These free, monthly podcasts are one of the extra good things about having an Audible subscription as you get interviews with authors and also first chapters read from a book or books enabling one to get a good indication if an author or particular book appeals. This particular podcast was a bumper edition. A feast of first chapters from classic books of recent decades with authors such as Saul Bellow, John Irving, Betty Freidland, Randy Shilts to name but a few. What I found so useful, as well as entertaining, was I was able to decide not only which authors' book I would look out for, but also those I didn't fancy.
I found the interview with the author Michael Cox very poignant, knowing that he died not long after. I've read his The Meaning of Night and the sequel The Glass of Time with great enjoyment. Both are gripping books the latter even better than the former. Though the books are very long they are difficult to put down (or listen to now there are available as audio books). Fortunately, before he died, he knew what pleasure he had given many readers; and what better epitaph could a writer have than that his books give enjoyment. I'm sure that his legacy will persist and future generations of readers will be hooked as I was.
From the first episode, I have enjoyed these podcasts and they have definitely worked in guiding my choice of audiobook: Sarah Waters' The Little Stranger, for instance, Alan Bennett, Suart Maconie and anything read by Martin Jarvis after listening to his explanation of his method of thinking of the characters' physique and psychology in order to change his voice to suit them. (in connection with Soames and Fleur in A Man of Property.) I listen to each podcast over and over - they are just the right length for my car journey to our nearest town, or for switching off after a stressful day. I chat along with Michel Thomas in Italian, and toy with the idea of learning properly. He makes one feel it's at least a possibility! Richard Branson on his attitudes to business is revealing, and he comes across with sincerity and a lack of any false celebrity; and I now know a lot more about the role of a CEO (before listening I didn't even know what the acronym meant.)But Podcast 21 was different - a whole programme dedicated to introducing a new series of modern American classics, beginning with an in-depth interview with Paul Auster (and there are more available - FREE - just search Audible for 'James Atlas'. Then extracts from the Modern Vanguard list, a variety of voices and stories, all compelling in a different way - a veritable feast of fiction. I have long been intending to write to express my appreciation of such a carefully-produced and well-presented programme - thank you all. And I can hardly wait for the next!