By Kelly Riibe of Family Footnote
Podcasts have been around for a while, and there are so many great ones. True crime, comedy, historical, popular culture, news editorial, and more are available for eager, listening ears. Just like audio books, they can also make cleaning and exercise much more bearable. Keep reading to learn about some of my favorite podcasts:
A fellow soccer mom recommended this true crime podcast, and it amounted to me achieving the most miles ever walked or ran during a hot summer month. Dirty John follows the adult life of John Meehan, an evil genius and lady’s man. The non-fiction story takes place on the West Coast and is a diabolical plot filled with manipulation, violence, and incredulous outcomes.
The podcast by Wondery is hosted by a writer for the LA Times named Christopher Goffard. He has a great radio voice in addition to knowing how to tell a tale. The sound track and interviews for this podcast are spot-on and worth the listen. Fans of Serial or S-Town will like this podcast.
Bookworms can rejoice and get the chance to dig even deeper into an author’s psyche with this podcast called Professional Book Nerds. It is hosted by a fun duo, Adam Sockel and Jill Grunenwald. Both work for Overdrive (the popular library app) and have great access to famous authors. There are over 200 episodes to download, with many being one-on-one interviews with mainstream novelists.
I enjoyed the podcasts with Lee Childs (creator of the Jack Reacher character), Marissa Myers (author of the young adult series The Lunar Chronicles), Jodi Picoult (super famous novelist), and Dav Pilkey (of Captain Underpants fame). This podcast gives access to the best storytellers of our generation. Professional Book Nerds also has tons of episodes highlighting books to read or celebrating great series (aka: 20 Years of Harry Potter). This podcast is like a person’s own private book club.
My husband and I got hooked on this podcast, More Perfect, during a 16-hour road trip. It was created by the smarties at NPR and is all about Supreme Court decisions. It is informative entertainment, and I feel myself getting smarter each time I listen to an episode. The basis of the show is to have hosts track down lawyers and witnesses in historic legal cases that ultimately established legal precedence in the USA.
More Perfect is in its third season and looks to have staying power. Season one’s “Object Anyway” explains how the Supreme Court landed on the decision to make juries be comprised of a defendant’s peers. The actual players in this case are interviewed and it is so real and fascinating. “Adoptive Couple vs Baby Girl” from the first season is another great history lesson regarding Native American tribes and the complicated legal system behind adoption.
Probably my favorite episode is “American Pendulum II” in season three. It is about Dred Scott and the controversial Supreme Court decision regarding slave ownership in the 1850’s. The hosts go way back historically to bring forth information, but do a great job of talking to descendants and giving this piece a relevant and contemporary vibe.
The political climate right now is volatile and a lot of people talk about crossing the aisles to work together. Therefore, every adult should listen to this podcast. It profiles a reunion of individuals who have direct lineage with the Dred Scott case. That means descendants of slaves, slave owners, and high court justices all got together in one room to talk ancestry and not bicker or fight. The podcast highlighted a camaraderie and commitment to making the world better, and at one point it brought stinging tears to my eyes. There are good and accountable people in this world.
Fans of Law & Order or NPR will enjoy this podcast.
Need a good mystery?…Someone Knows Something has an amazing story teller and the first season digs deep into the disappearance of Adrien McNaughton. He was a young boy that went missing on a family fishing trip in Ontario in 1972. The creator, David Rigden, is a pro at producing meaningful documentaries. He does great research and records compassionate interviews for this podcast in the hopes of bringing closure to a family and his captivated listeners.
The episodes involving the cadaver dogs are intense, informative, and interesting beyond words. Different perspectives from the police, family members, and locals give this story so much depth. Fans of season one can rejoice in knowing that Someone Knows Something has three additional seasons for their listening pleasure.
Do you have a favorite podcast? Please let Family Footnote know via our website, Facebook page, or Twitter @FamilyFootnote!
This post was originally published on Family Footnote.
About the Author
Kelly J. Riibe has three kiddos, a husband, a Jack Russell Terrier, and a mildly curbed addiction to Diet Coke. Keeping busy for her involves staying home with her children and also finding work as a freelance writer. She has been published in Nebraska Magazine, Heels on a Farm, The Manifest-Station, BonBon Break, Parent.co, Living Here Magazine, Black Hills Faces Magazine, and MockMom. She is also the co-writer for the blog: www.familyfootnote.com. Follow her on Twitter at: @familyfootnote and @KJRiibe.