The Book That Changed Me

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01Essential Classics20140120

Former Home Secretary Alan Johnson describes how "David Copperfield" by Charles Dickens mirrored his poor and troubled childhood in West London. After the death of his mother, the discovery of this great novel gave him the hope to build a happy and secure adult life. "I was thirteen years old and had read lots of books but nothing like this complex saga; so moving, so emotionally intertwined. I loved Peggoty, laughed at Micawber, loathed Uriah Heep. And I cried. Tears that never fell for my mother fell for Ham."

Producer: Smita Patel.

01Essential Classics20140120

Former Home Secretary Alan Johnson describes how "David Copperfield" by Charles Dickens mirrored his poor and troubled childhood in West London. After the death of his mother, the discovery of this great novel gave him the hope to build a happy and secure adult life. "I was thirteen years old and had read lots of books but nothing like this complex saga; so moving, so emotionally intertwined. I loved Peggoty, laughed at Micawber, loathed Uriah Heep. And I cried. Tears that never fell for my mother fell for Ham."

Producer: Smita Patel.

02Essential Classics20140121

Singer Tracey Thorn describes how she as a rebellious teenager she seized on the feminist classic "The Female Eunuch" by Germaine Greer. "It seemed brand new, and it spoke to me of things I'd long thought and felt without ever having words or names for," she says. She explains how the book was a deep influence on the lyrics she wrote for her band Everything but the Girl. But now she is herself a mother, she finds herself questioning Greer's contemptuous dismissal of parenting. "As feminists, I feel we are more forgiving now than Greer was; more inclusive, less dismissive, and perhaps that's because greater freedoms have brought with them greater liberties for us to be so. It's not such a threat now to admit to being happily married and enjoying motherhood when we are not utterly constrained and defined by these roles."

Producer: Smita Patel.

02Essential Classics20140121

Singer Tracey Thorn describes how she as a rebellious teenager she seized on the feminist classic "The Female Eunuch" by Germaine Greer. "It seemed brand new, and it spoke to me of things I'd long thought and felt without ever having words or names for," she says. She explains how the book was a deep influence on the lyrics she wrote for her band Everything but the Girl. But now she is herself a mother, she finds herself questioning Greer's contemptuous dismissal of parenting. "As feminists, I feel we are more forgiving now than Greer was; more inclusive, less dismissive, and perhaps that's because greater freedoms have brought with them greater liberties for us to be so. It's not such a threat now to admit to being happily married and enjoying motherhood when we are not utterly constrained and defined by these roles."

Producer: Smita Patel.

03Essential Classics20140122

The Book that Changed Me: Series in which five people discuss the books that inspired them in their chosen careers. Actor/director Simon McBurney of Theatre de Complicite describes how John Berger's "And Our Faces, My Heart, Brief as Photos" plays with ideas of connection, memory, narrative and mortality which are essential to his theatrical work. "Berger digs in the vulnerable earth of human experience, and joins the fragments he uncovers with an eye as sure as an astronomer, a gesture as gentle as a carpenter," McBurney says. This slim work has been a point of reference for his art and his life.

Producer: Smita Patel.

03Essential Classics20140122

The Book that Changed Me: Series in which five people discuss the books that inspired them in their chosen careers. Actor/director Simon McBurney of Theatre de Complicite describes how John Berger's "And Our Faces, My Heart, Brief as Photos" plays with ideas of connection, memory, narrative and mortality which are essential to his theatrical work. "Berger digs in the vulnerable earth of human experience, and joins the fragments he uncovers with an eye as sure as an astronomer, a gesture as gentle as a carpenter," McBurney says. This slim work has been a point of reference for his art and his life.

Producer: Smita Patel.

01Alan Johnson On David Copperfield2014012020141020 (R3)

Former Home Secretary Alan Johnson describes how "David Copperfield" by Charles Dickens mirrored his poor and troubled childhood in West London. After the death of his mother, the discovery of this great novel gave him the hope to build a happy and secure adult life. "I was thirteen years old and had read lots of books but nothing like this complex saga; so moving, so emotionally intertwined. I loved Peggoty, laughed at Micawber, loathed Uriah Heep. And I cried. Tears that never fell for my mother fell for Ham."

Producer: Smita Patel.

