Simon Mayo's Books Of The Year

Simon Mayo's Books Of The Year

By Ora Et Labora

Simon Mayo and Matt Williams invite the world's finest authors in for a chat. Plus the best unpublished work and your reviews.


Q&A with Sabine Durrant

Sabine Durrant is a former assistant editor of The Guardian and a former literary editor at The Sunday Times. She is currently a magazine profile writer for The Sunday Telegraph and a contributor to The Guardian’s family section. Her latest novel is the thriller Finders, Keepers. In our Q&A Sabine tells us about her favourite books and authors which include Georgette Heyer, Robert Harris and Jilly Cooper  See for privacy and opt-out information.
08/08/2016m 48s

Sabine Durrant (Finders, Keepers)

Hoarding, how to write endings, ice cream vans - and Matt's desire to kill  See for privacy and opt-out information.
01/08/2034m 14s

Q&A with Robert Webb (Come Again)

The best selling author and Peep Show star tells us about his favourite books and authors, which include Huckleberry Finn, Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, Clive James and Mr Uppity.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
25/07/2015m 33s

Robert Webb (Come Again)

The No 1 best selling author of How Not To Be A Boy releases his debut novel Come Again - where his heroin finds herself back in 1992, trying to save the life of her future partner. "It's mean to be funny" R Webb 2020  See for privacy and opt-out information.
18/07/2036m 25s

Q&A with Anthony Horowitz OBE

The best selling author chats about his favourite books and authors - including Agatha Christie, Charles Dickens, Ian Fleming, Ben MacIntyre and Ian Rankin  See for privacy and opt-out information.
22/04/2014m 50s

Anthony Horowitz OBE (Alex Rider)

Anthony Horowitz has written over 40 books including the bestselling teen spy series Alex Rider, estimated to have sold 19 million copies worldwide. Anthony is also an acclaimed writer for adults and was commissioned by the Conan Doyle Estate to write two new Sherlock Holmes novels, and more recently he was commissioned by the Ian Fleming Estate to write new James Bond novels.Simon Mayo is a greedy guts jelly baby guzzler  See for privacy and opt-out information.
17/04/2034m 29s

Your Questions

Mayo/Williams. Our version of Frost/Nixon. With the help of your questions (if you were one of them who sent them in).NB Simon has a nice microphone. Matt has a tin can and some string.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
03/04/2058m 44s

Q&A with Ariana Neumann

The author of When Time Stopped talks us through some of her favourite books, authors and poets - including WH Auden, Enid Blyton, Dani Shapiro and Joyce Carol Oates  See for privacy and opt-out information.
16/03/2012m 58s

Ariana Neumann (When Time Stopped)

When Time Stopped -A Memoir of My Father’s War and What RemainsAriana meticulously uncovers the astonishing truth of her father’s extraordinary escape from Nazi-occupied Prague and seemingly inevitable deportation to the camps. Her painstaking investigation leads her across continents and reveals his astonishing and courageous choice to assume a fake identity and live out the war undercover, spying for the allies in Berlin itself—at the heart of the Nazi empire, deep in the ‘darkest shadow’.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
10/03/2035m 29s

Q&A with Mark Billingham

One of Britain's finest crime writers tells us about his favourite books and authors - which include Elvis Costello, Leon Garfield and Charlie Brooker  See for privacy and opt-out information.
08/02/2012m 36s

Mark Billingham (Their Little Secret)

Mark Billingham is one of the UK's most acclaimed and popular crime writers - selling over 5 million copies. A former actor, television writer and stand-up comedian, his series of novels featuring D.I. Tom Thorne has twice won him the Crime Novel Of The Year Award as well as the Sherlock Award for Best British Detective and been nominated for seven CWA Daggers. His standalone thriller IN THE DARK was chosen as one of the twelve best books of the year by the Times and his debut novel, SLEEPYHEAD was chosen by the Sunday Times as one of the 100 books that had shaped the decade. Each of his novels has been a Sunday Times Top Ten bestseller.Mark is also a member of Fun Lovin' Crime Writers. Performing alongside Val McDermid, Chris Brookmyre, Stuart Neville, Doug Johnstone and Luca Veste, this band of frustrated rockers murders songs for fun at literary festivals worldwideMark's latest novel is Their Little Secret  See for privacy and opt-out information.
08/02/2041m 55s

Q&A with Andrew Hunter Murray

QI Elf Andrew talks us through his favourite authors which include Rik Mayall, Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett and PG Wodehouse.Andrew's debut novel is The Last Day - which focuses on a world which has stopped turning.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
06/02/2020m 44s

Andrew Hunter Murray (The Last Day)

