Podcast

The Waterstones Podcast - Meetings

Posted on 23rd October 2019 by Mark Skinner

Your chance to hear authors going beyond the book to talk about the themes and ideas that obsess us all.


Meetings

Malcolm Gladwell brings fascinating anecdotes and insight to why humans are so bad at reading each other on first meeting, drawing on events that end in tragedy, wrongful conviction or compromised security. We also look at another meaning to meeting entirely, that between author and character. Sally Rooney talks about the absurdity of ascribing real psychology to figments of her imagination, people who may not exist and yet whom she feels she knows intimately. Arundhati Roy takes things even further by revealing the unique relationship she has with the characters she creates and the way in which they influence decisions about the books they inhabit.

Featured on this week's podcast

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The acclaimed Malcolm Gladwell returns with a fascinating and, at times, alarming analysis of how we read the behaviours and motives of those people we don’t know. Collecting enlightening and apposite examples from across different disciplines and historical eras, Talking to Strangers is a life-changing account of the dangers and dilemmas of approaching the unknown.
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Capturing the zeitgeist with all the skill and subtlety of her debut, Conversations with Friends, Sally Rooney’s Normal People is both a study of how one person can irrevocably shape another, and a profound examination of love, power and influence.
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An interwoven portrait of contemporary India - ambitious, exuberant and unforgettable - is dazzlingly conveyed through Roy’s stellar prose and deft, ingenious characterisation.
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A dazzlingly original method of capturing a world on the brink of a seismic social, political and cultural shift, 1913 tells the story of the year through tantalising fragments of biography. Featuring a eclectic cast of characters that includes Charlie Chaplin, Louis Armstrong and Marcel Proust, Illies’s masterful history possesses an intoxicating internal rhythm and intense poignancy.
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Wildly funny and deeply disturbing – frequently at the same time – Ronson’s descent into the madness and terror of psychopathy throws up some uncomfortable truths about the way the world is run. Brimming with the author’s dogged investigative work and piercing insight, The Psychopath Test is a blistering account that asks compelling questions about how we quantify insanity.
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A stunningly evocative love letter both to the hip clientele of late 60s New York and to Smith’s lifelong friend, the controversial artist Robert Mapplethorpe. Beautifully written, tender and atmospheric, Just Kids has become something of a modern classic.
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