12 podcasts about books to help stimulate your mind in lockdown

Getting a lot of reading done in lockdown? If you want to hear discussions about the novels and memoirs you’ve been racing through, try plugging in to one of these brilliant podcasts about books.

Books are always there for us during the good times, the bad times and the ‘what the hell is happening in the world?’ times. 

Whether you’ve been re-reading beloved old classics or discovering debut novels from new authors during lockdown, you might miss talking about them with colleagues at the watercooler or friends over a glass of wine. 

So why not try plugging into a podcast that’s all about books? From the very funny to the hugely insightful, we’ve rounded up 12 of the best podcasts about books out there. 

Broccoli Book Club

Freshly launched this year, Broccoli Book Club is a new literary podcast hosted by journalist Diyora Shadijanova. The podcast focuses on a book a month and asks listeners to join in by reading it at home. The timely books that are chosen give a better understanding of society today and will push readers to be inquisitive. Each title is given two episodes: part one is a group discussion of the book and part two is an interview with the author of the chosen book.

January kicks off with Laura Dockrill’s What Have I Done?

Listen to Broccoli Book Club here.

Typecast

Rare Birds Book Club has just wrapped up its second season of Typecast, which sees our favourite book characters being cast for hypothetical film adaptations. It’s something that every bookworm ponders, right?

Florence Vincent, Rachel Wood and Roxane de Rouen dive back into their favourite books for a funny, warm and very, very important chat about who would play the characters in a new film adaptation of each novel. There are plenty of disagreements along the way, and you can’t help but find yourself muttering your own opinions and choices while listening.

Past books that have been cast include Conversations With Friends,  Jane Eyre and The Hating Game.  

Listen to Typecast here.

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    Women’s Prize For Fiction

    Last year, the Women’s Prize for Fiction podcast launched 25 new episodes to celebrate the prize’s 25th anniversary. The series celebrates the best fiction written by women, with discussions and debates about the diverse back-catalogue of Women’s Prize-winning books. Listeners can also explore the bookshelves of these remarkable women.

    Guests on the podcast, which is hosted by Zing Tsjeng, include: food writer and cook Melissa Hemsley, chair of fudges and businesswoman Martha Lane Fox, writer and Women’s Prize co-founder Kate Mosse, influencer Liv Purvis, founding editor-in-chief of Gal Dem magazine Liv Little and comedian Jessica Fostekew. 

    Listen to Women’s Prize For Fiction here.

    The Waterstones Podcast

    The Waterstones Podcast interviews author guests such as David Nicholls, Elizabeth Day, Angie Thomas and Arundhati Roy. Through a series of interviews and discussions, each episode follows a separate theme: beginnings, sex, perfection, success, family and friendship. Dan Bird and Holly Davies from Waterstones present the podcast.

    Listen to The Waterstones Podcast here.

    You’re Booked

    Author Daisy Buchanan is the book inspector who takes literary nosy parkers for a snoop around their favourite authors’ bookshelves in You’re Booked. Past guests have included Holly Bourne, Dolly Alderton, Philippa Perry and Sophie Kinsella. Find out the stories behind the dog-eared books in their collections.

    Listen to You’re Booked here.

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    London Review Bookshop Podcast

    The London Review Bookshop records its weekly events, where authors come to talk about and read from their work, meet readers and engage in debate about burning topics. As live events will not be taking place for you to attend during lockdown, now is the perfect time to plug in and catch up. Guests have included Hilary Mantel, Eduard Louis, Patti Smith and Ali Smith.

    Listen to the London Review Bookshop Podcast here.

    Read Like a Writer

    Stylist’s former associate editor (and lifelong book lover) Anna Fielding hosts Read Like A Writer, which picks authors’ brains about their favourite books and independent bookshops. It goes beyond the usual best-of lists, with past guests including Matt Haig and Sarah Perry.

    Listen to the Read Like a Writer podcast here.

    Backlisted

    Blacklisted gives new life to old books every fortnight, with guests who pick a selection of books that they love and think deserve a wider audience. It’s perfect for digging deep to explore books from the past.

    Listen to Backlisted here

    Black Chick Lit

    Black Chick Lit is a bi-monthly podcast that talks books by and about Black women. Each month, Dani and Mollie host an in-depth look at a title written by a Black woman and its author. They explore a variety of genres and forms, including literary fiction, non-fiction, YA, poetry and urban fiction. Previous episodes include Queen Sugar by Natalie Baszile, The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas and Swing Time by Zadie Smith.

    Listen to Black Chick Lit here.

    New Yorker Fiction 

    New Yorker fiction editor Deborah Treisman leads the paper’s monthly Fiction podcast, and is joined by guest authors for a reading of other writers’ books. 

    Listen to the New Yorker Fiction podcast here.

    Penguin Podcast 

    Catch up with the biggest names in books with the Penguin Podcast, which regularly holds special events. Guests bring to the interview a handful of objects that have inspired their work. Most recently, they have included Nigella Lawson, Ian McEwan and Caitlin Moran, with comedian Katy Brand on hosting duties. 

    Listen to the Penguin Podcast here.

    Literary Friction 

    Carrie and Octavia interview an author each month for Literary Friction. They build the show around a theme related to each theme, incorporating lively discussion, book recommendations and even music. Past guests include Dolly Alderton, Leila Slimani and Sally Rooney. 

    Listen to Literary Friction here.

    Images: Getty

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