Shelf Help Podcast
When I was a child, I believed that books could look after you. I guess I still do.
Books, sometimes a single book, can be the making of you.
As my favourite conversation in the world starts with me asking this question, I decided to track down six of my most loved authors to find out which book it was and why.
Episode 1: Jojo Moyes
Growing up in Hackney in an "unhorsey" family, Jojo earned money from cleaning jobs, bought her first horse without telling her parents and created her own dream world, weaving in and out of traffic on horseback. In this first episode of Shelf Help to talks to Kate Weinberg about how much she identified with Velvet Brown, the protagonist of "National Velvet", and how the unlikely story of a butcher's daughter's passion and determination to win the Grand National inspired a lifetime of determination and "slightly ill-advised persistence", which included years of glass ceilings and rejected manuscripts before the life-changing success of "Me Before You".
Episode 2: Kiley Reid
Kiley Reid, debut author of the runaway bestseller 'Such a Fun Age' talks to Kate Weinberg about how watching "The Flick" by Annie Baker when she was a 26 year old receptionist informed her writing, and illuminated the themes that matter to her the most, in life as well her work. She also talks about whether she feels like a grown up, awkward pauses, reactions to being a black receptionist, and where she stands on trusting people.
Episode 3: Kate Mosse
Author Kate Mosse talks to Kate Weinberg about how "Wuthering Heights" by Emily Bronte was the one book that shaped her the most - in her life, and in her writing.
Episode 4: Louise Doughty
Louise Doughty, best-selling and award winning novelist of nine books, including the televised "Apple Tree Yard" and most recently "Platform Seven" talks to author Kate Weinberg about how Toni Morrison's epic slavery novel "Beloved" shaped her as a writer and a person. She also talks about the late discovery of a family secret, her Romany roots, running away as a child, the heartbreak of mother love, how coercively controlling men disguise themselves as the most romantic, and how she has changed her views on love and happiness.
Episode 5: Sara Collins
Sara Collins, author of the Costa Award winning "The Confessions of Frannie Langton" talks to host and writer Kate Weinberg about "Bridget Jones's Diary", where she stands on the Marriage Plot, Rom-coms, feminism, Austen vs Bronte, the dearth of shaggable politicians, and why a funny book can be so important.
Episode 6: Nicola Rayner
Nicola Rayner, author of thrillers "The Girl Before You" and "You and Me" talks to Kate Weinberg about "Rebecca", Daphne du Maurier's legendary novel of suspense and jealousy. From the famous first line, Nicola reflects on how the themes of anxiety, rivalry, low self-esteem and glamorous older men have weaved through her own life and why she now feels more liberated than haunted by the paranoia of the second Mrs de Winter.