Each week I publish the most Delicious Ingredients of my Audible Feast … the scrumptious, delectable, savory, rich, sweet, spicy, and best podcasts that have fed my ears over the last 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 best. This week I listened to 67 episodes for this podcast review recap – 12 new shows for me this week, 2 of which made it on this list. This was a super tough week to pick the very best – so I have a nice long Honorable Mention list to go with it. Congrats podcast makers, you made me so happy this week (and made me cry)!
The Hilarious World of Depression: Mortified’s Dave Nadelberg Presents Your Shame Live on Stage (9/10/18): What it’s about: “You can think of Dave Nadelberg’s vast Mortified project as The Hilarious World of Embarrassment, Awkwardness, and Redemption. Through stage presentations, film, TV, and books, Dave invites people to share their most mortifying writing. It’s very funny, sure, but it’s more than that. Dave says the process of dragging your younger self out of that old trunk can provide understanding of who you were and what motivated you. That, in turn, can offer valuable insight into who you are. Also in this episode, John is dragged kicking and screaming into revealing his 2nd grade secret identity.” Why it’s great: John Moe’s hesitant description of how he signed letter to a childhood crush as if his name was “Adventure Person” made my eyes leak. I also really resonated with the idea that sharing childhood writings can be therapeutic and let you release some of the heaviness you may feel. I read a journal from when I was 18 recently and it was a doozy – but revelatory. It’s amazing how much I see looking back that I could have never understood at the time. (40 minutes)
The Competition, LEATHER Ep. 2: Spike (9/9/18): What it’s about: “Spike says he can kick your ass and do your makeup. He’s one of the contestants vying for the title of Mr. LA Leather 2018.” Why it’s great: Unsurprisingly, second week in a row for The Competition. It’s so unlike any other audio, it makes me so happy. Spike is the first of four contestants the team will be profiling and as James Kim promised me in his interview with me, these participants have such complex reasons for competing in Mr. Leather competitions. (15 minutes)
Read my 5-star review of season one of The Competition here, and my recent interview with James Kim about season two here!
Jolted, Part 1: The Shooting That Didn’t Happen (9/5/18) *First appearance on Delicious Ingredients*: What it’s about: “Jack Sawyer’s journal contained a startling confession. It landed him in jail, and sent shockwaves through the state of Vermont.” Why it’s great: I’m really interested in hearing about the politics and law that surrounded this non-shooting and what Sawyer’s family says about him and the fallout for their family. (18 minutes)
The Trouble with Shannon Cason: Michael (9/14/18): What it’s about: “At age 28, Michael unexpectedly committed suicide. Carol and Steve talk about their son’s life and its tragic and unforeseen ending.” Why it’s great: It’s so important to talk about mental illness. I loved how Michael’s parents talked about including his cause of death in the obituary – they said they never considered not including that he died of suicide. The episode also ended with some of the hope his parents feel as they get to know another side of their son, through the lens of his friends. (39 minutes)
Terrible, Thanks for Asking, Episode 46: Two Letters (9/4/18): What it’s about: “Annie’s husband Jim died by suicide. After his death, she got into a bad space of her own. Then came the letters.” Why it’s great: More audio that made me cry this week. Whew. This one was a doozy. At first I thought the letters might have been from someone to Annie, but I quickly realized she was writing the letters herself as part of her grieving process. Annie read several of the letters during the episode, and it was such a creatively and thoughtfully edited show. It is exactly what TTFA is about – that sometimes, things are really, really shitty, and it’s okay to say that and feel awful. Annie was an excellent storyteller and I truly felt her pain while I was listening to her speak. (49 minutes)
Here Be Monsters, HBM101: Much Corruption (9/12/18): What it’s about: “Jeff Emtman finds himself distracted by dragons and their ilk as he kayaks with one of the world’s hairiest people.” Why it’s great: A lovely, artsy piece from show creator Jeff Emtman (who I noted called himself a self-proclaimed artist back in 2016, to which he laughed BTW). Here is my favorite part, hopefully this prompts you to listen to this unique episode that meshes a kayak trip with a fantasy video game: “I never did close any of the gates of chaos, though I did try with all my might. The closer I got to the gates, the more quickly I became corrupted and weak. My spells were not good enough, the gods stopped answering my prayers, my companions all died or left me.” (32 minutes)
