Staff Picks
What We’re Listening To – May Picks

I watched the 13 Reasons Why Netflix series the weekend it came out. Just like the book, the Netflix series has that can’t-stop-until-I-get-to-the-thirteenth-reason effect, and I wound up binge watching the whole thing without even meaning to! Jay Asher’s book deals with a lot of difficult subject matter, and I thought the Netflix series did an excellent job of handling the heavier scenes with sensitivity and authenticity. I don’t always notice the songs on shows, but the soundtrack to 13 Reasons Why stood out. I’ve been listening to the moody, atmospheric songs ever since.


For the last two years or so, the highlight of my Friday-morning commute has been the new episode of the Call Your Girlfriend podcast. The hosts, Ann Friedman and Aminatou Sow, talk about everything from what’s up with the Kardashians to women’s health issues to the latest in politics. It’s by turns hilarious and serious, informative and relatable. I’ve recently added Pod Save America to my Monday- and Thursday-evening commutes; the hosts, former Obama-administration staffers, do a great job of breaking down what’s currently going on in the federal government and giving a larger context from a progressive, insider perspective. The podcast regularly has great guests—Barack Obama did his last interview as president on Pod Save America. Then, to balance out the added political coverage, I’ve been dabbling in The Nerdist podcast. The host, Chris Hardwick, gets celebrities to open up about their lives without needling or prying, and the results are often surprisingly insightful.


One May audiobook release I’m particularly excited about is The Great Treehouse War by Lisa Graff. The audiobook is narrated by Ariana Delawari and a full cast—and I’m part of that full cast! I have a very small role—I narrate a short social media post. It was my first time behind the mic in the studio, though, and hearing what I sound like on audio is both anxiety inducing and thrilling.



Last but not least, it hasn’t been recorded yet so I haven’t been able to listen, but I recently finished an advance copy of You Bring the Distant Near by Mitali Perkins and am looking forward to the audio edition. It’s a family saga told from alternating perspectives across three generations and handles themes of cultural change, immigration, identity, and love in subtle and nuanced ways. If you enjoyed The Sun Is Also a Star or Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels, you’ll want to add You Bring the Distant Near to your to-listen list. It will be published in September.