Episode 357: The Wind Boy, chapters 1-2

In which we meet Nan, The Policeman, and the family in the little brown house.
Episode 357, The Wind Boy, chapters 1-2
(download or listen via this link)

Book Information
  • Story rating: G for a girl from the mountains, coppery gold hair, sandals, sculptors, new friends, and the Wind Boy.
  • This story is in the public domain.


Listen Up — The Curious Cases of Rutherford & Fry

Science sleuths Dr Adam Rutherford and Dr Hannah Fry investigate everyday mysteries sent by listeners.
Here's another great show from the BBC. This half-hour podcast combines science with light-hearted presentation. Hannah Fry and Adam Rutherford are bona fide scientists but they bring a sense of fun and discovery to each question. Finding the answers can lead them into unexpected places but the questions themselves are often very simple.
  • Why do we dream?
  • Why do tunes get stuck in our heads?
  • How far up can a helium balloon go?
  • Can horses count?
  • Why don't children like vegetables?
And many, many more. I love the hosts' chemistry and banter and their willingness to investigate any question, even when they seem silly. 
These questions are often suitable for family listening, as their simplicity indicates, and the show is produced for the radio so it is fairly family friendly. However, it is produced for adult listeners so you may want to preview episodes before listening with the kids. For example, when they examine the question of hair growing to different lengths leads to discussion including  all the different places where hair grows.


Listen Up: In Our Time

The show is beloved in the U.K.; for American podcast enthusiasts, it might be experienced as a refreshing change of pace. It’s nothing like the “This American Life” style of audio entertainment, marked by self-effacing narrative authority, inventive sound design, human intimacy of various kinds, and artfully revealed narrative surprises. It is not organized into themed seasons or arcs. Nor is it an NPR-style show about current events, scientific discoveries, or new books, satisfying a need to keep up with the cultural conversation. It’s just four intelligent people in a studio, discussing complex topics that are, as a friend of mine once said of Bragg’s openers, aggressively uncommercial.
There is really nothing like the eclectic selection of topics that are covered in In Our Time. Each week, host Melvyn Bragg and three experts delve into things I'd often never thought about, but am always glad I was exposed to by the end of the episode. Art, science, personalities, history, religion, philosophy, culture, and more are all grist for their mill. Moby Dick, The Bronze Age Collapse, Cephalopods (squid, octopus, etc.), The Congress of Vienna, and Frederick Douglass have all recently streamed through my iPod. The experts vary with the topics so Bragg is the only constant, other than the endearing producer who ends each episode by bringing in the tea trolley. The conversation is unfailingly polite, even when there are basic disagreements, a la the manners we've seen in The Great British Baking Show. And Bragg's questions and observations bring everyone back on point when they stray from the path. For more, do read the article linked above. It is a love letter with which I heartily agree.

  In Our Time website

  In Our Time iTunes


Listen Up: Christmas Past

Christmas Past tells the stories behind your favorite holiday traditions. Each episode is 10-15 minutes long, and features interviews with experts, archival audio, and Christmas memories from listeners.
I discovered Christmas Past a couple of weeks ago and have been thoroughly enjoying them. Brian Earl has a soothing, friendly voice and gives a thorough history of topics ranging from Santa (of course) to Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer to Eggnog to Wrapping Paper. There are still a few days left until Christmas so I wanted to give you a chance to hear them. (iTunes link, website link)


Listen Up: Spooked

Spooked features true-life supernatural stories, told firsthand by people who can barely believe it happened themselves. Be afraid. Created in the dark of night, by Snap Judgment and WNYC Studios.
This is new, although I did discover Snap Judgment has featured spooky shows since the beginning. Here they are broken out into half-hour segments, usually with a couple of stories in each episode. I think they are releasing a couple each week leading up to Halloween.


Listen Up - More is More

Hannah spends her days looking at trees and Rose spends her days looking at computer screen but they both spend their nights watching bad movies. They can commonly be found in yarn shops, hanging off silks, and in fancy grocery stores but their natural habitat is the dollar movie theater.
We've got a long history of enjoying discussing bad movies, especially when Hannah and Rose are doing the talking. They are both funny and insightful, and I don't just say that as their mother. And they love bad movies enough to specifically go to see them at the theater.

 Now everyone can enjoy that hilarious insight on their new podcast, More is More. Hannah and Rose take you through their favorite bad movies in enough detail that you don't have to have seen it yourself (for which I am truly grateful).  They also discuss story elements that went wrong and why.

 Episode 1 is The Scorpion King featuring everyone's favorite, The Rock, in a movie that even his charm can't salvage. Try them out! (website, iTunes)

"Don't let them tell you less is more. More is more."
Stephen Sommers


Listen Up - Jaws of Life, Rachel Watches Star Trek

While I'm on hiatus I'm still discovering new podcasts ... and they might help fill the gap until I return. I'll drop info about them here as I come across them. Here are the latest 2 discoveries.

Jaws of Life is fairly new but I've been enjoying it since the first episode. Two Catholic guys discuss different aspects of modern life in the light of the faith. It's weekly and about half an hour long.
Tim and Rob apply the jaws of life to release truth from the mangled mess of modernity. In each episode we bring light and levity to our encounter with the modern world, helping to bring the contagious joy of a holy life to a world so desperately in need of our witness.
Topics so far have included: Snuffing Out Hope: The Science of Grumbling, Bored at Mass, Fighting for Entertainment, Falling in Love with Vatican II, Recreation in a Culture of Comfort, and Funny Business: The Seriousness of Faith. I've listened to all of them except the one about fighting, which was distinctly more of a guy topic. I look forward to it every week.
Rachel Watches Star Trek is a new favorite of mine.
Chris loves Star Trek. Rachel has never watched it. Until now. This is a podcast where Rachel and Chris talk about each episode of the original Star Trek Series, from the original pilot, getting her outsider’s perspective on one of the most influential Sci-fi shows of all time.
Rachel and Chris Lackey are pure fun to listen to whether you care about Star Trek or not. They cover an episode at a time and Rachel's comments are often hilarious, coming, as they do, from a perspective that is decades after the show aired.  They also often branch out into interesting conversation I wouldn't have expected, such as musing about leadership qualities after watching The Enemy Within. Episodes are about half an hour long and come out once a month at best. So it isn't hard to catch up, even if you don't binge-listen the way I did.


Going on Hiatus

Hi everyone, sorry for the long break.

I've been reading to you since 2007 and it's time for me to take a break and recharge my batteries. 

Please check the library tab which has a complete episode listing and download links. 

Maybe its time to "reread" those older episodes! That's the thing about classics — once is not enough!


We All Scream - my narration on EscapePod

I loved narrating this short piece about a happily married wife and mother whose ice cream truck business runs into an unexpected problem one day.

 It's as if the author knew me!

I was pleased and humbled that EscapePod asked me to read it. You can find it on iTunes (episode 585) or here at EscapePod.


Episode 356: The Green Jacket, chapters 22-24, finale!

In which we discover all and discover an interesting development for Millie.
Episode 356, The Green Jacket, chapters 22-24
(download or listen via this link)

Book Information
  • Story rating: G for lady detectives, missing necklaces, solving cases the men can't solve, and knitting.
  • This story is in the public domain, via LibriVox, read by J.M. Smallheer.
Podcast Highlight