In addition to the visits, what got me in to reading was ironically Karl May.

Random adult video chat in german-7

However, spending a very enjoyable month visiting a lab at the University of Munich gave me a chance to reawaken my language skills and interest.

I then did a short visit last winter, and spent about three months in Berlin this summer.

If you speak German as a foreign language, but were not quite sure where to start, perhaps some of this will be useful.

And if you don't speak German, perhaps you'll be inspired to learn.

It's a bit similar to This American Life or Radio Lab (the latter of which I love as well), but they have managed to find their own voice.

It is difficult to put the finger on what is so brilliant about this program, but somehow the combination of interesting stories and good editing makes for great listening.

One issue that I have not heard much discussion about, is the challenge of finding interesting material in foreign languages.

In your own culture and language, you have gotten to know authors through school, through popular media, recommendations from friends, etc.

Every week, they choose a theme, which can be very broad ("Starting over", "Hitting the road"), but also more specific (a program about when half a million Russian soldiers left Eastern Germany).

In each case, they find people with interesting stories that somehow relate to the theme (often in very different ways).

Of course, this is just a sampling of what I've randomly come across, not an exhaustive survey, and it unapologetically is stuff that I like and enjoy, no attempt at objective critique.