Did you spend an entire weekend watching Tiger King like the rest of the country? During this time when we all need a little distraction, Netflix’s hottest show has captivated our attention and given us something to talk about besides COVID-19. If you watched the entire series in a few sittings (like I did) and are looking for something similar, we have put together a list of podcasts, documentaries, and books that you might also enjoy.
First, if you don’t have access to Netflix and want to know what all the fuss is about, you can listen to Wondery’s podcast Joe Exotic: Tiger King for the highlights. You can also catch Joe Exotic’s own videos on his YouTube channel. Cat People, a new podcast from journalist Rachel Nuwer and wildlife expert Peter Frick-Wright, is a natural tie-in and looks at private owners of tigers, lions and other big cats. One of the captivating aspects of Tiger King is the bizarre, offbeat, unconventional “characters.” Other great podcasts that feature atypical personalities are S Town, The Dropout and Dirty John.
Rick Kirkman, the grizzled, wide-brimmed hat-wearing producer in Tiger King, had planned to film a reality show starring Joe Exotic. The show never came to fruition, but his own life is also a wild story, which he documents in TV Junkie available on YouTube. A few other engrossing documentaries that spotlight fraud, cons, and cults are The Inventor (HBO), McMillions (HBO), Dirty Money (Netflix), Wild Wild Country (Netflix) and Bikram (Netflix).
The library also has a number of books available on Overdrive and/or Hoopla that cover everything from wildlife trafficking to true crime, cults and more. Take a look!
Poached: Inside the Dark World of Wildlife Trafficking by Rachel Love Nuwer
The Falcon Thief by Johsua Hammer
The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival by John Vaillant
No Beast So Fierce: The Terrifying True Story of the Champawat Tiger, the Deadliest Animal in History by Dane Huckelbridge
Jumbo: The Unauthorized Biography of a Victorian Sensation by John Sutherland
H is for Hawk by Helen MacDonald
Impossible Owls by Brian Phillips
The Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean
Every True Pleasure: LGBTQ Tales of North Carolina
Goat Castle: A True Story of Murder, Race, and the Gothic South by Karen Cox
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt
Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou
My Friend Anna: The True Story of a Fake Heiress by Rachel DeLoache
Scarred: The True Story of How I Escaped NXIVM by Sarah Edmondson
The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson
And finally, because we could all use a little laugh, celebrities from Rob Lowe to Snoop Dogg are getting into the spirit and showing us their Tiger King spoofs. Jenny McCarthy and Donnie Wahlberg created their own Tiger King music video and a number of fans are showing off their Savage Tiger King moves on TikTok. Enjoy!