Unputdownable podcasts or audio books (non fiction) please...
October 11, 2017 2:49 AM   Subscribe

I like to listen to non fiction serialised podcasts on my commute. Favourites include Crimetown, Serial, S-Town, How to be a Girl and Up & Vanished. I could do with some recommendations for gripping non-fiction audio books or podcasts (serialised) in any genre.

Crimetown has ruined me for most other things, so I'm looking for suggestions featuring captivating true stories/tales/events that will make my commute a delight again.

I do lean towards true crime or political(ish) stuff - but will give anything a go.

Massive thanks. :)
posted by TheGarden to Media & Arts (16 answers total) 50 users marked this as a favorite
You Must Remember This does serialised stories on the lesser-known histories of Hollywood. If you're into true crime, start with the 12-part series on the Charles Manson murders; here's a review.
posted by Catseye at 3:09 AM on October 11, 2017 [4 favorites]

Are you saying you haven't listen to Dirty John ?!? (Link to part 1 and article)
posted by Crystalinne at 3:32 AM on October 11, 2017 [7 favorites]

APM Reports has an investigative podcast called In the Dark about the abduction of 11 year-old Jacob Wetterling in 1989. The first season (and the Wetterling case) is complete.
posted by xyzzy at 5:27 AM on October 11, 2017 [3 favorites]


You are missing an excellent chunk!

I can't recommend "startup" an episode about building podcasts, enough. And Reply All is fantastic.

It's not exactly what you describe, but I found "Critical Role", a podcast where voice actors play D&D together, more fun that most podcasts and more funny than most "funny" podcasts out there.
posted by bbqturtle at 5:36 AM on October 11, 2017

Undisclosed for the crime and justice needs. They have several series archived, and started with working on the original Serial case. Revolutions is a history series, and if you want to lean in hard to history and discussion of how it's made, The British History Podcast just got to the death of Albert.
posted by slanket wizard at 6:22 AM on October 11, 2017

Have you tried My Favorite Murder?
posted by amanda at 6:48 AM on October 11, 2017 [1 favorite]

Ear Hustle is my absolute favorite, and I listen to A LOT of podcasts.
posted by jshort at 7:22 AM on October 11, 2017 [2 favorites]

Embedded is also excellent.

While it's fiction, I am sure you will love Homecoming.
posted by jshort at 7:30 AM on October 11, 2017 [1 favorite]

Seconding Dirty John.
posted by katie at 7:53 AM on October 11, 2017

Best answer: I am a True Crime Podcast Junkie. So here's a bunch:

Serialized podcasts:

Dirty John (thirding)
Someone knows something
A murder on Orchard Street
Suspect Convictions
Hollywood and Crime
In the Dark
Missing and Murdered
The Fall Line
Missing Maura Murray

Non-serialized but still great:

Sword and Scale
True Crime Garage
Thinking Sideways
Generation Why
My Favorite Murder
The Vanished
True Crime all the Time
True Crime all the Time Unsolved
Last Podcast on the Left
Real Crime Profile
They Walk Among Use
My Favorite Murder
Once Upon a Crime
Small Town Murder
posted by Lutoslawski at 8:25 AM on October 11, 2017 [5 favorites]

Best answer: A few serial true crime podcasts that I thought were really well done:

Untold - The murder of Daniel Morgan, politics, and corruption.
Offshore, Season One - Murder and the culture and history of Hawaii.
Someone Knows Something - Two seasons, about two different missing persons cases.
Stranglers - The Boston stranglers.
posted by ernielundquist at 8:35 AM on October 11, 2017 [2 favorites]

Have you read any John Krakauer? His non-fiction books are some of the most gripping I've read/listened to, and while they're neither true crime nor politics, they do have an investigative flavour which might scratch a similar itch. I get sucked into his books even when I'm not interested in the topic per se. Into the Wild is probably the most famous. There are several available on Audible.
posted by snorkmaiden at 8:54 AM on October 11, 2017 [1 favorite]

The Breakdown podcast is put out by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. There are four seasons up and a fifth is coming soon.

On the literary side, I’ll second every Jon Krakauer book.
posted by The Deej at 3:35 PM on October 11, 2017 [1 favorite]

I'm a fan of The Grift, a true time podcast about con men and women
posted by The Whelk at 10:32 PM on October 11, 2017

Response by poster: Hi everyone,

So many helpful comments! Thank you!

To answer a couple of questions: I have tried My Favourite Murder and whilst I like it I got a bit grumpy at how many spoilers are in it for various programmes I had not yet finished! So I'm keeping that on the back burner until I've got more stuff under my belt.

I have not read any Jon Krakauer but am definitely open to his books and will certainly download - should I start with Into The Wild? I am cautious on the basis that I have watched the film, which invariably ruins books to some degree. But your advice on this is much appreciated.

I have listened to quite a few of the suggestions but there are a great deal I have not even heard of and indeed I listened to a bit of Dirty John this morning on my commute. I already feel that looming sense of foreboding over how awful this guy is going to be. Heh - so thanks!

Also for the benefit of lurkers checking this post out for suggestions - I just downloaded Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea by Barbara Demick because I was told it is super interesting.
posted by TheGarden at 1:50 AM on October 12, 2017

For Krakauer, I'd start with Into Thin Air. It's a harrowing book, and an experience he actually lived through so it's very personal. He is also a stickler for wanting to get things right; he doesn't like to leave questions unanswered.

Despite having seen the film version of Into the Wild, I'd still recommend reading it. If you like his writing in Into Thin Air, then you'll probably like Into the Wild, and of course books almost always have more detail and insight than their movie counterparts.
posted by The Deej at 7:20 AM on October 12, 2017 [1 favorite]

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