Writers are doing it for themselves.

Peter Cox, Founder

Burning Books

Talking Great, Good, Bad and Very Bad Books

Burning Books

From recent débuts to classics, fiction to non-fiction, memoirs, philosophy, science, history and journalism, Burning Books separates the smoking from the singeworthy, looking at the pleasures (and pains) of reading, the craft of writing, the ideas that are at the heart of great novels as well as novels that try to be great… but don’t quite make it.

Your Host

Eric Beck Rubin

Eric Beck Rubin

Separating smoke from fire

My Brilliant Friend – Elena Ferrante

Rivalry, Precocity, Misery


Elena is friends with Lila, whom hurts Elena in all kinds of ways that Elena finds fascinating, and painful. Slums, slums, slums, creepy older men, and not a single moment of levity. Prepare yourself.

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Be a Patron!

So Many Books, So Little Time

You’ll never manage to read all the great books in the world, and that’s a fact.

Fortunately, you don’t need to.

Because every few weeks – more often with your kind support – your host Eric Beck Rubin brings you a fresh eye on a classic piece of writing.

It’s what public service broadcasting should be.  Informative. Opinionated. Fun.  Life-enhancing.

We need your generous support to keep going – please become a patron now.


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You can cancel at any time (but we hope you won’t!). And thank you – your kind patronage truly makes all the difference.

Highlights from the Shop

Previous Shows From Burning Books


My Brilliant Friend – Elena Ferrante

Rivalry, Precocity, Misery

River of Smoke – Amitav Ghosh

‘Inhale, Exhale’ – Cypress Hill
Burning Books

Public Service Announcement

School of Velocity / Burning Books Format Changes

The Adversary – Emmanuel Carrère

A Case of Mistaken Identity

Morality Play – Barry Unsworth

More Naughty Than Nice

Latecomers – Anita Brookner

Never Started Before It Was Over

The Scapegoat – Sophia Nikolaidou

When the World is Against You
The German Mujahid – Boualem Sansal

The German Mujahid – Boualem Sansal

The Secret Lives of Banlieusards

The Luzhin Defense – Vladimir Nabokov

Early Nabokov Trying Things