Radio 2 Book Club arrives on The Zoe Ball Breakfast Show

Zoe Ball revealed to her listeners today that the new home of The Radio 2 Book Club will be The Zoe Ball Breakfast Show!

The Radio 2 Book Club will feature a wide range of titles and authors, recommending great reads from both new and much-loved writers, encouraging listeners to perhaps try out a genre they might not have read before, and share their opinions and insights on the titles and great reads they’re enjoying right now.

As well as being featured on Zoe’s show, The Radio 2 Book Club will also be available as a weekly podcast on BBC Sounds with bitesize episodes of around 10-20 minutes. In the first episode, Zoe chats to some of the best fiction authors around to learn more about their latest novels, writing routines and literary loves; in the second, she speaks to a librarian to find out which books are flying off their library’s shelves at the moment; and in episode three, Zoe speaks to a Radio 2 listener book group to find out what reads they are currently enjoying.

The first title to be featured in The Radio 2 Book Club is Someone Else’s Shoes by JoJo Moyes, as revealed by Zoe in today’s Breakfast Show so listeners can get stuck in and share what they think about it via social media @bbcradio2 and emailing the show at [email protected], sending in their own short reviews of the book which might be read out on air!

Zoe Ball says: “The best escapism for me has always been to get lost in another world in a good book, where our imaginations are sparked, tested and tickled by ingenious authors on wild, winsome and often thoroughly emotional journeys. The Radio 2 Book Club has a top notch track record for recommending the best reads, and we’d love our listeners to share their thoughts and discoveries with us whether from a well-loved or exciting new author. I extend a very warm welcome to everyone to join us for The Radio 2 Book Club in its brand new home on my Breakfast Show and can’t wait to be the bookish ringmaster, bringing authors and listeners together to chat all things literary!”

Helen Thomas, Head of Radio 2, says: “As well as playing the best music from the past seven decades presented by the UK’s best loved presenters, Radio 2 is also to proud offer listeners so much more, from specialist music seasons to documentaries on the worlds of film and theatre, so I’m thrilled to be starting this new chapter of The Radio 2 Book Club with the accompanying podcast on BBC Sounds. I look forward to celebrating the joy of reading with Zoe and her listeners, who I hope will enjoy getting stuck into all sorts of books and discovering new authors, many of whom could be the next big thing in publishing!”

JoJo Moyes says: “I’m thrilled that Someone Else’s Shoes has been chosen to be part of The Radio 2 Book Club. I can’t wait to chat to Zoe about the novel, and for the Radio 2 listeners to meet my latest characters, Nisha and Sam!”

As well as JoJo Moyes’ book, the next three titles to be featured in The Radio 2 Book Club were also announced today:

The Silence Project by Carole Hailey: A debut novel which asks what it would be like to be the daughter of a woman who started a cult that changed the world.

Carole Hailey says: “I’m delighted that The Silence Project has been chosen for The Radio 2 Book Club. I spent so long writing this book, not knowing if anyone other than my friends and family would even read it, so to know that it will be discussed on the biggest (and best!) breakfast show in the UK is the most fantastic feeling.”

Other Women by Emma Flint: The new novel from Emma Flint is a devastating story of fantasy, obsession and the lengths we will go to in order to save the ones we love.

Emma Flint says: “I am absolutely over the moon that Other Women has been chosen for The Radio 2 Book Club. This kind of support is invaluable to authors. I can’t wait to take the novel out into the world and hear what readers think.”

The Bandit Queens by Parini Shroff: A debut novel in which a young Indian woman finds the false rumours that she killed her husband surprisingly useful, until other women start asking her to get rid of their own.

Parini Shroff says: “I am honoured that my debut novel, The Bandit Queens, has been selected for the Radio 2 Book Club, which is such an invaluable platform for new and established voices, alike!”

The Radio 2 Book Club has been running since 2010, championing new novels and giving a platform to debut authors who will become future literary stars. Previous Radio 2 Book Club titles include The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman, The Doll Factory by Elizabeth Macneal, I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes, Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas, The Cut by Chris Brookmyre, Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett, Us by David Nicholls, The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman, Bone Clocks by David Mitchell, Elizabeth Is Missing by Emma Healey, Tomorrow And Tomorrow And Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin, Lessons In Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus and Apples Never Fall by Lianne Moriarty.

The Radio 2 Book Club first launched on Radio 2’s Drivetime show (5-7pm), before moving onto Jo Whiley’s show(7-9pm) and then to Steve Wright (2-5pm) to ensure different sections of the Radio 2 audience could hear it. Now it’s found a new home in The Zoe Ball Breakfast Show.

The Radio 2 Book Club is supported by The Reading Agency who oversee the submissions and send the books to librarians across the country to read and give their feedback on. This leads to the creation of a shortlist, from which Radio 2 then selects the titles to feature.

About the authors

Jojo Moyes is a novelist and journalist. Her books include the bestsellers Me Before You, After You and Still Me, The Girl You Left Behind, The One Plus One and her short story collection, Paris for One and Other Stories. Her novels have been translated into forty-six languages, have hit the number one spot in twelve countries and have sold over thirty-eight million copies worldwide. Jojo lives in Essex.

Carole Hailey completed the six-month Guardian/UEA novel writing course taught by Bernardine Evaristo, who inspired her to pursue a MA in Creative Writing at Goldsmiths, followed by a PhD in Creative Writing at Swansea University. Carole was a London Library Emerging Writer 2020/21. Her debut novel, The Silence Project, was shortlisted for the Bridport Prize Peggy Chapman-Andrews First Novel Award 2020.

Emma Flint grew up in Newcastle upon Tyne, and graduated from the University of St. Andrews with an MA in English Language and Literature, later completing a novel-writing course at the Faber Academy. She worked in Edinburgh for four years and now lives in North London. Her debut novel, Little Deaths, was longlisted for the Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction.

Parini Shroff received her MFA from the University of Texas at Austin where she studied under Elizabeth McCracken, Alexander Chee and Cristina García. She is a practicing attorney and currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Bandit Queens is her debut novel.

Forthcoming highlights on Radio 2 include:

  • A two-part documentary, Happy Birthday Tony Blackburn: 80 Poptastic Years, marking Tony’s 80th birthday and presented by Dermot O’Leary (Saturday 28th January & Saturday 5th February), with the accompanying Tony Blackburn: Your Soul Mate Playlist available on BBC Sounds.
  • Mica’s Gospel Gold returning with a four-part series (from Sunday 5th February).
    Owain Wyn Evans launching the new Early Breakfast Show on Monday 13th February (Monday to Friday, 4-6.30am), presenting live each day from BBC Cymru Wales broadcast centre in Cardiff.
  • The Showstopper, presented by actor Jonathan Bailey, looking at the devastating impact and heartbreak that HIV had on the theatre communities on Broadway and the West End in the 1980s, but also telling how this community supported those affected with the theatre world becoming a voice of awareness and suppressing fear (to be broadcast in March).
  • The newly-written songs created for Radio 2’s 21st Century Folk and James Morrison’s Top Brass series are all available on BBC Sounds, and the Radio 2 Piano Room month sees an abundance of world famous, award-winning artists each perform exclusively with the BBC Concert Orchestra from Monday 30 January to Friday 24 February 2023 – hear all the performances on Radio 2 and BBC Sounds and watch the performances on BBC iPlayer.
The Reading Agency

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