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My Week in Books: StoryWeaver Dead Wake Pandemic and The Underground Railroad

One of my reading nooks

This year along with reading I want to spend more time getting to know the book space, exploring it to see all that happens it, how it works and learning it’s pulse.

One part of this project is tweaking my Twitter feed for this and getting more active on it. With this in mind, I’ve been pushing myself to spend more it on it and this week it paid off big. I came across Pratham Books StoryWeaver Project.

StoryWeaver offers a range of books for kids at different learning levels and ages, it even offers them in a large number of Indian languages. The cherry on it all, though for me was the bilingual books they offer. I printed off one to see how my househelp’s kid enjoys it. I’m excited to hear about her experience.

Story Weaver Books

If you have kids at home, you should check out the StoryWeaver project that apart from books also offers ways to create your own books and help translate others.

In other news this week I heard of another book site BookSlut shutting down on TeleRead. It’s sad to see and there’s speculation as to why Jessa Crispin is doing this but she says she doesn’t want to comment on it right now and that all the content will stay available ever after the last issue publication date of 14, May.

On the podcast front there wasn’t much news this week, though I did find a couple of new book podcasts to try out and see if I like them. There were two pieces of news though that did catch my eye. One was about an open ebook program for low-income groups in the US (crazy coincidence that I found StoryWeaver in the same week).

The other piece of news Jeff and Amanda talked about over on the BookRiot podcast was about how Middle Grade books have gotten bigger after Harry Potter, almost as if HP opened up new possibilities. Amanda’s point about fantasy becoming popular that that age group being a reason and HP helping the cause stood out.

And on the reading front, I made progress with ‘How to Get Your Heart Broken’ by Rose Fall. It’s slow going, I guess coz it’s not really my kind of story. :(

TBR Adds This Week

 
Dead Wake by Erik Larson
Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson
(Hush #86)

I came across the book on the Hush Podcast, a new podcast I listened to this week. The Titanic has always been a fascination for me, so something to do with it’s sister ship immediately caught my eye. Thad, Lissa and Julie discussed the book with spoilers but I don’t think that would spoil the book for, especially since its as Narrative Non-Fiction as Julie called it.

The story of the role The Lusitania and The German Uboat play in getting America into the war, should be interesting. Plus it’s been a while since I read non-fiction.

Pandemic by Sonia Shah
Pandemic by Sonia Shah
(BR The Podcast #147)

Another non-fiction on my list this week, this one’s about tracking Pandemics. Epidemiologists are in agreement that we are due for a pandemic and Sonia Shah explores Cholera (one of the deadliest diseases) from it’s source to it’s current state to reveal how a new pandemic might develop.

The last book I read about something similar was Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond many years ago and I remember enjoying it. Can’t wait to get started on Pandemic.

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
(BR The Podcast #147)

The story of a slave trying to escape the horrors bondage via a secret underground railroad caught my ear. That Colson Whitehead comes highly recommend by Jeff O’Neal helped and that he is excited about this book releasing in September 2016 was the clincher. It’s on my list!

An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield
An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield
(Get Booked #18)

This isn’t really an addition as it’s a book my already reading (had stopped somewhere and have got to pick it up again) but it’s a cool moment for me to have the Get Booked https://bookriot.com/listen/also-some-camels/ guys mention a book already on my list. It’s like that ‘pat on the back’ saying ‘yep girl, right direction’. 😀

This books a memoir, self-help and life hack guru, all mixed into one, and I’m enjoying it.

Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
(Get Booked #18)

I like fairy stories and the premise of this one sounds soo interesting. The story of the eldest who gets cursed by a witch and then goes on an adventure to get the curse of becoming an old woman removed. There’s also a fire demon and a witch war to clinch the deal!

This week I seem to have picked a lot of non-fiction but it’s been a long time since I read some good non-fiction.
What did you read this week? What have you added to your TBR this week?

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  • I came across Pratham books as last year’s book fair. What I liked about their books is that they are not huge on “moral” lessons which often children’s books are. Instead they are just loads of life and loads of fun weaved together. I did end up buying a plenty of books for my daughter and other kids in my family!

  • I am not able to figure out how to download books in two languages together (like you have mentioned). A little help please!

  • Hey Bhawna click on the icon in the search field. It will open up more search option. There’s an option for bilingual books there. You can also sort based on levels, etc.

  • After seeing some of their books, I so agree. I’m all excited about this idea they have of making books available to all children in all languages through StoryWeaver.

  • LuAnn Braley

    Hi Freya, I found your blog through the A to Z Challenge. I’m a minion from another co-host. :O) That’s quite a haul of books there! The one about the Underground Railroad is especially interesting to me because I remember touring a church in my childhood home town that had a ‘secret basement’ that was a stop on the RR.

    -LuAnn
    Back Porchervations
    1 of AJ Lauer’s #wHooligans!

  • Glad to connect with a fellow minion LuAnn :)
    That’s a very interesting memory, it must have been such fun to discover a secret basement that was a stop in the railroad. It sounds like something right out of a Famous Five or Secret Seven Mystery. 😉
    All the best for #AtoZ!