Listening to New Books

In the last few months I’ve been listening a lot to the podcasts from the New Books Network, which offers a huge selection of interviews with the authors of new, mostly academic books in what’s now a mind-bogglingly wide range of fields. Given my interests, I’m only subscribed to New Books in History and New Books in Military History, but through those feeds I’m getting podcasts from New Books in Science, Technology, and Society; East Asian Studies; Genocide Studies; Jewish Studies; and a bunch more.

Interviews are usually about an hour long, which means they tend towards the fulsome, but you get a lot of interesting information and a good sense of whether or not you want to actually get the book. I’ve been finding it a nice way to learn about topics I’ll probably not want to dig into so deeply – I have a good chunk of walking in my daily commute, plus days when the subway is too packed to read – but if you were a graduate student trying to get the gist of new research without reading all the latest books, I suspect this could be a godsend.

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