Audible Feast’s Best Podcasts of 2019

A curated podcast list by

Creation Date December 22nd, 2019
Updated Date Updated March 1st, 2021
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About This List

Here are Audible Feast's Best Podcast Series of 2019! This was the year I took a break from writing Audible Feast's website and this newsletter. Life wasn't in balance in the right way so I took some time off. Because of this, I have actually binge listened to more shows and explored back catalogs instead of trying to listen to as huge of a variety so I give everything a fair chance and listen to everything I get pitched. That being said, I still try to have a diverse playlist and I have gotten some excellent pitches this year. 
  1. Let's talk about what’s killing us, the stuff that’s hard to comprehend and getting worse every day. Lemonada co-founder and author Stephanie Wittels Wachs confronts massive epidemics with humanity, wit, and a quest for progress. Starting with overdose deaths and the opioid crisis, we zoom in on a person’s last day of life, exploring how they got there and how we, as a society, have gotten here.
  2. Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood was not a simple show. And Fred Rogers was not a simple man. He was radical. Spiritual. Revolutionary. Maybe even subversive. Bestselling author and cultural critic Carvell Wallace hosts this 10-part series about the life, thinking and work of Fred Rogers, and asks what the cardigan wearing host of a decades-old children's show can tell us about how to get by in today's chaotic world. Produced in partnership with Transmitter Media.
  3. True Crime Bullsh** is a serialized, investigative podcast exploring meticulous and enigmatic serial killer Israel Keyes. Join me on this strange, terrifying, and emotional journey, as I attempt to find the missing, understand a killer, explore the impacts of crime, and reconcile with those left behind. Premieres December 6, 2018
  4. Wesley Morris and Jenna Wortham are working it out in this weekly show about culture in the broadest sense. That means television, film, books, music — but also the culture of work, dating, the internet and how those all fit together.
  5. Ear Hustle brings you the daily realities of life inside prison shared by those living it, and stories from the outside, post-incarceration. The podcast is a partnership between Nigel Poor, a Bay Area visual artist, and Earlonne Woods, formerly incarcerated at San Quentin State Prison, and was co-founded with former San Quentin resident Antwan Williams. The Ear Hustle team works in the San Francisco Bay Area, both in San Quentin State Prison’s media lab and from offices on the outside, to produce stories that are sometimes difficult, often funny and always honest. Episodes offer a nuanced view of people involved with the American prison system and those reintegrating into society after serving time.
  6. Criminal is the first of its kind. A show about people who’ve done wrong, been wronged, or gotten caught somewhere in the middle. Hosted by Phoebe Judge.
  7. Mob stories are always all about the guys. But not this one. Anna Genovese is a New York drag club maven and bad-ass mob wife. Hollywood besties Jessica Bendinger (writer, Bring It On) and Michael Seligman (writer, RuPaul’s Drag Race) are obsessed. They piece together Anna's story, racing between speakeasies, mob informants and former drag queens. But will their heroine's secrets unlock more than they want to know about Anna... and themselves?
  8. Obscure policies, forgotten histories and why America’s like this. The Uncertain Hour explains our weird, complicated, and often unequal economy – and why some people get ahead and some get left behind. Host Krissy Clark dives into obscure policies and forgotten histories to explain why America is like it is – from welfare reform, to the drug war, to why it’s so much harder to get a “good job” right now. The Uncertain Hour goes deep to tell us how we got here and what it all means.
  9. Unravel True Crime is a podcast where, each season, some of Australia's best journalists investigate unsolved crimes. Season 4: Snowball tells how an average family's encounter with a charismatic Californian con woman cost them everything.
