Radio 2 Book Club – Emma Hooper

Etta and Otto and Russell and JamesIt must be great minds think alike, because we posted  a review about Emma Hooper’s debut novel Etta and Otto and Russell and James this week and it’s Simon Mayo’s next Radio 2 Drive Time Book Club choice on Monday 9th on at the February usual time.

You can download a sample of the book from the BBC website



Book programmes on TV and radio

An officer and a spyRobert Harris, author and chair of the Costa Book Awards judging panel, has said that the BBC should show more programmes about books. What do you think?

He said. “In the 1970s, when this prize was launched, there were two books programmes on British television: The Book Programme with Robert Robertson and Read All About It with Melvyn Bragg. If I remember rightly, The Book Programme was on BBC Two and Melvyn Bragg was on BBC One. Imagine that: a books programme on BBC One! Both were running at the same time when we only had three channels. We now have 300 channels but we don’t have any dedicated books programmes. It’s a serious point. I do wish the BBC would fulfil that bit of its charter remit and give books what they used to, because there’s nowhere to go. Is it too much to ask?”

Robert Harris is a best-selling author himself, as well as being a former journalist with the BBC. His books include-Fatherland, Pompeii, The Ghost and Archangel which was adapted as a BBC drama starring Daniel Craig.


He also made a joke about rival Man Booker Prize, saying that the Costa was “not a prize for books that people think they ought to read, but for books that people want to read. Some winners of other literary prizes are books that “the public don’t quite get…This is a book that I think everyone will like. The judges’ brief is to select a well-written, enjoyable book that they would strongly recommend anyone to read. It’s not the Booker Prize, it has its own particular stamp. It goes for good quality writing.”

The BBC say they have programmes like Radio 4’s ‘A Good Read’ and BBC Four’s The Secret Life of Books, run the BBC National Short Story Award, and introduce millions to new books through adaptations like Wolf Hall, the Casual Vacancy and Radio 4’s Book at Bedtime.

Radio 2 Book Club

The next book to be discussed on the Radio 2 Book Club will be Bitter Water by Gordon Ferris.

It’s a crime novel set in Glasgow, and to give you an idea of what to expect, Ferris has been likened to Ian Rankin. You can find out more about the book, and download an extract, from the Book Club website.

You can catch the book club on Monday 30th April from 18.00,  as part of Simon Mayo’s 17.00 – 19.00 Drivetime show.

If you missed previous shows, including discussion of  Charlotte Rogan’s The Lifeboat, and Luck: what it means and why it matters by Ed Smith.  you can catch up via the Radio 2 Book Club website.