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325 episodes - English - Latest episode: 24 days ago - ★★★★ - 208 ratings

Led by James Naughtie, a group of readers talk to acclaimed authors about their best-known novels

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Nicholas Shakespeare: Six Minutes in May

May 05, 2024 20:33 - 27 minutes - 25.5 MB

James Naughtie and readers quiz Nicholas Shakespeare about his book, Six Minutes In May: How Churchill Unexpectedly Became Prime Minister. It chronicles the dramatic political and military events of 1940 which led to the momentous Norway Debate and Chamberlain’s resignation. Upcoming recordings at BBC Broadcasting House in London: Wednesday 15 May at 1300: Lucy Caldwell on These Days Thursday 6 June at 1245: Marlon James on A Brief History of Seven Killings

Clare Chambers: Small Pleasures

April 07, 2024 15:45 - 27 minutes - 25.4 MB

Clare Chambers talks to James Naughtie and readers about her bestselling novel, Small Pleasures. Set in the London suburbs in the 1950s, it tells the story of Jean Swinney, a journalist who is asked to investigate a letter sent to her paper, from a mother claiming her daughter is the result of a virgin birth. Jean meets the mother, Gretchen; her husband, Howard and daughter Margaret and is drawn into their family life. Her investigations soon expand both her world, and her heart. Upco...

Ann Cleeves: Hidden Depths

March 03, 2024 16:45 - 27 minutes - 25.4 MB

Bookclub travels to Northumberland to meet best-selling crime writer Ann Cleeves. She joins James Naughtie and listeners to discuss her novel, Hidden Depths: Detective Inspector Vera Stanhope sets out to solve two murders which are apparently linked, although there are no clues to connect the victims. Upcoming recordings - 1830 BBC Broadcasting House in London : 26 March - Clare Chambers on Small Pleasures 24 April - Nicholas Shakespeare on 6 Minutes In May Email [email protected]...

Graeme Macrae Burnet: His Bloody Project

February 04, 2024 16:45 - 27 minutes - 25.3 MB

Graeme Macrae Burnet joins James Naughtie and readers to reveal the secrets behind his award-winning historical novel, His Bloody Project. Set in the Scottish Highlands in 1869, His Bloody Project explores crime, justice and retribution through the confessions of a young man accused of murder, and an account of his trial. Upcoming recordings at BBC Broadcasting House in London: Tuesday 26 March 1830 - Clare Chambers discusses her bestselling novel, Small Pleasures. Wednesday 24 April ...

The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins, with Elly Griffiths

January 07, 2024 16:45 - 27 minutes - 25.3 MB

Marking 200 years since the birth of Wilkie Collins, crime writer, and Collins admirer, Elly Griffiths discusses one of his best known works -The Moonstone - with James Naughtie and a group of readers. Upcoming recording Wednesday 24th January at 1830 at BBC Broadcasting House, London: Graeme Macrae Burnet on His Bloody Project.

Donal Ryan: The Spinning Heart

December 03, 2023 16:45 - 27 minutes - 25.3 MB

Donal Ryan discusses his book The Spinning Heart with a group of readers, It's a powerful, moving novel told through twenty one individual voices. Set in Ireland in the immediate aftermath of the Celtic Tiger 'boom' years, each character reveals how the sudden and dramatic 'bust' affected their lives. At the centre is Bobby Mahon, once a respected and reliable foreman for a building company who suddenly loses his job when the firm's owner disappears overnight. Presenter: James Naughtie P...

Katherine Heiny: Standard Deviation

November 05, 2023 16:45 - 27 minutes - 25.4 MB

Katherine Heiny answers readers questions about Standard Deviation, her hilarious novel about marriage, parenting and the road not travelled. Audra is married to Graham, who is divorced from Elspeth. While Audra is sociable, loving, outspoken, tactless, kind and funny, Elspeth is contained, reserved, controlled and reticent. Despite loving Audra, Graham begins to wonder if his life should have taken a different path. Katherine Heiny reveals the real-life moments that inspired the book...

Bernardine Evaristo: Mr Loverman

October 01, 2023 15:45 - 27 minutes - 25.5 MB

Bernardine Evaristo joins James Naughtie and readers to discuss Mr Loverman, her 2013 novel about Barrington Walker, a married man with a secret life. Ever since his teens in Antigua, Barry has been in love with Morris and despite both men moving to London, marrying and having children, their love affair has never faltered. Now he’s in his seventies, Barry decides it’s time to tell the truth. It’s a funny, poetic, moving novel about love, family, prejudice and forgiveness. Upcoming rec...

