Today, we talk books. The FT’s books team recently published our annual books of the year special, and they join us to share their personal recommendations. They also answer listener questions: what books will get you out of ‘reader’s block’? What’s a good gift for a family member who loves history, or a friend who’s anxious about the world? What book could you pair with a candle and some socks? Lilah speaks with literary editor Fred Studemann and deputy books editor Laura Battle.


We love hearing from you. You can email us at Lilah is on Instagram @lilahrap.


Recommendations and links (all FT links get you past the paywall):

Some great lists from our books of the year special:

– Best fiction:

– Best history:

– Best audiobooks

– Critics’ picks:

– For getting past your reader’s block, Laura and Fred recommend Impossible Creatures by Katherine Rundell and The House of Doors by Tan Twan Eng. Laura also loved The Fraud by Zadie Smith

– Fred’s picks for history lovers are Revolutionary Spring by Christopher Clark and King: a Life by Jonathan Eig; Laura’s is Red Memory by Tanya Branigan

– For a stocking stuffer, Lilah suggests Love and Other Poems by Alex Dimitrov. Laura likes The Cabin by Natasha Preston and other books about the outdoors. Fred is going with Claire Keegan’s So Late in the Day


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Original music by Metaphor Music. Mixing and sound design by Breen Turner.

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