Are you listening to Serial?

The hot new podcast from the people at This American Life?

It’s Baltimore, 1999. Hae Min Lee, a popular high-school senior, disappears after school one day. Six weeks later detectives arrest her classmate and ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed, for her murder. He says he’s innocent – though he can’t exactly remember what he was doing on that January afternoon. But someone can. A classmate at Woodlawn High School says she knows where Adnan was. The trouble is, she’s nowhere to be found.

Told in weekly installments, the episodes analyze Adnan Syed’s murder conviction. Did he do it or is he innocent? That is what we are trying to discover in each episode. New information is coming in about what maybe didn’t happen on January 13, 1999. And while Adnand’s memory of that day is foggy at best, he does remember what happened next: being questioned, being arrested and, a little more than a year later, being sentenced to life in prison. Serial is a podcast designed to be listened to in order. If you’re just discovering the series, be sure to start with Episode 1.

There have been articles about this podcast all over the place. Entertainment Weekly has it on their must list. The New York Times says it is a ‘break-out hit”!

And even the Atlantic has weighed in.

I am definitely hooked as are other members of the library staff. We wondered what books would be like The Serial and here is what we found:

Iphigenia in Forest Hills: Anatomy of a murder trial by Janet Malcolm. Also check out her 1990 book, The Journalist and the Murderer about the 1970 Jeffrey McDonald case (which declares it “unsolvable”, which was also explored in two other nonfiction books: Joe McGinniss’ Fatal Vision that declared MacDonald “a narcissistic sociopath,” and Errol Morris’ A Wilderness of Error that argues MacDonald was innocent.

In cold blood: A true account of a multiple murder and its consequences by Capote, Truman

Alias Grace (1996) by Atwood, Margaret

and to listen and subscribe to the podcast you can go to:


Nancy’s first job was as a page in the Peninsula Public Library in Lawrence, NY. Her love of reading brought her back to libraries and she has now worked at the Fanwood Memorial Library for over 13 years. Nancy wears many hats here at the library including planning and supervising of adult and teen programming, other YA and teen activities, book selection and buying, working behind the circulation desk and more. Her hobbies include baking, and she once won the NJN Chocolate bake-off contest for her famous “La Grande Park Ice Skating Rink Cookies". If you see her walking to work, or at the library, say hi... and ask her for that recipe).