167 episodes

Discussion, debate, even a little dispute – expect it all on The Book Club Review. Every month hosts Kate and Laura bring you a new episode. That could be Book Club where we chat about the book read most recently by one of our book clubs. It could be Bookshelf, an episode dedicated to the books we’re reading outside of book club – the ones we get to pick and choose. Or it could be an interview with a book club, bookshop or book lover. Whatever the topic, every episode features lively and frank reviews and recommendations.

The Book Club Review The Book Club Review

    • Arts
    • 4.5 • 110 Ratings

Discussion, debate, even a little dispute – expect it all on The Book Club Review. Every month hosts Kate and Laura bring you a new episode. That could be Book Club where we chat about the book read most recently by one of our book clubs. It could be Bookshelf, an episode dedicated to the books we’re reading outside of book club – the ones we get to pick and choose. Or it could be an interview with a book club, bookshop or book lover. Whatever the topic, every episode features lively and frank reviews and recommendations.

    Books that Make us Laugh • Episode 161

    Books that Make us Laugh • Episode 161

    Inspired by the folk at the New York Times article ‘22 of the funniest novels since Catch 22’, join me (Kate), Phil and Laura as we consider the books that make us laugh. Listen in as we explore the NYT's suggestions and add in a few of our own. Find out the author we can’t believe they missed, and the book that reliably makes Laura – a tough customer when it comes to funny books – laugh every time. 
     
    Books mentioned 
     
    The New York Times article ‘22 of the funniest novels since Catch 22’ 
    Slaughterhouse 5 by Kurt Vonnegut
     
    The Idiot and Either/Or by Elif Batuman
     
    The Possessed by Elif Batuman
     
    Uncle Napoleon by Iraj Pezeshkzad
     
    Martyr by Kaveh Akbar
     
    Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi
     
    Where d’You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple
     
    The Ascent of Rum Doodle by W.E. Bowman
     
    Three Men and a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome
     
    Scoop by Evelyn Waugh
     
    Vanity Fair by William MakepieceThackarey
     
    The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
     
    The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald
     
    The Blue Flower by Penelope Fitzgerald
     
    Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
     
    Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
     
    Notes
     
    Here’s the Patreon link If you’d like to get more involved and support the show, and you’ll get lots of good things in return: Patreon.com/thebookclubreview
     
    Keep up to date between shows, follow The Book Club Review podcast on Instagram
     
    Next book club read: Wifedom by Anna Funder
     
    Do take a quick moment to rate and review us via your podcast app, your support is really appreciated. And hey, if you have bookish friends, tell them about the show, maybe they will like it too.
     

    • 57 min
    Talking Non-Fiction, with Tom Rowley of Backstory • Episode #160

    Talking Non-Fiction, with Tom Rowley of Backstory • Episode #160

    Exploring literary worlds beyond fiction: a dive into non-fiction
     
    Join Kate, as she ventures to South London to visit Backstory, a unique indie bookstore founded by former journalist Tom Rowley. Rowley shares his journey from journalism to opening a bookshop, the challenges and joys of running a bookstore, the importance of community engagement, and launching the second issue of the Backstory Magazine. 
     
    We then turn our attention to non-fiction, pulling out some favourites, both backlist and new releases. As Tom says, 'I just read. I want good stories, I don't care whether they're true or not'
     
    00:40 A visit to south London's indie bookshop Backstory, and why Kate's name is on the wall
     
    01:53 From journalism to bookshop owner: Tom's lockdown dream comes true
     
    04:25 Embracing the community: the transition from market stall to bookshop
     
    09:26 Launching Backstory Magazine: a new chapter in storytelling
     
    14:54 Exploring non-fiction: feel the fear and read it anyway
     
    17:49 Just what is deep backlist? Tom's first recommendation is My War Gone By, I Miss it So by Anthony Lloyd (September Publishing)
     
    20:18 Kate recommends Fall: The Mystery of Robert Maxwell by John Preston (Penguin)
     
    22:46 Tom's next pick: Maurice and Marilyn: A Whale, A Shipwreck, A Love Story by Sophie Elmhurst (Penguin)
     
    25:52 Kate pulls out The Wager by David Grann (Simon & Schuster) (and we also talk about Devil in the White City by Erik Larson [Penguin])
     
    29:08 Tom recommends The Trading Game by Gary Stevenson (Penguin)
     
    31:15 Great minds think alike: Kate and Tom both recommend The Moth and the Mountain by Ed Caesar (Penguin), author and now DJ!
     
