more, and indeed a recommendation gauntlet is laid down for you all…

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Books mentioned in this show () Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, We Were Liars by E. Lockhart, The Winding Stair by Daphne Du Maurier, Alex by Pierre Lemaitre, Cold Light by Jenn Ashworth, Tony Hogan Bought Me and Ice Cream Float Before He Stole My Ma by Kerry Hudson, Little Bee by Chris Cleave.

Next time on the Readers () Thomas and Simon will be back in two weeks with more book based banter. Before then Simon will be back next Wednesday with You Wrote The Book! Until next time thanks again for listening…

Get the RSS link for the podcast by clicking here.
You can subscribe to our weekly podcast on iTunes here.

Ep 107; Non Fiction

Welcome to the latest episode of The Readers. This fortnight Simon and Thomas discuss something they rarely do on this podcast…Non-fiction! They then each share their top five books in that field. Get ready for some interesting discussion and debate.

Don’t forget you can find us on TwitterGood Reads and Facebook now as well as subscribing to us on iTunes here.

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Catching Up () Simon has pressing things on his mind, WordPress being one of them as the company have been taking down bookish blogs who are hosting blog tours, what is that all about and how does Thomas feel about it? Simon is also freaked out that when this goes live he and Thomas will be in a pool, sat by a pool, at the zoo or even recording a show face to face!

Non Fiction () It is not something that Thomas and Simon often speak about so they have decided to host a whole show about it. Non fiction! The duo decided to have a chat about what it is that keeps them from reading non fiction more often and what they love about it when it is done right, they soon realise that actually, they like it much more than they think and should get reading more of it pronto!

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The Readers Top Non Fiction Books () In the second part of the show Simon and Thomas each share their top five non fiction books.

Thomas’ are…

Tender at the Bone and Comfort Me with Apples – Ruth Reichl
The Death and Life of Great American Cities – Jane Jacobs
84, Charing Cross Road – Helene Hanff
The Piano Shop on the Left Bank – Thad Carhart
The Journals of May Sarton

Simon’s are…

The Lost City of Z – David Grann
Stiff – Mary Roach
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks – Rebecca Skloot
The Mitfords: Letters Between Six Sisters – edited by Charlotte Mosley
In Cold Blood – Truman Capote

Next time on the Readers () Thomas and Simon will be back in two weeks with more book based banter. Before then Simon will be back next Wednesday with You Wrote The Book! Until next time thanks again for listening…

Get the RSS link for the podcast by clicking here.
You can subscribe to our weekly podcast on iTunes here.

Ep 106; World War I & Historical Fiction

Welcome to the latest episode of The Readers. This fortnight Simon and Thomas are back just the two of them to discuss discussing books ‘properly’ and to tell you what they have been reading, are reading and what they may very well be reading next…

Don’t forget you can find us on TwitterGood Reads and Facebook now as well as subscribing to us on iTunes here.

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World War I in Fiction () As we commemorate 100 years since the beginning of World War I, Simon decided that he would like to talk about fiction set in World War I, after embarrassingly admitting that he has hardly read any books set in that time period and that he often mistakes the World Wars. Thomas is aghast. Anyway, they go through a selection of books that Thomas has read and that Simon might read. They would love more recommendations from you.

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Historical Fiction () Leading on from their discussion of fiction set in World War I, Thomas and Simon decided to talk about the genre of historical fiction, one which neither of them think they like but actually (once you move away from the bodice rippers and the headless female covers) they realize they do. They discuss their favourite titles, eras and whether as a book ages it becomes a historical novel by accident.

