Ask the grumpies: Favorite podcasts?

Meaghan asks:

 Favorite podcasts?

#1 listens to a bunch, including Dear Hank and John.  I tried Here to Make Friends and couldn’t get into it.

Podcasts from the Maximum Fun family:  Jordan Jesse GO is the main one.  I stopped listening to Judge John Hodgman because the answer was always the same: People like what they like.  I sometimes have listened to The Adventure Zone or My Brother, My Brother, and Me— both of which star the McElroy brothers doing zany things, sometimes with other members of their family.  I listened to a few of Baby Geniuses and Throwing Shade, and I’m thinking of trying Lady to Lady.

Book podcasts:  Book Fight, where two writers talk about books and argue about why they’re good or bad; also sometimes includes features like Fanfiction Corner and Raccoon News.  I listen to some of the Book Riot family of podcasts, including the original Book Riot podcast.  I also listen to Get Booked, which is a book recommendation show, and sometimes The Reading Life if they’re interviewing someone I want to listen to.  I stopped listening to Dear Book Nerd because I felt like I knew the answers better than the host did.  :-)   I can’t listen to All The Books because my TBR list is already way too long!  Sometimes I’ve also listened to Oh, Comics!

Random other podcasts:  Sometimes I re-listen to old episodes of The Indoor Kids, because I find it soothing.  I wish they’d come back from hiatus, but that doesn’t seem likely anytime soon.  Very nerdy.  I also listen to Ditch Diggers, by Mur Lafferty and Matt Wallace, which is about the business side of writing.  I used to listen to Writing Excuses, which is more about the craft of writing, but somehow my feed dropped them.  They’re great, though.

I can’t listen to any podcasts about science or about my particular area of work, because they are too much like work and engage my brain in work-like ways, and aren’t relaxing at all even when they are very good.

I would check to see if I missed any, but my iPod is out of batteries for now…

#2 only listens to two podcasts:  Here to Make Friends, a feminist podcast about the Bachelor franchise from huffington post, and Dear Hank and John, a comedy podcast about death from the creators of vlogbrothers.

AND you get a bonus from #2’s DH who listens to a lot of podcasts and like last week answered this very question over email:

FYI, here are the podcasts that I like, not really in any order.

Radiolab  This is the best science-y podcast I’ve heard so far. It’s well produced and has interesting material about a variety of topics. It doesn’t produce new episodes very often though.

DLC aka DownLoadable Content  An easy-listening video gaming podcast. Also has a segment on boardgames that’s short but good. It’s up-beat and isn’t negative or long-winded. Probably my favorite of the gaming podcasts I’ve found because most gaming podcasts get into arguments, go off-track, are more based on cult personalities, or are boring.

Idle Thumbs A bit more like other video gaming podcasts, slightly bigger cast, a bit more focus on cult-of-the-new, etc.

Three Moves Ahead The best podcast I’ve found about strategy video games. The quality/enjoyment is a bit lower, but I like the topics.

Thrilling Adventure Hour Old-timey radio shows. Short episodes that can be hit or miss, but some really funny bits.

Gamers With Jobs,  Another video gaming podcast. Can sometimes have really insightful material, but more often it’s just interesting to hear what other video games people are playing. This one and Idle Thumbs are somewhat interchangeable for me.

StarTalk Neil deGrasse Tyson is really cool.

The D6 Generation The best miniatures/boardgame podcast. I’ve listened to it off-and-on for about a decade.

More Perfect The RadioLab series about the Supreme Court has been incredibly engrossing.

Roguelike Radio Not the best audio/recording, but I find Roguelikes so interesting and there are 125 episodes all about them.

The Secret Cabal Gaming Podcast It’s about boardgames like several other podcasts out there, but with a cast I find quite interesting.

Rocket Talk  I bounce in and out of this one. I like the idea of listening to podcasts about scifi/fantasy books, and narration of short fiction, but I’m not always in the right mood for it.

Oh, and NPR has recordings of their shows…I don’t listen to these by myself, but when we go on car trips I usually grab some for the family….Splendid Table and Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me are our most popular.
I’ve listened to Nerdist too and liked some of it but ultimately it’s not what I’m looking for.
I don’t think I’ll keep listening to the Dev Game Club…it’s an interesting concept, but the actual value-per-time is too low for me.

WHEW.  Ok Grumpy Nation, what do you listen to?

