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March Picks: Freakonomics and Selected Shorts

March 31, 2012

March has been a busy month for me. Although I’ve had time to listen to podcasts, I’m haven’t found time to write about them until now. Here are a few of my favorite podcasts from this month.


Freakonomics – The Days of Wine and Mouses
Podcast release date: February 27, 2012
Time: 56:47

This episode is longer than the usual Freakonomics episode, and includes stories about the economics of wine and how a restaurant handled an unfortunate incident with a mouse in a customer’s salad. My favorite of the two segments was the wine, even though I rarely drink wine. I especially enjoyed Steve Levitt’s story of himself as a Harvard student with an unapologetically unrefined pallette who tricked wine connoisseurs in the Harvard’s Society of Fellows.

Selected Shorts – It Chooses You: An Evening with Miranda July
Podcast release date: February 27, 2012
Time: 1:06:12

Selected Shorts usually features short stories or book excerpts read by actors and actress. This week, Miranda July reads from her book “It Chooses You,” which describes her interviews with people she met through ads in the PennySaver. Actors and actresses play the role of the people Miranda July interviewed, and Miranda July plays the role of herself. The PennySaver interviews were side project Miranda July started while procrastinating work on her movie, “The Future,” but they turn out to have an impact on her movie. Although I haven’t read “It Chooses You” or watched “The Future” yet, I enjoyed her earlier film “Me and You and Everyone We Know” and collection of short stories “No One Belongs Here More Than You.” If you enjoy this podcast, you might also enjoy listening to On Point with Tom Ashbrook’s “The Mind Of Miranda July” episode from November 2011.
Selected Shorts – Growing Up Fast
Podcast release date: March 11, 2012
Time: 59:13

Selected Shorts features the short story “Smorgasbord” by Tobias Wolff and Elizabeth Crane’s “Football.” Tobias Wolff is one of my favorite authors. I usually prefer reading short stories to hearing them read, but I enjoyed listening to “Smorgasbord” as much as I enjoyed reading it.
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