Tag: Podcasts

10 Book Podcasts That Book Lovers Need to Listen to!

Books are celebrated across all forms of media, from YouTube videos, community forums, Facebook groups, on the radio and TV, and, of course, on podcasts. Podcasts allow you to listen to people who also love books and even listen to people share their own, original work online without the need to go through the craziness of publishing. Here are ten original and unique podcasts that any book lover will find a joy to listen to!

 

10. ‘By the book’

Image via Buzzfeed

By the Book is a fun podcast hosted two women, Kristen and Jolenta. Each episode they pick a different self-help book and for two weeks, attempt to live by the book’s rules to see if it truly improves their lives. They encourage listeners who tune in to try the challenge for themselves and once the period is over, they revisit the book and discuss its merits or shortcomings, judging by how it worked out for them.

 

9. ‘Binge Mode’

 

image via Wikipedia

Binging a book? Whoever heard of that? Well, the guys at Binge Mode did and they have made a highly successful, entertaining podcast out of it. Starting out covering Game of Thrones, they’ve since done a follow-up covering Harry Potter! In each episode, they go through each book, chapter by chapter, analyzing the contents line by line in huge amounts of detail. They also cover the movies and have various extras about the Potter universe. Plus, they’re hilarious and rib on the books they cover with love.

 

8. ‘33% pulp’

 

Image via Buzzfeed

33% Pulp is a podcast focused on, you guessed it, pulp novels! Featuring classic tales involving mad scientists, monsters, sword and sorcery, and lots of awkward descriptions of sex, hosts Amber, Linzi, and Daniel are assigned one third of the novel to read each week. From there, they recap their portion of the plot to the others and the three attempt to piece together the plot from the different segments. Needless to say, hijinks ensue.

 

7. ‘The worst bestsellers’

Image via Buzzfeed

The Worst Bestsellers is hosted by Kait and Renata, who read trashy bestsellers so you don’t have to! The hosts (plus a guest) spend each episode discussing popular books and discussing how these terrible books became popular. Covering popular works to slightly more obscure material, they joke about the books they cover for fun, without judging anyone for liking the material being covered.

 

6. ‘Levar Burton Reads’ 

 

Image via Levar Burton reads

LeVar Burton Reads is exactly what it says on the tin and then some. Hosted by LeVar Burton, the actor famous for Star Trek: The Next Generation in which he played Geordi La Forge, chief of engineering. In this podcast, Burton reads books to you in his soothing tone of voice. Most episodes are under an hour, making them ideal for listening on the train, bus, or car. Maybe you’ll need Burton to help you sleep or just relax after a long day.

 

5. ‘The Poetry Gods’

 

Image via Buzzfeed

The Poetry Gods is a lively discussion about poetry hosted by three poets Aziza, Jose, and Jon, who interview different poets about their work and lives. Even if you’re not a poetry fan, this podcast is great stuff, being energetic, fun, and spirited for listening. You’ll learn much here, coming for the party and staying for the lecture.

 

4. ‘Drunk Booksellers’

 

Image via Drunk Booksellers

Drunk Booksellers is the ideal podcast to listen to while having a glass of wine or some other alcoholic beverage. In this podcast, hosts Emma and Kim interview various American authors, learning about their craft while also covering topics such as their favorite books and the craft of writing/reading. Naturally, they also get a little tipsy while doing so, sipping down some literary themed drinks to add to the fun.

 

3. ‘Black Chick lit’

 

Image via Black Chick lit

Black Chick Lit is a podcast that revolves around books written for and by black women. The podcast has a casual, conversational tone, showcasing the historical nature of each book while providing fun and laughs. Naturally, the hosts Dani and Molli have a ton of fun bouncing off one another, while bringing wine for each episode.

 

2. ‘Backlisted’

 

Image via Backlisted

Backlisted aims to re-examine classic books and show how they became ‘classics’ in the first place. Hosted by presenters John Mitchinson and Andy Miller, they get into lively discussions with guests in order to convince their listeners to give Charles Dickens and Jilly Cooper another chance while arguing about why exactly these novels have stood the test of time.

