Podcasts have had a drawn out explosion of sorts, a consistent revitalization every time someone theorizes the bubble will burst. There are so many topics to explore in-depth over a series of conversations with friends. The best book podcasts to me sound like lively book club conversations, the kinds you’ve had with friends in your own book club.
The book podcast world is great to explore for book lovers because there are so many different kinds of experts reading and talking about their reading and writing processes. This list is a very small slice of the book podcasting world out there, so hopefully this helps your exploration process as well!
Writers Zoraida Córdova and Dhonielle Clayton share an office and an ever-mounting series of deadlines in this chatty, wonderful podcast. They have a great knack for breaking down the big, scary parts of writing and creating a book, and making it seem manageable after all. An ideal listen for anyone who’s interested in learning more about what it’s like to be a working writer, making your own schedule and time.
Nicole and Matthew don’t only go over the latest releases in children’s literature, but talk through the gaps and problems that have yet to be resolved. Their recent episode on the need for diverse bodies in children’s books was an extremely salient point. Finally, they have great author interviews.
For more tips on writing and working through the gargantuan process of book creation, turn to award-winning fantasy and romance author L. Penelope. Her personable podcast gives and insider’s look into her writing process, and she talks about the best things of the week and gives great advice.
This podcast is the essential rundown of Asian American literature. In addition to regular book news, they do reviews and fascinating author interviews. This is what we love about book podcasts—a lively book club in portable audio form.
This podcast sticks exactly to the stated mission of the title, and the hosts are a joy to listen to. Danielle and Mollie also go deep on each book and treat them all as worthy of intense analysis, but they’re also having a good time. The perfect fun and informative book podcast.
For those of us (me) just getting into literary fiction, this podcast can help point you in the right direction. Hosts Mary Kay and Louise cover a variety of topics in the first few episodes, including translation, how to read a difficult book, and the new adaptation of Emma.
Book Riot editor Mary Kay McBrayer and co-hosts Rachel and Mary go over the funniest and weirdest in horror. Although not strictly a books podcast, many of the horror movies they discuss are based on books. Join them for this hilarious journey through the many weird roads of horror.
This is not strictly a book podcast, but they often discuss books in the “Pop Culture for You to Get Involved With” section. Christina and Kamille are personable, hilarious hosts and have great things to say about the book industry and who’s getting published and why.
I always need a guide through a big, diverse genre, and Jess and Trisha are particularly fantastic ambassadors. In addition to giving great recommendations, they talk through the advice we can get from reading romance.
Dive into the biggest relationships of comics with hosts Brad and Lisa. They talk through all the big relationships that span decades, series, and universes. It’s the perfect discussion about how relationships function in completely extraordinary circumstances.
This podcast is a little treat for midday or the weekend—amazingly talented actors reading great short stories. With a rotating series of hosts and guests, this podcast will have something for ever story lover.
Hosted by Leena Norms, this book news podcast covers every kind of book discussion and topic you can think of. It’s released by the publisher Vintage Books, so there’s a slightly business-y perspective to the podcast that’s pretty interesting.
This is one of the best book podcasts for longtime fans of science fiction and fantasy books, and also people who are just getting into that particular genre fiction. Sharifah and Jenn discuss the latest in science fiction/fantasy, as well as diving into the huge backlist for this genre.
Daisy Buchanan brings her delightful interviewing skills to the podcasting world. She asks authors how they became book lovers, what books they just couldn’t get through, and what’s on their shelves. It’s a great way to find out more about your favorite authors without having to find a way to peek at their bookshelves yourself.
Although this a short-form podcast from last year, I still wanted to suggest it because it tells a completely stranger-than-fiction story about Salman Rushdie. I hadn’t known that much about him besides the books I read in middle and high school, so it was a major shock to listen to this podcast about the 1989 fatwa issued against Rushdie. It is a reminder of the importance of reading widely and diving into histories outside of my immediate community.
This podcast speaks to me because I, too, have a giant pile of books on my night table that I’m trying to make my way through without adding a new one to it every day. Christopher and Drew are publishing professionals, and bring you books, interviews, and more with a themed drink for each episode.
