welcome welcome. 👋👋👋 today I’m talking about some of my favourite bookish podcasts!! I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts at work lately and thought I’d recommend you some of the standout ones I’ve managed to recently discover. I figured most of my life is consumed by books anyway so might as well make all the podcasts I listen to book-related too 🤷
anyway I know it can be intimidating to start listening to podcasts that have already been going on for a while, so for each of these podcasts I’m going to include an episode that was a real standout for me and that I recommend you start with/check out to see what the style of that particular podcast is like. (I’ve also linked to these podcasts on both Apple Podcasts and Spotify to hopefully make it easier for you to access them if you’re interested)
🌿 Standout episode: Literary Friction – Pain with Sinéad Gleeson
this is probably my favourite bookish podcast, and one of the first ones I ever discovered and started regularly listening to. first of all, the hosts of this podcast, Octavia Bright and Carrie Plitt know what they’re talking about; they’re clearly well-versed in the book world, and always have such intelligent and thought-provoking discussions about the books they choose for each episode.
another thing I love about this podcast is that the episodes always center around a specific theme or issue in the book world, like how to depict pain in writing (as in the Sinéad Gleeson episode I recommended above), therapy in literature, or the state of the nation novel. in each episode, the hosts will choose a book that’s relevant to that theme and interview its author (with GREAT questions, might I add, which is extra impressive because I feel like asking good interview questions is easier said than done), and then later on they’ll discuss some other books that also relate to that theme. finally, both hosts as well as the author will recommend a book that they’ve recently enjoyed to listeners.
it’s an excellent podcast, plus you can tell that Octavia and Carrie have a lot of love for each other and genuinely enjoy recording these episodes.
🌿 Standout episode: 51: Stories from Northern Ireland
I just love this podcast. yeah it’s a book podcast, but it also feels like listening to two friends who just so happen to be talking about books. needless to say, the hosts, Alice Slater and Bethany Rutter, are delightful. I’ve found so many new books because of this podcast, and just like Literary Friction, they also center their episodes around specific themes or issues. each episode tends to focus on two books that pertain to that theme, and then Alice and Bethany just kinda chat about it for the duration of the episode. it’s so much fun listening to these episodes, and I’m always super interested in hearing what Bethany and Alice have to say about the books they’ve read.
#3: Bonnets at Dawn
🌿 Standout episode: S3, Episode 22: Engaging the Age of Austen
y’all know that I’m obsessed with Jane Austen, so of course Jane Austen had to come up at some point in this conversation. enter Bonnets at Dawn, a podcast that focuses on works by Austen, Bronte, and other Regency and Victorian female authors (e.g. Elizabeth Gaskell, George Eliot, etc.). I’ve mainly listened to their Jane Austen episodes, but they’ve been fantastic, so definitely no complaints here. a lot of the guests they feature on their episodes are scholars, something which I don’t think a lot of bookish podcasts have, and which I love, especially when those scholars happen to have written books about Jane Austen. just the other day I listened to a podcast episode of theirs about a book (Engaging the Age of Jane Austen, if you’re curious) and loved the discussion so much that I promptly went and got a copy of the book to read. so yeah, they definitely sold that book to me, as well as, I’m sure, a lot of other books in the future.
🌿 Standout episode: Danny Denton Reads Nicole Flattery
again, y’all know how much I love Irish fiction so, like Jane Austen, it also had to pop up somewhere in this discussion. so here we are: The Stinging Fly Podcast. there’s a different host for each episode, joined by an author who chooses a short story from The Stinging Fly magazine, reads it (or part of it), and then discusses it with the host. it’s a great podcast to listen to if you’ve read any of these short stories before, but also a great one to listen to if you haven’t. some authors from the podcast that you might recognize include Nicole Flattery, Emilie Pine, Kevin Barry, and Sara Baume. highly recommend this one, especially if you’re into Irish short stories.
#5: The Lit Pickers
🌿 Standout episode: 7: Jane Austen: Genius or The Greatest Genius?
all of the podcasts I’ve just mentioned have been Western-based (American, British, Irish). The Lit Pickers is based in India, and so it bring a different perspective on literature and books in general. also, I love these hosts–they have the driest, most delightful sense of humour. the episodes are fun, snappy, and always have substance. this podcast is one that i just stumbled into (I have to admit I was just looking for podcast episodes about Jane Austen to listen to and just added whatever I could find to my list lol), but definitely one I’ll always listen to whenever there’s new episodes.
🌿 Standout episode: Episode 01: Mira Jacob
there’s only one episode of this podcast so far, but it’s been EXCELLENT, and I’m so intrigued by the premise of this podcast. I mean, just listen to this: “Thresholds will dive into moments of spiritual or political transformation that take place in liminal states, when people are in between jobs, faiths, genders, cultures, or identities.” the first episode was with Mira Jacob and it was so powerful and honest. I’m definitely excited to see who else is gonna be on this show, and what their episodes will be about.
and there you go–some bookish podcasts that you’ll hopefully check out if they interest you! listening to podcasts about some of my recent favourite novels has been such an unexpected game-changer for me this year. one of my favourite things to do lately is, after finishing a book that I really enjoyed, finding a couple of podcast episodes about it. i cannot recommend this highly enough. it’s been super rewarding and interesting to see authors discuss their novels with those novels’ themes and characters still fresh in my mind. it gives me so much more insight into the authors’ intentions going into the book, and what their process of writing those novels was like. it’s also made those novels stick so much more in my mind. it’s almost like reading a book for class and then going to class to hear the prof lecture about it, except in this case the process is much more enjoyable (at least I hope so lol).
that’s it for me! if you have any podcasts you love listening to, bookish or otherwise, please let me know!! i’m subscribed to like ~100 podcasts at the moment and somehow still find that I don’t have anything to listen to at work, which ??? how is that even possible ?? anyway, hope you enjoyed this post, and happy reading (and listening!) ☺️