Read with your ears: your favourite podcasts and the books based on them.

Podcasts are increasing in popularity, and even if you don't know what they are you have probably heard the word before.

Podcasts are an audio programme, similar to a radio show, that can be downloaded and listened to on your device, or streamed online. They are free and can be educational, fictional or a bit of both!

With the rising popularity of podcasts, we have seen an increase in requests for books based on podcasts, or for books that give a more in-depth look into popular podcast topics.

Below is our ultimate list of books in the Library, and the podcasts that inspired them.

New Zealand Stories

Hosted by New Zealand journalist Megan McChesney, The Lip aims to listen to people and tell their stories — be they heartwarming, cautionary or inspiring — capturing as much of the essence of the story teller as possible.

Episode 6: The Double-edged Sword
Double Edged Sword is the first-hand account of the survival of one of the most notorious and brutal maimings in New Zealand History. Simonne Butler experienced years of domestic violence, which culminated in her hands being chopped off with a samurai sword. Double Edged Sword covers those years, the attack and her subsequent hospitalisations, hand replantation surgeries and recovery, as well as the trials of her attacker, Antoine Dixon.

Read the Book | Listen to the Episode

Episode 5: Blurred Lines
When Leigh Hopkinson was a university student in Christchurch she worked at a succession of low-paying jobs that paid the rent and fit in around her degree. None of them fit so well, however, as stripping. She figured it couldn't be that difficult - she was just going to dance on stage in front of a bunch of strangers. She'd show them a bit of skin, but the gig wasn't going to last that long. Or so she imagined.

Read the Book | Listen to the Episode

Episode 4: Back From the Abyss
There is hope for the addicts, the rebels, and the broken-hearted. Sitting in prison on a raft of charges including kidnapping, guns, drugs and counterfeiting was very different to the scenario Janet had imagined.  How did a country girl from a decent family become a hardcore Meth-addict? ? Janet's quest to find her true identity and the meaning of life took her to the very brink of death and hell. It nearly killed her but Janet got her answers, insight into true spiritual power, treasures found in the darkness, and real answers about life.

Read the Book | Listen to the Episode

True Crime Podcasts

Probably the most popular true crime podcast to date, Serial follows the 1999 murder of high school senior Hae Min Lee. Her boyfriend, Adnan Syed was convicted of the murder, and to this day sits in prison for the crime. NPR Reporter Sarah Koening revisits the case and takes an in depth look into whether Adnan did in fact kill or Hae, or if a huge miscarriage of justice occurred.

Adnan's Story by Rabia Chaudry
 did not tell the whole story. In this compelling narrative, Rabia Chaudry presents new key evidence that she maintains dismantles the State's case. Adnan's Story also shares Adnan’s life in prison, and weaves in his personal reflections, including never-before-seen letters. Chaudry, who is committed to exonerating Adnan, makes it clear that justice is yet to be achieved in this much examined case.

Read the Book | Listen to Serial

Every New Zealander has heard about David Bain. We all have our very strong opinions on his guilt or evidence. But how much do we actually know? Follow this RNZ podcast as it crawls through all the evidence and analyses one of New Zealand s most notorious mass murders.


Bain and Beyond by Joe Karam
This book looks at what the Bain case uncovered and goes on to look at other cases in New Zealand, casting strong doubts on the workings of the criminal justice system.

Read the Book | Listen to Black Hands


Trial by Ambush: The Prosecutions of David Bain by Joe Karam
A fresh look at the trials of David Bain, presenting a fair and objective appraisal of the facts that led to his release from prison in 2009.

Read the Book | Listen to Black Hands


Greg Proops is an internationally renowned comedian, best known for starring on the hit improv comedy show Whose Line Is It Anyway? The Smartest Man in the World is his hit award winning podcast which Rolling Stone called "some of the boldest comedy on the podcasting frontier right now."

The Smartest Book in the World is based on Proops's sensational, iTunes Top 10 podcast that has been downloaded more than nine million times, in which his "bold, never-boring voice takes center stage" (The New York Times). The book is a rollicking reference guide to the most essential areas of knowledge in Proops's universe, from the noteworthy names of the ancient world and baseball, to the movies you must see and the albums you must hear.

Read the Book | Listen to Podcast

Join the 2 Dope Queens, Phoebe Robinson and Jessica Williams, along with their favorite comedians, for stories about sex, romance, race, hair journeys, living in New York, and Billy Joel. 

