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Michele Hanson, Roger Highfield

30 minutes
First broadcast:
Tuesday 12 June 2012

Columnist and author Michele Hanson and Director of External Affairs at the Science Museum Group Roger Highfield discuss their favourite books with Harriett Gilbert.

Michele's choice reflects her love of eighteen century literature, telling the story of Matthew Bramble, a gout-ridden misanthrope who travels Britain with his nephew, niece, spinster sister and man-servant, the trusty Humphry Clinker after whom Tobias Smollett's book is named. Michele explains how her book club "...all hated it, but I think they have no taste."

Roger picks 'The Emperor of All Maladies' by Siddhartha Mukherjee, a lucid and eloquent chronicle of cancer which humans have lived with - and perished from - for more than five thousand years. Roger says the book: "Told stories that I knew very well, and told them in a brilliant gripping way."

Harriett's book is the second George Smiley novel in which he investigates the murder of a woman in a very particularly English public school. On le Carre, Harriett says he "...writes probably the best spy fiction that's ever been written."

Producer: Toby Field.

  • Michele Hanson

    Michele Hanson

    Credit: The Guardian

  • Roger Highfield

    Roger Highfield

    Credits: Julian Simmonds, Daily Telegraph; Science Museum

  • Books featured in the programme

    Michele Hanson's choice: 'Humphry Clinker' by Tobias Smollett
    Publ. Penguin Classics £9.99

    Roger Highfield's choice: 'The Emperor of All Maladies' by Siddhartha Mukherjee
    Publ. Fourth Estate £9.99

    Harriett Gilbert's choice: 'A Murder of Quality' by John le Carré
    Publ. Penguin Classics £5.99


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