Podcast Review

The 10 Best Book Podcasts

Best Book Podcasts

F or a solo pastime, reading can also be a rather social activity. Indeed, many of us love talking about books just as much as reading them, which helps explain why podcasts about books are so plentiful. But for all the choice, the book podcast genre is starved for innovation. Author interviews, although inspiring, quickly become repetitive. And many shows feature the same guests promoting the same books. To remedy this, some podcasts begin with an enticing conceit — Book fights! Desert island novels!— but these ideas are often revealed as gimmicks. Others, merely dull. Just as reading shouldn’t be a chore, neither should listening to a podcast.

Rather than dwell on tired formats, we should tune into the shows that make us feel zealous about reading. As well, book podcasts allow us glimpses of other people’s shelves, creating a sense of community with readers that we’d never otherwise meet. What better way to find your next great read? With all of this in mind, here are the best book podcasts to get you excited about reading.

Borrowed , despite its name, feels original. Plenty of public libraries now have their own podcasts. Many of them are excellent, like those from the NYPL . Borrowed , by the Brooklyn Public Library, does things a bit differently. The show has moved away from interviews and book reviews to deliver stories sourced from its local community, stories like the history of Black women’s suffrage, why Brooklyn produces so many great writers, and tales from the library itself, asking that question we’ve all been dying to have answered: “What do librarians do all day? ” In a similar political vein, the show’s latest episodes focus on banned books. You don’t have to live in Brooklyn to enjoy Borrowed, as each episode comes with its own curated book list, making the show a great resource that reminds us why we must fight to keep public libraries open.

Hosted by writer Adam Vitcavage, the book podcast Debutiful is a show celebrating the strange, thrilling, and often terrifying experience of being a debut novelist. Listening to an interview with an author still wet around the ears is a gratifying experience. Sure, missing will be those pearls of wisdom that only come from writers who have been working for decades, but these newbies add an essential perspective on contemporary fiction. Fresh voices like Brandon Taylor, Cherie Jones, and Zak Salhi remind us that great new talent is emerging every day. Vitcavage is a host who believes in his show, making Debutiful a slick and rewarding passion project.

The LRB Podcast

The London Review of Books is a literary institution. In circulation since 1979, the publication has also launched a bookshop in the trendy neighbourhood of Bloomsbury that plays host to many high-profile literary readings. If you consider yourself to be “well-read,” you’ve likely picked up an LRB at least once. Their podcast could have been pretentious. It could have been dry. But through careful curation and the right hosts, the show has become almost canonical in the book podcast genre. Hosts Thomas Jones and Malin Hay discuss all manner of subjects, from current affairs to Agatha Christie. One of the reasons that The LRB Podcast is compelling is that is examines the world from a literary perspective, rather than analyzing books from an outsider’s vantage. It will appeal to those who still distinguish between the “private” and “public” spheres — or if you have an opinion on George Orwell that has very little to do with whether you enjoyed 1984 .

Whether you’re a defender of the canon or hungry for new literature, everyone has a list of books they’ve been meaning to read but haven’t quite got around to. Steinbeck, Austen — heck, have you read The Satanic Verses ? Overdue is a podcast that rescues these sorts of books from your backlog, throwing contemporary literature and children’s books in with the classics, even covering high fantasy and cult favorites in the process. But if you’re feeling guilty for never finishing Middlemarch , worry not. Hosts Andrew Cunningham and Craig Getting have no interest in making you feel bad about your literary limitations. Overdue is a celebration, not a critique. And, most importantly, it’s a show packed with humor and insight. You can hear the joy the hosts take from reading radiate through the airwaves — after all, serious literature doesn’t need to be a drag. Just watch out for spoilers.

If Books Could Kill

Following the success of You’re Wrong About and Maintenance Phase , podcaster Michael Hobbes launched his newest show last year to immediate acclaim. If Books Could Kill is a podcasts that debunks popular self-help and “smart thinking” books commonly purchased at airports and quickly discarded at your nearest thrift store. Think Atomic Habits or Rich Dad Poor Dad. With the addition of his pleasantly droll co-host Peter Shamshiri of 5-4 fame, Hobbes has perfected a popular format that could reinvent itself endlessly. As far as independent podcasts go, this is how to launch one. As we’ve mentioned before, the quest to “debunk” something because it’s harmful is a fair pursuit. Debunking things just because they happen to be popular, however, risks becoming self-indulgent. Nevertheless, If Books Could Kill is one of our favorite launches in recent memory.

Sponsor Terrible Book Club

You know those books that make you ask yourself, “Who could possibly be reading this?” Well, Terrible Book Club probably is. If you’ve ever been morbidly curious about what’s really going on in those cursed pages, join Chris and Paris every other Tuesday to find out!

The New Yorker: Fiction

The New Yorker: Fiction podcast features a monthly reading and conversation with some of the most renowned, exciting, and accomplished writers working today. Interviewed by the magazine’s fiction editor herself, Deborah Treisman, each guest reads a piece of prose — most often a short story — by another author previously published in The New Yorker . This podcast perfectly blends discussion with an exploration of the magazine’s vast archive, providing a pleasurable insight into how writers inspire each other with their work.

NPR’s Book of the Day

NPR’s Book of the Day is a daily show focused on the latest novels, poetry collections, and children’s books, delivering inspiring conversations in the time it takes to drink your morning coffee. The podcast doesn’t discriminate against genres, either. Non-fiction, sci-fi, and fantasy books are all considered, allowing the listener (read: me) to expand their literary horizons. As is typical from NPR, the production is smooth. Smoother, even, than your medium roast. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the pace of our world, Book of the Day is a welcome addition to a slower morning routine.

Backlisted has been around for almost a decade. In that time, it has grown to become one of the most popular book podcasts in the genre. Rather than focusing on the latest releases, the show turns attention to older novels, particularly 19th and 20th-century works. The show’s appeal can be attributed to a few things. Consistency. Knowledgeable guests. Steadily improving cover art. But the thing that keeps listeners coming back is the genuine fondness for literature that is palpable from everyone involved. You can fall in love or rekindle your interest in a novel after finishing an episode — a rare feat, even in a genre abounding with praise for reading.

Book podcasts tend to have two main problems: on the one hand, they can be rambly and unfocused; on the other, they can be so specific that their discussions become dry. Backlisted avoids both of these traps. Hosts John Mitchinson and Andy Miller know their James from their Wharton.

