June Sarpong: ‘These books are forever imprinted on me’

In this episode, host Zawe Ashton chats with presenter and author June Sarpong OBE about her feminist school teachers who introduced her to empowering literature by women and what it is like to be Director of Creative Diversity at the BBC. June began her career on MTV in 1998. She went on to host T4 for eight years and became a beloved face on our screens with her signature sense of humour and ability to interview anyone from Kanye West to Tony Blair.

Listen to the episode in full here, and find out which famous author from the list below cooked an amazing meal for June and signed a recipe book for her!

Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice is Jane Austen’s most perennially popular novel. The love story of Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy, who misjudge,…

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‘I had amazing feminist teachers at school who gave me this book, and I was absolutely hooked. I was totally engrossed and really connected with this woman and her sisters.’

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings

The first and best-known of Maya Angelou’s extraordinary seven volumes of autobiography is a testament to the talents and resilience of…

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‘Again, my teachers wanted to give us books that would empower us as young women, to help shape our outlook on life and I was shaken by this book. This is a book that stops you in your tracks. It is a book I revisit, I try to read it once a year and I learn something new every time I read it.’


Women Who Run With The Wolves: Contacting the Power of the Wild Woman

In the classic Women Who Run With the Wolves, Clarissa Pinkola Estes tells us about the ‘wild woman’, the wise and…

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‘This is a book that women pass down, it  will be a timeless companion. When  women wake up and get that urge in their soul, that burning where you just know “I am more than this”, this book will find you. It brings you back to source and connects you to Mother Nature.

Until Today!: Daily Devotions for Spiritual Growth and Peace of Mind

If there are situations, circumstances, or perhaps relationships in your life that you have been struggling to overcome, trying to…

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‘Iyanla is doing some very special work in the world, on a deep, cellular level of healing. Whatever day you pick up the book, the message on that page is the one you need to hear. It’s short and a great, great, great book.’

White Teeth

Zadie Smith’s White Teeth is a classic international bestseller and an unforgettable portrait of London One of the most talked…

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‘It was so important to me get a book that was contemporary and spoke about the people that I grew up around, and for that book to be written by a woman who could have been my friend at school. This story took the world, not just Britain by storm.’

Intrigued by June’s bookshelfie choices? Listen to June’s epiode in full here >

If you enjoyed this episode, there are many more inspiring Bookshelfie interviews on the Women’s Prize Podcast, including all the great guests from series 1-3 such as Afua Hirsch, Pandora Sykes and Paris Lees.

Or listen to last week’s episode with fellow MTV alumni and presenter Edith Bowman. Be sure to rate, review and subscribe to never miss an episode of the podcast.

The Women's Prize Podcast

Tune into host Vick Hope and a line-up of incredible guests on our weekly podcast full of unmissable book recommendations.