Philip here. We here at ATRC keep pretty busy working here in the store. But in our off hours – we’re usually running, honestly – but every once in a while we crack a good book or listen to a fun podcast. So if you’re looking for some good book/podcast recommendations, check out ours below:
Tehra’s Recommendations: Running Pods, Dystopias, and More!
Ultrarunnerpodcast (all one word or you won’t find it): Eric Schranz interviews trail runners from front and mid pack runners. I’ve come to really like his personality (he’ll ask someone their favorite band or post race food or something random and I love it when he says “wrong answer”…and then says what his fav is). I love hearing about people’s ultrarunning adventures and Eric makes me laugh.
Billy Yang’s podcast: Another running podcast. He’s known more for his trail running films, but his interviews are pretty good. A little more serious tone.
I love young adult books and dystopian thrillers. So nothing too serious there! I’m currently reading the Carve the Mark series (only two books out) by Veronica Roth (Divergent author). I also loved Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. It’s a fantastic book that’s not a dystopian thriller! The plot is about an autistic woman learning how to get through young adult years.
Philip’s Top Picks: Straight to the Depths of “Dorkness”
1.Lawfare – This is a wonky, balanced news/politics podcast with an emphasis on policy and not personalities. I love it when I want to hear experts talk about current issues without all the hyperbole. Lawfare also has a news blog that you can find at this link: https://www.lawfareblog.com/
2. CBS Radio Mystery Theater –This is my guilty pleasure. This podcast is actually an archived collection of a radio show that played from the 1970s through the early 1980s. The show has over one thousand episodes ranging from Sci-fi, Mystery, horror, and mythology. Some of them are terribly written and acted, but I enjoy all of them! I especially love listening to them on cold, dark nights while running for a bit of excitement. Here’s a link to the website archive of these shows: https://www.cbsrmt.com/
3. Dexter Guff is Smarter Than You – This is a relatively new podcast (in the middle of its second season) that is a bit uneven, but overall pretty hilarious. It’s a spoof/parody of shady “thought leaders” and “self-help gurus”, starring a host – Dexter Guff – whose lack of knowledge and wisdom is only matched by his lack of any self-awareness. I love listening to this when I need a good laugh. Here’s a link to his website: https://www.dexterguffband.com/
1. Spheres of Justice – This is an out of print work by Michael Walzer and is one of the most enlightening books I’ve ever read. In this book he tries to determine how people in any particular community should distribute various social goods, whether it be money, political office or even romantic love. I don’t agree with all of his conclusions, but I highlighted and dog-eared the heck out of this book because it’s so full of insight.
2. The Spy Who Came in From the Cold: I went through a spy thriller kick recently, and all of John Le Carre’s work deserves praise. But this quick-to-read Cold War thriller is one of my favorites. I won’t spoil too much of the plot, but essentially it’s about a handler who plots revenge after an enemy agent kills one of his spies. If you’re looking for a gripping, dark read, this is the one.
3. Three Rival Versions of Moral Enquiry: This is another really dorky read by a philosopher named Alasdair MacIntyre. I’m not finished with this one yet, but it’s chock full of interesting stuff. He claims that one of the reasons our society can’t agree on anything politically is because we’re all referencing different moral standards – we’re all essentially talking past each other in different moral and political languages. In this book he outlines three different moral standards present in Western Culture, defends his own particular strain of morality, and tries to come up with ways that we can overcome our radical disagreements. This is a dense read, but if you’re wondering why politics always seems like we’re screaming at each other, this book is a great one to check out.
Pam’s Choices: Behind the Scenes in Sports and Government
The Hidden Side of Sports – Freakonomics: This was one of my favorite series on the Freakonomics podcast in a really long time. They interviewed former Olympians, NFL players, retired Baseball players, team owners and management. They recently released the full interviews with several of the athletes and one team owner (Mark Cuban). I found it fascinating, sometimes infuriating on how most of the athletes are actually treated and I learned a lot. One fun fact- the revenue of all of the sports leagues combined, with the NFL being the biggest, is the same size as the cardboard box industry’s sales. Depending on your perspective, sports have way more social capital than they actually make in revenue OR we all should have gotten into selling cardboard boxes… Here’s the link to the episode http://freakonomics.com/hidden-sports/
Rich Roll Podcast and Kilian Jornet: I don’t listen to Rich Roll very often, but he does manage to bring on some really, often, fantastic guests. I just wrapped up on of his latest with Kilian Jornet and yes, it was fantastic. One character trait I have always admired of Killian is his ability to stay humble. He is easily one of the top athletes in the world and has accomplished so much in just 31 years of life. Here’s the link: https://www.richroll.com/podcast/kilian-jornet-417/
I don’t read as much as I would really like to, but here are a few of my favorites from the last month. FYI, they are not running related:
The Fifth Risk by Michael Lewis: I have read just about all of Michael Lewis’ books to date, and Boomerang at least three times (it really is that good). Lewis does a great job of taking what could be a pretty dry topic and turning it into a great read. Three of his books have also been movies: MoneyBall, The Big Short and The Blindside. His latest book, The Fifth Risk, Michael Lewis spends time in several of our government agencies to figure out what exactly goes on in there. I learned a ton on how our government actually works and came away with a new respect I did not previously have.
Note: This is not a book that is pro-political party or agenda. I learned a lot that left me both shocked and in awe of what gets done behind the scenes of government.
So my question for y’all is: What are your favorite podcasts and books? I look forward to your emails and comments.