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  • Writer's picturePodcast Librarian

The Stacks: The coolest, woke-est book club ever

The Premise (from Apple Podcasts): 

The Stacks is your one stop shop to talk books and reading. Guests will join the host, Traci for two episodes of bookish conversations. In their first episode guests will talk about their reading habits, likes and dislikes, and much more. In their second episode, they'll discuss The Stacks Book Club (TSBC) pick. Get ready for fun and thoughtful conversations about books and reading.

Series or standalone:


Begin listening to:

Any episode. I haven’t read most of the books that Traci talks about, but the vast majority of episodes are spoiler-free, so it doesn’t matter.


Book talk & interviews with authors/guests


Traci Thomas, who is like your smart, woke, bookish friend

Sound/production quality: 

Very good--no complaints here

Rating/age suitability: 

Most of the recent episodes have the Explicit warning, and I think that’s mostly because of dropped F-bombs every now and then. It’s not distracting to me, but you may want to review it first before listening with kids around.

Approximate length of episodes: 

Most regular episodes are around an hour. Short Stacks are mini episodes (30ish minutes) focusing on a conversation with an author about the writing process

Curricular ties: 

Probably not; this is more for your pleasure reading/listening outside of school. However, you might get some good ideas for books/excerpts to have your students read. Traci picks some cool books that are by women, people of color, etc. that can help you diversify your curricular reading list if you have that kind of influence at work.

Similar recommended pods: 

There are tons of book club type pods out there, but to be honest, this is the only one I consistently enjoy!

The Podcast Librarian’s Review:

To be honest, I don’t generally like listening to podcasts about books. As a librarian, book podcasts can actually feel like “homework” or sometimes make me just want to read a book rather than listen to someone talk about it. Plus, I find that many of those podcasters are a little too literary and uppity for my tastes. The Stacks is the one exception I’ve found! Traci Thomas is an utterly delightful host; she’s warm, likable, thoughtful, and has a wonderful “podcast voice.” Her book choices are unique (meaning not necessarily NYT Bestsellers). She typically favors nonfiction or memoir but is open to all genres, so there’s a wide range of genres and voices represented in her choices. Rather than just straight interviews with authors or just talking about a book she read, Traci has developed an appealing format for her episodes. They occur in pairs with the same guest (who is typically an author). There’s also a segment called Ask the Stacks in which a listener writes in requesting book recommendations from both Traci and her guest. I love that the conversation often results in tangents like in one (Ep. 67 Finding Feminism with Rachel Overvoll), she and the guest end up talking about The Bachelor. Traci purposely chooses primarily books that are by authors who are women, queer, or who belong to other less-represented groups, so if you want to broaden your reading horizons, this is a great starting point. Even if you don’t read along (and I typically don’t), you’re sure to learn something new just by listening to smart (but not snobbishly so) people talk about books!

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