The One with the Nosy Krakow Socialite

Maryla Szymiczkowa, Mrs. Mohr Goes Missing (Polish 2015, English 2019)

When I first heard of a historical crime fiction set in Krakow, I was immediately intrigued. It’s not that often that Polish literature translated to English (or French) gives us some entertaining mysteries. At least, I haven’t heard of many. So I immediately added the book to my wishlist… and did nothing. Until Mr. Smithereens took the matter in his own hands (or rather my wishlist) and bought it for me as a Christmas present.

As the novel starts, Zofia Turbotinska is annoyed… and annoying. She’s the wife of a university professor (God forbid if you should forget it or state the wrong title) in 1893 Krakow. Not a very brilliant professor, to Zofia’s regret, but rather a shy little man who enjoys his dinners on time next to a beautiful wife in a beautiful home. And who will do anything to keep her happy, in the limits of what he deems proper for a woman. Zofia has already maneuvered (without him being aware) to get him the coveted professor title, but she wants more. And she’s bored.

Because she’s bored, she’s insufferable with her maids, and she tries to find any pretext to approach aristocratic ladies, including visiting some of them in a Catholic retirement home. When she gets there, an old wealthy widow has disappeared, found dead a few days later in an attic. While the authorities are quick to dismiss this death as due to old age, Zofia’s interest is awaken. She sees herself a detective as in the novels she enjoys reading and she pesters everyone around to answer all of her questions.

It’s a mystery full of humor, led by a main character who is a force of nature no one can resist. Zofia takes a little time to get used to, because she really comes off as an unpleasant snob at first. Fortunately, we get to understand the sources of her frustration and we get to see more than just a social climber and a name dropper. And Zofia Turbotinska is so much more interesting to follow when she has a mystery to solve than when she has nothing to do! I guess that might turn off some readers. The story itself is interesting and full of twists, although pacing was a bit sluggish in the middle. I kept wanting to understand more about the sociopolitical situation of Krakow at that period, because there are many allusions to historical events and real famous Polish people, but I didn’t find the chance and it didn’t hinder my reading.

This book obviously sets the stage for a series: I would be happy to read Zofia’s next adventures, as I guess the weaknesses of this first volume can easily be mended in the next ones.

Another tidbit of information is that Maryla Szymiczkowa is the pen name of two writers Jacek Dehnel and Piotr Tarczynski, who are both openly gay and in fact married to each other. I was a bit surprised to see it mentioned on the back cover of the book (after all, the marital status of a writer has never been a criteria for good literature), but seeing how gay rights are routinely trampled over in Poland, I’m rather glad to support these writers by reading their book… and the next?

Pod Review May 1-7

My impression of last week is rather blurry, but I’d say I didn’t spend a lot of time on podcasts. I was so busy with work and bad weather curtailed any time outside. Still, I tried two new-to-me shows and I was boosted by good news: one of my favorite show, Invisibilia, returned for a new season! Of course I had to download the first episode right away. Sadly, it was a bit disappointing, especially as they started by saying that the episode would feel uncomfortable to some. Basically, it was about racism causing wealth inequalities, and the idea of redistribution and reparations. Sorry, but as a European this caused me a massive eye-roll. So some folks in Vermont re-invented wealth tax, and also discovered that building it from scratch on a voluntary basis isn’t a miracle cure for poverty among black people? Mmh, I’m not shocked. But I remain a faithful fan of Invisibilia and will report soon about the next episode of the new season.

  • Counterjam by Food52: Breaking the Bento Box with Yumi Nagashima, G Yamazawa and Dan the Automator [new to me] I enjoy being thrown into a totally fresh area of interest. I’d never heard of those artists, and I enjoyed hearing about their Asian-American experience, especially in the context of recent racist events. (but that’s not the point of this episode at all)
  • 10 Things to tell you by Laura Tremaine: #114 How to feel like You (when you don’t) – a great encouraging episode if you feel discombobulated (don’t we all? At least, I do)
  • Science Vs. by Gimlet: Screens are they ruining our brains and mental health and eyes? I loved that episode as it debunked so many guilt-inducing myths! Strong recommend for parents.
  • Invisibilia S7E1 Eat the Rich – i’m so sorry Invisibilia
  • Radiolab The Septendecennial Sing-Along; a fascinating first sequence where a musician and a bird play music together.
  • 💙 Sorta Awesome #288 You need personal policies (here’s why). I have them, I need them, I love them.
  • Be there in Five by Kate Kennedy: Rachel Hollis and the Rose-colored Glass ceiling [new to me]
  • Science Vs. by Gimlet: Coronavirus, how scary are the variants? Lots of reassuring facts, but my fears aren’t yet fully assuaged by this show (I should get a second scoop of science… while impatiently waiting for my first shot of vaccine)
  • Best of Both Worlds by Laura Vanderkam and Sarah Hart-Unger: Email Extravaganza. Really, I didn’t learn much in the episode, I was curious to see how other professional women dealt with the massive influx of daily emails, but… hey, I guess I’m just normal and I deal relatively well, considering.

