The Readers Episode 42; Some News, Book Covers Covered (Quotes on Books & Blurbs) & What We Have Read, Are Reading & Want to Read Next…

This week on The Readers is a bumper show indeed. We start with the news that Gavin is having a bit of time away, but fear not you’ll still be getting some shows as we explain, we also have a random chat about the Madeline Miller special then the show starts properly with two discussions about book covers. Plus, before Gavin has a break, they give you the low down on what they have read, are reading and would like to read next…

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News & Natter () This week Simon and Gavin announce that Gavin is having a holiday from The Readers for a few weeks as his book burn out has taken over. Do not fear though because, as they explain, Simon will still be coming to you every week with a special guest co-host so do keep listening in. Simon and Gavin also have a little chat about Madeline Miller and the Book Group.

Quotes on Books () Kristin asked us on our GoodReads page the following question “Can you explain to me why they put reviews for another book by the same author on the back of a novel? For example, I just started “What I Talk About What I Talk About Running” by Haruki Murakami. It’s a non-fiction book that is sort of a memoir on his running hobby. On the back cover it says “Acclaim for Murakami’s “After Dark””, another book written by Murakami, but totally unlike “What I Talk About When I Talk About Running”. For one thing, “After Dark” is Fiction and “What I Talk About” is Non-Fiction. By reading the reviews for “After Dark” on the back cover, a reader could be mislead as to what the book they are holding is about. I have seen this done many times before, but this time it stuck out because Murakami’s writing style of a novel is very different from him writing about himself. It’s like the editor/publisher has no idea what the book is about… any opinions on this?” Well Simon and Gavin decided this was the perfect time to discuss quotes on books (and then stickers) as the first of two book cover discussions. The second of which is…

Book Blurbs () Simon admits in this episode that, just like his favourite person Marieke Hardy, he doesn’t read the blurbs of books. In this section The Readers discuss the pros and cons of book blurbs, why sometimes they don’t tell the truth, why they can sometimes give too much away and what happens if a book doesn’t have one?

What We Have Read, Are Reading and Want to Read Next… () In their randomly regular section, before he goes off on holiday, Gavin and Simon talk about the latest books on their reading horizons, or peripheries…

  

Gavin has read and was a little unsure of: Whispers Underground by Ben Aaronovich
He is getting his reading mojo back with: A Place of Execution by Val McDermid
Simon is finally forcing him, for book group, to read: Diving Belles by Lucy Wood

  

Simon has read and loved: Swimming Home by Deborah Levy
He has just started and a little bit unsure of: Communion Town by Sam Thompson
He is going to be reading: The last of the Green Carnation submissions and then will be trying Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

Next Week on the Readers () Simon will be back with the first of his special co hosts, and finally you will get that Carlos Ruiz Zafon interview. Honestly.

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The Readers – Episode 13; Boxing Day Books & Our Books of 2011

Firstly we hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and got all the presents books that you hoped for. In the festive mood, and possibly after too many glasses of sherry, on episode thirteen of the Readers Simon and Gavin talk festive books and their best books of 2011, but what will they be…

Festive Reads (02.21) Stuffed with turkey (or goose in Simon’s case) and surrounded by unwrapped presents The Readers catch up with each other hidden away from the family mayhem to talk books. Which books are Gavin and Simon reading over Christmas, why have they chosen them and why is Christmas such a perfect time to read?

The Readers Books of 2011 (08.32) As soon as Christmas is over thoughts turn to the New Year and Gavin and Simon decided it was time to announce their top five books of 2011… only they both cheated and had a list of six. You can also hear the sherry go to Simon’s head as he gets the impromptu giggles at one of Gavin’s choices… oops, could this reignite the Lit vs SFF war at a time of peace and goodwill to all men? The books they mention are (but you have to listen to them to find out more and in what order)…

Simon’s Top Six

  

  

Gavin’s Top Six

  

  

Both of them may well do posts on their separate blogs to talk about these further and a few extra titles, we will give you links to their posts when they appear in due course.

What have your favourite books of 2011 been? Do let us know in the comments below!

Next week on The Readers (44.56) it will be 2012 and a whole New Year will have started. Gavin and Simon will be talking about and making some reading resolutions and also the books they are most excited about in the first half of 2012. What books are you looking forward to?

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The Readers – Episode Five

Episode five is a little different and not just because of the theme tune, we have no author interviews because you will be getting author overload in a mid/late-week special but we do have lots of nattering about more book awards and what Gav and Simon have been reading, are reading now and want to read.

