Listen Up! Book Podcasts

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Following on from my last blog about your 2019 Reading List, I thought it would be a good idea this week to review some book podcasts and give you our top 10 recommendations. So when you need some more inspiration for books to add to your reading list you will have a go to list of places to find some ideas.

I listen to quite a lot of podcasts but I definitely don’t listed to every single episode of every podcast otherwise there would never be any time to sell books!! Instead, I tend to scroll through my list of podcast subscriptions every now and then and pick out one that I haven’t listened to in a while or one that has a feature that takes my interest. Then I hit play and listen to them as I run my way around the Retiro at a mild pace but definitely making it look harder than it should be. I wonder how many other runners out there are listening to book podcasts? Probably not many but it definitely helps to take your mind off the exercise as you listen to their recommendations, likes and dislikes.

There are sooo many podcasts that it difficult to pick out a favourite because they all cover such a wide range of genres, authors and themes. I have picked out a mix of British and American podcasts but you can find book podcasts on almost every genre, provided that it isn’t too niche, to find something that you like. In general, I find that podcasters are very honest about whether they do or do not like a book, which can also help you to assess whether you think you might enjoy it. So here it is, our top 10 recommended book podcasts.

This is a Book Riot podcast (see below for more from Book Riot) hosted by Liberty Hardy and María Cristina Garcia. It flips between All the Backlist! and New Releases which gives you a rounded view of both new books and a random collection of older books that they have usually bought a while ago and hadn’t read yet. In general they each pick their own books to talk about so they don’t tend to read the same books as each other but then they Q&A each other about themes and topics covered by the books. Every now and then they introduce a few other themes such as Best of 2018 or Best of December but these are not consistently produced so are really just some extra episodes they throw in. Overall this podcast has a good selection of books to give you some more ideas and inspiration. Liberty and María Cristina have a great rapport and they often delve into general conversation about their cats or whatever is going on in their lives at that moment which provides some comedy and makes sure it isn’t only about books.

This is a Book Riot podcast (see below for more from Book Riot) hosted by Liberty Hardy and María Cristina Garcia. It flips between All the Backlist! and New Releases which gives you a rounded view of both new books and a random collection of older books that they have usually bought a while ago and hadn’t read yet. In general they each pick their own books to talk about so they don’t tend to read the same books as each other but then they Q&A each other about themes and topics covered by the books. Every now and then they introduce a few other themes such as Best of 2018 or Best of December but these are not consistently produced so are really just some extra episodes they throw in. Overall this podcast has a good selection of books to give you some more ideas and inspiration. Liberty and María Cristina have a great rapport and they often delve into general conversation about their cats or whatever is going on in their lives at that moment which provides some comedy and makes sure it isn’t only about books.

Hannah Murray presents the TRE Bookshop live on air every Wednesday at 7pm (CET), which you can also listen to over their website if you aren’t within their radio frequency area down on the south coast of Spain. Alternatively you can download the podcast to catch up on their interviews with authors from local first-time authors, to international bestsellers.

Nihal Arthanayake and Katy Brand share the hosting duties and both do a fantastic job interviewing some of the greatest authors to get a real insight into their latest books. In this podcast the authors are asked to bring along some objects that have inspired them or give some insight into how they think or work. Recent authors to be interviewed include Michael Morpurgo, Michael Palin, Tim Peake and William Boyd. So there is a good range of authors no matter what your reading preferences are. The last episode I listened to was with Michael Morpurgo who spoke about his recent release of the Snowman where he has put words to the, now 40 year old, famous Christmas children’s book The Snowman by Raymond Briggs. At the end of the episode, Michael gave a very moving statement of why reading is so important within society in this day and age and I highly recommend everyone to listen.

The host of the Brit Lit podcast is Claire, a bookish Brit who lives in America and wants to ‘champion the work of British authors as much as she can’. So if you are into British literature then you will get a good selection of titles reviewed here that may interest you. Claire also writes a brilliant blog that you can follow for more about British news and releases.

This podcast is produced by the staff at The Greenlight Bookstore in Brooklyn, New York and captures the conversations from the book events they host. MadRead loves the Greenlight Bookstore and aspires to becoming the Greenlight of Madrid in the not so distant future. Their community of book lovers and the great author events they host at the store are recorded in this podcast, along with discussions on relevant themes from their books.

A conversation about books and ideas, hosted by friends Carrie and Octavia. Every month they interview an author and build the podcast around the main theme of the book. I have only recently discovered this one so the jury is still out but it sounds good from what I have heard so far. They recently interviewed Sally Rooney, author of Conversations with Friends and Normal People. Our very own MadReaders España book club read Normal People very recently so it would be interesting to hear whether they agree with

This podcast is an award-winning books and pop-culture podcast, created and hosted by Alex Reads, Raifa Rafiq and Derek Owusu. It covers more than just books but if a topic is literature related then its talked about here. The podcast started in 2016, was named one of the best podcasts of 2017 by The Guardian and in 2018 the hosts were included on FutureBook40, a list of 40 ga​me-changers and innovators within the publishing industry. Their aim is to change the image of reading away from a solitary activity to a more social interaction through talking about books on the podcast and through social media. They also aim to be very inclusive of a diverse range of publishers, authors and topics. I find the podcast very easy to listen to, they make me laugh and they also get out of the studio and go to book festivals.

This is another Book Riot podcast and it is one of my favourites of theirs because they invite ‘interesting people’ to recommend their favourite books. This gives a really good range of books that you may never have heard about and you find out some interesting things about interesting people too.

My last recommendation, I have to admit, is a bit of a catch all. I have already mentioned two podcasts from the Book Riot team that are my particular favourites, but they do such a good job in covering a wide range of genres that they just had to make it into my top ten list for this alone. Here is a very quick summary of all the other podcasts they have to offer. I am sure they have something here for everyone.

Ready? Annotated is stories about books, reading and language, so its more of general knowledge and fun facts about book related things. For Real is for non fiction books, hosted by Kim and Alice. They have a very conversational approach, which keeps it very friendly and provides light hearted content. They also cover Young Adult non fiction and true stories connected to current events. Get Booked provides personalised recommendations. Hey YA is dedicated to Young Adult books, as the name suggests. If you like mysteries, Read or Dead is the one for you. SFF Yeah! is for Science Fiction and Fantasy, but I think they ran out of good podcast names for this one, as you will see by the next one. The Podcast is more general about ‘what’s cool’ in the world of books and covers news, releases and events. Still with me? Good because there is only one more from the folks at Book Riot and that is When In Romance. You guessed it, romance titles to fill your heart.

That’s a Wrap

So there you have it. My top ten book podcast recommendations. As you can see, there really is something for everyone. Personally I think they are all great and although I don’t listen to all of them on a regular basis I love just being able to pick up my phone and see what is being discussed then delve into whatever takes my fancy.

As I said, there are sooo many podcasts that I could just go on and on, but hopefully this has given you some ideas to either start listening to book podcasts or to try a new one you hadn’t heard of before. MadRead promotes a wide range of reading and so listening to a wide range of podcasts fits nicely with our approach and we encourage you to try lots of these podcasts to find the one you like.

Thanks for MadReading

Adam Garcia

Adam Garcia

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About MadRead

The MadRead bookstore is a new chapter, born from a desire to get out from behind a desk, do something I enjoy and help others get enjoyment from it too. Having moved from London to Madrid to continue my career as a financial consultant in the glorious sunshine and clear blue skies of the Spanish capital, it quickly became clear that the world of financial consulting is much the same across borders. It was now or never, so the time had come to log out. 

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