Professional Book Nerds

We're not just book nerds. We're professional book nerds! We are staff librarians who work at OverDrive, the leading app for eBooks and audiobooks from public libraries and schools. It's our job to discuss books all day long so we thought, "Why not share the conversation!" Hear about the best books we've read, get recommendations, and learn about the hottest books coming out that we can't wait to dive into. Every title discussed is available to borrow through public libraries. Get started reading at and subscribe to our podcast today!
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Professional Book Nerds






All Episodes
Now displaying: May, 2020
May 25, 2020

On today's episode, Adam sits down with Mikel Jollett to discuss his debut novel, Hollywood Park. Mikel grew up in the infamous Synanon Cult and is now the lead singer of one of Adam's all-time favorite bands The Airborne Toxic Event. They discuss how Mikel crafted his memoir through introspection, research, and magical realism. They also discuss how our brains work through childhood trauma, literary influences, and family. 

May 21, 2020

In today's episode, Jill is joined by her friends Sydney and Tiffany! Along with talking about some of the books they have been reading, they also discuss how difficult it can be to read during the pandemic and what television shows and movies they are watching instead.

Books mentioned in this episode:

Crisis in the Red Zone by Richard Preston

The Hot Zone by Richard Preston

To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer

Fifty Shades of Grey series by E.L. James

Good Talk by Mira Jacob

One by One by Ruth Ware

The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory

Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook by Thomas Perry

A Feast of Ice an Fire by Chelsea Monroe-Cassel and Sariann Lehrer

Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg

The Fixed Stars by Molly Wizenberg

Untamed by Glennon Doyle

You Were Born for This by Chani Nicholas

Normal People by Sally Rooney

Locke & Key series by Joe Hill

In the Woods by Tana French

The Likeness by Tana French 

Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman

The Witch Elm by Tana French


May 18, 2020

Today's episode is an interview Jill did at ALA Midwinter with bestselling author Emma Straub. Along with discussing her new book ALL ADULTS HERE, Jill and Emma talk Miss Piggy and Gilmore Girls. 

May 14, 2020

Today’s episode is sponsored by Literati. Use to get 25% off your first two orders


On today's episode, we're doing another round table of book recommendations with Maria and Regis. Before that, though, Maria tells us about her amazing cereal bracket she's doing with her fiance. Maria's Instagram to follow the Golden Bowl: @feszml


Books mentioned in this episode (Recommendations start at 9:00 mark)

Family Meal by Penguin Random House

Chosen Ones by Veronica Roth

Blindness by Jose Saramago

The Winters by Lisa Gabriele

Mumbo Jumbo by Ishmael Reed

The Chris Farley Show Tom Farley, Jr. & Tanner Colby

The Tradition by Jericho Brown

Killing November by Adriana Mather

All the Names They Used for God by Anjali Sachdeva

Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore

The Ruins by Scott Smith

The War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

Kill the Farm Boy by Kevin Hearne & Delilah S. Dawson

The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde



May 11, 2020

PBN legend Brad Meltzer returns to chat with Adam about his latest book, The Lincoln Conspiracy. They get into how Brad and his family are handling the Stay At Home order, the creative ways they've been entertaining themselves, and a whole bunch of interesting stuff about Abraham Lincoln. There's nothing better than catching up with Brad and the new book is wonderful. 

May 8, 2020

It was written in the stars that someday we'd join forces with the Reading Glasses gals and create the nerdiest book event ever. Here it is. An hour of live book recommendations done over Zoom. If you missed out and would like us to do this again, reach out to us via twitter or email and let us know!

Book requests and our recommendations" 

“I just finished the first book in The Witcher series and I’d love more fantasy short story recommendations.”


Jill - Rogues (Anthology)

Dangerous Women


Adam - Toil and Trouble (Anthology)


“Looking for a read-a-like for Little Women and Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine.”


Mallory - Where’d You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple


When We Were Magic by Sarah Gailey


The Girl Who Slept With God by Val Brelinki


“Looking for recommendations for books about small towns with quirky characters, with a sense of a small community where the characters get all up in each other’s business”

Adam - Cedar Valley by Holly Throsby


Nathan Coulter by Wendell Berry

Mallory - The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend


“Looking for a read-a-like for Bunny by Mona Awad, something weird and creepy but with no violence and or horror.”


