5 Kickin’ Literary Podcast Episodes

Confession Time: podcasts are my new media lord and master. I started listening to them when I realized how slow an office job could be and I have been slowly expanding my list of shows ever since. Night Vale, Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History, The Bugle and many more are all worth their metaphorical weight in gold. You can sit and look like you’re being a productive member of society meanwhile you are secretly learning ALL the things.

To my delight I recently discovered that one of the podcasts I’ve been perusing when I need a change, Stuff Mom Never Told You, has done some really fantastic literary episodes. If you’re not familiar with the podcast, it’s feminist/gendered look at pop culture, life and history full of research informed discussions done by two wonderful, entertaining ladies. The entire podcast covers a large scope of topics and is 100% worth a listen, but below are 5 of my favorite book-themed episodes that make me feel a little smarter for having listened to them.

1. Can You Judge a Book by its Gendered Cover?

I am always guilty of judging books by their covers, but I have never even considered the reality that covers are chosen to market to a certain demographic (totally stupid of me, I know). I never really considered that those flowery, romantic girly covers were anything but representative of what is underneath. The ladies discuss why publishers choices in choosing covers and what effect that has on our evaluation of women writers.

 2. The Literary Reign of YA Literature

 No secret that YA is the best genre in the world. (Okay, so it’s not a genre, it’s a movement but whatever). A YA book’s popularity is judged not by how many teenagers read it, but by how many adults pick them up as well. The ladies look into why YA has been able to connect to readers out of its intended demographic and how YA been a strong platform for female authors.

3. Empresses of Science Fiction

Female explorer

 Ever heard of the Sad Puppies? I hadn’t until I listened to this episode. (Spoiler: They’re a group of men who want to go back to a time when women didn’t “ruin” sci-fi and have even been going as far as overwhelming the Hugo Award voting in order to keep women’s stories from winning). Besides this tidbit, Cristen and Caroline highlight some of the most influencial female sci-fi readers. Added bonus: they mention some crazy-sounding sci-fi novels and short stories if you’re looking for recommendations.

 4. Summer Book Club: Erotica

 I swear this isn’t an episode discussing 50 Shades. The ladies haven’t even read the book. But they do look at erotica and why it’s demographic is mostly women, as well as discuss some classic erotica.

 5. Judy Blume Forever

   I have not read a Judy Blume book in my life, but listening to the podcast, suddenly I am wondering why I’ve avoided her. Her books might have been a great touchstone going through those difficult teen years. Or not. I don’t know. But now I really want to find out. It is refreshing to hear about an author who is not going to sugar coat the truth or pretend that first love=forever love every time. Also, this woman is one of the most banned authors ever, so there has to be a lot going on in her writing. Whether you are already a die-hard JB fan or haven’t picked up one of her novels yet, you will definitely find something interesting in this episode.
Written by
I graduated with a BA in English and minors in Film, Women Studies, and Religion and Culture. I adore fantasy and sci-fi, especially when it comes to the YA section, but that doesn't mean I don't read anything else. When I'm not reading, I'm writing, biking, taking my dog for long walks or watching anime.

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