Other Books Mentioned in this Episode (In Order) Hemlock Grove – Brian McGreevy, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh – Michael Chabon, A Month in the Country – J.L.Carr, All Quiet on the Western Front – Erich Maria Remarque, Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks, Under Fire – Henry Barbusse, The Guns of August – Barbara Tuchman, Return of the Soldier – Rebecca West,  Out of this Furnace – Thomas Bell, Mrs Dalloway – Virginia Woolf, A Farewell to Arms – Ernest Hemingway, Mrs Hemingway – Naomi Wood, Regeneration – Pat Barker, Parade’s End – Ford Maddox Ford, Ashenden – W. Somerset Maugham, His Last Bow – Arthur Conan Doyle, Strange Meeting – Susan Hill, A Testament of Youth – Vera Britten, Wilfred and Aileen – Jonathan Smith, Journey’s End – R.C Sherriff, Warhorse – Michael Morpurgo, One of Ours – Willa Cather, Willam an Englishman – Cicely Hamilton, The Forsythe Saga – John Galsworthy, The Observations – Jane Harris, Gillespie and I – Jane Harris, Bitter Greens – Kate Forsyth, Wolf Hall – Hillary Mantel, The Other Boleyn Girl – Philippa Gregory, The Song of Achilles – Madeline Miller, The Girl With The Pearl Earring – Tracey Chevalier, Small Island – Andrea Levy, HHhH – Laurent Binet, The Club Dumas – Arturo Perez-Reverte, The Hundred Year House – Rebecca Makkai, The Borrower – Rebecca Makkai.

Next time on the Readers () Thomas and Simon will be back in two weeks with more book based banter. Before then Simon will be back next Tuesday with You Wrote The Book! Until next time thanks again for listening…

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You can subscribe to our weekly podcast on iTunes here.

Ep 105; Man Booker 2014

Welcome to the latest episode of The Readers. This fortnight Simon and Thomas discuss the recently announced Man Booker Prize Longlist aswell as read-a-longs and reading challenges…

Don’t forget you can find us on TwitterGood Reads and Facebook now as well as subscribing to us on iTunes here.

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The Man Booker Longlist 2014 () It is said to be one of the biggest prizes in the literary world and now it is open to the whole wide world, well if you can write a novel in English. Simon and Thomas have a chat about this years longlist and its relevancy. Here’s the list for you…

To Rise Again at a Decent Hour – Joshua Ferris (Viking)
The Narrow Road to the Deep North – Richard Flanagan (Chatto & Windus)
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves – Karen Joy Fowler (Serpent’s Tail)
The Blazing World – Siri Hustvedt (Sceptre)
J -  Howard Jacobson (Jonathan Cape)
The Wake – Paul Kingsnorth (Unbound)
The Bone Clocks – David Mitchell (Sceptre)
The Lives of Others – Neel Mukherjee (Chatto & Windus)
Us – David Nicholls (Hodder & Stoughton)
The Dog – Joseph O’Neill (Fourth Estate)
Orfeo – Richard Powers (Atlantic Books)
How to be Both -  Ali Smith (Hamish Hamilton)
History of the Rain – Niall Williams (Bloomsbury)

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Read-a-longs and Reading Challenges () In the second part of the show Simon and Thomas talk about the pros and cons of read-a-longs and reading challenges. Which ones have they joined, and indeed started, and how did they get on with them be it good or bad?

Next time on the Readers () Thomas and Simon will be back in two weeks with more book based banter. Before then Simon will be back next Wednesday with Kate Forsyth on You Wrote The Book! Until next time thanks again for listening…

Get the RSS link for the podcast by clicking here.
You can subscribe to our weekly podcast on iTunes here.

 

Ep 104; How Do We Discuss Books ‘Properly’? & Reading Horizons

Welcome to the latest episode of The Readers. This fortnight Simon and Thomas are back just the two of them to discuss discussing books ‘properly’ and to tell you what they have been reading, are reading and what they may very well be reading next…

Don’t forget you can find us on TwitterGood Reads and Facebook now as well as subscribing to us on iTunes here.

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Catching Up () As it has been a while since Simon and Thomas recorded they thought they would have a good old catch up. Thomas tells us a little bit about his break in Pennsylvania and Simon demands to know, well Gav asked last week, of any books based there. They also discuss Thomas’ new shelves, Simon discovering an author he likes who he had told himself he didn’t and various other bits and bobs.

