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The Only Way is Reading

The Only Way is Reading

By Essex Library Services
The Only Way is Reading is a podcast brought to you by Essex Library Services. We are dedicated to bringing you great book recommendations and interesting stories with a library twist.
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Black History Month Takeover
Freya chats with ECC BAME Network members Zenith, Neera and Michael in this special Black History Month takeover episode of The Only Way Is Reading. They are discussing Louise Hare's fantastic debut This Lovely City, published by HarperCollins Publishers. The novel, set in 1948 and 1950, follows Laurie, a Jamaican musician who moved to London on the HMT Empire Windrush. He is courting a British mixed race woman, Evie, when he finds a baby, dead in Clapham Common pond. From then on, nothing is as simple as it seems... Hare paints a vivid image of the life of the Windrush generation in this brilliant book full of suspense, fear and hope. The group loved it and their analysis makes for a great listen.  This review has hints of spoilers, so if you want to read the book first, reserve it from your local library now: https://tlc.ent.sirsidynix.net.uk/client/en_GB/essex/search/results?qu=this+lovely+city&te=&lm=ESSEXTHURR P.s. please excuse the echoey audio - we will record in a different room next time!
38:22
October 30, 2021
The War of the Worlds: An Exploration into Electronic Music and Storytelling
On this special episode of The Only Way Is Reading we jump straight into a soundscape of Chapter 12 in The War of the Worlds. We are joined by local musician and sound artist Chris Adam who lead the Invasion Soundscaping Workshop on 28 October 2021. We discuss H. G. Wells' epic novel, why electronic music is so good for the telling of futuristic tales and how anyone can make music.
29:26
October 12, 2021
Crime
I’m Beth and today myself and my co-host Freya are getting criminal with crime fiction, interviewing author Abigail Dean and we’ll be hearing an update about the upcoming Essex Authors Day. Thank you so much for listening to this episode of The Only Way Is Reading. Series 1 is still available on Spotify, Google podcasts, Apple Podcasts and a few other platforms. We also have three one-off episodes about poetry, LGBT+ History Month and a young adult special. Join us for our next episode where we’ll be having our own book group and discussing short stories! This has been Beth and Freya on the Only Way is Reading. See you next time.
36:21
August 06, 2021
Non-Fiction
Hosted by Beth and Freya. I’m Beth and today myself and my co-host Freya are getting real with non-fiction and Freya interviews international man of mystery, David Omand. We will also be discussing the themes and characters in the genre and we’ll be hearing more about our Reading Well scheme.
42:10
July 02, 2021
Historical Fiction
Hosted by Beth and Freya. I’m Beth and in this episode we’ll be doing the time warp and reviewing historical fiction and Freya interviews best-selling author Liz Trenow who speaks about her family history of silk-weaving and how that inspired her to become a writer.  We’ll also hear more about the Reading Agency’s Reading Well scheme.
34:27
June 04, 2021
Romance and Chick-lit
Episode 1: Romance and Chick lit Hosted by Beth and Freya. I’m Beth and today myself and my co-host Freya are falling in love with romance and chick-lit fiction, discussing the themes and characters in the genre and we’ll be hearing an update about the upcoming Essex Book Festival. 1:02 – Update about the Essex Book Festival Sarah from Essex Library Services gives us an update on the upcoming Essex Book Festival 2021. The box office opens 29 April 2021. · Find out more about the festival 2:24 – The Shelf by Helly Acton Freya reviews The Shelf by Helly Acton which follows Amy as she is whisked away on a surprise holiday with her boyfriend. Convinced he is about to pop the question Amy is in for a shock when she finds herself on the set of a Big Brother-style reality television show, The Shelf. Along with five other women, Amy is dumped live on TV and must compete in a series of humiliating and obnoxious tasks in the hope of being crowned 'The Keeper' · Read the e-book of The Shelf on BorrowBox · Listen to the e-audiobook of The Shelf on BorrowBox (Please note: between 6 – 22 April BorrowBox only be available through the mobile app) 7:35 – Chasing Daisy by Paige Toon Beth reviews Chasing Daisy by Paige Toon which follows Daisy as she escapes a failed relationship and secrets in her past by joining the catering team for the racing drivers on the Formula 1 Grand Prix circuit. · Read the e-book of Chasing Daisy on BorrowBox · Listen to the e-audiobook of Chasing Daisy on Borrowbox (Please note: between 6 – 22 April BorrowBox only be available through the mobile app) 14:15 – Themes and characters within chick-lit and romance Beth and Freya discuss the themes and characters that appear in the chick lit genre and how they can empower women. 26:33 – Romance in chick lit fiction Beth and Freya discuss why they love elements of romance in chick lit fiction. In episode 2 we’ll be travelling across galaxies and into other dimensions as we discuss sci-fi and fantasy! We would love to get your recommendations so please comment or message us on Twitter or Facebook @EssexLibraries. Feel free to give us a rating or review or send comments and suggestions of things you’d love to hear to reading@essex.gov.uk. Thanks for listening.
