You probably know Jenny who writes the super blog Reading the End (previously Jenny’s Books) – from my most recent series of My Life in Books, if nowhere else. That gal is hilarious, as well as loving wonderful authors like Shirley Jackson and Helen Oyeyemi (and, whilst I remember, I must bug her to read Barbara Comyns if she hasn’t – she would definitely love her as the third piece in that triumvirate of Gothic brilliance).
Well, somehow I had not got around to listening to the Reading the End podcast that she does with her friend Jenny. Yes, two Jennys – Gin Jenny and Whiskey Jenny. The episodes are all here, or on iTunes. I have made up for lost time by listening to 8 episodes this week. That’s 6 hours of quality Jenny/Jenny time. And let me tell you, it’s a flipping brilliant podcast.
Right from the off, the ladies are so funny – and erudite and whatnot too, of course. They review books, they talk bookish topics (books as objects; genre classifications; Harry Potter. Always Harry Potter), they play book games (GAME! GAME! GAME!) I am about a year behind with episodes, so who knows what they’re up to now, but I’m enjoying every moment. I’ve giggled uncontrollably in the street and alarmed strangers. Just a ‘Sure’ from one of the Jennys is now enough to make me laugh.
Here’s the weird thing: I’ve listened to them so much, and know Gin Jenny through blogging already, that I now essentially think I’m their best friend. I’m just going to wander into the recording one day, shrieking GAME and telling anecdotes about polar explorers, and they are going to be mystified and/or mace me. For now, I’m just manically tweeting about things they chatted about in 2013.
And here’s the horrendous confession: I can’t tell their voices apart. I have tried so hard. And I can’t do it. So I now think of them both as a single, amorphous Jenny, with contradictory opinions (I particularly warmed to whichever Jenny it was who can’t form mental pictures of places or characters in books – something we all had a fun discussion about when I admitted the same thing). Sorry ladies. It doesn’t make me love you any the less.
So, basically, if you haven’t listened to it – dig out episode 1, download, and have a listen. I’m pretty sure you – like me – will then want to do nothing else for the next few weeks.