Pick of the podcasts: December 11

Notable podcast episodes worth making time for this week. See also:  At the Movies, Chefs & Foodies, Talking Books, and the live events calendar.

Love and War
bergdahl_signBreakout podcast Serial kicks off its long-awaited second season, as host Sarah Koenig and filmmaker Mark Boal zoom in on the story of U.S. Army private Bowe Bergdahl, who walked off his base in Afghanistan one night and ended up a prisoner of the Taliban for 5 years. Is he a deserter? Why hasn’t he spoken up? play-video-button [44 mins] … Also new: The Modern Love Podcast from The New York Times and WBUR in Boston will retell stories of love and relationships from the Times column over the past 11 years, with celebrity readers and follow-up conversations. Introduction play-video-button [2 mins]

Short Takes

mark zuckerberg priscilla chanFacebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan pledged to give away 99% of their Facebook stock, worth $45 billion, and set up a novel business arrangement to do it. NPR play-video-button [3.5 mins]  … A few licks and backstage stories about The Beatle’s “Drive My Car” to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Rubber Soul,  one of the top five rock albums of all time. play-video-button [12 mins] 

Deep Dives

podcasts climate change

It’s not just Donald Trump.  Lies, Lies, Lies speaks to a time-honored habit of our politicians in On the Media play-video-button [51 mins] … As climate talks continue in Paris,  To the Best of Our Knowledge talks to scientists and activists including Stewart Brand, who explains why nuclear energy deserves another look (15:00 mark), and an optimistic Al Gore. play-video-button [51 mins] … From a Green perspective, Sierra Club talks with author-activist Gabriel Metcalf about Reinventing Cities with car-sharing, co-ops and community land trusts. play-video-button [27 mins]

Just Business

startup podcast

If the Paris climate conference produces an agreement, what would it mean for Wall Street? Money Talking reports play-video-button [7 mins] … Startup, Gimlet’s podcast about starting a podcast business, looks itself in the mirror as it decides to raise $6 million from outside investors.  play-video-button [35 mins] 

Best of 2015

best of 2015

Sound Opinions hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot pick their top albums of the year play-video-button [60 mins, start at 4:00] … Inside the New York Times Book Review editors explain how they chose their 10 best books of 2015 play-video-button [first 15 mins] … From the new Conde Nast Traveler Travelogue, Readers’ Choice Awards for best hotels, resorts, islands and beaches play-video-button [29 mins]

Live Events Calendar

December 31 – Chicago – Chicago Amplified, WBEZ’s New Years party starts at 8pm at Mayne Stage with stories from The Moth More information

January 22, 23, 24 – New York City – Welcome to Nightvale Live Show: The Investigators. 8pm (doors open 7pm) at El Teatro @ El Museo Del Barrio, 1230 East 5th Street. $35. More information and tickets

January 27 – New York City – Death, Sex, and Money. Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway, New York, NY 10025. Host Anna Sale leads a night of stories inspired by the podcast. Tickets

Please send comments and suggestions.