Ideally, I’d love to read all the time. All right, check that. I mean, all the time I’m not watching bad television because, yes, I do watch bad television. Namely, almost anything on Bravo but… I digress. There are times when reading a book is not advisable, like when driving, and times when it’s not so easy: waiting in line, doing chores (which I don’t advise doing but to each their own), exercising, and walking. When I’m doing any of these things I like to listen to podcasts (you know, what we used to call radio). There are so many out there, I thought I’d share a few of my bookish favorites as well as some others I really enjoy. All are free on iTunes.
Literary Disco: This is easily the funniest and best bookish podcast out there. Tod, Rider and Julia have amazing rapport and it comes across in every episode. They discuss new releases, backlist books, and goings-on in the publishing world. They are no holds barred.
Dear Book Nerd: Rita Mead is the genial host of this podcast that covers a wide variety of book topics ranging from All About Book Clubs to Tell Me What to Read
Books on the Nightstand: Michael and Ann are friends who work in the publishing industry. Their love of books comes through every episode. It’s also great for book ideas because it’s weekly.
That Stack of Books: Nancy Pearl is a librarian who has written several books about books. She’s from Seattle and this podcast takes place with an audience at a local café and covers all kinds of literary topics. There is a lot of interplay with the audience as Nancy recommends books based on their likes and dislikes.
Because it’s nice to have at least a passing knowledge of what’s going on in the world I also listen to three of the Slate podcasts. They are the best bet for getting a quick fix in a number of areas because the hosts for each are all outstanding–well-informed without being overbearing, humorous and work really well together.
The Political Gabfest, though it leans a little left, provides great political and legal discussions on current events.
The Culture Gabfest covers what’s new and happening in the arts—music, books, and movies.
Double X Gabfest looks at current events, pop culture and any other issues of interest to women.
These three podcasts cover the balance of my listening life.
Serial, from NPR, which runs in seasons (unlike most podcasts that are ongoing). Season 1 is complete and YOU NEED TO LISTEN TO IT. It is one journalist’s exploration of a 1999 murder case in Blatimore. A young man was convicted and she goes through the evidence and speaks with witnesses and the killer himself. It is addictive and unpredictable.
Motley Fool Money is a bunch of dudes talking about stocks, businesses, and the economy in a way that doesn’t make your head hurt. If you have a 401K or buy stocks, this guys are reliable and interesting.
Invisibilia is another NPR podcast that is quirky and fabulous. Alix Spiegel and Lulu Miller explore human behavior and how it is shaped by invisible forces–forces that we are learning more about through science and new technology. Could be dry but they use storytelling so well it’s fascinating.
Sarah's Book Shelves says
I’ve just started listening to podcasts over the past few months (Serial got me started) and I love it! I listen mostly while running/working out. I like Books on the Nightstand and Literary Disco (although they talk about poetry too much for me). I love Book Riot and will try some of your other suggestions.
On the non-book front, I like Bill Simmons’ The B.S. Report (sports and pop culture) and Stuff You Should Know (random facts).
Random Facts?! I love random facts! I’ll have to check that one out. I’d love to listen while I work out but I swim so that’s probably not a good idea. 😉
Shannon @ River City Reading says
Oh, I just started hearing about Invisibilia and have been meaning to add it to my app – thanks for the reminder! I’m a total Literary Disco fangirl. If they had an episode every day, I’d be happy as a clam.
Right, Shannon?! I love Tod; he cracks me up with everything he says.
Ann @ Books on the Table says
Thank you for this great post! I try to take a walk every day, and love to listen to podcasts — but I’ve been in a rut. Several of these are new to me and I’m excited to try them out.
Leah @ Books Speak Volumes says
Ooh, love this post!
Literary Disco is the absolute best, and I also enjoy Books on the Nightstand. I tried Dear Book Nerd for a while but lost enthusiasm for it. And I was obsessed with the first season of Serial, and I just started listening to Slate’s Culture Gabfest. Great list, lady!
I’m new to Dear Book Nerd so I may find the same thing. Kind of over Book Riot and their drama.
Marisa @ The Daily Dosage says
Love BotN, Literary Disco & Serial from your list and will check out the others. You know, when the day extends past 24 hours! 😉 Aside from those two, I regularly listen to Dear Sugar (when released) This American Life, Selected Shorts (Short Stories!!) and a lot of NPR like Fresh Air, Pop Culture Happy Hour and TED Radio Hour-my fave! I just started Invisibilia too! Whew!
How do we do it?! 😉
Monika @ Lovely Bookshelf says
I’d love to have more time to listen. The bookish links sound too good to pass up! Hmmmm… where can I MAKE time? 🙂
Allison @ The Book Wheel says
When I’m not listening to C-SPAN on satellite radio, I like to listen to Books on the Nightstand. They are the perfect length for a drive to (and sometimes from) work, depending on the traffic.
You definitely need a break from C-Span! You should try Literary Disco- they will make you laugh out loud.
Oh my! I don’t listen to podcast, I don’t know why. I like to listen to audiobooks when I go for a walk, but I don’t listen anything else in other situations. Your post has make me want to try some of them, let’s see if I like them 🙂