Guys, I’m clocking a lot of time on the sofa nursing my little bebe. Sometimes I read while he eats, but honestly, it’s hard to take my eyes off his round nose, dinner-roll arms, fat fat thighs, perfect little toes, and his round chin (and his second chin and his third one).
So I listen to podcasts.
These five get played first right now:
5. 1o Minute Writer’s Workshop
Writers of all sorts answer a handful of questions like What’s harder to write: the first sentence or the last? and What’s the worst writing advice you’ve ever received? in a mere 10 minutes. It’s fascinating if you’re the type of person who loves to learn about writers’ writing routines. (And if you’re that person, I hope you also read Brain Pickings’ compilation of daily writerly routines.) Episode to try: The 10-Minute Writer’s Workshop with Alexander Chee
4. Circe Institute Podcast Network
Ok, ok. This is a super niche choice. If you’re in that micro percentage of people who is considering (or using) the classical or Charlotte Mason methods to homeschool your kids OR that (maybe smaller?) percentage of people who are obsessed with Homer, this group of podcasts will be your jam. I’m not obsessed with Homer, in case you’re wondering which category I fall into. Perpetual Feast is their all-Homer-all-the-time podcast that I surprise myself by listening to beginning to end. The Commons are convos with experts about people worth knowing more about. A recent example: A quirky look at Flannery O’Connor with one of her biographers. Quiddity features interviews with authors, musicians, professors, and other experts in their field about different topics tangential to classical education. The Mason Jar is interviews and question/answers about the Charlotte Mason method (this one can be a little precious, but also has some concrete tips). Then they have Close Reads, which is essentially an online book club. I don’t listen to that one because I don’t know why. I just don’t. Episode to try: Definitely the one on Flannery O’Connor
It seems everyone I know is listening to these half-hour or so interviews with culture creators who happen to be Christian. These conversations focus on the intersection of faith and work, though everyone host Mike Cosper interviews seems to be involved in music, writing, art, or ministry of some sort. So it’s not like, a random accountant talking about how he or she brings faith into Excel spreadsheets. Though come to think of it, I know that accountant and she’d be a great interview. ANYWAY. Thought-provoking and a good source for new people to follow on Twitter, for sure. Episode to try: everyone says the Andy Crouch two-parter is their favorite, but I haven’t listened to it yet. So instead, listen to rapper Propaganda’s episode. It made this white girl who is–no lie–currently listening to Beethoven’s piano sonatas want to buy his album. (Whaaaatttt?)
2. Q Podcast
Q is an organization that explores Christianity’s place in modern-day culture, encourage culture-creators and culture-engagers, and in their words, “advance good.” Sounds good to me! I actually heard about Q through founder Gabe Lyons’ Cultivated interview. Their programming is varied: Yesterday I heard a twentysomething nun talk about why she chose to enter a convent (that mindset is radical, y’all), a few weeks ago I listened to their six-part series on how Christians should faithfully love and serve and engage with the gay community. I appreciate how Gabe doesn’t fall over himself to make faith relevant; it simply IS relevant because it has a lot to say about human hearts, human trials, and human ambition. Episode to try: Seriously, hear from the nun. It’s episode 17.
Another super niche one. The husband-wife founding team behind the homeschool literature curriculum Center for Lit talks with their son and daughter-in-law about the role of literature in the world. I promise it’s more entertaining than that sounds. I’m just getting into it and they’re exploring the Cerebral Questions like What is the Great Conversation? and What is Art? It makes me laugh because they banter, strongly disagree, and even more strongly agree, which reminds me so much of when I talk about literature with my parents. Hey Mom and Dad, want to start a podcast? Episode to try: Episode 2: The Great Conversation where mother and son get in a heated argument about whether or not Dumb and Dumber contributes to the Great Conversation. Reader, I laughed.
We’re heading out of town on a 12-day road trip and I’ve downloaded these three for binge listening:
S-Town From the Serial team, so I know it will hold my attention. But will the true crime scare me?!
Homecoming From Gimlet, I downloaded this scripted podcast simply because Oscar Isaac is in it and I like him as a film actor.
Pod Save the World Time to learn something about foreign policy. Yeah, I just fell asleep, too. We’ll see how this one goes.