In The Slightly Foxed Podcast, we’re handled not solely to suggestions for uncommon books, but in addition must-visit bookstores, museums and libraries

For bibliophiles, there’s no higher pleasure than being within the firm of people that will endlessly speak books — what was learn, what was liked and hated or puzzled about, why an ending didn’t work or why an creator disillusioned or delighted, and what to learn subsequent. Tsundoku-related angst apart, the pandemic interval has given many people the time to select up books languishing on our cabinets and atone for literary occasions we might not had time for in any other case. From a season of litfests that required go away (and skill) to journey, we’ve now grown accustomed to an everyday stream of on-line occasions, obtainable to catch on YouTube at our leisure.

Love for litfests

While litfests have a sure aura, there’s nothing like lengthy cozy conversations with bookish mates. And when stated mates will not be obtainable, I flip to a small set of podcasts which have stored me firm for some time now. One of those, which got here extremely really helpful, has the flavour of English tea with scones and clotted cream, whereas the opposite is most undoubtedly a mid-morning chai-and-samosa session (although glucose biscuits are talked about).

The Slightly Foxed podcast, hosted by the “good looking, intelligent and slightly eccentric” (their description) eponymous literary journal, is a ramble “off the beaten track”. Magazine staffers Gail, Hazel, Stephanie and host Philippa chat with a visitor or two about themes starting from crime fiction to the classics, dwelling on forgotten and neglected books and their histories. Their deep data of the literary panorama (granted, all English language and largely Western) result in some fascinating revelations — as an illustration, that siblings Charles and Mary Lamb had been united by their tragic household historical past of matricide (Ep 24), or that Evelyn Waugh wrote a number of dangerous cheques to the Ritz Hotel. It’s not all literary gossip — they take care of that with quiet humour and empathy — but in addition considerate meanders that give us a brand new approach to consider style fiction.

One of my favorite episodes, Picnic at Hanging Rock & Other Stories (Ep 32), talks us by generations of boarding faculty tales (from Enid Blyton to Donna Tartt) whereas additionally situating them in opposition to the notions of empire, colonialism, and sophistication.

Much of the present’s enchantment is the simple banter and the sense of sitting round a desk someplace within the English countryside — together with canines barking (with Philippa profusely apologising) and chairs scraping again. It’s homey, but wealthy with info and perception. We’re handled not solely to suggestions for uncommon books, but in addition must-visit bookstores, museums and libraries.

Smart & witty

Closer to residence, The Lit Pickers from the home of Maed in India, hosted by writers Supriya Nair and Deepanjana Pal is a podcast I’ve come to get pleasure from. The exchanges are sensible and witty, peppered with contrarian views about standard books and iconic authors (take a look at The Literary Bro Code, August 20), and contact on a variety of labor, from Indian writing in English to translations from regional languages. A sub-series referred to as Slim Pickings affords specifically curated suggestions — “Need to gift a food book. Help!” or “What’s a good bedtime read for an 8-year-old?”

Incidentally, each podcasts had been began in the course of the pandemic, after we felt the world was spinning uncontrolled and presumably the one strategy to preserve sane was to lose ourselves in a superb e book. Or to really feel the heat of a comfortable dialog about books.

The Hyderabad-based author and tutorial is a neatnik combating a shedding battle with the muddle in her head.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here