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 Meera Syal, listen to samples and when you're ready head over to Audiobooks.com where you can get 3 FREE audiobooks on us
All ten episodes of the BBC Radio 4 comedy about an eccentric 'olderpreneur' and her adventures in business At the age of 51, Bindi Banerjee unexpectedly finds herself out of a job. But she has her redundancy pay-off and a can-do attitude, and as Series 1 opens, Bindi decides to start up her own business. Bindi’s Beauty Box soon gets off to a promising start, but Bindi must get her reluctant children on board if she is going to succeed. When she runs into some bumps in the road, Bindi wonders if she’s taken on more than she can manage – can she overcome the obstacles and make the business prosper? In Series 2, fresh from her first flush of success, Bindi takes on an exciting new business venture in property development but discovers that Slough just isn't ready for her visionary micro-pods. But Bindi is an unstoppable force of nature, and is determined that nothing will get in her way. As stress levels rise and pressure starts to mount, help arrives from an unexpected source – but just as she is preparing for the big opening, she is put to the test when she finds that not everyone shares her vision... Created by award-winning dramatist Tanika Gupta, this entertaining comedy-drama about the highs and lows of enterprise stars Meera Syal (Goodness Gracious Me) as Bindi. Cast Bindi – Meera Syal Raj – Chris Nayak Anu – Krupa Pattani Hema – Rina Fatania Sam – Will Ash Buzz – Tachia Newall Uncle Bash – Vincent Ebrahim/Sagar Arya Dwayne – Andonis Anthony Marcus – Mark Strepan Anil – Nitin Ganatra Production credits Written by Tanika Gupta Directed by Nadia MolinariShow more
In Letters of Note: Art, Shaun Usher celebrates extraordinary correspondence about art, from missives on the agony of being overlooked, the ecstasy of producing work that excites, to surprising sources of inspiration and rousing manifestos. A star-studded cast of readers brings the letters to life, with contributions from Sanjeev Bhaskar, Louise Brealey, Simon Callow, Crystal Clarke, Benedict Cumberbatch, Stephen Fry, Neil Gaiman, Toby Jones, Ferdinand Kingsley, Jude Law, Helen McCrory, Stephen Mangan, Clarke Peters, Juliet Stevenson, Mark Strong and Meera Syal. The collection features letters by Michelangelo, Frida Kahlo, Oscar Howe, Martin Scorsese, Henri Matisse, Augusta Savage, Vincent van Gogh and many more. Letters of Note: Art also includes audio exclusive bonus content drawn from recordings made at performances of Letters Live, the live events series produced by Canongate in partnership with SunnyMarch and Shaun Usher. Enjoy Noel Fielding reading Salvador Dali’s letter to Federico García Lorca at London’s Union Chapel and Ian McKellen reading Kurt Vonnegut’s letter to the students of Xavier High School at the Freemasons’ Hall. A donation will be made to The National Literacy Trust – one of the regular partner charities for Letters Live – for each audiobook sold.Show more
In this moving collection, Shaun Usher gathers together some of the most powerful letters about love ever written. Whether inspired by love’s first blush or the recriminations at its ending, the regrets of unrequited feelings and the joys of passions known, Letters of Note: Love is essential listening for anyone with a heart. A star-studded cast of readers brings the letters to life, with contributions from Sanjeev Bhaskar, Louise Brealey, Simon Callow, Crystal Clarke, Benedict Cumberbatch, Danny Huston, Toby Jones, Jude Law, Natascha McElhone, Stephen Mangan, Miriam Margolyes, Clarke Peters, Juliet Stevenson, Mark Strong and Meera Syal. The collection features letters by Simone de Beauvoir, Vladimir Nabokov, Zora Neale Hurston, Nelson Mandela, Maud Gonne, Johnny Cash and many more. Letters of Note: Love also includes audio exclusive bonus content drawn from recordings made at performances of Letters Live, the live events series produced by Canongate in partnership with SunnyMarch and Shaun Usher. Hear Benedict Cumberbatch and Louise Brealey read Chris Barker’s letter to Bessie Moore at the Royal Albert Hall, Tom Hiddleston reading Gerald Durrell’s letter to his wife at the Freemasons’ Hall and Nick Cave perform his song, Love Letter, at the Union Chapel. A donation will be made to The National Literacy Trust – one of the regular partner charities for Letters Live – for each audiobook sold.Show more
