Whether you’re on the go or relaxing at home with a hot beverage, sometimes being alone with your thoughts just isn’t enough. There’s comfort in feeling like you belong somewhere, that you’re a part of a group. No matter how much of a hermit you are, deep down we all long for conversation.
Which is why, if you’re a book lover like me, there’s nothing more gratifying than reading along with a friend or two through a book club. That said, choosing a book club that’s right for you can be an overwhelming task. That’s where book club podcasts can be a great alternative. You can still be in the comfort of your own home or car, and feel like you’re listening to dear friends discuss your most recent read. If you’re looking for a book club podcast to listen to, here are five you should give a try.
Four childhood friends, Josie, Alisa, Aileen, and Lauren, meet every other week to discuss, banter over, and celebrate different books they have recently read or remember reading in the past. This podcast is perfect for readers who want to feel like they’re in the company of old friends, chatting about life, books they love, and how the two intertwine. The four hosts consist of a librarian, a physics teacher, an ad exec, and an international bestselling author known for her Starcrossed series, who often shares interesting insights into the book world from an author’s point of view. The chemistry between the hosts is what you’d expect from friends who have known each other since the sixth grade. They’re not just fun to listen to, but insightful and endearing.
Black Chick Lit is a clever and insightful podcast hosted by Dani and Mollie, who talk about books written by and for Black women and dive into deep and intelligent conversations about a variety of topics, at times funny, other times inspirational, but always informative. Dani and Mollie will undoubtedly charm you with their wit and their down-to-earth demeanor. And their encyclopedic knowledge of books will win you over from the start. The two hosts delve into some heavy topics, but they always keep it real. They will undoubtedly hook you and take you through all the feels while discussing each book, while also leaving you with precious nuggets of wisdom along the way. The hosts celebrate the diversity and color in the literary world, showcasing just how wonderful and impactful Black literature can be.
Kendra and Amanda are Midwest queer folk (as they proudly refer to themselves) spreading knowledge and love for queer-centered literature. Each episode focuses on a book written by an LGBTQIA+, or books centered around characters from the community. Different guests from the LGBTQIA+ community in the entertainment world are invited on the weekly podcast to discuss each of the featured books. Kendra and Amanda create a welcoming, safe environment to have frank discussions about representation, inclusiveness, and the importance of queer voices in the literature world today. Whether you’re a friend of Dorothy or not, this podcast is fun, energetic, and one that isn’t to be missed.
While not your typical book club podcast, Selected Shorts features different actors and narrators who read aloud a variety of short stories depending on the theme of the episode. The show offers a diverse array of voices and stories meant to be moving or funny, and always entertaining. Selected Shorts gives you the feel of a book-on-tape by having a person read to you so you can just close your eyes, relax and submerge yourself in the world of the story. The episodes often include famous narrators such as Roxane Gay and Cynthia Nixon. It’s a great podcast to listen to when you’re looking for your audiobook fix, but without the 8-12 hour run time.
Novel Pairings is a book club podcast that takes the heavy-handed academia out of the classics, making them relatable to anyone interested in hearing how fun and relevant they can be. The show is hosted by two self-proclaimed “nerdy bookworms,” and their infectious energy helps prevent the podcast from sounding like a lecture despite of the pedigree of the books they cover. The hosts discuss and dissect each and every book but with a twist, and a promise to never get bored. With this podcast, you’ll listen to the teachers you wish you had when you were falling asleep in your high school English class.
Janice Deniel Wraase is an avid reader and aspiring writer. She can be reached on Instagram (@snug_talks), where she also showcases her book photography.