The warmth of a book | Slightly Foxed podcast reviewed

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‘In The Slightly Foxed Podcast, we’re treated not only to recommendations for unusual books, but also must-visit bookstores, museums and libraries. For bibliophiles, there’s no greater joy than being in the company of people who will endlessly talk books . . .

Gail, Hazel, Stephanie and host Philippa chat with a guest or two about themes ranging from crime fiction to the classics, dwelling on forgotten and overlooked books and their histories. Their deep knowledge of the literary landscape (granted, all English language and largely Western) lead to some fascinating revelations — for instance, that siblings Charles and Mary Lamb were united by their tragic family history of matricide (Ep 24), or that Evelyn Waugh wrote several bad cheques to the Ritz Hotel. It’s not all literary gossip — they deal with that with quiet humour and empathy — but also thoughtful meanders that give us a new way to think about genre fiction.

One of my favourite episodes, Picnic at Hanging Rock & Other Stories (Ep 32), talks us through generations of boarding school stories (from Enid Blyton to Donna Tartt) while also situating them against the notions of empire, colonialism, and class . . .

It’s homey, yet rich with information and insight.’ Usha Raman, The Hindu

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