Author of last year’s Promising Young Women Caroline O’Donoghue discovers the chick-lit classics her guests were raised on, from schmaltzy romances to family comedies and bodice-ripping dramas. She talks to authors, fans and cultural critics about what makes chick-lit tick and investigates why it’s so often overlooked as a genre. Our favourite so far? Angus, Thongs & Full-Frontal Snogging with Holly Bourne.
The Sunday Salon
The Sunday Salon, which launched this year, is a podcast celebrating modern classics and the women who write them. Hosted by journalist Alice-Azania Jarvis, each week she chats to a female author about her work, her career, how she writes, what she reads and everything in between. Tune in each Sunday to hear from guests including How Do You Like Me Now? author Holly Bourne, Ordinary People’s Diana Evans, The Reading Cure’s Laura Freeman, and Cosmopolitan editor Farrah Storr.
You’re Booked is the podcast for literary nosy parkers who would like the chance to snoop around their favourite authors’ bookshelves. Hosted by SL fave Daisy Buchanan, the journalist and author asks her guests all about the first forbidden books they read under the covers, the beloved books they have borrowed (and never given back) and those impressive heavyweight hardbacks that make them look like intellectual giants – even though they couldn’t get beyond the first 20 pages. Former guests include Dolly Alderton, Nina Stibbe and Nikesh Shukla.
The Penguin Podcast
The Penguin Podcast lets readers listen in on conversations with some of the publishing house's leading authors and creative thinkers, as they seek to understand how they write and where their ideas come from. Originally hosted by the inimitable Richard E. Grant, the podcast is now presented by a rolling cast of guests. As part of the podcast, guests bring five objects which have inspired their work. Current hits include Simon Amstell interviewed by Katy Brand, Caitlin Moran hosted by David Baddiel and Jane Fallon with Katy Brand.
The New Yorker – Fiction
This US literary heavyweight has many podcasts, but one of our favourites is its fiction edition, a monthly reading and conversation with the New Yorker fiction editor Deborah Treisman. Last month, in honour of the tenth anniversary of the podcast, the team asked listeners to vote for their favourite episode from its first ten years. The winner was an episode from 2012 in which David Sedaris reads and discusses Roy Spivey, by Miranda July. It’s well worth a listen.
London Review Bookshop Podcast
Twice a week, the London Review Bookshop becomes a miniature auditorium in which authors talk about and read from their work, meet their readers and engage in lively debate about the burning topics of the day. Fortunately, for those who don’t manage to get tickets, the team makes a recording of everything that happens. Top guests include Alan Bennett, Hilary Mantel, Iain Sinclair, Jarvis Cocker and Patti Smith (yes, she sings during the recording).
The Literary Salon
Since 2008, Damian Barr's Literary Salon has tempted the world’s finest writers to read from their latest greatest works and share their own stories. The podcast’s current home is the Savoy Hotel. Here, Barr showcases established names alongside emerging talents: think Bret Easton Ellis, Tracey Thorn, John Waters, David Mitchell and Diana Athill. It’s where David Nicholls launched One Day, Caitlin Moran unveiled her Moranifesto, Helen Fielding read from printer-fresh pages and Jojo Moyes reduced everyone to tears before anyone else with Me Before You.
Backlisted is presented by John Mitchinson and Andy Miller. Each episode features a guest (usually a writer) who has chosen a book they love and which they think deserves a wider audience. Though sponsored by the crowd-funding publisher Unbound, it isn’t about selling new product: it’s about how and why some books stand the test of time. Recent highlights feature John Niven on The Information by Martin Amis and Linda Grant discussing why she loves Good Morning, Midnight by Jean Rhys.
Literary Friction is a conversation about books and ideas, hosted by friends Carrie and Octavia. Each month the duo interviews an author about their book and builds the show around a related theme – anything from resistance to coastlines to corpses. Listen in for lively discussion, book recommendations and a little music too. Our recent favourites include chatting ‘rest and relaxation’ with My Year of Rest And Relaxation author Ottessa Moshfegh and chats with with Olivia Laing and Viv Albertine.
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