If you need a place to indulge your love of mystery and thrillers without people thinking you’re planning their murder, this is one of the best book podcasts for you. Katie and Rincey have all the news, and dive into underappreciated sections of the mystery/thriller book world.
Jay and Miles have decided to do the great public service of explaining every aspect of the intense, ever-rebooting and retconning world of the X-Men. This podcast is such a fun listen, with a lot of deep discussion of how the X-Men used metaphor to gesture to found family and queer identity.
Eric and Kelly have a super difficult task with this podcast because YA isn’t actually a singular genre, but an ever-evolving age category that encompasses many different kinds of storytelling approaches. They take us through the news of the YA world and the best themes across YA books in a fun, compelling way. A great listen for anyone who wants to learn more about YA.
This is one of the best book podcasts and it contains so much unparalleled joy—if you haven’t listened to it yet, you’re only failing yourself. A weekly story read by one of the most beautiful voices in the world, which also reminds us of our other favorite media…It’s a true delight and I hope it continues forever.
Although not strictly a books podcast, the Nerdette book club remains one of my favorite episode series on this feed. Recently, they’re doing their “book club for introverts,” so you can follow along with them and join in on the fun in an easy, relaxing way.
In addition to only reading books by female authors, the hosts of this podcast choose a monthly theme. February was Afrofuturism, and March is going to be Women in History. Reading challenges like the ones assigned by Kendra and Autumn are extremely helpful for learning more about a particular genre or field of history that feels unexamined in your reading life.
Jeff and Will have just announced a new book club in addition to their podcast, so it’s a great time to get on board. Both of the hosts are authors and gay romance novel enthusiasts, and they bring you the latest published books in that genre, author interviews, and great pop culture discussions.
Hosts Amanda and Jenn bring their expertise to the vast world of bookselling and genre discussions. The series The Handsell to discuss specific books they want you to read. If you’re lost on what to read right now, Get Booked is the perfect place to start.
Vanessa Richardson hosts this weekly exploration of the dark and dangerous parts of fairy tales. She takes you through all of the hard edges of the tales we hear as children and their origins in folklore.
This podcast hosted by librarians who have to read a genre they despise in order to understand it better. It’s a great way to learn about how to recommend in genres that aren’t your favorite.
The How Did This Get Made of the best book podcasts, this show features the weirdest popular novels that gained popular attention. Of course there are episodes about the usual suspects (E L James), but they dive into many others. Hosts Katie, Renata, and a rotating guest also read books they actually like once in a while, as a treat.
If you need to keep up with the latest releases, this podcast is a great resource. Hosts and guests talk about the new releases every week, and then also go through backlist favorites to dive into.
If you want a consistent stream of book recommendations from a seasoned bookseller, this is one of the best book podcasts for you. It’s hosted by Book Riot contributor Carina Pereira, so you know you’re in good hands.
Hosted by Book Riot contributor Claire Handscombe, this podcast brings you all the news on recent British literature and discussions with authors about British literature as well. Since it can feel like British lit is stuck in the past, this podcast is a fantastic resource for people who want to learn more about the current state of British publishing.
This podcast exists to address the lack of audio recordings available for classic black literature. Hosts Jason Harris, Cher Jey, and guests are doing the work of creating an auditory history.
The joy of a book club in a podcast for portable pleasure! The four hosts have been in a book club for a long time, and they bring that easy energy to their chats. They talk about old and new books, as well as adaptations.
This is the kind of podcast I love because it focuses on very specific markets in the Arab region (specifically the Middle East and North Africa) and relates the books to the larger political and cultural concerns. It’s a great primer on the publishing industry in a part of the world I haven’t been able to go to before. Reading the local literature is the best way to get a big picture of the area.
There it is—listening material for days! If you make your way through this podcast list of the best book podcasts and you’re hungry for more, you can always dive into audiobooks as well. Book Riot recommends as many genres as possible: queer YA, books narrated by black women, and contemporary romance.