Saturday, 21 March 2015

4 Podcasts I Am Loving

My life has been really busy lately. I'm planning a wedding, looking for somewhere to live, and starting a new job in 9 days time! When I'm overloaded, I sometimes find that books, rather than being an escape, can feel like an extra thing To Do. It was getting to the point when I would get on my morning train, get out a book, and then spend the next 20 minutes staring out the window!

Fortunately, to stem that gap before I get into reading again, I have discovered podcasts. Now, I know that it is really really late to jump on this bandwagon, but I can't help it. Technology does not come easily to me! I've been listening to 4 different podcasts, and though I know I am only scratching the surface when it comes to the medium, I'm really enjoying having a little window into a world I haven't seen before.

1. This American Life
I initially was going to listen to Serial, which is The Thing Everyone Is Talking About, at least on the internet. But I got a bit turned off by all the hype, and plus I'm not really into true crime, and OK the real reason is that I got spoiled and I already know the ending. Anyway! This American Life is kind of the parent podcast of Serial. Each week they pick a different theme and tell a few stories based around the theme. They can be really topical, like this one about race relations between police and the black community. Or just interesting and fun to listen to, like this one, Amateur Hour, about being completely unqualified for a situation, but going for it anyway. I learn something every time I listen, and the narration always make me feel like I'm on a journey with the presenters.

2. Bookish Blether
This is a much more home-made podcast, it's basically recordings of conversations between Holly and Nicola, friends who love books. I like it because it reminds me of the original idea behind this blog - Feli and I chatting about what we love and what we find interesting. I like hearing what they're reading, particularly as they definitely have their ears a bit more to the ground in the bookish world than I do! They also chat about reading habits and I am particularly jealous of Holly's spreadsheet 
where she charts everything she reads!

3. Reading Lives
Another bookish podcast, this one is run by Jeff O'Neal, the Editor of BookRiot. It features interviews with 'interesting people who love books'. How could I resist? It basically charts their reading lives from childhood to present day, and it's always fascinating hearing what people read at different stages of their lives. I always pick up a tonne of recommendations every time I listen. My favourite episode so far has probably been an interview with Mahvesh Murad, a book critic and voice artist who lives in Pakistan. She spent part of her childhood in the UK so it was interesting to see where her experience connects with mine and where it differs.

4. Kermode and Mayo's Film Review
Basically just two men bickering about films, this is the podcast version of a show on BBC 5 Live, all about new film releases. It's been going for some ridiculous amount of time so I am very late to the party, in fact some friends who love films have been trying to get me to listen for ages. I have finally succumbed! I love the chatty style, and Mark Kermode has a massive brain full of films so every review feels like a history lesson. They also feature a lot of listener reviews so you get to hear a lot of different opinions on each new release.

So those are my current listens, but I would love to hear any recommendations! What are you listening to?

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