Best Podcasts of the Last Year (2019 edition)

5 years ago, I quit tv and starting listening to lots and lots of podcasts. I haven’t stopped. Here’s a roundup of my favorite fiction & non-fiction podcasts in the last year!


Besides my ongoing favorites which carry over from my 2016 podcast roundup, I tend to look for great new shows in Storytelling and Fiction. This list has my top finds from the last year or so.

Great Non-Fiction Podcasts

Threshold Storytelling, EnvironmentSeason 1 about climate change will transport you. Each season has a new topic. Excellent reporting and sound.
Far From HomeStorytelling, TravelThe first season documents a trip via tiny car from UK to Mongolia. Live vicariously.
DocumentaryDocumentary 🙂A collection of BBC documentaries (1 or more episodes per topic) spanning everything from stories to people to trends to politics. Start with the 4-part Polyglot series.
Anthropocene ReviewedStorytellingCritique of truly random cultural things by writer John Green. His voice is soothing and his takes are fresh.

Great Fiction Podcasts

EOS 10Space Opera, Comedy Really funny writing, a great cast of characters played by excellent actors, odd relationships in space. J’Adore!
The Horror of Dolores RoachDrama, SuspenseBest acting and production I had ever heard in a podcast up to that point. It set a new bar that people are rising to. A mesmerizing story. 1 season total.
The ShadowsRelationshipsA beautifully produced, rule-breaking and somewhat provocative CBC podcast about the arc of a relationship. 1 season total.
UnwellSmall town, Mystery?I have no idea where this meandering story is going but I like the ride. Suspense, unusual characters, and actors of color finally.
SandraModern SuspenseAbout a woman hired to work as the person secretly behind an Alexa-like AI, beautifully produced and well written. Ending is a bit weak. 6 episodes total.
Ars ParadoxicaSci-Fi, Time TravelFor true sci-fi fans only, this is a long and satisfying series. The story quality trumps the production budget. Listen through episode 4 (Bullet) before you decide – that’s considered the pivotal episode at which point the mind- and time-bending story really takes off.
Valerie Lanard

Valerie Lanard

I am a fitness buff, engineering leader, and wearables lover. This blog originally started as part of my now-defunct fitness video startup, Gigabody. It has evolved to encompass my writing on tech and work culture as well. Find me on a bike, on a hike, in a skort, or near a usb port.

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