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.
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.