October 22, 2013
We have all heard the expression, “don’t judge a book by its cover”, but what about a books title? Book titles can intrigue, inspire, and inform a reader about a book with just a few simple words. As for Laurie Rubin’s book, Do You Dream in Color? Insights from a Girl Without Sight, the title is an important part to the story and reading experience as a whole.
Here, Laurie shares some inside information about choosing her book, and song, titles:
Book titles are incredibly important. They capture in a nutshell what a reader is about to get themselves into, what world they will be in for the next several hours, days, weeks, months whenever they pick up a given book. I chose the title, “Do You Dream in Color?” because it was the question people have asked me from time to time. I think it’s such an interesting question for people to ask because I think of dreams as something you are living, not something you’re watching through a television screen.
September 27, 2013
Sixteen years went into the making of the forthcoming feature film Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, a fictionalized biopic based on Mandela’s bestselling autobiography, coming out November 28th from the Weinstein Company and starring Idris Elba and Naomie Harris. Journalist and filmmaker Danny Schechter, who has been on the front-lines in the fight for freedom in South Africa for the past forty years, was asked by the filmmakers to make a documentary about the filming of the feature film.
Publishing on November 26th, 2013, Madiba A-Z: The Many Faces of Nelson Mandela is his companion book to the documentary, and authorized by the makers of Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.
In anticipation of the upcoming films and book, here are our seven favorite quotes from Nelson Mandela:
- “A good head and good heart are always a formidable combination. But when you add to that a literate tongue or pen, then you have something very special.”
- “As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.”
- “One of the things I learned when I was negotiating was that until I changed myself, I could not change others.”
- “There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.”
- “There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.”
- “To deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity.”
- “You will achieve more in this world through acts of mercy than you will through acts of retribution.”
Watch the trailer for Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom here.
September 27, 2013
It’s Banned Books Week, a week to celebrate our freedom to read and remember the ceaseless presence of censorship in the US.
An official sponsor of Banned Books Week, Project Censored is releasing their next compilation of the year’s top censored stories. Censored 2014, being published on October 1st, is dedicated to the stories that ought to be top features on the nightly news, but that are missing because of media bias and self-censorship.Check out the Project Censored Radio Show on Banned Books Week co-hosted by Mickey Huff and Dr. Peter Phillips. Mickey and Peter speak with Barbara Jones, Director of the Office for Intellectual Freedom and the Executive Director of the Freedom to Read Foundation of the American Library Association and with Michael O’Neil of the National Coalition Against Censorship.The Project Censored Show airs weekly on KPFA in Berkeley (Fridays at 8 A.M.), and on WBAI in NYC.
September 26, 2013
September 22-28, 2013 is Banned Books Week, sponsored by the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom. As always, the OIF has released a list of this past year’s most challenged books. They are:
1. Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey. Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited for age group.
2. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie. Reasons: Offensive language, racism, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group.
3. Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher. Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, suicide, unsuited for age group.
4. Fifty Shades of Grey, by E. L. James. Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit
5. And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson. Reasons: Homosexuality, unsuited for age group.
6. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini. Reasons: Homosexuality, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit.
7. Looking for Alaska, by John Green. Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group.
September 26, 2013
In The Fray recently conducted an interview with the man behind The Graphic Canon, Russ Kick. Here is a highlight:
The Graphic Canon isn’t just works of literature. You also include philosophical writings from people like Sigmund Freud and Friedrich Nietzsche and excerpts from religious texts. How did you decide what to include as “the canon?”
I started with a list of what I considered to be the most critical works of literature. These were stories that would leave a noticeable gap if they weren’t included, like The Iliad, The Odyssey, Dante’s Inferno, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and The Tale of Genji. But I also wanted to go beyond what was predictable and bring in unexpected things. That’s why I included the Incan play Apu Ollantay.
I also had a wish list of things I wanted to see adapted because I thought the story would work really well visually.
