Riot Headline 10 Exciting Books to Read this Summer

Three Non-Bookish Podcasts for Bookish People

Brenna Clarke Gray

Staff Writer

Part muppet and part college faculty member, Brenna Clarke Gray holds a PhD in Canadian Literature while simultaneously holding two cats named Chaucer and Swift. It's a juggling act. Raised in small-town Ontario, Brenna has since been transported by school to the Atlantic provinces and by work to the Vancouver area, where she now lives with her stylish cyclist/webgeek husband and the aforementioned cats. When not posing by day as a forserious academic, she can be found painting her nails and watching Degrassi (through the critical lens of awesomeness). She posts about graphic narratives at Graphixia, and occasionally she remembers to update her own blog, Not That Kind of Doctor. Blog: Not That Kind of Doctor Twitter: @brennacgray

Around here we’re pretty proud of the Book Riot Podcast, and rightly so (because it’s awesome). And we’ve even got a new podcast in the family, with Dear Book Nerd added to the rotation. Of course, there are great podcasts about books all over the internet (another favourite of mine is the Guardian Books podcast) — just one of the many ways the age of tech makes it a great time to be a reader.

But we readers are complex and layered people! We like more than one thing. We want to learn about non-bookish things and enjoy chatter on other topics. And sometimes we might want to listen to narrative in other forms! Right? Here are three podcasts that aren’t about books, but that I think will appeal to bookish folks out there.

caustic soda logo

1. Caustic Soda Podcast. This science, history, and humour podcast takes a weekly look at something that has the capacity to kill you. The good fun for avid readers is that the hosts make connections each episode to incidences of the podcast topic in literature and pop culture (which I think I would make an excellent guest host for — just saying). Bonus: charming Canadian accents and laugh-out-loud moments. Some of my favourite episodes include Yar! Pirates!, Bad Books (perfect for Rioters), and Rasputin.


2. The Archers Podcast. Non-Brits may not be aware that the longest running soap opera in the world is not a television show, but a radio play called The Archers. If you love narrative and you can keep your head full of the approximately 326 characters on the program, you’ll enjoy following the loves and losses of people living in the fictional faming community of Ambridge. Each episode is only fifteen minutes, so when I’m out running errands sometimes I find this a nice alternative to digging into an audiobook.


3. Stuff You Missed in History Class. You know that feeling when you hear people talking about a historical event and you think to yourself, “I should know something about this but I don’t, so I’m going to just nod slowly”? That’s what this podcast is all about. It has also become my go-to source for good recommendations of non-fiction reads, because the hosts are really great about citing their sources and suggesting further reading.

Ok, Rioters: now it’s time to hit me with your best shots. What non-bookish podcasts do you think will tickle the fancy of fellow readers?


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