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The Best Classic Books Podcast

I’ve learned about so many new authors and books I’ve never heard of just from listening to Jacke and Mike talking. I tend to skip the email reading but the actual content is solid. Like everyone who reads books, they’re opinionated, so don’t be shocked if your favorite classic or author gets dismissed. My favorite episodes are the “list” ones. Most of the other book/lit podcasts I’ve tried were either too surfacy, too woke, or too focused on how the books applied to Christianity.

It was a wonderful discovery!

The History of Literature is a great podcast. I discovered it searching literature podcasts when the lockdown in my country started. It has a broad perspective and a variety of authors, traditions, and very concerned guests. Without doubt, listen one of the episodes. If you love reading, sure you will find something interesting.

What a treasure!

I highly recommend this podcast to all lovers of literature that want a little background on the books on our reading lists. Informative without being condescending. A soothing and relaxing voice but not boring.LOVE that he weaves music into his program. The first show I listened to flew by...So glad I found this!

Dive deep into favorite books and authors

Love how this podcast covers beloved books and authors. The opposite of brain-strain lecturing, the host shares what he loves about these books, puts them into context and dives deep into their magic. Wonderful!

Love this show! But...

I really do live this show, and look forward to the next. But, the reading of ‘thank you’ emails at the beginning of each show is way too much bragging.

Job done

Had not checked in for a couple months, so good to see the high output and title like Karamazov and Karanina. Thanks Jacke and Mike and friends!

Love it!

Great episode about Orwell, really enjoyed it and truly insightful. the Dumas episode was fun and interesting as well! Hope Saint-Exupery follows soon😊 Thank you for your effort, can’t get enough of your pod

England vs France

This cast is a lot of fun and very much worth your time. But there’s so much here ... it deeply cuts into my actual READING time! I’d resent that greatly were Mitch & Andy & Nikki not so surpassingly good! They’re SO good, in fact, I CONTRIBUTE FINANCIALLY to this cast, despite the fact that the nationwide radio news network that has employed me ... recently went out of business. But as Shakespeare or Jesus or Aristotle or one of those said, “Humankind does not live be bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth from the mouths of Miller and Mitchenson and Birch. Whichever holy man or sharp wag said it ... was exactly right. Evan Haning, DC region

Absolutely Marvelous

Like having a pub conversation with your most dramatic erudite and well read friend

Educational and therapeutic

A thoughtful, personal look at literature from a true afficianado. I listen to discover new authors and to learn more about old favorites. I've also listened to have something to think about when I needed some relief from a troubling situation. So it is, for me, both educational and therapeutic.

Orange Hat

Such a beautiful piece of work—this podcast!! Love Jacke Wilson’s approach, style, and sense of humor

Literature Porn

Quite possibly my favorite human in the world to listen to at the moment


Jacke is so warm, knowledgeable and humble. He’s interesting, smart and seems so very kind. I’m learning a lot and enjoy most episodes a great deal. It’s a bedtime ritual. I’m not into Shakespeare or poetry so I just skip those. I adore many contemporary female writers, most I’ve discovered by being a 40 yr New Yorker reader. You could definitely add more! I’m so glad there are many writers/works to meet here, ones I’m not familiar with. I’m a passionate and lazy reader. Lazy because I forget 90% and don’t care in the least. I’ll reread. Or I’ll listen to a fav episode a few times. Thank you for this.

My new #1

Has gradually become my favorite podcast. A perfect companion. Not only for the lessons and history but for also for Jacke. HOL has classic radio appeal. The best.

“It’s Lit” - travis scott

This podcast is a banger. Jack Wilson has the most soothing voice ever put to pod. For those (like myself) recently graduated from college and missing those lectures, this is it. Great way to get context on authors you may have missed, or those you read obsessively and want some second opinions on.

I’m a fan!

For this bibliophile, The History of Literature is a feast! I get to hear riveting stories well told. It’s a great mix of humor, humanity, and history, and it adds to my TBR. I just started listening today; it’s exciting to think of how many podcasts there are to binge. Jacke, you’re an incredible host and storyteller. Thanks for sharing with us.

Happy Accidental Discovery

I had no idea I needed this podcast, but, after typing "Robert Frost" into the search field, here I am and I most definitely do. Thank you to everyone involved. Jacke is so calm and collected, yet genuine and full of life. The breadth of his experience and the spectrum of his passion for literature shines through our overcast days like sunshine. Despite living in the age of social distance, this production affords me the privilege of feeling like I'm hanging out with a kindred soul. Much appreciated, and much love!

Great podcast

Makes me feel like I’m a sophomore in college sitting in my American Literature class again. Fantastic podcast.

Great podcast

This is a super great podcast, I can’t stop listening!

History of Literature

Wonderful podcast for anyone who loves books.

Jack Wilson is in my brain in a good way.

The endearing host of this podcast is equally matched to its rich content. A v unpretentious approach to digging into hearty literary soil. Don’t speed through Jack’s reading from listener emails or anything really. All is wonderfully enriching. In his hands I feel there’s something more to discover and thus care about. Go Jack Go! Pass your humble torch of brightness to us all.

Great for people who think of themselves as readers

For frequent readers (or people who remember when they were frequent readers) this is a fantastic way to rediscover classic authors you forgot to read and get a little inspiration to pick up a book or maybe move on to something better. I’m jumping around favorite writers now and occasionally listening to an episode about someone I irrationally dislike (having never read them). This podcast is like having lunch with my English-major friends in college. An interesting taste - just enough to enjoy and wither whet or sate the appetite. Helps that Jacke is so incredibly funny.

My favorite literature podcast

Long enough and in-depth enough for genuine insight but not so long as to bore. Quirky and idiosyncratic, both the host and his regular and single visit guests, it provides a product that is far more engaging than the dry academic or critical takes. An impressive breadth of authors, ranging from the contemporary to the centuries-old and from the short story to Proust. Jacke Wilson’s short story episodes are a treat, as they typically pair a reading with a discussion. Some episodes are more interesting to me than others, as is to be expected, but the podcast as a whole is the best literature program I’ve found and my favorite podcast overall.

My favorite podcast

My favorite podcast of all time. Jacke’s soothing voice, his warmth, empathy, and his passion for literature, intertwined with his personal stories and reflections on greatest works of literatures makes this show my faithful companion to go through tough times. It keeps my soul sensitive, empathetic and hopeful.

Best podcast

I stumbled across this podcast. The first one I heard was the Beatrix Potter. I then moved on to other episodes and now I am hooked. If you love literature and love learning about the authors, this podcast is for you! I look forward to future episodes.


My dad was a big fan of the epic. Now, fifty years later, I listened to Jacke Wilson’s introduction and I’m ready to read it on my own. Thanks, Jacke, for that final heave that got me over the finish line.

a great podcast

I discovered this podcast as I know little about literature and have been slowly working my way through the episodes while listening to the new ones. The author is a delight. He is knowledgeable and engaging, and his voice is very pleasant and easy to listen to. His guests are well chosen and really add to the experience. I highly recommend this to everyone. It is so enjoyable and satisfying. Plus he likes the Beatles and Sinatra. Jacke, thank you

My Must-Play Podcast

I so look forward to these podcasts each week. I have to admit, I can’t get enough of them. At first I tuned in to authors I knew about, then I would randomly listen and learn about authors and titles I had no idea existed. I listen to these whilst working in the garden, passerbyers want to know what I am listening to. Whatever is the subject that day, it is the most amazing ever. Jacke is a poet and teacher... Listen!

A great find

By the end of these podcasts I’ve learned to love even more a specific work or literature in general. Jacke brings depth, humor, and humanity to his readings and discussions.