If you refresh your podcast feed every morning hoping for a new episode, you’re in good company at Omaha Public Library. While I can’t force our hosts to produce more content, I can offer a delightful alternative: OPL’s enormous collection of audiobooks! Even better, there’s no advertisements to skip through in any format--whether downloadable via Libby, CDs or pre-loaded Playaways. To get you started, I’ve paired some popular podcasts and genres with a handful of library offerings. I've compiled all the titles and available formats mentioned in this post here, opens a new window.
There are many options for true crime devotees of all persuasions. Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich’s "The Fact of A Body, opens a new window” is a dark, personal and meticulously researched selection, while “The Blood of Emmett Till, opens a new window” by Timothy Tyson presents a historic case of injustice. If you love “Last Seen,, opens a new window" and listening to hours of grisly true crime makes you nervous, give Kirk W. Johnson’s “The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century, opens a new window” a try.For those of us who love “2 Dope Queens, opens a new window,” “WTF with Marc Maron,, opens a new window” and other comedy content, there’s the deeply specific sub-group of comedian memoirs narrated by their authors. These are easy enough to find on your own, but feel free to start with “The Greatest Love Story Ever Told, opens a new window” by Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman or “Failure Is an Option: An Attempted Memoir, opens a new window” by Jon H. Benjamin.
Short story collections are a great fit for listeners who haven’t missed an episode of “This American Life, opens a new window” (TAL) in three (or 10) years. Some promising new options are “Almost Famous Women: Stories, opens a new window” by Megan Mayhew Bergman and “The King Is Always Above the People, opens a new window,” by Daniel Alarcon. In nonfiction, “It Occurs to Me That I Am America, opens a new window,” a collection of essays by a variety of American writers, is almost an extended episode in itself. A more committed read that reflects TAL’s deep dives and multi-faceted perspectives is “Dopesick: , opens a new windowDealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company That Addicted America” by Beth Macy.
In the way of “Stuff You Missed in History Class, opens a new window,” “Hardcore History, opens a new window” or “Uncivil, opens a new window,” both “The Bone and Sinew of the Land: America's Forgotten Black Pioneers and the Struggle for Equality, opens a new window” by Anna-Lisa Cox and “The Secret Token: Myth, Obsession, and the Search for the Lost Colony of Roanoke, opens a new window” by Andrew Lawler provide extensive research into lesser-known historical subjects.
My personal favorite podcast genre -- horror fiction like “Limetown, opens a new window,” “Tanis, opens a new window” or “The Horror of Delores Roach, opens a new window” -- has many contemporaries in the book world. “City of Ghosts, opens a new window" by Victoria Schwab will satiate your supernatural fix, “The Cabin at the End of the World, opens a new window” by Paul Tremblay has your apocalyptic thriller scares, and Joe Hill’s “Strange Weather, opens a new window” consists of four creepy stories if you’re looking for variety.
I think you’ve got the idea, but I’ll leave you with a few rapid-fire pairings of more obscure podcasts, in case I haven’t hit your niche yet. Happy listening!
- “Something Wonderful Rodgers and Hammerstein's Broadway Revolution, opens a new window” by Todd Purdum
- “Razzle Dazzle: The Battle for Broadway, opens a new window” by Michael Riedel
- “How to Fix a Broken Heart, opens a new window” by Guy Winch
- “If You Ask Me, opens a new window” by Eleanor Roosevelt
- “F*ck Feelings: , opens a new windowOne Shrink's Practical Advice for Managing All Life's Impossible Problems” by Michael and Sarah Bennett
- “The Royal Art of Poison: Filthy Palaces, Fatal Cosmetics, Deadly Medicine, and Murder Most Foul, opens a new window” by Eleanor Herman
- “Natural Causes: , opens a new windowAn Epidemic of Wellness, the Certainty of Dying, and Killing Ourselves to Live Longer” by Barbara Ehrenreich