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Simon Mayo's Books Of The Year

Arts & Culture Podcasts

Simon Mayo and Matt Williams invite the world's finest authors in for a chat.


London, United Kingdom


Simon Mayo and Matt Williams invite the world's finest authors in for a chat.




Harlan Coben

He's done it again! Another Sunday Bestseller... One of our favourite authors, Harlan Coben, joins us to talk about 'I Will Find You' - his latest thriller. He talks about his processes, his inspirations and why he admires Lee Child and Ian Rankin, but won't write the way they do. We also discuss his screen adaptations and why it's so important not to write a novel with a TV series in mind. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


David McCloskey Q&A

In this fascinating Q&A episode, ex-CIA analyst turned author, David McCloskey, tells us about his writing process, routines and why pepperoni pizza and scotch is the dinner of champions. The pod also features a voice note from bestselling author Simon Sebag Montefiore, and takes a surprising turn at the very end when Simon decides to ask our guest about red lines... We hope you enjoy it! Hosted on Acast. See for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit...


David McCloskey talks spies and hot dogs

Former CIA analyst, David McCloskey, joins Simon and Matt to talk about his stunning spy novel, Damascus Station. It's already one of Matt's books of the year - and has received great praise from across the spectrum. David talks about his time in the CIA, tells us how much he had to take out of the first draft and why authenticity is so important. Here comes the science bit... A CIA officer and his recruit arrive in Damascus to hunt for a killer. CIA case officer Sam Joseph is dispatched to...


Linwood Barclay Q&A

International bestselling author Linwood Barclay answers questions on his writing and reading habits, as well as talking about his love for The Man From U.N.C.L.E Fellow crime author, Mark Billingham, surprises Linwood with a Q about his love of model railways - and we find out whether Linwood is a completist when it comes to books, or not.... Hosted on Acast. See for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Linwood Barclay talks cars, crime and catasrophe

International bestselling author , Linwood Barclay, joins Simon and Matt from his home in Toronto. They discuss his new novel 'Look Both Ways' as well as his passion for cars, the humour in his books and why it takes so long to get an adaptation to the screen. Simon also talks to Linwood about the mysterious balloons which have recently been spotted (and shot down) over North America, and how this (and other news items) can act as inspirations for thriller writers. We also have your missives...


Cariad Lloyd Q&A

In our Q&A episode, writer, comedian and podcaster Cariad Lloyd talks about the bleak joy she finds in the Moomins books. She also talks about her favourite places to write, her routine and the last book she read that she really, really loved. Cariad's new book, 'You Are Not Alone', is inspired by her award-winning podcast, Griefcast, and is out now via Bloomsbury. When Cariad Lloyd lost her father at the age of fifteen, people didn't talk about death. Years later, when she created...


Cariad Lloyd talks 'You Are Not Alone"

Podcaster, Comedian and writer Cariad Lloyd joins Simon and Matt to discuss her new book, 'You Are Not Alone: A New Way To Grieve' They talk about her award-winning podcast, Griefcast, and how she has become the go-to grief expert! We also get some of her tips on grieving, advice on what we can do now for our friends and family, and there's your book correspondence too. Hosted on Acast. See for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Q&A with Jason Mott

National Book Award winner, Jason Mott, joins Simon and Matt for a Q&A about his writing and reading habits. Hosted on Acast. See for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Jason Mott discusses 'Hell Of A Book' (winner of The National Book Award)

We're baaaaaack! And we're kicking off 2023 with HELL OF A BOOK by Jason Mott. This brilliant, humorous, moving, important novel is the winner of the Sir Walter Raleigh Award for Fiction, AND the National Book Award. Jason's surrealist gem centres on a mercurial writer who has visions of a young Black boy who may or may not be the child whose recent murder by a police office has sparked protests across the country. Simon and Matt discuss the novel, book tour nightmares, bad titles and...


It's a Books Of The Year Christmas Spesh!

Ho Ho Holy Moly it's nearly the end of 2022! And to celebrate, Simon and Matt have put together a bonus Christmas ep, for all our Books Of The Year stalwarts. Join us for some pretty lame Christmas jokes and clips of some of our favourite bits of the pod from the year gone by...because...that's what everyone does at Christmas right? Happy Holidays from all of us at BOTY!!!! Hosted on Acast. See for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit...


