N. Renee Brown

Part-time Author, Full-time Book Junkie

A bowl of pod-snacks (to go with the pint of interest)!

So I listen to quite a few podcasts (for a lot of reasons, but let’s just sum them up by saying that music does not keep my mind busy enough to keep me sane, but podcasts do)…and because of that I’ve come up with a few that I think are exceptional and I thought I’d share them.

#1 Plus One Podcast: Kevin Smith (of Dogma fame) and his wife Jen Schwalbach sit down once a week to “shoot the shit”. They’ve been together 12 years now, and having been in a relationship myself for 11 it is fascinating to watch my relationship played out in podcast form. Kevin likes to talk over Jen a lot, so be warned, but I’m sure as she gets her podding legs under her it won’t happen as much (or she might just turn up her mic, that would serve him right…too bad he edits the podcast.) Anyway, soon they will be doing SMornings with Kev and Jen, and that’s a daily I’m sure I’ll be signing on for.

#2 APM: Dinner Party Download: This is a nice quick podcast that offers some wonderful benefits if you can find time to listen to it. It offers news, but not mainstream news, instead the hosts ask members of the NPR staff what they will be talking about over the weekend. Just think about that…people that make their living off the news telling us the fun things they are going to discuss over the weekend. Cool, right? Well, add to that the history segment, and interview with someone famous, and the closing song and you’ve got yourself a podcast worth signing up for.

#3 The Urly Show: As of this writing they’ve gotten very erratic in their posting of this podcast, but it is worth taking a look at the archives if you like the internet in the least. This podcast, run by Urlesque, takes on the memes of the week…invite readers to take part in their “Too Long; Didn’t Read” quiz…and just generally talk about geeky internetty stuff. It is cute, light, fluffy, and perfectly wonderful…save for the erratic bit.

#4 Stuff You Should Know: Actually, the “How Stuff Works” network has quite a few of these types of podcasts, but this, the original, is my favorite. Everything from Twinkies to volcanoes to tone deafness is covered…and they don’t just skim the subject like Wikipedia, they delve in deep. I spent an afternoon learning all about Twinkies while my dentist drilled holes in my teeth…honestly, I couldn’t have hoped for a better/more distracting thing to have on my IPOD!

#5 Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me/Friday Night Comedy from BBC: These 2 podcasts are my standards, and are ALWAYS on my podcast list, even if I have listened to the latest episode. They are posted weekly, and follow the idea of the news “quiz show”. Popular, and fun, both of these are great because of their consistency and the level of humor involved. I often find myself snorting with laughter over the made up stories that are included in one part of the show…and sometimes I find myself writing down the subjects, because they were just too good not to include in a story somewhere.

You’ll note that I don’t have a ton of “writerly” podcasts on here…I used to listen to them a lot more often but the quality of quite a few of them has gotten so bad I can’t bring myself to listen anymore. Not naming names, but if you have trouble reading an article out loud, take a moment to review it before you go on the air or for the LOVE OF GOD edit it out and try again.
Sorry, sorry, side tracked…There are a ton of podcasts out there if you want to hear about writers or the act of writing, and most of them are worth a listen if that is what you are into (or what you need right now)–I’m not here to judge, I’ve listened to most myself. Me, I’d rather range farther afield in search of good prose and great ideas…and trust me, if I find more, I’ll let you know!


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