Discussing Books ‘Properly’ () One of the listeners, and Simon’s favourite person he has never met (apart from Thomas of course), Sarah wanted to know how she and her friend should go about discussing books better. Thomas decides to stay out of this one a little, so Simon starts of explaining how he goes about reviews and prepping for podcasts with authors, then has a rant about his book group, and then realises that there is no right answer to this one… well not really. What do you all think?

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Discussing Books ‘Properly’ () The return of the occasional series of book discussions where our hosts tell you about the books they have read, are reading and what they are going to be reading next.

Thomas has read: Treasure Island!!! by Sarah Levine
One of his current reads is: The Vicar of Wakefield by Oliver Goldsmith
His next summer read will be: The Perfume Collector by Kathleen Tessaro

Simon has read and been blown away by: A Month in the Country by J.L. Carr
He is currently reading and loving: With a Zero at Its Heart by Charles Lambert
His next escapist read will be: Through the Woods by Emily Carroll

Other Books Mentioned in this Episode (In Order) Levels of Life, A Sense of An Ending, Arthur & George, The History of the World in 10.5 Chapters – all by Julian Barnes; The Night Guest – Fiona MacFarlane; The Fifth Child, The Grass is Singing – both by Doris Lessing; The Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad; The Year of Reading Dangerously – Andy Miller; Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell; The Goldfinch – Donna Tartt; Nights at the Circus – Angela Carter & Americanah – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Next time on the Readers () Thomas and Simon will be back in two weeks with more book based banter. Before then Simon will be back next Tuesday with You Wrote The Book! Until next time thanks again for listening…

Get the RSS link for the podcast by clicking here.
You can subscribe to our weekly podcast on iTunes here.

 

Ep 103; Book Bingo & A Book Forecast for the Fall (PS: Gav’s Back)

Welcome to the latest episode of The Readers. This fortnight Gavin is back as a) Thomas is on holiday and b) Simon and Gavin haven’t done their biannual discussion of the books that they are looking forward to in the next six months… so they rectify that, and talk some bookish bingo.

Don’t forget you can find us on TwitterGood Reads and Facebook now as well as subscribing to us on iTunes here.

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Bookish Bingo via Books on the Nightstand () You will more than likely have heard of the wonderful idea Ann and Micheal have had on Books on the Nightstand but Simon wants to share it with you all just in case you have missed it. So if you would like to join in with Books on the Nightstand Bingo you can do HERE. And here is Simon’s card so you can check he keeps to what he has promised.

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A Book Forecast for the Fall () In their now routine biannual special, Gavin and Simon take a look at the books that they are looking out for in the next six months. Note – these may be subject to change both in release date and in whether they are the best books Gavin and Simon read in the fall, but hopefully it will give you lots to read in the next few months either way…

July – Simon

The Disappearance of a Boy – Neil Bartlett

Reggie Rainbow has found the perfect profession for someone who likes to keep himself to himself: it’s his job to make sure that some things stay out of sight and out of mind. Reggie Rainbow is an angry young man who treads the backstage corridors of down-at-heel theatres for a living. Childhood polio has left him with a limp, but his strong arms and nimble fingers are put to perfect use behind the scenes, helping the illusionist Mr Brookes to ‘disappear’ a series of glamorous assistants twice nightly. But in 1953, bookings for magic acts are scarce, even in London. So when Mr Brookes is unexpectedly offered a slot at the Brighton Grand, Reggie finds himself back out on the road and living in a strange new town. The sea air begins to work its own peculiar kind of magic, and, as the bunting goes up in the streets outside the theatre for the Grand’s forthcoming Coronation spectacular, Reggie begins to wonder just how much of his own life is an act – and what might have happened to somebody who disappeared from that life long ago.

The Silent History – Eli Horowitz, Matthew Derby and Kevin Moffett

A generation of children are born without speech, without comprehension, without language entirely. At first, they are just medical curiosities. But their numbers swell, and soon they grow into an established underclass, occupying squats and communes around the world. To some they are seen as a threat; to others, as a salvation. Some suspect they may have other abilities beyond our understanding. The children cannot tell you their story. Instead we rely on The Silent History, a collection of testimonies from those touched by the phenomenon. Parents, doctors, opportunist inventors, cult leaders, and vigilantes, recall what they have endured and what they have inflicted on others. They will take you from a recognisable present to a real and unsettling future. You will not want to look away.

