19th May 2021
Earworms for Bookworms
Now that everything is starting to return to relative normalcy, I find myself refusing to read eBooks or listen to audiobooks. Not because I dislike them, I certainly came to the opposite conclusion in my Open Letter to eBooks last year. It’s just that lately I crave a physical, tangible copy of a story because of the deprivation 2020 brought. But if you’re anything like me, reading actual writing on public transport is just not an option 🤢
So what’s a girl to do?
Well well, I’m glad you ask, because in this week’s blog post we explore the huge variety of literary podcasts you can tune into for all sorts of bookish talks. Some are short, others are long (kind of like books) but they are all guaranteed to provide book lovers with something exciting to listen to on your daily commute if you want a break from storytelling. So dive right in and hit that play button!
Formerly known as ‘JK, Its Magic’, hosts Jessie and Kelly produce a bi-weekly podcast covering a different YA fantasy novel each episode. They review these tales through the eyes of lifelong fantasy-lovers and with an emphasis on intersectional feminism. If YA, fantasy, and inclusivity are your jam, then this podcast is for you.
Author Daisy Buchanan is the book inspector who takes literary nosy parkers for a snoop around their favourite authors’ bookshelves in You’re Booked. Past guests have included Holly Bourne, Dolly Alderton, Philippa Perry and Sophie Kinsella. Find out the stories behind the dog-eared books in their collections.
Blacklisted gives new life to old books every fortnight, with guests who pick a selection of books that they love and think deserve a wider audience. It’s perfect for digging deep to explore books from the past.
Carrie and Octavia interview an author each month for Literary Friction. They build the show around a theme related to each theme, incorporating lively discussion, book recommendations and even music. Past guests include Dolly Alderton, Leila Slimani and Sally Rooney.
A bi-weekly show where the host, librarian Rita Meade, is joined by a guest from the books world. It might be an author, a fellow librarian, a bookseller, a publisher, or any other kind of literary profession; together they answer readers’ book-related queries and dilemmas, including essential gems such as how to talk to people who don’t like reading, how to avoid friends who provide poorly thought-out book recommendations and how to avoid reading-induced headaches.
If you’ve read all of Nathan Englander’s books and you just want to hear him tell a personal story, The Moth delivers. Hysterical, poignant, and sometimes even heartbreaking, these storytellers bring it all to the stage. If you’ve seen some of us—ahem—sitting in our driveways or grocery store parking lots while the ice cream melts, don’t worry about us. We’re just not getting out of our cars until the story ends.
Whether you’re a fan of screen adaptations of books or not, you’ll enjoy listening to writer Luke and filmmaker James discuss the topic. Each episode, they read a book and then watch the film or show adaptation. Then they review from their unique points of view.
In each episode, hosts Andrew and Craig discuss novels that you’ve been meaning to read (and probably should have read by now) but haven’t quite gotten to yet. On their list of recommended listening for Overdue beginners? The Giver, Fifty Shades of Grey, Outlander, Gone With the Wind, and Twilight.
Part book club, part podcast, each month host Traci Thomas picks a new irresistible read and invites special guests to not only unpack the book, but their own literary habits. May’s choice was Anna K, the modern retelling of Anna Karenina in discussion with the author herself
Another of BBC Radio 4’s outputs, The Invisible College is for anyone with a love of creative writing. Featuring lessons from the greats in literature including Ted Hughes and Allen Ginsberg, listeners can learn everything from how to create characters to dealing with writer’s block.
With 40 books written between the two of them, co-hosts Dhonielle Clayton and Zoraida Córdova set out to “pull back the curtain” on the world of publishing and how to navigate the industry.
A book club for fantasy and sci-fi fans, the popular Legendarium Podcast discusses both new and classic works with passion. On the pod, you’ll find discussions of authors ranging from Tolkien to Brandon Sanderson.
Black Chit Lit’s bi-monthly podcast showcases hosts Danielle and Mollie as they open up a bottle of wine and create a space for bibliophile women of color. Each show focuses on a book written by and about Black women.
