Showing Posts From: Bookish Life

12 Sep, 2017

The Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards 2017

/ posted in: Bookish LifeReading

On September 7, 2017, I was able to attend the awards ceremony for the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards in Cleveland.

 

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Cleveland poet and philanthropist Edith Anisfield Wolf established the book prizes in 1935, in honor of her father, John Anisfield, and husband, Eugene Wolf, to reflect her family’s passion for issues of social justice. Today it remains the only American book prize focusing on works that address racism and diversity. “

The list of winners by year is an excellent reading list for understanding the history of diversity in literature in the United States.

The winners this year were absolutely amazing.  I was especially glad to get to hear these speakers.

The chair of the jury is Henry Louis Gates, Jr. I love to watch all his documentaries.

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The ceremony started with young Cleveland poet Con-Yai Smith powerfully reciting her poem “Cheetah.”

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Poetry – Tyehimba Jess for Olio

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Tyehimba Jess is the first African-American man to win the Pulitzer Prize for poetry. In his award acceptance speech he imagined what it must have felt like to own nothing but the words that come out of your mouth as a slave. Is that why spirituals and African-American music is so powerful?


Fiction – Peter Ho Davies for The Fortunes

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The Fortunes is about four points of Asian-American experience in the United States from the building of the western railroads until today. Peter Ho Davies is British but has lived in the U.S. for 25 years. He is half-Welsh and half-Chinese. He talked about the importance of finding a feeling of belonging as an immigrant. He pointed out that as important as it was to him as a legal immigrant from a native English speaking country who is comfortably well off in his life, it will be even more important to refugees to find even scraps of belonging and acceptance here.


Fiction – Karan Mahajan for The Association of Small Bombs

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The Association of Small Bombs was inspired by a bombing in a market in India near Karan Mahajan’s home when he was 12. After 9/11/2001, he had a lot of anger that he worked through by researching terrorism and the mindset of terrorists and victims. He discussed the importance of remembering that even when stupid things are going on, Americans still get a lot of things right. He is continually surprised by the generosity of Americans and by the fact that the government gets anything done in a timely manner (unlike what he experienced in India.)


Nonfiction – Margot Lee Shetterly for Hidden Figures

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She talked about the importance of remembering history and being a role model for the people around you. She read a selection from Hidden Figures about how even if opportunities are available, the people most in need may not be in a position to hear about them.


Lifetime Achievement – Isabel Allende

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Much has been said about the sad events in her life (political exile, death of her daughter) but she wants people to remember that there is also joy. Her parents are still alive at 101 and 97 years old. She is 75 and has a new boyfriend. She said that it felt stupid to call him a boyfriend when he is 74 so she is going to call him her new lover. She also pointed out the strangeness of having the “meet the parents” time when everyone is this age. Her step-father’s reaction to her new beau? “Another one?!”


If you’d like to see the whole ceremony, it is on YouTube.

22 Jul, 2017

24 in 48 Readathon

/ posted in: Bookish LifeReading

This is my update page for the 24 in 48 hours Readathon.  I’ll be posting through the day with the time I’ve been reading, what I’ve been reading, and any challenges I enter.

Hour Time Read Elapsed Time Notes
0 – 12:00 AM  8:18  8:18  Frogs and Kisses
1  9:03  17:21  Frogs and Kisses 
2      
3      
4      
5  25  42  Audiobook
6  1:00:00  1:42:00  Audiobook
7  1:00:00  2:42:00  Audiobook
8  1:00:00  3:42:00  Audiobook
9      
10    4:30  
11    5:28:13  2nd audiobook
12 – noon Sat.      
13      
14      
15    6:30:43  Good friday. .
16      
17      
18      
19      
20      
21    11:13:48:48  
22      
23      
24 – midnight      
25      
26      
27      
28      
29      
30      
31 – 7 AM      
32      
33      
34      
35      
36 – noon      
37      
38    18 hours  
39      
40      
41      
42      
43      
44 – 8 PM    21:00:00  
45      
46      
47      
48    Done at 11:35 PM!
 
Totals      

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I had two timers over the course of the weekend so you need to add them together to see that I made it! Barely. It was 11:35 PM when I finished.

11 Jul, 2017

Is Playster Worth A Listen?

/ posted in: Bookish LifeReading

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I’ve been seeing ads on Twitter for Playster. I was interested in the audiobooks that they offer. Would this be a suitable replacement for Audible?

The Hook:

  • Only $9.95 for unlimited audiobooks and ebooks.  I’m paying $14.95 for one audiobook a month from Audible

 
Playster offers music, movies, books, audiobooks, and games. I chose a free trial subscription of just the books and audiobooks. You can’t get audiobooks only. When you go to the audiobook page on Playster you are offered playlists in addition to being able to search for books.

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One of the playlists under Genre and Mood is Hungry. Yes, they have a whole section dedicated to Foodie Books!

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These are the categories under Hungry.  There is a fairly good selection in each one. 

Do they have the books that I’m going to want to listen to?

I checked the books that I’ve gotten from Audible in the last six months.  Playster had all the nonfiction but was missing a few of the urban fantasy books. 

The Listening Experience

The Android app is a bit of a mess.  It is pretty but it is not easy to navigate.  I think on an audiobook listening app there should be a huge button as soon as you open it that says, LISTEN TO YOUR BOOK.  This app has….nothing.  It took me a while to figure out how to play the books. 

I ended up saving any books I downloaded to the My Audiobooks tab.  Then I could open that and select them to play.  There is no place I could find to just access books that you’ve downloaded.  That is my biggest complaint.

Once you find your book on the app, it works well.  It remembers where you left off.  It puts a bar on your homescreen so you can access it without digging through the app until you shut down the app.  It plays well through the bluetooth connection in my car. 

Pros:

  • Less expensive for more audiobooks than Audible.  I haven’t even started exploring the ebooks that it comes with too.

Cons:

  • Slightly annoying audiobook app but the work-around isn’t too cumbersome.
  • You don’t own your books like on Audible.  That doesn’t matter to me but might to other people.
  • Selection might be smaller than Audible.  I could still find a lot of books on here that I would be interested in.

My decision

I am going to keep Playster instead of Audible after my free month because of the cost savings and being able to listen to more than one audiobook a month.

I think this site is what Overdrive could be if my library subscribed to more audiobooks and I didn’t have to wait for other people to be done with them. 

Has anyone else tried Playster?  What did you think?

03 Jul, 2017

Feeding the Free Libraries

/ posted in: Bookish Life

What do you do when you have a lot of books that you need to move on to new homes?  A lot of the books I wanted to donate were ARCs so they can’t go to thrift stores.  I decided to feed my local Little Free Libraries.

I have been donating to the one in my neighborhood but it couldn’t handle the volume of books that I wanted to donate on its own.  I used this map to find other ones around me.

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I started by donating these books to my neighborhood library, which isn’t even registered on the map.

Then I found this one nearby. It had mostly kids’ books so I added what YA books I had and a few adult books.

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This library was hidden in the wandering roads of a subdivision near my house. I had to turn around a few times to find it.

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I got rid of about 20 books in these three libraries. I still need to go through my upstairs bookcases and purge some more.

Of course I had to see what books were already in the libraries. It would have been rude not to! I only picked up three books which I figured was a pretty good trade off.

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Do you donate books to these Little Free Libraries? Do you get books from them?

Have you seen the Instagram feed? There are so many adorable libraries!

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