One of my most popular posts from the early days of Musings from Providence was a listing of my favorite episodes of This American Life. I initially thought of going back and updating the original post, now that we have had two and a half more years of Ira Glass – not to mention the original post was in a pre-Serial age – but instead I thought I would share some of my other favorite podcasts that I have been listening to these days.
- FiveThirtyEight Elections Podcast: I have long been a Nate Silver fan, back when he was the resident statistician for the New York Times, and I would copy his March Madness bracket verbatim every year. Now, he and his gang of data-lovers are tracking the election, giving a weekly rundown of campaign events. This feels like the longest election cycle in history, with every candidate trying to be the squeaky wheel, and I enjoy hearing commentary that brings everything back down to numbers. If you are looking for a quick way to stay tuned to primary results and polling numbers during your commute, give FiveThirtyEight a listen.
- Modern Love: The Modern Love collection of essays (see the archives here) has been one of my favorite newspaper columns. The podcast takes some of the most memorable stories of relationships between, lovers, friends, family, pets and matches them with the narrative stylings of your favorite stars (Connie Britton, Joshua Jackson, Emmy Rossum and more) to bring the stories to life. Be sure to download some of my favorites – Episode 4: An Interlude of Clarity and Episode 10: A Millennial’s Guide to Kissing.”
- Anna Faris is Unqualified: We already knew that Anna Faris is a kick-ass lady with some serious comedic chops. But who knew that she also gave such great advice? Accompanied by a different celeb every week, she approaches callers’ questions with such endearing kindness and humor, it makes me wish that I was sitting at the table next to her. The occasional cameo from hunky hubby Chris Pratt doesn’t hurt either. Favorite guests to this new show include Jenna Dewan Tatum and Jason Mantzoukas, who gives some incredibly insightful advice (I was shocked as well). It is safe to say that “Dear Anna” is the new “Dear Abby.”
- Presidential: If you have ever met a member of the Karon family, you probably already know that we all LOVE fan facts about US Presidents. We have gotten into heated arguments with tour guides at the Warren G. Harding house, skipped barhopping in Nashville in favor of driving out to Andrew Jackson’s hermitage, and shed some tears at the Clinton library. For those of you that are less well versed in presidential history, or if you are part of the 75% of the country that cannot recognize Milard Filmore as a former president, give this podcast from The Washington Post a listen. Moving through our leaders chronologically, it also answers the burning question “what would this president would be like on a blind date?” Will certainly prepare you for your next dinner at the Karon house!
These are just a few of my favorites, but I always am on the hunt for more podcasts to listen to in on my commute, so let me know if there are any other favorites I should know about in the comments!