In Letters of Note: Cats, Shaun Usher collects together the most engaging missives that celebrate, eulogise, rail against and analyse the idiosyncratic ways of our feline companions. A star-studded cast of readers brings the letters to life, with contributions from Sanjeev Bhaskar, Louise Brealey, Simon Callow, Benedict Cumberbatch, Adrian Edmondson, Stephen Fry, Neil Gaiman, Danny Huston, Toby Jones, Ferdinand Kingsley, Helen McCrory, Natascha McElhone, Stephen Mangan, Miriam Margolyes, Clarke Peters, Juliet Stevenson, Mark Strong and Meera Syal. The collection features letters by Nikola Tesla, Elizabeth Taylor, Anne Frank, Raymond Chandler, John Cheever, Rachel Carson, Jack Lemmon and many more. Letters of Note: Cats also includes audio exclusive bonus content drawn from recordings made at performances of Letters Live, the live events series produced by Canongate in partnership with SunnyMarch and Shaun Usher. Listen to Toby Jones reading John Cheever’s letter to Susie Herbst and an ensemble cast reading a flurry of letters to the Guardian on the hotly contested topic of ‘cats vs dogs’. A donation will be made to The National Literacy Trust – one of the regular partner charities for Letters Live – for each audiobook sold.Show more
Curmudgeonly author Ed Reardon is back - author, pipe smoker, consummate fare-dodger and master of the abusive email, attempts to survive in a world where the media seems to be run by idiots and lying charlatans. 'The funniest sitcom to ever grace Radio 4' - Radio Times In these six episodes, Ed and Elgar return to London (from their failed jaunt living in a shepherd's hut in the country) destitute and on the lookout for a new roof over their respective heads, where he bumps into Geoff Daytona - a rich successful entrepreneur and motivational speaker Ed was at school with. Surely big bucks are in Ed's future when Geoff commissions Ed with writing his self-help book - The Geoff Daytona Method. Ed then collides with the worlds of reality television and, most surprisingly of all modern parenting. Written by Christopher Douglas and Andrew Nickolds, this sublimely funny sitcom stars Christopher Douglas as Ed Reardon, with Barunka O'Shaughnessy, Philip Jackson, Monica Dolan, Geoffrey Whitehead, Brigit Forsyth and Stephanie Cole with guest star Meera Syal. Credits Written by Christopher Douglas and Andrew Nickolds Produced by Simon Nicholls A BBC Studios ProductionShow more
Nothing escaped the eye of the satirical eye of Britain's phenomenally successful all-Asian sketch show that was Goodness Gracious Me. The complete BBC Radio series 1-3 fore-ran the award-winning BBC TV series that ran in the late 1990s, and features the same cast. Prepare for your heart to pound in the Indian recreation of Brief Encounter, sing along to the profound words of wisdom with Fifty Ways to Leave your Mother, and enjoy pop classics such as Hindi People and Punjabi Girl. Along with the discovery that The Royal Family are actually Indian, there are a ton of characters to enjoy- the Guru, Smeeta Smitten, the Coopers, Mrs I-Can-Make-it-at-Home and Mr Everything-Comes-from-India. If you don't like your comedy to be really, really bland (like a good English) then Goodness Gracious Me is the satirical series for you.Show more