You Can't Touch My Hair (And Other Things I Still Have to Explain)
A hilarious essay collection about race, gender, and pop culture from celebrated stand-up comedian and WNYC podcaster Phoebe Robinson.
Being a black woman in America means contending with old prejudices and fresh absurdities. Robinson uses her trademark wit to examine our cultural climate and skewer our biases with humour and heart. 

Read the Book | Listen to Podcast

Imagine if your Dad wrote a dirty book. Most people would try to ignore it and pretend it had never happened - but not Jamie Morton. Instead, he's decided to read it to the world in this comedy podcast. With the help of his friends, James Cooper and BBC Radio 1's Alice Levine, Jamie will be reading a chapter a week and discovering more about his father than he ever bargained for.

Belinda blinked, it wasn’t a dream, the job interviewer had just asked her to remove her jacket and silk blouse…

Now, for the first time you can own the full text of Rocky Flintstone’s seminal masterpiece Belinda Blinked 1, along with James, Jamie, and Alice’s baffled, delighted, and disgusted commentary. My Dad Wrote a Porno is packed full of bonus material, from the official drinking game rules to Rocky’s exclusive insights into his erotic exposé of the pots and pans industry. You’ll never look at a pomegranate the same way again…

Read the Book | Listen to Podcast


The Psych Files is aimed at anyone curious about human behaviour, although students taking a course in psychology, those majoring in psychology, and instructors of psychology will find the podcast particularly of interest.

Guided by Michael A. Britt, creator of popular podcast The Psych Files, you can conduct your own experiments when browsing your favourite websites, in restaurants, when presented with advertisements, and even right on your smartphone.
You'll even figure out how contagious yawning works! With this compulsively readable little book, you won't just read about the history of psychology--you'll live it!


The 9th Floor is a New Zealand political podcast. It hears from five former NZ Prime Ministers - Sir Geoffrey Palmer, Mike Moore, Jim Bolger, Dame Jenny Shipley and Helen Clark.

Based on the acclaimed RNZ podcast series, and including new material, The 9th Floor by journalists Guyon Espiner and Tim Watkin presents in-depth interviews with five former Prime Ministers of New Zealand. Geoffrey Palmer, Mike Moore, Jim Bolger, Jenny Shipley and Helen Clark reflect on their time occupying the prime ministerial offices on the 9th floor of the Beehive. Their recollections amount to a fascinating record of the decisions that shaped modern New Zealand.

Read the Book | Listen to Podcast


Welcome to Night Vale is a twice-monthly fiction podcast in the style of community updates for the small desert town of Night Vale, featuring local weather, news, announcements from the Sheriff's Secret Police, mysterious lights in the night sky, dark hooded figures with unknowable powers, and cultural events.

From the creators of the wildly popular Welcome to Night Vale podcast comes an imaginative mystery of appearances and disappearances that is also a poignant look at the ways in which we all struggle to find matter where we live. Located in a nameless desert somewhere in the great American Southwest, Night Vale is a small town where ghosts, angels, aliens, and government conspiracies are all commonplace parts of everyday life. 

Read the Book | Listen to Podcast

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Is there a podcast themed book you would love to read but we don't have? Then fill out our buying suggestions form and we will try our best to get it in for you!

Literary Spin-offs: TV Shows that inspired novel retellings.

We’re all familiar with the concept of books being adapted into TV shows. However, there are also a number of TV shows that have been reverse-adapted into books.

Some of these retellings are strict retellings of the exact story seen on screen. Others go more in-depth into characters back stories and fill in gaps or look at the action from another point of view. While others make changes to the storyline, or take up where the screen left off.

Here are our favourites from our collections

Beauty and the Beast TV Promo Shot

Book: Vendetta by Nancy Holder
TV Series:  Beauty & The Beast

While searching for the truth surrounding her past, Detective Catherine Chandler gets involved with Dr. Vincent Keller. Dr Keller hides a dark secret of his own. They struggle to maintain their unorthodox relationship as they are both pursued by a mysterious organisation called Muirfield.

Doctor Who TV Promo Shot

Book: The Pirate Planet by James Goss  
TV Series: Dr Who

The Doctor and Ramana arrive on the planet Zanak. Looking for the second segment of the Key to Time. Priceless gems are scattered on the streets. The night sky changes with the dawn of each new prosperous age. But the townsfolk live in fear.

Other Doctor who Spin-Offs include: The Wheel of Ice by Stephen Baxter, Harvest of Time by Alastair Reynolds and City of Death by Douglas Adams.

The Blacklist TV Promo Shot

Book: The Beekeeper by Steven Piziks  
TV SeriesThe Blacklist

A former U.S. Navy officer turned high-profile criminal voluntarily surrenders to the FBI. He will only work with a rookie profiler by the name of Elizabeth Keen to locate the most dangerous criminals in the world.

