14 episodes

Going beyond the book with a wide range of authors to discuss the themes and ideas that obsess us all.

The Waterstones Podcast Waterstones

    • Books

Going beyond the book with a wide range of authors to discuss the themes and ideas that obsess us all.

    13. CHANGES with Dr. Rangan Chatterjee, Emily Dean and Claudia Hammond

    13. CHANGES with Dr. Rangan Chatterjee, Emily Dean and Claudia Hammond

    At the start of a new year, and indeed a new decade, we’re taking the theme of Changes to allow us to talk to Dr Rangan Chatterjee about the simple ways in which we can genuinely change our health, happiness and fulfilment without having to take out a gym membership or clear the diary. We also hear from Emily Dean about how losing her sister, mother and father in the space of three years, forced a huge amount of change on her and how she coped with this bereavement. And Claudia Hammond tells us why rest is as important as sleep for human health and happiness and why reading might be the very best way to achieve it. 

    Books mentioned: Feel Better in 5, Everybody Died, So I Got A Dog, The Art of Rest, All Among The Barley, Queenie

    • 40 min
    12. EATING with Jay Rayner, Lara Williams and Michael Palin

    12. EATING with Jay Rayner, Lara Williams and Michael Palin

    Beware: this episode may make you hungry. We’re joined by gourmand Jay Rayner to look back at the life experiences that shaped his taste as he searches for the ingredients for My Last Supper. Michael Palin shares his experiences of eating around the world and how food can be a great unifier of people who may not even share a language. And Lara Williams talks about subverting the idea of appetite for her stunning debut novel about female friendship.

    Books mentioned: My Last Supper, North Korea Journal, Supper Club, An Echo of Scandal, An Apple A Day, The Best of A. A. Gill

    • 35 min
    11. MEETINGS with Malcolm Gladwell, Sally Rooney and Arundhati Roy

    11. MEETINGS with Malcolm Gladwell, Sally Rooney and Arundhati Roy

    Malcolm Gladwell brings fascinating anecdotes and insight to why humans are so bad at reading each other on first meeting, drawing on events that end in tragedy, wrongful conviction or compromised security. We also look at another meaning to meeting entirely: that between author and character. Sally Rooney talks about the absurdity of ascribing real psychology to figments of her imagination, people who may not exist and yet whom she feels she knows intimately. Arundhati Roy takes things even further by revealing the unique relationship she has with the characters she creates and the way in which they influence decisions about the books they inhabit.

    Books mentioned: Talking To Strangers, Normal People, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, 1913, The Psychopath Test, Just Kids.

    • 39 min
    10. COMMUNITY with Ann Patchett, Jason Reynolds, Amrou Al-Kadhi and Zing Tsjeng

    10. COMMUNITY with Ann Patchett, Jason Reynolds, Amrou Al-Kadhi and Zing Tsjeng

    Author and bookshop owner Ann Patchett joins us to talk about why a bookshop should be at the heart of any community and why book design is more important than ever. Jason Reynolds talks about what binds communities together and gives us his perspective on black culture and its influence around the world. And we also hear from an event around Pride in London at which Zing Tsjeng and Amrou Al-Kadhi interrogate whether corporate sponsorship of events like Pride is a good or bad thing.

    Books mentioned: The Dutch House, Long Way Down, Look Both Ways, Unicorn, Forgotten Women, Queer Intentions, Sanctuary, Under Milk Wood, Bold Girls.

    • 35 min
    9. CULTURE with Richard Ayoade, Debbie Harry and Jia Tolentino

    9. CULTURE with Richard Ayoade, Debbie Harry and Jia Tolentino

    Culture comes in many forms and we’ve tried to cram as much as we can into this week’s episode. Richard Ayoade takes us to the movies with his inimitable perspective on perhaps the best cabin crew dramedy ever filmed: View From the Top starring Gwyneth Paltrow. We get the chance to speak to cultural icon Debbie Harry, who shares what it was like to be in the New York of the 1970s involved in music, fashion, art and filmmaking. And essayist Jia Tolentino talks about the influence of the internet on our culture and why we should be very careful about what we give up to social media.

    Books mentioned: Ayoade on Top, Face It, Trick Mirror, A Field Guide To Getting Lost, The Lonely City, The Importance of Music to Girls.

    • 32 min
    8. OUTSIDE with Robert Macfarlane, Rebecca Solnit and Shane O'Mara

    8. OUTSIDE with Robert Macfarlane, Rebecca Solnit and Shane O'Mara

    Robert Macfarlane joins us in the studio to talk about the world outside, the climate emergency and how the landscape has shaped his writing and thought over the years. With climate strikes becoming a regular feature we also speak to veteran activist and essayist, Rebecca Solnit, about whether we should be hopeful about the future of the planet. And we actually head outside with the microphone to speak to Professor Shane O’Mara about why the act of walking is far more miraculous and fundamental to being human than we may have imagined.

    Books mentioned: Underland, Ness, Whose Story Is This?, In Praise of Walking, Modern Nature, Haunts of the Black Masseur, The Secret Garden.

    • 37 min

Customer Reviews

@spinkmiles ,

This is like a good book

This is brilliant and interesting and makes me want to read more. (And as a person who has recently finished three English majors that says a lot) anyway listen if you like books and literature in any form.

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