Book Talk

I’d like to share a short interview I did with my friend Judy. We discuss her favorite genres and reading spots all in under a minute. This  was my first time working with sound and it was challenging, but fun. I used the Voice Memo on my Iphone 5s to record all sound and Audacity to edit. It was actually quite difficult to even open my soundbites on Audacity as I first had to convert them into mp3s on Itunes. Looking up “How-To” articles helped me out a lot as I’d often get stuck. Figuring out how loud each soundbite should be when I layered them over each other wasn’t too hard as all I had to do was mess with the volume with each one until I was satisfied that nothing was overpowering the interview yet still allow the sound effects to be heard. I recorded the rain to highlight how Judy likes to read indoors while it’s raining outside and I also recorded myself ruffling pages to introduce my book talk. For intro music, I used “88” by Inspectr and for background music I used “pino” by Phundamental which I both found on Free Music Archive, a website that provides copyright free music and music under the Creative Commons. To end the interview, I used my own soundbite of me playing guitar. Overall, I think I did a pretty good job for my first ever audio project, but there definitely could be improvement on my sound effects. ‘Book Talks’ sounds like a fun idea, so this may be continued. Stay tuned!

Special Topics in Calamity Physics: A Novel Review

Marisha Pessl wrote Special Topics in Calamity Physics when she was just in her twenties. She may not be a well known author, but her writing is up to par with more popular writers likes Stephen King—-just with a completely different writing style and genre. I discovered this gem of a book in my junior year of high school when it was assigned by my AP English teacher. We picked apart the plot, analyzed all the layers of the complex characters, and ended with a trial using the characters in attempt to create our own ending to the open ending. To learn more about Pessl, check out her website

This remains one of my favorite books today because I fell in love with Blue van Meer, the witty, sarcastic heroine. There are quite a few books with female, teenage protagonists, but Blue stands out from the other girls with her hyper-intellectual voice thanks to her overbearing, snooty father who works as a traveling professor. She is the perfect type of protagonist for this sort of story as the plot contains several layers of mysteries that are interconnected to the people around Blue. Readers sympathize with Blue as they slowly uncover, or at least partly uncover, the big secret her father and quite a few others are hiding.

Books Marisha Pessl Has Written

  • Special Topics in Calamity Physics
  • Night Film

Authors Similar to Marisha Pessl

  1. Jeffrey Eugenides
  2. Kelly Braffet
  3. Samantha Hunt

Components to a Great Novel: Have They Been Met? Yes!

likeable protagonist X
engaging plot X
dynamic characters X