I’ve started listening to a bunch of book podcasts in the last few years, and they’ve become some of my favorites in my podcast queue each week. I love hearing from people who are as obsessed with books as I am, and it’s also interesting to get news about what’s going on in the world of books and publishing. Of course they also provide endless amounts of recommendations that keep my TBR growing, and I find it really motivating and inspiring listening to the hosts talk about what they’re reading – it always gets me wanting to read more! I also really enjoy the variety of these podcasts – I love the broad range of topics they cover, sometimes in a single episode. Author interviews, new releases, round-ups, bookish news…you name it, these podcasts have got it! Here are the best book podcasts (IMHO!) – the ones where I never miss an episode:
Sarah’s Bookshelves is definitely one of my very favorites. I love the topics she covers, she rarely has on a guest I’m not interested in hearing from, and I find her interviews to be really great – she asks interesting questions and the convos just flow really well. She’s often bringing books to my attention that I didn’t know about before. I especially love her seasonal preview episodes with Catherine from Gilmore Guide to Books, where they discuss upcoming releases that they’re excited about. Some of the interviews she’s done that I’ve really enjoyed have been Episode 68 with Eilene Zimmerman, author of a memoir called Smacked about her ex-husband who unexpectedly died of a drug overdose (when no one at all in his life had known that he was addicted to drugs), Episode 43 with Jordan from @jordysbookclub (this is where he recommended Fantasticland which was SO good), and Episode 25 with Siobhan Jones, the editorial director of Book of the Month. I also love the superlatives she does at the end of each episode, where she asks each guest to talk about one old book they love, one new book they love, one book they don’t love, and one new release they’re excited for.
Currently Reading is probably the podcast that gets me most motivated to read! Meredith and Kaytee both work and have kids and somehow still manage to read SO MANY BOOKS, and I find it really inspiring! Each week they talk about three books they’ve read that past week, then do a “bookish deep dive,” the focus of which ranges anywhere from books that saved them during a difficult time in their life to bookstagram pet peeves to “evil book twins,” (it’s a thing!), and more. They also do author interviews and recently did a Top Books of 2020 episode. I think what I like most are Kaytee and Meredith’s honesty and strong opinions – they don’t hold back and I love it!
I listen to a book club podcast or two occasionally where I feel the discussion of the book is a bit shallow and surface level, kind of just “I liked it,” etc…and I love The Readheads because it’s the total opposite of that. They do a monthly book club, and the discussions are on point. They’re insightful, smart, and go deeper than just ‘I liked it or didn’t like it’. I find the discussions to be so great that I’m now reading the books they do for book club so that I can listen to the episodes and know what they’re talking about – though I did even listen to one episode where I hadn’t read the book and I still enjoyed it. I usually like the books they pick too – they got me to read Layla and I really loved it!
I love the Book Riot podcast! It’s different from others as it’s not a book review podcast, but more like a book news show. The hosts Rebecca and Jeff talk about anything and everything that’s going on in the world of books – publishing, adaptations, author news, bestsellers, literary awards, and way more. It’s so interesting to keep up with what’s going on in the industry, and I love the broad range of topics they cover. They also do episodes talking about favorite books and upcoming releases, so you’ll definitely walk away with some good recommendations as well.
This is a podcast from Annie B. Jones, owner of the Georgia-based independent bookstore The Bookshelf. Annie is a great host – she’s warm, well-spoken, and engaging, and I love listening to her chat with guests or do solo episodes. The podcast has covered fun topics like how to start a book club and how to start a personal library, and then she also does monthly reading recaps, “literary therapy” where they “subscribe” books to people to cure their reading woes, periodic episodes where she tackles a classic with her friend and bookstagrammer Hunter McLendon (love their episodes together), round-ups like top ten favorites of the year, and more.
LOVE this one! This is the podcast for anyone who loves the world of mysteries, thrillers, and true crime. Episodes start with a round-up of news about the genre – upcoming adaptations, exciting new acquisitions or forthcoming publications, news about authors, and more. Then they go into a different topic every week that really runs the gamut – they’ve talked about mysteries and thrillers by indigenous authors, most anticipated new releases of 2021, creepy campus novels…always something new and interesting. At the end they talk about new releases they’re excited about, and then they discuss what they’re currently reading. It’s fantastic and I love getting the scoop on new mystery/thriller adaptations and books.
These next ones are the podcasts where I don’t listen to every single episode, but when there’s a topic that interests me or an interview with an author I like, I’ll listen to that specific one:
Novel Pairings – this one pairs a classic novel with a modern one, and I like the hosts a lot! One of them is a former English teacher so I really enjoy hearing her nuanced and insightful commentary (but both hosts are great!).
Nerdette – I liked the Tana French episodes and the one on The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue.
All The Books – this is one of the first book podcasts I started listening to – they talk about the new releases they’re reading which is fun to hear.
The Worst Bestsellers – some of these episodes are really funny, especially if you’re familiar with the book they’re covering.
SSR Podcast – this is a fun concept, where they chat about books from childhood and see if they hold up – Sweet Valley and Babysitter’s Club fans, assemble!
The Stacks – really enjoyed the episode with Brit Bennett.
Those are my best book podcasts! Let me know if you have any great ones that are missing from my list – I never seem to have enough podcasts and am always looking for new ones.