Books in the News (00.48) Publishers Weekly have announced their top ten novels of the year… already? (02.32) The Green Carnation Prize 2011 shortlist has been announced and Gav interrogates it’s Chair, who happens to be his co-host Simon (07.21) The Galaxy National Book Awards 2011; who won, who was a contender and what Simon and Gavin think about it all.

There is no specific discussion this week (23.39) as we have a Manchester Literature Festival special coming with Kishwar Desai, Catherine O’Flynn, Patricia Dunker, Colm Toibin, Alan Hollinghurst and many more.

What we have been reading, are reading and want to read (24.20) Gavin and Simon discuss the latest books on their radars…

  

Gav has been reading: Moon Over Soho by Ben Aaronovitch
Gav is reading: The Floating Admiral by Members of the Detection Club
Gav is desperate to read: The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

  

Simon has been reading: The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz
Simon is reading: all the books by Joan Bakewell
Simon is gagging to read: I Am Half-Sick of the Shadows by Alan Bradley

Next week on The Readers (35.40) after a Manchester Literature Festival Special Gavin and Simon will be getting their deerstalkers out for a Sherlock special with none other than Anthony Horowitz, the game is afoot!

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The Readers – Episode Four

Welcome to the fourth episode of The Readers and a spooky special as we go live on Halloween. In this episode we discuss the same scary book, our first mutual read, Gav interviews Paul Magrs, we discuss supernatural vs. scary, have spooky recommendations from a lovely pair of bloggers and discuss the spooky stories we are reading, have read and will be reading.

We have both been haunted by the same book (00.52) randomly Gavin and Simon started reading (one of them finished it, one is halfway through so no spoilers) the same book Michelle Paver’s novel ‘Dark Matter’ and so decide to discuss it. Starting with the cover and discussing how scary it really is, this also includes a random shout out to Simon’s Mum (01.34) as she is in hospital having a big operation today… tangents hey? We will be doing another joint read for episode six in two weeks with Margaret Atwood’s collection of essays ‘In Other World’s’ so do feel free to join in.

 

Paul Magrs on The Readers (11.59) Gavin catches up with author Paul Magrs as his new novel ‘666 Charing Cross Road’ comes out, a suitably spooky, and rather bookish, tale that you could curl up with over Halloween, or just in these autumnal nights (well if you are in the UK).

Supernatural vs. Scary (29.03) Whilst we love the fact that all things supernatural have made the main street both with books like ‘Twilight’, or indeed with spooky funny shenanigans in books like Paul Magrs, police procedurals with magic like Ben Aaronovitch’s novels,  we wondered what on earth has happened to those utterly chilling or horrifying novels? Has horror just become hammy? Why aren’t those terrifying tales as popular as they once were? Has Halloween made the fearful a gimmick? Let us know your thoughts.

A trick or treat top ten spooky books from bloggers (38.42) the lovely Jared and Anne from the wonderful blog Pornokitsch (it is book based honestly) join us from the US of A to tell us their favourite spooky or supernatural reads for Halloween… and a very vocal cat called Agatha chips in too! Lots of books to add to the TBR piles.

What we will be reading, or already are, to creep ourselves out this week (52.00) so what are we planning on reading… Simon read ‘The English Ghost’ by Peter Ackroyd and didn’t get what he was expecting; he is halfway through ‘Florence and Giles’ by John Harding (which Gav loved). On his radar are ‘Visitation’ by Jenny Erpenbeck, a collection of ‘scary fairy tales’ by Ludmilla Petrishrushevskaya aptly called ‘There Once Lived a Woman Who Tried to Kill Her Neighbours Baby’ and two lit-fic books with supernatural elements ‘The Last Werewolf’ by Glen Duncan and ‘The Blue Book’ by A. L. Kennedy. Gavin is reading ‘Dark Matter’ as we mentioned earlier, next up he has ‘The Woman in Black’ by Susan Hill (trailer of the movie below – you might jump), an anthology called ‘The Weird’, ‘The Silent Land’ by Graham Joyce, the American gothic ‘Mr Shivers’ by Robert Jackson Bennett or possibly ‘15 Miles’ by Rob Scott.

The Woman in Black

And that’s quite enough spooky shenanigans for one episode. What would you recommend we pick up as a terrifying tale?

Next week… we haven’t organised a show yet, because we would like to know what you would like us to talk about? We do know Anthony Horowitz will be joining us though to discuss Sherlock Holmes and his new outing – maybe that will inspire something? So what topics would you like Gav and Simon to discuss next week, let us know.

 

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