History in the Making

Podcasts for Your Brain

I finally stopped and thought about it the other day, I’ve now been listening to podcasts on a near daily basis for eight years. While they come and go in terms of what I’m feeling like listening to at that time, I’ve been stuck in ever since. My last few podcast recommendations have skewed towards comedy and/or snarky recaps, but these are more if you want to learn or immerse yourself. While the summer is often busy with activities, I find that they tend to be a little lighter on the brain power leaving you a little bit to spare!
Podcasts forYour Brain

I fall into the trap of wanting light and fluffy in the summer, but realistically I do have the mental power to deal with a little bit more than I give myself. Enter- podcasts! Shorter than an audiobook, and still all I have to do is listen. These three podcasts will keep you busy for half an hour to an hour while you drive, do some housework, or just sit and enjoy!
I have posted about Radiolab before but I think that it is one of the best podcasts out there for learning about a new subject or theme. Robert and Jad and the team usually approach the topic through a personal story- hearing the person speak for themselves pushes this above most other podcasts where it is simply “reporting”. From democracy and government to genetics to a crazy racoon on a beach, Radiolab will immerse you in what appears to be a wildly random story that at the beginning appears to have nothing to do with you but by the end of the episode will connect with several different threads of your life.
Dan Snow’s History Hit
If you are like me and have “liked” several history type things on Facebook, you might start seeing ads for a history network that Dan Snow is trying to raise money for. Although I have held off on investing in it (simply because they didn’t really answer if it will be available world wide/in Canada), it led me to his podcast. Dan Snow is a fairly charismatic historian; he is easy to listen to and has a good basis of knowledge in most areas of history. Each episode he interviews a new historian/author from a different period and they uncover and share things that most of us don’t know about that point in history. It is perfect for the casual listener who just likes learning things in addition to us hardcore history types!
Librivox has been around for ages, and I love how wide their library is. For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, Librivox is a collection of volunteer read, copyright free books! Some books will have multiple versions with different readers if you are particular with your narrators, but most classic and copyright free books have at least one version available on Librivox. I have loved listening to all of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s books, as well as Jane Austen. What I love most about this is that no subscription is required at all, you simply have to use a podcast app to find them- it doesn’t matter what family your device comes from, Librivox is available to you!
What are you listening to this summer? Any podcasts I should check out? 
Until tomorrow,
The Historian!
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3 thoughts on “Podcasts for Your Brain”

  • I really want to check these out! Particularly the history one, because I dearly love history and I often find that podcasts and documentaries are a great springboard in that they introduce historical topics and give a great overview of them, after which, one can go out and delve into it in more detail if one so desires. I am also super excited about Librivox, especially the fact that some of them are available with different readers. I’m not generally picky about that, but there have been a few audiobooks that I had to give up on because the narrator was just unbearable, so it’s nice to have that option!
    Anyhow, thank you for putting this post together and then sharing the link with me! Really excited about these.

  • I am very much into archives right now as I am getting sources for my research paper and podcasts can be useful (depending on who is doing it. So I know I mentioned it before but West Wing Weekly for anyone who is a fan of The West Wing. There’s a podcast called “Myths and Legends” that, yes, looks at different myths and legends (not just the ones we know) and they are told from a new perspective (ie: the oldest ones).
    In terms of history: I’ve been listening to the “History Extra” podcast by BBC; and “In Our Time” which has Melvynn Bragg hosting and different people speaking with him about different points in history. I realize that’s a lot (there are two others but those are the ones I really listen to). I just started as well with the last three and they have been going for awhile so I get to jump to what interests me rather then whatever is the latest. I’m now going to check out Dan Snow’s podcast, thank-you!

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