Read that 5-star review of Here Be Monsters where I noted Jeff’s self-proclamations here! (January 2016)
Criminal, Episode 98: The Doctors (9/7/18): What it’s about: “Three of America’s most experienced trauma surgeons speak with us about what happens when someone is shot.” Why it’s great: I can’t imagine being a trauma surgeon, but these three shared what it’s like for them to be the immediate “fixer” after a crime has been committed. It was very tender hearing these people who are so experienced at not getting emotional, handling an emergency, and saving lives step back and share their feelings about the increase in the number of people they’ve been treating. (23 minutes)
Read my 4-star review of Criminal here! (September 2015)
How to Be A Girl, Episode XXIV: Moving & Marrying, Part III – New School (8/20/18): What it’s about: “My daughter starts fifth grade at a new school next month. It’s a fresh start, where no one knows that she’s transgender. How do I handle this? How do I advise her? Should she keep her transgender status to herself or be more open? At the end of this episode, I’ll be asking for your advice: What should I do?” Why it’s great: This is why I love this show. Host Marlo Mack (a pseudonym) is so real. She admits how tough it is to be a parent to a transgender child and has no illusion that she has all the answers – she’s often self-deprecating when I think she’s amazing – and she just shares that with the listeners. In this episode she and her daughter talk through three options of sharing her daughter’s gender identity when she starts a new school. There are issues with all of them, and I’m so glad they shared it with the audience. (25 minutes)
Read my 4-star review of How to Be a Girl here! (June 2016)
Reality Steve Podcast, Episode 95: Interview with Jordan Kimball (9/12/18) *First appearance on Delicious Ingredients*: What it’s about: “Jordan joins me to talk about the whirlwind that’s been the last 48 hours, how he first heard, what was Jenna’s reaction when he confronted her on it, the news that was presented to me today, how he’s feeling overall, why did he end the engagement, does he think there’s a reconciliation in the future, and a whole lot more. No time stamps for this episode because it’s shorter and I know people wanted to hear it as soon as possible. It’s one thing to read Jordan’s statements with media outlets, but I think it’s another thing to hear it in his voice how almost discombobulated he is and how he’s still processing how all this could’ve happened.” Why it’s great: I have read Reality Steve for years, I enjoy the Bachelor franchise spoilers and commentary. Within the last year he started a podcast, too, where he often talks to former cast members. This week Steve got information from what he says is a reliable source that Jenna Cooper, a contestant on Bachelor in Paradise, was using her “match made in heaven” boyfriend Jordan Kimball solely to further her business. Steve broke the news on Tuesday and was able to get Jordan to agree to do an interview the next day. Excellent work, Steve, and a very honest interview.(43 minutes)
The Daily: Lost in the Storm, Part 1 and Part 2 (9/13-14/2018): What it’s about: “One year ago, Houston thought it was prepared for Hurricane Harvey. As another major hurricane approaches the U.S., we look at how flooding overwhelmed Houston’s emergency systems, and how one family found out that they were on their own. Even as floodwaters caused by Hurricane Harvey began to recede, Wayne Dailey was pleading with emergency services to send someone to rescue his wife.” Why it’s great: I live in Houston and was here during Harvey, a completely surreal experience. I was bawling listening to this two-part special episode of The Daily, how the system failed not only Casey Dailey but others who truly needed emergency help in an unimaginable situation the city wasn’t ready for. Here’s a link to the GoFundMe for the Dailey family. (21, 30 minutes)
Twitter: @sherifink @nytimes @nniebrown
Nerdette: U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth Talks Mothering, Senatoring, and Couponing
PLAYLIST Podcast, 4.5: Personal
Death, Sex & Money: Nick Offerman Can Take Directions
Ear Hustle: Birdbaths and a Lockbox
Ologies: Kalology (BEAUTY STANDARDS) with Renee Engeln
Rumble Strip: Let’s Pull the Damn Woman Card
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.