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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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.

Before we go any further don’t forget you can subscribe to our weekly podcast on iTunes here.

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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You can subscribe to our weekly podcast on iTunes here.