By: Binta Dixon
Just in case you’ve been hiking in the Andi’s or traversing a spiritual quest for the last 3 years, you may have missed the story explosion that is the podcasting scene. You can find everything from real life advice columns to dragons and space monsters to keep you company during your daily commute or relaxing afternoon. If you’re still on the fence about podcasts or feel like you’re cheating on the unread section of your bookshelf, there are tons of book-focused pods that will help you dive into some of your favorite reads and explore new titles and authors. The dilemma then becomes how do you narrow down the ones that will become your weekly obsessions? Not to worry, this list is your starter guide to bookworm podcasts for 2019. Get ready to add some new listens to your Apple Pod or Spotify queue and some new books to your never-ending must-read list!
OverDueThis is one of my all-time favorite podcasts due to the hilarity that ensues every time Craig and Andrew dive into a book. The OverDue podcast also features a unique format unlike any other book pod out there. Each week, one of the hosts reads a book and explains the plot to the other. Most of the time they both have some previous experience with it, but even when it’s new they are excellent at diving into the content and dissecting what works and what’s doesn’t with each title. Listening to this podcast is like hanging out with one of your book-loving friends. The best part is, you can find out if that book you’re considering is worth your time, or if you’re better off reading one of the other dozen titles you haven’t peeled back the cover of yet. Try out one of the Stop! Homer Time episodes where the duo breaks down one of the most well-known classics of all time “The Odyssey by Homer.”
Levar Burton ReadsIf you’re a 90’s baby, raised one, or have ever seen an episode of Star Trek, you know that Levar Burton is a cultural icon. This podcast would be worth the listen for the nostalgia alone, yet it delivers much more by way of, immersive short stories read by Burton. Many of the episodes are recorded live, featuring a band and a post-reading discussion with the author. Levar’s orations are like a warm hug and the stories he chooses are perfect for fantasy and sci-fi lovers alike. Not only will you be introduced to a ton of new authors, but you’re also guaranteed to be inspired to get into reading more short stories! One of my favorite recent episodes is Asymmetry by Kendra Fortmeyer.
Not Another Book Podcast
Take a hop across the podcast pond and check out this literary critique podcast featuring contemporary authors and highlighting many African authors. The three hosts, PostColonialChild, BooksAndRhymes and BookShyBooks don’t sugarcoat their opinions about your favs. This refreshing bit of healthy criticism is excellent for anyone wondering why everyone is in love with that new book you thought was just ‘Meh.’ Another unique feature about this show is that they offer a reading list, so you can keep up with what the hosts are reading and interact with them on social media. Use the handles above and join the NABP community online. Get started with the episode How Otaku are you? Manga and Anime lovers this way!
A Geeks Guide to the UniverseOk, you caught me, this is not book podcast, well not just a book podcast. A Geeks Guide is a portal to the world of nerd, featuring the best in science fiction media including authors, books, shows, and comics. The host David Barr Kirtley cultivates lively conversations with fellow geeks on everything from Black Panther to Doctor Who. What I love about this pod is that they take a deep dive into the theories that underpin many of the shows and books they cover while also providing some light commentary. It’s an excellent balance of science and pop culture. The show will return in 2019 with their Doctor Who Series 11 review, you won’t want to miss it!
NerdetteNerdette is like the previous podcasts’ favorite cousin and, although it too is not just about books, it will inevitably always lead you to read something. In perfect nerd form, it always ends with homework that will help you dive deeper into the topic discussed. The topics range from CRISPR to cooking and doesn’t miss a beat while doing so. This show centers femme creators and helps to highlight some of the most inspirational authors, scientists, and creators on the scene today. One of my favorite episodes recently is Salt, Fat, Acid, Ask for What You Want. Jump in at any episode and you’re sure to find one of your new favorite pods.