Top five podcasts to nerd out to

Love podcasts? Take some deep dives with these five stellar shows

Mrs. Garvey, English teacher

What does this busy English teacher and mom do for fun? I listen to podcasts. Yes, I know it’s nerdy, but I am a nerd, so that is fine. I’m a curious person, and I love learning about new things. Podcasts allow me to do that whenever I pop in my AirPods, and I can get stuff done at the same time.

The following is a selection of some of my favorite podcasts and why I like them. If you are curious too, you may want to check some of these out.


  1. In the Dark “In the Dark” is a true crime podcast with two completed seasons and I loved both of them. Both seasons do a deep dive investigation into a different controversial crime, but they are so much more than that. They also prompt the listener to think deeply about the effectiveness and fairness of our criminal justice system. Season 1 focuses on the abduction of a boy in 1989 and the ensuing investigation while Season 2 documents the saga of Curtis Flowers, a man who was accused of murder and tried seven times for that crime. Both seasons come to a satisfying conclusion, but the best part is that their investigations are responsible for the truth coming to light. For instance, Flowers’ case goes all the way to the Supreme Court because of their reporting. 
  2. Throughline This podcast tells detailed stories from history that are important for understanding current issues in our world. The hosts interview experts, allows people to tell the stories of their families, and consult primary sources to construct a nuanced understanding of the event. I know it might sound a little dry, but I have heard the most fascinating stories about our history and it has been a revelation. Some of my favorite episodes are Policing in America, The United States vs. Billie Holiday, and There Will Be Bananas.
  3. Planet Money I always thought economics was boring and too complicated for me to understand, but “Planet Money” has changed my mind. This quirky podcast manages to make financial and economic topics entertaining. Did you know that the US is the only country where you can get paid to donate plasma? You can find out why here. You can also learn about the deli in Paulsboro, NJ that is valued at $100 million. Their most fascinating episode is on the history of recycling in America titled “A Mob Boss, A Garbage Boat and Why We Recycle” Parts 1 and 2
  4. Dead Eyes This podcast chronicles actor and comedian Connor Ratliff’s efforts to find out why Tom Hanks fired him from a bit part in a miniseries in 2001. The title comes from the reason his agent said Tom Hanks wanted him out; he had “dead eyes.” This podcast is pathetic, narcissistic and petty, but also hilariously funny. There is something therapeutic in listening to Ratliff discuss his most painful insecurities with other famous people.
  5. The NPR Politics Podcast This is a quick, daily podcast that reports on current political events. If you don’t have the patience to read extensive articles or watch long-winded political speeches, but still want to know what is going on, this is the podcast for you. Various NPR political journalists take turns recording the podcasts each day. After listening for a while, you will feel like you are tuning in to listen to your friends.