Urs Truly loves to listen to podcasts. I have seventeen subscriptions. They make good listening as I travel to and from work, while I exercise, and when I am doing chores such as the ironing. I thought I would let you know my favorites; I hope Spo-fans can recommend a few in return. My taste in podcasts runs mostly toward the educational type but I have a few that are just fun.  They all have lovely websites for thems not wanting to listen but read’em.

Educational Podcasts:

Stuff you missed in history. Tracy and Holly (the dears!) like to take a lesser-known topic from history and tell you all about it. They are lighthearted and make history fun. I recently heard the fascinating and controversial history of margarine.


Stuff you should know. Josh and Chuck are the male counterparts to Tracy and Holly. They are more chatty than Tracy and Holly. They talk about a wide range from night terrors to wholly mammoths.

The Torch. This podcast is brought to you by The Great Courses series. In each episode the host talks to two or three professors for a few minutes on a topic to entice you to buy the entire course.  It’s a nice way to get ten minutes lessons on topics.


Linguistic Podcasts:

Spo-fans know I am crackers for fustian words and grammar and language history

The Allusionist – This English language podcast is done by Helen a British lady who talks about the origin and terms of words. She ends her podcasts with ‘Random word from the dictionary’ and the suggestion ‘Try using it in an e-mail today!”.


Grammar Girl – She is the High Priestess of Prose. She isn’t always discussing prescriptive grammar such as ‘hoofs or hooves”. She also talks about idioms, expressions, the history of words, and how to be a better writer. She makes grammar jolly good fun!  Someone and I will sometimes listen to Grammar Girl and talk about our own thoughts on a grammar matter before she gives out the verdict.

Poem of the Day – This one is self-descriptive. The poems are often less than a minute long.

The Writer’s Almanac – I wake up every morning to Garrison Keillor telling me what writers were born on this day or what happened in history related to writing. It ends with a poem. So I get two poems per day this way!


Story Podcasts:

Lore – Oh my goodness, I just discovered this podcast and it is already one of my favorites. He reads ghosts stories and legends. He does a superb job.

Myths and Legends – The reader tells us the ‘real story’ of the Arthurian Legends, Greek Myths, and tales from everywhere else.

Selected Shorts – Live from NYC, actors read classic and contemporary short stories.   I’ve been listening to SS for decades.



Masculinity Podcasts:

The Art of Charm – Mr. Jordan interviews fascinating people on how to succeed in business and be a better man. “Fan mail Friday’ is fun as he gets letters asking his advice, which makes him the “Dear Abby” but 30yo L.A. types.  I listen to see if I agree with his answers.  I also pick up a lot of book leads when he interviews authors on biology, sexuality, and psychology.

The Art of Manliness – Mr. Brett also interviews fascinating people but his are more about what it means to be a man. The podcast is very thoughtful whether he is talking to a philosopher or a Marine Sergeant.  He also has a marvelous website for ‘how to do (whatever)’ to treaties on masculinity.



And Just for fun Podcasts:

The Savage Lovecast – Oh, what a guilty pleasure. He talks rather bluntly and unashamedly about sexuality in all its myriad forms.  I listen to the questions and compare my answers to Mr. Dan’s.

And …….

Welcome to Night Vale – This one is possibly my favorite podcast. Cecil the radio announcer tells us the news of Night Vale, a sleepy town in the desert. Think of an amalgam of “Lake Woebegon”, “The X-files”, and “The Twilight Zone”.  If you want to sample a typical show, listen to Podcast #4 in which a time warp releases ancient flying beasts into the Night Vale PTA meeting on student lunch price hikes.  My favorite resident of Night Vale is either Old Woman Josie who lives with the so-called angels (all named Erika) or The Faceless Old Woman who secretly lives in your house.