    35:32 An aside from Kate about The Possessed by Elif Batuman (Granta)
     
    37:17 Towards the end of the episode we reach 'peak Tom', with Little Englanders by Alwyn Turner (Profile)
     
    41:17 Book club reads: Red Memory by Tania Branigan (Faber) and Close to Home by Michael Magee (Penguin)
     
    42:25 Tom's book of the summer: The Safe Keep by Yael van der Wouden (Penguin)
     
    44:18 List of books, how to get support the pod and get extras via our Patreon account and details of our upcoming episode in which Phil and Laura join Kate to talk about books that make us laugh
     
    Notes
    Visit Backstory online at www.backstory.london
     

    • 46 min
    Browsing the So Many Damn Books bookshelf, with Christopher Hermelin • #159

    Browsing the So Many Damn Books bookshelf, with Christopher Hermelin • #159

    So Many Damn Books podcast creator and host Christoper Hermelin joins Kate to swap book recommendations and discuss the magic of book club, recent book discoveries and bookish pet peeves.
    EPISODE BOOK LIST
    The Eyes & The Impossible by Dave Eggers
    A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers
    McSweeney’s magazine, including The Panorama issue
    How I Won A Nobel Prize by Julius Taranto
    Non-Fiction by Julie Myerson
    Butter by Asako Yuzuki (Polly Barton, trans.)
    Mild Vertigo by Mieko Kanai (Polly Barton, trans.)
    Fifty Sounds by Polly Barton
    The Extinction of Irena Ray by Jennifer Croft
    James by Percival Everett, and we also mentioned Erasure and The Trees
    Funny Things: A Comic Strip Biography of Charles M. Schultz by Luca Debus and Francesco Mateuzzi
    NOTES
    Join the club and support us on Patreon
    Follow The Book Club Review on Instagram and Threads @bookclubreviewpodcast
     

    • 47 min
    Book club: The New Life by Tom Crewe • Episode #158

    Book club: The New Life by Tom Crewe • Episode #158

    Two marriages, two forbidden love affairs, and the passionate search for social and sexual freedom in late 19th-century London. Publishers Penguin call The New Life by Tom Crewe ‘A brilliant and captivating debut, in the tradition of Alan Hollinghurst and Colm Tóibín' but what did our book club make of it? Kate is reporting back, with regular guest Philip Chaffee joining from New York. We'll be catching up on the discussion as well as bringing you our take on recent reads FAKE ACCOUNTS by Lauren Oyler and NORTH WOODS by Daniel Mason, as well as our recommendations for books inspired by Crewe's novel.
    Booklist
    Fake Accounts by Lauren Oyler
    The Smiley Novels by John Le Carre
    North Woods by Daniel Mason
    Maurice by E. M. Forster
    Alec by William di Canzio
    Young Bloomsbury by Nino Strachey
    Blackouts by Justin Torres
    Miss Marjoribanks by Margaret Oliphant
    The Ladies Lindores by Margaret Oliphant
    Tom Crewe's booklist on bookshop.org.uk
    Podcast episode on Young Bloomsbury
    The audiobook of The New Life is read by Freddie Fox and published by Penguin Audio, available wherever you get your audiobooks
    Keep up with us between shows. Follow us on Instagram or Threads @bookclubreviewpodcast, browse our website for our full archive, or drop us a line at thebookclubreview@gmail.com
    Want the deep dive? All the details of our Patreon extras and how to sign up here.
    Thanks for listening, happy reading, happy book clubbing

    • 41 min
    Mild Vertigo and Japan lit • Episode 157

    Mild Vertigo and Japan lit • Episode 157

    What did our podcast book club make of Mild Vertigo, Japanese author Mieko Kanai's 1997 novel, recently translated into English by Polly Barton. A 'modernist masterpiece' written in sentences that go on for pages with hardly any paragraph breaks might not seem like an obvious book club winner; listen in to find out if we were won over.
    To discuss it Kate is joined by Yuki Tejima, also known as @booknerdtokyo, and Shawn Mooney, aka Shawn the Book Maniac. Listen in for their thoughts on Mild Vertigo, their current reads and our book recommendations for anyone wanting the inside track on great Japanese fiction.
    Book list
    A Woman of Pleasure by Kiyoko Murata (trans. Juliet Winters Carpenter) 
    Home Reading Service by Fabio Morábito (trans. Curtis Bauer)
    Woman Running in the Mountains by Yūko Tsushima (trans. Geraldine Harcourt)
    Also Territory of Light and Child of Fortune by Yoko Tsutshima
    Grass for my Pillow by Sayiichi Maruya (trans. Dennis Keene)
    The Little House by Kyoto Nakajima (trans. Ginny Tapley Takamori)
    There’s No Such Thing as an Easy Job by Kikuo Tsumura (trans. Polly Barton)
    Fifty Sounds by Polly Barton
    Porn: An Oral History by Polly Barton
    Butter by Asako Yuzuki (trans. Polly Barton)
    Follow us on Instagram and threads @bookclubreviewpodcast
    Support the show and get Kate's weekly book-recommendations email, access to our book spreadsheets, connect with fellow readers and join our book club: find all the details on our Patreon page.
    If you enjoyed the episode, please share it, rate and review us on your podcast app, which helps other listeners find us.
    Find full shownotes and our episode archive at our website thebookclubreview.co.uk

