Dear 100 Hour Board,
Podcast recommendations? Everything except horror/true crime because they mess with my anxiety in not great ways (though you can still rec them if you like... they just won't be helpful for me specifically, haha). Sci-fi/fantasy a plus!
-My Name Here
- Myths & Legends is my favorite podcast ever. It updates every Tuesday night, and covers a different fairy tale/myth/legend/folk story. There are episodes ranging from Hercules' Labors (Greek mythology) to Thor's wedding (Norse mythology) to The Princess and the Frog (there was no magical kiss in the original) to Arthurian legends to pretty much anything else you can imagine. I love it to death, and can't recommend it enough.
- Fictional. This podcast is actually done by the same guy as Myths & Legends. Instead of myths and legends, though, it covers classical literature. There are episodes on The Count of Monte Cristo, and other gems like The Call of Cthulhu. Again, it is fantastic.
- Unexplained Mysteries. I don't like this podcast quite as much as Myths & Legends, but it's still good and interesting. All the episodes come in pairs; a single topic is always covered over two weeks. This podcast dives into different mysteries, and possible explanations for them. One of my personal favorites investigated where King John's (the same one as from Robin Hood stories) crown jewels could have gone.
If you're looking for other podcasts, I've actually found that podcasts themselves give great recommendations. If you have a podcast you like, pay attention to any other podcasts that get mentioned on the show.
Dear Your Name,
- This American Life is my absolute favorite podcast. I started listening to it in middle school on my iPod shuffle during the bus ride to school and I still love it today. Each weekly episode is based around a theme and they usually tell first-person nonfiction stories of some version of "American life," big or small.
- Selected Shorts features actors reading short fiction stories.
- Modern Love is based on the Modern Love column in the New York times where the non-fiction essays of regular people are published about "love, loss, and redemption." In the podcast, famous actors will read one of the stories and then the editor of the column will talk with the author or actor about the story.
- The Moth features stories told at Moth storytelling events across the country, where people come and submit their name into a drawing and if chosen tell a story from their life based on the theme of the night.
- The Daily from the New York Times and Fresh Air are both great for keeping up with current events. The Daily usually focuses more on political events while Fresh Air talks about contemporary arts and culture.
John Green, who is best known as the author of The Fault in Our Stars, writes The Anthropocene Reviewed. It's a monthly podcast where John "reviews facets of the human-centered planet on a five-star scale."
On each episode of the podcast, John reviews two things in the context of their place in, and effect on, human society. The episodes are roughly twenty minutes long, with each review taking about half the time. The things John chooses to review are pretty random, ranging from "love at first sight" to the QWERTY keyboard to cholera. No matter what he writes about, each episode is thoughtful and fascinating. The podcast is sometimes hilarious, other times tear-jerking, and always worth listening to. I can't recommend it enough.
Well, Fozzie has stolen my top two podcast recommendations (This American Life and Modern Love), so I will give you my next top two: Code Switch and Radiolab.
Code Switch is a fabulous NPR podcast all about race and identity. Their little intro says, "Ever find yourself in a conversation about race and identity where you just get...stuck? Code Switch can help. We're all journalists of color, and this isn't just the work we do. It's the lives we lead. Sometimes, we'll make you laugh. Other times, you'll get uncomfortable. But we'll always be unflinchingly honest and empathetic. Come mix it up with us." I highly recommend it.
Radiolab sometimes feels like a not-as-good version of This American Life, but I still like it and listen to it nonetheless. I really liked their episode from a couple weeks ago called "Songs that Cross Borders."
Cerulean (aka Ira Glass' biggest fan)
I really love Malcolm Gladwell's Revisionist History. Even if Gladwell's books are a bogus way of doing social science, he still writes incredible, thought-provoking story-lines and promotes interesting conversations on a HUGE variety of topics. I have thoroughly enjoyed every episode he's put out.
On a similar note, I think NPR's Invisibilia is spectacular, sometimes emotional.
Tenderfoot TV recently put out a new podcast called Radio Rental, which is hosted by a character voiced by Rainn Wilson. The stories aren't gory or criminal, they're just stories about strange occurrences that have happened, as told by the people who experienced them. I think you might enjoy it.
Wondery's The Shrink Next Door also doesn't formally fit into the true crime category. It is a true story, and it's certainly bizarre, but it doesn't have any elements of true crime that might dissuade you from it.
I'll also give additional recommendations for NPR's Code Switch (it's a GREAT way to educate yourself on racial topics) and This American Life.
My brother recommended Mission to Zyxx, an improvised sci-fi story-telling podcast. It wasn't my flavor, but you might like it.
I don't personally listen to much sci-fi or fantasy myself, but if I encounter anything else I'll let you know.
I'm a big fan of Freakonomics.
-Sunday Night Banter