Explore the bookshelves of brilliant women with the new Women’s Prize for Fiction podcast series

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From motivational careers podcasts, to relaxing anxiety-reducing podcasts – there’s nothing more comforting than plugging in to listen, learn and laugh. After rounding up the best feminist film podcasts and the most exciting live podcasts, we’ve now grouped together the best podcasts for book lovers.

Book lovers and podcast addicts, rejoice. The Women’s Prize for Fiction podcast is launching 25 new episodes to celebrate the prize’s 25th anniversary. The series will celebrate 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 from this week, 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 Liv Little’s Bookshelfie on the Women’s Prize for Fiction podcast

Running across the next twelve months, the podcast will feature three episode strands:

  • Bookshelfie 12 episodes will explore the bookshelves of influential women and invite them to talk about their life and work through the lens of the literature that helped shape them.
  • #ReadingWomen On eight episodes, three well-known influencers from the worlds of arts, politics, feminism and comedy will discuss the past 24 Prize winning books, from Zadie Smith’s White Teeth, to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun.
  • Live specials Five special live recordings from exclusive events hosted throughout the 25th anniversary year, including the awards night itself.

9 of the best podcasts for book lovers

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

The Waterstones Podcast

The Waterstones Podcast launches on Wednesday (17 July), with confirmed author guests including David Nicholls, Elizbeth Day, Angie Thomas and Arundhati Roy. Through a series of interviews and discussions, six episodes will follow separate themes: beginnings, sex, perfection, success, family and friendship. Dan Bird and Holly Davies from Waterstones will present the podcast, which will be released on a fortnightly basis. 

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.

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. You can either attend the live events or listen to the podcast recordings from the comfort of wherever it is that you are. Recent 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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