Today’s Favorite Blog is actually a Podcast – does that count?
If you’ve been reading for a while, you’ve probably heard me mention CraftLit. It’s a podcast, made and distributed by the excellent Heather Ordover, in which she discusses Crafts and Literature. She has another podcast (called Just The Books) that cuts the Crafts and just talks about Literature.
Heather is a high school English teacher who loves books. In her podcast, she chooses a book from the public domain, introduces it and discusses the historical and cultural context, and plays a chapter or two from the Librivox audio recording of the book in each episode. She adds interesting facts about the author, notes about specific things to listen for, comments about movie adaptations of the book, and other fun guidance as you go through the book.
You can listen to her podcast in order, or jump around by book. She has an archive of the books she has podcasted here, and you can start wherever you like. You can listen online on her website or subscribe to the iTunes podcast feed. I like to download the podcasts from iTunes onto my computer, put them on my iPod, and listen while I’m walking, running errands, or doing housework.
I started with Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice (Episode 1), which is Heather’s first book. Heather’s commentary is really great – I noticed and understood things I’d never seen before, and I’ve read P&P at least five times – but the Librivox reader is really not that great.
After P&P, I listened to Persuasion by Jane Austen (Episode 160), which was much better. The Librivox reader was excellent, and Heather seems to have hit her podcasting stride after a few books’ experience
I’m now working on Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë (Episode 274) and loving it. The Librivox reader is delightful, and I’ve never read Jane Eyre before, so I’m really getting sucked into the story.
And the best part? It’s free!