GYLibrary Podcast

The latest from the Guille-Allès Public Library in Guernsey. Interviews with authors and other book-related conversations. Find out more at
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GYLibrary Podcast





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Jun 8, 2019

"To boldly go where no one has gone before..."

Adam talks to historian and writer Duncan Barrett about his book Star Trek: The Human Frontier, which discusses what Star Trek in its many forms has to say about values, philosophy, and what it means to be human.

Amongst other things, Duncan explains why Star Trek is essentially Hornblower in space, and the surprising connection between Deep Space Nine and the Occupation of the Channel Islands.

May 28, 2019

At the 2019 Guernsey Literary Festival Adam spoke to Anne Allen, author of a series of books called The Guernsey Novels.

Anne describes her books as escapist, holiday reads - most feature romance, and mystery, and many have a historical angle. Her latest is The Inheritance, a dual time story featuring Victor Hugo.

In this interview Anne explains her connection to Guernsey, why she always wanted to write about Victor Hugo, and how her previous career as a psychotherapist influences her writing.

May 10, 2019

At the 2019 Guernsey Literary Festival, Adam talks to journalist and broadcaster Lucy Siegle about her book 'Turning the Tide on Plastic: How Humanity (And You) Can Make the Globe Clean Again'.

Lucy outlines some simple steps everyone can take to reduce their plastic footprint, ponders whether Guernsey could become a plastic free island, and explains why single use plastic is actually much less convenient than it seems.

Jul 11, 2018

Historian Duncan Barrett discusses his new book 'Hitler's British Isles', a new perspective on the occupied Channel Islands.

He talks about his interviews with islanders who lived through the Occupation, his surprise at the continued depth of emotion around the 'jerry-bag' phenomenon, and how he feels the Occupation was represented in 'The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society'.

Jun 14, 2018

Author of the wildly successful 'The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry', Rachel Joyce is one of the biggest names in contemporary British fiction.

Speaking at the 2018 Guernsey Literary Festival, she talks to us about the origins of Harold Fry, her new novel 'The Music Shop', her previous life as an actor, and the problem, for a writer, of doubt.

Jun 1, 2018

For his new book 'Islander', Guardian writer Patrick Barkham visited 11 small islands around Britain, from Rathlin to Barra to Alderney.

Speaking at the Guernsey Literary Festival, he tells us more about his adventures, the literary feud that inspired the journey, and what remains so unusual, and so special, about island life in the 21st Century.

May 24, 2018

Ruth Hogan's debut novel, 'The Keeper of Lost Things', was one of the bestselling books of 2017.

Speaking at the Guernsey Literary Festival, she tells us about her new novel 'The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes', the popular genre of Up Lit and why her books fit into it, and how a spell of ill health changed her life and got her writing.

May 3, 2018

Desmond Bagley was one of the most prominent thriller writers of the 1960s and 70s. He also had a strong connection to Guernsey, settling in the island towards the end of his life.

Ahead of his appearance at the Guernsey Literary Festival, literary researcher Philip Eastwood talks about the impact Bagley's work has had on his own life, and why he's so keen to keep bringing his novels to new audiences.

Apr 20, 2018

The movie adaptation of 'The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society' is out now in cinemas.

On this podcast the book's co-author Annie Barrows tells us what it was like seeing her beloved characters come to life, how she found her red carpet experience, and why she's more concerned about the reviews in Guernsey than anything else.

Dec 14, 2017

Guernsey girl Lara Dearman talks about her debut novel 'The Devil's Claw', set on the island she still thinks of as home.

She explains why she always wanted to set the book in Guernsey, why the island makes the perfect location for a crime novel, and how difficult it was to explain 'euchre' and 'gâche' to her editor...

Nov 17, 2017

Adam talks to Stephen Foster, author of the new book 'Zoffany's Daughter: Love and Treachery on a Small Island'.

The book details a forgotten episode in Guernsey's history, an 1825 incident that became one of Britain's first ever child custody battles, finally ending in a dramatic showdown in a packed Royal Court.

Stephen explains how he came across the story, why he finds it so fascinating, and what this seemingly minor incident can tell us about history and the writing of history.

Oct 14, 2017

With books including Henry Tumour and The Knife That Killed Me, Anthony McGowan is one of the UK's leading authors of Young Adult fiction.

