Talking Books

Tune in every weekday for a new episode of our unabridged Talking Book, or catch up with every episode here. New episodes every Monday - Friday at 2pm, or if you prefer a book at bedtime it's repeated every night at 10pm.

Talking Books Now Playing ...

The Muder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie

Read by Christopher Oxford

Roger Ackroyd was a man who knew too much He knew the woman he loved had poisoned her first husband He knew someone was black mailing her and now he knew she had taken her own life with a drug overdose

Soon the evening post would let him know who the mystery blackmailer was But Roger was dead before he'd finished reading it, stabbed through the neck where he sat in his study

Tune in every week day at 2pm or 10pm

Coming Soon

Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson

Read by John Chancer

In 1995, before leaving his much-loved home in North Yorkshire to move back to the States for a few years with his family, Bill Bryson insisted on taking one last trip around Britain, a sort of valedictory tour of the green and kindly island that had so long been his home.

His aim was to take stock of the nation's public face and private parts (as it were), and to analyse what precisely it was he loved so much about a country that had produced Marmite; a military hero whose dying wish was to be kissed by a fellow named Hardy; place names like Farleigh Wallop, Titsey and Shellow Bowells; people who said 'Mustn't grumble', and ‘Ooh lovely’ at the sight of a cup of tea and a plate of biscuits; and Gardeners' Question Time

Coming soon, but as I'm away at the moment, the first few episodes are available now!


Catch Up ...

Lady Susan, The Watsons and Sanditon by Jane Austen

Read by Norma West

Three short, lesser know Jane Austen works ...'Lady Susan', with its wicked, beautiful and energetic heroine, is a sparkling melodrama 'The Watsons' is a story whose vitality and optimism centre on the marital prospects of the Watson sisters in a small provincial town 'Sanditon' is set in a seaside town and its themes concern the new speculative consumer society and foreshadow the social upheavals of the Industrial Revolution.

Catch up now.

Children's Talking Books

A children's classic, every Saturday morning at 9am and Sunday at 3pm and at the moment it's Billy Bunter. Catch up on the latest episode or find out more about our Weekend Children's Show here.

Read On

If you're passionate about books and reading, tune in every Friday from 1pm. Author interviews, book news, technology updates and everything you've always wanted to know about the RNIB Library. 

Head to the Read On Page now

Join RNIB Talking Books

Our Talking Books service is absolutely free. Giving you access to over 25,000 titles that you can read to your hearts content.

Join the Talking Books Service

Booker Prize

Every year we feature the Man Booker shortlisted authors, here are the latest and a few from the awards over the past few years - Man Booker Prize authors

Suggest a book to be played on Talking Books by emailing or contacting me via Talking_Books on Twitter. A number of restrictions around rights are involved but we do look at every suggestion.


Listen Again

Catch up with our current featured book, and EVERY EPISODE of the last book featured on the show, both mid-week and children's weekend.


Notes from a Small Island


Small Island 1/14

Small Island 2/14

Small Island 3/14

Small Island 4/14

Small Island 5/14

Small Island 6/14

Small Island 7/14 



Murder of Roger Ackroyd


Roger Ackroyd 1/10

Roger Ackroyd 2/10

Roger Ackroyd 3/10

Roger Ackroyd 4/10

Roger Ackroyd 5/10

Roger Ackroyd 6/10

Roger Ackroyd 7/10

Roger Ackroyd 8/10

Roger Ackroyd 9/10

Roger Ackroyd 10/10


Jane Austen


Jane Austen 1/8

Jane Austen 2/8

Jane Austen 3/8

Jane Austen 4/8

Jane Austen 5/8

Jane Austen 6/8

Jane Austen 7/8

Jane Austen 8/8



Short Stories

A one off show, Helena Bonham Carter reads Antonia Fraser, June Whitfield reads Nina Bawden and Frederick Forsyth reads Frederick Forsyth

Short Story Special



Children's Books

Billy Bunter


Bunter 1/5

Bunter 2/5

Bunter 3/5

Bunter 4/5

Bunter 5/5



Charlotte's Web


Charlotte's Web 1/4

Charlotte's Web 2/4

Charlotte's Web 3/4

Charlotte's Web 4/4


About Talking Books

Robert Kirkwood presents the best of the spoken Word. The famous RNIB Talking Books studios have such a rich and varied history. Authors such as Ruth Rendell, Roald Dahl, P.D. James, A.S. Byatt, Fay Weldon, Doris Lessing, Lady Antonia Fraser and lots of other greats, making up a veritable Who’s Who of UK literature, have all visited us and recorded something.

Narrators over the years have included Joanna Lumley, Richard Baker, Sir John Gielgud, Joss Ackland and Jim Broadbent amongst hundreds of others. In the early days of the RNIB Talking Book service, there was no such thing as commercial audiobooks, so the RNIB library is the only place to hear people such as Peter Cushing and Joyce Grenfel read books aloud.

On Insight Radio's Talking Book show we've featured all of the above! Where else could you hear Peter Cushing read Sherlock Holmes followed by Victoria Coren talking poker, or Cherie Blair reading Postman Pat followed by Frederick Forsyth telling us about cocaine trafficking?

Tune in every day at 2pm (or 10pm or 3am) for exclusive audio, author interviews, behind the scenes features and our featured book or short story of the moment. I'll also keep adding content to the Talking Books podcast feed so make sure you subscribe.

Subscribe to the Talking Books podcast feed on itunes

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