My favorite show this week is Sorta Awesome, where Meg Tietz and Rebekah Hoffer explain why personal policies are saving their sanity in many circumstances. I have started to use this concept last year or even 2 years ago, when I started to say “in our family, we…” (insert anything, from the lowly details of how to choose TP to sacro-saint screen-less dinners principles). At the onset of the pandemic, I used it to justify to my colleagues that I would no longer eat with them at the crowded canteen (that was in February 2020, a lifetime ago, back when I went somewhere to work 😉). The show gave me new ideas and I really want to implement them!

New-to-me shows: I heard of Counterjam through the Good Trade newsletter. It’s a show about food and music, and I never really thought about those two topics together! I’ll get back for more.

As for Be there in five, it’s quite another story. The show was recommended by Laura Tremaine on IG (they’d do a show swap) and at first I was willing to try, as I was curious about the Rachel Hollis debacle. Let’s just say I’d never been a Rachel Hollis fan from the start. But then, after starting the episode, I noticed that the show ran over 2 hours, and that there were 3 episodes of them! It goes against my personal policies to dedicate so much of my limited free time to long shows. For me, an ideal show runs about 45 minutes. And I don’t believe that Rachel Hollis deserves 6 hours of my time, sorry. Going through the backlist, I can’t see many topics by Kate Kennedy that interest me. I don’t think I’m in her target audience at all, so I’m going to pass.

Six Degrees of Separation – May

It’s May, let’s play! Six degrees of Separation is a game hosted by Kathy at Books are my Favourite and Best and the rule is easy: Start at the same place as other wonderful readers, add six books, and see where you end up.

I haven’t read the initial book this month: Beezus and Ramona by Beverly Cleary, but I’ve heard of Cleary through a lot of enthusiastic and nostalgic readers. The book is about two sisters, told from the big sis’ perspective. (Here I could have gone to Jane Austen’s Bennett sisters, but I took another option because five sisters were just too many)

(1) It’s a bit of a stretch but it made me think of the Hong Kong book Second Sister by Chan Ho-kei, where the big sister, who has become the head of the household, investigates the death of her little sister. This story has a lot of internet stalking in it… (Here I could have taken any women-stalking-serial-killer route, like the one in “In a Lonely Place” by Dorothy B. Hughes, but I wanted to keep the computer hacker idea)

(2) Which made me think of I See You by Clare Mackintosh, where an ordinary suburban mother is stalked through internet as she takes her commuting train, just like another victim… (Here I could have jumped on the “Girl on the Train” bandwagon, but I took another option because I only saw the movie and didn’t like it so much)

(3) Another British woman waiting for her train would be Joan Scudamore from “Absent in the Spring” by Agatha Christie writing as Mary Westmacott. She’s stuck in the middle of the desert and the train is not coming, delayed by bad weather, and the proper Mrs. Scudamore descends into a full-blown break-down (Here I could have gone to any Agatha Christie bestseller, but I didn’t want to go the cozy British village route)

(4) I preferred another book with a break-down in the desert: “The Sheltering Sky” by Paul Bowles. I’m pretty sure that if Mrs. Scudamore and Kit and Port would have ended up in the same hotel in the desert, they would have ignored each other completely, as they could not have more different views on traveling and experiencing foreign cultures. (Here I could have gone to any travel account, possible one from Nicolas Bouvier, my French-speaking favorite travel writer, but I feared that it would lead me to a dead-end)

(5) And so I chose “Goodbye to Berlin” by Christopher Isherwood instead. Because of Sally Bowles, who shares the family name with the previous writer, and Paul Bowled indeed knew Christopher Isherwood in Berlin in the early 1930s. There are so many books set in the interwar period in Berlin, and Philip Kerr immediately came to mind, but I didn’t want to finish a game that started with someone as nice and good as Beverly Cleary with Nazis, so I went for a Berlin book set at a later period.

