noun: a digital audio or video file or recording, usually part of a themed series, that can be downloaded from a website to a media player or computer.

This is my “P” contribution to the “A to Z Challenge.”

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past decade or two, you probably have a vague idea what a podcast is, even if you’ve never listened to one. I listen to podcasts almost exclusively: during my commute, when I’m working, to the point where I am totally behind the times on what’s current with music these days. And because I thought it would be fun, I thought I would share some of my favorites with you to see if, by chance, we happen to be listening to the same thing.When it comes to podcasts, my tastes are pretty apparent: I like to listen to true crime and more story-esque type podcasts. Here are my absolute favorites.

Storytelling Podcasts

My all-time FAVORITE podcast is Lore – “a bi-weekly podcast (and upcoming TV show) about the dark historical tales that fuel our modern superstitions. Each episode explores the world of mysterious creatures, tragic events, and unusual places. Because sometimes the truth is more frightening than fiction.” Favorite episode: I honestly can’t choose – they are all great.

The Memory Palace, a finalist for the 2016 Peabody Award and one of iTunes Best Podcast of 2015. Short, surprising stories of the past, sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes hysterical, often a little bit of both. Favorite episode: Episode 4 – Itty Bitty Bombs

Mystery Show, narrated by Starlee Kine, sadly only made it to 6 episodes before it was cancelled. Favorite episode: Case #3 – Belt Buckle

Fiction-based Podcasts

You’ll probably notice that all 3 of these are produced by Night Vale Presents – the only one of their podcasts I don’t have listed is “The Orbiting Human Circus of the Air,” and that’s just because I haven’t had a chance to listen to it enough to know if it’s one of my favorites.

Please note that I don’t have a favorite episode for either of these three, because each one is a series, so I can’t really pick one when they all kind of depend on the one prior to it.

Welcome to Night Vale is “twice-monthly community updates for the small desert town of Night Vale, featuring local weather, news, announcements from the Sheriff’s Secret Police, mysterious lights in the night sky, dark hooded figures with unknowable powers, and cultural events. Turn on your radio and hide.” 

Alice Isn’t Dead follows a truck driver in her search across America for the wife she had long assumed was dead. In the course of her search, she will encounter not-quite-human serial murderers, towns literally lost in time, and a conspiracy that goes way beyond one missing woman.”

Within the Wires “tells stories in the guise of instructional audio programs. Each season guides the listener through a different audio experience from this other universe, ushering listeners through a curriculum which unravels to reveal a much deeper and more personal story.”

True Crime Podcasts

As you can see, the genre I have the most of is true crime.

My Favorite Murder is “lifelong fans of true crime stories Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark tell each other their favorite tales of murder and hear hometown crime stories from friends and fans.” Favorite episode: MFM Minisode #20

And That’s Why We Drink — “Murder and the paranormal finally meet! Grab your wine and milkshakes and join us every Sunday for some chilling ghost stories and downright terrifying true crime stories. The world’s a scary place. And that’s why we drink!” Favorite episode: Listener Stories: Vol. 5 (because they read my submission at 16:44 in)

Criminal (side note, I want Phoebe Judge to narrate my life because I love her voice so much) “is a podcast about crime. Not so much the ‘if it bleeds, it leads,’ kind of crime. Something a little more complex. Stories of people who’ve done wrong, been wronged, and/or gotten caught somewhere in the middle.” Favorite episode: Episode 1 – Animal Instincts

Wine and Crime – “the comedy/true crime podcast where three friends chug wine, chat true crime and unleash their worst Minnesotan accents.” Favorite episode: Episode 1 – Necrophilia (not for the faint of heart)

In the Dark is truly a great listen, even if it is a dark subject. Here is the description: “Child abductions are rare crimes. And they’re typically solved. For 27 years, the investigation into the abduction of Jacob Wetterling in rural Minnesota yielded no answers. In the most comprehensive reporting on this case, APM Reports and reporter Madeleine Baran reveal how law enforcement mishandled one of the most notorious child abductions in the country and how those failures fueled national anxiety about stranger danger, led to the nation’s sex-offender registries and raise questions about crime-solving effectiveness and accountability.

Up and Vanished (full disclosure, I am not caught up on this podcast, but really like what I’ve listened to so far, which is why I’m recommending it) “Up and Vanished is an investigative podcast that explores the unsolved disappearance of Georgia beauty queen and high school teacher, Tara Grinstead. The 11-year-old cold case is the largest case file in the history of Georgia. Follow along as host Payne Lindsey, a film director turned amateur investigator, examines old case evidence and re-interviews persons of interest. What happened to Tara Grinstead?

What are some of your favorite podcasts? What genres do you really enjoy? I’m always in the market for new podcasts – please share in the comments some that may not have made it on my list!

Until next time,

❤ Linz