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. All episode descriptions and artwork come from the linked sites. (Note: I also try to track every episode I listen to here.)
What it Takes: Jane Goodall: A Dedicated Pursuit (1/16/17): What it’s about: “As a girl in England, Jane Goodall dreamed of traveling to Africa to study animals in the wild. In 1960, that dream brought her to Tanzania, to observe the wild chimpanzees at Gombe Stream Park. As she describes in this episode, other scientists did not believe that a young woman could survive alone in the bush, but Jane Goodall did more than survive. Her work revolutionized the field of primatology. She was the first to document chimpanzees making and using tools, an activity that had been thought exclusively humans. Over the years she also witnessed cooperative hunting and altruism, but also brutality and even warfare among chimps. Her work, the longest continuous field study of any living creature, has given us deep insights into the evolution of our own species. Since the 1980’s, she has devoted herself single-mindedly to educating the public worldwide about the connections between animal welfare, the environment, and human progress..” Why it’s great: If you don’t know Jane Goodall’s story, other than that she lived among gorillas in Africa, you should listen to this biography. I learned more about her story from the Brad Meltzer’ children’s book I read with my 5-year old, and I loved this What it Takes segment where Goodall was actually interviewed. She talked about the struggles she had and who helped her along the way – it was very inspirational. (34 minutes) Twitter: @WhatitTakesNow
Someone Knows Something, S2E8: Gwen (1/16/17): What it’s about: “Gwen was devastated by Sheryl’s disappearance and the fact that Michael Lavoie was the prime suspect. Gwen is Lavoie’s former partner and the mother of the three children they had together. In Episode 7: Ghost, David Ridgen travelled across the country to contact Gwen and see if she would speak about Sheryl’s case. This week, we hear from Gwen about her life with Michael Lavoie, what she’s heard from her daughters, and what she thinks may have happened in January 1998.” Why it’s great: Another great episode from SKS-in particular I simply loved how Gwen sounded on tape, it was eerily exactly how I thought Gwen would sound. Ridgen is so gifted at the art of getting people to open up. (39 minutes) Twitter: @skscbc
Hollywood & Crime, Episode 1: Bathtub Murder (1/6/17): What it’s about: This show is a multi-part series about the women connected to the famously unsolved Black Dahlia murder in the mid-20th century. The death of many other women was likely tied to Why it’s great: I listened to the first three episodes right in a row, I couldn’t turn it off and didn’t want it to end. This is a docudrama – the facts of the cases are shared in a story format with actors, and it works for this subject. I think it helps that this series of crimes happened in a kind of golden era in Hollywood, so I’m imagining very ambitious young women coming to Hollywood to “make it big” and ending up falling a bit short – and their lives then being cut short by a serial killer. It’s a great story and I love the serial storytelling format. (31 minutes) Twitter: @HollywoodnCrime
StoryCorps, Episode 491: We Came Through (1/17/17): What it’s about: “Many of us are settling back into our weekly routines after the long Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend. On this holiday and others, we get to sit back, sleep in, and enjoy a little extra time at home with our families. It’s easy to forget what exactly it is that we’re commemorating. So this episode looks back on two events during the Civil Rights Era, and the courage, sacrifice, and incredible resilience of the people involved.” Why it’s great: To hear from people who were in the room for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s last speech and a family affected by a KKK firebombing in Mississippi during the civil rights movement is extremely touching. This is how I’d like to teach my kids about history. [Also-check out StoryCorps’ great new website!] (14 minutes) Twitter: @StoryCorps
Atomic Moms: Ambition + Motherhood: Hana Schank & Elizabeth Wallace (1/17/17): What it’s about: “How does motherhood affect ambition? Guests Hana Schank and Elizabeth Wallace co-wrote “The Ambition Interviews” essay series for The Atlantic and share their powerful findings with Atomic Moms. We talk about our desire to redefine ambition, the reason there are so few power couples, and why moms are juggling more than ever before. We also talk about Elizabeth’s two mom household and celebrate Hana’s career move that was inspired by this project. Listen to our interview! Read these essays. And join our conversation on social media.” Why it’s great: This resonated with me as a fairly ambitious mom. I reject mom guilt at every turn and don’t second guess whether I’m doing a good job at the things I strive for; I do hold myself to a high standard but realize perfection isn’t the goal. These women talk about the concept of ambition as moms. I also listened to the Game Plan episode from this week about how the “Lean In” mantra isn’t necessarily working (I don’t 100% agree but it was interesting). I much prefer an episode like this with real women talking about their experience with the idea of ambition (vs. the privileged Sallie Krawchek who spoke on Game Plan). My favorite discussion point in this episode was how you don’t get lucky to just balance being a great mom and and have a great career, you work at it, and design it for yourself if that’s what you really want. Self-propelling one’s career has always appealed to me and I truly feel that when you define what you really want to do and your boundaries of what you’re willing to do or not, you are much happier with whatever does happen in your life as both a mom and worker. Much more to come on this show, because it’s really resonating with me. (49 minutes) Twitter: @AtomicMoms
What else was fantastic this week? Send me a note! firstname.lastname@example.org or @audible_feast on Twitter!