Although I’ve mentioned in previous posts of my love of audiobooks, I also am quite the fan of podcasts on my commute to work, while doing housework, on afternoon walks I take around the neighborhood, etc. Though my subscriptions lean toward the literary, I mix it up with all kinds of different topics. Here are just a few of my many favorites for you to check out!
(I’m not even going to mention some of the more obvious ones, like S-Town or Serial…we all know them, they’re amazing, go listen).
From The Front Porch
Ok, so this is the newest love on my list, but I’ve also binge-listened to these episodes like a madwoman because the hosts (particularly Annie Jones) are just so dang ENCHANTING. Which makes sense, as her life goal is to be Kathleen Kelly a la “You’ve Got Mail.” Which basically means she and I should be friends because Kathleen Kelly is my fictional idol and mentor. Annie runs a bookstore in Thomasville, GA, called The Bookshelf, and the podcast covers books (obviously), as well as life in the South. She and I are around the same age, both married to men who are heavily interested or involved in politics, and have similar taste in book preferences. Basically, we are the same person, or at least in my mind.
Annie is balanced out with the other host, Chris, who is a PhD student and hilariously sarcastic. They have a lot of fun themes in their podcast, including “Love it or Loathe it” and monthly reading recaps. Check it out if you enjoy a nice mixture of in-depth thematic discussions, tangents on life in the south and pop culture, and interest in the bookseller’s market.
All The Books! by BookRiot
Hosted by Liberty Hardy and Rebecca Schinsky, two of the most prolific readers I’ve ever encountered. They discuss the latest releases each week from the book publishing world, with a special focus on indie booksellers and small print presses. My reading list always grows by another 10 titles with every episode I listen to.
The Reading Women
I love this podcast for a multitude of reasons: 1) it focuses on female authors, which as a pageant-loving, mascara-wearing feminist, is my kryptonite 2) the podcast hosts are from Greenville, SC, and Atlanta, GA, both cities that are on my list of places I do (or have) called home, and 3) the book selections are excellent! I love the balance of in depth discussion and off-subject humor these podcasts offer. I feel like I’m curled up in a chair next to these girls chatting over coffee or wine, and I seriously want to be friends with both of them.
This podcast has in-depth interviews with authors, hosted by the delightful Angela Ledgerwood (Australian accent and all!). A writer herself, Angela knows all the incisive and perceptive questions to ask her guests. To be honest though, mostly I’m just mesmerized by her voice. Think of this as a literary version of NPR’s Fresh Air.
**Note: occasionally discusses adult/explicit themes and passages in books as well as occasional crass language**
Love love LOVE me some Radiolab! Investigation in a different topic every week that centers around one central idea and unfolds the story around sounds and episodic vignettes, where science and culture and art all combine. They have an excellent episode on Henrietta Lacks, as well as “Juicervose” – a story about a family and their autistic son, and his journey from an isolated child to a communicating member of society (all the emotions).
This American Life (for the story-lovers) , Fresh Air (for those who love a good interview), Invisibilia (for the science-minded), TED radio hour. (for those obsessed with self-improvement)… you name it, I probably listen to it.
Current Events/Political Podcasts
With Friends Like These
I love this podcast because it brings together people of opposing and differing viewpoints and worldviews. Instead of obnoxious punditry like we get on cable news, these discussions are more about listening to each other than arguing.
**Note: at times explicit**
NPR News Now
Five minute soundbites of the latest in news for a quick rundown after a long day at work.
They talk about everything from celebrity news to emojis to Disney princesses. This is a fairly new one for me, but I’m already into it.
“A podcast about the internet.” This is another one introduced to me a few weeks ago, but it’s quickly becoming one of my top 5 podcasts. Alex Blumberg gets informed on the internet trends of the week, because he usually doesn’t have a clue. I loved the episode on #Covfefe.
Will You Accept this Podcast?
My fellow Alabama Junior Miss sister and friend Mary Catherine hosts this hilarious podcast with her husband as they unpack all the drama from the latest Bachelorette episodes. To be honest, I don’t even watch the Bachelorette anymore…and yet I listen to this podcast because of its wit, humor, and legit in-depth analysis of the most ridiculous reality show of our generation. Check it out on her blog Deep Hunger, Deep Gladness (her blog is excellent too if you want to get sucked into a rabbit hole for the next four hours of delightful writing).
….my ultimate guilty pleasure, as I always have nightmares the night after listening to one of these shows. Some girls watch The Real Housewives, this girl listens to crime and mystery podcasts…
My Favorite Murder
Two VERY west-coast girls talk about all the crazy murders and serial killers and mysteries, while also making you laugh out loud. People also phone or email in their hometown murder stories. It’s comedy, it’s gore, it’s Valley girl accents…what more could you want?
**explicit because, duh, murder. But also lots of crass language.**
Casefile True Crime
REALLY in-depth research into some scary crimes. The latest on the Original Night Stalker has been giving me nightmares all week. BUT I CANT STOP LISTENING. Another creeptastic episode series was The Moors Murders (as in the English Moors a la Emily Bronte’s “Wuthering Heights”).
This one has more of a historical bent to it, and some non-scary stories (ex: an episode on the origins of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer), but they also had a fascinating episode on Jack the Ripper I really enjoyed. They cover everything from unexplained disappearances to petty crimes to serial killers.
Uplifting stuff, right? Don’t judge me.
Anyway, HAPPY LISTENING you guys!