Here are some of my favorite podcasts–they are all free and available through iTunes.
The Classic Tales: B.J. Harrison has a wonderful reading voice, and so far I’ve enjoyed listening to his renditions of Conrad’s The Heart of Darkness and H.P. Lovecraft’s The Lurking Fear. Subscribe through iTunes to get timely (and free) installments, but also check out his website (www.theclassictales.com) for other features such as Poetry Corner and Short Story Spotlight.
New Yorker fiction: Subscribe to the feed service through iTunes (or click here) and enjoy a monthly reading and conversation with New Yorker fiction editor Deborah Treisman. Authors reading authors is a unique feature of this podcast. One of my favorites is Paul Theroux reading Luis Borges’s short story “The Gospel According to Mark”: both Theroux’s reading and his commentary made listening to the podcast a real treat.
PRI’s Selected Shorts Podcast: You can hear these short stories on your local NPR affiliate or make sure you never miss a podcast by subscribing through iTunes. (Go to NPR’s directory to find sundry other podcasts). Similar to the New Yorker fiction podcast, most of these short stories are read by other well-known authors. All are read before a live audience which gives the readings a wonderful sense of immediacy.
LibriVox: LibriVox is truly a labor of love. It is supported by volunteers who read novels, short stories, and poems that are in the public domain. Check out their website for volunteer opportunities, and to view their rather lengthy catalog of available downloads. Again, you can subscribe to their feed through iTunes. One word of caution, however. With some longer works (such as Austen’s Northanger Abbey), chapters may be read by more than one volunteer, which can make the listening experience a bit uneven. Also, these are volunteers, not professional readers, so the quality of the readings can be disappointing. Still, Librivox is a treasure trove, and the efforts of its volunteers are admirable. The uneven quality of the readings can even be a bit fun. Just imagine listening to a group of your friends as they take turns reading chapters from your favorite novel!
Now, do you have a favorite podcast? Please share!