I’ve been in a bit of a slump but my reading-mojo is returning. I guess sometimes I just need a break from books and give my brain something else to work with. In addition to magazines I’ve been listening to a lot of podcast. When I made the decision to downsize my handbag last year podcasts was the first thing to replace the big books I had been dragging around. It’s also a way to make cleaning the house and doing laundry a lot more enjoyable. In addition to a bunch in swedish these are a few of my favorites. All can be found where you usually find podcasts(I use the iTunes store).
1.BBC4 “In our time”
This is my religion now basically. I came across this recently despite it having been on the air for years. The basic set-up is that the host,Melvyn Bragg, discusses a topic with a panel of experts. Those experts change according to the subject obviously. Scholars give their expertise and Melvyn guides us through a 45 minute exploration in literature,philosophy,history and the sciences. I’ve gone through quite a few of the old episodes by now and I’m partial to the ones about literature and history. The episode about Margery Kemp made me pick up the little black classic with excerpts from her eautobograpy(here) (although the episode is better then the book), the one about Sappho got me ready for reading “If not,Winter” that was this months bookclub pick and I have picked up a copy of Beowulf inspired by an episode. It is making me feel a lot smarter.
2.The Memory palace
Nate DiMeo finds small objects and occasions in history and tells the story about them in the most charming and subtle way. It’s like giving us a glimpse into the past and putting a face to history. In an interview I heard he spoke about how he often found himself drawn to the ordinary objects and photographs at museums and how they fascinated him. It’s great storytelling and despite being mostly about American history I enjoy it very much.
If you like language this is the podcast for you( I also listen to a podcast about language in Swedish). Helen Zaltzman dives into the history of words and how we use them in a very entertaining way.
This is a great podcast mostly about sci-fi and fantasy books and things related(movies,comics). Eric Kolinsky strives to tell “the backstory” and analyze phenomena. And does so very well. I was thrilled to hear about how creators of maps in fantasy books think or the discussion about Harry Potter and PTSD. Just the kind of nerdy thing I like.
Roman Mars and his team bring it. The idea is to explain the history of design and tell the stories around object that we encounter; everything from Fortune cookies to McMansions to how people are working to combat hearing loss in the American army. Makes you look at the world in a different way. Everything has a story to tell and this podcast does it well.