Sunday, October 5, 2008

5 Free Audio Resources for Writers and Readers

I've noticed my posts have been getting a bit ethereal lately (one of those grad school side-effects), so here are a few podcasts I really appreciate as a writer, reader, and general appreciator of words and creativity. It's easy to sign up for all of these through iTunes and then download them to my iPod. They're great to keep up on in the car and during walks and trips to the gym.
  1. A Way with Words: NPR's delightful language program, in which the quirks and delights of the English language are discussed on a weekly basis. 1 hour long, except during the summer, when it's shorter.

  2. Authors on Tour: A weekly recording of authors speaking at Denver's Tattered Cover bookstore. The authors they choose are excellent ones in a variety of literary and non-literary genres. Talks range from 10 minutes to an hour.

  3. Garrison Keillor's "The Writer's Almanac": I've mentioned this daily podcast before--I subscribe to this one by email too. 5 minutes per day of poetry and writer/artist/influential person biographies.

  4. New Yorker: Fiction: In this monthly podcast, a literary giant-ish-type figure reads and discusses an influential story that's been published in the New Yorker in the past. Segments last between 10 and 40 minutes.

  5. Last but certainly not least, this site is a constantly-growing volunteer-submitted library of public domain audiobooks. The quality of the audio is more or less good depending on the particular book or even chapter, but some of the recordings are pretty amazing, and hey, it's free. And you can listen online, download whole books or chapter by chapter, or subscribe to each book as a podcast. Length: anything from a few minutes to 30-some hours (that's Moby Dick and War and Peace and such). The average length book is between 5 and 12-14 hours.

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