Self-described as “tough love for literature,” I would say that Book Fight pulls no punches, but the hosts would probably make a comment about my use of cliché. Hosts Mike Ingram and Tom McAllister are happy to give critiques, making examples of essays, classic literature, and the occasional contemporary novel for their literary hot takes. Their comments are constructive and, admittedly, often warranted. Their analysis of the legacy of David Foster Wallace is the highlight of their compelling creative nonfiction season, a great example of content that appeals to readers and writers alike. Book Fight has created an active listener community by inviting their audience to respond with their own criticism, a welcome inclusion in the show, if only for comments like this: “I don’t agree with everything Mike and Tom say… but the opinions are considered, entertaining, and often funny.”

Reading the Room

Every year, at literary festivals around the world, writers and readers gather for talks about books. It’s a simple format. A moderator offers a vaguely sycophantic line of questioning to a tired contemporary writer who will inevitably dodge the subject to return, once again, to their reading of Freud. Or Marx. Or — well, you get the picture. Nevertheless, the literary scene can’t get enough. Some people love talking about reading more than actually reading. If your feed is full of book podcasts, you might be one of them. We don’t judge. And the host of Reading the Room won’t either. Host Jaylen Lopez, of YouTube fame, invites literary writers to discuss their latest work in conversations that could be plucked from a sell-out talk at The Strand or Books Are Magic. If you are between literary festivals, Reading the Room will tide you over.

Alice Florence Orr is a staff writer and assistant editor for Podcast Review . She is based in Edinburgh. You can connect with her on Twitter or read her work on aliceflorenceorr.com

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The 27 Best Book Podcasts

For when you put your book down.

best book podcasts best podcasts about books

Every item on this page was chosen by a Town & Country editor. We may earn commission on some of the items you choose to buy.

Without further ado, here are 27 recommendations for book podcasts spanning genre (fantasy! romance ! classics!) and location (books in translation! Indigenous authors! books from the Middle East!). There's something for everyone here—just as long as you love to read.

NPR's Book of the Day

npr's book of the day

Released daily, NPR's Book of the Day podcast is an under 15-minute listen on good reads and book news. As NPR describes , "Whether you're looking to engage with the big questions of our times—or temporarily escape from them—we've got an author who will speak to you, all genres, mood and writing styles included."

It's great for discovering new books to add to your reading list.

Well-Read Black Girl

well read black girl podcast

In 2015, Glory Edim launched Well-Read Black Girl—a book club turned literary festival turned podcast. The podcast launched on February 1, 2022, and Edim wrote on Instagram that she'd "been dreaming of making this podcast for years." The first episodes feature conversations with Min Jin Lee, Tarana Burke, Anita Hill, and Jacqueline Woodson. The podcast will also include interviews with WRBG Book Club members, Black booksellers, and more. It's not to be missed.


Debutiful is a website and podcast where readers can discover new authors through interviews and recommendations. Hosted by Adam Vitcavage, the show only features debut authors—and their fresh voices are key. In each episode, Adam goes in-depth with a writer about their first book and what inspires them. If you're someone who loves reading the acknowledgements section—there's nothing better—this podcast truly delivers.

The Maris Review

the maris review

Maris Kreizman describes herself as a "writer, editor, reader, fan," and her insights on books are not to be missed. The cultural critic is the author of the bestselling Slaughterhouse 90210: Where Great Books Meet Pop Culture . On her podcast, she talks to authors you should know about their own books and the books they love, the shows and films they’ve watched, the music they’ve listened to, and the links they’ve clicked.

The Book Review

the book review podcast

The New York Times Book Review is legendary. Naturally, it makes sense they'd have a podcast to complement their coverage. Each week, authors and critics join host Pamela Paul and editors at Times Book Review to talk about bestselling books, what they're reading, and what's going on in the literary world.

overdue podcast

Overdue is a podcast about the books you've been meaning to pick up. Hosts Andrew Cunningham and Craig Getting work through their backlog and share with each other what they've been reading. "Sometimes that means complaining, sometimes that means championing," Craig explains . From classic literature to children's books, they read it all. Literally they have episodes on everything from Fifty Shades of Grey or Homer's Odyssey.

Celebrity Memoir Book Club

celebrity memoir book club

In Celebrity Memoir Book Club , New York comedians Claire Parker and Ashley Hamilton read celebrity memoirs so you don't have to. Each episode features a different celebrity memoir—from Emily Ratajkowski 's My Body to Will Smith 's Will —and Claire & Ashley are simply hilarious.

Storykeepers Podcast

storykeepers podcast

Storykeepers: Let's Talk Indigenous Books is a monthly podcast hosted by Jennifer David and Waubgeshig Rice. Each episode, they're joined by a guest host to discuss books by First Nations, Métis, and Inuit authors. Their goal is to "bring conversations about Indigenous books to a wider audience in an audio book-club format." And though they release only one episode a month, it's worth the wait.

hey ya podcast

The Hey YA podcast from Book Riot focuses exclusively on young adult literature. Hosts Erica Ezeifedi and Tirzah Price discuss great new YA books and favorite classics, and cover book news, adaptations, and so much more. For YA fans: this is for you.

Listen Here

The Writer's Voice

the writer's voice the new yorker

Ever wanted to hear a New Yorker writer read their story to you? Look no further than The Writer's Voice , where New Yorker fiction writers read their stories from the magazine. A recent favorite was Matrix author Lauren Groff reading her story "Annunciation" from the February 14 & 21, 2022 issue of The New Yorker.

Books & Boba

books and boba podcast

Books & Boba is a book club dedicated to spotlighting books written by authors of Asian descent. Every month, hosts Marvin Yueh and Reera Yoo pick a book by an Asian or Asian American author to read and discuss on the podcast. They also interview authors and cover publishing news. Notably, they read a wide-range of genres—from fantasy to memoir—so there's something for everyone.

Novel Pairings

novel pairings

Novel Pairings is a podcast "dedicated to making the classics readable, relevant, and fun." Each episode, hosts Sara and Chelsey discuss one classic book and share recommendations for more contemporary reads that feature similar themes.

Three Percent

three percent podcast

In the United States, about 3% of all books published are works in translation. The Three Percent podcast, presented by the University of Rochester’s translation program, hopes to bring attention to these books—with the goal that "reading literature from other countries is vital to maintaining a vibrant book culture and to increasing the exchange of ideas among cultures." Chad W. Post of Open Letter Books and Tom Roberge of New Directions and Albertine Bookstore host.

Harry Potter and the Sacred Text

harry potter and the sacred text

This podcast is so much more than a Harry Potter book club. Rather, as the hosts explain, "this podcast creates time in your week to think about life’s big questions. Because reading fiction doesn’t help us escape the world, it helps us live in it." Hosted by Vanessa Zoltan and Matthew Potts, the show "allows listeners to find meaning through a secular text that they love" by re-reading the Harry Potter books.

On the Road with Penguin Classics

on the road with penguin classics

On the Road with Penguin Classics is a literary podcast that takes a stroll around the world's favorite books. In each episode, author Henry Eliot travels to a different literary location to explore a book in the company of remarkable readers. For example, in a season two episode , Henry travels to Dublin to discuss Irish novelist James Joyce.

Book Friends Forever

book friends forever podcast

Ever wanted to know about children's book publishing secrets? Look no further, because best friends Grace Lin and Alvina Ling have the podcast for you. Grace is NYT bestselling author and illustrator and Alvina is the VP and Editor-in-Chief at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.

Friends to Lovers

friends to lovers

Each week, hosts Mackenzie Newcomb and Lily Herman use romance novels as a jumping off point to talk about sex, relationships, dating, and love. The podcast is presented by Bad Bitch Book Club , an online book club community.

borrowed podcast

Brooklyn Public Library launched a podcast because, as they explain , "Brooklyn has so many stories to tell, and a lot of them start at the library." The library's flagship podcast, Borrowed, is hosted by librarian Adwoa Adusei and director of marking Krissa Corbett Cavouras. Each episode doesn't feature a book review or interview, but rather, stories from Brooklyn—stories from the library, Brooklyn history, and more. Even if you've never been to Brooklyn, you will like Borrowed . Plus, each episode comes with a reading list. What more could you want?

The LRB Podacst

the london review of books podcast

The LRB Podcast brings you what it sounds like: weekly conversations from The London Review of Books . It's not specifically all about books, but covers everything from Elizabethan True Crime to anti-vaxxers, so you know you will be tuning in to a fascinating conversation.

The Worst Bestsellers

worst booksellers podcast

In The Worst Bestsellers , w riter Kait and librarian Renata read bestselling books in an attempt to understand their appeal. As the disclaimer on their website reads: "We want to be clear about something: we’re not snobs, honestly. If somebody only ever reads James Patterson books, or vampire books, or magazines: more power to them, we say. We’re reading these books because we’re curious about what’s popular, and also, reading these books gives us a better idea of what’s popular and how to give good readers advisory. We make jokes about the books we read, but our intent is never to make fun of readers ."

Headshot of Emily Burack

Emily Burack (she/her) is the Senior News Editor for Town & Country, where she covers entertainment, culture, the royals, and a range of other subjects. Before joining T&C, she was the deputy managing editor at Hey Alma , a Jewish culture site. Follow her @emburack on Twitter and Instagram .

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The Book Review

New York Times

The world's top authors and critics join host Gilbert Cruz and editors at The New York Times Book Review to talk about the week's top books, what we're reading and what's going on in the literary world. Listen to this podcast in New York Times Audio, our new iOS app for news subscribers. Download now at nytimes.com/audioapp

New York, NY

Books & Literature

Arts & Culture

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40+  Best Book Review Podcasts of 2024

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Blog – Posted on Wednesday, Aug 23

40+ best book review podcasts of 2024.

40+  Best Book Review Podcasts of 2024

You might have heard about Bookstagram, BookTok, and BookTube, but have you found your favorite bookish podcast yet? With over a third of the world’s population turning to reading during the Coronavirus pandemic, podcasting in general, and podcasts about books specifically, are seeing a huge boom.

With plenty of book podcasts and reading clubs to choose from, we’ve scoured the airwaves and curated more than 40 of the best podcasts that entertain, inspire, review , and — most importantly — recommend the best books for your reading pleasure.

General book review podcasts

Let’s start with the giants, these podcasts are big and talk about all things books, from literary fiction to niche nonfiction. The books come from both big trad publishers and little indie presses and what ultimately ties them together is the stories at the heart of it all, the experiences of the authors, and the advice we all wish we’d heard earlier. 

1. The Maris Review

Hosted by the cultural critic and bestselling author of Slaughterhouse 90210 , Maris Kreizman, the Maris Review  goes beyond the book covers and tries to get to the core of what inspires authors, from films, to music, to popular phenomena.

Coming to the microphone with warmth, depth of knowledge, and thoughtfulness, Maris’ goal is to let her guests shine and she has a true gift for pulling each morsel of literary goodness from her guests, one succulent bite at a time. Listening to the Maris Review will solidify your love for reading and instill an insatiable hunger for more books — RIP your TBR list.

Apple | Spotify | Stitcher | Lit Hub Radio

2. NPR Book of the Day

Want to know if a book is worth reading in 15 minutes or less? NPR’s got your back! The much-loved, bite-sized radio show is a popular podcast that regardless of genre, mood, style, or author, seeks to make reading accessible to everyone, while tackling the big questions of our time.

Whether you’re searching for your next read, or a recommendation for a friend, NPR’s short-form interviews got you covered, keeping you up-to-date with the latest bookish news and your shelves stacked. 

Apple | Spotify | Google Podcasts | Amazon Music

3. Book Fight

Despite the podcast name, Mike Ingram and Tom McAllister are good friends, writers, and long-time editors for Barrelhouse literary magazine and publisher. Taking a lighthearted approach, Mike and Tom engage their audience with humor, candor, and insights into the world of publishing and writing, welcoming listeners to sit in on genuine conversations rather than lectures while answering the question we’re all asking ourselves: what should I read next?

Each week they’re joined by authors whose work ask tough questions, offer harder answers, and seek to connect us all through our love of literature — no fighting involved. 

Apple | Spotify

4. The LRB Podcast

Decreed the ‘leading magazine of culture and ideas of Europe’, the London Review of Books podcast is a weekly conversation on literature hosted by Thomas Jones and Malin Hay. Often joined by their editors across the pond and other writerly guests, the hosts dive deep into the question of what makes great literature great .

With a goal to enliven and enrich their audience, the show is like waking your brain up with a (legal) stimulus better than coffee. From looking at how Ovid influenced the writing of Chaucer to how we can understand contemporary giants like David Foster Wallace through the lens of #MeToo, no work or angle is left unturned with LRB. You’ll find yourself relistening to episodes not just for the joy the podcast brings, but to sharpen your own critical reading and appreciation for the written word. 

Apple | Spotify | Google Podcasts

5. The Worst Bestsellers

Writer Kait and librarian Renata read books so you don’t have to. Well, that’s not quite true. Intrigued by the appeal of bestsellers, the two read the latest ‘Big Thing’ to try to understand what people love about them, and maybe, what you could love too — or why you might want to avoid it. 

Filled with plenty of humor and joy, Kait and Renata invite listeners into their cozy space and ask themselves “How did this get made?” or “How is something so questionable in quality this big ?”. Swearing they’re not snobs, they read everything with an open yet critical mind and are quick to indulge in a laugh at the book’s expense,never the reader. 

Homepage | Apple | Stitcher | Spotify | Deezer

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6. What Should I Read Next?

Aptly named What should I read next? , Anne Bogel’s podcast seeks to give readers all over the ether an answer to that very question. Each week, Anne — also known for her Modern Mrs Darcy blog — sits down with a reader and learns what they love, what they hate, and what they’ve read before, all in a bid to guide them towards what they should read next. With an encyclopedic mind for books (and a great team to back her up), Anne’s suggestions are always on point, as she has something up her sleeve for every type of reader. A bookish agony aunt of sorts, Anne wants you to read and love what you read. Don’t we all Anne, don’t we all…

Apple | Spotify | Overcast | Stitcher | Google Podcasts

7. Fully Booked

From the editors of Kirkus Reviews, Fully Booked : is a podcast unafraid to tell you which books to pass on and which are worth your time.

More like a coffee shop discussion, Fully Booked hosts regular author take-overs, inviting you directly into their minds and keeping the content constantly fresh. So clear your reading schedule: this podcast will keep you “fully booked” for the foreseeable future. 

Apple | PodcastOne | Spotify  

8. Book Riot

In Book Riot’s mainstage podcast, the editors of the website, Jeff and Rebecca, offer exciting and satisfying book recommendations to their listeners: titles that may otherwise have flown below your radar or bestsellers you were ready to write off. 

With eyes and ears on the publishing industry, they discuss everything from self-publised gems to traditionally published giants. They’re unapologetic about their opinions — making for an entertaining listen — but do not claim to be all-knowing tyrants of taste. Readers should all find their own happy space in literature, and Book Riot wants to help you do just that.

Apple | Spotify | Google Podcasts | Stitcher  

9. You’re Booked

Ever wonder what’s on your favorite author’s shelf? Or what book they borrowed and never returned to the library? Daisy Buchanan’s You’re Booked asks questions like “What is a forbidden book you read under the covers?”, or “What intellectual-doorstopper do you pretend to have read?”

If you love books and loooove learning why people pick what they do, then Daisy’s podcast is for you. From treasured memories of reading, to wasted hours of scribble, Daisy and her guests seek to help readers read more and revel in the company of other book lovers.

Apple | Spotify | Acast

10. Celebrity Memoir Book Club

Claire Parker and Ashley Hamilton are two New York comedians who read celebrity memoirs to give you the low-down in a fun and informative way. The hilarious duo wade through the sometimes delightful, sometimes insightful, but mostly egocentric world of celebrity memoirs with such humor and wit that their review can be just as good as the book itself. 

The Celebrity Memoir Book Club is a hilarious take on an industry that often takes itself too seriously. This is the perfect podcast to settle into if you just want to have a good time and love a bit of juicy gossip. 

Apple | Spotify | Audioboom | Youtube

11. The Stacks

Traci Thomas is your host for The Stacks book review podcast, and if your TBR list isn’t bursting already, this is an absolute must-listen. Probing her guests with questions relating to which reads changed their life, which authors made them see the world in a new light, and how politics and race are now more important than ever in writing, Traci and her guests breaks down a new book every week — one onion layer at a time. Even if not every book takes your fancy, the discussion is thought-provoking, humorous, and always engaging. It's well-worth your time.

Apple | Podcast Addict

12. KCRW Bookworm

KCRW Bookworm began airing in 1989 with the goal of making reading accessible, encouraging both entertaining and thoughtful writing, and provoking listeners to make reading a lifelong habit.

Legendary Michael Silverblatt interviews guests from every corner of the publishing world and the show is underpinned by a deep love for reading not just as a pastime, but a way of life.

Apple | Spotify | Google Podcasts | iHeart Radio

13. London Review Bookshop Podcast

Not to be confused with the LRB podcast, the London Review Bookshop podcast is recorded in the eponymous bookshop in Bloomsbury, London, where two new authors come together each episode to discuss life, love, books, and writing in front of a live crowd of customers. 

From fiction to poetry, nonfiction, and politics, this show gives authors a soapbox to stand on and makes for an intellectually stimulating and entertaining listening experience that will give you plenty of fodder for debate. 

14. Radio 4 Books & Authors

BBC’s radio stations are institutions in and of themselves, but their podcast Books & Authors on channel 4 is something else altogether. Compiling two similar shows into one book review podcast — Open Books and A Good Read is hosted by Harriet Gilbert and discusses her favorite reads, upcoming titles, and the books you really should read. Cobbled together with guests you’ll love, these articulate and witty discussions are often just as interesting as the books themselves, so come prepared for books to be read, thoughts to be had, and friends to be made. 

Apple | Spotify | BBC Sounds

15. The Guardian Books Podcast

Though it officially aired its last episode in 2022, we highly recommend that you go back and mine the rich backlog of The Guardian Books podcast for a phenomenal source of in-depth interviews with authors from all over the world. Covering every topic and genre under the sun, the hosts know how to sell a book to their readers, while also deepening your knowledge and understanding of the context it was written in. If you’re looking for one of the greats of book reviews — and maybe some backlist titles to add to your shelves — this is it.

Homepage | Apple | Spotify | Soundcloud

16. Between the Covers

If you’re in search of a profound listening experience, then go no further. David Naimon’s Between the Covers is the rich and well-researched conversation on literature you never knew you were missing, produced by the Portland-based publishers Tin House. And if you don’t want to take our word for it, it has been recognized by none others than the Guardian, Book Riot, the Financial Times, and BuzzFeed as “one of the most notable book podcasts for writers and readers around.” 

Making sure to research his guests thoroughly, David approaches each episode with care, inviting writers of all ages and voices to take you on a journey into the world of books, guiding you towards not only the next book you could read, but the next story you could love. 

Apple | Stitcher

17. All the Books

All the Books is a podcast dedicated to new releases, specializing in what’s hot, what’s new, what’s quirky, and what’s recommended.

