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Episodes
  • Jun 29 2022

    Our book this time is Sheila Heti’s musing on God, love, grief and foliage – Pure Colour. Our clubbers decide if it’s easy on the eye while Game of Thrones’ Indira Varma reveals what went into the cauldron for her recent reading of Terry Pratchett’s Witches Trilogy. Plus, Sara Collins takes a trip through the phenomenon that is autofiction and our chart maven, Holly Newson, checks out the hit parade.

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    46 mins
  • Jun 22 2022

    This time we feature Bryan Washington’s story of relationships, food and Japanese mothers-in-law, Memorial. Our clubbers debate whether they’d go the distance with it, Sheila Hancock shares observations on her Old Rage and Alex Clark suggests the very best in writing about writing. We’ve also got loads of insights into what’s hot on the book scene to make you even more interesting at parties. You’re very welcome.

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    42 mins
  • Jun 15 2022

    Graham talks to Maggie O’Farrell about her reimagining of Shakespeare’s family life and one of the must-reads of 2020, Hamnet. Our clubbers reveal if it gets a standing ovation or closes after the first night. Rev Richard Coles discusses his first foray into cosy crime – Murder Before Evensong – and Sara Collins brings us back to reality with her top picks for books based true events. Plus, our chart guide gives you the inside track on the next big thing. If you love a good story, this is for you.   

    Murder Before Evensong used with permission from the Orion Publishing Group Limited 

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    47 mins

Meet the co-presenters


Alex Clark
Alex is a journalist and broadcaster regularly seen in the pages of The Guardian, Observer and Times Literary Supplement and heard on BBC Radio 4’s Front Row and Open Book. She’s also a former Man Booker and Orwell Prize judge. She says, I’ve been a voracious reader since I was a young child, haunting the local library whenever I could. I vividly remember falling in love with books by a whole range of women novelists from George Eliot to Iris Murdoch to Toni Morrison to Jilly Cooper (Octavia! Imogen! Harriet!) when I was a teenager. I’ve never really looked back and one of my main occupations is building new bookshelves. Among my favourite current writers are Kazuo Ishiguro, Ali Smith, Maggie Nelson and Rachel Cusk. And I adore thrillers.

Sara Collins
Sara is the author of the critically acclaimed novel, The Confessions of Frannie Langton, winner of the 2019 Costa First Novel Award. She’s also a literary critic and broadcaster for a variety of outlets. She says, Since I was a tiny bookworm desperate to return one stack to the library and check out another, I’ve loved nothing more than reading books and talking about them, so this gig really is a dream come true. I fell in love with gothic novels as a teenager, which proved useful when, decades later, I wrote my own! Anything that holds itself out as a complicated psychological thriller, or has everyone talking about its 'unlikeable protagonist', is an automatic buy for me. But I balance this out through a healthy obsession with chick lit.

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Narrated by: Sheila Heti
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Narrated by: Laurence Bouvard