Posts Tagged ‘podcasts’

Non-fiction variety

Wednesday, 25 May 2011
Original Raidió Teilifís Éireann logo

Image via Wikipedia

I got into podcasts through the literary craft-friendly ones like Craftlit and Forgotten Classics, (both often referred to here) and I now seem to be downloading hours’ worth every day of many different types and topics.(Why no, I can’t really keep up!) It was actually Julie on Forgotten Classics (in the USA, ironically enough) who pointed out that RTE are podcasting their documentary archive, including old and new works. Having grown up in Ireland I appreciate the local references, and sometimes it’s good to be able to discuss programmes with my mother that she’s heard on the radio, but these are so very varied that anyone could find some to interest them.

Gentle Fun

Friday, 4 February 2011
Cover of "Firebirds Rising: An Anthology ...

Cover via Amazon

I just heard about this tonight and read it in one sitting (at 43 pages, free and online, it’s somewhere between a short story and a novella, in my opinion). I haven’t yet listened to the audio version on PodCastle (my DH got us downloading  EscapePod, which I nearly always enjoy, its SF sister awhile back, but I hadn’t ventured into the fantasy version yet), but I will.

16. In the House of the Seven Librarians by Ellen Klages

This is a great story, especially for the librarians among us. It plays upon all the library stereotypes and brings out all the magic libraries have to offer. I’m quite surprised I hadn’t come across it before, to be honest. This is the tale of seven librarians in a closed library and the little girl left on their doorstep. It’s absolutely worth the read (or listen) if you like books at all. (And why you’d be reading this blog if you didn’t I have no idea.)

This has been published in Klages‘ book, Portable Childhoods, as well as in Firebirds Rising, an anthology of works by different authors.

Smiling panic

Thursday, 17 April 2008

Mr Frog

The theory is that instead of reading or crocheting (neither of which I’ve done much of this week) I’ve been cleaning and listening to podcasts (the latter has certainly been happening…).

So the second frog is finished, and my room does not feel ready for Bedikas Chametz

102. China Court by Rumer Godden

I did finish listening to China Court on Forgotten Classics, and got quite into it with large chunks together. I do like being (well) read to, and Julie’s selections are always interesting. She is proactive about trying to deal with copyright issues, and actually got permission from Rumer Godden’s estate to podcast this novel, which I hadn’t come across before. I have read and enjoyed several (although nowhere near all) of Godden’s books, and am appreciating the variety of her writing more and more.

This book has the capacity to be very confusing, as it interweaves the stories of several generations of the same family and household, where the house itself is the most important common factor. Julie well picks up Godden’s skillful differentiation of the voices involved, and listening to (or I assume reading) chunks of this together also helps to keep it all together. China Court, while passed down the paternal line through the generations is always shown as the domain of one or more strong women, many of whom come in as wives, so bringing in new family values. In fact the place is shown as far less important to the married daughters than to those who come to it without having been born there.

It looks like the book is out of print, but I’ll keep my eye out for my own copy.

I amn’t sure what Julie is doing as her next book, but I strongly recommend her podcast for the future, as well as going back to the China Court episodes.

Subsuming the Centre

Sunday, 16 March 2008

I’m still trying to get my scanner do a camera’s job, and so this picture shows the new stitches around the edge of my game piece well enough, while scrunching the middle rather badly.

As you can see, I haven’t really learnt to do bullion stitches well. I need to practise those to get them even.

72. Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley

Wow. This did not turn out quite as I had come to expect it to, from osmosis of the story through the general culture, or even from the earlier chapters. The Creature is both greyer and more black and white morally than I had anticipated, and while Victor Frankenstein remains emotionally immature he does display slight glimmerings of empathy near the end. Unfortunately far too late, when harsher emotions have taken sway of him, but they are there.

I’ll admit to not anticipating that Mary Wollstonecraft‘s daughter would write all her female protagonists as sacrificial angels, but then she was a very young writer of her time.

I’ve been listening to this on Craftlit for the last few months, and I’m really pleased to have ‘read’ it this way, as I might not have got to it in print for another few years. In fact I’m reasonably likely to so far sooner now than I would have been otherwise. I don’t want to get into the arguments over whether listening to a book is the same as physically reading it. Suffice it to say that I believe this rather depends on the concentration one puts in. It is harder, but quite possible, to read a book without taking it in, just as one can allow an audiobook to just wash over one’s head. In any case, Heather’s commentary and extra information really helps my concentration on the audio files she plays.

If you haven’t come across Craftlit before, I heartily recommend it. Now is a good time to start, as having just finished Frankenstein, she is about to begin Little Women, although the older files are all available, and it is well worth finding the time to go back and listen to Pride and Prejudice, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, The Turn of the Screw, A Tale of Two Cities, Tristan and Isolde and the various shorter stories and pieces she podcasts between the longer novels. The audio files actually come from Librivox, so you can get them alone directly, but Heather‘s introductions and discussions really help me get more out of the experience (she was obviously a brilliant English Literature teacher), and her craft talk is interesting too. She also rerecords the occasional chapter that got through Librivox’ quality control undeservedly.