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Recommendation Engine

Recommendation Engine: The Week in Podcast Reviews

This week’s reviewers cover women’s sport, civilisational collapse and bowel-based matrimonial mystery.

9:00 AM GMT+1 on August 23, 2023

    Welcome to this week’s Recommendation Engine from Podcast Rex, rounding up the week in podcast reviews.

    Fiona Sturges in the FT

    • The Santiago Boys - “It may prove hard going for those who like their narrative series delivered in small, digestible portions. But it’s refreshing to find one that doesn’t shrink from complex ideas and that credits its audience with intelligence, curiosity and, above all, staying power.”

    James Marriott in the Times

    • Fall of Civilizations - Richly researched and full of passionate, dramatic reconstructions of the last words left to us by doomed peoples. If Cooper sometimes camps up the doomy seriousness of his narration a bit too much, you can’t blame him. He’s got some great stories to tell.

    Jay Harris in the Athletic takes a detailed look at Ivan Toney’s appearance on Diary of a CEO, discussing his 8 month ban for gambling offences.

    The Guardian’s Hear Here column recommends

    • Sara & Cariad’s Weirdos Book Club - “The hosts have so much to say about the books that you can’t help but want to read them immediately.”
    • Serpentine: Intimacies - “Gaylene Gould explores how desire, surroundings, family and more affect connections.”
    • New Voices - “The talent is rich and diverse.”
    • The Red Carpet Treatment - “Rizzle Kicks’ Jordan Stephens’ laidback style relaxes his guests.”
    • Where Is Alex? - “Reporter Julian Druker is determined to find clues – and asks whether Alexander’s race meant the case didn’t get enough prominence.”

    Also in Hear Here, Rume Otuguor looks at five podcasts with multitasking hosts:

    • Nailing It - “They deep-soak into topics ranging from body positivity to financial worries and the lack of respect afforded to UK R&B.”
    • Cocktails and Takeaways - “As the drinks flow, more personal anecdotes and a range of serious topics are explored, such as the dangers of extreme cosmetic surgery.”
    • Curious Handmade - “Her introductions are storylike, colourfully describing how the changing seasons affect her surroundings, such as the new green shoots growing in her garden.”
    • Table Manners with Jessie and Lennie Ware - “The laughter between mouthfuls of seared salmon and the comforting clatter of cutlery can make you feel as if you’re at the table with them.”
    • Walking the Dog with Emily Dean “This casual concept, where no eye contact is required, makes it easy for Dean to dive into what could be thorny territory.”

    Also mentioned: Best Men, Rough Translation: Love Commandos, Killing the Skydancer.

    Elsewhere in the Guardian, Hannah J Davies takes a look at word of mouth sensation Who Shat on the Floor at My Wedding?

    Scott Bryan in Great British Podcasts

    • The Telegraph Women’s Sport podcast - “Each episode delves into issues and challenges athletes are facing, from insecure funding to the challenge of coaching.”
    • When Science Finds a Way -  “Rich enough that you learn a lot about an issue that you didn’t know before, whilst not becoming too intellectual that you don’t know what on earth the scientists are talking about.”
    • Armchair Explorer - “ You’re transported to a different part of the world to hear about a ridiculous adventure, voiced by the person who did it.”
    • Emily Blackwell’s Mother Half - “The best way to find out about someone is not always from chatting to them; it can be from speaking to their loved ones.”

    In PodPod’s Earworms column:

    • MotherKind’s Zoe Blaskey: We Can Do Hard Things - “The only podcast I listen to religiously every week.”
    • Lochlainn Harte of Newstalk: 13 Minutes to the Moon - “I actually cannot fault it.”
    • Benjamin Masse from Triton Digital: Empire - “As though you've been invited into the living room of two excellent and articulate friends.”
    • Pandora Morris of Hurt to Healing: Huberman Lab - “I always feel so inspired by what I’ve learnt.”
    • Georgie Holt from Telling Media: The Coldest Case in Laramie and Bear Brook - “The dark, dark world of coerced and false confessions.”

    In “Freshly Dropped” they mention Shaping Success, Swipe Your Sign, Football Ramble, Dear Alana,, and Out of the Ordinary.

    And the Pod Bible newsletter recommends

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