Ep 56; Merry Christmas and Our Books of 2012

This week on The Readers we have pre-recorded a little mini show for you to go live on Christmas Day. We know this is meant to be a time of family and you might not want us ruining your Christmas Day, but if you want to escape the family (like Simon always does) for a bit of a breather from the festive madness then you can hide away for 20 minutes with us as we give you a little festive cheer and our favourite books of the year…

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

Merry Christmas () Firstly, hooray the world didn’t end. Secondly MERRY CHRISTMAS to you all. Gavin and Simon try and bring you a little festive hello, before lots and lots of slushy, mushy seasonal thanks at the end of the show.

Our Books of 2012 () We thought for a little mini show what would be better than us dashing through the snow, no sorry, us dashing through our top five books of the year each. Actually some of Gavin’s would make Simon’s top ten, if they had done one, and vice versa. So should you have a new e-reader (don’t tell Simon) or some book vouchers to spend then you might like to try these ten books if you haven’t already…


Gavin: The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter
Simon: The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker


Gavin: The Steel Remains by Richard Morgan
Simon: Hawthorn and Child by Keith Ridgway


Gavin: The Case of the Missing Servant by Tarquin Hall
Simon: The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller


Gavin: The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
Simon: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn


Gavin: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Simon: Diving Belles by Lucy Wood

Next Week on The Readers () So that is it for the Readers for Christmas and indeed for 2012 and we would like to thank you all for listening, chatting on Facebook, Twitter and GoodReads, coming on the show and just being lovely. We will be back next week on the 1st of January 2013 with a list of books we are really excited about in the first half of 2013… Lots and lots and lots and lots of recommendations are coming your way. In the meantime once again Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from Gavin and Simon.

Get the RSS link for the podcast by clicking here.
You can subscribe to our weekly podcast on iTunes here.

The Readers Episode 55; A Christmas Game, Ask An Editor Anything & Reading For The End of the World

This week on The Readers is a delightful mixed bag, or Santa’s sack, of bookish bits and bobs in the lead up to Christmas. Simon has a special Christmas Game for you all to have a go at; we grill one of the editors and founders of Tinder Press in Ask An Editor Anything before discussing what we would read if the end of the world was really coming (we don’t think it is) or what we would take as books for the bunker!

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

A Christmas Game () The other morning Simon was set a task by his other half, could he come up with a list of books that would match the twelve days of Christmas i.e. a book with the words ‘one’, ‘two’, ‘three’ etc up to ‘twelve’. Simon has actually had a few wobbles with this one and so he thought that he would pass the mission onto Gavin and also onto all of you. He hopes it ends up driving you and your family members’ crazy over the Christmas period.

Ask An Editor Anything () In our new ‘Ask An… Anything’ series we are joined by one of the founders and editors of Tinder Press, Mary Anne Harrington, a new imprint in the UK for 2013. We ask lots of questions and so do you! How do you choose the books you want to publish on a new imprint, how do you know your reader, what happens if you miss the next big book, and many more questions are discussed.


Reading Like It’s The End of the World () So there is some crazy rumour that the world is going to end, even though actually the Mayans said it was the ending of one phase and start of the other, this Friday. We personally don’t think it is, however it did make us think of what we would want to read if the end was coming and what books we might want to take to the bunker, or leave for surviving civilisations or alien life to find later. What would yours be?

Next week on The Readers () We WILL be back and it will be Christmas Day! So as a treat we have recorded  a special mini show of our top five books of the year. So until then… Merry Christmas!

Get the RSS link for the podcast by clicking here.
You can subscribe to our weekly podcast on iTunes here.

The Readers Episode 27; We’re Six Months Old, Authors Tantrums & Prize Listings and Three Books From The Last Six Months You Must Read

Get ready for a giggly episode of The Readers this week as they celebrate being six months old. They discuss how the show has changed and is changing their reading. They discuss authors behaving badly and prize listings. Plus they recommend three books each (with lots of laughing) they’ve loved in the last six months and think you MUST read!


We Are Six Months Old () No, we can’t quite believe it either but today marks six month since the Readers. Gavin and Simon give thanks, chat about the last six months, how the shows changed, how it’s going to change and how it’s changed them as readers.

When Authors Whinge & Prize Listings () Two forms of conversation in one for this weeks discussion topic inspired by Christopher Priests strop over the Arthur C Clarke Award. How do we respond when we don’t like long lists? Does an authors ranting and raving endear them to us or put us off?

Three Books We’ve Loved in the Last Six Months & You MUST Read () reading recommendations with added giggling.

Gavin recommends;

Or The Bull Kills You by Jason Webster
The House of Silk by Anthony Horrowitz
Dark Matter by Michelle Paver

Simon recommends:

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
Diving Belles by Lucy Wood

Next Week on The Readers () We will be announcing The Readers Summer Book Club eight titles… And they are brilliant (if we say so ourselves)!

The Readers Episode 22; Eowyn Ivey, Ali Shaw & Fairytales

This week on The Readers we have a ‘fairytale’ special. We are joined by Eowyn Ivey to discuss her novel ‘The Snow Child’ and Ali Shaw; author of ‘The Girl With Glass Feet’ and ‘The Man Who Rained’ joins us to discuss the fairytale genre, if there is such a thing.

