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.
- For instance, there's Slate's big package, Ten Years in Your Ears, celebrating the decade since the Guardian coined the term podcast. Lots of good stuff in there but I'll highlight a few: the aforementioned 25 Best Podcast Episodes Ever. There's also The Voices: Toward a Critical Theory of Podcasting and the inevitable Slate-contrarian (Slatrarian?) Don't Count AM/FM Radio Out Just Yet.
- Wired Magazine has a piece about how Serial's Transformation of Audio Storytelling is Just Beginning. OK, that's Serial-related but it's not really about Serial. And it features my friend Alex Kapelman of Pitch!
- Again with Alex: He was also on Mashable, in The Beginner's Guide to Podcasting.
- Do you like Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild? Do you miss her Dear Sugar column from The Rumpus? Well, it's back — as a podcast on WBUR!
- A bunch of outlets had the bright idea to offer alternatives to Serial now that's gone. There's 8 Smart Podcasts to Get You Through Serial Withdrawal. There's 7 Great Podcasts to Get Hooked on Now That Serial's Over. And there's The Podcasts to Listen To When You're Done With Serial.
- Wait, there's more! There's also What Podcasting Newcomers Should Listen to Now That Serial's Done. And even BookRiot got into the act with a list of Audiobooks to Download After You Finish Serial.
- This American Life
- WTF with Marc Maron
- Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me!
- The Bugle
- On the Media
- 99% Invisible
- BBC Global News
- Slate's the Gist with Mike Pesca