Favorite Audiobooks and Podcast Serials of 2019, So Far

We’re only halfway through 2019, but I’ve already listened to some great new audiobooks plus a growing collection of serial podcasts.

That last bit is pretty much new to me, though I was aware of some early podcast serial phenomenons, like, well, Serial. But where earlier efforts didn’t really grab me, per se, some podcast serials that are new to 2019 have really grabbed me. And I suspect there are many more to come, both new and new to me.

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So let’s start there.

Serial podcasts

The Dropout
By: ABC Radio
Narrated by: Rebecca Jarvis
Length: 7 episodes

There are some decent TV documentaries about Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos, but this podcast serial is better than anything else I’ve read or seen. It’s a fascinated, open-ended story, and I’m hoping that there will be new episodes in the future when Holmes and co-conspirator Sunny Balwani are tried in court.

Confronting: O.J. Simpson
By: Wondery
Narrated by: Kim Goldman
Length: 10 episodes (planned)

25 years after O.J. Simpson murdered Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman and got away with it, Goldman’s sister Kim methodically revisits the case, digging up a surprising amount of new information. She also engages in incredible discussions with virtually everyone important from the case, including some of the jurors who somehow found Simpson innocent. This one is still ongoing.

Audiobook (non-fiction)

I Will Teach You to Be Rich
By: Ramit Sethi
Narrated by: Ramit Sethi
Length: 12 hrs and 8 mins

Don’t be put off by the clickbait title: This one is the real deal and will tell you everything you need to know about personal finances, from banks and bank accounts to credit cards, mortgages and loans of all kinds, retirement savings, and much more. A must-read.

Creative Selection: Inside Apple’s Design Process During the Golden Age of Steve Jobs
By: Ken Kocienda
Narrated by: Ken Kocienda
Length: 7 hrs and 28 mins

This one is only OK, assuming you’ve read any of the other many insider accounts of Apple during the Steve Jobs and iPhone years. There are literally no new stories here—we’ve heard it all before—but Kocienda did play a role in the design of the iPhone, and it’s still a relevant era of study in the personal computing industry. Want more/better? Try the official Steve Jobs biography instead.

Audiobooks (fiction)

Mr. Mercedes
By: Stephen King
Narrated by: Will Patton
Length: 14 hrs and 22 mins

The first book in a great trilogy, I had read this one on Kindle originally (and then listened to the next two on Audible). Since Patton is one of my favorite narrators, I decided to revisit it in audiobook form.


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Conversation 9 comments

  • lvthunder

    Premium Member
    10 July, 2019 - 2:44 pm

    <p>I'll have to check a couple of those out. Thanks. For me the best Audiobook I've listened to this year has been Backlash by Brad Thor. </p><p><br></p><p>Also I know movies aren't part of this, but the documentary Apollo 11 was awesome. They just use footage from the mission and don't have a narrator over the top of it.</p>

    • Richardsona39

      10 July, 2019 - 8:45 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#441017">In reply to lvthunder:</a></em></blockquote><p><span style="background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">I agree on that movie, is terrific. </span>Related to that, the mini podcast series "13 Minutes to the Moon" by BBC World Service is awesome – lots of new takes and insider info that's delivered in an understandable way that puts the enormity of what was accomplished in real perspective.</p>

  • ommoran

    Premium Member
    10 July, 2019 - 4:41 pm

    <p>I'm currently listening to American Gods by Neil Gaiman (on Kobo) – brilliantly narrated by Ian McShane who also plays one of the characters in this semi-dramatized book. McShane is the star of the Amazon Prime adaptation as well.</p><p><br></p><p>Good stuff.</p>

    • Paul Thurrott

      Premium Member
      10 July, 2019 - 4:48 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#441061">In reply to ommoran:</a></em></blockquote><p>Love the narrator, will check that out!</p>

  • Kudupa

    10 July, 2019 - 10:45 pm

    <p>Thank Paul, Im going enjoy the thernos story. This will make my 7 mile daily walking fun for next few days..</p><p>Is this something new you starting? If it is then I'm all in. </p>

    • Paul Thurrott

      Premium Member
      11 July, 2019 - 3:37 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#441099">In reply to Kudupa:</a></em></blockquote><p>I publish something like this every year or six months. </p>

  • rekhtaorgin

    15 August, 2019 - 10:50 pm

    <p>The audio book is a best method for learning for</p>

  • zahrobsky

    Premium Member
    03 January, 2020 - 8:38 pm

    <p>Just finished "The Drop Out" and now moving on to "13 Minutes"</p><p>Awesome Podcasts!</p><p>There is so much out there today, so much goes unnoticed.</p><p>Thanks for the recommendations!</p>

    • Paul Thurrott

      Premium Member
      04 January, 2020 - 9:56 am

      Nice. Will check that out.

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