It can be hard finding the time to read (except for those precious moments in the bathroom, or if you’re lucky, on your commute to work if you ride public transit like I do in New York City). But, this is why podcasts are a gift from the heavens. Because you can listen to them anytime–while working, cooking, in the car picking your child up from theater practice, or getting ready for work, school or even a rare night out.
This is why I put together some of my own favorite podcasts–or podcasts on my “to listen” list. Here’s a bunch to check out:
Author Malcolm Gladwell’s podcast explores the connection between historical fact and human behavior, often looking at points in history that are often not discussed often. For instance, the first episode focuses on English Victorian painter Elizabeth Thompson, whose work became extremely popular. If you like history–and don’t want to read a textbook, this is for you.
This podcast is one of my favorites–Maron interviews a wide array of celebrities, artists, musicians, and writers–from Fred Armisen to Ian McKellen to Barack Obama to Anne Hathaway to Aimee Mann. Maron is funny, but also a great journalist, in that he asks all the right questions. Definitely not something to miss.
3. Modern Love
This podcast is exactly what it sounds like–it’s about love, and how we fall in and out of love–and hopefully, try to keep it. The podcast focuses on the popular New York Times column, with readings done by celebrities and the essayists themselves–including Laura Dern, Emmy Rossum, and the late Amy Krause Rosenthal.
Guy Raz, the NPR host and former CNN correspondent in Jerusalem, explores how successful entrepreneurs started their companies, focusing on brands like Instagram and Warby Parker. Even if you aren’t interested in being a business owner, it’s interesting to think about why trends and companies become hugely popular.
This podcast is what’ve always wanted: to hear two best friends who live in different cities catch up. Best friends Ann Friedman (a notable journalist) and Aminatou Sow (social impact at Google) often talk about feminism, news, pop culture, and more. Basically, it’s like listening to yourself and your best friend.
Who doesn’t love to hear strong women talk about their opinions? Phoebe Robinson (author of “You Can’t Touch My Hair: And Other Things I Still Have to Explain“) and former “Daily Show” correspondent Jessica Williams are the hosts–and they are funny, intelligent, and bold. They talk about sex, love, racism, sexism with a variety of guests, like Ilana Glazer and Carrie Brownstein.
You probably already listen to this one already, since it’s much beloved by many. If you haven’t, however, it’s about time. Ira Glass is the host, so I mean, come on. Like the title suggests, the podcast focuses on real American life, like this episode on babysitting.