The 8 Best Podcasts for Readers

If you’re like us, you think about books even when you’re not reading. For all the times that you can’t stick your nose in a book, we recommend these top-notch literary podcasts. Put them on in the car or while you do the dishes, and thank us later!


BBC World Book Club

Not everyone has their own neighborhood book club. For those of us without book-loving friends in the area, virtual book clubs can fill the void. BBC’s World Book Club offers a unique advantage over regular book clubs: they have the authors themselves come on the show to discuss their work. This is the first of a couple of “virtual book clubs” we’ll recommend on this list.


The Book Riot Podcasts

Book Riot actually has a few podcasts available on their site. If you need some advice, you can subscribe to Dear Book Nerd (like a Dear Abbey, but for, well, book nerds); if you want to keep up on new releases, try All the Books. For a little bit of everything, the main Book Riot podcast is the one to look for.


The Guardian Books Podcast

The UK newspaper the Guardian has one of the best book sections on the web, so it makes sense that they have a great podcast, too. Guardian books editor Claire Armitstead is the force behind the show, which features discussions, author interviews, and more. Recent guests include Bill Bryson.


The Lit Show

The Lit Show comes to you from the Iowa Writer’s Workshop at the University of Iowa – generally considered to be the best writing MFA program in the country. So as you might expect, this is one of the best literary podcasts around. You can catch it over the air if you live in Iowa City, Iowa, but the rest of us have to go with the podcast route.


The New Yorker Poetry Podcast

The New Yorker has a few podcasts available, and we’re going to recommend two of them. The first is this poetry-focused podcast, which is the best option out there for poetry lovers. Paul Muldoon, the poetry editor at The New Yorker, hosts the show.


New Yorker Radio Hour

This New Yorker podcast offers a more complete selection of all of the stuff you’d expect from The New Yorker. In addition to fiction, this podcast has non-fiction and other discussions. In typical New Yorker style, they insist on calling this one a radio hour instead of a podcast. 


Selected Shorts

Selected Shorts is exactly what it sounds like: a podcast full of short stories. The carefully curated selections are usually presented by some pretty high-profile guest hosts. Recent guest hosts include author David Sedaris and actress Cynthia Nixon.


Slate’s Audio Book Club

If you don’t have a book club of your own (or if you’re not happy with their choices), just subscribe to Slate’s Audio Book Club. This smart podcast features discussions from Slate’s clever crew of critics. For the complete book club experience, just drink some wine while you listen to the podcast.


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