Revenge TV Promo Shot

Book: Schooled in Revenge by Jessy Lasky
TV Series: Revenge

Ava Winters is young, beautiful, and the heiress to Napa's prized Starling Vineyards. She is also in love with the perfect guy. At least that's what she thinks until he helps take everything that was once hers. With no place left to turn, Ava finds herself on Rebun Island, Japan, the site of Takeda's revenge school. Here she trains to be mentally and physically strong enough to take revenge.

Sons of Anarchy TV Promo Shot

Book: Bratva by Christopher Golden
TV Series: Sons of Anarchy

With half of the club recently released from Stockton State Penitentiary, and the Galindo drug cartel bringing down heat at every turn, the MC already has its hands full. Yet Jax Teller the V.P. of SAMCRO has another problem to deal with. He just learned that his Irish half-sister Trinity has abruptly gone missing. Jax heads to Nevada with Chibs and Opie to search for her and seek revenge.

Homeland TV Promo Shot

Book: Homeland: Carrie's Run by Andrew Kaplan
TV Series: Homeland

Filled with the suspense and plot twists that have made Homeland a must-watch series. This riveting tale reveals the compelling untold backstories of the series' main characters and takes fans deeper into the life and mind of one brilliant female spy.

Criminal Minds TV Promo Shot

Book: Jump Cut by Max Allan Collins
TV Series: Criminal Minds

The Behavioral Analysis Unit, an elite team of FBI profilers, are tasked with examining the nation's most twisted criminal minds-anticipating their next moves before they strike again...

Broadchurch TV Promo Shot

Book: Broadchurch by Erin Kelly
TV Series: Broadchurch

Inspired by the first season of the BAFTA award-winning ITV series, this is the official, unmissable Broadchurch novel. Incredibly moving and containing never-before-seen material, it takes you inside the minds and motivations of the unforgettable cast of characters.

Castle TV Promoshot

Book: Heat Wave by Richard Castle
TV Series:  Castle

The novel written by the charismatic bestselling author Richard Castle, co-star of the hit ABC show. NYPD Homicide Detective Nikki Heat feels sparks from ride-along journalist Jameson Rook. A real estate tycoon plunges to his death. A trophy wife with a past survives a brazen attack. Mobsters and moguls with motives all have alibis. Dirty little secrets of the wealthy hide until Nikki shines a light.

Want to check out more books and TV shows in our collection? Then be sure to visit us in the Library, or click here to peruse the online catalogue.

Mangaficent! The Top 7 Manga voted by local teens.

Manga are popular Japanese comic books. Read "back to front" these books are growing in popularity. We decided to ask some local teenagers about their favourite Manga. Below are the top 7 from our collection they recommend.

7. Death Note by Tsugumi Ohba

Light Yagami discovers a supernatural notebook. It gives him the ability to kill anyone whose name and face he knows. Light is now attempting to create and rule the world using the notebook. A detective known only as L is the only thing that stands in his way.

Location: Adult's Graphic novel

6. Attack on Titan by Hajime Isayama

Set in a world where humanity lives in walled cities. Created to defend against large humanoids, known as the Titans. Strange creatures who eat humans for no obvious reason.  Ern Yeager and his friends join the military to fight the Titans after their home is invaded.

Location: Adult's Graphic novel

Saitama, the most powerful of all the superheroes. He has grown bored by the lack of challenging opponent in his fight against evil. He is now on a mission to find a worthy opponent.

Location: Adult's Graphic novel

4. Naruto by Masashi Kishimoto

Naruto Uzmaki is a teen struggling to graduate from Ninja Academy. He dreams of becoming the next Hokage, the leader of his village.  His true destiny may be more complicated than he realised.

Location: Children's Graphic novel

3. One Piece by Eiichiro Oda

Monkey D Luffy is a young man whose body has gained the properties of rubber after accidentally eating a Devil Fruit. Along with his pirate crew called the “Straw Hat Pirates”, Luffy explores the Grand Line.  Searching for the world's ultimate treasure known as "One Piece" in order to become the next Pirate King.

Location: Children's Graphic novel

2. Tokyo Ghoul by Sui Ishida

Kaneki ends up in hospital after his date is revealed to be a ghoul. During the surgery he is given his dates organs. This turns him into a half-ghoul. Now he needs human flesh to survive. A group of ghouls, who own a coffee shop, take Kaneki in and teach him how to be a half-ghoul.

