241 episodes

Writer Kait and librarian Renata read bestselling books in an attempt to understand their appeal and, barring that, to become the Crow and Servo of the book world. New episodes every other Monday. Visit WorstBestsellers.com for our readers advisory booklists and other fun stuff.

The Worst Bestsellers Worst Bestsellers

    • Arts
    • 4.5 • 517 Ratings

Writer Kait and librarian Renata read bestselling books in an attempt to understand their appeal and, barring that, to become the Crow and Servo of the book world. New episodes every other Monday. Visit WorstBestsellers.com for our readers advisory booklists and other fun stuff.

    Episode 231 – The Time Traveler’s Wife

    Episode 231 – The Time Traveler’s Wife

    We held our annual Patreon Choice poll and our Beloved Patrons chose to send us back in time to 2003 with The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. Since the book is prominently set in Chicago, we were #blessed to be joined by prominent Chicagoan Ashley to unpack the Jeremy Bearimy of it all. Please do not listen to this episode while having sex with your future wife for the first time.

    Content warning: Sketchy time travel age/consent issues, death of a partner, miscarriages.

    Readers advisory: Here.

    Footnotes: “Popular Titles are Vanishing from HBO Max After Merger” by Eric Deggans.

    Audrey Niffenegger’s Chicago

    The Time Traveler’s Wife: Reception

    Audrey Niffenegger Tweet about The Other Husband

    Legends of Tomorrow – Swan Thong

    Coming up next: The Woman in Me by Britney Spears.

    • 1 hr 27 min
    Episode 230 – The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

    Episode 230 – The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes


    A cautionary tale: too many people complained about this book online so we were dumped into an arena and forced to publicly defend it to the death. Mackenzi Lee, author of many Best Bestselling books including The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue and The Winter Soldier: Cold Front, has returned to the podcast to get to talk about a book we all actually enjoyed: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins. The Capitol has mandated that all citizens listen to this episode, so please comply with their decree.

    Content warning: Hunger Games.

    Readers advisory: Here.

    Footnotes: “Hunger Games prequel: untangling the controversy over The Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes” by Kayleigh Dray

    “Reminder That ‘Hunger Games’ Co-Stars Rachel Zegler and Josh Andrés Rivera Are Dating IRL and V Cute” by Mehera Bonner

    Coming up next: The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger.

    • 1 hr 57 min
    Episode 229 – Practical Magic

    Episode 229 – Practical Magic

    Spooky season is here, so we were joined by Lily Sparks, author of the Teen Killers Club trilogy (including the latest book, Teen Killers at Large) and the upcoming The Merciless King of Moore High. We got witchy with the Owens women in Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman. This episode will bring all the cats to the schoolyard!

    Announcement: Join us in our Discord server on Monday, October 30th at 8:30pm Eastern Time for a live watch of the Practical Magic movie! (It’s currently streaming on Hulu.)

    Content warning: Light mention of death of parents, domestic violence, and death of a boyfriend.

    Readers advisory: Here.

    Footnotes: “Goodbye Earl” by The Chicks.

    Episode 122 – A Discovery Of Witches

    Coming up next: The Ballad of Songbird and Snakes by Suzanne Collins.

    • 1 hr 16 min
    Episode 228 – Go Set A Watchman

    Episode 228 – Go Set A Watchman

    We just wrapped up Banned Books Week in the USA, a time to celebrate our freedom to read and also to speak up about book challenges! We were joined by Jen and Dan, the hosts of the Banned Camp podcast, where they read banned books to investigate why they were banned. They previously read To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, which is frequently banned and challenged. So together we read the controversial Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee, and you know what…maybe we’re challenging it. No, like, we’re not going to call for it to be removed from libraries or anything, just like…are you sure you want to read it? Listen to this episode on your next train ride to Maycomb.

    Content warning: Discussion of racism (though we 100% guarantee we do not say the n-word aloud on the podcast, although it is in the text of the book itself), sexual assault, and death of a sibling.

    Readers advisory: Here.

    Footnotes: Unite Against Book Bans

    “How to Fight Book Bans and Challenges” by Kelly Jensen

    “Banned Spotlight: To Kill a Mockingbird” by Betsy Gomez

    “See where ‘Go Set a Watchman’ overlaps with ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ word-for-word” by Keith Collins and Nikhil Sonnad

    Harper Lee: The controversy that still surrounds author’s ‘lost novel’ Go Set a Watchman by Andrew Buncombe

    Coming up next: Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman.

    • 1 hr 34 min
    Episode 227 – Crave

    Episode 227 – Crave

    It’s our 9th podiversary! We’ve run out of Stephenie Meyer books so we decided to have our OG guest Carrie return to check out a series whose marketing team would certainly love for us to think it was written by SMeyer: Crave by Tracy Wolff. Thanks to everyone for joining us for these past 9 years, and let’s all work on manifesting a new Twilight book for next year!

    Readers advisory: Here.

    Footnotes: 360+ Teen Slang, Emojis, & Hashtags Parents Need to Know 

    Coming up next: Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee.

    • 1 hr 33 min
    Episode 226 – Anne of Green Gables

    Episode 226 – Anne of Green Gables

    We’re topping off this year’s Flashback Summer with a pair of red–some would say auburn–braids. We were joined by Hannah and Marcelle, the cohosts of Witch, Please and Material Girls, to discuss Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery. Pour yourselves a cup of raspberry cordial and listen to this podcast on your train journey from the orphanage!

    Readers advisory: Here.

    Footnotes: Anne of Green Gables Raspberry Cordial recipe by Tori Avey

    The Real Reason ‘Anne With an E’ Was Canceled by Netflix Is Heartbreaking by Katie Bourque

    Coming up next: Crave by Tracy Wolff.

    • 1 hr 44 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
517 Ratings

517 Ratings

Radrar ,

Simply lovely!

Came for the episode about Michelle Remembers thanks to a Reddit suggestion, but immediately scrolled through and saved a ton of interesting sounding episodes as soon as it finished. I enjoy the format and the commentary, and I love book talk/snark! Very happy to have found this!

hound_of_heaven ,

Contains 200% Daily Value of Big Pretzel Mention

Through weird listening habits/coincidence I listened to the latest ep (212 The Last Boyfriend, Nora Roberts) which included a lot about Big Pretzel at Inn Boonsboro and then listened to Ep83 Handbook for Mortals and Renata mentioned going to the mall and getting a Big Pretzel and now I just want Big Pretzel ALL THE TIME.

Anyway. I love this podcast, it keeps me company and I appreciate the sacrifice that Kait and Renata make for us every other week 🫡

Jen Shuster ,

Good minus the vocal fry

I like the book reviews, and the ladies have great opinions…but I can’t get past Renata doing her social media vocal fry. Stop it! I have edited my rating because I realized it is Renata who does the valley girl vocal fry. Sorry, Kait! It’s hard to tell podcast hosts apart sometimes. I would also like to pile on to other peoples comments that the main hosts never let the guests speak. I often forget they have a guest in until near the end of the episode.

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