9 Podcasts That Are Basically A Book Club You Can Enjoy At Home By Yourself

by Sadie Trombetta
Melanie DeFazio/Stocksy

So, you want to join a book club but you don't know if you have the time in your schedule to actually commit to a meeting? Fear not, reader, there is another way to feel like you are a part of the literary community: by listening to podcast versions of book clubs.

Book clubs have always been popular in the United States, but over the last few years, they have completely blown up. It isn't just your mom and her friends who get together each month to discuss a good book over a bottle of wine. It's Reese Witherspoon and her increasingly popular Hello Sunshine book club. It's Emma Roberts and her best friend Karah Preiss's Belletrist group. It's Oprah's nationwide book club, which was relaunched in recent years and continues to serve up some seriously good reading selections. Everywhere you look, there seems to be a new book club popping up. In fact, the only thing more popular right now seems to be podcasts, which continue to grow in popularity and in number. Considering the demand for both new book clubs and new podcasts, it probably isn't all that surprising that the two would combine forces someday. Luckily, that day has already come.

If you're looking for a new book club, here are nine podcasts versions you can join without ever leaving your house.

BBC's 'World Book Club

If you've ever dreamed of joining a book club with your favorite authors, then you'll love listening to BBC's World Book Club. Each month, this podcasts invites celebrated writers to come discuss their best-known work. Recent guests include The Fat Years author Chan Koonchung, Life After Life author Kate Atkinson, and An Atlas of Impossible Longing author Anuradha Roy. Next month, Lee Child will stop by to talk about his debut novel and the first story to feature Jack Reacher, Killing Floor.

'What Page Are You On?'

From their themed literary discussions to their great reading recommendations, What Page Are You On? gives readers a lot of reasons to tune in, but their special book club episodes might be the best one. Hosts Alice Slater and Bethany Rutter select one book a month to read and have a lively discussion about it. Past titles include Lullaby by Leila Slimani, Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, and I'll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara.

Slate's 'Audio Book Club'

Although this podcast is on a hiatus, Slate's Audio Book Club has plenty of amazing episodes in their queue. Each episode takes a deep-dive into one title, from classics like Ursula K. Le Guin's The Left Hand of Darkness and Homer's The Odyssey to modern favorites like Jennifer Egan's Manhattan Beach and Carmen Maria Machado's Her Body and Other Parties.

'Banging Book Club'

On this steamy podcast, three friends — Hannah Witton, Lucy Moon, and Leena Norms — get together to discuss a book about sex every month. In December, they read and discussed Scarlett Curtis's Feminists Don't Wear Pink and Other Lies. Past selections have included Testosterone Rex by Cordelia Fine, She of the Mountains by Vivek Shraya, The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides, and a variety of other fiction and nonfiction books that deal with intimacy, the body, and sex.

'Not Your Mom's Romance Book Club'

On this swoony, hilarious, and often awkward podcast, host Ellen and her mother get together to discuss steamy romance novels, and they do not hold back on the intimate details. Starting in 2019, Not Your Mom's Romance Book Club will begin dropping an episode a week, and their lineup — which includes Wait with Me by Amy Daws, The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory, and In Bed with a Highlander by Maya Banks — already looks pretty epic.

'Black Chick Lit'

On this bi-weekly podcast, which manages to be informative, inspirational, and funny all at once, hosts Danielle and Mollie have in-depth discussions of books written by black women. Their varied reading selections include everything from Jenn St. Onge and Tee Franklin's graphic novel Bingo Love to Morgan Jenkins's memoir This Will Be My Undoing to Tananarive Due’s horror novel The Good House.

'33% Pulp'

Do you want a truly authentic book club experience in the form of a podcast? Then 33% Pulp might be the program for you. The premise is simple: each of the show's hosts reads a different third of a pulp novel, and then recap and discuss the entire book over the course of three episodes. To all those readers who never finish the book before the club meets, this program is for you.

'Reading Women'

Read more books by women with the help of this podcast from Kendra Winchester and Autumn Privett. Each month, the hosts select a theme and then discuss several different titles in a book club-style program that introduces listeners to incredible female authors they probably never learned about in literature class.

'Comic Book Club'

Recorded in New York every week, Comic Book Club is a live talk show about all things comic book related: television, movies, books, and online series. A one-stop shop for serious fans, it features reviews, interviews, recommendations, and so much more.