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Books

The Penguin Podcast

Updated 6 days ago

Arts
Society & Culture
Books
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Conversations with some our of leading authors and creative thinkers, as we seek to understand how they write and where their ideas come from. Guests bring to the interview a handful of objects that have inspired their work. #PenguinPodcast

Read more

Conversations with some our of leading authors and creative thinkers, as we seek to understand how they write and where their ideas come from. Guests bring to the interview a handful of objects that have inspired their work. #PenguinPodcast

iTunes Ratings

60 Ratings
Average Ratings
28
12
4
10
6

Brilliant!

By MemYesThatsRightMem - Nov 22 2019
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Love the podcast but the Suggs episode was just so excellent - great stuff!!

Bravo!!!!!!!!

By jeremysanders100 - Jul 31 2010
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Excellent Podcast. Wish there were more.

iTunes Ratings

60 Ratings
Average Ratings
28
12
4
10
6

Brilliant!

By MemYesThatsRightMem - Nov 22 2019
Read more
Love the podcast but the Suggs episode was just so excellent - great stuff!!

Bravo!!!!!!!!

By jeremysanders100 - Jul 31 2010
Read more
Excellent Podcast. Wish there were more.
Cover image of The Penguin Podcast

The Penguin Podcast

Latest release on Feb 12, 2020

The Best Episodes Ranked Using User Listens

Updated by OwlTail 6 days ago

Rank #1: Bill Bryson with Richard E. Grant – Live

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Bill Bryson discusses The Road to Little Dribbling, his follow up to Notes From A Small Island. To tell the story of his journey Bill brings along his passport, a walking stick, a cow, Stonehenge and an ordnance survey map. Recorded with Richard E. Grant in front of a live audience at the Cambridge Corn Exchange.

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Oct 27 2015

1hr

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Rank #2: Zadie Smith with David Baddiel

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Zadie Smith joins David Baddiel in the Penguin studio to talk about her latest novel, Swing Time. Zadie brings along objects including a carved wooden head, a sequinned glove and a book on Fred Astaire as she talks dancing, motherhood and the importance of knowing your roots. #PenguinPodcast For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Nov 30 2016

47mins

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Rank #3: Alain de Botton with Richard E. Grant

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Writer and philosopher Alain de Botton joins Richard E. Grant in the Penguin studio to talk about his latest novel, The Course of Love. Alain brings along a number of objects that shaped his book, including his copy of Virginia Woolf’s essay The Docks of London and a recording of Bach’s Mass in B Minor, as he explains why he decided to turn his attention to what happens after happily ever after. Crushes and sulks come under Alain’s philosophical microscope as he explains why love is more dangerous than a nuclear power station and advocates schools for relationships. #PenguinPodcast For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Apr 27 2016

44mins

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Rank #4: Deborah Levy with David Baddiel

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Playwright, novelist, poet and author Deborah Levy joins David Baddiel in the Penguin studio to talk about her critically acclaimed novel ‘Hot Milk’, which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2016. Deborah has written 6 novels including ‘Swimming Home’ (another Man Booker finalist), has written extensively for the BBC and her work has been staged by the Royal Shakespeare Company. She tells David about her upcoming autobiography ‘The Cost of Living’ and brings along objects that have inspired her work, including a sketch given to her by the artist Rose Blake and a skein of bright blue thread. #PenguinPodcast

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Mar 09 2018

43mins

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Rank #5: Eoin Colfer with Paul Smith

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Author of the award winning 'Artemis Fowl’, Eoin Colfer, joins Maxïmo Park frontman, Paul Smith, in the Penguin studio. Eoin talks about his book ‘And Another Thing’, the sixth instalment of the 'Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ (commissioned by the Douglas Adams Estate), which has recently been made into a drama for BBC Radio 4 starring the original cast - 40 years after the first comedy series aired. Eoin chooses objects that inspired his writing include a shabby red-checked dressing gown and some David Bowie and Kate Bush cassette tapes. #PenguinPodcast 

