The Penguin Podcast
By Penguin Books UK
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Richard E. Grant invites authors, comedians, musicians, historians, actors, business leaders and philosophers to join him in the Penguin studios with five objects that inspired and shaped the writing of their latest book. #PenguinPodcast
||CleanJohn Finnemore with Richard E. Grant||Comedian John Finnemore joins Richard E. Grant in the Penguin studio to talk about his award-winning shows Cabin Pressure, Double Acts and John Finnemore’s Souvenir Programme. Renowned for his wordplay, John admits that writing doesn’t always come eas||6/15/2016||Free||View In iTunes|
||ExplicitIrvine Welsh with Richard E. Grant||Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh joins Richard E. Grant down the line from Chicago to talk about bringing back the incendiary Francis Begbie in his latest novel The Blade Artist. Irvine talks about a number of objects that shaped and inspired the nove...||5/25/2016||Free||View In iTunes|
||ExplicitChris Packham with Richard E. Grant||Writer and wildlife presenter Chris Packham joins Richard E. Grant in the Penguin studio to talk about his memoir, Fingers In The Sparkle Jar. Chris brings along a number of objects that shaped his book, including a fox skull, a set of hawk bells and h...||5/5/2016||Free||View In iTunes|
||ExplicitAlain de Botton with Richard E. Grant||Writer and philosopher Alain de Botton joins Richard E. Grant in the Penguin studio to talk about his latest novel, The Course of Love. Alain brings along a number of objects that shaped his book, including his copy of Virginia Woolf’s essay The Docks .||4/27/2016||Free||View In iTunes|
||ExplicitFrancesca Martinez with Richard E. Grant||Award-winning comedian Francesca Martinez joins Richard E. Grant in the Penguin studio to talk about her memoir What the **** is Normal?! Francesca brings along a number of objects that shaped her book, including a photo of her beloved grandparents and...||4/6/2016||Free||View In iTunes|
||CleanShami Chakrabarti with Richard E. Grant||Shami Chakrabarti joins Richard E. Grant in the Penguin studio to talk about her book On Liberty. Shami brings along a number of objects that shaped the book, including a goldfish bowl and her mother’s pearls, as she tells the story behind her human ri.||3/16/2016||Free||View In iTunes|
||CleanColm Tóibín with Richard E. Grant||Colm Tóibín joins Richard E. Grant in the Penguin studio to talk about the novel behind the Oscar-nominated film Brooklyn. Colm brings along a number of objects that inspired the novel as he muses on the Irish immigrant experience, homesickness and lif.||2/29/2016||Free||View In iTunes|
||ExplicitHoward Jacobson with Richard E. Grant||Howard Jacobson joins Richard E. Grant in the Penguin studio to talk about his new novel Shylock Is My Name, a retelling of Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice. A self-proclaimed reverer of Shakespeare, Howard explains how he rose to the challenge of .||2/23/2016||Free||View In iTunes|
||ExplicitLouis de Bernières with Richard E. Grant||The author of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin joins Richard E. Grant in the Penguin Studio to talk about his major new novel, The Dust That Falls From Dreams. Louis brings his great grandmother’s diaries and a handmade ‘guitar-lute’ into the Penguin st||2/2/2016||Free||View In iTunes|
||CleanPhil Redmond with Richard E. Grant||Phil Redmond, the creator of Brookside, Hollyoaks and Grange Hill, turns his hand from TV scripts to his first novel, Highbridge. Phil brings with him an assortment of objects that inspired the book, including an Army ration pack and a 'pay and throw’ .||1/12/2016||Free||View In iTunes|
||CleanMichael Acton Smith with Richard E. Grant||Michael Acton Smith, founder of Mind Candy who created Moshi Monsters demystifies mindfulness and talks to Richard about how it can be used to rewire our brains, change the way we see the world and help us unlock our true potential. Michael reveals wha...||12/29/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||CleanNeil Gaiman with Richard E. Grant||Neil Gaiman discusses his friendship with the late Terry Pratchett and how they worked together to create Good Omens, a story of the impending apocalypse. Neil reveals how they relied on an answerphone to write the book and how Terry helped him with wr...||12/8/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||CleanElvis Costello with Richard E. Grant||Elvis Costello brings his first guitar, musical mementoes from his Dad and a referee’s whistle to the Penguin Studio as he talks about his memoir ‘Unfaithful Music and Disappearing Ink’. Some of the topics of conversation include his many and varied||11/17/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||ExplicitBill Bryson with Richard E. Grant – Live||Bill Bryson discusses The Road to Little Dribbling, his follow up to Notes From A Small Island. To tell the story of his journey Bill brings along his passport, a walking stick, a cow, Stonehenge and an ordnance survey map. Recorded with Richard E. Gra...||10/27/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||CleanPaula Hawkins with Richard E. Grant||Paula Hawkins brings a photo of her father, an Edward Hopper picture and a DVD of Rear Window to the Penguin Studio to talk about her bestselling book 'The Girl On The Train' with host Richard E Grant. Their discussion includes unreliable narrators, gr...||10/6/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||CleanMeera Syal with Richard E. Grant||Meera Syal brings her copy of The Handmaid’s Tale, her Mother’s Indian passport and precious gold bangles given to her at her wedding to the Penguin Studio to talk about her latest book ’The House of Hidden Mothers’ with host Richard E Grant. Thei||9/15/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||CleanPat Barker with Richard E. Grant||Pat Barker brings a child’s gas mask, a jar of water from a wishing well and a notebook to the Penguin Studio to talk about her latest book Noonday. Host Richard E. Grant and Pat discuss witchcraft, the impact of WW2 as well as her personal journey to.||8/25/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||CleanBridget Christie with Richard E. Grant||Comedian Bridget Christie brings a yoghurt, a ‘votes for women' sash given to her by Emmeline Pankhurst’s great-granddaughter and a piece of gammon to the Penguin Studio to talk about her latest book ‘A Book For Her’. Host Richard E. Grant and Bri||8/4/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||CleanKate Atkinson with Richard E. Grant||Kate Atkinson brings an antique silver hare, a Halifax Bomber and Beethoven’s 9th Symphony to the Penguin Studio to talk about her latest book ‘A God In Ruins’ with host Richard E Grant. The topics of conversation include the long-term effects of wa||7/15/2015||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.