Interstate podcasts

With my parents living in Mobile, my brother and his family in Atlanta, our beach house in Florida, and us in Birmingham, I spend a decent amount of time driving on the interstate. I used to listen to music, but at some point, I made the switch to podcasts. I thought I’d share some of my favorite podcasts–the ones I always download before hitting the road for a trip. In fact, I will be doing just that in the next day or so as we prepare for our last beach trip of the summer. (Sniff, sniff.)

Writers on Writing–interviews with authors, literary agents, editors (although mostly authors.) 
**Last weekend, I listened to one of the best author interviews I’ve ever heard. They interview Marcus Zusak, author of The Book Thief. He talks a lot about his writing process, how he decided on the unique narrator of The Book Thief, and how his books (and this one in particular) fits into the culture of the day. It’s so, so good and encouraging for writers. And if you’re not a writer but have read The Book Thief, a great insight into the mind of the man who created such an amazing book. (It’s # 18 on the link above.)

Between the Covers–more author interviews. **I recommend starting with the interview with Jess Walter, author of Beautiful Ruins

A Tiny Sense of Accomplishment–Conversations between authors Jess Walter (see above) and Sherman Alexie. They talk about everything from books and authors to music, dating, and formative childhood and teenage experiences (usually hilarious and embarrassing). There’s a lot of humor, bad language, and heartbreak. Unfortunately, they’ve taken a hiatus while they’re working on other things–at least I hope it’s a hiatus and not a permanent break–but you can still listen to all their old episodes. They’re so good. 

NPR Fresh Air–Most everyone knows what this is, so no explanation needed. Some of the best I’ve heard recently: John Krasinski, Tom Hanks, and Bryan Cranston, aka The One Who Knocks.

Elizabeth Gilbert’s Magic Lessons. Try starting with the interview with Brene Brown. The only problem is that listening to Brene Brown talk–about anything–makes me want to pull the car over so I can scribble down everything she’s saying. 

Beautiful Writers–I have to say up front, this one can get a little hippie-dippie for my taste (don’t ask me to explain hippie-dippie) but the interviews with writers and book-people are really good. The one with Brene Brown is fantastic (I swear, everything that woman says about creativity and pursuing passions makes me want to pump my fist. Or cry, depending on the day.) So is the one with Robert McKee (king of screenwriting, writer of Story). Actually this one should be required listening for writers. Steven Pressfield (The War of Art) is great, as is Dani Shapiro, one of my favorites.

Lastly, for the non-writers, the folks just looking for a good time, a few laughs, and maybe a recipe for great cake pops, check out The Popcast with Jamie Golden and Knox McCoy. If it sounds familiar, it’s because I’ve written about it before. They’re hilarious and heartfelt and irreverent (but not too much.) They told me once that they were taking seriously my suggestion to dive into the world of The O.C for an episode. I’m still waiting, just saying.

If you know of others I should add to the list, please let me know! I’m always looking for new ways to distract myself on boring interstate drives. 


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