Ep.88; The Internet & Books

This fortnight on The Readers Thomas and Simon take a look at the internet and how it does and doesn’t work with regard to books. They also discuss the impact it has had on reading and ponder how much it might have changed us without us realizing it.

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The Internet & Books () Thomas was reading Margaret Drabbles The Pure Gold Baby and as he read on he saw her description of a Town Hall in London, being the intrepid reader that he is he wanted to go and see if the place was actually how it was described in the book. So he googled it and there it was. This made him ponder how the internet has changed him as a reader and started a whole topic for this week…

internet As most of you will know by now, Simon is a bit of a cynic and so he made a list of the pro’s and con’s of the internet and books and discovered it was a double edged sword chatting to more people on social media is marvellous, but does it mean we are diverted and read less? Has it added too much hype to books? Can word be spread about smaller books better? How amazing is it to be able to contact an author? Should authors know when to shut up? Has it made being an author less about being a writer and more about being a celebrity? How would we cope without blogs and podcasts? Lots and lots to discuss indeed, we would of course love to know your thoughts…

Next Time on The Readers () Simon and Thomas will be back in two weeks time with the latest book based banter, and the last one before Christmas so expect something festive. Simon is back  in a week with You Wrote The Book and his guest is Eimear McBride, recent winner of the inaugural Goldsmith’s Prize with A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing. Don’t forget you can also join Simon, Gavin and Kate and Rob on Hear Read This a week on Friday when they will be discussing Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s Marina and Ursula Le Guin’s The Left Hand of Darkness.

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Ep.87; Confronting vs. Comforting Reading & Books We Want To Live In

This week on the Readers we find Simon with a small bee in his bonnet as he wants to talk comfort vs. confronting reading. Thomas has much nicer subjects on his mind, which makes up for some of Simon’s subject matter, as he decides they should debate which books they would most like to live in, can you hazard any guesses?

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

Comforting vs. Confronting Reading () Simon has recently read Magda by Meike Ziervogel which tells of the life of Magda Goebbels, a woman who is seen as the ultimate monster in Germany. It brings up the subject of the Nazi movement from a new and very brave angle and left Simon numb and full of thoughts and also pondering if he told people it was his book of 2013 they might think he empathised with that regime. Interestingly when he has recommended it to other people they have been very hesitant because of the uncomfortable nature of the book. This reminded him of an old book club adversary and brought up the whole subject… Should reading be about comfort reading or confronting reading?

Which Book Would You Live In? () A lighter note for the next section of the show this week as Thomas asks the question of ‘which book would you like to live in?’ As we read we often find we throw ourselves into the books and the main characters lives completely, but could we live in their fictional worlds for good? As Thomas and Simon discuss this they realise it isn’t as easy a subject as they thought. Firstly, you might just want to visit a dystopian world, but would you really want to live in it? Secondly, you’re favourite book might not be the ideal place to live either might it? Which books do they decide to move into… all will be revealed.

Next time on the Readers () Thomas and Simon will be back in two weeks with more book based banter. Simon will be back next Tuesday with You Wrote The Book! and don’t forget you can catch up with Hear… Read This in the interim.

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Ep.86; What We Have Read, Are Reading & How We Choose What We Read Next…

This week on the Readers it is time to bring back Reading Horizons, though with a twist as Thomas and Simon discuss what they have been reading, what they are reading and how on earth they decide what they are going to read next…

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

What We Have Read & What We Are Reading () It is time to have a catch up with Thomas and Simon have been reading and are reading at the moment…

 

Thomas has read: The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer
He is currently reading: At The Bottom of Everything by Ben Dolnick

 

Simon has read: The Ghost Hunters by Neil Spring
He was reading: Riotous Assembly by Tom Sharpe

How We Choose What To Read Next () Normally Simon and Thomas would instantly share what they are reading next, however whilst Simon knows that he really fancies reading ‘The Watch Tower’ by Elizabeth Harrower, Thomas has been a little more stuck/spoilt for choice with three possibilities. These are ‘The Pure Gold Baby’ by Margaret Drabble, ‘Americanah’ by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and ‘May We Be Forgiven’ by A.M. Homes. So they decided it was time to talk about how they choose what they read next. Do they wander through their shelves, bookstores or libraries and pick by whim? Do they have a special selection by the bed? All is revealed in the second section of the show and they want to know how you pick what you are reading next? So let them know…

Next time on the Readers () Thomas and Simon will be back in two weeks with more book based banter. Simon will be back next Tuesday with You Wrote The Book! with guest Meike Ziervogel discussing ‘Magda’ and on Friday it is the second episode of new book club show Hear… Read This.

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Introducing… Hear, Read This!

