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It was only a wish. Connor Sullivan was painfully average. The very highlight of his existence was going to school, doing homework, and playing video games. He thought nothing would ever change that. Unfortunately, homework usually screws everything up.
A cut, some blood, and a hastily scrawled promise to sell his soul for his fondest wish… and all hell breaks loose. Literally.
The Demons take him up on his offer.
In a last ditch effort to keep his soul, he wishes to become one of the demons, or Fallen as they call themselves. Connor thought he had found a solution to his problem. He never fully understood the meaning of the phrase, “From the frying pan into the fire,” until his wish was granted. The biggest catch? Never ever fall in love with a human…
And then, she walked into his school. Beautiful, red-haired, funny… and blind. Connor’s heart didn’t stand a chance. Neither did the Fallen’s rules. He had saved his soul, but could he find happiness without hurting the girl he loved? Or would secrets Jessica didn’t even know she had destroy them all?
Okay, maybe not me (that sounds needy), but I do have something for you to listen to.
I've been working on a new series called the Defective Amish Detective. It is a humorous, without making fun, look at the misadventures of an Amish blacksmith and his Non-Amish friend. The defective detective is admittedly a repentant man with a questionable past. He has reached an age where certain parts (eyes, ears) don't work as well as they did. Through travels with his wife into Amish Country, the detective has become friends with Eli, who also happens to have a shadow over his past. Together, they work to help those that cannot help themselves. Things don't always go as expected and both of their pasts may come back to haunt them. These stories are full of slapstick, but they also share a message and have heart.
Now, it is a special treat for me to share with you that my publisher, Helping Hands Press, has taken a big leap in putting Volume 1: The Whoopie Pie Affair on audiobook.
Another treat is the voice you will hear on the audiobook. It is none other than Big Daddy Abel. Also known as BDA, he is the frontman for a band called the Amish Outlaws and a talented author in his own right.
If you enjoy audiobooks, I do hope you will give mine a listen.
On 1 December 1860, Charles Dickens published the first installment of Great Expectations in All the Year Round, the weekly literary periodical that he had founded in 1859. Perhaps Dickens’s best-loved work, it tells the story of young Pip, who lives with his sister and her husband the blacksmith. He has few prospects for advancement until a mysterious benefaction takes him from the Kent marshes to London. Pip is haunted by figures from his past — the escaped convict Magwitch, the time-withered Miss Havisham, and her proud and beautiful ward, Estella — and in time uncovers not just the origins of his great expectations but the mystery of his own heart.
A powerful and moving novel, Great Expectations is suffused with Dickens’s memories of the past and its grip on the present, and it raises disturbing questions about the extent to which individuals affect each other’s lives. Below is a sequence of podcasts with Robert Douglas-Fairhurst, editor of the Oxford World’s Classics edition of Great Expectations, recorded by George Miller of Podularity.
Title page of first edition of Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, 1861
- What was going on in Dickens’s private life at the time?
[See post to listen to audio]
- Both Dickens and Pip were haunted by the ghosts of the past.
[See post to listen to audio]
- Are gentlemen in Victorian England born or made?
[See post to listen to audio]
- Why was Dickens persuaded to change his original ending to the novel?
[See post to listen to audio]
- Why does Great Expectations continue to hold such appeal for readers?
[See post to listen to audio]
- If you loved this novel, try…
[See post to listen to audio]
Charles Dickens was one of the most important writers of the 19th century and 2012 is the 200th anniversary year of his birth. The Oxford World’s Classics edition of Great Expectations reprints the definitive Clarendon text. Robert Douglas-Fairhurst’s new introduction ranges widely across critical issues raised by the novel: its biographical genesis, ideas of origin and progress and what makes a “gentleman,” memory, melodrama, and the book’s critical reception.
For over 100 years Oxford World’s Classics has made available the broadest spectrum of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford’s commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, voluminous notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
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For this week’s contribution to OUPblog, we’ve gone audio — we are the Oral History Review, after all. In our first podcast, our guest Stephen Sloan elaborates on “On the Other Foot: Oral History Students as Narrators,” a piece he wrote for the most recent issue of the Oral History Review (volume 39, issue 2). This post represents another first: an effort to give current and future Oral History Review contributors room to discuss their articles further.
As with all of our efforts here, we welcome comments.
Stephen Sloan is the director of the Institute for Oral History at Baylor University where he teaches a graduate seminar in oral history. He also leads dozens of workshops on oral history each year for community groups, students, and faculty. Sloan, along with the entire staff of the Institute for Oral History, offers an online introduction to oral history twice yearly. To learn more about Dr. Sloan or the work of the Institute for Oral History visit baylor.edu/oralhistory. E-mail: Stephen_Sloan[at]baylor[dot]edu. His article “On the Other Foot: Oral History Students as Narrators” in the latest issue of Oral History Review is available to read for free for a limited time.
