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OPEN BOOK
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Sunday 16:00-16:30, repeated Thursday 16:00-16:30, except first Sunday in the month when it is replaced by Book Club.
Open Book spotlights new fiction and non-fiction, picks out the best of the paperbacks, talks to authors and publishers, and unearths lost masterpieces.
This week
Sunday 16th September 2007
Listen to this programme in full
The River Thames

Peter Ackroyd on writing about one of the world's most famous rivers in "Thames: Sacred River", why books about the Second World War are flying off the shelves, and how a box of old letters bought for £10 inspired an unusual piece of writing.

Peter Ackroyd: "Thames: Sacred River"

The best selling author of "London: The Biography" talks about his new book on the Thames, which tells the story of one of the world's most famous rivers from source to sea. It covers its history, landscape, flora and fauna and of course the extensive literature it has inspired.

Thames: Sacred River – Peter Ackroyd
Publisher: Chatto & Windus

London: The Biography – Peter Ackroyd
Publisher: Vintage

The Fall of Troy – Peter Ackroyd
Publisher: Vintage

Dickens – Peter Ackroyd
Publisher: Vintage

Shakespeare: The Biography – Peter Ackroyd
Publisher: Vintage

Hawskmoore – Peter Ackroyd
Publisher: Penguin

New Writing Ventures Awards 2007

Aspiring writer Suzanne Joinson was announced as this year's winner this week and she talks about the unusual inspiration which won her the award. It was a box of letters, documents and photographs that she bought from a stall in Deptford market for £10 belonging to Leila Ahmed and about whom Suzanne then wrote her story.

You can read Suzanne Joinson award winning piece, ‘Leila Ahmed’, please click here

Second World War

Books about the Second World War are the latest publishing phenomenon.
Open Book talks to two sons of World War Two authors about their father's books. Sir Crispin Tickell on Odette by Jerrard Tickell - the book is based on the account Odette gave him of her activities as a British agent in World War 2. And John Kenneally on "The Honour and The Shame", his father's own account of the heroic action that won him the VC in North Africa.
Military historian Sir Max Hastings considers why World War Two books are so popular at the moment and how writing about the Second World War has changed over the past 60 years.

Odette – Jerrard Tickell
Publisher: Headline Review

Boldness Be My Friend – Richard Pape
Publisher: Headline Review

The Honour and the Shame- John Kenneally
Publisher: Headline Review

Nemesis: The Battle for Japan, 1944-1945 - Max Hastings
Publisher: Harper Press

Armageddon: The Battle for Germany, 1944-1945 –Max Hastings
Publisher: Pan Books
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