Podcasts Worth Listening To (Part One)

I’m a stay-at-home dad. I write full time from home, care for two children and see to the house, budget and cooking. I help my wife as much as possible to help her career grow in the direction she wants. This leaves me little time to sit on my butt and read.

This is a shame, since I really enjoy reading. Enter podcasts. It’s rare to find me working out, walking the dog, cleaning or cooking without a podcast – or audiobook – running in my ear or on the nearest computer. Here then, in no particular order, are a few of the podcasts I listen to most.

  • Fear the Boot – A podcast about “tabletop role playing games and a little bit more.” This is a round-table discussion featuring a core of hosts plus a rotating stable of regular guests. Besides its high production value, what I love most about this cast is the wealth of different opinions. Most gaming podcasts out there are either one guy spouting off, or a shameless shill for some gaming company. These guys offer amusing opinion and actionable advice. Generally runs about an hour.
  • Writing Excuses – Three successful science fiction writers talk about the craft and business of writing. Years ago, Lawrence Block published several collections of his columns for Writers Digest Magazine. This is the 21st century version of that invaluable set of tools – complete with Monty Python jokes and Firefly references, because these guys are the best kind of geeks. Run time is fifteen minutes “because you’re in a hurry and we’re not that smart.”
  • Stuff You Missed in History Class – A product of HowStuffWorks.com, this two-host history show gives a 20 minute rundown of fun facts and bizarre events from this history of our world. Topics run from Vlad Tepes to presidential debates to the Tower of London’s menagerie. Great for history buffs, and for stirring up creative juices for your fiction projects. As a bonus, co-host Sarah Dowdey has the sexiest voice in podcasting today. Run time is about 20 minutes, with earlier episodes coming in around seven.
  • Taking Control – Two professional organizers share bits of actionable advice on organizing your time, space and money. Two things set this cast apart from the other organizing podcasts out there. Their production quality is significantly better, and their discussions stay focused on the central topic for the episode. The advice ranges from broad concepts to naming specific products they’ve found useful. The only down side is they don’t cast as often as I’d like to listen. Run time is typically ten minutes.
  • The Dave Ramsey Show – I admit it. I’m a Dave Ramsey fan. His “Total Money Makeover” got my family out of our financial doghouse when my first business bit the dust in the middle of the recession. This hour-long program is the only radio show turned podcast I listen to. The advice sometimes feels recycled if you’ve followed him for a while, but it serves as a strong reminder to keep me on track.

There are thousands of podcasts out there, and hundreds worth giving a try. The five above fill up most of my iPod space that’s not taken up with audiobooks or music.

Thanks for listening

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