Sunday, November 15, 2009

Weekly Geeks 2009-42: Podcasts for Book Lovers

...share with us a podcast you love, preferably book related, but not necessarily so. Give us the link, of course, and share with us details about that podcast and why you enjoy it so much. If you have a couple or three favorites, share them all!

Then, as the week goes on, check out every one's suggestions, find time to listen to a few, then come back and let us know what you discovered, and if you've found a new favorite podcast.

I don't have many podcasts that I listen to. In fact, I only have one. But, it is definitely a good one. The Classic Tales is a podcast by B. J. Harrison. In each weekly episode, B. J. reads a short story by a classic author. The range from the well known like F. Scott Fitzgerald, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and Nathaniel Hawthorne to lesser known authors like Guy de Maupassant, H. P. Lovecraft, and H. Rider Haggard.

There are a lot of things that I love about this podcast. First off, B. J.'s reading voice is great. Not only is his style stimulating, but he is also great at character voices and accents. I love how he really gets into each individual character. His passion for the stories really shines through in every episode.

Secondly, B. J. takes the time to engage with his listeners. He sends out newsletters that give lots of background information on each story, and he also has a message board where listeners can discuss the various stories as well as request some of their favorites.

Finally, it's free. F-R-E-E. FREE! Like the majority of people, I'm not made of money. So it's always nice when you can find an enjoyable pastime that costs nothing.

Right now, B. J. has just wrapped up "Classic Monsters Month" with "Olalla" by Robert Louis Stevenson. Here are some other highlights from the past:
  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  • The Kiss by Anton Chekhov
  • Legeia by Edgar Allan Poe
  • Rikki-Tikki-Tavi by Rudyard Kipling
  • Jeeves and the Unbidden Guest by P. G. Wodehouse
  • A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
  • The Speckled Band by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
And though I haven't yet listened to this, B. J. also has a Classic Novels podcast where he reads full length (complete and unabridged!) novels. So far these novel include Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, Captain Blood by Rafael Sabatini, and The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins. These do have to be purchased, but they are priced really well. By the end of each story, you have a full length audiobook for about half the cost.

Another one that I have thought about subscribing to is Penguin Classics On Air. Here, the publishers of thousands of classic novels along with experts in the literature field, discuss various works of literature and their impact on today's society. So far they have discussed why we still love Jane Austen, the Swedish Gone With the Wind, and why vampires have endured in the world of literature.

I hope that this has sparked some interest in you. Please share any other classic lit podcasts that you might know of.


sprite said...

You might also enjoy CraftLit, which serializes classic novels. The first part is usually related to knitting or some other form of crafting, but if you aren't into that, you can just skip ahead to the analysis and the text.

Thanks for the tip on the short story podcast. I'll have to check it out!

Dreamybee said...

What a great way to get a taste for an author. Thanks for the recommendations!