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Apr 04 2018

36mins

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Rank #6: Philip Pullman LIVE with Sophie Dahl

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‘His Dark Materials’ author Philip Pullman, talks to Sophie Dahl live from the Sheldonian Theatre in Oxford. Philip has a new novel in The Book of Dust trilogy entitled ‘The Secret Commonwealth’, which continues the story of his protagonist Lyra, now aged 20. Philip brings objects that have inspired him including a ‘real’ alethiometer and he also reads an extract from his new book #PenguinPodcast

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Nov 05 2019

33mins

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Rank #7: Pat Barker with Katy Brand

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Pat Barker, bestselling author of the Regeneration trilogy and Booker Prize winner talks to Katy Brand about her latest book ‘Silence of the Girls’ based on the Trojan wars. Pat also brings in objects to the Penguin studio that have inspired her including a copy of Homer’s Iliad, a bronze age loom weight and a pile of dad rats (luckily just a photo). #PenguinPodcast

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Dec 05 2018

25mins

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Rank #8: Elvis Costello with Richard E. Grant

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Elvis Costello brings his first guitar, musical mementoes from his Dad and a referee’s whistle to the Penguin Studio as he talks about his memoir ‘Unfaithful Music and Disappearing Ink’. Some of the topics of conversation include his many and varied musical collaborations; the importance of being able to perform live; the art of the lyricist and how his mother had an argument about a record player with Orson Welles.
#PenguinPodcast
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Nov 17 2015

40mins

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Rank #9: Michael Morpurgo with Katy Brand

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Michael Morpurgo has written a new version of ‘The Snowman’ inspired by the original story by Raymond Briggs which is now 40 years old. The author of 130 books including War Horse, Michael tells Katy why Christmas is so special. If you’re not feeling festive this will definitely get you in the mood with Michael’s special objects including a family Santa Claus decoration with an amazing history. #PenguinPodcast

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Dec 21 2018

29mins

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Rank #10: Ian McEwan with Katy Brand

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Booker prize-winning author Ian McEwan visits the Penguin studio to talk about his new novel ‘Machines Like Me’ - set in an alternatives 1980’s in which synthetic humans are on sale. Ian and Katy talk about the ethics of AI, why drinking wine on the top of a mountain is good for your health and how being an A list Hollywood screenwriter can be ‘the ruin of many an English novelist’. Ian’s objects of inspiration include steel drinking cups and a drawing of a squirrel’s skull. #PenguinPodcast

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Apr 24 2019

28mins

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Rank #11: Nigella Lawson with Katy Brand

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Nigella talks about her first cookbook ‘How To Eat’, which is 20 years old and has now been made into an audiobook. She tells Katy why she thought this would the only book about food she would write, why some of her ideas have changed since writing and what her rider is when working abroad. Nigella beings in some objects that inspire her including a tea caddy and a photograph of her kitchen table. 

#PenguinPodcast

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Jun 19 2019

33mins

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Rank #12: Elif Shafak with Nihal Arthanayake

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Bestselling Turkish-British author Elif Shafak, chats to Nihal about the brilliant idea behind her new novel ’10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World’ (10:38 is the period of time a brain can still be active after death). Elif, who has also received standing ovations at Ted Talks and is an academic and journalist, explains how she finds it impossible to write without noise and brings with her objects that inspire her work including a pair of headphones and a wooden statue of Don Quixote.     

