Thursday, June 11, 2015

Talking about books on my phone--Book and Bookish Podcasts

I'll admit it...I'm a podcast addict.  I guess it stems from the fact that I need to be constantly entertained.  If I'm not reading something, I want to be watching or listening to something. And, if I'm not reading a book, I want to listen to people talking about books.  Thankfully, there is no shortage of book and bookish podcasts out there to keep my Overcast App (which I much prefer to the Apple/iTunes app....) full and happy.

I'm not going to do a "best of" post here because, well, if I don't like a podcast, I won't listen to it. So, instead, here are all the book and bookish podcasts I subscribe to...and I enjoy them all (although I will note my top 3).  If you are looking for a podcast, I would recommend any of these.

Book Podcasts
These are the shows that are directly about books and reading.

Books on the Nightstand (TOP 3!)
Hosted by Michael Kindness and Ann Kingman, this is just a wonderful all-around podcast.  Both hosts work in the publishing industry, so they have insight many hosts don't.  After listening to this for a few episodes, you will start to feel that Michael and Ann are your friends..really!  It is also very nicely situated in the middle of the road as far as tone goes and it is something you can listen to in the car with your kids and not worry about anything objectionable showing up.

Overdue (TOP 3!)
This is another podcast of two people talking to each other, but with an interesting twist.  Hosted by Andrew Cunningham and Craig Getting, the hook of this show is that one of them reads a book--usually a book that is well known (the last 2 episodes were The Tenant and Wildfell Hall, followed by Outlander)--and explains it to the other.  It is kind of like English Majors in a frat house--you know, a little thought-provoking, but mostly hilarious.

The Readers
This is another one of those two people talking to each other things (if you want to start a podcast, this is apparently a good format!). This time, it is done across the Atlantic Ocean.  Simon Savidge is in England (and is appropriately opinionated) and Thomas Otto is stateside in DC.  They tend towards more serious literature, although that is not to say that they themselves are more serious.  And there are ACCENTS--well, one accent.  But, listening to a British accent will make you feel much smarter.






The Book Riot Podcasts
Okay, so people are mixed about Book Riot and I get it.  I even share in those sentiments--and those things about BR that rub people the wrong way do show up in their podcast.  If you don't know what I'm talking about, here is how I'd put it: Book Riot has an aroma of arrogance, tinged with a whiff of immaturity.  I'm not going to get deeper that that in this post, but I'd be more than happy discuss it in the comments.

But, that being said, I do listen to 3 of their podcasts (I recently removed Dear Book Nerd from my playlist--I didn't feel that the host had a great "radio voice" and I there really wasn't anything that made this show "special" for me).  I did hear that a new one was coming, hosted by Amanda Nelson, and I'm sure that one will be added to this list.  I decided to group the 3 of them together here:



All the Books
This is their newest and is hosted by Liberty Hardy and Rebecca Joines Schinsky and, basically, they spend 30 minutes a week talking about new releases.  I do like that they bring up books that are just a little off the mainstream--books that I probably would not hear about otherwise.  That being said, I'm a little wary of their recommendations.  In my experience, Book Riot recommendations that aren't widely recommended from other sources (such as The Martian or Station Eleven) tend not to work for me.  Still, I like hearing about what is hitting the shelves.

The Book Riot Podcast
So, if you want to know what is going on in the greater world of  books and publishing, this is the one for you.  Hosted by two people out of the three people pool of Jeff O'Neal, Rebecca Joines Schinsky, and Amanda Nelson (although once or twice all 3 were on...) and it covers, well, pretty much everything.  The hosts do sometimes get on their soap boxes, which is fine, and then stay there a bit too long, which is less fine, but you really won't find a better trove of information on any other podcast.

Reading Lives (TOP 3!)
Here is the gist: Jeff O'Neal talks to people about how much they like to read.  I know, that doesn't sound especially entertaining, but it is actually fascinating.  O'Neal does a fabulous job hosting this one--he asks the right questions to get the guests talking and he doesn't interject himself too much in the podcast.  Past guests include Andy Weir, Josh Hanagarne, and Celeste Ng.







Bookish Podcasts
These aren't specifically about books, or not always about books.  But, if you like books, you may like these.

A Tiny Sense of Accomplishment
Yet another podcast of two people talking to each other, but these two people happen to be Sherman Alexie and Jess Walter (two of my new faves!)  Sometimes it is about books and sometimes it is about basketball or something else.  Both of these guys are great fun, which you would know from reading either of their books (I'm currently reading books by both of them).



The News from Lake Wobegon
So, if you don't want to spend 2 hours of your weekend listening to A Prairie Home Companion just to keep up with what is going in Lake Wobegon, this one is for you.  Just the news, folks....

Stuff You Missed in History Class
This is probably the least write-ish or book-ish podcast included here, although they have had a few author interviews (most recently David McCullough) and author profiles.  But, if you are interested at all in historical fiction (or history....obviously), you'll love this podcast.  They cover some of the lesser known, but more interesting, episodes in history (this podcast has been around for a long time, and if you are looking for episodes on more famous topics, you can probably find it in the archives).

The Writer's Almanac
This is a daily podcast, which isn't that common.  However, it is only 5 minutes an episode, so it is easy to keep up with.  About half of it is a "this day in history" thing with a strong literary leaning and the other half is a poem for the day.  And it is hosted by Garrison Keillor, who has probably the best radio voice out there....








So, that is what is on my podcast playlist.  Thoughts? Suggestions? Book Riot debates?

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