    • 56 min
    Early Spring Bookshelf • Episode #156

    Early Spring Bookshelf • Episode #156

    Join me (Kate) and Laura as we go through our bookstacks and discuss our recent reads. Find out what why Laura can’t put down The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells. Meanwhile I’ve discovered Mrs Miniver, a comfort read from the 1930s that still has a message for us today, Laura’s made a discovery of her own – that there’s more to Anita Brookner than Hotel du Lac, with her 1988 novel The Latecomers. We go from one good book club read to another with The Fraud by Zadie Smith, and Laura reports in from the recent backlist past with How Much of These Hills is Gold by C. Pam Zhang. I take a detour through a ring of enchanted toadstools with Emily Wilde’s Encyclopedia of Faeries by Heather Fawcett, and Laura confesses to having spent a weekend lost in the pages of Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros. She's only interested in the dragons, mind.
    Books mentioned
    The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells
    Mrs Miniver by Jan Struther
    The Latecomers by Anita Brookner
    The Fraud by Zadie Smith (UK paperback out in June)
    How Much of These Hills is Gold by C. Pam Zhang
    Emily Wilde's Encyclopedia of Faeries by Heather Fawcett
    Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros
    UK listeners can find all the books listed above at our Bookshop.org.uk bookshop, if you purchase them there you'll be supporting independent bookshops and your favourite indie podcasters.
    Find out all the details of what we're offering on our Patreon here, including a weekly book recmomendations newsletter from Kate, occasional extra bits and bobs plus access to our pod book spreadsheets, and at the higher tier you can join our bookclub and talk books with Kate in person once a month.
    And come and find Kate on Instagram or Threads, or drop us a line at thebookclubreview@gmail.com and let us know your thoughts on the books discussed here anytime.

    • 39 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
110 Ratings

110 Ratings

Serious Book Nerd ,

Great Reviews

Love the discussions! Always something interesting talked about and lots of food for thought.

Wynn1711 ,

Love, love, love

This show has changed how I read. It has opened my eyes to so many books that I would have never picked up or noticed!

Generic Reader ,

Kate has earned her stripes

Looking for a cozy, intellectual, quietly whimsical and wonderfully creative podcast about books and a bookish lifestyle? Well her you go! It’s also lovely to listen to a sophisticated and friendly accent by the show host(s) which is most frequently Kate these days (although Laura is always sunny even when she is eschewing a book due to intensity that dabbles in darkness and/or pain).

The pod features a wide range of mostly fiction, some poetry, the rare appearance of a graphic novel, pointed nonfiction and sub-genres move around but most notably is the literary fiction is tasteful and expansive.

Bookstore owners, fellow readers, authors and other industry adjacent peoples appear on the podcast and Kate is a skillful and inspired interviewer. Listeners learn as she does and Kate is not shy to learn and offer that dynamic and rich experience to her listeners.

Her recent Booker prize episode is chef’s kiss! She reminds me of early Julia Child—Kate is THAT interesting and raises the bar for podcasts making them be educational by way of intellectual participation (no mansplaining).
USA listeners she reads and cites relevant articles derived from all the great States publications so give Kate some love and listen in.

I would love to see her expand her show to feature fellow podcast people further and Bookstagram—the community would love her should she connect furthermore. Networking people re-read this!

Admittedly, I have been influenced a little by Kate’s selections. I wish I was in Europe to meet at book club but the podcast offers one to Patrons via Patreon so if you get a holiday bonus and desire community and time enables a good linkup then join!

I look forward to seeing what Kate rolls out for 2024. She’s a professional both on and off the podcast so listeners keep busy between episodes or go back to old ones there’s always something to discover. Enjoy!

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