 

1. ‘Damian Barr’s Literary Salon’

 

Image via Buzzfeed

Literary Salon   is a popular podcast in which  world class writers join the host, Damian Barr, and  read from their biggest, boldest, and most popular works in a variety of locations before a live audience. The fun comes from hearing the audience reactions as the author reads. Numerous popular guests have been featured, including Bret Easton Ellis, Jojo Moyes, John Waters, Helen Fielding, Diana Athill and Louis de Bernières.

 

 

Featured Image Via Buzzfeed

The 10 Best Things Internet Has Given Book Lovers

Happy birthday Internet! Today the Internet turns thirty-years-old. It’s been a long thirty years. In fact, I barely a remember a time before the Internet, but I’m only twenty-two.

 

The world with the word 'internet' in front of it
Image Via India Today

 

In a nutshell, the Internet has done a lot for us. Some good, some bad, but mostly it gave us neutral tools that we, as a collective, outright abused. So thank you, Internet for these 10 things you gave us!

 

10. It’s easier to buy books

 

Can you image going outside of your house and looking for a book, traversing through dark and shady bookstores, digging in trashcans looking for that one book? Well not anymore! Thanks to various sites, and the websites belonging to independent bookstores, we can now just simply type in the name of the book and find the best deal available!

Or, on the flip side, we can spend hours on the internet looking through every book in existence for the book that just catches our eyes.

Support indie bookstores though. For real.

 

A collection of several books on a shelf
Image Via The Big Game Hunting Blog

 

The only issue is having to wait to get the book. No more grabbing the book and leaving. Nope! Our primary mode of buying contains a lot of waiting.

 

9. Easier to sell books

 

A young woman showing an older woman a book
Image Via Sell Back Your Book

 

I got these piles of books and I want to get rid of them. Do I throw them out? Nah, I need some cash to buy some other books, and maybe pay off my student loans. What to do, what to do?

Well, thanks to the internet I can go online and sell the books. Millions of people just like me are looking to buy books and I might have what they’re looking for! And the odds are higher than when before the internet was around, given those millions of people I mentioned before.

 

8. Self-publishing

 

Have you written a book and you can’t just wait for the public to read it? Having trouble finding an agent or publisher? Well, self-publishing might be for you.

 

A clipboard upon which are the words Write, Edit, Design, Publish, Distribute, Market, beside of which are marked checkoxes
Image Via Editage

 

You have more creative control and, according to Editage, “Traditionally published books have a limited shelf life in the bookstore and are periodically removed to make way for newly published books. Self-published books, on the other hand, are always available in online bookstores and can be discovered and purchased months and years after the book is published.”

The cons? The bookstore’s won’t see your book unless you get traditionally published, but at least they will always be in the online store! Plus, you get immediate statistics  on who bought your book.

But be wary: There are a lot of scams out there. As with everywhere on the internet.

 

7. Traditional Publishing

Rows of books
Image Via Publishdrive

There are a lot of working parts to make a book a reality. The writer has to maintain contact with their agent, their cover designer, their editors. All these moving parts, and no easy way to stay in contact.

Not anymore. Thanks to the internet, you can just email all these people.

Haven’t been published but have a ready manuscript? Then you have to pitch your book. Back in the day writers sent out letters:

 

A ballpoint pen on an old letter
Image Via Role Reboot

No longer. Well it’s an option, but why not just email them? It’s quick, easy, and costs nothing.

 

6. E-Readers

A tablet turned on with a book ready to read
Image Via PCMag

 

In 2012 The Pew Research Center found that in February that 21% of adults in America were reading from an e-readers.

And why wouldn’t they? E-readers take up a lot less space than books, you can fit them all on your tablet, and many more books are available at the tip of your finger. As long as your tablet is charged, then you have not only one book for your commute, but an entire library.

Imagine if you had to carry your entire library with you?

