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Most recent podcasts for Talking Books

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Download Lesley Smith   (8.31 MB)

Lesley Smith

Author Interview - Lesley Smith is a blind journalist turned author, and needs your help to Kickstart her new epic adventure.

Download Alan Bennett   (10.43 MB)

Alan Bennett

Playwright, screenwriter, actor and author Alan Bennett joins me in the Talking Book studios, to talk about voicing Pooh Bear, being in Family Guy, and forgetting what he's just read.

Download RNIB Reading Group   (9.84 MB)

RNIB Reading Group

A look at the 7 books on the RNIB Reading Group list, all of which feature a blind or partially sighted character.

Download Marcus Sedgwick   (12.01 MB)

Marcus Sedgwick

Author Interview - Marcus Sedgwick on his book 'She is Not Invisible" which features a blind character. As part of RNIB Read Marcus tells me about the research he conducted at New College and the blind pupils reaction to the book.

Download What's your favourite book?   (16.99 MB)

What's your favourite book?

For RNIB Read I ask some Talking Book narrators for the best book they have ever read for RNIB. (Longer podcast version)

Download Why do you Read for RNIB?   (5.08 MB)

Why do you Read for RNIB?

I ask a collection of Talking Books narrators why they read books for RNIB, and the results may surprise.

Download The Monogram Murders   (12.06 MB)

The Monogram Murders

Interview with David Brawn, publisher for estates at HarperCollins, talking to me about the new Agatha Christie adventure, The Monogram Murders by Sophie Hannah

Download Richard Flanagan   (11.24 MB)

Richard Flanagan

Booker 2014 - Richard Flanagan chats about his Booker winning book 'The Narrow Road to the Deep North' and about his father's experience in a Japanese POW camp.

Download Ali Smith   (8.56 MB)

Ali Smith

Booker 2014 - Ali Smith chats about her book, 'How to be Both' about the unique nature of the publication, and about finding a voice for the audio version.

Download Karen Joy Fowler   (8.41 MB)

Karen Joy Fowler

Booker 2014 - (SPOILER WARNING) The Booker shortlisted author on her book, 'We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves''. We hear about Rosemary, her sister Fern and a big secret is revealed.

Download Joshua Ferris   (12.17 MB)

Joshua Ferris

Booker 2014 - Joshua Ferris on his book 'To Rise Again at a Decent Hour', on being one of the first Americans to be nominated for the prize and on listening to audiobooks late at night.

Download Howard Jacobson   (17.79 MB)

Howard Jacobson

Booker 2014 - Howard Jacobson talks about his dystopian novel 'J' and I find out if the Jewish Jane Austen has become the Jewish George Orwell. (Extended podcast version containing material not broadcast)

Download Neel Mukherjee   (11.96 MB)

Neel Mukherjee

Booker 2014 - The Booker shortlisted author talks about his book 'The Lives of Others', the Naxalite movement ... and why he hates writing!

Download RNIB Read 2014   (52.95 MB)

RNIB Read 2014

RNIB Read (or as it used to be known, Read for RNIB Day) is a fundraising event happening all through October. Listen in for some great fundraising ideas, a book quiz, a Bear Hunt and more

Download Michael Palin   (10.80 MB)

Michael Palin

Author Interview - Does Michael Palin still get nervous? What line did he fluff during Monty Python Live? And at 71 has he stopped travelling? Robert Kirkwood finds out

Download Edinburgh Book Festival 2014   (52.94 MB)

Edinburgh Book Festival 2014

I interview John Gordon Sinclair live on stage at the Edinburgh International Book festival, plus a look at some previous RNIB events

Download Patrick Ness   (7.54 MB)

Patrick Ness

Author Interview - Patrick Ness chats to me after his Authors Live event with the Scottish Book Trust and considering it's for Talking Books ... we don't get off to the best start

Download John Gordon Sinclair   (26.34 MB)

John Gordon Sinclair

Author Interview - Actor and author John Gordon Sinclair talks to me in front of an invited audience at the Edinburgh International Book Festival about his new book 'Blood Whispers'.

