Podcast of the Week: The Memory Palace

The last couple Podcast of the Week recommendations have been kind of long. Now, let me offer you something short. The Memory Palace is a beautiful work. The episodes vary in length from a couple minutes up to a quarter-hour max. To while away a long car ride, or even a medium-length dog walk, they are useless. But to make you take a small, manageable part out of your day to stop, listen and think, they are perfect. As the title suggests, they revolve around memory and mostly forgotten figures, like aviator Harriet Quimby or singer Jane Froman.

The creator Nate DiMeo has one of those lovely, soothing, low-key public radio voices, giving these pieces a meditative quality as they ask us to remember — or really, discover — people who did remarkable things but have been mostly forgotten. It's like wandering through an old library or antique store with a knowledgable friendly guide.

This week, Slate has been marking podcasting's 10th anniversary with a lot of coverage including a list of the 25 best podcast episodes of all time (more on all that below in the links section). One of those 25 was an extraordinary personal episode of The Memory Palace called Origin Stories. It's longer than most of the episodes and I sat quietly in front of my computer and listened to every word.

Bonus Holiday Podcast of the Week!

The New York Public Library has put up a podcast of Neil Gaiman reading A Christmas Carol. Yes, please, and God bless us, every one! Note to parents looking at road trips in the next few days: This is an hour and a half long.

Podcast Press (un-Serialized, mostly)

With Serial's big finale this week, there's just way too much in way of reviews, analysis, etc. I'm going to collect it all in its own blog post, hopefully soon. Meanwhile, there's lots of other interesting stuff.

Past recommendations: