Better Unknown

In a reversal of the normal positivity, Richard Elwes discusses with Ivan six things which he thinks we would be better off without.

  1. Smooth jazz and Kenny G
  2. English language films
  3. The Golden Ratio
  4. Bridge (the card game)
  5. The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (Music Grade Exams)
  6. Superstars

Mark Mason

Mark Mason

This week, Mark Mason discusses with Ivan his six choices of things which should be better known.

1. Apophenia

2. Heartlands film

3. Apollo 12

4. Train in the Distance by Paul Simon

5. Joe Swail

6. Selling Hitler by Robert Harris

Sophie Ratcliffe


This week, Sophie Ratcliffe talks to Ivan about six things which she thinks should be better known. You can buy Sophie’s book The Lost Properties of Love.

1. The classified sections of The Times newspaper for the year 1875

2. John Brewer photography workshops

3. What GPs actually do

4. The manifold ways people respond to death and grief

5. The benefits of having a disco ball in your kitchen

6. Hull

Richard Barnett


This week, Dr Richard Barnett discusses six things with Ivan which he thinks should be better known.

  1. Russell Hoban’s Pilgermann
  2. Kedgeree
  3. Wittgenstein’s service in World War One
  4. Tarbat Discovery Centre in Portmahomack
  5. Simon Munnery
  6. John Fahey’s On the Banks of the Owchita

Sam Dodson and Dan Sutherland


This week, Sam Dodson and Dan Sutherland from Nothing in the Rulebook discuss with Ivan six things which should be better known.

1. The Future Library project in Norway

2. Dr Chuck Tingle Professor of Massage

3. The bad sex in fiction awards

4. No Alibis book shop

5. Richard Serra’s “portend I slugten” at the Louisiana art gallery in Denmark

6. Josh Spiller’s IF comic book anthology on superheroes

Emma John


This week, Emma John discusses with Ivan her six choices which should be better known.

1. The town of Chapel Hill, North Carolina

2. Tom Selleck’s Jesse Stone movies

3. The Lord Peter Wimsey novels of Dorothy L Sayers

4. The musicals of Jason Robert Brown

5. Bluegrass music

6. Nate DiMeo’s podcast The Memory Palace

Imogen Russell Williams


This week, Imogen Russell Williams talks to Ivan about six things which she thinks should be better known.

  1. The Hounds of the Morrigan by Pat O’Shea
  2. Carpe diem
  3. Knightmare
  4. Susan Price’s Sterkarm Trilogy
  5. The role of libraries and librarians in schools
  6. Dyslexia and its impact