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34: Shake it Up a Bit, with Ben from the Bookshop Band

Our guest today is Ben from the Bookshop Band. The Bookshop Band started in 2010 and write songs inspired by – you’ve guessed it – books. They’re about to embark on their first tour of the US, so if you’re based in or around New York, New Mexico, or Colorado, you’ll have a chance to catch Ben and Beth at one of several locations between now and the first week of February. I spoke to Ben about their upcoming tour, how they started out, their songwriting process, and more. Books Mentioned...


33: Unbelievable Situations A Lot Of the Time, with Lindsey Kelk.

Lindsey Kelk is back on the podcast today to catch us up on what she’s been up to in the last year. Lindsey is the author of the best-selling I Heart series of romantic comedies as well as countless other books and an exciting new project we possibly have the world exclusive on. She’s also the cohost of two podcasts. We talked about her favourite books of the year, the podcasts she likes, the joys and challenges of writing a beloved series, and more. Books Mentioned on the Podcast: One...


32: Seven Days Of Us with Francesa Hornak

We hear from Francesa Hornak, the author of Seven Days of Us, a page-turner of a novel about family tension perfect to curl up with over the Christmas holidays. In episode 32 of the Brit Lit Podcast, she tells us about the books she likes to give for Christmas, her favourite reads about family tension, the novel her grandmother wrote, and more. Books Mentioned on the Podcast: Seven Days of Us, by Francesca Hornak The Nest, by Cynthia d'Aprix Sweeney The Vacationers, by Emma...


31: One Day in December, with Josie Silver.

Josie Silver is the author of One Day in December, a delightful novel, perfect for curling up with by the fire. Claire loved it, and she’ll be recommending it to all the romantics in her life. Josie talked to the Brit Lit Podcast about why winter brings out our romantic side, her favourite love stories in fiction, an example of how much blind luck can be involved in succeeding in the publishing industry, and more. You can listen to the episode here, or Spotify, or iTunes, or wherever...


30: What Would the Spice Girls Do?: How the Girl Power Generation Grew Up with Lauren Bravo

Lauren Bravo is the author of What Would the Spice Girls Do?: How the Girl Power Generation Grew Up, which makes some fascinating and important points about identity, feminism, and the power of the girl gang. In this episode, Lauren talks to Claire about what she was reading back in the days when the Spice Girls were blaring out from her ghetto blaster, her friendship with previous podcast guest Daisy Buchanan, the book she made her boyfriend read while standing over him to make sure he...


29: The Adults with Caroline Hulse

Caroline Hulse is the author of The Adults, a really enjoyable novel about what happens when two exes go on holiday together, with their new partners and the daughter who links them. What could possibly go wrong? She talks to Claire about her love of board games, how being a writer has changed her relationship with books, why she chose to start her novel with the revelation that someone gets shot with an arrow at the end, and more. Books Mentioned on the Podcast: The Adults, by Caroline...


28: The Most Difficult of Circumstances, with AJ Pearce

Our guest this time is AJ Pearce, the author of Dear Mrs. Bird , a lovely novel about female friendship set in World War II's London. Emmy is determined to be a Lady War Correspondent, but instead finds herself working for the redoubtable Mrs Bird at the problem page of a Women's Magazine. AJ spoke to me about how she put herself in the shoes of women who lived during the blitz, the challenges of using real events in her fiction, and her own favourite World War II novels. Books Mentioned...


27: Looking Through the Spy Hole, with Claire Fuller

In this first anniversary episode, we hear from Claire Fuller, who is the author of three novels: Our Endless Numbered Days, Swimming Lessons, and Bitter Orange, which came out in the UK in September and is out in the US next week. She talks about the intriguing dedication in that novel, her love of Shirley Jackson, how Leonard Cohen's music coloured her writing of her latest novel, and more. Books Mentioned on the Podcast: Bitter Orange, by Claire Fuller No Voice from the Hall:...


26: Dark Undercurrents of Everyday Life

Claire speaks to Charlotte Duckworth, author of psychological suspense novel The Rival. They discuss Charlotte’slong journey as a writer and some of her novel’s themes: how motherhood changes a woman and often rocks her sense of identity and how that can play out against the backdrop of her work. Books Mentioned on the Podcast: The Rival, by Charlotte Duckworth Our Kind of Cruelty, by Araminta Hall No Further Questions,by Gillian McAllister Rosie Loves Jack, by Mel Darbon Help Me!:...


25: This Inexhaustible Canvas

Diana Evans is the author of three novels, 26a, The Wonder, and most recently Ordinary People, which came out this spring in the UK to much acclaim and is out nextz week in the US. She talked to Claire about her favourite London-set books, her own past life as a dancer, why it was important for her to capture the experience of middle class black Brits, and more. Books Mentioned on the Podcast: 26a, by Diana Evans The Wonder, by Diana Evans Ordinary People, by Diana Evans After...