Denise Mina: The Long Drop

September 03, 2023 15:45 - 27 minutes - 25.1 MB

James Naughtie is joined by Denise Mina to talk about her book The Long Drop. This intriguing true-crime story is set in 1950s Glasgow when notorious serial killer Peter Manuel spread fear throughout the city. The Long Drop alternates between Manuel's trial and a extraordinary night he spent with Glaswegian businessman William Watt, whose own family Peter Manuel was suspected of killing. Despite this, the two men form an unlikely alliance and tour the bars and dives of Glasgow togethe...

Mick Herron: Slow Horses

August 06, 2023 15:45 - 27 minutes - 25.4 MB

Mick Herron answers readers' questions about his novel, Slow Horses, the first in his hugely popular Slough House series. In it we meet the 'Slow Horses’ for the first time; failed spies who instead of being pensioned off, find themselves working in Slough House, near the Barbican in London. Here, they carry out menial administrative tasks of little or no importance, led by their offensive, vulgar boss Jackson Lamb. In this novel, the Slow Horses find themselves unexpectedly at the centre ...

Julian Barnes: Arthur and George

July 02, 2023 15:45 - 27 minutes - 25.4 MB

To mark our 25th anniversary, Julian Barnes returns to Bookclub. He’s answering readers' questions about his Booker-shortlisted novel Arthur and George. It's based on real events and tells the story of Arthur Conan Doyle’s campaign to overturn the conviction of a young solicitor, George Edalji, Upcoming recording: Thursday 13 July 1830 at BBC Broadcasting House in London - Mick Herron on Slow Horses. Thursday 17 August 1900 at The Portobello Bookshop in Edinburgh - Jenni Fagan on L...

Mary Lawson: Crow Lake

June 04, 2023 15:45 - 27 minutes - 25.2 MB

Mary Lawson joins James Naughtie and a group of readers to answer questions about her novel, Crow Lake. An international bestseller, it tells the story of four siblings, orphaned by a road accident who have to find a new way to live as a family. The story is narrated by Kate, looking back at that dramatic rupture in her childhood. As she tells her story, Kate comes to understand not only how it affected her, but also her siblings - big brothers Luke and Matt, and baby sister Bo. Meanw...

Sarah Winman: Tin Man

May 07, 2023 15:45 - 27 minutes - 25.3 MB

James Naughtie and readers are joined by novelist Sarah Winman, answering questions about her novel Tin Man. It's a moving and intimate portrait of three characters, Michael, Ellis and Annie. They variously fall in love, and fall out of touch, but are always deeply connected. Tin Man is a short and powerful novel about love, loss and kindness. Our next Bookclub recordings are with Mary Lawson, discussing her novel Crow Lake, at 1300 on 24 May at BBC Broadcasting House in London. ...

Tan Twan Eng: The Garden of Evening Mists

April 02, 2023 15:30 - 27 minutes - 25.5 MB

Tan Twan Eng talks to James Naughtie and a group of readers about The Garden of Evening Mists. A lyrical novel set largely in 1950s Malay (now Malaysia), it tells the story of Yun Ling, imprisoned by Japanese soldiers during the Second World War, and Aritomo, a master gardener who once worked for the Emperor of Japan. It's a complex and moving story about forgetting, forgiveness and mercy. Our next Bookclub recordings: (email [email protected] to join us) Wednesday 19th April at ...

Nadifa Mohamed: The Fortune Men

March 05, 2023 16:45 - 27 minutes - 25.4 MB

Nadifa Mohamed joins James Naughtie and readers to talk about her award-winning novel The Fortune Men. Set in Cardiff in the 1950s, the novel is based on the real-life trial of Mahmood Mattan, a Somali seaman accused of murder. It's a powerful, moving read and a dazzling portrait of a proud, bewildered young man and his life in Cardiff's Tiger Bay. Upcoming recordings: 15 March at 1830 at BBC Broadcasting House, London: Tan Twan Eng will be answering questions about his novel The Gar...

