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.

Ep 73; A Book A Year and Supporting Your Favourite Authors

And after what seems like ages, and yet oddly also seems to have flown by, The Readers are back in their new fortnightly appearances. Have you missed us? In this episode Gavin and Simon have a big old catch up after a few weeks of not speaking books, though they have been in touch about lots of other things, as well as looking at how we can support our favourite authors (as well as simply reading their books) and the whole ‘one book a year’ deal which some authors have, is it a good thing or a bad one?

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 () So what have Gavin and Simon been up to in the last few weeks. Well Simon has been working on the Liverpool Literature Festival and so had been in a bookish heaven. Gavin has been poorly again. They also have a chat about some bits of bookish news like the Arthur C Clarke Award winner.

Supporting Your Favourite Authors () When Gavin text Simon earlier in the week and said ‘let’s talk about supporting your favourite authors’ Simon was slightly bemused and responded with the simplistic ‘you buy or read their books you wally’, he couldn’t really see there was much to discuss. Well, as is sometimes (only sometimes though) the case when it came to it there was actually quite a lot to discuss. Does following them on Twitter and Facebook count to supporting them? What about reviews on Amazon and GoodReads? Or going to events and book signings? Gavin and Simon have a good old chat about it, but what do you think?

Agatha could write a book a year…

A Book A Year () Simon was at an event the other night when one of the authors he was hosting told him how she would like to be writing two books a year. Simon’s face nearly fell off with shock. How could this be possible? Then it made him think, actually a lot of his favourite series, mainly crime, come out once a year, every year. So he started thinking about it and talking with people one of whom said ‘well why would you read an author who writes a book a year, clearly they can’t be very good or they wouldn’t be so easy to write’. Whilst not agreeing this made Simon think all the more and so he brought it up with Gavin. They discuss the authors who write a book, or two or three, a year and if those books are good or not? Why it seems its more crime than any other genre that does this? Plus much more… What are your thoughts?

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 on Friday for the latest in The Readers Book Club with Catherynne M Valente, plus Simon is back next Tuesday on You Wrote The Book with the lovely Damian Barr.

Ep 72; Changes, Granta Best British Young Novelists, Gender of Authors & Reading Horizons

Firstly Happy World Book Night to you all, we will be back later in the week with a WBN special. Today though we have a jam packed episode for you. First of all Gavin and Simon give you the low down on some changes to the podcast that they hope you won’t be too cross with. Then they have a catch up which includes the Granta Best of British Young Novelists. Then they discuss genders of authors and how much it matters, before sharing their reading horizons with you.

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

Changes () So Gavin and Simon have a small announcement after their being no episode next week, The Readers is going fortnightly for the foreseeable future. However you don’t need to miss them too much as Simon’s show, You Wrote The Book, will be moving to Tuesdays and filling the fortnightly gap. This just means Gavin and Simon have more time to read, work and the likes (each episode takes about 6 hours to prep) and will have more to report back on. Oh and The Readers Book Club will also be remaining on its monthly role on the second Friday of every month. We hope this is ok with all of you?

Catching Up () So what have Gavin and Simon been up to in the last few weeks. Well Simon has been spending time with his Gran and prepping for the Liverpool Literature Festival while Gav has been off gallivanting to London. In the book world there has been the news of Granta’s Best of British Novelists this week; Simon and Gavin have a chat about the list, feeling quite smug as they had two of the authors on their podcasts the week of announcement.

Gender of Authors () As the Women’s Prize for Fiction shortlist was announced last week and after hearing Ann and Michael talking about the gender divide, and VIDA Count, on Books on the Nightstand a few weeks ago Simon thought he would bring the subject up again. Why are there more male authors and reviewers? Do we read authors equally showing no bias towards gender? Should we be doing so if we aren’t already? Are women or men better at writing narratives in the opposite gender? What are your thoughts?

Reading Horizons () Gavin and Simon share what they have read, are reading and what they might just read next…

Gavin has finished: Poison by Sarah Pinborough
He is now reading: Bitter Seeds by Ian Tregillis
Next up is: The Brides of Rollrock Island by Margo Lanagan

Simon recently finished: Speaking from the Bones by Alan Bradley
He is currently marvelling at: The Long Falling by Keith Ridgway
He will soon be reading: Flight Behaviour by Barbara Kingsolver

Next time on The Readers () Simon and Gavin will be back in two weeks with more book based banter. In the meantime Simon is back on Friday with a World Book Night Special and again next Tuesday on You Wrote The Book with Alan Bradley.

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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’.

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