- Book Fight. The hosts, Mike Ingram and Tom McAllister, are writers, editors of Barrelhouse Magazine, and professors at Temple University in Philadelphia. They are also very funny and opinionated guys. They alternate between discussing books—both classics and contemporary, sometimes with guests—and answering questions related to books, writing, life, the literary scene and what have you. This podcast often sends me into fits of giggling.
- The Drunken Odyssey with John King: A Podcast About the Writing Life. The host, John King, is a former classmate of mine from the NYU MFA, and he teaches at the University of Central Florida. The bulk of the podcast is an interview with a writer, poet (sometimes even a musician)—John is a fantastic interviewer. He also talks about the literary news, the progress of his own work, what's going on in or around Orlando, Florida readings-wise, and has great segments like "The Book that Changed My Life". John also reports from the literary conferences and festivals he attends, as well as broadcasts life readings, such as "Erotic Poetry Night."
- Other People with Brad Listi. The host, Brad Listi, is a very energetic, wry, in-depth interviewer. He's not afraid to ask the hard and sometimes embarrassing questions. He is the author of the novel Attention. Deficit. Disorder. and founder of The Nervous Breakdown, an online culture magazine and literary community. (and a monthly book club). Totally addictive!
- Make/Work: A Rumpus Podcast. Scott Pinkmountain interviews emerging and established artists, writers, filmmakers (and others) about how they balance creative work with making a living and stay sane—or at least make that attempt. Very reassuring and inspiring.
- Slate's Audio Book Club.. Slate critics discuss contemporary books and the classics. Regular book club members include Dan Kois, Hanna Rosin, Emily Bazelon, Meghan O'Rourke, David Haglund, among others.
- KCRW Bookworm. Michael Silverblatt, who's been hosting this syndicated show since 1989, talks to writers and poets. Apparently, he reads the entire oeuvre of his guest before the conversation; only invites writers he really admires (not whom he is obliged to promote); and has a "book apartment," where even doors are lined with book shelves and kitchen cupboards are stuffed with books!
- Dear Book Nerd. Brooklyn librarian Rita Meade and guests answer reader-submitted questions of utter and immediate importance to book nerds, such as: how to find time to read, what makes a bestseller, how to choose what to read, trying to talk books with your significant other, and whether to read the classics.
- Three Percent Podcast. A podcast companion to the Three Percent Blog. Chad W. Post of Open Letter Books and Tom Roberge of New Directions discuss new books in translation and various literary & publishing topics., and some random stuff. Three percent refers to the percentage of books published annually in the United States that are translations—and this small percentage is a problem.
- Scriptnotes Podcast. "Screenwriters John August and Craig Mazin discuss screenwriting and related topics in the film and television industry, everything from getting stuff written to the vagaries of copyright and work-for-hire law." Love these guys. A lot of stuff they discuss relates to fiction writers, too.
- The Mookse and the Gripes Podcast. A podcast companion to The Mookse and the Gripes review blog. Trevor Berrett and his brother, Brian, discuss books published by NYRB Classics, the "quintessential publisher as curator," in Trevor's words. These guys are not connected to the publishing industry but have a real passion for books, and the quips between the brothers are often sweet and hilarious. Trevor and Betsy also review all the fiction published in the New Yorker here.
- Inside The New York Times Book Review. A podcast companion to the Sunday book review supplement. "Pamela Paul, the editor of the Book Review, talks to authors, editors and critics about new books, the literary scene and current best sellers." This podcast always makes me feel smarter!
- NPR: Books Podcast. A compilation of book discussions and interviews from such NPR shows as "The Morning Edition," "All Things Considered," and "Fresh Air."
- Books on the Nightstand. Friends and publishing professionals Michael Kindness and Ann Kingman give "great book recommendations, as well as a behind-the-scenes look at the world of books, bookstores and publishing."
- The Guardian Books Podcast. Now, for those who like their books discussed in a British accent! Book news from across the pond. Claire Armitstead hosts. Plus there is a monthly book club episode.
- The New Yorker Fiction Podcast. Writers whose fiction has been published in the New Yorker choose a story from the archive to read and discuss with Deborah Treisman, fiction editor at the magazine. Save this one for when you have enough time to listen to the whole thing at one stretch.
- BBC World Book Club. "World Book Club invites the globe's great authors to discuss their best known novel. This monthly programme, presented by Harriett Gilbert, includes questions from World Service listeners." You can email questions for the upcoming guest here.
NOT SOLELY-BOOK-RELATED PODCASTS
- Slate's Culture Gabfest. State critics Stephen Metcalf, Julia Turner, and Dana Stevens debate "the week in culture, from highbrow to pop." Each also endorses one thing at the end of the episode: it could be a poem, a song, an essay, a YouTube video, a recipe, anything. Love this podcast, especially after big events like the Oscars.
- Stuff Mom Never Told You. Lovely, well-spoken, smart, and funny Cristin and Caroline research and discuss subjects that are interesting to women and other human beings, from health and history to bro-rista coffee culture and convulsing cheerleaders.
- Savage Lovecast. Dan Savage, "America's sweetheart," rants about politics and answers callers' love and sex questions. I need my weekly dose of Dan!
There days, if I'm not talking to my cat, I am probably listening to a podcast. Seriously, how did anyone ever accomplish any chores back when there weren't any podcasts? So while I'm still thinking of actual topics for the blog posts, here's a list of my favorite podcasts. Most are book-related, because apparently I can listen almost without limit to strangers talking about books—most of which I haven't read. These podcasts are what substitutes for NYC literary events, MFA classes & book discussions with friends at bars afterwards. UPDATES MAY COME.