Monday, October 3, 2011

'Selected Shorts' long on enjoyment

            How many times have your turned on public radio and found yourself enthralled by “Selected Shorts,” a series of classic and contemporary fiction performed by actors? And how many times have you reached your destination before the end of the tale?
            I have, more times than I can say. And it’s frustrating!
            On a recent trip I enjoyed the “Selected Shorts, New American Stories” CD set that’s just been released and was able to savor at my leisure four outstanding short contemporary stories read by veteran actors. “Good Living” by Aleksandar Hemon, “Hell-Heaven” by Jhumpa Lahiri, “The Thing Around Your Neck” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and “Breaking and Entering” by Sherman Alexie all examine the American dream and its validity and mythos.
            I found them all captivating and thought-provoking, with “Breaking and Entering” staying with me long after my drive concluding, an astounding story read by B.D. Wong, the recipient of all five major New York theater awards for his Broadway debut in “M Butterfly.”
This new CD is one of many published in the award-winning series. Other “Selected Shorts” CDs include Pets, Lots of Laughts!, Even More Laughs, Food Fictions and Travel Tales.
            “Selected Shorts” is broadcast on 143 public radio stations nationwide, including KRVS in Lafayette, and attracts 300,000 listeners weekly.

‘Of Love and Dust’
The 2011 Louisiana Book Festival, to be held Oct. 29 in Baton Rouge, will offer a One Book, One Festival discussion featuring “Of Love and Dust” by Louisiana author Ernest Gaines. Because some critics, as well as festival organizers, believe “Of Love and Dust” to be arguably the best Southern movie never made, the Book Festival will feature a hypothetical “casting discussion.” Scholar and writer Reggie Scott Young will ask participants to be casting directors for a film version of the book at 4 p.m. at the State Capitol. Participating readers can prepare for the festival discussion by imagining the actors from today or the past whom they would select to play the roles of Marcus, Jim Kelly, Bonbon, Tite, Pauline and the other characters who appear in the story.

Book Carnival
The Evangeline Parish Library presents the free “Carnival of Books” with author talks, booksignings, children’s entertainment and a used book sale from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday. Authors attending are Linda LeBert-Corbello, “In the Shadow of My Brother’s Cold Blood,” 10 a.m.; Nancy K. Duplechain, “Dark Bayou,” 10:30 a.m.; and John LaFleur, “Creole Gourmet Secrets of Louisiana, 11 a.m. For information, call (337) 363-1369.

Kindle update
The Lafayette Public Library now has Amazon Kindle compatibility with its Overdrive eBook collection, which means patrons who want to check out library ebooks can now do so on the Kindle. The library offers eBooks and audiobooks for use on a PC or Mac computer and popular mobile devices including smartphones, MP3 players, and other eBook readers including the Barnes & Noble Nook and Sony Reader. Titles are available at the LPL homepage at To find out how to check out ebooks, visit For more information, call the Lafayette Public Library at 261-5787.