From Podcast to Book

Podcasts are more popular than ever.  Listeners can choose from a wide variety of topics, including plenty with fantastic Canadian content.  Recently, CBC’s The Current host, Anna Maria Tremonti, announced that after 17 seasons, she would be leaving The Current to host and produce original podcasts for the CBC. “This move into podcasting will give me an opportunity to do what I love best and explore storytelling in an exciting new way,” Tremonti said. [1]

Books and podcasts: A winning combination

Given the growing popularity of podcasting, it’s not surprising that some podcasters are also choosing to publish books as well. According to The Wall Street Journal, books based on podcasts are “a growing industry niche.” [2] Popular podcasts have massive followings and publishers know that listeners will buy the book. 

Whether you’re looking for fiction or non-fiction, there is a podcast for everyone. Here, we highlight some great books and the podcasts associated with them. Listen to the podcast and then borrow the book! Or, maybe read the book first and then listen to the podcast. We won’t judge. Are we missing your favourite? Let us know in the comments below.

List created by HfxPL_Adults

Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark host the podcast, "My Favorite Murder," a weekly true crime comedy. The podcast has over 19 million monthly downloads, so it's no surprise that this book received a ton of press and quickly became a bestseller. The book, "Stay Sexy & Don't Get Murdered," is filled with personal stories and allows fans of the podcast to get to know the authors a little better (less murder, more memoir). We suggest familiarizing yourself with the podcast before borrowing the book.

A fantastic book written by Dani Shapiro, host of the "Family Secrets" podcast. This book is a memoir, exploring Shapiro's own family history, while the podcast explores other people's stories and family secrets. If you love listening to Shapiro's podcast (she has a great radio voice), we suggest you borrow the downloadable audiobook and listen to her read the book herself.

Diving into the world of fiction podcasts, Zack Akers wrote the book, "Limetown," as a prequel to his popular podcast by the same name. Told as a series of investigative reports, Lia Haddock, a journalist for American Public Radio, tells the story of the disappearance of over 300 people at a neuroscience research facility in Tennessee. Although the book is a prequel, it was not published until after the end of Season 2. We'll leave it up to you whether you read the book or listen to the podcast first.

"Sadie" is a Young Adult book that was published right after all episodes of the podcast, "The Girls," were made available. Designed to be experienced together, the podcast is a fictional true crime podcast that ties into the story told in the book. Written by Courtney Summers, "Sadie" tells the story of a 19-year-old who leaves her small town to find the man who murdered her younger sister, Mattie. We suggest starting with the podcast and then reading the book.

Based on the podcast with the same name, "Welcome to Night Vale," tells the story of the fictional desert town of Night Vale. A great podcast/book combination for those who love suspense or horror fiction, the town of Night Vale faces ghosts, aliens and all sorts of other paranormal activity.

Looking for some advice on how to become happier? Back in 2009, Gretchen Rubin published her bestselling book, "The Happiness Project". Today, she hosts, "Happier with Gretchen Rubin," a podcast with over 70 million downloads.

Based on the podcast with the same name, "Bad With Money" is part memoir and part advice book. Aimed at a younger audience, Dunn uses her own experiences to help readers figure out things like budgeting, debt and retirement planning.

Do you love Harry Potter? Try listening to the podcast, "Harry Potter and the Sacred Text". Describing the show as "the English class you didn't know you missed", Vanessa Zoltan and Casper ter Kuile discuss the entire series chapter by chapter.

"Freakonomics Radio" is a spin-off of the bestselling "Freakonomics" book by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner. Published in 2005, the book is a collection of articles that apply economic theory to topics such as drug dealing or cheating by sumo wrestlers. The podcast invites you to “discover the hidden side of everything” and discusses a wide variety of interesting topics.

View Full List

[1] CBC. (2019). Anna Maria Tremonti leaving The Current to host and produce original podcasts for CBC | CBC Radio, opens a new window

[2] Gamerman, E. (2019). Podcasts Hit the Books, opens a new window.

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