Books Podcast

Spectator Books: Mick Herron on how to be a crap spy

21 August 2019 17:18

The spy writer Mick Herron’s Slough House series of comic thrillers has steadily established him as perhaps the most influential…

Spectator Books: books for the beach

14 August 2019 15:35

Even books editors have to go on holiday sometimes, so Spectator Books is taking a hiatus for a couple of…

Spectator Books: when Coleridge met Wordsworth

7 August 2019 13:26

In this week’s books podcast, we’re getting Romantic. I’m joined by the writer Adam Nicolson and the artist Tom Hammick…

Spectator Books: is there a meaning to life?

31 July 2019 13:42

The star New York Times columnist David Brooks has never been afraid to go beyond the usual remit of day-to-day…

Spectator Books: how pigeons won the War

24 July 2019 9:41

Pigeons: revolting pests who can’t tell the difference between fag-butts and chips, right? Not so, according to my latest podcast…

Books Podcast: the double agent who changed the Cold War

17 July 2019 18:40

There’s nobody who writes true-life spy stories like Ben MacIntyre — and with his latest book The Spy and the…

Spectator Books: Caroline Crampton’s forgotten histories of the Thames

10 July 2019 19:59

My guest on this week’s podcast is Caroline Crampton — whose fine and lyrical new book The Way To The Sea twines…

Would Faber & Faber still exist without T.S. Eliot?

3 July 2019 16:44

This year the publishers Faber & Faber celebrate their 90th birthday, and to honour the occasion I’m joined by Toby…

The Books Podcast: the right way to write with Benjamin Dreyer

26 June 2019 12:04

In this week’s Spectator Books podcast my guest is Benjamin Dreyer — whose name is pronounced, as I discover live…

Books Podcast: writings of the working class

19 June 2019 11:00

In this week’s books podcast Kit de Waal is here to talk about her new anthology of working-class memoir, Common…

Books Podcast: does tripping balls tell us anything profound about human consciousness?

12 June 2019 19:32

This week’s books podcast promises to be a trip. I’m joined by Mike Jay to talk about the history of…

Books Podcast: Chaucer’s European roots

5 June 2019 17:19

In this week’s books podcast we’re talking about why the Father of English Poetry, Geoffrey Chaucer, at least half belongs…

The Books Podcast: science fiction from Jim Al-Khalili

29 May 2019 17:25

In this week’s books podcast I’m joined by the physicist Jim Al-Khalili (host of Radio Four’s The Life Scientific) to…

The Books Podcast: Rory Stewart in conversation with Sam Leith

28 May 2019 13:47

Rory Stewart is the back-of-field Tory leadership candidate who’s catching most attention at the moment; popping up all over London…

Rest in peace, Judith Kerr

23 May 2019 11:25

I am so, so sad to hear about the death of Judith Kerr. I last saw her only a month…

The Books Podcast: what makes Shakespeare special?

22 May 2019 17:11

In this week’s books podcast my guest is Emma Smith, Professor of Shakespeare Studies at Hertford College, Oxford, who’s talking…

Books Podcast: Ursula Buchan on her grandfather, John Buchan

15 May 2019 11:23

In this week’s books podcast, I’m joined by Ursula Buchan – the author of a hugely involving new life of…

The Books Podcast: Bret Easton Ellis on coming out as Patrick Bateman

8 May 2019 19:06

In this week’s books podcast I’m joined by Bret Easton Ellis. The author of Less Than Zero, American Psycho and…

Books Podcast: Joseph Stiglitz on the EU’s big economic mistake

2 May 2019 11:43

In this week’s books podcast, my guest is the Nobel prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, architect of Bill Clinton’s “Third Way”…

The Books Podcast: Nicci Gerrard – The Cold Friction of Expiring Sense

24 April 2019 16:12

In this week’s books podcast I’m joined by the journalist and (as one half of the crime writer Nicci French)…