When we’re not at work surrounding by books or getting through our to-be-read piles, more often than not, we’re probably listening to a book-related podcast. From friends talking about books to interviews and discussions with writers, in this post, we’ve collated some of our favourite literary podcasts that we think you’ll want to spend your bank holiday weekend bingeing.
There’s nothing we love more than a good pun, so a podcast with a book-themed pun in the title is always going to be a winner with us. Literary Friction is a monthly conversation where the hosts Carrie and Octavia talk with both established and up-and-coming authors about the dedicated theme of that episode. Lively discussion and book recommendations frequently ensue, and every episode is guaranteed to provide you with a considered and important listen.
Named by The Bookseller as part of their FutureBook40 and Rising Stars of 2018, Alex Reads, Rafia Rafiq and Derek Owusu are a trio of Londoners who ‘chronicle the millennial experience’ on their weekly podcast Mostly Lit. Besides the great literary pun that’s at work in the title, Mostly Lit brings together literature, film & TV and pop culture in weekly episodes that aim to deconstruct what it means to be ‘bookish’ in 2018. If you’re looking for a podcast that’s entertaining, insightful and inclusive in equal measure, this is one for you.
Julia, Tod and Rider are all writers, voracious readers and very good friends, and have been talking (well, mainly arguing) about books for years. In 2012, the three of them decided to start recording some of these conversations, and over 100 episodes later, that’s exactly what Literary Disco has documented. On the podcast, the group primarily discuss a book, story or essay they’ve read, but they also occasionally host conversations with authors where they all read and discuss a book of the author’s choice. Chemistry between hosts can make or break a podcast, and Julia, Tod and Rider have it in abundance – this is a great listen if you’re ever in need of a book-related chuckle.
Hosted by Anna Fielding of Stylist Magazine, Read Like a Writer is a new podcast from Faber & Faber, Serpent’s Tail and Canongate that offers a platform for their authors to speak candidly about their work and the books they want to recommend to their readers. Their first episode – a conversation with Matt Haig – went live last week, and if it’s a sign of what’s to come from Read Like a Writer, then this is definitely something that you should get invested in now.
Each week, How to Fail sees writer Elizabeth Day interview a different guest and explore (and celebrate) how their past failures have taught them how to succeed. Past interviewees include David Nicholls, Olivia Laing and Dolly Alderton, and a ‘part memoir, part manifesto’ book by Day based on the series has recently been snapped up by 4th Estate and is set for publication in April 2019. We can’t wait to read it, and thankfully the podcast is tiding us over until then!
Despite what the title may have you believe, this isn’t actually a podcast about food, but when the pun’s that good, you can’t begrudge them for running with it. Food4Thot sees a multiracial mix of queer writers talk about a wide array of topics, from what they like to read to discussions on race, sex and relationships. Each episode is diverse, inclusive and hysterical, and we’d probably recommend you listen to it through headphones if your parents or housemates are home.
Now, this isn’t a strictly literary podcast, but we love it so much, we couldn’t not recommend it to you all. Hosted by Dolly Alderton and Pandora Sykes, The High Low is a weekly podcast that sees the two journalists discuss both serious current affairs and pop-culture news stories with equal amounts of consideration and insight. Originally co-hosts of the now retired PanDolly Podcast, Dolly and Pandora are succinct and witty conversationalists who you can trust with an hour of your time without fear of it being squandered.
Finally, we couldn’t get away with not including this podcast in our line-up, simply because it’s co-hosted by our marketing and publicity intern, Olly. Each week, fashion student Cat and our very own Olly take a specific theme – dating, school, Pride, for example – and talk about their favourite looks and books pertaining to that theme. It’s part literature, part fashion, and a lot of British sitcom references, and hopefully if it appeals to at least one person, that will justify this self-promotion!
Thank you for reading and we hope we’ve helped you find your next podcast to binge – be sure to tweet us @AgoraBooksLDN if you get into any of them, and if you have a favourite literary podcast that’s not on this list, we’d love to hear about it!