No catches, no fine print just unadulterated book loving, with your favourite books saved to your own digital bookshelf.
New members get entered into our monthly draw to win £100 to spend in your local bookshop Plus lots lots more…Find out more
Mariella Frostrup hosts the UKâ€™s only dedicated TV book show, featuring an array of A-list authors and other big-name guests in the studio, discussing their favourite reads and their own works. Sky Book Show. The Book Show.
Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 19 March 2009. Darwin’s Island is an enthralling book, a wonderful look at Darwin, how England and especially his home in Kent inspired his work. Most valuable is the way Jones has approached his subject, both looking back to Darwin’s discoveries and then taking us forward in time to measure progress and further scientific discoveries. This is Steve Jones’ latest book and if you haven’t read his work, I urge you to plunge in, he’s one of the very best science writers, able to communicate with enthusiasm and clarity, opening up the world of science to the general reader. Comparison: Almost Like a Whale: The Origin of the Species Updated by Steve Jones, Darwin’s Garden by Michael Boulter
Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 5 March 2009. The journalist and broadcaster at long last turns her hand to fiction with this story set in the Britain of 1942. This is a lovely novel, very evocative of the time, and contains all the ingredients you would expect from a wartime saga - romance, heroism, pain and loss. Actions and consequences will effect those involved now and and future generations. Lets hope there are more novels to come.
Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 19 March 2009. The fascinating life of The Nobel Prize winning poet is revealed through these interviews with Dennis O'Driscoll. The book also features a large number of photgraphs, many of which are published here for the first time.
Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 19 March 2009. The much-loved actress recalls her life and charitable conservation work. Part of the proceeds from each book sold will go to support Born Free Foundation campaigns.
Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 12 March 2009. In her second memoir the wonderful Jacqueline Wilson recounts her teenage years. A highly enjoyable read, the book also includes extracts from her real 'secret' teenage diaries.
Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 12 March 2009. A rich collection of essays, portraits, poetry and interviews that deal with the author's life and his inspirations as a writer. A very personal book and his first ever work of non-fiction.
Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 12 March 2009. Douglas Kennedy's superb new novel deals with themes of fate and how the choices we make play out in our lives. It charts the story of Jane Howard and shows how life's randomness can tear lives apart and also contain the possibility of redemption. Kennedy is a very perceptive and gifted writer and his novel is highly recommended.
Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 12 February 2009. The fourth book from an author who deserves to be up there with the big names. A gloriously gory case when a serial killer released on appeal seems to be killing again and a lot of people connected with the original investigation are disappearing. Black humour and grisly detail make this a real page turner. Logan McRae series:1. Cold Granite2. Dying Light3. Broken Skin 4. Flesh House5. Blind Eye6. Dark Blood 7. Shatter the Bones 8. Close to the Bone
Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 5 March 2009. This is a very enoyable mix of comedy and danger. Through a series of errors, an accident-prone writer attending a writers' conference in Uganda finds herself caught up in a war-zone. Maggie Gee handles the elements of farce and more serious issues with an expert touch.
Controversially, and in my opinion inappropriately, long-listed for the Man Booker and appropriately short-listed for the Costa 1st Novel award (used to be the Whitbread), the Desmond Elliot prize and winner of the Crime Writers’ Association Ian Fleming award, this is a cracking good serial killer tale set in Stalin’s 1950’s Russia. It is certainly one of the best intelligent new thrillers I have read in a long time. Atmospheric, dark, evocative of the period and era, the gradual change in our hero is beautifully handled, as is the slow build in an intriguing plot. You must read it. We also have an exclusive pre-publication extract from his new book The Secret Speech, so be one of the first to read a chapter before it's published. February 2009 Book of the Month. Longlisted for the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year 2010. Winner of the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger 2008. Winner of the Galaxy New Writer of the Year 2009. Shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award 2008.Costa Book Awards 2008 Judges' comment: "This gripping, unputdownable thriller is an exciting new addition to the genre." Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 5 March 2009. Comparison: Martin Cruz Smith, Robert Harris, John Le Carré.
Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 26 February 2009. A classic of the “angry young man” era, this is a great commentary on the social history of 1950’s Britain. This is a new edition to mark the 50th anniversary of publication.
Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 26 February 2009. Fantastic characterisation and plotlines make this an unputdownable read. A brilliant satire on celebrity culture, thoroughly recommended.
Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 26 February 2009. If you only want one collection of poetry on your child’s bookshelf then it has to be this stunning collection by best-selling author Michael Rosen and illustrator Quentin Blake whose pictures complement and bring to life the4 words so perfectly. Alone or together with your child you will be totally transported into the words and pictures and if the book wasn’t good enough it also comes with a CD of the poems read by the author.
Longlisted for the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year 2010. Val McDermid is the winner of the CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger Award 2010, which honours outstanding achievement in the field of crime writing. Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 19 February 2009. McDermid produces yet another gripping, gritty psychological thriller, moving back and forth between the miners strike of the mid 80’s to present day. Two cases with two determined women trying to solve them, it will keep you guessing until the end.
Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 19 February 2009. Three single women join a choir all looking to find different things, a new challenge, friendship, a new man. What they do find is each other and come together on a project to restore an old Cornish house and turn it in to a spa. Expect laughter and tears and a very entertaining novel from this author who not only cooks but writes a good story too.
Winner of the Independent Booksellers’ Book Prize 2009 (Adult category). Winner of the Costa Book of the Year Award 2008. Winner of the Costa Novel Award 2008. Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2008. Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 19 February 2009. Costa Book Awards 2008 Judges' comment: "A heartbreaking and lyrical tale of loss, betrayal and redemption." A powerful and moving novel bringing the worlds of Ireland's past and present together. Great characterisation and a thought provoking story.
Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 12 February 2009. The third in Simons Scarrow’s quartet about Napoleon and Arthur Wellesley, the future Duke of Wellington. Great historical detail and plenty of action and adventure make this a real page turner.
Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 12 February 2009. One of Us is an insightful and poignant novel that concerns the conflict between political ambition and private lives. The author is Tony Benn's daughter and the novel has a real 'insider' quality to it.
Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 5 February 2009. The fourth in a series of semi-autobiographical novels. A fabulous portrait of 1960’s London and a passionate and tragic love story, told with a raw emotion that takes your breath away.
Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 5 February 2009. Sophie Hannah's The Other Half Lives is a lengthy and complex crime thriller that will keep you guessing to the end. It begins with the revelation of a guilty secret that leads the central character into a world where nothing is quite what it seems. Please note that this title is also available in a Large Print edition. Click here to find out more.
Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 5 February 2009. It has been a little while since we had a novel from this author but it has been worth the wait as she returns with an emotional and remarkable family saga. Thoroughly absorbing and moving.
Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 29 January 2009. This is a wonderfully vivid account of the paradoxical life and loves of Lord Byron. It focuses on the women in his life and in particular the notorious ménage à trois between him, his wife and his half-sister.
Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 29 January 2009. Snobs, his first novel, was brilliant and Past Imperfect is better and coming from ‘the bottom end of the gentry’ gives Julian’s a voyeuristic authenticity! In the late 60’s as Britain was being swept by hippies and free love the aristocracy still clung on to the social set piece of ‘the season’ where eligible girls and boys were introduced to each other at balls and parties. More than 30 years later a childless and incredibly wealthy man’s dying wish forces his sworn enemy to revisit the past to search for an heir. It is deliciously well observed, charting the demise of the upper classes, and eye wateringly funny in places – simply a guilty treat to be enjoyed.
Winner of the Orange Prize for Fiction 2005. Narrated by a mother, Eve, in letters to her estranged husband, this is a truly horrific story of a 15-year old boy’s killing spree but more than that it's the tale of how he got there rather than of the crime itself. It harks back to Eve’s relationship with her husband and the upbringing of the child. The big question is how much she is, or not, to blame for the tragedy that unfolds. Stark and unbelievably painful, it touches on truths not often spoken of. A great book.
