Hello and welcome to our first ever episode of Hear…Read This! We’re thrilled to present four hosts, two books and one bookclub, this week talking about HHhH by Laurent Binet and Mr Penumbra’s 24-Hour Book Store by Robin Sloan. Take a listen and you’ll hear Simon and Gav of The Readers, a Book Based Banter podcast, and Kate and Rob of Adventures With Words, exploring storytelling in all its forms. Beware, as there are mild spoilers for both books!
Section 1: HHhH by Laurent Binet
What an opening title – we get stuck into discussing this novel/historical text/thriller/writing guide. What kind of book actually is it? How does it work combining the writer’s own voice with a thriller narrative? Is there such a thing as too much research? And, is it OK for a Nazi to be a bigger character in the novel than his would-be assassins?
Beware: mild spoilers, although of course this book is based on historical events.
Section 2: What we’ve been reading
Our chance to share a recommendation with you, from our recent reading. Rob has been enjoying The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt; Kate was pleasantly surprised by The Killing Woods by Lucy Christopher; Gav thought Grass by Sheri S Tepper was great; Simon recommends May We Be Forgiven by A M Homes.
Section 3: Mr Penumbra’s 24-Hour Book Store by Robin Sloan
In our second discussion, we share our views – which were varied but certainly strongly held – about this book-meets-computer escapade, set in a mysterious bookshop in the seedier side of San Francisco. Can you enjoy an adventure when you find the characters shallow? Is this fantasy-lite, or is it send-up? Can a plot hang together too neatly? Is there something better about paper books, or does digital hold the key to the future? And finally, just how many times can you use the word Google in 300 pages?
We reveal our choices for next month. Gav and Simon have chosen I Remember You by Yrsa Sigurdardottir, and Rob and Kate have chosen The House of Rumour by Jake Arnott.
We’d love you to read them and join us next time!