24: You Can Pretty Much Do Anything

Claire’s guest today is Joanna Penn, who's a bit of a superstar in the world of self-publishing. She's the author of 28 books to date, including thrillers and non-fiction to help authors with their careers, and she's an award-winning creative entrepreneur, podcaster, and professional speaker. Her website,, has been named as one of the Top 100 sites for writers by Writer's Digest. She talks about her own career journey, the state of self-publishing now and how it has...


23: A Particular Kind of Loneliness

On this week's episode, we hear from Sarah J Harris, who's the author of The Color of Bee Larkham's Murder, as well as YA novels under a different name. She discusses the particular loneliness of synaesthesia, her love for the martial arts, the long path to publication, and more. Books Mentioned on the Podcast: The Colour of Bee Larkham's Murder, by Sarah J Harris Jessica Cole: Model Spy, by Sarah Sky The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, by Stuart Turton Don’t You Cry, by Cass...


22: Around Books All The Time

We hear from Bronte Hutchinson, who's a successful and popular Bookstagrammer. She talks about the logistics of what she does, what she looks for in a book cover, how she organises her to-be-read pile, and the books she can’t stop raving about. Books Mentioned on the Podcast: The Water Cure, by Sophie Mackintosh The Colour of Bee Larkham's Murder, by Sarah J Harris Vox, by Christina Dalcher A Honeybee Heart Has Five Openings, by Helen Jukes Around the World in 80 Days: My World...


21: The Stuff You Can't Prepare For

Claire speaks to Daisy Buchanan, who's a prolific journalist and the author of How to Be a Grown-Up, which is out now in paperback. They discuss how difficult the 20s years can be, their opposite experiences of family life, their shared ambivalence towards motherhood, and more. Books Mentioned on the Podcast: How to Be a Grown Up, by Daisy Buchanan The Multi-Hyphen Method: Work less, create more, and design a career that works for you, by Emma Gannon The Pursuit of Love, by Nancy...


20: Behind Closed Doors

Claire’s guest is Alicia Drake, author of the Paris-set coming of age novel I Love You Too Much. They discuss something of Alicia’s writing process, the Frenchness of her novel, and its themes – among them loneliness, the ache to belong, and what happens when beauty fades. Books Mentioned in this Episode: I Love You Too Much, by Alicia Drake The Beautiful Fall: Fashion, Genius, and Glorious Excess in 1970s Paris, by Alicia Drake The Horseman, by Tim Pears The Wanderers, by Tim...


A Transcendental Alchemy

Claire speaks to Rosie Walsh, whose novel The Man Who Didn’t Call is out today. They talk about how love can drive us mad at any age, why Rosie loves the Elena Ferrante novels, how the Pomodoro technique helps her writing, and much more. Books Mentioned in the Episode: The Man Who Didn't Call/Ghosted, by Rosie Walsh The Neapolitan Novels, by Elena Ferrante Fates and Furies, by Lauren Groff The Woman In The Mirror, by Rebecca James Whiskey When We're Dry, by John Larison The...


18: A Passionate, Angry Novel

Our guest on Episode 18 is Sarah Vaughan, author of three books including the bestseller Anatomy of a Scandal, which came out in January 2018. We talked about what inspired her best-selling novel, her experience of studying at Oxford, the advantages of writing fiction later in life, and more. Books Mentioned on the Podcast: Anatomy of a Scandal, by Sarah Vaughan The Art of Baking Blind, by Sarah Vaughan The Farm at the Edge of the World, by Sarah Vaughan White Teeth, by Zadie...


17: Uncomfortable Empathy, with Guy Gunaratne

In Episode 17, we hear from Guy Gunaratne, whose debut novel In Our Mad and Furious City has just come out to wide and well-deserved acclaim. We talked about the impetus for his book, what he’s learned about storytelling from grime music and from his own work as documentary marker, and more. Books mentioned on the episode: In Our Mad and Furious City, by Guy Gunaratne Go Tell It on the Mountain, by James Baldwin The Tin Drum, by Gunter Grass The Adventures of Augie March, by Saul...


16: More Interesting More Quickly

Our guest on Episode 16 is Caroline Ambrose, who’s the founder of the Bath Novel Award, an advocate for public libraries, a quiz show veteran, and a superfan of super trees. She talks us through the ins and outs of running a writing prize, what it is that makes the Bath Novel Award special, some of the exciting books that have been shortlisted and are now out in the world, her work campaigning for libraries, and more. Books mentioned on the episode: Rainbirds, by Clarissa...


15: Indispensable Hearts of the Community

Claire speaks to Libby Page, author of The Lido, which is out today. They discuss the inspiration for the book, the magic of outdoor swimming, the new Up Lit trend, and more. Books mentioned on the episode: The Lido, by Libby Page (pre-order The Lido in the US) Tin Man, by Sarah Winman Three Things About Elsie, by Joanna Cannon I Love You Too Much, by Alicia Drake Swell, by Jenny Landreth Floating, by Joe Minihane Leap In: A Woman, Some Waves, and the Will to Swim, by Alexandra...