I panicked a little bit last month when I realized that I only had 7 This American Life episodes to last me through the bus rides to and from Bangkok, plus a week in the city. Hence, an all out podcast downloading binge. I love the way that podcasts pass long bus rides and lull me to sleep in noisy atmospheres, plus they’re free (in a legal way!). I downloaded every podcast I saw that looked like it posessed even a remote chance of being worth my time. After hours of listening, deleting and more downloading, I have settled on my Top 5 Favorite Podcasts, which I thought I’d share with you.
- This American Life: Because first loves never die. This is the podcast that started my love of listening to podcasts and it is still my favorite. Each episode centers around a theme such as Fear of Sleep or Right to Remain Silent and feature stories that relate to that topic.
- The Moth: Stories told live without notes. What I love about this podcast is that the episodes are short and sweet. Many podcast episodes are about an hour long and these are usually about 20 minutes. They’re also usually pretty light hearted and funny. Some of the stories have been used in This American Life, which is where I heard about The Moth.
- Selected Shorts: These are stories (usually fiction) told live by professional actors. The actors do an amazing job of making the stories come to life and evoking emotion. Sometimes there’s also an interview with one of the authors after the story telling.
- Two Gomers Run a Marathon: There are so many reasons why I love this podcast. I like the balance of talking about life, nuggets of running wisdom and the tasteful level of bromance shared between the hosts. Most running podcasts I’ve listen to are either explorations in utter bordem or seem to be complete bro fests in which I can’t shake the visualization of the guys chest bumping and feeling each others muscles. I like how down to earth this podcast is about running. It makes me laugh and leaves me encouraged to continue pursuing my little running hobby.
- Snap Judgement: Story telling with a beat. Similar to This American Life, this podcast features a series stories relating to a theme. The main difference is that there is a DJ that plays a back beat to the stories. The story themes have something to do with a snap judgement or a moment when a quick decision has to be made.
Honorable mentions go to: Studio 360, Planet Money, All Songs Considered, To The Best of Our Knowledge, NYT Book Review, Dynamic Range, and Vanity Fair Writers Reading.
Now my iPod is loaded and ready with the many podcast episodes I’ve saved up for my trip to Cambodia. I leave on an overnight bus tonight. Can’t wait!