Full of recommendations to pick and choose from, host Liberty Hardy (and her adorable cats) are purr-fect companions for your morning commute, a stroll through the forest, or an evening in front of the fireplace. As entertaining as it is witty, the goal of this show is to to keep you informed and make sure you don’t miss your favorite author’s newest title or any upstart debutants

Apple | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Podcasts

18. Debutiful

If you really want to keep an eye out for the next big thing, this debuts-only club, hosted by Adam Vitcavage, is a podcast entirely devoted to first time book publications. Together with his guests, Adam talks about writing habits, inspiration, and the process of getting your first book published.

If the book doesn’t always sound like your jam, there’s a wealth of knowledge and inspiration to be had in each episode, as authors share ideas and intriguing suggestions for craft practice as well as candid glimpses into what goes into the ‘making-of’ a debut...

19. TwoLitChicks

Hosted by writers and avid readers Julia Boggio and Ed Crocker, TwoLitChicks is a podcast about loving books and loving writing books. Setup like a Desert Island Discs, the hosts talk with authors about the books they read which changed their lives and how that affected their writing. Divulging books published across the entire publishing spectrum, be they traditionally or self-published , Julia and Ed get to the core of what makes these authors and their work tick. From beautiful debuts to written-word masters, TwoLitChicks cracks plenty of eggs of writerly wisdom.

20. Slate’s Audiobook Club

You’re already looking for podcasts on books, so why not podcasts on audiobooks? Hosted by Slate magazine’s critics, this audiobook podcast is perfect if you’re looking for insights on what does well in the audio format. Taking the form of a panel review show, the group discusses classics, new releases, underdogs, and forgotten gems, always with the auditory experience in mind. 

For readers who are listeners , this pod will give you plenty of solid recommendations to choose from. That’s if you can remember to write them down. Your TBR has been warned.

Diversity in publishing podcasts

While self-publishing allows many more voices to be heard and stories to be told, one of the most important changes taking place in the industry at large is the opportunities for diversity in publishing . The podcasts below champion voices that have not always been given their due space, discussing award winning works and stories that will shape our next generations .

21. Well-Read Black Girl

Glory Edim is not only the writer and founder of the Well-Read Black Girl book club, but also an advocate of the written word through the podcast medium. Her goal has always been to give readers the literary booster shot they never knew they needed and, as a host, she seeks deep and honest conversations to bring us all together via books. The WRBG podcast explores not just the power of books, but their place in a world where art, social justice, and literature are colliding. From paying homage to iconic literary women, to promoting the most important voices of today, Glory and her guests discuss what they’re reading, what it means to be “well-read,” and what you should pick up next.

Apple | Spotify | Stitcher

22. Minorities in Publishing

When Jenn Baker began the Minorities in Publishing podcast her goal wasn’t just to bridge the gap in diversity in publishing, but to blow the doors down and give authors the love they deserve. With topics ranging far and wide, Jenn discusses the publishing industry, books and authors writing fantastic stories, and the best tips for those wishing to write themselves. 

With authors and genres spanning from children’s , to YA , graphic novels , upmarket fiction and beyond, the goal here is to show you how many storytellers roam this planet with unique stories to tell, making us believe we can do it too. 

Apple | Spotify | Google Podcasts | iHeart Radio | TuneIn Radio

23. Storykeepers Podcast

Hosted by Jennifer David and Waubgeshig Rice, Storykeepers is unlike any other book review podcast around. They only champion Indigenous voices. From authors, publishers, booksellers, to readers, Storykeepers treasures the experiences of Indigenous, First Nation, Inuit, and Métis stories.

Whether it’s debating an idea, laughing over a character, or discussing the changing landscape and opportunities within Indigenous publishing, Jennifer and Waubgeshig aim to bring these fantastic stories and authors to more people’s attention. Don’t miss this one.

Apple | Spotify | Amazon

Coming to you from Amman, Jordan, and Rabat, Morocco, friends Ursula Lindsey and M Lynx Qualey, talk about all things books and publishing in the modern Arabic-speaking world. 

Named after the first printing press established in Egypt in 1820, Bulaq is indispensable for anyone wanting a contextualized view of translated Arabic works in English. Together, Ursula and M Lynx discuss the books which are changing them, have changed them, and that they hope might change you too, showcasing the richness of modern Arabic literature.

Apple | Spotify | Google Podcasts | Deezer | Anghami | Castbox

25. What’s My Therapist Reading?

Hosted by therapists Caleb Matthews and Mary Hoofnagle, What’s My Therapist Reading? is a podcast dedicated to both fiction and nonfiction titles, but with a twist. Their emphasis is on bringing visibility to mental health, physical and mental disabilities, and if their representations in literature help or hinder people’s understanding. From episodes dealing with autism to family dynamics, the two discuss triggers in books and how the intended audience of a book may differ to a reading audience. Diversity in publishing is leading to more and more titles being released that represent all of the reading audience, not just the loudest voices.

Apple | Spotify  

26. Books & Boba

Hosted by Marvin Yueh and Reera Yoo, Books & Boba discusses Asian and Asian American literature , looking at everything from contemporary fiction, historical fiction , sci-fi , fantasy , YA, nonfiction , thrillers , graphic novels, and memoirs — always delivering great recommendations and thoughtful insights.

With the dynamism and banter of best friends, Marvin and Reera spotlighting the industry at large, while highlighting emerging authors alongside (sometimes) forgotten classics. Run, don’t walk to your nearest podcast distributor to tune in.

Apple | Spotify | Google Podcasts | Pocket Casts | Radio Public

Romance fiction book review podcasts

Are you looking for the next read to sweep you off your feet ? Presenting you with sizzling heroes and smoldering heroines, these podcasts spread the word on the biggest genre in publishing and bring the authors behind the stories to the forefront. Read on to find your perfect match.

27. Big Gay Fiction Podcast

Husbands Jeff Adams and Will Knauss created the Big Gay Fiction podcast for one reason and one reason only: to spread their love of queer fiction , and specifically romance queer fiction. Each week, they bring in authors they adore, books that they want to spotlight, and ideas worth discussing in the queer space of publishing.

Their interview style is as friendly as it is charming, making their listeners feel as comfortable as their guests. If you’re looking for witty views on the MM genre and more than a few great reads to add to your pile, then Jeff and Will have more than enough up their sleeves.

Apple | Spotify | Google Podcasts | Amazon Music | Youtube

28. The Sapphic book review

Hosted by Laura Green, the Sapphic Book Review champions all things Sapphic fiction. From reviews of books to interviews with the authors themselves, Laura asks hard-hitting questions which shed new light on sapphic love in literature. If you’ve been wondering which book you should read next and have been struggling to find your sapphic lit fix, Laura has you covered.

