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.

Month in Review: November 2018

Favorite Media

I consumed season five of Brooklyn Nine-Nine one weekend and then cursed myself because I didn’t have any more episodes left to watch. ☹ This show has quickly become an absolute favorite since I started it a couple of months ago, and I am so super excited for it to come back in January.

The Keepers is a very difficult documentary to watch—one I am taking an episode at a time—but it is so, so good and frustrating and heartbreaking and hopeful. If you are at all interested in true crime, it’s worth a look.

A&E recently premiered The Clinton Affair, a fascinating re-look at the major scandal that plagued the Clinton presidency, and Monica Lewinsky penned a thought-provoking article on her participation for Vanity Fair: Who Gets to Live in Victimville?” It’s a nice companion to both the docu-series and the second season of Slow Burn.

Stuff I Added to My Queue

Blind Kiss by Renée Carlino sounds very much like a stay-in-bed-all-morning kind of romantic read and, after inhaling My Favorite Half-Night Stand, I am very much here for that.

Will the stories in Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah’s Friday Black make me uncomfortable? Probably. Will I also be okay with that? Definitely.

Rebecca Traister has slowly become an auto-read for me, based solely on her New York articles and because she wrote All the Single Ladies. But there’s also the fact that I would read a book called Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Anger no matter who wrote it.

Roxane Gay gave Heavy: An American Memoir five stars, asking “how do you carry the weight of being a black man in America?” I’m looking forward to learning Kiese Laymon’s answer.

I’d never heard of Lacy M. Johnson before stumbling across The Reckonings, but now that I know the book is her way of considering—and yes, reckoning—with the idea of justice following a kidnapping and rape, I’m excited to read it.

Just look at the uber cute cover for The Seas by Samantha Hunt and then tell me you don’t want to read a book about a maybe-mermaid.

I tell myself that I’m not that ~into short stories until something like Camille Acker’s Training School for Negro Girls is published, and I have re-evaluate my priorities.

On My Radar

  • I am SO close to meeting my Goodreads challenge, y’all! I don’t think this should be that exciting except I haven’t actually met my goal since 2012. (Lol.)
  • I haven’t forgotten about vlogging so much as not really planned for it. I want to be more active, though, and am hoping a short break later in the month will motivate me.

What were YOU up to in November? Let me know!

New to the Queue #13

Jamie of Perpetual Page Turner started this and I love it so I’m (politely) stealing it!

I add a lot of stuff to my TBR list, my Netflix queue, and my library holds list. Here’s stuff I’ve recently added and hope to consume right now!

Stuff to Read

Jonny Appleseed by Joshua Whitehead // The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner // The Memory of Forgotten Things by Kat Zhang // An Ocean of Minutes by Thea Lim // The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory

Rage Becomes Her: The Power of Women’s Anger by Soraya Chemaly // The Status of All Things by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke // Tin Man by Sarah Winman // The Witch of Willow Hall by Hester Fox // Woman World by Aminder Dhaliwal

Stuff to Watch

American Animals // Chewing Gum * // Eighth Grade // Papillon // Three Identical Strangers

* I apparently added this to a NttQ post back in January 2017 and am finally watching it. LOL forever.

Stuff to Listen To

Lovett or Leave It // Pod Save the World // Slow Burn

Have you also added some of these? Have you already consumed them?? Let me know!