Cal Flyn: Islands of Abandonment

February 05, 2023 16:45 - 27 minutes - 25.3 MB

James Naughtie and a group of readers talk to Cal Flyn about her acclaimed book, Islands of Abandonment, an exploration of places which have been reclaimed by nature. She talks about her travels to Cyprus, the Orkney Islands, First World War battlefields in France, and beyond, chronicling the fightback that plants have staged once humans have left. She reveals why finding hope in even the most desolate places is important to her, and why it's ok to leave lawns unmown. Our next recordin...

Ross King: Brunelleschi's Dome

January 01, 2023 16:45 - 27 minutes - 25.5 MB

Historian Ross King answers listener questions about his book Brunelleschi's Dome. An incredible story of one man's determination to build an apparently impossible structure, it's a tale of ingenuity, artistic rivalries, and single-minded obsession. Although building had started on Florence's Santa Maria del Fiore in the late thirteenth century, it wasn't until 1418 that local goldsmith Filippo Brunelleschi came up with an audacious way of constructing the magnificent dome, which still dom...

AJ Pearce: Dear Mrs Bird

December 04, 2022 16:45 - 27 minutes - 25.2 MB

James Naughtie is joined by writer A J Pearce and a group of listeners, as she answers their questions about her bestselling novel Dear Mrs Bird. Set in London in the 1940s, it’s the story of Emmy who has ambitions to be an intrepid war reporter, but instead finds herself working as a secretary on the agony aunt pages of an old-fashioned women’s magazine. Her main duty is opening and sorting the post but Emmy just can't resist sharing her opinions... Dear Mrs Bird is a funny, heart-warming ...

Juan Gabriel Vasquez: The Sound of Things Falling

November 06, 2022 16:45 - 27 minutes - 25.5 MB

Juan Gabriel Vasquez answers audience questions about The Sound of Things Falling. Set in Colombia, the novel examines the personal and private impact of the drug wars that ravaged the country during the 1970s, 80s and 90s. It's the story of a strange friendship between two men, Antonio and Ricardo, told through Antonio's eyes. He sets out to investigate his friend's mysterious life, after Ricardo is murdered. The Sound of Things Falling is a powerful read about memory and storytelling,...

Curtis Sittenfeld: American Wife

October 02, 2022 15:45 - 27 minutes - 25.4 MB

Curtis Sittenfeld answers listener questions about American Wife, a novel which follows Alice Lindgren's path from school librarian to First Lady, and is based on the life of former First Lady Laura Bush. Our next recording is at Broadcasting House in London on 13th October 2022. Juan Gabriel Vasquez will talking about his novel, The Sound Of Things Falling. To take part and ask a question, email [email protected]

Hilary Mantel - Bring Up the Bodies

September 26, 2022 09:05 - 27 minutes - 24.7 MB

In a special programme first broadcast in 2013, Hilary Mantel discusses Bring Up the Bodies, her second Man Booker Prize-winning novel with James Naughtie and his Bookclub audience. England, 1535. A one-time mercenary, master-politician, lawyer and doting father, Thomas Cromwell has risen from commoner to become King Henry VIII's chief adviser. He learnt everything he knew from his mentor Cardinal Wolsey, whose place he has taken. Anne Boleyn is now Queen, her path to Henry's side cleared ...

Kathleen Jamie: Selected Poems

September 04, 2022 15:45 - 27 minutes - 25.3 MB

Bookclub travels to Edinburgh where Scotland's Makar Kathleen Jamie answers readers questions about her Selected Poems, and her writing life. Many poems here celebrate the natural world; Kathleen Jamie writes about animals and plants with a forensic and empathetic eye, often focussing on unloved and unsung creatures like daisies, spiders and frogs. In this collection there are also poems about the struggles of motherhood, and memories of her Scottish childhood - her friends, her family, ...

Kevin Barry

August 07, 2022 15:45 - 27 minutes - 25.3 MB

For the first time since the beginning of the pandemic, James Naughtie is joined by an in-person audience who are putting their questions to Kevin Barry, about his novel Night Boat To Tangier. It’s a darkly comic, melancholy novel about two gangsters, Maurice and Charlie, waiting in the port of Algeciras, hoping to spot Maurice’s runaway daughter. And as they wait, they reminisce and swap stories. Our next Bookclub is recording at Greenside Parish Church in Edinburgh on Thursday 25th August...