The Girl in 6E – A R Torre

Deanna has not left her apartment in years. She’s ruled by the need to kill, so she separates

herself from any potential victims by avoiding all physical contact and operating entirely through the digital realm. But when her job as a webcam girl means she unintentionally uncovers the identity of a kidnapper, she’s forced to leave the safety of apartment 6E as she races to save a young girl’s life. Previously self-published in an altered form with a phenomenal online following, this is a game changing novel that pushes the boundaries of erotic and thriller fiction.

July – Gavin

Jani and the Greater Game – Eric Brown

It’s 1910 and the British rule the subcontinent with an iron fist – and with strange technology fuelled by a power source known as Annapurnite – discovered in the foothills of Mount Annapurna. But they rule but at the constant cost of their enemies, mainly the Russians and the Chinese, attempting to learn the secret of this technology…This political confrontation is known as The Greater Game. Into this conflict is pitched eighteen year old Janisha Chaterjee who discovers a strange device which leads her into the foothills of the Himalayas. When Russians spies and the evil priest Durja Das find out about the device, the chase is on to apprehend Janisha before she can reach the Himalayas. There she will learn the secret behind Annapurnite, and what she learns will change the destiny of the world for ever…Jani and the Greater Game is the first book in a rip-roaring, spice-laden, steampunk action adventure series set in India and featuring a heroine who subverts all the norms.

Hild by Nicola Griffith

‘You are a prophet and seer with the brightest mind in an age. Your blood is that of the man who should have been king …That’s what the king and his lords see. And they will kill you, one day’

Britain in the seventh century – and the world is changing. Small kingdoms are merging, frequently and violently. Edwin, King of Northumbria, plots his rise to overking of all the Angles. Ruthless and unforgiving, he is prepared to use every tool at his disposal: blood, bribery, belief. Into this brutal, vibrant court steps Hild – Edwin’s youngest niece.  With her glittering mind and powerful curiosity, Hild has a unique way of reading the world. By studying nature, observing human behavior and matching cause with effect, she has developed the ability to make startlingly accurate predictions. It is a gift that can seem uncanny, even supernatural, to those around her.  It is also a valuable weapon. Hild is indispensable to Edwin – unless she should ever lead him astray. The stakes are life and death: for Hild, for her family, for her loved ones, and for the increasing numbers who seek the protection of the strange girl who can see the future and lead men like a warrior. In this vivid, utterly compelling novel, Nicola Griffith has brought the Early Middle Ages to life in an extraordinary act of alchemy. Drawn from the story of St Hilda of Whitby – one of the most fascinating and pivotal figures of the age – Hild transports the reader into a mesmerising, unforgettable world.

After Me Comes the Flood by Sarah Perry

One hot summer’s day, John Cole decides to leave his life behind.  He shuts up the bookshop no one ever comes to and drives out of London. When his car breaks down and he becomes lost on an isolated road, he goes looking for help, and stumbles into the grounds of a grand but dilapidated house.  Its residents welcome him with open arms – but there’s more to this strange community than meets the eye. They all know him by name, they’ve prepared a room for him, and claim to have been waiting for him all along. As nights and days pass John finds himself drawn into a baffling menagerie. There is Hester, their matriarchal, controlling host; Alex and Claire, siblings full of child-like wonder and delusions; the mercurial Eve; Elijah – a faithless former preacher haunted by the Bible; and chain-smoking Walker, wreathed in smoke and hostility. Who are these people? And what do they intend for John?  Elegant, gently sinister and psychologically complex, After Me Comes The Flood is a haunting and hypnotic debut novel by a brilliant new voice.

