Podcasts and other ephemera

As well as reading books, I like to find other ways to engage with the written word and often these ways don’t involve writing. They involve listening!

 I’m talking about podcasts and videos. It’s fascinating to be cooking while listening to Mark Billingham argue about what constitutes greatness in fiction or be driving while listening to a discussion on philosophy. The talks often lead me to find new and entertaining books I wouldn’t otherwise have discovered.

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You could easily waste several hours – even days – watching videos by writers on YouTube. One I would recommend would be John Green, author of The Fault in Our Stars amongst other books. He talks about books and writing and his commencement speech at Butler University is also worth watching. I suggest you go on YouTube type in author and sit back for the rest of the day. There are videos on great books, bad books, how writers write, how books are published, lists of what to read – loads of fascinating stuff.

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Podcasts are slightly different as they are audio only and a lot of them are regularly broadcast – usually monthly. You subscribe to the podcast and every month you get a reminder when a new episode goes up on the Internet. I am subscribed to loads and if I’m honest, too many, as it wouldn’t be possible to listen to every episode in every series but I cherry pick and choose highlights. One series I do follow regularly is Crime Time and another is World Book Club. The former obviously concentrates on crime fiction which I read a lot and they interview authors as well as talk about new books and classic books and it’s definitely worth a listen if you’re into crime… World Book Club covers a wider range of books and a recent episode I enjoyed was about Elisabeth Gilbert, author of Eat Pray Love. Google podcast and the titles above and prepare to lose an afternoon.

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The other way to engage with stories without the actual written word is audio books and I’ll look at them next time but listening to people talking about books is interesting and gives you many new avenues to explore. I hope you enjoy getting lost! And if you do like to talk about books, don’t forget the Not a Book Club Book Club meets in Wycombe Library on May 25th at 10:30am. See you there.

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Anne Maguire