Download Chris Stewart   (17.62 MB)

Chris Stewart

Author Interview - As Driving Over Lemons comes to an end on Talking Books I chat to author Chris Stewart, live from the terrace of El Valero.

Download War Girls - Poetry from WW1   (8.34 MB)

War Girls - Poetry from WW1

Compiled and read by Ruth Sillers, War Girls is an anthology of poetry and prose written by women in the 1st World War.

Download RNIB Bear Hunt Live   (7.85 MB)

RNIB Bear Hunt Live

Highlights from the Live Bear Hunt with Michael Rosen, Walker Books and Read for RNIB ... but did they get the World Record?

Download Marathon Storytelling   (2.82 MB)

Marathon Storytelling

With Tam Dean Burn I find out about the The Marathon Storytelling Cycle Challenge as Tam Dean Burn & Co. tour Scotland reading Julia Donaldson's 181 books to children for #Culture2014 on the Queen's Baton Relay, then across Glasgow for #Festival2014

Download Mitch Cullin   (9.86 MB)

Mitch Cullin

Author Interview - As the movie version of his book, 'A Slight Trick of the Mind', gets underway with Ian McKellan in the lead, author Mitch Cullin joins me in the Talking Books studio to discuss his very elderly Sherlock Holmes.

Download Natasha Desborough   (12.42 MB)

Natasha Desborough

Author Interview - As the audio version of Weirdos vs Quimboids enters the Talking Book library, author Natasha Desborough joins me to chat about things far too rude to write here.

Download Monty Don   (15.44 MB)

Monty Don

Author Interview - Monty Don talks about his book 'The Road to Le Tholonet' as it enters the Talking Books Library, plus blind gardener Kevin Smith joins us to talk about sensory gardens.

Download Short Story   (3.01 MB)

Short Story

Sue Townsend - A non-fiction short story from Sue Townsend in which she talks about her sight loss, her fear of the dark and her writing. Read by Jacqueline King in tribute to Sue Townsend who passed away in April 2014.

Download Dame Stephanie   (52.96 MB)

Dame Stephanie "Steve" Shirley, Joanna Trollope and Antonia Fraser

Author Interviews - Entrepreneur turned philanthropist Dame Stephanie "Steve" Shirley talks about her book, Let it Go; Antonia Fraser talks about the ‘Perilous Question' and Joanna Trollope chats about her many books in the RNIB library.

Download Talking Books at the Oscars   (53.06 MB)

Talking Books at the Oscars

Special Show - The books behind the movies that won an Oscar for Best Picture including All Quiet on the Western Front, Gone with the Wind, The Godfather, Slumdog Millionaire and more (first played in 2011)

Download Jeremy Paxman   (12.95 MB)

Jeremy Paxman

Author Interview - Jeremy Paxman chat's about his book 'Great Britain's Great War' and learns about the birth of RNIB Talking Books.

Download Antonia Fraser   (6.84 MB)

Antonia Fraser

Author Interview - Lady Antonia Fraser joins me to discuss her new book, Perilous Question - The Drama of the Great Reform Bill 1832, as it becomes an RNIB Talking Book

Download Jonathan Meres   (11.98 MB)

Jonathan Meres

Author Interview - Author Jonathan Meres takes us into Norm's World, as he narrates The World of Norm - May Contain Nuts for RNIB Talking Books. Warning, your wardrobe may get wet.

Download Elite Audiobooks   (8.01 MB)

Elite Audiobooks

Special Feature - Dan from Fantastic Books talks about the 'Elite' audiobooks he's producing to accompany the forthcoming game, Elite: Dangerous.

Download Richard Madeley   (12.91 MB)

Richard Madeley

Author Interview - RNIB Ambassador Richard Madeley visits the Talking Book studios as his book 'Some Day I'll Find You' enters the Talking Books library.

Download Book Week Scotland 2013   (52.94 MB)

Book Week Scotland 2013

Special Show - An hour long show celebrating Book Week Scotland. With Philippa Cochrane of the Scottish Book Trust I find out all about Book Week and we listen to selections from the book, 'Treasures'.

Download Colin Dexter   (13.25 MB)

Colin Dexter

Author Interview - The creator of Morse joins me from his home in Oxford to discuss his influences, the perfect crime novel and a happy romantic ending for Lewis.