QI Elf, Private Eye contributor and No Such Thing As A Fish presenter Andrew Hunter Murray tells us about his debut novel The Last Day - a thriller set in a world which has spun to a halt, bringing civilization to the brink of chaos.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
03/02/2030m 28s

Q&A with Sophie Hannah

Sophie is an internationally best selling crime author. In our Q&A she tells Simon and Matt about her favourite authors which include Agatha Christie, Samantha Downing and Howard Jacobson  See for privacy and opt-out information.
01/02/2018m 22s

Sophie Hannah (Haven't They Grown)

In Sophie Hannah's latest thriller Beth sees some old friends...but "twelve years have passed and the children don't look any older...why haven't they grown?"Sophie is a Sunday Times and New York Times bestselling writer of crime fiction, published in forty-nine languages and fifty-one territories. Her books have sold millions of copies worldwide. In 2014, with the blessing of Agatha Christie’s family and estate, Sophie published a new Poirot novel, The Monogram Murders, which was a bestseller in more than fifteen countries.In 2013, Sophie’s novel The Carrier won the Crime Thriller of the Year Award at the Specsavers National Book Awards. Her poetry is studied at GCSE, A Level and degree level across the UK. Sophie has recently helped to create a Master’s Degree in Crime and Thriller Writing at the University of Cambridge, for which she is the main teacher and Course Director.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
29/01/2033m 28s

Q&A with Michael Lewis (Moneyball, The Big Short, The Fifth Risk...)

One of America's finest investigative writers answers our book Q&A  See for privacy and opt-out information.
28/12/1913m 56s

Michael Lewis (The Fifth Risk)

Michael Lewis is the global bestselling author of The Big Short and Moneyball - both of which were turned in to hugely successful movies.  His latest book is The Fifth Risk, an exploration of Trump and the mechanics of The White House. It examines the transition and political appointments of the Donald Trump presidency. It’s been optioned by the Obamas for their new Netflix production company. It is both thrilling and terrifying.   See for privacy and opt-out information.
19/12/1932m 19s

Q&A with Malcolm Gladwell

Malcolm Gladwell is a journalist, author and podcast maker. His first five books were on The New York Times Best Seller list. Here her chats to Simon and Matt about his favourite authors and books - which include John Le Carre, Henry Treece and Clifford Irving  See for privacy and opt-out information.
12/12/1915m 16s

Malcolm Gladwell (Talking To Strangers)

Malcolm Gladwell is a journalist, author and podcast maker. His first five books were on The New York Times Best Seller list. His sixth book, Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don't Know, was released in September 2019. The book examines interactions with strangers, and covers examples that include the deceptions of Bernie Madoff, the trial of Amanda Knox, the suicide of Sylvia Plath and the death of Sandra Bland. It challenges the assumptions we are programmed to make when encountering strangers, and the potentially dangerous consequences of misreading people we don't know. His previous books are well worth checking out too - The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference (2000); Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (2005); Outliers: The Story of Success (2008); What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures (2009), a collection of his journalism; and David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants (2013).  See for privacy and opt-out information.
05/12/1936m 17s

Q&A with Lee Child

Multi million selling author Lee Child gives a rather candid glimpse in to his reading and writing habits  See for privacy and opt-out information.
27/11/1912m 17s

Lee Child - Jack Reacher: Blue Moon

Lee Child is a publishing phenomenon. His Jack Reacher novels have sold over 100 million copies. In his latest, Blue Moon, Reacher steps out of a bus to help a potential victim and then finds himself in the thick of a turf war between two rival gangs.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
21/11/1944m 23s

Q&A with Adele Parks

Bestselling author Adele Parks talks about her favourite books and writers. Including Enid Blyton, Vera Brittain, Clare Mackintosh and Muriel Spark.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
20/11/1914m 42s

Adele Parks (Lies, Lies, Lies)

Adele Park's latest novel Lies Lies Lies is a Sunday Times bestseller. She has written 19 novels, selling over 3.5million copies in the UK alone. In our latest pod, Adele talks us through her writing process, the planning, the research and the champagne.In Lies Lies Lies Adele explores the darkest corners of a relationship in freefall in a mesmerising tale of marriage and secrets. After years together, the arrival of longed-for daughter Millie sealed everything in place for Simon and Matt, I mean Simon and Daisy. A happy little family of three. And so what if Simon drinks a bit too much sometimes – Daisy’s used to it, she knows he’s letting off steam. Until one night at a party things spiral horribly out of control. And that happy little family of three will never be the same again.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
13/11/1943m 18s

Q&A with George Alagiah

Broadcaster, journalist and author George Alagiah talks us through his favourite books and authors...  See for privacy and opt-out information.
28/10/1916m 26s

George Alagiah (The Burning Land)