(6) I chose “Red Love“, a memoir about growing up in East Berlin, by Maxim Leo, a memorable book about family life in the German Democratic Republic (as in: on the bad side of the Berlin wall). In my memory, Max Leo is a single boy, very unlike the sisters Beezus and Ramona, but he has a challenging personality, slowly learning how to ask hard questions to the adults around him.

This game made me travel round the world, from Oregon to Hong Kong, from London to Africa, and finally landing in Berlin! I’m afraid I took this children’s classics towards dark and possibly immoral directions. Where would you land?

Pod Review April 24-30

Tomorrow is international labor day, which seems wasted on a lock-down Saturday, but the tradition here is to buy or offer lily-of-the-valley for luck, and this year’s fresh little pod smells delicious ! Yesterday, the President announced the agenda for reopening the country, which is an excellent antidote to gloom. I remain cautious as I can’t get vaccinated for quite a while still, but we have some reasons to feel unstuck.

  • West Cork Episodes 9 to 13: And so I completed the series, but it didn’t end in a climax. On the contrary it sort of stalled in an impasse. The French family of the victim wanted to have the trial in France (and I couldn’t help but wincing at the way the podcasters explain French law) and the main suspect remained all too present in the small village where the murder took place. Too bad the podcast was finished when France actually condemned the suspect in absentia. It is clearly a good show but the pacing is an issue.
  • Rough Translation “How to speak bad English”; about native speakers and the rest of the world, who has learnt English at school. It made me laugh out loud to learn that ESL people can communicate just perfectly whenever a native speaker is not in the room, and that things go south when the British or the American comes in. I would say that this is a rather angelic view, as I work all day long in English with non-native speakers. I don’t mind any accent, but bad grammar and poor vocabulary doesn’t help international communication at all.
  • Sorta Awesome #289 We’re obsessed: Gifts for moms and more! I’ll have to check the show notes especially where stationery and face masks were mentioned (I don’t like to throw the word “obsessed” everywhere, but I can’t deny I’m a stationery addict)
  • Things you can’t ask yer mum S3E1 [new to me] I read about this podcast in the “Good Trade” newsletter. Yes it’s British, and this episode was an Agony aunt for 20-something people. I didn’t feel really invested, but I’ll try again as the two hosts seemed kind and fun.
  • Floodlines by The Atlantic Part 2: Come Sunday. Completely addictive, but I want to pace myself because it’s hard to listen to.
  • 💙 This American Life #736 The Herd. The tagline was “what happens when your own community suddenly turns on you?”, but I feel that it didn’t reflect the episode. It’s more about trusting the doctors and health authorities in times of Covid.

Not very surprising coming from me, my favorite episode this week is (once again) This American Life‘s, because it started with a topic I’d thought I head a million times before and turned my expectation on its head. How people don’t trust any authorities anymore, how some American people made fun of Fauci, bullied health officials or even attacked them and willfully ignored facts while the world spiraled into the epidemics. And yet I came out of the episode more hopeful than I’d ever thought. There was a focus group full of people who’d said they distrusted vaccines and would not get the Covid shot. After a few rounds of arguments, suddenly they flipped. Their previous antivax convictions were shaken by a combination of facts and emotional stories, and it was the miracle treatment to convince them! I held my breath listening to this moment, it was so good.

The One with the Swedish Anonymous Killer

Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö, The Man on the Balcony (1967)

It was only one month ago that I finished reading #8 in the series and that I resolved to be more intentional if I wanted to complete the whole series. And I do want it very much! (all the more as the last series I’d completed was not a huge success, in a whole other genre). But within a few weeks, what a change of tone! The book I read in March was a lot of fun with literally LOL moments, this one is chilling and rather stark.

The book starts with a daily, ordinary scene in Stockholm. While people go about their daily business and kids go out to school or to the park, a man just looks down at the street from his balcony. Nothing more. But as we know we’re reading a police investigation, we just wonder where the blow will come from and expect the worse from any ordinary character.

