More podcasts! Oh, I wasn’t close to done last week.
This is an NPR show so you might already have heard it on your radio. Episodes are usually pretty short (around 20 minutes) and focused on some aspect of the economy. They’ll do things like actually set up an offshore bank account to see just what the tax benefits are or purchase barrels of crude oil and track the process of drilling to refinery to getting pumped into someone’s car.
Another NPR one—this podcast does make me uncomfortable and irritated sometimes, but it’s all good in the name of getting more woke, right? It’s conversations about race and generally the experience of minorities in America. Not always easy for someone like me (a middle class white woman) to listen to, but important.
I think this might’ve been one I listened to once or twice before Serial. Do I really need to describe Freakonomics? It’s Behavioral Economics 101. I really enjoy Stephen Dubner’s interview and storytelling style. I typically feel a little smarter after listening to it.
Again, do I need to recommend this one? Honestly, the second season was a little meh for me, but the first two episodes of Season 3 (released two weeks ago) were fascinating, so I’m excited to see what else they’ll do.
One of two podcasts put out by Runner’s World magazine (aka the bible of all things recreational running) that covers…um, all things running. What else? It’s a mix of interviews with elite athletes and “regular” runners, discussion panels with coaches and other experts with training tips, and coverage of the latest running news. Definitely check out their interviews with Deena Kastor, Shalane Flanagan, Meb, Lauren Fleshman, and Bart Yasso. Oh, and Roberta Gibb. And the episode with Juli Windsor and John Young. Damn, so many good ones in here. Then listen to all the more recent episodes covering the Nike Breaking2 project and (now former) Editor-in-Chief David Willey’s attempt to run a BQ.
This is the podcast that most often makes me laugh out loud. Molly and Matthew, writers/comedians, “cook something delicious, eat it all, and you can’t have any” each week. Actually, many weeks they don’t actually cook something, but they (almost) always try some sort of very specific food and talk about it. And any other random topics that come to them. It’s weird and wonderful and hilarious and sometimes you actually learn a new recipe or something interesting/useful about food.
The other podcast from Runner’s World. I think when they originally launched this one they called it “This American Life for runners.” It’s more longform storytelling, usually covering one person or a small group, almost always a “regular person,” rather than an elite athlete or celebrity. I would pretty much recommend just binging on all their archives (they only release every other week, and they’ve taken some breaks, unlike the weekly Runner’s World Show, so the archive isn’t as huge).
So, most of the podcasts on this list are professionally produced or are part of someone’s business or brand or whatever. But this one is just two friends—next door neighbors—getting together every other weeks to chat about something. With a cocktail. Sometimes they follow a recipe and sometimes they just make one up. They talk about normal stuff you might discuss with your friends—motherhood, creativity, family, decorating for holidays, balancing work and home life. They also share “neighborhood updates” from their Gilbert suburb (just outside Phoenix), which often include lost tortoises.
How can you not love a podcast that features an interview with Stephen King that just about corgis, or an interview with Tom Hanks about typewriters? Nerdette explores anything that’s remotely nerdy in pop culture.
It’s been on hiatus for awhile, but she just brought it back last week! For this season, she’s re-interviewing past guests about how their lives and work have changed, so I’d highly recommend digging into her archives. Similar to Raise Your Hand Say Yes, Elise Cripe (creator of the Get To Workbook, aka my favorite paper planner) interviews (mostly) women with creative businesses about creativity and running a small business and everything that goes with it.
So, given my recent obsession with The West Wing, of course I’m going to listen to this one. Hosts Hrishikesh Hirway and Joshua Malina (who starred on the show starting in season…four? I don’t know, I haven’t gotten that far yet) re-watch and discuss each episode, week by week. Often with interviews from other former cast members.
The Washington Post published this one last year—each week looks at the life and legacy of each president in turn. It’s completed, so I’m just listening to an episode here and there and catching up slowly. They go beyond just the facts and dates you had to memorize in history class—the host likes to ask historians and experts “what would it be like if I went on a blind date with [insert president]?” to actually understand the character and personality of each man.
Phew. I would ask for recommendations of your own, but as you can see, my queue is basically always full…but oh, what the hell—what podcasts are you into?