John Preston: The Dig

July 03, 2022 15:45 - 27 minutes - 25.3 MB

John Preston talks to a group of readers about his novel The Dig, a fictional take on the excavations at Sutton Hoo. Set in the summer of 1939, with war looming, the novel re-imagines this celebrated discovery of Anglo-Saxon treasure, The extraordinary finds attracted the attention of eminent professors and national museums but the original discovery was the work of a self taught local archaeologist, Basil Brown. And in The Dig, Basil is given his chance to tell his story, as one of the narr...

Diana Evans

June 05, 2022 15:45 - 27 minutes - 25.2 MB

Diana Evans answers listener questions about Ordinary People, her page-turner of a novel about contemporary black middle class experience in the London of today. An absorbing tale of two couples and their family, the novel documents their struggles with identity, parenthood, sex, grief, ageing, friendship and love. Next month's book: The Dig by John Preston. Email [email protected] to join the virtual recording or send in a question in advance.

Nick Harkaway

May 01, 2022 15:45 - 27 minutes - 25.2 MB

Nick Harkaway answers listener questions about his extraordinary novel Angelmaker. A blend of fantasy, thriller and adventure the novel tells the stories of a young, disillusioned clock maker Joe Spork, former spy, ninety year old Edie Bannister, and the strange events that bring them together. Next month's book: Ordinary People by Diana Evans. Email [email protected] to ask a question.

Karen Joy Fowler

April 03, 2022 15:45 - 27 minutes - 25.4 MB

Novelist Karen Joy Fowler joins James Naughtie to answer listener questions about her Booker shortlisted novel We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, a surprising story about an unusual family, and the lasting impact of an unconventional childhood. Narrator Rosemary looks back fondly on her early years with her sister Fern, but all is not as it seems. The novel has an unexpected twist and this programme contains spoilers. Our next read on Bookclub is Angelmaker by Nick Harkaway. Do get...

Sarah Moss

March 06, 2022 16:45 - 27 minutes - 25.4 MB

Sarah Moss joins James Naughtie to answer listener questions about her novel The Tidal Zone - a story of healthcare, parenting, and the echoes of the past. Adam and Emma are parents to 15 year old Miriam and 8 year old Rose. One day, Miriam collapses at school: her heart briefly stopped beating. She is rushed to hospital. The Tidal Zone considers the impact of this event on Miriam, and all of her family, as they spend time in hospital and then learn to live with what has happened. Inte...

Stacey Halls

February 07, 2022 00:15 - 27 minutes - 25.2 MB

James Naughtie and a group of readers talk to Stacey Halls about her novel The Foundling, set in 18th century London. It's the story of Bess, who gives up her new born baby to the Foundling Hospital. When Bess returns six years later to claim her child, she finds that her daughter has been taken by someone else. Stacey answers listener questions about motherhood; her research; the sights and smells of Georgian London and writing from the point of view of two women, who are both fighting for...

Abir Mukherjee

January 02, 2022 16:45 - 27 minutes - 25.4 MB

James Naughtie and Bookclub readers talk to Abir Mukherjee about A Rising Man, the first in his Wyndham and Bannerjee detective series, set in Calcutta during the time of the Raj. Sam Wyndham is new to the police force and new to India. His sergeant, Bannerjee, offers him invaluable help not only with investigating a murder but also with navigating the complex political and social landscape of Calcutta in 1919. James Naughtie’s next guest on Bookclub will be Stacey Halls, talking about h...

Rachel Joyce: The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

December 05, 2021 16:45 - 27 minutes - 25.4 MB

James Naughtie is joined by bestselling writer Rachel Joyce who is answering listener questions about The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. This moving, heartwarming story follows Harold as one day he impulsively sets off on a walk from Devon to Northumberland to visit his long lost friend Queenie; despite having no map, no plan, and no decent walking boots. While he tramps across England, Harold reflects on his life, especially his troubled relationship with his wife and son. Our next ...

Maja Lunde - The History of Bees

November 07, 2021 16:45 - 28 minutes - 25.8 MB

The History of Bees by Maja Lunde is set in three different times and in three different countries - nineteenth century England, present day Ohio and Beijing at the end of the 21st century. Each storyline considers the lot of bees and beekeepers: William is designing a new type of hive, George; in Ohio, is trying to stick with traditional methods even though beekeeping and farming are becoming increasingly industrialised and Tao, in 2098, works as a human pollinator as all all the bees ha...

