Ah, the joys of a good podcast...
There’s nothing I like better when doing mindless tasks, like cleaning the kitchen or walking the dog, than listening to something absorbing on my iPod. If you only use your MP3 or iPod for music, I’m going to go all evangelical now and tell you that discovering podcasts is positively life changing. It is. Honestly.
Being of a nerdish disposition, I’ve been hunting around for a while now for podcasts that relate to books and writing and am starting to build up a nice little collection. I thought I’d share my top five with you, lovely Strictly readers.
My favourite of the moment is a US cast called Books on the Nightstand which I’ve recently discovered. Michael Kindness and Ann Kingman are two publishing insiders who love to read and whose enthusiastic recommendations are so infectious, I frequently find myself on Amazon after I’ve heard the show. [As a side note, I was recently stranded with family and friends in Turkey, thanks to the Icelandic volcano dust and desperate to have a solitary moment of headspace, I listened to an episode while I did some chores. It really felt like time out and helped with the stress of the whole experience. I’ll always be grateful to the programme.]
Next on the list is Radio Four’s Open Book , in which the silky-toned Mariella Frostrupp interviews authors and chats about the latest book news. Once a month this turns over to Book Club, in which James Naughtie interviews a big name author in front of a studio audience.
I’m also a big fan of the Guardian’s books editor Claire Armistead’s weekly cast. This is a more in-depth look at new titles and publishing news.
I should be writing is a podcast and blog by sci fi writer Mur Lafferty aimed ‘at wannabee fiction writers by one who is still learning.’ She has various guests on the show but also talks about her own writing and how it’s going, both good and bad. I’ve been listening since before she got published and it’s been a real privilege to share her journey.
The World Book Club comes from the BBC World Service and authors from all over the world are interviewed in front of an invited studio audience. I’ve heard Sue Grafton, Andrea Levy, Jodi Picoult, Kaled Hosseini and Lionel Shriver in recent months and all were fascinating in their different ways.
Here are some others that deserve a notable mention...
Writers on writing
Holly Lisle on writing
The Writing Show
iTunes Meet the Author
If you know of any good writing/books podcasts that I haven’t mentioned, do share them. I’d love to add to my collection.