It’s nearly Summer, which means endless car or plane rides that make minutes feel like years or stay-cations that have a similar time-stopping effect. We’ve all been there. Drowning out a droning friend in the car, a chatty stranger on a plane, or, worst of all, a snoring dad in your living room is no small feat, but when music just isn’t enough, it seems nearly impossible. That’s where podcasts come to the rescue, and luckily, there is literary podcast for almost everyone, even those who refuse to read.
To ease your vacation and stay-cation woes, or maybe spruce up your ride to work, I’ve compiled a list to make Summer all the more enjoyable. You might even find something that makes everyone in the car or room want to lose the headphones.
Some of the best resources to find these and other podcasts are the same places you get your music: Itunes, Spotify, and Apple Music are easy places to start.
For the fiercest of Feminists: Reading Women
The two women in charge of the podcast, Reading Women, aim to help women “reclaim half the bookshelf.” They feature work exclusively written by women, as well as interviews with some of their favorite authors. Episodes go up every Wednesday with blog posts on their website to match.
For the New Yorkers at Heart: The New Yorker Fiction Podcast
The New Yorker describes this one as “a monthly reading and conversation with The New Yorker Fiction Editor Deborah Treisman.” For example, one particular episode is centered around Margaret Atwood, the woman behind The Handmaid’s Tale, as she reads a short story by Mavis Gallant, a regular feature in The New Yorker magazine. There are already 146 episodes.
For Those who Stick to the Classics: Backlisted
Backlist has made its name “giving new life to old books.” It’s presented by John Mitchinson and Andy Miller, and sponsored by Unbound, an off-the-beaten-path project funder. After launching two years ago, Backlisted is up to 91 episodes. One of the more recent episodes rejuvenates Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations.
For those who will ‘read it tomorrow’: Overdue
Overdue dubs itself “a podcast about the books you’ve been meaning to read.” Andrew Cunningham and Craig Getting tackle the habit of procrastination that is all too familiar to many. Find commentary on everything from Homer to Twilight in this relatable podcast.
For the Master of Time Management: Fully Booked
The editors at Kirkus Reviews, a NYC magazine centered around book reviews, have the scoop on the best new books. They dissect the freshest best-sellers to connect people with books they might not have otherwise read, since few have the time to spend hours contemplating what to read next. Join them as they chat with authors behind books like Helen Ellis’s Southern Lady Code and Christian Kiefer’s Phantoms.
For the Relentless Romantics: Smart Bitches, Trashy Books
As Candy Tan and Sarah Wendell say on their website, the podcast is “all of the romance, none of the bullshit.” Episodes are released every friday, where the “smart bitches” talk to literary pros of all sorts – librarians, readers, authors, and more – about the world of romance fiction. If that sounds refreshing, take a look at their episodes, reviews, blog posts, and merchandise.
These three podcasts, which aren’t related, cater to some of the strongest fan bases ever. Major spoilers is a comic lover’s dream, with a new comic for each episode of the podcast. A Podcast of Ice and Fire meshes a novel series and TV phenomenon in a comprehensive base for all things Game of Thrones. Swish and Flick calls itself “an all Potter podcast,” where the hosts dive into the books, chapter by chapter while entertaining fan theories and Pottermore fare.