PotterCast, our Harry Potter podcast, is back with a brand new episode of over an hour of Harry Potter news, discussion, and fun with hosts Melissa, John, and Frak! In this episode, the Trio delve into the latest news, including the Quidditch World Cup, Dan Radcliffe and J.K. Rowling's interview on the "Deathly Hallows: Part 2" DVD, our LeakyNews.com website, and, of course, Pottermore. The rest of this episode features the first of what are to be many discussions on Pottermore. The Trio talks about the look of the site, the beta testing process, getting sorted, what each of our hosts likes in on the site, and a whole lot more. To listen, you can use iTunes or direct download -- you don't need to own an iPod to
listen to PotterCast.
Every year, Leaky produces an album of wizard rock Christmas music, the profits of which benefit charity. We've raised a ton of money for good causes using the very simple magic of rocking as hard as possible. Last year, we opened half the album to submissions and it made it one of our best ever.
So this year, the ENTIRE album will be open submissions.
We are holding a contest for any wizard rock band to submit a track. Of the entries we receive, some will be selected to go on the album (which will be printed in a very limited physical run and made available for digital purchase as well; also, a purchase of each physical copy will come with a digital download. The physical copies will be sent out in early December). The rest of the entries will be bundled into a free download you can get right on the site. We can't wait to feature your music! That said we have some....
Your track MUST be Harry Potter and winter holidays-themed.
You MUST have the track sent to email@example.com by November 8. There are ABSOLUTELY NO EXCEPTIONS to this.
Your track MUST be exclusive to the Jingle Spells 5 album (it is all right if it has been available in single - not as part of any other album - form previously, but by submitting the track you agree that this track will from now on only be on Jingle Spells 5). [Tracks available as part of the free album do not have to be exclusive.]
BOO! There's no trick here as we have a special treat for you in the form of a brand new episode of our Harry Potter podcast, PotterCast. Now available for your listening pleasure is our 244th episode of Potter-related news, discussion and fun with your hosts Melissa, John and Frak. This week, the hosts have received your sympathetic vibrations and have materialized for an all new Halloween themed episode. In addition to the top 5 Potter news stories, we talk all about the many Halloween nights in the Potter series, including a blast from Canon Canondrums past and the mystery of the 'Missing 24 Hours' on the ill fated Halloween Night of 1984 and what really occurred in the day follow the deaths of Lily and James Potter. To listen, you can use iTunes or direct download -- you don't need to own an iPod to listen to PotterCast.
PotterCast, our Harry Potter podcast, is back with PotterCast 246: Casually Late Casual Debate! This new episode features much
discussion on J.K. Rowling's upcoming novelThe Casual Vacancy, which will be released on the 27th September this year. Your PotterCast hosts debate their many
predictions about the plot, characters, and conspiracy theories around
the book's release. No spoiler alerts required this time -
John's penchant for accurate predictions notwithstanding... Enjoy at this link or by updating your iTunes!!
Let's start with the pile that's on my nightstand.
Truth in advertising: A Hero For WondLa is the only one of these three that I've actually started reading. M.T. Anderson has moved from the TBR (To Be Read) shelf to the TBR (Teetering Bedside Reading) pile because he'll be at Cover to Cover on Monday afternoon, and I'm almost giddy about hearing him speak. I've read the first two in the Norumbegan Quartet, and The Empire of Gut and Bone will be one of my first #bookaday summer reads. The Chronicles of Harris Burdick has been on my pile since Christmas (a gift from a student), and I unburied it today and brought it up to the top part of the pile after chatting with Sally (at CTC) about Steven King's story in it (re: I finished listening to the audio of King's 11-22-63 a couple of weeks ago, and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it.)
Yesterday on CBC’s “Q” Jian Ghomeshi interviewed both Terry Mosher and Matt Bors regarding the state of editorial cartooning. Trying to embed the CBC’s audio player is like trying to nail Jell-O to a tree, so rather than embedding only that segment, I was only able to add the entire 75-minute show. Just forward to the 4:00 mark and you can listen the 20-minute segment on cartooning.
I’m excited by the wonders of the audio book world--just the fact that I can listen to Stephen Fry narrate The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy makes me giddy with literary happiness. So, I thought I’d share this fun link that reads like a senior superlatives page in a high school yearbook, only this time matching celebrities to the novels they’ve narrated.
After reading this, it made me wonder who I’d really like to see narrating my favorite book. I’m going to go with Isabella Rossellini reading East of Eden by John Steinbeck--an interesting combination to say the least, but amazing nonetheless. Is there a particular celebrity you’d like to hear reading your favorite book? Or a celebrity that just doesn’t make a good fit for a particular audio book?
