Favorite Podcasts


After reading The Fringe Hours, I knew that one aspect of my life that needed to change was my commute to work. I was finding myself frustrated at the time that felt wasted while I was driving to and from work, and since public transportation wasn't a viable option, I needed a way to occupy my time that felt productive. I've started praying more while driving, which has made a big difference, and I've also queued up a great selection of podcasts to listen to while on the road. These podcasts are so good, in fact, that sometimes I find myself circling the block so I can finish up a story before I get home. Here is a list of some of my favorites, in case you're looking for something good to listen to: This American Life

Like most of the country, I was obsessed with Serial last year (and I admit that I still listen to episodes from time to time, just for nostalgia's sake). After the show ended, I started listening to This American Life, the podcast that hosted the series. Instantly, I was hooked. Each episode has a theme, and from that theme stems a variety of different stories, most that are true and based on real-life people and situations, though some are not. The topics explore cultural conversations and ideas, and they open the eyes of listeners to so many new ways of thinking. If I had to choose my very favorite podcast, This American Life would be it.

Happier

I love Gretchen Rubin's books, so I was thrilled to learn that the author was starting a podcast based on her writings and research. She hosts Happier with her sister, Elizabeth, and they provide so many good nuggets of information along with ways to make daily life more joyful. Listening to Happier is an instant pick-me-up.

After the Jump

This podcast is hosted by design blogger Grace Bonney, who uses this platform to interview creatives of all kinds - designers, store-owners, entrepreneurs of all sorts - and discuss the inner-workings of the world of present-day artists. I love how the podcast's website sums it up: "From exploring the day-to-day lives of contemporary makers to discussing the challenges they face, After the Jump will take the conversation off the screen and into real life."

Bon Appétit

A podcast produced by one of my favorite magazines about one of my favorite topics: food! In a word, this series is delicious. BA Editor-in-Chief Adam Rapoport covers a variety of food-related topics, sometimes interviewing celebrity chefs, restaurant owners, and cookbook authors, while other times sharing conversation and ideas with staffers from the magazine. My all-time favorite podcast in this series featured interviews with Ina Garten and Gordon Ramsay but I also loved this one about Waffle House and this one about the best new restaurants of 2015. Thanks to Bon Appétit, I'm now going to check out a few of their recommended food-focused podcasts, including Radio Cherry Bombe, Burnt Toast, and The Dinner Party Download.

Real Simple

Another podcast produced by one of my favorite magazines, bravo! The two series that I listen to are Things Cooks Know and Adulthood Made Easy, both of which are entertaining, informative, and super easy to listen to.

Good Food

Korena recommended this podcast to me (along with After the Jump, actually) because she knew I would adore all of the food-centric conversations and stories. Which, of course, I do (hence the obsession with the Bon Appétit podcast). The episodes are longer, rounding out an hour or so each, and they make for great marathon listening sessions.

Do you have any podcasts to share? I'd love to add them to my list!

Image via p.s. remember this

Library Card

Library CardI have always been a voracious reader. My parents still tell stories about how they used to have to pull books out of my hands so I could focus on getting ready for school or eating my breakfast without spilling on myself. I have always been a book person. I totally appreciate tablets and e-readers, especially when travel is concerned, but I love the feel of holding a book in my hands. That being said, I devour books like slices of pizza, rapidly gobbling up the stories contained within them. As much as I adore them, books cost a few bucks, so I had found myself reading less because I wasn't willing to sacrifice space in my budget to pick up new titles. In Gretchen Rubin's book, The Happiness Project, she talks about identifying the problem as the main way of overcoming an obstacle. When I started feeling frustrated that I had been reading less and began contemplating why that was, I realized that I wasn't in a place to spend a ton of money on books. I can usually read three books a week, so that would come to about 12 books per month, totaling somewhere close to $2,400 per year! So the problem, then, was money. How should I overcome this problem? I don't know why I didn't realize it sooner, but the answer was so simple: get a library card and check out books for free.

I had dragged my feet on this, for some reason fearing that the process of getting a library card would be tedious and lengthy. But on a gray Sunday at the end of April, I finally took the plunge and I cannot tell you how my heart palpitated once I realized that all of the books in the public library were at my disposal (besides, the whole card process took a whole two minutes). I was like a kid in a candy store, looking up titles (and, frankly, re-training myself on the methods of the Dewey Decimal System), checking out books, and adding myself to wait-lists for popular works. I spent the rest of the afternoon reading, and have since knocked out six delicious titles:

  1. Delancey by Molly Wizenberg - my favorite of the bunch!
  2. The Fringe Hours: Secrets to Making Time for You by Jennifer Turner - really applicable tips found here, though the tone/writing style wasn't always quite my taste; an easy & quick read nonetheless.
  3. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell - so captivating, albeit a bit dark, with a touching budding romance at the center of the story.
  4. The Circle by Dave Eggers - a powerful commentary on social media + an amazing narrative.
  5. The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty - this book was even more engaging than I could have imagined, as I'd heard/read about it for months. I couldn't put it down!
  6. Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers by Anne Lamott - another winner by an author I love. There were some amazing gems in here, though I could have used a little more meat in some sections.

Now I'm starting The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo, which is actually a book that Mom lent me. And here are the books from the library that I just picked up yesterday:

  1. All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews
  2. The Chaperone by Liane Moriarty
  3. David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell
  4. I'll Drink to That: A Life in Style, with a Twist by Betty Halbreich
  5. One Last Thing Before I Go by Jonathan Tropper
  6. Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time by Brigid Schulte
  7. Sisterland by Curtis Sittenfield

As you can see, I'm going nuts over my new library card - I feel like I've been given a new sense of freedom, and I'm loving getting back into a reading routine (especially before going to bed - it's so relaxing!). It's the best move I've made in recent history.

Have you been reading anything good lately? If so, I'd love to have your recommendations!

Photo of a darling little mobile library in Dallas via my dear friend, Elizabeth Corley