The Child Eater by Rachel Pollack

On Earth, the Wisdom family has always striven to be more normal than normal. But Simon Wisdom, the youngest child, is far from normal: he can see the souls of the dead. And now the ghosts of children are begging him to help them, as they face something worse than death. The only problem is, he doesn’t know how. In a far-away land of magic and legends, Matyas has dragged himself up from the gutter and inveigled his way into the Wizards’ college. In time, he will become more powerful than all of them – but will his quest blind him to the needs of others? For Matyas can also hear the children crying. But neither can save the children alone, for the child eater is preying on two worlds…

Mother Island by Bethan Roberts

How does it feel to come home from work one evening and find your two-year-old son gone? How does it feel to steal another woman’s child? To take a boy from his mother, and try to make him yours, make things right? This is the story of two women, Nula and Maggie, joined by old family history and love for the same little boy.

August – Simon

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage – Haruki Murakami

Tsukuru Tazaki had four best friends at school. By chance all of their names contained a colour. The two boys were called Akamatsu, meaning ‘red pine’, and Oumi, ‘blue sea’, while the girls’ names were Shirane, ‘white root’, and Kurono, ‘black field’. Tazaki was the only last name with no colour in it. One day Tsukuru Tazaki’s friends announced that they didn’t want

to see him, or talk to him, ever again. Since that day Tsukuru has been floating through life, unable to form intimate connections with anyone. But then he meets Sara, who tells him that the time has come to find out what happened all those years ago.

The Paying Guests – Sarah Waters

It is 1922, and London is tense. Ex-servicemen are disillusioned, the out-of-work and the hungry are demanding change. And in South London, in a genteel Camberwell villa, a large silent house now bereft of brothers, husband and even servants, life is about to be  transformed, as impoverished widow Mrs Wray and her spinster daughter, Frances, are obliged to take in lodgers. For with the arrival of Lilian and Leonard Barber, a modern young couple of the ‘clerk class’, the routines of the house will be shaken up in unexpected ways. And as passions mount and frustration gathers, no one can foresee just how far-reaching, and how devastating, the disturbances will be.

August – Gavin

My Real Children by Jo Walton

The day Mark called, Patricia Cowan’s world split in two. The phone call. His question. Her answer.

A single word. ‘Yes.’ ‘No.’ It is 2015 and Patricia Cowan is very old. ‘Confused today’ read the notes clipped to the end of her bed. Her childhood, her years at Oxford during the Second World War – those things are solid in her memory. Then that phone call and.her memory splits in two. She was Trish, a housewife and mother of four. She was Pat, a successful travel writer and mother of three. She remembers living her life as both women, so very clearly. Which memory is real – or are both just tricks of time and light? My Real Children is the story of both of Patricia Cowan’s lives – each with its loves and losses, sorrows and triumphs, its possible consequences. It is a novel about how every life means the entire world.

September – Simon 

Stone Mattress; Thirteen Tales – Margaret Atwood

A man bids on an auctioned storage space and has quite a surprise. A woman born with a genetic abnormality is mistaken for a vampire. An elderly lady with Charles Bonnet syndrome comes to terms with the little people she keeps seeing, while a newly-formed populist group gathers to burn down her retirement residence. In these thirteen tales, seven previously unpublished, Margaret Atwood ventures into territory earlier explored by fabulists and concoctors of dark yarns such as Robert Louis Stevenson, Daphne du Maurier and Arthur Conan Doyle – and also by herself, in her award-winning novel Alias Grace.

Rooms  by Lauren Oliver

A rich elderly bachelor named Richard Walker has died, leaving behind a country estate with its rooms alternately full of junk, mementos and valuable possessions. But the house isn’t left uninhabited. Two ghosts walk its corridors. Our narrator Alice, once a resident of the house, and companion to a fellow spirit she now loathes, is desperate to be free; she longs to set the house on fire, burn it down, move on into the wider world. When she feels some of her earthly powers coming back, the house and all its new dwellers may be in danger.

