“Life in the Cube” doesn’t really fit since I now have an office (complete with a capitol view)! My series of posts about office life will now be filed under “Behind Closed Doors” to celebrate that rarefied privilege: an office with a door that closes.

My commute to work varies by season and when I get up. Depending on the day, I might be driving, car-pooling or riding a bus. No matter the transportation, there’s always an audio component.

On the way into work, I am a faithful Morning Edition listener. But, my commute home is rarely at the same time, so instead of relying on NPR, I usually listen to podcasts. My commute is only about 25 minutes long, but podcasts are on heavy rotation when I drive home to Kansas, too, so I have quite a collection.

Recently, I was asked which podcasts I listen to, and in true Lori style, I got really into it and provided an in-depth, long list. Then, not one, but two friends asked the same question on social media. Since podcasts are on the brain, I thought I’d share some of my favorites:

  • Slate Political Gabfest – This was the very first podcast I ever listened to. David Plotz, Emily Bazelon and John Dickerson kept me company as I learned the roads of Wisconsin as a sales rep, and I always enjoy it, even if I am vehemently disagreeing (usually with Plotz). Most importantly, although it’s a political podcast, there is absolutely no shouting. It’s a classic and is incredibly popular for a reason!
  • Pop Culture Happy Hour – Three regulars and a guest or two discuss two pop culture topics, as well as “What’s Making Us Happy.” I enjoy the personalities, chemistry and  camaraderie on this show, and their takes on pop culture are witty and smart.
  • Inside The New York Times Book Review – It’s the audio version of The New York Times Book Review! There are interviews based on what’s in the paper, a rundown of the best-seller list and publishing news. (They were all over Harper Lee publishing a new book.) It’s calming, but not boring, and I always have books to add to my Goodreads list after listening to this one.
  • Invisibilia – So far, there is only one season, and I can’t wait for the next one! This podcast takes a deep dive into all things, well, invisible. It’s hard to explain, but it’s brain science + human behavior + psychology, all with a This American Life flavor. How to Become Batman is a great first episode to try.
  • Whistlestop (Slate) – I’ve already sung the praises of John Dickerson on Political Gabfest, but he’s also a talented story-teller. Whistlestop is a wide-ranging collection of stories about historical Presidential campaigns. One week, you’re listening to Reagan, and the next, it’s a Taft tidbit. It’s a wonderful blend of history and politics. Unlike current politics, it’s not frustrating — all of the outcomes are already decided!
  • Can I Pet Your Dog? – This is a new addition. It’s pretty simple: listen to the theme song. If you like it, you’ll enjoy this podcast. If it’s too silly or weird for you, you’re probably not enough of a dog person for this one!

I listen to many more, but those are on heavy rotation on my phone. What are you listening to?

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