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…

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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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Ep.85; Your Country in Ten (or Eleven) Books

Welcome to the latest episode of The Readers Podcast. Last month after discussing the American classics Simon came up with the idea of both Thomas and himself coming up with two separate lists of the ten books that they think sum up their country for them and would give to someone if they moved to their country to ‘read up on it’.

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Catching Up () Before the madness of the books that Thomas and Simon want to discuss they have a catch up. First Simon mentions the sad news of the passing of one of the old school bloggers Norman Geras of NormBlog. They then have a natter about the Man Booker winner, Thomas’ book buying binge and Simon going mad in London and judging the Not The Booker.

Our Country in 10 Books () In the main section of the show, Simon and Thomas discuss the books they think they would give to someone moving to their country, or visiting for a long time, that give their most realistic insight into it.

Simon’s choices are…

  • The Room of Lost Things – Stella Duffy (London)
  • The News Where You Are – Catherine O’Flynn (Birmingham)
  • The Woman in Black – Susan Hill (Norfolk)
  • One Good Turn – Kate Atkinson ( Edinburgh)
  • The Long Falling – Keith Ridgway (Northern Ireland)
  • The Proof of Love – Catherine Hall (The Lake District)
  • The Claude Glass – Tom Bullough (Wales)
  • Agatha Raisin & The Quiche of Death – M.C. Beaton (The Cotswolds)
  • Rough Music – Patrick Gale (Cornwall)
  • My Policeman – Bethan Roberts (Brighton)
  • Tony Hogan Bought Me An Ice-cream Float Before He Stole My Ma – Kerry Hudson (Great Britain all over)

Yes, you may notice Simon cheated with eleven books, oops. Thomas choices are…

  • Tepper Isn’t Going Out – Calvin Trillin (New York)
  • Go Tell It on the Mountain – James Baldwin (New York)
  • The Magnificent Spinster – May Sarton (New England)
  • Echo House – Ward Just (Washington, DC)
  • Deliverance – James Dickey (South)
  • Then We Came to the End – Joshua Ferris (Chicago)
  • Main Street – Sinclair Lewis (Midwest)
  • The Professor’s House – Willa Cather (Southwest)
  • A Way of Life, Like Any Other – Darcy O’Brien (Southern California)
  • Tales of the City – Armistead Maupin (Northern California)

So those are their lists! Simon and Thomas are desperate now to go off and read the books on the others lists that they haven’t already. Are you going to do the same? Would you agree with their lists? Most importantly, what would your ten books be that would sum up your country, as Simon and Thomas would love to read your lists… there’s a mission!!

Next time on the Readers () Thomas and Simon will be back in two weeks with more book based banter including the books that they have been reading recently.

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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.

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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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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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Ep 71; The Literary Gauntlet & How Much is a Book Worth?

This week on The Readers there were meant to be three topics, however as Gavin and Simon have some brilliant guest voxpops during the episode and then go off on a big tangent, so we settled on two subjects. After Gavin threw the gauntlet down last week they discuss books with literary plot and literary books with no plot that are page turning, they also discuss how much a book is worth?

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 () This week with so much to talk about, though they drop one of the things they wanted to discuss, Gavin and Simon have a catch up about the week in books. First up some more book prizes (we think we need to buy an Award klaxon to warn you) and then Gavin and Simon discuss the sad news about Iain Banks.

The Literary Gauntlet () Last week Gavin threw down a gauntlet and challenged Simon after they discussed what literature meant to them, Simon had to come up with five literary books with plot and five literary books without plot that read like page turners. Guess what… Simon has managed it. Even better than that he has back up, firstly from one of our lovely listeners in the US, Ruthiella who we are thrilled sent her thoughts. Then Simon’s new best friends, that he has never met, Kate and Rob of Adventures with Words, join in the discussion too. Hoorah! Debate ensues.

How Much is a Book Worth? () Another thing that came up in last week’s show was how much a book is worth and so Gavin and Simon decided to discuss it. First we have worth in terms of money, the 20p e-book may now have vanished (thank goodness) but the 66p and 99p e-books are still very much available, so how much are books and e-books actually worth in terms of money? Gavin doesn’t have an issue spending the same amount of money on a book and an e-book, though the latter are generally cheaper, Simon however wouldn’t spend a lot on an e-book as he sees them as an accessory, but he would spend good money on print books. What about library, second hand books and World Book Night giveaway books? Simon also ponders whether a book that stays with you for years or takes you away completely can actually have a limit on its worth? What do you think?

Next time on The Readers () Simon and Gavin will be back next week with more book based banter on Tuesday. In the interim though Simon is back on Thursday with Joanne Harris on You Wrote The Book! and Gavin and Simon are both back on Friday with The Readers Book Club where Jenni Fagan joins them to discuss her debut novel ‘The Panopticon’.

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Ep. 70; Book Based Lists and What is ‘Literary’ to You?

This week could be the last week of the readers ever as Simon and Gavin discuss what the term ‘literary fiction’ means to them, let’s just say one of the pairs hackles starts to rise before the end of the show. Before that though they discuss the pro’s and con’s of keeping book lists. They also discuss the news of GoodReads and Amazon, how could they not?

