A happy side effect of reading so many books last year has been discovering a wonderful online world of bookish fun. Sharing your passion with an online community is one of the greatest joys of the Internet. I’m a big fan of podcasts, so finding all of these wonderful book-themed podcasts was a total win for me. Here are five of my favourites, for all your bookish needs!
All the Books
This is one of my favourite podcasts full stop. In this weekly podcast, ‘well red heads’ Rebecca and Liberty discuss some of the week’s best new book releases. I always come away from this podcast with a tonne of new books on my ‘to be read’ list, so it’s a dangerous road to go down (that thing is out of control!) but it’s fun to keep up with what’s happening in the book world. I’ve found some great recommendations through this show, and it’s a total delight to listen to – I want Rebecca and Liberty to come and hang out at my house and talk books with me, but this is the next best thing.
Get Booked is another weekly show that I walk away from with a list as long as my arm of books to read. On this show, Amanda and Jenn give personalised reading recommendations for listeners who write in. There have been recommendations for teachers who want something to recommend to the teenage boys in their class, for readers bereft after the death of Terry Pratchett and for people looking for new, healthy cookbooks to try. It’s a mixed bag, but whilst they might not always be talking about your favourite genre, Amanda and Jenn make every recommendation sound like a must-read.
Slate’s Audio Book Club
Every month, a bunch of Slate magazine critics talk about a particular book in a podcast book club that will really make you think. I’ve only listened to the episodes where I’ve read the book (H is for Hawk is my most recent) but what I’ve heard is always interesting, and gives me a new perspective. They tend to read books which are popular at the time, so you’ll probably have heard of most of them even if you haven’t read them. I’ve saved up a few for books I want to read in the future (Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff, for example) but they announce the book the month before so you can read along if you fancy it.
In Reading Lives, Jeff O’Neal interviews interesting book-ish people about their life in books. These hour long conversations are part book recommendations, part literary nostalgia and part nerding out about books. I’ve listened to quite a few now, and it’s interesting to see the similarities between book lovers that crop up time and again, and the particular quirks of each interviewee. My favourite interviews so far are with Mallory Ortberg, co-founder of The Toast, Ashley Ford, Buzzfeed writer and all round incredible woman, and Celeste Ng, author of ‘Everything I Never Told You’ but there are plenty of excellent episodes in the archives for you to get stuck into.
Lit Up is a podcast about books, writers and all things literary – each episode involves an interview with an author, delving into their work and finding out more about the subject, the process of writing and everything in between. This is perhaps a bit more ‘literary’ than the other podcasts on this list, so it might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s the sort of conversations I’d love to have with authors if I ever got the chance. Episodes worth checking out: Stacy Schiff on the witches of Salem, Let’s Talk about Sex with Rachel Hills and Irin Carmon on The Notorious RBG.