Each week I will publish the most Delicious Ingredients of my Audible Feast … the scrumptious, delectable, savory, rich, sweet, spicy, and best podcasts that have fed my ears this week. They’re listed in no particular order. You can see what I’ve been listening to here to see the competition these shows beat out to earn their spot as the best of the week.
The Karen and Ellen Letters: Season Finale: Cognitive Dissonance (5/16/17): What it’s about: “A revealing connection is made. A villain emerges. Josh, Jeff, and Sara do some investigating, with varying success. Ellen leaves something behind. An email is sent. A package is shipped. We see the return of several old characters, and meet some new ones. We learn a shocking truth about one of our letter-writers, that changes everything. Plus, bloopers and drunken ad-libbing, by Jeff and Sara.” Why it’s great: Oh Karen and Ellen. I couldn’t decide between the aftershow that also aired this week (for episodes 11 and 12, where Josh talked about not wearing pants while recording), the Season Finale aftershow with the actors who play Mark and Karen (the aforementioned Jeff and Sara), or the actual season finale. I could listen to Jeff Powell’s Mark all the time. I am so thankful this show has brought laughter to many, many people and I can’t wait for it to continue in the fall. Yours truly also had the privilege of appearing on a round table about Season 1 that came out today! (31 minutes)
Read my review of The Karen and Ellen Letters here! (March 2017)
The Longest Shortest Time, Episode 123: The Weird History of Judgy Parenting (5/17/17): What it’s about: “When Nicholas Day became a father eight years ago, he suddenly felt a deep, primal aversion to a thing he had never previously cared about: pacifiers. He felt certain that giving a pacifier to his baby would ruin the kid’s life—and worse, it would be proof that he’d failed as a father. Nick wanted to know where his pacifier fear came from, so like a good journalist, he went looking for answers. Turns out, the root of Nick’s fear went way farther back than online parenting debates. It was actually centuries old, and based on some pretty far-out judgy ideas about parents and kids. And the more Nick dug, the more weird stuff he learned about parenting of the past.” Why it’s great: We can all agree that when you become a parent you are immediately and constantly judged by others feeling insecure about their own parenting, or just trolls and haters. The most biting judgment comes from those you’re closest to, including that awful self-imposed judgment. This episode was terrific – it was a historical and sociological look at parental bias and snobbery, often based on one statement written in a newspaper or medical journal. Turns out the hysteria of the 2000s caused by viral clickbait articles has been going on since the beginning of moms carrying around kids. Or are you not supposed to carry them? (45 minutes)
Read my review of The Longest Shortest Time here! (October 2015)
StartUp, Season 5 Episode 4: Running a Family and a Business (5/12/17): What it’s about: “This week on StartUp we’re listening in as executive coach Jerry Colonna sits down with Diana Lovett, the founder of a socially responsible chocolate company called Cissé Cocoa. In the episode, they tackle something that many founders struggle with—how to balance entrepreneurship and parenthood.” Why it’s great: StartUp has changed formats pretty much every season, and this season seems somewhat disconnected so far, but this episode will resonate with many working moms (which I am and host/producer Lisa Chow is). I think an entire show could be made out of working moms talking through their doubts, insecurities, and goals – both professional and personal – with a coach or counselor. I’ve had similar conversations with mentors, friends, and therapists. I loved the soft approach to understanding why working moms often feel so conflicted. (36 minutes)
Neighbors: Dave, The Weather Nut (5/16/17): What it’s about: “Dave Hayes is a “social media-rologist”. He has no meteorology degree, but posts dense and poetic weather updates on Facebook where he’s grown quite a following. Hear how one man uses his computer to bring north-eastern Massachusetts together and protect them from the elements.” Why it’s great: Classic Neighbors – an story that introduces the audience to someone who could be your neighbor, and who is worth getting to know. This perfectly paced episode was really enjoyable and now I am off to seek a Texas weather nut to make weather more fun! (18 minutes)