16 Responses to “Ask the grumpies: Favorite podcasts?”

  1. yuppiemillennial Says:

    2 Dope Queens, Death Sex & Money, The Ezra Klein Show, The Weeds, Welcome To Night Vale, This American Life

  2. Steph Says:

    I’m not really a regular podcast listener, but I started listening to a few sports podcasts earlier this year. Lately I’ve been wanting to expand to other areas – thanks for the timely list!

    In college I listened to Escape Pod and Pod Castle (, which are sci fi and fantasy short stories. I tend more to skim the archives and grab stories I like, though, rather than keep up with regular episodes.

    If you like Star Talk, do you like the new All Stars spin off?

  3. Perpetua Says:

    I don’t listen to a lot of podcasts, though I like npr’s Invisiblia. But I love love love Dear Sugar.

  4. The frugal ecologist Says:

    I love the gist by mike pesca. I listen to it every evening when cleaning up the kitchen. I also like Double X Gabfest (although I think one of you doesn’t like Hana Rosen…) and the Freakanomics podcast.

  5. chacha1 Says:

    I don’t listen to any podcasts, but I read the transcripts from Smart Bitches Trashy Books. :-)

  6. Bullfrog Says:

    I second This American Life and Death Sex & Money. I’ve also heard good things about the other podcasts YuppieMillenial suggested. Thanks for the post – I’ve been looking for more good podcasts.

  7. jjiraffe Says:

    I love “Fresh Air” – good interviews. So I listen to the podcast when I can.

  8. jlp Says:

    I love podcasts. They keep my commute somewhere between tolerable and enjoyable.

    Shows I love:
    Mystery Show (the first one is not great; the rest are): Hard to characterize. Ostensibly, Starlee Kine takes on a mystery. But it is really all the tangential bits that make it worthwhile. (Though be forewarned: there are only 6 episodes.)
    Reply All: Technology is just a vehicle for great storytelling.
    Snap Judgement: A great diversity of real life stories. My only complaint about this show is that it makes me cry too often.
    This American Life: A much less diverse sampling of stories, but well told nonetheless.

    Shows I enjoy:
    How to Be a Girl: One woman’s life raising her transgender daughter
    Science Vs: Highly produced, often silly and irreverant ‘scientific’ look at issues. (I find the science to be on the thin side, but still find this entertaining.)
    Wait, Wait….Don’t Tell Me: British-type celebrity ‘game show.’ Peter Sagal occasionally comes out with some sexist trope, but the women on the panel typically call him out.
    Invisibilia: Stories! About ways that people’s actions are influenced in not obvious ways.
    Politically Re-Active: W Kamau Bell and Hari Kondabolu talk about recent events. (I like this, but I really miss Intersection from the New Republic.)

    I used to love Radiolab. Then I heard their Yellow Rain story, after which I read this:
    (not sure why the formatting is so screwy) and I stopped listening to them. I hear through the grapevine (ok, my spouse) that they’ve had some great episodes recently, but a) I don’t trust them anymore, and b) II don’t want to listen to Robert Krulwich at this point.

  9. Zenmoo Says:

    I am currently enjoying
    – Meet The Composer (contemporary classical music)
    – Desert Island Discs from the BBC
    – Music 101 from Radio NZ

    I don’t mind Gretchen Rubin’s Happier sometimes. Elizabeth Craft’s voice reminds me of my sister – but I have to be in the right mood. And also, it convinced me to buy an egg cooker. I was on the fence, thinking it could be a gimmick appliance I’d hardly use. But turns out it’s the best $24 I’ve spent in a long time. My kids both love boiled eggs so I use it every few days. L

  10. Rosa Says:

    I am bingeing on 99% Invisible right now. It’s so beautiful and nerdy. The episode on Audrey Munson, the superstar of Beaux Arts era sculptural modeling, was amazing. I’m going to run out of episodes in a few days.

    Listened to all of 2 Dope Queens a few months ago, maybe because of a previous mention here? I keep looking for comedy podcasts and being disappointed in them, liked Queens the best so far.

    And I really liked the Marketplace spinoff Uncertain Hour, about welfare reform.

  11. J Liedl Says:

    Smart Podcast, Trashy Books; Coffee with Kenobi (mostly for Lattes with Leia); Ben Franklin’s World; Dan Snow’s History Hit; Teaching in Higher Ed; Stuff You Missed in History Class; One Thing in a French Day

  12. Ask the grumpies: Where do you find suggestions for books to read? | Grumpy Rumblings (of the formerly untenured) Says:

    […] listens to a lot of books podcasts.  She also loves to browse at libraries and book sales and reads some book blogs.  Also […]

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