I’m tickled to share news of a new venture in poetry promotion: I’ve created my first podcast! I’ve been wanting to try that for awhile and finally gave it a shot. Thanks to Terry Borzumato-Greenberg at Holiday House who invited me to create something for their Web site and jump-started my learning process. You’ll find two free downloadable audiofiles at the Holiday House web site. I share ideas about how to use two of their books with kids, read excerpts aloud, as well as provide tips on using poetry with kids, in general. My Poetry Podcasts *Alice Low's The Fastest Game on Two Feet and Other Poems About How Sports Began (Holiday House, 2009) Podcast here
I’m a big fan of introducing kids to the audio qualities of poetry and have written about that before—particularly about seeking out audiobook versions of poetry like the amazing Jazz by Walter Dean Myers (our first Odyssey audiobook award winner). But there are also free audiofiles of poetry available on the web—more and more as time goes on. Here are some of the major sites:
If you read about my recent trip, you’ll remember it included all kinds of author encounters, both real and imaginary. Not only did I meet living writers (which of course is part of my job), but I also got to talk with a couple of impersonators of classic children’s book authors (namely, Laura and Maud). But what about Gertrude? Who stands in for the late author of the Boxcar Children books when readers want to find out more about her?
One of my favorite “playing Gertrude” moments happened recently for TeachingBooks.net, a multimedia company that offers audio excerpts of children’s and YA books for use in the classroom. While the audio clips are often recorded by the books’ authors themselves, this wasn’t possible in Ms. Warner’s case, so the job of reading aloud a few pages from The Boxcar Children fell to me.
Luckily I love doing this sort of thing (weird fact: I am the voice of Albert Whitman & Company’s automated phone system!), and thus spent an afternoon in June on the phone with the TeachingBooks studio technicans to make the recording. I tripped up a few times (“Henry—I mean, Benny!”), but the audio techs managed to edit out my flubs. Finally, a few weeks ago, Danika from TB emailed me the links to the audio files and invited me to share them as a free sample of TeachingBooks.net’s services:
If you've already read your copy of KNUFFLE BUNNY FREE and are looking for some back story, then the following audio clips might interest you.Here, I talk about the process of creating the book and the production process:Here, I chat with my daughter about the differences between the real and literary Trixie and how the Knuffle Bunny Trilogy has effected us both:You can access both of these (and
Today is an incredibly exciting day. Today is the launch of the Puffin Digital Prize and a brave new world for Puffin picture books. I'm so excited I can hardly breathe. But, I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me take a deep breath and I’ll explain things properly. I'll start at the very beginning . . .
As the Editorial Director of Puffin Picture Books, I am the lucky girl who has the privilege of working on beautifully illustrated, full colour books for young readers. Think Raymond Briggs and The Snowman, add Helen Oxenbury and Julia Donaldson and you get the picture. As I said, I am VERY lucky. But I wasn't feeling quite so lucky a little while ago, when the word digital was a real thorn in my side. How did picture books fit into this amazing digital world everyone was talking about? Well, quite simply, they didn't. Being full colour with integrated text, the technology simply didn't exist to bring them to life on a digital device. I would enviously look at my fiction colleagues with their e-readers where a whole world of stories lived and breathed in one nifty little machine. Sigh. All I could do was be patient. One day, I said to my beautiful, fully illustrated books, one day, your time will come.
And come it did with a bang - the iPad. Woo-hoo! Like every other person at Penguin, I used all sorts of ruses, good and bad, to get my hands on one. And when I did it felt like Christmas. I've always been a book-sniffer (I use that term affectionately, someone who loves a book for being a book as well as a fabulous story) but my conversion was complete in that one moment. Just look at what this thing can do! We have glorious technicolour in fanta
An unabridged audiobook of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, by Roald Dahl (HarperChildren's Audio, 2005). Monty Python's Eric Idle is the narrator. It had been a long time since I read this one, but I remember Charlie's yearning as he breathed in the delicious chocolate aroma on the way to school. I'd forgotten how insane the Oompa-Loompas' songs are.
We're on the hold list for Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Random House Audio, 1999). Audiobooks have proved to be an ideal remedy for people (like me) who get fidgety/impatient/insanely bored in the car.
Junior, age 11
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth, by Jeff Kinney (Amulet Books, 2010). The latest in the popular series.
Controlling Earth's Pollutants, by Christine Petersen (Marshall Cavendish, 2010). An ideal hour of reading for the kiddo: cocoa, blanket, cozy chair, and a book on pollution.
On the nightstand is Nic Bishop Lizards (Scholastic, 2010). Fantastic photos, per usual with Bishop. "Lizards lead lives that are full of surprises." Yeah.