Location: Adult's Graphic novel

1. Fairy Tail by Hiro Mashima

Lucy runs away from home to join Fairy Tail, a wizard’s guild famous for its members' overly destructive antics. She is invited to join the guild by Natsu Dragneel, a wizard with dragon-like abilities who is search of his missing foster father, the dragon Igneel.

They form a team including an ice wizard named Gray, an armoured wizard Erza and Natsu’s cat-like companion Happy. They embark on numerous guild missions, which include subjugating criminals, illegal dark guilds, and ancient Etherious demons created by the dark wizard Zeref.

Want to check out this, and more Manga? Then be sure to visit our Graphic Novel collection in the Library, or click here to peruse the online catalogue.

Celebrating Matariki. Our list of must-read Matariki Books.

Matariki is the Māori name for the cluster of stars also known as the Pleiades. It rises in mid-winter – late May or early June. For many Māori, it heralds the start of a new year.

Matariki Non-Fiction

Together in love : a legend of Matariki by Xoë Hall

The loving embrace of Ranginui and Papatuanuku keeps the land in darkness. When their children discover there is light beyond their parents love, chaos is unleashed. This creates the stars of Matariki. 

He Aroha Pumau Tetahi Ki Tetahi: He Korero Mo Matariki by Xoë Hall

Ka po te ao i roto i te kauawhi o Ranginui me Papatuanuku. Ina puta te mohio ki a raua tamariki he maramatanga kei waho i te aroha nui o o raua matua ki a raua ano, ka wehe te ao, a, ka puta ko Matariki.

Matariki by Sharon Holt

This Te Reo Singalong series follows a family through their Matariki celebrations. Each Te Reo Singalong book includes a song CD, English translation, guitar chords and extension ideas. This book also includes information about Matariki.

Matariki : the Maori New Year by Libby Hakaraia

Matariki marks the beginning of the Māori calendar. It was used as a guide to planting and harvesting and was studied by tohunga. It told whether the food-gathering season would be plentiful or lean.

Celebrating Matariki by Libby Hakaraia

Celebrating Matariki explains what Matariki is. It shows where and when the constellation can be seen and  the importance of Matariki in Maori culture. The book includes 10 Matariki-related activities for children to try. 

Matariki Picture Books

Daniel's Matariki feast by Rebecca Beyer

Starting something new is always difficult. How will Daniel fit in? Luckily for him Matariki is a time of sharing and new beginnings.

The seven kites of Matariki by Calico McClintock

A fictional retelling of the traditional Matariki story.

Te Huihui o Matariki by Toni Rolleston-Cummins

Mitai's seven handsome brothers are bewitched by seven beautiful women. He seeks advice and learns that the women are patupaiarehe. They are given to Urutengangana, the god of the stars, who places them in the far away heavens. Yet once a year he allows them to shine in the Eastern sky. A contemporary myth of love, magic, and adventure that celebrates Matariki.

Matariki by Melanie Drewery

A family celebrate the Māori New Year and talk about what Matariki means to different people. 

Tā Daniel hākari matariki by Rebecca Beyer

Starting something new is always difficult. How will Daniel fit in? Luckily for him Matariki is a time of sharing and new beginnings.

Ngā manu tukutuku e whitu o Matariki of Matariki by Calico McClintock

A fictional retelling of the traditional Matariki story.

The Seven Stars of Matatriki by Toni Rolleston-Cummins

Mitai's seven handsome brothers are bewitched by seven beautiful women. He seeks advice and learns that the women are patupaiarehe. They are given to Urutengangana, the god of the stars, who places them in the far away heavens. Yet once a year he allows them to shine in the Eastern sky. A contemporary myth of love, magic, and adventure that celebrates Matariki.

The little Kiwi's Matariki by Nikki Slade-Robinson

Can you feel it coming? The little kiwi knows a special time of year is almost here. But will she wake up her friends in time?

What if Hitler Won? Our Favourite Alternate History Books!

This week we have been thinking a lot about a popular genre; alternate history. Alternate history fiction is where an author takes a point in history and asks what if it had happened differently.

We have made a list of our favourite alternate history books which we think you will enjoy! If you love this list an excellent resource we recommend is, a website dedicated to alternate histories.

What if... Germany won World War II?

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Weapons of Choice by John Birmingham
Weapons of Choice by John Birmingham

A military experiment throws a multi-national fleet from the year 2021 back in time to the start of June 1942 near the Hawaiian Islands. But their mere presence could change the outcome of the war.

