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A show I’m not embarrassed to recommend.

I listen to lots of true crime & vulgar comedians, but I also love this show. Books are great. TV is dumb. The gentleman that runs this show is a mensch & I thank him for the hours & hours of truly awesome & enlightening discussions about the most impressive achievement of all the creative arts... a good story.

Love this pod

I love this pod and look forward to each new episode. Jacke is informative and well researched. I like the pods best where its just Jacke telling a story.

Take it from a lit major

This is the most astute, engaging, informative, and entertaining lit podcast out there, bar none.

Expresso for the mind

I love this light-hearted and soothing podcast that helps me remember why I choose to study English-- for the sheer love of literature. I find these podcasts wonderfully inspiring!

Bravo 4 Toni Morrison

Thank you for your Morrison program. Appreciate your candor in sharing your experience. Really great job!

A Treasure

I discovered The History of Literature about two years ago, and have been a true fan ever since. Learning the intricacies of plot-lines and back stories, of writers’ lives and loves, enriches my understanding of so many classics that I never had the time to read. Jacke Wilson - while he doesn’t have a typical ‘radio voice’ - has a winning personality that never disappoints. He’s witty, conversational (with his foil Mike Palindrome) and can simultaneously inform and amuse. His self-deprecating nature won me over from the beginning, and I had to listen to his prior episodes, just to get enough of his quirky humor, lol! At the end of each episode, I feel both smarter and sated. You know those questionnaires where they ask what famous person (or not so famous person) would you like to have a dinner conversation with? My answer: Jacke Wilson!

Excellent Education

I’m an historian, and I don’t have any time to read great works of creative writing—much as I would like to. With this podcast, I feel like I learn so much that I’m no longer worried about the time I do not have. This show is rich without being dense, intense without being daunting, and the host connects to his subject on a deep level that communicates through to the listener.

A wonderful and enriching podcast

Time well spent. Enough said.

Fun Take on Literature

I think the part I like the most about this show is the author's vocal style, which always seems just on the edge of being tongue-in-cheek, while still delivering solid musings and reflections on some of the greatest works in the literary canon.

Favorite podcast

Jacke is so funny and earnest and it’s a pleasure to listen to him every week—it feels like you’re just chatting with a friend about books! Favorite podcast by far.

Down to earth yet perceptive and touching

If you can get past the occasional left-wing pablum and hysteria, an absolutely wonderful podcast that’s frequently poignant and touching. Bravo Jack and Mike Palindrome! These fellas are consistently knocking it out of the park with erudite book selections and sharp insights. They’re honest, refreshing and well read without any hint of condescension whatsoever. They have respect for the canon but aren’t afraid to slaughter sacred cows. More power to them. But let’s keep it political neutral from now on, please?

Enjoyable podcast

Have listened to several episodes and agree with the other reviewers that this is a worthwhile podcast for lovers of literature. I just wanted to add that the episode about bad poetry was hysterically funny--a difficult feat to pull off with such a topic, but Jacke hit the right tone, chose the extremes of bad poetry (mostly from several decades into the past, so generally not offensive to present day poets). Loved that episode!

deep dives into literary topics

Perfect for literature nerds like me!

My Favorite!

This is the best podcast! Do not just subscribe but go back to the early episodes and listen to them all. If you love literature but don't want stuffy, dry commentary, then this one is for you. Jacke Wilson has a great personality and brings great insight and FUN to the discussion of great books.


Jacke is a fun host. I like when he brings "guests" on like Edgar Allen Poe, and guests like some of the more recent professors and such. I haven't listened through the full back catalog, only about 15 deep, but the sound quality is great, editing is great, and the books he picks are some I have been putting off reading myself - so a nice little introduction to them - and some I read ages ago and haven't thought about in a while. Highly recommend.