In a special extra podcast Simon and Gavin interrupt your usual programming with a reminder about their new podcast Hear, Read This! which you can now find on iTunes. If you were wondering what on earth had happened to the book club last week, well it has merged into a new show with the lovely Rob and Kate of Adventures with Words. Four hosts, two books and one hour of debate… it is going to be great!!!

In the first episode they discuss Laurent Binet’s ‘HHhH’ and Robin Sloan’s ‘Mr Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore’ and just for the first month we are including it in The Readers feed so you can have a listen.

 

Next month this all new feisty foursome will be talking about Yrsa Sigurdardottir’s ‘I Remember You’ and Jake Arnott’s ‘The House of Rumour’ on the second Friday of November (the 8th). So if you have any questions head to hearreadthis.com and subscribe on iTunes here.

The Readers is back on Tuesday!

Ep.84; America in Books…

This fortnight on the Readers, Simon and Thomas discuss America in literature. After looking at the Man Booker changes in the previous episode which means that lovely Americans and all authors who write in English are eligible, and with Thomas being from the United States, they thought it was time to talk American books.

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

SHOW NOTES TO FOLLOW

Special Post: All Good Things Come To An End…

Simon and Gavin interrupt the normal schedule of podcasts with a special mini episode with a BIG update. As you know Simon and Gavin have been hosting the Readers Book Club for quite some time. However after another author becoming unavailable they have thought long and hard and are sad to announce that the Readers Book Club is no more. BUT they have decided to join forces with Rob and Kate of Adventures With Words and launch a whole new book club on a whole new podcast…

Hear Read This

Four hosts, two books, one hour every month – is the best way to sum it up. no authors (which means dead authors can now be on, plus authors who might not have come on the show), just lots of bookish talk. Each month Gavin, Simon, Rob and Kate will bring two books to the table they all read and discuss, hopefully with the help of your questions. The first books for the book club are…

 

HHhH by Laurent Binet, as this was the book that they were making you all read for October, along with ‘Mr Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore’ by Robin Sloan. The new episode goes live on Friday so we would love your discussion points of either of the two titles as we will be recording on Wednesday. Hoorah’s all round. You can find the new site for the new podcast HERE.

You can still subscribe to The Readers podcast on iTunes here and the RSS link for The Readers is here clicking here.

Ep.83; Man Oh Man Booker & Lengthy Illuminations By The Luminaries

This fortnight on The Readers sees a possible case of America vs. the UK as Thomas and Simon discuss the latest changes to the Man Booker Prize which has had everyone talking this week. Simon also uses the Man Booker, and Eleanor Catton’s shortlisted ‘The Luminaries’ to have a big talk about big books…

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

Catching Up () As has become a regular thing now on the readers, our two hosts have a catch up about what bookish things have been going on since the last show. This week it seems Simon has little to update us on but Thomas has been doing some Savidge approved reading with Agatha Raisin and Daphne Du Maurier.

Man Oh Man Booker () Unless you have been on a lovely holiday somewhere, very busy or simply missed it, you might know that there has been quite the furore over the new Man Booker changes that will be taking effect from 2014. It is no longer just the commonwealth countries that will be eligible, now any book written in English published between September 2013 and September 2014 will be eligible. BUT now publishers will be able to submit less unless they have previous longlisted titles. Simon is furious. He rants talks about the pro’s (he can only see two small ones) and the con’s of this with Thomas and why he is worried about the Americans, topical, might end up taking over.

Big Books

Lengthy Illuminations By The Luminaries () Simon has been reading, well still technically is reading though is having a small break, ‘The Luminaries’ by Eleanor Catton which weighs in at a pretty hefty 900 pages. As he has been struggling to really get to grips with it, due to limited reading timing and it being too heavy to commute with, he decided to talk to Thomas about long books (which was perfect as Thomas has just finished Vikram Seth’s ‘A Suitable Boy’. So they discuss long books at length; why we read them, how we read them and how short stories and long stories both manage to have such power in such different ways.

Next time on The Readers () Simon and Thomas will be back in two weeks with more book based banter. Simon is back next Tuesday with You Wrote The Book where he will be joined by Erin Kelly to discuss ‘The Burning Air’ and crime and psychological thrillers. Don’t forget the next Readers Book Group (with Gavin and Simon) will be back on October the 11th with Laurent Binet and ‘HHhH’.

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You can subscribe to our weekly podcast on iTunes here.

Ep. 81; Getting To Know The New Host & Reading Horizons…

For the 81st episode of The Readers all is revealed (well within reason) with Simon’s new co-host, but who on earth is it? What are their reading tastes? Will they have the banter? All will be revealed in todays show…

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

Getting to Know the New Co-Host () So we thought for the first episode with the new line up of hosts we would get you to send in questions to ask Simon’s new co-host and you have in your droves. But who is the new co-host, well we think we have teased you enough, Simon is joined (from Washington DC) by Thomas Otto and it all gets a little bit international and granny fiction based, yet all very bearded…

054 Thomas

Reading Horizons () To get to know Thomas a little better, Simon thought it would be a good idea to get them talking about the books they have read and the books they are reading and the ones that they want to read…

  

Thomas has read: The End of the Affair by Graham Greene
He is currently reading: A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth & After Claude by Iris Owens
He isn’t sure what he will be reading next, which is helpful. Ha!

