The former St. Albert student, his wife, offers the same analysis and discussion you would come out of a book club, but in manageable, one-chapter-a-week portions.
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Anita and Scott C. Bourgeois know how much people love their book clubs, and they also know how precious time is. This is why the Edmonton couple started The Read-Along podcast, a relaxed but relentless chapter-by-chapter audio review now in its fourth year. It’s once again for a Canadian Podcasting Award for Outstanding Arts Series.
The Read-Along, found at readalongpod.blogspot.com pick up a book and digest it completely, but at a pace that can suit anyone’s schedule. This strategy has already made it a big winner with its modest followers.
The concept was to offer the same analysis and discussion you would come out of a book club in manageable portions.
“Getting together once a month to discuss an entire novel can seem very intimidating, especially in the COVID era, when meeting in person is not at all wise,” Scott said.
“A few years ago, certainly before COVID, we had the idea of making a podcast that went through a book chapter by chapter. You only have to read one chapter per week, then we discuss the chapter we just read, and then at the end we would experience the full book club and review the whole novel.
“I like to describe it as a very low engagement book club,” said Anita.
With her cheerful ragtime piano-themed jingle from Kevin MacLeod, each weekly episode begins with Anita welcoming you to the “Mini Book for Your Ears Club”. Their current project is Under the climb by Premee Mohamed, which marks the first time they have undertaken a book by an Edmonton author. They started it on April 2, so Episode 185 – released on May 14 – focused on Chapter Seven.
“You don’t have to read an entire book in a month; you only have to read one chapter per week, and you can listen to the podcast at your convenience whenever you want, ”said Anita.
The production is part of the Alberta Podcast Network, just like Scott’s other podcast, I have some notes, a series of movie reviews with co-hosts Gregg Beever and Liam Creswick, where they take a mediocre movie and try to make it better.
Scott, a former student of St. Albert Catholic High School, is a regular podcaster: he also co-hosted the ultra-local talk show The Unknown Studio, and wrote and produced the ENnie Award. table role play podcast called Numenera: The Signal, and hosted the comedic podcast What about …? (currently on extended break).
He saw this as a way to spend more time with Anita and to share more of their mutual love for books and book clubs.
Anita, on the other hand, may be drawing on Scott’s wealth of experience producing podcasts, though she doesn’t lack enthusiasm.
“Well, he told me about it, but it really didn’t take much,” she admitted. “I’m an avid podcast listener. I love the idea of talking on demand radio on whatever topic I want. It’s pretty awesome. That’s what I listen to most of my day. work. Sometimes what I do is very boring so it’s nice to keep my brain stimulated by listening to something fascinating. Scott and I had always thrown out podcast ideas … and the one we loved the most and that we thought we could do was The Read-Along. So we did it. “
This is the second year in a row that The Read-Along has been nominated. Dozens of podcasts are vying for the 2021 awards in 30 categories, with results due to be announced in June. You can follow The Read-Along by joining their Goodreads group or following them through all major social media channels.