Like a lot of podcast genres — and browsing a bookshop — when it comes to book shows, it’s about finding what suits you. Fiction is a category all to itself on Apple Podcasts — Welcome to Night Vale is among the most successful examples — but there are myriad shows that enhance the reading experience.
Sentimental Garbage is hosted by Cork-born, London-based writer Caroline O’Donoghue, who is joined by a new female author every week to “talk about the chick-lit that made us who we are”, the so-called guilty pleasures.
There have been 24 episodes since the show launched last November with books discussed so far including Elizabeth Gilbert’s memoir Eat, Pray, Love; Chimamanda Ngozi
Adichie’s Americanah (“People often miss the commercial elements of this book,” says O’Donoghue, a buoyant host, to which her guest, Queenie author Candice Carty-Williams, replies that “It’s so about love”); and Maeve Binchy’s Circle of Friends.
The latter, a fierce discussion with Sarah Griffin, paints the 700-page opus as well before its time. This podcast is like a book club where it doesn’t matter if you’ve read the book — you’ll savour the discussion.
Inside Books is hosted by Breda Browne and offers a glimpse at a cross-section of the thriving Irish writing scene, from Paul Howard to Nicole Flattery to Alan Shatter, the latter revelling in discussing his early publishing career and still, you sense, seething at the end of his ministership.
Butcher Boy author Pat McCabe doesn’t mince words on his episode: “I certainly don’t like the word ‘consume’. This is the problem I have with the modern world; 63-year-old men always have a problem with the modern world,” he deadpans.
The New Yorker: Fiction is released on the first (or thereabouts) of every month where a renowned author reads a story published by the magazine and then discusses the story with its fiction editor.
Margaret Atwood reading Alice Munro (“she’s an old pal”), this month’s episode, will leave you salivating,
YOU’VE GOT TO HEAR THIS: My Roots Are Showing is hosted by Cork journalist Nadine O’Regan who talks with people from the world of culture, from Willy Vlautin to Kevin Barry.