New season of the Jo Whiley Radio 2 Book Club

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We are delighted to share the books chosen for the next season of the BBC Radio 2 Book Club with Jo Whiley! Every fortnight on Mondays from 7-9pm a different book will be discussed, starting on Monday 1 April.

The Book Club will continue to showcase the best brand-new fiction, with a live interview between Jo Whiley and the author, as well as a review from one of our brilliant reading groups.

The new season of Jo Whiley’s Book Club will feature these fantastic titles:

Monday 1 April: Wakenhyrst by Michelle Paver

In Edwardian Suffolk, a manor house stands alone in a lost corner of the Fens: a glinting wilderness of water whose whispering reeds guard ancient secrets. Maud is a lonely child growing up without a mother, ruled by her repressive father. When he finds a painted medieval devil in a graveyard, unhallowed forces are awakened.

Maud’s battle has begun. She must survive a world haunted by witchcraft, the age-old legends of her beloved fen – and the even more nightmarish demons of her father’s past. Spanning five centuries, Wakenhyrst is a darkly gothic thriller about murderous obsession and one girl’s longing to fly free.

Monday 15 April: The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

Tiffy and Leon share a flat

Tiffy and Leon share a bed

Tiffy and Leon have never met…

Tiffy Moore needs a cheap flat, and fast. Leon Twomey works nights and needs cash. Their friends think they’re crazy, but it’s the perfect solution: Leon occupies the one-bed flat while Tiffy’s at work in the day, and she has the run of the place the rest of the time.

But with obsessive ex-boyfriends, demanding clients at work, wrongly-imprisoned brothers and, of course, the fact that they still haven’t met yet, they’re about to discover that if you want the perfect home you need to throw the rulebook out the window…

Monday 13 May: The Farm by Joanne Ramos

Ambitious businesswoman Mae Yu runs Golden Oaks – a luxury retreat transforming the fertility industry – where women get the very best of everything, so long as they play by the rules.

Jane is a young immigrant in search of a better future. Stuck living in a cramped dorm with her baby daughter and her shrewd aunt Ate, she sees an unmissable chance to change her life. But at what cost?

A brilliant, darkly funny novel that explores the role of luck and merit, class, ambition and sacrifice, The Farm is an unforgettable story about how we live and who truly holds.

Monday 27 May: Meat Market by Juno Dawson

Jana Novak’s history sounds like a classic model cliché: tall and gangly, she’s uncomfortable with her androgynous looks until she’s unexpectedly scouted and catapulted to superstardom. But the fashion industry is as grimy as it is glamorous. And there are unexpected predators at every turn. Jana is an ordinary girl from a south London estate, lifted to unimaginable heights. But the further you rise, the more devastating your fall…

Honest and raw, this is a timely exposé of the dark underbelly of the fashion industry in an era of #TimesUp and #MeToo.

Monday 10 June: The Doll Factory by Elizabeth Macneal

London. 1850. The greatest spectacle the city has ever seen is being built in Hyde Park, and among the crowd watching two people meet. For Iris, an aspiring artist, it is the encounter of a moment – forgotten seconds later, but for Silas, a collector entranced by the strange and beautiful, that meeting marks a new beginning.

When Iris is asked to model for pre-Raphaelite artist Louis Frost, she agrees on the condition that he will also teach her to paint. Suddenly her world begins to expand, to become a place of art and love.

But Silas has only thought of one thing since their meeting, and his obsession is darkening…

Monday 24 June: The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri

Nuri is a beekeeper; his wife, Afra, an artist. They live a simple life, rich in family and friends, in the beautiful Syrian city of Aleppo – until the unthinkable happens. When all they care for is destroyed by war, they are forced to escape. But what Afra has seen is so terrible she has gone blind, and so they must embark on a perilous journey through Turkey and Greece towards an uncertain future in Britain. On the way, Nuri is sustained by the knowledge that waiting for them is Mustafa, his cousin and business partner, who has started an apiary and is teaching fellow refugees in Yorkshire to keep bees.

As Nuri and Afra travel through a broken world, they must confront not only the pain of their own unspeakable loss, but dangers that would overwhelm the bravest of souls. Above all – and perhaps this is the hardest thing they face – they must journey to find each other again.

The Reading Agency works with librarians from across the UK to help Radio 2 choose the books featured on the Book Club. Hundreds of books are submitted by publishers and read by a fantastic panel before we meet to choose a shortlist. Find out more about the librarian panel.

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Reading groups

In the new format of the Radio 2 Book Club, each book is read and reviewed by one of our brilliant reading groups. Then, the BBC come to record their meeting and play it live on the show! If you are interested in your reading group taking part in this, please do send us your details.

Not yet a member of Reading Groups for Everyone? Sign up now.

Want more offers for your reading group? Visit our Noticeboard for the latest opportunities.

Looking for reading ideas? Visit our Book Reviews page for the latest themed reading lists. This month we’re looking at books that have been adapted for the stage.

Get involved

Are you planning to read any of the new titles on the Book Club? Have you read the classics either on your own or as part of your group? You can leave reviews of the books on our website.

Planning to buy some of the titles for your group? Buy books from Hive and support The Reading Agency and local bookshops at no extra cost to you.

Want to make sure you get the latest news? Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

You can join the Radio 2 Book Club Facebook group, and also follow Jo Whiley on Twitter.

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