Since 2007, George has been the presenter of the BBC News at Six and has also been the main presenter of GMT on BBC World News since its launch in 2010. A specialist on Africa and the developing world, Alagiah has interviewed, among others, Nelson Mandela, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, former Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan and President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe.George's debut novel is set in the post-apartheid South African land grabs. It’s a sharp and nuanced thriller with a strong female lead. Dealing with themes of political activism, xenophobia, the environment and, most importantly, what happens when events spiral out of control, it’s incredibly timely – and is also based entirely on events George saw but was unable to report on while a BBC correspondent there.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
21/10/1945m 57s

Q&A with Wild Swans author Jung Chang

The best selling author talks about her favourite books and writers.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
08/10/1914m 34s

Jung Chang

Jung Chang is best known for her family autobiography Wild Swans. Published in 1991, it has sold over 15 million copies, has been translated in to 40 languages - and is one of Oprah's "Books That Defined A Generation". It is banned in China - where Jung grew up. Her new book is Big Sister, Little Sister, Red Sister: Three Women at the Heart of Twentieth-Century China  They were the most famous sisters in China. As the country battled through a hundred years of wars, revolutions and seismic transformations, the three Soong sisters from Shanghai were at the centre of power, and each of them left an indelible mark on history.Big Sister, Little Sister, Red Sister is a gripping story of love, war, intrigue, bravery, glamour and betrayal, which takes us on a sweeping journey from Canton to Hawaii to New York, from exiles’ quarters in Japan and Berlin to secret meeting rooms in Moscow, and from the compounds of the Communist elite in Beijing to the corridors of power in democratic Taiwan. In a group biography that is by turns intimate and epic, Jung Chang reveals the lives of three extraordinary women who helped shape twentieth-century China.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
01/10/1940m 3s

A Q&A with Dr Chris Naunton (Searching For The Lost Tombs of Egypt)

Egyptologist Chris Naunton talks us through his favourite writers, explorers and books.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
20/08/1913m 9s

Dr Chris Naunton (Searching For The Lost Tombs of Egypt)

Where are the tombs of Alexander the Great or Cleopatra? Both rulers were buried in Egypt, but their tombs have never been found despite years of intensive research and excavation. Yet we have tantalizing clues. Searching for the Lost Tombs of Egypt describes the quest for these and other great missing tombs those we know existed, but which have not yet been identified.Dr Chris Naunton is an Egyptologist and the Director of the Egypt Exploration Society.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
04/08/1926m 17s

A Q&A with Matt Haig

Find out about Matt Haig's favourite books and writers. Matt is one of Britain's best loved and most prolific writers. Reasons To Stay Alive and Notes From A Nervous Planet were both Sunday Times bestsellers. His children’s novels have won the Smarties Gold Medal, the Blue Peter Book of the Year, been shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize and nominated for the Carnegie Medal three times.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
04/08/1916m 35s

Matt Haig

Matt Haig pops in to chat about his new books: Evie and the Animals and The Truth Pixie. His children’s book A Boy Called Christmas was a runaway hit and is translated in over 25 languages. It is being made into a film by Studio Canal and The Guardian called it an ‘instant classic’. His children’s novels have won the Smarties Gold Medal, the Blue Peter Book of the Year, been shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize and nominated for the Carnegie Medal three times. His memoir Reasons to Stay Alive was a number one bestseller, staying in the British top ten for 46 weeks  See for privacy and opt-out information.
28/07/1933m 43s

A Q&A with Emma John (Wayfaring Stranger)

Journalist and author Emma John talks us through her favourite books and writers - which include Stephen Fry, Amy Poehler and Mark Twain.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
22/07/1917m 47s

Emma John (Wayfaring Stranger)

Can you feel nostalgic for a life you've never known? Suffused with her much-loved warmth and wit, Emma John's memoir follows her moving and memorable journey to master one of the hardest musical styles on earth - and to find her place in an alien world.Emma had fallen out of love with her violin when a chance trip to the American South introduced her to bluegrass music. Classically trained, highly strung and wedded to London life, Emma was about as country as a gin martini. So why did it feel like a homecoming?Answering that question takes Emma deep into the Appalachian mountains, where she uncovers a hidden culture that confounds every expectation - and learns some emotional truths of her own.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
15/07/1929m 47s

Q&A with Jeanette Winterson (Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit/Frankissstein)

Jeanette Winterson is one of the UK's most loved and respected authors. In our Q&A she discusses her favourite writers and books - and her reading and writing habits.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
10/07/1911m 0s

Jeanette Winterson (Frankissstein)

What will happen when homo sapiens is no longer the smartest being on the planet? Jeanette Winterson shows us how much closer we are to that future than we realise. Frankissstein may well terrify you. But will make you laugh.Jeanette Winterson was born in Manchester and read English at Oxford, during which time she wrote her first novel, the Whitbread award winning Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit. She has won a BAFTA Award for Best Drama, the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, the E. M. Forster Award, the St. Louis Literary Award, and is a two-time winner of the Lambda Literary Award. She has been made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE), a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE), and was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
03/07/1937m 59s

