The LoveReading Podcast

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The LoveReading Podcast

The LoveReading Podcast is a monthly mix of book-related conversation associated with the popular book recommendation website Hosted by author and editor Elena Lappin, it contains interviews with writers, publishing professionals, journalists, readers, book sellers, and book reviewers, discussing books and other themes related to literature of various genres, and the arts. We will also cover relevant current events such as book festivals, prizes, etc.

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Episode 9 - Chris Evans with Reverend Ruth Scott.

Host: Chris Evans
Duration: 20:54

Between Living and Dying by Ruth Scott is out in August.

Ruth Scott was the voice of Thought for the Day on the BBC Radio 2 Breakfast show for many years, first with Terry Wogan and then Chris Evans. Ruth wrote Between Living and Dying primarily to share how she coped with diagnoses and treatment, but fully expecting to beat the illness. Sadly, just a few weeks ago, she lost her battle. Chris Evans visited her in her hospital bed just a few days before she died and recorded a podcast with her. This has reached many, many thousands of people.

Episode 8 - The LoveReading Very Short Story Award 2019

Host: Elena Lappin
Duration: 44:48

In this special edition of The LoveReading Podcast, we present the LoveReading Very Short Story Award 2019. Host Elena Lappin interviews Susanna Crossman, author of the winning story (Judges Category) OH I DO LOVE A BANANA.

Actor Rebecca Peyton reads THE UNDISCOVERED TRIBE by Jan Stannard, winner of The People's Choice vote, and OH I DO LOVE A BANANA by Susanna Crossman.

LoveReading Reviews Editor Liz Robinson introduces the complete team of judges (Maxim Jakubowski, Alison Flood, Preti Taneja, Liz Robinson, Elena Lappin) and talks about the experience of judging the submissions and the importance of the award for the LoveReading community.

Episode 7 - The End of Year Special

Host: Elena Lappin
Duration: 01:15:03

Novelist Colm Toibin reads from his wonderful new essay collection MAD, BAD, DANGEROUS TO KNOW: THE FATHERS OF WILDE, YEATS AND JOYCE. Liz Nugent talks about her psychological thriller SKIN DEEP, a beautifully told story of loss and reinvention. In Book Post with critic Lucy Scholes, our regular guest previews CASSANDRA DARKE, the new graphic novel by Posy Simmonds - a contemporary Christmas tale with a dark twist. Renowned editors Rosemary Davidson and Arzu Tahsin tell us about their interesting careers in publishing and about their new book, CRAFTFULNESS: MEND YOURSELF BY MAKING THINGS. Host Elena Lappin introduces her December pick SNOW: THE BIOGRAPHY by Giles Whittell. And novelist and journalist Cressida Connolly discusses her highly praised historical novel AFTER THE PARTY and its intriguing connections to the present. Thank you for listening. More information about the books and authors featured on this podcast can be found on our blog at


00:00 Intro
00:59 Cólm Toibín
03:48 Liz Nugent
21:59 Book Post with Lucy Scholes
33:50 Arzu Tahsin & Rosemary Davidson
49:07 Elena Lappin’s Pick of the Month
51:19 Cressida Connolly
1:13:02 Conclusion and Credits

Episode 6 - Acts of Alchemy

Host: Elena Lappin
Duration: 01:03

In this episode, we talk to two novelists who have written deeply personal essays. How have their narratives changed in the process of moving from fiction to non-fiction? Chibundu Onuzo gives us a taste of ‘1991’, her series of autobiographical essays performed at the London Literature Festival at the Southbank, and Olivia Sudjic discusses her first book of non-fiction, EXPOSURE (Peninsula Press). Lucy Scholes introduces us to HOW TO WRITE AN AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL NOVEL, a collection of essays by novelist Alexander Chee (Bloomsbury). And finally, we interview Ben Schott and discover a different type of literary alchemy in his novel JEEVES AND THE KING OF CLUBS (Hutchinson), an homage to the great humourist PG Wodehouse.


00:00 - Teaser
00:53 - Intro
01:24 - Chibundu Onuzo
16:30 - Olivia Sudjic
39:05 - Ben Schott
1:01:22 - Conclusion and Credits

Episode 5 - Echoes: Featuring novelists Sebastian Faulks and Claire Fuller

Host: Elena Lappin
Duration: 56:48

In this episode, we find echoes from the past catching up with the present in two in-depth interviews with our guest authors. In his new novel ‘Paris Echo’, bestselling novelist Sebastian Faulks creates a surprising connection between two strangers in Paris: Hannah, an American academic, and Tariq, a Moroccan teenager, each on a very different quest to discover their history. And in her new novel ‘Bitter Orange’, Claire Fuller weaves a thrilling tale around the past life of a dying woman, Frances, whose encounter with two mysterious strangers twenty years ago made her confront her own deepest secret.

In ‘My Pick’, podcast host Elena Lappin discusses her favourite book of this month: ‘21 Lessons for the 21st Century’ by Yuval Noah Harari - a provocative take on the most burning issues of our times. And finally, tune into a lively conversation among the judges of the new Lovereading Very Short Story Award 2019 about their passion for stories.


00:00 - Teaser
00:49 - Intro
01:21 - Sebastian Faulks on PARIS ECHO
21:50 - Elena Lappin’s Top Pick : Yuval Noah Harari
24:35 - Claire Fuller on BITTER ORANGE
46:05 - Very Short Story Award judges discussion (Liz Robinson, Maxim Jakubowski)
55:09 - Conclusion and Credits

Episode 4 - Unrelated: Family Secrets and Other Stories

Host: Elena Lappin
Duration: 1:01:50

Preti Taneja’s award-winning debut novel WE THAT ARE YOUNG (Galley Beggar Press) is a fascinating reimagining of the King Lear play set in contemporary India and Kashmir. A family feud brilliantly mirroring and challenging Shakespeare’s Classic.

