I grew up listening to talk radio with my dad – lots of NPR and conservative shows. I’ve shed the conservative talk shows, but have continued to love talk radio. Here are some great podcasts well worth your time.

  • Reply All I grew up on the Internet and love what it’s added to my life. Reply All is a Gimlet Media produced podcast about the Internet and it’s oddities and intricacies.
  • Crimetown I love crime shows, and Crimetown is one of the best. Also a Gimlet Media podcast, the first season uncovers the Mafia influence in Providence, Rhode Island in the last 70’s and early 80’s. Like most people, I normally associate Mafia activity with New York, New Jersey, and Chicago, but Providence has an amazing backstory that deserves a telling.
  • Criminal Phoebe Judge hosts Criminal, a periodic podcast about lawbreakers. Criminal isn’t usually about hardcore crimes, but unusual crimes and the criminals that commit them. For example, one recent episode was about William and Ellen Craft, two slaves who used cunning and courage to escape slavery. They were technically criminals at the time, but what they did and the way they did it is worth the listen alone. Plus, Phoebe Judge’s voice.
  • The Tim Ferriss Show Like most people, I’ve known about Tim since the 4 Hour Workweek was published. I intentionally avoided his podcast because I thought it would be full of snakeoil, but its ended up being quite informative and in depth.
  • Reveal I first heard an episode of Reveal on the NPR show Marketplace. The episode detailed the generally unknown story of cash assistance in America – TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or “welfare”) – and how little of it actually benefits needy families. Reveal does hard hitting journalism, like uncovering sexual abuse, and the coverups, in the Jehova’s Witness churches in America. Many episodes will upset you, but will hopefully drive you to action.
  • This American Life Isn’t this the podcast everyone adds first?
  • How I Built This Guy Raz (host of The TED Radio Hour) hosts How I Built This. In it, he interviews entrepreneurs about how they built their companies. What’s interesting is that most of the guests are not tech entrepreneurs, which is a bit refreshing.
  • Planet Money
  • On The Media And this weeks episode was edited by … Brooke.
  • In The Dark This podcast is really what got interested in podcasts. Yes, I listened to Season 1 of Serial, and had listened to an occasional This American Life episode, but In The Dark was amazingly well done, gripping, and had a conclusion! The first season of In The Dark covers a 27 year old unsolved child abduction (the case was solved several weeks before the podcast was released), but is ultimately about something much different. Definitely worth your time.
  • Jocko Podcast
  • Cortex
  • How Did This Get Made