Ep 154; Readalongs, Political Books & London Books

This episode Simon and Thomas answer three questions from lovely listener Pam all about readalongs, books with a political bent and books set in London.

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Readers Read-a-Long’s () The first question that Pam asks Simon and Thomas if they might ever bring back a readalong on the podcast like when they read The Night Guest, as well as when they have done readalongs with Ann and Michael or The Readers Book Club. So Thomas and Simon discuss the idea and have come up with a plan… They are going to start doing Summer and Winter ones and they would like your suggestions for the Summer one, get set, go!!!

Political Books () Pam’s second question is about books with a political twist as it is presidential season/madness in the US, and also EU political madness in the UK. Simon and Thomas have a chat about this and recommend some books that you might want to give a whirl. They would also like some recommendations especially ones that Simon will love as much as he does The Good Wife & House of Cards.

London Books () Pam is off to London this month and she would like to know which books we would recommend with a London book setting. Thomas loves books set in London, Simon is not such a fan of them – which might be an understatement. They still talk about it though because that is how dedicated they are.

Books Mentioned in the Show () The Life of Elves by Muriel Barberry, The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan, Crooked Adam by D.E Stevenson, The Night Guest by Fiona MacFarlane, Pleasantville by Attica Locke, Echo House by Ward Just, Babbit by Sinclair Lewis, The Paliser Series by Anthony Trollope, Run by Ann Patchett, Dreams of My Father by Barack Obama, All The King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren, The Year of the Runaways by Sunjeev Sahota, most of Anita Brookner’s books, Under The Net By Iris Murdoch, Offshore and Human Voices by Penelope Fitzgerald, The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins, most of Sherlock Holmes, Brick Lane by Monica Ali, Capital by John Lancaster, Ben Aaronovich’s books, Howard’s End by E.M. Forster, Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham, Sharon Bolton and Jake Arnott’s books, A Man Lies Dreaming by Lavie Tidhar, 84 Charing Cross Road and The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street by Helene Hanff, All Passion Spent by Vita Sackville-West, The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham, The Bricks That Built the Houses by Kate Tempest, NW by Zadie Smith, the Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing, While England Slept by David Levithan, Persephone novels, Bridget Jones Diary by Helen Fielding, Down and Out In Paris and London by George Orwell, Letters from London by Julian Barnes, The Night Watch and The Paying Guest by Sarah Waters, London by Peter Ackroyd, London Fields by Martin Amis, A Girl of Slender Means ­By Muriel Spark, Excellent Women by Barbara Pym, Mother London by Michael Moorcock, Not Working by Lisa Owens, Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson, The Gustav Sonata by Rose Tremain.

Next time on the Readers () The Readers will be back in two weeks when they will be back with more book based banter. If you missed the latest episode of You Wrote The Book do go and listen, Simon’s was joined by Charlotte Wood to discuss her incredible new novel The Natural Way of Things which is INCREDIBLE, the book – though the interview is a hoot too. Last week’s episode has been delayed but a special live show will be up next week with Maggie O’Farrell.

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11 thoughts on “Ep 154; Readalongs, Political Books & London Books

  1. Is this the correct place to leave suggestions? Our Souls at Night-Kent Haruf; Homegoing-Yaa Gyasi; In One Person-John Irving; Kitchens of the Great Midwest-J. Ryan Strabel; Saint Maizie-Jami Attenberg; The Mad Woman Upstairs-Catherine Lowell; Association of Small Bombs-Karan Mahajan

  2. Read-a-long suggestions: Homegoing by Gyasi, Amid the Chaos by Mogos, Strange Weather in Tokyo by Kawakami, Dryland by Jaffe, The Garden of Evening Mists by Eng.

    Favorite London Book: The Line of Beauty by Hollinghurst.

    That’s my two cents’ worth guys!

  3. In Canada, the leaders of the three major parties all released books about themselves around election campaign time (which was unusually for two months instead of one), must be something we borrowed from the Americans because most of our political system and tradition is British based. I’m glad the conservatives got booted for a less fear-mongering and more progressive party.

    For whatever reason, major candadian cities don’t get mentioned much except Toronto, it’s always small towns otherwise. This is baffling to a Vancouverite such as myself as it is such a diverse city and film industry is huge here. We’re often used as shooting locations for so many tv series and films to be other places except Vancouver itself.

    As for London books, the most recently read was a fantasy book called A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E Schwab but there’s actually four parallel Londons (black, white, red, grey) and the one in real life isn’t that central to the story. It’s a good book but don’t think it’d do much for a traveler.

  4. What about Maud’s Line by Margaret Verble for the read along? It was a Pulitzer finalist but I haven’t really heard much about it beyond that.

  5. I have a few readalong suggestions:
    The Sunlight Pilgrims – Jenni Fagan
    Dear Fang, With Love – Rufi Thorpe
    The Association of Small Bombs – Karan Mahajan
    We Love You Charlie Freeman – Kaitlyn Greeridge

  6. Since yesterday was National Aboriginal Day in Canada, and because you like Canadian books, I recommend “Monkey Beach” by Eden Robinson. I read this book three times in the first year I read it. There was also a really great discussion on “Monkey Beach” on Big Ideas, which is broadcast on Ontario’s publicly funded television channel TVO: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/nick-mount-on-eden-robinsons/id129166905?i=1000339542491&mt=2

    I know it’s a long shot you guys will choose this, but I really hope you do, and if you do, I will be jealous of you getting to read the book for the first time.

  7. Love the summer real-along idea. I don’t have a book suggestion, but I look forward to hearing your choice. Thank you for the podcast. We listeners really need you guys – even more than ever since the Books on the Night Stand podcast has wrapped up.

  8. Suggestions: A Place Called Winter by Patrick Gale, Something Missing by Matthew Dicks (so much fun), Rules of Civility by Amor Towles, Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier; All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy

  9. How about Smoke by Dan Vyleta? I’ve been wanting to read it since Simon and Gav mentioned it in upcoming books.Of course that means Simon’s probably polished it off months ago and it may not be Thomas’ cup of tea (though surely there must be loads of housekeeping details in a setting where sin manifests itself in soot and smoke), but it sounds like fun. Can’t wait for whatever is chosen. I adore iyour podcast–it has made many a dreary office afternoon fly by.

  10. I guess I’m too late for the read along. . . but the book I was thinking of is The Summer Guest by Alison Anderson. . . I just started reading it and it’s awesome. I LOVED her first book, a fictional account of Amelia Earhart, if she had survived her plane crash on a desert island. . . anyway, this book is about Chekhov and a summer he really spent in Ukraine. . . and also there’s another thread about a modern day translator. . . and here’s the interesting part. . . alison anderson is a translator from French to English and she translates Muriel Barberry (Simon’s FAVORITE author! JK. . . ) Anyway. . . don’t hold that against her, but the stuff about life as a translator seems probably semi-autobiographical and it’s totally fascinating to read about. . . nothing I really knew about before. . .

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