Transcript / SSoP Podcast Season 5: Announcing 12 Exciting Destinations

Transcript / SSoP Podcast Season 5: Announcing 12 Exciting Destinations

Monday, 30 January, 2023

This is a transcription of ‘SSoP Podcast Season 5: Announcing 12 Exciting Destinations’


[cheerful music]

David: Hello and welcome to a special edition of Strong Sense of Place. We are here today to announce the beginning of our fifth season. Season five starts Monday, February 6th. If you’re listening to this episode on the day we released it, that is a one week from today.

Melissa: So now we’re going to walk you through the destinations that we’ll be covering over the next six months. We polled our patrons for destinations they wanted us to cover and boy, did they come through.

David: They did. And then we put all of that information through the Strong Sense of Place schedule-o-matic and our fancy AI system applied rules about visiting every continent or region on the world and weighed in with books we’ve been wanting to tell you about, and through an awaited analysis of important world events and holidays and — Season five.

Melissa: We now have an exciting list of nine geographical destinations and three themes.

David: So first up, February 6th, episode one, Spain.

Melissa: The very complicated, serious reason we’re talking about Spain is that we just went there in October, and we have things we want to tell you about it.

David: It was really fun. We had a good time. And then on February 20th, we’re getting curious about New Orleans. We’re going to cover New Orleans because February 21st is Mardi Gras. Then on March 6th, we will cover Jamaica.

Melissa: I have to say that one of the books I’m reading for Jamaica is the kind of book that makes me happy we’re doing this Strong Sense of Place project. I would never have picked up this book for myself based on the description, but I’m listening to the audiobook and it’s read by the author and it is fantastic. I can’t wait to share this book with people.

David: Episode four is bookshops because everybody loves bookshops.

Melissa: And then on April 3rd, we’re going to Sri Lanka for our Asian destination. Sri Lanka got put into consideration because there’s a very well-reviewed book I’m considering for the episode. But if I’m completely honest, we’re also covering Sri Lanka because Duran Duran set three iconic videos there in the eighties and I’ve been obsessed since I was 16.

David: I don’t think I knew that was why we were covering Sri Lanka.

Melissa: It was my secret.

David: After Sri Lanka, our 50th Strong Sense of Place episode airs. It is Lebanon. We chose Lebanon as our Middle East destination because Mel’s families From there.

Melissa: My great great grandmother, who I called Sitti, is from a village called Toula up in the mountains.

David: On May 1st. We get to London, in part because Charles’ coronation is that week.

Melissa: And also because our patrons were clamouring for us to cover London, and that seemed like a perfect confluence of events.

David: Also, I’ve heard that London has a little bit of a literary scene.

Melissa: Interesting.

David: I haven’t heard much, but I’m excited to learn more.

Melissa: Then in mid-May, we’re taking a trip in our imaginations, to Maine.

David: Yeah, we kick off the summer on the east coast of the US. Maine is ranked high with our Patreon group every season. It is not just Stephen King.

Melissa: There’s also Murder, She Wrote.

David: There are other books to read there.

Melissa: Next up is the theater, which has such good books, it’s going to be really hard to choose the ones we talk about.

David: I have already picked some good candidates for this episode. I’m excited to read them.

Melissa: And our theatre episode is going to come out just about a week before the Tony Awards so you can get in the mood.

David: After that, we’re going to do our African episode. We are headed to Kenya, home of the Big Five. Kenya is one of the most popular safari destinations in the world. And then June 26th —

Melissa: Argentina.

David: Home of the Tango and Evita and Patagonia. And we haven’t been to South America since our Peru episode in season two.

Melissa: Covering Argentina also gives me an excuse to sneak in a manor house story.

David: Always looking for an excuse for a manor house story.

Melissa: 100%. And finally, we wrap up the season and send you into the summer with amusement parks. Dave is very excited about reading for amusement parks.

David: It’s true.

Melissa: I’m excited about all the popcorn I’m going to eat while I read the books. Maybe some lemonade.

David: Oh, caramel apples, maybe some ice cream. And that’s season five.

Melissa: We are super excited about it, and we hope you are too. If you want a reminder of these episodes, you can head over to where we have the whole schedule posted and beautiful photos of each destination.

David: Also, if you have reading ideas for these destinations, drop us an email. We’re at and

Melissa: And if you’d like to be reminded when we launch a new episode, join our mailing list. That’s at

David: Our new season starts February 6th. Thanks for listening, and we’ll talk to you soon.

[cheerful music]


Top image courtesy of Birger Strahls/Unsplash.

Want to keep up with our book-related adventures? Sign up for our newsletter!

keep reading

Imagine it: a day devoted to reading one great book. Squishy clothes, comfort food, and page after page of an utterly involving story. You can make it happen with just a little prep work; we'll show you how.
If reading makes us more empathetic, then reading books in translation gives us super-empathy. In these beautifully translated stories, you'll meet unforgettable characters and expand your reading world.
When your day has demanded too much of you or your list of household chores is just too long, let an experienced storyteller work their magic. You'll turn your day around and take a virtual journey to somewhere else.
An engaging story that's well-told is one of life's great pleasures. And a story that meanders with good intentions into backstories and side stories and related stories? Well, that's the very best kind of word sorcery.
On our show, we only tell you about books we love. But some stories are so transportive, they're not just recommended, they're life-changing and unforgettable. Here the books that had Mel feeling all kinds of ways.
On our show, we tell you about books we love. But some stories are so powerful, we want to put them into every reader's hands so they can experience the magic, too. Here are the books that made that impact on Dave.

sharing is caring!

Can you help us? If you like this article, share it your friends!

our mission

Strong Sense of Place is a website and podcast dedicated to literary travel and books we love. Reading good books increases empathy. Empathy is good for all of us and the amazing world we inhabit.

our patreon

Strong Sense of Place is a listener-supported podcast. If you like the work we do, you can help make it happen by joining our Patreon! That'll unlock bonus content for you, too — including Mel's secret book reviews and Dave's behind-the-scenes notes for the latest Two Truths and a Lie.

get our newsletter

Join our Substack to get our FREE newsletter with podcast updates and behind-the-scenes info join in fun chats about books and travel.

no spoilers. ever.

We'll share enough detail to help you decide if a book is for you, but we'll never ruin plot twists or give away the ending.

super-cool reading fun
reading atlas

This 30-page Reading Atlas takes you around the world with dozens of excellent books and gorgeous travel photos. Get your free copy when you subscribe to our newsletter.

get our newsletter
Sign up for our free Substack!
follow us

Content on this site is ©2024 by Smudge Publishing, unless otherwise noted. Peace be with you, person who reads the small type.