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 Alison Pettitt, listen to samples and when you're ready head over to Audiobooks.com where you can get 3 FREE audiobooks on us
Dramatisations and readings of novels and short stories by Nobel laureate Doris Lessing - plus a bonus documentary, Open Book, examining her life and career One of the most celebrated and important authors of the 20th Century, Doris Lessing was awarded a Nobel Prize for the 'visionary power' of her fiction, which spans a variety of genres and explores themes such as racism, feminism and social and political upheaval. This collection includes the radio productions of three of her acclaimed novels and four short stories, as well as a fascinating discussion of her life and work. The Good Terrorist - Olivia Vinall stars in this adaptation of Doris Lessing's satire of incompetent revolutionaries in a London squat. Lucy Grange - Exiled from the sophistication of her homeland, stylish Lucy seeks solace and comfort, and learns 'to accept the second-rate'. Read by Estelle Kohler. The Grass is Singing - In this powerful exploration of racial politics in 1940s Rhodesia, adapted from Doris Lessing's first novel, a white woman's troubled relationship with her black houseboy comes to a violent end. Starring Alison Pettit and Tracy-Ann Oberman. Flight - A laughing, teasing granddaughter and a dovecote full of strutting birds are an old man's only escape from his cold family home. Read by Jack Klaff. The Golden Notebook - Susannah Harker stars in this dramatisation of Doris Lessing's ground-breaking novel about marriage, motherhood, mental breakdown and communism. The Death of a Chair - A lived-in chair is bought at auction, where it begins its final journey towards discovery and destruction. Read by Barbara Marten. Open Book: Doris Lessing Mariella Frostrup talks to Doris Lessing about her long and extraordinarily varied writing career.Show more
The Decameron is one of the greatest literary works of the Middle Ages. Ten young people have fled the terrible effects of the Black Death in Florence and, in an idyllic setting, tell a series of brilliant stories, by turns humorous, bawdy, tragic and provocative. This celebration of physical and sexual vitality is Boccaccio's answer to the sublime other-worldliness of Dante's Divine Comedy.Show more
Demons, vengeful spirits, insanity, premature burials and lesbian vampires, In a Glass Darkly contains five diabolical tales of horror and mystery that will get the heart racing. Each story, including the famous 'Green Tea' and 'Carmilla', is presented as a case from the posthumous papers of Dr Martin Hesselius, a metaphysical physician who has no doubt as to the existence of supernatural phenomena - unlike our anxious protagonists... These traditional, yet unfamiliar tales were revered upon release, with Bram Stoker writing his own vampire story some twenty years later, and Henry James once suggesting that this is 'the ideal reading... for the hours after midnight'.Show more
The casebook of Norman Birkett KC (1883-1962) covers pretty much every story that entertained the readers of News of the World between the wars. Birkett was a busy man who, in those days before legal specialisation, could at any one time be dealing simultaneously with a juicy murder, a society divorce or a livid libel action. In this thrilling drama, Birkett takes on a case of murder, mayhem and political intrigue. Starring Neil Dudgeon as Birkett, with David Haig, Trystan Gravelle, Alison Pettitt, Michael Shelford, Clare Corbett, Sam Dale, Bruce Alexander and Joanna Monro. Other parts were played by John Biggins and Nigel Hastings. Directed by Marc Beeby.Written by Caroline and David Stafford.Show more
Doug Lucie's satirical sequel to 'Hitched' revisits the bride and groom, Emma and Richard, two years after their big day. The honeymoon is well and truly over and wedded bliss hasn't turned out to be, well, blissful. With their relationship at crisis point, Emma returns from America with her young daughter to discover her life isn't the only one that has changed. But just what has happened between Emma and Richard, and why has she returned home without him? When Richard in turn flies back to the UK, the stage is set for another unforgettable family encounter. With sparks sure to fly at a family reunion no one wants to attend, Emma and Richard must finally decide what the future holds for their marriage. Will it be Hitched or Ditched? Starring Harry Lloyd and Lydia Leonard as Richard and Emma, with Stephen Moore, Frances Barber, David Schofield, Cheryl Campbell, Adrian Lukis, Brendan Patricks, Alison Pettit and Lynn Farleigh.Show more
