December 20

If you liked reading…you may like listening to… by Travis Jonker and Colby Sharp

Technology has helped humanity in many ways. It’s helped cure disease. It’s reinvented communication. It has made the impossible possible. Case in point: I now enjoy doing the dishes. I owe this particular (admittedly, minor) miracle to podcasts, which I listen to while scrubbing away. Podcasts are radio shows you can listen to online or with the help of a podcast app. Colby and I love podcasts. Colby and I love books.

“Let’s put them together”, Colby said one day. I gotta say, it was a good idea.

So we present you with a batch of great books. If you like the book we list, you might like the podcast we pair with it.

Book: The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires

Podcast: StartUp

StartUp tells the story of a former NPR radio producer as he attempts to do something very difficult – create a podcasting company. Host Alex Blumberg shares all the gory details – the mistakes, the frustrations, and the prideful moments of success that come with creating something from scratch.

Book: Better Nate Than Ever by Tim Federle

Podcast: Here’s the Thing with Alec Baldwin


What list would be complete without a touch of *SHOWBIZ*? On Here’s the Thing, Alec Baldwin talks to well-known (sometimes legendary) comedians, actors, musicians, and filmmaker. In true actor playing host fashion, Baldwin occasionally hijacks the proceedings to deliver his own two cents. But that’s half the fun.

Book: A Long Way from Chicago by Richard Peck

Podcast: This American Life

The king of all podcast, This American Life is often the first one people try. It’s attained this status for a reason – no show is more interesting, informative, strange, and human. Host Ira Glass brings true stories that reflect the American experience.

Book: Guinness Book of World Records
Podcast: All Songs Considered


It has recently been discovered that people stop listening to new music when they are 33 years old. Seriously:

So if you’re older than 33, this one be especially for you. Each week brings a new assortment of songs the All Songs Considered team hopes you’ll love. Sprinkled in are episodes discussing the best songs and albums of the year, as well as highlights from big music festivals like SXSW.

Book: Wild Things! Acts of Mischief in Children’s Literature by Betsy Bird, Julie Danielson, and Peter Sieruta

Podcast: Song Exploder

Song Exploder goes behind the scenes of an individual song, as the creator shares the circumstances, sounds and out-of-left-field inspirations that led to the finished product. There’s a whole world behind the songs we know and love, and it isn’t always what you might expect.


Book: Capture The Flag by Kate Messner

Podcast: 99% Invisible

Great design often goes unnoticed. Bad design on the other hand is something that can easily drive a person nuts. 99% Invisible looks at the world of design from all angles. Added bonus: host Roman Mars just may have the greatest radio voice you’ve ever heard.

Book: Wig in the Window by Kristin Kittscher

Podcast: The Mystery Show

In The Mystery Show, host Starlee Kine finds a way to solve everyday mysteries in a fascinating way. From a mysterious belt buckle, to a photo of Britney Spears reading a book, to an odd lunchbox-Starlee takes these ordinary things and finds a way to make us care about the people involved.


Book: Knuckleheads by Jon S.
Podcast: Stories From The Teaching Life With Penny Kittle


If you’re reading the Nerdy Book Club blog, chance are you’ve read the writing of Penny Kittle. In Stories From The Teaching Life Penny reads some of her most passionate stories from the classroom. This podcast is a must listen for all educators.

Book: Growing Up Pedro by Matt Tavares

Podcast: The Season


The Season follows one sports team for an entire season. This past fall they followed the Columbia Lions football team as they tried to break one of the nation’s longest losing streaks. Each episode took listeners behind the scenes and showed what life is like for an Ivy League football player.

Book: Bugged: How Insects Changed History by Sarah Albee

Podcast: Surprisingly Awesome

The premise of Surprisingly Awesome is to try and make things that seem ordinary seem extraordinary. They’ve tackled the seem to be boring topics of free throws, mold, and cement. They somehow find a way to always convince me that their topic is in fact “surprisingly awesome”.

Colby Sharp and Travis Jonker created The Yarn audio show together. Travis is a school librarian that blogs at 100 Scope Notes, and Colby is a third grade teacher that helps run Nerd Camp.

Check out the latest episode of their show below.