Whether you’re commuting to work, getting ready in the morning, winding down in the evening, or just have a spare hour, podcasts are a great way to fill the cracks in your day. Keep your literary wheels turning with these book-themed shows.
1. The Catapult
Featuring writing from new and established writers, The Catapult allows you to enjoy short stories, essays, poetry, and more, read aloud by the author. If you love audiobooks, or just being read to, and you love discovering hot-off-the-press pieces in the literary world, this one’s for you.
2. Lit Up
This show keeps it candid in their interviews with authors, where they explore a broad range of topics, especially personal ones. Just a few examples are the art of conning (and what it means to be a victim), and the offbeat life of gambling. Host Angie Ledgerwood uses the authors’ works as a way to dive into their lives, interests and personalities. From their website: “…a podcast about books, writers and all things literary where no topic is off the table and no conversation is too weird, too personal or too controversial.”
3. The New Yorker Fiction
If you love The New Yorker, you’ve hit gold. In this monthly show, New Yorker authors choose a previously published story by another author in the magazine and read it aloud, then discuss it with fiction editor, Deborah Treisman. It’s a good twist on a standard format, and offers a great chance to learn about craft.
4. Between the Covers
Portland-based Between the Covers produces thoughtful, in-depth interviews with a wide range of contemporary authors including Brian Evenson, Ursula K Le Guin, David Mitchell, Amelia Gray, Chang-rae Lee, Ben Marcus, and a host of others. (All your favorites). David Naimon is the force behind this incredible effort, and said in a recent interview with The Masters Review, “I think the main reason I’ll read other interviews is to find ways to nudge the author out of autopilot, to create moments of surprise or novelty for the writer on the air so that the interview feels more dynamic.” Simply put: this podcast delivers.
5. Late Night Debut
A great platform for new writers, this podcast shines light on debut books and small presses. The show is divided into three acts: in act 1, the host delivers literary news and highlights up-and-coming releases; in act 2, two members of the literary world — editors, authors, professors — discuss the featured book of the week; and in act 3, the featured author is interviewed about the book. Yet another resource for those who like to keep up with all the new happenings in the literary world.
6. Selected Shorts
This podcast is recorded live at a New York stage, where theatre and film professionals read short stories centered on a particular theme. You can attend the readings, listen on the radio or download Selected Shorts on your device. Again, audiobook lovers, this one’s for you!
7. Book Riot
Hosted by the editors of Book Riot, Jeff O’Neal and Rebecca Schinsky, this podcast breaks from the norm by covering a wide variety of literary topics besides books and authors. (Of course, books and authors come up quite a bit.) They function almost as a news podcast for writing, publishing, and anything else that might be of interest to a bibliophile.
8. Dear Book Nerd
Dear Book Nerd is another podcast produced by Book Riot, but this one takes the form of a write-in advice column. Librarian Rita Meade hosts, answering all your book-related questions, which range from the serious and businesslike to the quirky and hilarious. So never fear, inquisitive reader, here are the answers to all your most persistent questions.
9. Books on the Nightstand
Michael Kindness and Ann Kingman, two employees at Random House, interview major authors, giving a behind-the-scenes look at the publishing industry. Here you can find top-notch book recommendations (especially new releases) while hearing the ins and outs of the professional literary world.
This podcast features indie publishers and writers, so it’s a great place to discover little-known gems. Described as relaxed and open, Brad Listi’s interviewing style cuts straight to candid and personal subjects, which makes for a refreshing podcast that stands out from the crowd.
11. Slate Audio Book Club
Can’t seem to keep up with a real-life book club? Then tune in to this podcast, a book club made up of Slate’s top critics. Slate’s assembled readers discuss a book per episode, ranging from classic to contemporary, be it memoir, short story, or genre fiction. If you’ve been looking for a book club that can be a little more flexible with your schedule, look no further.
by Lauren Klepinger