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Between the Covers: Episode 1

We’re so excited that Between the Covers is returning for a second series. Starting on Monday 10 May, join Sara Cox on BBC Two each week with four celebrity guests. They’ll be discussing two books; a big hitter book from the last year as well as a newly published book. The guests will also each bring with them their favourite book of all time to share with the other guests.

Catch up on Between the Covers on BBC iPlayer.

Episode 1 – Monday 10 May

This week Sara is joined by comedians Mel Giedroyc and Griff Rhys Jones, Strictly’s reigning champion Oti Mabuse and presenter Rick Edwards. They will all be sharing their favourite books, as well as reviewing this week’s two book club picks: Our Big Hitter from last year, The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett and the first of our new books, The Fine Art of Invisible Detection by Robert Goddard.

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

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Buy this book from Bookshop.org or hive.co.uk to support The Reading Agency and local bookshops at no additional cost to you.

THE SUNDAY TIMES TOP BESTSELLER
NUMBER ONE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

SHORTLISTED FOR THE WOMEN’S PRIZE
LONGLISTED FOR THE ORWELL PRIZE

The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical. But after growing up together in a small, southern black community and running away at age sixteen, it’s not just the shape of their daily lives that is different as adults, it’s everything: their families, their communities, their racial identities. Ten years later, one sister lives with her black daughter in the same southern town she once tried to escape. The other secretly passes for white, and her white husband knows nothing of her past. Still, even separated by so many miles and just as many lies, the fates of the twins remain intertwined. What will happen to the next generation, when their own daughters’ story lines intersect?

Weaving together multiple strands and generations of this family, from the Deep South to California, from the 1950s to the 1990s, Brit Bennett produces a story that is at once a riveting, emotional family story and a brilliant exploration of the American history of passing. Looking well beyond issues of race, The Vanishing Half considers the lasting influence of the past as it shapes a person’s decisions, desires, and expectations, and explores some of the multiple reasons and realms in which people sometimes feel pulled to live as something other than their origins.

The Vanishing Half is an utterly mesmerising novel. It seduces with its literary flair, surprises with its breath-taking plot twists, delights with its psychological insights, and challenges us to consider the corrupting consequences of racism on different communities and individual lives. I absolutely loved this book.Bernardine Evaristo, winner of the Booker Prize

The Vanishing Half should mark the induction of Brit Bennett into the small group of likely successors to Toni Morrison, Zora Neale Hurston and Nella Larsen. I read it torn between competing urges: I wanted to greedily turn the pages, yet I also wanted to savour every word, lingering as long as I could with the delicious feeling of being sunk so deep into the story that every time I set the book aside it felt like coming up for air. Compelling, compassionate and astonishingly good.Sara Collins

Are you reading The Vanishing Half? The Women’s Prize for Fiction has a discussion guide that you can use with your reading group.

The Fine Art of Invisible Detection by Robert Goddard

Find your local library.

Buy this book from Bookshop.org or hive.co.uk to support The Reading Agency and local bookshops at no additional cost to you.

From the multiple Sunday Times bestseller, ‘One of the finest crime writers of any generation, Goddard here exercises all of his elegant, understated style and meticulous eye for detail…Goddard at his impeccable best: do not miss it.’ Daily Mail

Umiko Wada has recently had quite enough excitement in her life. With her husband recently murdered and a mother who seems to want her married again before his body is cold, she just wants to keep her head down.

As a secretary to a private detective, her life is pleasingly uncomplicated, filled with coffee runs, diary management and paperwork.

That is, until her boss takes on a new case. A case which turns out to be dangerous enough to get him killed. A case which means Wada will have to leave Japan for the first time and travel to London.

Following the only lead she has, Wada quickly realises that being a detective isn’t as easy as the television makes out. And that there’s a reason why secrets stay buried for a long time. Because people want them to stay secret. And they’re prepared to do very bad things to keep them that way…

What readers are saying:

‘Edge-of-the-seat stuff . . an explosive finale . . . The characters, as always in a Robert Goddard novel, are unforgettable.’
‘One of the best authors in the business . . . another intriguing and sophisticated plot, with stylish prose and dialogue.’
‘No-one comes close to equalling Robert Goddard’s talent at writing this sort of mystery thriller with twist after twist after twist.’

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Hive and The Reading Agency

The Reading Agency loves books, in every form, and we know you do too. We love it when people borrow books in every format from their brilliant local libraries. We love it when reading groups get exclusive free proofs from our publisher partners. We love it when readers pick up a pre-loved book from a second-hand bookshop for a song. And we also love it when you buy yourself or someone else a brand new book from a high street bookshop. We also know that buying online is quick and convenient...

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