Transcript / SSoP Podcast Season 6: Announcing 12 Fascinating Destinations

Transcript / SSoP Podcast Season 6: Announcing 12 Fascinating Destinations

Friday, 3 May, 2024

This is a transcription of ‘SSoP Podcast Season 6: Announcing 12 Fascinating Destinations’


[cheerful music]

Melissa: You heard that right. Friday. The Library of Lost Time and the Strong Sense of Place podcast episodes will both drop on Fridays from now on.

David: But probably not together. There’s going to be one or the other, just to be clear about that.

Melissa: Alternating Fridays.

David: Yes, hopefully that’ll ease you into your weekend with great books and some travel inspiration. Between now and May 24th, we have two special episodes coming up.

Melissa: First up is our Ask Us Anything episode. That’s next Friday the 10th. We’ll be answering questions from our listeners like, How is smudge and Who the heck do you guys think you are? And my personal favorite, How dare you?

David: And then on May 17th, we’ll count down our top ten books from the first five seasons. Each of us are going to talk about the books. We’d happily sit down and start reading again right now.

Melissa: Can I just say that working on that list caused me physical pain? Choosing ten was really hard. And then putting them in order? Impossible.

David: What was the number on your first draft?

Melissa: From every book I read in the first five seasons, I started out with 34, and that was by using very strict rules, which I will talk about when we do that episode.

David: The Library of Lost Time will return on May 31st, and then we’re going to have new episodes every other Friday until at least November.

Melissa: That’s right. November. We’re talking about May to November. Every time we put together a schedule, I’m like, Oh my gosh, that’s so long. Those six months, that feels impossible. Couldn’t possibly.

David: So season six, let’s talk about the destinations.

Melissa: We read your emails, we saw your suggestions on social media, we talked to our patrons, and we came up with a list of 137 destinations.

David: That ould take too long.

Melissa: That would be a really long season.

David: Yeah. So we put all of that information through the strong sense of place schedule of matic.

Melissa: I love the Strong Sense of Place Schedule-o-Matic. It does all my thinking for me.

David: Our fancy AI system applied rules about visiting every continent or region in the world, and weighed in with books we’ve been wanting to tell you about, and threw in a weighted analysis of significant world events and holidays and season six.

Melissa: I wish we actually had some kind of crazy machine that did that. That process was actually done by us sitting at the kitchen table and kind of banging our heads against it for a little while.

David: It happened so long ago that I like to just pretend a machine did it.

Melissa: A friendly robot, maybe? With a globe for a head. Oh, that’d be so cool.

[sound effects: Hello, I’m Charlotte. The Strong Sense of Place schedule-o-matic.]

Melissa: Anyway, we have an excellent lineup of nine geographic destinations and three themes.

David: So first up, May 24th. We are starting with France. Just in time for the Cannes Film Festival.

Melissa: Honestly, I think the reason we’re doing France is because of butter.

David: Yeah, yeah. We saw a video about how the best butter in the world is produced in a small town on the coast, and I think it unduly influenced us.

Melissa: It 100% did. Then on June 7th, we crossed the Atlantic to New York City.

David: There are way too many books with a strong sense of New York, but we put together a tight list of five or so we may have cheated.

Melissa: Are you cheating?

David: Maybe.

Melissa: Yeah. Shocking. Anyway, it’s an excellent excuse to share a recipe for homemade bagels.

David: Yes. You want to make sure you get that. On June 21st, we’re headed to our listeners number one pick for Asia: India.

Melissa: And then on July 5th, we blast off into space.

David: You’ve got a poem about that?

Melissa: I do. I have a favorite internet poem. It’s very short. Can I say it?

David: Yes.

Melissa: You are a ghost / driving a meat covered skeleton / made from stardust. Riding a rock / floating through space. Fear nothing.

David: Ooh, that’s really good. On July 19th, we are heading into the steppes of Mongolia.

Melissa: To hang out with falconers and sleep in a yurt. I think for that episode, we’re also going to go to the Prague Zoo because the Prague Zoo has special horses from Mongolia that they’ve been breeding here. And they actually just sent some of them back, reintroduce them to their native homeland.

David: I can’t interview a horse. [laughter] That’s absurd. On the 2nd of August, we’re headed to Norway, the land of the midnight sun. We were in Norway last summer. It was shockingly beautiful. All the rock and water and trees.

Melissa: We went on this adventure called the Fjord Safari. And we ate brown cheese.

David: We did. And we made friends with a fox and a bear. And we’ll tell you all about that in August.

Melissa: Next up is Panama on the 30th of August.

David: I think if you’re a certain age, it’s impossible to say that word without hearing the tune 100%.

Melissa: Yeah, this is actually the first time I’ve said Panama without singing it like Van Halen.

David: It keeps going off in my head. The guitar riff.

Melissa: Aside from the Canal and that Van Halen song, I really don’t know much about Panama and I’m excited to learn.

David: Yeah, the pictures are lovely though. On Friday, September 13th. We’ll be taking off our trench coats and hanging our fedora on the coat rack and walking into a detective agency.

Melissa: Am I the femme fatale in this one?

David: Absolutely.

Melissa: And then for a completely different vibe. On September 27th, we head to Saudi Arabia. Honestly, I think the reason we’re doing that is because I really want to read Hilary Mantel’s memoir from when she lived there.

David: Yeah. On the 11th of October, we’re headed to Brazil. We will dance the samba and drink caipirinha in the streets of Rio de Janeiro.

Melissa: And then it’s spooky season. On October 25th. We’ll explore cemeteries and graveyards.

David: It’s going to get creepy, but for sensitive listeners, we won’t only be doing scary books.

Melissa: And then we wrap up our season on November 8th with fall in Seattle. That was another really popular pick by our patrons.

David: Yeah, it was huge. And that’s season six.

Melissa: We are very excited about this new season and we hope you are too. If you want a reminder of these episodes, you can head to Strong Sense of We have a whole schedule posted there and beautiful pictures of every destination.

David: Also, if you have reading ideas for those destinations, let us know. We’re at Mel at Strong Sense of and Dave at Strong Sense of

Melissa: If you’d like to be reminded when we launch a new episode, join our mailing list that’s at strong sense of place dot com slash sign up.

David: Our new season starts May 24th. In the meantime, we’ll be here for an Ask Us Anything episode and our top ten countdown for the first five seasons. Thanks for listening and we’ll talk to you soon.

[cheerful music]


Top image courtesy of ArtisticOperations/Pixabay.

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