The ever-mounting pile of books needing to be read is a familiar sight for literature lovers; finding the time to read seems to be an impossible challenge. Yet podcasts centred on literature and reading are something of a solution for book lovers, as the commute in the morning, the chores in the evening or the afternoon dog walk are new opportunities for indulging your love of literature via a pair of headphones. We’ve collated our top five literary podcasts – think of it as your new, convenient reading list.
1. Freedom, Books, Flowers and the Moon
Taken from Oscar Wilde’s famous question ‘With freedom, books, flowers and the moon, who could not be happy?’ this podcast is broadcast in conjunction with The Times Literary Supplement. The editors of the TLS choose two or three critics or writers to join them on the podcast, to discuss the work featured in that week’s supplement. The result? An engaging and contemplative discussion, delving into the inner workings of literary pieces, leaving no stone unturned in the process.
2. Literary Disco
Three writers living in opposing sides of the US have come together to create this podcast, documenting their discussions on books, essays, plays and poetry, with a host of tangential titbits thrown in for good measure. The trio also bring writers, teachers, librarians and members of the public into the podcast and discuss a book all together. In a nutshell, Literary Disco is the friendly book group you’ve always wanted, at your fingertips.
3. Minorities in Publishing
Not so much about books themselves as it is about the publishing industry, Minorities in Publishing probes the endemic lack of diversity within publishing, bringing authors, publishing professionals and others on to the podcast to discuss. The discussions are far-reaching; from the widespread issue of the lack of representation in the industry to guests’ personal stories within their respective literary fields. A vital podcast for anyone wishing to understand the problems facing the publishing industry today, and to listen to the voices that could solve those problems.
Overdue is the podcast that speaks to the pile of books mounting on your bedroom floor. Creators Andrew Cunningham and Craig Getting get to grips with a new book from their ‘to-read’ backlog every Monday, and invite you to join them. From new, much-hyped releases to classics that just about everyone has already read, Andrew and Craig will read it all.
5. Reading Women
Out of the 114 Nobel Prize for Literature winners, 14 are women. Reading Women has one simple aim – to reclaim what ‘women’s literature’ has come to be associated with. Subverting the expectation of glitter-covered book jackets and holiday romances, Reading Women brings your attention to the overlooked history of women’s writing and, in the process, ‘reclaims half the bookshelf’.