The Children Act – Ian McEwan

Fiona Maye is a leading High Court judge, presiding over cases in the family court. She is renowned for her fierce intelligence, exactitude and sensitivity. But her professional success belies private sorrow and domestic strife. There is the lingering regret of her childlessness, and now, her marriage of thirty years is in crisis. At the same time, she is called on to try an urgent case: for religious reasons, a beautiful seventeen-year-old boy, Adam, is refusing the medical treatment that could save his life, and his devout parents share his wishes. Time is running out. Should the secular court overrule sincerely held faith? In the course of reaching a decision Fiona visits Adam in hospital – an encounter which stirs long-buried feelings in her and powerful new emotions in the boy. Her judgment has momentous consequences for them both.

September – Gavin

How to be Both – Ali Smith

Passionate, compassionate, vitally inventive and scrupulously playful, Ali Smith’s novels are like nothing else. How to be both is a novel all about art’s versatility. Borrowing from painting’s fresco technique to make an original literary double-take, it’s a fast-moving genre-bending conversation between forms, times, truths and fictions. There’s a renaissance artist of the 1460s. There’s the child of a child of the 1960s. Two tales of love and injustice twist into a singular yarn where time gets timeless, structural gets playful, knowing gets mysterious, fictional gets real – and all life’s givens get given a second chance.

Rooms by Lauren Oliver

Wealthy Richard Walker has just died, leaving behind his country house full of rooms packed with the detritus of a lifetime. His estranged family-bitter ex-wife Caroline, troubled teenage son Trenton, and unforgiving daughter Minna-have arrived for their inheritance. But the Walkers are not alone. Prim Alice and the cynical Sandra, long dead former residents bound to the house, linger within its claustrophobic walls. Jostling for space, memory, and supremacy, they observe the family, trading barbs and reminiscences about their past lives. Though their voices cannot be heard, Alice and Sandra speak through the house itself-in the hiss of the radiator, a creak in the stairs, the dimming of a light bulb. The living and dead are each haunted by painful truths that will soon surface with explosive force. When a new ghost appears, and Trenton begins to communicate with her, the spirit and human worlds collide-with cataclysmic results.

October – Simon

Death Sentences by Otto Penzer and Ian Rankin

Sigmund Freud deals with an unwelcome visitor; Columbo confronts a murderous bookseller; a Mexican cartel kingpin has a fatal weakness for rare books; who knew literature could be so lethal? Here are fifteen short stories to die for from the world’s best crime writers. Death Sentences includes original, specially commissioned stories about deadly books from Jefferey Deaver, andrew taylor, Laura Lippman, C.J. Box, Anne Perry, Ken Bruen, Thomas H. Cook, Micky Spillane & Max Allan Collins, Nelson DeMille and John Connolly.

October – Gavin

Death Sentences: Stories of Deathly Books, Murderous Booksellers and Lethal Literature

‘What treats you have in store!’ IAN RANKIN. Sigmund Freud deals with an unwelcome visitor; Columbo confronts a murderous bookseller; a Mexican cartel kingpin with a fatal weakness for rare books; deadly secrets deep in the London Library: who knew literature could be so lethal? Here are 15 short stories to die for from the world’s best crime writers. With an introduction from Ian Rankin, DEATH SENTENCES includes original, specially commissioned stories about deadly books from Jeffrey Deaver, Andrew Taylor, Laura Lippman, C.J. Box, Anne Perry, Ken Bruen, Thomas H. Cook, Micky Spillaine & Max Adam Collins, Nelson DeMille and John Connolly.

The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber

‘I am with you always, even unto the end of the world…’ From the author of Under the Skin and The Crimson Petal and the White, the first novel from Michel Faber in fourteen years is a wildly original tale of adventure, faith and the ties that might hold two people together when they are worlds apart

Peter Leigh is a husband, a Christian, and now a missionary. As The Book of Strange New Things opens, he is set to embark on a journey that will be the biggest test of his faith yet. From the moment he says goodbye to his wife, Bea, and boards his flight, he begins a quest that will challenge his religious beliefs, his love and his understanding of the limits of the human body.

This momentous novel is Faber at his expectation-defying best. It is a brilliantly compelling book about love in the face of death, and the search for meaning in an unfathomable universe.

