Ask the grumpies: Favorite podcasts redux

Leah Asks:

How do you feel about podcasts? do you have a favorite podcast?

We both like podcasts.  They are especially great for commuting.  #1 likes them better than books on tape for short commutes because podcasts are generally easier to jump in and out of than are books.  Especially superficial podcasts can be good for doing boring data work.  Apparently we haven’t answered this question in 5 years!

Here’s some previous lists of favorites:

Favorites in 2010

Favorites in 2014

Favorites in 2016

Some from 2018

If you like book podcasts, definitely check out the above links!  #2 is still really into book podcasts.

In addition, some new ones (none of these are affiliate links and I just pulled the first link off google so they’re all different places–listen wherever you get your podcasts):

Anthropocene Reviewed by John Green.  I LOVED this one and am a little sad it’s over.  I do have the book though!

Dear Hank and John (I have actually been listening to this since it started, so it might be on a previous list)

The official Taskmaster podcast.  (This is my current commute listen.  I love it so much.)

Young House Love has a Podcast seems to be on a permanent hiatus, but I listened to all of them!

By the Book Podcast

The Trypod, though to be honest I stopped listening after Ned said something sexist and then his apology was cringy.  He’s not there anymore so I will probably go back eventually if I run out of Taskmaster and Dear Hank and John episodes.

Linda T Says:

I hate podcasts. I am a visual learner and can read faster that they speak.

maya agrees:

OMG–YES! I always feel curmudgeonly–because I’m like I don’t want to waste my time on your subpar banter…

Debbie M adds:

I think I could like podcasts, though without visuals, my mind tends to wander. What I hate is a lack of editing. I will never watch anything live, and most podcasts do have a lot of rambling. This is part of why I love “Dear Hank and John.” Highly edited! But also interesting.


7 Responses to “Ask the grumpies: Favorite podcasts redux”

  1. maya Says:

    Ha. My most mean-spirited comment immortalized :D. I think I will give the Green brothers a listen though–so many (including students) have recommended it.

  2. Leah Says:

    I like podcasts for things like folding laundry, but I do often have a hard time following. I’m not a great auditory learner unless my hands are occupied.

    I really miss YHL has a podcast. I read their blog before they even had their oldest kid, so I’m a long time fan. I follow them on Instagram.

    One podcast I really enjoy is Here’s Where It Gets Interesting by Sharon McMahon (Sharon Says So on instagram). I’m listening to her season on women in WWII right now. I really like her episodes on First Ladies, and she did a great series on Japanese internment in the US during WWII.

  3. Steph Says:

    I don’t listen to as many postdocs these days because my commute is pretty short. They were great for my 20-40min bus commute during the end of my postdoc.

    I agree with Maya that I don’t like a ton of banter that’s unrelated to the topic, so I prefer podcasts with tighter editing. I dislike review-style podcasts as well, because I want to argue with the hosts and it tends to just make me annoyed.

    My two “core” podcasts are Maintenance Phase and You’re Wrong About. Maintenance Phase is about debunking wellness myths/trends, and YWA has a broader focus on cultural events/people/issues. The hosts on both are delightful. There is banter, but it’s general relevant to the topic. YWA did an interesting bonus episode last year where they posted the longer rough cut of an episode on patreon, so you could compare it to the final version everyone got to hear. It was neat to notice all the little things they removed.

    Other than that, I tend to pick up and drop podcasts at random. I’m currently listening to Unreformed by Josie Duffy Rice (recurring YWA guest), about a school that was basically a prison for black youth in Alabama. I’ve listened to most eps of If Books Could Kill, by one of the co-founders of YWA and MP – like those two, I think I enjoy it most when it’s a topic I’ve heard about but have no background in.

    Last year I listened to the Sense & Sensibility seasons of three podcasts: Pod and Prejudice, Reclaiming Jane, and Reading Jane Austen. They each take very different paths towards reading and discussing a few chapters at a time. Pod & Prejudice is the most banter-y and Reading Jane Austen is more traditionally academic. Reclaiming Jane involves a white queer person and a queer black woman discussing the challenges of being minority fans of Jane Austen, and critiquing the books around those issues even while they enjoy the plot.

    I’d like to know what apps folks listen to their podcasts on – since I switched away from Spotify I’ve been using Google Podcasts, but I’d love another app where I can make playlists of episodes.

  4. CG Says:

    I have a long commute and listen to a lot of podcasts. I do not like banter. I enjoy Criminal, Radiolab, and This American Life (sometimes more than others). I listen to Hidden Brain but sometimes find my mind wandering. I’m currently finishing up Crimetown, which has two seasons about crime and corruption in two American cities, Providence and Detroit. It’s basically a radio documentary and so well done. I tried Maintenance Phase but it was too chatty for me. I know a lot of people who like it so maybe I should give it another try.

  5. Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life Says:

    I WANT to like podcasts but I’m not at a place in my life where they fit. If I’m working, I can’t have audio on that I actually need to follow, putting on a podcast to mostly ignore defeats the purpose. When I’m reading, I’m trying to get my brain ready for sleep. It’d be nice to know all the good ones to catch up on when I can take a nice long break, though.

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