What does a book lover do when they’re not reading? Apart from buying new books, we can be found listening to other book lovers talk about books! There are so many out there so I’ve listed five podcasts for book lovers that I would recommend you give a go.
For championing women writers – Women’s Prize for Fiction Podcast
Reading women writers is very important to me, along with sharing my recommendations of them and encouraging others to read them too. As a result, last year I started listening to the Women’s Prize for Fiction Podcast, which has recently returned for the 2020 prize. It’s hosted by Zing Tsjeng and she speaks to a variety of guests about the best fiction written by women. They talk about the importance of recognising these books, authors who have appeared on the lists and their general love of books. Last year there was also a recording of the shortlist doing readings and the announcement of the 2019 winner, which was a wonderful ending. They’re currently running a #ReadingWomen challenge too, if you want to get involved.
For author interviews – Literary Friction
I have this habit where I type in the name of an author into the podcast search and just see what shows come up. So, one day I did this with Zadie Smith, Literary Friction was top of the list, then I was hooked. The show is presented by Carrie Plitt, a literary agent, and Octavia Bright, a writer and academic. Their depth of knowledge really comes across and each month they interview a different author in a really clever, considered yet warm way. With their credentials, it’s no surprise that they also give really varied and interesting book recommendations. I also enjoy the mini-sodes they have between each main episode which is more conversational. I love hearing from authors and this is a great podcast to learn more about them.
For Potterheads – Binge Mode: Harry Potter
My brother introduced me to Binge Mode as, like many other readers, I am a huge Harry Potter fan. So, did I need to listen to over 60 episodes of a podcast that dissects the books in incredible detail? Yes, yes I did. Each show focuses on a couple of chapters, drilling down into the themes, plot points and foreshadowing. The hosts Mallory Rubin and Jason Concepcion make this show. They’re insightful, lively and thorough to the point of obsessive. The podcast comes with an adult warning and whilst it’s definitely not for kids, it really cracked me up. It’s one of those where you’re walking along, headphones in, sniggering like an idiot. A perfect podcast for books lovers to really lose themselves in.
For the shelfie nosy parker – You’re Booked
This is a thing all book lovers like to do, right? Taking a look at someone else’s bookcase is a little sneak peek into their minds. It can often take you by surprise. Which is why I love Daisy Buchanan’s podcast You’re Booked. In it, she visits an author and talks through the books on their shelves. They discuss books that have had a big impact on them, their favourite reading memories and also how a reader becomes a writer. The conversations always feel natural; kind of like you’ve stumbled across a recording of friends having a natter over a cup of tea. For someone like me who is obsessed with the stories behind books, this is just up my street.
For a mix of books and current affairs – The High Low
I’ll admit I have a low-key obsession with The High Low and very often talk about hosts Dolly Aldterton and Pandora Sykes like they’re my good friends. The High Low itself is a pop culture and current affairs podcast, which doesn’t strictly come under the literary header, so you may think I’ve just slipped it in under the radar. But, both hosts are writers and are keen to recognise and share other writers’ work. Alongside their weekly topics, the hosts also discuss what they’ve been enjoying. They have great book recommendations, covering the old, new and upcoming, along with journalistic articles too, which I read more and more of. The podcast often has author specials too which mixes it up. I find that you can learn a lot from this podcast whilst feeling like you’re with friends.