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All books, most of the time

Levar Burton Reads

I’m a late convert to podcasts. When everyone else jumped on board three years ago and was listening to Serial, I wasn’t. I can’t even tell you why. I do like true crime stuff and I’m a bit of a news junkie. But I haven't been an audio-type person (not audio books anyway). So the podcast world was passing me by. Until recently. After a friend showed me how easy it was, I dove in. Thanks to Beth, I’ve developed a nice list of ‘casts that I regularly listen to, some (though not all) of my current favorites include:

The Podcast (from Book Riot) – All the book news that’s fit to discuss.
Professional Book Nerds from Overdrive – Some book news, interviews with authors and recommended books.
All the Books – Also from Book Riot. Each episode the two hosts discuss books being published that week.
The Allusionist – These are shorter episodes about word origins (totally my nerdy niche).
Casefile (only one with no book content to speak of) – The anonymous Australian host does a deep dive into some truly heinous crimes – solved and unsolved. No book content to speak of, but the narration flows as a great story.

I like some that delve into little-known history and science and others devoted to pop culture, but the ones I find are my most comfortable go-tos are the book-ish themed ones and I was in need of some new book-centric podcasts. So I crowd-sourced my quest. I asked friends and co-workers and colleagues via social media to tell me about bookcasts they listen to. Needless to say, since I know a lot of library/book folk, I got some great suggestions.

Lavar Burton Reads was the first recommendation that came my way from a former co-worker, Susan. This one is just what it sounds like – Lavar Burton is now providing a podcast to all those adults who listened to him in the Reading Rainbow days. With each episode he reads a complete short story. Susan also recommended My Favorite Murder (not a book-ish 'cast, but I'm loving it all the same, thanks Susan).

Overdue is from another former co-worker, Jane W. Overdue is a podcast about the books you've been meaning to read. “Classic literature, obscure plays, goofy murder mysteries: they'll read it all, one overdue book at a time." Definitely one to add to my rotation.

Amy, a current co-worker, suggested Bookworm described on their site as "a must for the serious reader...showcases writers of fiction and poetry - the established, new or emerging".

The New Yorker’s: The Writer’s Voice is a favorite of my friend and co-worker, Beth. She loves hearing authors read their own stories and recommends everyone start with Zadie Smith reading “Crazy they Call Me”.

Nora R. responded to my Twitter request and suggested Slate’s The Audio Book Club. This is one I’ve looked at in the past but had assumed it was about audiobooks. How wrong I was. Nora tells me "it’s NOT about audiobooks, but in-depth audio discussions by Slate’s critics of individual titles" which is totally up my alley! Nora also mentioned the NYT Book Review Podcast in which the "interviews with the authors are usually good, but [her] favorite part is the part at the end when the editors talk about what they are reading. It’s often more interesting than the reviews themselves. It’s particularly interesting when the editors disagree with what their reviewers wrote!"

The last book-ish podcast mentioned by another on Twitter (Heather B.) is one that’s currently on hiatus, but fingers-crossed will be back soon. Well-Read “librarians Halle & Ann discuss what they're reading, book recommendations, and other reading-related fun!” 

Ooops, and one more, definitely NSFW (not safe for work), but by all accounts, hilarious. My Dad Wrote a Porno was mentioned by my former co-worker, Katharine and here I think the title pretty much describes this one.

Now my biggest challenge is finding the time to listen to them all – but this is a problem with which I’m already familiar since I experience it with books, tv and movies already! (As a side note, Linda Holmes, who hosts another of my favorite podcasts, the Pop Culture Happy Hour, wrote a great essay on the phenomena of way too many books, movies, tv, podcasts, etc. and too little time.)

November 1, 2017