If you can’t get enough of young adult fiction, Bookmarked will probably be your new favorite. Each month the hosts discuss the latest popular reads, important themes, and why it’s totally okay for adults to read YA.
‘The hosts are relatable and their enthusiasm and passion for books is contagious.’ ‘It feels like I’m hanging out with friends.’ The reviews say it all – Mostly Lit is a laid-back listen and millennial-focused experience that showcases the crossover in wellness, literature and pop-culture
Each episode, comedian Jolenta Greenberg and her friend Kristen Meinzer select a different self-help book and live life exactly as is instructed. The results range from kind of life-changing to downright hilarious.
There’s a fresh stance in this weekly podcast about ‘books, writing, reading, and racoons’. The hosts dive into books they love, but most interestingly books they hate, too. Join them in an open and honest conversation where they digress and take tangents to discuss the latest happenings in lit.
Podcasting since 2005, this show is for any die-hard Potterhead. The hosts dissect literally every aspect of the Harry Potter universe. And with episode titles like, “Horcrux Hangover” and “Baby Voldemort,” what muggle could resist?
This show is for the person who loves celebrating the triumph of finishing a story, only to be stuck on which page-turner to pick next. In comes host Anne Bogel, who interviews readers about the books they’re enjoying, in addition to the ones they didn’t care for. And in the end, she performs a “literary matchmaking” to find her guest that one perfect read.
Every weekday (yes, we said every), join host Tracy as she delivers poetry straight to your ears. These bite-sized poetic delights are the perfect thing to devour while enjoying your morning coffee or simply brushing your teeth at night. This is the perfect podcast to introduce a poetry novice to the genre, or for poetry experts to just get their daily dose.
If you need a dose of fright in your life, this horror-themed podcast will do the trick. Each episode, theatrical vocal performers conduct readings of the creepiest tales ever written.
Journalist and author Caroline O’Donoghue talks to other female writers about that most unjustly maligned genre, chick-lit. Far from a guilty pleasure, chick-lit, she argues, should be celebrated as legit documentations of the female experience. It’s not all serious feminism, though. It’s fun, thoughtful and wildly entertaining as she and guests examine the books and culture that make chick-lit so special.
Armed with specialty themed drinks in hand, hosts Christopher and Drew tackle the pressure that comes with that unending “to be read” (TBR) list, while also discussing literature and the publishing world.
If you’re looking to expand your knowledge of Asian and Asian American authors, Books & Boba is the podcast for you. It covers a range of genres, from historical fiction and graphic novels to science fiction and thrillers. As well as author interviews, the podcast picks a book for its book club each month, and has updates on recent news in the book world.
Author and literature expert Jacke Wilson journeys through time to examine history’s greatest literary moments and achievements, from dissecting the lives of our greatest authors to the writers who went to war to the Epic of Gilgamesh. The perfect audio companion for anyone who cares where literature is, and where it has come from.
Each Monday, husband duo Jeff and Will chat about their passion for LGBTQ fiction, including recommendations and author interviews along the way.
A podcast that takes itself a little less seriously, The Bad Book Reviews Podcast offers authors the opportunity to joke about their terrible reviews and while also taking on board the critiques.
As the name suggestions, this podcast is alllll about steamy romance novels. Hosts Erin and Melody live across the country from each other, but enjoying a saucy book is what brings them – and now you! — together. Join them as they giggle their way through books that’ll have you breaking out the smelling salts, whether it’s historical fic or a modern love story.
Real-life married couple Brad and Lisa take two of their passions — marriage and comic books — and smash them together in this hilariously heartfelt podcast. Every episode, they’ll explore the highs and lows of different comic book couples from the “will they, or won’t theys” to canon lovebirds everyone roots for. Will studying these couples improve their own marriage? I guess we’ll find out!
A podcast from Book Riot dedicated to all things Science Fiction and Fantasy, from spaceships to dragons to robots to witches. Hosts Sharifeh and Jenn discuss the latest releases, recommend their faves, and start conversations around trends, diversity, and adaptations within the genres.