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About us

We’re two sweary state school Midlanders who like to talk honestly about books while trying not to be complete dicks about the authors or their work.

Every fortnight, from our underground cubbyhole in Islington (not the posh part, obviously) we take a deep dive into a book and talk about anything and everything it conjures up for us. We also read out – and in the most-part laugh at – Amazon one-star reviews, because angry people make good material.

Sometimes classics, sometimes modern bestsellers, we’ll do our best to give you plenty of notice, and of course you can catch up at your own pace.

If you’ve ever felt like you’re not qualified to talk openly about literature because you haven’t read enough or don’t know any of the greats, then please, leave your shoes at the door, make yourself comfortable, and join our club.

You don’t have to be state-school, and it’s OK if you’ve read Chaucer. Anyone’s welcome, so long as you don’t mind swearing and average people being human.

Speaking of humans, here’s a bit more about us…

Host and producer Hajar J. Woodland is a singer and some-of-the-time writer with a professional background in all things content.

Curtis Nice standing in Stade du France

A touring musician for ten years, host Curtis Nice recently decided to take a leap and follow his love of sports into his dream career in Sports PR.

About Hajar

Hajar J. Woodland has written tons of corporate copy, produced and scripted videos for tech companies, edited magazines and overseen book marketing campaigns. She’s written for Stylist magazine and spoken on panels at literary events including Bath Literature Festival and the Women’s Prize for Fiction. She was a contributor to the 2015 Virago anthology, ‘I Call Myself a Feminist‘, has an MA in creative writing and a history degree from King’s College London. Hajar’s a sporadic reader, picking up whatever’s recommended, and often forgetting what a novel’s about as soon as she finishes it. She hopes The Dabblers’ Book Club will keep her reading regularly while helping her recall what the hell went on before she closed the book.

About Curtis

Curtis Nice has two passions: books and rugby. And craft beer. And all sport, really. He came to reading in his early twenties and spent eight years as a professional guitarist, where books kept him company on long tours on the high seas. He’s a loyal reader, ploughing through back catalogues of Hemingway, Orwell, Bukowski, Kingsley Amis, JG Ballard and Murakami, to name but a few. He’s a huge fan of Charles Dickens, and early in 2020, he set aside a month to read Bleak House, which meant he smashed his personal goal of reading all of Dickens’ works by his 30th birthday! With a somewhat old-fashioned and male-heavy reading list, he’s looking forward to broadening his literary landscape and reading more modern fiction for The Dabblers’ Book Club.

(… and obviously we’re a couple, but you probably knew that already.)

Like what you hear and want us to keep going?

This is our passion project to keep us reading and talking about books, but it does take quite a bit of time, so if you feel like supporting us in any way, donations are gratefully received. Just click the link below and donate a couple of pennies. It will go to books, website and running costs and biscuits… We’ll give you a shout-out on the pod and you’ll have our sincerest gratitude forever!