Sunday, July 4, 2010

Time to listen.

Another thing I love about the summer is that I have AMPLE time to listen to podcasts. I listen while I walk my dogs, in my car, sometimes while I cook, and sometimes while I eat what I cooked. However, I'm not constantly with the earphones on ignoring the world while I'm cradled in good radio bliss. I promise, I value human contact!

Although I'm probably the only person I know who doesn't own an ipod, and wouldn't know how to use one anyway, I have a regular mp3 player. I have to say itunes does come in handy for quick and easy downloading of each week's new episodes. I've subscribed to them via itunes and each week they get automatically updated into a folder on my desktop where I simply copy/paste into my mp3 player. Oh the smug feeling of mastering some technology.

Instead of guarding my precious list of favorite podcasts like a wide eyed Golum, I'll share my list with you:

Non Fiction:

This American Life- True stories revolved around a topic. Danger, you will be late for things if you subscribe to this.

The Moth- live stories told onstage with no notes. I cry and laugh and look insane to others as I wait in line at the bank listening.

Great Speeches in History- often the live recording of the speech. I love to hear the scratchy recordings of significant people in history riling up others with words.

To the Best of Our Knowledge- pieces, both fiction and non, about a specific topic. Just the opening theme of this show makes me giddy with excitement.

Ted Talks- audio version of a TED conference. Probably the most thought provoking, best quality media time possible that I've found.

Radiolab- from WNYC. Pieces on a question in science. I suggested this to a friend of mine and now she wants to major in college in something that will lead her right into the Radiolab studio. It's great science radio.

BBC World Book Club: I don't know what it is about the host of this show, but I would really like to be her, just for one day. She seems like the smartest woman on radio.

60 Minutes: Good old fashioned news reporting just so that a person like me who doesn't regularly read the news can me somewhat informed of things that are happening in the world.


Selected Shorts: 2 or 3 excellent stories read by professionals, sometimes it's classics of short story and other times very avant garde pieces.

New Yorker Fiction-I don't think this needs an introduction.

About meditation and mindfulness:

Zen Cast: Never fails to inspire me to be a better human.

Audio Dharma: Much like the above, so I get a double dose of dharma talks weekly.

If you have any podcasts that you love and want to share- please DO! I can't get enough.


Michele @ The Hills are Alive said...

thanks for this list. I am relatively new to the whole iTunes thing (despite getting it over a year ago) and use mainly to entertain the kids so far (have some great lullabies and stories on there for bedtime and cartrips and for me just music so far so appreciate this list and some ideas of what to look for. Especially great timing as about to start a job with an hour plus commute and was wondering how to make this more bearable - now I know

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing! I also love to listen to podcasts while I garden, clean, wash dishes, walk, etc. This American Life and the Moth are my favorites, and I appreciate your suggestions! Another you might like is Terri Gross on NPR's "Fresh Air" - it's a radio interview program in which Terri interviews people in the arts, politics, etc.

Susanne said...

Hi Michele,

In some ways I envy your 1 hour commute... it equals so many hours of listening! Another thing that you could get into is Audio books- especially with the long spans of time you're looking at while driving. Books on tape can be like 10-17 hours long and they are WONDERFUL!

Libraries in the US often have online checkout of audiobooks (for free) which is an amazing service for people like me who live on rocks in the middle of the ocean and have no access to decent libraries. You might want to look into that in your local library!

Susanne said...

Hi Anonymous,

I love Fresh Air!

Anonymous said...

My fave is "Wait wait, don't tell me" from NPR. By far the funniest way to get all the news of the week! The Freakonomics podcasts are good, too...