In Which I Launch a Podcast

I’ll take any excuse I can get to talk about books. COVID-19 quarantine seemed a great time to start a new project, so, obviously, the first thing that occurred to me was “I could start a book review podcast,” and so I did.

Well okay, maybe I wasn’t quite that nonchalant about it. But still, coronavirus is inspiring lots of people—myself included—to accomplish goals, establish habits, and find creative ways to connect with others while social distancing. And while I am completely new to this whole podcasting thing, I’m delighted at the chance to dive into a new medium to share some thoughts about books I love.

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But I’m getting ahead of myself. Allow me to introduce my new podcast officially: Unknown Friends. The title comes from a quote from French novelist Honoré de Balzac: “Reading brings us unknown friends.”

In my (tentatively) weekly podcast, I’m simply going to be discussing literature from my personal reading list. When I finish reading a book, I’ll review it in an episode. Simple as that.

I say a new episode will *tentatively* be posted each week, because, frankly, I don’t know what I’m getting myself into and life can be unpredictable. Right now I have more time on my hands than usual due to corona, but some weeks may come when it’s just impossible to record, edit, and post a new full episode. If/when those weeks come, I’ll do my best to give notice in advance, or record something short as a peace offering in place of a full episode. We’ll see. I’m honestly in over my head at this point and can’t say for certain how things will develop. 😄 But here’s hoping off weeks will be rare and I’ll be able to stick to the weekly schedule!

So in each episode of Unknown Friends, I’ll pick one book to discuss. I’ll share the basics of the book’s plot and characters and explore key themes and reasons why I think the book is worth reading.

The types of books I review will vary, but my taste tends toward 19th- and 20th-century classics, select contemporary novels that I think have the potential to become classics, and Christian nonfiction. For something more tangible, here are a few titles I’ll be reviewing in the first several episodes: Till We Have Faces by C. S. Lewis, Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool, and Women of the Word by Jen Wilkin.

In most episodes, you’ll be stuck listening only to me, but occasionally I’ll have guests on the podcast with me! To start us off, in Episode 2 you’ll be treated to my sister LaRae discussing Little Women with me, and I’m getting her and other guests lined up for future episodes as well.

You can stream the podcast via Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or right here on my website. Below, you can hear the show’s intro, and the first episode “Encountering the Divine in Till We Have Faces” is coming this Wednesday, April 15! I’d be so honored if you’d give it a listen and, if you enjoy it, subscribe. Thanks in advance!

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