July 18, 2013 · 6:30 PM
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Consider this a book club with a 21st century twist! Each month we’ll gather to listen to a recent Selected Shorts podcast, an hour-long program produced by PRI (Public Radio International) and presented on NPR (National Public Radio) where stage and screen actors read a few pieces of short fiction. I like to think of this program as bedtime stories for adults, where we’re being ‘tucked in’ for the night with a good tale, or three. The actors don’t just read the stories in a dull monologue, they really bring it to life by giving the characters different voices, pausing for and/or giving emphasis at the right places, etc. It’s really a treat to listen to and a great way to be introduced to new authors. Sometimes it’s even good for a real laugh. We’ll follow the podcast with a discussion of the stories heard and whatever else might come up. Sound interesting? Here’s the theme and summary from the Selected Shorts podcast for February 17, 2013 as an example: Love and Longing Guest host Cynthia Nixon presents readings of three stories whose characters hope for love. In Rick Bass’s “Fires,” a rural recluse is ignited by a long-distance runner. The reader is Ted Marcoux. In Willa Cather’s “A Singer’s Romance,” a turn-of-the-century diva has never known true love. Marian Seldes performs. “What Do We Have in our Pockets?” is the title of Etgar Keret’s guide to finding love - just have everything on hand he or she will ever need. The reader is David Rakoff.