Moriarty by  Anthony Horowitz

Sherlock Holmes is dead. Days after Holmes and his arch-enemy Moriarty fall to their doom at the Reichenbach Falls, Pinkerton agent Frederick Chase arrives in Europe from New York. The death of Moriarty has created a poisonous vacuum which has been swiftly filled by a fiendish new criminal mastermind who has risen to take his place. Ably assisted by Inspector Athelney Jones of Scotland Yard, a devoted student of Holmes’s methods of investigation and deduction, Frederick Chase must forge a path through the darkest corners of the capital to shine light on this shadowy figure, a man much feared but seldom seen, a man determined to engulf London in a tide of murder and menace. Author of the global bestseller THE HOUSE OF SILK, Anthony Horowitz once more breathes life into the world created by Arthur Conan Doyle. With pitch-perfect characterisation and breath-taking pace, Horowitz weaves a relentlessly thrilling tale which teases and delights by the turn of each page. The game is afoot…

November – Simon

The History of Strange Things – Michel Faber

Peter Leigh is a husband, a Christian, and now a missionary. As The Book of Strange New Things opens, he is set to embark on a journey that will be the biggest test of his faith yet.

From the moment he says goodbye to his wife, Bea, and boards his flight, he begins a quest that will challenge his religious beliefs, his love and his understanding of the limits of the human body. This momentous novel is Faber at his expectation-defying best. It is

a brilliantly compelling book about love in the face of death, and the search for meaning in an unfathomable universe.

Life, Love and the Archers – Wendy Cope

A book for anyone who’s ever fallen in love, tried to give up smoking, or consoled themselves that they’ll never be quite as old as Mick Jagger. With her sharp eye for human foibles and unfailing sense of humour, Wendy Cope has long been one of the nation’s best-loved poets. Now, thanks to this carefully curated prose collection consisting of a lifetime of published and unpublished work, readers can meet the Enid-Blyton-obsessed schoolgirl, the ambivalent daughter, the amused teacher, the sensitive journalist, the cynical romantic and the savagely funny television critic. Reflecting on everything from daring to write poetry to weddings, Cope proves that she’s a master of the one-liner as well as the couplet, the telling review as well as the sonnet.

 

Dear Reader – Paul Fournel

Meet Robert Dubois. Cheek resting on a pile of manuscripts, the ageing and perhaps too comfortable publisher of Robert Dubois Books is alone one evening in his office. In walks a pretty intern with an e-reader. For a man who thought he had seen it all, this is a revolution.

Can text really live without paper? As Dubois gets to know his new machine and carries on with his publisher’s life, author lunches and bookshops visits, the reader tucked under his arm tells him of the new paperless world to which he might not belong. Don’t be fooled, Dubois hasn’t given up. Late at night, he secretly plots new forms of literature with a group of interns, with whom he shares his immoderate and timeless love of books and reading…

November – Gavin

The Dark Defiles – Richard Morgan

Compared to Michael Moorcock and Joe Abercrombie alike, Richard Morgan’s fast moving and brutal science fantasy reaches its final volume as Ringil comes to his final reckoning and sees the world tipping into another war with the dragon folk. And, most terrifying of all, the prophecy of a dark lord come to rule may be coming true very close to home… THE DARK DEFILES is a supremely fast moving 240,000 word epic. A massive yet tight story that both shines a light on some mysteries from earlier volumes and reveals deeper mysteries yet. We encounter the artifacts of an ancient race, learn the true story of the ghostly Dwenda and follow three old friends as they face their greatest test yet.

Hopefully there is something you like up there but we’d also like to hear from you. What books are you looking forward to?

Ep 102; Educating Readers

Welcome to the latest episode of The Readers. This fortnight Simon and Thomas are joined by Thomas’ friend Ron who teaches English in a school in Europe to discuss reading in schools and educating younger readers…

Don’t forget you can find us on TwitterGood Reads and Facebook now as well as subscribing to us on iTunes here.

