Do you love podcasts? Do you love books? Do you love podcasts about books? (Yes, yes, a thousand times yes.) Whether you’re romance novel-obsessed or a nonfiction fiend, here are seven bookish shows to add to your queue immediately.
‘New Yorker: Fiction’
This monthly reading and conversation podcast is hosted by New Yorker fiction editor Deborah Treisman, who invites an author to select and read a piece of fiction published in the magazine. Afterward, the two discuss the selection. It’s a pretty basic premise, but the caliber of guests (like Ottessa Moshfegh, Dave Eggers and Lauren Groff) takes it to the next level.
‘The Worst Bestsellers’
Kind of like How Did This Get Made? for books, The Worst Bestsellers finds its hosts, Renata and Kait, discussing “popular books of questionable quality.” Despite its premise, it isn’t judgy—the hosts aren’t snobby about their choices, they’re more interested in exploring how certain books become cultural phenomena. (Yep, the Twilight books are heavily featured.)
This podcast from Slate was made for word nerds. Instead of discussing books directly, it's about language. In each episode, linguist John McWhorter looks at the history of a specific linguistic concept, from the phrase, "yeah, no," to “A Meditation on the Evolution of the Word Like.” Essentially, you’ll learn why we speak and write the way we do while getting endless small-talk fodder.
‘So Many Damn Books’
For those who like to enjoy a book with a cocktail (guilty), hosts Christopher Hermelin and Drew Broussard chat about reading and publishing alongside guests like Jonathan Lethem and Stephanie Danler, along with guest-themed cocktails to sip while listening. (Like "The Treat"—inspired by Danler's Sweetbitter—with Sancerre, Casoni Aperitivo 1814, orange juice and seltzer.)
‘Smart Podcast, Trashy Books’
Hosted by author Sarah Wendell, this witty pod celebrates fun, semi-cheesy romance novels. Each week, Wendell talks with authors, readers, publishing professionals and other book-adjacent folks about romance fiction and the people who read, write and produce it.
On this addictive series, hosts Linzi and Daniel welcome a guest host every episode. Each reads a different third of a pulp novel, then they recap it over three episodes. Considering the genre’s propensity for repeated themes and escapist, noir-ish drama, it’s equal parts silly, weird and entertaining.
Lonform is one of our go-to sites for finding fabulous, in-depth articles (it’s where we found some of our 2018 faves). The site’s weekly podcast focuses on non-fiction in journalism and literature, and is hosted by Aaron Lammer, Max Linsky and Evan Ratliff. Guests like Cheryl Strayed, Ta-Nehisi Coates and Rebecca Traister discuss the art of writing and journalism while taking a deep dive into books or articles they’ve published.