A BBC Radio 4 bittersweet romantic drama by award-winning writer Lou Ramsden, starring Kathryn Hunt and Nicholas Boulton, originally broadcast as the 'Afternoon Play' on 15 April 2011. Hazel (Kathryn Hunt) spends her life describing plays for visually impaired people. But when she starts to describe the real world to her new friend Davy (Nicholas Boulton), is she giving an accurate picture of the world around her? She's looking for an escape from the pressures of looking after her disabled mother, but is she looking in the right place? 'Pouring Poison' was written by Lou Ramsden after spending time with audio describers in London theatres, and also stars Jonathan Keeble, Alison Pettitt, Marian Kemmer and Dan Hagley amongst the cast.Show more
A quirky BBC Radio 4 comedy by Ben Lewis about a teenager who becomes an internet phenomenon. Originally broadcast as the 'Afternoon Play' on 17 September 2010. This is the story of a legend in the making. A nervous young man lives at the dead end of a dead-end town. On his eighteenth birthday he comes into his inheritance. With a little help from an old teacher, he finds it equips him to broadcast over the internet. Living in a house where rolling news is a constant presence, he does what comes naturally - he fires up his computer and presents the news. But his news is different. It puts a spring in its audience's step. That is, until his grandma starts to grow suspicious about what this boy is getting up to nightly in his bedroom and tries to put a stop to the broadcasts completely. Starring Joshua Jenkins as the boy and Julia McKenzie as his grandma. Also featuring amongst the cast are Mark Heap, Peter Marinker and Alison Pettitt. Directed by Kirsty Williams.Show more
Gary Brown's BBC Radio 4 full-cast comedy dramatisation about artist Eric Gill's clash with the BBC over his famous sculpture of Prospero and Ariel, starring Anton Lesser as Eric Gill and Tim McInnerny as Sir John Reith, the first Director General of the Corporation. Originally broadcast in the 'Afternoon Play' slot on Wednesday 9 June 2010. Inspired by real events, the play charts a clash between the BBC's Governors and the artist over the propriety of the sculpture's appearance. Gill became quite a celebrity as he carved the statue in situ on scaffolding in front of Broadcasting House. In his trademark smock and beret, he drew the attention of the tabloid papers and became known as the 'Married Monk'. The play imagines conversations between Sir John and the artist as he passes him on his way into Broadcasting House each morning. Framed with a period newsreel-style commentary, the comedy playfully deals with the perennial tension between the Establishment and the Artist. The strange and mysterious Gill contrasts with the authoritarian but often troubled figure of Reith, but in the end the sculpture focuses their thoughts about the role of Art in the life of mankind. While this is a comedy, the play touches a little on the well-documented darker side of both men's nature, and offers an insight into one of the more celebrated events of early BBC history. Brown's play speculates on how Reith struggled with the Governors and with his own psyche in dealing with one of the trickier events in the early days of the BBC. It also looks at how Gill, the artist, struggled with reconciling his unusual beliefs and lifestyle with a major commission from the heart of the Establishment. The cast is completed by Jon Glover as the Newsreel Reporter, David Seddon as Charlie, Stephen Darcy as Father Sean, Tina Gray as Lady Snowden and Alison Pettitt as the Nanny. Written by Gary Brown and directed by Peter Leslie Wild.Show more
A BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation by Andy Barratt of Daniel Defoe's less famous sequel to the classic adventure 'Robinson Crusoe'. After returning to England from his island home, Robinson Crusoe sets sail once more in search of adventure. Starring Tim McInnerny as Robinson Crusoe, with Jonathan Tafler, Adrian Grove, Stephen Critchlow, David Timson, Alison Pettitt and Ben Onwukwe. Directed by Peter Leslie Wild.Show more
Check out the latest activities in our KidsZone.