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 () Gavin seems to have a returning cold and Simon is utterly shattered after a week in London, this could be a grumpy show couldn’t it? Simon has a little chat about his blog wobble but also the joys of London  and then they discuss this week’s big news… GoodReads being bought by Amazon… should we all defect or stick with it and see what happens next?

Book Based Lists () Are lists of books a good thing or a bad thing? Do you keep a list of all the books you own or do you just plonk them anywhere? Do you have wish-lists or do you avoid them like the plague and simply buy books that you mull over for a good week or two? Inspired by the GoodReads news and the lists they both keep on that site, Simon and Gavin have a discussion about the pros and cons of book lists and, if any, which bookish lists they both keep.

What is ‘literary fiction’? () So the gloves come off in the final section of the show this week as Gavin and Simon decide it is time to throw the gauntlet down on what they constitute as ‘literary fiction’. From Gav’s description it is just books unencumbered by plot that waffle on about how it took seventy pages to get to the shops, or maybe about someone who has had a divorce and thinks about the lead up to it a lot, or any other life trauma. For Simon he constitutes literary fiction as books with compelling characters, cracking stories and beautiful prose and sense of atmosphere, yet it is the quality of the prose that sets it apart. They have an, erm, debate about this… whose side are you on?

Oh and they want lists of five books which are literary but have a great story line, and also five books unencumbered by plot that are truly gripping for next week’s show so please let them know.

Next time on The Readers () Simon and Gavin will be back next week with more book based banter. Until then… Happy Reading!

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Ep. 69; Literary Legacies & Justifying Your Books

It’s a darker episode of The Readers this week as they look at what happens when an author dies and the legacy they leave behind and also if we as readers should be tougher and justify the books we have on our shelves more than we do? Simon and Gavin also have their usual weekly catch up as they try and put their bookish worlds to rights.

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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Catching Up () It was Simon’s 31st birthday on Sunday and it has made him take, yet another, look at his reading habits and reading resolutions including giving himself some pointers towards the books that he wants to read before he is 40, in fact 40 books by the time he is 40. Gavin and Simon have a chat about that. Simon also announces he is postponing reading ‘Middlemarch’.

Literary Legacies () In the last week there has been the sad news that both authors James Herbert and Chinua Achebe passed away. Simon thought it would be interesting, if a little morbid, to talk about the death of authors and the legacy they leave behind. He also brings up the subject of how when an author dies do we find that we suddenly want to read them again or for the very first time. Also why is it that an author can find themselves more celebrated after death like Beryl Bainbridge was? Simon has now decided that he wants to read ‘The Rats’ and ‘Things Fall Apart’ and who knows he might find two new favourite authors, is that the legacy an author leaves behind?

Justifying Your Books () Gavin brings up the often occurring issue of how you deal with having lots of books and what you should and shouldn’t keep. Should we as readers who hoard books like there is no tomorrow actually be justifying how many books they have on their shelves? Can you have too many? Is it selfish to keep books you don’t really think you will read? How do we sort the good, the bad and the indifferent? Should we ask peoples advice or follow our own judgement? All this is discussed and much more…

Simon’s ‘read’ bookshelves, books have to fight with each other to get on these.

Next time on The Readers () Simon and Gavin will be back next week with more book based banter. Simon will also be back on Thursday with You Wrote The Book! where he will be talking to Patrick Ness. Until then… Happy Reading!

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You can subscribe to our weekly podcast on iTunes here.

Ep.67; Gav is Back, Kindle Conundrums & Commandments, Sequels & Spin Offs

Hooray and hoorah for Gavin is back this week, though a big, big, thank you to his stand-ins over the last two weeks. As they haven’t for a while, Gavin and Simon start with a catch up before Gavin outs Simons big secret… he has a Kindle and after the conundrum it started he has created some commandments. They also have a chat about spin offs and sequels and if an authors books should be left alone by other authors after they are dead.

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

Gavin is back () After two weeks of missing him on the main show, though you may have heard him on last weeks Readers Book Club with Bethan Roberts, Gavin is now back. So he and Simon have a right old natter about what they have both been up to whilst he has been off, well in Gavin’s case it is more what he has been reading while he has been sick than anything else, bless him.

Kindle Conundrums and Commandments () Well the thing that you never thought would happen has… Simon has a Kindle, though as he is keen to point out he didn’t buy it as it was in fact a gift for Valentines. This has left him a little conflicted, as he discusses, and so her has created a list of ten Kindle Commandments which Gavin and he go through. He also discusses how he hasn’t actually really used it that much yet and when he has it hasn’t been for reading!!

Spin Offs and Sequels () After an author dies should their books be left alone? This week it has been announced that Sebastian Faulks will be writing a new Jeeves and Wooster novel and so Gavin and Simon decided to discuss the tricky subject of spin offs and sequels, and indeed prequels. Some they love and some they don’t, they have a good old chin wag about it though.

Next time on The Readers () Simon and Gavin will be back next week with more book based banter. Stay tuned this week though for the first of Simon’s solo podcasts with the author Maggie O’Farrell which will be available in this feed for its first outing.