The Adventure Zone
by Clint McElroy & Carey Pietsch
The Adventure Zone podcast sees the McElroys—brothers Justin, Travis, Griffin and their father Clint—playing Dungeons & Dragons together. The McElroy brothers host a variety of comedy podcasts including My Brother, My Brother and Me, Sawbones, Shmanners and Wonderful. However, Adventure Zone was the first podcast of theirs that I listened to, and the first season (the show is now in its third) holds a special place in my heart and is something I have re-listened to multiple times. The humor, storytelling and family dynamics make The Adventure Zone a great podcast and an interesting challenge to adapt as a comic by artist Carey Pietsch.
Seduction: Sex, Lies, and Stardom in Howard Hughes’s Hollywood
by Karina Longworth
Seduction examines women, sex and male power in Hollywood during its golden age—a legacy that endures nearly a century later. Karina Longworth explores this period of Hughes’s life (the late 1920s to 1957) by looking at his supposed relationships with Hollywood actresses including Billie Dove, Katharine Hepburn, Ava Gardner and Lana Turner. While not directly connected to her podcast, You Must Remember This, Longworth’s book fits into the same vein by covering the “secret and/or forgotten histories of Hollywood’s first century.”
The 99% Invisible City: A Field Guide to the Hidden World of Everyday Design
by Roman Mars and Kurt Kohlstedt
99% Invisible is a big-ideas podcast and website about small-seeming things, revealing stories baked into the buildings we inhabit, the streets we drive on and sidewalks we traverse. The show celebrates design and architecture in all of its functional glory and accidental absurdity, with tales of exceptional designers but also everyday designs. The 99% Invisible City: A Field Guide to the Hidden World of Everyday Design zooms in on intriguing details about how our cities work, exploring the origins and other fascinating stories behind everything from power grids and fire escapes, to drinking fountains and street signs.
Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered: The Definitive How-To Guide
by Karen Kilgariff & Georgia Hardstark
Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark met at a Halloween party in 2014 where Kilgariff was describing a violent car accident she had witnessed, Hardstark approached Kilgariff and found they had a shared interest in true crime. The rest is podcast history. In 2016 they launched My Favorite Murder, a true-crime comedy podcast where each woman presents a “book report” on a crime they find fascinating. The comedy is never aimed at the victims, it acts as a release valve for the hosts’ discomfort about the crimes they discuss. In their book, Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered: The Definitive How-To Guide, Kilgariff and Hardstark delve into their own pasts, true crime stories and beyond to discuss meaningful cultural and societal issues with empathy and frankness.
The Last Book on the Left
by Ben Kissel, Marcus Parks & Henry Zebrowski
Since its first show in 2010, The Last Podcast on the Left has barreled headlong into all things horror, as hosts Henry Zebrowski, Ben Kissel and Marcus Parks cover subjects spanning Jeffrey Dahmer, werewolves, Jonestown and supernatural phenomena. Deeply researched but with a morbidly humorous bent, the podcast has earned a dedicated and aptly cultlike following for its unique take on all things macabre. In their first book, the guys take a deep dive into history’s most infamous serial killers, from Ted Bundy to John Wayne Gacy, exploring their origin stories, haunting habits and perverse predilections.