Laura Bush to Discuss Books and Literacy on XM Satellite Radio Series "The Big Read on XM" Produced by National Endowment for the Arts and XM
Mrs. Laura Bush will appear on the premiere episode of the XM Satellite Radio series “The Big Read on XM” on September 10 to discuss books, literacy, and the upcoming National Book Festival.
“The Big Read on XM” radio series is a joint production of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), XM, and Audible.com.
The radio show takes its name from the NEA’s national reading initiative The Big Read, which encourages communities to come together to read and discuss a single book. Mrs. Bush serves as the honorary chair of The Big Read initiative. A former librarian, she is an ardent lover of books and an advocate of reading and lifelong learning.
“Reading has been so inspirational and influential in my life that I can’t imagine a life without reading, and I want other people who may not spend that much time reading to know how beneficial reading can be, in an emotional and spiritual way,” Mrs. Bush tells XM host Jo Reed in a taped interview at the White House. “When it comes to the whole idea of how we let the next generations know what our values are, and how we teach the next generation what’s important to us, and how we learn from previous generations, literature really is the best way to teach it, and to share it.”
“The Big Read on XM” radio series will be heard nationwide on Sonic Theater (XM Channel 163), the XM channel dedicated to books and contemporary theater, starting September 10. Every weekday, “The Big Read on XM” will air 30-minute installments of classic novels, plus NEA-produced specials featuring commentary, interviews, and selected readings by authors, actors, and other personalities. Each episode will air three times a day at 2:30 am, 10:30 am, and 4:30 pm (all times ET).
In addition to discussing The Big Read initiative, Mrs. Bush talks with XM Radio’s Reed about the National Book Festival hosted by Mrs. Bush and sponsored by the Library of Congress. The annual event draws tens of thousands of book lovers, who gather to hear well-known authors, illustrators and poets talk about their books and the joy of reading. This year’s festival takes place September 29 on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm ET. The event is free and open to the public.
“If we turn these beautiful, national spaces over to literature, to books lovers, to readers, to authors, we show how important literature is to all Americans,” Mrs. Bush said.
Also appearing on the first episode of “The Big Read on XM” will be NEA chairman Dana Gioia. The first four books to be featured will be Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, Willa Cather’s My Antonia, and Carson McCuller’s The Heart is a Lonely Hunter. XM and the NEA are producing “The Big Read on XM” radio series in cooperation with Audible.com, the leading provider of audio entertainment and information on the internet.
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