I remember when I first started listening to podcasts. It was way back in 2004, when I was delighted to discover I could listen to current talks by a favorite speaker (okay, it was Rob Bell) in iTunes on this newfangled device called an iPod that a friend gave me as a (very nice) present. I totally didn’t understand the appeal when Apple launched their little device, then quickly fell in love with it.
Podcasting isn’t new, yet only 1 in 5 Americans have ever listened to one, often because they don’t know what to listen to, or have no clue how to listen.
March is #TryPod month—meaning try a podcast. It’s a campaign to spread the podcast love. Happy listeners are sharing their favorite podcasts on social media using the hashtag, and showing real life friends how to listen to podcasts, subscribe in their favorite apps, and rate and review them on iTunes.
I wish I could show you all in person, but I can give you the next best thing: here’s my post on how to listen to and subscribe to a podcast.
I recommend a few favorite shows and episodes in that post, but I’ve found more good stuff to listen to since I hit “publish” on that one. (Many of these were your recommendations—thank you for that!) I’m happy to share them today for #trypod month.
15 interesting, engaging, entertaining, or downright fascinating podcasts
1. Off Camera with Sam Jones.
I love this podcast and have shared it on the blog before. Of note: the recent episode with actress Maggie Siff, someone whose work I wasn’t familiar with. MMD readers will love her thoughts on how painful it is to say goodbye to the characters she plays once the role has ended.
2. Just the Right Book.
A literary podcast hosted by independent bookstore owner Roxanne Coady. Don’t miss: the recent episode “What’s on the Front Table” (#16) with the book buyer for the The Strand.
Always a quality podcast; the episode with Terry Gross is especially fantastic. Ira Glass is also pretty great. And I just noticed that the latest episode features Hrishikesh Hirway, co-host of The West Wing Weekly, another personal favorite.
4. Reply All.
This podcast has gotten lots of #trypod love, for good reason. Start with the recent episode The Russian Passenger.
5. From the Front Porch.
Conversations on books, small business, and life in the South from Annie Jones, owner of The Bookshelf in Thomasville, Georgia. (You may know Annie from What Should I Read Next. Listen to her episode right here. It’s a popular one!)
Two friends discuss the books they’ve been meaning to read, one week at a time. I especially liked their episode on Tana French’s The Likeness, and their episode on Lord of the Flies with the hosts of the New York Public Library’s show The Librarian Is In.
7. Poem Talk.
I binge listened to this Poetry Foundation podcast recently in preparation for a special WSIRN episode for National Poetry Month. Each week a handful of poets gather for a “close but not too close” reading of one poem.
9. Not By Accident.
This Australian documentary podcast is a great example of how the medium can be used to tell really good stories.
11. Lit Up.
Author interviews done right.
12. Revisionist History.
This is Malcolm Gladwell’s podcast. I listened to the Food Fight episode months ago, and I still think about it all the time. He explores the surprising significance of what’s served in the cafeteria at two similar colleges. It’s not what you think.
13. Smartest Person in the Room.
This podcast is now in its third series, yet my favorite episode remains #2 with production designer Ethan Tobman. Go listen right now. If I had a dollar for every person I’ve pushed this episode on, I might be able to underwrite an OK Go video myself! I’m also loving the current Viral series.
14. Five Things.
Host Tara Anderson invites a weekly guest to share five physical objects that have been important in their lives, and they discuss those five things and why they matter.
I’m sure I’ve forgotten some good ones, but that’s more than enough to use up all your available smart phone memory.
Listeners, you know what to do: try a new podcast. Share the love for your favorite shows in the comments and with the #trypod hashtag. Rate and review your favorite shows on iTunes—it makes a huge difference to a podcast’s iTunes rating (especially the reviews), which is how so many listeners find new shows.
And of course, I can’t close out without saying: give What Should I Read Next a Try? I hate to pick favorites, so I’ll share what’s popular on iTunes: The library is running my life (#69), The next best thing to reading (#64), When the plot comes full circle (#61), Books so good you’ll forget you have a phone (#63), and this week’s new episode Embarrassing bookworm confessions.
What are YOUR favorite podcasts? Please tell us all about them in comments.