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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
26 October 2008
Listen to this programme in full
Bernard Cornwell

Bernard Cornwell on his bestseller about Agincourt; seventy years of the Teach Yourself books; and Nevil Shute's chilling classic.
Bernard Cornwell

Mariella talks to the novelist Bernard Cornwell, whose latest book is a vivid retelling of the events leading up to the battle of Agincourt. He explains how growing up in a bizarre religious cult fostered a love of history, and reveals the surprising discovery he made when he finally met his natural mother late in life.

Bernard Cornwell: Azincourt is published by HarperCollins

Teach Yourself… at Seventy

In 1938 a new range of self-improvement books hit the market. The earliest titles included Teach Yourself Embroidery and Teach Yourself to Fly. Seventy years and hundreds of titles later the author of a new history of the series, Trevor Barnes, joins Mariella to look at how it charts the changing priorities of a nation.

Trevor Barnes: People with a Purpose is published by Teach Yourself Books.

On the Beach

Mariella talks to the Australian writer Gideon Haigh about Nevil Shute's masterpiece On the Beach. Published in 1957, it's a chilling portrait of the world a year after a major nuclear war has devastated the planet. Gideon explains what it can tell us, half a century on.

Nevil Shute: On the Beach is published by House of Stratus.
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