Forty-five episodes from Series 1-8 of the Sony Award-winning BBC Radio comedy show, hosted by Rufus Hound. In this hilarious and revealing show, host Rufus Hound invites his guests to revisit their formative years by dusting off their intimate teenage diaries and reading them out in public for the very first time. From terrible poetry, musings on pop music and cringeworthy crushes, to fond recollections of schooldays and exotic holidays, to poignant and searingly honest confessions, these extracts reveal the secret thoughts, feelings and experiences of a host of well-known celebrities - before they became famous. Among the contributors are Richard Herring, Shappi Khorsandi, Sheila Hancock, Meera Syal, Arabella Weir, Robert Webb, Caitlin Moran, Ken Livingstone, Terry Wogan, Alex Horne, Lionel Shriver, Michael Rosen, Ian Rankin, Debbie McGee and John Finnemore. As they delve into the past and reflect on their youth, will they be filled with nostalgia, or embarrassment? What would they say to their younger selves? And what song will they choose to sum up their teenage years? Find out all this - and a lot more besides - in these surprising, insightful and hugely entertaining shows. Produced by Harriet Jaine Executive Producer: Aled Evans A Talkback production for BBC Radio 4 Episodes: Series 1 Richard Herring Russell Kane Shappi Khorsandi Steve Hall Josie Long Jenny Eclair Series 2 Sheila Hancock Victoria Coren Meera Syal Rob Deering Phil Nichol Series 3 Michael Winner Janet Street-Porter Jo Caulfield Arabella Weir Series 4 Robert Webb Caitlin Moran Jackie Kay Toby Young Rhona Cameron Julia Donaldson Series 5 Ken Livingstone Vanessa Feltz Sarfraz Mansoor Rachel Johnson Janet Ellis Kate Mosse Series 6 Terry Wogan Chris Difford Oona King Robert Newman Lucy Worsley Alex Horne Series 7 Robert Peston Lionel Shriver Michael Rosen Samira Ahmed Chris Packham 2017 Special Ian Rankin Series 8 Debbie McGee John Finnemore Anneka Rice Pippa Evans Gyles Brandreth Helen LedererShow more
Radio drama of the year' - Gillian Reynolds, The Telegraph Nikesh Patel stars as Saleem in BBC Radio 4's epic dramatisation of Salman Rushdie's Booker Prize-winning novel of love, history and magic Saleem Sinai is born on the stroke of midnight on 14th-15th August 1947, at the exact moment that India and Pakistan become separate, independent nations. From that moment on, his fate is mysteriously handcuffed to the history of his country. But Saleem's story starts almost thirty years earlier, when his grandfather, Dr Aadam Aziz, falls in love with a woman concealed behind a perforated sheet. That pivotal moment in Kashmir in 1919 sparks a series of bizarre events that will lead to a cryptic prophecy and the birth of a boy with an extraordinary destiny. As a 'Midnight's Child', Saleem has magical powers, and can telepathically tune in to all the other gifted children whose birth coincided with India's division. However, his strange entanglement with the fate of India will have dramatic repercussions for both him and his country. Adapted by Ayeesha Menon, this dazzling dramatisation of Rushdie's many-layered, magical realist masterpiece is both an enthralling family saga and a riveting history of post-colonialism. First broadcast to mark the 70th anniversary of the Partition of India, it features Nikesh Patel as Saleem, with a star cast including Abhin Galeya, Meera Syal, Anneika Rose and Narinder Samra. Also included is an interview with Salman Rushdie, in which the author talks to radio drama director Emma Harding about his multi-award winning novel. Midnight's Children won the Booker Prize in 1981, and was subsequently awarded the 'Booker of Bookers' prize in 1993 and 'The Best of the Booker' prize in 2008.Show more
A lively, sexy, and thought-provoking East-meets-West story about community, friendship, and women's lives at all ages-a spicy and alluring mix of Together Tea and Calendar Girls. Every woman has a secret life . . . Nikki lives in cosmopolitan West London, where she tends bar at the local pub. The daughter of Indian immigrants, she's spent most of her twenty-odd years distancing herself from the traditional Sikh community of her childhood, preferring a more independent (that is, Western) life. When her father's death leaves the family financially strapped, Nikki, a law school dropout, impulsively takes a job teaching a "creative writing" course at the community center in the beating heart of London's close-knit Punjabi community. Because