Tag: podcasts

Why I Read Confronting Books

Posted November 21, 2013 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Literature / 4 Comments

I listen to a lot of bookish podcasts and one of my favourites is The Readers. This week on The Readers they talked about Comforting vs. Confronting Reading which got me thinking. So I thought I would try to articulate my response about Confronting Reads. I read a lot of confronting books and I have been thinking about why I do this for a while now. When The Readers spoke about this topic I thought it was time to blog about it.

One of the reasons I like confronting reads has something to do with my interest in transgressive fiction. I like to understand the mind-set of flawed characters and how their minds work. I have an interest in psychology, while I doubt I’ll ever fully understand it completely. It is the same reason why I like TV shows where the men always make mistakes. There is something about getting into the mind of someone who is making mistakes so you don’t have to.

Consider this; if you read Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov, Tampa by Alissa Nutting, The Yearning by Kate Belle, Me and Mr Booker by Cory Taylor and other books with similar themes, does that make you more likely to be a paedophile? I think not. Reading is an emotional experience and if you are part of the suffering and the mistakes of the protagonist, then you probably don’t want to experience it in a more extreme and realistic way. For me, I read about serial killers because I want to understand why a person would have that desire to kill without having first hand experience. Does that make sense or am I missing something here?

There are also many other reasons to read a confronting book; most of these books are satirical and are trying to send a message. Look at Tampa, not only is this a disturbing look at a female sexual psychopath, it is also a look at the schoolboy fantasy of an older woman or the fantasy of getting a boy before he has been corrupted by society; trying to show the reader that these fantasies are extremely damaging. A young boy is not developed enough to handle a purely sexual relationship with an older woman without getting attached or if you get a man before he is corrupted, you are just doing the corrupting.

I find a confronting novel far more enjoyable, I like the macabre and I like a darker plot, but most of all I like that satirical messages in these book (read my post on Satire if you still think it is meant to be humorous). The lessons learnt and the experiences had, may prevent me from making the same mistakes. I’ve made plenty of bad mistakes in my past and the consequences are not pretty. I much rather someone else experience them while I enjoy the book with a cup of tea in my hand. What do you think about confronting reads? Are there more reasons to read them that I haven’t covered here? Let me know in the comments.

My Top Five Bookish Podcasts

Posted June 25, 2013 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Top 5 / 0 Comments

top-5There are millions of podcasts out there so I recently decided to listen to more of the literature based ones. Problem is there seems to be heaps of interesting podcasts out there but I found I’m more interested in the ones that banter about books rather listening to people talking about a particular book. The podcast is an interesting medium to talk about books and really helps show people’s passion about different bookish topics. I thought I would suggest some of the book podcasts that I love and my advantages/disadvantages of each series. Hope this gives some good ideas for which book podcasts to check out and maybe get some suggestions for others worth checking out.

The Bookriot Podcast (iTunes, website)

29-05-2014 12-10-52 PMWhile I have some issues with this site, I have to respect what they’ve done in book blogging and just how many pies they have their fingers in. This is a pretty good format based around what has been happening that week in book news but the huge downsides include too American focused, limited show notes and sponsorship.

You Wrote the Book! (iTunes, website)

YWTB!I’m always happy to see Simon Savidge throw his hat into another project. I first discovered Simon via The Readers and then his blog. This is a fortnightly podcast where Simon interviews an author about life as a writer and a reader. Advantage is that it’s nice to know there are more male book bloggers out there and he has a real eclectic taste in books; my only problem with this podcast is that it takes time away from The Readers.

Bookrageous (iTunes, website)

bookrageousBookrageous is a podcast where their hosts, Josh, Jenn and Rebecca just talk about what books they have been reading and banter about those books before moving onto an interesting bookish news piece or a monthly book club pick. Major disadvantage of this show is it airs irregularly and their website doesn’t offer much information other than basic show notes.

Books on the Nightstand (iTunes, website)


Books on the Nightstand state that they strive to bring great book recommendations as well as a behind the scenes look into the world of books. Michael Kindness and Ann Kingman both work in the book publishing industry (Random House) but consider this a personal project to talk all things book. I love the general podcast here but sometimes they do author talks from their many Booktopia events which I mostly skip due to sound quality. I understand they are extremely busy and it would be hard to do a weekly show but I think they are well worth checking out even if you go for weeks waiting for a non-Booktopia show.

The Readers (iTunes, website)

thereadersThe Readers is my favourite out of all the book podcasts I regularly listen to, Simon Savidge (also hosts You Wrote the Book!) and Gavin Pugh are both book bloggers. While they both have very different tastes in book (Gavin more interested in speculative fiction and Simon, literary fiction) every fortnight they come together and just banter about books. I think The Readers Is the only podcast where I have listened to every episode; always entertaining, both are passionate about books and pick interesting topics to talk about. Disadvantage for me is the fact that it went from a weekly to fortnightly show but I’m all for them doing other projects (as long as it doesn’t effect this one). Highly recommend The Readers to book bloggers just for the entertainment and even for some interesting book blogging ideas.

There are so many podcasts out there but I thought I would leave you with five that I regularly listen to. Other interesting podcasts worth checking out include Literary Disco (which talks a book an episode including once a Hardy Boys book) and The Writer and the Critic (covers two books an episode and focuses mainly on speculative fiction). Also a special shout out to fellow Aussie book bloggers Angelya and Philippa who are starting up a YA/Spec Fiction podcast called Tea in the Treetops.

Now it’s your turn, do you listen to podcasts, if so how about bookish ones? I want to know what works and doesn’t work in a podcast. It’s an interesting medium and most of these podcasts that I’ve mentioned do it really well. This has been a little project I’ve been working on, trying out different book related podcasts and I think I’ve come up with a good selection. My next project is to find some interesting book vloggers so please recommend me some if you know of any.