A Call for Recommendations

I don't generally like noise. When I need to string words together or think through a Perl hack, I prefer to not have the stereo going. When I'm with somebody, I'd rather hear them talk than someone from the radio ether. On the other hand, if I'm taking a long drive or painting or just watching data flow, I like to listen to podcasts. With the Brunette away, I'm spending a lot of time alone and I've found I've listened to all my podcast queue. I was so far behind for so long, and now I have nothing to listen to!

This is where you come in.

What do you like to listen to that's not music? Are there podcasts that are must listens for you? Let me know what they are. I'm looking for new entertainment/information.

So you get a feel for what I like, here are the podcasts I keep up with (in alphabetical order):

  • Dragon Page: Cover to Cover: This is a podcast from SF/Fantasy writers Michael A. Stackpole and Michael R. Mennenga. They have good interviews with writers from the genre world and spend a lot of time otherwise talking about books. There's an interesting segment where they just read the cover copy of books that are sent in by publishers. They sometimes go on too much about content delivery mechanisms.
  • In Our Time: This BBC podcast features Melvyn Bragg trying to herd a roundtable of experts on different subjects. The subjects range from philosophy to history to science.
  • Nancy Pearl Book Reviews: These are short segments from a Seattle radio station. Nancy is obviously enthusiastic about reading and provides two well-considered reviews every Monday. More than any other public source, Nancy Pearl has influenced my reading pile. The Book Thief and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society are books I picked up based on her reviews.
  • NPR: Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!: Is it sad that this is where I get all my news?
  • Paul and Storm Talk About Stuff...: This is relatively new to my queue. These guys seem to be touring musical comedians, but their podcast is just them rambling about stuff for about half an hour. Generally, they spend a lot of time either reminiscing or talking about their tour, but the stuff they reminisce about is pretty much spot into my generational and midAtlantic id. Is id the right word?
  • PRI: Selected Shorts: These are hour-long broadcasts of short stories read by actors. This program no longer airs on NPR in our market, but the show continues and is worth a listen. Recent episodes have included short stories from Neil Gaiman and Sherman Alexie.
  • Science Talk, a Scientific American Podcast: This one's a bit dry, but there's often a tidbit or two.
  • Scotland's Funny Bits: This is a relatively new one for me. It's just a weekly amalgam of radio morning show hosts blabbering, but I like to feel I can still understand the accent.
  • This American Life: Another famous NPR show. This one features weekly short documentaries and/or stories organized around a central theme. They do range from very funny David Sedaris pieces to incredibly depressing (but informative) explanations of the economic mess we're in.
  • The Washington Post Book World Podcast: Now that the Book World is no longer its own section on Sundays, I've given up on buying the paper and just listen to this podcast. The podcast provides two interviews, a poem and some news about the book industry. I wish it provided more industry news and book reviews, even short hits.
  • WNYC's Radio Lab: Is there anyone out there not listening to this podcast? All I can say about it is that it just doesn't post episodes often enough.

So there you have it, a look into the listening library of the Abbot of Unreason. What are you listening to?

4 thoughtful messages from friendly readers:

fiona said...

I had to ask SB what a Podcast was, so I'm obviously not the man for this job!
You've piqued my interest though so that's good, right?

AbbotOfUnreason said...

I've piqued your interest in becoming a man? I don't understand you sometimes.

morninglight mama said...

When I read the beginning of this, all I could think of was Wait, Wait and This American Life, but since you've already got those, then I have nothing to offer. Sorry!

AbbotOfUnreason said...

mlm: it's always good to have my taste validated, though!