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My Life In Books with Red Szell

Arts & Culture Podcasts

Join broadcaster Red Széll for My Life in Books, featuring one-on-one interviews with authors who discuss their life, works and three books that have resonated with them.

Join broadcaster Red Széll for My Life in Books, featuring one-on-one interviews with authors who discuss their life, works and three books that have resonated with them.




Join broadcaster Red Széll for My Life in Books, featuring one-on-one interviews with authors who discuss their life, works and three books that have resonated with them.




Kevin J Anderson

For this episode, Red is joined by Kevin J Anderson, the internationally best-selling author of over 170 novels, including the Dan Shamble, Zombie P.I., series and the science fiction epic The Saga of Seven Suns. He has also written spin-off novels for Star Wars, The X-Files, and co-authored the prequels to Frank Herbert’s Dune series. But perhaps his proudest achievement comes from his collaboration with legendary Rush drummer and lyricist Neil Peart. Their 2012 novel, Clockwork Angels,...


Ben Macintyre

For this episode, Red is joined by Ben Macintyre, the award-winning author of over a dozen historical biographies that reveal some of the most fascinating and entertaining true spy stories of 20th-century history. From double agents operating during World War II to legendary Cold War spies such as Kim Philby and Oleg Gordievsky, Ben’s research has given him access to some of the most closely guarded secrets in the history of espionage. His outstanding biography of Operation Mincemeat, a...


Premee Mohamed

For this episode, Red is joined by Premee Mohamed. The Alberta-based author is one of the most original and engaging voices in speculative fiction today. And with dual scientific degrees in molecular genetics and land reclamation, she is well-qualified. Premee’s writing, like her academic studies, is not constrained by genre boundaries. Her latest novella, "The Annual Migration of Clouds," combines elements of sci-fi, cosmic horror and dystopian fiction to explore the possible consequences...


Rebecca Stott

For this episode, Red’s guest is the multi-talented author Rebecca Stott. Not only is she a prize-winning biographer and emeritus Professor of Literature, but she is also the author of three highly regarded works of historical fiction. Her latest novel, Dark Earth, transports the reader back to one of the most obscure periods of European history: the years following the Roman withdrawal from Britain. It’s an era that fascinates her, and, as we’ll hear, her research has taken her far beyond...


Deborah Moggach

In this episode, Red’s guest is Deborah Moggach, the author of 20 widely acclaimed novels and two collections of short stories. Deborah is also a highly regarded screenwriter; several of her books have been adapted for the screen, including "Tulip Fever" and "These Foolish Things," which became the box office hit "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel." Join Deborah and Red as they explore loneliness, desire, ageing and the pitfalls of having your book adapted into a Hollywood movie!


Ruta Sepetys

In this episode, Red is joined by best-selling author Ruta Sepetys, who has built an international reputation for shining a light into the darkest corners of 20th-century history and telling the stories of ordinary people resisting extraordinary brutality. To date, her five novels have been published in over 60 countries and 40 languages, and all have been recorded as audiobooks read by some of the best narrators in the business. Her latest book, ""I Must Betray You,"" transports us...


Louise Hare

"This month, Red’s guest is Louise Hare, whose atmospheric debut novel, ""This Lovely City,"" was set in bombed-out, post-war London and placed a young couple from the Windrush generation at the heart of a tender love story wrapped up in a whodunnit. The novel received rave reviews and Louise’s follow up, ""Miss Aldridge Regrets,"" was an eagerly anticipated treat that found its way into many-a-summer holiday suitcase. Set in 1936 aboard the ocean liner Queen Mary, it is a sparkling murder...


AMI Presenters Special

This month, to celebrate the show’s first birthday, Red is joined by not one, but three guests, all of whom should be familiar to AMI listeners, and all of whom love talking books. Join Red round the table with fellow AMI presenters Dave Brown, Kelly MacDonald and Ramya Amuthan, as they explore the books they love and the changing ways in which they access them.


Lesley Krueger

This month, Red’s guest is award-winning Canadian author and filmmaker Lesley Krueger. Her latest novel, "Time Squared," follows a reluctant time traveller across centuries and continents as she struggles for a sense of agency in a world dominated by patriarchal preoccupations. If that sounds heavy, fear not, Lesley has a knack for blending the weighty topics she explores with a playfulness that makes her brand of historical literary fiction hard to put down. Join Lesley and Red as they...