Educating Readers () In a special episode of The Readers this fortnight Thomas and Simon are joined by Ron, who teaches English Literature at an English school in Europe to discuss the teaching of reading and educating readers. The three have a big chat about which books they read at school and how they got on with them, the latest changes to the UK syllabus which has caused quite a stir, how Ron works to get younger people engaged with books and which ones he chooses and which books they would make all young people read…

Books Mentioned in this Episode:

Skellig – David Almond, The History Boys – Alan Bennett, Noughts and Crosses – Malorie Blackman, Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte, The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins, Harriet The Spy – Louise Fitzhugh, A Room With A View – E.M. Forster, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time – Mark Haddon, Lord of the Flies – William Golding, To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee, The Life of Pi – Yann Martell, My Cousin Rachel – Daphne Du Maurier, Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier, Animal Farm – George Orwell, The God of Small Things – Arundhati Roy, As For Me and My House – Sinclair Ross, The Catcher in the Rye – J.D Salinger, Measure for Measure – William Shakespeare, Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck, Ethan Frome – Edith Wharton and everything by Anthony Horrowitz and Jacqueline Wilson

Next time on the Readers () Thomas and Simon will be back in two weeks with more book based banter. Before then Simon will be back next Tuesday with You Wrote The Book! Until next time thanks again for listening…

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You can subscribe to our weekly podcast on iTunes here

Ep 101; Room 101 – Where Bad Bookish Bits Are Banished…

Welcome to the latest episode of The Readers. This fortnight Simon and Thomas show their darker side as they discuss the things that really annoy them relating to books, things that annoy them so much they would like to banish them to Room 101!

Don’t forget you can find us on TwitterGood Reads and Facebook now as well as subscribing to us on iTunes here.

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Catching Up () Simon and Thomas have had a catch up on all the things that have been going on lately. Thomas has been organising Simon’s schedule for his trip to America as well as varying other things whilst Simon is planning to jet off to Sweden on a cold crime tour…

Room 101, What Would You Banish There () As it is episode 101, and after he heard Ann from Books on the Nightstand discussing something she didn’t really like in a book, Simon decided that now was the perfect time to take The Readers to the darker side. We=ll, the more annoyed and angry side in fact, as he and Thomas discuss the bookish things that really make them cross and they would like to see banished. What do you think they could be and what would you send down there?

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Books Mentioned in this Episode:

The Shock of the Fall – Nathan Filer
The Help – Kathryn Stockett
The Forsyte Saga – John Galsworthy

Next time on the Readers () Thomas and Simon will be back in two weeks with Gavin to celebrate 100 episodes of the Readers and all that book based banter. Before then Simon will be back next Tuesday with You Wrote The Book! with Emma Healey to discuss her (amazing) debut novel ‘Elizabeth is Missing’. Until next time thanks again for listening…

Get the RSS link for the podcast by clicking here.
You can subscribe to our weekly podcast on iTunes here.

Ep 100; The Readers is 100! Ask The Readers Anything & The Readers Retrospective

Welcome to the latest episode of The Readers. This fortnight Simon, Thomas AND Gavin have a special 100th episode for you with a return of ‘Ask The Readers Anything’ and also having a (possibly emotional) retrospective over the last 100 episodes!

Don’t forget you can find us on TwitterGood Reads and Facebook now as well as subscribing to us on iTunes here.

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Catching Up () Simon grills Gavin on what he has been doing since 20 episodes when he big him a fond farewell and Thomas tells us all about his prize winning book which he has kept secret for so long!

Ask The Readers Anything () We thought as it was a special episode we should celebrate it with you lovely listeners and so we asked you to ask us anything, and you did – and some of the questions were really tough too! Simon, Thomas and Gavin try to answer them as well as they can.

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The Readers Retrospective () In the second segment of the show Thomas Simon and Gavin look back over the last one hundred episodes right from the very beginning and discuss how the Readers has grown, evolved and what the highlights have been. Simon and Gavin might possibly get a little bit emotional… possibly!

Next time on the Readers () Thomas and Simon will be back in two weeks more book based banter. Before then Simon will be back next Tuesday with You Wrote The Book! Until next time thanks again for listening…

Get the RSS link for the podcast by clicking here.
You can subscribe to our weekly podcast on iTunes here.