Podcast: Anonymous Hendrik

After a break, Kate and Rob are back to discuss anonymous works or those who write under pen names. Inspired by the publication of The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen, 83¼ Years More »

Today Will Be Different: Maria Semple blog tour

Today Will Be Different is the new novel from Maria Semple, author of Where’d You Go, Bernadette and when I spotted early copies, it’s safe to say I was pretty unashamed about seeing if More »

Podcast: Literally Unplanned – Pokemon No?

Rob and Simon are back with more Literally Unplanned. More »

YA Podcast: Recommending great BAME YA

This month, Kate and Darran recommend great YA books by BAME authors, and chat about the politics behind why it’s important. It’s a bit of a political episode, as it goes, given More »

Podcast: Jessie Burton & Hayley Attwell discuss The Muse

Out now is Jessie Burton’s The Muse, her followup to The Miniaturist, Burton’s acclaimed debut novel. Find out how The Miniaturist came to be in this interview with Hayley Attwell, part of the 2015 More »

 
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Podcast: Anonymous Hendrik

After a break, Kate and Rob are back to discuss anonymous works or those who write under pen names. Inspired by the publication of The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen, 83¼ Years Old they talk about famous examples over the years and ask what’s in a name?

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Today Will Be Different: Maria Semple blog tour

Today Will Be Different is the new novel from Maria Semple, author of Where’d You Go, Bernadette and when I spotted early copies, it’s safe to say I was pretty unashamed about seeing if I could nab one as I was really keen to read it and share my thoughts with you.

I really enjoyed it, I think even more so than Maria’s previous novel, in part because of the ingenious way that the whole book plays out over the course of one day, albeit with the clever use of flashbacks, as the main character, Eleanor, encounters various objects or thinks about different people, especially her husband and sister.

I’m very pleased that Maria Semple has stopped by to answer my question about her choice to write in that way…


“When I wrote that first page and felt its electricity, that pretty much dictated the form of the novel. It told me I was writing about a woman who was waking up one morning determined to be her best self. And despite Eleanor setting the bar almost comically low for herself, her plans still go awry.”

As well as the fascinating way it’s written, I loved the wit and humour of Today Will Be Different, as well as the way that Semple creates the most extraordinary characters who are also completely human and relatable. I am desperate to watch the animated series the Elanor works on – it sounds like sassy My Little Ponies – and Timby, her son, is delightful. Her relationship with her sister is sometimes tender, sometimes tragic to the point of heartbreaking. There are also some wonderful slapstick moments – especially in a sculpture park – that have to be read to be believed…

Look out on my Twitter for a chance to RT and win a copy of the book, and have you been following the tour so far?

  • 18th August: Nina Stibbe
  • 25th August: Beth Book Blogger
  • 1st Sept: Notes From The Chair
  • 8th Sept: Amy Pirt
  • 15th Sept: Adventures With Words
  • 22nd Sept: Queens Park Books
  • 29th Sept: Alison Percival
  • 6th Oct: Marian Keyes

Description 

Eleanor Flood knows she’s a mess. But today will be different. Today she will shower and put on real clothes. She will attend her yoga class after dropping her son, Timby, off at school.

She’ll see an old friend for lunch. She won’t swear. She will initiate sex with her husband, Joe. But before she can put her modest plan into action – life happens. For today is the day Timby has decided to pretend to be ill to weasel his way into his mother’s company.

It’s also the day surgeon Joe has chosen to tell his receptionist – but not Eleanor – that he’s on vacation. And just when it seems that things can’t go more awry, a former colleague produces a relic from the past – a graphic memoir with pages telling of family secrets long buried and a sister to whom Eleanor never speaks. 

Literally Unplanned

Podcast: Literally Unplanned – Pokemon No?

Rob and Simon are back with more Literally Unplanned.

BAME YA

YA Podcast: Recommending great BAME YA

This month, Kate and Darran recommend great YA books by BAME authors, and chat about the politics behind why it’s important. It’s a bit of a political episode, as it goes, given recent events around the tragic deaths of Alton Sterling, Philandro Castile and the following protests in the US, and the rise in incidents of racist abuse in the UK following the EU referendum. We wanted to use the platform we have to champion BAME authors, and some books which have BAME characters as part of a realistic diverse cast. If you click ‘read more’, you can listen, click through to buy any of the books we mention, and there are some other positive actions you can take too.

Jessie-Burton-Miniaturist

Podcast: Jessie Burton & Hayley Attwell discuss The Muse

Out now is Jessie Burton’s The Muse, her followup to The Miniaturist, Burton’s acclaimed debut novel. Find out how The Miniaturist came to be in this interview with Hayley Attwell, part of the 2015 Essex Book Festival.

Literally Unplanned

Podcast: Literally Unplanned – Pottering About

Rob and Simon return for another Literally Unplanned podcast. This month they discuss Harry Potter, pub dinners, The Essex Serpent and much more.

Penguin PRIDE #LGBTQLibrary

Our #LGBTQLibrary for Pride 2016

June is Pride Month, and while this year has brought with it some very dark moments, it’s still the time to celebrate the LGBTQ* community. Rob and I hope we can call ourselves allies and friends, and so we’re talking about our LGBTQ Library, in association with Penguin Pride.

Neil Gaiman at Union Chapel

Podcast: Bookish Events and What We Are Currently Reading

Kate and Rob recap a busy fortnight of bookish events, including the Baileys Prize winner, Ian McEwan and Neil Gaiman! Plus they discuss what books they are currently reading.

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YA Podcast: The YA Book Prize 2016

This week on AWW YA, Kate and Darran talk through their thoughts on all ten books from the 2016 YA Book Prize shortlist, and the winner, One by Sarah Crossan. That means it’s a bit of a bumper episode but we hope you find it enjoyable.

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Podcast: Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction 2016 Shortlist

This week Rob and Kate look at the six books shortlisted for the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction 2016.

Literally Unplanned

Podcast: Literally Unplanned

The first episode of our brand new podcast is here! Rob and Simon sit down for a chat once a month to talk a wide variety of things from books to films to cheesy music. It’s Literally Unplanned!

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Podcast: New Arrivals

This week Kate and Rob discuss some new bookish arrivals.

AWW YA

YA Podcast: Welcome Back, AWW YA!

This week, it’s the relaunch of the new-look AWW YA, and Kate is joined by a new cohost, Darran Stobbart! This episode is all about getting to know Darran, so Kate is asking him so questions on your behalf, as well as having a good chat about various things book- and YA-related.

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Podcast: Shakespeare400 – The Complete Walk

On Saturday 23rd April, as part of the commemorations of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, Rob and Kate took part in The Complete Walk, a free, interactive celebration of Shakespeare’s plays created by Shakespeare’s Globe, and podcasted around the way. We talked about the walk and our thoughts about Shakespeare, including our favourite plays, most watched, and favourite productions.

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World Book Night 2016: Q&A with Leigh Bardugo

Yesterday, we shared a Q&A with Holly Bourne, author of Am I Normal Yet?, one of this year’s World Book Night books. As supporters of World Book Night, I’m really pleased to be able to share another fab Q&A with you this today, just before World Book Night itself, from Leigh Bardugo, whose book Shadow and Bone I absolutely loved and reviewed. This time, Leigh shares her reading habits, advice on recommendations for reluctant readers, and Shakespearean favourites. I hope those lucky people receiving Shadow and Bone this evening enjoy it as much as I did…!

 

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