The Readers Episode 53; Reading Challenges and Read-a-longs, What State of Reader Are You?

This week in a bizarrely circular edition of The Readers Gavin and Simon end up going round in circles as they talk about reading challenges and read-a-longs as well as Gavin inquiring into what reading state we are all in. They also have some announcements to make at the start of the show…

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Reading Challenges and Read-a-longs () Not content with already participating in his Classically Challenged challenge with recent guest host AJ , Simon has now started a mammoth challenge, reading all 100 Persephone books in order… a month at a time which will take him up until his 39th birthday. He thought it was timely to talk about the joys and pitfalls of reading challenges and read-a-longs and what Gavin, and of course, all of you thought. He ends up giving Gavin the inspiration to start one of his own too, Gavin being someone who doesn’t normally start a challenge.

What State of Reader Are You? () Gavin has been mulling this over of late and so he wanted to bring it up on the show. Now if you are wondering just what on earth he is talking about then fear not as so was Simon and so they talk about it. Simon discovers he is currently a real mixed bag of states of reading, thanks to Anthony blinking Trollope, and Gav wants to become an excited state of reader again, what about you?

Next Week on The Readers () A shorter show as Gavin is going off to Hong Kong, but we will have a chat about books to take on travels and what we have read, are reading and want to read next.

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The Readers Episode 15; Official Bestsellers of 2011, Reading Challenges and Richard and Judy vs. The TV Book Club

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We have a jam packed bookish sandwich of an episode of The Readers this week with a little more of a UK twist than usual as we discuss the Official Bestsellers of 2011 and the UK’s biggest book clubs Richard and Judy vs. The TV Book Club. If you are one of our international listeners fear not as there are many international books available and we talk reading challenges which brings readers from all around the world together, plus as usual there is lots of book based banter and laughter.

The Official Bestsellers of 2011 (01.37) the Guardian have shared the list of the offical best selling books sold in the UK in 2011. Gavin and Simon take a look at the list, look for any of their favourite books and discuss what the top sellers were and why they think they did so well. Can you guess what was number one?

Reading Challenges (08.28) we all like a challenge don’t we? While Simon has sworn of starting any challenges or read-a-longs this year (something that by the end of this episode he has broken but as it’s in the name of the Readers so its allowed) but he has started one by joining in with Kim of Reading Matters ‘Australian Literature Month’. This leads to a discussion of reading challenges in general, why do we love joining them, what are the best ones and what are the pit falls? We would love to hear from you all about any challenges you are taking part in and any we might like that can match our ‘whim reading’, suggestions please.

Gavin and Simon also discuss the idea of a ‘Readers Challenge’ in 2013, any ideas?

Richard and Judy vs. The TV Book Club (18.15) in the UK we have two book club powerhouses in the form of Richard and Judy’s Book Club and the TV Book Club, both their lists were announced last week. You can see them here and here. Gavin and Simon go through the lists and look at which books they will be picking up and why these book clubs have proven so popular.

What We Have Read, Are Reading and Want to Read (31.45)  Gavin and Simon share what books they have had on their bedside tables and which ones are fighting to join them.


Gavin has read: The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
Gavin is reading: Hilldiggers by Neal Asher
Gavin wants to read: Light Lifting by Alexander MacLeod


Simon has read: Down the Rabbit Hole by Juan Pablo Villalobos
Simon is reading: The Auschwitz Violin by Maria Angels Anglada
Simon wants to read: War Horse by Michael Morpurgo

Next Week and News (47.55) We have left a forum open on Good Reads for what you would like us to talk about over the next few weeks. We also have re-opened The Readers International Book Awards 2011 and we have a teaser page for The Readers Summer Book Club. Until next week…

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The Readers – Episode Eight; Reading Challenges & More

In our 8th episode we discuss ‘No Time for Novels’, reading challenges, the wonderful Ann and Michael from Books on the Nightstand join us (sort of) and we tell you what we have been reaidng, are reading and really want to read.

No Time for Novels (00.57) Gavin and Simon discuss an article in the Guardian that suggests as the world is going down the pan we should all stop reading fiction and be facing facts with non-fiction, economy books and biographies. Really? Gavin and Simon have a few things to say on the matter.

From Birthdays to Bunkers… Reading Challenges are in the air as Gavin has set himself a 33 Books for 33 Challenge (06.31) starting on his birthday this Thursday (send cards, books, etc) and Simon has decided he is Reading Like it’s the End of the World (11.06) starting on December the 21st 2011 for a year. They discuss the possible pitfalls and delights of both these challenges. What do you think?


We are chuffed to bits to have the legendary podcast hosts Ann and Michael of Books on the Nightstand and Their Top Five Books (14.01) seriously you wouldn’t believe how excited this made us. We aren’t telling you what they are, you have to listen. You can hear us assessing their lists (24.08) afterwards and adding books to both our TBR piles.

What we’ve read, what we are reading and what we want to read (27.50) Gavin and Simon discuss the latest books on their radars…


Gav is reading: Reamde by Neal Stephenson
Gav is keen to read: Sir Hereward and Mister Fitz Go to War Again by Garth Nix


Simon has read: Crime – Ferdinand  Von Schirach
Simon is reading: V for Vendetta – Alan Moore and David Lloyd
He’s exceptionally eager to read: You’ll Be Sorry When I’m Dead – Marieke Hardy (if you want to know what Marieke said that Gav wont let Simon repeat then go here)

Next week on The Readers (36.51) we will have the lovely Kim of Reading Matters joining us as a co-host, and we aren’t sure what we will be talking about but we know it will be fun; we have Polly of Novel Insights Top 5 Books and an interview with author Sarah Hall.

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