Q&A with Sue Nelson (Wally Funk's Race For Space)

Sue Nelson is an award-winning science journalist, producer and broadcaster. A former BBC TV science correspondent and Radio 4 presenter, Sue makes short films on space missions for the European Space Agency and co-presents the Space Boffins podcast, whose guests have included astronauts Buzz Aldrin, Eileen Collins, Tim Peake and Helen Sharman. Sue's extensive broadcasting career has taken her from rocket launches in South America to driving a lunar buggy in London alongside Gene Cernan, the last man to walk on the Moon. Her 2016 documentary 'Women with the Right Stuff', on the history of women in space, won a New York Festival International Radio Program Award.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
26/06/1912m 27s

Wally Funk's Race For Space

Wally Funk was among the Mercury 13, the first group of American pilots to pass the Woman in Space programme. Wally sailed through a series of rigorous physical and mental tests, with one of her scores beating all the male Mercury 7 astronauts', including John Glenn's, the first American in orbit. But just one week before the final phase of training, the programme was abruptly cancelled. A combination of politics and prejudice meant that none of the women ever flew into space. Undeterred, Wally went on to become America's first female aviation safety inspector, though her dream of being an astronaut never dimmed. In this offbeat odyssey, journalist and fellow space buff Sue Nelson joins Wally, now approaching her eightieth birthday, as she races to make her own giant leap, before it's too late. Covering their travels across the United States and Europe - taking in NASA's mission control in Houston, the European Space Agency's HQ in Paris and Spaceport America in New Mexico, where Wally's ride into space awaits - this is a uniquely intimate and entertaining portrait of a true aviation trailblazer.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
20/06/1939m 47s

Q&A with Chloe Hooper (The Arsonist)

Chloe's book The Arsonist is Simon and Matt's favourite of the year so far. Here she talks us through her favourite authors and books.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
22/05/1912m 5s

Chloe Hooper - The Arsonist

The Arsonist tells the real-life story behind one of Australia’s darkest days and the deadliest bushfire disaster in Australia’s history, Black Saturday.On the scorching February day in 2009 that became known as Black Saturday, a man lit two fires in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley, then sat on the roof of his house to watch the inferno. In the valley, where the rates of crime were the highest in the state, more than thirty people were known to police as firebugs. However the detectives soon found themselves on the trail of a man they didn’t know.   See for privacy and opt-out information.
15/05/1938m 27s

Q&A Michelle Paver & John Boyne

Two hugely successful authors have a crack at our book Q&A  See for privacy and opt-out information.
25/04/1920m 26s

Michelle Paver & John Boyne

Michelle Paver is an international bestselling author with over 3 million copies of her books sold in 37 countries across the globe. She writes for both adults and children and her work includes two of the most critically and commercially acclaimed ghost stories of modern times, Dark Matter and Thin Air and the prize-winning, million copy selling, children’s series, Chronicles of Ancient Darkness. Her new book Wakenhyrst, set in Edwardian Suffolk, was inspired by a series of real events and fuelled by secrets from her maternal past. John Boyne returns to the show. He is best known for his phenomenal bestseller The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas which has sold an astonishing 9 million copies worldwide. His latest book, My Brother's Name Is Jessica, is an urgent call to arms for better empathy and understanding around the complexity of gender identity, and is full of John’s trademark warmth, humour and emotion.   See for privacy and opt-out information.
18/04/1934m 5s

Q&A with Prof Lewis Dartnell

Science writer Prof Lewis Dartnell tells Simon and Matt about his favourite books and writers. And how long you could survive in a supermarket after The Apocalypse.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
11/04/1917m 41s

Prof Lewis Dartnell - Origins

The best selling author of Origins: How The Earth Made Us - the story of the human species as shaped by the environment. Prof Lewis Dartnell is a research scientist, presenter and author based in London. He has published four books including The Knowledge - which was a Sunday Times Book of the Year and international bestseller.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
06/04/1932m 44s

Our Q&A with Anita Anand

Broadcaster and journalist Anita Anand picks her favourite books and authors - including Roald Dahl, Gitta Sereny, Emily Eden and Fern Riddell.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
20/03/1915m 50s

Anita Anand - The Patient Assassin

Anita Anand tells the remarkable story of one Indian's twenty-year quest for revenge, taking him around the world in search of those he held responsible for the Amritsar massacre of 1919, which cost the lives of hundreds.  The Patient Assassin shines a devastating light on one of the Raj's most horrific events, but reads like a taut thriller, and reveals some astonishing new insights into what really happened.   See for privacy and opt-out information.
14/03/1930m 26s

