I never thought I would be writing a post on my favorite podcasts; favorite Netflix shows, maybe, but podcasts? Who am I? Yet here I am, linking up with Mar, Cynthia, and Courtney for the Friday 5 and Heather for Friday Favorites.
From Audiobooks to Podcasts
The audiobook thing for me started way back in high school, when my mom got Harry Potter (if you have not listened to Jim Dale perform Harry Potter, DO IT RIGHT NOW. You will never think of it the same way again) for us all to listen to during a road trip. I took time off from listening to audiobooks during undergrad, but got back into them during grad school, and especially once I started running.
Insider tip: like with the Kindle trick of reading books where the copyright has expired, you can listen to podcasts for free from sources that read classic (sometimes not, but usually classics) read by volunteers. I’m a big fan of classics like Sherlock Holmes and Jane Austen 😀
But I wasn’t really a podcast person–I didn’t like the fact that I would have to “change CDs,” as it were, like we used to do with books on CD. But surprise surprise, I finally bit the bullet and popped my podcast cherry last year, and since then, they have become a great form of white noise at time, thought-provoking at other, and escapist mental vacations at others.
For me, a podcasts are about the performance of the material, maybe even more so than the material itself: with the right narrator, I would listen to a show about how to watch grass grow.
My Favorite Podcasts
I’ll admit it, I started with Serial. I had been told by so many people that I needed to listen to it, that I would love it, so I decided why not. And you all were right: I LOVED IT. Listening to Serial opened the door to others.
Criminal with Phoebe Judge is fantastic. The episodes are typically about 20ish minutes and cover EVERY aspect of crime, from recon missions in the La Brea Tar Pits to someone who poisoned the Treaty Oak in downtown Austin. I love Phoebe’s delivery, and the stories are honestly captivating. She covers crime (and even the deep dark crime) without overpowering you.
Where Criminal can be light and intriguing, Sword and Scale holds on to you and never lets go. This is deep, DARK crime, and sometimes I can’t even listen to certain stories. But I can’t stop. These stories are longer, about 1 hour in length, and covers the monsters of humanity. But the research and work on these cases, the delving deep into the issues, is so impressive and delivered so well that you can’t stop listening. Have an hour run? This will make the time fly.
No, not just because I have a Diz Runs episode. Although that makes me very happy indeed. I love that Diz aka Denny is a great host and fascillitates discussion that is both educational and entertaining. This is the type of running podcast that speaks to me–by telling the story of running in an accessible but informative way, you remember the lessons because you remember the people.
Yes, I know that I mentioned it on Monday, but I am obsessed with this show. Is is a bit frivolous? Absolutely. Are they way too into the Housewives? Absolutely. But the hosts tell it like it is. I don’t always agree with them, but I love that they are doing an expose on what has become a staple of pop culture, and they make you think, even if you never thought that you would gain anything from the discussion. It’s fun and makes you laugh, and I thoroughly enjoy it. Plus, they have great guests.
I feel like in many ways This American Life is the Papa Bear of podcasts. I like the absolutely ridiculous variety of stories, story producers and narrators, as well as the fact that you get both comedy and drama, sometimes in the same episode. You really are getting a look at the American Life, in an way that makes the ordinary extraordinary.
I am looking forward to adding The Blissful Bites Podcast by Nicole Culver to my list as I am taking on more and more with my job. Added bonus is that I will know so many of the guests! I also adore Nicole 😀 But first, I have to finish Bitch Sesh.
Help me branch out! What are your favorite podcasts beyond these categories?