Let me start off by admitting that it took me a lot longer than the average millennial to get into podcasts. I know it’s 2018 and everyone and their mother seems to have one, but I just didn’t “get” it for a long time. Which is even weirder because I love audiobooks, so it wasn’t an aversion to listening to people talk that was keeping me on the outside of this trend. Maybe it was an assumption that podcasts were just a new-wave version of talk radio? Either way, I opted out for the longest time, resisting every recommendation my pod-loving friends made. Until I finally succumbed to By the Book that is.
By the Book is described as “half reality show, half self-help podcast” and is hosted by Jolenta Greenberg and Kristen Meinzer, produced by the Panoply network. And y’all it’s probably my favorite thing on the internet right now. The premise of the show is as simple as it is wild: every episode, Jolenta and Kristen choose one self-help book to live by, following every rule to the letter for two weeks. And as you might imagine with book picks like The Secret and French Women Don’t Get Fat, hilarity ensues.
What might be more surprising is the genuine introspection, growth, and sharing that also ensues. Listeners learn about Jolenta’s anxiety and depression, Kristen’s complicated family history, and both women’s relationships with their often skeptical but always loving husbands. These women are genuine in sharing their backstories and struggles, with no sugar coat. And they’re just as authentic with their enthusiasms; whether it’s Kristen’s love of all things Christmas or Jolenta’s passion for self-help books that got them into this wacky mess in the first place.
Bottom Line: I cannot get enough of this podcast. The dynamic between the two friends makes me wish I could grab a frozen margarita with them and their takes on the books they live by are by turns hilarious and thought-provoking. If you haven’t already binged this pod, do yourself a favor and start at the beginning. You’re in for a great ride.