September 23, 2013
We love our author Stephanie McMillan and her political cartoons. Her adorable drawing style contrasts wonderfully with the seriousness of her messages to create an unique and (dare we say) fun way to be informed.
Check out her upcoming book Minimum Security Chronicles in October for more great artwork and political commentary.
September 17, 2013
Seven Stories author, Luis Negrón, recently did an interview with The Short Form about his story collection, Mundo Cruel. During the interview, Negrón discusses his book, his writing style, how he spends his time, and his suggestions for readers and writers. Below are some excerpts from the interview:
Interviewer: Despite the title of the book, Mundo Cruel, there’s a lot of humor in your collection. “We’ve learned how to survive and be happy no matter what” is what you’ve said of the gay culture we find in your stories. On the other hand, there’s a great deal of cruelty in your essay “The Pain of Reading,” it’s almost like a prelude to your collection, would you agree?
Negrón: Yes, this essay probably is the background to Mundo Cruel. For the boy in the essay to survive he needs to adapt to his misery.
September 16, 2013
Subhankar Banerjee, author of Arctic Voices: Resistance at the Tipping Point, reports on the boulder flooding in his recent article on Huffington Post, “Boulder Flooding: Remembering Warnings From Weather Report.”
Banerjee questions whether climate change had, or did not have, an impact on the Boulder floods. He also creates a good discussion on who has the authority to report on climate change, are artist discredited simply because they aren’t scientist by definition? Banerjee continues to make important points on why climate change needs to be addressed right away and all information regarding it should not be taken lightly. After reading his article the question that comes directly to mind is, could the casualties due to the flood, have been avoided? Read more here
“The Weather Report: Art and Climate Change exhibition, which happened in 2007, visually gave warnings about a deadly flood in the Boulder Creek. Six years have passed.
September 16, 2013
Sonia Shah’s, author of Crude, Ted Talk on TEDGlobal titled, “Sonia Shah: 3 reasons we still haven’t gotten rid of malaria” had over 80,000 views when it aired this September.
“We’ve known how to cure malaria since the 1600s, so why does the disease still kill hundreds of thousands every year? It’s more than just a problem of medicine, says journalist Sonia Shah. A look into the history of malaria reveals three big-picture challenges to its eradication.
Science historian Sonia Shah explores the surprisingly fascinating story behind an ancient scourge: malaria.
Why you should listen to her
Aided by economics, culture, its own resilience and that of the insect that carries it (the mosquito), the malaria parasite has determined for thousands of years the health and course not only of human lives, but also of whole civilizations. In her book The Fever, author Sonia Shah outlines the epic and devastating history of malaria and shows how it still infects 500 million people every year, and kills half a million, in a context where economic inequality collides with science and biology.” -TED Talk
Listen to Shah’s thought provoking talk as she goes in depth into the disease, its effects, and the carriers of the disease.
Moroccan writer Abdellah Taïa screens his debut film Salvation Army at the Toronto International Film Festival
September 11, 2013
Salvation Army is an important new film that tackles race, religion, poverty, and homosexuality. Congratulations to director Abdellah Taïa on his important cinematic achievement!
From the Toronto Film Festival’s website:
Inspired by his own autobiographical novel, the rapturous debut feature from Moroccan writer Abdellah Taïa is a story of coming of age, folding and unfolding with love, pain, desire, and violence.
This film is structured in a diptych: the first episode chronicles Abdellah’s (Said Mrini) teenage years, when he comes to understand, all at once, his sexuality, social codes, inhibitions, the brutality of patriarchy, and the cruelty of poverty. The second half follows the young adult Abdellah (Karim Ait M’hand) as a penniless university graduate who travels on a scholarship to Geneva, where he must negotiate the treacherous sexual, racial, political, and social trappings of being a young homosexual Moroccan in Europe.
With sparing dialogue, stunning painterly cinematography by Agnès Godard and perfectly pitched emotional charge, the film pays homage to both French master Robert Bresson and to the godfather of Egyptian realism, Salah Abu Seif.