I'm back with more of my favorite podcasts, even though I'm feeling a touch bitter about the iPhone podcast app redesign. Seriously, it's enough to make to me look for a new podcast catcher. It went from being easy (both to see and navigate -- my eyes are getting old, people), to being some complicated format better suited to a tablet or laptop-sized screen. So find these podcasts however you prefer; just be sure that if you really enjoy a specific podcast, you subscribe to it and rate it on iTunes, as it makes it more visible for other iTunes listeners/podcast news. You don't want your new favorite podcast getting cancelled, now do you? (All Hail, King Apple!) On an unrelated note, auto-correct really wants me to call these posts, "Podcast-a-Palooka," which seems a very different post altogether.
Let's get started.
History/Educational Podcasts (aka Learning CAN be fun!)
You Must Remember This
Do you love old movies as much as I do? Do you think Turner Classic Movies is the only cable station that really matters? Do you geek out over the dudes that give the background/history chats before and after the films on TCM? (Ben Mankiewicz fangirl in the house!) This is your podcast. Karina Longworth hosts and writes this heavily researched (and generally themed) series of programs about "the forgotten history" of old Hollywood. Really, the only downside of this podcast is the weirdly emphasized diction and pronunciations of the host. (Think an American Eliza Doolittle before she quite got the hang of the King's English.) Currently, she's doing a series on the Hollywood Blacklist, which is fascinating, with the stories of such actors as Lena Horne, Jane Russell, and Charlie Chaplin, not to mention a whole lot of Howard Hughes. Her previous seasons/series have also been stellar. Don't miss her past episodes on Bogie and Baby and Hepburn and Tracy, two of my favorite Hollywood power couples.
**Not safe with kids in the car. There are direct quotes from the subjects with the occasional F-bomb.
Stuff Mom Never Told You
This informative and well-researched podcast, hosted by Cristin Conger and Caroline Ervin, covers everything from the histories of birth control and women's suffrage to a breakdown of the women's pay gap or the history of Japan's comfort women, from the perspective of two smart and well-informed feminists. This program may delve into history and politics, but there's nothing dry or dusty about the fascinating facts these two ladies dig up. This program also has a fabulous YouTube channel, which I'll talk about more in an upcoming post on my YouTube/BookTube favorites.
(Important note: Make sure you download the SMNTY audio podcast. The other podcast downloads the videos from the YouTube channel.)
**Safe with kids in the car as long as the topic itself is kid-friendly.
This is another podcast that's been on hiatus for awhile. Good news is that new episodes will be back June 17th! And don't forget there's all of season one to be discovered. If you're interested in how the brain works and what makes us do and think what we do and think, this is the podcast for you. A killer combination of science and story, this is another one of those can't-get-out-of-the-car-yet kind of listens.
**Unless the subject is specifically inappropriate, this one is kid-safe. (Though it's been awhile so don't hold me to that.)
More Bookish Podcasts
Beeks and Geeks
This is the publisher, Penguin Random House's, weekly author interview podcast. It's a relatively recent discovery for me, that is a little hit-or-miss depending not the author being interviewed. Don't get me wrong. The interviews are solid, so long as it's an author you care about, or at least one that has something interesting to say. I recommend listening to Emily St. John Mandel's interview, and Faith Salie's recent episode was also excellent.
**Should be safe for kids in the car (or at least it has been so far.)
The New Yorker: Fiction
Love the fiction that makes it into The New Yorker? Want to hear it read by famous authors who are fangirling/fanboy-ing (is that last one a word?) as much as you? This is your podcast. My recommendations are: David Sedaris reading Miranda July's "Roy Spivey." Salman Rushdie reading Donald Barthelme's "Concerning the Bodyguard." And last but not least, Monica Ali reading Joshua Ferris' "The Dinner Party." If you enjoy this podcast, they also have one called The Author's Voice, where the writers read their own work.
**Usually not kid-friendly, a fun fact that I learned when I accidentally let play a Denis Johnson story about a character named, "Fuckhead," with my then four-year old in the car.
So it looks like there's going to be a part 3 because I still have no many awesome podcasts to recommend. Until then, happy listening.