Welcome to Up North Books, a podcast discussing all things northern literature. Hosted by Beth Barker and Kate Baguley, the podcast hopes to celebrate and discuss northern books so more people can read about this varied and often underrepresented part of the UK. The North of England is a huge place but we want to try and find, read and discuss as many books as possible that represent its vast diversity and writing talent.
Find us on twitter: @upnorthpod @bethrdb @whatkateread
Hello, hello folks, you're in for a treat with this episode because we had the absolute pleasure of chatting with Jenn Ashworth about her new novel Ghosted: A Love Story, published by Sceptre in June 2021.
Listen to hear Jenn read from the novel, tell us about her inspirations and craft, and, of course, give you guys (and us!) some fantastic northern recommendations!
Grab a warm cuppa and a biscuit or two, we think you'll love this one.
Mentioned in this episode:
Jenn's previous books
The Missing by Andrew O'Hagan
Seaside Special - postcards From the Edge
The Woodcock by Richard Smyth
I Belong Here by Anita Sethi
We encourage our listeners to, if they can, seek out an independent bookshop to purchase Ghosted: A Love Story from. You can also buy the book, available in hardback, from Bookshop Org here.
Hello listeners and welcome back to another episode of Up North Books! In May, we had the privilege of chatting with Jennifer Saint, author of the hugely popular Ariadne. Jennifer is from Yorkshire and Ariadne is her debut novel, so it was really exciting to delve into how this book came to be.
Mentioned in the episode:
Ariadne, published by Headline and written by Jennifer Saint.
Jennifer's Twitter thread of Northern authors with upcoming books
Stacey Halls' Mrs England
Jennifer's next book
Hello everyone! Have you missed us? After a brief hiatus throughout April, we are back and better than ever (hooray!). In this episode, we update each other (and you lot) on our lives and chat about the books we've read recently. So, grab a cuppa and join in the conversation like the old pals we are - we really hope you enjoy listening!
Life update links:
Dark Skies Publishing
Beth’s Nrth Lass Column
LJ Ross’ DCI Ryan series
The Rock by LJ Ross
I Belong Here by Anita Sethi
Sisters by Daisy Johnson
Girl A by Abigail Dean
An Experiment in Leisure by Anna Glendenning
This New North (Valley Press)
Test Signal (Dead Ink and Bloomsbury)
Other things mentioned:
PublishingTea Twitter account
Hello everybody! We are back again with another episode, and we are especially excited about this one...
A few weeks ago, we spoke to J.A Mensah about her stunning debut novel, Castles from Cobwebs, which follows the story of a foundling brought up on a remote Northumbrian Island who travels to Ghana to find out who she really is.
Listen to this episode to hear more about J.A Mensah's crafting of the story, the importance of diverse books, and sinking tourists' cars at the Holy Island causeway. You're in for a treat!
You can find J.A. Mensah's Northern book recommendations here:
Handling Stolen Goods by Edna Stone
The Girl Aquarium by Jen Campbell
The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night by Jen Campbell
Seduce by Desiree Reynolds
And the events mentioned here:
New Word Festival (26 March)
Arvon At Home
We are encouraging our listeners to, if they can, seek out an independent bookshop to purchase Castles From Cobwebs from. You can also buy the book, available in hardback, via Bookshop Org here.
Hello lovely listeners, we are back again with another episode!
We spoke to Blair James about her recently-published debut, Bernard and Pat, a novel that explores the peculiarities of memory and the vulnerability of childhood.
Listen to hear more about Blair's research into neuroscience and psychology, writing in the child's voice, and her opinion on "gross old men" writers.
You can find Blair's Northern book recommendations here:
Seagulls by Edwin Stevens
Passing Time by Michel Butor
Quiz Night by Joe Darlington
(working title) MKUltra by Ben Jackson
We are encouraging our listeners to, if they can, seek out an independent bookshop to purchase Blair's book from during these hard times. You can also buy Bernard and Pat, available in hardback, via Bookshop Org here.
Happy New Year to all of our lovely listeners!
We're kicking the year off with a brilliant conversation we had with Stuart Evers at the end of 2020, all about his newest novel: The Blind Light.
Listen to hear more about the origins of this fantastic (and indeed, monumental) novel which spans decades of British history, beginning in the 1950s and meeting with the present day.
We encourage all of our listeners to seek out an independent bookshop to purchase Stuart's novel, currently available in hardback. Lots of shops are still delivering and would appreciate your business during such a difficult time. The paperback will be released in June 2021.
Buy via Bookshop Org here.
In this festive edition of Up North Books, we served up all of the book-buying recommendations that we think you'll need to shop for family and friends this Christmas.
Whether you're shopping for a Love Actually addict or the politically-outspoken northerner in your life, we've got 6 recommendations that should cover those who are a little harder to buy for.
In this episode of Up North Books, we decided it was time to shout out all of our favourite indie presses in the North of England and mention some of their books that we’ve loved over the years, as well as what we're looking forward to! The independent publishing community is strong in the North and is a key part of the industry — we must support them, particularly during such hard times. They’re often pioneers of new, diverse and marginalised voices which is a key step towards making positive change in publishing, so let's keep supporting that work!
Books and publishers mentioned:
Dead Ink Books
-Exit Management + Sealed (Naomi Booth)
-London Incognita (Gary Budden)
-Glitch (Lee Rourke)
-Test Signal (coming 2021)
-Cat Step (Alison Irvine)
-Resist: Stories of Uprising
-BBC National Short Story Award 2020 Anthology
-The New Abject: Tales of Modern Unease
Peepal Tree Press
-The Mermaid of Black Conch (Monique Roffey)
And Other Stories
-Theft (Luke Brown)
-Many People Die Like You (Lina Wolff)
-What You Could Have Won (Rachel Genn)
-Leonard and Hungry Paul (Ronan Hession)
-Saving Lucia (Anna Vaught)
-The Gallows Pole (Ben Myers)
Fly on the Wall Press
-Mancunian Ways Anthology
-The Goddess of Macau (Graeme Hall)
-Gracie Fairshaw and the Mysterious Guest (Susan Brownrigg)
-Kicking Off (Eve Ainsworth)
-The Witching Stone (Danny Weston)
In this episode of Up North Books, we're bringing you something a bit different. This week, in partnership with Durham Book Festival, we were very excited to get the chance to interview Mim Skinner. Mim is the author of Jailbirds, published in 2019 by Seven Dials. Inspired by her work in a women's prison, her memoir gives voice to women's experiences and rewrites the narrative on prison life. We asked Mim about the process of creating this book, as well as her newly commissioned piece with New Writing North, Camaraderie and Chaos.
Links to things mentioned:
Camaraderie and Chaos
Citizen Song Writers
Durham Book Festival
In this episode of Up North Books, Beth and Kate discuss two brilliant new releases: Summerwater by Sarah Moss and Exit Management by Naomi Booth. This is a spoiler-free episode with some readings, diving into some of the key themes which come up in both of these books, including the phrases produced by Brexit and the way they have infiltrated our language.
In the first episode of Up North Books, we introduce the podcast, ourselves as hosts and set out the reasons why we wanted to create this podcast in the first place. You can also find a rundown of four of our favourite reads from northern authors which we felt captured the spirit of the north when we read them.
Our future episodes will be themed on different topics, genres or forms and each month we'll be discussing different books from the north.
Thanks for tuning in! Follow us on Twitter:
@upnorthpod @bethrdb @whatkateread
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