Ep.85; Your Country in Ten (or Eleven) Books

Welcome to the latest episode of The Readers Podcast. Last month after discussing the American classics Simon came up with the idea of both Thomas and himself coming up with two separate lists of the ten books that they think sum up their country for them and would give to someone if they moved to their country to ‘read up on it’.

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Catching Up () Before the madness of the books that Thomas and Simon want to discuss they have a catch up. First Simon mentions the sad news of the passing of one of the old school bloggers Norman Geras of NormBlog. They then have a natter about the Man Booker winner, Thomas’ book buying binge and Simon going mad in London and judging the Not The Booker.

Our Country in 10 Books () In the main section of the show, Simon and Thomas discuss the books they think they would give to someone moving to their country, or visiting for a long time, that give their most realistic insight into it.

Simon’s choices are…

  • The Room of Lost Things – Stella Duffy (London)
  • The News Where You Are – Catherine O’Flynn (Birmingham)
  • The Woman in Black – Susan Hill (Norfolk)
  • One Good Turn – Kate Atkinson ( Edinburgh)
  • The Long Falling – Keith Ridgway (Northern Ireland)
  • The Proof of Love – Catherine Hall (The Lake District)
  • The Claude Glass – Tom Bullough (Wales)
  • Agatha Raisin & The Quiche of Death – M.C. Beaton (The Cotswolds)
  • Rough Music – Patrick Gale (Cornwall)
  • My Policeman – Bethan Roberts (Brighton)
  • Tony Hogan Bought Me An Ice-cream Float Before He Stole My Ma – Kerry Hudson (Great Britain all over)

Yes, you may notice Simon cheated with eleven books, oops. Thomas choices are…

  • Tepper Isn’t Going Out – Calvin Trillin (New York)
  • Go Tell It on the Mountain – James Baldwin (New York)
  • The Magnificent Spinster – May Sarton (New England)
  • Echo House – Ward Just (Washington, DC)
  • Deliverance – James Dickey (South)
  • Then We Came to the End – Joshua Ferris (Chicago)
  • Main Street – Sinclair Lewis (Midwest)
  • The Professor’s House – Willa Cather (Southwest)
  • A Way of Life, Like Any Other – Darcy O’Brien (Southern California)
  • Tales of the City – Armistead Maupin (Northern California)

So those are their lists! Simon and Thomas are desperate now to go off and read the books on the others lists that they haven’t already. Are you going to do the same? Would you agree with their lists? Most importantly, what would your ten books be that would sum up your country, as Simon and Thomas would love to read your lists… there’s a mission!!

Next time on the Readers () Thomas and Simon will be back in two weeks with more book based banter including the books that they have been reading recently.

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Ep.82; Discerning Readers & Reading Habits

After Simon spent the whole of episode eighty-one grilling his new co-host Thomas in an introductory special The Readers is back for a normal kind of episode. Simon and Thomas catch up with what has been going on in the last fortnight, what makes a discerning reader (and are they?) plus Thomas wants to talk reading habits.

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 () In the first teeny section of the show Thomas and Simon catch up over what has been going on in the last fortnight. Simon has a mini apology to make to a listener and Thomas has two interesting admissions about how The Readers has already changed his reading – a little bit.

Discerning Readers () Simon has been thinking, which we all know is dangerous, about what makes a discerning reader and what makes one. Interestingly he was sparked off with these thoughts by a piece that Thomas posted on Facebook about how he has changed since some diaries he found from 1992. That and a discussion about Kate Atkinson’s ‘Life After Life’ that he had on The Guardian website that made him feel he wasn’t a discerning reader. What qualifies you to be a discerning reader? Is it only about reading the classics or only reading the books that you know you like? Is a discerning reader one who reads widely and broadly, high literature and a bit of trash? What are your thoughts?

Reading Habits () Simon can’t remember if he and Gavin talked about this before, but we may repeat a few conversations now and again so it doesn’t really matter. Anyway, Thomas wanted to talk about reading habits, particularly as the seasons change and so he grills Simon on quite a few things. What are your thoughts on the following questions they discuss… Do you have a reading summer plan? Do you read different types of books for different seasons? When you travel do you read about the country you are in? Do you read more? Where do you like to settle with a good book? What is your worst reading habit?

Next time on The Readers () Thomas and Simon will be back in a fortnights time. Simon will also be back next Tuesday on You Wrote The Book with (he knows now) author Niven Govinden. On Friday it is the first in the The Readers Book Club autumn selection with James Smythe’s ‘The Explorer’ and Gavin is back! Simon and Gavin chat to James about the book as well as having Kate and Rob of Adventures With Words joining them for the spoiler section –oooh! Until then…

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Ep. 81; Getting To Know The New Host & Reading Horizons…

For the 81st episode of The Readers all is revealed (well within reason) with Simon’s new co-host, but who on earth is it? What are their reading tastes? Will they have the banter? All will be revealed in todays show…

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

Getting to Know the New Co-Host () So we thought for the first episode with the new line up of hosts we would get you to send in questions to ask Simon’s new co-host and you have in your droves. But who is the new co-host, well we think we have teased you enough, Simon is joined (from Washington DC) by Thomas Otto and it all gets a little bit international and granny fiction based, yet all very bearded…

054 Thomas

Reading Horizons () To get to know Thomas a little better, Simon thought it would be a good idea to get them talking about the books they have read and the books they are reading and the ones that they want to read…

  

Thomas has read: The End of the Affair by Graham Greene
He is currently reading: A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth & After Claude by Iris Owens
He isn’t sure what he will be reading next, which is helpful. Ha!

  

Simon has read: The Ministry of Fear by Graham Greene
He is currently reading : Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
Next he will be reading: The Silent Girl by Tess Gerritsen

Next time on The Readers () Simon and Thomas will be back with some more book based banter, if their is anything you would like them to discuss as topics for the show then let them know. Simon will also be back next Tuesday with You Wrote The Book where he is joined by debut author Hannah Kent who many are predicting huge things from… Until then, happy reading!

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You can subscribe to our weekly podcast on iTunes here.