178 episodes

One lifetime is too short to visit everywhere and meet everyone. That‘s why we love books with a strong sense of place — they let us travel the world in our imagination. In each episode of our Strong Sense of Place podcast, we explore one destination and talk about what makes that place different from everywhere else. Then we recommend five books that took us to that place on the page. Every other week, we share The Library of Lost Time, a mini-pod that features two new books and our Distraction of the Week. We‘re on a trip around the globe, one great read at a time. Please join us!

Strong Sense of Place Realm

    • Arts
    • 4.8 • 42 Ratings

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

One lifetime is too short to visit everywhere and meet everyone. That‘s why we love books with a strong sense of place — they let us travel the world in our imagination. In each episode of our Strong Sense of Place podcast, we explore one destination and talk about what makes that place different from everywhere else. Then we recommend five books that took us to that place on the page. Every other week, we share The Library of Lost Time, a mini-pod that features two new books and our Distraction of the Week. We‘re on a trip around the globe, one great read at a time. Please join us!

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

    LoLT: Immersive Storytelling with the Chaos League and Two New Books

    LoLT: Immersive Storytelling with the Chaos League and Two New Books

    In this episode, we get excited about two books: Assassins Anonymous by Rob Hart and Hip-Hop is History by Quest Love. Then Mel delves into the immersive storytelling, cosplay, and fantastic settings of LARPing.

    Assassins Anonymous by Rob Hart

    Rob Hart’s Substack

    Hip-Hop is History by Quest Love

    Video: Quest Love on CBS Mornings


    Chaos League website

    Photos from a previous Sahara Expedition


    First-hand report from a previous experience of Miskatonic University


    Transcript of this episode.
    The Library of Lost Time is a Strong Sense of Place Production! https://strongsenseofplace.com
    Join our FREE Substack to get our (awesome) newsletter and join in chats with other people who love books and travel.
    Do you enjoy our show? Want access to fun bonus content? Please support our work on Patreon. Every little bit helps us keep the show going and makes us feel warm and fuzzy inside - https://www.patreon.com/strongsenseofplace
    As always, you can find us at:

    Our site

    Instagram

    Substack

    Patreon


    Parts of the Strong Sense of Place podcast are produced in udio! Some effects are provided by soundly.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 14 min
    New York City: NO! SLEEP! TILL BROOKLYN!

    New York City: NO! SLEEP! TILL BROOKLYN!

    Is New York City the world capital of… everything? It’s sure putting up a good effort.
    We could talk about how the New York Stock Exchange started under a tree (!) on Wall Street and how NYC is now the financial capital of the world. Billionaires, millionaires, blah blah blah. 
    Let’s talk about what really matters.
    Like… the best pizza and bagels in the world, the Met and the New York Public Library, art deco skyscrapers and bodega cats, Carnegie Hall, Broadway, Rockefeller Center, and that one place on the corner in Brooklyn with the best Polish pastries. 
    There’s the immediately identifiable New York accent and the 800 or so languages spoken by New Yorkers from all around the world. The City That Never Sleeps is the ultimate melting pot; we’re all better for it.
    New Yorkers are a unique breed who’ve changed the personality of the city over and over again. Dutch and British settlers named the place, immigrants made it cosmopolitan, the elite of the Gilded Age filled it with skyscrapers, and barriers were busted by the artists of the Harlem Renaissance. And let’s not forget the unnamed good samaritan on the subway who will warn you that the next station is closed so you need to transfer.
    In this episode, we grab an imaginary coffee to go in a ‘We Are Happy to Serve You’ cup and explore the ultimate bookish day in New York City. In Two Truths and a Lie, we meet the musicians of the Phantom of the Opera on Broadway and visit a Brooklyn store where you can buy a can of chutzpah. Then we recommend six great books that took us to New York City on the page, including two graphic novels, a love letter to ’90s Manhattan, a frothy family saga, historical fiction with a challenging heroine, and a collection of short stories from a master of fiction.
    Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan
    LaserWriter II by Tamara Shopsin
    Olga Dies Dreaming by Xóchitl González
    Hello, NY by Julia Rothman
    Roaming by Jillian and Mariko Tamaki
    Table for Two: Fictions by Amor Towles

