The Readers – Episode 11; Funny Books, Catherine Hall, Green Carnations & LGBT Writing

For episode eleven Gavin and Simon discuss funny books, author Emma Jane Unsworth gives us her top recommended reads if you want a laugh and are joined for the second half of the show by Catherine Hall to talk about her recent winning of The Green Carnation Prize 2011, LGBT writing  and the books the three of them have read, been reading and want to read.

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We would also like to remind you that you have only got until this Friday to vote on The International Readers Awards 2011, so please do get voting and remember you could win a signed first edition of Jennifer Egan’s ‘A Visit From The Good Squad’

Funny Books (00.50) Gavin and Simon look at ‘funny books’ as with the ‘season to be jolly’ being in everyone’s head they want to know what genuinely funny books are out there and why novelty books dominate the book charts and shops at this time of year? Do you have any recommendations of hilarious novels?

Emma Jane Unsworth’s Top 5 Funny Books (13.34) the lovely, and very funny, Emma Jane Unsworth debut author of ‘Hungry, The Stars and Everything’ gives us her guide to five books that should have you smiling wryly or chuckling darkly.

Catherine Hall, The Green Carnation Prize, LGBT Writing (16.36) Gavin and Simon are joined by the author Catherine Hall whose second novel ‘The Proof of Love’ was declared winner of the Green Carnation Prize 2011 last week. They discuss the importance of nice prizes and The Green Carnation in particular, why you can’t get the book in America (though do get it through Book Depository if you’re an international listener, Simon says its amazing) and LGBT writing and why it causes some controversy still.

 

What We Have Read, Are Reading and Want to Read (36.19) We have nine titles to tempt you with as Catherine Hall stays with Gavin and Simon to share what books they have on their bedside tables.

   

Gav has just finished: The House of Silk by Anthony Horrowitz
He has just started: The Steel Remains by Richard Morgan
And wants to read: Hammered by Kevin Hearne

  

Catherine has just read: Ghosts By Daylight by Janine di Giovanni
Is reading: The Hours by Michael Cunningham
Can’t wait to get into: Mary Ann In Autumn by Armistead Maupin

  

Simon has re-read: Further Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin
Is currently enjoying: The Hunger Trace by Edward Hogan
Is musing reading: The Family Fang by Kevin Wilson

Next week on The Readers (50.53) it’s getting frosty and arctic as we look as crimes in cold climates and snow filled Christmas books with a special guest, plus an interview with Yrsa Siguardardottir.

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The Readers – Episode Seven; A Sherlock Special

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Welcome to The Readers ‘Sherlock Special’ where in our seventh episode we discuss all things Holmesian (is that a word?) as the dark foggy nights draw in here in the UK.

Why do we love Sherlock Holmes so much? (00.50) We don’t just mean Gavin and Simon, who are massive fans, but readers in general. Gav and Simon talk all things Sherlock including his appeal, the films, the spin off books and their very favourites. It’s a mini Sherlock Fest!

Horowitz on Holmes (14.00) Simon meets Anthony Horowitz to discuss his new novel ‘The House of Silk’ which is an all new Sherlock Holmes novel and all that ensues with such a task and why it will be the only one.

 

Gav and Simon discuss ‘The House of Silk’ (27.14) as they have both been reading the same book again. Did we get on with it as we are both such fans; you’ll have to listen to find out!

If you still need any convincing that it’s time to read some Sherlock then Anthony Horowitz rejoins The Readers with his Top Five Holmes stories (36.25) and now you have no excuses what so ever.

What we have been reading, are reading and want to read (37.24) Gavin and Simon discuss the latest books on their radars all with a slight Holmesian twist…

 

Gav has been reading: Dark Matter by Michelle Paver (also discussed in Episode Four)
Gav is reading: The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz
Gav is desperate to read: The Immorality Engine by George Mann

  

Simon has been reading: The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle
Simon is reading: The Beekeepers Apprentice by Laurie R. King
Simon is gagging to read: The Devil and Sherlock Holmes by David Grann

Next week on The Readers (46.46) we will be getting down to some basic bookish banter that takes our fancy, we could end up discussing anything! Be warned.

 

The Readers – Episode Five

Episode five is a little different and not just because of the theme tune, we have no author interviews because you will be getting author overload in a mid/late-week special but we do have lots of nattering about more book awards and what Gav and Simon have been reading, are reading now and want to read.

