I have been living under a rock for years. Seriously. I missed out on podcasts for years and years. I have only recently discovered them and now I am fairly well addicted. I thought I would share my opinion here, in case anyone else has been living under a rock or has just missed out on some bookish podcasts. I am not really going to rank these in any particular order beyond the first two, which are my favorite.
First, my favorite of them all is Books on the Nightstand. I absolutely love this podcast and it has been around for many years. I have caught up to the past 35 episodes on iTunes and now visit the website to listen. The audio quality is stellar and the best of any podcast I have heard. I thoroughly enjoy listening to Michael Kindness and Ann Kingman; they are witty and interesting, and thankfully, not shrill. The length of the show is roughly 38 minutes a week, which is just perfect for my commute. The show has a uniform layout each week: Q&A/book news, their audiobook of the week, a bit more news, and then “Two Books We Can’t Wait for You to Read.” Sometimes, they might have more than two books they can’t wait for us to read, and I look forward to hearing what they recommend each week. I also loved that one of the audiobooks for the week a few weeks back was “Fields of Prey” by John Sanford. Most podcasts overlook genre fiction. Their entire archive (except episode 118 that went missing!) is available on the website, as well as a running list of the books they have mentioned, and the date/episode(s) they mentioned it.
My second favorite is the Book Riot podcast. Usually hosted by Rebecca Schinsky and Jeff O’Neal. I enjoy their banter, but sometimes the audio is not on the same quality as BoTNS. They can almost come across shrill sometimes – not sure if this is audio or the hosts themselves, but listening with earbuds, it can be painful. The Book Riot is a little more newsy, a little longer than BoTNS, and just a little more literary. (That’s not a problem, but sometimes I think there’s a little snobbery in general in the reading world when you consider genre fiction vs. literary fiction). What I do LOVE about Book Riot is their website. It’s a compilation of the best book news and blogs on the web.
Now, for the ones I listen to, but not as religiously. That’s What She Read is hosted by Ravena and Serena (sorry, can’t find their last names without listening to a way back episode). This is an interesting podcast in that it’s not completely literary fiction and that they often have “supper club” editions. The audio on this podcast is okay UNTIL they have a supper club editions, and then you can hear every scrape of a fork and every glass that is set down. On these supper club editions they also have guests, and usually you cannot hear these guests very well. This podcast can be very hilarious, because the two hosts read completely different types of books; Ravena is really into romance/erotica/BDSM, and Serena is into literary/genre fiction. They sometimes lightheartedly quarrel over how to pronounce author’s names and what classification a book is, but it’s an enjoyable podcast.
Bookrageous has, typically, four hosts: Jenn, an Indie Bookseller; Rebecca Schinsky, member of Book Riot and co-host of that podcast; and Josh, Indie Bookseller and expert on beer. Preeti also hosts, but there’s not much information about her on their website. It’s entertaining, again, the audio is sometimes ZOINGGGG – just too much, but the hosts interact well. Thankfully, there’s a number of episodes I have missed, so when I run through BoTNS and BR, I can fall back on these. Basically, they tell you what they are reading and then have a topic they discuss (most recently, a debate on Plot, Characters, or Style, which got me to thinking about what I look for in a book).
Literary Disco is funny and has three hosts, one of whom just happens to be Rider Strong, “Shawn” from Boy Meets World. Tod Goldberg and Julia Pistell round out the trio, and the three have great chemistry, and use the “F-bomb” a lot. Tod and Shawn went to college together; the story goes that Julia and Rider met on an Amtrak. However they met, the result is a great mix of “literature” and popular fiction. They talk about Stephen King a lot, which of course, won me over immediately.
The Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy, although not billed as a reading podcast, basically is. This one consists mainly of author interviews – well authors who write what is typically considered “geek”: science fiction, fantasy, horror. One of the interviews I enjoyed was with George R. R. Martin. These are lengthy podcasts, however, and so truly, I lost interest about halfway through and have to come back. (For example, the episode with Joe Hill is over two hours).
Another one I considered “bookish” although technically it is science, is the Star Talk Radio Show with Neil Degrasse Tyson. He does interview authors and they do discuss science books in numerous episodes, so I had to include it. It is not quite the same as the others, but it is very entertaining. Who would have ever guessed that an astrophysicist could be sexy and funny?
A few more (I won’t go into great detail) are The Riot Read (another Book Riot podcast); Dear Book Nerd (another Book Riot podcast); The Readers; Book Club Girl; Richard and Judy Book Club; Book Lust with Nancy Pearl; Inside The New York Times Book Review; and Book Fight.
If you are needing book news, I would definitely recommend any of these, although the first two do discuss a lot from the publishing world. Try them! And if you need to know about history podcasts, never fear, I will be reviewing them soon, too!