And so we should. In this rather short book, Beck and his colleagues are confronted with a senseless murder and no clues whatsoever. Someone has attacked, raped and murdered a little girl in a park, and nothing can point to the murderer. The police are clueless and can only resort to the feeblest attempts by rounding up the usual suspects, by making more rounds in the various parks of the city, but they’re really looking for the proverbial needle in the haystack. The worst is that police can only secretly hope that there will be another murder to find more clues. Martin Beck’s colleagues, who seemed so stupid and grotesque in the book I read before (and which is a later installment of the series), are now tragic figures who are all too aware of their powerlessness. They sift through telephone calls in search for the tiniest clue, and we witness how ungrateful this effort is and how little it yields. Just like Roseanna which I read many years ago, the resolution will come by a combination of sheer luck and good memory. Which is not very comforting.

This book, which is rather early in the series, is less politically-heavy handed than the later ones and it was nice. The authors clearly want to denounce the Swedish society from the 1960s where people live in anonymous large buildings without knowing, or caring for their neighbors, and where petty crime is growing. But to me people in this book, besides the tension created by the plot itself, seemed rather carefree and reasonably content. Is it the Swedish character? I’m not sure, but I look forward to reading the rest of the remaining books.

The One with the Feminist Radical Humor

Nicole-Lise Bernheim, Mersonne ne m’aime (French, 1978)

I have wondered if I should mention this book in this blog, and if so, how. It is not that this book presents anything remotely shameful, on the contrary. But it is completely, fully untranslatable, and if I attempt to explain how funny it is, I will get lost in a flurry of explanations that will be completely un-funny. This book is quintessentially French, and will surely never be translated into English. Anyway, here am I.

This book found its way into my husband’s hands in mysterious ways, as he has very eclectic reading tastes. He then had a good laugh and put it on my nightstand as soon as he’d finished it. It reminds me of another great parody mystery set in the 1970s, The seventh function of language by Laurent Binet, but the difference is that Binet’s book was published in 2015, while this one was published in the late 1970s. Far from being nostalgic, it really speaks of contemporary trends and characters and makes fun of them. I don’t think it was a huge bestseller at the time and now only few copies are still to be found.

Set in Paris in the 1970s, it is a feminist humorous sketch, in a domain that often takes itself very, very seriously. It portrays famous feminist figures and organizations, and it makes fun of it with endless puns and silly situations. Simone de Beauvoir is here renamed Brigitte de Savoir (meaning “knowledge”), the structuralist philosopher Michel Foucault makes a cameo as Foulcan (Get-the-F-out), etc. Even more sacrilegious, the book starts with the murder of said Brigitte de Savoir, whose lifeless body is discovered by a lowly female traffic warden who wanted to issue a ticket on her car.

Beyond name dropping of famous 1970s figures that have or have not remained famous nowadays, the book is not so much about a traditional mystery plot but about playing with words. Any word containing a reference to the patriarchy is replaced by a feminine equivalent. As you may know “père” in French means “father”, but “per” is a very common syllable, to be found in “person” for example. The title itself is a transformation from father to mother in the sentence “no per-son loves me”. The reading experience is not very fluid, but it is indeed memorable.

Last week, I listened to a Radiolab podcast episode about Facebook’s “Supreme court” that would give an advice on what is acceptable or not. Humor, especially when it addresses the topic of gender, is often challenged in those instances, because what one person finds funny may not be another person’s tastes. In my opinion, this book is very daring in its humor, but also radically feminist and completely respectful, a rare combination when it comes to sensitive topics.

Pod Review April 17-23

I may have some other shows in my list but the truth is that this week I went on a West Cork binge, especially as I had some time off work and the weather was good. I had heard about this true-crime podcast a few years back when it was only accessible through Audible, but now you can get it from anywhere. I let the kids loose in the woods or on their scooter and I followed with my earbuds in. West Cork proved to be different from what I expected. It’s less about the crime itself and the victim and more about an investigation that got incredibly bungled from the start and that only went from bad to worse. I can’t make my mind about the one suspect that the small Irish village believes guilty, but whose case the police can’t seem to close for good. I’m nearing the end of the series, so I’ll be able to tell you next week if the series delivers all its promises.

