Books and podcasts go together like peanut butter and jelly. I mean the combination could basically sub in for most basic literature courses in college and save us all a lot of time. But what if we took it one step further and your favorite podcast hosts were to narrate your favorite novels (we see you Audible).
We’ve gone and done the hard work for you and have rounded up the most popular podcast hosts and paired them with a great book to narrate.
Jessica Williams and Phoebe Robinson of 2 Dope Queens – Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay
Williams and Robinson are playful, loud and funny as hell. They aren’t your perfect feminists and that’s okay. They’re not afraid to have some fun themselves but call out any bullsh*t. Roxane Gay’s Bad Feminist is just that. To be feminist, one doesn’t have to live or die by the rulebook and there probably shouldn’t be a rule book anyway. In embracing this philosophy, we become more powerful, brave and a little bit more fun – just like Williams and Robinson.
What’s great about My Favorite Murder’s telling of these ghastly tales is that they are often stranger than fiction. And the connections and twists in this story are unreal. Kilgariff and Hardstark also make a lot of social commentary on the way crime is treated in this country, which is exactly what Locke reveals in this novel as well.
In both of his shows, Guy Raz explores entrepreneurs that have changed the world (How I Built This) and new ways of looking at the world (Ted Radio Hour) with a sense of wonder and curiosity. The Grand Design is an approachable book that weaves the stories of the greatest scientists and philosophers into a narrative that takes on some of life’s unanswered questions. We think Guy and this book are the perfect match – given their unpretentious attitude toward this confusing thing we call life.
Ira Glass of This American Life – American Gods by Neil Gaiman
Since 1995, Glass has delivered microcosms of the American experience for our listening pleasure. The podcast is broken up into current events, real life tales, and fiction – making strangers seem intimate and close up. American Gods also delivers a delicious level of nuance to tell the story of American life. It is at once funny, dark, whimsical, and exhilarating. It blends the genres of fantasy, historical fiction, and mystery to tell a vivid tale that stays with you. And we think Glass’s quirky voice is just the one to take it on.
Dustin Ross, HeyFranHey & Assante of The Friend Zone – Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
The Friend Zone is a mental health and wellness podcast that makes the personal political. Between the World and Me also does exactly that. Coates uses the experience of young African Americans alongside his own experience to create an impassioned letter to his son and more broadly, the world, about what it means to be a black person in the US right now. It is at once heartfelt and factual, level-headed but not afraid to take a punch, caring but realist.