01Alan Johnson On David Copperfield2014012020141020 (R3)

Former Home Secretary Alan Johnson describes how "David Copperfield" by Charles Dickens mirrored his poor and troubled childhood in West London. After the death of his mother, the discovery of this great novel gave him the hope to build a happy and secure adult life. "I was thirteen years old and had read lots of books but nothing like this complex saga; so moving, so emotionally intertwined. I loved Peggoty, laughed at Micawber, loathed Uriah Heep. And I cried. Tears that never fell for my mother fell for Ham."

Producer: Smita Patel.

01Homage To Catalonia2011031420120319

Alan Johnston explains how "Homage to Catalonia" by George Orwell inspired him to become a journalist - and taught him some dark truths about politics. At one point Johnston looked to be destined for a career in town planning. But that all changed when he came across Orwell's book on the Spanish Civil War. "Homage to Catalonia" set Johnston off down a path that would take him to wars and upheaval in the Caucasus, Central Asia, and Afghanistan under the Taleban. He was on a journey that would eventually lead to his being kidnapped in Gaza.

Alan Johnston explains how Homage to Catalonia by George Orwell inspired him.

Alan Johnston explains how "Homage to Catalonia" by George Orwell inspired him to become a journalist - and taught him some dark truths about politics.

At one point Johnston looked to be destined for a career in town planning.

But that all changed when he came across Orwell's book on the Spanish Civil War.

"Homage to Catalonia" set Johnston off down a path that would take him to wars and upheaval in the Caucasus, Central Asia, and Afghanistan under the Taleban.

He was on a journey that would eventually lead to his being kidnapped in Gaza.

01Homage To Catalonia2011031420120319

Alan Johnston explains how "Homage to Catalonia" by George Orwell inspired him to become a journalist - and taught him some dark truths about politics. At one point Johnston looked to be destined for a career in town planning. But that all changed when he came across Orwell's book on the Spanish Civil War. "Homage to Catalonia" set Johnston off down a path that would take him to wars and upheaval in the Caucasus, Central Asia, and Afghanistan under the Taleban. He was on a journey that would eventually lead to his being kidnapped in Gaza.

Alan Johnston explains how Homage to Catalonia by George Orwell inspired him.

Alan Johnston explains how "Homage to Catalonia" by George Orwell inspired him to become a journalist - and taught him some dark truths about politics.

At one point Johnston looked to be destined for a career in town planning.

But that all changed when he came across Orwell's book on the Spanish Civil War.

"Homage to Catalonia" set Johnston off down a path that would take him to wars and upheaval in the Caucasus, Central Asia, and Afghanistan under the Taleban.

He was on a journey that would eventually lead to his being kidnapped in Gaza.

01Steve Earle On In Cold Blood20150119

The legendary singer-songwriter Steve Earle describes how Truman Capote's true-life murder story, "In Cold Blood", captured his imagination as a 12-year-old boy. He first encountered the tale - a dramatic account of a multiple killing in Kansas - in the film version, shown at a local drive-in movie house. "I had to find a copy of that book and read it for myself," he says, stealing the volume from his mother's handbag and devouring it over the next couple of days. Capote's story inspired his decades-long campaign against the death penalty. And the book led him to feel empathy for the killers at the centre of the tale, thanks to "the power of intellect and humanity flowing from heart to hand to pen to page."

Producer: Smita Patel.

01Steve Earle On In Cold Blood20150119

The legendary singer-songwriter Steve Earle describes how Truman Capote's true-life murder story, "In Cold Blood", captured his imagination as a 12-year-old boy. He first encountered the tale - a dramatic account of a multiple killing in Kansas - in the film version, shown at a local drive-in movie house. "I had to find a copy of that book and read it for myself," he says, stealing the volume from his mother's handbag and devouring it over the next couple of days. Capote's story inspired his decades-long campaign against the death penalty. And the book led him to feel empathy for the killers at the centre of the tale, thanks to "the power of intellect and humanity flowing from heart to hand to pen to page."

Producer: Smita Patel.

