698 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

    • Arts
    • 3.6 • 40 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

    Dr. Jay Baruch - Tornado of Life: A Doctor's Journey through Constraints and Creativity in the ER

    Dr. Jay Baruch - Tornado of Life: A Doctor's Journey through Constraints and Creativity in the ER

    Stories from the ER: a doctor shows how empathy, creativity, and imagination are the cornerstones of clinical care.To be an emergency room doctor is to be a professional listener to stories. Each patient presents a story; finding the heart of that story is the doctor’s most critical task. More technology, more tests, and more data won’t work if doctors get the story wrong. Empathy, creativity, and imagination are the cornerstones of clinical care. In Tornado of Life, ER physician Jay Baruch offers a series of short, powerful, and affecting essays that capture the stories of ER patients in all their complexity and messiness. Patients come to the ER with lives troubled by scales of misfortune that have little to do with disease or injury. ER doctors must be problem-finders before they are problem-solvers. Cheryl, for example, whose story is a chaos narrative of “and this happened, and then that happened, and then, and then and then and then,” tells Baruch she is "stuck in a tornado of life.” What will help her, and and what will help Mr. K., who seems like a textbook case of post-combat PTSD but turns out not to be? Baruch describes, among other things, the emergency of loneliness (invoking Chekhov, another doctor-writer); his own (frightening) experience as a patient; the patient who demanded a hug; and emergency medicine during COVID-19. These stories often end without closure or solutions. The patients are discharged into the world. But if they’re lucky, the doctor has listened to their stories as well as treated them.Support an independent bookstore, buy the book here: ​https://wellingtonsquarebooks.indiecommerce.com/book/9780262046978

    • 59 min
    Kieran Setiya - Life Is Hard: How Philosophy Can Help Us Find Our Way

    Kieran Setiya - Life Is Hard: How Philosophy Can Help Us Find Our Way

    A philosophical guide to facing life’s inevitable hardships.There is no cure for the human condition: life is hard. But Kieran Setiya believes philosophy can help. He offers us a map for navigating rough terrain, from personal trauma to the injustice and absurdity of the world. In this profound and personal book, Setiya shows how the tools of philosophy can help us find our way. Drawing on ancient and modern philosophy as well as fiction, history, memoir, film, comedy, social science, and stories from Setiya’s own experience, Life Is Hard is a book for this moment—a work of solace and compassion.Warm, accessible, and good-humored, this book is about making the best of a bad lot. It offers guidance for coping with pain and making new friends, for grieving the lost and failing with grace, for confronting injustice and searching for meaning in life. Countering pop psychologists and online influencers who admonish us to “find our bliss” and “live our best lives,” Setiya acknowledges that the best is often out of reach. Instead, he asks how we can weather life’s adversities, finding hope and living well when life is hard.Get the book here:https://wellingtonsquarebooks.indiecommerce.com/book/9780593538210

    • 56 min
    A.M. Homes - The Unfolding

    A.M. Homes - The Unfolding

    In her first novel since the Women’s Prize award-winning May We Be Forgiven, A.M. Homes delivers us back to ourselves in this stunning alternative history that is both terrifyingly prescient, deeply tender and devastatingly funny.The Big Guy loves his family, money and country. Undone by the results of the 2008 presidential election, he taps a group of like-minded men to reclaim their version of the American Dream. As they build a scheme to disturb and disrupt, the Big Guy also faces turbulence within his family. His wife, Charlotte, grieves a life not lived, while his 18-year-old daughter, Meghan, begins to realize that her favorite subject—history—is not exactly what her father taught her.In a story that is as much about the dynamics within a family as it is about the desire for those in power to remain in power, Homes presciently unpacks a dangerous rift in American identity, prompting a reconsideration of the definition of truth, freedom and democracy—and exploring the explosive consequences of what happens when the same words mean such different things to people living together under one roof.From the writer who is always “razor sharp and furiously good” (Zadie Smith), a darkly comic political parable braided with a Bildungsroman that takes us inside the heart of a divided country.Buy the book from Wellington Square Bookshop - ​https://wellingtonsquarebooks.indiecommerce.com/book/9780735225350

