A great book podcast, this showcases a diverse range of literature, from Literary Fiction to Middle Grade Sci-Fi. Typically, the podcast is split into three or four sections, showcasing different books, writers and topics relating to publication.
I’ve heard of so many great writers on the podcast – including Hannah Beckerman, author of The Dead Wife’s Handbook. Not all the books featured are to my taste, but that’s because Penguin publishes so many different books – and it’s always interesting to hear about how a book was written and the writing process, no matter what book it is.
When I first started looking at Podcasts to listen to, this one came up again and again on ‘great podcasts for writers’ lists. At first I couldn’t quite get into the informal, barely edited style, but I think now that’s half the charm of it. I’m so invested in Mur, the host, as a person – it’s almost like having your favourite aunty dispensing sage writing advice on every topic imaginable.
My favourite thing about this podcast is the range of guests who are interviewed. Just the other day I listened to an interview with Seanan Mcguire, who, as Mira Grant, is one of my favourite writers. It was great to hear some insights into her writing process.
I do think these guys are slightly nuts – definitely hardcore survivalists anyway. They talk about a lot of different survival situations, under the umbrella of ‘Zombie Apocalypse Survival.’ So, for a podcast with that title, they don’t talk about Zombies all that often.
The survivalist advice though is really interesting. I’m listening as I’m typing to how to store and preserve water. I probably won’t ever have cause to use it in my real life (I hope not anyway!) but it’s really useful stuff to know for dystopian fiction and characters in survival situations.
I hardly ever get to go to the cinema. There isn’t one really near here, and it’s a big expense for a film that might not be worth it. So I get my film fix from listening to this.
I do love the bickering relationship between Kermode and Mayo, and I find myself generally agreeing with the views they espouse on the films I have seen. And because I’ve listened to this, I can hold my own in conversations about film, even when I haven’t seen any of them.
I am interested in history, but I hate reading history books. I often find them dry and hard work, end up skipping big chunks to look at the pictures. The History Hour replaces history books with lively segments on different periods of history – from serious pieces about wars, to more lighthearted sections about music.
The fact that all the stories are brought to life by people who experienced the events in some ways makes it all the more interesting and engaging. It’s not massively detailed, but it does give you a starting point and an overview, so if you are interested, you know what other questions to ask the history books or the internet.
Stay tuned for Part #3!