02Jude Kelly On Little Women20150120

Jude Kelly, the artistic director of Southbank Centre, describes how "Little Women" by Louisa May Alcott mirrored her own experiences growing up in a lively Liverpool home. Like the March family, Kelly grew up surrounded by sisters, and with a father who was often absent. She was inspired by the way Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy grew throughout the novel. "Each daughter is tested against her own frailties and foibles to see if she can become a woman of substance in her own terms... and I wanted to be a woman of substance too," she says. And the book helped her come to terms with the loss of her baby sister Caroline of multiple sclerosis. "Maybe this is the biggest influence 'Little Women' had on me. It made me think about death as an inevitable part of our lives.

Producer: Smita Patel.

02Jude Kelly On Little Women20150120

Jude Kelly, the artistic director of Southbank Centre, describes how "Little Women" by Louisa May Alcott mirrored her own experiences growing up in a lively Liverpool home. Like the March family, Kelly grew up surrounded by sisters, and with a father who was often absent. She was inspired by the way Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy grew throughout the novel. "Each daughter is tested against her own frailties and foibles to see if she can become a woman of substance in her own terms... and I wanted to be a woman of substance too," she says. And the book helped her come to terms with the loss of her baby sister Caroline of multiple sclerosis. "Maybe this is the biggest influence 'Little Women' had on me. It made me think about death as an inevitable part of our lives.

Producer: Smita Patel.

02The Wrench2011031520120320

The potter and writer Edmund de Waal explains how Primo Levi's book "The Wrench" inspired him.

He tells of his long search for a book which would connect with his love of craftsmanship.

Here was a work of fiction which spoke to an artist about the beauty and magic of making objects.

Potter and writer Edmund de Waal explains how Primo Levi's book The Wrench inspired him.

The potter and writer Edmund de Waal explains how Primo Levi's book "The Wrench" inspired him. He tells of his long search for a book which would connect with his love of craftsmanship. Here was a work of fiction which spoke to an artist about the beauty and magic of making objects.

02The Wrench2011031520120320

The potter and writer Edmund de Waal explains how Primo Levi's book "The Wrench" inspired him.

He tells of his long search for a book which would connect with his love of craftsmanship.

Here was a work of fiction which spoke to an artist about the beauty and magic of making objects.

Potter and writer Edmund de Waal explains how Primo Levi's book The Wrench inspired him.

The potter and writer Edmund de Waal explains how Primo Levi's book "The Wrench" inspired him. He tells of his long search for a book which would connect with his love of craftsmanship. Here was a work of fiction which spoke to an artist about the beauty and magic of making objects.

02Tracey Thorn On The Female Eunuch2014012120141021 (R3)

Singer Tracey Thorn describes how she as a rebellious teenager she seized on the feminist classic "The Female Eunuch" by Germaine Greer. "It seemed brand new, and it spoke to me of things I'd long thought and felt without ever having words or names for," she says. She explains how the book was a deep influence on the lyrics she wrote for her band Everything but the Girl. But now she is herself a mother, she finds herself questioning Greer's contemptuous dismissal of parenting. "As feminists, I feel we are more forgiving now than Greer was; more inclusive, less dismissive, and perhaps that's because greater freedoms have brought with them greater liberties for us to be so. It's not such a threat now to admit to being happily married and enjoying motherhood when we are not utterly constrained and defined by these roles."

Producer: Smita Patel.

02Tracey Thorn On The Female Eunuch2014012120141021 (R3)

Singer Tracey Thorn describes how she as a rebellious teenager she seized on the feminist classic "The Female Eunuch" by Germaine Greer. "It seemed brand new, and it spoke to me of things I'd long thought and felt without ever having words or names for," she says. She explains how the book was a deep influence on the lyrics she wrote for her band Everything but the Girl. But now she is herself a mother, she finds herself questioning Greer's contemptuous dismissal of parenting. "As feminists, I feel we are more forgiving now than Greer was; more inclusive, less dismissive, and perhaps that's because greater freedoms have brought with them greater liberties for us to be so. It's not such a threat now to admit to being happily married and enjoying motherhood when we are not utterly constrained and defined by these roles."

Producer: Smita Patel.

03For Colored Girls...20110316

Writer Bernardine Evaristo describes her love for the book "For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf" by Ntozake Shange.

This collection of poems inspired Evaristo to break into experimental black theatre and ultimately find her own voice as a novelist.

Producer: Smita Patel.

