13 Podcasts You Should Listen To, Based On Your Favorite Books
Finding your new favorite podcast = easier than ever.
Call it the rule 34 of podcasting: If it exists, there’s probably a podcast about it.
There are thousands of podcasts about any conceivable topic, which makes it that much more intimidating to get started if you’re a podcast newbie.
So here are 13 podcasts that you might like, based on 13 books that are at the top of best-seller charts right now.
1. If you loved The Wangs vs. the World, you should listen to The Mash-Up Americans.
The Wangs vs. the World was a story about a Chinese-American family building their lives in the United States — and what happens to culture when it's translated into a new country and language. The Mash-Up Americans are Amy S. Choi and Rebecca Lehrer, and their podcast is celebrates different expressions of what it means to be American. You might like this interview with Master of None's Lena Waithe.
2. If you loved The Mothers, you should listen to For Colored Nerds.
Readers loved The Mothers for its poignant portrayal of grief, love, religion, and family. Try checking out the For Colored Nerds archive for their "conversations that black people have when white people are not in the room." Bonus: Check out their conversation with Britt Bennett. FYI: For Colored Nerds is winding down because hosts Brittany and Eric are developing a new podcast with Gimlet Media called The Nod.
3. If you loved Hillbilly Elegy, you should listen to The United States of Anxiety: Culture Wars.
Hillbilly Elegy was recommended by the New York Times as one of "6 Books to Understand Trump's Win." The newest season of WNYC's United States of Anxiety similarly investigates the greatest cultural clashes of our moment by tracing their histories back in time. Some examples: Anti-Muslim sentiment and the origins of climate denial.
4. If you loved The Handmaid's Tale, you should listen to Lore.
Margaret Atwood famously says that everything in The Handmaid's Tale's dystopian Gilead has a basis in history — and that's what makes it so chilling. If you're a fan of true, scary stories, then Lore is for you; it's a podcast about the haunting stories behind common folklore, and it'll make you see the world differently. (To bring it full circle here, Lore is being adapted into a TV show and a book!)
5. If you loved Hidden Figures, you should listen to Historically Black.
Hidden Figures celebrates the black women whose work for NASA was never fully recognized. Historically Black, a podcast from APM Reports and the Washington Post, explores more of those histories based on objects that users submitted to a Tumblr-based "living museum." Guest hosts Roxane Gay, Issa Rae, Keegan-Michael Key, and our very own Heben Nigatu and Tracy Clayton take turns telling stories each episode. For Hidden Figures lovers, a good place to start would be "NASA's Human Computers."
6. If you loved American Gods, you should listen to Flash Forward.
If you're a fan of imagining alternative versions of reality, like Neil Gaiman clearly is, Flash Forward would be a great listen for you. Each week, host Rose Eveleth imagines a different future for the world and reports it out as if it really happened. Some fun examples: A future of banned animal products, a future where paper is a thing of the past, and a future where everyone is face-blind.
7. If you loved The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, you should listen to Stoner.
8. If you loved The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, you should listen to Bodega Boys.
Desus Nice and The Kid Mero may be superstars on Twitter and on their Viceland show, but their brand has been strong on their podcast, Bodega Boys for years now. It's easy to picture Junot Diaz's beloved nerd character Oscar Wao listening to Bodega Boys for the high energy, unapologetic and funny takes. They talk about news, sports and generally living in the world as a human being — and if the problematic light comes on, so be it.
9. If you loved any of the Harry Potter books, you should listen to Harry Potter and the Sacred Text.
Harry Potter and the Sacred Text is a delightful companion to the Harry Potter canon for old-school Potter fans and for people reading the series for the first time. Hosts Vanessa Zoltan and Casper ter Kuile are reading the books one chapter at a time. The fun part? They both work at Harvard Divinity School, so they're reading the books as if they're sacred texts (like the Bible or the Qur'an), and the result is fascinating.
10. If you loved Dykes to Watch Out For, you should listen to Nancy.
Fans of Alison Bechdel's classic comic are going to be excited for Nancy, WNYC's newest podcast about the LGBTQ experience. You might especially like episode #7: Fear of Being Butch, which talks about the power of a haircut.
11. If you loved Shattered, you should listen to NPR Politics.
If you enjoyed reading about the inner workings of the Clinton 2016 campaign in Shattered, you're probably a total politics buff. The NPR Politics podcast is my favorite for quick and thoughtful analysis that sounds human (as opposed to a pundit-y politics robot). I especially appreciate that they'll put together quick episodes when news breaks so you have something to turn to within a few hours.
12. If you loved The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, you should listen to Making Oprah.
13. If you loved Everything, Everything, you should listen to Rookie.
If you loved Everything, Everything's raw depiction of a teenager coming of age, you might like Rookie, the new podcast from Rookie Magazine and MTV. Rookie is an online magazine for and by teenage girls* that is committed to respecting the intelligence of its readers. The podcast is an extension of the magazine and it's hosted by founding editor and genius Tavi Gevinson.
*Even if you're not a teenager, you will still probably love Rookie.