The Penguin Podcast
By Penguin Books UK
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The Penguin Podcast - audio extracts, author interviews and news from the UK's No1 book destination
||The Penguin Podcast: 2014 Highlights. feat Hannah Tointon, Emma Healey and Richard Branson||[Download mp3] This has been a hugely exciting and busy year for us penguins, and we wanted to share with you our favourite moments from 2014. We have had prize-winning and record-breaking books, from Richard Flanagan to Youtube sensation Zoella,...||12/23/2014||Free||View In iTunes|
||Funny People feat. Kevin Bridges, Dave Gorman and Nick Hornby||The days are shorter, temperatures have dropped indicating that Winter has well and truly arrived. But we don’t think there’s any reason to think things have turned bleak. Christmas is right around the corner, so we’re going to lift everyone’s spi||12/8/2014||Free||View In iTunes|
||The Penguin Podcast: Memory feat. Colm Toibin, Jeremy Paxman and Fiona Shaw||This week on the Penguin Podcast we’ll be exploring how we remember information, things that have happened and even poetry through memory.||11/12/2014||Free||View In iTunes|
||The Penguin Podcast: Mother Nature feat. Will Self, Naomi Klein and Clare Balding||Today we are thinking about the planet that we call home - from the perils of its great oceans, and the impact of our own way of life on the planet, to enjoying the simple pleasures of walking.||10/27/2014||Free||View In iTunes|
||Extra-Terrestrial Reads Books feat Alex Scarrow, Rick Yancey and Samuel Anderson||The sci-fi genre is filled with stories that look beyond our home on earth to other planets and galaxies which may, or may not, exist.||9/19/2014||Free||View In iTunes|
||Back to School feat. Stephen Fry, Toby Young and Steven Butler||This week we've gone back to school and we have a range of authors and books that look at school life to share with you.||9/5/2014||Free||View In iTunes|
||Art and Design feat. Grayson Perry, Lauren Child and Petra Börner||This episode we’re focusing on the topic of art. After all, Penguin has always had an upstanding reputation for brilliant, cutting edge book cover design and it’s something we take very seriously. We have some fantastic interviews and clips lined up w||8/15/2014||Free||View In iTunes|
||Writing the First World War feat. Jeremy Paxman, Robert Graves and Pat Barker||Today marks the centenary of the outbreak of World War One and we wanted to share the stories we’ve come to know and love by our authors, about this momentous occasion in history.||8/4/2014||Free||View In iTunes|
||Penguin Journeys feat. Clare Balding, Gruff Rhys and a Roald Dahl short story||This summer we're hitting the road with #penguinjourneys, and the Penguin Podcast is coming along for the ride. The wonderful Clare Balding, author of My Animals and Other Family and new book Walking Home (out this autumn), introduces this jet-setting epi||7/23/2014||Free||View In iTunes|
||Underdogs feat. Malcolm Gladwell, Matthew Frank and Elizabeth Fremantle||Today we’re thinking about one of literature’s favourite characters - the underdog.||6/20/2014||Free||View In iTunes|
Uneven, poor quality sound
I loved the idea of the Penguin Podcast, but I've ended my subscription. Why? The quality was so uneven. One week, a set of intriguing selections from murder mysteries; the next, the gawdawful Hairy Bikers with their less than knowledgeable stories of traveling Vietnam and the Middle East looking for food. Perhaps they would be funny if you'd seen the TV show, but I hadn't. It was by no means the cultural coup the announcer for the Penquin Podcasts claimed it was. I loved the reading of Dicken's Christmas Carol. Sure, it's been done, but it was seasonal and reminded me of the intense descriptiveness of Dickens. But then there was the long, uninspired reading from someone's gastronomical tourbook of London. No description, just "you know the xxxx, well next time you're there, have some of the chips at yyyy." No attempt to draw in the listener. The real killer, though, was the truly abysmal sound quality. I can handle accents -- jeez, I know 7 languages myself, I can handle some difference -- but when I'm walking along city streets or on the El listening, the sound needs to be clear enough that I can listen without blowing out my eardrums a la that guitarist from the Who. I had to turn the Penquin Podcasts up full blast to hear -- and I use high quality, closed headphones, not those little buds. Penquin Podcasts were notably quieter and fuzzier than all the other podcasts I listen to. So, Penquin, clean up your act! At least get the sound quality good enough, and then I'll listen even if I'm less than impressed with the content. Sorry, I WANTED to like it!
Thoughtful, interesting, fun
Penguin Books has done a very nice job on their podcast, which features readings and author interviews from the publishing company's authors. They consistently put out a wide variety of subjects, ranging from crime novels to cooking and children's books to "acclaimed novels." While a podcast about books has the potential to be extremely droll, this is not this case here. At the end and beginning of most shows, a "Penguin remix" is featured; these are upbeat dance remixes of book recordings, and are often quite funny. With this and its sharp, tight format, the Penguin Podcast should remain entertaining and listenable for a long time.
I love The Penguin Podcast. It takes book reading to the next level. I like hearing what the writing process is like from the author's mouth. There are also tidbits of info you won't find in the books. The books and authors are really varied which is nice, because it means I get to hear things I ordinarily wouldn't. It's actually turned me onto a few good books, like The Memory Keeper's Daughter. And best of all, it's intelligently done. Bravo.