Homepage | Apple | Spotify | Amazon Music | Overcast | Castro

29. Sentimental Garbage

Whether it makes you blush or makes you cry, Caroline O’Donoghue’s Sentimental Garbage is a book review podcast that advocates for all the books we love — even if society makes us feel like we shouldn’t. Beginning as a self-professed chick-lit podcast, with some good Sex and the City detours, Sentimental Garbage has grown larger to encompass a wider definition of guilty pleasures.

Caroline’s goal is interviewing authors and guests that are oh so relatable because, at the end of the day, a good book is like a companion. Trading quick quips, Caroline and her guests are always a pleasure to listen to as they discuss books they love and hate, tropes they despise and get giddy over, and characters that make them swoon. For them, stories are not about how much you know by the end, but about how much you feel. 

Apple | Deezer | Acast  

Children & YA lit book review podcasts

Whether you’re trying to encourage your kids to read more, are searching for the next Percy Jackson or Hunger Games , or learning how to make your dreams a reality — the pods below are all about books, authors, and writing in the Children’s, Middle Grade, and Young Adult sphere.

30. Hey YA!

What Book Riot is doing for Young Adult lit is what everyone else wants to do. Their Hey YA podcast may not feature Outkast, but brings great reads to the growing generation. With stories and styles from everyone’s favorite genres, Kelly, Eric, and Sarah recommend books which aim to be as inclusive as possible, as page-turning as possible, as hashtagable as possible, and — more than that — books readers of all ages can see themselves in. 

If your TBR list isn’t bursting at the seams after discovering Hey YA then you haven’t listened close enough. No longer just a stepping stone to great literature, YA has eeked out a legitimate and thriving space of its own, so if you think YA deserves more attention, then you’ll find like-minded people here.

Apple | Spotify | Google Podcasts | Stitcher

31. First Draft Podcast

First Draft with Sarah Enni at the helm is a podcast for storytellers to talk about how art informs their lives. Sarah comes to each episode with the honest intention of getting to know her guests, asking great questions and getting even better answers. First Draft will introduce you to new sides of the publishing industry, while discussing the next best-book-you-haven’t-read-yet.

While not strictly children’s and YA, Sarah does talk to a lot of children’s and YA authors. She underlines the importance of these works because it is often the books we read as children that define us as adult readers. Though currently on hiatus, you can still revel in the long list of past episodes available via select podcast distributors.

32. Write or Die Podcast

Write or Die isn’t just about the joy of storytelling, but about the gritty, infuriating, and pull-your-hair moments when you want to give up but don’t. Claribel A. Ortega and Kat Cho are both powerhouse authors in the YA realm and invite you to join them on their Write or Die podcast, where you’ll learn to love even the parts of publishing you hate. 

Bursting with inspiration, this podcast is about the stories which make the storytellers. Great for writers of all ages and genres, the lessons here are just as fantastic as the books they discuss. If you’re looking for a light in the dark tunnel of writing, this is it.

Apple | Spotify | Google Podcasts | Radio Public | Pocket Casts

33. 88 Cups of Tea

While Yin Chang is perhaps better known for her work as an actor, she’s always been a prolific reader and writer. Driven to help others tell their story, 88 Cups of Tea is a space to sit with industry professionals and authors and get to the heart of what drives them. From inciting incidents to query letters , Yin delivers all she can to help writers find their way.

Of course, along the way she discusses plenty of books, inspiring and thought-provoking quotes, and the realities of publishing. 88 Cups of Tea has built a community of readers and writers that inspire and entertain each other in the process of creating the next big thing. Pens down and ears up, and get ready to find your reading or writing mojo with this podcast.

Apple | Spotify | Stitcher | Player FM

34. This Creative Life

Whether leading solo-episodes or riding shotgun with a guest, Sara Zarr sits down to shine a light on the bizarre and satisfying world of writing in her podcast This Creative Life . Focusing on the practical tips and psychological aspects of writing, This Creative Life makes a point of inviting guests to share their life experiences and how they came to write their books. 

From plotting to pantsing, This Creative Life is a podcast which inspires writers to constantly evolve and create. It is the act of creation which nourishes us, and the act of telling our stories which makes them real. From children’s to YA and beyond, no story is too small or too big to be told, or no failure too grand to come back from. Sarah endeavors to inspire the next generation to tell the story of their generation.

Apple | Spotify | Amazon Music

35. Your Kid’s Next Read

If children are our hope for a better future, then Allison Tait and Megan Daley are going to help you find the books to foster your kids reading habits. Co-founders of the Your Kid’s Next Read community, these author and teacher-librarians kept receiving and asking themselves the same questions so they made YKNR to try to find answers. Discussing everything from YA blockbusters, middle grade adventures, and junior fiction to getting those training wheels off, their book recommendations are top notch.

Full of tips to get your little ones loving reading, they also recommend what else they could be into. This podcast is lighthearted, fun, engaging, and geared towards helping your kid find their next read. If you want to bulk up your kids reading list, or encourage those who wish to spread their wings and write, this one’s for you. 

Homepage | Apple | Spotify

‘Classics’ of literature book review podcasts

We all have lists of books we wished we’d read, have meant to have read, or just never got around to reading. These podcasts are for you. More than that, they make the case for why the classics are deemed ‘classics’, and give a few recommendations for books to read before you die along the way.

36. Backlisted

When the book is just as much a guest as the guest themselves, you know you’re onto a winning formula. Hosted by John Mitchinson and Andy Miller, Backlisted invites writers to bring a book they wish more people knew about. Championing the underdogs, these episodes are often thoughtful observations on style and writing, referencing great ideas which may have gone unnoticed by the public at large. 

This is a podcast for those who want to read widely and expand their idea of what constitutes a ‘classic’, beyond Austen and Dickens , and contemplate what distinguishes truly outstanding writing.

Homepage | Apple | Acast | Overcast

37. Overdue

We all have those books we’ve been meaning to read; the ones that sit at the bottom of your TBR list, dusty and mothballed under the weight of everything else. Podcasters Andrew and Craig are the same, but now they’re doing something about it. Overdue tackles those classics you should’ve read, those obscure plays referenced by your obscure writing professor, or just those books you never got around to reading. Just as funny as it is analytical, Andrew and Craig delve into books you’d never thought to read and the ones you claim you’ve read — from childhood oddities to canon soliloquies, Overdue brings book reviews to a whole new, hilarious level. Get your pen ready to take some notes.

