13 Books To Read, Based On Your Favorite Type Of Podcast
Look, I like listening to music and I think audiobooks are great. Sometimes I even walk around thinking quietly to myself with no auditory distractions whatsoever! But most of the time, if I'm cooking or commuting or working out or lying prone on my floor after a long day, I'm listening to a podcast. I favor comedy podcasts (which means I frequently break out laughing in public, to the alarm of everyone else on the F train), but I've also binged on true crime podcasts, fiction podcasts, advice podcasts, and everything in between. I have Blue Apron ad breaks in my dreams. So if you, like me, are a book nerd with a serious podcast addiction, here are a few books to read in between episodes of your favorite pod (and yes, you can listen to most of them on audiobook).
Of course, when I say "podcast fans," that's an awfully wide net to cast. There are a lot of podcasts out there. There are podcasts for news and sociology, and there are podcasts for coping with grief, and there is a podcast that reviews the film Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 every single year on American Thanksgiving.
So I will not be personally addressing every single podcast in existence with this one list of books. But no matter what kind of pod you love, there's a book out there for you:
1. For fans of true crime podcasts: ‘I’ll Be Gone in the Dark’ by Michelle McNamara
Personally, I can only listen to so much true crime before I start to get jumpy and barricade my front door with sofa cushions. But if you can't get enough of podcasts like Serial and My Favorite Murder, then you need to read the late Michelle McNamara's masterful I'll Be Gone in the Dark. It's the gripping true story of the Golden State Killer, and one woman's obsession with finding the truth.
2. For fans of comedy podcasts: ‘You Can't Touch My Hair: And Other Things I Still Have to Explain' by Phoebe Robinson
Phoebe Robinson is the host of the hilarious podcast 2 Dope Queens, alongside Jessica Williams of The Daily Show fame. Much like her podcast, You Can't Touch My Hair is full of Robinson's signature wit and conversational tone. She finds humor in everything from race to gender to her own controversial tastes in music (she likes U2), and her book is a must read for comedy fans everywhere.
3. For fans of weird fiction podcasts: ‘Welcome to Nightvale’ by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor
Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor are the bizarre minds behind the wildly popular podcast, Welcome to Night Vale. Even if you haven't listened to their absurdly weird fiction podcast, you can still get a lot of laughs and a sense of overwhelming dread from their novel, Welcome to Night Vale, which is set in the very same sleepy desert town.
4. For fans of uplifting podcasts: ‘The Happiness Project’ by Gretchen Rubin
Gretchen Rubin hosts the podcast Happier with Gretchen Rubin, so it's safe to say that she knows what she's talking about when it comes to getting happy. Her book, The Happiness Project, chronicles her year of test-driving different sources of joy. Whether you're going through a rough patch, or just looking to hold onto that spring in your step, her book will remind you that sometimes the smallest of changes bring the greatest rewards.
5. For fans of RPG podcasts: ‘The Adventure Zone: Here There Be Gerblins’ by Clint McElroy, Griffin McElroy, Justin McElroy, Travis McElroy, and Carey Pietsch
OK, I'm cheating a little here, because this book doesn't come out until later in 2018 — but any fan of Dungeons and Dragons, RPGs, fantasy storytelling, or the McElroy family of podcasts is going to want to pre-order it now. The Adventure Zone is quite possibly the greatest DnD podcast ever to grace the internet, and the graphic novel looks like a hilarious, gerblin-filled adaptation.
Click here to buy. (Pre-order)
6. For fans of creepy podcasts: ‘The World of Lore: Monstrous Creatures’ by Aaron Mahnke
Lore is a great podcast for listeners who don't ever really want to sleep again. It chronicles the true history behind scary stories, and it's now been adapted into a series of three wonderfully creepy books. The World of Lore: Monstrous Creatures is an illustrated guide to the history behind werewolves, vampires, haunted dolls, Jersey Devils, and all the other monsters that creep around our imaginations.
7. For fans of science podcasts: ‘What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions' by Randall Munroe
Former NASA employee turned web comic author Randall Munroe is an excellent source for scientific answers to absurd questions. If you're a fan of factual but fun podcasts like Skeptics Guide to the Universe or The Naked Scientists, you're going to want to pick this up and start learning some wonderfully specific science facts.
8. For fans of political podcasts: 'Things that Can and Cannot Be Said: Essays and Conversations' by Arundhati Roy and John Cusack
If you get your political news from podcasts like The Daily or Politico's Nerdcast, then you will find this books fascinating. Things that Can and Cannot Be Said contains recorded dialogues between Arundhati Roy, John Cusack, Daniel Ellsberg, and Edward Snowden, as well as essays by Roy and Cusack, reflecting on the current state of politics, justice, and perpetual war.
9. For fans of storytelling podcasts: ‘The Moth: 50 True Stories’ edited by Catherine Burns
The Moth is one of the most beloved storytelling podcasts out there. If you want to read some of these true stories for yourself, though, you can pick up The Moth and read 50 true stories about wedding toasts gone wrong, death-defying bullring adventures, missing Air Force One, and so much more.
10. For fans of advice podcasts: ‘Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar' by Cheryl Strayed
Podcasts like Dear Sugars and Dear Prudence offer real advice for real people's lives (and podcasts like My Brother, My Brother and Me offer real silly goofs in the guise of advice, if that's more your thing). If you can't get enough of other people's problems, though, the time has come to read Tiny Beautiful Things. It's a lovely book of humor, insight, and compassion.
11. For fans of writing podcasts: ‘DIY MFA: Write with Focus, Read with Purpose, Build Your Community' by Gabriela Pereira
Do you listen to podcasts like So You Want to Be a Writer so as to better procrastinate on writing your novel? DIY MFA is a great way to do that, too. Author Gabriela Pereira offers advice on craft and plenty of encouragement to start your writing career even without a fancy degree.
12. For fans of bad movie podcasts: 'The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made' by Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell
There are many bad movie podcasts out there in the wilds of the internet, with superstars like How Did This Get Made? and The Flophouse reigning supreme. So if you can't get enough of terrible cinema, you absolutely must read The Disaster Artist to get the behind-the-scenes story of The Room, perhaps the most infamous good-bad movie of all time.
13. For fans of literary podcasts: 'Texts from Jane Eyre: And Other Conversations with Your Favorite Literary Characters' by Daniel Mallory Ortberg
Book-lovers are probably already familiar with bookish podcasts such as Reading Women or Overdue. And if you want a book that mashes up classic literature with conversational dialogue and smart phone technology, then Texts from Jane Eyre is the book for you. Written by the brilliant Daniel Mallory Ortberg (of Dear Prudence fame), this book is a clever, strange, hilarious tour of all your literary faves.