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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The Readers Book Club; The Last Banquet by Jonathan Grimwood

For the twelfth Readers Book Club, and the final in The Readers Book Club Summer Selection 2013 Simon and Gavin are joined by Jonathan Grimwood to talk about ‘The Last Banquet’ a literary tale of revolutionary France in the eighteenth century and

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Introducing the Book () In the first section of the show Gavin and Simon introduce you, without any spoilers to this months Book Club choice, ‘The Last Banquet’ by Jonathan Grimwood. They give you a hint to the premise and Gavin explains why he chose the novel for the summer selection.

An Interview with the Author () This month Simon and Gavin are joined by Jonathan Grimwood to talk about ‘The Last Banquet’. Where did the idea for the novel spring from? What lengths did Jonathan have to go to in order to describe the fantastical food and flavours (some icky ones) in the book? How much research was involved? Why the move from sci-fi to ‘literary’ fiction? And much, much more…

Simon and Gavin’s Thoughts () In this final section, brimming with spoilers (because you said you liked them) Simon and Gavin talk about the book in more detail. Be warned, and you can’t say we haven’t warned you, that they discuss the very ending of the book which to know would be to spoil. There is also some discussion of wenches and saucy shenanigans.

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Next month on The Readers Book Club () We will be back on Friday the 13th, od dear, of September for the first in the Readers Book Club Autumn Selection 2013 choice which is… ‘The Explorer’ by James Smythe and promises to take us to some very dark places in space…

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Ep. 79; On Audiobooks And Second Book Nerves

Simon’s taking a much need rest this week so instead Gavin is joined by the author Tom Pollock, whose new novel The Glass Republic is released this week.

Tom talks to Gavin all about his love for John le Carré, audiobooks and what it’s like being a YA writer.

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Ep. 78; In Memory Of Dorothy Savidge

Sadly this weekend Simon’s Gran (and one of his most bookish influences) passed away after a year long battle with cancer. This week as a special episode in honour of a rather wonderful woman Gavin and Simon thought it would be nice to repeat an episode from last year where Simon’s Gran, mother and little sister all talk about the books they love and also shows how Dorothy’s influence with books passed on many generations.

Simon and his Gran...

Simon and his Gran…

Dorothy Savidge 1941 – 2013. A woman who will be greatly missed though her reading and bookish legacy will live on through her children and grandchildren who will pass it on in turn (to anyone they can frankly). We would also like to dedicate this episode to Estelle Kindness, Michael Kindness’ mother who also passed away this weekend.

We will be back in two weeks.

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The Readers Book Club Interim; Snake Ropes by Jess Richards

The Readers Book Club Summer Selection 2013, second book, is Snake Ropes by Jess Richards – it tells the alternating stories of Mary and Morgan’s life on an island that is just off the edge of the map.

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This edition of the book club is described by Gavin as an interim episode as Simon hasn’t been able to record their chats due to a family illness. Gavin’s thoughts are with him and his family but rather than disappoint everyone this week’s episode contains their interview with author and the full episode will be available at a later date.

Ep. 77; Our Best Picks of Books in Late 2013

This week on the Readers it is that time, as we reach the halfway point of the year which has come far too quickly, where Gavin and Simon take a look at the books that they are most looking forward to in the second half of the year. HOWEVER, this time they did it with a difference as Gavin gave Simon the strict orders that they must choose books that everyone wouldn’t already be hearing about (Margaret Atwood, Stephen King etc) and go off the beaten track a little. So what did they come up with?

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

The Readers Picks of Books Late 2013…

Gavin chose…

River of Stars by Guy Gavriel Kay
Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
Apocalypse Now Now by Charlie Human
Mr Penumbra’s 24-hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
The Golum and the Djinn by Helen Wecker
Let the Games Begin by Niccolo Ammaniti
The Man with the Compound Eyes by Wu Ming-Yi
Babayaga by Toby Barlow
The Ghost Hunters by Neil Spring
Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie
Closed for Winter by Jorn Lier Horst
The Two Hotel Francforts by David Leavitt
Equilateral: A Novel by Ken Kalfus

Simon’s choices are…

Let The Games Begin by Niccolo Ammaniti
Mr Lynch’s Holiday by Catherine O’Flynn
Almost English by Charlotte Mendleson
Sufficient Grace by Amy Espeseth
Buriel Rites by Hannah Kent
Witches by Tracy Borman
Speaking Volumes by Romona Koval
Like A House on Fire by Cate Kennedy
Fearie Stories by Stephen Jones
Ghost Hunters by Neil Spring
The Woman in Black: Angel of Death by Martyn Waites
The Mangle Street Murders by M.R.C. Kasasian
Books by Charlie Hill

So there’s roughly (as they meet in the middle on a few titles) Simon and Gavin’s books to watch out for in the coming months. Have any tempted you? Which books are you most looking forward to reading in the rest of 2013?

Next time on The Readers () Simon and Gavin will be back with more book based banter. Don’t forget that next Friday, the 11th, will be the latest Readers Book Club with Jess Richards and her debut novel ‘Snake Ropes’. Until then…

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Ep 76; Iain Banks, Should We Be More Lenient With Debuts & Signed Books

This week on the Readers we are slightly more UK wide than normal as Simon joins Gavin on the phone from the depths of Derbyshire, so bear with the quality on occasion – we are sorry but we wanted to make sure you got a show this week. The topics for discussion this week are leniency with debut authors (after Simon and Gavin had a small tete a tete on the Tarquin Hall podcast last Friday) and also Gavin brings up the subject of personally signed books. They also pay a small (very Readers-like) tribute to Iain Banks.