Winner of the Orange Prize for Fiction 2005. Narrated by a mother, Eve, in letters to her estranged husband, this is a truly horrific story of a 15-year old boy’s killing spree but it is more the tale of how he got there than of the crime itself. It harks back to Eve’s relationship with her husband and the upbringing of the child. The big question is how much she is, or not, to blame for the tragedy that unfolds. Stark and unbelievably painful, it touches on truths not often spoken of. A great book. Similar this month: None but try Clare Sambrook.Comparison: Douglas Coupland, Alex Garland, Jodi Picoult.
Winner of the Orange Prize for Fiction in 2005Lionel Shriver tells a compelling, absorbing, and resonant story while framing these horrifying tableaux of teenage carnage as metaphors for the larger tragedy - the tragedy of a country where everything works, nobody starves, and anything can be bought but a sense of purpose. This title is also available as an Audiobook, in either CD or cassette format.
Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 22 January 2009. A wonderful tale from a master storyteller, giving us, just as Lyra’s Oxford did, more extraordinary insight into the world of Pullman’s ‘Dark Materials’. This one tells the story of the very first meeting in the far frozen Arctic of two legends and friends from the trilogy, Lee Scoresby, the Texan balloonist, and Iorek Byrnison, the armoured bear. It’s a mesmerising episode with wonderfully page-turning qualities and written in just 100 pages and beautifully packaged too complete with a thrilling board game. This title is also availble on CD audio.
Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 22 January 2009. A presenter on GMTV news, the author uses her inside knowledge to great effect in this astute, romantic tale of the pitfalls of the industry.
Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 22 January 2009. Peter Ackroyd has written a gripping account of the hugely influential master of macabre. It begins with the mystery surrounding Poe's death and tells the fascintating life story of a writer whose imagination still haunts us today.
Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 8 January 2009. As close to a virtual tour as you can get without moving pictures. Richard Fortey is the tour-guide, taking us down the dark, echoing passages of the Natural History Museum, behind the public doors, introducing us to colleagues past and present. It’s an unusual history, full of great stories; the author is an engaging and great twinkly presence throughout and leaves us in no doubt as to the importance of the Natural History Museum, past, present and future. Comparison: Trilobite: Eyewitness to Evolution by Richard Fortey
Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 15 January 2009. This is a big book by an author with a big future. He is one of my favourites and has now become one of the nation’s favourites too since his A Quiet Belief in Angels was a Richard and Judy pick. This begins as a police procedural tale about a serial killer in Washington during the mid-term elections, but as with all of Ellory’s books it develops into something much more complicated as he explores corrupt America. A must read. Comparison: Dennis Lehane, Stieg Larsson, Tom Rob Smith.
Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 15 January 2009. Ten favourite Horrid Henry stories have been enriched by new colour illustrations by Tony Ross. As ever, Horrid Henry subverts every possible occasion – with hilarious results for everyone except, of course, Perfect Pete.
Winner of the Costa Biography Award 2008. The sixth instalment of this great lady’s life. She was the backbone of the publishing house Andre Deutsch and even though, being in the business, I am naturally drawn to this, I do heartily recommend it to everyone. She has a fluidity to her writing, a view of life which is so refreshing and an attitude to old age, which is what is discussed here, that should be a template for us all. Costa Book Awards 2008 Judges' comment: "A graceful, clear-sighted and brave memoir entirely lacking in self-pity - this is a wise and wry take on exactly what it's like to grow old." Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 8 January 2009.
Winner of the Costa First Novel Award 2008. Shortlisted for the Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction 2008. Costa Book Awards 2008 Judges' comment: "The repressive society of ordinary people is elegantly portrayed in an assured novel of great note." An incredibly moving story about a damaged son returning home from prison determined to make a better life for himself. However, some things may be too badly broken to fix. An enticing, emotional and thought provoking novel that will keep you engrossed until the final page. You can view a video trailer for this title by clicking here. Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 8 January 2009.
Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 18 December 2008. A surprise bestseller for English Language students who also like DIY! With tongue firmly in cheek read Emily Brontë explaining how to bleed a radiator Hemmingway on hanging wallpaper and even Dostoevsky tiling the bathroom.
Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 18 December 2008. Please note that we are currently unable to provide an extract from this title. Nigella takes her inspirational yet no nonsense time saving approach to ‘de stress’ Christmas food. Everything from canapés, cocktails and even manageable mass catering!
Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 18 December 2008. Simon Sharma traces the conflicts in Americas history to put 2008, an historic election year, into context.
Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 11 December 2008. One of the UK’s best loved and funniest comedians tells us about going back on the road touring after 10 years away from stand up. As you would expect this is hilarious and heart warming stuff. Frank is ‘old school’ humour and it comes across brilliantly in this book.
Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 11 December 2008. A story not of a wicked stepmother but more a wicked stepdaughter. Fay Weldon gets right to the heart of this dysfunctional family, making the hairs stand up on the back of your neck as you read and wait for the inevitable deterioration of relationships. Gripping and intoxicating stuff.
Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 11 December 2008. An excellent debut with the perfect combination of politics, sex and scandal. The narrative gives a fast pace to the story and the reader gets a real sense of situations spiralling out of control. Looking forward to his next book already!
Winner of the Galaxy Book of the Year and Popular Non-Fiction awards 2009. Reviewed on Richard & Judy's Book Club 2009 on Wednesday 28 January. Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 4 December 2008. Winner of the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction 2008. This reads like a first rate crime novel but is in fact an analysis of real life events. It's so good it won the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction in 2008. Said to have inspired Dickens, Willkie Collins and many, many more this is a case that will keep you gripped until the final page.
Shortlisted for the Costa Poetry Award 2009. Costa Book Awards 2009 Judges' comment: "Beautifully written, intelligent, full of ideas clearly communicated and feelings perfectly encapsulated - these are proper poems with musical structure that are clever, moving and memorable." Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 4 December 2008. Clive James is well know as a TV presenter and writer of prose but not everyone knows he has written poetry. Here in his third anthology he brings together poems written over the last five years. Definitely worth a look if you are a fan of Clive as these poems show his same inimitable style and charm.
Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 4 December 2008. A delightful anthology with stories taken from Phinn's books about his teaching in the Dales but also some of his poems from his popular poetry books for kids. We all know kids can say the funniest things and here Gervase Phinn captures some classics to bring a smile to the most hardened of faces!
Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 27 November 2008. Please note that we are currently unable to provide an extract from this title. This is not just a fashion guide but also a book of anecdotes from the fashion icon Twiggy who still looks fabulous in her fifties. Useful hints and tips on what to wear and what not to wear when reaching a certain age but mostly it is about being confident in yourself, whatever age.
Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 27 November 2008. A very absorbing book on the life of Florence Nightingale. Probably nothing else out there as in depth or as interestingly written.
Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 27 November 2008. This is a collection of some of Maureen Lipman's best writing, taken from previous books along with new stories and anecdotes. Some of the old stories are reworked here and there is plenty of new writing to keep the book fresh. It's a great book for dipping in to full of happy memories as well as sad told in the down to earth style we have some to expect from one of the nations favourite actresses.
Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 20 November 2008. A memoir from one of Britain's finest actors and directors with an abundance of stories, anecdotes and personal dramas to write about. Richard Attenborough has been acting for over 60 years, he has met and worked with a multitude of fascinating people, over the years, and here he shares some of the highs and lows of this long distinguished life.
Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 20 November 2008. A book about celebrity obsession but also about human nature. Susie Boyt has loved Judy Garland from a young age and in this book comes across others who have hero worshipped and still do that iconic figure along with what these obsessions say about human nature and needs. Totally unique, totally fascinating, immerse yourself in a Judy Garland world.
Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 20 November 2008. A former Author of the Month on Lovereading Philippa Gregory is back with another fantastic historical novel, this time the focus in the "other queen" Mary Queen of Scots. Gregory's books are methodically researched for spot on historical fact along with brilliant story telling. She's in a class of her own.
Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 13 November 2008. Women gladiators, women in the Bayeaux Tapestry, women inventors, Sandi Toksvig uncovers them all in her light hearted approach to the serious message of this book – women have always done amazing things but have mostly been overlooked by history. There’s a mass of facts and information of all kinds including scientific evidence that women’s brains are as good as boys but wired differently and that the first woman to swim the channel was faster than any boy who had done it before (14hrs, 31mins. The result is a book which will make girls realise that anything is possible – and that women have already done most of everything already!
Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 13 November 2008. Dobb's latest thriller is set in the world of cyber-warfare. The plot is very plausible for today, a war that takes place in cyber-space is a chilling premise and Dobbs delivers a fast paced and tense thriller.
Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 13 November 2008. Another gem from the queen of gritty East End crime novels. Set at the end of the 70’s and moving up to the present day following the Dooley family. Drugs, prostitution, gangland crime; it’s all there to devour. Any fan will be itching to have this in their Christmas stocking!
Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 6 November 2008. Alastair Campbell's first novel looks at mental illness in a sensitive and very insightful way. Having drawn from his own experiences he makes the characters and their problems wholly believable. This is a story, set over just four days, told with compassion and sensitivity as well as humour. Perhaps not what you might be expecting from this former spin doctor it is definitely worth taking a look. A great first novel, lets hope a second is on the way.
Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 6 November 2008. In Sheila Hancock’s second memoir she looks at her life moving on, after the death of her husband John Thaw. Both funny and sad this is a book about an experience so many will go through and associate with, learning to cope on your own. Whether you have similar experience or not this is a thoroughly enjoyable book looking back, looking forward and refusing to give up and become invisible. An honest and moving memoir.
October 2008 Book of the Month. Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 6 November 2008. Interestingly as this author changes publisher so too does she change style. Although this is still a Liz Carlyle thriller, it is less boysie - there is a lot of emotional reflection here by Liz and a friend's mother attached to a rogue agent. It revolves round a conference in Glen Eagles where the detail and inter-departmental rivalry are well done, but it's not one of her best, so enjoy this, it's good, then go back to her earlier three. Comparision: Evelyn Anthony, Clare Francis, Colin Forbes.
Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 30 October 2008. The poems of Roger McGough are always a joy to read and accompanied by fantastic illustrations this is a book you will want to open up again and again whether you are 7 or 70!
October 2008 Book of the Month. Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 30 October 2008. A sex scandal rocks the sheltered world of a private Vermont school, affecting students, parents and teachers alike. The story moves quickly as Shreve switches the narrative from one character to the next allowing the reader to see how each person involved views the situation. As the events unfold it becomes clear that blame and guilt are equally split amongst these characters and how this affects all of them makes for a dramatic and moving novel. This previous Lovereading author of the month has delivered a great story yet again.
Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 30 October 2008. This is Elizabeth Jane Howard’s first novel for 9 years and it is like welcoming an old friend. This is the story of a group of people brought together in a small West Country town to establish an arts festival. The author has such a keen eye for detail in description of characters and places that you never want to leave them at the end of the last page. A touching and beautiful novel.
Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 23 October 2008. PD James is still at the top of her game at the ripe old age of 88. Great plotlines of murder and mystery and plenty of characters to get your teeth in to and as always Adam Dalgliesh to solve the crime.
Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 23 October 2008. Please note that we are currently unable to provide an extract from this title. An amazing jacket which can't help but catch your eye brings you to four new short stories all based around the largest internal human organ in varying states of disease. Self brings his usual acid tongue and satire to each tale, a darkly funny read.
Mariella Frostrup hosts the UK’s only dedicated TV book show, featuring an array of A-list authors and other big-name guests in the studio, discussing their favourite reads and their own works.
Away from the studio guests the series will get out and about, finding out what books your favourite authors currently have on their bedside tables, getting recommendations from bookshop owners and peeking behind the closed doors of where top authors choose to practice their craft.
The Book Show will review, preview and ensure that no page is left unturned in this essential series for book lovers everywhere!
You can watch The Book Show on Sky Arts on Thursdays at 7pm on Sky Arts 1 (256) or in high definition on Sky Arts HD (258)
On the TV series’ official website you can find more information on the show and watch any interview or feature from any previous series of the show.