A man holding a stack of books
Image Via Dissolve

 

It would only be better if the books actually read themselves to you. Oh wait…

 

5. Audible

You can buy a book and a celebrity will read it to you! It’s like when you were a kid and you had a bedtime story, except this time you’ve never met this person! Plus, all these listenable books are ready with only a touch. You can fit as many as you like in your phone, so no “My house is filled with all these gigantic books” problems.

Now when you go to the gym, you can have earbuds and listen to your books.

 

A woman on the treadmill putting headphones in her ears
Image Via Video Hive

Isn’t that great? And going off the “I’m at the gym working out and I’m reading” motif, you can read and do many other things. Multitasking for the win. Complex has you covered with a top 10 list of books you can listen to while driving.

The Times even found that “[commuters who may not have picked up a paperback since leaving university are increasingly listening to audiobooks on the way to work as it is seen as more relaxing than reading.”

The best part? All these listenable books are ready with only a touch. According to National Public Radio, “Now they’re a $1 billion industry with more than 35,000 titles published in 2013 alone.”

Unless you bought a book and it doesn’t have an audio book. Then you’re stuck to doing things the old fashioned way, like a peasant.

 

4. Podcasts

 

A image of headphones against a blue background
Image Via Wired

 

Why stop at listening to someone reading a book when you can listen to people talk about books. Podcasts have you covered.

Here The Guardian lists ten (Ten!) places where you can listen to your book talk. Reviews, discussions, podcasts have them all.

 

3. Goodreads

 

The Goodreads logo
Image Via Goodreads

 

It’s the largest site for readers. Need to know how far you are in your current book? Goodreads give you a percentage. Need to know how long you’ve been reading Game of Thrones?

All 5 Song of Ice and Fire Books together spelling out "Game of Thrones"
Image Via Juniper Books

 

Goodreads gives you the date you started. Need a book recommendation? Need to see what your friends are reading? Goodreads is the Facebook for book readers. Thank you Internet.

 

2. Fan Fiction

 

The words Fan Fiction written with a ballpoint pen
Image Via FilmFreeway

Now you can share your Harry Potter fan-fiction and you can read other people’s Lord of the Rings fan-fiction. You can flex your creative muscles, to stain those the calves of those sentences, to tighten those wordy hamstrings, training you to become the new generation of writers.

Plus you can change the ending to Game of Thrones if you don’t like it. (You might not like it.)What could be better?

 

  1. The Best Thing Ever

Are you ready?

You sure?

Be warned, this is by far the best thing the Internet has ever given us….

You sure you’re ready?

Okay.

Proceed and feast your eyes upon…

 

 

The Bookstr Logo
Image Via Facebook

Check us out!

LGBT Pride & Queer Reads

Hit Americana Mystery ‘Alice Isn’t Dead’ Nominated for Lambda Award

If you’ve been sleeping on Alice Isn’t Dead, we hope you’ve caught up on your rest. Once you dive into this clever, creepy lesbian road trip mystery, you may not be sleeping again for awhile.

This poignant, witty, and deeply unsettling podcast written by Welcome to Nightvale co-creator Joseph Fink—and its novelization has been nominated in the 31st annual Lambda Awards under the Lesbian Mystery category. An homage to the classic American road-trip, this eerie and contemplative podcast follows Keisha, a brave yet anxiety-ridden woman whose wife mysteriously disappears. The obvious assumption is as awful as it is incorrect: Alice died mysteriously while working for her job, a fast-paced corporate position that led to her frequent domestic travel. She wrote lovingly throughout her travels, sending emails from small-town bed-and-breakfasts, describing sunny summer afternoons.

But what if the weather reports say there was no sun that afternoon in the town Alice described? What if there was no bed-and-breakfast in the town she wrote about, a lie Keisha never thought to question? What if Alice isn’t dead?

What if it gets worse than that?

 

Alice Isn't Dead logo

Image via a suivre

 

Our story opens with the distinct tone of nightmare—something familiar left out to rot. Keisha is in a diner, and a man is eating an omelette. Only he’s not really eating the omelette so much as he is devouring it with a violent, mindless need. There’s something wrong with his fingernails. There’s something wrong with his eyes.