    For more on the books we recommend, plus the other cool stuff we talk about, visit show notes.
    Sign up for our free Substack to connect with us and other smart, friendly people who love travel and books.
    Transcript of New York City: NO! SLEEP! TILL BROOKLYN!
    Do you enjoy our show? Do you want access to awesome bonus content? Please support our work on Patreon! Strong Sense of Place is an audience-funded endeavor, and we need your support to continue making this show. Get all the info you need right here. Thank you!
    Parts of the Strong Sense of Place podcast are produced in udio. Some effects are provided by soundly.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 1 hr 8 min
    LoLT: A Neat Trick For Managing Your Library and Two New Books

    LoLT: A Neat Trick For Managing Your Library and Two New Books

    In this episode, we get excited about two books: The Main Character by Jaclyn Goldis and The Ministry of Time by Kaliane Bradley. Then Dave shares a very cool phone trick for tracking your books.
    Links
    The Main Character by Jaclyn Goldis
    Video: Jaclyn Goldis on the Chris Voss Podcast
    The Ministry of Time by Kaliane Bradley
    Video: Kaliane Bradley’s first TV interview on Good Morning America
    Video: How to Convert Image to Text in iPhone & Android
    Transcript of this episode.
    The Library of Lost Time is a Strong Sense of Place Production! https://strongsenseofplace.com
    Join our FREE Substack to get our (awesome) newsletter and join in chats with other people who love books and travel.
    Do you enjoy our show? Want access to fun bonus content? Please support our work on Patreon. Every little bit helps us keep the show going and makes us feel warm and fuzzy inside - https://www.patreon.com/strongsenseofplace
    As always, you can find us at:

    Our site

    Instagram

    Substack

    Patreon


    Parts of the Strong Sense of Place podcast are produced in udio! Some effects are provided by soundly.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 9 min
    France: Mostly Here for the Butter

    France: Mostly Here for the Butter

    According to people in the know, there are two Frances: Paris and the rest of the (alluring, picturesque) country. In this episode, we’re celebrating the châteaux, coastlines, cathedrals, cuisine, mountains, and museums that give France its unique je ne sais quoi.
    It’s hard to argue with the notion that France offers the best of everything. From scenery and snacks to iconic art, world-changing history, and culture-shaping fashion, it’s practically ground zero for the good things in life. The light is golden. The wine is luscious. The cheese is heavenly, and the scenery is so beautiful, it makes the heart yearn. 
    You can take a road trip or a bike ride among the purple rivers of lavender fields in Provence or the gilt-and-green vineyards in Burgundy. Loll in the sun and splash in the sea along the Riviera — or tour a château where nobles ruled and romanced 500 years ago. Wander the streets and cafés that inspired Vincent Van Gogh, then relax under a shade tree with a perfect baguette and the world’s best butter.
    In this episode, we take a virtual road trip around France, explore the Bayeux Tapestry, and get curious about an obscure (and deeply romantic) French law. Then we recommend five great books that took us to France on the page.
    Clara Reads Proust by Stéphane Carlier, translated by Polly Mackintosh
    Joan by Katherine J. Chen
    Murder on the Île Sordou by M.L. Longworth
    A Woman of No Importance by Sonia Purnell
    Fresh Water for Flowers by Valérie Perrin, translated by Hildegarde Serle

    For more on the books we recommend, plus the other cool stuff we talk about, visit our show notes.
    Sign up for our free Substack to connect with us and other smart, friendly people who love travel and books.
    Transcript of France: Mostly Here for the Butter
    Do you enjoy our show? Do you want access to awesome bonus content? Please support our work on Patreon! Strong Sense of Place is an audience-funded endeavor, and we need your support to continue making this show. Get all the info you need right here. Thank you!
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 1 hr 8 min
    Our Top 10 Books from the First Five Seasons of Strong Sense of Place

