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My favorite podcast episodes of 2012

December 27, 2012

As I reflected on my favorite podcasts from the past year, I realized that I’m biased towards podcasts that tell stories, though I sometimes listen to other types of podcasts. The stories might be based on books, read directly from books, told to an audience, or revealed through journalism. Although I’ve been tweeting instead of blogging about podcasts recently, some of my favorites from December are included in this list. Since I listened to a tiny fraction of the podcast episodes created this year and this list only represents my preferences, I’m including links to a few other lists of great 2012 podcasts before my list.

  • 2012 Third Coast / Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Competition Winners
    Third Coast has two hour-long podcasts which feature the winners and interviews with the producers (Best of the Best: The 2012 Third Coast Festival Broadcast, Hour 1 and Best of the Best: The 2012 Third Coast Festival Broadcast, Hour 2).
  • PRX Staff Favorites of 2012
  • and here are my top 10 podcast episodes of 2012:

    1. Distance – The Memory Palace

    March 23, 2012
    A very short story – under four minutes – about an that changed the focus of Samuel Finley Breese Morse’s life from art to science. (my post about this episode…)

    2. Returning Home (State of the Human) – The Stanford Storytelling Project

    December 16, 2012
    Stories from Stanford students and alumni who fought in the wars in Iran and/or Afghanistan. I love the honesty of these stories and how the stories are woven together.

    3. Unraveling Bolero – Radiolab

    June 18, 2012
    The stories of an artist (Anne Adams) and a composer (Maurice Ravel) whose lives follow a parallel path after they intersect (my post about this episode…)

    4. The Secret – How Sound

    July 11, 2012
    Carma Jolly produced this story about her brother, a near-death experience, and herself.

    5. Fix – Love + Radio

    May 23, 2012
    A story about Jason Leopold, who’s an investigative reporter and author of “News Junkie.”

    6. What’s Going On? – Selected Shorts

    December 9, 2012
    “The Empty Room” by Jonathan Lethem and two stories (“Why Don’t You Dance?” and “Neighbors”) from Raymond Carver, on eof my favorite authors

    7. Mike Birbiglia: Sleepwalk With Me – The Moth

    August 27, 2012
    Mike Birgblia told the story of how his sleepwalking almost kills him at The Moth in 2008, and starred in the movie “Sleepwalk with Me,” which was released this year.

    8. Shorts: Wake Up and Dream – Radiolab

    January 23, 2012
    The stories of how lucid dreaming helps Steve Volk put an end to a nightmare he’s been having for 20 years and how a scientist provides evidence that he is lucid dreaming. (my post about this episode…)

    9. Some Other Sign that People Do Not Totally Regret Life – 99% Invisible

    July 25, 2012
    A story about the fusion of poetry and architecture.

    10. Jennefer Ludwigsen: Big Jim and Smokey Joe – Strangers

    March 22, 2012
    The story of how Jennefer Ludwigsen meets Smokey Joe while waitressing and how the discovery of a common interest in the P-51 Mustang brings Big Jim (her grandfather), Smokey Joe, and her together on an adventure in southern California and Las Vegas.(my post about this episode)
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