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The Biscuit Reviews

If you had to compare your favourite book to a biscuit, what would it be? The Biscuit Reviews takes on books, TV shows, and podcasts and alongside an in depth review seeks to give you a real flavour of what they're like by scoring them with a biscuit rating. A solid drama might be worthy of a shortbread rating (filling, sturdy, serious) whilst a good blockbuster type show might warrant a choc chip cookie (gives you a rush and feels like a treat.) Why not get yourself a brew and a biccie and join us.


Episode 10: By Ash Oak and Thorn, and Seven Deadly Psychologies
Let's step into 2024 with two reviews that kind of sum up my 2023: nature and how we think. I've been meaning to read the novel By Ash, Oak and Thorn by Melissa Harrison for ages and although the novel starts in spring,  starting it in the depths of winter proved ideal! We follow three of the ancient Hidden Folk - guardians of nature - as they set off and quest to solve a mystery that threatens their existence. It's a beautiful tale of wonder that will delight readers of all ages. The seven deadly sins get a bad rap don't they? I mean, they're called "deadly" for a start which doesn't bode well. But what if they have their uses? And why do we have these emotions if they're so deadly anyway? Becky Ripley and Sophie Ward's podcast for BBC Radio 4 brings together the science and the social aspects of each "sin" in a thoroughly entertaining series that will have you looking at your own emotions in a new light. ​ Listen to the podcast  for both reviews and you can also read each written review by following the links below. Melissa Harrison: Seven Deadly Psychologies: ​ All music in the episode is by Ketsa. (Creative Commons License CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)
09:53 1/5/24
Episode 9: Children of Memory and Possible Worlds...
A sci-fi double bill that takes us to the far reaches of the universe and to the distant future and back again. Adrian Tchaikosvky concludes his astonishing Children of… trilogy with Children of Memory. Building on the combination of evolution, biology and tech in the previous instalments, this final chapter goes darker and deeper into what we even mean by “real”. It is also quite frighteningly current with some of the themes and like classic sci-fi, often acts as a warning. Dr Rachel Handley is a philosopher at Trinity College and a science fiction author and poet. She joins me to chat about her collection Possible Worlds and Other Stories. A hugely entertaining book that delivers thought provoking and vivid stories with a wry sharp sense of humour. Oh, and a world of crabs. Adrian Tchaikovsky: Dr Rachel Handley links: All music in the episode is by Ketsa. (Creative Commons License CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)
25:27 10/20/23
The Peripheral and Silo (Episode 8)
In The Peripheral (based on William Gibson's book)is an ambitious sci-fi espionage thriller set across different times and different realities. It puts an twist on time travel and mixes genres but is it all a bit too much? Silo on Apple TV is set further into the future and after a catastrophe destroys the planet's atmosphere, a society survives in an underground silo, eking out a bare existence following strict societal rules. But more is hidden beneath the surface than just their homes. Apple continues its pitch to be the place for grand and thoughtful sci-fi with this adaptation of Hugh Howey's book series. For the written review of both of these and any links mentioned in the show go to All music in the episode is by Ketsa. (Creative Commons License CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)
16:49 8/25/23
Between Us and People Who Knew Me (Episode 7)
Secrets. Deception. Affairs. Both the book and the podcast reviewed on this episode dive deep into the drama of the tangled webs we weave. Author Mhairi McFarlane's latest novel Between Us hits the ground running with high drama and high stakes. School teacher Roisin suffers a betrayal at the hands of her long term partner and is forced to wonder what else he might be capable of. The BBC Podcast series People Who Knew Me might draw you in with its A-List cast of Rosamund Pike and Hugh Laurie but it will keep you hooked with the suspense of what Connie will do when her secret past life might need to be revealed. For the written review of both of these and any links mentioned in the show go to All music in the episode is by Ketsa. (Creative Commons License CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)
13:13 8/4/23
Witch and Isabella and Blodwen (Episode 6)
Episode 6 looks at the podcast series Witch, and the graphic novel Isabella and Blodwen. In the 13 part podcast series Witch, host and journalist India Rakusen and her team create a spellbinding series with each half an hour episode artfully exploring different aspects of what “Witch” can mean and how it has changed over the centuries. Artist, writer, and comic book creator Rachael Smith has built a loyal following with her autobiographical comic strips. Isabella & Blodwen dives back to her fantastical fictional work and brings together precocious 16 year old Isabella and the chaotic witch Blodwen who vows to help her as she struggles with life at Oxford University. ​ The episode starts with Witch, but you can skip to 10minutes 35seconds if you just want Isabella & Blodwen review. For the written review for both of these and links mentioned go to episodes page at: All music in the episode is by Ketsa. (Creative Commons License CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)
16:37 7/31/23
Open Water and The Night She Disappeared (Episode 5)
Caleb Azumah Nelsons debut novel Open Water is an astonishing achievement. Combining poetic prose and rhythms to match the heart wrenching tale of love and identity against the backdrop of a frenetic London and racial tensions. Lisa Jewell has cemented her reputation as an elite thriller writer and The Night She Disappeared is an other hit of the genre - which might seem a long way from her debut novel in 1999 but there are similarities that make both compulsive reading. The episode starts with Open Water, but you can skip to 8 minutes if you just want The Night She Disappeared review. For the full write reviews of both books and for previous episodes go to All music in the episode is by Ketsa. Music By Ketsa (Creative Commons License CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)
13:36 7/31/23
Elizabeth is Missing and Cardinal (Episode 4)
A double header this week. First up, I marvel at how in "Elizabeth is Missing", Emma Healey has crafted a tale about an old lady with dementia into a thrilling and moving mystery. Next up, I consider the themes that connect that novel to the Scandi-noir-esque Canadian detective series "Cardinal". ​ The episode starts with the review of "Elizabeth is Missing", but you can skip to 7minutes 20seconds if you just want the "Cardinal" review. Go to for the written versions of both reviews and all links. Music by Ketsa Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
13:07 7/31/23
The Power by Naomi Alderman (Episode 3)
The Power by Naomi Alderman is a provocative near future science fiction novel that poses a “what if?” scenario and dares you to confront the world around you and your place in it. It is quite literally shocking, as well as a world-hopping thriller with graphic action and uncomfortable moral choices. Could it also be the smash hit TV show of 2023? Blog and video version available Music: Gods Among Men by Prox-C. Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 Elemental by ATUM.
08:46 7/31/23
The Coming Storm Podcast (Episode 2)
The Coming Storm is a BBC podcast by journalist Gabriel Gatehouse and producer Lucy Proctor that on the surface is about the background to the Capitol Insurrection in Washington DC on the January 2021. Whilst the repercussions of that day still reverberate in the news and the courts in the present, this series takes a deep dive into history. What makes this a must listen series and how is it like the best thriller films? Music: Gods Among Men by Prox-C. Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
07:46 7/31/23
Fairy Tale by Stephen King (Episode 1)
Did Stephen King write a Young Adult novel? I also think I know the perfect director to make any film adaptation that might be tried of this vast imaginative novel. ​ In the first of my The Biscuit Reviews selections, I give myself a treat by starting with an author who I have re-embraced in the last decade after first leaping into IT and Needful Things when my older brothers got me into horror books as a kid. Let's dive into how the master storyteller gets to grip with one of the oldest story forms - the fairy tale. Get a full guide and other reviews at Produced by Humanish. Music: Gods Among Men by Prox-C. Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 Elemental by Day.
09:26 7/31/23

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