#PenguinPodcast

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Jun 05 2019

31mins

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Rank #13: Jacqueline Wilson with Katy Brand

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Jacqueline Wilson has a new Tracey Beaker book: ‘We Are the Beaker Girls’. The former children’s laureate, who has sold over 40 million books, talks to Katy Brand about how she gets inspired, bringing objects into the studio that help her create including a pair of swimming goggles and a trains timetable. #PenguinPodcast

 

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Oct 23 2019

36mins

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Rank #14: Alexandra Shulman with Richard E. Grant

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Vogue editor-in-chief Alexandra Shulman joins Richard E. Grant in the Penguin Studio to talk about her book Inside Vogue: A Diary of My 100th Year, which documents the style bible’s centenary celebrations. Alexandra talks about her own twenty four years at the helm of British Vogue, reveals how she managed to pull off a royal cover coup featuring the Duchess of Cambridge, and considers the impact of Brexit on the fashion industry. She brings along a number of objects that influenced Inside Vogue, including her watch, a (very large) suitcase, and her coffee maker as she calculates how many cups of coffee it takes to power one issue of the magazine. #PenguinPodcast For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Nov 02 2016

37mins

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Rank #15: John Finnemore with Richard E. Grant

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Comedian John Finnemore joins Richard E. Grant in the Penguin studio to talk about his award-winning shows Cabin Pressure, Double Acts and John Finnemore’s Souvenir Programme. Renowned for his wordplay, John admits that writing doesn’t always come easily and confesses that he has a “heart-breaking” ability to procrastinate (often with tinfoil). John brings along a number of objects that have influenced his career, including his father’s airline hat and his bicycle, and observes how Benedict Cumberbatch single-handedly changed the demographic of Radio 4. #PenguinPodcast For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Jun 15 2016

37mins

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Rank #16: Tom Fletcher with Konnie Huq

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Singer-songwriter turned children’s author Tom Fletcher joins Konnie Huq in the Penguin studio to talk about his first novel The Christmasaurus. Tom discusses his lifelong obsession with Christmas and dinosaurs, and brings along a selection of objects including his miniature Christmas tree, which sits on his bedside table throughout the year, and his trusty red coffee mug. He reveals what Christmas was like in the McFly band house, and explains why writing books is a dream come true for him. #PenguinPodcast For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Dec 26 2016

35mins

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Rank #17: Simon Amstell with Katy Brand

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Simon Amstell - comedian, presenter, director and writer talks to Katy Brand about his new book ‘Help’, a memoir interspersed with sections of his stand-up gigs. Simon brings with him objects that have helped him to write and create (including post-it notes and a voice recorder) and explains why people told him to stop being funny, and how taking Ayahuasca in the Amazon rainforest helped cure his depression. #PenguinPodcast

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Feb 27 2019

30mins

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Rank #18: Irvine Welsh with Richard E. Grant

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Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh joins Richard E. Grant down the line from Chicago to talk about bringing back the incendiary Francis Begbie in his latest novel The Blade Artist. Irvine talks about a number of objects that shaped and inspired the novel, including a copy of The Big Issue and a pair of white gym socks. Irvine muses on how art can transform lives, talks about writing ultra-violence and explains the difference between a psychopath and a sociopath (sociopaths go into banking or politics). #PenguinPodcast For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

May 25 2016

37mins

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Rank #19: James Oswald with Konnie Huq

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James Oswald joins Konnie Huq in the Penguin studio to talk about the latest book in his Detective Inspector Tony McLean mystery series, The Damage Done. James brings along a number of objects that helped shape the series, including his walking boots, his notebook and a picture of his tractor as he explains how he combines writing with running a farm, and why you shouldn’t get on the wrong side of a crime writer. #PenguinPodcast For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Dec 14 2016

42mins

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Rank #20: Jeff Kinney with Konnie Huq

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Jeff Kinney, author of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books, joins Konnie Huq in the Penguin studio to talk about his latest in the series: The Getaway. Jeff’s books have sold more than 194 million copies, they’ve inspired four feature films and he’s been named as one of Time Magazine’s Most Influential People in the World. Jeff brings in some objects to the studio that have inspired his writing including: An Uncle Scrooge Comic, a boom box and an airplane sickness bag. #PenguinPodcast

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Dec 27 2017

41mins

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