38. Novel Pairings

Self-professed nerdy bookworms Sarah and Chelsey, the hosts of Novel Pairings , are on a mission to make the classics readable, relatable, and, most importantly, relevant. Armed with good taste, better banter, and incredible recommendations, Novel Pairings breaks down the false perception that you have to be ‘educated’ to enjoy classics and keeps the classics exciting while avoiding the pomp. 

Sci-fi/fantasy & comics podcasts

Speculative fiction has fired up the imaginations of readers and writers for centuries. With hundreds of classics already written in this space, these podcasts keep an eye to the past while looking towards the future, diving into little-known sub-genres and household favorites alike. Tune in: there are new worlds to be explored!

39. The Legendarium Podcast

Welcome to the lands of speculation and worldbuilding.Hosted by Craig, Ryan, Kyle, and Stephanie, the Legendarium Podcast is an epic call to adventure for all things sci-fi and fantasy. 

Appreciating the classics as much as the new releases, the Legendarium quartet and their guests offer glimpses at the industry, views on books they love and hate, and recommendations on what to read next. If you want to hang out and listen to your favorite authors talk shop, grab a tankard of ale or a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster, and prepare to be entertained.

40. SFF Yeah!

SFF Yeah! fails in only one thing: keeping your book-buying ban intact. Sharifah and Jenn divulge their favorites as well as regretted reads, taking the time to discuss what works and what doesn’t, along with what makes it uniquely special in the speculative genre. Aware that we’re all different, if there’s anything they feel that might be triggering, Sharifah and Jenn always preface books and ideas with a warning, but, as we’re all here for the books (and a little bit of the chatter) they’re not shy to predict your next favorite read. Heck, it’s the future! Even if it’s 1984 …

41. The Stack

If you like the graphic novel artform then this is the space for you. This tasty podcast comes to you every week from the Comic Book Club and is hosted by Alex, Just, and Pete, discussing all things comics and visual storytelling.

Like a mashup of your much preferred roller rink DJ (err yeah) and a real book review radio show, the Stack aims to get you loving comics and appreciating the craft of this artform as much as you would any other. With good taste, good chats, and even better recommendations, they could make even the staunchest Marvel fan into a DC dabbler.

Apple | Podbean | Google Podcasts | Radio Public | iHeart Radio

If you’re looking for more auditory content, why not check out our article on the 60 best audibooks of all time or our tips on where you can find free audiobooks ?

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A new book examines Alexander Hamilton's plan for public debt

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Alexander Hamilton, the first U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, is somewhat of a pop culture phenomenon thanks to a hit musical about his life. But a new book called The Hamilton Scheme dives into a less-known part of Hamilton's legacy — his vision for public debt. In today's interview, author and historian William Hogeland speaks with NPR's Steve Inskeep about why Hamilton considered higher loans to be paid by the federal government a good thing, and how that can be traced to today's relationship between China and the United States.

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The Book Riot Podcast is a weekly news and talk show about what's new, cool, and worth talking about in the world of books and reading, brought to you by the editors of Book Riot.

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The It Books of July 2024

This week on the Book Riot Podcast, Jeff and Rebecca go through 10 contenders to pick the It Book of July.

JAMES Adaptation News, Whither Political Memoirs, Freida McFadden Is Here To Low-Key Dominate Book Sales, and More

This week on the Book Riot Podcast, Jeff and Rebecca talk about a mixed bag of topics this week: James getting a major adaptation deal, Hilary Clinton is publishing a new mem.....YAWN, and Frieda McFadden looks to go full grocery store.

The Books of the Year…So Far

This week on the Book Riot Podcast, Jeff and Rebecca look back at their It Book selections so far, see what they got right and wrong, and then talk about which books have been the books of the year thus far.

Barnes & Noble Buys a Beloved Indie, Book Sales are Way Up, Real Data on Diversity in Published Books, and more.

On the Book Riot Podcast, Jeff and Rebecca dive into an extremely busy week of book news. Amazon buys Tattered Cover. April book sales are up so much it's hard to believe. And published books have gotten way more diverse over the last 5 years, but there is more work to be done and reason to wonder if the progress will continue.

The Most Interesting People in the Publishing World

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Secret Service Agent Explains Psychological Tricks To Read Anyone & Spot A Liar

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Listen to the Mel Robbins Podcast twice per week, every Monday and Thursday, to create a better life.

Today, a secret service agent is teaching you how to read body language, master your emotions, and spot a liar. 

In this one of a kind episode, agent Evy Poumpouras is unpacking proven strategies and psychological tricks to get what you want. 

Evy is a former secret service agent who has protected 5 U.S presidents. 

She is a “human lie detector” who has been specially trained in the art of lie detection, human behavior, and cognitive influence. 

And today, she is giving you a masterclass of all of her best secrets from over 3 decades of training and experience.

Evy’s extensive and decorated career includes operating undercover, complex criminal investigations, and working as an interrogator for the Secret Service’s elite polygraph unit – and she’s here to arm you with information, tools, and strategies in this special episode.

If you liked this impactful and tactical episode, you’ll love listening to this one next, which shares more body language secrets (including those that are specific to helping you get ahead at work): Research From Princeton: 13 Proven Hacks That Boost Your Influence & Make You More Confident and FBI-Trained Expert Explains How to Read Body Language

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In this episode:

  • 04:40: How can reading body language change your life?
  • 07:30: The biggest takeaways from studying the behaviors of presidents.
  • 12:10: Do this to manage stress in a high pressure job.
  • 15:40: This is how professionals detect if someone is lying.
  • 19:21: How to detect someone’s baseline and when you can use this skill.
  • 25:52: Does eye contact REALLY give away if someone is lying?
  • 31:46: Here’s how to show the person you’re with that they’re important.
  • 34:55: Why it’s important to just let people be.
  • 37:45: What do people do with their eyes when they’re lying?
  • 41:08: Do this to be more confident around other people.
  • 46:23: Watch for these verbal cues to know if someone is telling the truth.
  • 50:18: The importance of being less focused on just yourself.
  • 52:49: How do you get the truth out of someone?
  • 56:17: How to know when to call somebody out or back away.
  • 59:52: What is paralinguistics and how does it impact how we talk to people?
  • 01:02:07: Afraid to speak up? Do this.
  • 01:08:40: What to do before you have a difficult conversation.
  • 01:12:40: Someone not answering you IS an answer.
  • 01:15:20: The REAL reason you don’t trust your gut.
  • 01:17:28: The first step to changing the negative situation you are in.

