Sunday, April 21, 2013

[TSS] What I'm doing when I'm not reading

Has anyone read a book by Italian author Italo Calvino?  There was a Radiolab short featuring a story by him and I was completely enthralled by it.  I have just purchased a copy of Invisible Cities for my Kindle and I hope it's as captivating as I think it will be.

Here's a description of the story on the Radiolab website:
According to one theory, the moon formed when a Mars-sized chunk of rock collided with Earth. After the moon coalesced out of the debris from that impact, it was much closer to Earth than it is today. This idea is taken to it's fanciful limit in Italo Calvino's story "The Distance of the Moon" (from his collection Cosmicomics). The story, narrated by a character with the impossible-to-pronounce name Qfwfq, tells of a strange crew who jump between Earth and moon, and sometimes hover in the nether reaches of gravity between the two.
 And here's the podcast where you can listen to the story in full and perhaps become as enthralled as me.


It's fantastic and well worth the 40 minute investment.  Liev Schrieber is an amazing narrator.

If you want a shorter commitment, the below Dove video that compares how women describe themselves with how other people describe them has been making the round this week.  I'm really only posting it here for context, since you may have already seen it.  But I actually want you to click through to here.  Why?  It puts the whole video in fantastic context and really offers a lot of great insight.  Need a teaser to get you to click through?
And my primary problem with this Dove ad is that it’s not really challenging the message like it makes us feel like it is. It doesn’t really tell us that the definition of beauty is broader than we have been trained to think it is, and it doesn’t really tell us that fitting inside that definition isn’t the most important thing. It doesn’t really push back against the constant objectification of women. All it’s really saying is that you’re actually not quite as far off from the narrow definition as you might think that you are (if you look like the featured women, I guess).   -jazzy little drops 

See?  Pretty powerful commentary, isn't it?  So go ahead and click through.



And that's what I'm doing when I'm not reading! That is, besides gearing up for my sister's wedding, which is on SATURDAY!  Very exciting/stressful/emotional week coming up for me!

What about you?

13 comments:

  1. I love that both you and Clare (Lit Omnivore) shared such great commentary on the Dove campaign. It helped me articulate my own sense of unease when I watched it.

    And yes, Calvino is awesome! I haven't read Invisible Cities, but I loooooved The Baron in the Trees. The Non-Existent Knight and The Cloven viscount were pretty awesome too.

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    1. Ooh, I will look for The Baron in the Trees after Invisible Cities! Have you read his short stories, too? The one I heard was great!

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  2. Oh, how wonderful for your sister. I hope she has a wonderful wedding!!

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    1. Thanks, I hope so, too :-)

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  3. Awww, congratulations to you and your family! I hope everything goes beautifully and unstressfully.

    Keep us posted about Calvino. I haven't read anything by him yet because I want to like him so much and am sort of nervous that I'll read his books and HATE him and then not even have the prospect of liking him in the future. It's SUPER RATIONAL. :p

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    1. It totally makes sense! In the same way it makes sense to buy a book that you REALLY want to read and then not read it because you think it may not live up to your expectations.

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  4. Congratulations to your sister! Thanks for sharing the Dove commercial with us. I've never seen or heard about it before.

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  5. I wish your sister a happy wedding day :D

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  6. I love RadioLab but I don't think I've heard that segment yet. I'll be sure to give it a listen.

    I found the Dove video touching. But, I thought it was more about being self-critical than about redefining our culture's skewed view of beauty. I fully agree with the article that you linked to--there's a lot that's disturbing about the message it sends.

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  7. Congratulations to your sister! I read about the Dove campaign, but no more than that so I'll be watching the video in a moment. I like what they've been doing.

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  8. I've never read Calvino, but I'm planning a readalong of his book If on a Winter's Night this fall!

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  9. I fell in love with On a Winter's Night... a few years ago and promptly started collecting his other books, but I've only read one other (ironically, Invisible Cities, which I liked but it wasn't IOAW'sNAT...and, well, I knew that, didn't I, but I still wanted it all the same). I'm looking forward to your thoughts on him, and I really must give him another go (or, else, re-read my old favourite)!

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  10. I've read "If on a winter's night a traveler" and would love to read more. Here's my review link:

    http://libraryofmyown.blogspot.com/2009/04/1001-book-update-if-on-winter-night.html

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