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Between the Covers: Series 3, Episode 6

We’re so excited that Between the Covers is back for a third series. Each week, host Sara Cox is joined on BBC Two each week with four celebrity guests. They’ll be discussing two books; a newly-published book and, for the first time, hot on the heels of the Booker Prize, a shortlisted title that didn’t win the prestigious prize, but still deserve to be celebrated.

Catch up on Between the Covers on BBC iPlayer and see the full series line up.

Episode 6 – Wednesday 15 December

In the last episode of this series, Sara is joined by Greg James, Imogen Stubbs, Fleur East and Lloyd Griffith as they share their favourite books and review this week’s book club choices: new book Sankofa by Chibundu Onuzo and Booker-shortlisted The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry.

Sankofa by Chibundu Onuzo

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.

Anna is at a stage of her life when she’s beginning to wonder who she really is. She has separated from her husband, her daughter is all grown up, and her mother – the only parent who raised her – is dead.

Searching through her mother’s belongings, she finds clues about the West African father she never knew. Through reading his student diary, chronicling his involvement in radical politics in 1970s London, she discovers that he eventually became the president – some would say the dictator – of Bamana in West Africa. And he is still alive.

She decides to track him down and so begins a funny, painful, fascinating journey, and an exploration of race, identity and what we pass on to our children.

‘Utterly compelling’ – Stylist

‘Slick pacing and unpredictable developments keep the reader alert right up to the novel’s exhilarating ending’ – Guardian Book of the Day

‘Wonderful. Poignant and powerful and so timely and the beautiful ending had me in tears, reminding me to look within as well as without for my answers’ – Stella Duffy

The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry

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.

Nearing her one-hundredth birthday, Roseanne McNulty faces an uncertain future, as the Roscommon Regional Mental hospital where she’s spent the best part of her adult life prepares for closure. Over the weeks leading up to this upheaval, she talks often with her psychiatrist Dr Grene, and their relationship intensifies and complicates. Told through their respective journals, the story that emerges is at once shocking and deeply beautiful. Refracted through the haze of memory and retelling, Roseanne’s story becomes an alternative, secret history of Ireland’s changing character and the story of a life blighted by terrible mistreatment and ignorance, and yet marked still by love and passion and hope.

Find a reading group guide for The Secret Scripture.

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