I’m still listening to book podcasts

The biggest hit to my media consumption, bigger than blogs or ‘tube, has to be podcasts. I never had a long commute, only about 45 minutes or so in the car most weekdays, but I also used to drive to yoga classes, offsite meetings, and other archaic activites. Now? Well, I filled my tank (in a panic) on March 13 and didn’t get anywhere near empty till August…

My Pocket Casts app, which I do recommend!

Podcasts are also the medium that I’m most likely to branch out and consume non-book content. Did you know Shirley Manson has a podcast? It’s great! And while I’ve mostly disconnected from celebrity gossip blogs and media, Michael K is soothing and hilarious. But when I have a good half hour or more to go for a walk, a book podcast is perfect. Here are a few I still listen to.

  • Backlisted: I swear this podcast is on every such list, but it’s deserved. I’ve been hooked since episode 2, on Good Morning, Midnight. Each episode is a deep look at a neglected classic.
  • Literary Disco: Two words: Rider Strong. 90s kids know. Truthfully I was slightly too old to have his picture up on my wall, but he’s entertaining to listen to! Similar format as Backlisted with more contemporary picks. They need to cool it on the “everyone hates Tod” jokes though, it’s getting old (though I do, indeed, hate Tod)
  • Writers and Company: Eleanor Wachtel has been interviewing A-list authors on CBC Radio for thirty years. I can’t stand author interviews where the (often rookie) interviewer sucks up to and flatters the author. Not so here. Wachtel is a professional. Apparently she interviewed Carol Shields, A.S. Byatt, and J.M. Cotzee in her first season – gonna have to check that out!
  • Bookworm: Another radio show that’s been running for decades, Michael Silverblatt interviews authors with his signature serious-but-conversational style (and signature voice!). It’s been on the air a year longer than Writers and Company. Can we get Eleanor and Michael together on a crossover podcast??
  • Lost in Translations: Not just because I appeared on it! Serious but accessible talk about contemporary translated lit. My favourites are the ones where Michael has his wife as the guest.
  • Gone(?) but not forgotten
    • Marlon and Jake Read Dead People: Marlon James and his editor snark on classics. This was fun while it lasted, but a March 16 episode entitled “Goodbye for Now, But We’ll Be Back” does not fill me with confidence.
    • Writereads: Another mid-March casualty (my podcast feed is full of them). As a frequent guest I’m a little biased, but I hope Kirtles and Tania get back in the recording studio soon!
    • The Guardian Books Podcast: This one went offline in April. I appreciated their extenisve coverage of the International Booker Prize (and the regular Booker too).



  1. Debbie Rodgers @Exurbanis

    Laura, I’ve always taken “stuff” in with my eyes, and not my ears – have always been a text learner. So podcasts aren’t something I would seek out naturally because I’m not sure where I would fit listening time into my life. But some of these sound fabulous, so I’m going exploring. Thank you for opening the door.

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