Writer Bernardine Evaristo on how For Colored Girls...

by Ntozake Shange inspired her.

03For Colored Girls...20110316

Writer Bernardine Evaristo describes her love for the book "For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf" by Ntozake Shange.

This collection of poems inspired Evaristo to break into experimental black theatre and ultimately find her own voice as a novelist.

Producer: Smita Patel.

Writer Bernardine Evaristo on how For Colored Girls...

by Ntozake Shange inspired her.

03Jon Ronson On What A Carve Up!20150121

Journalist and writer Jon Ronson explains the electrifying effect of reading Jonathan Coe's "What a Carve Up!" He first came across the satirical novel as a care-free nightclubber in his 20s. "It politicized me in a way," Ronson says, making him "understand that big politics affect those of us down here just trying to shuffle our way through life". He was horrified and fascinated by the Winshaws, the grotesque family at the centre of the book, who typify the excesses of the Thatcher years. Ronson says the book was a deep influence on his own writing. "I wanted to pass on to my own readers the great revelation I'd learned from 'What A Carve Up!' - that powerful, crazy people affect our lives in ways we barely notice."

Producer: Smita Patel.

03Jon Ronson On What A Carve Up!20150121

Journalist and writer Jon Ronson explains the electrifying effect of reading Jonathan Coe's "What a Carve Up!" He first came across the satirical novel as a care-free nightclubber in his 20s. "It politicized me in a way," Ronson says, making him "understand that big politics affect those of us down here just trying to shuffle our way through life". He was horrified and fascinated by the Winshaws, the grotesque family at the centre of the book, who typify the excesses of the Thatcher years. Ronson says the book was a deep influence on his own writing. "I wanted to pass on to my own readers the great revelation I'd learned from 'What A Carve Up!' - that powerful, crazy people affect our lives in ways we barely notice."

Producer: Smita Patel.

03Simon Mcburney On And Our Faces, My Heart, Brief As Photos2014012220141022 (R3)

Actor/director Simon McBurney of Theatre de Complicite describes how John Berger's "And Our Faces, My Heart, Brief as Photos" plays with ideas of connection, memory, narrative and mortality which are essential to his theatrical work. "Berger digs in the vulnerable earth of human experience, and joins the fragments he uncovers with an eye as sure as an astronomer, a gesture as gentle as a carpenter," McBurney says. This slim work has been a point of reference for his art and his life.

Producer: Smita Patel.

03Simon Mcburney On And Our Faces, My Heart, Brief As Photos2014012220141022 (R3)

Actor/director Simon McBurney of Theatre de Complicite describes how John Berger's "And Our Faces, My Heart, Brief as Photos" plays with ideas of connection, memory, narrative and mortality which are essential to his theatrical work. "Berger digs in the vulnerable earth of human experience, and joins the fragments he uncovers with an eye as sure as an astronomer, a gesture as gentle as a carpenter," McBurney says. This slim work has been a point of reference for his art and his life.

Producer: Smita Patel.

04Lolita Chakrabarti On A Tale Of Two Cities20150122

Actor and playwright Lolita Chakrabarti explains how "A Tale of Two Cities" by Charles Dickens affected her at a pivotal moment in her life. She first came across the novel at the age of 15, as a set text at school. Dickens's account of the French Revolution mirrored the tumult of the politics of the mid-1980s, while his narrative seized her imagination. "He paints pictures with words succinctly and with no pretension. He tells a cracking story, has a great sense of humour and creates credible, compelling characters," she says. The novel's portrayal of personality influenced her acting, leading her to search for the emotional impulse motivating each character. No wonder she still keeps her original paperback copy: "Many of the pages are loose, but I'm loath to throw it away because this book opened a door for me."

Producer: Smita Patel.

04Lolita Chakrabarti On A Tale Of Two Cities20150122

Actor and playwright Lolita Chakrabarti explains how "A Tale of Two Cities" by Charles Dickens affected her at a pivotal moment in her life. She first came across the novel at the age of 15, as a set text at school. Dickens's account of the French Revolution mirrored the tumult of the politics of the mid-1980s, while his narrative seized her imagination. "He paints pictures with words succinctly and with no pretension. He tells a cracking story, has a great sense of humour and creates credible, compelling characters," she says. The novel's portrayal of personality influenced her acting, leading her to search for the emotional impulse motivating each character. No wonder she still keeps her original paperback copy: "Many of the pages are loose, but I'm loath to throw it away because this book opened a door for me."