Q&A with Jonathan Freedland/Sam Bourne

Find out the reading habits of thriller writer (and Guardian journalist) Jonathan Freedland  See for privacy and opt-out information.
07/03/1917m 33s

Sam Bourne aka Jonathan Freedland

Jonathan Freedland is a Guardian journalist who has written 7 thrillers under the name Sam Bourne. To Kill the Truth springs from one question. What if, in this era of post-truth, someone tried to destroy all evidence of the past – starting with the records and documents by which we know what is true and what is false? Thanks to galloping technology – which now makes fake ‘archive footage’ possible, along with bogus sound recordings of historical figures saying things they never said – and governments bent on spreading fake news, the truth is under assault like never before. It no longer seems far-fetched to imagine a plot to kill it off forever. The result is To Kill the Truth, a novel which opens with the murder of an eminent historian. Soon more historians are found dead, along with aged survivors of some of history’s greatest crimes. And then libraries – in America, in Britain and around the world – are burned to the ground, the archives they hold turned to dust. Once again, at the centre of the action is Maggie Costello, the former White House operative who tried to avert an assassination in Sam Bourne’s previous bestseller, To Kill the President. She understands early that it’s not just buildings and digital databases that are the target of this mysterious plot. It is an attack on the knowledge we have about our world – and the very idea of truth.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
28/02/1933m 22s

Q&A with Charlie Connelly

The author of "Last Train To Hilversum - A Journey In Search Of The Magic of Radio" talks us through his favourite books and authors  See for privacy and opt-out information.
21/02/1913m 37s

Charlie Connelly - Last Train To Hilversum

Charlie Connelly is a bestselling author and award-winning broadcaster. His many books include Attention All Shipping: A Journey Round The Shipping Forecast, In Search of Elvis: A Journey To Find The Man Beneath The Jumpsuit and Our Man In Hibernia: Ireland, The Irish And Me. Three of his books have featured as Radio 4′s Book of the Week. His book Gilbert: The Last Years of WG Grace was shortlisted for the 2016 MCC/Cricket Society Book of the Year. The book he wrote with his friend Bernard Sumner, Chapter And Verse: New Order, Joy Division And Me was shortlisted for Book of the Year at the NME Awards, while his most recent co-writing project, Winner: A Racing Life with the champion jockey AP McCoy is shortlisted for Sports Autobiography of the Year. His latest solo effort is a love letter to UK radio - Last Train To Hilversum.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
14/02/1932m 10s

Alex Michaelides - The Silent Patient

The author of one of the most anticipated thrillers of 2019 - The Silent Patient  See for privacy and opt-out information.
07/02/1933m 35s

Q&A with Alex Michaelides (The Silent Patient)

Listen to author Alex Michaelides talk about his favourite books and authors. His debut novel THE SILENT PATIENT has been sold to over 30 countries and the film rights have been optioned by the makers of 12 Years A SlaveAlex studied English literature at Cambridge University and got his MA in screenwriting at the American Film Institute in Los Angeles. He wrote the film The Devil You Know (2013) starring Rosamund Pike and co-wrote The Con is On (2018), starring Uma Thurman, Tim Roth, Parker Posey and Sofia Vergara.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
02/02/1912m 17s

Q&A with Helen Russell

The Atlas of Happiness author tells Simon about her favourite authors, which include Kate Atkinson, Jill Murphy, David Niven, Naomi Alderman, Siri Hustvedt and Bill Bryson  See for privacy and opt-out information.
24/01/199m 20s

Helen Russell - Atlas of Happiness

The Atlas of Happiness is a round-the-world trip through 33 international happiness concepts, from the bestselling author of The Year of Living Danishly, Helen Russell.Feeling terrified of that upcoming job interview? Take inspiration from the Icelanders and get some fietta reddast, the unwavering belief that everything will work out in the end. Lost your way in life? Make like the Chinese and find your xingfu, or the thing that gives you real purpose.Too much on your plate? The Italians can help you learn the fine art of dolce far niente, aka the sweetness of doing nothing at all.Overwhelmed by busyness and disconnected from nature? The Swedish have a solution – just find your smultronställe, or 'wild strawberry patch', your perfect escape from the rest of the world. From Australia to Wales, via Bhutan, Ireland, Finland, Turkey, Syria, Japan, and many more besides, The Atlas of Happiness uncovers the global secrets to happiness, and how they can change our lives.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
17/01/1938m 37s

John Simpson's Q&A

Legendary journalist John Simpson tells us about his favourite books and authors  See for privacy and opt-out information.
21/12/1815m 48s

Parky's Q&A

Sir Michael Parkinson talks us through his favourite books  See for privacy and opt-out information.
20/12/1818m 34s

