181 episodes

The literary podcast presented by John Mitchinson and Andy Miller. Brought to you by Unbound. Visit www.backlisted.fm
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Backlisted Unbound

    • Arts
    • 4.8 • 423 Ratings

The literary podcast presented by John Mitchinson and Andy Miller. Brought to you by Unbound. Visit www.backlisted.fm
Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    Fungus The Bogeyman by Raymond Briggs - Revisited

    Fungus The Bogeyman by Raymond Briggs - Revisited

    In memory of Raymond Briggs we are replaying the episode where John and Andy were joined by author-illustrator Nadia Shireen and writer Andrew Male for a smellybration of Fungus the Bogeyman (1977) by the great Raymond Briggs. The much-loved and bestselling picture book Andrew describes as "the children's Anatomy of Melancholy". We consider Briggs's life and work in full: Father Christmas, The Snowman, When the Wind Blows, Ethel & Ernest and the sepulchral Time For Lights Out (2019), his latest - and perhaps last - book; we also hear several times from the (often very funny) author himself.
    Also in this episode Andy talks about issues raised by reading Laugh a Defiance, a long out-of-print memoir by campaigner Mary Richardson; while John shares his enthusiasm for Jessica Au's new novel, Cold Enough For Snow (Fitzcarraldo).
    Timings: (may differ due to variable advert length)
    10:12 - Laugh A Defiance by Mary Richardson
    17:56 - Cold Enough For Snow by Jessica Au
    23:31 - Fungus the Bogeyman by Raymond Briggs
    * To purchase any of the books mentioned in this episode please visit our bookshop at uk.bookshop.org/shop/backlisted where all profits help to sustain this podcast and UK independent bookshops.
    * For information about everything mentioned in this episode visit backlisted.fm
    *If you'd like to support the show, listen without adverts, receive the show early and with extra bonus fortnightly episodes, become a Patreon at patreon.com/backlisted

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    • 1 hr 15 min
    Backlisted Special - The books of our childhood

    Backlisted Special - The books of our childhood

    Welcome to our first Backlisted special of 2023. Today we’re joined by the award-winning novelist and screenwriter Frank Cottrell-Boyce, an official friend of Backlisted, who returns for the first time since his appearance on the Christmas 2021 episode on The Railway Children by Edith Nesbit, one of our most popular shows. These specials are designed to fill the gap until the show proper returns in April. They differ from the usual Backlisted format in that they feature just one guest choosing a number of books in an area they know and care about. The discussion covers examines what inspired Frank’s love of reading when he was growing up, and includes favourite books by T.H. White, Ursula K. Le Guin, Joan Aiken, Tim Hunkin and Richmal Crompton.
    * To purchase any of the books mentioned in this episode please visit our bookshop at uk.bookshop.org/shop/backlisted where all profits help to sustain this podcast and UK independent bookshops.
    * For information about everything mentioned in this episode visit www.backlisted.fm
    *If you'd like to support the show, listen without adverts, receive the show early and with extra bonus fortnightly episodes, become a Patreon at www.patreon.com/backlisted
    Image Credit: Archives New Zealand from New Zealand, CC BY-SA 2.0

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    • 56 min
    The Tortoise and the Hare by Elizabeth Jenkins - rerun

    The Tortoise and the Hare by Elizabeth Jenkins - rerun

    In memory of the great Carmen Callil, we are replaying the first of her two appearances on Backlisted.Joining Andy and John in this episode is Carmen Callil, the legendary publisher and writer, who is best know for founding the Virago Press in 1972. Once described by the Guardian as ‘part-Lebanese, part-Irish and wholly Australian’, Carmen settled in London in 1964 advertising herself in The Times as ‘Australian, B.A. wants job in book publishing’. After changing a generation’s taste through her publishing at Virago, and in particular the Virago Modern Classics, which continues to bring back into print hundreds of neglected women writers, Carmen went on to run Chatto & Windus and became a global Editor-at-Large for Random House. In 2006 she published Bad Faith: A History of Family & Fatherland, which Hilary Spurling called ‘a work of phenomenally thorough, generous and humane scholarship’. Appointed DBE in 2017, she was also awarded the Benson Medal in the same year, awarded to mark ‘meritorious works in poetry, fiction, history and belles-lettres’. The book under discussion is one of her favourite novels, The Tortoise & the Hare by Elizabeth Jenkins, first published by Gollancz in 1954 and triumphantly reissued by Virago Modern Classics in 1983. Also in this episode we explore the new audio version of one our favourite writer’s best novels - The Unfortunates by B.S. Johnson, famously published in a box containing 27 randomly ordered sections in 1969. And last but very much not least: this episode also features our very first canine guest - Effie, Carmen’s extremely well-behaved border terrier.Timings: (may differ due to variable advert length)8'10 - The Unfortunates by B.S.Johnson21'16 - The Tortoise and the Hare by Elizabeth Jenkins* To purchase any of the books mentioned in this episode please visit our bookshop at uk.bookshop.org/shop/backlisted where all profits help to sustain this podcast and UK independent bookshops.* For information about everything mentioned in this episode visit www.backlisted.fm*If you'd like to support the show, listen without adverts, receive the show early and with extra bonus fortnightly episodes, become a Patreon at www.patreon.com/backlisted
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    • 1 hr 5 min
    Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild

    Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild

    Merry Christmas Everyone! This year’s Backlisted Christmas special celebrates Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild, a classic of children’s literature and the childhood favourite of our producer, Nicky Birch. We are joined by the writer Una McCormack and Tanya Kirk, the Lead Curator of Printed Heritage Collections (1601-1900) at the British Library, who are both lifetime Streatfeild fans. Ballet Shoes was an immediate bestseller upon publication and the runner-up for the inaugural Carnegie Medal. It has never been out of print and was the first in a series of ‘Shoes’ books by Streatfeild. It has been adapted many times both as an audiobook and for film and television and in 2019 BBC News included Ballet Shoes on its list of the 100 most influential novels of all time. We discuss why this might be the case and much more besides and even hear from Miss Streatfeild herself. And it being a Christmas episode, there is a fiendish festive quiz. We also feature two other classic books by writers best known through their writing for children. John discusses A Giant in the Snow by John Gordon, an eerie Puffin classic from 1968, while Andy revels in the darkness of John Christopher’s The Death of Grass, first published in 1956, a post-apocalyptic science fiction novel, definitely written for adults and perfect for cutting through your post-lunch torpor. Enjoy!Timings: (may differ due to variable advert length)16:39 A Giant in the Snow by John Gordon22:04 The Death of Grass by John Christopher29:32 Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild* To purchase any of the books mentioned in this episode please visit our bookshop at uk.bookshop.org/shop/backlisted where all profits help to sustain this podcast and UK independent bookshops.* For information about everything mentioned in this episode visit www.backlisted.fm* If you'd like to support the show, receive the show early and get extra bonus fortnightly episodes, become a Patreon at www.patreon.com/backlisted
    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    • 1 hr 31 min
    The Awakening by Kate Chopin

    The Awakening by Kate Chopin

    The Awakening is an American classic, first published in 1899. The novel’s focus is the inner life of Edna Pontellier, a 29 year-old a married woman and mother of two boys, whose husband Léonce is a New Orleans businessman of Louisiana Creole heritage. The book’s notoriety derives from Edna’s refusal to accept the role that American society of the late 19th century has allocated to her. After the controversy that greeted it on publication, The Awakening sank from view until it was rediscovered by a new generation of readers after the Louisiana State University Press published Chopin’s collected works in 1969. Now acclaimed as a feminist classic – it was published in the UK in 1978 by The Women’s Press and is now both a Penguin and an Oxford classic, a Canongate Canon, and one of the most popular university set texts in America. We’re joined by the Irish American writer Timothy O’Grady and publisher Rachael Kerr to find out why. This episode also finds Andy revelling in Beware of the Bull, a new biography of the incomparable Yorkshire singer-songwriter Jake Thackray (Scratching Shed), while John enjoys Louise Willder’s Blurb Your Enthusiasm, the product of her twenty-five years as a copywriter at Penguin.
    Timings may vary as a result of adverts:
    04:57 Blurb Your Enthusiasm by Louise Willder
    11:00 Beware of the Bull: The Enigmatic Genius of Jake Thackray by Paul Thompson and John Watterson
    18:59 The Awakening by Kate Chopin
    * To purchase any of the books mentioned in this episode please visit our bookshop at https://uk.bookshop.org/shop/backlisted where all profits help to sustain this podcast and UK independent bookshops.
    * For information about everything mentioned in this episode visit www.backlisted.fm
    * If you'd like to support the show, receive the show early and get extra bonus fortnightly episodes, become a Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/backlisted

    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    • 1 hr 6 min
    The Ice Palace by Tarjei Vesaas

    The Ice Palace by Tarjei Vesaas

    The Ice Palace or Is-slottet by Tarjei Vesaas is a 20th century classic by one of Norway’s greatest modern writers. First published by Gyldendal in 1963, it went on to win the Nordic Council Literary Prize in 1964. In 1966, it was published in Elizabeth Rokkan’s English translation by Peter Owen who described it as the best novel he ever published. To discuss it we’re joined by friend of the show Max Porter – who’s surprised it isn’t the most famous book in the world – and by another great Norwegian, Karl Ove Knaussgård, who agrees but who also think’s Vessas’s The Birds ( or Fuglane), published six years earlier, might be even better. We discuss both books in their English translations (recently released as Penguin Modern Classics) and Karl Ove treats us to a reading from the beginning of The Ice Palace in Norwegian. This episode also features Andy sharing his pleasure and deep amusement at Bob Dylan’s latest book – The Philosophy of Modern Song (Simon & Schuster) while John is moved by Emergency, Daisy Hildyard’s darkly beautiful novel about a rural Northern childhood overshadowed by presentiments of the coming climate disaster (Fitzcarraldo Editions).
    Timings: (may differ due to variable advert length)
    4:18 - The Philosophy of Modern Song by Bob Dylan
    12:35 - Emergency by Daisy Hildyard
    17:16 - The Ice Palace by Tarjei Vesaas
    * To purchase any of the books mentioned in this episode please visit our bookshop at https://uk.bookshop.org/shop/backlisted where all profits help to sustain this podcast and UK independent bookshops. * For information about everything mentioned in this episode visit www.backlisted.fm * If you'd like to support the show, receive the show early and get extra bonus fortnightly episodes, become a Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/backlisted

    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    • 1 hr 1 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
423 Ratings

423 Ratings

Sarah 613 ,

New old books

Fun & informative. Many new authors I’ve found by listening to this podcast. Thriftbooks and Amazon sends me new or used books that I am compelled to order because of ‘Blacklisted’ recommendations.

changcao27 ,

Best book podcast

Best companions on book journeys. Thank you for your hard work and infectious compassion for books.

SantaClausIndiana ,

Excellent discussions!

Hoping you’ll do a “Cold Comfort Farm” episode. Great stuff!

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