Mallory - The Return by Rachel Harrison


Sarah Waters

Sarah Perry

Dare Me by Megan Abbott

Adam - Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero


Jill - The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix


“Looking for queer sci-fi.”


Adam - The Disasters by M.K. England

Once and Future by Amy Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy


Mallory - The Stars Are Legion by Kameron Hurley


“Looking for a book recommendation to get me out of a slump. I love sci fi and fantasy and need something that will really get its claws in me and get me excited and invested right away.”


Adam - The Kingdom of Back by Marie Lu


Brea - The Future of Another Timeline by Annalee Newitz


Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel


The Test by Sylvain Neuvel

“Can you recommend any novellas? Big books are intimidating and hard to focus on.”

Mallory - The Haunting of Tram Car 015 by P. Djeli Clark


Split Tooth by Tanya Tagaq


Phantom Twin by Lisa Brown


Brea - Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead by Olga Tokarczuk, translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones


“Looking for recommendations along the lines of Ghost Maps, nonfiction about diseases.”

Brea - The Great Influenza by John M. Barry

New Guinea Tapeworms and Jewish Grandmothers: Tales of Parasites and People by Robert S. Desowitz


“Looking for a good stand alone middle grade novel.”


Adam - Sunnyside Plaza by Scott Simon


Doll Bones by Holly Black


Mallory - Small Spaces by Katherine Arden


 “I really love a teenage girl/young adult detective story. Any recommendations in that realm?


Mallory - Goldie Vance


Jill - The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley


Adam & Brea - A Study in Charllote by Brittany Cavallaro


“Looking for a read-a-like for Seanin McGuire/Mira Grant, historical or modern fantasy, maybe combined with a fairytale.”


Mallory - The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert


Adam - Gingerbread by Helen Oyeyemi


Brea - A Blade So Black by L.L. McKinney

The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter by Theodora Goss


“Looking for diverse mystery recommendations.”


Jill - The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton


Ruth Ware

Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz


Mallory - Sarah Waters


“I’ve been into nonfiction comics lately … looking for more.”

Adam - The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui


Brea - My Favorite Thing is Monsters by Emil Ferris

“Looking for a read-a-like for the Wayward Children series, reverse portal fantasy.”


Mallory - Ten Thousands Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow


Brea - The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern


“Looking for nihilistic YA…  desperately want more reads with nihilistic young adults as they go through a crisis of self and get closer to university. ”


Mallory - A.S. King


Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future




Adam - The Rest of Us Just Live by Patrick Ness


“Read-a-like for an adult version of Yoon Ha Lee’s books, looking for a Star Trek vibe.”


Brea - Space Opera by Catherynne Valente


Dark Orbit by Carolyn Ives Gilman


Jill - The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers


“Looking for lush historical horror a la Alma Katsu.”


Mallory - The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters


The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell

May 7, 2020

We're still here, in our respective homes, dishing out reading recommendations for all the fellow book nerds of the world. Join us as we bring it back to the beginning of the #SocialDistance reading odyssey by having Andrea and Abbey join us to discuss what they've been reading these some 7 odd weeks. 

Books mentioned in this episode

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

Wow, No Thank You. by Samantha Irby

Hidden Valley Road by Robert Kolker

The Reason You're Alive by Matthew Quick

I Must Say by Martin Short

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Mermaid by Carolyn Turgeon

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

Beauty in the Broken Places by Allison Pataki

One by One by Ruth Ware

Point B by Drew Magary

Dear Girls by Ali Wong

May 4, 2020

On today's episode, Adam sits down with Francesca Serritella to discuss her first-ever solo novel The Ghost of Harvard! Francesca has been writing bestselling books for years with her mother, Lisa Scottoline, but this is quite the dark departure from their normal work. It's a mystery and a ghost story and an exploration of mental health all wrapped up into one fantastic story. You're going to love it.