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Three Things: Podcasts in My Earbuds

Three Things is a new occasional series where I’m planning to write about – gasp! – things that aren’t actually books. It’s based on a blog I’m a big fan of right now, 27 Good Things, where interesting people share three things to read, watch and use. I’m hoping it’ll be another way of sharing the stuff that currently has my attention.

three things podcasts

In last Sunday’s Currently post, I mentioned that I’m having a hard time with audio books, in part because I’m finally into a good rotation of podcasts that I enjoy. I’ve been getting to the gym more regularly, and the length of podcasts seems to fit into the time I’m there really well. So I wanted to share three that I’m particularly enjoying right now, plus a few extras.

And as an FYI, I’m an Android girl and listen to most podcasts and music on my phone. My current podcast app is BeyondPod (a paid app after a free seven day trial).

Pop Culture Happy Hour

Pop Culture Happy Hour, an NPR podcast on pop culture and entertainment, is the podcast I’ve been listening to the longest. Anchored by NPR writers Linda Holmes, Stephen Thompson and Glen Weldon, the topics on this podcast vary pretty widely from movies to television to radio and yeah, a bit into books. Most weeks have a current topic (the movie Jupiter Ascending), an evergreen topic (a discussion of on-screen chemistry), and a segment called “What’s Making Us Happy This Week.” I love that the show is generally upbeat, but that the hosts aren’t afraid to be critical of cultural items that miss the boat in small or large ways. It’s just a lot of fun.

Dear Sugar

Dear Sugar is, I think, the newest podcast on my list – not surprising, since it just started at the beginning of 2015. Dear Sugar was an advice column that ran on The Rumpus, authored initial by Steve Almond and, more famously by Cheryl Strayed. Many of Strayed’s columns were gathered together in the wonderful book Tiny Beautiful Things. This podcast brings together Almond and Strayed to field questions “no matter how deep or dark” and respond with the “radical empathy” and advice that Sugar became famous for dispensing. There have only been four episodes – it runs biweekly, with shorter episodes on the off weeks – but I’m already hooked. It’s so thoughtful filled with generous advice. I always seem to find a moment that speaks to my own life.

Elise Gets Crafty

Elise Blaha Cripe is a craft and lifestyle blogger that I’ve been reading for a couple of years now (she’s the designer of this habit tracker I shared on Instagram). Last spring she started Elise Gets Crafty, a podcast on “blogging, business, creativity, inspiration and motivation,” which has been really interesting. Elise talks to bloggers, makers and other DIYers about how they work and what they do, topics I think are fascinating as I too think about building a career that is meaningful to me. I don’t listen to every episode, but do really enjoy listening to those where she interviews bloggers or other interesting people about their work and life habits.

Bonus Recommendations

  • The Book Riot Podcast: I’m not a super regular listener of this podcast, but not because it isn’t great – I just get tapped out on book discussion after a bit and want to focus on something else. But when I do listen, I love getting updates on the latest bookish news and new releases.
  • Planet Money: I am, most certainly, not the first person to recommend this NPR podcast on issues that affect the global economy. I’m a very new listener, but am so far enjoying the fact that it covers offbeat topics (the global cocoa shortage or the growth of the pot industry) and is relatively short (usually less than 20 minutes).

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Trisha February 19, 2015, 11:27 am

    I’ve just recently been getting in to podcasts, so thanks for the suggestions!

  • Andi (@estellasrevenge) February 19, 2015, 12:21 pm

    I saw Shannon mention the Dear Sugar podcast too! I hadn’t heard of it until today, but I’m excited to take a listen. Love this idea for a series of posts and looking forward to more. 🙂

    • Kim February 22, 2015, 9:11 am

      Dear Sugar is so excellent! I’m glad Shannon mentioned it too. And I’m excited that was our only overlap — I have more podcasts to try out because of her post.

  • Heather @ Capricious Reader February 19, 2015, 1:57 pm

    Isn’t Dear Sugar great? Breaking my heart in my ears now. They have great voices. I’ll have to look up the other two!

    • Kim February 22, 2015, 9:12 am

      They do have great voices. They’re so soothing and funny. Did you get to the latest episode yet? Cheryl tells a hilarious story about a prank her husband’s former roommates pulled on him.

  • Becca Lostinbooks February 19, 2015, 4:28 pm

    You’re the third blogger this week telling me to get into podcasts more. Message received! These look interesting!

  • Kailana February 19, 2015, 7:07 pm

    I wish I could do better with podcasts because there are soo many recommendations I want to check out!

    • Kim February 22, 2015, 9:15 am

      I had a hard time getting into podcasts for that reason too. I ended up just starting with one that I really liked — Pop Culture Happy Hour — and then slowing adding them in until I got to the ones I listen to regularly today. I tend to only try new ones if I get to a point where I have no backlist of episodes to listen to, which keeps from growing to fast and feeling like *another* thing to keep up on.

  • Belle Wong February 19, 2015, 11:53 pm

    Just added this post to my Todoist so I can add these podcasts on the podcast app on my phone. The Dear Sugar one sounds particularly good.

  • Laurie C February 20, 2015, 5:47 am

    I never thought of looking for Planet Money as a podcast! I catch it on the radio every now and then and enjoy it. I’ve gotten away from podcasts lately and the only one I listen to with any regularity is The Splendid Table. My other favorite for a while was Selected Shorts. I listened to Books on the Nightstand for a while, but am too afraid of spoilers to relax and enjoy hearing about books I haven’t read yet!

    • Kim February 22, 2015, 9:17 am

      I love that Planet Money is only about 20 minutes long. That’s such a good length to just pop in on while tidying up or taking a walk or whatever. Maybe that’s a silly reason to love a podcast, but oh well!

      PCHH is pretty good about spoilers, although I’m not someone who worries about spoilers much anyway.

  • Sarah's Book Shelves February 20, 2015, 6:45 am

    I posted this week discussing my love for Serial and why I’m able to concentrate on that, but not on audiobooks…and then asking for more podcast recommendations to try! And…you and Shannon both answered my question like you had ESP!! I got a couple bookish ones from Shannon (including Book Riot) and Slate Pop Culture as well. She mentioned Dear Sugar, but I’m not that into advice columns. I’m going to try Pop Culture Happy Hour – thank you!

    • Kim February 22, 2015, 9:20 am

      Great minds think alike! PCHH really is my favorite podcast of all of them. It’s a great mix of silly/serious and takes me out of book the book world, which is something I seem to need.

  • Shannon @ River City Reading February 20, 2015, 7:49 am

    Ooo, I love the sound of Elsie Gets Crafty and that’s a “genre” I don’t really listen to. Thanks for the great recommendations!

    • Kim February 22, 2015, 9:20 am

      I’ve been reading a lot more “lifestyle” and craft blogs lately, which is inspiring. I don’t want to be them — I’m not especially crafty — but I like getting new ideas for posts and angles to write about the things I do care about.

  • Christy February 24, 2015, 7:29 pm

    I love PCHH! I sometimes dabble in Slate’s Political Gabfest and How Did This Get Made? (which features several comedians taking apart bad movies)

    That’s cool that Dear Sugar is now a podcast. I don’t know that I listen enough to podcasts to add another to my subscription, but I’d like to try it out anyway.