Keisha has left her job and life behind to journey into the liminal space of the American highway, a vast and threatening emptiness in which anything could be lurking—whether it’s a sinister truth or something even more frightening than knowledge. Joining trucking company Bay & Creek Shipping, Keisha talks to Alice on her CB radio.

But Alice might not be the only one listening.

The story unfolds with all the logic of a dream: the same town appears endlessly along the same stretch of road, an image repeated into meaninglessness. A factory looms on the edge of an ocean, populated by a single worker who is moving sideways through time. Keisha hears footsteps in the bed of her truck, but no one is there when she stops to check. Things are and then aren’t. Things aren’t and then very much are.

 

 

Creepy 'Alice Isn't Dead' art

Image Via Lady Geek Girl

 

Alice Isn’t Dead is a wonderful example of LGBT+ media entering the mainstream; although its popularity arose in part because of Joseph Fink’s reputation, the podcast and novel earned attention for their expert storytelling and striking fixation with the uncanny as the story journeys deeper and deeper into America’s messy innards. It’s no mistake that the podcast ran from 2016 – 2018, a time in which America’s political climate was another strange and inhospitable landscape. Fink boldly places a queer love story in the wildest reaches of the United States: where police won’t help, where the threat of violence doesn’t seem entirely supernatural. Although Alice Isn’t Dead will compete against some incredible titles, its wide reach into the mainstream represents a serious accomplishment.

The Lambda Literary Awards, established in 1988, honor works exploring LGBT+ themes across an exciting range of genres. Though the award was initially for gay and lesbian works, its scope expanded to include bisexual and transgender categories as the community became more inclusive. The 31st annual Lambda awards judges have chosen from over 1,000 nominations—so you’d better get to reading! Tickets for the award ceremony, held in NYC, are now available for purchase.

 

Other Lambda Literary Award Nominees

A Selection of 2019 Lambda Award Finalists
Image Via Them

 

Other high-profile nominees include Elizabeth Acevedo’s National Book Award-winning The Poet X, renowned lesbian poet Eileen Myles’ Evolution, and acclaimed author and reviewer Alexander Chee’s How To Write an Autobiographical Novel. The categories cover an inclusive spectrum of genres and identities: Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Mystery, Memoir/Biography, Romance, Anthology, Children’s/Young Adult, Drama, Erotica, Graphic Novels, SF/F/Horror, and LGBTQ Studies.

As of 2019, only the first three categories exist in subcategories Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender; the remainder are generally divided into Lesbian and Gay. Perhaps, with the modern increase in queer content, the award will recognize an even broader selection of sexual and romantic identities.

Check out the full list of Lambda Award nominees in Lesbian Mystery and all other categories!

 

 

Featured Image Via Medium.

hi fidelity

Podcasts You Should Listen to Right Now

Sometimes you have no time to read. Sometimes you fall into a slump and just can’t finish a book. Sometimes you just love reading so much and want to spend every waking hour reading. A wonderful way to remedy all three scenarios is to listen to podcasts.

 

Via GIPHY

 

Right?! Here are some great ones to try out.

 

1. The Truth

 

The Truth logo

Image Via Wikipedia

THE TRUTH makes movies for your ears: short stories that are sometimes dark, sometimes funny, and always intriguing. Each story is different, and usually 10 to 20 minutes long. We take you to unexpected places using only sound.” (Via TheTruthPodcast)

 

2. LeVar Burton Reads

 

Levar Burton Reads Logo

“Lose yourself in a great story with LeVar Burton Reads. In each episode, host LeVar Burton (Reading Rainbow, Star Trek, Roots) hand-picks a different piece of short fiction, and reads it to you.” (Via Art19)

 

3. The Writer’s Voice 

 

the writers voice logo

Image Via WNYC

“New Yorker fiction writers read their stories.” (Via WNYC) What a lovely description.