In the Wild, a picture book written by David Elliott and illustrated by Holly Meade (Candlewick, 2010). Poems about wild animals. Sheesh, this is a beautiful book, with its watercolored woodcuts and all. I asked my son to vet this one for the second grade class I read to. He thought they'd like it.
Pop! The Invention of Bubble Gum, by Meghan McCarthy (Paula Wiseman/Simon& Schuster, 2010). We're thinking the second graders will like this one, too. Great idea for a nonfiction picture book.
Lots of Cybils middle grade/YA nonfiction books, including The Dark Game: True Spy Stories, by Paul B. Janeczko (Candlewick, 2010). Two of the most famous Civil War spies were women. I never knew that.
Second-grade class read-aloud
Lousy Rotten Stinkin' Grapes, written by Margie Palatini and illustrated by Barry Moser (Simon & Schuster, 2009). A new take on the Aesop fable. Very funny, with priceless expressions on the animals' faces. The class loved it. Now, clearly, we must get a hold of Palatini and Moser's Earthquack! (Simon & Schuster, 2002).
The sound clip runs about 15 minutes and includes a hammered dulcimer, an early interactive video console in Cardiff, vintage sounds of an ‘80s game arcade, an interview with Krishna devotees, recollections from ladies remembering their childhoods in York, and a sampling of classic American accents.
The pencil sketch shows the Caernarfon harbor in Wales, where at low tide the boats rest on double keels.
Amy Mandelker has taught at UCLA, University of Southern California, Columbia, Brown, and Princeton Universities. Her books include Framing ‘Anna Karenina’: Tolstoy, the Woman Question & the Victorian Novel and Approaches to World Literature: Tolstoy’s ‘Anna Karenina’. She has revised the acclaimed Maude translation of War and Peace and recently sat down with Podularity to talk about it. (Read the audio guide breakdown here, where you can also get excerpts from this podcast.) Once you’re done, we welcome you to look back at Amy Mandelker’s blog posts and discover why Nick thinks you should read Tolstoy.
Platform: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 3.0 or later
Since 2003, the nonprofit organization StoryCorps has been traveling around the United States collecting digital recordings of the stories of regular people. According to their website, their “mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of our lives. …StoryCorps has collected and archived more than 30,000 interviews from more than 60,000 participants. Each conversation is recorded on a free CD to share, and is preserved at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. StoryCorps is one of the largest oral history projects of its kind.” You may have seen their silver airstream parked at a public building near you as they continue to collect new stories.
The organization has partnered with National Public Radio so that portions of recordings can be heard on Morning Editionweekly. They also maintain a podcast. Thus far, they have published two anthologies of interviews: Listening is an act of love and Mom: A Celebration of Mothers from StoryCorps. Perhaps your library has these titles. Perhaps you have already incorporated their oral history initiative into your teen programming.
If not, showcasing their App may be just the entry point you’ve been looking for.
Along with including audio clips of some of the thousands of stories the organization has collected, the app includes a How-To Guide, including a helpful video, for setting up interviews.
There is also an interactive Questions list so that you can choose commonly asked questions about growing up, love & relationships, working, and military experience, to name a few. All a user has to do is check off the questions that look good and then click finish. The list of chosen questions will appear and are able to be emailed.
Finally, the app suggests two iPhone recording apps an
Anne Brontë is generally less well-known than Charlotte and Emily, but her novels are just as powerful as the more famous work of her sisters, especially The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.
Combining a sensational story of a man’s physical and moral decline through alcohol, a study of marital breakdown, a disquisition on the care and upbringing of children, and a hard-hitting critique of the position of women in Victorian society, this passionate tale of betrayal is set within a stern moral framework tempered by Anne Brontë’s optimistic belief in universal redemption. Drawing on her first-hand experiences with her brother Branwell, Brontë’s novel scandalized contemporary readers and it still retains its power to shock.
Below, Josephine McDonagh, who has written the introduction to the Oxford World’s Classics edition of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, discusses the novel and its reception in a series of podcasts recorded by Podularity.
Great news! The original cast soundtrack to Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical will be available soon as part of a special edition of Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale, including the full story, liner notes and a cool audio extra (a reading of the book by 4 year old Trixie and myself).
The album will also be released separately.
I hope you enjoy the tunes whether you've gotten a chance
The furor that erupted in response to Meghan Cox Gurdan’s ‘Darkness Too Visible‘ article in the Wall Street Journal was immense. The YAsaves twitter hash tag campaign and healthy discussion of the nature of youth literature were the silver lining to a somewhat dark cloud.
Today two American YA authors, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle, both sat separate interviews with Gurdan and they are well worth listening to.