Anthony Doerr - All the Light We Cannot See

October 03, 2021 15:45 - 27 minutes - 25.5 MB

Anthony Doerr talks to James Naughtie and a group of readers about his novel All the Light We Cannot See, which won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Set largely in St Malo in the 1940's, It tells the twin stories of Werner and Marie Laure,. They are on opposite sides during World War Two, but find themselves linked by a love of radio, and storytelling. Meanwhile, a Nazi officer is hunting down a diamond, which is said to be cursed. Anthony Doerr talks about how he tackled writing t...

Lissa Evans - Old Baggage

September 05, 2021 15:45 - 30 minutes - 27.9 MB

Lissa Evans talks to James Naughtie and a group of her readers about her novel Old Baggage. Set in 1928, it tells the story of Matilda Simpkin, who was an activist during the Women’s Suffrage Campaign. Jailed five times, Mattie marched, sang, gave speeches and smashed windows, and nothing since then has had the same depth or excitement. After a chance meeting with 15-year-old Ida, she sets out on a new venture, starting a girls’ club to help young women gain and maintain independence. Old ...

Tahmima Anam - A Golden Age

August 01, 2021 15:30 - 27 minutes - 25.4 MB

A Golden Age by Tahmima Anam is set fifty years ago, during the Bangladesh War of Independence. The conflict is seen through the eyes of Rehana, a fiercely protective mother, whose children join the fighting. Rehana, though not a natural revolutionary, becomes involved in the conflict herself, determined to do whatever it takes to keep her family intact. Tahmima Anam joins James Naughtie to answer questions from readers about this powerful, award winning book.

Tahmima Anam

August 01, 2021 15:30 - 27 minutes - 25.4 MB

A Golden Age by Tahmima Anam is set fifty years ago, during the Bangladesh War of Independence. The conflict is seen through the eyes of Rehana, a fiercely protective mother, whose children join the fighting. Rehana, though not a natural revolutionary, becomes involved in the conflict herself, determined to do whatever it takes to keep her family intact. Tahmima Anam joins James Naughtie to answer questions from readers about this powerful, award winning book.

Francis Spufford - Golden Hill

July 04, 2021 15:30 - 27 minutes - 25.3 MB

Francis Spufford’s novel Golden Hill won the Costa Book Award, the Ondaatje Prize and the Desmond Elliot Prize and was shortlisted for a host of others. It’s been described by critics as ‘a crackerjack novel of old Manhattan’, ‘Like a newly discovered novel by Henry Fielding with extra material by Martin Scorsese’, and ‘utterly captivating’. Francis joins James Naughtie and a group of his readers to discuss this novel set in the embryo metropolis of 18th Century New York. Presenter: James...

Melissa Harrison - All Among the Barley

June 06, 2021 15:30 - 27 minutes - 25.1 MB

Melissa Harrison is an acclaimed nature writer, novelist and podcaster. She joins James Naughtie and a group of her readers to discuss her novel All Among the Barley, set in Suffolk in the mid 1930’s. Centring on the experiences of teenage Edie Mather whose family have been farming the land for generations, the novel touches on the backdrop of shifting political and social change, as well as the dramatic change that’s just starting in the English countryside. Presenter: James Naughtie Prod...

Liane Moriarty - Big Little Lies

May 04, 2021 11:13 - 27 minutes - 25.1 MB

James Naughtie and a group of readers talk to Australian author Liane Moriarty about her New York Times bestselling novel Big Little Lies. Set in the sunny world of Pirriwee Public Primary School in the beautiful North Shore area of Sydney, there’s a dark thread of hidden violence running under the surface of the novel. Liane Moriarty sets an unexpected murder against a wittily written chorus of gossipy and competitive school parents, effortlessly intertwining the darker undercurrents with a...

Amor Towles - A Gentleman in Moscow

April 04, 2021 15:30 - 27 minutes - 24.9 MB

James Naughtie and a group of readers talk to Amor Towles about his bestselling novel A Gentleman in Moscow. The 30 year story of Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov takes in the sweep of Russian history from the period just after the Russian Revolution, through the Stalinist purges, and heading towards Kruschev’s thaw – all experienced thorough the lens of Rostov’s long house arrest in The Metropol Hotel. To join in future Bookclub programmes email us: [email protected] Presenter: James Naugh...

