On the Podcasts I Listen To
Every morning at work, while I’m writing catalog copy or working on other projects, I listen to a number of podcasts, sometimes up to two or three hours worth of podcasts that will take me up through lunchtime or beyond.
So, what do I listen to?
PRI’s The World. An hourly news program co-produced by the BBC, WGBH in Boston, and Public Radio International that presents a global perspective on news to American audiences. This is a program that I usually hear a part of on the radio each day, and I listen to the podcast to get the rest of it. RSS feed.
History and Culture
The Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor. This is broadcast on some public radio stations, but I rarely catch it so I catch up with it through the podcast. Garrison Keillor talks about important events from this day in literary history such as births and deaths of writers, books that were published, and so forth, and then he ends with a poem. RSS feed.
Colonial Williamsburg Past & Present Podcast. Don’t let the title fool you; this isn’t devoted entirely to Colonial Williamsburg. It casts a wider look at what life in Colonial America was like, from the streets of Williamsburg to the halls of power. Sometimes you get a discussion about life in a smithy, sometimes you get a discussion of Thomas Jefferson’s religion. RSS feed.
Drama of the Week. A weekly BBC podcast that spotlights one of the BBC’s radio plays. Some weeks there’s something interesting, some week there’s something not so interesting. Still, it’s interesting to see what comes up, like when Burning Both Ends landed in my feed reader one day. RSS feed.
In Our Time. A BBC podcast hosted by Melvyn Bragg. Here’s how the BBC describes it: “The history of ideas discussed by Melvyn Bragg and guests including Philosophy, science, literature, religion, and the influence these ideas have on us today.” That covers it pretty well. It’s an hour that delves into a single topic each week as Bragg asks a panel of experts to discuss topics that range from the way we measure time to why Benjamin Franklin was a world historical figure. The archives of this podcast go back about a decade, and it covers an immense range of topics. I feel smarter because of listening to this. RSS feed.
Re:Joyce. Irish author Frank Delaney delves deep into James Joyce’s Ulysses, going through the book line by line, reference by reference. This is one of the most delightful podcasts I’ve ever listened to because Delaney is having fun with Ulysses and he brings the novel to life. RSS feed.
Secrets of Middle-Earth. Father Roderick ventures into Middle-Earth (usually riffing off of something in Lord of the Rings Online and explores some of the themes, places, and characters of Tolkien’s work. RSS feed.
Marc Gunn’s Irish & Celtic Music Podcast. Marc Gunn, the autoharpist, hosts a monthly podcast with an hour and more of Irish and Celtic music. This is a podcast that I’ll download and listen to in an afternoon when I need some background music. RSS feed.
NPR: Live in Concert. NPR posts some full concerts and the Tiny Desk Concerts on a podcast feed. Some interesting stuff turns up here like full Bon Iver, Adele, Decemberists, and Liz Phair concerts. RSS feed.
There are a few others that I’m subscribed to (like the Elbow podcast or the Carbon Leaf podcast), but they haven’t produced an episode in a long time.
I’m sure there are other things I could listen to, but that would take up more of my work day.