[Photo by William Iven]
Not to sound hipster about it, but I've been listening to podcasts for years. A friend shared the Savage Love podcast with me about six years ago, and I've been hooked ever since. It's the perfect way for me to consume content; I've always been quite a good aural learner and I like being able to go about my day at the same time as listening, which you can't really do with blogs or video. I've also never been much of a music fan. People find that strange, but whilst I like certain bands and songs, and will happily dance my socks off on a night out, I don't really listen to music for fun. So podcasts are my sweet spot. And I'm really happy that the world at large has cottoned on to them, because it means there's been an explosion of new podcasts coming in to my life in the past few months. I literally cannot keep up with the amount of content contained in my phone - so it's just as well that I'm training for a 10k so need to be going on more, longer runs - the perfect podcast listening time! Some of these have been running a lot longer than that, but with more podcasts comes more podcast recommendations so I've been discovering some gems that I'd love to share with you!
All Killa No Filla
I have a bit of an unhealthy obsession with serial killers. I just find them fascinating. They're so far removed from my experience and I just want to know *why*. I think we all do, right? It's morbid, but we can't help it. All Killa No Filla makes me believe that it's not just me with this slightly macabre interest. Rachel Fairburn & Kiri Pritchard-McLean dig deep into the lives and crimes of notorious serials killers from Ted Bundy and John Wayne Gacy to Jack the Ripper and The Zodiac Killer. This podcast is darkly funny (very darkly funny) and will make the world of serial killers seem even weirder and more eccentric than you ever imagined. Seriously addictive stuff.
If there was ever a podcast made for me, it is this one. Two lady scholars discussing Harry Potter, literary criticism, feminism and all things Hogwarts? I am so down for it. I've been making my way through the back catalogue over the past few weeks and every time I think I can't love it more, these awesome ladies bring out something better. Let it be known, this is not dry and boring academic stuff - it's funny, touching and air-punchingly righteous. It makes me love Harry Potter even more than ever, and almost persuades me that academia is the life for me (does the world need more Harry Potter PhD students? I volunteer as tribute!). Plus, I need to hang out with the hosts at least once before I die - this is my new life goal.
This is another very Amy-specific podcast recommendation, but chances are if you read this blog then you might have a few of the same interests as me. I'm not talking baking, knitting and my other Pinterest-friendly pursuits. I'm talking sex positive feminist theory. Oh, yes. One of my truest loves. Kick-ass lady boss Jaclyn Friedman hosts the Unscrewed podcast, the show which 'knows that real liberation includes sexual liberation'. I listened to the episode on 'Feminists with Rape Fantasies' on Sunday, with Tristan Taormino as a guest star, and almost burst into applause at the end. These are the conversations about sexuality and feminism we need (and I want) to be having.
Slate's Dear Prudence
Mallory Ortberg is one of my favourite people on the Internet - her sense of humour ticks all of my boxes and if you are a fan of The Hairpin or The Toast, you'll probably feel the same. If you're not following her on Twitter, you're missing a trick. I am also incredibly partial to an advice column-based podcast and this is a great one. Mallory and her guests mix whimsy and humour with straight-talking, generous advice, which is basically a winning formula in my book. The problems range from the slightly ridiculous to the heart-breaking, and I enjoy the variety - it's a little lighter than Dear Sugar but has the same kind-hearted feel to it. You'll be hooked, I promise.