17 September 2008

My literary podcasts

Being the bookworm that I am , I have a range of literary podcasts that I listen to usually when I workout :

Here they are :
This twice a week podcast features some interesting authors and chat with them..
From across the ocean, Simon Mayo and a book review panel discuss and dissect 2 books per week .Its funny to hear 'Sarah Palin' mentioned in conjunction with 'Breaking dawn' hearoine (Stephanie Meyer's book) ..It just shows how notorious she has become in such a short time..was it only the labor day weekend before which no one even knew who Sara Palin was ??
Every week Book review editor Sam Tanenhaus talks about books, authors, current best-sellers and other sundries happening in book world. Fast paced overview of the book world.
Michael Silverblat, the show's host and guiding spirit talks to established , new or emerging authors every week with particular insight on the their works..the host has his own thoughtful and philosophical style that I found a bit slow at start but really started to admire henceforth..
This podcast show introduced me to Mavis Gallant and I shall remain eternally greatful for that..
Every week , New yorker invites one of its current authors to pick and read a short story of their own liking..Both the author reading and being read reveal a lot about their works and thoughts..
A weekly conversation about whats new in the New Yorker . Touches on various current issues with the New Yorker contributing authors.
In the inimitable style of Neda Ulaby , this weekly podcast invites authors to read from and discuss their works.
I particularly liked the Bastard of Istanbul, Enchantress of Florence , An age of American self loathing and so on..
The host and studio audience hear and talk to world famous authors once a month.
Isabel Allende's interview was such a beautiful dialogue that I could just go on listening to it ...

10 September 2008

Do your bit

You think about contributing in some ways and the doors open one by one...
I found 'Bloggers Launch TrainforHumanity.org Humanitarian Initiative' today ..do take time to read, think , assimilate and do your bit :
Over the past five years, 200,000 civilians have died due to violence, malnutrition, and disease in Darfur and an additional 2.2 million people have been displaced. We want to do something about it.

Fed up with watching humanitarian crises on the evening news and not doing anything to help, a group of bloggers (most notably, Leo Babauta of Zen Habits) have created and founded the non-profit Train for Humanity, which is an online humanitarian awareness and fundraising organization.

Over 150,000 new blogs are added to the internet everday. Train for Humanity’s mission is to utilize the web, social media, and blogging, in tandem with athletes in training, to support organizations that help prevent suffering and alleviate the pain of children, orphans, and refugees who have been displaced due to genocide or internal strife and war within their country.

Quite simply, they believe - getting fit + social media + blogging = social good

The three pilot project athlete-bloggers, Mark Hayward, Dan Clements, and Leo Babauta are hoping to raise awareness for the current crisis in Darfur and funds for the organization Darfur Peace and Development. All three are training for endurance events of varying distances ranging from a triathlon to a marathon.

They hope to show people that with a little creativity and innovation, anyone can assist and make a difference in the world. If you would like to learn more, have a look at the Train for Humanity website and please consider sponsoring one of them or spreading the word.


My stomach is churning

since yesterday when I read about the polls favoring Mccain-Palin..I feel physically sick ...my husband's birthday was just a dull day...I feel doomed..and I hope I am wrong...

and let me tell you - I am a non-american person working here in USA, I cannot vote , I cannot claim to be an expert in politics but I do understand that Mccain - Palin to repeat a cliche, will be more of a same or worse since Palin will be one step away from presidency..what will she do if such a situatin arises ? Ban abortion ? Ban books ? Are we moving ahead in the 21st century or backwards ? Since when did war became a word from God ??

I am not so naive to assume that Obama is an answer to everything and all the problems in the country will go away if he is elected..but atleast he does not seem to a bible-thumping, self -righteous prig to me..and the party, the democrats stand for liberal values which do resonate with me...

I cannot express or expound on all the thoughts going on in my head right now..but it is with a disbelief that I am looking at this situation right now, as I did 4 years back when Bush was re-elected..

 I  dont know if I should distance myself from this political process..shut my eyes and ears and my brain..how else will I survive the next 8 weeks ?? I cannot change anything anyway...

Im not sure I can do that though...I cannot be aloof from what is going on around me..even as an observer..

I am perversely attracted to every political tid-bit on the internet and I am a zombie from trawling all those news sites...so guess I am doomed till November and I shall be keeping my fingers crossed and praying with my eyes tightly shut (its more effective that way ) that American people make the right decision and take this country back to the right path of being the great nation that it was....

09 September 2008

My International Literacy day participation

Today , listening to the book podcast on KCRW bookworm, I thought I should contribute to this effort, which brings me so many author's voices and such thoughtful and gentle voice from the host - Michael Silverblatt.
So , thats one of the things..I will go home and donate to this literary endeavor ..<since all the KCRW sites are blocked from my office :( >
Two, is getting a kindle (as a gift) counted as a literacy pursuit..I guess I could..since it allows me to read more :-)
Thirdly, I thought I would read some good book yesterday , but I was not in a mood..was a bit low ...cause of which is thought for another post...
Lastly , the Booker shortlist is announced and it has one of the books that Ive been dying to read - Amitav Ghosh's 'Sea of Poppies' .. I shall renew my efforts to get hold of it ...The full list is :   
  • The Clothes on Their Backs by Linda Grant
  • A Fraction of the Whole by Steve Toltz
  • The Northern Clemency by Philip Hensher
  • Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh
  • The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry
  • The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga

Happy International Literacy day !

Today is International Literacy Day and this year's slogan is "Literacy is the best remedy" .. linking good health to literacy !
I was inspired to celebrate and found this on the internet <courtesy http://www.nifl.gov/nifl/literacy_day/ild_local.html>

Suggested Activities for Individuals

  • Take a field trip to a local literary landmark.
  • Learn about and support local literacy projects.
  • Join a book discussion group.
  • Develop a home library.
  • Sponsor a child in a reading program.
  • Give a book as a gift.
  • Volunteer to read to patients in a hospital or nursing home.
  • Get a library card and use it.
  • Share your enthusiasm for a book with a child.
  • Read books aloud to family and friends.
  • Reread a favorite book.
  • Ask your friends to tell you about the books that shaped their lives.
  • Help a child write and illustrate a book.
  • Attend readings at your local library or bookstore.
  • Recommend a favorite book to a friend.
  • Use television to encourage reading.
  • Teach someone to read.
I am going to think about it and see how I can contribute or celebrate my literacy :-)