Mar 22, 2024

The latest edition of The Thursday Book Club was broadcast on 21st March 2024 at 2pm on Phonic FM. Joining host Jonathan Posner was Angie Wooldridge and Richard Handy. Click the names to find out more about them, and use the audio bar below to listen to the full show.


There was also an impromptu discussion between Richard and Angie on Richard’s writing, while a technical hitch was being sorted. This has been edited out of the ‘listen again’ version above, but if you would like to listen to this interesting discussion again, use the audio bar below.


The book we reviewed was:


Jonathan interviewed publisher Oliver Tooley of Blue Poppy Publishing.

There was also a discussion on:
Is there a ‘right’ way to introduce a new character in a book?

In the News section, we announced 16 new books by local authors:

  1. The Ship Sailed On by Valerie Lawson. When the ship sails on, death follows in its wake. Launch day is 5th April, with a launch event and signing 6pm 5th April, Port Royal on the Quay.
  2. The Day The Earth Turned (Book 4) by Chantelle Atkins – final book in a YA post-apocalyptic series on 22nd March. The adults are all dead. Society has collapsed. As Mother Nature pursues her latest cull, the children of Heron Village are hanging on by a thread.
  3. Coombesford Calendar 3 by Elizabeth Ducie comes out towards the end of April. A year of stories from an English village…
  4. Return to Xanthos – this is a debut novel by John McKenna. A romance, with a twist, set on an idyllic Greek Island. Launches on 4th April.
  5. Sammy the Seal, writen by Naomi Cavender and illustrated by Pat Fricker comes out any day now. Available to order from Waterstones and independent bookshops but will not be available on Amazon. It’s a children’s picture book, the third one from this author and illustrator. It features a nervous seal who is afraid of the sea but is inspired to be brave by watching the RNLI lifeboat crews rescuing a canoeist.
  6. The Fair Folk by Su Bristow. Already out. A fascinating coming-of-age novel about magic and the choices that define future generations.
  7. Loose Ends – a debut novel by Ninete Hartley, available in print or paperback. A WW2 drama/romance.
  8. Murder at the Island Hotel by Helena Dixon. Launched earlier this month. A gorgeous island off the English coast, a beautiful hotel perched on the cliffs, a group of glamourous friends… and a suspicious death? Kity Underhay’s invitation didn’t mention murder! Book signing at First Draft in Bovey Tracey Tuesday March 26th, 11 to 12.
  9. Can I speak to Josephine please? by Sheila Brill was launched on Thursday 14th March. She’s a Bristol based author and this is her memoir and the story of her daughter’s life. Her daughter was born in May 1993 and, due to avoidable birth trauma, was profoundly disabled. She passed away in 2017. It’s an honest account which touches on the role of professionals and the dynamics of family. The foreword is writen by Miriam Margolyes.
  10. Liz Shakespeare’s seventh book The Ordeal of Miss Lucy Jones (set in Devon) is being launched at the Plough Arts Centre in Torrington on April 25th.
  11. Caroline Palmer’s The Time of the Cuckoo is a historical novel based mainly in East Devon and Dorset in AD367. A number of native tribes atempt to bring down what remains of the Roman Empire in Britain. Available from the St. Agnes Museum shop.
  12. There’s a launch event for Final Approach: My Father and Other Turbulence by Mark Blackburn at the Ilminster Emporium on March 28th. The book charts the turbulent flightpath between a jetsetting father and a planespotting son.
  13. Also coming out in April is Down the Combe and Into the Meadow: Reflections on Nature and Learning by David Selby. Although centred on Weston Combe on the Jurassic Coast, the book’s scope encompasses urgent nature issues at the national and global level. It will be available as hardcover and paperback.
  14. Bouncer’s Battle by Tony Rea is published by Sapere books. It is on pre-release now and is due out on 5 April. It’s a brand new fighter pilot adventure series starting in 1939, when a young recruit is thrown into the deep end.
  15. A Time to Live is a sweeping, heartrending historical fiction novel set in the 1st world war and after it in Devon, by Vanessa den Haan. This, her second book, launched in February.
  16. The Midnight Mechanic by Andy Brown launched earlier this month. It is set in a Dickensian underworld of Victorian London. It’s on Amazon, plus there’s a launch event at the Queen’s Building, University of Exeter on March 27th – 4pm to 5:30.

Blue Poppy Publishing have generously donated 10 books to be given away in a prize draw! To win this amazing prize, all you have to do is  answer the question below, and email your entry using this address.

QUESTION: In this month’s show, we reviewed Scandal in Babylon by Barbara Hambly. We named a number of real stars of 1924 Hollywood. Which is the only one of the three below that was named in our discussion?

  1. Charlie Chaplin
  2. Rudolph Valentino
  3. Buster Keaton

Simply send your answer, with your name and location (town/city), to this email address.

The prize books are:

  1. The Cream of Devon – an anthology of short stories
  2. The Sibling Sense by Donna Goold
  3. A Breath of Moonscent by Alan Boxall
  4. Wren’s Nest and Other Stories by Alan Boxall
  5. Mystery, Magic and Mayhem And a Sprig of Mistletoe, edited by P. Kaye Palmer
  6. Exmoor Tales – Spring by Ellie Keepers
  7. Exmoor Tales – Summer by Ellie Keepers
  8. Exmoor Tales – Autumn by Ellie Keepers
  9. Exmoor Tales – Winter by Ellie Keepers
  10. Mrs. Slocombe’s Bull at a Gate Cookbook
  • The draw will be made from all correct entries received by midnight on 7th April 2024.
  • The prize is as stated – no cash equivalent.
  • Sorry – but if you are a volunteer at Phonic FM, or a guest on The Thursday Book Club, or close family of one of those – you can’t enter.
  • The name of the winner will be announced on the next show.

Good luck!

The next show will be on 18th April at 2pm UK time.