The benchmark for what a podcast should be. Incredibly enlightening and relaxing.
Listen. I love literature. And there’s a lot of podcasts out there. This one is, by far, the most polished, professional, and interesting. You can tell Jacke is an academic with an amateur’s soul. If you love literature and want to hear fascinating conversations about philosophy and history, this is the podcast for you. Thanks, Jacke, for being the best!
A beautiful, entertaining, and insightful reminder of why we tell stories, why we talk about them, and, yes, why we read them.
There are a lot of literature podcasts out there that can give you names and dates of an author’s life, and tell you where a work fits in the literary cannon. But only Jacke manages to blend those details with a true love of the work, getting emotional over a line and making his listeners feel the same. I love when he reads short stories, too. Jacke and friends have turned me into so many good authors, and helped me appreciate many others I would not have otherwise. I am curious about the “interns” though…
I’ve listened to the Jane Austen and Mary Shelley episodes. The host is delightfully funny and so informative. Look forward to listening to more.
So many things to love about my favorite podcast: - Entertaining and informative host - Introductions to authors previously unknown - Inspires me to read unknown authors and authors I’ve been hesitant to try - Best theme song I’m smarter and better informed after I listen to Jacke!
Helping keep the literary tradition alive from many perspectives with the source being nothing but the love of reading.
Jack’s voice is so pleasant and his whimsical sense of humor is delightful. These attributes however are just bonuses to his interesting, insightful commentary on books and authors. Recently he read aloud Poe’s “The Telltale Heart” in such a wonderful way, with great understanding of Poe’s language. This is a podcast well worth your time.
I know this podcast is designed to jump in anywhere, but I am so glad I listened to the trailer and the first episodes first - I am hooked and inspired! Jacke’s delivery is relatable and enjoyable. His commentary on Gilgamesh inspired a whole project I have embarked on to get more people reading and discussing it. I look forward to coming back to this podcast time and again!
I came to listen to an episode on Heart of Darkness to better understand it. This podcast is less “book summary” and more “this character is what I love about this book or let me spend 5 minutes dissecting this crucial sentence.” Little did I know how much I would love this style. The host’s chuckles, the 10-minute episode introductions, the personal asides—it’s all delightful. After that first episode, I promptly scrolled through the archives and downloaded 50 to watch. I listened to a half dozen and went scrolling back to download more. This podcast greatly enriches my appreciation for literature and makes me want to read more.
I’m not a big podcaster, but I wanted to learn more about Fernando Pessoa before I went to Portugal for the first time, and this one popped up. What an absolute dream of a podcast. I teach English, and this podcast marries whimsy and information so well that it is both helpful as prep and food for my soul. Brilliant.
The host is erudite without being pretentious. The range of topcs and writers is amazing and Jacke handles them all deftly. I discovered it very recently while searching for a podcast that discussed Thomas Pynchon. I'm looking forward to catching up on all the episodes.
Not me having to stop my car to dry my tears . Each episode is better than the last.
Lovely! You just never know what brilliant nugget Jacke will uncover in his next episode. And as it happens, I sent my second son off to college just three years ago. Jackie’s musings could have been my own. I understood the sentiments exactly. Love this podcast. I am not as consistent a reader as I would like to be, but listening keeps me eager to pick up my next piece of fiction and I’ve been introduced to amazing writers I would never have found on my own. Thank You!
Beautiful episode. You transported me to another world. Thank you!!
I began listening in 2020, enraptured by Jacke’s Midwestern introduction to Jean Toomer. There’s just too much goodness to describe in the episodes on Joyce, Thoreau, Kafka, Dickens, Rilke, Alice Munro… Just get cozy, pick a favorite author, and listen.
I can’t believe this exists or that there are people out there listening to it. It’s amazing and I don’t even like podcasts. I pay for it now even though I’m cheap and it’s free.
I learn so much and laugh and sometimes, I talk back at something you said! “Sorry Jacke, I don’t agree.” “Good question, Jacke! I never thought of that.” “Nice read of Stephen Crane’s ‘The Open Boat.’ Well done, Jacke!” Your interviews are thoughtful and engaging. I am still grappling with Humbert Humbert and the tragedy of Sylvia Plath. It motivated me to look up an interesting article on her daughter. What an incredible woman. My background is history, which means I tend to dive into what some call “boring” material. It’s true! I love it! All things ancient. But I also read fiction, usually science fiction and fantasy, but not always. “All the Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr was brilliant. I have listened to “Lincoln in the Bardo” by George Saunders numerous times. I dabble in most genres. Listening to you makes me appreciate my high school English teachers who assigned so many classics. How many times have I wished I could tell them so? Ah well. I am in my “older adult” years and that was a long time ago. But thank god for their wisdom, and thank god I found your wonderful podcast. I listen to it when I do chores. Chores, aging word? I wrote a story about an elderly man I knew who used the term “gams.” Younger writers didn’t know what “gams” meant. The continuous transformation of language, no? It is a historical marker of sorts. I have been a listener for more than a year. Thanks again, Pat Tarragona, Spain
This is one of my favorite podcasts, but Mike Palindrome needed to be shoved into a locker in high school and no one has yet rectified the negligence of a past era
I consider myself and well-read person, but Jacke always gives me a new perspective on his subjects. He thinks he sounds like a squirrel, but I happen to like the sound of his voice. I’ve listened to at least a hundred episodes, and I plan to listen to them all.
Thanks, Jacke—love the podcast. Listen to it weekly. I love the insights and humor you bring to works of literature I love, as well as novels (and writers) I’ve yet to read.
If you listen to enough episodes you will be in love too. He is everything that is great and bad about humanity that makes us so human. He is everything a book should be. And if you like him you’ll like Mike even more who’s in a few episodes and is the best. (Mr. Wilson - if you’re reading this - less special guests who aren’t Mike and more Mike!)
I found out about this podcast while reading articles on lithub and encountering the recent John Milton episode. Fantastic stuff, and I’m not even a huge podcast person!