Ep 159; Books to Escape The Bad Stuff & Funny Books…

This episode Simon and Thomas talk about the books that we can read to escape all the crazy things going on in the world as well as funny books, just how funny are they really?

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logo3_728-x-90111 Books to Escape the Bad Stuff () Thomas and Simon discuss what the books are that we can read when we want to escape all the mad stuff that is going on the world. They also discuss if we should be escaping the events that are unfolding or reading more about them?  image3

Funny Books () Can books ever really be funny? If so which ones are funny? What makes a funny book and why? Is one readers funny the polar opposite for another reader? Simon and Thomas discuss this in the second part of the show.

Books Mentioned On The Readers () Agatha Raisin by M.C Beaton, Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle, Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel, Mapp and Lucia by E.F. Benson, The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena, The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, John Wyndham novels, At Hawthorne Time by Melissa Harrison, The Hopkins Manuscript by R.C Sheriff, The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker, The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry, Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith, Harry Potter novels, The Three Musketeers & the Count of Monte Christo by Alexander Dumas, Anthony Trollope’s novels, Girl at War by Sara Novic, The Tsar of Love and Techno by Anthony Marra, Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Rain by Melissa Harrison, Love in a Cold Climate by Nancy Mitford, David Lodge’s novels, Dan Rhodes novels, Girl Walks into a Bar by Rachel Dratch, Chelsea Handler’s books, Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson, Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis, P.G Wodehouse’s books, Tom Sharpe’s books, Bill Bryson’s books, Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole, Vile Bodies by Evelyn Waugh, Our Man in Havana by Graham Greene, Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris, I Partridge by Steve Coogan, Fear and Loathing in Los Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson, Money by Martin Amis, Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh, Catch 22 by Joseph Heller, David Sedaris’ books, Where’d You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple, The Family Law by Benjamin Law, The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde, Running With Scissors & Sellevision by Augusten Burroughs, Love Nina by Nina Stibbe, Alan Bennett, Candide by Voltaire, Yes Please by Amy Poehler, The Glorious Heresies by Lisa McInerney, Life after Life by Kate Atkinson, Look Who’s Back by Timur Vermes, The Finkler Question by Harold Jacobson, The Improbability of Love by Hannah Rothschild, Sue Townsend’s books.

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.

Ep 157; Books To Get Excited About In The Next 6 Months

This episode Simon is joined by the lovely Gavin for their biannual foray into the books that they are looking forward to over the next six months. Exciting.

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Catching Up () Simon and Gavin have a chat about all sorts of bother

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Top Picks for the Rest of 2016 () In their now biannual book fest Simon and Gavin talk about the books that they are most excited about in the next six months – well the ones they managed to find the details of, there may be many many more. Here they are…

Simon’s Choices Were

  • Augustown – Kei Miller
  • Hide – Matthew Griffin
  • The Summer That Melted Everything – Tiffany McDaniel
  • The Borrowed – Chan Ho-Kei
  • By Gaslight – Steven Price
  • Angel Catbird – Margaret Atwood
  • The One Hundred Nights of Hero – Isabel Greenberg
  • The Fat Artist and Other Stories – Benjamin Hale
  • Thin Air – Michelle Paver
  • The Last Days of Leda Grey – Essie Fox
  • The Power – Naomi Alderman
  • London Lies Beneath – Stella Duffy
  • A Day in the Death of America – Gary Younge

Gav’s Choices Were

  • The Allegations by Mark Lawson
  • A Climate of Fear by Fred Vargas
  • Undying: A Love Story by Michel Faber
  • Taduno’s Song Odafe Atogun
  • Poison City by Paul Crilley
  • The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen, 83 ¼ Years Old
  • The Borrowed Chan Ho Kei
  • Chasing Embers by James Bennet
  • Who Killed Piet Barol by Richard mason
  • The Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz
  • The Invention of Angela Carter Edmund Gordon
  • The Word Detective: A Life in Words: From Shenanigan to Selfie by John Simpson

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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You can subscribe to our weekly podcast on iTunes here.

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

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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You can subscribe to our weekly podcast on iTunes here.

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 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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You can subscribe to our weekly podcast on iTunes here.

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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