Read my most recent review of Neighbors here! (April 2017)
SC Featured: Dear Mom (5/14/17): What it’s about: “What do Dale Earnhardt, J.J. Watt and Russell Wilson have in common? The same thing as Laurie Hernandez and Bryce Harper – a special relationship and love for their mom.” Why it’s great: Each athlete was recorded reading a letter to their mom, and they didn’t know their moms were listening. The moms didn’t know what the recording was going to be about, so it was a surprise to each pair. I live in Houston, so I knew the J.J. Watt connection would make me smile (he does so much for the youth in the city!), but I was actually most engaged hearing Olympic gymnast Laurie Hernandez talk about her mom, because she’s so young and still lives at home. And Bryce Harper’s letter to his mom will make your heart swell. (27 minutes)
Sleepover: Salt Spring II: Cathy’s Vanishing Legacy (5/14/17): What it’s about: “Salt Spring Island is all trees and rolling mountains, tiny colourful homes with thatched roofs and fields of lavender. It’s like a hobbit kingdom! Cathy Roland (a.k.a. “Aunty Kate”) was born on Salt Spring Island six decades ago. She is passionate and proud of her Hawaiian and Salish heritage. Cathy comes from a lineage of early settlers sent by Hawaiian King Kamehameha to help with Canada’s fur trade in the 19th century! She regales us with songs and stories but something is bothering her. Cathy struggles to preserve her family legacy when elders are dying and young ones can’t get the facts right.” Why it’s great: It’s a sin that I left Sleepover off my list last week, I apologize! It’s one of my absolute favorite shows. Sook-Yin Lee is so awesome; she was born to be in a creative role like this. This week the trio + Sook-Yin are holed up in a yurt, and once again, they have so little in common on the surface, but really help each other solve a problem. In this episode, Cathy gets some help from the younger guests who suggest that she could take advantage of what younger generations could add to the archiving of her family’s history, versus the perspective she had of the story being diluted generation after generation. (27 minutes)
Read my review of Sleepover here! (November 2016)
Nerdette: Breaking Yoga Stereotypes with Jessamyn Stanley (5/12/17): What it’s about: “Jessamyn Stanley is a yoga teacher who “breaks all stereotypes” of a yogi. As she writes in the intro of her new book, Every Body Yoga, “All yoga bodies deserve to be represented in print, not just those that are slender, female, and white. I wrote this book for every fat person, every old person, and every exceptionally short person. … I wrote it for every person who is self-conscious about their body.” Nerdette’s Greta Johnsen and Tricia Bobeda, who is (or was!) a bit of a yoga skeptic, sat down with Stanley to hear her story and why she believes that yoga is much more than just a way to burn calories or an excuse to buy leggings. ” Why it’s great: Bobeda’s skepticism of yoga was so real and familiar, though I don’t think I subscribe to quite as many of the fears and stereotypes they discussed. Jessamyn Stanley was a perfect guest for this show, which features guests who are simply unapologetic about what they’re nerdy about. It made me want to work on some yoga poses – and convinced me anyone can do it. (35 minutes)
Love and Movies, Episode 12: Baby Makin’ and Kevin Bacon (5/16/17): What it’s about: “Finally making a family together. All the things we went through from conception to Birth. Movie: Kevin Bacon stuff! (Our Bacon score is 3)” Why it’s great: I’ve been waiting for this episode since episode 1 – I knew that this show was being made for Eric and Monica’s son, so I figured they’d eventually get pregnant. But then a couple episodes ago, they revealed their struggle with infertility and that a doctor had told them it was a lost cause for them to hope for their own biological child. But in this episode, they achieve the impossible and get pregnant! Anyone who has faced infertility will be so angry alongside Monica and Eric as they reflect on their journey and the lack of hope one medical professional saddled them with, and any listener will be elated when they share their success story. (44 minutes)
All episode descriptions and artwork come from the linked sites. What else was fantastic this week? Send me a note! firstname.lastname@example.org or @audible_feast on Twitter.
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