231 episodes

Simon Mayo and Matt Williams invite the world's finest authors in for a chat.

Simon Mayo's Books Of The Year Ora Et Labora

    • Arts
    • 4.8 • 58 Ratings

Simon Mayo and Matt Williams invite the world's finest authors in for a chat.

    Mark Billingham

    Mark Billingham

    Mark Billingham joins Simon and Matt in the studio for a chat about his new character, Detective Miller.
    They discuss the fine line between comedy and crime, why Mark chose Blackpool as the setting for his new series and why you should always come back to an idea.
    We also try to find out what advice he gave Richard Osman, before he became an author...

    Here's more on 'The Wrong Hands':
    This is one case Miller won't want to open . . .
    Unconventional Detective Declan Miller has a problem. Still desperate to solve the murder of his wife, a young man has just appeared on his doorstep with a briefcase . . . containing a pair of severed hands.
    Miller knows this case is proof of a contract killing commissioned by local ne'er do well Wayne Cutler - a man he suspects might also be responsible for his wife's death. Now Miller has leverage, but unfortunately he also has something that both Cutler and a villainous fast-food kingpin are desperate to get hold of.
    Chuck in a Midsomer Murders-obsessed hitman, a psychotic welder and a woman driven over the edge by a wayward Crème Egg, and Miller is in a mess that even he might not be able to dance his way out of.
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    • 35 min
    Andrew O'Hagan Q&A

    Andrew O'Hagan Q&A

    Bestselling novelist and journalist, Andrew O'Hagan, tells us about the last book he REALLY enjoyed reading, as well as revealing some insights into his writing processes.
    He also answers a question from our special guest, Monica Ali, and reveals who he would invite to his fantasy dinner party.
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    • 17 min
    Andrew O'Hagan

    Andrew O'Hagan

    Bestselling author and journalist, Andrew O'Hagan, joins Simon and Matt to discuss his latest novel, Calendonian Road.
    They talk about the inspiration behind the book, the ever-changing landscape of British politics and pandemics and why it took a decade to write.
    Andrew also gives us an insight into the creation of some of his characters, and tells us a great story about his time aboard a luxury yacht!
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    • 42 min
    Abir Mukherjee Q&A

    Abir Mukherjee Q&A

    Bestselling crime writer, Abir Mukherjee, discusses his favourite authors, books, and tells us about his writing processes.
    He talks about working to deadlines (or not), how he orders his bookshelves and who he would invite to his fantasy dinner party.
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    • 18 min
    Abir Mukherjee

    Abir Mukherjee

    Crime writer Abir Mukherjee joins Simon and Matt to discuss his new novel, Hunted.
    Abir is known for his Wyndham and Banerjee series, set in 1920s India, however this book is his first stand alone.
    They chat about the importance of writing something contemporary, the issues that he wanted to tackle and why it has taken so long to finish.

    Here's a little more on Hunted:
    IN A RACE AGAINST TIME, WHAT IF THE GREATEST THREAT WAS YOUR OWN CHILD?
    It’s a week before the presidential elections when a bomb goes off in an LA shopping mall…
    In London, armed police storm Heathrow Airport and arrest Sajid Khan. His daughter Aliyah entered the USA with the suicide bomber, and now she’s missing, potentially plotting another attack.
    But then a mysterious woman called Carrie turns up at Sajid’s door after travelling halfway across the world. She claims Aliyah is with her son Greg, and she knows where they could be.
    Back in the US, Agent Shreya Mistry is closing in on the two fugitives. But the more she investigates, the more she realises this case is far from as simple as it seems.
    Hunted by the authorities, the two parents are thrown together in a race against time to find their kids before the FBI does and stop a catastrophe that will bring the world to its knees.
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    • 41 min
    David Nicholls Q&A

    David Nicholls Q&A

    Bestselling author and screenwriter, David Nicholls, chats to Simon and Matt about his writing processes, what he's reading at the moment and some of his favourite authors.
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    • 19 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
58 Ratings

58 Ratings

csi mel ,

Books of the Year

I adore this podcast! I have listened to Simon and Matt talk about books since their Radio 2 days, and they keep getting more interesting. Simon is also a wonderful writer, and I enjoyed his latest novel, Knife’s Edge. Keep up the good work, gentlemen!

AlistairCandlin ,

Just what I’ve been looking for

Thumbs up from a new listener. Just listened to the Alastair Campbell interview and am half way through the q&a episode that follows.

It’s great - light hearted, funny, interesting. I downloaded Campbell’s new book on Audible. Looking forward to listening to that and catching up on old episodes of your show.

All the best,

Alistair Candlin, South Korea.

cindyT6k ,

Pod of the year

Come for the insightful chat about books, stay for the comedy. Two of the BBC’s most beloved personalities are also serious about literature. Highly recommended!

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