Q&A with Sebastian Payne

In our companion pod, FT Whitehall Editor Sebastian Payne answers questions about his writing, processes and what he's been reading and enjoying recently. Hosted on Acast. See for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Sebastian Payne: The Fall Of Boris Johnson

Simon and Matt welcome the former Whitehall Editor of the FT (now Director of the Think Tank, Onward), Sebastian Payne, to discuss his book 'The Fall Of Boris Johnson' We recorded this one quite late at night in a bar, so you'll also get to enjoy some thumpin' tunes in the background too, mixed in with a bit of Simon's cough, A delightful cacophony we think you'll agree! Sebastian talks about the 'three Ps' in his book (Patterson, Pincher and Partygate). as well as how well respected Johnson...


Q&A with Ben Macintyre

Bestseller author and journalist Ben Macintyre joins us for a Q&A about his writing and reading habits. He discusses the brilliance of 'In Cold Blood' and why he loves writing on planes. Hosted on Acast. See for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Ben Macintyre: Colditz - Prisoners Of The Castle

Bestselling author and Times columnist Ben Macintyre joins Simon and Matt to talk about his brilliant new book, Colditz: Prisoners Of The Castle. They discuss some of the incredible characters who frequented the prison, and the range of extraordinary escape plans which took place...and mainly failed. Here's the bumf: In a forbidding Gothic castle on a hilltop in the heart of Nazi Germany, an unlikely band of British officers spent the Second World War plotting daring escapes from their Nazi...


Q&A with Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Finney-Boylan

Join Simon and Matt, and the two bestselling authors Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Finney-Boylan, for a quick fire Q&A! We also have a guest question from the novelist Joanne Harris. You can hear more about Jenny and Jodi's new novel, "Mad Honey", on our previous episode where we discuss it at length... About the book: Olivia McAfee knows what it feels like to start over. Her picture-perfect life—living in Boston, married to a brilliant cardiothoracic surgeon, raising a beautiful son, Asher—was...


Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Finney Boylan: Mad Honey

Bestselling authors Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Finney Boylan join Simon and Matt to discuss their brilliant new novel Mad Honey. Told from alternative narratives, the book is a suspenseful, unforgettable love story, and a moving and powerful exploration of the secrets we keep and the risks we take in order to become our authentic selves. The authors talk about the highs and lows of their collaboration, and why they think this book is going to be banned in some US States. Hosted on Acast. See...


Q&A with Marina Hyde

Columnist and writer Marina Hyde answers some in-depth questions from Simon and Matt - as well as from listeners, and a surprise guest! No other writer is more suited to chronicling the absurd times in which we live. In What Just Happened?! Marina Hyde slashes her way through the hellscape of post-referendum politics, where the chaos never stops. From David Cameron to Theresa May to Boris Johnson. Marvel at the sights, from Trumpian WTF-ery to celebrity twattery. And boggle at the cast of...


Marina Hyde: What Just Happened?

Columnist and writer Marina Hyde joins Simon Mayo and Matt Williams to talk about the news, politics, her columns and...what the hell is going to happen next!? We're all trying to keep up with the news at the moment and it seems that every day, there's another crisis, resignation or flummoxed MP trying to change the narrative. In her latest book, Marina tries to make some sense of these turbulent times, whilst offering us some humour and valuable insight along the way. On this episode of...


Q&A with Anthony Horowitz

The last book you really, really enjoyed? Which idea in a book do you wish you’d come up with? Do you work best with deadlines? Which books stand out from your childhood? Short chapters v long chapters. Discuss! Favourite TV or film adaptation of a book? How many books do you read a month? If you could go back to university, what would you study? Hosted on Acast. See for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Anthony Horowitz: The Twist Of A Knife

Making his 3rd appearance on the pod, best selling author Anthony Horowitz chats about his latest novel. With occasional sound effects from his builders. Anthony has written two highly acclaimed Sherlock Holmes novels, The House of Silk and Moriarty; three James Bond novels, Trigger Mortis, Forever and a Day and With a Mind to Kill; the acclaimed bestselling mystery novels Magpie Murders and Moonflower Murders and the Detective Hawthorne novels, The Word is Murder, The Sentence is Death, A...