7.25.2012

7.18.2012

Free or Cheap Classics "Classes" on the Internet

I must say that I have never been so interested in so many truly classic books as right now. My interest has been piqued by various bloggers and podcasters whose discussions are so interesting that I swim in the wake of their enthusiasm. With such guides as these, I am diving deep into the classics and having a grand time.

These are all underway but it is easy to track back and start at the beginning:

The Flannery O'Connor Summer Reading Club - blog For a simple reader like me, some help is necessary to understand O'Connor's short stories. The reading club has been looking at a different short story each week and I have been enjoying it immensely. Blogger and club host Jonathan Rogers has a book about O'Connor coming out soon and, based on this, it is definitely worth reading.

The Waste Land by T.S. Eliot - blog I've always been so intimidated by this poem. Its reputation looms large for complexity. Plus, I'm not that into poetry. However, Melanie Bettinelli loves poetry, Eliot, and this poem. She's going through it a few lines at a time which has been very good for helping me digest it. Oddly enough, often my personal feelings about the lines lead to completely different interpretations of Bettinelli's but that is all to the good in this case. Because it means I'm engaged with the poem and her discussion is making me think about it more than I would just sitting down and reading it through.

The Canterbury Tales by Chaucer - podcast I've also always been intimidated by Chaucer. (Yes, if it is an old classic then I'm intimidated ... let's not discuss Beowulf, please). However, I am now going to get it spoon-fed with some of the best help possible ... from Heather Ordover at Craft Lit.

If you support the Craftlit podcast by subscribing for $5/month, then Heather gives all sorts of delightful goodies which are CraftLit Originals. One is that her husband, Andrew, is narrating his book Cool for Cats, and a wonderful narrator he is of this mystery which I much enjoyed. The other is that she is offering Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. Having just gone through the introductory episode I can say that my anxiety is eased already. Heather is an experienced teacher who truly loves Chaucer and she's recruited a fantastic reader. She is also offering an enhanced version which will have the text, images from that time and much more.

CLARIFICATION: you must subscribe to receive the Chaucer podcast. Here is the link to Heather's explanation and her PayPal spot.

The Odyssey - podcast Jesse and Scott at SFFaudio have been working their way through The Odyssey four chapters at a time. They're close to the end, but that doesn't mean you can't catch up. I've been reading along in time to their discussions and it has been a good way to experience the entire thing.

Classic Fantasy and Horror Authors - blog Kindle Review is a great place to find free and discounted Kindle books. There is a list every day, sorted by category. Recently, there has been an extra bonus for those of us who like fantasy and horror. Using the Ballantine Adult Fantasy Series as a guide, there has been a series of posts briefly covering various authors and linking to some of their major works that are free for the Kindle. The Ballantine series, which began in 1969, showcased fantasy and horror writers who had long been long out-of-print or only published in pulp magazines such as Weird Tales.

I know, these aren't the true classics such as the other listings, but they are classics in their own right and difficult to find sometimes.

Episode 193: Louis L'Amour Sampler


In which we saddle up and trot out a couple of Louis L'Amour's western stories.


Episode 193, Louis L'Amour Sampler
(download or listen via this link)
Book Information
Podcast Highlight
My Welcome Table

      7.17.2012

      Lagniappe 53: Journey to the West

      The legend of the Monkey King

      Journey to the West, chapter 1
      (listen or download from link above)

      More about the book may be read here.
      According to Webster
      la·gniappe \ˈlan-ˌyap, lan-ˈ\
      Function:
      noun
      Etymology: American French, from American Spanish la ñapa the lagniappe, from la + ñapa, yapa, from Quechua yapa something added
      Date: 1844
      : a small gift given a customer by a merchant at the time of a purchase;
      broadly : something given or obtained gratuitously or by way of good measure

      7.16.2012

      Class Alert: Science Fiction, Part 1 - From Modern Beginnings through the Golden Age

      I have been a fan of Amy H. Sturgis ever since hearing her talk about science fiction history at StarShipSofa podcast. I'm gonna say that, based on that experience alone, you'll get a wonderful class if you are interested in the subject. But let's let Ms. Sturgis tell you all about it.
      I’m thrilled to say that this fall, online and worldwide, I’ll be offering the first of my two-part history of science fiction course, Science Fiction, Part 1: From Modern Beginnings through the Golden Age, for the innovative Mythgard Institute. It’s a graduate-level course, but students don’t have to be seeking a degree from Signum University in order to “sit in” (or audit) just for the love of the subject. Anyone may sign up. Registration is now open!

      You can see a full list of the lecture topics, assigned readings, and more here.

      The class will consist of 24 90-minute online lectures with live Q&A. These lectures will also available to registered students for immediate download as audio and video files. I’ll also accept emailed questions in between lectures. There will be a class discussion forum available 24/7.

      The second half of the two-part course will be offered soon and will build upon this one. It will begin with the New Wave.

      Here are the vital bits...

      Who? Dr. Amy H Sturgis
      Where? The Mythgard Institute
      What? The History of Science Fiction, Part 1

      7.10.2012

      Episode 192: In Search of London


      In which we see there is more to London than meets the eye.


      Episode 192, In Search of London
      (download or listen via this link)
      Book Information
      • Story rating: G
      • This book is under copyright and being shared under the Fair Use Act. If you like it, I urge you to read the whole book, In Search of London by H.V. Morton

          7.05.2012

          Lagniappe 52: Fahrenheit 451

          It was a pleasure to burn.

          Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
          (listen or download from link above)

          According to Webster
          la·gniappe \ˈlan-ˌyap, lan-ˈ\
          Function:
          noun
          Etymology: American French, from American Spanish la ñapa the lagniappe, from la + ñapa, yapa, from Quechua yapa something added
          Date: 1844
          : a small gift given a customer by a merchant at the time of a purchase;
          broadly : something given or obtained gratuitously or by way of good measure