Uncovering the best stories in people’s favourite genres with the authors who write them.
Genre Wars Book Podcast hosted by Tim Hawken challenges readers to search outside their comfort zone to discover great new stories. You'll also get insights into writer's lives, how they go about their craft, and delicious facts like the difference between a maze and a labyrinth.
Lit Fic, Chick Fic, Action, Adventure, Horror, Fantasy, SciFi. Nothing is off-limits.
Great for book nerds wanting to find something new.
The Best Uplit Books With Julietta Henderson
Julietta Henderson has been a professional writer for over 25 years, with her debut fiction novel The Funny Thing About Norman Foreman coming out today, Jan 5th, in Australia (April in the USA and UK). Julietta’s writing makes you laugh then cry, then laugh again on the same page, making you look like a crazy person if you’re reading her book on the train. In this episode we talk about the best Uplit books, what that genre actually is, and why being an editor is the best training to become a writer.
Julietta’s favourite book recommendations include:
Anything by Nick Hornby especially A Long Way Down or How To Be Good
Other fave authors include Roddy Doyle, Marian Keyes, Tony Parsons and David Nichols
The Last Migration by Charlotte McConaghy (not Uplit)
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón (a book nerd special)
Tim’s top Uplit titles also include:
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
For a full round up of all the episodes, head to: https://www.timhawken.com/genrewars
The Best YA Fantasy Books with Sabaa Tahir
Sabaa’s Tahir’s YA fantasy books have sold more than a million copies worldwide and recently made TIME Magazine’s 100 best fantasy books of all time. Her latest novel A Sky Beyond the Storm is out December 1st and is by a mile the most eagerly awaited fantasy series finale this year. Sabaa has a bright sock addiction, makes a mean music playlist, and enjoys killing off darling characters even more than Jay Kristoff and George R Martin combined.
In this episode we dive into what makes an amazing sock, why romance is underrated, and how YA is a category that often defies genre. We also, of course, talked about Sabaa’s best YA fantasy book recommendations.
To get a full rundown of the recommendations, head here.
The Best Historical Fiction with Fiona McIntosh
Fiona McIntosh is an absolute master of her craft. She’s just released her 39th book, The Champagne War, and has written across genres of historical fiction, crime, fantasy and non-fiction. Fiona teaches writing in hugely sought after workshops and would be at peak happiness sipping coffee in Paris, eating dark chocolate after buying a pair of fashionable winter boots.
In this episode, we talk about what makes great historical fiction, Fiona’s start as a fantasy writer, the joys of surprise meetings during research trips, and the dreaded ‘R’ word in genre fiction… romance.
During the show Fiona recommends Sharon Penman for ‘brilliant’ historical fiction. She also recommends Ken Follet for historical fiction with pace and human connection, plus Guy Gavriel Kay who weaves real-world events from ancient history into his fantasy.
For a round up of all the Genre Wars episodes, head to http://timhawken.com/genrewars
The Best Action Adventure Books with Matthew Reilly
Matthew Reilly is a New York Times bestselling author of 18 novels - with his latest, The Two Lost Mountains launching today. His books have sold over 7.5 million copies worldwide, thanks to his intriguing characters and plot pacing that’s faster than a Dalorian DMC-12. While most peg him as an action adventure writer, he also touches other genres like scifi and fantasy frequently in his work. Matthew himself describes his novels as 'escapist' fiction.
In this chat, we talked Hollywood adaptations, killing off characters (and getting hate mail for it), plus how Michael Crichton influenced his writing…
For the best action adventure novels (other than his own) Matthew recommends…
The Andromeda Strain or The Great Train Robbery by Michael Crichton.
He also thinks non-fiction like Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari & The Biggest Bluff by Maria Konnikova help inspire great works of fiction.
Finally, for pure imagination, Matthew Reilly recommends scifi classics: Rendevous with Rama by Arthur C Clarke, The Foundation Series by Isaac Asimov, and The Hyperion Series by Dan Simmons.
For a full rundown of the Genre Wars episodes head to: timhawken.com/genrewars
The Best Biographies with Derek Rielly
Derek Rielly is a strange cross of dirtbag surfer meets eloquent wordsmith. This made him the perfect person to write Wednesdays With Bob - the bestselling biography on Bob Hawke. Derek has since followed that up with an incredible book on the Indigenous Australian icon David Gulpilil. When he’s not writing about real people, Derek also makes up facts about his parents to colour up his author’s bio.
In this chat, we uncover whether Derek’s dad really was a pro wrestler, how persistence landed him the book with Bob Hawke, and how one of the most compelling biographies he’s read opens up with a corpse…
Derek’s best biography recommendations include.
Night Train: The Sonny Liston Story by Nick Toches
Dino: Living High On The Business of Dreams by Nick Toches
The World Is My Home by James Mitchener (actually a memoir)
When Warriors Lie Down and Die by Richard Trudgen (history)
For Derek’s latest, head to BeachGrit.com
For a full list of the Genre Wars episodes, head to timhawken.com/genrewars
The Best Non Fiction Books with Jess Hill
Jess Hill is an investigative journalist and the author of See What You Made Me Do which recently won the coveted Stella Prize. Jess’s work has also won two Walkley awards, three Our Watch awards, and an Amnesty International award. She even helped set Twitter on fire last year with her revelation that Stockholm Syndrome is actually a bunch of b******t.
In this episode we chat about what changed in Jess's life when she won the Stella, the role of non-fiction in society, and how she went from yoga & cocktails to reporting about the Arab Spring from Cairo.
For full show notes, including a list of Jess's non-fiction recommendations, head here.
To shop all of the titles Jess recommended in a way that helps support local bookstores, and the Genre Wars Book Podcast at the same time, head here.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Found this podcast because of the Ken Liu interview, but the host is amazing and each conversation is so interesting!