I avoided listening to podcasts when they first started to become popular. Why? Because I knew if I went down that rabbit hole, I’d find a few podcasts to follow and have FOMO about the ones I didn’t know about yet.
I wasn’t too far off base. I now follow about 20 different podcasts, and I’m always on the hunt for more. Yes, half of them are about books, but the rest are a nice mix of current events, celebrity interviews, and random behind-the-scenes episodes about movies, scandals, etc.
Here is what I’m listening to on any given day.
The Problem with Jon Stewart
I loved The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and when it went off the air, I cried. I’m still shocked that he decided to leave right before the Trump administration began. His voice of reason was what I needed in the early years, and I felt abandoned in my time of need. Thankfully, he has re-emerged and has a new podcast.
Read the show’s title, and you would think the podcast was anti-Jon Stewart. But “the problem” is not with the host; it’s with the rest of the world. He has a lot to weigh in on, and now he can curse whenever he feels like it. Somehow, this gives him the edginess I never knew I needed.
Clear & Vivid with Alan Alda
Who doesn’t love Alan Alda? He brings his warmth, intelligence, empathy, and charm to a podcast about how we communicate with each other. In each episode, he interviews someone fascinating. Sometimes he interviews celebrities like Katie Couric, Kevin Bacon, and Goldie Hawn. They don’t talk much about their latest movie project. Instead, they have honest conversations about their lives, how they navigate their fame and stay grounded. He also talks to scientists about topics like happiness and human behavior. Alan Alda’s interviewing style reminds me of Fresh Air’s host, Terry Gross. He isn’t there to get the dirt on people; he wants to hear your story and learn.
Seriously, I can’t recommend his podcast highly enough.
Pop Culture Preservation Society
I’m just going to list a few episode titles from this podcast. You will quickly know whether or not you will love it as much as I do.
“How Deep Is Your Love For The Bee Gees”
“Looking Through The Eyes of Love”
“I Rank the Songs of Barry Manilow”
“Little GenXers on the Prairie”
Convinced yet? Let me know.
Sounds Like a Cult
Ever wonder how modern-day “cults” we all follow started? This podcast dives deep into the “cults” of LuLaRoe, Celebrity Megachurches, SoulCycle, and more. Another bonus for this podcast, most episodes are only 30 minutes long instead of the entire hour.
You’re Wrong About
Remember the scandals surrounding Tammy Faye Baker and Vanessa Williams? How about some of the most prominent court cases of our lifetimes – The O.J. Simpson trial and The Prom Mom? Get the whole story and not just what you think you know. The journalists on this podcast break it all down in a systematic and fascinating way.
The Readerly Report
I listen to a ridiculous number of podcasts about books and reading. Each podcast name tops the next one with their bookish puns like “Literally Reading,” “Reading Glasses,” and “Novel Gazing.” They are all so good, but The Readerly Report is one of my absolute favorites. It is smart and funny, and there isn’t time for random chitchat because the hosts are so excited about the books they are reading.
What Should I Read Next
This is the other bookish podcast that I love. Hosted by Ann Bogel, the queen bee of the Modern Mrs. Darcy book club is a literary genius. She interviews someone about their reading life and gives them recommendations based on three books they loved, one book they hated, and what they are currently reading. The format is the same every week and never gets old. The reason my TBR list is so long is because of this podcast.
What podcasts do you enjoy? I’m always looking for a new one! Let me know in the comments.
Kebba Buckley ButtonJanuary 23, 2022 at 9:16 pm (1 year ago)
Elisa, I am careful not to get attached to any podcasts, unless they arrive in email, summarized, with a link; then I go listen to the complete programs of a few. I just don’t have the time to start following multiple podcasts. But I admire you for doing it! I love Jon Stewart and I will look for his new podcast! I loved The Colbert Report, and we can easily see how Jon and Stephen became close friends. Thanks for a great post.
Victoria JusterJanuary 23, 2022 at 7:46 pm (1 year ago)
Thanks for the suggestions, Elisa. I’m a fan of Jon Stewart and will definitely try that one. Big Friendship with Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman is another good one. Long time friends they talk about how to maintain a friendship over time, distance and lifes challenges.