Book of the Week

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Book of the Week

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Giu 22, 2010, 6:05am

What happened to the 'Book of the Week' programme? Am I just clicking in the wrong place, or did it finish in May?

Giu 22, 2010, 6:10am

It's on hold while they do the British Museum programme ( A history of the world in 100 objects). They originally did 25 or 30 of those and then Book of the Week came back for a bit so I don't know if there'll be another break in the series.

Giu 22, 2010, 6:17am

That was quick! Thanks for the info, StringerTowers

Mar 23, 2013, 6:54pm

Comandante by Rory Carroll

Daily from 25th - 29th March 2013.
Read by Jack Klaff. Abridged by Pete Nichols. Biography of Hugo Chavez.

Mar 24, 2013, 3:56am

Thanks Si, it will be interesting to hear what Carroll makes of the Supreme Commander.

I'm just listening to Jared Diamond's The World until Yesterday which was last weeks BotW, and is still available (just). Diamond is always interesting, and his latest book has already caused a lot of controversy. Recommended!

Mar 29, 2013, 5:17pm

To judge from this R4 serialisation, Rory Carroll's Comandante is a remarkably well-informed and fairly balanced account of Hugo Chávez's extraordinary rule.

Maggio 6, 2013, 8:06am

This week it's Dave Goulson's A Sting in the Tale, a book about bumblebees - quite topical given the steep declines in the UK's bumblebee diversity and abundance, together with last week's EU ban on neonicotinoid pesticides (despite resistance from the UK gov). I was not expecting to learn very much, but today's first episode was a huge surprise and a real treat. Recommended! Available for 7 days at:-

Dave Goulson has always been obsessed with wildlife, from his childhood menagerie of exotic pets and dabbling in experimental taxidermy to his groundbreaking research into the mysterious ways of the bumblebee and his mission to protect our rarest bees.

Once commonly found in the marshes of Kent, the short-haired bumblebee now only exists in the wilds of New Zealand, the descendants of a few queen bees shipped over in the nineteenth century.
Dave Goulson shares exclusive research into these curious creatures, looks at history's relationship with the bumblebee and offers advice on how to protect it for all time.

We'll also hear about bumblebee sniffer dogs, how bees navigate their way home and why you should remember these tiny furry friends next time you pour ketchup on your fish and chips.

One of the UK's most respected conservationists and the founder of the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, Goulson combines Gerald Durrell-esque tales of a child's growing passion for nature with a deep insight into the crucial importance of the bumblebee.

He details the minutiae of life in their nests, sharing fascinating research into the effects intensive farming has had on our bee populations and on the potential dangers if we continue down this path.

Read by Tim McInnerny

Producer: Joanne Green
A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.

Ago 21, 2013, 1:53pm

Rodolfo Walsh's Operación Masacre is BBC R4 Book of the Week

Operation Massacre Episode 1 of 5

5 days left to listen

15 minutes

First broadcast:
Monday 19 August 2013

A Latin American true crime classic set in Argentina.

On the evening of the 9th June 1956 in an apartment in Buenos Aires, between twelve and fourteen men were arrested on suspicion of involvement in a rebellion against the Argentine government. A few hours later, the local police chief received orders to execute them. Almost all were innocent. In compelling prose, Rodolfo Walsh recreates the events of that night and its aftermath.

Pre-dating Capote's IN COLD BLOOD by over a decade, OPERATION MASSACRE (no touchstone) is regarded throughout Latin America as the original work of modern 'true crime.' This classic of reportage has been admired by writers a diverse as Jorge Luis Borges and Gabriel Garcia Marquez. It has just been translated into English for the first time.

Read by Nigel Anthony
Abridged and produced by Jane Marshall
A Jane Marshall production for BBC Radio 4.

Ott 10, 2013, 3:58am

Matthew Hollis's Now All Roads Lead to France is BBC R4 Book of the Week this week. I tried to read this when it first appeared in 2011, and did not get very far (despite my love for Thomas, Helen Thomas and Frost), but I'm enjoying this abridged version.

Matthew Hollis - Now All Roads Lead to France
1st episode here:

A compelling exploration of the making of one of Britain's most influential First World War poets - Edward Thomas, who is perhaps best-remembered for his poem 'Adlestrop'.

Matthew Hollis's new biography is an account of Thomas's final five years and of his momentous and mutually-inspiring friendship with the American poet, Robert Frost.

Although an accomplished prose-writer and literary critic, Edward Thomas only began writing poetry in 1914, at the age of 36. Before then, Thomas had been tormented by what he regarded as the banality of his work, by his struggle with depression and by his marriage.

But as his friendship with Frost blossomed, Thomas wrote poem after poem, and his emotional affliction began to lift. The two friends began to formulate poetic ideas that would produce some of the most remarkable verse of the twentieth century. But the First World War put an ocean between them: Frost returned to the safety of New England, while Thomas stayed to fight for the Old. It is these roads taken - and those not taken - that are at the heart of this remarkable book, which culminates in Thomas's tragic death on Easter Monday 1917.

Read by Tobias Menzies

Abridged by Richard Hamilton

Produced by Emma Harding

Now All Roads Lead to France is published by Faber and Faber.

Matthew Hollis is the author of a volume of poetry, Ground Water, which was shortlisted for the Whitbread Prize for Poetry, the Guardian First Book Award and the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. This is his first prose book.