I’ve never been one for audio books. I have always found it difficult to listen to them while concentrating on doing anything else; getting too wrapped up in listening to a long narrative and discovering 30 minutes later, I was still absent-mindedly scrubbing the same dish.
The other option was to sit quietly and do nothing but listen. Unfortunately, my body tends to confuse being quiet and still with my other favourite activity – sleeping. I’d wake and find I’d missed most of the book and had no idea what was going on.
Because of this, I’d never really given podcasts a chance. I figured I’d probably have the same reaction as I do with audio books. They’re basically the same thing, right? Even when seemingly everyone was listening to and talking about Serial, I just nodded my head and muttered “Oh… yeah… haven’t got around to listening to it yet.”
My gateway drug to podcast listening was 99% Invisible. I was bored one afternoon, while deep cleaning the kitchen at our previous apartment, and searched “best podcasts.” 99% Invisible was the only one that really jumped out at me. Specifically, the Devil’s Rope episode, which is about the history and invention of barbed wire. I am not ashamed (alright, I’m a little ashamed) to say that I cried while listening to this episode. I was so intensely moved by the history of something as mundane as barbed wire. I knew that I had to have more.
Since then, I’ve amassed quite the collection of podcasts in an app on my cellphone. I work from home, so I prop up my phone somewhere and listen to them while I’m cleaning the house (the normal 20 minute length of a podcast works great with the “20 minute clutter-tidy” routine I’ve been using to keep the house somewhat under control), or while I’m taking a break from work. I still haven’t mastered the art of working and listening at the same time, but once I do I may never leave my office.
My Top 4 Podcasts:
99% Invisible – a radio show about design, architecture & the ninety-nine percent invisible activity that shapes our world.
Welcome to Nightvale – Community radio for a small desert town. Turn on your radio and hide.
Lore – A podcast about the dark historical stories that fuel our superstitions and folklore.
The Allusionist – Small adventures in language.
Because I’m constantly on the search for something new to listen to (or more accurately, hoarding podcasts in case I run out of episodes) I recently asked in the Punky Moms Facebook Group if anyone had any podcast recommendations. Our punkies have great taste, but of course we knew that already!
Here’s a selection of favourites from Punky Moms!
Last Podcast on the Left – covers all the horrors our world has to offer both imagined and real, from demons and slashers to cults and serial killers.
That’s Deep, Bro – Serious questions with serious people.
Radiolab – weaving stories and science into sound and music-rich documentaries.
Relic Radio – Unearthing audio artifacts from radio’s golden age. Features a variety of old time radio including horror, science fiction, comedy and adventure.
The Longest Shortest Time – parenting podcast hosted by This American Life contributor and author Hillary Frank
Stuff You Missed in History Class – self explanatory
Scroobiuspip Distraction Pieces – the fastest growing weekly podcast in the UK. Guests ranging from Russell Brand to Simon Pegg.
and last but certainly not least
Enjoy and let me know which podcasts you are into in the comments!