Genre: Science Fiction

Dominion by C. J. Sansom
Dominion by C. J. Sansom

Winston Churchill did not become British Prime Minister in May 1940, and the Brits surrendered to Nazi Germany. By the 1950s, the UK is a satellite state of the Germans, while they continue to fight their long campaign against the Soviets.

Genre: Science Fiction

The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick
The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick

What would 1960's America look like if Germany and Japan won the war? This slice of life novel explores just that, with a scifi twist. Has also been made recently into an amazing TV series.

Genre: Science Fiction

The Darkest Hour by Tony Schumacher
The Darkest Hour by Tony Schumacher

Imagine living in Britain in 1946 if the Nazis had won the war. This story follows British policeman and war veteran Rossett as he carries out his day to day life in Nazi occupied Britain while you wonder - is he a hero? Or is he the worst kind of traitor?

Genre: Science Fiction

Fatherland by Robert Harris
Fatherland by Robert Harris

An alternative history set in Berlin 1964 and the Nazis have won the war. March is a police officer working on a murder case who stumbles across the truth of what exactly the Nazis have been up to.

Genre: Suspense

One of the best books I have ever read. Absolute page-turner. I could not put this down!
Staff Pick!
Bonnie Mager

What if... Anne Boleyn bore a healthy son?

The Boleyn King by Laura Andersen
The Boleyn King by Laura Andersen

Reimagining history in sumptuous detail, Laura Anderssen takes readers back to the deadly intrigue, turbulent affairs, and treacherous passions of Tudor England - and answers the compelling question What if Anne Boleyn had given Henry VIII the son he so desperately wanted?

Genre: Historical Fiction

What if... the Black Death was even deadlier?

The Years of Rice and Salt by Kim Stanley Robinson
The Years of Rice and Salt by Kim Stanley Robinson

The novel explores how subsequent world history might have been different if the Black Death plague had killed 99% of Europe’s population, instead of a third.

Genre: Science Fiction

What if... Alaska was a World War II refugee settlement?

The Yiddish Policeman’s Union by Michael Chabon
The Yiddish Policeman’s Union by Michael Chabon

In 1940, the United States voted to create a refugee settlement in Alaska for Jews being persecuted by the Nazis. The State of Israel is destroyed in 1948 and Sitka Alaska becomes a vibrant home city for the world’s Jews. The novel follows Detective Meyer Landsman as he investigates his neighbour's murder.

Genre: Suspense

What if... Stalin was born in the USA?

Joe Steele by Harry Turtledove
Joe Steele by Harry Turtledove

After the suspicious death of Franklin Roosevelt, Joe Steele [Better known to us as Stalin] captures the 1932 Democractic presidential nomination and goes on to defeat Herbert Hoover and bring totalitarianism to the USA.

Genre: Suspense

What if... Franklin Roosevelt lost the 1940 Election?

The Plot Against America by Philip Roth
The Plot Against America by Philip Roth

Roosevelt is defeated in the 1940 presidential election by Charles Lindbergh, and anti-semitism becomes an accepted part of America. The novel tells the story of the Roth family living in Newark, who are persecuted in different ways.

Genre: Historical Fiction

What if... the Civil War never happened?

Underground Airlines by Ben Winters
Underground Airlines by Ben Winters

Set in an United States where the American Civil War never occurred because Abraham Lincoln was assassinated prior to his inauguration. As a result, slavery has remained legal in four southern states: Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and a united Carolinas.

Genre: Science Fiction

What if... you could travel to the past?

11/22/63 by Stephen King
11/22/63 by Stephen King

Jake Epping's friend Al divulges a secret to him: his storeroom is a portal to 1958. He enlists Jake to try to prevent the Kennedy assassination. So begins Jake’s new life as George Amberson and his new world of Elvis and JFK, of big American cars and sock hops and of a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald.

Genre: General Fiction

Making History by Stephen Fry
Making History by Stephen Fry

What if Hitler was never born? Follow the amusing tale of Michael, a young historian, who manages to turn back time and ensure Hitler was never born, with devastating results.

Genre: General Fiction

Set over a century ago...

His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik
His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik

The Napoleonic Wars were full of tales of heroism, adventure, intrigue — and in this version, dragons. Imagine the Battle of Trafalgar, with the added excitement of dragons.

Genre: Science Fiction

1632 by Eric Flint
1632 by Eric Flint

The town of Grantville and its power plant are sent from the year 2000 in West Virginia to 1631 in central Germany, in the middle of the barbaric Thirty Years War. American-style freedom and justice are introduced to Europe, and the American Revolution starts much earlier than before.

Genre: Science Fiction