Robin Ince Q&A

Comedian Robin Ince tackles our book Q&A.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
19/12/188m 49s

Robin Ince

A very thoughtful chat with Robin about his latest book - I'm A Joke And So Are You - A Comedian's Take On What Makes Us Human. Covering brains, death and the voices inside your head. Yes, your head.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
16/12/1846m 38s

Roger Daltrey

An undiagnosed broken back, turning up to Woodstock in a VW Beetle, and 6 of the best on his bare arse. The legendary frontman of The Who tells all about his autobiography Thanks A Lot Mr Kibblewhite  See for privacy and opt-out information.
13/12/1855m 56s

Roger Daltrey on the life of Keith Moon

A taster from our next pod...about life on tour with The Who - and news of the new Keith Moon film  See for privacy and opt-out information.
12/12/188m 20s

Sir Michael Parkinson

Sir Parky pops in to chat about his friend, the flawed footballing genius George Best- the focus of his new memoir.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
10/12/1838m 51s

John Simpson

John Simpson has been the BBC's World Affairs Editor for more than half his fifty-two year career. The legendary journalist tells us about his new novel Moscow, Midnight. MP Patrick Macready has been found dead in his flat. The coroner rules it an accident, a sex game gone wrong. Jon Swift is from the old stock of journos - cynical, cantankerous and overweight - and something about his friend's death doesn't seem right. Then days after Macready's flat is apparently burgled, Swift discovers that his friend had been researching a string of Russian government figures who had met similarly 'accidental' fates. When the police refuse to investigate further, Swift gets in touch with his contacts in Moscow, determined to find out if his hunch is correct. Following the lead, he is soon drawn into a violent underworld, where whispers of conspiracies, assassinations and double-agents start blurring the line between friend and foe. But the truth will come at a price, and it may cost him everything.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
05/12/1839m 41s

Q&A with Cressida Cowell and Edward Brooke Hitching

Find out the writing and reading habits of this week's authors. Cressida is the multi million selling creator of How To Train Your Dragon. And Edward has compiled a book of maps which chart the rise of exploration. They talk  See for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1828m 25s

Cressida Cowell & Edward Brooke Hitching

Cressida Cowell is the multi million selling creator, author and illustrator of How To Train Your Dragon. Her latest book is the second in the Wizards Of Once series. Edward Brooke-Hitching is the author of the critically acclaimed books The Phantom Atlas and Fox Tossing, Octopus Wrestling and Other Forgotten Sports . The son of Franklin Brooke-Hitching, collector of the largest and most comprehensive library of British exploration and discovery ever accumulated, he is also a writer for the BBC series QI and a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. His latest book is The Golden Atlas - charting the evolution of maps and exploration.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
28/11/1835m 37s

A Q&A with Ian Rankin

The reading habits of bestselling author Ian Rankin - covering the likes of Charles Dickens, Alistair MacLean, RagnarJonasson...and Jilly Cooper  See for privacy and opt-out information.
25/11/1818m 15s

Ian Rankin

See if Matt can keep his sh*t together in front of his all time favourite author...Ian Rankin comes in to chat about his new bestseller In A House of Lies - the 22nd Rebus novel.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
22/11/1835m 17s

An extra Q&A with Lee Child

The author of the multi million selling Jack Reacher thrillers talks about his reading and writing habits.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
19/11/1814m 41s

Lee Child

The multi million selling author of the Jack Reacher books pops in to the pod to talk coffee, movies and cotton buds.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
14/11/1840m 47s

Exclusive news about the new Jack Reacher TV series

Lee Child reveals that there will be no more movies with Tom Cruise  See for privacy and opt-out information.
14/11/181m 34s

The QI Elves & Levison Wood

Dan and Anna from the No Such Thing As A Fish podcast discuss their Book of the Year - amazing facts from 2018. And explorer Levison Wood tells us about his latest adventure, which he has written about in his new book Arabia - 13 countries, 5000 miles...on foot, camel and tank.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
08/11/1835m 3s

A Q&A with explorer Levison Wood & the QI Elves

Discover the reading habits, loves and suggestions of explorer Levison Wood and the QI Elves Anna & Dan (No Such Thing As A Fish). Levison has written a book about his recent journey around the Arabian Peninsular - 13 countries & 5000 miles via foot, tank and camel. The Elves have released the Book of the Year - amazing facts that may have passed you by in the past 11 months or so.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
06/11/1821m 46s

Markus Zusak & Anthony Horowitz

Two of the world's finest authors grace our studios...three if you include Simon. But even Matt would agree 4 would be stretching it. Markus Zusak's debut novel The Book Thief sold over 8m copies. His latest effort Bridge of Clay has been over a decade in the making. Anthony Horowitz has written books featuring Sherlock Holmes and James Bond (not together, yet...) His new novel The Sentence Is Death is a murder mystery, the second in the bestselling series starring Private Investigator Daniel Hawthorne.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
01/11/1834m 22s

