There are times when you just can’t read- perhaps you forgot your book at home, or you feel nauseous if you read in the car, or maybe you just want some entertainment while sweating it out in the gym. However, if you still need your literary fix and aren’t into audiobooks, one of the best ways to get it is to listen to literary podcasts. Not only will you gain new insights into books you may or may not have already read, but you’ll also get a chance to listen to your favourite authors. Here are 7 literary podcasts you should put on your list.
Read Or Dead
Katie MacBride & Rincey Abraham (Book Riot)
Read Or Dead is a literary podcast about mystery and crime novels. Hosted by Katie MacBride and Rincey Abraham, the podcast covers everything from the differences between mysteries, thrillers and suspense books to the collaboration between James Patterson and Bill Clinton, from cozy mysteries to the real-life mysteries surrounding mystery authors. The latest episode discusses historical mysteries. With a new episode released every fortnight, this podcast will keep you updated on everything in the world of crime fiction.
Kendra Winchester & Autumn Privett
“The phrase ‘women’s literature’ is often associated with fluffy novels about women looking for mates or covers with lipstick and glitter on them. It’s high time that women reclaim the phrase.” Reading Women aims to “reclaim half the bookshelf” by discussing books written by women or which feature amazing women in a “book club style podcast”. While they usually pick a theme for the month, they also interview authors at times. The theme for September was memoirs while in October they will be discussing Fractured Fairytales. This is one of those literary podcasts you cannot afford to miss out.
Potterless is the perfect podcast to listen to if you love Harry Potter, and especially if you don’t. At 25, Schubert had seen the movies but never read the books. In Potterless, he chronicles his experience reading the books for the first time. He sits down with Potterheads to discuss plot holes, makes predictions on how the books will progress and complains about Quidditch which he considers the worst sport ever invented. Known for his sense of humour and brilliant insights, he is currently discussing The Half-Blood Prince. This literary podcast is great for binge-listening over a weekend.
Banging Book Club
Hannah Witton, Lucy Moon & Leena Norms
The hosts of Banging Book Club describe themselves as “the baddest bitches in the sex book genre who want to take you along for the ride.” They are three friends who’ve decided to read a book about sex and gender every month and while they discuss the flaws and best parts of the books they read, they also add in their own experiences to truly personalise the podcast. In the past, they’ve discussed The Power as well as the TV series based on The Handmaid’s Tale. Listen to this literary podcast to add some sass to your life.
Whitney Terrell & V.V. Ganeshananthan (Lithub)
A little less than a year old, fiction/non/fiction is hosted by Whitney Terrell and V.V. Ganeshananthan. It “interprets current events through the lens of literature and features conversations with writers of all stripes, from novelists and poets to journalists and essayists.” Released fortnightly, each episode features deep discussions on topics as diverse as the darker side of social media, Russian-American politics and Harvey Weinstein. The most recent episode explores the mainstreaming of queer identity. This literary podcast is guaranteed to make you think.
Rider Strong, Julia Pistell, & Tod Goldberg
When three good friends who are also huge book nerds got together to discuss and argue over books, Literary Disco was born. Since 2012, they’ve been recording their discussions on fiction, non-fiction, poetry, plays, children’s books, YA (including Sweet Valley High), and everything else. Sometimes they also invite authors to choose a book for them to read and discuss together. Librarians, teachers, and actors have also featured on the show which continuously experiments with format and content. In recent episodes, they’ve discussed Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas, Lord Of The Flies and Kristen Roupenian’s short story Cat Story. This is an excellent literary podcast hosted by writers.
The Guardian Books Podcast
Claire Armitstead, Richard Lea & Sian Cain
This weekly literary podcast produced by The Guardian takes a look at the world of books, poetry and great writing. Hosted by Claire Armitstead, Richard Lea, and Sian Cain, this podcast has everything- from candid author interviews to investigations into thematic trends (like feminist dystopias) in contemporary writing. Recent episodes have featured Kate Atkinson discussing her book Transcription, the Booker longlist and the rise of autofiction.
Special thanks to Deya Bhattacharya for recommending many of the podcasts on this list.
Have you heard any of these podcasts? Do you recommend any other literary podcasts? Share with us in the comments below.
Devanshi has been reading ever since she can remember. What started off as an obsession with Enid Blyton, slowly morphed into a love for mystery and fantasy. Even her choice of career as a lawyer was heavily influenced by the works of Erle Stanley Gardner and John Grisham. After quitting law, and while backpacking around India, she read books on entrepreneurship, taught herself web design and delved into social media marketing. She doesn’t go anywhere without a book.
She is the founding editor of The Curious Reader. Read her articles here.