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

  1. Pingback: Interview With Catherine Hall, Winner of the Green carnation Prize 2011 |

    • I need to read that book I think Simon.

      We have emailed you about The Summer Book Club but we haven’t heard back!

  2. Really enjoyed The Proof of Love. Very interesting comment by Catherine Hall as to why it’s not published in America. The LGBT writing discussion was great. While I knew about Maupin and Edmund White and Sarah Waters and Winterson, for me, the Green Carnation Prize mixes known LGBT writers with authors you not have heard of. Each year I plough through the shortlist. Each year I’m never disappointed.

    Funny books – how come no one mention The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole?! Absolutely hilarious! Plus, a link with the LGBT discussion – his best friend is gay!

    • Thanks Matt, as most people know I am a ridiculously huge fan of Catherine Hall’s book, and indeed have some exciting Catherine Hall news coming in the next few days… keep your eyes peeled. It involves the Green Carnation 2012 so hopefully you will be a fan again this year.

    • I never quite got into Sedaris and I think maybe I should try him again, thanks for reminding me Ann. And sorry for such a belated response.

  3. Comedy is one of those things that I think is really quite difficult to do in fiction, mainly because of what Simon mentioned with tone. Oddly enough, it seems easier to find deliberately comedic books when they’re aimed at younger audiences, like the Bartimaeus series or the Skulduggery Pleasant series; maybe it’s because there’s less pressure to create overly complex characters, you end up with archetypes that are easier to create comedy around.

    Regarding LGBT fiction, I’m loving the attention that the Green Carnation Prize brings them. I was just wondering though, would the prize cover asexual authors or focuses? It’s just that since I found out that my sister was asexual, I noticed the absolute lack of press that asexuality gets in media.

    Once again, great work and I look forward to next week’s podcast.

    • Asexuality is a very interesting topic actually and I am not sure if I am honest. It is something I will mention when I meet with the other judges for this years first panel meeting in a few weeks. Hmmm food for thought that.

      Thanks for commenting by the way, and sorry it took so long to respond.

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