podcasts: my commuter soundtrack

It takes me about thirty minutes to walk from my flat to campus. To accompany my commute, sometimes I’ll listen to a little Brooklyn electro or Northwest indie rock, but lately, I’ve been obsessed with podcasts. Listening to a podcast is like reading a magazine, newspaper, or short story.  If you don’t have a lot of time to read for fun, podcasts are one way to absorb yourself in narrative. Also, they’re the perfect length for a commute to school or work, and like any entertainment medium, there is enough variety in genre, style, and length to please any listener.  Below are some of my favorite podcasts.

My favorites

This American Life is a weekly hour-long show produced by Chicago Public Radio that features true stories and short fiction dealing with a particular theme. Past themes have included the US presidential elections, prom, and superheroes.

This American Life showcases very moving, personalized narratives and accounts often about ordinary people in extraordinary situations.

StoryCorps is a non-profit organization based in Brooklyn “whose mission is to honor and celebrate one another’s lives through listening.” Instead of using radio hosts, this organization allows people to record their “stories and life experiences” through interviews with their family and friends.

StoryCorps features short, yet poignant clips of these interviews on their website and NPR’s Morning Edition. If you are interested in participating and recording your story, check StoryCorps’ website for more details.

Other cool podcasts

I was recently introduced to Radiolab, a weekly hour-long show produced by WNYC centering on a topic in which science and philosophy intersect. According to my boyfriend Andrew, “Not only is the content really interesting, but the sound design is also great.”

NPR also has a lot of interesting podcasts.

I am always on the lookout for podcasts, so let me know if you come across any good ones.

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