  • Change ma vie by Clotilde Dusoulier #178 The Skills to change
  • West Cork Episodes 1 to 11 [new to me]
  • Articles of Interest by 99% Invisible #1 Kids’ Clothes [new to me]
  • Rough Translation “We already belong”: A conversation with R.O. Kwon
  • Sorta Awesome #286 Three-steps Awesome Skincare
  • Radiolab Facebook’s Supreme Court
  • The Improvement Association #2 “Where is your choice?”
  • The Lazy Genius #202 Revisiting your morning routine
  • Edit Your Life #229 Reviving & rethinking friendships, gave me lots to think about for after lockdown
  • Floodlines #1 Antediluvian; about hurricane Katrina [new to me]
  • A drink with a friend: Morning routine: way too religious to my taste, I don’t think this podcast is for me anymore.

If you’re not into true crime, Radiolab’s episode on Facebook was really fascinating and full of nuances. How to regulate what can or can’t be shown on social media is no easy task, and apparently even a bevy of international experts could not speak with one voice.

The One with the Genial Laziness

Kendra Adachi, The Lazy Genius Way: Embrace What Matters, Ditch What Doesn’t, and Get Stuff Done (2020)

I was genuinely excited when I heard from Instagram and podcasts that this book was out, as I’m following its author on social media. I received it at the end of year, started almost immediately the first few pages, and then… I put it on a shelf where it lingered for months. It didn’t stop me from watching some more IG videos and listening to her podcast, but I had some difficulty to sustain the bubbly enthusiasm of Kendra Adachi when reading it on paper. I bet the audio-book experience is much more fun, as I realize much of what makes the message interesting is in Kendra Adachi’s personality.

The principles behind the catchy sentence of “Lazy Genius” are simple enough. They focus on women (especially mothers, but not only) who are perfectionists and are on the eternal quest for the one miracle step-by-step routine to have it all together. And when they fail they blame themselves and go to the next system. But Kendra Adachi reminds us that it is not the “how” but the “why” that makes a routine successful.

What I enjoyed:

  • the friendly and humorous voice
  • the author is not prescriptive but lets every reader defines her own priorities, her method is suited to almost every situation or phase of life
  • there are some very moving pages about authenticity
  • the book is both practical and philosophical
  • I’ve tried it and it works (which is the whole point, I guess)

What I didn’t enjoy so much:

  • the target reader is an American Christian suburban stay-at-home mother, and I’m definitely not in those categories, so many examples didn’t talk to me, but the principles are still applicable
  • the book seem to repeat itself at some points, it’s the kind of read that is best when you dip in and out for a quick few pages once in a while
  • too religious in the few last chapters, I didn’t come for that
  • many ideas are not fundamentally new or ground-breaking per se, I guess that it’s the combination of them that make this system successful

I’m afraid this is once more a case of expectations set too high, especially for books written by bloggers / podcasters / social media influencers. It doesn’t make the book terribly bad, and I’ll probably follow some of its advice, but I’d have been content with the Cliffnotes version, or a long Youtube video series. Still, a comforting self-help book which proves useful without being judgmental is well worth a quick read.

The One in 1937 Beijing

Paul French, Midnight in Peking: How the Murder of a Young Englishwoman Haunted the Last Days of Old China (2012)

I sadly don’t remember exactly where I first heard of this book, but I suspect that it might be on the Sinina podcast. Someone spoke of or wrote about this book in glowing terms, and I’m quite grateful that it put me on the scent of this true-crime-meets-history-book. I rarely read true crime books (as you may know that I read little non-fiction anyway), but this one fascinated me, not by the criminal aspect per se, but for the historical and social depth it provided. It made 1937 Peking alive again, and it’s no small feat. You can hear the noises, smell the street food and see the fancy hotels as well as the most sordid slums and bars.

I lived in Beijing (that’s how we’re supposed to spell Peking) for several years in the early 2000s and I never even heard of the foreign legation quarters. (That I didn’t hear about this particular murder is not surprising, given that’s it’s more of a footnote of history). It’s not that the Chinese capital is totally oblivious of its past… it’s rather that it’s very selective about it. The Forbidden Palace, yes, the Temple of Heaven, yes. Everything that celebrates the grandiose past of the Chinese capital is preserved. Some carefully preserved old neighborhoods where tourists can do tours, as well. In the Old Summer palace, there are signs in front of ruins reminding that the French and British troops are responsible for this destruction in 1860 and in 1900. But the fact that foreigners did live in Peking in an enclosed neighborhood as late as 1937? I’d never even thought about it. A short note at the end of the book mentions that the cemetery for foreigners, where the young girl at the center of this investigation was buried, has been replaced by the Second ring road: I believe it says a lot, and I can only credit the writer for his thorough investigation.