  

Simon has read: The Ministry of Fear by Graham Greene
He is currently reading : Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
Next he will be reading: The Silent Girl by Tess Gerritsen

Next time on The Readers () Simon and Thomas will be back with some more book based banter, if their is anything you would like them to discuss as topics for the show then let them know. Simon will also be back next Tuesday with You Wrote The Book where he is joined by debut author Hannah Kent who many are predicting huge things from… Until then, happy reading!

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You can subscribe to our weekly podcast on iTunes here.

Ep. 80; Goodbye Gavin, The Booker, Greene For Gran, Life’s Too Short & Reading Horizons

It is a slightly emotional 80th episode of the Readers as it is going to be the last for Gavin, well the last for Gavin for quite some time but we will explain as the show goes on. To make up for your loss in this episode there is more bookish banter than there has been for quite some time with more book recommendations than you would believe…

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

Goodbye Gavin () Simon is back again this week after his time away but it is to say farewell to Gavin for quite some time. After almost two years with the Readers, can you believe it’s that long, Gavin really needs a break and so he is going behind the scenes for a while (with a break from twitter and blogging planned too) to produce the show but he won’t be hosting, apart from for the monthly Book Club episodes… Simon is getting an all new co-host to join him, all will be revealed next week.

The Readers Autumn Book Club, The Booker and Greene For Gran () In this rambling section of the show Gavin and Simon go through lots of bits and bobs. First up the Readers Autumn Book Club with ‘The Explorer’ by James Smythe (September), ‘HHhH’ by Laurent Binet (October) and ‘I Remember You’ by Yrsa Sigurdardottir (November), all pictured below. They then have a natter about the Man Booker longlist before discussing #GreeneForGran a project that Simon has set up in honour of his Gran to get everyone reading her favourite author.

Life’s Too Short () Simon’s Gran also inspires the main section of the show as he and Gavin discuss if life is simply too short for bad books, why they might implement a fifty page rule each, why clearing out your books every so often is a good idea and why saving a book for a rainy day is just a pointless notion. What do you think?

Reading Horizon’s () What Gavin and Simon have read, are reading and really quite fancy reading next…

Gavin has read: The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
He is currently reading: The Restless Mind by Gyalwa Dokhampa
He wants to read: Terra by Mitch Benn
And also read: The Emperor of Paris by CS Richardson

Simon can’t shut up about: Alex by Pierre Lemaitre
He is currently reading: Let The Games Begin by Niccolo Ammaniti
He wants to read: The Cuckoo Calling by Robert Galbraith/JK Rowling
And he fancies: Seeking Mr Hare by Maurice Leitch

Next time on The Readers () And so that is it, a new chapter (pun intended) starts next fortnight with Simon and his new co-host and head to GoodReads to see how you can make the first episode of a new phase happen. Gavin will be back with Simon on the second Friday of September for ‘The Explorer’ with James Smythe, Simon is back solo next Tuesday with You Wrote The Book and the aforementioned Niccolo Ammaniti. Until then, happy reading!

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You can subscribe to our weekly podcast on iTunes here.

The Readers Book Club… Revamped!

Hello all! We hope this little surprise extra podcast finds you all well. Why the need for this extra ten minute treat? Well, after having some big long thought filled chats Gavin and Simon have decided that they need to make some changes to The Readers Book Club. Titles were being announced last minute, publishers were vanishing, authors weren’t turning up/cancelling, the interaction had lessened and so Simon and Gavin thought ‘hang on lets sort this out.’

Now they are going seasonal! Every quarter three new lovely titles will announced in advance as the Spring/Summer/Autumn/Winter selection of The Readers Book Club Choices. The aim is that it gives you more time to read the books in advance and join in which is what Simon and Gavin loved so much last summer. So without further ado in this show they announce the titles which, this Summer, are…

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June 2013; The Case of the Missing Servant by Tarquin Hall
July 2013; Snake Ropes by Jess Richards
August 2013; The Last Banquet by Jonathan Grimwood

And in this mini show they give you the low down on the books and why they picked them – watch out for Simon going deep randomly – and how you can get involved. Yippee.

The Readers will be back on Friday with the Tarquin Hall episode (which they are editing RIGHT NOW) and again next Tuesday with a normal show. Don’t miss Simon tomorrow when he is joined on You Wrote The Book! by the author John Boyne. Until then…

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