Podcast Review: The Best Podcasts 2016 | Take Note

7 of the best podcasts to listen to

Podcasts are the latest medium to hit the big time. If you’re not loading up the latest series to listen to, laugh at, or educate yourself with on your way to work or on a morning run, millions of people will tell you you’re missing out. Here, Transcriber Emily B reviews some of 2016’s favourites.

I love podcasts. I spend a lot of time on trains, and I find there’s nothing better than sitting back and listening to a good show. You can block out everything around you (vital, especially when it’s so busy that you don’t even have the space to hold up a book) and learn something new and interesting at the same time.

My Top 7 Podcast Recommendations:

1. Note to Self

 Note to Self Podcast
Short episodes (usually around twenty minutes) that look at how we use technology, and how to make it work for us. It’s an informative, fun look at technology news and the effects of new inventions on our lives.

2. Slate’s Culture Gabfest

 Slate’s Culture Gabfest Podcast
A longish weekly discussion of cultural news—normally TV, music and film, but it also expands out into discussion on culture in general. Stephen, Dana and Julia are a delight, and they also have great guests most weeks who talk about their own work and areas of expertise.

3. This American Life

This American Life Podcast logo
An amazing, award winning classic. Focusses specifically on life in America, but the issues discussed are relevant to everyone.

4. Alice Isn’t Dead

 Alice Isn’t Dead Podcast
A new podcast from the creators of Welcome to Night Vale, this promises to be as weird and wonderful as the original. It follows a truck driver as she searches America for the wife she assumed was dead.
Welcome to Night Vale is also worth a listen. There are around 90 episodes now, but the show is so addictive that you’ll whizz through them. Just don’t listen right before bed.

5. The Nerdist

 The Nerdist Podcast
A movie podcast that gets huge names—think Jodie Foster, Chris Hemsworth and Patrick Stewart. Episodes are always fun and rambling, but can get very long because of this. My favourite recently was with Anthony Mackie, who plays Falcon in the Captain America movies. Make sure to have a look at their back catalogue, too. You’re sure to find someone you like in there.

6. The Guilty Feminist

 The Guilty Feminist Podcast
Two female comedians, Sofie Hagen and Deborah Frances-White, pick a topic related to feminism each week for discussion and stand up. They’re joined by guests, most recently Sarah Millican. It’s hilarious (I have laughed out loud on a run because of this show), as well as being a useful look at the pressures placed on modern British women.
Honourable mention here to Lena Dunham’s Women of the Hour, which has a similar premise. It’s a short podcast series from the end of last year, but all of the episodes are still available to listen to.

7. Serial

Serial Podcast
The second series has finished now (and was not as strong as the first), but all the episodes are still available. The first series looks at the murder of Hae Min Lee, and the evidence against the man who was convicted of the crime, Adnan Syed. The second explores the story of Bowe Bergdahl, a US soldier who walked off his base in Afghanistan and was imprisoned by the Taliban for five years. If you watched Making a Murderer on Netflix, you’ll love Serial.

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