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Podcasts 2011

I didn't listen to my first podcast until about a year ago. I'd started hitting the track at the Y over Christmas break and remembered that podcasts existed (yes, right with the times on that one..), so I thought I'd see what was out there. Having podcasts loaded onto my iPod soon became a way of life, to the point where I now have around 3 days worth of unlistened episodes to digest. Here are some of my favorites (which are also the ones I try not to fall too far behind on, though it does happen)...

1. iFanboy's Pick of the Week - I love comics, though I've kept them at arm's length off and on for a decade (another story for another time unless you've been reading my blogs over the years). Anyway, Josh, Conor, and Ron love comics too and they get together once a week to talk about the new releases. It's a way for me to keep up on what's current when I can't afford to but it's also a lot of fun. You start to learn their likes and dislikes and the interplay between the longtime friends and colleagues is very entertaining. They also do interviews with creators (Talksplode) and other special editions, as well as other podcasts through their website that I also listen to, like Don't Miss. They've kept my entertained for the last year and got me reading comics I might not otherwise have tried, like BATGIRL. Thanks, guys.

2. Pop Culture Happy Hour - I've followed Linda Holmes at NPR's Monkey See blog for quite a while and had seen posts about PCHH when it started in summer 2010. So once I finally figured out I could listen to podcasts like everyone else, this show was one of the first I tried. It didn't take long for me to be hooked. Linda is joined by Stephen Thompson (NPR Music), Trey Graham (NPR Movies), and Glen Weldon (who writes about books and comic books for NPR) every week for discussion about various pop culture topics and then a round of what's making them happy. I want to be friends with all of them. Well, let's be honest, I want to be on the podcast with them. You learn so much about their tastes and you laugh at not only their jokes but at how they tease each other. A single syllable by Glen is enough to make me chuckle. Occasionally, one of the group will be gone but their bench is a good one (yay, Mike Katzif!). I adore this podcast.

3. Bookrageous - I don't remember how I heard about this book-centric podcast but once I listened, I was hooked. So hooked, in fact, that I immediately went back and started listening to all the episodes I'd missed. Luckily, there were fewer than 20 to catch up on (though I still haven't listened to #4, which was all about Mockingjay, since I've not yet read it. I will listen once I've read the book). Josh, Jenn, and Rebecca (and occasional guests) spend the first part of the show talking about what they're reading and the second part talking about a topic. They recommend so many books and I want to read most of them. One book they recommended ending up being one of my favorites of the year and maybe one of my favorites ever (more on that in my Books 2011 post). I eagerly await new episodes and one of my goals for 2012 is to join the ranks of dedicated book bloggers, only partly in the hope that I can be on their podcast.

4. Mike and Tom Eat Snacks - I am a dedicated viewer (and I know I'm not a viewer) of MATES. The Mike is Michael Ian Black. The Tom is Tom Cavanagh. Yes, they were on Ed together back in the early 2000s. I loved Ed. Anyway, this podcast operates on the PER system, wherein they pick a snack, eat a snack, and rate a snack. They also rag on each other, do accents, go on tangents, and make me laugh multiple times each episode. A must listen for everyone.

5. All Songs Considered - This is the second NPR podcast in my top 5. Bob Boilen is the master of ceremonies with a wide variety of co-hosts and roundtables and cool guests. This show covers a wide range of music and even if it doesn't sound like something I would like at the outset, I always find something of interest. The people at NPR Music love music like I love music and I love them for it.

Honorable Mentions
Awesomed By Comics
Books on the Nightstand
J's Indie Rock Mayhem
Reasonable Discussions
Fuzzy Typewriter

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