31:56
April 01, 2021
LGBT+ History Month Special
LGBT+ History Month Special Hosted by Ian and Freya. Guest appearance from Stephen Bourne author of Fighting Proud We are really excited to introduce you to our guest on today's episode. Writer, film and social historian Stephen Bourne. Not only has Stephen trailblazed a route to cast light on many hidden figures throughout history in his books playing gay, brief encounters, fighting proud and most recently under fire, but he was also instrumental in setting up one of the first locally-based multi-agency forums to combat homophobic crime in 1995. Throughout his illustrious career Stephen has enriched the lives of many and done amazing work bringing hidden stories into the mainstream. Questions Freya and Ian ask Stephen throughout the episode: 1. What made you decide to write a book about the gay men who served in the two world wars? 2. How difficult was it researching the book and uncovering these hidden stories – did you come up against any resistance? 3. What fact affected you the most when you were researching the lives of these men? 4. Did you feel connected to anyone when you were bringing their stories to life? 5. Have you received any feedback since the book’s publication, particularly from former military service personnel or their families or communities? 6. What do you think is the most important lesson we can learn from looking back at these people and their stories? You can find Stephen's books on our library system here. We would love to get your recommendations so please comment or message us on Twitter or Facebook @EssexLibraries. Feel free to give us a rating or review or send comments and suggestions of things you’d love to hear to reading@essex.gov.uk. Thanks for listening.
33:14
February 25, 2021
The Young Adult Special
Young adult podcast for #LibrariesWeek Hosted by Freya chatting with Isabel, James and Mia In this episode in celebration of Libraries Week (5-10 October) we’re talking with three young adults about all things books and reading. Freya will be discussing with Isabel, James and Mia: · What books they are reading now · Their favourite titles · How they choose what to read next · What motivates them to read · Which book has helped them through a hard time · A title they would recommend to a friend or add to a booklist · Their favourite thing about using the library The books James talks about: · Reserve Dr No by Ian Fleming from Essex Libraries · Reserve Northern Lights by Philip Pullman from Essex Libraries The books Mia talks about: · Reserve Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven from Essex Libraries · Reserve Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens from Essex Libraries · Reserve One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus from Essex Libraries The books Isabel talks about: · Reserve Murder Most Unladylike by Robin Stevens from Essex Libraries · Reserve Daughters of Time: an anthology from The History Girls, edited by Mary Hoffman, from Essex Libraries · Reserve Girl Online by Zoe Sugg from Essex Libraries  We’d love to get your thoughts and recommendations of any books for young adults and for further episodes, so please comment or message us on Twitter or Facebook @EssexLibraries. Feel free to give us a rating or review or send comments and suggestions of things you’d love to hear to reading@essex.gov.uk.
16:08
October 09, 2020
National Poetry Day
National Poetry Day Hosted by Beth and Freya. Special guest appearance from Anthony Roberts from Colchester Arts Centre. In this episode we’re talking all things poetry to celebrate National Poetry Day. Beth spoke to Anthony Roberts from Colchester Arts Centre who’s been using poetry to keep the culture alive by performing a daily poem among other things. And then we’ll be chatting about our relationship with poetry. Interview with Anthony Roberts Beth spoke to Anthony Roberts from Colchester Arts Centre. They spoke about what they most love about poetry. Anthony has been filming a poem a day throughout lockdown Watch the poetry videos on Colchester Arts Centre’s YouTube channel Anthony speaks about Kubla Khan by Samuel Coleridge Reserve Samuel Coleridge’s books from Essex Libraries Anthony reads ‘These are the Hands’ by Michael Rosen Read the poem on Scottish Poetry Library Watch Michael Rosen perform the poem on YouTube Anthony reads a poem by local poet Luke Wright Anthony reads the classic poem ‘The Owl and the Pussycat’ by Edward Lear Read the poem on Poetry Foundation Why we love poetry Beth and Freya speak about what they love about poetry and Beth reads one of her poems. We’d love to get your thoughts and recommendations of poetry and any further episodes so please comment or message us on Twitter or Facebook @EssexLibraries. Feel free to give us a rating or review or send comments and suggestions of things you’d love to hear to reading@essex.gov.uk.
