Top Ten: Favorite Podcasts

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme was an audio-themed freebie.

I listen to a lot of podcasts. (Like, it’s basically the only thing I listen to.) I’ve featured both book-related and narrative nonfiction podcasts already, but here are ten more that I absolutely love!

Backtalk: A snappy conversation between two Bitch editors about the week’s pop culture.
Hysteria: Political commentator and comedy writer Erin Ryan is joined by a bicoastal squad of opinionated, mouthy women to discuss news, politics, and cultural stories that affect women’s lives, from the serious to the absurd.
Keep It: Ira Madison III leads a conversation at the intersection of pop culture and politics at a time when we’re all obsessing over both. Movies! Music! Terrible tweets by celebrities trying to seem engaged while bragging about their latest project! This show has it all.
Last Podcast on the Left: Hosts Ben Kissel, Marcus Parks, and Henry Zebrowski cover all the horrors our world has to offer, from demons and slashers to cults and serial killers. Guaranteed to satisfy your blood lust.
The Librarian Is In: New York Public Library’s podcast about books, culture, and what to read next. Hosts Gwen Glazer and Frank Collerius discuss the books they’re reading, pop culture and the literary zeitgeist, and the world of libraries—and welcome special guests.

Lovett or Leave It: Former Obama speechwriter Jon Lovett is joined by comedians, actors, journalists, and many, many renowned Friends of the Pod for a roundup of the week’s top news. Rants! Games! Bad impressions! Nuanced discussion!
My Favorite Murder: Lifelong fans of true crime Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark tell each other their favorite tales of murder and hear hometown crime stories from friends and fans.
Pod Save America: Four former aides to President Obama—Jon Favreau, Dan Pfeiffer, Jon Lovett, and Tommy Vietor—are joined by journalists, politicians, comedians, and activists for a freewheeling conversation about politics, the press, and the challenges posed by the Trump presidency.
Unladylike: Hosts Cristen Conger and Caroline Ervin investigate how sisters are doin’ it for themselves in spite of all those unwritten, but all-too-real, bullshit expectations of how we should live our lives.
You Made It Weird: Everybody has secret weirdness. Pete Holmes gets comedians to share theirs.

Five Favorite: Narrative Nonfiction Podcasts

I basically only listen to podcasts, and long-form nonfiction are some of my favorites. (Yet I don’t listen to audiobooks? 🤔) Below are four of my absolute favorites, and one* I can’t wait to start!

The Dream: Host Jane Marie dives into the world of pyramid schemes, multi-level marketing, and all the other businesses that require their members to recruit their nearest and dearest in hopes of a commission. Join her as she traces the path of get-rich schemes, from her roots in rural Michigan all the way to the White House.

Monster*: This true crime podcast tells the story of one of the city’s darkest secrets, the Atlanta Child Murders, nearly 40 years later. Host Payne Lindsey aims to find truth and provide closure, reexamining the disappearance and murder of over 25 African American children and young adults. Season two focuses on the Zodiac killer.

Serial: Serial is a podcast from the creators of This American Life, hosted by Sarah Koenig. Serial tells one story — a true story — over the course of a season. Season one focuses on the murder of Hae Min Lee, season two on political prisoner Bowe Bergdahl, and season three on the justice system of Cleveland, OH.

Slow Burn: Even recent history is rich with surprising subplots, strange details, and forgotten characters. On Slow Burn, Leon Neyfakh excavates recent political history and finds surprising parallels to the present. Season one focuses on Watergate and season two on Bill Clinton’s impeachment.

Standoff: In 1992, hundreds of armed federal agents surrounded a family of white separatists in a ramshackle mountaintop cabin. Eleven days later, three people were dead—and the story of Ruby Ridge was just beginning. Journalist Ruth Graham explores a tragedy that’s become a foundational myth for the modern right, and finds some frightening lessons about power and paranoia. 

Do you have your own favorite narrative nonfiction podcasts? Let me know! To see previous topics, click here.

Five Favorite: Book-related Podcasts

“Five Favorite” is a feature on thewasofshall where I lay out my five favorite “x”. Sometimes they’re relevant to a season or holiday, mostly they’re not. It’s an all-around fun excuse to give my 100% amazingly awesome opinion. To see previous (and future) topics, click here. To participate, scroll all the way down.

Okay, so, I love podcasts. They can be entertaining, informative, eye-opening – anything, really, which is why it’s so hard to wade through the thousands (upon thousands) of podcasts out there to find the one (or five, or ten) that will keep you engaged for 50 (or even 500) episodes. Because I love to read and am interested in the book world, I listen to a lot of podcasts focused specifically books, book news, and authors; here are my five favorite. (Can you tell I like Book Riot???)

AllTheBooksAll the Books!: All the Books! is a weekly show of recommendations and discussions about the most interesting and exciting new book releases; hosted by Rebecca Schinsky and Liberty Hardy of

BookRiotBook Riot – The Podcast: Book Riot – The Podcast is a weekly news and talk show about what’s new, cool, and worth talking about in the world of books and reading; hosted by a combination of Jeff O’Neal, Rebecca Schinsky, and Amanda Nelson of, and guests.

DearBookNerdDear Book Nerd: Dear Book Nerd is a bi-weekly advice show about life, love, and literature; hosted by Rita Meade of and guests.

LitUpThe Lit Up Show:  The Lit Up Show discusses books, writers, life, love and all things literary in an exploration of how what we read reflects how we live; hosted by Angela Ledgerwood and Emily Gould of

ReadingLivesReading Lives: Reading Lives features hour-long conversations with guests about their reading lives: the books and reading experiences that have been memorable, transformative, and meaningful; hosted by Jeff O’Neal of

Have your own five favorite book-related podcasts? Share them! Post them to your blog, link back to this post, and then comment letting me know!