Podcasts for book lovers to listen to over Christmas

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Juggling lots of books at once can be overwhelming, so as we approach the end of 2017 sit back, relax, and open your ears to the following five podcast recommendations as well as their suggested reading companion. If you love reading the following titles, you’ll love listening to these podcasts…

1) Radio 4’s The Reservoir Tapes

A miniseries from Jon McGregor, the Reservoir Tapes can be listened to in any order; alongside the novel Reservoir 13 or as a standalone podcast. Each character speaks to the listener (“the interviewer”) around the mystery of Becky Shaw’s disappearance. Jon McGregor defines the podcast not so much as a whodunit but as a who-done-what. “The listener needs to do some of their own imaginative work to fill in the gaps.”

Perfect for fans of: Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor; The American Girl by Monika Fagerholm

2) Unexplained

Unexplained explores strange and mysterious real life stories that, to this day, remain unexplained. With stories mostly based around the British Isles, Unexplained looks at tales of disappearance, hauntings and odd happenings from centuries past to the present day.

Perfect for fans of: Devil’s Day by Andrew Michael Hurley; The Book Collector by Alice Thompson; anything folklore related!

3) Radio 4’s Short Story

Short fiction has always had its place at BBC Radio 4 and Short Story does not disappoint; there’s something for everyone here; featuring writers at the forefront of the short story genre. Among my favourite stories so far: a lorry driver contemplates his existence in David Szalay’s chilling story Long Distance and tempers flare in a swimming pool changing room in Bearded by Ross Raisin. If you’re still looking for more short stores the New Yorker Fiction Podcast is also a fantastic listen.

Other authors featured on Short Story: Cyan Jones (winner of the BBC National Short Story Award 2017); Colin Barrett; Laura Barnett

4) S-Town

Jon Ronson described S-Town as “the best podcast I’ve ever heard” and it’s the perfect introduction to podcasts for first-time listeners. This seven-episode documentary podcast, from the makers of This American Life and Serial, opens with a suspected murder which soon shape-shifts into a study of one man’s life: John B. McLemore.

Perfect for fans of: Stoner by John Williams; The Known World by Edward P Jones; The Power of the Dog by Thomas Savage

5) Dirty John

If you’re a fan of quality, investigative journalism and love Netflix documentaries then this is the podcast for you. When Debra Newell meets John Meehan he seems like the perfect match and they quickly fall in love…however soon things take a turn for the worst. This suspenseful podcast from the LA Times pieces together interviews from the people who knew John, gradually revealing the true identity of Dirty John and culminating in a chilling, climactic ending.

Perfect for fans of: In Cold Blood by Truman Capote; Before I Go To Sleep by S J Watson; The Breakdown by B. A. Paris

Louise Newton is an Audio Assistant at Little, Brown Book Group, and works across all imprints at Little, Brown on fiction and non-fiction titles. Louise is London Chair for the Society of Young Publishers (SYP) and assists the Royal Society of Literature at their events.

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