I’m an avid Podcast listener. I listen to them while exercising, doing household chores, or driving. These are the ones I check out most often.
Daily news podcast:
The Daily by the New York Times is a short (about 20 minutes) in-depth look at a specific issue in the current news. It covers the history of the subject in an entertaining way. It’s my go-to daily podcast. I miss it on the weekends.
(Note: Since publishing this post, I’ve also started daily listening to The Rachel Maddow Show podcast.)
Whenever there is a new episode:
These are the ones I think, “Oh great! A new episode.”
Bag Man, by Rachel Maddow. This is a special series on the blatant and shocking criminality of the Nixon-Agnew White House and how it was brought down. Fascinating. And perhaps all-too relevant.
I love Serial because I love Sarah Koenig’s journalism. The current series explores the justice system in various cities. Always enlightening.
Every now and then, depending on the subject:
David Axelrod has been in the thick of the political world for ages. On The Axe Files, his interviews with politicians from across the spectrum are in-depth.
Kara Swisher is sharp as a tack and tackles interesting techie subjects on Recode Decode. Most recently, her guest was Elon Musk. For example.
Great literary podcasts (when I need a break from the news):
I love the gossipy banter about books, authors and publishing on the Book Riot podcast.
The Story Grid is a wonderful podcast with Shawn Coyne, a top editor for 25+ years, coaching Tim Grahl, who week-by-week is going through the process of writing his first novel. Start at the beginning.
We all love Eleanor Wachtel. She’s smart, humane, incredibly well-read, and has a delightful sense of humour as well. Her interviews on Writers & Company with top authors from around the world are amazing.
Shelagh Rogers is another Canadian institution. On The Next Chapter, she interviews Canadian authors, her style cosy and warm.
Just for fun:
WTF! Comedian Marc Maron is a wonderful interviewer — funny (but of course), irreverent and candid. He most often gets fellow comedians on his show, but also big-name musicians and (gasp) even politicians. Don’t miss the interview with then-President Obama, for example.
Hosts Cheryl Strayed and Steve Almond tackle letters from troubled fans in a sensitive and enlightening way. Dear Sugars is a “Dear Abby” live for our times.
What are your favourite podcasts? I’d love to know.
I’ve become very fond of a podcast about Young Adult lit called Kidlit Drink Night. They always make me laugh and I end up making lots of notes about books, movies and TV series to look into. They call themselves “Superfriends,” which is sweet. There is a lot of laughing. They share a love of YA Lit, and an often bizarre drink for the night, which is not always met with approval. :-) They end their once-a-month sessions with the question, “What are you crushing on?” I love that.
So: What am I crushing on right now? (Other than the Kidlit Drink Night podcast.)
So: what are you crushing on?
I love to listen to a podcast while exercising, doing chores or driving. I’ve become an enthusiast of a number. (See the ones I recommend below.) A friend who is new to the technology asked me how to go about subscribing to one. For those of you who are also new to it, here goes:
Podcasts are like radio broadcasts that you can listen to any time you wish.
Most podcasts are free. Think of them as the new radio. You can listen to them on any device that has apps (i.e. a smart phone or tablet) or on your computer.
To listen on your computer:
- Download the iTunes application and go to the iTunes store.
- Google “podcasts”—a number of sites will come up.
To listen on your cell phone or tablet:
First, get the Podcasts app:
- Go to the App Store app.
- Click “Explore” at the bottom.
- Type “Podcasts” in the search box (upper right).
Open the Podcasts app and search (upper right) for the podcast you are looking for.
- Click on it.
- Click “Subscribe.”
And that’s it. Once subscribed, when you go to the Podcasts app, click on “My Podcasts” bottom left, and there you go.
I highly recommend:
WTF Edgy, X-rated. Marc Maron is a no-holds-bar comedian, often interviewing comedians in his garage. Fun! Be sure to check out episode #613, his interview of Barack Obama (which is not X-rated). Another great one is the #604 interview of NPR interviewer Terry Gross.
BOOK REVIEW (THE NEW YORK TIMES) Fantastic interviews with authors and reviewers. It’s a wonderful way to keep up-to-date on new publications.
WRITERS & COMPANY (CBC RADIO) Eleanor Wachtel is an amazing interviewer of literary authors from around the world.
THIS AMERICAN LIFE Great journalism, both thought-provoking and entertaining.
SERIAL Investigative journalism which took the world by storm. So compelling! Be sure to start at the beginning.
Are you already a podcast subscriber? Which ones do you enjoy?
Links for writers …
• How Kazuo Ishiguro wrote the award-winning Remains of the Day in only four weeks. Depressing, isn’t it?
Links for flâneurs through history …
• The French Revolution Network. It’s always a thrill to discover discussions on topics of interest.
• These 16th century portraits of women painted by Caterina van Hemeseen are arresting.
• For delicious details on daily life in the 17th century, see this website.
Links for Napoleonistas …
• I’m reading Patrice Gueniffey’s Bonaparte 1769-1802: excellent.
Links for everyone …
I’m late to the party, but I’m now a big fan of Mark Maron’s WTF podcast. His interview with Barack Obama is an outstanding introduction. (It’s wonderful that Obama would venture into such edgy territory.)
Have a great week!