19 episodes

If your house was on fire, what books would you save from the flames? 

The Books Ireland podcast features authors and well-known cultural figures discussing the titles that have formed the backdrop to their lives—their childhood memories perhaps, or books they fell in love with. Maybe there are authors they return to over and over, or novels which formed their world view—stories that shaped them or books which offered a refuge or a life raft. Editor Ruth McKee asks each guest which books they’d save, which they’d leave behind, and what other non-book treasure they would rescue from the flames. 

Burning Books Ireland Burning Books

    • Arts
    • 4.8 • 5 Ratings

If your house was on fire, what books would you save from the flames? 

The Books Ireland podcast features authors and well-known cultural figures discussing the titles that have formed the backdrop to their lives—their childhood memories perhaps, or books they fell in love with. Maybe there are authors they return to over and over, or novels which formed their world view—stories that shaped them or books which offered a refuge or a life raft. Editor Ruth McKee asks each guest which books they’d save, which they’d leave behind, and what other non-book treasure they would rescue from the flames. 

    Olivia Fitzsimons

    Olivia Fitzsimons

    Olivia Fitzsimons talks about Hans Christian Andersen, Raymond Carver, Donna Tartt, and echoes through time as she tells Ruth McKee which books she would save if her house was on fire.

    Olivia Fitzsimons is an award-winning short story writer whose debut novel, The Quiet Whispers Never Stop, is out now with John Murray.

    • 31 min
    Trailer - Olivia Fitzsimons

    Trailer - Olivia Fitzsimons

    Join Ruth McKee from Friday 13th May when she’ll be talking with author Olivia Fitzsimons to discover which books she would save if her house was on fire. Olivia Fitzsimons’ debut novel The Quiet Whispers Never Stop is out now with John Murray. 

    • 1 min
    Laura McVeigh

    Laura McVeigh

    Laura McVeigh talks about Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, reading in translation, and Ways of Seeing by John Berger as she tells Ruth McKee which books she would save if her house was on fire. 



    Laura McVeigh’s debut novel Two Roads was published by John Murray Press in 2017. Her new book Lenny (New Island) is a magical tale of family, loss and the redemptive power of the imagination to heal and survive.

    • 26 min
    Trailer - Laura McVeigh

    Trailer - Laura McVeigh

    Join Ruth McKee from Friday 1st April when she will be talking with author Laura McVeigh to find out which books she would save if her house was on fire. Laura McVeigh’s new novel, Lenny, is out now with New Island. 

    • 45 sec
    Audrey Magee

    Audrey Magee

    Audrey Magee talks about the transformative work of Marguerite Duras, her love of theatre, language and the stillness she needs to write, as she tells Ruth McKee which books she would save if her house was on fire. 



    Audrey Magee’s first novel, The Undertaking, was shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction, and for France’s Festival du Premier Roman. Sarah Moss describes her new novel, The Colony (Faber) as “a vivid and memorable book about art, youth, love and sex, land and language.”

    • 38 min
    Trailer - Audrey Magee

    Trailer - Audrey Magee

    Join Ruth McKee from Friday 4th February, when she will be talking with author Audrey Magee to find out which books she would save if her house was on fire. Audrey Magee’s new novel, The Colony, is out now with Faber. 

    • 56 sec

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
5 Ratings

5 Ratings

cath-writes-in-the-dark ,

Love this

If you love books then you’ll love this podcast. A really different and interesting way of looking at the chosen books loved by the interviewees, and a glimpse into their lives around the books.

Top Podcasts In Arts

Somethin:Else Creative Studio
The Guardian
Jessie Ware
Roman Mars
WNYC Studios and The New Yorker
Somethin' Else

You Might Also Like

Unique Media
Peter Sirr and Enda Wyley
Collaborative Studios
RTÉ Radio 1
BBC Radio 4
The Irish Times