Culture Corner

Culture Corner – August 2013

In case you missed it I published my first podcast this month, so I’m sure you won’t be surprised to find out that this month’s Culture Corner is about podcasts. Having published my first podcast and recently becoming obsessed with more podcasts (I need something to listen to while walking 89.99 miles in a month), I thought I’d talk about the ones I’m enjoying because after all they are cultural right?

The Oddness Moving BookcastI published the first episode of The Oddness Moving Bookcast this past Sunday!  And then Monday afternoon they approved it and it appeared on iTunes (you can click and see it without it trying to open iTunes). So you should go and subscribe on iTunes, or just keep an eye on this site and posts will be published. I already have ideas for the next few in my back pocket and can’t wait to start recording them! I’m still convinced I sound slightly crazed, but the feedback I’ve gotten so far is that I don’t sound too crazy, just passionate. I’m not sure I’ll be able to hold the crazy in with some of the more tetchy subjects that are upcoming. If you’ve followed this blog for a while now you might remember my gushy Austen fan-boy love letter instead of a Pride and Prejudice review back in January.

Above are the podcasts I consider to be the more cultural podcasts. I use that term loosely and don’t mean to offend anyone who loves the ones below. In general these are a bit more serious and are a bit more highbrow than those below (which isn’t a good or bad thing, just an observation).  All of the above are amazing, with the exception of NPR Books and that is because it is just a mash-up of pretty much anything book related from another show and it’s rather disjointed. I’m not sure I’ll follow it much longer. My two favorites by far are Pop Culture Happy Hour and The Readers (I also really enjoy Books on the Night Stand, but apparently didn’t grab its image).

Pop Culture Happy Hour is great because it’s anything and everything from books and music to TV shows and sports. There was a great episode recently which talked about Doctor Who and James Bond and roles filled by different actors. The Readers and  Books on the Nightstand are relatively similar in that they’re personal podcasts run by publishing industry insiders, but I love the banter between the hosts on each. If you’re looking for a book-based podcast these are the two to go for. They have both just done an episode (week of 8/12-8/17) about reading and being tired of blogging and podcasting and it was great insight.

I can’t explain how amazing The Moth and Snap Judgement are so you should check them out. They’re basically story-telling podcasts where they have one (or more) individuals tell their story, or a story, on stage. I sort of think of it as a fictional This American Life, but they’re not all fictional and they’re not all as depressing. Although I will say on the most recent episode of Snap Judgement I was on one of my longer walks and this story came on and I was bawling my eyes out. I seriously kept saying to myself why did you not wear sunglasses.

This batch is a little less high brow but at the same time are great and actually quite high brow in some of the subjects they touch upon. I am particularly enjoying Throwing Shade (thanks Roy for the recommendation) and Savage Lovecast (thanks Caroline, Shawna, Dom and whoever else recommended it) because they are desensitizing me (shocking I know). The crassness and vulgarity of the hosts is still a bit off-putting, but when I focus on the interesting subject matter I’m actually able to get around that. I’ve also heard at least two episodes where I’m like uh oh, that’s totally me I should pay attention.

In complete contrast to this there is This American Life, which Dom recommended. The few episodes I’ve listened to have been amazing, but I’m not sure I can listen to them much longer. They are so heavy and emotionally draining. Thankfully, they’ve almost all ended on a happier note, but getting there is such an exhausting journey that if I am doing anything else at the time I generally have to stop because I can’t expend that much emotional and physical energy at the same time.

Of this second group, I think my favorite is Ask Me Another it’s a head-to-head quiz show with a final round of all the winners in a spelling bee type one-and-done to see who the ultimate winner is. I love that the trivia is random and it’s just a great time. And of course I love NPR’s Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, who doesn’t? Seriously, an insensitive and hilarious view at the week’s news, plus any time Paula Poundstone is on there; I’m a fan.

I’m also thoroughly enjoying Comedy Bang Bang (thanks Josh and Dalton [via Hayley]) but I haven’t really decided on it. Some episodes I’m absolutely lost and other episodes I’m in hysterics trying not to laugh like a maniac while walking down the street or sitting at my desk. Josh also recommended Who Charted and I haven’t listened to a full episode, but I’m going to give it a go I can’t decide if I like the woman’s voice or not – it’s a little grating on me, but I’ll give it a few weeks at least.

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13 thoughts on “Culture Corner – August 2013”

  1. I listen to The Readers, too! It’s the podcast of book bloggers @SavidgeReads and @gavreads–do you follow their blogs? Simon Savidge is just wonderful. 🙂

    Thank you for the recommendations for all the other podcasts! I’m going to have to check them out.

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  2. Love this post! I’m a fan of podcasts, too, as it’s the perfect entertainment while walking or knitting. I haven’t heard of many of these, so thanks so much for the recommendations. And I look forward to hearing more of yours–it was really fun to finally hear your voice.

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    1. Thanks! And I would recommend almost all of those above. Even the ones I’m not super enthralled with have their moments. I’m also excited about making more; finding the time might be difficult, but I’ll do it.

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  3. Oh, oh! I just thought of another one you’d probably enjoy!

    Simon (of The Readers) also has a podcast called You Wrote the Book on which he interviews authors about their books and other things. One of the episodes was an interview with John Boyne. I meant to tell you about it then and forgot all about it.

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    1. I’ll definitely have to check it out. I realized pretty quickly that most of the better book based podcasts are industry insiders and I was like well there goes that idea. But again, mine isn’t meant to be like that so who knows.

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  4. My favourite podcast is probably The Nerdist, really interesting and funny interviews. As far as book Podcasts, I quite like the Science Fiction Book Review Podcast for SciFi stuff, though he can be a bit arrogant. I’ll have to check out The Readers.

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