Like most of America, last fall I became helplessly addicted to Serial. Once it was over, I felt bereft and also befuddled: how did I live my life before podcasts?
As someone who uses public transportation to and from work every day, I found this new way to ingest information shockingly addictive. Thus began my journey. I’ve been able to dive deeply into various interests with podcasts about movies (Filmspotting, Grantland Pop Culture), story-telling (This American Life, Serial when Season 2 begins), pop culture and race politics (The Read), and comedy (Comedy Bang Bang, Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me, and Gilmore Guys).
I never thought I’d find decent podcasts about my primary love – reading – until I did.
- Dear Bitches, Smart Authors from Smart Bitches, Trashy Books is a weekly Friday release from a romance-reader community. They interview authors and also ruminate on important questions, like why do we have to use the word “strong” to describe female characters? We certainly never call a man a “strong male” character. I appreciate this brilliant, savvy community of women.
- Book Riot is a talk/news show about books, reading, and publishing in general. It’s been fodder for my already pretty passionate beliefs about the lack of women and people of color that get published and/or accolades. They present stories and research to back this up convincingly, and it’s refreshing to hear people not making excuses for why everyone is so obsessed with white male authors. Also, their debate on whether or not Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchmen will sell more books than E.L. James’s Beyonce-album-like release of Grey is hilarious.
- All The Books is a spin-off from Book Riot. It’s a 30-minute weekly show discussing that week’s book releases. This podcast has been BAD for my wallet, so I’ve put a moratorium on buying anything they discuss for at least a week or until I’ve heard about it somewhere else too.
Like any persistent ideologue, I clearly seek out things that seemingly affirm my already pretty tight-held beliefs. While none of these podcasts are on the same level of bias as some things, I recognize that it’s easy to plug into stuff that I know I’ll agree with. That being said, I try to be a healthy skeptic and also take some walks home without anything in my ears at all.