Photography by Bartholomew Cooke
Audiobooks are time-consuming, radio is crawling with guys like Sean Hannity, and This American Life kills only an hour a week. Luckily, there are lit-driven podcasts to help you through your commute. Timothy Hodler
"KCRW Bookworm": Michael Silverblatt's hypnotically calm, complicated questions cry out for an SNL parody, but he's so thoughtful, genial, and well-prepared that he regularly surprises even high-profile guests like Geoff Dyer, Mary Gaitskill, and Nicholson Baker with his insights.
"The Bat Segundo Show": Ed Champion may have been one of the earliest (and most controversial) book-bloggers, but as a podcast host, he's an amateur in the best sense: You never know where his rambling, amiable conversations with the likes of T.C. Boyle, Paul Auster, and David Lynch are going to go.
"The Moth": Hundreds of writers—some well-known for their prose (Spalding Gray and Susan Orlean), some famous for other pursuits (Moby and Ethan Hawke)—have shared personal anecdotes with this New York main-stay's live audience since 1997. The weekly podcast collects the best.
"PEN American Center": You might not think to go to the venerable human-rights organization for online entertainment, but you should. Most of its A-list events, from readings by Annie Proulx to last year's panel discussion reuniting Salman Rushdie, Umberto Eco, and Mario Vargas Llosa, are available for download.
The untold story of New York's first Mafia godfather
Arthur Goldwag's encyclopedia of the obscure
Harry Potter for grown-ups
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