Producer: Smita Patel.

04Malorie Blackman On The Color Purple2014012320141023 (R3)

Children's Laureate Malorie Blackman on how Alice Walker's novel "The Color Purple" legitimised her need to be a writer. She writes how the novel was "about the triumph of the human spirit". Reading it for the first in her early 20s it "blasted open a door which I thought was locked and barred to me. Actually it blasted open a door which I didn't appreciate even existed. A door that could lead to a writing career of my own... this book and its author showed that it was possible for me to not only be an author but to have my own voice."

Producer: Smita Patel.

Children's Laureate Malorie Blackman on how Alice Walker's novel "The Color Purple" legitimised her need to be a writer. She writes how the novel was "about the triumph of the human spirit". Reading it for the first time in her early 20s it "blasted open a door which I thought was locked and barred to me. Actually it blasted open a door which I didn't appreciate even existed. A door that could lead to a writing career of my own... this book and its author showed that it was possible for me to not only be an author but to have my own voice."

04Malorie Blackman On The Color Purple2014012320141023 (R3)

Children's Laureate Malorie Blackman on how Alice Walker's novel "The Color Purple" legitimised her need to be a writer. She writes how the novel was "about the triumph of the human spirit". Reading it for the first in her early 20s it "blasted open a door which I thought was locked and barred to me. Actually it blasted open a door which I didn't appreciate even existed. A door that could lead to a writing career of my own... this book and its author showed that it was possible for me to not only be an author but to have my own voice."

Producer: Smita Patel.

Children's Laureate Malorie Blackman on how Alice Walker's novel "The Color Purple" legitimised her need to be a writer. She writes how the novel was "about the triumph of the human spirit". Reading it for the first time in her early 20s it "blasted open a door which I thought was locked and barred to me. Actually it blasted open a door which I didn't appreciate even existed. A door that could lead to a writing career of my own... this book and its author showed that it was possible for me to not only be an author but to have my own voice."

04The Expressions Of The Emotions In Man And Animals2011031720120321

Scientist Colin Blakemore praises a lesser-known work by Charles Darwin,"The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals".

Producer: Smita Patel.

Scientist Colin Blakemore praises a lesser-known work by Charles Darwin.

Scientist Colin Blakemore praises a lesser-known work by Charles Darwin,"The Expressions of the Emotions in Man and Animals".

04The Expressions Of The Emotions In Man And Animals2011031720120321

Scientist Colin Blakemore praises a lesser-known work by Charles Darwin,"The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals".

Producer: Smita Patel.

Scientist Colin Blakemore praises a lesser-known work by Charles Darwin.

Scientist Colin Blakemore praises a lesser-known work by Charles Darwin,"The Expressions of the Emotions in Man and Animals".

05Luke Johnson On The Magic Of Thinking Big20140124

05Luke Johnson On The Magic Of Thinking Big20140124

05Pride And Prejudice2011031820120322

Academic Mona Siddiqui explores her affection for Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice" and explains how it spoke over the centuries directly to her personal experience.Here was a work of fiction which mirrored all the conventions of arranged marriage between two very different cultures, Austen's English Regency values and Siddiqui's Indian Muslim views on love and loyalty to the family.

Producer: Smita Patel.

Academic Mona Siddiqui explores her affection for Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice.

05Pride And Prejudice2011031820120322

Academic Mona Siddiqui explores her affection for Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice" and explains how it spoke over the centuries directly to her personal experience.Here was a work of fiction which mirrored all the conventions of arranged marriage between two very different cultures, Austen's English Regency values and Siddiqui's Indian Muslim views on love and loyalty to the family.

Producer: Smita Patel.

Academic Mona Siddiqui explores her affection for Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice.