Q&A with Anthony Horowitz & Markus Zusak

Simon and Matt find out the reading habits of authors Anthony Horowitz and Markus Zusak. Plus your tweets, letters and suggestions.Anthony Horowitz is one of Britain's most successful writers - specialising in mystery and suspense. His work for young adult readers includes The Alex Rider series. His work for adults includes two Sherlock Holmes novels The House of Silk and Moriarty ; plus Magpie Murders and The Word Is Murder . He was also chosen to write James Bond novels by the Ian Fleming estate, starting with Trigger Mortis  which he then followed up with Forever And A Day. He was the creator and writer of the ITV series Foyle's War, Collision and Injustice and the BBC series New Blood.Markus Zusak's breakthrough novel was The Book Thief. Published in 2005, it has been translated in to 30 languages, winning a host of international awards - and was made in to a film starring Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson. His latest release - 10 years in the making, is called Bridge of Clay.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
29/10/1822m 16s

Heather Morris - The Tattooist of Auschwitz

Heather's debut novel The Tattooist Of Auschwitz has become an international best seller. Based on the recollections of Lale Sokolov, who confided his life story to Heather back in 2003 - this is a love story in the most brutal of settings  See for privacy and opt-out information.
25/10/1831m 38s

Q&A with Heather Morris

Simon and Matt chat to the best selling author of The Tattooist of Auschwitz about her reading habits. Heather Morris' debut novel, at the age of 65, is an incredible piece of work based on her interviews with Lale Sokolov - about his experiences in the Holocaust, and the love of his life.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
22/10/1815m 35s

Chris Riddell & Dermot O'Leary

In our children's special, Chris Riddell talks about Beedle The Bard which he has illustrated for JK Rowling - one of 7 books he has out at the moment. In 2015 he was appointed the UK Children's Laureate. Radio presenter Dermot O'Leary talks about the second outing for his blind ninja cat Toto - in The Incredible Cheese Heist.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
19/10/1837m 28s

A book Q&A with Dermot O'Leary & Chris Riddell (Beedle The Bard)

Dermot O'Leary & Chris Riddell talk about their reading habits, loves and recommendations. Plus your letters and tweets. (If you corresponded with us.)  See for privacy and opt-out information.
17/10/1818m 18s

Gary Barlow

The Take That frontman opens up about his life, his eating disorder, his songwriting and the stress of being an X Factor judge.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
11/10/1837m 59s

A quick book Q&A with Gary Barlow

Gary will help you fall asleep. Full interview in the next show. If you are awake in time.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
09/10/186m 16s

A Graham Norton Special

Graham Norton pops in to catch some germs from Simon and Matt - and to talk about his latest novel A Keeper.Graham is one of the UK's best loved broadcasters. He presents The Graham Norton Show on BBC1, has a weekly show on BBC Radio 2, and writes a column for the Telegraph. He is the winner of eight BAFTA awards. Born in Dublin and raised in West Cork, Norton now lives in London. His debut novel HOLDING was a commercial and critical success, winning Norton the Irish Independent Popular Fiction award at the Bord Gáis Irish Book Awards in 2016.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
04/10/1833m 45s

Graham Norton Q&A

Enid Blyton, Richmal Crompton, Anne Griffin, Mary Lawson and more  See for privacy and opt-out information.
02/10/187m 19s

SPY SPECIAL: Ben MacIntyre

(The failing...) New York Times Bestseller Ben MacIntyre pops in to chat at length about his latest effort The Spy and The Traitor.If anyone could be considered a Russian counterpart to the infamous British double-agent Kim Philby, it was Oleg Gordievsky. He took his first posting for Russian intelligence in 1968 and eventually became the Soviet Union’s top man in London, but from 1973 on he was secretly working for MI6.“The best true spy story I have ever read.”—JOHN LE CARRÉ  See for privacy and opt-out information.
27/09/1845m 39s

Mark Kermode & Alan Johnson

In a (sort of) music special, journalist and broadcaster Mark Kermode and former Home Secretary Alan Johnson talk us through their new memoirs - which focus on their fledgling music careers, stolen instruments and failed bands.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
20/09/1844m 41s

Q&A with Mark Kermode and Alan Johnson

This week's guests answer a quickfire Q&A on their reading habits including what book do you remember being read to you as a child? Is there a book on your shelf that you love and no-one else does? Is there a book you have used to impress a potential partner? And the book you would love to step inside of…  See for privacy and opt-out information.
18/09/1812m 2s

John Boyne & Shaun Usher

John Boyne is one of a rare breed of authors who actually enjoy writing. He has written 11 adult novels - as in novels for adults, rather than the fruity kind. And 5 for young readers. His latest A Ladder To The Sky focuses on the life of an author who will stop at nothing for fame, adulation and respect.Shaun Usher is the writer and sole custodian of the popular blogs, and As a result, he spends much of his life hunting down words he’d like to share. His books, Letters of Note; Lists of Note and More Letters of Note, were all published to widespread acclaim and became international bestsellers. His latest offering is Speeches of Note, which includes addresses The Queen and Richard Nixon were to give if Armstrong and Aldrin were stranded on the Moon - or World War 3 began.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
13/09/1857m 52s

Have you ever used a book to impress someone?

