The right book club can be hard to find, whether you recently moved away from your local chapter or you’re looking to join a group for the first time. Sometimes, you just need someone to talk to about your latest read. Fortunately, there are a variety of podcasts out there that make it feel like you’re meeting up with old friends to chat about a fun new read. From niche genre content to more generalized literary endeavors, here are 10 podcasts that will make you feel like you’re in a book club.
1. Celebrity Memoir Book Club
Celebrity memoirs have always been a juicy, lucrative business, but the past few years have brought an influx of famous and famous-adjacent literature. The near-constant barrage of content has created a space for a weekly podcast, “Celebrity Memoir Book Club,” wherein Claire Parker and Ashley Hamilton unpack the latest memoir to hit stands. Whether it’s Prince Harry’s “Spare” or Jennette McCurdy’s “I’m Glad My Mom Died,” the duo take a humorous-yet-genuine look at the latest salacious release (and some hits from the past).
2. The Worst Bestsellers
Hosted by Massachusetts locals Renata Sancken and Kait Sudol, “The Worst Bestsellers” tackles some of the more surprising books to hit the bestsellers lists. First covering “Twilight,” the podcast has gone on to chronicle everything from “Go Ask Alice” to Nicholas Sparks’s “The Notebook.” Although the word “worst” is in the title, Sancken and Sudol are careful never to completely tear down a book and instead investigate why it has developed such a devoted following (while still drawing attention to some of the more problematic aspects of the book).
3. Books & Boba
Hosted by Marvin Yueh and Reera Yoo, “Books & Boba” covers Asian and Asian American authors on a weekly basis. In addition to doing deep dives on new releases and sharing relevant news in the literary world, the podcast also frequently includes interviews with authors across a variety of genres, including Vanessa Hua, Lang Leav, and Kathryn Ma. The podcast combines deep literary analysis with cultural context, bringing equal attention to both big name books on the bestseller lists and lesser known releases.
4. Hey YA
In “Hey YA,” Tirzah Price and Erica Ezeifedi cover young adult books from a variety of genres. Rather than tackle an individual book (although they sometimes do that too), most episodes focus on a specific topic. YA horror set during the summer, queer YA graphic novels, and YA Shakespeare retellings are just some of the recent themes they’ve covered. The podcast easily balances both new releases and overlooked classics, offering up something for both fans of young adult fiction and the YA-curious.
5. Well-Read Black Girl
In this interview-based podcast, Glory Edim interviews high profile Black authors about their new book releases. The podcast stems from the “Well-Read Black Girl” internet and book club counterpart, a thriving online community. Although new episodes haven’t been released in over a year, the archives contain a wealth of alluring content, including interviews with Viola Davis, Nikole-Hannah Jones, and Anita Hill.
Think about that book you love that you wish everyone knew about, that you wish you could recommend to everyone even though it’s been out for a while. “Backlisted” attempts to do just that. In each episode, hosts John Mitchinson and Andy Miller bring on a guest or two (typically fellow writers or critics, sometimes musicians) who share an often overlooked book that they love. Highlights include the podcast’s teenage and children’s books specials, which bring extra personal touches from the two hosts.
7. Not Your Mom’s Romance Book Club
Romance novel fans will find lots to love in this mother-daughter duo. In “Not Your Mom’s Romance Book Club,” host Ellen and her mother cover some of the most alluring romance novels on the market, from Casey MacQuiston’s “Red, White, and Royal Blue” to Colleen Hoover’s “Ugly Love.” The pair have an easy rapport, as do their many guests, which include friends, listeners, and Ellen’s brothers. Special episodes include their timeless nonliterary movie reviews, like “Girls Just Want to Have” and “The Philadelphia Story.”
The “Storykeepers” podcast is all about highlighting “all things Indigenous books.” Each episode, hosts Waubgeshig Rice and Jennifer David explore a different book by an Indigenous author. While the titles aren’t new releases, most of the books covered were published within the past decade, so it might still bring your attention to books you haven’t read yet. The show wrapped its third and final season in June and episodes will only be available to listen to through the end of the year, so it’s worth taking the time to work through the 28 episodes while they’re still around.
9. Let’s Stop There
Formerly titled “Amazon Book Club,” “Let’s Stop There” gets substantial credit for its ingenuity. The comedy podcast is hosted by three friends — Austin Hannah, Ganesh Sarma, and Shane Burklow — who read through a book (usually one of the many free Amazon eBooks) each episode. The twist? They read the book in an hour during the episode. A robot romance, a bigfoot cop crime caper, and Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” are just some of the stories they’ve worked through in their 200+ episode run. The occasional author guest appearances are some of the best that the podcast has to offer.
10. The Stack
Comic books have always held a beloved space in pop culture and the past 15 years of Marvel and DC on-screen domination have brought a renewed interest to the genre. For those interested in learning more about source material and comics that haven’t been made into movies or TV shows, “The Stack” is the way to go. Hosted by the Comic Book Club (Justin Tyler, Pete LePage, and Alex Zalben), “The Stack” chronicles the latest in comic books releases and news. This summer alone featured topical releases from Ms. Marvel, Captain America, Superman, and Spider-Man.
Lillian Brown can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.