05Sir Paul Nurse On Conjectures And Refutations20150123

Nobel Prize-winning geneticist Sir Paul Nurse explains how Karl Popper's "Conjectures and Refutations" rescued his career as a research scientist. He read it at a time when he was dispirited by his experimental research methods. Popper's work "helped me out of my intellectual crisis," he says. "It showed me a way to think about my experiments and how to use them to develop more general scientific ideas." The philosopher recommended a new way of thinking about what to study, based on "intuitive leaps of the imagination". This procedure - of a cycle of bold conjectures, which are tested and refuted - dramatically liberated Sir Paul's thinking about how to advance scientific knowledge.

Producer: Smita Patel.

05Sir Paul Nurse On Conjectures And Refutations20150123

Nobel Prize-winning geneticist Sir Paul Nurse explains how Karl Popper's "Conjectures and Refutations" rescued his career as a research scientist. He read it at a time when he was dispirited by his experimental research methods. Popper's work "helped me out of my intellectual crisis," he says. "It showed me a way to think about my experiments and how to use them to develop more general scientific ideas." The philosopher recommended a new way of thinking about what to study, based on "intuitive leaps of the imagination". This procedure - of a cycle of bold conjectures, which are tested and refuted - dramatically liberated Sir Paul's thinking about how to advance scientific knowledge.

Producer: Smita Patel.

05 LASTLuke Johnson On The Magic Of Thinking Big2014012420141024 (R3)

Serial entrepreneur Luke Johnson celebrates the simple but powerful messages of the self-help classic, "The Magic of Thinking Big" by David J Schwartz." "His book is not great literature," he admits. "Indeed, it is popular psychology at its most obvious." However, Johnson defends its power as "basic but also profound" - and it has influenced his huge success with a series of household name businesses.

Producer: Smita Patel.

05 LASTLuke Johnson On The Magic Of Thinking Big2014012420141024 (R3)

Serial entrepreneur Luke Johnson celebrates the simple but powerful messages of the self-help classic, "The Magic of Thinking Big" by David J Schwartz." "His book is not great literature," he admits. "Indeed, it is popular psychology at its most obvious." However, Johnson defends its power as "basic but also profound" - and it has influenced his huge success with a series of household name businesses.

Producer: Smita Patel.

06The Smoking Diaries2011102420130318

Former England cricketer and now writer for the Times, Ed Smith tells us how Simon Gray's The Smoking Diaries liberated him as a wordsmith. Throwing away the rulebook of formal writing, he was inspired to have the confidence to use words in a completely new way.

Producer: Smita Patel

First broadcast in October 2011.

Former England cricketer and now writer for the Times, Ed Smith tells us how Simon Gray's "The Smoking Diaries" liberated him as a wordsmith.

Throwing away the rulebook of formal writing, he was inspired to have the confidence to use words in a completely new way.

Ed Smith explains how Simon Gray's The Smoking Diaries liberated him as a wordsmith.

06The Smoking Diaries2011102420130318

Former England cricketer and now writer for the Times, Ed Smith tells us how Simon Gray's The Smoking Diaries liberated him as a wordsmith. Throwing away the rulebook of formal writing, he was inspired to have the confidence to use words in a completely new way.

Producer: Smita Patel

First broadcast in October 2011.

Former England cricketer and now writer for the Times, Ed Smith tells us how Simon Gray's "The Smoking Diaries" liberated him as a wordsmith.

Throwing away the rulebook of formal writing, he was inspired to have the confidence to use words in a completely new way.

Ed Smith explains how Simon Gray's The Smoking Diaries liberated him as a wordsmith.

07Othello2011102520130319

Poet and musician Musa Okwonga on how Shakespeare's Othello mirrored his experience of isolation as a young black British-Ugandan growing up in a predominantly white environment. Feeling out of place at work and in his own skin, reading Othello provided an outlet for his demons and eventually the courage to create a new life as a poet.

Producer: Smita Patel

First broadcasst in October 2011.

Poet and musician Musa Okwonga on how Shakespeare's "Othello" mirrored his experience of isolation as a young black British-Ugandan growing up in a predominantly white environment.

Feeling out of place at work and in his own skin, reading "Othello" provided an outlet for his demons and eventually the courage to create a new life as a poet.

Poet Musa Okwonga on how Shakespeare's Othello mirrored his experience of isolation.

07Othello2011102520130319

Poet and musician Musa Okwonga on how Shakespeare's Othello mirrored his experience of isolation as a young black British-Ugandan growing up in a predominantly white environment. Feeling out of place at work and in his own skin, reading Othello provided an outlet for his demons and eventually the courage to create a new life as a poet.

