Bookish Podcasts

by Lindsey A.

There was a time when podcasts intimidated me. Once I realized I could easily access them through my iPhone podcast app, they had me hooked. I love history podcasts (Stuff You Missed in History Class, Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History, History Extra, etc.) and true crime podcasts (My Favorite Murder, Atlanta Monster, In the Dark, etc.) but being a huge book nerd, most of the podcasts I listen to are book-related. There are a vast number of them, for all tastes!

My first podcast was Smart Podcast, Trashy Books, part of the irreverent romance website, Smart B*tches, Trashy Books. (It’s important to note that the word “trashy” is used ironically. It’s a response to the criticism targeting romance novels and readers. They don’t actually believe romance is trashy.) This podcast has been running for years, and I look forward to checking in every Friday for a new episode. Sarah (the host) and her team offer book recommendations, interviews with authors and industry experts, and commentary on romance. Sometimes the topics are serious, but mostly this podcast runs on silliness and the joy of reading romance.

From there, I discovered Book Riot‘s podcasts. Book Riot offers a plethora of podcasts, and their roster continues to grow. While I no longer listen to their eponymous podcast (bookish news) or All the Books (new book releases – I learn about plenty of these from working at a library!), there are many more to enjoy. Hey YA is about young adult books, When in Romance looks at the romance genre, SFF Yeah covers science fiction and fantasy, Read or Dead discusses mystery and suspense, and Get Booked delivers weekly book recommendations based on reader requests. There are even more podcasts than this, which you can check out at Book Riot’s website.

Soon I stumbled upon The Baby-sitters Club Club, a podcast run by two grown men who have committed themselves to reading every book in Ann M. Martin’s Baby-sitters Club series. I’ve been listening to this one for two years. Jack is the intellectual straight man while Tanner derails their discussions with goofball antics. While they propose outrageous theories (e.g., Bee Theory: All of the baby-sitters are bees and Stoneybrook is one big hive) and do close readings of these books, they ultimately don’t take themselves too seriously.

If it’s more nostalgia and laughter you seek, check out Teen Creeps, a podcast in which hosts Kelly and Lindsay reread some of their favorite young adult horror novels from the past. You’ll find popular 90s teen horror authors (e.g., R. L. Stine and Christopher Pike) alongside Sweet Valley High Thrillers and books that are just plain creepy, like V. C. AndrewsMy Sweet Audrina.

I’ve been listening to the Lore podcast for a while. It examines folklore and odd bites of history through haunting “campfire” tales. Lore’s host, Aaron Mahnke has since built up a small empire. He now has two books, The World of Lore: Monstrous Creatures and The World of Lore: Wicked Mortals, and an Amazon Prime Original series. These episodes are perfect to listen to while driving in the dark, and Mahnke’s original piano compositions are the icing on this darkly delicious cake.

One of my more recent podcast discoveries is Reading Glasses. Hosts Brea and Mallory cover a variety of bookish topics, such as how to fit reading into your schedule, how to bring your passion for books to the vast land of the internet, and how to get more out of the reading experience. They also feature an interview in each episode, and review products like book lights, book-themed candles, book journals, and more. Mallory prefers print books while Brea prefers ebooks, so you get both perspectives during their discussions.

These are the literary podcasts I personally subscribe to, but I’ve barely scratched the surface. Perhaps you’re looking for something a little more intellectual? The New Yorker offers numerous podcasts, and The New York Times has a podcast to go along with its Book Review. Maybe you want a Poem of the Day in podcast form, or perhaps you want to learn about the History of Literature. One of my co-workers swears by The Moth, in which storytellers work their magic.

You get the idea. Whatever your preference, I guarantee there is a podcast for you!



10 responses to “Bookish Podcasts”

  1. Kaley says:

    OH I love this! Thanks for sharing yours! My current favorite is Levar Burton Reads.

    • Lindsey A. says:

      How… did I not know about this? I miss him reading stories on Reading Rainbow! I’m subscribing to this immediately. I love that he personally picks them, too. Thanks for the hot tip, Kaley!

      • Julie says:

        He was in Seattle recently at the Neptune (I think) reading stories 😀 This series is super awesome, “but you don’t have to take my word for it” 😉

  2. Becky says:

    Thanks, Lindsey! I keep meaning to check out the podcasts on my iphone as another option for all the driving I do. This will motivate me — thanks for the recommendations!

    • Lindsey A. says:

      You’re welcome, Becky! There are so many more than the ones I listed, so I hope you have fun exploring!

  3. Jackie Parker says:

    Isn’t there a book podcast in OverDrive now?

  4. Sue R says:

    Check out What Should I Read Next by Anne Bogel. She writes a book blog called Modern Mrs. Darcy

Leave a reply (comments are moderated before posting)