Staff Picks
What We’re Listening To – September’s Picks

I may not be starting a new school year like many people around me, but I still feel the drive each fall to learn something new and tackle more serious subject matter after having such a light and breezy summer.


Home Fire cover

Longlisted for the 2017 Man Booker Prize, Home Fire is about an immigrant family—a timely subject. I’ve just started listening to it, but with an endorsement like this from The New York Times, I know I won’t be disappointed: “Builds to one of the most memorable final scenes I’ve read in a novel this century.”


The Memory Palace
The Memory Palace podcast dives into little-known history that’s anything but cut-and-dried. Host Nate DiMeo uses music along with his voice to create moving, informative episodes.



Laura MarlingI’ve been a fan of British folk singer-songwriter Laura Marling since her 2010 album, I Speak Because I Can (that title song is excellent). Although her newest album, Semper Femina, was released this past spring, I only just got around to listening to it. Semper Femina (Latin for “Always a Woman”) explores female relationships. It’s different from her previous albums in that here she explores a bunch of different sounds, but she still has a fantastic voice (literally and figuratively: listen to “Nouel” for great lyrics like “She’d like to be the kind of free/Women still can’t be alone” in her traditional folk style).


The Golden Compass His Dark MaterialsWith the release of Philip Pullman’s next novel, The Book of Dust, coming up in October, I’m re-reading one of my all-time favorite series (beginning with The Golden Compass: His Dark Materials) by way of listening to the audiobooks. I’ve read this series probably a half-dozen times, but listening to it has made the story fresh and new again.


Singing BonesI stumbled on Singing Bones: The Secret History of Fairytales podcast in a list of recommended historical podcasts, and I am so glad I did. Not only does it explore history, but it does so by looking at fairytales. I love fairytales. Host Clare Testoni is Australian (great accent to listen to!), and she uses haunting, beautiful music in each episode as well. Start with “The Brothers Grimm and Sisters Wild” which explores how the Grimm brothers collected their stories from women.


The LadygangWhen I need to laugh (no one can do serious stuff all the time!), I listen to one of The Ladygang podcasts. Keltie Knight, Jac Vanek, and Becca Tobin are all successful working women: between them they are TV hosts, CEOs, and performers. They have one guest per episode, and their repartee is on point. One of the best (and funniest) parts of each episode is the “Good Week/Bad Week” segment. You’ll want to grab a glass of wine with them at the end of the day.