Speaking at the Guernsey Literary Festival, he explains how writing for teenagers differs from writing for adults, why so many people underestimate what teenagers can handle in the books they read, and the surprising link between writing and cricket.

Oct 7, 2017

Storyteller Alec Williams has a mission - to get more children reading. Here he discusses the power of stories and the magic of reading, and gives advice to parents on how to bring stories to life.

Jul 27, 2017

Adam talks to David Bellos, Professor of French Literature at Princeton, about his new book 'The Novel of the Century: The Extraordinary Adventure of Les Miserables'.

Speaking at the Guernsey Literary Festival, David explains how Victor Hugo came to write his most famous work, what kind of reception it got at the time, and why he wouldn't want to live in Hugo's house in Guernsey.

Jul 1, 2017

Adam talks to writer, broadcaster and all-round science guy Simon Singh.

Speaking at the Guernsey Literary Festival, Simon discusses his book 'The Code Book', and in particular the history of the Enigma machine, which the Germans used to encrypt their communications during World War II, and which was famously broken by Alan Turing and co at Bletchley Park.

How did Enigma work? How was it broken? And why did the story remain secret for decades?

Jun 3, 2017

Adam talks to historian, polar guide, and proud Guernseyman Huw Lewis-Jones.

Speaking at the Guernsey Literary Festival, Huw discusses growing up in Guernsey, his life as a 'part-time explorer', and his latest work 'Explorers' Sketchbooks', bringing to life the experiences of explorers like Edmund Hillary, Charles Darwin, and Apollo astronaut Alan Bean.

May 30, 2017

Adam talks to novelist Clare Mackintosh, author of monster hits 'I Let You Go' and 'I See You'.

Speaking at the Guernsey Literary Festival, Clare discusses her previous career in the police force and how it affects her writing, how the success of 'I Let You Go' changed her life, and the lengths she had to go to in order to avoid the dreaded 'second book syndrome'.

May 23, 2017

Adam talks to illustrator Chris Riddell, the UK's Children's Laureate.


Speaking at the Guernsey Literary Festival, he discusses the power of libraries, the joy of drawing, and the fun he has on social media.

May 11, 2017

Elizabeth Chadwick is the bestselling author of more than twenty historical novels, including a recent trilogy about Eleanor of Aquitaine, 12th-century queen of France and England.

Speaking at the Alderney Literary Festival, Elizabeth told us about Eleanor's extraordinary story, how she brings the past to life through re-enactments, and why she's so drawn to the medieval period in her writing.

Apr 26, 2017

Adam talks to Festival Director Claire Allen about the upcoming Guernsey Literary Festival. What's in store this year? And what's it like organising a big literary event on a small Channel Island?

Apr 19, 2017

Anna Mazzola's acclaimed debut novel, 'The Unseeing', focuses on a real murder case in London in 1837. Sarah Gale, sentenced to death for her role in the murder of Hannah Brown, protests her innocence - so why does she refuse to say what really happened?

Speaking at the Alderney Literary Festival, Anna tells us why she became fascinated with the case, why writing about real historical figures is tricky, and why she thinks we make entertainment out of murder in the first place.

Apr 5, 2017

Speaking at the Alderney Literary Festival, historian Anne Sebba discusses her new book, 'Les Parisiennes', about the experience of Parisian women during the Nazi Occupation, and explains why the Occupation of the Channel Islands provides an interesting contrast to that story.

She then discusses her book 'That Woman' on Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor. Eighty years after the Abdication Crisis, Wallis remains a deeply controversial figure - is it time to re-examine her legacy?

Feb 28, 2017

Adam talks to Wynter Tyson, film critic for BBC Radio Guernsey, about film adaptations of books. From Harry Potter to Lord of the Rings, One Day to The Girl on the Train - what are the challenges moving from the page to the screen?

Dec 2, 2016

Adam talks to literature teacher Fay Shaefer about the portrayal of women in Victorian novels. Writers like Anne Bronte broke new ground - but what kind of reaction did they receive? And do their books still have resonance today?

Oct 14, 2016

Adam talks to David O'Doherty, stand-up comedian and children's author.

What's the secret to making kids laugh? And is there an overlap between comedy and children's writing?

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