I know how it goes. Someone recommends a podcast and you go to listen but the most recent episode is something about shipping containers or wayward birds. Maybe it’s interesting, but maybe you really want to hear some of the best episodes first, especially if you’re new to podcasts. So, let’s do a playlist…something good enough for hours of listening (maybe even a roadtrip!) and can hit the “best of” some great bookish podcasts.
NPR’s Fresh Air
Terry Gross is my hero and if you’re not a regular Fresh Air listener, we need to change that. Nonfiction writers pop onto the show almost weekly, but fiction takes the stage every once in a while, too.
Super, super fascinating talk with cover designer Peter Mendelsund on his process and his book What We See When We Read.
This is one of my favorite episodes of the show, but it’s absolutely heartbreaking. Seriously. Have about a dozen tissues ready, especially for the end.
Terry Gross talks with Maureen Corrigan about her book So We Read On, which focuses on how The Great Gatsby became the beloved book it is today.
I think it’s well known that Literary Disco is my favorite bookish podcast. Though each episode is centered around the trio reading a book, that chat is usually just half of the run time and episodes can be safely listened to even if you haven’t read the title.
This my favorite way to introduce new listeners to the podcast. You get a perfect tour of everyone’s personality and reading preferences along with a really smart discussion of YA literature and its purpose.
Before talking about Jenny Offill’s great book, Tod, Julia and Rider have a wonderful discussion about being a pretentious reader.
The episode starts with a fantastic discussion on whether or not we should feel shame for reading certain books before moving on to a hilarious jump back in time with the young detective.
Slate’s Audio Book Club
These are all super spoilery, so my best advice is to pick any episodes for books you’ve read. The conversations are always great and in-depth without being ridiculously esoteric. These are a few I’ve loved:
What are some of your favorite podcast episodes?