A taster of our next pod featuring authors John Boyne and Shaun Usher  See for privacy and opt-out information.

Kate Atkinson

Kate joins Simon and Matt to chat about her new release Transcription. It tells the story of Juliet Armstrong, who is recruited as a young woman by an obscure wartime department. In the aftermath of war she joins the BBC, where her life begins to unravel.Kate won the Whitbread Book of the Year prize with her first novel, Behind the Scenes at the Museum.Her four bestselling novels featuring former detective Jackson Brodie became the BBC television series Case Histories, starring Jason Isaacs. Her 2013 novel Life After Life won the South Bank Sky Arts Literature Prize, was shortlisted for the Women’s Prize, and voted Book of the Year for the independent booksellers associations on both sides of the Atlantic. It also won the Costa Novel Award, as did her subsequent novel A God in Ruins (2015).  See for privacy and opt-out information.
06/09/1835m 59s

Sebastian Faulks

Sebastian is invited in to chat about his latest novel Paris Echo - plus an excellent Q&A about his reading habits.Best known for the French trilogy, The Girl at the Lion d'Or, Birdsong and Charlotte Gray (1989-1997) Faulks was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1993 and appointed CBE for services to literature in 2002. In Paris Echo he deals with questions of empire, grievance and identity in a city in which every building seems to hold the echo of an unacknowledged past, the shadows of Vichy and Algeria.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
31/08/1836m 20s

Melvin Burgess and Michael Calvin

Carnegie Medal winning author Melvin Burgess (The YA-Father!) on his latest book The Lost Witch. Plus twice named Sportswriter of the Year Michael Calvin on his new book State of Play - addressing areas of football which are not on the back pages.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
17/08/1848m 19s

Our Q&A with authors Manda Scott and Tracy Borman

Manda Scott and Tracy Borman are the first to face our author Q&A. Manda has written A Treachery of Spies, focusing on the French Resistance. And Tracy's debut novel A King's Witch is set in the reign of James  See for privacy and opt-out information.
10/08/188m 17s

Manda Scott and Tracy Borman

A historical fiction special! Manda Scott has written A Treachery of Spies, focusing on the French Resistance. And Tracy Borman's fiction debut is The King's Witch, set during the reign of James I.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
03/08/1853m 39s

A Q&A with Simon and Matt about their favourite books.

Simon and Matt work their way through a book questionnaire...covering crying when reading, books as gifts, being read to as a child and much more. You can join in on their conversation on twitter @booksoftheyear or email  See for privacy and opt-out information.
27/07/1813m 17s

Ant Middleton and DB John

Former SAS/SBS hero Ant Middleton talks about his time in the Special Forces, alongside DB John whose latest thriller is set inside present day North Korea. Plus your letters, reviews, suggestions... and a remarkable poem from a youngster  See for privacy and opt-out information.
20/07/1853m 55s

A few words from Simon and Matt

Your reviews, letters and suggestions  See for privacy and opt-out information.
13/07/186m 0s

Ben Rhodes and Louis De Bernieres

Simon and Matt are joined by Louis De Bernieres - the multi million selling author of Captain Corelli's Mandolin, to discuss his new novel So Much Life Left Over. Also in the studio is President Obama's speech writer Ben Rhodes to talk about his memoir The World As It Is. Plus your letters, reviews and Bros.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
06/07/1859m 48s

An update from Simon and Matt about forthcoming shows

Simon and Matt discuss forthcoming guests and their books, to give you a chance to have a read in advance of their appearances.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
02/07/186m 17s

Robbie Williams and Lynda La Plante

Simon and Matt are joined by Robbie Williams to discuss his memoir Reveal. And crime fiction legend Lynda La Plante talks about the enduring success of Widows. Plus a story about a balloon that will make you cry. You can follow us on twitter @booksoftheyear  See for privacy and opt-out information.
25/06/1857m 39s

We Are Here! Sort of. A taster of things to come from Simon and Matt. Subscribe if you like!

Simon and Matt reveal just what they have been planning  See for privacy and opt-out information.
22/06/185m 6s
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