Bookish Podcasts to Enhance Your Reading Experience
There are so many to choose from, here are several that I enjoy
It’s not surprising to anyone that has been reading this newsletter for a while that I love podcasts; I want everyone to enjoy them as much as I do. My tastes vary from political to pop culture, faith to authors and books. I know just enough about politics and pop culture to be dangerous, so I happily will stick to something I know much more about, all things books and the many things related to the books we love to read.
I know podcasts aren’t for everyone, but for those that enjoy them, finding new bookish podcasts can lead to new authors to follow and books to read. If you’re like me and like knowing more about the author and the behind-the-scenes, many of these below will satisfy that curiosity. In no particular order as they are all so good, here are a couple that I’ve listened to for a while and a few more that I’ve recently discovered:
Inside the Writer’s Studio Podcast - Hosted by author Charlie Lovett with many of the episodes recorded live at Bookmarks in downtown Winston-Salem, NC, Lovett digs deep with authors about their books, what inspires their writing, and the complex characters they create on the pages. I’ve listened to this over the last couple of years when the episode is with an author I’m interested in and have really enjoyed the episodes so far. I’ve listened to live interviews with authors such as Anne Bogel, Ariel Lawhon, Louise Penny, and most recently Ruta Sepetys about her latest book, I Must Betray You. Because some of the episodes are recorded live, there is audience noise that can sometimes be distracting and make it hard to hear, but overall, it is an excellent podcast.
The Best of Women’s Fiction Podcast - I enjoy reading Women’s Fiction, and I was excited to stumble on this podcast hosted by Women’s Fiction author Lainey Cameron and recently added second host, book blogger Ashley Hasty. Most episodes are twenty minutes or less, and the hosts interview the authors about their latest book and why they wrote the book they did. I’ve listened to episodes with Nancy Johnson, Fiona Davis, Kimmery Martin, and narrator Susan Marlowe and my favorite episode so far is probably the one with Marlowe. She answers questions about being an audiobook narrator, which I find so fascinating.
The Shit No One Tells You About Writing - Author of Hum if You Don’t Know the Words and If You Want to Make God Laugh, Bianca Marais started this podcast in 2020 to talk to authors about their books and go behind the scenes into the “sausage-making” of how books come to be. Along with speaking to authors about their writing process, she talks with agents, editors, publishers, and more professionals to help aspiring writers learn more about writing a book and how to navigate it from beginning to end. Even though I’m not interested in writing and publishing a book, I’ve enjoyed learning more about how that happens and all of the people involved in the entire process. My favorite episodes have been with Steven Rowley, Susan Wiggs, and Traci Thomas of the Stacks Podcast.
Behind the Book Podcast - A weekly podcast hosted by Tess Thompson and Karen McQuestion where they talk with authors, publishers, and other industry professionals about books, the author’s writing processes, and more behind-the-scenes tidbits that make reading the books more enjoyable. I’ve listened to episodes with Susan Meissner, Katherine Center, and Kelly Harms and learned so much about each of the authors and why they write the books they do. If you like learning more about the authors, you will enjoy this podcast.
The Book Club Girl Podcast - Produced by Harper Collins and hosted by Tavia Kowalchuk and Bianca Flores, the hosts discuss “books that are perfectly suited for book clubs.” They focus on “one book each episode and interview the author with most of the questions coming from the listeners.” The episodes are about thirty minutes long and are engaging from beginning to end. There are active and fun Facebook and Bookstagram pages that I enjoy seeing pop up in my feed daily. Past guests have included Neil Gaiman, Joshilyn Jackson, Paulette Jiles, and so many other authors of the books we love to read. Season two begins in April, but there are plenty of good episodes to go back and listen to until then.
The Currently Reading Podcast - Hosted by Meredith Monday Schwartz and Kaytee Cobb, Currently Reading is a weekly podcast where the hosts talk about their bookish moments, current reads, books they want to press into listeners’ hands, and deep dives into various bookish topics. The podcasts are around an hour in length, and there are time-stamped notes in the podcast app that allows you to bypass topics you may not be interested in. I don’t listen to every episode, but I have listened to many over the last four years. Some of their deep dives have featured guests, discussions about setting reading goals or not, bookish tropes, character vs. plot-driven novels, and so many more fun bookish topics.
88 Cups of Tea Podcast - I mentioned this podcast briefly in this newsletter, and even though it’s been inactive since late 2020, it deserves another mention. The guests on past episodes of this podcast have included authors, literary agents, film and TV directors, producers, and writers. I’ve listened to episodes featuring Elizabeth Acevedo and Stacy Lee, and there are many more that I have downloaded. They are very well produced, and I look forward to listening to more episodes soon.
From the Front Porch Podcast - I mentioned The Bookshelf in this newsletter, and along with running the bookstore, Annie B. Jones also hosts this weekly podcast. It has been around for a long time and is now three hundred sixty-two episodes strong. Over the years, Annie has talked with authors and readers, shared her bookstore purchase story, tells us about the new books coming out, and her monthly reading wrap-up, all the while running the bookstore and endearing herself to listeners as our favorite podcast host. She is so down-to-earth and relatable, and she makes you feel like you are real-life friends. She is aware of the moment and what the country or world is going through and provides her listeners with resources to help them navigate those times.
For book enthusiasts and podcast listeners, there is a podcast on this list for almost every book lover type. For me, there are not enough available hours in a day to listen to every podcast I would like to, so I’m picky about the episodes I do listen to. I approach it similar to how I approach books; I don’t hesitate not to finish the book or podcast if it isn’t interesting. Life is too short to read uninteresting books and listen to boring podcasts.
Thanks for joining me on another trip through my podcast player; I enjoy sharing my favorites with you. Do you listen to podcasts? You can tell me about some of your favorites in the comments below. Kind of like a TBR for books, I have a podcast playlist set up that automatically presents me with my favorite bookish podcasts every time a new one is dropped. My goal is to keep that playlist listened to and empty.
A week from today is the first of the six remaining tax deadlines to get through before I retire. It seems like a long time away when I think of retirement being a year and a half away, but by telling myself I only have six deadlines left, it seems closer and doable.
Thank you for being here and sharing my love of all things books and reading. If you enjoy these newsletters, I would so appreciate you sharing this newsletter with your bookish friends by clicking the button below. Have a great week, and happy listening!