The Reader Podcast

Episode Four: The Kindness of Strangers

May 14, 2021

Over the years, staff and volunteers at The Reader have learned that there are five essential values or behaviours that are key to a great Shared Reading experience and one of them is: be kind. The Reader relies on the kindness of authors, who volunteer their time and allow us to use their work; we rely on the kindness of those who begin as strangers and become volunteers running Shared Reading groups around the country; and we rely on the belief that all of us, however different, can tap into a shared humanity through reading together. In this episode, we hear from two authors who have been great supporters of The Reader’s work: Frank Cottrell-Boyce and Joanne Harris. Frank reads his ‘Eulogy for the Lost’, broadcast by Culture Liverpool and BBC Radio Merseyside in March to mark a year since the start of lockdown. Joanne Harris speaks about her novel Orfeia, about grief, loss and the power of stories, and we listen in to a National Prison Radio Shared Reading discussion of one particular story by Joanne, ‘Tea With the Birds’, in which an encounter between two strangers proves transformative. 


Liverpool Together: Reflecting on a year of lockdown at the Culture Liverpool website 


Frank Cottrell-Boyce on Instagram 


Orfeia by Joanne Harris 


Jigs and Reels - short stories by Joanne Harris 


Listen to more episodes of The Reader on National Prison Radio 


Find out more about The Reader – donate, get involved, join a Shared Reading Group 


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