It feels appropriate at the end of this, my first week as a Reading Champion, to recommend the podcast Book Shambles. Despite being a champion of reading, there are still some books I haven’t read, so I defer to the recommendations of Robin Ince, Josie Long, and their guests.
This is the latest iteration of comedians Josie and Robin’s various shambles podcasts. The two are excellent performers and social commentators in their own right, and they always work well as co-presenters. Both have an infectious enthusiasm for books, but in different ways. Robin’s restless energy and caffeinated chatter contrasts Josie’s audible smile. In Book Shambles, they invite a guest on to discuss various books. It’s like a much less angry Vitriola.
In my opinion the only reviews worth listening to are those that manage to be interesting and entertaining whether you know anything about their subject or not. Even if I had zero interest in literature, Book Shambles would be a good listen, and I have no doubt that the show could kindle a book buzz in even the coldest, bookless heathen heart.
So far, their roster of guests has been wonderful. Stewart Lee and Owen Jones are both already people whose work I thoroughly enjoy, and getting to know which books have shaped the way they think is a great insight into their lives. I was not as aware of Sara Pascoe, but the discussion of dystopian fiction was great, and the book she is currently writing sounds like a thought-provoking read. It’s like being a member of a book club, only everyone is genuinely interesting, you don’t have to read the book in time, and you can carry it around on an iPod.
Book Shambles is yet another quality audio hit fuelling my podcast addiction which, unfortunately, means I have even less time to read.