Adult Readers Advisory, Podcasts

Podcasts: Storytelling Old and New

by Beth Reynolds, Children’s Librarian and podcast listener extraordinaire

Sarah Koenig’s Serial was my first foray into the world of podcasts. The gateway drug, if you will. Once the first season was over, I floundered around looking for more to give me that same buzz. I realized that what I liked most was the episodic nature of the storytelling, how each part built upon each other. And if you start listening when the first episode is being released – there’s the “wait for it” factor. Each week you are left with a cliffhanger and the burning desire to know what happens next.
Now, this eager anticipation is not a new feeling. Dickens and Tolstoy, among other authors, did it way back when. And many of the television series we know and love are built around this premise. Still, there is something special about listening to a serial podcast that harks back to radio dramas, and to a time when everything stopped in a household so that everyone could gather round. These days it’s usually just you and your headphones, but the intense desire to find out what happens next is still there.
Here are a few podcasts I’ve enjoyed. They have all been released, so binging is an option. But if you can show some self-restraint and listen to one a week… Who am I kidding, you’re going to listen as fast as you can. They’re gripping, compelling and it’s hard to stop listening. There’s no shame in it, just enjoy them on whatever schedule you like! Then stop by and let me know your thoughts. Your recommendations are always welcome and appreciated.
A psychological thriller featuring an A-list cast. Catherine Keener, Oscar Isaac, David Schwimmer, David Cross, and other voices bring these stories of a vast government conspiracy to life.
Ten years ago, over three hundred men, women and children disappeared from a small town in Tennessee, never to be heard from again. In this seven-part podcast, American Public Radio host Lia Haddock asks: what happened?
A new podcast following the weekly reports and interviews covering the decoding of a message from outer space received 70 years ago. Over the course of 8 episodes, we get an inside ear on how a top team of cryptologists attempt to decipher, decode, and understand the message.
Life After: From the producers of The Message, this series follows Ross, a low level employee at the FBI, who spends his days conversing online with his wife Charlie – who died eight months ago. The technology behind this digital resurrection leads Ross down a dangerous path that threatens his job, his own life, and maybe even the world.


Need help setting up your device to listen to podcasts? Just ask a librarian!