Kei Miller - The Cartographer Tries to Map a Way to Zion

March 07, 2021 16:30 - 29 minutes - 27.3 MB

James Naughtie and a group of readers talk to award winning poet, novelist and essayist Kei Miller about his Forward Prize Winning poetry collection The Cartographer Tries to Map a Way to Zion. The collection is set on Jamaica and structured through conversations between the map maker, trying to organise and lay down history with a deep conviction of his own rational knowledge, and the rastaman, trying to explain a more spiritual way of knowing. Kei talks to James and the audience about his...

Tana French - The Wych Elm

February 08, 2021 18:03 - 27 minutes - 25 MB

James Naughtie and a group of readers talk to acclaimed Irish crime writer Tana French about her novel The Wych Elm, which was named a New York Times Notable Book of 2018, and a Best Book of 2018 by NPR, The New York Times Book Review, Amazon, The Boston Globe, LitHub, Vulture, Slate, Elle, Vox, and Electric Literature. The Wych Elm is the first stand-alone novel from the author of the Dublin Murder series – and Tana French has been celebrated by writers including Stephen King, Gillian Flyn...

Kazuo Ishiguro - Never Let Me Go

January 03, 2021 16:30 - 27 minutes - 25.1 MB

Kazuo Ishiguro, Winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, discusses his novel Never Let Me Go with James Naughtie and a group of invited readers. In one of the most acclaimed novels of recent years, Kazuo Ishiguro tells the story of Kathy, Tommy, Ruth and other school friends growing up in a darkly skewed version of contemporary England. Narrated by Kathy, now 31, Never Let Me Go is her attempt to come to terms with her childhood and adolescence at the seemingly idyllic Hailsham School as...

David Vann - Legend of a Suicide

December 06, 2020 16:30 - 27 minutes - 25.3 MB

David Vann discusses his novel Legend of a Suicide with James Naughtie and this month's group of readers. Legend of a Suicide is an intimate and profound account of a family tragedy, told in six linked stories that deal with the complicated misunderstandings between a son and his father, and describes the love, guilt and the painful understanding that begins to come with adolescence. When it was published twelve years ago this autobiographical work of fiction was lauded as a groundbreaker; ...

Tayari Jones - An American Marriage

November 01, 2020 16:30 - 29 minutes - 27.4 MB

Tayari Jones discusses An American Marriage, which won the Women's Prize for Fiction 2019. The novel tells the story of Roy and Celestial, a newly wed and successful African-American couple in Atlanta whose marriage is tested when the husband is imprisoned for a crime he didn't commit. The book tackles the shadow cast by the judicial system over many African-American lives. Tayari tells Bookclub how the novel was inspired by an exchange she overheard between a man and a woman at a shopping...

Joseph O'Connor - Star of the Sea

October 04, 2020 15:45 - 27 minutes - 25.3 MB

Joseph O'Connor talks about his novel of Irish emigration at the time of the Famine, Star of the Sea with James Naughtie and readers. In the winter of 1847, the Star of the Sea sets sails from Ireland for New York. Among the refugees are a maidservant, a bankrupt aristocrat, an aspiring novelist and a maker of revolutionary ballads. As we learn each of their stories, we also learn how each is connected more deeply than they know. The novel has its roots in Connemara, with the characters b...

Oyinkan Braithwaite - My Sister, The Serial Killer

September 06, 2020 15:30 - 27 minutes - 25.2 MB

Oyinkan Braithwaite talks about her novel My Sister, The Serial Killer, a story full of deadpan wit and dark humour about two sisters in Lagos. Korede is bitter and jealous of her beautiful sister Ayoola, who is the favourite child. A kind, handsome doctor at the hospital where Korede works is the bright spot in her life and she dreams of the day when he will realize they're perfect for each other. But after Ayoola's third boyfriend in a row dies, and the doctor asks Korede for her sister's...

Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson

August 02, 2020 15:30 - 27 minutes - 24.9 MB

August's edition is a Classic Bookclub - Robert Louis Stevenson's Kidnapped - and is part of BBC Radio 4's ongoing support for students during the Covid-19 crisis. In the absence of Stevenson, our guide to the book is author Louise Welsh, who has written an opera inspired by him. Kidnapped is one Stevenson’s best loved titles. It’s an historical adventure novel set in Scotland after the Jacobite rising of 1745 and tells the adventures of the recently orphaned sixteen year old David Balfo...

