Wednesday, December 3

discover [serial]

TWO discover posts in a row? I guess I'm just finding things that are too cool not to share with you.

You've probably heard of Serial, the new (and most downloaded) podcast produced by This American Life, of the infamous Ira Glass. It's published weekly, and follows one non-fiction story (in this case, the murder of a 17 year old girl by her ex-boyfriend in 1999 Baltimore). Each episode unfolds another part of the crime and the investigation. It's like SVU, but not quite as harmless when you remember this is an actual man (serving life in prison) and an actual woman (dead in her teens). Creepy but so fascinating.

I love a good debate, and there is certainly plenty surrounding Serial: the journalistic style, the guilt/innocence of the main character (whose trial is in the final stages of appeal, BTW), the propriety of the content, everything. Here's a good article in defense, if you're interested.

I listened to episode 1 while doing busy work during the day, but I think it needs more attention, so I listened to episode 2-4 last night while getting out my holiday decorations. Got my roommate hooked, too. He mentioned something I can certainly identify with: podcasts make you feel more productive than watching TV and smarter than listening to music. In the right setting, they can be a wonderful option. I'm thinking about listening to the next few episodes while streaming my barre and yoga workouts at home, as I bet it's pretty a good way.

Oh, and check out this post from last year about some favorite podcasts and a really convenient way to listen to them.

Tuesday, December 2

discover [first editions second thoughts]

I don't even know where to begin. Let's just say it's all I want for Christmas, for the rest of my life.

Christie's is hosting an auction for PEN American Center, a non-profit that fights against censureship and promotes freedom of expression, and it's TODAY. What are they auctioning, you ask? Oh, just first editions of some of the greatest books that have been re-read and annotated by the authors. Think drawings, notes, editing, letters to the reader, jokes, histories. Watch the video here to get a better idea- worth it.

Things like Toni Morrison, Woody Allen, Bridge to Terabithia, and a flipping first edition of the first book in the "Series of Unfortunate Events" series are up for grabs. They've got Malcolm Gladwell, Gillian Flynn, a few art books, a few poetry books, just awesomely amazing stuff. This was done less than two years ago by the same group, but sadly I didn't know about it (or I would have bid on We Need to Talk About Kevin and the first Harry Potter, which sold for a cool $235k).

I can't wait to see what it all goes for, but I'm hoping big big bucks. It's truly an opportunity to purchase, for a price, the priceless: an intimate conversation with a cherished author.