Each month, Podcast Review’s staff offers recommendations on the best new podcasts to listen to. Here are our favorites for December:
Avery Trufelman recently released season three of her excellent show Articles of Interest, a podcast all about what people wear. Again and again, Trufelman takes niche, unassuming topics, holds them up to the light, and shows us that almost everything, no matter how seemingly insignificant, has a vast and richly complex history (a vacuum, say, or a pair of khakis). This new season, “American Ivy,” does just that. Even the more sartorially inclined among us may find that we still have plenty to learn from Trufelman about the world of fashion. Trends and fads? Not the same thing! Ivy and preppy? Despite their shared love of loafers and tweed, also somewhat different. Whether we enjoy it or not, we all deal with the business of getting dressed, and “American Ivy” shows us just how powerful clothes can be.
Unlicensed is the Welcome to Night Vale team’s attempt to break into the detective genre. Creators Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor brought in Molly C. Quinn, Lusia Strus, and T.L. Thompson to star in their latest audio fiction, with a special appearance from Jason Segel. It’s an L.A. P.I. tale, investigated by a disorganized veteran and a rookie. The 12-episode podcast is available on Audible.
The latest from APM Reports finds host Emily Hanford looking deep into the reading curriculum that currently dominates US public schools. As Hanford details in the first episode, she believes the fundamental principle of this method, that kids should use context clues to deal with new words rather than the tried and true “sound it out,” has put millions of kids at a steep disadvantage. Hanford speaks with parents across the country to understand how this method has been implemented, and how a single publishing company has profited.
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