My Top 5 Podcast Hit List (grabbed from Podcasts are your Next True Love, an article I wrote for Mamalode):
2. Serial: This newish show just wrapped its first season, an in-depth analysis of whether a man was wrongly convicted to life in prison. It’s an evolving story from one episode to the next, so start with Episode 1.
4. Radiolab: The hosts Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich remind me of an uncle and nephew arguing and postulating at Thanksgiving. Try this hour devoted to telling the story of a baby born at 23 weeks, 6 days, one day shy of our definition of “viable.”
5. Here’s the Thing: Like Jerry Seinfelds’ show Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, Alec Baldwin’s WNYC interview program is riveting. It’s like being a fly on the wall of Alec’s living room while he chats with other famous people. Since I mentioned Seinfeld, here’s an episode where Alec interviews Jerry.
I said Top 5, but I must give honorable mention to foodie-centric The Splendid Table. Every Friday I tune in to see what Lynn Rossetto Kasper has to say about food. Not as famous as but just as knowledgeable as Martha Stewart, Lynn has given me countless good tips over the years. Give a listen to an episode in which she talks to David Sedaris about dinner.
Starting in December 2014, Cheryl Strayed and Steve Almond, the writers who created The Rumpus’ advice column Dear Sugar, are teaming up with WBUR to bring us a podcast. They’ll dish out, in Strayed’s words, “the real story that lies beneath what’s apparent.” This one is so new there isn’t an iTunes link yet; for now you can find it on the WBUR website.
If you fall down the listening rabbit hole as far as I did, you might enjoy these storytelling podcasts:
Love + Radio
StoryCorps (see list of staff picks)
The Dinner Party Download
Stanford Storytelling Project
The New Yorker: Fiction
Porchlight Storytelling Series
The Writer’s Almanac
The Classic Tales
The Memory Palace
(Note that some of these are affiliate links, meaning I earn a small percentage of the sale if you buy it but you pay the same amount)
The Table Comes First (Adam Gopnik)
At Home (Bill Bryson)