More fine podcasts from 2016

Podcast pickle _Jon Lebkowski -detail

Yes, it’s the Podcast Pickle.

My podcast habit continues to grow.  I’ve already described my playlist as of January.  Today I’d like to add some more podcasts, new to me, for your aural delectation.

I’ve organized this group of ten by the headers used in that earlier post, starting with…

History, culture, and current events:

  • Freakonomics Radio.  A fun series of conversations led by the Freaks, discussing a wide range of topics with interesting people.  Usually crammed with ideas, moving very quickly along.  I disagree with some of the conclusions.  (Should be under the “Economics” header, but is really about applying some economics ideas to everything else.)
  • History of English. A meticulously detailed and warmly presented walk through thousands of years of linguistic history.  Every episode sheds light on modern-day English and English-language literature. (Thanks to Chris Lott for pointing this out to me, and why aren’t you subscribed to his Katexic newsletter?)
  • Slate DoubleX Gabfest.  A look at current events and pop culture from a feminist perspective.  Some very bright and perceptive hosts and guests.  Although it suffers from Slate’s usual biases (east coast urban, upper class aspirational), I find that useful for my research, and it doesn’t rise to the level of hate-listening.
  • Stuff You Missed in History Class.  Tracy V. Wilson and Holly Frey explore unusual and fascinating historical events.  These are rich stories, well told.


  • Higher Ed Social. Discussions about higher education.  I still can’t tell where this is going.


  • Slate Money.  Partly I like listening to the great Cathy O’Neil, because she is awesome and sets everyone straight.  Partly I hate-listen to this, because one of the hosts has written horrendous stuff that drove me nuts, and he gets smacked down with pleasing regularity.  And also because the show actually has good economics news, done with nerdish style.

Genre fiction

  • Archive 81.  A clever and weird story so far, concerning a young man assigned to organize a secretive audio archive.  He has to record everything, and what he hears (and experiences) is surprising and creepy.  We haven’t heard from him for a while… (Thanks to my daughter for drawing this to my attention)
  • Campfire Radio Theater.  A good horror show, with each episode offering a different creepy yarn.  Campfire shows a love for both oral and radio storytelling.
  • Lore.  Horror writer Aaron Mankhe explores disturbing folklore and urban legends, looking for their historical roots and creepy power.  Very nicely told and recorded.
  • Wolf 359.  A science fiction drama/comedy about a small group of scientists exploring a far-off star.  Excellent voice acting, writing, and editing, with a fine balance between drama and goofy comedy. (Thanks to my daughter for drawing this to my attention, too)

Are you listening to any of these?  What new podcasts should we check out?

Bonus: I’d like to dig into this recent survey about podcast audiences, if there’s time.

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One Response to More fine podcasts from 2016

  1. Mark Pearson says:

    Bore da Bryan,

    Here’s some ‘must listen’ podcasts:

    * In Our Time by Melvyn Bragg
    * Drama of the Week (you’d like this)
    Classic episode — “This is not a Banksy” : “Sam’s life is turned upside down when his girlfriend discovers a Banksy on his bottom”. Set in Wales see.
    * From Our Own Correspondent with Kate Adie
    * Seriously is good as is Analysis
    * You really should download all 10 episodes of Tumanbay



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