    Our Top 10 Books from the First Five Seasons of Strong Sense of Place

    Since we launched Strong Sense of Place in 2020, we’ve produced five seasons — 56 episodes — of the show. We’ve also shared our affection for books through 101 episodes of The Library of Lost Time podcast — and we’ve introduced you to 500 books we love.
    Thanks to you, we’ve had over one million downloads (!) and, the best part of all, we feel like we’re part of a massive book club filled with the best people. Thank you for that!
    In this mini-episode, we each looked back through our book recommendations to find our top 10 titles from the first five seasons of the show. Maybe you’ll find your new favorites, too!
    Find all the book titles and the corresponding podcast episodes on our blog.
    Transcript of this episode.
    The Library of Lost Time is a Strong Sense of Place Production! https://strongsenseofplace.com
    Do you enjoy our show? Want access to fun bonus content? Please support our work on Patreon. Every little bit helps us keep the show going and makes us feel warm and fuzzy inside - https://www.patreon.com/strongsenseofplace
    As always, you can find us at:

    Our site

    Our FREE Substack

    Instagram

    Patreon


    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 32 min
    The 2024 ‘Ask Us Anything’ Episode: In Which We Answer Audience Questions

    The 2024 ‘Ask Us Anything’ Episode: In Which We Answer Audience Questions

    We recently invited our audience to ask us anything, and we got excellent questions in return. The queries ran the gamut from ‘What literary theme park would you design?’ to ‘How do you hope people relate to your show?’ and ‘Are you still thinking about developing tours of bookshops in Europe?’
    In this mini-episode, we answer those questions and more — including what we do if we find a great book after a show has aired, what the inside of our podcast recording booth looks like, and whether or not Dave is really 6’5". And, due to popular demand, we deliver an update on our cat Smudge.

    Links
    We answered other popular questions in previous editions of ‘Ask Us Anything,’ including how we met, whether or not we really love everything we recommend, previous jobs, and more. 
    2020 Ask Us Anything
    2021 Ask Us Anything
    Transcript of this episode.
    Do you enjoy our show? Want access to fun bonus content? Please support our work on Patreon. Every little bit helps us keep the show going and makes us feel warm and fuzzy inside - https://www.patreon.com/strongsenseofplace
    As always, you can find us at:

    Our site

    Instagram

    Patreon


    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 35 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
42 Ratings

42 Ratings

esveesea ,

I am library people.

Concept and delivery are beautiful. What keeps me attached to your show is 1. Your voices are perfectly synced, both have musical bouncy inviting bounces that seem to be designed for the worlds most engaging conversation 1a.) When Dave responds “yeah” when affirming Melissa 1b.) When Melissa laughs at something Dave says that surprises her. 2. The TBR goes dumb stupid crazy. 2a. I love how you organize your topics 3. You read books outside of what’s popular in the zeitgeist. You introduce topics and work that is representative of everyone. I’ve learned so much. 4. Libraries are the third spaces that raised me and your emphasis on visiting a local library is chefs kiss. That’s it. I hope you always find the perfect book every time you trace the spines of a thousand novels.

Wordden ,

Inspiring

I forwarded the Spain episode to our son before he and his new wife headed on their honeymoon in Europe. He was happy to inform me that he was reading his novel set in Barcelona (Shadow of the Wind) in Barcelona! I love your podcast and have made new converts. 😊

Marlisekelsey ,

Travel, books, and fun banter. It’s so fun to listen to!

I’m really enjoying this podcast. Strong Sense of Place is like a bookish travel chat with nerdy friends over a cup of tea. I love love it. And all the extras on their website after each episode is like dee diving into some of the most diverse and culturally rich places in the world. Go ahead and start from the beginning while working your way up to the newest releases.

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