Podcast Pairings: Nonfiction Edition

In between seasons of your favorite podcast? We have an ample collection of nonfiction audiobooks to satisfy your craving for audio documentaries. This edition of Podcast Pairings matches a few of my favorite podcasts with audiobook listen-alikes.

Are you an outdoorsy type? A nature lover? Or just curious about the science behind nature? Outside Podcast is an offshoot of the popular Outside magazine. Just a few of the subjects covered are tough choices on Mount Everest, the perils of introducing one species to control another, the secret history of Biosphere 2 and tales of surviving extreme weather on a wilderness trek. Fans of the Outside Podcast will enjoy the The Hour of Land, an exploration of national parkland, and the The Last Wild Men of Borneo, about a westerner who takes going off the grid to the extreme.

You may not expect an audio documentary about life in prison to be upbeat, but Ear Hustle, made by and for inmates at San Quentin men's prison in California's Bay Area, upends the popular idea of the prison experience. Listeners experience a full range of emotions as they're drawn in by the irresistible friendship between inmate Earlonne Woods and prison volunteer Nigel Poor. Ear Hustle (The show's title is prison slang for eavesdropping.) fans should try Running the Books by Avi Steinberg, a memoir about a prison librarian's experiences, and American Prison by Shane Bauer, an investigative journalist who worked as a prison guard to report on the conditions of a private prison in Louisiana.

The impeccably researched In the Dark, hosted by reporter Madeleine Baran, uses investigative journalism to shine a light into the dark corners of the criminal justice system. In the Dark listeners will appreciate Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson, a defense lawyer detailing his experiences defending the poor, and Jon Krakauer's Missoula, a journalist’s treatise on a high-profile crime.

Tell us about the podcast that has you reaching for your headphones in the comments.

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