Scott Turow - Presumed Innocent

July 05, 2020 15:30 - 28 minutes - 26.1 MB

Scott Turow talks about his first thriller, Presumed Innocent, with James Naughtie and a group of readers. The novel was first published in Britain in 1987 and Scott's books have since sold more than 30 million copies worldwide. The novel was seen as groundbreaking as it spawned a whole generation of legal thrillers. Presumed Innocent is the story of lawyer Rusty Sabich who's investigating the brutal murder of a beautiful and ambitious female colleague, Carolyn Polhemus. In the first twi...

Max Porter - Lanny

June 07, 2020 15:30 - 27 minutes - 25.2 MB

Max Porter talks about his highly acclaimed novel Lanny, which was nominated for the Booker Prize 2019, and recently released in paperback. Max is one of the most exciting literary talents to emerge in recent years, with Lanny his follow-up novel to his 2015 debut, Grief Is the Thing with Feathers. Lanny is the story of a family who've recently moved to the countryside and whose village is peopled by the living and the dead. Lanny is a young boy with a gift for friendship, who adores roa...


Douglas Adams
2 Episodes
Margaret Atwood
2 Episodes
Alice Sebold
1 Episode
Alison Weir
1 Episode
Amitav Ghosh
1 Episode
Andrea Levy
1 Episode
Anita Desai
1 Episode
Anne Michaels
1 Episode
Antonia Fraser
1 Episode
Barbara Kingsolver
1 Episode
Bernard Cornwell
1 Episode
Bill Bryson
1 Episode
Carol Shields
1 Episode
Colm Tóibín
1 Episode
Colum McCann
1 Episode
Dava Sobel
1 Episode
David Guterson
1 Episode
David Lodge
1 Episode
David Mitchell
1 Episode
Doris Lessing
1 Episode
Douglas Coupland
1 Episode
Elizabeth Strout
1 Episode
Elmore Leonard
1 Episode
Frank McCourt
1 Episode
Geoffrey Chaucer
1 Episode
Graham Swift
1 Episode
Hanif Kureishi
1 Episode
Henning Mankell
1 Episode
Henry Marsh
1 Episode
Ian McEwan
1 Episode
Isabel Allende
1 Episode
Jane Gardam
1 Episode
Jane Smiley
1 Episode
Jeanette Winterson
1 Episode
Jennifer Egan
1 Episode
Jodi Picoult
1 Episode
Joe Simpson
1 Episode
John Berendt
1 Episode
John Irving
1 Episode
John le Carré
1 Episode
Jonathan Coe
1 Episode
Joyce Carol Oates
1 Episode
Julian Barnes
1 Episode
Jung Chang
1 Episode
Kate Atkinson
1 Episode
Kazuo Ishiguro
1 Episode
Lindsey Davis
1 Episode
Margaret Drabble
1 Episode
Mario Vargas Llosa
1 Episode
Martin Amis
1 Episode
Matthew Kneale
1 Episode
Melvin Burgess
1 Episode
Michael Morpurgo
1 Episode
Minette Walters
1 Episode
Muriel Spark
1 Episode
Nick Hornby
1 Episode
Oliver Sacks
1 Episode
Orhan Pamuk
1 Episode
Pat Barker
1 Episode
Peter Ackroyd
1 Episode
Peter Carey
1 Episode
Philip Pullman
1 Episode
Richard Flanagan
1 Episode
Richard Ford
1 Episode
Roddy Doyle
1 Episode
Rose Tremain
1 Episode
Sally Beauman
1 Episode
Salman Rushdie
1 Episode
Sarah Dunant
1 Episode
Sebastian Faulks
1 Episode
Stephen Fry
1 Episode
Susan Hill
1 Episode
Terry Pratchett
1 Episode
Tony Parsons
1 Episode
Val McDermid
1 Episode
William Boyd
1 Episode
Will Self
1 Episode
Yann Martel
1 Episode
Zadie Smith
1 Episode


Tales of the City
1 Episode
The Black Dahlia
1 Episode
The Kite Runner
1 Episode
The Line of Beauty
1 Episode
The Secret History
1 Episode
The Shipping News
1 Episode
The Wasp Factory
1 Episode