Archive | January, 2014

leningrad anna reid

On the siege of Leningrad

My guest in this podcast is Anna Reid, a historian of Russia and author of Leningrad: Tragedy of a City under Siege 1941-4, the first book in English to be devoted to the siege since 1969. The siege by the German army lasted 900 days and led to the deaths of three quarters of a […]

Continue Reading · 31 January 2014 · history and politics, podcasts
ruge fading light

German novelist Eugen Ruge on ‘In Times of Fading Light’

In Times of Fading Light is Eugen Ruge‘s debut novel, a bestseller in Germany, and the winner of the 2011 German Book prize, awarded to the best German-language novel of the year. A multi-generational story spanning well over half a century (and drawing to a certain extent on Ruge’s own family history), it charts the […]

Continue Reading · 26 January 2014 · historical fiction, literature, podcasts
mummy's curse cover

Excavating the mummy’s curse

Roger Luckhurst‘s 2012 book, The Mummy’s Curse, is much more than just an opportunity to revisit the familiar story of Howard Carter’s discovery of Tutankhamen’s tomb in the winter of 1922 and the death soon after of his patron Lord Carnarvon in circumstances ascribed to the eponymous curse. Roger’s real interest is in finding out […]

Continue Reading · 26 January 2014 · history and politics, podcasts, supernatural
paranormality

Paranormality: investigating the impossible with Richard Wiseman

My guest on this podcast is psychologist (and former magician) Richard Wiseman, who has long been interested in why people are fascinated by the paranormal – and willing to believe things for which there is not a shred of scientific evidence. The result of his interest is Paranormality, a book which lifts the lid on […]

Continue Reading · 25 January 2014 · podcasts, science and philosophy, supernatural
barely imagined beings

From imaginary beasts to barely imagined beings…

Caspar Henderson‘s 21st-century bestiary, The Book of Barely Imagined Beings, is one of the most imaginatively conceived and beautifully produced books I have come across in the past couple of years. In the introduction, Caspar describes how the book was inspired when he was on a riverside picnic – Alice-style – in Oxford a few […]

Continue Reading · 10 January 2014 · natural history, podcasts, science and philosophy