601 episodes

The Avid Reader is a podcast for book lovers. Tune in for interviews, recommendations, and insider news from Sam Hankin, host and owner of independent bookstore Wellington Square Bookshop - www.wellingtonsquarebooks.com

The Avid Reader Sho‪w‬ Samuel Hankin

    • Books
    • 3.8 • 33 Ratings

The Avid Reader is a podcast for book lovers. Tune in for interviews, recommendations, and insider news from Sam Hankin, host and owner of independent bookstore Wellington Square Bookshop - www.wellingtonsquarebooks.com

    Flowers of Darkness - Tatiana de Rosnay

    Flowers of Darkness - Tatiana de Rosnay

    From the internationally bestselling author of Sarah's Key comes Tatiana de Rosnay's Flowers of Darkness, a riveting and emotionally intense novel, set in a near future Paris, where a woman confronts past betrayal and present mystery

    Author Clarissa Katsef is struggling to write her next book. She’s just snagged a brand new artist residency in an ultra-modern apartment, with a view of all of Paris, a dream for any novelist in search of tranquility. But since moving in, she has had the feeling of being watched. Is there reason to be paranoid? Or is her distraction and discomfort the result of her husband’s recent shocking betrayal? Or is that her beloved Paris lies altered outside her windows? A city that will never be quite the same, a city with a scar at its center?

    Stuck inside, in the midst of a sweltering heat wave, Clarissa enlists her beloved granddaughter in her investigation of the mysterious, high tech building even as she finds herself drawn back into the orbit of her first husband who is still the one who knows her most intimately, who shares the past grief that she has never quite let go.

    Staying true to her favorite themes—the imprint of the place, the weight of secrets—de Rosnay weaves an intrigue of thrilling suspense and emotional power.

    • 55 min
    Land of Big Numbers - Te-Ping Chen

    Land of Big Numbers - Te-Ping Chen

    Land of Big numbers is ten short stories and as you know I love short stories.

    The characters are from China and their stories may not be happy or necessarily fulfilling ones but they vibrate with a meaning that is uplifting in an unusual kind of way.  People striving, people, hoping, people on their way to somewhere.

    They may not get there but they have journeys that are courageous, hopeful and sometimes even silly.

    It is always a surprise when you realize that tales of those from thousands of miles away are tales of us as well.  I have found in MY journeys that people are pretty much the same everywhere.  It is the governments that suck.

    • 41 min
    1Q1A Te-Ping Chen - Land of Big Numbers

    1Q1A Te-Ping Chen - Land of Big Numbers

    Land of Big numbers is ten short stories and as you know I love short stories.

    The characters are from China and their stories may not be happy or necessarily fulfilling ones but they vibrate with a meaning that is uplifting in an unusual kind of way.  People striving, people, hoping, people on their way to somewhere.

    They may not get there but they have journeys that are courageous, hopeful and sometimes even silly.

    It is always a surprise when you realize that tales of those from thousands of miles away are tales of us as well.  I have found in MY journeys that people are pretty much the same everywhere.  It is the governments that suck.

    • 1 min
    My Year Abroad. Chang-Rae Lee

    My Year Abroad. Chang-Rae Lee

    Tiller is an average American college student with a good heart but minimal aspirations. Pong Lou is a larger-than-life, wildly creative Chinese American entrepreneur who sees something intriguing in Tiller beyond his bored exterior and takes him under his wing. When Pong brings him along on a boisterous trip across Asia, Tiller is catapulted from ordinary young man to talented protégé, and pulled into a series of ever more extreme and eye-opening experiences that transform his view of the world, of Pong, and of himself.

    In the breathtaking, “precise, elliptical prose” that Chang-rae Lee is known for (The New York Times), the narrative alternates between Tiller’s outlandish, mind-boggling year with Pong and the strange, riveting, emotionally complex domestic life that follows it, as Tiller processes what happened to him abroad and what it means for his future. Rich with commentary on Western attitudes, Eastern stereotypes, capitalism, global trade, mental health, parenthood, mentorship, and more, My Year Abroad is also an exploration of the surprising effects of cultural immersion—on a young American in Asia, on a Chinese man in America, and on an unlikely couple hiding out in the suburbs. Tinged at once with humor and darkness, electric with its accumulating surprises and suspense, My Year Abroad is a novel that only Chang-rae Lee could have written, and one that will be read and discussed for years to come.

    • 46 min
    1Q1A. My Year Abroad Chang-Rae Lee

    1Q1A. My Year Abroad Chang-Rae Lee

    Tiller is an average American college student with a good heart but minimal aspirations. Pong Lou is a larger-than-life, wildly creative Chinese American entrepreneur who sees something intriguing in Tiller beyond his bored exterior and takes him under his wing. When Pong brings him along on a boisterous trip across Asia, Tiller is catapulted from ordinary young man to talented protégé, and pulled into a series of ever more extreme and eye-opening experiences that transform his view of the world, of Pong, and of himself.

    In the breathtaking, “precise, elliptical prose” that Chang-rae Lee is known for (The New York Times), the narrative alternates between Tiller’s outlandish, mind-boggling year with Pong and the strange, riveting, emotionally complex domestic life that follows it, as Tiller processes what happened to him abroad and what it means for his future. Rich with commentary on Western attitudes, Eastern stereotypes, capitalism, global trade, mental health, parenthood, mentorship, and more, My Year Abroad is also an exploration of the surprising effects of cultural immersion—on a young American in Asia, on a Chinese man in America, and on an unlikely couple hiding out in the suburbs. Tinged at once with humor and darkness, electric with its accumulating surprises and suspense, My Year Abroad is a novel that only Chang-rae Lee could have written, and one that will be read and discussed for years to come.

    • 29 sec
    Luckenbooth. Jenni Fagan

    Luckenbooth. Jenni Fagan

    Luckenbooth, her third novel, about an Edinburgh tenement and the curse that haunts it, infecting the lives of all who live across the building's nine floors over nine decades of mystery and uproarious change ... Melding the poetic, the esoteric and the occult with the grit and grime of a real life lived on the edge, she writes unlike any other author of her generation, in no small part because she has lived a life unlike any other author.' Scotsman 'A whirlwind of a novel, and I am certain that various labels will be attached to it - Caledonian magic realism, tartan gothic, something nasty in the shortbread tin, Angela...

    • 46 min

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5
33 Ratings

33 Ratings

MiMi1117 ,

The Avid Reader

I love 💙 the podcast and book selections. In order to continue listening, please ask the Interviewer to speak directly into his phone or microphone. He fades in and out, making it very difficult to hear. In this podcast I can hear the author clearly but the interviewer is garbled. My husband and I recently took a trip and could not listen in the car because the sound is so inconsistent.

Joanbev ,

Wonderful

I have listened to many podcasts on Books - this one is delightful, interesting, educational. As an older adult (73) I enjoy podcasts where the interviewer is mature, calm and has read the material he is discussing. The choice of books is expansive and well chosen.

jobhunting ,

Great Conversations

Sam asks good questions (most of which I never thought of). I've enjoyed listening and getting new book recommendations.

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