A few years ago, I started listening to podcasts. I'd never had any real interest in them before, but I was stuck in traffic and had nothing better to do so I figured, "what the hell." The first podcast I tried out was NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour and I instantly fell in love.
After that, I was addicted. I started listening to audio-dramas, game shows, and investigative journaling either in the comfort of my car or while running or just doing chores around the house. You can imagine my excitement when, at BookCon 2015, I learned that one of my favorite podcasts, Welcome to Night Vale (a podcast that presents itself as community updates for the bizarre desert town of Night Vale) was going to publish a spin-off book. I was ecstatic.
Since then, Night Vale has published two more books, as companions to the first and second seasons of the podcast. Then, I discovered on Twitter that The Moth Radio Hour had also published a collection of their best stories from the show and had a new collection coming out this spring. Which led me to start compiling lists of podcasts that I'd love to own in book form. So, whether you are new to podcasts or as addicted to them as I am, here are just a few that I think that should make the transition from earbuds to page.
One of the most popular podcasts of 2015 and arguably a key part of the "podcast renaissance" of 2014, Serial would be amazing in book form. While there are books published that have similar topics and style as season one and two, there haven't been any directly produced by the Serial team. In season two, they teamed up with filmmakers Mark Baol and Page 1, so so maybe it isn't too much to ask that season three have a companion book.
2. Reply All
Launched in 2014 and self-described as a "show about the internet," each episode explores strange and unique things happening on or because of the internet. Hosts PJ Vogt and Alex Goldman balance the structure of an anthology show, but with a light-heartedness that makes me believe that any book they publish would be a humorous, bittersweet reflection of Black Mirror.
3. The Bright Sessions
It's hard to have an audio-drama that doesn't border on the strange or weird, but Dr. Bright is someone who specializes in it. As an therapist in abnormal psychology, she's dealt with some pretty unusual things and it's safe to say that her patients are a scratch on the surface of what's really going on. Since the podcasts are recordings of each patients' session, I'd love to see a book that would dive deep into the world of the AM (The Atypical Monitors) and life of Dr. Bright. Stay strange.
4. Gastro Pod
Have you ever wondered if breakfast really is the most important meal of the day? Or why is it that you can't life without your cup of coffee in the morning? Or how the concept of a restaurant was born? Cynthia Graber and Nicola Twilley look at food through the lens of history and science in a way that helps you understand the broader picture surrounding the things we love to eat. This could be an investigative cookbook, a narrative exploration of a certain kind of food or culinary culture — even a look into why these two women decided to start exploring food in this way — and it would still be amazing.
5. Nerd Ette
From Netflix recaps to author and celebrity interviews, or just nerding out about everything you're watching, reading, listening, and encountering in real life, Tricia Bobeda and Greta Johnsen have got you covered. Before their winter break, they covered topics ranging from the best podcasts of 2016 and talking with Andy Cohen about celebrity obsession to interviewing Brooklyn Nine-Nine's Stephanie Beatriz about her show Reality Bytes. Any book that can capture their upbeat, welcoming style and love of popular culture would be a hit for sure. Make sure to do your homework!
Limetown is the creepy love child of Serial and the X-Files and unbelievably addicting. American Public Radio host Lia Haddock sets off to discover what caused the unexplainable disappearance of over 300 people from Limetown, Tennessee. It is no secret that Limetown is a fictional place, but that won't stop you from trying to Google search the truth in the middle of the night. There is a rumor that a prequel novel has been picked up by Simon & Schuster (and there might even a TV show in the works), so all the more reason to start listening.