Discoveries, news, and entertainment chosen weekly by rare book dealer Rebecca Romney
Special Edition: Bookish Podcasts
Annotated: Stories about Books, Reading, and Language
I came for the Belle da Costa Greene episode about the librarian in charge of building J.P. Morgan's library, who "kept a life-long secret that could have ended her career." Then I binged the entire first season. For readers who liked my book Printer's Error, these lesser known but fascinating stories from book history are sure to appeal.
Rough Translation on Jane Austen Fandom in Pakistan
I love NPR's Rough Translation and recommend the entire podcast -- but the bookish should especially check out their episode "Austenistan," about how some women in modern Pakistan have found hope and solace in Jane Austen's novels, in which Regency marriage culture surprisingly resembles their own experiences in the 21st century.
The Stoop on the African Writer's Dilemma
The Stoop explores uncomfortable but important topics in the culture of the Black diaspora. It is one of the podcasts that best combines thoughtfulness and the ability to surprise (at least for this white woman). Episode 15 explores the obstacles and progress of African writers trying to break into US- and UK-based publishing. With great book recs!
Hidden Histories Explores English Women Writers Before Austen
Three women academics discuss the Great Forgetting in this series by the New Statesman. The 18th century offered English women unprecedented opportunity to succeed as published writers -- yet traditional histories of the novel have often edited out their contributions. (Fun fact: in Printer's Error, we describe the Great Forgetting as a failed soufflé.)
The American Scholar on Women In Book Collecting
Smarty Pants interviewed booksellers at the Brooklyn Antiquarian Book Fair, with a special emphasis on women in the trade. I loved hearing fellow dealers hit many of the same themes we stress in our Honey & Wax Prize. With input from friends Garrett Scott, Rachel Furnari (Graph Books), and an extended interview with A.N. Devers (Second Shelf).
I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere
I can't talk about bookish podcasts without mentioning I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere. Each episode traditionally features a long-form interview with someone who has a connection to the Sherlock Holmes stories. Explore the archive, listen to my own interview on the show, or learn what to takes to "Becom[e] a Sherlockian."