Nerdette Podcast A safe space for nerding out about all the things you're watching, reading, listening to and encountering in real life. Host Greta Johnsen talks to people about their obsessions: from science to science fiction, great lady nerds of history to Beyoncé. Because what the world needs now is not another superhero, but for the glasses-clad alter ego to make you a podcast.
Nerdette Podcast

Nerdette Podcast

From WBEZ

A safe space for nerding out about all the things you're watching, reading, listening to and encountering in real life. Host Greta Johnsen talks to people about their obsessions: from science to science fiction, great lady nerds of history to Beyoncé. Because what the world needs now is not another superhero, but for the glasses-clad alter ego to make you a podcast.

Most Recent Episodes

The 13th Month Of 2020

Everything keeps getting more intense! So we ask journalists Tricia Bobeda and Kristina Lopez how they're managing their news intake. Then, we talk to Glennon Doyle, author of several books, including Untamed, about why resolutions are not for her. And finally, we hear from some of you about what you've resolved to bring into 2021. Join us!

Book Club: Micaiah Johnson On Her Debut Sci Fi Novel, 'The Space Between Worlds'

Welcome to the Nerdette Book Club! Each month, we read a book and chat about it with a rotating group of panelists. This month's pick is The Space Between Worlds by Micaiah Johnson. It's an alternate-universe story about hundreds of different Earths slightly different from our own. It's possible to "traverse" to other planets, but only if the traverser's doppelganger is already dead. Enter Cara, our protagonist, whose impoverished and oppressed upbringing means she's already dead on every planet except for eight of them. This is Micaiah Johnson's first book, and it's an ambitious one. In today's episode, Nerdette host Greta Johnsen has a spoiler-free conversation with the author about the book's themes and how Micaiah's own life story intersects with Cara's. Be sure to come back later this month for a spoiler-filled conversation about The Space Between Worlds. And don't forget: we want to hear from you too! Record your thoughts about the novel and send an audio file to nerdettepodcast@gmail.com.

Book Club: Micaiah Johnson On Her Debut Sci Fi Novel, 'The Space Between Worlds'

2021 Is A Mess. Here's How To Stay Positive

The first week of 2021 was rough. But, as advice columnists Daniel Lavery and Heather Havrilesky tell us, there's still room for optimism. Then we talk to Dr. Y. Joel Wong, a professor at Indiana University, about the very real science behind positive thinking (Yep, a number of studies show that people who keep gratitude journals are mentally and physically healthier than those who do not.) And finally, poet Ross Gay tells us about The Book of Delights, his collection of "essayettes." Turns out, the more you look for delight, the more it shows up for you. Which seems like a pretty delightful thing to bring into the new year. And speaking of things to bring into the new year, we'd love to know: What are your resolutions for 2021? What's your stance on resolutions in general? Record yourself on your phone, and send the audio file to nerdettepodcast@gmail.com, and you may hear yourself in next week's episode.

This Year Gave Us Some Good Stuff, Too

The year is almost over, which means top 10 lists are rolling in. But what's it like to pick favorites in such an emotionally intense year? Greta talks with podcast expert Nick Quah, TV critic Margaret Lyons and Vocalo host Jill Hopkins about the best stuff this year.

Book Club: Tana French's 'The Searcher'

Author Sarah Vowell and comedian Maeve Higgins visit the Nerdette Book Club for a spoiler-filled analysis of Tana French's plodding murder mystery, 'The Searcher.' Plus, we hear from you!

This Is Your Brain. This Is Your Brain This Weekend Eating The Year's Best Holiday Cookie.

You've made it through another week in the year 2020. Congratulations! Join Nerdette for a look back at the week in vaccines, virtual holiday parties and Greta's new favorite ridiculous TV show, The Wilds, alongside TIME Magazine's Eliana Dockterman and NPR's Barrie Hardymon. Then we have an amazing conversation about your brain — yes, yours — and how tired it gets when you make it lug your body around all day. Lisa Feldman Barrett is the neuroscientist responsible for Seven and a Half Lessons About the Brain, a lovely book of brain essays. She gives us one and a half lessons for free. And finally, what's the best holiday cookie of 2020? Bon Appetit senior staff writer Alex Beggs tells us — OK fine, it's this one — but she also gives us plenty of warnings (i.e. level of difficulty = 11). Join us!

This Is Your Brain. This Is Your Brain This Weekend Eating The Year's Best Holiday Cookie.

The Gift Of Dessa

Dessa is a rapper, a singer, an author, a poet, and a whiskey co-creator, among other things. She even participated in an "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind"-type procedure in an attempt to remove memories from a painful relationship. Nerdette's Greta Johnsen talks to her about all of that, including her memoir, My Own Devices. We also listen to some of the amazing tracks on "Chime." This episode originally aired in 2019.

Saved By The Bell, Seasonal Songs And Sprinkles

Happy weekend! Now let Nerdette podcast get you ready for it. First we break down the week in disappearing monoliths, TV reboots and Spotify playlists with WBEZ's Meha Ahmad and Mariah Woelfel. Then we talk with musician Andrew Bird about his new Christmas album. And finally, we take a walk through confectionary history with reporter Ashlie Stevens, who knows a few things about sprinkles. Join us!

Happy Zoomsgiving From Nerdette To You

And from you to Nerdette! Despite [insert disaster of your choice], we're still thankful for a lot of things in 2020. Like baked goods and game shows and the people we can still visit over the internet. We asked you to tell us about the stuff you're grateful for right now and, obviously, you did not disappoint. Press play to listen. Us? We're thankful for you. So hang in there, stay safe and have a happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Nerdette.

Book Club: 'The Invisible Life Of Addie LaRue'

Welcome to the Nerdette Book Club! Each month, we read a book and chat about it with a rotating group of panelists. This month's pick is The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V. E. Schwab. It's about a girl from the 1700s whose curiosities and ambitions are bigger than the small town she lives in. When she finds a way to break free from the expectation to marry and settle down, she takes it without thinking twice. But what she thinks is an amazing chance to live unhindered is actually a deal with the devil, and a centuries-long curse. Listen along as Nerdette host Greta Johnsen discusses the book with cultural critic and nonfiction writer Eva Recinos and All The Books! podcast host Liberty Hardy. We also hear from many of you, who (with a few minor quibbles) all seemed to love this spellbinding story.

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