12 Books Inspired By Popular Podcasts
If you're a fan of podcasts, then you know how utterly addicting they can be, but what happens when you run out of episodes of your favorite one? Sure, you can search online for something new, or you could read books inspired by popular podcasts you already know and love.
In recent years, podcasts have become a cornerstone of American pop culture, one that has hooked listeners all across the country. That is in large part because podcasts aren't just a few friends huddled in a basement debating conspiracy theories over a microphone, like they often used to be. Nowadays, there are informative podcasts about current events, politics, and history; entertainment and cultural podcasts that cover the latest in music, movies, television, and literature; true crime podcasts that explore unsolved mysteries, infamous murder cases, and conmen; storytelling podcasts that feature fictional narratives, true tales, and so much more. If you have an interest, no matter how obscure it may seem, there is probably a podcast out there about it.
But what do you do when you've already listened to every episode of your favorite show? You know, other than pick a new one. If you are looking for something to fill the void your empty listening queue has left in your life, or if you just want to learn more about the stories behind your favorite episodes, pick up one of these 13 books inspired by your favorite podcasts.
'Alice Isn't Dead' by Joseph Fink
In Alice Isn't Dead, Welcome to Night Vale creator Joseph Fink transforms his hit fiction podcast by the same into a compulsively readable supernatural thriller about love, fear, and survival. It follows Keisha Taylor, a woman tormented by the mysterious disappearance and supposed death of her wife, Alice. Convinced Alice is still alive, Keisha takes a job as a long-haul truck driver and begins searching the country for her beloved. What she finds is an otherworldly conflict and a deadly conspiracy that runs so much deeper than the disappearance of her wife.
'Dirty John' by Christopher Goffard
If you love the investigative journalism podcast Dirty John, then I have some great news for you: there is more than one way to enjoy it. In addition to Bravo's television adaptation, starring Connie Britton and Eric Bana, the Los Angeles Times series, writer and reporter Christopher Goffard penned a book featuring the titular story and many others like it. If you can't get enough of grifters, outsiders, and outlaws, this is the collection for you.
'Limetown' by Cote Smith
From the creators of the #1 podcast Limetown comes a fascinating prequel about a teenager who discovers a mysterious research facility where hundreds of people — including her uncle — have disappeared. What happens to them? That is what student journalist Lia hopes her investigation will uncover.
'The World of Lore: Dreadful Places' by Aaron Mahnke
If you've listened to the Lore podcast, watched Amazon's anthology by the same name, and are still left craving even more terrifying true tales, you're going to want to pick up Aaron Mahnke's books. Featuring scary stories about places where evil has left its mark, The World of Lore: Dreadful Places is the third installment in a series that also includes Wicked Monsters and Monstrous Creatures.
'Waiting for the Punch' by Marc Maron
On his WTF with Marc Maron podcast, the comedian, actor, author, and host has intimate, honest, and often hilarious conversations with some of the biggest names in entertainment, politics, and beyond. This book collects the best of those interviews — with Barack Obama, Amy Poehler, Lorne Michaels, and more — and presents them in distinct chapters focusing on different topics, including parenting, success, sexuality, and beyond.
'Out on the Wire' by Jessica Abel
In this graphic narrative, cartoonist and devotee of narrative radio Jessica Abel takes readers behind the scenes of not one but seven of the most popular podcasts: This American Life, The Moth, Radiolab, Planet Money, Snap Judgment, Serial, and Invisibilia. Find out how producers and hosts like Ira Glass, Jad Abumrad, and Robert Smith find stories, conduct interviews, and construct the narratives you can't stop listening to.
'Welcome to Night Vale' by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor
Based on the hit supernatural podcast by the same name, Welcome to Night Vale introduces readers to this strange but friendly desert community somewhere in the American Southwest. But Night Vale isn't your typical town: it's a place of shape-shifters and ghosts, aliens and angels, government conspiracies and endless mystery.
'RISK!' edited by Kevin Allison
In this uncensored book of essays, Kevin Allison collects the most celebrated stories from the hit RISK! podcast. Featuring unbelievable true tales about growing up, coming of age, getting into trouble, and getting in way too deep, it paints a fascinating portrait of the human experience.
'The United States of Absurdity' by Dave Anthony and Gareth Reynolds
History buffs, lend me your ears — er, I mean your eyes. In The United States of Absurdity, the hosts of the comedic podcast The Dollop offer up even more amazing stories you never heard in history class. Topics include: the Kentucky Meat Shower, The Flying Pinto, Eggnog Riot, Lobster Boy, and so much more.
'Adnan's Story' by Rabia Chaudry
Perhaps one of the first podcasts to truly take the world by storm, Serial's first season introduced listeners to Adnan Syed, a young man in prison for the murder of his ex-girlfriend, Hae Min Lee. In this book, Rabia Chaudry, the friend who got Sarah Koenig to pay attention to Adnan's story, offers new evidence in the case, and a whole new argument on behalf of Adnan's exoneration.
'The Sawbones Book' by Justin McElroy and Dr. Sydnee McElroy, illustrated by Teylor Smirl
If you listen to Dr. Sydnee McElroy and her husband Justin's hit podcast, then you have already built up a tolerance for the strange, the gross, and the horrifying, which means you're ready to read The Sawbones Book. Like the show, it takes a deep-dive into the fascinating, often humorous and sometimes terrifying world of modern medicine and how it came to be — only this version comes with beautiful illustrations.
'Stay Sexy & Don't Get Murdered' by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark (May 28)
In their forthcoming how-to guide, My Favorite Murder hosts Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark offer readers advice on everything from self-advocating to personal safety and beyond. They also share personal stories from their pasts, true crime tales, and meaningful discussions of cultural and societal issues— you know, all the same things that make their podcast so amazing.