Rose George


Author Rose George discusses with Ivan six things which should be better known. You can find out more about her at Her books include Nine Pints, Ninety Percent of Everything and The Big Necessity.

1. Janet Vaughan

2. The bidet

3. Dr. George Merryweather

4. Lucio Battisti

5. Fell running

6. Fred Vargas

Emily Temple

Emily Temple_credit Nina Subin 1

Novelist Emily Temple discusses with Ivan six things which she thinks should be better known.

Emily Temple is the Managing Editor at Literary Hub, where she recommends more books than anyone could read. Her first novel, The Lightness, was published in June 2020 by the Borough Press (UK) and William Morrow (US). You can read more about Emily and see her Lit Hub work.


  1. Jonathan Richman
  2. Lagaan
  3. Cute aggression
  4. The legend of Peter I and Inês de Castro
  5. Elena Ferrante’s The Days of Abandonment
  6. Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Swivel Stick’s-Cocoa-Butter-Formula-Swivel-Stick-14g/p/758016

Cal Flyn


Writer Cal Flyn discusses with Ivan six things which she thinks should be better known.

Cal’s first book Thicker Than Water was published in 2016. It deals with the colonisation of Australia and questions of inherited guilt. Her second book, Islands of Abandoment, is due out in 2021.

  1. A Place of Greater Safety by Hilary Mantel
  2. Moth appreciation
  3. Sandstone Press
  4. The research of John C Lilley and
  5. Gladstone’s Library
  6. Ceilidh dancing

David Spiegelhalter


David Spiegelhalter discusses with Ivan six things which he thinks should be better known.

Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter is Chair of the Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication in the University of Cambridge, which aims to improve the way that statistical evidence is used by health professionals, patients, lawyers and judges, media and policy-makers. He advises organisations and government agencies on risk communication and is a regular media commentator on statistical issues, with a particular focus on communicating uncertainty.

His background is in medical statistics, and he has over 200 refereed publications and is co-author of 6 textbooks, as well as The Norm Chronicles (with Michael Blastland), and Sex by Numbers. He works extensively with the media, and presented the BBC4 documentaries Tails you Win: the Science of Chance, the award-winning Climate Change by Numbers, and in 2011 came seventh in an episode of BBC1’s Winter Wipeout.

He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 2005, and knighted in 2014 for services to medical statistics. He was President of the Royal Statistical Society for 2017-2018.  His bestselling book, The Art of Statistics, was published in March 2019.

  1. Alan Bennett reading Winnie the Pooh
  2. Ilfracombe
  3. Whelks
  4. Riddley Walker by Russell Hoban
  5. The Singing Detective
  6. Poisson distribution

Ilfracombe harbour


Brooke Allen


Brooke Allen discusses with Ivan six things which she thinks should be better known.

Brooke Allen has a PhD in English from Columbia University. She writes frequently for newspapers and magazines and has published two volumes of literary essays as well as works of history, travel, and biography. She spent eight years on the Literature faculty at Bennington College in Vermont, and currently teaches History of Thought in the Bennington Prison Education Initiative. She lives in the Hudson Valley, New York.

Her books are Benazir Bhutto: Favored Daughter, Moral Minority: Our Skeptical Founding Fathers, The Other Side of the Mirror: An American Travels Through Syria, Twentieth-Century Attitudes: Literary Powers in Uncertain Times and Artistic License: Three Centuries of Good Writing and Bad Behavior.

  1. E Nesbit
  2. The Blue Ridge Mountains
  3. Rohinton Mistry
  4. The correspondence of Thomas Jefferson and John Adams
  5. Yale Center for British Art, New Haven
  6. The movies of Esther Williams

Deirdre Mask


Deirdre Mask discusses with Ivan six things which she thinks should be better known.

Deirdre Mask is a lawyer, a writer and sometime academic. Her work has appeared in The Atlantic, The Guardian, The New York Times, The Economist, Lit Hub, The Harvard Law Review, The New Hibernia Review, The Dublin Review and Irish Pages. Her first book The Address Book is out now.

Address Book

  1. Missing Maps
  2. Welikia Project
  3. Gillespie Nature Reserve
  4. Proxy Address
  5. The 25th Hour
  6. Be Thankful For What You’ve Got by William DeVaughn

Peter Gatrell


Peter Gatrell discusses with Ivan six things which he thinks should be better known.

Peter Gatrell teaches modern history at the University of Manchester. His books include a trilogy on refugee history: the prize-winning book A Whole Empire Walking: Refugees in Russia during World War 1, Free World? The Campaign to Save the World’s Refugees, 1956-1963 and The Making of the Modern Refugee. His latest book, The Unsettling of Europe: the Great Migration, 1945 to the Present, a new history of Europe seen through the lens of migration, appeared with Penguin Books and Basic Books in August 2019.

  1. Aurora Mardiganian
  2. The John Rylands University Library, Manchester
  3. Stromboli
  4. Maria Yudina
  5. Mikhail Bulgakov’s A Country Doctor’s Notebook
  6. The Forest of Bowland

Lucy Jones


Lucy Jones discusses with Ivan six things which she thinks should be better known.

Lucy Jones is a writer and journalist. She previously worked at NME and the Daily Telegraph, and her writing on culture, science and nature has been published in BBC Earth, BBC Wildlife, The Sunday Times, the Guardian and the New Statesman. She is the author of Losing Eden: Why Our Minds Need the Wild (Allen Lane) and Foxes Unearthed (Elliott & Thompson).

1. The psychological aspect of our relationship to nature
2. Matrescence
3. A Woman in a Polar Night by Christiane Ritter
4. Sophie Mason
5. Dream of the Rood
6. National Trust venues on car journeys

Ali Thurm


Ali Thurm discusses six things with Ivan which she thinks should be better known.

Ali is a novelist, poet and teacher. After balancing a career in primary teaching with writing part time, she was taken on by the literary agency Emily Sweet Associates in 2016. Her debut novel, One Scheme of Happiness was published in February 2020 by Retreat West Books. Find out more about Ali on her blog: and on Twitter @alithurm

  1. Community gardening
  2. Quiet by Susan Cain
  3. Pink grapefruit marmalade
  4. Mimi Khalvati
  5. Charles Blondin
  6. Loose leaf tea and

Stories about Writers

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Ivan Wise discusses six things which he thinks should be better known, on the theme of Stories about Writers.

1. The rehearsals for Pygmalion
2. Arrow in the Blue and The Invisible Writing by Arthur Koestler
3. Writers’ pseudonyms
4. The obscenity trial of Lady Chatterley’s Lover
5. Park Bench: Dorothy Parker and Robert Benchley
6. Literary collectors