"I'm trying to make perfect moments. And those generate meaning. If you go deep enough in how to make a moment, very quickly you come to how narrative works - to what we are as a species, how we've come up with telling stories in scenes and images."-Ira Glass
On Monday, Sarah Koenig was in town as part of the #thinkspeak series and hearing her familiar voice (and that chilling Serial theme music) definitely brought back all those old feels of listening to her fascinating podcast. It also got me really interested in what the the second (and third!) seasons of Serial have in store for us listeners. (Some tidbits from her talk: Yes, she still does talk to Adnan occasionally, she has not listened to Rabia Chaudry's podcast Undisclosed or watched the The Jinx, Serial was actually recorded in her basement, she thought this interview with Jay was super fascinating and she does admit hindsight that there was some flirting between her and Adnan). Since Serial ended, I have been getting my daily podcast fix from the usual weekly NPR staples like This American Life, Radio Lab and Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! but I also tried branching out and found a few others that I thought would be fun to share. I also asked friends and family for some of their go-to podcasts to round out my list. Some are extremely popular and others are a little bit more niche, but they each can make the daily routine a little bit more interesting.
Soundbyte: The refreshingly sincere deets of building a start-up (Trough of Sorrow and all)
If you listen to podcasts, you have probably seen Alex Bloomberg's Start-Up in the top charts (It was also teased on This American Life, which got many listeners hooked). The podcast which finished up season 2 earlier this summer is one of my personal favorites. Season 1 is the story of Bloomberg's own start-up Gimlet Media and season 2 focuses on the journey of Dating Ring, a dating website started by two women. Both seasons give unique insight into the trials and tribulations of starting your own company told in a chronological, endearing narrative. In today's start-up centric world, you usually hear about someone having a brilliant idea followed by uber (sorry, couldn't help it) success. But what happens in between? This is all that in-between, non-glamorous stuff that no one really talks candidly about. If you're an aspiring entrepreneur or not, it is fascinating to follow (and root for) these people on their mission.
Soundbyte: Humorous science, space and pop culture talk from the lovable Neil deGrasse Tyson
This is one of my husband's favorites and his recommendation. And after listening to one episode you will probably agree how funny host Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson (of the Hayden Planetarium and Cosmos fame) is. So even if you're not that into science, you will likely thoroughly enjoy Tyson's banter with co-hosts like John Oliver and Kristen Schall (love her!!) and learn a few things along the way.
Podcast: The Moth
Soundbyte: Beautiful personal stories from regular people (and the occasional actor or writer) like this one
If there's anything we have learned from the enormous success of Serial, is that as humans we long to hear a gripping story. The Moth podcast is quite popular and I was late to the game, but once I found it I was hooked. The podcast features recordings of real people sharing their memorable stories on-stage at Moth storytelling events. Even the podcast description is beautiful: "Moth storytellers stand alone, under a spotlight, with only a microphone and a roomful of strangers. The storyteller and the audience embark on a high-wire act of shared experience which is both terrifying and exhilarating." If that just gave you chills, listen to an episode and you will be hooked too.