DiscoverRead On - The Audiobook Show from RNIB
Read On - The Audiobook Show from RNIB

Read On - The Audiobook Show from RNIB

Author: RNIB Connect Radio

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A weekly show all about audiobooks recorded at the RNIB Talking Book studios.

We talk to your favourite authors and narrators, along with reviews and news about new audiobooks.

Presented by Red Szell in Camden and produced by Robert Kirkwood in Glasgow, you'll find a new episode here every Friday at 1pm plus bonus content such as longer uncut interviews and episodes of our occasional extra show, The Book Group.

Talking Books is a free service from RNIB giving access to over 30,000 fiction and non fiction books for adults and children. Find out more by searching for RNIB Library.

Get involved and join the conversation by emailing or find us on Twitter, Red is @redszell ( and Robert is @Talking_Books (
291 Episodes
World Book Day on 4 March 2021 is all about celebrating the magic of books and reading. RNIB is proud to continue to support World Book Day's mission to give every child and young person a book of their own, by making 13 titles available in audio (DAISY CD) and braille. Titles can be pre-ordered from 1 February 2021 for despatch on 1 March 2021. Orders will be taken until 31 March 2021. Titles are also available in large print (English) or giant print (Welsh). To order the English-language titles in large print, contact Guide Dogs by calling 0118 9838275. The Welsh-language title can be ordered in giant print by contacting the RNIB Helpline. Only one title per person can be ordered, in one format.
Sarah Leipciger breathes new life into two historical figures and lets her imagination flow in her novel 'Coming Up for Air'.   We celebrate LGBTQ+ History Month by revisiting 'How To Be Both' with author Ali Smith.   And winner of last year’s CILIP Carnegie Medal for children’s literature, Anthony McGowan, discusses the series of books he has created for reluctant readers.
Journalist Saba Salman introduces us to 'Made Possible', a collection of stories that she hopes will change the public perception of people with learning disabilities. Sarah Waters talks to Robert Kirkwood about 'The Little Stranger', a novel in which she changed era and also for the first time, the gender of the protagonist. And children’s author Caroline Lawrence, famous for her 'Roman Mysteries', takes us to Ancient Greece with her 'Time Travel Diaries'.
CJ Skuse reveals why girl-next-door serial killer Rhiannon Lewis is feeling all at sea in her latest novel, 'Dead Head'.   Costa winner Monique Roffey reveals which books have resonated most with her as a writer.    Robert Kirkwood looks back on the day that creator of 'The Gruffalo', Julia Donaldson, visited the RNIB Talking Books Studios.    We celebrate LGBTQ+ History Month by reviewing the short-story that became the Oscar-winning film 'Brokeback Mountain'. And we return to CJ Skuse for the Books of Her Life.
Amy Raphael takes us back to The English Civil War in her new children’s adventure ‘The Forest of Moon and Sword ‘. Story-teller and Talking Book narrator Giles Abbott reveals how sight loss has influenced the way he brings stories to life. And Jane Harris transports us to Victorian Glasgow in her novel Gillespie and I.
Helen Fisher introduces us to Space Hopper, her must-read debut novel, featuring a blind character drawn from her years working at RNIB. We bring you news of the winner of this year's Costa Book of the Year Award. Narrator David Graham reminisces on his many years of working for RNIB, and the iconic roles he helped create in Thunderbirds and Dr Who. And Laura Barnett brings words and music together in her soulful novel Greatest Hits.
This week Read On is focusing on The Costa Book Awards, which recognise the most enjoyable books published in the UK over the past year in five categories: Novel, Debut Novel, Biography, Poetry and Children’s Books. The five category winners were selected earlier this month. And next week, one overall winner will be crowned Costa Book of the Year, winning the author £30,000. And Red Szell brings you interviews with four of the five authors in contention:  Ingrid Persaud, Monique Roffey, Lee Lawrence and Natasha Farrant, and talks to the friend and publisher of Eavan Boland, who died shortly before she won the Costa Poetry Award.
In Read On this week, we are focusing on resilience: Mick Dawson and blind veteran Steve Sparky Sparks discuss their gruelling journey to row across the Pacific Ocean. Sarah Jane Douglas and Richard Frazer reveal the reconciliation each of them found through walking and contemplation. Ed Caesar introduces us to 'The Moth and The Mountain': the extraordinary story of a World War One veteran who sought to climb Mount Everest. And we return to Mick Dawson, to hear the books of his life.