John Preston

This month, Red’s guest is John Preston, the award-winning journalist and author whose titles include "The Dig," "A Very English Scandal" and, most recently, "Fall: The Mystery of Robert Maxwell." John has a gift for bringing historical characters back to life, exposing hypocrisy and subterfuge and for blending the tragedy and farce of human endeavour. He also has a wicked turn of phrase honed by his many years on London’s Fleet Street; of disgraced media mogul Robert Maxwell he writes, "His...


Ellen Alpsten

This month, Red’s guest is Ellen Alpsten, whose meticulously researched historical novels, "Tsarina" and "The Tsarina’s Daughter," retell the extraordinary stories of the two women who ushered in a century of female rule in Russia. Join Ellen and Red as they discuss hair-raising historical events and machinations at the Romanov court in 18th-century St, Petersburg that make Game of Thrones seem like a fairy tale.


Stuart Turton

This month, Red’s guest is Stuart Turton, creator of "The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle." A mind-bending blend of the board game Clue, the TV show "Quantum Leap" and the movie "Groundhog Day," it quickly became an international bestseller, as did his follow-up "The Devil and The Dark Water," an equally compelling tale of murder, mayhem and fantastic goings-on set aboard a 17th-century merchant ship. Join Stuart and Red as they discuss his work and discover how Agatha Christie, a...


Salley Vickers

"This month, Red is in conversation with Salley Vickers, the best-selling author of ""Miss Garnet’s Angel,"" ""The Librarian"" and ""The Cleaner of Chartres."" Salley’s literary fiction blends historical, romantic and psychological themes and is informed by her training as a psychotherapist, meaning that she has a keen eye for what makes her characters tick, even if they don’t always share her insight! Her latest novel, ""The Gardener,"" is her 13th, and has been described as ""an enchanting...


Maggie Shipstead

This month, Red is in conversation with Maggie Shipstead, whose latest novel, ""Great Circle,"" was shortlisted for The 2021 Booker Prize. Part historical fiction, part contemporary satire, it intertwines the story of a pioneering woman aviator with that of the Hollywood actress chosen to play her in a modern-day biopic. Join Maggie and Red as they discuss her work, and the quest for a sense of perspective.


Alison MacLeod

This month, Red is in conversation with Canadian-British author Alison MacLeod, whose latest novel "Tenderness" weaves together fact and fiction to explore the genesis and repercussions of one of the most notorious books ever written: D.H. Lawrence’s "Lady Chatterley’s Lover." Through her extensive research, Alison has uncovered not only an FBI plot to suppress "Lady Chatterley’s" publication on both sides of the Atlantic, but also the likely model for Constance Chatterley herself. Join...


Ursula Buchan

This month, Red is joined by Ursula Buchan, author of A Life of John Buchan: Beyond the Thirty-Nine Steps. With access to a family archive, much of which has never been published before, Ursula - the granddaughter of the man who invented the modern thriller - has produced a fascinating portrait of a remarkable man. In a life spanning just 64 years, Buchan was also a scholar, barrister, diplomat, literary critic, publisher, war correspondent, director of wartime propaganda, British Member of...


Mick Finlay

This month, Red is joined by Mick Finlay, author of the acclaimed Arrowood series of historical detective novels. Set in Victorian London, his down-at-heel detective, William Arrowood, is a poor man’s Sherlock Holmes who makes no secret of his contempt and envy for his more famous rival. With the publication of the fourth book in the series, Arrowood and the Meeting House Murders, Red felt it was high time to bring their creator in for questioning. Together, Mick and Red explore some of the...


Joanna Toye

This month on My Life in Books, host Red Szell is joined by Joanna Toye, a novelist who cut her writing teeth on the world’s longest-running drama series, The Archers, rising to become its leading scriptwriter, senior producer and its most trusted chronicler. Since 2019, Joanna has been enthralling readers with her Shop Girls series of novels. Set in the fictional town of Hinton, just outside Birmingham in the English Midlands, the series follows the fortunes of the staff at Marlow’s, the...


Who is Red Széll?

In this debut episode of My Life in Books, AMI-audio Manager Andy Frank turns the table on host Red Szell to introduce him to you! Using a similar format that Red will follow in future episodes, Andy learns about Red’s life, his own books, and three books that left a deep impression on him.


My Life In Books premieres September 5th!

September 5th, join broadcaster Red Széll for My Life in Books, featuring one-on-one interviews with authors who discuss their life, works and three books that have resonated with them. New episodes every Sunday.