250 episodes

Literary interviews and discussions on the latest releases in the world of publishing, from poetry through to physics. Presented by Sam Leith.

The Book Club The Spectator

    • Arts
    • 4.6 • 23 Ratings

Literary interviews and discussions on the latest releases in the world of publishing, from poetry through to physics. Presented by Sam Leith.

    Joan Bakewell: The Tick of Two Clocks

    Joan Bakewell: The Tick of Two Clocks

    In this week’s Book Club podcast my guest is Joan Bakewell, who talks to me about her new book The Tick Of Two Clocks: A Tale of Moving On. It describes how she made the decision to sell the house she lived in for half a century, and what it meant to her to face up to old age, and take stock of the past.

    • 33 min
    Kate Lister: Harlots, Whores and Hackabouts

    Kate Lister: Harlots, Whores and Hackabouts

    In this week’s book club podcast, I’m joined by Kate Lister to talk about her new book Harlots, Whores and Hackabouts: A History of Sex for Sale. Kate tells me about some of the most celebrated sex-workers in history (and pre-history), the attempts that have been made to regulate the “oldest profession” - and where she stands on an issue that still bitterly divides modern feminists…

    • 35 min
    Chuck Palahniuk: Greener Pastures

    Chuck Palahniuk: Greener Pastures

    Chuck Palahniuk -- best known as the author of Fight Club -- has just announced that he's publishing his next novel not with a mainstream publisher but through the online subscription service Substack. He joins me on this week's Book Club podcast to tell me why; and to talk about how 9/11 changed literature, why he never tires of making his audience feel sick, and how he thinks David Foster Wallace might be alive today if he'd taken some time out to write a few Spider-Man comics.  

    • 25 min
    Mikkel Borch-Jacobsen: Freud's Patients

    Mikkel Borch-Jacobsen: Freud's Patients

    In this week's Book Club podcast I'm joined by Mikkel Borch-Jacobsen, a historian of psychoanalysis whose latest book is Freud's Patients: A Book of Lives. Mikkel has sifted through the archives to discover the real stories anonymised in the case studies on which Sigmund Freud based his theories, and the lives of the patients who submitted to analysis on the great man's original couch. What he discovered is startling. Mikkel tells me how Freud falsified the data to fit his theories, kept incurable cases coming back week after week to keep the fees rolling in -- and how the global industry of Freudian analysis resembles a religious cult more than a science. 

    • 36 min
    Robert Douglas-Fairhurst: A Year That Changed Dickens and the World

    Robert Douglas-Fairhurst: A Year That Changed Dickens and the World

    This week, I’m joined by Robert Douglas-Fairhurst - whose latest book is The Turning Point: A Year That Changed Dickens and the World. He tells me how 1851 - the year of the Great Exhibition - served as a pivot in Dickens’s own life, and set him on the path to writing Bleak House.

    • 40 min
    Oliver Burkeman: 4,000 Weeks

    Oliver Burkeman: 4,000 Weeks

    My guest in this week’s Book Club podcast is the writer Oliver Burkeman. His new book 4,000 Weeks offers some bracing reflections on time: how much we have of it, how best to use it, and why “time management” and productivity gurus have the whole thing upside down.

    • 39 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
23 Ratings

23 Ratings

Keffordos ,

Best book review podcast

Sam Leith is the best interviewer on literature I've ever heard. His knowledge is extraordinarily diverse but he remains engaging, easy-goinf and funny. I would not miss an episode and wish it were twice weekly.

spacdog ,

Best book review site

I love Sam’s style
Books for the beach was a really helpful guide to books I wasn’t aware of

ozRuss ,

Varied topics, interesting, great interview style

I thought it was time to write a review because I have listened to a few now over the last few years whilst walking the dog. Sam is a laid back interviewer with knowledge, a gentle sense of humour and insightful questioning. Able to get the details and some nitty gritty out of the interviewee without becoming unduly voyeuristic. Well done everyone - although occasionally get to hear background noise like sirens - ‘noice, different unusual’.

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