Apple recommends the best podcasts, books and audiobooks of 2020

Apple recommends the best podcasts, books and audiobooks of 2020


Apple names its best podcasts, books and audiobooks of 2020
These are some of Apple’s choices for best book or podcast of 2020.
Graphic: Cult of Mac

With the year winding down, Apple picked its favorite podcasts, books and audiobooks of 2020. The offerings “kept us entertained, made us think, provided a much-needed escape, or filled our hearts up,“ noted Apple.

All the recommendations are, of course, available through Apple Podcasts or Apple Books.

Apple’s best podcasts

Among the podcasts named the company’s favorites this year is Rabbit Hole from The New York Times, which explores the effects online life are having on all of us. And those who want to learn ways they can improve society can listen to How to Citizen with Baratunde from iHeartRadio. And there are ten more podcasts on the list on the topics of music, sex, COVID-19 and more:

  • Canary: The Washington Post Investigates — The Washington Post
  • You’re Wrong About — Michael Hobbs and Sarah Marshall
  • Dying for Sex — Wondery
  • FANTI — Maximum Fun
  • In the Bubble with Andy Slavic — Lemonada Media
  • FloodlinesThe Atlantic
  • California Love — LAist Studios
  • Louder Than a RiotNPR
  • Nice White ParentsSerial and The New York Times

Add to that the first-ever Show of the Year, which went to CodeSwitch from NPR.

There’s also lists of what Apple calls the Biggest Shows of 2020, These contain lots of true-crime podcasts, as well as ones about politics, the pandemic and even the supernatural.

  • The Daily — The New York Times
  • Crime Junky — audiochuck
  • Call Her Daddy — Barstool Sports
  • This American Life — This American Life
  • Armchair Expert — Armchair Umbrella
  • My Favorite Murder with Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark — Exactly Right
  • Unlocking Us with Berne Brown — Parcast Network
  • Stuff You Should Know — iHeart Radio
  • Up FirstNPR
  • The Ben Shapiro Show — The Daily Wire

And Apple picked its Biggest New Shows as well. There’s some overlap with the previous categories.

  • Unlocking Us with Berne Brown — Parcast Network
  • SmartLess — Will Arnett, Jason Bateman and Sean Hayes
  • Nice White ParentsSerial and The New York Times
  • Counter — audiochuck
  • Red Ball— audiochuck
  • Blood Ties — Wondery
  • Coronavirus: Fact vs Fiction — CNN
  • Down The Hill: The Delphi Murders — WarnerMedia
  • Supernatural with Ashley Flowers — Parcast Network
  • Park Predators — audiochuck

Apple’s picks for best books and audiobooks

The Mac-maker also named its best books of the year. There’s the psychological thriller The Last Flight by Julie Clark, or the deeply odd Piranesi by Susanna Clarke. The list of 15 books even includes one for kids: The Silver Arrow by Lev Grossman.

Other picks for best book of 2020 include:

  • My Autobiography of Carson McCullers: A Memior — Jean Shapland
  • We Are Not Free — Traci Chee
  • The Velvet Rope Economy — Nelson D. Schwartz
  • Reborn Yesterday — Tessa Bailey
  • The Roommate — Rosie Danan
  • The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read — Philippa Perry
  • The Vanishing Half — Brit Bennett
  • Long Bright River — Liz Moore
  • The City We Became — N. K. Jemisin
  • Caste (Oprah’s Book Club) —. Isabel Wilkerson
  • Deep State — Chris Hauty
  • 28 Summers — Elgin Hilderbrasnd

The Apple Books app also compiled a rundown of 2020 chart-toppers — the most popular books of 2020.

And for those who prefer to listen, Apple made picks of the best audiobooks of the year. On the list are the mystery The Guest List by Lucy Foley, Jessica Simpson’s memoir Open Book, and the Hunger Games prequel The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins. Also make it the lists are:

  • Untamed (Unabridged) —Glennon Doyle
  • The City We Became — N. K. Jemisin
  • Interior Chinatown: A Novel (Unabridged) — Charles Yu
  • Fair Warning —Michael Connelly
  • Think Like a Monk (Unabridged) — Jay Shetty
  • The Vanishing Half (Unabridged) — Brit Bennett
  • Upstream (Unabridged) — Dan Heath
  • Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You — Jason Reynolds, and Ibram X Kendi
  • Caste (Oprah’s Book Club): The Origins Our Discontents (Unadbridged) — Isabel Wilkerson
  • Memorial Drive — Natasha Tretheway
  • Take a Hint, Dani Brown — Talia Hibbert
  • Devolution: A Firsthand Account of the Rainier Sasquatch Massacre (Unabridged) — Max Brooks


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