4. Welcome to Night Vale

 

Welcome Night Vale logo

Image Via TheGeekiary

 

If you like your stories to be creepy and soothing at the same time, then you’ll like Welcome to Night Vale. This podcast blew up last year with the help of a Tumblr fan base and has been spinning the tales of the weirdest supernatural desert town in America ever since. Watch out for now-renowned one-liners like, “Weird at last, weird at last! God almighty, weird at last! (Via Mashable)

 

5. Strangers

 

Strangers logo

Image Via Stitcher

 

Strangers comes from Lea Thau, former director of The Moth, and focuses on true stories that replicate what many of us feel when we hear stories: empathy for total strangers. Strangers especially achieves this when the show features stories about home and heartbreak.” (Via Mashable)

 

 

There are so many pros of listening to podcasts. Firstly, you can listen to them while doing a number of other things. I like to listen to podcasts while cleaning the apartment, while I’m cooking, or while I’m on the train. Another pro to listening to podcasts is that you can listen to a new story any time you feel like it. Listening to stories this way also gives you a warm feeling of nostalgia for listening to radio shows. Podcasts can also take less time to enjoy than actual books. I think the only downside to listening to podcasts is having to scrub back to the exact place you stopped listening because you zoned out.

 

Feature Image Via Entertainment.ie

My Dad Wrote a Porno

NSFW: Your New Favorite Podcast Is ‘My Dad Wrote a Porno’

If you’ve been living under a rock for a while, or just been sleeping on podcasts, then you might have missed out on the best thing of all time: My Dad Wrote a Porno.

 

When British television director Jamie Morton discovered his father had started writing his own pornographic literature, the clear next step was a podcast. Debuting in 2015, each show is a chapter of the incredible and impossibly bad Belinda Blinked, written by Morton’s father under the pen name Rocky Flintstone (hilarious). Morton and two of his longtime friends, TV exec James Cooper and BBC Radio 1 presenter Alice Levine, attempt to make their way through the chapters without spending too much time laughing. Trust me, you’ll be laughing just as much. 

 

“It’s basically just me and my two mates reading and dissecting my dad’s terrible attempts at writing erotica, and trying to turn people on, which he is just unbelievably bad at,” says Morton. “I mean he’s kind of the worst writer in England. He makes E. L. James look like Jane Austen.”

 

With over 100 million downloads since its premiere, the podcast is now going on tour, beginning on February 22nd in Los Angeles before continuing onward to San Francisco, New York, Toronto, Boston, Washington DC, and Chicago. Regarding taking the erotic readings on tour, Morton says:

 

The live show is an absolute raucous night out, really. We read an exclusive chapter, that my dad thought was too bad to include in any of the books, which gives you an idea of how terrible it is/amazing it is. So we basically read that out, dissect it, then we bring people up onstage and reenact things, to show how physically impossible his sexual situations really are. It’s a really fun show, and it’s gone down really well in the U.K. and in Australia, so hopefully the Americans are going to like it.

 

So how did Morton first discover his father’s porno? Dear old dad sent him pages, of course! “I took them to lunch with my friends and I was like, ‘You’ll never guess, my dad’s written what he thinks is erotica,’” he says. “We basically did what we do on the podcast. I read it out, and we all just started chipping in with our thoughts and our comments. At that moment, we kind of realized, ‘Oh, if we find these funny, I’m sure other people will find it funny.’ So we started the podcast.”

 

The iconic Belinda Blinked has since turned into a series, with the first three of which are available for purchase.

 

“Oh my god, we can’t stop him writing them,” he says. “He’s written so many, it’s amazing. He wrote four before we started doing the podcast, so we’ve got one more season about the ‘pure’ books, as we call them, which is coming out later this year. Then, he’s just carried on writing. I think he’s on book seven or eight now. I actually lose count. But, yes, he’s very motivated to carry on writing!”

 

So what are you waiting for? Go give it a listen!!

 

Featured Image via My Dad Wrote a Porno.