Podcasts about books: Malorie Blackman leads Penguin’s important new podcast episode

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Listen up, book lovers: Penguin has just released an exciting new podcast episode made by some of our favourite authors. Here are all the details, along with 11 other brilliant podcasts about books that you really should plug into. 

Even the biggest book lovers will have found it pretty hard to concentrate on reading over the last few months. Luckily, there are plenty of easy-listening podcasts to keep us connected with books. 

And Penguin has just released a new bonus podcast episode that will continue to help listeners reflect on and get through the coronavirus pandemic

Penguin Perspectives

During lockdown, the Penguin Perspectives project asked 20 beloved authors to pen an essay in response to the Covid-19 crisis. 

Ranging from the personal to the political, the series included a tribute to frontline workers from Malorie Blackman, a challenge to the future of our democracy by Philip Pullman, and a call to protect the BBC from Nick Hornby. 

It also saw Lee Child explore time and space, Jung Chang capture the heartbreak of family seperation and Jojo Moyes take a moment to reflect on friendship.

These essays have now been released for free as an ebook and as an episode of the Penguin Podcast, in which you can hear the authors themselves reading their work.

Listen to Penguin Perspectives here.

Download the Penguin Perspective ebook here.


Rare Birds Book Club has just started 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.

The first season focused on Sally Rooney’s Conversations With Friends,  Jane Eyre and The Hating Game.  Weekly episodes will continue to examine classic and new reads, so get ready to cast. 

Listen to Typecast here.

    If this has left you wanting to hear more about your favourite books – and the novels yet to be discovered – we’ve rounded up 10 more podcasts for bookworms.

    Women’s Prize For Fiction

    The Women’s Prize for Fiction podcast has started launching 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 will also be able to explore the bookshelves of these remarkable women.

    Guests lined up for the podcast, which will release new episodes fortnightly, include: food writer and cook Melissa Hemsley, Chair of Judges and businesswoman Martha Lane Fox, writer and Prize Co-Founder Kate Mosse, influencer Liv Purvis, founding editor-in-chief of Gal Dem magazine Liv Little and comedian Jessica Fostekew. It will be hosted by Zing Tsjeng, who is the author of the recent Forgotten Women series of books.

    Listen to Women’s Prize For Fiction here.

    the womens prize for fiction long list
    Podcasts for book lovers: The Women's Prize For Fiction Podcast is the perfect listen.

    The Waterstones Podcast

    The Waterstones Podcast interviews author guests such as David Nicholls, Elizbeth 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.

    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 quarantine, 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 very own 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.


    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

    Podcasts for book lovers on the go.
    Podcasts for book lovers on the go. 

    Black Chick Lit

    Black Chick Lit 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, who is joined by guest authors for a reading of other writers’ books. 

    Listen to the New Yorker Fiction podcast here.

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    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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    Hollie Richardson

    Hollie is a digital writer at Stylist.co.uk, mainly covering the daily news on women’s issues, politics, celebrities and entertainment. She also keeps an ear out for the best podcast episodes to share with readers. Oh, and don’t even get her started on Outlander…

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