Authors Online

The Authors@Google program brings authors to Google (at the Mountain View headquarters and in New York, Santa Monica, and Ann Arbor) for talks around recently published books.

It sounds like a very nice college-campus-like atmosphere. The talks are generally informal. The closest thing to a hot seat I've heard was when one speaker mentioned that besides all the other goodies, Google also provides employees with heated toilet seats.

There are all kinds of books covered - literature, political analysis, science fiction, memoirs, economics, education, satire. It's a very good free media source for teachers and students and I'm not sure it's widely used in classrooms.

Though I was looking for authors, you can find economists (Joseph Stiglitz on globalization), my favorite primatologist Jane Goodall, politicians (Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, John Mccain) and other fields. The great part for us as learner and educators is that almost all of them are available to we plebeians outside the Googleplex via Google Video and YouTube.

As with so many web sites, you stumble across things you would never have sought. I found Tim Keller there (not our S35 Tim Kellers who is, of course, also very learned) talking about his book, The Reason for God.

I searched the Google Talks site for one of my favorite authors, John Updike. He hasn't been to Google it seems, but while you're in the Google/YouTube search you are tapping a lot of other videos. I did turn up a number of Updike videos.

One of those was an interview done by author Don Murray where they discuss at length one of my favorite Updike short stories called "A&P." This 1995 film was made by publisher Harcourt Brace and is the type of thing I would have once shown my secondary school students. The film feels old-fashioned being from the days of VHS and 16mm films. (How I had honed my skills back then at threading a 16mm projector and maintaining the loop through shredded sprocket holes...) I mentioned this to one of the English professors here at PCCC and he said he teaches that story and definitely wanted the link. (If you watch the interview, keep an eye out in the short dramatization of the story for Sean Hayes as the protagonist, Sammy, who you may know as Jack from TV's Will & Grace.) You could put together a very good author media pack from these online sources. Updike has appeared, for example, on the Charlie Rose program several times. I watched one segment of Updike talking about his novel Terrorist (jump to 23:00 for Updike's part).

I wish I could search on just fiction or browse a category of the Google talks. You can access all the Google Talks (authors and others) and you're bound to find something that piques your interest.


Trackback specific URI for this entry


Display comments as Linear | Threaded

No comments

Add Comment

Enclosing asterisks marks text as bold (*word*), underscore are made via _word_.
Standard emoticons like :-) and ;-) are converted to images.
BBCode format allowed
E-Mail addresses will not be displayed and will only be used for E-Mail notifications.
To leave a comment you must approve it via e-mail, which will be sent to your address after submission.

To prevent automated Bots from commentspamming, please enter the string you see in the image below in the appropriate input box. Your comment will only be submitted if the strings match. Please ensure that your browser supports and accepts cookies, or your comment cannot be verified correctly.