Books to Read if you Love NPR

16 Mar 2016

The wonderful thing about NPR is the vastness of content available. There’s truly something for everyone, which means lots of different people find content to love on public radio.

The shows you listen to and enjoy the most say something about your tastes, and we think that translates well from audio to the written word. We’ve pulled together a set of recommendations of books to read for people who love NPR based on the specific shows they enjoy. All of these recommendations make fantastic gifts for book lovers and audiophiles alike. Happy listening – and reading!

Books for People Who Love All Things Considered

All Things Considered is one of NPR’s many news programs. It debuted in 1971 and is now the most listened-to afternoon news program in the United States. As the name implies, the topics discussed are incredibly diverse. The well-known and undiscussed are both, well, considered in All Things Considered, making this show a go-to for the curious.

Books for People Who Love Fresh Air

Fresh Air is technically categorized as a talk show, but this incredibly popular program hosted by Terry Gross is anything but typical. Perhaps the most beloved feature of Fresh Air is the interviews, which take exactly as long as they should (rather than constrained to a set amount of air time). We’re particular fans of Maureen Corrigan’s segment on books.

Books for People Who Love Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!

Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! is a hilarious quiz show that happens once a week on NPR. Peter Sagal et al compile the week’s news and entertainment and mix it with a bunch of fake pieces of information. Guests are tested on the answers to the real news, all while trying to work out what’s fake.

Books for People Who Love The Diane Rehm Show

Diane Rehm is a true staple in the world of radio. She has hosted this program since 1979 and draws more than 2.4 million listeners weekly. Diane Rehm’s program is famous for on-air listener dialogue. Famous influencers like Archbishop Desmond Tutu, former president Bill Clinton, and Toni Morrison have spoken with Diane Rehm on-air, which speaks to Rehm’s incredible reputation.

Books for People Who Love TED Radio Hour

TED Radio Hour is a show about new perspectives, inventions, ideas, and ways of thinking. Guy Raz hosts this incredibly popular show and interviews speakers from the TED stage to learn about how they think about the world and uncover new solutions to old problems. TED is devoted to ‘Ideas Worth Spreading’ – and Guy Raz certainly spreads those ideas in this fantastic program.

Books for People Who Love Planet Money

This one’s for the people who love thinking about economics. Planet Money integrates stories from history, personal anecdotes, discussions on behavioral psychology, and explorations of consumer behavior into this show about what’s happening in the economy. It’s sort of a chat with a friend at a bar, wherein you suddenly delve into the big questions and come away with an insightful discussion.

Books for People Who Love StoryCorps

StoryCorps tells the story of the everyman. People of all walks of life, beliefs, and backgrounds have a voice on StoryCorps to remind all of us that we are a shared race. StoryCorps aims to strengthen human connection, reinforce listening as a core value, and tell the narrative of people you wouldn’t otherwise know or hear or understand. This show is for people who love reading and learning about people.

Books for People Who Love Hidden Brain

Shankar Vedantam hosts this exploration of patterns in the world. Hidden Brain is for people who are curious about the world around them and want a scientific approach to an explanation. Perspectives, human bias, unconscious choices, and habits that reveal more than you realize are discussed in this show about what makes people tick and how that impacts absolutely everything.

Books for People Who Love Pop Culture Happy Hour

This show is pure fun, and features spirited explorations of happenings in pop culture. Television, movies, books, and more are discussed with a truly happy and upbeat lens. This is a show to make you smile and get you excited about what’s new and now. Sounds like a great fit for NewInBooks!

Books for People Who Love Only A Game

We see you, sports fans. Only A Game blends the world of sports with the rest of the world and is a highly-accesible show for lifelong sports addicts and lifelog “sports avoiders” alike. We’ve confined our picks to recommendations for people who really love the world of athletics, as quintessential Only A Game fans are certainly avid sports watchers.

Books for People Who Love Invisibilia

Invisibilia is the new kid in town in NPR-land, and we couldn’t be happier to welcome this brilliant newcomer. Lulu Miller and Alix Spiegel explore the intangible and invisible factors that shape the way humans interact with each other and the world in this show about behavioral psychology. Invisibilia tackles how our intimacy with technology impacts our species, what categories mean to us, and the role of fear – among tons of other topics.

Books for People Who Love How to Do Everything

How to Do Everything tackles big questions and tiny questions in a show for optimizers, tinkerers, and curious-minded people. Ian Chillag and Mike Danforth take audience questions like “how do I stay awake during meetings” and “how do I distract someone I love.” The hosts give thoughtful, scientific, and sometimes funny answers to the queries we all share.


Looking for more gifts for book lovers? Check out our entire collection here.

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Taylor loves books with a heavy dose of absurdity, hilarity, and beautiful prose. She is a marketer, adventurer, nature-lover, Hufflepuff, wannabe world traveler, and advocate of laughter.