The Ten Best Things I Listened to This Year

I'm in the car a lot, between my every day commuting and all the things we do during on weekends (and just, you know, Southern California traffic), so I listen to quite a bit. Sometimes it's audiobooks, sometimes podcasts, and sometimes music, depending on my mood and whether or not I'm alone (I stick to music when I have Sawyer or other passengers). Here's a list of the top ten things I listened to in 2019, in case you need something to start off your year:

1. The Armchair Expert (podcast)- Dax and Monica could probably talk to pocket lint and make the whole thing fascinating and hilarious. Since I don't have all the time in the world to listen, I generally listen to the episodes featuring celebrities I know or their "Experts on Experts" episodes, which feature a lot of people in the science and psychology industries.

2. Bad on Paper Alyssa Mastromonaco episodes (podcast)- I love Mastromonaco's two books that detail her time working for Obama and her insights on the two BOP episodes she's on are informative, funny, and will make you want to be her best friend. As a whole I really enjoy BOP, but it can be hit or miss, just because some of their focuses aren't my thing (YA novels, for instance). I love the two hosts, though!

3. The Daily (podcast)- The news cycle intimidates me; there's so much of it and I have so little time. Luckily the NYT's The Daily gives me 20-30 minutes every morning, generally focusing on the biggest news story of the day. Plus, there's something so endearing about Michael. 

4. Slowburn, Season 2- Monica Lewinsky- I listened to this season on the way from Vegas to Zion and back- it was the main reason I didn't drive my car off the road from that awesome DayQuil/cold/hiking exhaustion combo. I was young when the scandal erupted, so it filled in a ton of holes that I had had. So interesting and sort of timely, too, considering the current impeachment. 

5. Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb (audiobook)- I am fascinated by therapy, so this was basically two for the price of one: the story of a therapist and the story of her experience on the other side of the couch. I loved the stories, her insights, and the reflections it catalyzed in myself.

6. Leaving the Witness by Amber Scorah (audiobook)- The author discusses her experiences as a Jehovah Witness and then how her life was once she left it. I have had several students over the years who are JW, so this book provided me with some helpful information when trying to understand some of their philosophies. 

7. My Friend Anna by Rachel DeLoache Williams (audiobook)- This story was insane- a fake heiress totally duped the author and was able to swindle her out of tons of money. It would be an excellent book club book, since there's a ton to discuss in terms of personal responsibility, trust, etc...

8. Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan (audiobook)- In all fairness I'm not quite done with this one, but it's totally captivating. A NYC journalist is hospitalized and she starts struggling with seizures, dramatic mood shifts, and other strange symptoms. At first they assume it's a mental health concern, but in the end it is not.

9. The Strumbellas: Rattlesnake- This was the Strumbellas' newest album that came out earlier this year and I am still listening to it constantly. It's this combination of folk, classic rock, blue grass, and pop that I'm totally here for (their concert was one of my favorites, ever).

10. Beck: Hyperspace- Beck's Morning Phase will always be my favorite, but this new release last month has so much fun. 

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