The month may be over, but you can listen to these podcasts anytime! I publish the best podcast episodes of the week every week on Friday – you can find those episodes and my reasoning behind why they’re great by going here to see an archive of those posts. But I also wanted to curate a list of the handful of episodes that simply rose to the very top over the whole month, the ones I’m still thinking about weeks later.
Here are the best podcast episodes (and a list of the podcasts that appeared on my Delicious Ingredients list more than once this month) from December 2017 – the best of the best. This month I listened to 161 episodes – a little light for me, but with the holidays my schedule was a little different. I also listened to more long shows this month – typically my favorite length is 30-40 minutes.
If you’re interested in seeing what I listen to, I have a running log by month. I also have a newsletter that comes out every other week which is a bit more editorial than the site – you can find it here.
Best Episodes of December 2017
- Between Us Girls, Episode 56: New Cookie, Who Dis? (11/28/17): What it’s about: “Callie Wright, host of the Gaytheist Manifesto Podcast, Sagittarius, and gateway to the trans community graces us with her presence and newly transitioned body. She is lively, fired up and just want people to ask her about Star Trek for a change! Spoiler alert, we did not. Tune into this very candid conversation as Callie reveals being trans isn’t the most important thing about her.”
- Sidedoor: This One’s for Dilla (12/5/17): What it’s about: “Even if you’ve never heard his name, you’ve probably heard his sound. J Dilla was a prolific hip-hop artist who collaborated with many hip-hop greats—from Questlove to Erykah Badu to Eminem. In this episode, we’re telling the story of J Dilla’s life and legacy through those that knew him best—his mother (aka Ma Dukes), James Poyser, and Frank Nitt—and some surprising objects on display at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.”
- The Assassination, Episode 1: Return of the Queen (12/26/17): What it’s about: “”Her days were numbered.” Introducing Benazir Bhutto and the story of her final journey home. Eight years of self-imposed exile ended when she returned to Pakistan to campaign for high office. Pakistani politics have long been lethal and Bhutto was in no doubt about the danger she faced. With Owen Bennett Jones.”
- Death, Sex & Money: Your Workplace Rage, and Mine (12/5/17): What it’s about: “This past weekend, New York Magazine published a story detailing an pattern of alleged sexual misconduct and bullying by John Hockenberry, the former host of WNYC’s show The Takeaway. The story includes allegations of forcible kissing, excerpts of inappropriate online messages Hockenberry sent to staff and guests, and descriptions of a pervasive culture of intimidation on the show that was most publicly directed against three of Hockenberry’s cohosts—all women of color—who left The Takeaway one after the other, while he stayed. This story is part of a much larger conversation we’re having about sexual harassment, and about misconduct of all kinds in the workplace—but this one hits close to home.”
- Nocturne: Tree People (12/18/17): What it’s about: “There’s a funny thing about Christmas in New York: In a city where most of the living trees are clumped together in just a few areas, right around Thanksgiving new clumps of trees start popping up all over this mostly concrete and asphalt setting. The tree stands sprinkled throughout the city create a festive air, but there’s another dimension to the world of Christmas trees in New York City at night.”
- The Pope’s Long Con: Welcome to the Pope’s House (12/13/17): What it’s about: “Meet Danny Ray Johnson, Kentucky’s fast-talking preacher-turned-politician who is known as the Pope. He paints himself as a 9/11 hero, healer of the sick and miracle maker. Behind this persona — cultivated, built up and fine-tuned over decades — is a web of lies and deception. A mysterious fire. Attempted arson and false testimony. Alleged molestation in his church.”
- Closer Than They Appear: What Can I Give? (with Eva Paterson and Aunt Bea) (12/20/17): What it’s about: “How do you stand against evil, but not the evildoer? How do you go to war for what’s right with love for the people you’re fighting? Carvell Wallace talks with legendary civil rights lawyer and activist Eva Paterson. And at long last, he also reconnects with his Aunt Bea — the white woman who partially raised him — for the first time in nearly 20 years.”
- Terrible, Thanks for Asking, Episode 24: Incompatible with Life (12/12/17): What it’s about: “At 32 weeks pregnant, Cat and Jim find themselves planning for their son’s death while hoping for his birth. This is a story of a life and a death, extraordinary in every way.”
Best Podcasts of December 2017
(multiple appearances on weekly Delicious Ingredients including Honorable Mentions)
- Closer Than They Appear – the only show that appeared more than once. It’s tha bomb.