Books in the News (00.48) Publishers Weekly have announced their top ten novels of the year… already? (02.32) The Green Carnation Prize 2011 shortlist has been announced and Gav interrogates it’s Chair, who happens to be his co-host Simon (07.21) The Galaxy National Book Awards 2011; who won, who was a contender and what Simon and Gavin think about it all.

There is no specific discussion this week (23.39) as we have a Manchester Literature Festival special coming with Kishwar Desai, Catherine O’Flynn, Patricia Dunker, Colm Toibin, Alan Hollinghurst and many more.

What we have been reading, are reading and want to read (24.20) Gavin and Simon discuss the latest books on their radars…

  

Gav has been reading: Moon Over Soho by Ben Aaronovitch
Gav is reading: The Floating Admiral by Members of the Detection Club
Gav is desperate to read: The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

  

Simon has been reading: The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz
Simon is reading: all the books by Joan Bakewell
Simon is gagging to read: I Am Half-Sick of the Shadows by Alan Bradley

Next week on The Readers (35.40) after a Manchester Literature Festival Special Gavin and Simon will be getting their deerstalkers out for a Sherlock special with none other than Anthony Horowitz, the game is afoot!

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The Readers – Episode Four

Welcome to the fourth episode of The Readers and a spooky special as we go live on Halloween. In this episode we discuss the same scary book, our first mutual read, Gav interviews Paul Magrs, we discuss supernatural vs. scary, have spooky recommendations from a lovely pair of bloggers and discuss the spooky stories we are reading, have read and will be reading.

We have both been haunted by the same book (00.52) randomly Gavin and Simon started reading (one of them finished it, one is halfway through so no spoilers) the same book Michelle Paver’s novel ‘Dark Matter’ and so decide to discuss it. Starting with the cover and discussing how scary it really is, this also includes a random shout out to Simon’s Mum (01.34) as she is in hospital having a big operation today… tangents hey? We will be doing another joint read for episode six in two weeks with Margaret Atwood’s collection of essays ‘In Other World’s’ so do feel free to join in.

 

Paul Magrs on The Readers (11.59) Gavin catches up with author Paul Magrs as his new novel ‘666 Charing Cross Road’ comes out, a suitably spooky, and rather bookish, tale that you could curl up with over Halloween, or just in these autumnal nights (well if you are in the UK).

Supernatural vs. Scary (29.03) Whilst we love the fact that all things supernatural have made the main street both with books like ‘Twilight’, or indeed with spooky funny shenanigans in books like Paul Magrs, police procedurals with magic like Ben Aaronovitch’s novels,  we wondered what on earth has happened to those utterly chilling or horrifying novels? Has horror just become hammy? Why aren’t those terrifying tales as popular as they once were? Has Halloween made the fearful a gimmick? Let us know your thoughts.

A trick or treat top ten spooky books from bloggers (38.42) the lovely Jared and Anne from the wonderful blog Pornokitsch (it is book based honestly) join us from the US of A to tell us their favourite spooky or supernatural reads for Halloween… and a very vocal cat called Agatha chips in too! Lots of books to add to the TBR piles.

What we will be reading, or already are, to creep ourselves out this week (52.00) so what are we planning on reading… Simon read ‘The English Ghost’ by Peter Ackroyd and didn’t get what he was expecting; he is halfway through ‘Florence and Giles’ by John Harding (which Gav loved). On his radar are ‘Visitation’ by Jenny Erpenbeck, a collection of ‘scary fairy tales’ by Ludmilla Petrishrushevskaya aptly called ‘There Once Lived a Woman Who Tried to Kill Her Neighbours Baby’ and two lit-fic books with supernatural elements ‘The Last Werewolf’ by Glen Duncan and ‘The Blue Book’ by A. L. Kennedy. Gavin is reading ‘Dark Matter’ as we mentioned earlier, next up he has ‘The Woman in Black’ by Susan Hill (trailer of the movie below – you might jump), an anthology called ‘The Weird’, ‘The Silent Land’ by Graham Joyce, the American gothic ‘Mr Shivers’ by Robert Jackson Bennett or possibly ‘15 Miles’ by Rob Scott.

The Woman in Black

And that’s quite enough spooky shenanigans for one episode. What would you recommend we pick up as a terrifying tale?

Next week… we haven’t organised a show yet, because we would like to know what you would like us to talk about? We do know Anthony Horowitz will be joining us though to discuss Sherlock Holmes and his new outing – maybe that will inspire something? So what topics would you like Gav and Simon to discuss next week, let us know.

 

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