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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
16 November 2008 and 20 November 2008
Listen to this programme in full
Shena Mackay

Shena Mackay on the art of the short story; why American reading habits are more high-minded than ours; and could books help beat the credit crunch?
Shena Mackay

Shena Mackay is perhaps best known for her novels Heligoland, shortlisted for the Orange prize five years ago, and her Booker-nominated The Orchard on Fire. But she's also been widely praised for her entertaining and often mordant short stories. She talks to Mariella about her new collection of stories, and why she finds embarrassment such a powerful fictional tool.

Shena Mackay: The Atmospheric Railway is published by Jonathan Cape.

Divided by a Common Language

This week's bestseller charts are dominated by celebrity memoirs by TV stars and musicians. But strangely, American readers seem to be immune to this craze, instead preferring books about politics and history. Mariella is joined by John Freeman and Joel Rickett to discuss why.

Can Books Beat the Stock Market?

Mariella talks to Richard Davies of the second-hand booksellers' website Abebooks.com to find out whether books could be a better long-term investment than stocks and shares.

The Reading Clinic

Diane Roberts offers advice to a listener who's enjoyed the novels of Willa Cather and would like more tales of American pioneer life.

Jane Smiley: A Thousand Acres
Publisher: Harper Perennial

James Fennimore Cooper: The Prairie
Publisher: State University New York Publishing

Lydia Maria Child: Hobomok
Publisher: Kessinger Publishing Co

Catherine Maria Sedgwick: Hope Leslie
Publisher: Kessinger Publishing Co

If you have a query for the Reading Clinic, why not send it to open.book@bbc.co.uk
E-mail Open Book with your queries or comments about the programme.

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