Thursday, April 23, 2009

#989: bits of books

So over the past few weeks, Kosh and I have been volunteering at an organisation that essentially provides audio versions of textbooks and such, in order to provide people with vision impairment equal access to these educational resources.

So far, our duties have been to check what has been read by other volunteers. Assigned books change every time. As such, I've had the opportunity to listen in on the following books:

1. A textbook on American History. This was the usual book for beginner Checkers to be exposed to the whole checking process. Filled with not just text, but also tables, diagrams, photos with captions, etc, it provided a good example of many of the conventions used by this organisation. Here, I heard a really great reader and wondered if I'd have the nerve to work my way up to Reader, then heard a really awful reader who seemed to have a cold and was really lethargic and listening to him was like pulling teeth, and I said to myself Heck even I can do better than that!.

2. Prisoners of Our Thoughts: Viktor Frankl's Principles for Discovering Meaning in Life and Work. Man's Search for Meaning Reminded me of my past life in the corporate world, back when i dealt in change management and organisational behaviour. Also reminded me that while I know in general about Frankl's experience in Auschwitz and other concentration camps and resultant work, I have not actually *read* his work. Putting this and Frankl's Man's Search for Meaning on my way too long to-read list.

3. A textbook on Intercultural Communication. Kinda cool, since I try to have some attempts at comparisons between Malaysia, Switzerland and the USA over at a malaysian abroad; took down some notes, hopefully the little tidbits will germinate into actual posts there! :)

4. Sent For You Yesterday:Sent for You Yesterday A novel about the exclusion of the albino Brother in an all black community, written in stream of consciousness style, and read by what sounded like a white elderly lady, was a really weird juxtaposition. Seriously, imagine Betty White reading "Shit man. Worse than that. Night mare. Day mare. Afternoon mare. Every damn time-of-day mare. Whatever you want to call it. That dream had me by the nuts."

5. One of the many Warriors books, about clans of wild cats trying to survive in their forest homes. A Young Adult -- and feline -- version of Watership Down, perhaps? From what I heard, I suppose if I were a young'un today I might be voraciously consuming the three 6-volumed miniseries, but definitely not as a 36 year-old :p

6. House of Dance: Only got to hear the first two chapters. Dying grandfather. Aloof mother who washes windows for a living, and is probably having an affair with her married boss. A daughter in the middle of it all. Meh. Another young adult piece.

I'm looking forward to getting to Read books soon. I'll probably end up inadvertently refreshing my Chemistry knowledge - there's this huge Inorganic Chemistry textbook that's winking at me every time I pass the bookshelves there, LoL!

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