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.