Saturday, February 28, 2009

Wired for Books: Interviews with Great Writers

Wired for Books: Celebrating Books, Reading, and Literature
Listen to the voices of many of the greatest writers of the twentieth century.

This looks like an amazing site!

Interviews with award winners of every literary prize imaginable, Booker Prize, Edgar Award, Pulitzer, Nobel...

I guess this is my day for blogging on books. I'm not doing it on purpose, it's just what's being thrown my way.

Kindle text to speech fight

Amazon Backs Off Text-to-Speech Feature in Kindle - Bits Blog -
Amazon announced today it will let publishers decide whether they want the new Kindle e-book device to read their books aloud.

The text-to-speech feature allows Kindle owners to have books read to them in a male or female computerized voice. ... the Author’s Guild ... said [it] undermined the market for the professional audio books that are sold separately.

Amazon maintains that the feature is legal, and that it would in fact increase the market for audio books.

I think the Author's Guild must not listen to their own audio books. There is a huge difference between having someone read a book, and having the computer do it.

The best audio books add to the story. For instance, the audio version of Harriet Tubman: Conductor on the Underground Railroad by Ann Petry included not just the slave song verses as written in the book, but the actual songs being sung. I suppose not every book can be so enhanced, but many can be.

There are also many books that are read by the author, Home by Julie Andrews is one example, where the audio experience immerses you in the book in an entirely unique way. After listening to Andrews book, one feels as though you just spent several hours having tea with her while she reminisced. In addition, she could add-in musical moments and vocalizations not possible in the written form.

Friday, February 27, 2009

"Must have" books and DVDs for ocean lovers

(Picture taken in Santa Cruz last year.)

In another wonderous moment of 'pulling on a google thread' I found this list on Amazon. "'s "must have" books and DVDs for ocean lovers"

All the five-star books on this list may be real treasures. Certainly those by Carl Safina are wonderful.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

WOW!, Just WOW

I just finished listening to Obama's speech. It was incredible and I know that I will remember this speech for the rest of my life.

I already have a sense that tomorrow things will be better, and the day after that will be better again.

I think this must have been something like what it was to watch one of JFK's historic speeches. I am too young to remember him, let alone Roosevelt.

If any of you are old enough, please tell how it compares.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Google Health - Check it out

Things continue to improve with Thing2. However, we continue to have significant health challenges to manage.

Yesterday I explored Google Health for the first time.

All I can say is Wow! If it had been available when all this started, maybe things wouldn't have gone so far before we realized what was going on.

If you take any medications, you should check it out. Building-up an easy-to-access health record could save you if your health status changes and you need to analyze what has changed.

I also found that it's fairly easy to create a daily medication schedule/log in Google Calendar. My only warning is that there are some bugs in the WYSIWYG functionality in the print module.

Pending Listening

This post is my running list of podcasts and other on-line items that I intend to list to.

Invisible Handwriting - Podcasts from the presses at Harvard, MIT, UC

Invisible Handwriting: A podcaster's blog bills itself as:
The blog for Heron & Crane Productions. Information about The Invisible Hand Podcast and the podcasts for the following University Presses: Yale, Harvard, M.I.T., California and Chicago, as well as general thoughts.

This looks like an excellent blog for someone like me, who loves to read.

Katie Couric at The Daily Beast

Katie Talks Katie - The Daily Beast
The summary reads:
The CBS News anchor talks candidly about facing off with Sarah Palin, being lied to by Alex Rodriguez, how she landed Sully, why George W. Bush is smarter than you think—and of course that new haircut.

Katie Couric is one of our top newscasters, and therefore an interview with her has significant import. The summary made me wonder, will we ever get to the point that comments on womens' appearance will be considered as uninteresting and non-newsworthy as similar commentary on men's appearance?

Update: Now that I've read the interview, I feel a little better about the summary. Here's the relevant part:
As the first sole woman anchor, what’s that experience been like? Have you felt that unique role in anything you’ve been doing?

Sometimes. I think sometimes in the way people analyze what I do. Making note of the color of my khaki pants or things that I think are—

Hair is very big, isn’t it?

Yeah, I got a haircut, which obviously created an international incident, and you know I think you’re just probably scrutinized a lot more closely. And other than that, I haven’t experienced anything major being the first woman. I think obviously I bring my own sensibilities to the broadcast, but so do Charlie and Brian, so I don’t think that’s necessarily gender-specific.

It used to be that women sort of couldn’t stay in television beyond a certain age. That’s completely different now, isn’t it?

I hope so.


On a side note: The Daily Beast looks like a great site, I don't know why I've never heard of it before. Do any of you read it? Do you like it?