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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Iain Banks () In the first ‘catch up’ part of the show Simon and Gavin thought it would be nice to pay tribute to Iain Banks, who both Simon and Gavin are fans of and who sadly passed away the week before last. They discuss the legacy he leaves behind, why they have loved his work and also how he is inspiring them both to read out of their comfort zone.

Iain Banks 1954 – 2013

Should We Be More Lenient With Debut Novels? () If you listened to the latest Readers Book Club last Friday then you would have heard things get a little heated between our hosts in the third section of that show. Gavin felt Simon should be a little more lenient with a debut author and Simon didn’t see why he should. So to cut a row on that episode they decided to have it this week and, rather than arguing, they discuss if we should be more lenient with debuts and look over their faults more fairly or if we should judge them like any other book. Gavin thinks the former, Simon thinks the latter, whose side are you on?

Simon's very special copy of Carlos Ruiz Zafon's 'The Prisoner of Heaven'.

Simon’s very special copy of Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s ‘The Prisoner of Heaven’.

Signed Books () Gavin went to see Neil Gaiman this week just passed and the venue went from being a book shop to a 2,500 sold out venue. This of course meant that the signing system changed and so if people were in a rush they could simply get a pre-signed one. Gavin had to do this and was a little sad as he would have liked the time to chat, even for 10 seconds to Neil and also get his book personalised. Yet when he mentioned this on Twitter some people thought he was being a snob, but why? Gavin and Simon discuss why they love getting books signed personally, even when they havent been there! They discuss the times when not meeting the author would be fine and so a generic one would do. But wouldn’t everyone like a personally signed book for their own libraries if they could? What are your thoughts on signed books?

Next Time on the Readers () The Readers will be back in two weeks with more book based banter. If there is anything you would like them to discuss email bookbasedbanter@gmail.com Simon will be back next Tuesday with You Wrote The Book and is joined by the wonderful Evie Wyld (who is also his mate so expect a good interview) and don’t forget the next Readers Book Club title is ‘Snake Ropes’ by Jess Richards which will go live on July 12th. Until next time…

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The Readers Book Club #10; The Case of the Missing Servant by Tarquin Hall

For the tenth, yes tenth Readers Book Club, and the start of The Readers Book Club Summer Selection 2013 we try the opposite of a cold crime novel as we head to India and join Vish Puri as he investigates ‘The Case of the Missing Servant’ by Tarquin Hall…

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Introducing the Book () In the first section of the show Gavin and Simon introduce you, without any spoilers to this months Book Club choice, ‘The Case of the Missing Servant’ by Tarquin Hall. They give you a hint to the premise and what the crime at the heart of the book might be, and they also have a little disagreement on if this book is a cosy crime or not.

An Interview with the Author () This month Simon and Gavin are joined by Tarquin Hall to talk about ‘The Case of the Missing Servant’. What was it that made Tarquin go from journalism and non fiction to writing the first Vish Puri mystery. What was he trying to say about India with the book? How does he combine the dark with the very funny… and much more!

Simon and Gavin’s Thoughts () In this final section, brimming with spoilers (because you said you liked them) Simon and Gavin talk about the book in more detail. Be warned, and you can’t say we haven’t warned you, that they discuss who the killer was and also the answer to the other cases that Vish Puri is investigating in book one! We warned you.

Next month on The Readers Book Club () We will be back on the 12th of July for the next Readers Book Club Summer Selection 2013 choice which is… ‘Snake Ropes’ by Jess Richards and promises to take us to a most unsettling yet fairytale like island. If you have any questions for the author let us know by the last week of June!

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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.

Ep 75; Fiction Uncovered, Reading Breaks & Social Reading

Welcome back Simon to the Readers this week (though big thanks to Jared for covering for him while he was off) for another episode of book based banter. This week Simon wants to talk about one of his favourite initiatives Fiction Uncovered and, after having not read a book for THREE WEEKS, he wants to discuss reading breaks and re-evaluating our reading habits. Gavin wants to discuss the pro’s and con’s of social reading and the part social media now plays when you pick up a book. It is a show brimming with subjects, even if we say so ourselves.

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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Fiction Uncovered () After Gavin and Simon briefly discuss Simon’s hospital addiction they skip the normal catch up to discuss the book initiative Fiction Uncovered. This has swiftly become one of Simon’s favourite yearly initiatives, though Gav needs a bit more of a push as it’s quite literary, as there is no single winner but eight! You see the judges of the prize choose a selection of brilliant books that have gone, unjustly they feel, under the radar in prize listings or review pages. Simon and Gavin discuss the eight books and the initiative in a little more depth.

 

Reading Breaks and Re-Evaluations () Simon has not read a book for THREE WEEKS, no really… THREE WEEKS. Yet this is oddly through choice, as lots has been going on personally for him he has decided to take some time away from books and the bookish world. How does it feel to do that? Do we need a bookish break from time to time to re-evaluate and when we do what do we spot about ourselves as readers and the habits we didn’t really think we had?

Social Reading () From the rather maudlin and anti-social subject Simon brings up Gavin goes to the opposite extreme as he wants to discuss Social Reading. By this he doesn’t mean book groups though, well not ones who meet face to face. How have blogs, Twitter, Facebook, GoodReads, Instagram, podcasts etc changed how we read? What are the pro’s and con’s? Does too much social media buzz put you off? Are you doing your social media about books more than you are picking them up? Gavin and Simon have a good old natter about it and would love your thoughts too.

Next time on The Readers () Simon and Gavin will be back in two weeks with more book based banter proper. However they will be back a week on Friday for the latest in The Readers Book Club with Tarquin Hall, plus Simon is back next Tuesday on You Wrote The Book with another guest author.