Helen Cullen creates a magically inventive, soulful and very romantic story around the adventures of an unhappily married letter detective, in THE LOST LETTERS OF WILLIAM WOLFF (Michael Joseph).

Fatima Farheen Mirza’s stunning debut A PLACE FOR US (Hogarth) is a thoughtful, beautifully written exploration of the complicated life of a Pakistani immigrant family in America, triggered by the absence of their rebellious son.

Book Post with Lucy Scholes features three excellent short story collections: May-Lan Tan, THINGS TO MAKE AND BREAK (Sceptre) Catherine Lacey, CERTAIN AMERICAN STATES (Granta) Nafissa Thompson-Spires, HEADS OF THE COLORED PEOPLE (Chatto&Windus)

DECISIONS, DECISIONS: ‘How should I write fiction about sex?’

Elena Lappin’s Top Pick this month: HEADS OF THE COLORED PEOPLE by Nafissa Thompson-Spires

Official announcement of THE LOVEREADING VERY SHORT STORY AWARD 2019; details on


00:00 - Teaser
00:46 - Intro
01:10 - Preti Taneja
17:47 - Lucy Scholes (Book Post)
29:30 - Very Short Story Award Announcement
31:45 - Helen Cullen
42:29 - Fatima Farheen Mirza
57:08 - Decisions Decisions
59:05 - My Pick
01:07:15 - Conclusion and Credits

Episode 3 - Lives of Women and Girls

Host: Elena Lappin
Duration: 1:08:58

This month, NOBODY REAL by Steven Camden, THE MADONNA OF THE MOUNTAINS by Elise Valmorbida, PROMISING YOUNG WOMEN by Caroline O’Donoghue, THE CHARMED LIFE OF ALEX MOORE by Molly Flatt.

Steven Camden talks about love and anger in the lives of today’s adolescents - and their imaginary friends, as in the case of the heroine of his YA novel NOBODY REAL.

Elise Valmorbida discusses the background to THE MADONNA OF THE MOUNTAINS, a historical novel set in Mussolini’s Italy.

Caroline O’Donoghue has interesting revelations about her debut PROMISING YOUNG WOMEN, and Molly Flatt takes us on an adventurous journey with her debut THE CHARMED LIFE OF ALEX MOORE.

Lucy Scholes joins us with a new preview of three essential titles for this autumn: GHOST WALL by Sarah Moss, NORMAL PEOPLE by Sally Rooney, and MRS GASKELL AND ME by Nell Stevens.

Elena Lappin’s top pick this month is THE MARS ROOM by Rachel Kushner, a deeply compelling novel about a young woman’s loss of freedom, inside and outside a California prison.


00:00 - Teaser
00:46 - Intro
00:17 - Steven Camden
15:29 - Elise Valmorbida
28:03 - Caroline O'Donoghue
39:18 - Decisions Decisions
42:40 - Molly Flatt
56:30 - Lucy Scholes (Book Post)
01:04:00 - My Pick
01:07:15 - Outro/Credits

Episode 2 - Stories We Tell and Stories We Hide

Host: Elena Lappin
Duration: 1:07:07

The LoveReading Podcast is a lively mix of interviews and conversations about books and arts. This month, Elaine Castillo discusses the hidden and shared narratives in the lives of Philippino immigrants in her dazzling debut novel America Is Not The Heart. Louisa Young reveals the heartache behind writing her memoir You Left Early, about her fiancé Robert Lockhart’s battle with alcoholism, and talks their shared love of music. In Where Books Come From, literary agent Jonny Geller and film producer JJ Lousberg debate the relationship between books and film in the age of Netflix. Lucy Scholes returns with her new Book Post for June, previewing The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer, Florida by Lauren Groff, and My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh. Elena Lappin introduces her first Top Pick: Small Country by Gaël Faye, a powerful debut novel about a childhood and family torn apart by war and genocide.


00:00 - Teaser
01:01 - Intro
01:59 - Elaine Castillo
18:44 - Louisa Young
33:12 - Where Books Come From with Jonny Geller and JJ Lousberg
49:32 - Book Post with Lucy Scholes
54:58 - Elena Lappin’s Top Pick (Gaël Faye)
64:48 - Outro/Credits

Episode 1 - Lives are changed by the books people read

Host: Elena Lappin
Duration: 52:23

This first episode, presented by author and editor Elena Lappin, features novelist Salley Vickers and her new novel The Librarian. Critic Lucy Scholes discusses new books she looks forward to reading and reviewing in Book Post, and literary agent Gaia Banks shares her top tips for writing and getting published in Where Books Come From. The podcast includes a reportage from the 2018 Sunday Times EFG Short Story Awards, featuring interviews with judges Andrew Holgate and Tessa Hadley, and the winner Courtney Zoffness. Actor Tim Dewberry reads from My Face for the World to See by Alfred Hayes.


00:31 - Book Post with Lucy Scholes
08:12 - Salley Vickers Interview
23:45 - Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award: Andrew Holgate, Tessa Hadley, Courtney Zoffness
37:46 - My Face For the World to See by Alfred Hayes, read by Tim Dewberry
43:28 - Where Books Come From with literary agent Gaia Banks

Meet The Podcast Team