No catches, no fine print just unconditional book loving for your children with their favourites saved to their own digital bookshelf.
New members get entered into our monthly draw to win £100 to spend in your local bookshop plus lots lots more...Find out more
Browse audiobooks narrated by Alan Bennett, listen to samples and when you're ready head over to Audiobooks.com where you can get 3 FREE audiobooks on us
Alan Bennett reads three enchanting Doctor Dolittle stories Doctor Dolittle has an extraordinary talent he can talk to the animals! Taught by his parrot, Polynesia, he is soon able to chat to every kind of creature and his skill leads him into all sorts of adventures. In The Story of Doctor Dolittle, the Doctor and his pets set sail for Africa to save the monkeys but they face great danger and challenges, including a sinking ship and Barbary pirates... The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle finds Doctor Dolittle on the high seas once again, this time with his young friend Tommy Stubbins. The pair head for Spider Monkey Island, a mysterious place of magic and secrets... Doctor Dolittle's Circus sees the Doctor in need of money, so he and his Pushmi-Pullyu join the circus. They're such a hit with the other animals that Doctor Dolittle soon finds himself running the show! Brilliantly read by Alan Bennett, whose delightfully whimsical rendition brings Doctor Dolittle and all his animal friends magically to life, this charming collection of stories will delight listeners young and old.Show more
Alan Bennett reads A.A. Milne's much-loved stories about a small bear and his friends. The collection includes; Winnie the Pooh, The House at Pooh Corner and A Party for Pooh. What is the connection between a bear of very little brain and a honey pot? Usually it's the very sticky paw of Winnie the Pooh, as he takes a break between adventures for a little something. In these stories, taken from the book 'Winnie-the-Pooh', Pooh goes visiting and gets into a tight place, Eeyore loses a tail, Piglet meets a Heffalump, Eeyore has a birthday and gets two presents, and an expedition is mounted to the North Pole! As usual they are accompanied by Kanga, Roo, Rabbit and Owl - to say nothing of Pooh's very clever young human friend, Christopher Robin. Now with a musical introduction, Alan Bennett gives A.A. Milne's characters the voices you felt they were always meant to have in this collection of stories about Winnie the Pooh, Piglet, Tigger, Eeyore and Owl.The stories are: Winnie-the-Pooh Goes Visiting and Gets into a Tight PlacePooh and Piglet Nearly Catch a Woozle and Eeyore Loses a TailPiglet Meets a HeffalumpEeyore has a birthday and Gets Two PresentsChristopher Robin Leads an Exposition to the North PoleA House is Built at Pooh Corner for EeyoreTigger Comes to the Forest and has BreakfastA Search is Organdized and Piglet Nearly Meets the Heffalump AgainPooh Invents a New Game and Eeyore Joins InPiglet Does a Very Grand Thing and Owl Moves HouseKanga and Baby Roo Come to the ForestPiglet is Entirely Surrounded by WaterChristoper Robin Gives Pooh a PartyTiggers Don't Climb TreesRabbit has a Busy DayTigger is UnbouncedShow more
Alan Bennett reads five much-loved stories by Kenneth Grahame, Lewis Carroll and AA Milne. Alan Bennett’s distinctive readings of these cherished children’s stories have become classics in their own right. Portraying each character in his own inimitable fashion, his delightfully expressive voice perfectly conveys the sparkling humour, charm and magic of these timeless tales. The Wind in the Willows tells the classic story of Ratty, Mole, Badger and Toad (of Toad Hall) and their waterside adventures. Alice in Wonderland sees Alice following a white rabbit down a hole and embarking on a series of adventures with some of the most weird and wonderful characters ever encountered. Through the Looking Glass continues Alice’s adventures, as she sees another world in the looking glass and wishes she could go there. In a selection of stories from Winnie-the-Pooh, Pooh goes visiting and gets into a tight place, Eeyore loses a tail, Piglet meets a Heffalump, Eeyore has a birthday, and an ‘expotition’ to the North Pole is mounted. The House at Pooh Corner finds Pooh and Piglet building a house for Eeyore, whilst Tigger comes to the forest and has breakfast. Piglet nearly meets the Heffalump again, Pooh invents a new game, and Owl moves house. Duration: 7 hours 50 mins approx.Show more