32:36
October 01, 2020
Mission Complete
Hosted by Beth and Freya. Guest appearances from local poet, Joy, and Callum from Libraries Unlimited in Devon and Torbay. In this episode we’re discussing books with a connection to Essex for our book bingo challenge, Freya spoke to Joy, a local Essex poet, about her poetry and work on a local project called Essexism, and Beth spoke to our friend Callum from Libraries Unlimited down in Devon and Torbay about their lockdown podcast. And since this is our last episode of this series, we will be looking back on the book bingo challenge and how it’s changed us as readers. 0:49 Book Bingo Discussion – Connection with Essex Beth reviews ‘Strange Magic’ by Syd Moore. It follows Rosie Strange, a realist and sceptic who inherits her grandfather’s run-down witchcraft museum in Essex. On her first visit to the museum she meets a professor who requests the help of her and the museum curator to uncover the remains of a well-known witch. · Reserve a copy from Essex Libraries · Borrow the e-book from BorrowBox Freya speaks about ‘Rivers of London’ by Ben Aaronovitch.The novel follows police officer Peter Grant, a young copper in the Metropolitan police who had a very unexpected encounter with a ghost and then was recruited into a small branch of the met that deals with magic and all things supernatural. · Reserve a copy from Essex Libraries 5:50 Joyful Connection Joy M. Louisa is a local performance poet and blogger. Joy tells us about the Essexism project by Mark Massey. We hear about the inspiration behind her poetry and Joy gives her tips for budding creatives about poetry and blogging · Find out more about Joy on her blog, Joyful Connection, and Vimeo Libraries Unlimited Callum from Libraries Unlimited tells us about their lockdown podcast. Libraries Unlimited is a charity organisation that runs the library service in Devon and Torbay. Callum speaks about the ups and downs of starting a new podcast · Listen to Libraries Unlimited Podcast Challenge complete Freya and Beth chat about how their reading habits have changed since taking part in the book bingo challenge. We’d love to get your thoughts and recommendations for further episodes so please comment or message us on Twitter or Facebook @EssexLibraries. Feel free to give us a rating or review or send comments and suggestions of things you’d love to hear to reading@essex.gov.uk. Thanks for listening!
40:45
September 02, 2020
Crime and Creativity
Hosted by Beth and Freya. Guest appearance from Alex Clare, author of the DI Robyn Bailley series. I’m Beth and in this episode Freya and I are discussing books with a blue cover for our book bingo challenge, we spoke to author of the DI Robyn Bailley series, Alex Clare, about her journey as an author and the principles of crime writing, and then we’ll be setting our next book bingo challenge. 0:42 - Book bingo discussion – Blue Cover Beth reviews Adam Kay’s award winning novel, ‘This is Going to Hurt.’ Adam Kay’s diaries provide a no-holds-barred account of his time on the NHS front line. Hilarious, horrifying and heartbreaking by turns, these diaries are everything you wanted to know – and more than a few things you didn't – about life on and off the hospital ward. · Reserve a copy from Essex Library Services · Borrow the e-book on BorrowBox · Borrow the e-audiobook on BorrowBox Freya speaks about ‘Burning Chambers’ by Kate Mosse. France 1562: As the Wars of Religion begin to take hold, a courageous Catholic woman and a passionate Huguenot believer find themselves united in possession of a priceless relic and set upon a quest to uncover a long-buried secret hidden in the haunting Chateau de Puivert in the foothills of the Pyrenees. · Reserve a copy from Essex Library Services · Borrow the e-audiobook from BorrowBox 8:06 - Alex Clare on crime and creativity Alex Clare tells us about her journey as an author and her two novels, ‘He’s Gone’ and ‘She’s Fallen.’ We discuss the use of a transgender detective and the prejudices they encounter Alex tells us what research she did before and during writing a crime novel, including going on a ride along! Alex gives her top tips for budding authors 27:00 - Book bingo We pick the next category we will be reading for our book bingo. We would love to get your recommendations so please comment or message us on Twitter or Facebook @EssexLibraries. Feel free to give us a rating or review or send comments and suggestions of things you’d love to hear to reading@essex.gov.uk. Thanks for listening.