    • 49 min
    A.M. Homes - The Unfolding

    A.M. Homes - The Unfolding

    In her first novel since the Women’s Prize award-winning May We Be Forgiven, A.M. Homes delivers us back to ourselves in this stunning alternative history that is both terrifyingly prescient, deeply tender and devastatingly funny.The Big Guy loves his family, money and country. Undone by the results of the 2008 presidential election, he taps a group of like-minded men to reclaim their version of the American Dream. As they build a scheme to disturb and disrupt, the Big Guy also faces turbulence within his family. His wife, Charlotte, grieves a life not lived, while his 18-year-old daughter, Meghan, begins to realize that her favorite subject—history—is not exactly what her father taught her.In a story that is as much about the dynamics within a family as it is about the desire for those in power to remain in power, Homes presciently unpacks a dangerous rift in American identity, prompting a reconsideration of the definition of truth, freedom and democracy—and exploring the explosive consequences of what happens when the same words mean such different things to people living together under one roof.From the writer who is always “razor sharp and furiously good” (Zadie Smith), a darkly comic political parable braided with a Bildungsroman that takes us inside the heart of a divided country.Buy the book from Wellington Square Bookshop - ​https://wellingtonsquarebooks.indiecommerce.com/book/9780735225350

    • 49 min
    Louise Willder - Blurb Your Enthusiasm: An A-Z of Literary Persuasion

    Louise Willder - Blurb Your Enthusiasm: An A-Z of Literary Persuasion

    A dazzling dictionary of book blurbs, filled with writing tips, literary folklore and publishing secrets.This is the outside story of books.From blurbs to titles, quotes to (checks jacket) cute animal designs – via author feuds, writing tricks, classic literature, bonkbusters, plot spoilers and publishing secrets – discover why it’s good to judge a book by its cover. Maybe even this one…Buy the book from Wellington Square Bookshop - ​https://wellingtonsquarebooks.indiecommerce.com/book/9780861542178

    • 53 min
    Peter Ward - The Price of Immortality: The Race to Live Forever

    Peter Ward - The Price of Immortality: The Race to Live Forever

    In the tradition of Jon Ronson and Tim Wu,  an absorbing and revelatory  journey into the American Way of Defying Death . . .As longevity medicine revolutionizes the lives of many older people,  the quest to take the next step—to live as long as we choose—has spurred a scientific arms race in search of the elixir of life, funded by Big Tech and Silicon Valley.   Once the stuff of Mesopotamian mythology and episodes of Star Trek, the effort to make humans immortal is becoming increasingly credible as the pace of technological progress quickens. It has also empowered a wild-eyed fringe of pseudo-scientists, tech visionaries, scam-artists, and religious fanatics who have given their lives over to the pursuit of immortality. Starting off at the Church of Perpetual Life in Florida and exploring the feuding subcultures around the cryonics industry, Peter Ward immerses himself into an eccentric world of startups, scam artists, scientific institutions, and tech billionaires to deliver this deeply reported, nuanced, and sometimes very funny exploration of the race for immortality — and the potentially devastating consequences should humanity realize its ultimate dream.Get your copy here: https://wellingtonsquarebooks.indiecommerce.com/book/9781612199528

    • 53 min

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5
40 Ratings

40 Ratings

malfoxley ,

Great show!

The host of the Avid Reader Show podcast, highlights all aspects of good books and more in this can’t miss podcast! The host and expert guests offer insightful advice and information that is helpful to anyone that listens!

better_user ,

Tone deaf & repugnant.

Hankins 2/14/19 interview should be pulled. Not only does he make mention, twice, with 2:25 left that he didn’t like the book, his smug interview style drips with white privilege. The questions he asks and his tone are condescending and not empathic. Nor does it seem like he really got the gist of what Stephanie experienced. It would serve him well to pull down this episode. I’ll certainly never listen to him again.

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.

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