Viewpoint: Top Bookish Podcasts

Hello Bookworms! 

Despite the fact that I recently heard someone say “I know they’re old fashioned but I like listening to podcasts” (to which I replied “they’ve literally just been invented”) I thought I’d share the love of my favourite bookish/book based shows. Podcasts have been a complete revelation to me – I listen to them every day and unlike an audiobook they require far less concentration, so I often tune in when I’m pottering round the house, getting ready in the mornings or cooking. I’m always on the lookout for new recommendations so let me know what I’m missing out on in the comments!

In no particular order, my extra special bookish faves are…

1. The Mortified Podcast

This is a brilliant NSFW show where participants read out diary entries from their youth to a live audience – with predictably hilarious results. The diary entries are just SO teenage and feature all of the expected drama, angst and terrible emo poetry that you’d expect. If you ever want to have a good nostalgic laugh then this is the podcast for you.

2. Susan Calman’s Mrs Brightside

Susan Calan is a stand up comedian and wrote the book Cheer up Love about living with depression. In Mrs Brightside, she expands on her own experiences to talk to other comedians about their issues with mental health and discusses their thoughts with warmth and humour. Super interesting, honest and funny (despite the subject matter) I’d highly recommend it. 

3. The Baby-Sitters Club Club

If you were a child of the 80’s and 90’s then you would have been hard pushed to have missed the books of Stoneybrook’s own Ann M Martin. Her ridiculously long running series The Baby Sitters Club had over 200 volumes published between 1986 – 2000 and this podcast aims to discuss each book in turn. That sounds quite dull but the presenters apply a ludicrous amount of clinical dissection to every novel, finding everything from crazy conspiracy theories to religious overtones. My favourite segment is “b-b-b-burn of the weeeek” where the hosts choose the sickest burn they can find. Hilarious!

4. My Dad Wrote a Porno

You’d need to have been living under a rock if you haven’t heard about this podcast but the reputation it’s gained is well deserved. Honestly, I’ve never laughed so hard at something so bad. The basic premise is that James’ dad has written a series of books called Belinda Blinked which are the WORST pieces of erotic fiction ever – that he then reads out to his friends. Cringey, ridiculous and anatomically impossible, the show is definitely NSFW and will make you laugh, exclaim and recoil in horror in equal measure. 

5. Books and Authors

This is the bookish podcast from BBC Radio Four and incorporates the shows A Good Read and Open Book. Depending on which show is featured, it’s either a general chit-chat about all things bookish or a book club style discussion with two celebrity guests about their favourite novels. Highly informative and interesting (even if it can be a bit high brow) this is a great short show to listen to.

What are your favourite bookish podcasts? Do you have any recommendations?  Do you listen to any of the shows that I’ve chosen? Let me know in the comments!

Before Audiobooks there was…Radio Four

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Hello!

For all my British readers, I’m sure you’re all familiar with BBC Radio Four. For those of you elsewhere in the world, Radio Four is a public service broadcast by the BBC which¬† focuses on news, comedy and entertainment – but is entirely spoken word. It has a bit of a stuffy reputation but I really love it.

There are plenty of bookish programs for avid readers to listen to, including dramas, radio plays, short stories and the programs Book at Bedtime and Books and Authors. I believe you can listen to all of these programs entirely free, wherever you are in the world.

Another favourite program of mine is the Archers. This long running radio soap has been going since the 1950’s and chronicles the lives of a farming community in the fictional village of Ambridge. The Archers and Woman’s Hour (also on Radio Four) were the sonic background to my childhood and I started listening again once I became self employed. The best thing about the Archers is that it’s played out in real time, so storylines have a proper chance to develop. It’s like listening to a massive, never-ending audio book. Amazing stuff.

A lot of the Radio Four content is available to listen to online, or downloadable as a podcast. I would highly recommend giving any of the above mentioned programs a listen, they’re always well worth it.

Let me know what you think!

Love, Lucinda xxx