The Readers Episode 15; Official Bestsellers of 2011, Reading Challenges and Richard and Judy vs. The TV Book Club

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We have a jam packed bookish sandwich of an episode of The Readers this week with a little more of a UK twist than usual as we discuss the Official Bestsellers of 2011 and the UK’s biggest book clubs Richard and Judy vs. The TV Book Club. If you are one of our international listeners fear not as there are many international books available and we talk reading challenges which brings readers from all around the world together, plus as usual there is lots of book based banter and laughter.

The Official Bestsellers of 2011 (01.37) the Guardian have shared the list of the offical best selling books sold in the UK in 2011. Gavin and Simon take a look at the list, look for any of their favourite books and discuss what the top sellers were and why they think they did so well. Can you guess what was number one?

Reading Challenges (08.28) we all like a challenge don’t we? While Simon has sworn of starting any challenges or read-a-longs this year (something that by the end of this episode he has broken but as it’s in the name of the Readers so its allowed) but he has started one by joining in with Kim of Reading Matters ‘Australian Literature Month’. This leads to a discussion of reading challenges in general, why do we love joining them, what are the best ones and what are the pit falls? We would love to hear from you all about any challenges you are taking part in and any we might like that can match our ‘whim reading’, suggestions please.

Gavin and Simon also discuss the idea of a ‘Readers Challenge’ in 2013, any ideas?

Richard and Judy vs. The TV Book Club (18.15) in the UK we have two book club powerhouses in the form of Richard and Judy’s Book Club and the TV Book Club, both their lists were announced last week. You can see them here and here. Gavin and Simon go through the lists and look at which books they will be picking up and why these book clubs have proven so popular.

What We Have Read, Are Reading and Want to Read (31.45)  Gavin and Simon share what books they have had on their bedside tables and which ones are fighting to join them.

  

Gavin has read: The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
Gavin is reading: Hilldiggers by Neal Asher
Gavin wants to read: Light Lifting by Alexander MacLeod

  

Simon has read: Down the Rabbit Hole by Juan Pablo Villalobos
Simon is reading: The Auschwitz Violin by Maria Angels Anglada
Simon wants to read: War Horse by Michael Morpurgo

Next Week and News (47.55) We have left a forum open on Good Reads for what you would like us to talk about over the next few weeks. We also have re-opened The Readers International Book Awards 2011 and we have a teaser page for The Readers Summer Book Club. Until next week…

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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…

 

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