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

Interview with Eowyn Ivey (00.48) Gavin and Simon are joined by debut author Eowyn Ivey to discuss her novel ‘The Snow Child’. They discuss where the story came from, what inspired Eowyn and how she used her life in Alaska to create such a magical tale.


Fairytales with Ali Shaw (28.01) What makes a great fairytale and why as adults do we still love these stories? Ali Shaw, author of ‘The Girl With Glass Feet’ and ‘The Man Who Rained’, joins Gavin and Simon to discuss this, along with it being a genre, the real dark unedited classics and which fairytales for adults and children we might have missed out on. Ali also recommends his top five fairytales.


Next week on The Readers (59.46) we will be joined by Justin Torres to talk about his debut novel ‘We The Animals’ and when you should give up on a book.

Get the RSS link for the podcast by clicking here.
You can subscribe to our weekly podcast on iTunes here.

The Readers Episode 21; Bored of Books, Famous Authors and Stephanie Beacham

We’re 21!!! In our 21st episode (which is a bit of a mish mash of all sorts) we bring you a discussion on famous authors and celebrities becoming authors, before Simon catches up with TV and film icon Stephanie Beacham. We have the worrying news that Gav is bored of books and ask blogger Simon T of Stuck in a Book to give you his top five books.

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

Famous Authors and Celebrity Writers (02.53) In the first topic of their 21st episode Simon and Gavin talk about famous authors. What makes an author become famous in modern times? Do people write to be famous? Can authors use their fame for good? What do we think about celebrities who become authors? Do they really write their own books? It’s all up for debate before Simon goes and meets an celebrity author himself…

Interview with Stephanie Beacham (15.48) Simon catches up with Stephanie Beacham to discuss her autobiography ‘Many Lives’. The talk about how it is to address your past, being on a book tour, starring in adaptations, the possibility of writing novels and just why she loves ‘lashings of ginger beer and pink lemonade’.

Bored of Books? (24.35) Earlier in the week Simon received a small bombshell text from Gavin announcing he was ‘bored of books’, he decided the best way to deal with Gav’s problem was to talk about it rather like therapy. We ponder if a book lover can ever become bored of books and how they might deal with it. Listen to hear how it goes; will Gav give up on books?

Simon T of Stuck in a Book’s Top 5 Books (35.38) We have the lovely blogger Simon T (he was the only Simon then our very Simon came along so they became Simon S and Simon T) who blogs at Stuck in a Book popping in to give us his top 5 books and what a lovely early 1900’s collection it is. Fancy some forgotten classics, then you’ll love his selection.

Next week on The Readers (41.50) we will be joined by a debut novelist everyone is talking about, Eowyn Ivey, and her book ‘The Snow Child’ (one of Simon and Gavins favourite books of the year so far) and also talking fairytales for adults. Until then…

The Readers Episode 12; Part Two – White Heat, Frozen Planets and Christmas Books with MJ McGrath

Today we have the second in your two parter podcast this week. On today’s episode Gavin and Simon talk further about crime in a cold climate with a special guest MJ McGrath (who kindly joins us for the whole show) who’s debut novel ‘White Heat’ came out earlier in 2011 and who lived out in the Arctic where it was set. We also turn our bookish gazes on more happy snow filled books as we discuss ‘Christmas Books’ and share what we have read, are reading and what we want to read next.

White Heat, Frozen Planets and the Arctic with MJ McGrath (01.16) Special guest Melanie McGrath joins us to talk about her debut novel ‘White Heat’ a murder set in the Inuit communities of the arctic. She discusses writing the book and living in the very place it was set and all the hazards and funny tales (one about a polar bear hunter who gets his comeuppance is a favourite of Simon’s) of living in such a wilderness.


Christmas Books (31.00) taking a break from all things snowy and murderous (though Simon and Melanie are both agreed Christmas brings out the darkness in their natures) we look at books with a festive twist, be they additions to famous series such as ‘Christmas at Cold Comfort Farm’ or special stand alone novels set at Christmas, Gavin, Simon and Melanie discuss if any tempt them and if you can only read Christmas books during this very time of year.

What We’ve Read, Are Reading & Want to Read Next (40.30) have ten titles to tempt you with as Melanie stays with Gavin and Simon to share what books they have on their bedside tables over the festive period.


Melanie has read (and cheated with two, hee hee): Rin Tin Tin by Susan Orlean and The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
Is curently reading a book Simon loved: Purge by Sofi Oksanen
And has a slightly festive novel by the bedside: Snow Angels by James Thompson


Simon just read and utterly loved: The Hunger Trace by Edward Hogan
Is presently reading: Turn of Mind by Alice LaPlante
He is looking forward to a very murderous book set at Christmas: The Sweetness of Life by Paulus Hochgatterer


Gavin has read a short story from: A Book of Horrors anthology by Stephen Jones
He has just started reading: The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
He wants to dust off a book he bought ages ago: Sea of Ghosts by Alan Campbell

Next week on The Readers: Simon and Gavin will be catching up on Boxing Day after eating too much turkey/goose and one too many mince pies and chatting about their reading over Xmas and their best books of 2011. Until then…


Get the RSS link for the podcast by clicking here.
You can subscribe to our weekly podcast on iTunes here.