Alan Bennett reads the latest instalment of his diaries, as heard on BBC Radio 4’s Book of the Week. Following on from Alan Bennett's bestselling, award-winning prose collections Writing Home and Untold Stories, Keeping On Keeping On is a third anthology featuring his unique observations, recollections and reminiscences. At its heart is his latest published collection of diaries. In these entries, covering the years 2005 to 2014, Bennett looks back on a packed decade that included writing four highly-acclaimed plays – The Habit of Art, People, Hymn and Cocktail Sticks, all of which premiered at the National Theatre – as well as the screenplays for the hit films of The History Boys and The Lady in the Van. In addition, he reflects on his 25 years of friendship and collaboration with director Nicholas Hytner, life with his partner Rupert Thomas and, radical views notwithstanding, his status as ‘kindly, cosy and essentially harmless’. Packed with perceptive impressions of people and places, sharp social commentary, expressive description and delightful jokes, this irresistible record of life according to Alan Bennett is a treasury of wisdom and insight. Duration: 2 hours 20 mins approx.Show more
A unique collection of eight Alan Bennett stories, read by the author. Alan Bennett is one of Britain's best-loved authors and an acclaimed storyteller. This exclusive compilation includes eight of his best tales, collected together for the first time. Here is his celebrated, iconic memoir The Lady in the Van; as well as two fascinating autobiographical accounts of his family and childhood. Uncle Clarence sees Bennett visiting the grave of a relative who died in Flanders in 1917; while in Hymn he joins forces with composer George Fenton and the Medici String Quartet to explore his musical memories. Bennett's incisive, acute observations shine through in his fiction too, with wry, moving and darkly humorous meditations on death (Father! Father! Burning Bright and The Laying On of Hands), sex (The Shielding of Mrs Forbes) and middle-age ennui (The Clothes They Stood Up In). His gift for affectionate satire reaches its pinnacle in The Uncommon Reader, a delightful tale in which the Queen discovers the pleasures of literature. Poignant, compassionate, wise and witty, the stories included are The Lady in the Van, Uncle Clarence, The Clothes They Stood Up In, Father! Father! Burning Bright, Hymn, The Laying On of Hands, The Uncommon Reader and The Shielding of Mrs Forbes. Duration: 13 hours approx.Show more
Maggie Smith stars in this BBC radio adaptation of Alan Bennett's highly acclaimed autobiographical stage playAn eccentric old lady moves into a quiet street in Camden Town. There she remains, installed in her van in glorious self-sufficiency, until the council instructs her to move on. Then a kind homeowner invites her to move her van into his garden where she stays for the next fifteen years. This is the fascinating story of the genteel vagrant who found a unique place in Alan Bennett's life and writing.But the drama is as much about the author himself as Miss Shepherd. Why did Alan Bennett let her commandeer his driveway? Was he acting out of kindness, weakness, or hidden guilt over not spending enough time with his own mother? Did he always subconsciously plan to exploit Miss Shepherd for literary profit? Thought-provoking and moving, The Lady in the Van tackles profound questions about social responsibility, homelessness and mental illness with a lightness of touch characteristic of Bennett the master storyteller.With a full cast including Adrian Scarborough, Marcia Warren and Alan Bennett, this bitter-sweet comic tale stars Maggie Smith as Miss Shepherd.Now a major BBC feature film, starring Maggie Smith and Alex Jennings.Show more
The complete audio collection of Alan Bennett's celebrated monologues, published together for the first time and performed by some of Britain's best actorsThe Talking Heads monologues are widely regarded as one of Alan Bennett's finest dramatic achievements. First broadcast on BBC TV and BBC Radio 4 in the 1980s and 1990s, they won a host of awards and huge popular acclaim, and remain among his most admired works today.This collection includes all twelve Talking Heads, plus the precursor of that series, A Woman of No Importance. Beautifully crafted and full of compassion and wry observation, each tale is ripe with the quirky, insightful detail that has become Bennett's trademark. The monologues are:A Woman of No Importance (Patricia Routledge); A Chip in the Sugar (Alan Bennett); A Lady of Letters (Patricia Routledge); Bed Among the Lentils (Anna Massey); Soldiering On (Stephanie Cole); Her Big Chance (Julie Walters); A Cream Cracker Under the Settee (ThoraHird); Miss Fozzard Finds Her Feet (Patricia Routledge); The Hand of God (Eileen Atkins); Playing Sandwiches (David Haig); The Outside Dog (Julie Walters); Nights in the Gardens of Spain (Penelope Wilton) and Waiting for the Telegram (Thora Hird).Intensely moving, deeply engrossing and highly entertaining, these spellbinding soliloquies are essential listening.Show more
