Staff favorites: Our podcast picks

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Looking for something interesting to listen to on your next road trip? Tired of your normal rotation of podcasts? Members of our newsroom offer up a few of their favorite podcasts.

"Race Chaser" is a podcast dedicated to the "discussion, dissection and dissemination" of all things "RuPaul's Drag Race." The two drag queens are popular former contestants on the reality TV competition and use each cast to discuss a single Drag Race episode. RuPaul has made 11 seasons of his show, plus four all-star competitions, so there's plenty for the gals to talk about. The queens' best shows are dedicated to RPDR's first and second seasons. They're full of behind-the-scenes tidbits about the show, yes, but also about reality TV in general — which is just fascinating. (I never knew how isolating being on realty TV is. RPDR contestants shoot all day and then get locked into a hotel until morning — no phone or outside communication allowed.) There are interviews with Ru girls desperate to spill their T, celebration of gay culture and lots of jokes for super fans, but anyone interested in how the television business works would enjoy the podcast. The more recent episodes are a bit lack luster as the girls have switched to reviewing the most recent episodes instead of ones from years past. They don't put as much research and planning into the newer casts and often do the show while eating and name-dropping as if the audience needs to be convinced they're Hollywood bonafides. Here's to hoping they get back to reviewing older episodes once season 11 wraps up in a few months.

Kristin Palpini, lifestyles editor

In "Literary Disco," Tod Goldberg, Rider Strong and Julia Pistell review and talk about books. There are tons of book review podcasts out there for you to choose from; for me, I'm always falling behind the publishing wave and having to go back and catch up with books I've missed in the last few years and following a book review podcast that's reviewing things as they come out just won't work for me. These guys read everything and they aren't snobs about what they choose or recommend and they spend as much time going back as I do.

— Meggie Baker, calendar editor

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In "The Daily," New York Times political reporter Michael Barbaro does an excellent job of wrapping up some of the most in-depth stories of the day in only 20 minutes, five-days a week. In a time when political news is exciting, but often recycled and repetitive, I really enjoy listening to Barbaro and other New York Times journalists going beyond the headlines in a podcast that also incorporates audio from the scenes. I tend to tune into "The Daily" on my commutes from The Eagle's Pittsfield bureau to assignments in North and South County, or while slogging through mundane household chores.

— Haven Orecchio-Egresitz, reporter

The Bill Simmons Podcast "The Ringer." While Bill can be a bit much even for a Boston sports homer, he gets amazing guests, typically from Hollywood and the sporting world. I always enjoy cultural critic Chuck Klosterman's periodic appearances.

— Benjamin Cassidy, arts and entertainment reporter

Maybe it's just part of getting of older, or maybe I should see a therapist, but there's precious little entertainment that can make me truly laugh out loud anymore. "Comedy Bang! Bang!" is the exception. Every week, host Scott Aukerman is joined by a celebrity guest and a revolving cast of characters improvised by great comedians.

— Adam Shanks, reporter


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