Podcasts are still having a moment. And for this reader, the best part of that moment, is the fact that so many great podcasts are becoming books.
From those that offer practical advice on life and clutter, to those that riff on the "stuff you should know" and pull back the curtain on how cities are made, these books expand upon the podcasts to deliver even more entertainment to their listeners—no, I mean readers!
Stuff You Should Know: An Incomplete Compendium of Mostly Interesting Things by Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant
If you haven’t listened to Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant riff on the things they wonder about, I highly recommend it. The beginning of each podcast begins as a kind of meandering conversation between pals—it’s informal, with dad jokes sprinkled in—and then they get into dissecting how and why things work and how events, objects, inventions came to be. In the book, Clark and Bryant indulge the most curious parts of their brains to explore and explain mezcal, Murphy Beds, doughnuts, and concepts like Keeping Up With the Joneses and Child Prodigies. The best part of the book is that it is filled with their own annotations, graphs, and images. It’s a lot of fun, just like their podcast. It’s not coming out until November 24, but it’s a great read to dip in and out of, and the perfect gift.
Stay Sexy & Don't Get Murdered: The Definitive How-To Guide by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark
If the true crime podcast "My Favorite Murder" feels like discussing murders over a bottle of rosé with two of your closest, funniest gal pals, their memoir, Stay Sexy and Don’t Get Murdered, gets readers even closer to the hosts. They recount how they got to where they are today, and in doing so, lay themselves and their neuroses bare, opening up about eating disorders, substance abuse, kleptomania, and the wonders of therapy. But this is no I-had-it-hard memoir; this is straight from the “friends don’t let friends [insert bad thing here]” school of advice. It’s hard-earned wisdom filtered through a flinty, funny, feminist lens. Did we mention they were funny?—Vannessa Cronin
As Chris Schluep wrote in his article on the best nonfiction of September: "What better person is there to teach you how to think like a monk than an actual monk? And one with a super popular podcast to boot." After college, Jay Shetty spent three years in India studying to become a monk. When he returned home, his stressed-out friends turned to him for life advice—wouldn't you? And soon thereafter, the podcast was born. In his new book, which is both practical and profound, Shetty will help you to stop overthinking and to find purpose, serenity, and a more meaningful life.
I love this podcast. Guy Raz talks to successful business men and women about striking out on their own and how ideas like serving burritos (Chipotle), making climbing clothes (Patagonia), creating an online dating app (Bumble), building a publicly generated reference library (Wikipedia) became wild, runaway success stories. So many of these entrepreneurs started out with nothing—just an idea and myriad challenges—but with solid plans and a little bit of luck, they were able to launch and grow their business. In the book by the same name, Raz serves up practical advice and priceless insights from more than 200 of his podcast interviews to encourage and help entrepreneurs formulate their ideas, raise money, hire, build, and grow.
The 99% Invisible City: A Field Guide to the Hidden World of Everyday Design by Roman Mars and Kurt Kohlstedt
A big-ideas podcast about small-seeming things, "99% Invisible" reveals the stories baked into the buildings we inhabit, the streets we drive on, and the sidewalks we traverse. With his soothing curiosity, Roman Mars illustrates how design impacts every part of our lives and celebrates it, in both its functional glory and its accidental absurdity. Filled with illustrations, his new book answers questions like: What's behind the inflatable figures at car dealerships? Who names streets? Why do new buildings no longer have fire escapes? Like the podcast, The 99% Invisible City will make you see cities in an entirely different light.
"Gentle is the new perfect" is Robyn Conley Downs' mantra, and that feels pretty relevant and helpful to this reader. As a fan of the podcast, Amazon Editorial Director Sarah Gelman raved: "I started listening to the podcast, and every Wednesday when it was released, I arrived at work as if I had completed a joyful therapy session." Kind, funny, and wise, Downs' book builds on her podcast by the same name to gently guide readers on how to create more calm, clarity, and joy in life.
Podcasts are still having a moment, and lucky for us, the moment has created books from many of our favorite podcasts.