Talking Books

Talking Books with Robert Kirkwood, weekdays from 3pm and 10pm

Read On

If you're passionate about books and reading, tune in every Friday from 3pm. Author interviews, book news, technology updates and everything you've always wanted to know about the RNIB Library. 

Head to the Read On Page now

Now Playing ...

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

This favorite book for children, based on the author's own youthful experiences, describes the family life of the Marches in a small New England community.

Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy March are raised in genteel poverty by their loving mother while their father serves as chaplain during the American Civil War. Jo at fifteen is ungainly, unconventional, and enterprising, with an ambition to be an author. Meg, a year older, is pretty and wishes to be a lady. Beth is a delicate child of thirteen with a taste for music. Amy is a blonde beauty of twelve.

The story explores their domestic adventures, their attempts to increase the family's small income, their friendship with the neighboring Laurence family, and their later love affairs and destinies as women.

Read by Gretel Davis it lasts for 13 episodes, every Monday - Thursday, until September 23rd

Catch-Up with ...

Carry On, Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse

Here are ten episodes in the lives of Bertie Wooster and Jeeves.

Bertie's motto was leave it to Jeeves, be the question one of the colour of a tie, the style of a hat, the cut of a coat There was no one like Jeeves to placate angry relatives he said exactly the right thing at the right moment What did it matter that Jeeves could sometimes be something of a tyrant?

Was he not always there in moments of stress, frequent in the lives of Bertie and his friends?

Read by Robin Holmes, catch up with all 10 episodes now

Junior Talking Books

A children's classic, every Saturday morning at 9am and Sunday at 3pm and at the moment it's Matilda by Roald Dahl. Catch up on the latest episode or find out more about our Weekend Children's Show here.

Coming Soon

Books to come include Thank You Jeeves and Little Women. Suggest a book by emailing or contacting me via Talking_Books on Twitter.

Booker Prize

Every year we feature the Man Booker shortlisted authors, here are the latest and a few from the awards in 2013 and 2012 - Man Booker Prize authors

Podcast Shows

Author interviews, special shows, documentaries and more, all available to listen online or download as a podcast. Includes chats with Michael Palin, Bill Bryson, Michael Bond (the creator of Paddington Bear as pictured below), James Herbert's last ever interview, a full short story by Denise Mina and the man behind Parker and Brains in Thunderbirds and co-inventor of the voice of the Daleks. 

Podcast shows here.

Most recent podcasts for Talking Books

Tendai Huchu

Author Interview - Tendai Huchu talks about his novel the Hairdresser of Harare and we're joined by the narrator EmmaClair Brightlyn

Robert Burns - Kilmarnock Edition

Celebrating the publication of 'Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect' by Robert Burns with poets old and new.

Brian 'Limmy' Limond

Scottish comedian and writer Brian 'Limmy' Limond talks to Robert Kirkwood about writing and recording his first book 'Daft Wee Stories'.

Listen Again


Catch up with EVERY EPISODE of the latest Talking Book featured on Insight Radio


Little Women

Little Women 1/13

Carry On, Jeeves

Carry On, Jeeves 1/10

Carry On, Jeeves 2/10

Carry On, Jeeves 3/10

Carry On, Jeeves 4/10

Carry On, Jeeves 5/10

Carry On, Jeeves 6/10

Carry On, Jeeves 7/10

Carry On, Jeeves 8/10

Carry On, Jeeves 9/10

Carry On, Jeeves 10/10


Matilda 1/6

Matilda 2/6

Matilda 3/6

Matilda 4/6

Matilda 5/6

Charlotte's Web

Charlotte's Web 1/4

Charlotte's Web 2/4

Charlotte's Web 3/4

Charlotte's Web 4/4

About Talking Books

Robert Kirkwood presents the best of the spoken Word. The famous RNIB Talking Books studios have such a rich and varied history. Authors such as Ruth Rendell, Roald Dahl, P.D. James, A.S. Byatt, Fay Weldon, Doris Lessing, Lady Antonia Fraser and lots of other greats, making up a veritable Who’s Who of UK literature, have all visited us and recorded something.

Narrators over the years have included Joanna Lumley, Richard Baker, Sir John Gielgud, Joss Ackland and Jim Broadbent amongst hundreds of others. In the early days of the RNIB Talking Book service, there was no such thing as commercial audiobooks, so the RNIB library is the only place to hear people such as Peter Cushing and Joyce Grenfel read books aloud.

On Insight Radio's Talking Book show we've featured all of the above! Where else could you hear Peter Cushing read Sherlock Holmes followed by Victoria Coren talking poker, or Cherie Blair reading Postman Pat followed by Frederick Forsyth telling us about cocaine trafficking?

Tune in every day at 3pm (or 10pm or 3am) for exclusive audio, author interviews, behind the scenes features and our featured book or short story of the moment. I'll also keep adding content to the Talking Books podcast feed so make sure you subscribe.

Subscribe to the Talking Books podcast feed on itunes

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