A radio adaptation of Alan Bennett's short autobiographical play, originally directed by Nicholas Hytner for the National Theatre. Alan looks back on his early life with affection and sadness, revisiting some of the themes and conversations of his memoir 'A Life Like other People's'. Both he and his mother are seduced by the idea that other people's lives are much richer and fulfilling than their own. But when they do, finally, have cocktail parties, they are not at all what his mother would have envisaged.... Alan is played by Alex Jennings and Alan Bennett, supported by the original National theatre cast of Gabrielle Lloyd, Jeff Rawle, Sue Wallace and Derek Hutchinson.Show more
Two unexpected tales written and read by the best-selling author of The Uncommon Reader, Untold Stories and The History Boys. 'The Greening of Mrs Donaldson' - Mrs Donaldson is a conventional middle-class woman beached on the shores of widowhood after a marriage that had been much like many others: happy to begin with, then satisfactory and finally dull. But when she decides to take in two lodgers, her mundane life becomes much more stimulating… 'The Shielding of Mrs Forbes' - Graham Forbes is a disappointment to his mother, who thinks that if he must have a wife, he should have done better. True, her own husband isn’t all that satisfactory either. Still, this is Alan Bennett, so what is happening in the bedroom (and in lots of other places too) is altogether more startling, perhaps shocking, and ultimately more true to people’s predilectionsShow more
On the Margin was a six part BBC TV satirical comedy sketch show written and performed by Alan Bennett, with journalist and TV presenter John Sergeant and actor Virginia Stride. It was first broadcast in 1966 and was such a critical success that it was repeated twice the following year. Although Alan Bennett - already famous due to Beyond the Fringe - took swipes at contemporary Britain, his love of his country's cultural heritage always remained. Besides Bennett, the series also featured Yvonne Gillan, Madge Hindle and Roland MacLeod. However, On the Margin sadly became one of the notorious casualties of the BBC's tape-recycling policies and the series was completely wiped after its final broadcast. Lost audio recordings of the show were rediscovered in 2014, but so far this release is the only existing compilation of On the Margin...Show more
The eighties were a busy time for Alan Bennett, playwright, actor and now diarist. But this is not just a diary for theatre lovers, although his insider’s ear on the arts world is well-attuned and unmissable. Bennett’s life is broader. His accounts of theatre troubles and even more troublesome critics are combined with his memories of a writer’s tour of Russia, life in New York and Camden, filming in Egypt and tales of a Yorkshire village. He also covers the big events of his time: the Falklands War, Mrs Thatcher and the assassination of John Lennon. Taken from Alan Bennett’s bestselling book, Writing Home, this keenly viewed history of the decade confirms Bennett as one of life’s great observers – clear-eyed, compassionate and funny.Show more
What is the connection between a bear of very little brain and a honey pot? Usually it's the very sticky paw of Winnie the Pooh, as he takes a break between adventures for a little something. In these five stories, taken from the book 'The House at Pooh Corner', Pooh and Piglet build a house for Eeyore, Tigger comes to the forest and has breakfast, Piglet nearly meets the Heffalump again, Pooh invents a new game and Owl moves house. As usual they are accompanied by Kanga, Roo, Rabbit and Owl - to say nothing of Pooh's very clever young human friend, Christopher Robin. Now with a musical introduction, Alan Bennett's delightful readings bring each and every character in the forest to life.Show more
Check out the latest activities in our KidsZone.