Download Short Story   (11.25 MB)

Short Story

Doris Lessing - The Nobel Prize winning writer Doris Lessing, who died at the age of 94, reads a passage from her novel 'The Sweetest Dream'.

Download Val McDermid   (11.96 MB)

Val McDermid

Author Interview - Val McDermid chats about her book 'The Vanishing Point' as it enters the Talking Books library, and about her re-imagining of Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey.

Download Read for RNIB 2013   (52.95 MB)

Read for RNIB 2013

Special Show - For Read for RNIB Day 2013, travel to a Waterloo Wonderland, listen to narrators tell us why they Read for RNIB and listen to clips of their favourite books.

Download Ruth Ozeki   (9.29 MB)

Ruth Ozeki

Booker 2013 Interview - Ruth Ozeki chats about her Booker shortlisted book 'A Tale for the Time Being' , tells us how she read the audio version herself and why audiobooks can enlighten.

Download NoViolet Bulawayo   (7.67 MB)

NoViolet Bulawayo

Booker 2013 Interview - NoViolet Bulawayo chats about her Booker shortlisted book 'We Need New Names', about the world the children in the book inhabit and how simple storytelling is so important.

Download Jhumpa Lahiri   (8.49 MB)

Jhumpa Lahiri

Booker 2013 Interview - Jhumpa Lahiri talks about her Booker shortlisted book 'The Lowland', the naxalite movement and why the audio format is important.

Download Eleanor Catton   (11.19 MB)

Eleanor Catton

Booker 2013 Interview - Eleanor Catton chats about her Booker shortlisted book 'The Luminaries', astrology and writing to surprise yourself.

Download Colm Toibin   (8.25 MB)

Colm Toibin

Booker 2013 Interview - Colm Toibin chats about his Booker shortlisted book 'The Testament of Mary', about protests that look bigger than they are and having Meryl Streep read his work.

Download Thunderdog   (132.38 MB)

Thunderdog

Special Show - An abridged presentation of Thunderdog. The true story of a blind man and his guide dog who led him from the 78th floor of the World Trade Centre's North Tower on September the 11th, 2001.

Download Gaelic Book Council   (13.90 MB)

Gaelic Book Council

Special Feature - I chat to Rosemary Ward of the Gaelic Books Council, the lead organisation supporting Scottish Gaelic authors and publishers, and for raising the profile of Scottish Gaelic books in Scotland and internationally.

Download Kim Newman   (17.76 MB)

Kim Newman

Author Interview - As the 4th Anno Dracula book, Johnny Alucard, is released, I chat to author Kim Newman about all things horror and vampiric. In this downloadable version of the interview, there are an extra questions and answers not heard on air.

Download Lynn Shepherd   (15.05 MB)

Lynn Shepherd

Author Interview - Lynn Shepherd is joined by actor and audiobook narrator John Telfer as we chat about Lynn's 'literary mysteries' including the latest book, A Treacherous Likeness, and we hear about a new work based on Dracula.

Download Edinburgh Book Festival 2013   (11.90 MB)

Edinburgh Book Festival 2013

Special Feature - The special collection of writing called 'Elsewhere' is launched by the RNIB in Braille and audio at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. Featuring Anne Fine, Anne Donovan, Janice Galloway and more.

Download Bill Bryson   (33.13 MB)

Bill Bryson

Author Interview - Bill Bryson tells us if dogs really do hate him, why he started to narrate his own books and why he stopped travelling - we also chat about and listen to clips from his new book, One Summer - America 1927

Download D.E. Meredith   (15.75 MB)

D.E. Meredith

Author Interview - D.E. Meredith chats about her life, her work and the Hatton and Roumande Mysteries featuring the first forensic scientist, Professor Adolphus Hatton, and his trusty French morgue assistant, Albert Roumande.

Download Peter Robinson   (13.68 MB)

Peter Robinson

Author Interview - Peter Robinson is the most borrowed author from the RNIB Talking Books library - he talks to Insight Radio's Leeanne Coyle.