  10. “This Is Uncomfortable” is a show about life and how money messes with it. Each week, Reema Khrais digs in with stories about the unanticipated ways money affects relationships, shapes identities and often defines what it means to be an adult. Khrais dives into uncomfortable topics like friends borrowing money, relationships and the other varied ways money shapes who we are. Editors’ Notes: “I wanted to create a space where people could talk openly about their relationship to money,” says Reema Khrais, host of This Is Uncomfortable, a weekly narrative podcast in which she explores the personal and emotional side of money and how it shapes our lives. “I’ve learned that it can be a reflection of our values and how we want to organize our lives. But in a lot of ways, our relationship to it is also shaped by a lot of things beyond our control, like our upbringing or by systemic disadvantages.” In each episode, Khrais covers various stories based on a central topic—whether it is the uniquely American obsession with productivity, how a woman’s teeth defined her, or a young woman’s pandemic journey to end her longtime shopping addiction. The Palestinian American came up with the idea for the show after she realized that she rarely talked with her friends and family about money. When she was in her mid-twenties, Khrais broached the topic of savings with her parents—both of whom are nurses and big savers. She was surprised to hear her dad’s firm stance on how much she should have in her bank account by the time she turned 30. “He said, ‘You should have around $100K saved by now,’” she recalls. “It made me realize how dangerous it can be if you don’t talk about these topics, because you’re more likely to set unrealistic expectations. You don’t know how to measure yourself up to people.” Khrais had heard many stories like hers while covering news about business and economy as a reporter for WNYC and WUNC Radio, though it wasn’t until she started podcasting that she was able to fully immerse herself in people’s intimate and vulnerable experiences. “I don’t want to tell people how to invest or how to save,” she says. “I want people to connect with the folks on the podcast and to see them not just for their struggles, but for their personality and as three-dimensional beings.”
  11. A fiction show about a Korean American son (Joel Kim Booster) who wants to come out to his mom (Esther Moon), but can't because they don't speak the same language.
  12. Money. Romance. Tragedy. Deception. The story of Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos is an unbelievable tale of ambition and fame gone terribly wrong. How did the world's youngest self-made female billionaire lose it all in the blink of an eye? How did the woman once heralded as "the next Steve Jobs" find herself facing criminal charges -- to which she pleaded not guilty -- and up to 20 years in jail? How did her technology, meant to revolutionize healthcare, potentially put millions of patients at risk? And how did so many smart people get it so wrong along the way? ABC News chief business, technology and economics correspondent Rebecca Jarvis, along with producers Taylor Dunn and Victoria Thompson, take listeners on a journey that includes a three-year-long investigation. You'll hear exclusive interviews with former employees, investors, and patients, and for the first-time, the never-before-aired deposition testimony of Elizabeth Holmes, and those at the center of this story.
  13. The Double Shift is a narrative show that challenges the status quo of motherhood in America. Katherine Goldstein and Angela Garbes are starting off the year with a series on the true cost of the pandemic for moms. Other timely episodes include a series around mental health and moms, rethinking career ambition, processing grief with an indigenous motherhood activist, challenging our ideas around unpaid labor for Mother’s Day, and hearing some inspiring stories from listeners who’ve been able to make some real changes in their communities.
  14. You know how when someone asks "How are you?" you just say "Fine,” even if you’re totally dying inside, so everyone can go about their day? “Terrible, Thanks For Asking” is the opposite of that. Nora McInerny asks real people to share their complicated and honest feelings about how they really are. It’s sometimes sad, sometimes funny, and often both. From American Public Media.
  15. After 25 years at the Late Night desk, Conan realized that the only people at his holiday party are the men and women who work for him.Over the years and despite thousands of interviews, Conan has never made a real and lasting friendship with any of his celebrity guests. So, he started a podcast to do just that.Deeper, unboundedly playful, and free from FCC regulations, Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend is a weekly opportunity for Conan to hang out with the people he enjoys most and perhaps find some real friendship along the way.
  16. 25 years after the crimes that ignited the "Trial of the Century" Kim Goldman, sister of murder victim Ron Goldman, is digging deep into the vicious crime that changed her life, and many others, forever. Thrust into the public eye at the age of 22, Kim was devastated when OJ Simpson was found not guilty of the murders of his ex-wife Nicole and her brother Ron. There has been much debate and confusion about what really happened the night of those brutal murders and for the first time Kim gets answers to questions that have been haunting her since the trial. She sits down with prosecutors, investigators, and witnesses who never got to speak and jurors who voted not guilty. In this 10-part series, Kim takes you on a journey as she reclaims and reflects on the part of her life that was changed permanently.
