Vick Hope is joined by radio and television presenter Anita Rani for this week’s Bookshelfie podcast episode. Anita stops by to discuss how the books she read as a child have shaped her, the transition from writing her memoir to writing fiction and the importance of failure.

Through Anita’s book choices we celebrate works by Anita Anand, Mona Arshi, Salena Godden, Caitlin Moran and Nikki May. Listen and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.

Check out the full episode here

Sophia: Princess, Suffragette, Revolutionary

by Anita Anand

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“When Maharaja Duleep Singh died, the British kind of saw their opportunity to take over and annex this great state of Punjab. And this little boy, I mean, it’s an amazing story, I’m not gonna give it away, because you need to read the book, but all the other sons tried to get the throne. It’s like a proper Game of Thrones situation.”

Somebody Loves You

by Mona Arshi

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“Oh my god, Mona Arshi, I bow down at your beautiful thing. And she’s next level…it took my breath away. I could not believe what I was reading. Just her ability to express so much with so few words. I am in awe of first of all her writing and beauty of her writing, and the pain she manages to express and the fact that her main character doesn’t speak. It’s just unbelievable. And it’s one of those books where I don’t want to give it away, I just think everyone should read it.”

Pessimism is for Lightweights

by Salena Godden

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“Her memoir just came out and I immediately went off and read it. I needed to know everything about this woman. Like who? What made her? Who is she? And her writing is incredible. She actually came on Woman’s Hour to talk about this book of poetry. Afterwards, you know, you have a debrief and there wasn’t a woman in the office who wasn’t just like, we love Selena, we want to go for a drink with her. We want to be in her company.”

How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran

How to be a Woman

by Caitlin Moran

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“She’s a badass, just her way with words. And also her style. Yeah. It’s like she’s sitting in the room with you. And she catches you off guard where you’re just reading it and then she’ll just throw in a comment that makes you laugh out loud on a train like weep, weep with laughter. Did she just say that? When I read it, I remember thinking oh my god, she’s just saying it. I remember feeling I’m always amazed by people who have the capacity to have no shame.”


by Nikki May

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“It’s also about who’s writing those stories. And it’s Nikki May debut and I just thought, what badass here? Good on you, girl. And I interviewed her, and she said, ‘I wanted to represent black women in a way that they haven’t been represented before – they are middle class and successful.’ Can you believe it? When do you see that?”

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