The Readers – Episode Nine; Books, Blogging & Culling

It’s a very bookish and blogging episode as we are joined by Kim of Reading Matters (who actually introduced Gavin and Simon to each other) for a very book based banter filled show. From book blogs and adding lots of titles onto your TBR’s to having to cull and clear out we discuss getting books and getting rid. The lovely Polly of the book blog Novel Insights gives us her top five books and of course, as always, we share what we’ve been reading and want to read.

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We talk Book Blogging (00.58) with special guest Kim we discuss why we blog about books, what we love about the book blogosphere and if it has changed us as readers?

Polly of Novel Insights Top 5 Books (22.27) we asked book blogger Polly to give us her top five books and what a treat they are for you, she is also a prime example of a blogger who is inspired by other bloggers on what to read next!

How do you cull books and why? (29.51) Kim also kindly joins us for a debate on culling those ever growing TBR’s. Can you ever have too many books? How do people cope with the one book out one book in rule, and how on earth can Gavin already be culling his Kindle?

What we have read, are reading, and really want to read next (40.36) We have nine titles to tempt you with as Gavin and Simon are also joined by Kim to share what books they have had on their blogger brains.


Gav has just read and loved (shock, horror): Thud by Terry Pratchett
He has just started: Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
And quite fancies: Starlight by Stella Gibbons


Kim has just read and adored: Leaving Ardglass by William King
Is twenty odd pages into: Shadowstory by Jennifer Johnston
Can’t wait to get into: Bloodland by Alan Glynn


Simon has been blown away by: My Cousin Rachel by Daphne Du Maurier
Is currently enjoying: Hungry, The Stars and Everything by Emma Jane Unsworth
Is very excited about starting: The Man Who Rained by Ali Shaw

Next week on The Readers (56.00) the gloves are coming off as Simon and Gavin try to settle the debate on who owns Margaret Atwood, is she literary, is she sci-fi or speculative fiction? Should anyone even dare to pigeon hole her? What’s the fuss about? Well The Readers will be debating (quite heatedly we imagine) all of this next week after having read ‘In Other Worlds’ you have been warned!

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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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You can subcribe to our weekly podcast on iTunes here.