Evy Poumpouras:

  • Check out her website here.
  • Purchase her latest book here.
  • Follow her on Instagram.
  • And find her on Tik Tok.
  • Enroll in one of Evy’s classes. 

Additional Resources:

  • Harvard Business Review: How to look and sound confident 
  • The New Yorker: Reading body language like the experts 
  • New York Times: Really? You can spot a lie by watching a person’s eyes 
  • Scientific American : Language patterns reveal body’s response to stress.
  • New York Times: Can you spot a liar?
  • University of Texas: How much of communication is nonverbal? 
  • Forbes: The mistakes people make reading your body language 
  • Forbes: 7 tricks for reading body language like a pro 
  • New York Times: To tell the truth, it’s awfully hard to spot a liar 
  • Forbes : 5 ways body language impacts leadership results.

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Episode Notes

For this week’s episode of Working Overtime, hosts Ronald Young Jr and Isaac Butler are joined by writer Elisa Gabbert for a discussion of reading and rediscovering a love of books. Gabbert is the author of Any Person is the Only Self, a new collection of essays on art, culture, and reading habits. Gabbert delves into some of her reading practices such as always being surrounded by exciting-looking books, exploring the ‘Recently Returned’ section of her library, and not being afraid to revisit and critique classic novels.

Do you have questions or advice of your own about the creative process? Reach out at (304) 933-9675 or email us at [email protected].

Podcast production by Kevin Bendis and Cameron Drews.

About the Show

Slate interviews Americans about their jobs.

Isaac Butler is the co-host of Slate’s Working  podcast. He is currently working on his third book, The Perfect Moment: The Religious Right, American Art, and the Dawn of the Culture Wars .

Ronald Young Jr. is an audio producer, host, and storyteller based in Alexandria, Virginia. He is the host of the critically acclaimed podcast Weight for It , which was selected by the New York Times as a best podcast of 2023 .

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71 episodes

A bi-weekly podcast about non-fiction authors and the book publishing industry. Hear insider interviews, the latest news and information about bestsellers and trends, current book reviews as well as a look at books featured on C-SPAN's BookTV.

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  • JUN 20, 2024

Cass Sunstein on Campus Free Speech

Harvard Law professor Cass Sunstein discussed his book on freedom of speech and how it applies to students, professors, and administrators on college campuses. About Books also reported on the latest publishing industry news and current non-fiction books. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • JUN 6, 2024

Andrea Fleck-Nisbet on Independent Book Publishing

Independent Book Publishers Association CEO Andrea Fleck-Nisbet discussed her trade association's work to promote small and mid-sized presses and author-published books. About Books also reported on the latest publishing industry news and current non-fiction books. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • MAY 9, 2024

Children's Book Author Jonah Winter on Censorship

Award winning children's book author Jonah Winter discussed his experiences with censorship, and why he believes cancel culture is more dangerous than book banning. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • APR 25, 2024

Publishing Analyst Brenna Connor on Book Sales in 2024

Publishing industry analyst Brenna Connor discussed sales trends and bestsellers in the first quarter of 2024, as well as predictions for the remainder of the year. About Books also reported on the latest publishing news and new releases. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • APR 11, 2024

Danny Heitman on Rereading the Classics

Columnist Danny Heitman discussed the importance of rereading classical literature. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

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Jonathan Karp on 100 years of Simon & Schuster

Simon & Schuster President & CEO Jonathan Karp discussed the company's 1924 founding, its role in publishing, and some of the authors it has published. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

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6 Podcasts About the Past That Resonate

Covering everything from ancient civilizations to 20th-century war craft, these shows deliver incisive and engaging history lessons.

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By Emma Dibdin

Over the past few years, debates have been waged over how American history should be taught in schools , particularly subjects like slavery and racism. Covering everything from ancient civilizations to 20th-century politics, these six shows deliver incisive and engaging lessons that will resonate no matter how much you learned (or paid attention) in history class.

‘The Dollop With Dave Anthony and Gareth Reynolds’

This comedic history staple was an early example of a podcast format that’s become ubiquitous: one host talks in depth about a particular subject to a second host, who’s unfamiliar with the topic. In each episode, the comedian Dave Anthony reads out a different story from U.S. history to his co-host, Gareth Reynolds, with topics including politics, sports, even the origin story of cereal in America. Because Reynolds is always coming in cold, his reactions, riffs and impersonations feel spontaneous in a way that only improv can, and the pair’s natural chemistry makes the laughs infectious. The blend of off-the-cuff humor and rigorous research has made “The Dollop” a podcast-chart mainstay for more than a decade, and ensures that the show remains accessible to a wide swathe of listeners beyond history buffs.

Starter episode: “Ronald Reagan with guest Patton Oswalt (Part 1)”

‘Fall of Civilizations’

Hosted by Paul Cooper, a historian and novelist, this podcast burrows into the stories of once-mighty ancient civilizations, exploring the complex web of political, economic and human factors that built them up and ultimately tore them apart. Episodes are infrequent (on average just two or three per year), but they’re dense and detailed epics, running more than two hours apiece and woven together from sources, including historical records, archaeological findings and contemporary academic opinions. Over the show’s 16 episodes, the collapses covered include the Cambodian Khmer Empire, the ancient Sumerians of Mesopotamia and the still-mysterious society that once existed on Easter Island. The listening experience feels like reading a comprehensive book from cover to cover, but with none of the dryness that might imply thanks to the immersive quality of Cooper’s retellings.

Starter episode: “The Catastrophic Fall of Roman Britain”

‘Behind The Bastards’

Hosted by the journalist Robert Evans, alongside a revolving series of guests, the podcast examines history through the lens of its very worst men. The definition of “bastards” is expansive, encompassing historical tyrants and dictators, abusive men in Hollywood and contemporary politicians and corporate executives. Also included are businesses and industries, like the East India Company, Purdue Pharma and the payday loan industry. Even when covering well-trodden ground, “Behind the Bastards” finds fresh and enjoyably weird angles — for example, the episode titled “Hitler: Y.A. Fiction Fan Girl.” Evans, who has reported on conflict zones, police brutality and far-right extremism for the investigative news website Bellingcat, also has a knack for drawing parallels from the past to the present. In June of 2020, following the murder of George Floyd, for example, he produced a mini-series spinoff titled “ Behind the Police ,” which explored the checkered history of policing in America.

Starter episode: “Part One: The Most Evil Company In History”

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