Download Making a Talking Book   (11.65 MB)

Making a Talking Book

Behind the Scenes - I explore the process of audio book production at the RNIB Talking Book studios, from book selection to recording, to recycling the CDs ... and everything in-between

Download Eddie Izzard   (8.82 MB)

Eddie Izzard

Narrator Interview - Eddie Izzard records his first ever audiobook for AudioGo. It's a book called Lost Christmas by David Logan and he tells me about the story and why he wanted to record a book. (http://www.audiogo.com/uk/)

Download Short Story   (5.13 MB)

Short Story

Old Smokeytoes by Louis de Bernieres. A dream of a decaying fish under his wig and a new pair of legs changes a dictator's outlook - or does it? A strange and intriguing short story from the author of Captain Corelli's Mandolin.

Download David Graham   (9.60 MB)

David Graham

Narrator Interview - David Graham talks about his latest RNIB book, his work as Brains and Parker on Thunderbirds and coming up with the original Dalek voice.

Download Clear Voice Books   (14.31 MB)

Clear Voice Books

Behind the Scenes - Ian Rattray of Clear Voice Books tells us why he wants the widest possible range of books by contemporary international authors accessible to everyone.

Download Darren Shan   (11.89 MB)

Darren Shan

Author Interview - As a Zom-B invasion his the RNIB Talking Books library I talk to the horror and fantasy author Darren Shan about all things that will make you sleep with the lights on.

Download Short Story   (24.69 MB)

Short Story

Odours Savours Sweet by A.S. Byatt. In this essay written and read by by A.S Byatt, the Booker winner talks about our sense of smell and the lengths we go to mask our own scent.

Download Julian Barnes   (11.91 MB)

Julian Barnes

Author Interview - After winning the Booker for 'The Sense of an Ending', author Julian Barnes joins me in the RNIB Talking Book Studios.

Download Kate Atkinson   (6.42 MB)

Kate Atkinson

Author Interview - At the Edinburgh Book Festival, Kate Atkinson tells me all about Jackson Brodie and her Dad's old guide dog.

Download Short Story   (12.22 MB)

Short Story

The Things You Know by Julian Barnes. An exclusive short story written and read for Talking Books by Booker prize winning author Julian Barnes.

Download Janice Galloway   (10.53 MB)

Janice Galloway

Author Interview - Janice Galloway talks about her book 'This Is Not About Me' ... which is about her after all!

Download Garrick Hagon   (4.95 MB)

Garrick Hagon

Narrator Interview - Garrick Hagon talks about his career as an audiobook narrator and also about starring in both Star Wars Episode 4 and Tim Burton's Batman.

Download Anthony Holden   (6.50 MB)

Anthony Holden

Author Interview - The writer, biographer, broadcaster and critic Anthony Holden joins me to talk poker as we chat about his books Big Deal, Bigger Deal and Holden on Hold 'em.

Download Jackie Kay   (9.93 MB)

Jackie Kay

Author Interview - Jackie Kay talks about her memoir Red Dust Road as she reads it for RNIB

Download World Book Night   (11.73 MB)

World Book Night

Special Feature - A look back at World Book Night, how it started and a chat with some blind and partially sighted givers who can now join in with the joy of sharing literature.

Download Jen Campbell   (6.85 MB)

Jen Campbell

Author Interview - As 'More Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops' comes out I talk to Jen Campbell about the first book and how it came to be.

Download Short Story   (37.84 MB)

Short Story

Ida Tamson by Denise Mina. Doing anything it takes to look after the children in her care, enter the world of Ida Tamson. Read by Robert Kirkwood.

Download Lesley Pearse   (9.60 MB)

Lesley Pearse

Author Interview - Lesley Pearse talks about her book Father Unknown, the discovery of family secrets and why you should always visit the places you write about.

Download Neil MacGregor   (10.34 MB)

Neil MacGregor

Author Interview - The Director of The British Museum talks about his book 'A History of the World in 100 Objects', his early inspirations and why museums should be both accessible and free.

Download Fay Weldon   (13.72 MB)

Fay Weldon

Author Interview - Fay Weldon chats about her new book Habits of the House, her days as a copywriter and as she takes on Google, the future of publishing. We also find out if Vodka gets you drunker quicker!

