As a librarian, I must confess that I’m not much of a reader. I can’t sit still, and have a terrible time sitting for long stretches and reading. I am, however, a rabid consumer of audio content, both audiobooks and podcasts.
I’ve been wanting to recommend some podcasts recently, and thought I would take this moment to write about the recommendations.
First off, if you are just starting with Podcasts, you may want to get a curation tool for your phone or device. I like BeyondPod, which allows easy downloading, and is free.
Check Out Some of These Spectacular Podcasts:
This American Life: Stories of life, usually in 4 acts, centered around a common theme.
My favorite, absolutely, is Prom, 4 stories of the beauty of the High School Prom.
Radiolab: A variety of topics, from one of their first episodes about Blood, the social context and biology under the skin, to Eye in the Sky, about a drone that tracks crime, to an episode about how we experience our Things.
Radiolab Presents More Perfect: One of the Radiolab authors spun off into a podcast all about the history and context and importance of the Supreme Court of the USA, and it is fascinating.
The Story Collider: This podcast takes scientists and gives them a platform to discuss their discoveries, their challenges, their triumphs, their inspirations, and more. It is science, it is a story.
Serial: This podcast is a commitment. The first season goes into a court case, about a girl from a Baltimore High School who goes missing, the man who is accused, and the innocence that he claims. Every new episode goes to a deeper part of the story, a new witness, a new suspect, a new claim. And the end isn’t set, even still.
Embedded: This podcast, as they say, takes a news story and goes deep. They travel around the world, to the Texas Gang Shooting, to Doctors Without Borders in Haiti, to a district school system in Pennsylvania, to the capital of El Salvador. It is fascinating to hear a news headline turned inside out, with an hour of interviews that are often poignant and unexpected. A highly recommended podcast.
The Sporkful: Dan Pashman talks about the joy of food in his podcast “for eaters, not foodies.” It’s a celebration of food, eating, customs, and all the things in between. The series “Other People’s Food” and “Who is this Restaurant For?” were both stunning, enlightening, and enjoyable. I also found the Maria Bamford episode particularly entertaining.
Gastropod: Two lovely ladies talk food, the historical and cultural context that makes what we eat common. Some personal favorites are The Buzz on Honey and The United States of Chinese Food. This light and joyous podcast is a good listen while in the kitchen!
On the Media: If you are into news, I find On the Media very informative and clear. Although, the reason I recommend them is because of their recent series on poverty in America: a look at the myths that surround poverty and stories of how it works in reality.