Content Buffet: What I’ve Been Gorging on Lately

Flickr: Joege Avalon

I started a new job — a new career, essentially — three months ago and have since been gobbling up all the relevant blog posts, podcasts, magazine articles, books, treatises, broadsheets, scrolls and stone tablets relevant to my field that I can. That field: libraries, a thing near to my heart.

The only downside is that it hasn’t allowed me much time to stop and write much on my own time. But since I’ve been a regular knowledge glutton the past few months, I thought I’d share a list of some of my favorite sources inspiration, wisdom and know-how.

For me, blogs and podcasts are where it’s at most days. The subscription feature of these media make them extra useful for a serial skimmer like me. It seems like so much of my reading, period, takes place in Google Reader. And much of my listening: on an iPhone strapped to my arm as I clean house, jog, cook dinner, run errands, etc. If I could, I’d consume valuable content every waking hour. (Don’t worry, I still pause to read novels, watch movies, stare at the sunset away from my iPhone — I’m not soulless, you know!)

In the lists below, I’ve included my top ten or so favorite book- and social-media blogs and podcasts, though I follow a ton more (167 RSS subscriptions + 28 podcasts and counting). These are mostly the indispensable, headline-loaded biggies that I check almost every day. Feel free to share your favorites in the comments.

Book Blogs

Arts and Letters Daily — A clearinghouse of links on philosophy, psychology, literature, education, and more, curated by the Chronicle of Higher Education

Galley Cat — Mediabistro’s excellent books and publishing blog.

PWxyz Publishers Weekly‘s news blog.

Guardian Books — The famous London newspaper’s amazingly relevant and frequently updated books section.

Bookforum — This storied journal’s daily OMNIVORE linkdumps are treasure troves. Your account and/or Instapaper will never go hungry again.

The Morning News — A wonderful journalistic site with a literary bent.

New York Times Books — I prefer the paper’s books section to the less frequently updated Paper Cuts blog.

NPR Books — Everything from the airwaves and more.

The Millions — An indie lit mag with lots of original essays. (See also: The Rumpus)

Largehearted Boy — Very indie, indeed; David Gutowski’s one-man enterprise is a heavenly blend of books and pop.

Social Media / Marketing / Tech Blogs

Mashable — The go-to place for the latest social media and tech news, plus great instructional resources.

TechCrunch — Michael Arrington’s highly influential, occasionally snarky tech news empire.

ReadWriteWeb — Marshall Kirkpatrick’s geeky and highly informative tech blog, with frequent features on entrepreneurs and start-ups.

FastCompany — A great magazine with a constantly updated blog covering innovative businesses, designers, architects, tech companies, web devs … you name it.

Seth Godin — If anyone deserves the label guru, it’s this guy. He cranks out books about marketing that interest people who hate marketing and all but speaks in parables. Mindblowing parables.

Convince and Convert — Social media marketing consultant Jay Baer looks like Chief Tyrol from Battlestar Galactica, is probably as smart, and isn’t a Cylon. He’s great at tapping into current trends and curating good content from around the web. His new 3-2-1 email newsletter rocks.

HubSpot — A marketing company with small business roots that gives almost as much to its online followers as to its clients.

Chris Brogan — One of the most influential and prolific writers in social media today, and a generous soul, to boot.

Copyblogger — The best content marketing and SEO copywriting blog out there, with an archive you can get lost in while mining for wisdom.

Harvard Business Review — More of a social media focus than you’d think here, plus great business and management teachings from today’s best and brightest (and richest).

Duct Tape Marketing — Fellow Kansas Citian John Jantsch doles out wisdom for small business marketers.


The BeanCast — The affable Bob Knorpp assembles a weekly roundtable of witty, opinionated PR and ad pros. I listen to pretty much every minute of each hour-plus episode.

New York Times Book Review — In his short-and-sweet podcast, Times books editor Sam Tanenhaus talks with world-class authors and reviewers and runs down the latest literary and publishing news.

The Pipeline — A talented one-on-one interviewer, host Dan Benjamin converses with all manner of tech geeks, from web developers to pundits.

Common Sense with Dan Carlin — As he does with the past in his fascinating Hardcore History show, in Common Sense, Dan Carlin takes a “neo-prudentist” approach to dissecting current affairs with the ultimate goal of empowering rational thought.

New Yorker Fiction — The New Yorker is currently the only magazine I subscribe to in print form, and this podcast features a writer who’s been published in the magazine reading and discussing a story by another writer who’s been published in the mag anytime in the past. (The NYer’s Book Bench blog is also worth checking out.)

Philosophy Bites — Two British smarties parse the meaning of life in 15 minutes each week with the world’s leading philosophers.

The Sound of Young America — Resolutely DIY, Jesse Thorn’s pop culture interview show is an irreverent, down-to-earth alternative to public radio sacred cows like This American Life.

Sound Opinions — Chicago pop music critics Greg Kot and Jim DeRogatis’ rock and roll talk show is tiger balm for the soul of the music lover who compulsively seeks out new music, is bewildered by half of what he finds, and runs back to Guided by Voices and/or Led Zeppelin.

So what have you been reading or listening to?


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