Book-loving trio from Ramsgate launch Novel Thoughts podcast

New Novel Thoughts podcast

Three booklovers from Ramsgate are launching a new podcast series called Novel Thoughts.

The podcast features hosts Sapphire Bates, owner of independent Ramsgate bookshop Book Bodega, Joseph Dance, archivist, Michelle Thomas, PR and marketing consultant, and produced in Ramsgate by James Whiting of Fish Island Studios.

The first episodes will be live from December 18th, with future episodes dropping weekly, discussing new books and old, on Acast and all major podcast platforms.

The podcast is Sapphire’s brainchild; she put a call out on Instagram looking for a ‘pod wife’ and Joseph and Michelle answered.

Photo @emrometcalfephoto

Sapphire, 29, is also a writer and says her autism leaves her happier surrounded by her piles of books rather than by people. She dreams of taking her library, her dogs and her slightly exasperated partner, moving to a remote Scottish island and never leaving her spot in front of the fire.

Michelle says she doesn’t remember not being able to read, thanks to a teacher mother and a sister with her nose permanently in a book. Even three years of English at Oxford couldn’t ruin reading for her and she tells stories for a living as a PR and marketing consultant. She is also an open water swimmer and a member of Ramsgate’s Screaming Mary Club.

Joseph is an archivist who lives with his partner and geriatric cat Sandy in a Victorian house full of books. Aside from reading, he has been known to write, edit, and publish poetry and is passionate about literature in translation. He’s at his happiest when he’s ensconced in a cottage in the forests of Finland with a large pile of paperbacks and a pot of tea by his side.

Every week one of the team picks a book for discussion; the book list includes harrowing bestseller ‘A Little Life’, Emma Dabiri’s powerful essay on beauty, ‘Disobedient Bodies’, British Book Awards Fiction Book of the Year ‘Babel’, feminist smash-hit ‘Lessons In Chemistry’ and more.

The team will explore all genres in a format that  is less a book review and more a chat between three friends who love books and read a lot.

Sapphire said: “This is something I had wanted to do for ages! I can’t wait to share the podcast with the world.”

The trio also invite listeners to call in with requests for recommendations and discuss the other culture they’ve been consuming, from TV and films to podcasts and music.

Joseph said: “Our aim is to entertain and inform and if someone finds just one great book through the podcast, then we’ve succeeded.”

Michelle added: ‘”We hope people will enjoy listening to deep dives into books and will find our recommendations useful. We’ll only be recommending books that we genuinely love or find interesting or thought provoking.”

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