I asked…you delivered!

A couple of weeks ago, I had asked the Daily Deacdom to share some of the ways you have been passing pandemic time via books and podcasts. Many thanks to all of you who submitted answers, which I share below.

I have not had a lot of time to read for pleasure during COVID, so I can only offer up my podcast of choice, and that is The Earful Tower, a play on the words Eiffel Tower. It is run by Oliver Gee, an Aussie expat living in Paris with his Swedish wife (“the Lovely Lina”). I am a raging Francophile and I got turned on to this podcast by a Wake friend who sent me a link to a video Oliver was doing where he and another expat friend and YouTube sensation, Jay Swanson, walked all the way across Paris from east to west for 4 hours. The walking tour was a perfect form of pandemic escapism – beautiful scenery, charming hosts, and I have greedily gobbled up the Earful Tower podcast on my morning walks ever since.

So that’s me – what did YOU recommend? A rich and fulsome list follows, with the Daily Deacdom’s picks and their one-line descriptions. If you are looking for new material, you hopefully will find something in this list.


A Green One for Woodie (2 pp) by Patrick O’Sullivan (MBA’82)
A memoir – great summer read

American Dirt (3 pp) by Jeanine Cummins
Chronicles the ordeal of a Mexican woman who had to leave her life behind and escape as an undocumented immigrant to the United States with her son.

America’s Buried History: Landmines in the Civil War by Kenneth R. Rutherford
An engaging, readable and wellwell-researched history of landmine use in the Civil War, written by a landmine survivor.

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
Philosophical mystery novel set in the business world that explores the moral foundations of capitalism

Bad Blood by John Carryou
Long form investigation of Elizabeth Holmes and the Theranos scam

Beneath the Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan
Riveting true story of how a young teen became the Allies top spy in Nazi controlled Italy

Big Lies in a Small Town by Diane Chamberlain
Edenton, NC past, present and full circle

Crazy For God by Frank Schaeffer
This is an interesting autobiography. The subtitle describe the book well: How I (Frank) Grew Up as One of the Elect, Helped Found the Religious Right, and Lived to Take All (or Almost All) of It Back

Enders Game by Orson Scott Card
Earth faces an alien enemy and turns to a young boy to save it.

Fountain of Silence by Ruta Septys
Historical fiction- romance and adventure set in fascist Spain

God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
Beautifully written novel about he plight of fraternal twins in India and the impact on their lives of India’s “Love Laws”

How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi

In Five Years by Rebecca Serle
The story is not what you think it is.

Just Mercy: A story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson
True story about the potential for mercy to redeem us, and a clarion to fix our broken justice system

Maybe You Should Talk To Someone by Lori Gottlieb
A surprising story of a therapist author as she explores her life and her patients.

My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrik Backman
A seven year old girl goes on a quest to seek closure and bridge gaps between lost friends.

Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout
Olive Kitteridge is quite a character and you get to know her and those around her in Crosby, Maine.

Pachinko (2 pp) by Min Jin Lee
National Book Award Finalist – The epic saga of a Korean family told over four generations

Rules of Civility by Amor Towles
A highly entertaining and well-written examination of class and gender in America in the post-depression era.

Station 11 by Emily St. John Mandel
dystopia world following a pandemic

SweetBitter by Stephanie Darnel
Coming of age novel set in NYC restaurant

The Ballad Of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins
Newly published prequel to the hunger games series!

The Dutch House (3 pp) by Ann Patchett
Story of family dysfunction, love and spirit

The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys
A love story in post-civil war Spain.

The Only Woman in the Room by Marie Benedict
Hedy Lamar possessed a stunning beauty and a stunning mind. Could the world handle both?

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
A young man copes with identity and insanity as a self-portrait takes its toll.

The Splendid and the Vile by Erik Larson
Another extremely readable non-fiction effort with newly released information on how Churchill defied Hitler, Goebbels and Goering

The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen
A riveting view of the Vietnam War from the perspective of the Vietnamese people on both sides of the conflict.

Two Souls Indivisible by James S. Hirsch
An inspiring story of two men captured by the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War who overcame racial prejudice and barriers to forge a lifelong bond.

Unmaking the Presidency by Susan Hennessey and Ben Wittes
An analysis of the effects of Trump’s presidency on the office as an institution

Untamed by Glennon Doyle
Soulful and uproarius, forceful and tender, Untamed is both an intimate memoir and a galvanizing wake-up call.

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
A memoir of an idealistic young neurosurgeon who attempts to answer the question What makes a life worth living?

White Fragility (3 pp) by Robin DiAngelo
A book on challenging racism by working against and understanding what the author terms “white fragility”, a reaction in which white people feel attacked or offended when the topic of racism arises.

White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America by Nancy Isenberg
An analysis of the historical roots of classes in a supposedly classless society.



