These podcasts kept me entertained during some long hours this fall. Sometimes I even learned stuff. I can't guarantee you'll like everything I like, but maybe you'll find one or two new favorites. You can download these podcasts on iTunes or use the links below for more information.
Here's a list of my favorites in alphabetical order:
This is a silly show and some days that's exactly what I need. People call in about all sorts of car problems. I'm especially fond of the relationship/car or car/ethics problems. If you're a writer, you're bound to get a couple of story ideas from this show.
There's a huge backlog of shows hosted by Sister Diane that are still worth listening to from all sort of craft topics, including publishing craft books, selling on Etsy, and blogging. One of my favorites that I recommend is Professional Crafters, Hobbyists, Etsy, and Viable Businesses. Site includes both free and paid podcasts.
These interviews tend to be long and chatty, sounding more like a conversation between friends than a formal interviewer. Jennifer Ackerman-Haywood covers a wide range of crafters, including sewing, knitting, and cooking. I enjoyed the episode by the author and illustrator of the children's book, Extra Yarn.
This pair of female friends discuss women in history in a frank and appealing way. Each episode focuses on a single woman or small group. If you're a journalist or writer, you might enjoy the episode on Nellie Bly.
I've learned about the paper that money is printed on, how to set up an offshore account, negotiation skills, and all sorts of information that I don't always have any practical use for. I always feel smarter after listening to this show. Episodes are generally very short, about 20 minutes.
Pop Culture Happy Hour
Admittedly, the first time I listened to this podcast, my reaction was: Wha? Huh? I felt like I was eavesdropping on a bunch of friends who were chatting randomly about topics that seemed only tangentially connected. But it's definitely grown on me. One of my favorite quizzes on the show was "Vegan Restaurant or Perfume/Cologne?" (It's surprisingly hard to guess if just given a name such as "Body and Soul.")
The Splendid Table
I wouldn't consider myself a foodie, so while the recipes are interesting, I'm really more interested in the food-as-lifestyle stories, such as the teacher who secretly blogged about her school's bad cafeteria food (Fed Up with Lunch).
Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me!
It's sad to say that sometimes the only news I'm getting is from this news quiz show. There's always at least one joke that makes me laugh out loud. Fast-paced and entertaining.
A Way with Words
This call-in show is a little more formal than most that I listen to and can feel a little scripted. Most callers ask about the origins of words and phrases. My favorite quiz game was the one about books with a missing letter.
A Few More to Consider ...
I also like This American Life and Authors on Tour. Since those shows are by theme (or author), I download only the ones I want. I also occasionally listen to Fresh Air. If you want to learn how to conduct a compelling interview, just listen to a few by Terry Gross. She makes every conversation sound natural and always seems to ask at least one unexpected question, no matter how seasoned the subject. I've just started listening to Adam Savage's Still Untitled, so it's a little early to know if I'd recommend it or not as a regular listen. I do recommend the recent episode on Etsy if you're a seller there. It's an interesting outsider, male perspective about the shopping experience.
If you're a podcast listener, I'd love to hear your favorites!