Do you ever read a book and think, "I wish I wrote that book?" Well I do, and when I do that is a great sign that I loved a book. I feel that exact same way with this podcast. I wish I created and did this podcast. It would be so cool to read, research, and record. Mr. Wilson (ha) is very passionate. His ability to tell stories is clear which really adds to the entertainment of an educational show. I listen to the first couple episodes because I wanted to learn about an author. I quickly connected with Mr. Wilson, and I listen every week now and often pick off an older episode which I am running out of!

excellent for readers and history buffs

Delightful, a nice tone, deep research, entertaining, respectful, simply lovely

Great Beowulf pan

I hated Beowulf in high school. I see now, courtesy of the latest podcast, why. The illustration of 'lost works' compared to "Chopping Mall" was wonderful. Keep it up Jacke. If people can't tell by now, I really like this podcast. You will also.

Depth and Breadth

Meditations and conversations that explore the vast terrain of literature. Jacke is a steady guide who knows how to point out the good stuff. Often whimsical, reliably poignant, and never dull, The History of Literature is an eavesdropper's mother lode.

Nice podcast for book nerds!

I feel like this is the only podcast of its kind!

A Great Listen

Quite simply the best podcast out there on the history of literature. Accept no imitations. My favorite episodes are when Jacke and Mike Palindrome take off the gloves and have at it (I'll even forgive Mike for dissing Don Quixote).

Charming and Profound

Jacke makes you feel like a friend and fellow traveler on this intellectual odyssey.


The premise is great for the amateur admirer of literature.

Here's your night train to the stars

I've never written a review of a podcast before, but since I've gotten so much pleasure out of The History of Literature podcast (and its related podcasts, The Restless Mind Show and The Jacke Wilson Show), I felt I owed it to host Jacke Wilson to say publicly how wonderful I think his shows are. Mr. Wilson is a superb storyteller first and foremost, and he approaches everything he discusses with a humility and a humanity that is charming and captivating. He covers a great deal of territory in the history of literature (as the title says -- he ain't lyin'), but he does so anecdotally rather than encyclopedically. He's always insightful and down to earth at the same time, intimiate yet incisive. Listening is like being on a train going over the Himalayas, or through the Alps, or maybe sailing through the Milky Way, sipping tea and looking out the window and laughing. Thank you for this treasure trove of knowledge, wisdom, and stories.

Interesting & Smart

Thank you Jacke. This podcast is a joy to listen to. I cried tears of joy as I listened to the Madame Bovary episode. I'm still trying to understand what Gar is.

Surprisingly Engaging

I normally approach literature podcasts with a sense of apprehension, for the topics and narrative are like watching paint dry without having the benefit of getting the contact high. I'm glad to say this one is different. Both topics and narration are crisp, intelligent and completely engaging. I normally pan podcasts when they get involved in politics, but this one successfully dodged the one star bullet by being thoughtful and rational when discussing Donald Trump on one earlier episode--which hasn't been the case for other liberal hosts. Regardless, I am glad I found this podcast and I always spread the word on it's cute, wholesome whimsy! Great job! --Steven Pohl

Something to look forward to

Free flowing discussion of a wide variety of literary works which often 'devolves' into charming and insightful tangents of the host, Jacke. I love his insistence on rejecting the 'snobbery' and gatekeeping that often goes hand in hand with the study of literature. This podcast has become something I look forward to each week and I hope it continues to grow and succeed.

Fortuitous Search

I thought I'd search for a literature podcast, as I love classic literature; but I did not know exactly what I was looking for. It turns out, this was it!

Better than Beyonce

Some people listen to Beyonce while they run, I listen to Jacke Wilson. I find it easy to get pulled into the literary discussions, and it is thrilling to hear someone speak with such passion and knowledge on a topic about which I care so deeply. If you are a bookwork (or runner!) this podcast is worth a listen.

Unpretentious, Engaging, & Relaxing

I really appreciate this podcast. For one thing, as a lover of books I'm always looking for entertaining dicusions on books or literary figures. What's nice about this podcast is the "layman's" feel of it, by which I mean the host (Jacke Wilson) is not pretentious in anyway. Personally, my favorite episodes are the one where the Jacke tells a story from his life involving literature in some way. Examples of this are te episode of Flaubert's Madame Bovary and the episode on Proust and Pound. Overall, it's a pleasant podcast about classic books.