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Episode 15: Reading Resolutions

As we turn the page to a new decade, we’ve made some New Year resolutions. John Mitchinson and Andy Miller of Backlisted Podcast join the Slightly Foxed Editors to bring new life to old books, leading us off the beaten track with wide-ranging reading recommendations. From Frank O’Connor’s letters, Selina Hastings’s lives and Barbara Tuchman’s histories to the poetry of John Berryman, Gayl Jones’s Corregidora and Jeanette Winterson’s Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, they journey through genres to revive literary curiosity. And in this month’s reading from the magazine’s archives, Richard Platt makes a convincing case for The Quincunx by Charles Palliser, falling under its curse of sleepless nights.  

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Show Notes

Please find links to books, articles, and further reading listed below. The digits in brackets following each listing refer to the minute and second they are mentioned. (Episode duration: 38 minutes; 49 seconds)

Books Mentioned

We may be able to get hold of second-hand copies of the out-of-print titles listed below. Please get in touch with Anna in the Slightly Foxed office for more information.

To War with Whitaker, Hermione, Countess of Ranfurly. Slightly Foxed Edition No. 50, published 1 March 2020 (1:21)

The Year of Reading Dangerously, Andy Miller (3:32)

A Distant Mirror, Barbara Tuchman (6:05)

Who Dares Wins: Britain, 1979-1982 and The Great British Dream Factory, Dominic Sandbrook (8:08)

Corregidora, Gayl Jones (9:33)

Independence Day, Richard Ford (12:28)

– The Happiness of Getting it Down Right: Letters of Frank O’Connor and William Maxwell is out of print (14:12)

A Tale of Love and Darkness, Amos Oz (16:34)

Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? and Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, Jeanette Winterson (18:45)

– Selina Hastings has written biographies of Somerset Maugham, Nancy Mitford, Evelyn Waugh and Rosamond Lehmann (22:43)

– 77 Dream Songs, John Berryman is out of print (25:32)

Diving into the Wreck, Adrienne Rich (27:45)

The Quincunx, Charles Palliser (32:08)

Related Slightly Foxed Articles

A World of Words, Annabel Walker on Amos Oz, A Tale of Love and Darkness in Issue 37 (16:34)

Grave Expectations, Richard Platt on Charles Palliser, The Quincunx in Issue 60 (32:08)

Other Links

– The Slightly Foxed mug (now sold out) displayed the quote: ‘Charles Lamb once told Coleridge he was especially fond of books containing traces of buttered muffins.’ Please do get in touch with suggestions for a quote (up to 20 words) for a forthcoming mug design: [email protected] (2:21)

Backlisted, the literary podcast giving new life to old books, presented by John Mitchinson and Andy Miller (3:22)

Opening music: Preludio from Violin Partita No.3 in E Major by Bach
Reading music: Songs Without Words – No.12 in F Sharp Minor, Op.30 by Felix Mendelssohn

The Slightly Foxed Podcast is hosted by Philippa Lamb and produced by Podcastable

Comments & Reviews

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  1. Rosalind Pearson says:

    I enjoy every one of your podcasts so much. They are sources of inspiration and learning, they tell you about books you’ve never heard of but want to read, they just make you feel that you’re in the house with the team, with the dogs, and they’re your friends. Just need a glass of wine and that would be it! Thank you to all for such wonderful literary insights.

  2. Wilma says:

    I loved this podcast. I had read three of the books and to hear the ideas and comments of the podcasters was almost as good as going to book club! Thank you again Slightly Foxed for bringing me such joy!

  3. Karen McBride says:

    Fascinating and stimulating, as always! I keep adding to my must-read lists, thanks to your introductions. In ordinary times, I rarely listen to podcasts — preferring to read. But in these coronavirus-quiet times, the podcasts have proven to be a huge treat. Thank you so much!

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