Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Big Read on Audio CD

The library recently received a wonderful donation of audio CDs from the National Endowment for the Arts.

This collection highlights 14 novels (so far) that are considered classics, such as The Grapes of Wrath, The Great Gatsby, Fahrenheit 451, and contemporary and multicultural titles such as Bless Me Ultima, Their Eyes Watching God, and The Joy Luck Club.

Designed to be used in conjunction with book group or classroom discussions, these audio CDs contain 1 disc per title, providing an introduction to the work. They include excerpts and critical analysis featuring well-known actors, authors, and commentators, such as Ed Harris, Robert Redford, Amy Tan, Ray Bradbury, Walter Mosley, Scott Simon and Kurt Anderson.

Dana Gioia, Chairmen of the NEA, narrates many of the excerpts on the CDs.
He states:
"The purpose of The Big Read, like the purpose of literature itself, is pleasure. Not necessarily an easy pleasure, but a deliciously rich and complex one. A great book combines enlightenment with enchantment. It awakens our imagination and enlarges our humanity. It can even offer harrowing insights that somehow console and comfort us."

Each branch has a complete set.

For a catalog listing of books included, please see:
The Big Read