I’ve been reading again (at the moment it’s Hans Fallada’s ‘Alone in Berlin’) and listening to lots of great podcasts about books. On the way in to work this morning, I was listening to Mariella Frostrup discuss Lionel Shriver’s new novel with that author. Later on in the piece they mentioned a book called ‘Reading Like a Writer‘, which I’d like to add to my reading list (See the picture). In the podcast the author Francine Prose (she was always going to be a writer, with a name like that) said that the success of her book was not only great news for her, but is a great antedote for people worried about a lack of literary culture in our world. It struck me that this is right – but that there’s other evidence too – not the least being the BBC books podcast that I was listening too, and the flowering of other podcasts to do with books. I’ve been listening a lot to the amazing Guardian Books podcast. Two episodes in particular have been really interesting and informative. The first was on the British landscape, covering a British LIbrary exhibition on that topic. The second was on Utopias and Dystopias, which was excellent – but also gave a real idea of the fun of writing novels – a sense of why people might actually do it, which I think is sometimes missing from literary discussion.