Producer: Smita Patel

First broadcasst in October 2011.

Poet and musician Musa Okwonga on how Shakespeare's "Othello" mirrored his experience of isolation as a young black British-Ugandan growing up in a predominantly white environment.

Feeling out of place at work and in his own skin, reading "Othello" provided an outlet for his demons and eventually the courage to create a new life as a poet.

Poet Musa Okwonga on how Shakespeare's Othello mirrored his experience of isolation.

08In The Land Of Israel2011102620130320

Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner on how Amos Oz's In the Land of Israel changed her feelings towards the country and allowed her to be both in love and critical of her homeland.

Producer: Smita Patel

First broadcast in October 2011.

Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner on how Amos Oz's "In the Land of Israel" changed her feelings towards the country and allowed her to be both in love and critical of her homeland.

Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner on how Amos Oz's book In the Land of Israel.

08In The Land Of Israel2011102620130320

Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner on how Amos Oz's In the Land of Israel changed her feelings towards the country and allowed her to be both in love and critical of her homeland.

Producer: Smita Patel

First broadcast in October 2011.

Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner on how Amos Oz's "In the Land of Israel" changed her feelings towards the country and allowed her to be both in love and critical of her homeland.

Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner on how Amos Oz's book In the Land of Israel.

09The Silent Spring2011102720130321

Veteran journalist Julian Pettifer on how Rachel Carson's The Silent Spring turned him into an environmentalist and how her grave warnings about the use of chemicals turned deadly while he was reporting the Vietnam War.

Producer: Smita Patel

First broadcast in October 2011

Veteran journalist Julian Pettifer on how Rachel Carson's "The Silent Spring" turned him into an environmentalist and how her grave warnings about the use of chemicals turned deadly while he was reporting the Vietnam War.

Journalist Julian Pettifer on how Rachel Carson's The Silent Spring inspired him.

09The Silent Spring2011102720130321

Veteran journalist Julian Pettifer on how Rachel Carson's The Silent Spring turned him into an environmentalist and how her grave warnings about the use of chemicals turned deadly while he was reporting the Vietnam War.

Producer: Smita Patel

First broadcast in October 2011

Veteran journalist Julian Pettifer on how Rachel Carson's "The Silent Spring" turned him into an environmentalist and how her grave warnings about the use of chemicals turned deadly while he was reporting the Vietnam War.

Journalist Julian Pettifer on how Rachel Carson's The Silent Spring inspired him.

10 LASTChocky2011102820130322

Space Scientist Maggie Aderin-Pocock on how Chocky by John Wyndham was pivotal in overcoming her dread of reading. As a child Maggie and books simply didn't get on. She avoided them. Until a science fiction novel about a young boy, with an "imaginary" friend, fired her imagination to ask questions - a habit now central to her career as a scientist.

Producer: Smita Patel

First broadcast in October 2011.

Space Scientist Maggie Aderin-Pocock on how "Chocky" by John Wyndham was pivotal in overcoming her dread of reading.

As a child Maggie and books simply didn't get on.

She avoided them.

Until a science fiction novel about a young boy, with an "imaginary" friend, fired her imagination to ask questions - a habit now central to her career as a scientist.

Space scientist Maggie Aderin-Pocock on how Chocky by John Wyndham inspired her.

10 LASTChocky2011102820130322

Space Scientist Maggie Aderin-Pocock on how Chocky by John Wyndham was pivotal in overcoming her dread of reading. As a child Maggie and books simply didn't get on. She avoided them. Until a science fiction novel about a young boy, with an "imaginary" friend, fired her imagination to ask questions - a habit now central to her career as a scientist.

Producer: Smita Patel

First broadcast in October 2011.

Space Scientist Maggie Aderin-Pocock on how "Chocky" by John Wyndham was pivotal in overcoming her dread of reading.

As a child Maggie and books simply didn't get on.

She avoided them.

Until a science fiction novel about a young boy, with an "imaginary" friend, fired her imagination to ask questions - a habit now central to her career as a scientist.

Space scientist Maggie Aderin-Pocock on how Chocky by John Wyndham inspired her.