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 One

Firstly ‘hello world’, after a few weeks of planning, plotting and secrecy ‘The Readers’ are here and we can reveal we are Gavin Pugh, of Gav Reads, and Simon Savidge, of Savidge Reads. We are both very excited, and very nervous, about our new venture but we hope people will embrace it and also excuse any initial mistakes, ramblings, silences, giggles or nervous pauses when you listen back to it (as we go on we get more into a flow, we are not professionals remember just passionate about books) so hopefully all the feedback we have asked for will be constructive.

So what have we for you in Episode One…

What is news in the book world?  (01.19) Gav and Simon discuss Gollancz 50th Birthday and the New SFF Gateway which is looking at unleashing over 3,000 SFF e-books (and many more in the future). Gav gets very excited about this whilst Simon ponders the idea and wonders if it will bring any new fans, or ‘SFF timid’ readers like himself, to the genre and these soon to be released titles. Would it you? We also discuss the covers…

Grabbing, gorgeous or ghastly?

There is also Man Booker musings before the short list is announced (we are hoping this podcast goes up in time) this Tuesday evening, erm why haven’t we been invited?

We meet Carol Birch. (11.02) Speaking of shortlisted Man Booker novels, we have been very lucky as Simon grabbed Carol Birch for a grilling before the announcement to discuss ‘Jamrach’s Menagerie’ (which could be the Man Booker Winner 2011) that listing, the Richard and Judy Book Club and what she has coming for her readers next…

We discuss Book Awards. (29.34) What is all the furore and fuss about book awards? Are they good for the industry or do they breed competition and genre divides, or are we the readers the ones who do that? We would love your thoughts.

Gav is in a reading funk. (42.06) Book Dr Savidge tries to prescribe some advice on how to get out of it and get Gav turning those pages again, we also ask for your advice.

In a bid to recommend some possibilities to Gav, Simon suggests his ‘Top Five Favourite Reads’ (the first of a series on ‘The Readers’). Oh, and we let you know what’scoming up in next weeks episode.

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