Kate and Laura on the books that get you talking. Every episode we sit down to chat about the books read most recently by our book clubs. What did we make of them? Did they spark debate? And whether we loved them or loathed them, we always try to answer the big question: were they great book club books?
Like a Sword Wound by Ahmet Altan
Looking for something a little off the beaten path for your reading pile? Join us as we discuss Like A Sword Wound (trans. Brendan Freely and Yelda Türedi) by renowned Turkish writer Ahmet Altan. Volume one of a quartet, it traces not only the social currents of the final years of the Ottoman Empire but also the erotic and emotional lives of its characters. Like A Sword Wound has been described as the Turkish War & Peace. Did Laura's book club agree? Journalist Philip Chaffee joins us to discuss it.
Kate and Laura answer your questions
In celebration of our 100th episode we turn the spotlight on ourselves a little more than usual to answer listeners' questions. From our favourite childhood reads to the books that shaped us as adults, from books which kept us up all night to books we disagree on (with a shocking mid-show revelation from Laura that threatens to derail the whole discussion), listen in to learn more about us as readers and how we came to make the podcast.
The Women's Prize 2021 episode
It’s our 2021 Women’s Prize shortlist episode. We’re joined by guests Elizabeth Morris and Sarah Oliver to discuss every book on the shortlist. But did we love them? Did we loathe them? Most importantly who do we think should win. Listen in to our spoiler-free show and feel inspired to pick up one or all six of these amazing books.
The Happy Reader
We're huge fans of Penguin's Happy Reader, an occasional publication that takes inspiration from the idea of a book club. In the early days of the podcast we were delighted to interview its editor Seb Emina. To celebrate the launch of The Happy Reader's latest edition we're releasing that interview again. From the thinking that goes into every issue, from treasure hunts to the perfect way to drink your tea, from book recommendations to unusual ideas for book club meet ups, this episode has it all.
The Remains of the Day
Join us as we discuss The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro. It's a modern classic, 1989 Booker Prize winner and the author is also the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature but none of this led Laura to hold back, calling it 'dull' and incredibly slow reading. But, of course, hers is not the only voice, so listen in to find out what Kate thought, and what Laura's book club thought. We've also got some book recommendations for your next book club read.
Bookbar, with Chrissy Ryan
We chat with Chrissy Ryan, founder of Bookbar, a new bookshop and bar in North London, a social space where people can discover their next read and meet other readers in a place where conversation is encouraged. We loved hearing about everything from Chrissy's in-house book club featuring authors like Brit Bennett and Curtis Sittenfeld to her shelf-medicate book subscription service – as Chrissy says, like having a literary matchmaker on speed-dial. Listen in for Chrissy's must-reads out now or coming soo
Lincoln In the Bardo
Just listened to your book club review of Lincoln in the Bardo. I agree with Kate. Also love your website. Thanks for all the work you put into it.
Oyinkan Braithwaite is not a poor writer, you just don’t get it.
So glad I found this podcast!
I have benefitted tremendously from Kate and Laura’s fun book discussions — discovered a handful of authors this year, all thanks to them! So grateful they take the time to share their thoughts in this monthly podcast — I now have a running list of must-read-books, not to mention lots of books to recommend to my own book club friends.