  17. What's CODE SWITCH? It's the fearless conversations about race that you've been waiting for! Hosted by journalists of color, our podcast tackles the subject of race head-on. We explore how it impacts every part of society — from politics and pop culture to history, sports and everything in between. This podcast makes ALL OF US part of the conversation — because we're all part of the story. "We're talking to people who have been marginalized and underrepresented for so long, who are so hungry to see themselves represented fully and with nuance and complexity," says Shereen Marisol Meraji, co-host of Code Switch, Apple Podcasts' first-ever Show of the Year for 2020. "People recognize that, because we had been having these conversations for so many years in advance, we're a trusted place where they could go to better understand all the stories about race filling up their newsfeeds and social channels." Their weekly podcast launched in 2016 but truly came into its own during this historic, transformative year, as Meraji and co-host Gene Demby examine issues of racial, ethnic, and cultural identity through frank one-on-one discussions and incisive non-fiction. In a year dominated by discourse about race, this indispensable show furthered them by providing powerful and timely insight, offering diverse and empathetic personal perspectives to a broad audience. "There are certain lenses that we are bringing into, both as journalists and the people that we're bringing to these stories," Demby says. "But also, we are specific people with specific fascinations and broad curiosity. If we're telling these stories, you should assume that they're going to look and sound like us."
  18. How are the things we're talking about being talked about somewhere else in the world? Gregory Warner tells stories that follow familiar conversations into unfamiliar territory. At a time when the world seems small but it's as hard as ever to escape our echo chambers, Rough Translation takes you places.
  19. In 1965, Rev. James Reeb was murdered in Selma, Alabama. Three men were tried and acquitted, but no one was ever held to account. Fifty years later, two journalists from Alabama return to the city where it happened, expose the lies that kept the murder from being solved and uncover a story about guilt and memory that says as much about America today as it does about the past.
  20. This investigative series unravels a complicated web of five decades of historical sexual abuse involving dozens of teens–preyed upon by three teachers. Warnings were ignored, abuse continued, and the ...
  21. Jenny Owen Youngs and Helen Zaltzman investigate every episode of Veronica Mars, from the beginning. Find @VMIpod on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook; the show’s official home is VMIpod.com. FYI: there will be spoilers for the episode being discussed, but not for events that happen later in the series. This show is supported by the good people at PRX.org.
  22. Will the Catholic Church's sex abuse crisis ever end? That's a question everyone has been asking since the latest wave of news in 2018. In Deliver Us, host Maggi Van Dorn is a Catholic committed to healing the church from the inside. She wants to know: How did this happen? And what, if anything, can we do to help? Hear from experts, advocates, and survivors to learn what the church can do to move forward. Because you can’t fix something until you know how it’s broken.
  23. Facebook. Apple. Amazon. Netflix. Google. These five tech giants have changed the world. But how? And at what cost? Google’s dominance in everything from search and online advertising to YouTube and Android gives it tremendous power and responsibility. In season three, The Google Empire, Recode’s Shirin Ghaffary and Big Technology's Alex Kantrowitz explore how Google became one of the most powerful companies in the world and whether it has become too big for our own good. New episodes every Tuesday. From Recode and the Vox Media Podcast Network.
  24. Love is more than you think. From the creators of Criminal. New episodes every month.
  25. When The Big One hits it’ll take under two minutes for more than 10 million Southern Californians to lose internet, power, and a sense of security. Host Jacob Margolis and Producer Misha Euceph take you on a journey to understand what the catastrophic earthquake will mean for Los Angeles, the U.S., and the world. This is what you need to know to survive.
  26. This 10-part series from Waging Nonviolence explores a little-known WWII rescue story, showing what happens when ordinary people won’t ignore the horrors surrounding them.
  27. In 2003, the United States invaded Iraq without provocation. Most Americans supported the war—as did most politicians and intellectuals, both liberal and conservative. Today, it’s universally considered a disaster. Hosted by award-winning reporter Noreen Malone, the fifth season of Slow Burn explores the people and ideas that propelled the country into the Iraq War, and the institutions that failed to stop it. How did the Iraq catastrophe happen? And what was it like to watch America make one of its most consequential mistakes?
  28. In this intensely divided moment, one of the few things everyone still seems to agree on is Dolly Parton—but why? That simple question leads to a deeply personal, historical, and musical rethinking of one of America’s great icons. Join us for a 9-episode journey into the Dollyverse. Hosted by Jad Abumrad. Produced and reported by Shima Oliaee. Dolly Parton’s America is a production from OSM Audio and WNYC Studios.
  29. In this interview series, host Alicia Menendez talks to remarkable Latinas about making it, faking it, and everything in between. In often-hilarious and always-revealing episodes, Alicia and her guests take on the challenges of existing, and then thriving, as women of color.
  30. A weekly exploration of all the things Jonathan Van Ness (Queer Eye, Gay of Thrones) is curious about. Come on a journey with Jonathan and experts in their respective fields as they get curious about anything and everything under the sun.

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