Pamela Werner was a British high school student who studied at a boarding school for foreigners in Tientsin, but she came back to her father’s home in old Peking for the winter break. On one night in January, as the Chinese are preparing for the Chinese New Year celebrations and the Russians celebrate their own festival, she goes to the skating ring to meet with friends, but fails to come back home. Her body will be found the next morning in an awful state.

The murder of a foreigner, and a young girl at that, was a shock for the foreign community in Peking and was a nightmare for the Chinese police who had to deal with diplomacy as well as the investigation, which was led conjointly with a British policeman sent from Tientsin. The investigation didn’t lead to any arrest, and Pamela’s father later launched into his own investigation and arrived to his own conclusion, based on very dubious confessions by very dubious people. Whether you believe it or not is entirely your choice, and I don’t think that I was 100% convinced by French’s theory, even though he presented it convincingly.

1937 Beijing was on the brink of disaster. The Japanese forces were increasingly present and arrogant (the murder occurred a mere 6 months before the Marco Polo bridge incident which marked the beginning of the war). Countless Russian refugees who had fled the Soviets at the onset of the 1917 Revolution were at the end of their tethers and lived in abject poverty, prostitution and drug trafficking. One single dead girl, however horrific were her circumstances, soon weighed little when war started and most foreigners left the country.

This book highlighted my selective ignorance of some part of the history of China and Beijing. I’m even more curious to find some social history of 20th China, which would counterbalance my knowledge which is far too centered on very high-level events.

Pod Review April 10 – 16

The kids are in spring break, but we parents are working remotely and the lock-down is still on, so we are still all cooped-up at home. A bit of cabin fever is noticeable, to be honest, all the more as the temperatures have dropped. In that case, I’m all about baking some comfort food, and presently vanilla rice pudding with real vanilla pods I’d been saving for… for a pandemic, I guess? Baking and cooking in my book go hand in hand with podcasts.

Last week I was hitting a podcast slump, but this week, I received an email from Serial productions, and they’re releasing a new season, centered on election fraud! It’s called The Improvement Association, and of course I had to download the first episode right away. Good news! I’m forever a fan of Serial season 1, and I know that whatever they come up with is always impeccably produced. I am not unbiased reviewer as I feel that I could listen to Sarah Koenig and her friends recite the telephone book (which is the type of joke that gives away my age, I’m well aware).

  • Sorta Awesome #287 Revealing readerly confessions
  • Rough Translation presenting “It’s been a minute”: White supremacy and its online reach
  • Edit your life #228 How to be an adult
  • BBC World Service: Death in Ice Valley. Ep. 1: The Isdal Woman. I don’t quite know how I heard of this true crime podcast from 2018, but it’s too slow for my taste [new to me]
  • Science Vs. How Science created morons
  • The Opportunist: Sherry Shriner Ep.1 Internet Prophet. About a weird woman who created an online cult… The verdict is still out there, I will listen to the next episode to have a better opinion about this story. [new to me]
  • This American Life #734 The campus tour has been cancelled. Which is not about campus tour, but about the impact of the pandemic-related decision to cancel the SAT to enter college. Surprisingly interesting
  • The Improvement Association Chapter 1: The big shadoo; all you need to know about the series is here. As always, it’s a multi-layered investigation with memorable characters. [new to me… and to everybody else]
  • 💙 Gimlet Crime Show: Scums.xls on debt scammers and a guy who is obsessed about uncovering who is actually running the scams [new to me]
  • BBC: The Ratline: I heard about this podcast from a book that’s on offer on Amazon kindle, and yes I bought the book. It’s the story of a Nazi war criminal who escaped justice and found all kind of support to stay under the radar for years, until he met an untimely death in Italy. [new to me]

The last two podcasts of the list are a few which are not available everywhere. Gimlet’s Crime show is on Spotify only, and The Ratline is on BBC Sounds app. They are both very good, and I will even give the Gimlet’s my favorite of the week star, as I’m not far enough into the new Serial season to review it properly. I don’t really like when contents are not available across platforms, as this limit where and when I can listen to it. With 4 new shows this week, I have the feeling that I’ve beaten my podcast slump for now!