Art Works Blog

A Guide to the New Big Read Reader's Guide (and Media)

School is back in session. For you Big Readers out there, the end of summer means the return of our Big Read-focused blog posts. Hooray! Ok. Now for some Housekeeping. (Anyone? That's a sly Big Read reference and this author's favorite Big Read novel).

For anyone who missed the announcement, there are two new books in the mix. The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears by Ethiopian-American Dinaw Mengestu and When the Emperor Was Divine by Japanese-American Julie Otsuka.

For the new novels, we've updated the Reader's Guide. Now, as you scroll through background information on the characters, setting, and historical context, you can listen to embedded audio excerpts from the authors themselves. For example, say you want to learn about Dinaw Mengestu's take on immigration versus exile. You can! Or, as you're reading, you want to hear Julie Otsuka talk about the namelessness of the characters. Blammo, it's right there! If you have a tablet or eReader, the Reader's Guides for the new novels are downloadable as an ePub or a .mobi file. You can test them out on your screens for Beautiful Things and When the Emperor Was Divine

The Audio Guide has also been streamlined from a collection of multiple voices into an intimate interview with the author. Here's Mengestu's and Otsuka's.

These are not your grandfathers' Big Read guides. Okay, that may be taking it a little too far, but you know what I mean. Happy reading, everyone!





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