Download Ruth Rendell   (9.07 MB)

Ruth Rendell

Author Interview - Ruth Rendell chats about Wexford on TV, writing as Barbara Vine and her 50 years as a published author.

Download Sarah Mallory   (7.59 MB)

Sarah Mallory

Author Interview - Sarah Mallory, (who also writes as Melinda Hammond) the historical romance novelist, and winner of the Rona Rose award 2012 and 2013, chats about her novel 'Beneath The Major's Scars' as it enters the Talking Books library.

Download Neil Oliver   (11.44 MB)

Neil Oliver

Author Interview - Scottish archaeologist, broadcaster and writer Neil Oliver has a new book in the Talking Books library, based on the TV show Vikings, Robert Kirkwood finds out more

Download John Keay   (6.69 MB)

John Keay

Author Interview - The historian talks about his book 'China - A History' as it enters the Talking Books library. We also chat about how Everest was named and about James Holman, a blind travel book writer from the 1800's.

Download Bernard Cornwell   (8.10 MB)

Bernard Cornwell

Author Interview - Famous as the author of the Sharpe books, Bernard Cornwell joined me from his home in Charleston to talk about ‘1356' a new book set in medieval France, as the book is recorded for inclusion in RNIB's Talking Books Library

Download James Herbert   (52.94 MB)

James Herbert

Special Show - In an hour long special recorded months before he passed away, the UK's top chiller author, James Herbert, talks about his books The Rats, Crickley Hall, The Others, Ash and more.

Download Michael Bond   (18.42 MB)

Michael Bond

Author Interview - The creator of Paddington Bear chats to Robert Kirkwood about the origins of one of the most loved children's characters of all time. And why Paddington wasn't allowed to compete in the Olympics.

Download Jonathan Dimbleby   (14.65 MB)

Jonathan Dimbleby

Author Interview - Jonathan Dimbleby talks to me about his book 'Destiny in the Desert - The Road to El Alamein' as it enters the RNIB Talking Books library.

Download The 'Spoken Herd' Audiobook   (8.06 MB)

The 'Spoken Herd' Audiobook

Special Feature - Spoken Herd was a crowd sourced audio book and a legacy left behind by the first Social Media Week in Glasgow. Hear the whole book at http://www.spokenherd.co.uk

Download Virginia Ironside   (9.22 MB)

Virginia Ironside

Author Interview - Author Virginia Ironside talks about her books 'No! I Don't Want to Join a Book Club!' and 'No! I Don't Need Reading Glasses' and her granny-stand-up show 'Growing Old Disgracefully'.

Download Candia McWilliam   (12.22 MB)

Candia McWilliam

Author Interview - Candia McWilliam talks about, and narrates the introduction to her book, 'What to Look for in Winter - A Memoir of Blindness'

Download Tony Hawks   (7.57 MB)

Tony Hawks

Author Interview - Big supporter of Talking Books, Tony Hawks, talks about his second book 'Playing the Modovans at Tennis' as it enters the Talking Books library and becomes a movie.

Download Christopher Brookmyre - Part 2   (52.99 MB)

Christopher Brookmyre - Part 2

Special Show - In the second part of our interview, Christopher Brookmyre discusses all his books up to 'Where the Bodies are Buried'

Download Christopher Brookmyre - Part 1   (53.02 MB)

Christopher Brookmyre - Part 1

Special Show - The Scottish crime writer joins me for a chat about all of his novels to date (at the time of recording), his influences and we listen to the 'silent soundtrack' that plays along with him as he writes.

Download Marcus Berkmann   (9.18 MB)

Marcus Berkmann

Author Interview - Marcus Berkmann talks about his book, 'A Shed of One's Own' and has a mid-life crisis without the crisis.

Download Jane Green   (8.30 MB)

Jane Green

Author Interview - The 'Queen of Chick-Lit' talks about her new book 'The Patchwork Marriage' and explains why she's not a chick any more.

