I’m going through a real podcasts phase at the moment. I find podcasts to be a really accessible format to digest content, and there are so many around on pretty much every topic. I used to listen to them on my commute, but since moving my commute time has halved and I can’t get through a whole episode anymore (#notcomplaining). Now I tend to listen while I’m cleaning the house, folding laundry, doing dishes or sometimes on my lunch break at work. When a new episode of one of my favourites drops, putting in my headphones and hitting play really feels like sitting down for a chat with some old friends.
A lot of the podcasts I’m into at the moment are British. Not sure how that happened, but you listen to one and they recommend another and before you know it you’re saying things like ‘poorly’ and ‘shedload’.
How To Fail
British journalist Elizabeth Day talks to people about their three greatest failures in life and what they’ve learnt from them. The podcast looks at failure as a good thing, how our lives generally turn out just fine despite it, and how learning from failure means learning to succeed. The guests are always interesting and insightful (although I haven’t heard of most them – I think they’re British celebrities), and as someone who tends to view every tiny failure as the sole measure of my worth as a person, it’s been a great reminder that everyone fails and it’s usually okay anyway.
Daisy Buchanan is the self-appointed book inspector who goes into the homes of British writers and takes a good look at their bookshelves. They chat about their favourite books, the ones they keep just to look posh but don’t ever read, and the ones they read as children and teenagers that have stuck with them for life. Just be warned that your ‘to be read’ list will blow out beyond what any one person could ever possibly read in their lifetime, and that’s just from the first episode.
My Dad Wrote A Porno
If you’re not already listening to this, I can’t help you. Jamie’s dad started writing hilariously appalling erotic novels, so naturally he turned it into a podcast. Each week he reads a chapter aloud to his friends Alice and James who jump in to point out the places where the narrative doesn’t quite make sense or perhaps drags on a little – like when the reader is treated to (read: tortured with) in-depth regional sales planning meetings, or when new parts of the anatomy are discovered, like ‘vaginal lids’ or ‘breast tits’. If you’re listening on public transport, be prepared to start cackling to yourself like a lunatic.
At Home With
Bloggers Anna Newton and Lily Pebbles visit some clever and creative women in their homes to discuss their work, families and home decor. It’s just a lovely chat and a nice way to pass a train trip or afternoon of hanging out laundry. They’re between seasons right now, and I’m not sure if there’ll be another, but rumour has it that a Christmas special will be coming out soon.
Chat 10 Looks 3
Oh look, it’s an Australian podcast! This one features 7.30 host Leigh Sales and journalist Annabel Crabb chatting books, podcasts, movies, TV shows, cooking, and a little current affairs thrown in too. It’s funny and intelligent, and the obviously genuine friendship between Leigh and Annabel makes it a really comforting and enjoyable listen. Putting this one feels like sitting down with a cup of tea and a warm blanket.
The High Low
This is basically the British version of Chat 10 Looks 3, hosted by Dolly Alderton and Pandora Sykes. Once again, they discuss books, podcasts and movies, as well as tackling topics from the news and popular culture. One of the great things about The High Low, is that Dolly and Pandora aren’t afraid to disagree with each other, and they’re both so intelligent that I feel I’m getting more intelligent by listening to them discuss their points of view (or I’m at least getting a posher vocabulary).
The Teacher’s Pet/Unravel/Trace
Here’s some true crime for you. The Teacher’s Pet, Unravel and Trace are all excellent Australian podcasts that follow unsolved cold cases from the 70s and 80s. If you haven’t already tuned into The Teacher’s Pet then what. The. Flip. Are. You. Doing. With. Your. Life? Unravel and Trace are both from the ABC and are also both excellent. Just don’t listen to them alone at night if you’re a little jumpy like me.