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Celebrate Spooky Season With the Library
Break out your pumpkins and don your witch hats, it’s that time of year again. From scary stories to creepy crafts, ghoulish projects to costume parties, the New Orleans Public Library has everything you need to make the most of spooky season — including plenty of books for podcast lovers to read alongside their favorite eerie episodes, brought to you by Aimé, the Library’s head of outreach:
Recommended Reads: Podcast Pairings to Get in the Mood for Spooky Season
The Podcast Index estimates roughly 4.1 million podcasts registered around the world. And of course, some of those most popular genres are True Crime, Supernatural, and Horror.
Even if you haven’t listened to them yet, you’ve probably at least heard of a few: Last Podcast on the Left, This is Why We Drink, or the OG, Serial. We just can’t get enough, but with so many out there how do you find the right ones for you?
One option? Check out a book.
Several well-known podcasts have companion books, either written by the hosts and creators, or compiled from their episodes — often with bonus material. Plus, reading (or listening to an audiobook) can also be a great way to dive deeper into a single crime, subject, or forensic technique you learned about listening to a pod.
Here’s some we think you’ll enjoy, whether you want, ‘just the facts,’ or some shivers on the side.
Podcasts with Companion Books:
Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered is a New York Times & USA Today Bestseller from Karen Kilgari and Georgia Hardstarck of My Favorite Murder, a popular comedy and true crime podcast. Their book is part memoir, part modern survival guide and it’s the perfect read for both lovers and newcomers to this pod, which has over 350 episodes and more than 35 million monthly downloads.
Jake Brennan’s book Disgraceland: Musicians Getting Away with Murder and Behaving Very Badly shares its name with Brennan’s award-winning show. In the book, readers will find a selection of the best of the podcast’s first two seasons, which showcase the dark side of some very notable names indeed.
The World of Lore: Monstrous Creatures features dark historical tales, unusual places, and mysterious creatures, reminding us the truth is often more frightening than fiction. The first in an illustrated trilogy by Aaron Mahnke, Lore shares the true incredible true stories that inspired the legends of famous monsters.
From Joseph Fink, co-creator of the ubiquitous Welcome to Nightvale Podcast, comes Alice Isn’t Dead. Originally presented as the audio-diary of a truck driver on a cross-country search for her missing wife, the novel expands the story and its supernatural subplot.
Limetown is a prequel by Cote Smith and Zack Akers sharing the beginning and background to the fictional podcast that swept the nation in 2015. After two seasons, listeners still wondering the answer to the question, “What happened to the people of Limetown?” are in for a treat. Bingeable in a single weekend, this book-podcast combo will surely give you some serious chills.
The Crime Junkie podcast with Ashley Flowers and Brit debuted in 2017 and has since won multiple listener’s choice awards. Last year Ashely released her first mystery novel, All Good People Here, which follows a journalist as she is pulled back into the secrets surrounding the unsolved murder of her childhood neighbor and friend.
Award-winning young adult novel, Sadie by Courtney Summers, isn’t based on a podcast. The book follows a missing girl on a search for answers, and as part of the book’s promotion, the publishers also released a four-episode prequel mini-pod you can listen to before or after you read the book.
Hooked yet? We’ve got more!
If you like the whole story explained:
In Anatomy of a Murder, Anna-Sigga Nicolazzi, a former New York City homicide prosecutor and host of Investigation Discovery’s True Conviction, teams up with Emmy award-winning investigative journalist, and former Deputy Sheriff Scott Weinberger for this grisly podcast full of expert analysis.
Likewise, True Crime Campfire audiences enjoy hosts Katie and Whitney’s meticulous research with a balance of comic relief and good storytelling make for a compelling show.
Listeners of both podcasts are likely to enjoy I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara and Murder in the Bayou: Who Killed the Women Know as the ‘Jeff Davis 8’? by Ethan Brown.
If you want to explore the criminal [and creepy] in the great outdoors:
More people are visiting the National Parks than ever before, but that also means more and more of them never leave. In National Park After Dark, podcast hosts Cassie and Danielle take you to a new park — and a new mystery — every week.
Trailed: One Woman’s Quest to Solve the Shenandoah Murders by Kathryn Miles is a perfect book pairing for this spooky serial.
Similarly, lost in the Woods is a mother-daughter podcast focusing on finding answers for missing and murdered hikers and backpackers in the United States and abroad. While you listen, check out Andrea Lankford’s book Trail of the Lost: The Relentless Search to Bring Home the Missing Hikers of the Pacific Crest Trail.
If you prefer your true crime through a social justice lens:
Since 2021,Celisia Stanton has been striving to tell the stories of the missing, murdered, and misled with more nuance, more context, and more questions in her podcast, Truer Crime. Similarly, journalist Jessica McDiarmid’s book Highway of Tears: A True Story of Racism, Indifference, and the Pursuit of Justice for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls examines each murder within the context of Indigenous identity and regional hardships.
From injustices to cold cases, hosts of Bruh Issa Murder — Andre, Battle, Kelly, and Robert — detail some of the most shocking cases and the social issues that factor into them. As you listen, consider checking out We Carry Their Bones: The Search for Justice at the Dozier Boys School by Erin H. Kimmerle, investigates the notorious Dozier Boys School, the true story behind Colson Whitehead’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Nickel Boys and the contentious process to exhume the graves of the boys buried there in order to reunite them with their families.
Find these shows and literally millions more everywhere you get your podcasts, and check out or download a book today at catalog.nolalibrary.org. Have a fun, and safe, spooky season, everyone! For more suggestions of what to with your Halloween podcasts, check out the carousel below.
Halloween Fun at the Library
Looking for more Halloween fun? The Library has you covered with free, festive events for all ages.
When: Tuesday, October 17: 3:30pm – 4:30pm
Where: Children’s Resource Center Library, 913 Napoleon Ave.
What: Embrace creativity with various craft-based programs for teens ages 11 – 18.
When: Thursday, October 19: 5:00pm – 6:00pm AND Saturday, Oct. 28, 2:30 – 3:30pm
Where: Nora Navra Library, 1902 St. Bernard Ave. AND Latter Memorial Library, 5120 St. Charles Ave.
What: Experiment, create, and craft at this hands-on STEAM event for children ages 6 – 12.
When: Tuesday, October 17: 4:00pm – 6:00pm
Where: Alvar Library, 913 Alvar St.
What: Celebrate Halloween by bringing to life your own franken-creation with stuffed animals. For tweens and teens ages 9 – 18.
Sponsored by the Friends of the New Orleans Public Library.
When: Tuesday, October 24: 5:00pm – 6:30pm
Where: Milton H. Latter Memorial Library, 5120 St. Charles Ave.
What: New Orleans authors Alex Jennings, Ladee Hubbard, and Jon Padgett read their most macabre manuscripts in this special Halloween event with music by Lola Jean Darling. Costumes encouraged. Submit your two-sentence horror story for the chance to have it read during the event.
When: Friday, October 27: 4:00pm – 7:00pm
When: Rosa F. Keller Library & Community Center, 4300 S. Broad St.
What: Free and fun for the whole family. Bring your neighbors and enjoy music, food trucks, raffles, trunk or treat, and a costume contest.
When: Tuesday, October 31: 4:00pm – 7:00pm
Where: NORD Joe W. Brown Rec Center, 5601 Read Blvd.
When: Spend Halloween night at the NORD Spooktacular at Joe W. Brown Rec Center with food, music, trick-or-treating, free books for children and teens, plus family fun activities.