Monday, March 25, 2019

Eight Bookish Podcasts I Enjoy

I'm linking up with That Artsy Reader Girl for another Top Ten Tuesday.

This week's topic is an audio freebie! I've previously shared books best experienced on audio and what makes a good or bad audiobook so I decided to go a slightly different route this time and share some bookish podcasts that I have enjoyed.

1. Audio Book Club (Slate)
This one is unfortunately on an indefinite hiatus, but that's OK; it falls into the category for me of podcasts that I keep in my library so that when I finish a book I can see if any of them have covered that title before. There are a lot of bad book discussions out there, but this one is truly like a book club of very smart people who all have insightful things to say and often bring in references to scholarly articles or other authors' works. It's not always the same people each week, either, and when relevant they try to bring in voices that matched the lived experiences of race, gender, or whatever other topic is central to the book under discussion.

2. For Real
This podcast just hit its one-year anniversary! It's a biweekly podcast focused on nonfiction reads. Each week the hosts profile some of the most interesting new releases, then dive into a specific topic with related recommendations. My TBR gets longer every single time I listen to this one.

3. Get Booked
I love the broad range of books that get discussed on this show! Listeners write in with requests for specific recommendations (e.g., books set in a specific small country, books that will teach them more about a specific historical event, books that are readalikes for their favorites) and then the two hosts each recommend a book they think would fit the request. If they're stumped, they'll ask their colleagues at Book Riot for suggestions, so it's not always limited to just what the hosts have personally had the chance to read.

4. Harry Potter and the Sacred Text
So far this year I've been successful at my goal to read a chapter of Harry Potter in French and then listen to that chapter's episode of this podcast. The hosts are delightful, have great stories and insights, and bring another level of engagement to the text that I appreciate.

5. Overdue
This is another one that I keep in my library of podcasts so I can be sure to listen to the corresponding episode any time I finish a book that Andrew and Craig have covered previously. Originally the podcast's format wasn't my favorite because it didn't provide a lot of deep insight, but now I genuinely enjoy it. One host will read the book and then attempt to summarize the plot to the other one, who will ask clarifying questions that generally make the book's plot sound nonsensical and hilarious when it's picked apart like that. The one who didn't read the book will do background research on the author, which can be quite interesting to hear.

6. Throwback Bookstack
I just listened to my first episode of this one but I plan to keep it in my library to search. The hosts read children's literature (including middle grade and young adult) that they read growing up and now are rereading as 30-something women. A lot of the podcasts I've tried that are in the vein of "friends or siblings read books and then discuss together" are poorly edited and include a lot of giggling and tangential conversations or in-jokes, but this one is much more straightforward, with continuous dialogue and good sound quality.

7. What Should I Read Next?
I've been reading Anne Bogel since Modern Mrs. Darcy was in its infancy, but for some reason I didn't listen to her podcast when she first started it — I think I was afraid it would overwhelm my TBR list! Now that I have a looser framework for tracking books I might be interested in, I'm glad I've started listening to this podcast, in which Anne uses the clear structure of "Tell me three books you love, one book you don't, and what you're reading now" to recommend to her guest three (or more) books she thinks they'd like. She's also great at interviewing the guests to draw out the interesting details of their lives or work.

8. World Book Club (BBC)
This podcast has a different format than most of the ones I listen to since the BBC is enough of a big deal to actually get famous authors on their show. Each author is there to talk about their most well-known work (so it's another one I keep in the library for when I've finished a specific book), and they field questions that are sent in from readers literally all over the world. Even when I did not like the book, it's interesting to hear authors talk about their books, and since it's taped with a live audience who can also jump in with questions, sometimes you can get real wildcard topics!

What are your favorite bookish podcasts?

Looking back:
One year ago I was reading: Watership Down, The Thorn Birds, and America's Public Schools
Five years ago I was reading: Persuasion, The Body & Society, and War and Peace
Ten years ago I was reading: The Glass Castle

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