Download Alan Coren: Chocolate and Cuckoo Clocks   (52.93 MB)

Alan Coren: Chocolate and Cuckoo Clocks

Special Show - Featuring Victoria and Giles Coren, this is a short selection from Chocolate and Cuckoo Clocks, an anthology of writing from 'comic genius' Alan Coren. With contributions from Melvyn Bragg, Victoria Wood and narrated by Peter Noble.

Download Book Week Scotland 2012   (52.95 MB)

Book Week Scotland 2012

Special Show - A show about the first ever Book Week Scotland and selections from the book 'My Favourite Place' from the Scottish Book Trust.

Download Short Story   (3.71 MB)

Short Story

The Photograph by Romesh Gunesekera ... read exclusively for Talking Books by by Tony Hawks.

Download Short Story   (8.41 MB)

Short Story

Solitude So Far by Brian Aldiss. Read by Steve Hodson, this short story by the 'Grand Master' of science fiction looks at our belief in aliens.

Download War of the Worlds   (53.08 MB)

War of the Worlds

Documentary - A look at the classic book, the infamous radio play, the Jeff Wayne musical and other works inspired by H.G. Wells. Features Jeff Wayne, Orson Welles and H.G. Wells himself.

Download eBooks and eReaders   (53.09 MB)

eBooks and eReaders

Special Show - Are ebooks a revolution for partially sighted readers? Can text-to-speech unlock more books for the blind? How easy are ereaders to use? Find out in this special edition of Talking Books.

Download Jeffrey Archer   (6.42 MB)

Jeffrey Archer

"Author" Interview - Lord Archer talks about his new book and how his writing may have improved in prison.

Download Julia Donaldson   (12.31 MB)

Julia Donaldson

Author Interview - Children's Laureate Julia Donaldson visits the RNIB Talking Book studios to record Freddie and the Fairy and chat to Robert Kirkwood about writing some new lines especially for blind and partially sighted readers.

Download Frederick Forsyth   (14.06 MB)

Frederick Forsyth

Author Interview - Frederick Forsyth chats about 'The Day of the Jackal' being published without a word changed from the first draft, cocaine trafficking and why you should visit the places you write about.

Download Short Story   (7.10 MB)

Short Story

The Passing of Humpy by Frederick Forsyth - A short non-fiction story about the fate of a small bird that Frederick Forsyth met whilst fishing. Written and read exclusively for Talking Books

Download Danny Wallace   (12.23 MB)

Danny Wallace

Author Interview - Danny Wallace, who has in the past asked people to 'Join Me', became a 'Yes Man' and even ran his own country called Lovely, makes his first foray into fiction with the book 'Charlotte Street.'

Download Will Self   (14.68 MB)

Will Self

Booker 2012 Interview - The Booker shortlisted author Will Self chats about his novel Umbrella, reading his own work for audio and debates 'readability'.

Download Tan Twan Eng   (5.89 MB)

Tan Twan Eng

Booker 2012 Interview - The Booker shortlisted author of 'The Garden of Evening Mists' chats about his work and why you shouldn't write in your pyjamas!

Download Hilary Mantel   (11.20 MB)

Hilary Mantel

Booker 2012 Interview - The winner of the 2012 Booker Prize tells Robert Kirkwood how it felt to win for a second time, about Anne Boelyn's downfall and the third sequel, The Mirror and the Light.

Download Deborah Levy   (6.41 MB)

Deborah Levy

Booker 2012 Interview - The Booker shortlisted author Deborah Levy talks to Robert Kirkwood about her novel Swimming Home and how the audio format changes the experience of reading.

Download Alison Moore   (6.08 MB)

Alison Moore

Booker 2012 Interview - Alison Moore chats about being longlisted before her novel, The Lighthouse, was released, and the joy of being on the Booker Shortlist.

Download Anne Zouroudi   (6.32 MB)

Anne Zouroudi

Author Interview - Anne is the creator of Hermes Diaktoros, star of The Greek Detective Mysteries. Anne chats about her blind characters and why she supports the RNIB Talking Book Library.

Download 75 Years of Talking Books   (52.51 MB)

75 Years of Talking Books

Documentary - A look back at the history of this ground-breaking service and of audio recording itself. Tracking the first sounds recorded on soot covered paper to cylinder, disc, tape, CD, mp3 and download.

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