A Killer on The Cape by Murder/True Crime

Amy Schumer Presents 3 Girls, 1 Keith

Bag Man by Historical true crime
If you thought you knew what happened with Nixon and Spiro Agnew, think again.

Chasing Excellence by Fitness/sports

Chasing Excellence is a show dedicated to dissecting what it means to live a life of excellence, both inside the gym & out.

Cold by True crime
Story of Susan Hart

Culpable by True Crime
When the police decide it’s a suicide and don’t investigate stories that don’t make sense.

Dissect by music
Long-form analysis of lyrics and music production, including Kendrick Lamar, Frank Ocean, and Beyonce.

EconTalk by economics and lot more
interviews covering economic topics VERY broadly defined

Fall of Rome by history
big-picture look at the causes of the Roman Empire’s decline

Freakonomics by Economics used to explain the hidden side of everything
He studies the riddles of everyday life—from cheating and crime to parenting and sports—and reaches conclusions that turn conventional wisdom on its head.

Fresh Air by interviews
excellent interviews with some influential people

Gangster Capitalism — Season 1 by College admissions scandal
It was all about the college admission scandal from last year

Harry Potter at Home by Literature
Various individuals with ties to the Harry Potter universe read a chapter of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Heavyweight by Real people stories
Host helps people try to resolve a moment from their past they wish they could change.

Hidden Brain by Human behavior and the social sciences
Hidden Brain helps curious people understand the world – and themselves. Using science and storytelling, Hidden Brain reveals the unconscious patterns that drive human behavior, and the biases that shape our choices.

How I Built That by Entrepreneurs
Guy Raz chats with people who built companies like (Boom Chicka Pop Or Lulu lemon) from their garages

Last Seem by True crime
Amazing coverage of art heist from Isabella Stewart Gardner museum in Boston

Lexicon Valley by Linguistics
Entertaining discussions of different themes each week as they relate to language.

Love Me

New Yorker Fiction Podcasts by Fiction- various topics
Well known authors go back into the New Yorker archives to read and discuss the article

Pivot by news
discussion of current events in business, politics and tech.

Pod Save the People by Activism
Current events and culture from a social justice activist perspective.

Rabbit Hole by News
From the New York Times, it explores what happens when our lives move online.

Rational Security by Current National Security Affairs
Hosted by Wake’s very own Shane Harris, Rational Security is a weekly round up and analysis of the week’s top national security stories.

Revisionist History (2 pp) by Human behavior
Revisionist History is Malcolm Gladwell’s journey through the overlooked and the misunderstood.

Robinhood Snacks
awesome short form biz news

S.#*t Town by Investigative Crime
Riveting, not gory, investigative journalism in the South

Serial by True Crime
Recounts a crime that was prosecuted questionably

Shots of Science Vs

Techmeme Ride Home by Technology news
short (<15 minute) summary of the day’s technology news

TED Talks Daily

The Argument by Current events
Civil discussion between 3 friends and fellow NYT writers, each of whom has a distinctly different take.

The Axe Files (2 pp) by One on one interview with David Axelrod
In depth interviews  with a variety of political, sports, Entertainment personalities.

The Cold War: What We Saw by History of the Cold War
13 episodes that go through the Cold War.  Lots of information you didn’t know!

The Daily (4 pp) by New York Times daily news podcast
From the nytimes excellent basic in depth coverage of one news story

The Daily Shine

The Dropout by Elizabeth Holmes and the Theranos scandal

The Happiness Lab by Psychology of Living a Happier Life
Dr. Laurie Santos, a professor at Yale, examines and explains how understanding the science of psychology can help us make wiser choices.

The Johnny & Gene Show by True Crime
Two former mafiosa discuss their past lives, experiences in the crime world and prison – you can find them on YouTube, Crimeflick, Apple, Spotify

The Journal

The Way I Heard it with Mike Rowe by Short stories
Very short true stories written in mystery form. Fun to try to guess who he’s describing!

Throughline by History
NPR’s in-depth analysis of various historical events.

Unlocking Us by Exploration of what it means to be fully human and authentic
Brene Brown interviews authors, thinkers, artists about universal experiences and our human connection.

Up First by News
13-15 review of the day’s headlines by NPR journalists

Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me by News – NPR
Test your knowledge of this week’s news, learn a little something and laugh too.

Where’s This Going  hosted by Felix Levine by Talented 20 yr old who interviews: former mafiosa, UFC fighters. BlackLifeMatters leader, comedians, Joe Exotic’s husband etc
Highly recommend! You can find this podcast on Youtube (you should subscribe), spotify, Itunes or FelixLevine.com

Wind of Change by Investigative journalism
Investigative journalism on CIA  activities around the world


by Betsy Chapman, Ph.D. (’92, MA ’94) and the many awesome Daily Deac-ers who contributed. THANK YOU!

Categories: the daily deac

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