28:23
August 14, 2020
And the Winner is...
Hosted by Beth and Freya. Guest appearance from Helen Lederer - comedian, writer and founder of the Comedy Women in Print book prize. In this episode Freya and I are discussing the award-winning books for our book bingo challenge, I’ll be talking to witty woman and founder of the Comedy Women in Print book prize, Helen Lederer about this year’s award and comedic women in literature, and then we’ll be setting our next book bingo challenge. Book Bingo Discussion – Award-winners Freya speaks about Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders, winner of the Man Book Prize 2017. This is an experimental novel which explores and develops the story of Willie Lincoln, President Lincoln’s son, after his untimely death as he explores purgatory. · Read the e-book from BorrowBox · Listen to the e-audiobook from BorrowBox Beth speaks about Grief is the Thing with Feathers by Max Porter, winner of the Dylan Thomas Prize 2016. It’s an exploration into human behaviour in response to grief and follows a man and his two sons as they come to terms with their mother. · Listen to the e-audiobook from BorrowBox Comedy Women in Print book prize Helen Lederer tells us about the Comedy Women in Print book prize, a prize created to celebrate witty women in literature We discuss the importance of promoting female writers of comedy and using comedy to start difficult conversations Helen speaks about Witty Wednesday interviews with shortlisted authors We talk about the shortlisted candidates: · Frankissstein: a love story by Jeanette Winterson · Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams · Big Girl Small Town by Michelle Gallen · Reasons to be Cheerful by Nina Stibbe · The Flat Share by Beth O’Leary · The Blessed Girl by Angela Makholwa · The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman Book Bingo · We pick the next category we will be reading for our book bingo. We would love to get your recommendations so please comment or message us on Twitter or Facebook @EssexLibraries. Thanks for listening. Subscribe to the podcast to receive updates on the latest episodes.
39:53
August 01, 2020
Reading for Wellness
Reading for Wellness Hosted by Beth and Freya. Guest appearance from Catherine from Essex Library Services. In this episode we are discussing the books we read for our book bingo challenge (a book with less than 200 pages), talking about how reading can improve our mental health and wellbeing and then setting our next book bingo challenge. Book bingo discussion – A book with less than 200 pages Catherine speaks about Mary Beard’s ‘Women and Power: A Manifesto’ which explores how history has treated strong women and women’s relationship with power. Listen to other audiobooks by Mary Beard on BorrowBox. Freya reviews Oscar Wilde’s ‘Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime’ which follows Lord Arthur Savile who is told by a palm reader that he is destined the be a murderer and sets out to fulfil his destiny before he is married. Listen to other e-books by Oscar Wilde on BorrowBox. Beth speaks about Neil Gaiman’s ‘Stardust’, a fantasy novel about a young man who leaves his small English village and crosses a wall into a magical realm to retrieve a fallen star. Listen to the BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation on BorrowBox. Reading for wellness Catherine tells us about a joint programme with the NHS and The Reading Agency called Reading Well, which includes lists of books that have been carefully compiled by doctors, nurses and other relevant experts in their specialisms to help people with physical and mental conditions. Find out more information about Reading Well. We speak about the importance of using these resources to gain a deeper understanding of and manage health conditions. Find the full Reading Well collection on our website. Catherine speaks about the lists created specifically for children and young people. Find out more about Reading Well for Children. We each discuss what reading for wellness means to us and what we read to feel better. Read Bill Bryson e-books and e-audiobooks on BorrowBox. Read Bridget Jones by Helen Fielding on BorrowBox. Read Adrian Mole by Sue Townsend on BorrowBox. Book Bingo We pick the next category we will be reading for our book bingo. We would love to get your recommendations so please comment or message us on Twitter or Facebook @EssexLibraries. Thanks for listening.
27:24
July 17, 2020