I love podcasts. Can’t get enough of them. One of the first ones I listened to in around 2010 was the BBC’s Books and Authors, along with Guardian Books. Then, in 2013, I discovered Book Riot, and my reading life has never been the same since. In 2017, I started my own podcast about British books, the Brit Lit Podcast.
Over the years, I’ve added dozens of bookish podcasts to my feed. Some perennial favourites stick around, like What Should I Read Next, and over the last few years I’ve really enjoyed Currently Reading, Reading Glasses, and the Book Club Review. But it’s always fun to discover new ones, with different perspectives on books and the reading life. And there are a lot of new ones these days, no doubt partly inspired by the time we’ve all been spending at home, missing our in-person meetings with fellow bookworms and looking for new ways to connect.
I’m here to help you find a few gems among the many bookish podcasts started in 2021.
There’s a new addition to the Book Riot family of podcasts! In Adaptation Nation, different combinations of Book Riot editors get together to discuss — you’ve guessed it — screen adaptations of books, whether old, new, classic, beloved, or less so. In the first episode, Jeff O’Neal, Jenn Northington, and Amanda Nelson take on Dune. In the second, Vanessa Diaz joins Jeff to talk about Casino Royale. Who knows what goodness awaits us?
British Bookstagrammers Jess and Lauren have a big following online and now a weekly podcast, where, as the name suggests, they recommend books they love. Some of the episodes feature interviews with authors, some are discussions of a single book, and others are roundups of books they love along a theme (like “books that defined our teens”) or seasonal recommendations. In my opinion, they’ve achieved the holy grail of podcasting: a fun vibe along with professional production.
If I’m totally honest, this podcast was the inspiration for my writing this post, because I want more people to know about it! It’s hosted by two Bookstagrammers — Tina of @tbretc and Renee of @itsbooktalk — and it’s quickly become one of my favourites, with themed episodes released weekly and an active Patreon community complete with a Facebook group. As a rapidly aging Gen Xer, it’s especially nice for me to be able to listen to women close to my age give their perspective on books. I also love that they start each episode by talking about what they’re loving lately — anything from a specific moisturiser to a new self-care routine — which makes me feel like I’m listening to two of my friends chatting, as well as getting to know them better.
Former Book Riot contributor Nicole Brinkley is the manager of Oblong Books, a Hudson Valley bookshop that opened in 1975. It’s a natural fit for her to host a podcast where booksellers talk to authors about their experiences, what they’re reading, and what they love.
Book Riot contributor Erika Hardison just launched her bookish podcast with a unique twist: like many podcast hosts, she interviews authors and other special guests, and reviews books, including comics and graphic novels. But where it gets really interesting is this: she pairs them with her favourite cannabis goods.
There’s a plethora of weekly, fortnightly, and monthly podcasts, but a daily bookish podcast is something special! Thanks to NPR’s bite-sized new podcast, which just started this fall, you can listen to daily chat about the latest books.
The Anglophiles among you will especially appreciate this podcast, where Penguin editor Henry Eliot roams around the UK, meeting readers and talking about beloved classics like Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf and The Lonely Londoners by Sam Selvon. There are only six episodes so far, but there’s also the mention of “this first series” (which is British English for “this first season”), so there’s reason to hope more is coming!
Hot off the podcast press (if that is where podcasts come from), Unwrap Romance is perfect for all the Hallmark holiday movie loving bookworms out there! Bestselling authors Lacey Baker & Naima Simone celebrate HEAs and holiday romance in both books and movies, sometimes with special guests.
If you’re looking for even more bookish podcasts, check out 6 Great Podcast Author Interviews, 10 Bookish Podcasts for Distancing Yourself from the News, and 13 Must-Hear Librarian Podcasts. And for tips on making your own, check out the piece I wrote about how I started my bookish podcast (and you can, too).