of a miscommunication, the proper Sikh widows who show up are expecting to learn basic English literacy, not the art of short-story writing. When one of the widows finds a book of sexy stories in English and shares it with the class, Nikki realizes that beneath their white dupattas, her students have a wealth of fantasies and memories. Eager to liberate these modest women, she teaches them how to express their untold stories, unleashing creativity of the most unexpected-and exciting-kind. As more women are drawn to the class, Nikki warns her students to keep their work secret from the Brotherhood, a group of highly conservative young men who have appointed themselves the community's "moral police." But when the widows' gossip offers shocking insights into the death of a young wife-a modern woman like Nikki-and some of the class erotica is shared among friends, it sparks a scandal that threatens them all.Show more
Reese Witherspoon's March Book Club Pick! 'Big-hearted, earthy and funny... A rattlingly good story' Deborah Moggach, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Every woman has a secret life... When Nikki takes a creative writing job at her local temple, with visions of emancipating the women of the community she left behind as a self-important teenager, she's shocked to discover a group of barely literate women who have no interest in her ideals. Yet to her surprise, the white dupatta of the widow hides more than just their modesty - these are women who have spent their lives in the shadows of fathers, brothers and husbands; being dutiful, raising children and going to temple, but whose inner lives are as rich and fruitful as their untold stories. But as they begin to open up to each other about womanhood, sexuality, and the dark secrets within the community, Nikki realises that the illicit nature of the class may place them all in danger. East meets west and tradition clashes with modernity in a thought-provoking cross-cultural novel that might make you look again at the women in your life...Show more
Matt Smith, Arthur Darvill and Meera Syal are among the readers of this exclusive collection of original audio adventures. Join the Eleventh Doctor on journeys in Time and Space in the stories The Runaway Train by Oli Smith; The Ring of Steel by Stephen Cole; The Jade Pyramid by Martin Day; The Hounds of Artemis by James Goss; The Gemini Contagion by Jason Arnopp; Eye of the Jungle by Darren Jones; Blackout by Oli Smith; The Art of Death by James Goss; Darkstar Academy by Mark Morris; Day of the Cockroach by Steve Lyons; The Nu-Humans by Cavan Scott & Mark Wright; The Empty House by Simon Guerrier; Sleepers in the Dust by Darren Jones; and Snake Bite by Scott Handcock. The readers are Matt Smith; Arthur Darvill; Clare Corbett; Meera Syal; David Troughton; Stuart Milligan; Raquel Cassidy; Alexander Armstrong and Frances Barber. Duration: 15 hours approx.Show more
Nine-year-old Meena can't wait to grow up and break free from her parents. But, as the daughter of the only Punjabi family in the mining village of Tollington, her struggle for independence is different from most. Meena wants fishfingers and chips, not chapati and dhal; she wants an English Christmas, not the usual interminable Punjabi festivities - but more than anything, she wants to roam the backyards of working-class Tollington with feisty Anita Rutter and her gang. Blonde, cool, aloof, outrageous and sassy, Anita is everything Meena thinks she wants to be. Meena wheedles her way into Anita's life, but the arrival of a baby brother, teenage hormones, impending entrance exams for the posh grammar school and a motorcycling rebel without a future threaten to turn Anita's salad days sour. Anita and Me paints a comic, poignant, compassionate and colourful portrait of village life in the era of flares, power cuts, glam rock, decimalisation and Ted Heath. It is a unique vision of a British childhood in the Seventies, a childhood caught between two cultures, each on the brink of change.Show more
Check out the latest activities in our KidsZone.