Vicky Goldie reveals how working for RNIB and her own personal circumstances informed the character of her blind detective.   Paul Mylrea reviews Ngaio Marsh's 'Scales of Justice'.   Tim Finch discusses his novel Peace Talks, which has been short listed for the Costa Award.   And Anna Bell shares a cautionary tale in her new rom com We Just Clicked.
In this Read On 2020 Booker Prize special episode, host Red Szell interviews each of the six shortlisted authors, shares some fun facts about the world's most prestigious literary prize and reveals the winner through the Books of Their Life.
The Best of Read On 2020 Part 2:  Robert Kirkwood talks to the winner of the Costa First Novel award, Sarah Collins. Stuart Turton takes us on a mysterious  and murderous voyage in his new novel The Devil and the Dark Water.   We hear the heart warming story of how an RNIB volunteer, a musician and a holocaust survivor came together to create a Talking Book   The RNIB Library’s Lynne Livingstone gives us her literary antidote to lockdown.   Best selling novelist Sarah Morgan transports us to the Lake District in search of family harmony.   And SD Robertson shares the Books of His Life.
The Best of Read on 2020: Part 1 Costa Award Winner Jack Fairweather introduces us to 'The Volunteer'. We hitch a ride with an enchanted suitcase and author LD Lapinski’s 'Strange Worlds Travel Agency'.   Husband and wife narrators Alastair Petrie and Lucy Scott reveal how they kept calm and carried on narrating despite lockdown.   Blade Runner meets Forrest Gump in Simon Stephenson’s android rom-com, Set My Heart To 5.   And loyal listener Penny Melville Brown shares some of her audiobook highlights of 2020.
This week a snowy special: Lucy Foley takes us to the Scottish Highlands in her chilling crime thriller ‘The Hunting Party’.    Robert introduces Red to a comedy classic set on the slopes of a Himalayan mountain.    Sir Chris Bonington shares some of his own, real life, tales from the snowy peaks.   And we discover more about another cool customer at home in winter conditions – the robin.
Charlie Mackesy discusses both writing, illustrating and recording (in his barn) 'The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse'. Joanna Toye catches us up with the goings on at Marlow's Department Store in 'Christmas for the Shop Girls'. Emma Powell talks about narrating RNIB's Read-A-Long book 'Red and the Wolf'. And we return to Charlie Mackesy for the Books of his Life.
In today's show, we focus on Contemporary Crime.   Mark Billingham on 'The Killing Habit'   Matthew Parris on 'Scorn'   Chris Brookmyre on 'Want You Gone'   Emma Swan on narrating 'That'll Be The Day'   And Red reviews 'Trunk Music' by Michael Connelly
Sally Gardner brings us a fairy tale for adults with The Snow Song. Tineka Smith and Alex Court on 'Mixed Up: Confessions of an Interracial Couple'. Robert Kirkwood talks to Charlotte Levin about her debut novel 'If I Can't Have You'. And we return to Sally Gardner for the Books of her Life.
This week we’ll be using our little grey cells to investigate some new developments in classic crime...   Sophie Hannah tells us why Hercule Poirot is working with a new partner, and her publisher talks about how the collaboration came about.   Lynn Shepherd discusses adding crime scenes to stories inspired by Jane Austen and Charles Dickens.     And Red finds the book in The Library that made him want to be a crime writer.
Val Wood discusses her new historical romance ‘The Lonely Wife’ and her long-standing role supporting those with sight loss in her local area of Hull and Yorkshire’s East Riding.   Amanda Robson leads us into the dark psychological world of her new domestic thriller ‘My Darling’.   Loyal listener, Penny Melville-Brown takes us on a European tour of her favourite crime fiction.   And we have a tribute to the recently departed actor and narrator Geoffrey Palmer.
Ahead of next week’s announcement of who has won The 2020 Booker Prize, Read On this week features interviews with all six of the short listed authors as they discuss the background to their novels and the material they explore.   Ranging from a re-examination of the role played by African women during Mussolini’s 1935 invasion of Ethiopia to a dystopian near future in which a group of people live as hunter gatherers in the last wilderness on Earth, the six novels in contention for the World’s most prestigious literary prize reveal some surprising facts about their books and show a common concern with examining how people behave under pressure.   And we finish up hearing from one of last year’s joint winners, Bernardine Evaristo, who shares the Books of Her Life.
Booker shortlisted author Maaza Mengiste takes us back to 1935 and introduces us to the African women who fought Mussolini's invasion of Ethiopia in 'The Shadow King'.    MJ Ford introduces us to his dark new crime thriller 'Watch Over You'.   And Brandon Taylor reveals how his Booker shortlisted debut 'Real Life' had to be saved from the trash!
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