Anonymous Donor Book Giveaway for A Feast of Serendib!

Anonymous Donor Book Giveaway for A Feast of Serendib!
March 2020
People are reaching out with wonderful, creative ways of helping. Two anonymous donors have offered to help make A Feast of Serendib available to people who want the book but can’t afford to buy it right now. Together these generous folks have donated a total of $1,000 in books for this purpose!
To make the donations go as far as possible, and because we want everyone to be able to access the book in the format that is best for them, we’ve dropped the price too, so we can offer a combination of 15 hardcovers and 30 paperbacks; Serendib Press will match the physical book donations with 50 additional eBook copies as well.
From one of the anonymous donors: “I’m doing this because I have found Mary Anne’s cookbook to be so key in helping me feed myself good food this year and I want other people to be able to care for themselves in the same way.”
We’re going to do this on a first come, first serve basis, for people who want the book but can’t afford to buy it right now, on the honor system. Physical books can only be shipped within the U.S., but eBooks are available internationally!
If you’d like a copy of the book, please comment on the post at the link below and let us know if you’d prefer hardcover, paperback, or eBook. We’ll contact you within a day or two to get your mailing information.
(The paperback doesn’t have photos in the book, but comes with a link to a full web archive of color photos. The eBook reviews indicate that people are finding it works really well for them as an option for a tablet, esp. on a stand in the kitchen.)
$500 x 2 = $1,000
15 Hardcovers = $450 — 13 left
Discounted to $30 each
30 Paperback = $450 — 27 left
Discounted to $15 each
50 eBooks
Mary Anne’s matching contribution
Feast is now an Amazon bestseller! Woot!
1) ORDERING: You can order A Feast of Serendib (signed / personalized, if you like) directly from me right now, at, or from my publisher, Mascot Books: The limited release paperback can only be ordered directly from my website. If you’re in the U.S., you can also add on my hand-roasted Sri Lankan curry powder.
A Feast of Serendib launched officially March 6, 2020, and we hope it’ll be widely available in bookstores and libraries. You can request it from your local bookstore or library! Please do! It’ll also be available on Amazon US, UK, and Canada; you can order it online.
978-1-64543-275-3 Hardcover (distributed by Ingram)
978-1-64543-377-4 ebook (on Amazon, etc.)
2370000696366 (trade paperback; only available directly from me, at Serendib Kitchen site; you can also buy the hardcover or ebook there)
2) REVIEW OR BUY IT HERE (reviews are hugely helpful in boosting visibility!):
3) JOIN THE COOKBOOK CLUB: If you’d like to support the development of more mostly Sri Lankan recipes, I’d love to have you join the cookbook club — for $2 / month, you’ll get recipes delivered to your inbox (fairly) regularly: For $10 / month, you can subscribe for fabulous treats mailed to you! (US-only).

My personal FB page:
Serendib Kitchen blog:

Serendib FB Group:

Serendib FB Page:
5) PUBLISHER’S WEEKLY starred review: “Mohanraj (Bodies in Motion), a literature professor at the University of Illinois, Chicago, introduces readers to the comforting cuisine of Sri Lanka in this illuminating collection of more than 100 recipes. Waves of immigration from China, England, the Netherlands, and Portugal influenced the unique cuisine of Sri Lanka, Mohanraj writes, as evidenced by such dishes as Chinese rolls (a take on classic egg rolls in the form of stuffed crepes that are breaded and fried); fish cutlets (a culinary cousin of Dutch bitterballen fried croquettes); and English tea sandwiches (filled here with beets, spinach, and carrots). With Sri Lanka’s proximity to India, curry figures heavily, with options for chicken, lamb, cuttlefish, or mackerel. A number of poriyal dishes, consisting of sautéed vegetables with a featured ingredient, such as asparagus or brussels sprouts, showcase a Tamil influence. Throughout, Mohanraj does a superb job of combining easily sourced ingredients with clear, instructive guidance and menu recommendations for all manner of events, including a Royal Feast for over 200 people. This is a terrific survey of an overlooked cuisine.”
Thanks so much for your support! Indie publishing is absolutely reliant on word of mouth and the support of friends, family, and friendly internet acquaintances.
— Mary Anne
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Creating a structured task list

URGENT: Brainstorming help, please. My primary goal for this morning is to create a structured task list for what people can work on effectively from home, that will support one of these three urgent-need categories:
a) communication around social distancing
b) economic support for social distancing practices
c) support for healthcare workers
I’d love your thoughts, and I’ll keep adding ones that make sense to me back into this list over the course of the day, so we can build out something coherent. Help?
PART A: Communication Around Social Distancing
Problem: Too many people still haven’t seen or understood the full story, the scope of what’s going on, both the immediate need, and the likely long-term 12-18 month situation. There’s still masses of misinformation going around — the idea that “kids can’t catch it,” for example, when in fact, kids are almost certainly massive vectors for infection.
– break it down into demographic groups — what media do these groups consume? How do we get the message out on SnapChat? (20-30-somethings?) (Faculty, can you brainstorm this with your students?) What about Next Door? (older folks?)
– can we build a library of particularly effective informational resources that are already out there? Articles, yes, but also videos and infographics and memes and even humor? (I’d love to have a team of volunteers working on just that piece of it, gathering and sorting information. Librarians? We need you.)
– can we reach out to celebrities to spread the word faster and more effectively? can we get a list of influencers in our genres / fields who are willing to be propagates of critical information? (i.e., I contact John Scalzi and N.K. Jemisin and ask them if they’d be willing to commit to reposting important pieces, and we then put them on the list, and send them a few pieces / day)
– essentially, we need a social media campaign for coronavirus info; are there communications professionals who can step up and volunteer their services? can we wrangle an actual ad agency into setting aside their other projects for a week and working on this?
PART B: Economic Support for Social Distancing Practices
Problem: Too much of America is too poor (and I include most of the supposed ‘middle class’ here) to be able to afford long-term social distancing with jobs at risk, massive unexpected childcare expenses; it is going to take government releasing funding to make the costs feasible without driving families into poverty (which eventually also leads to deaths).
Essential workers in particular need safe and affordable (preferably free) childcare for their kids, so that they’re not sending their kids into contaminated makeshift childcare environments (with elderly parents, for example) and contributing to disease spread.
– who is working on effective lobbying efforts? where should we concentrate our political efforts at the national level?
– who qualifies as essential? Healthcare, obv. Vermont and another Minnesota just classified grocery store workers as essential.
– what can be done at the local level through governmental efforts? Can village and other taxing body reserve funds be tapped to provide essential childcare immediately, to be hopefully replenished by federal funds down the road? (I don’t know how you’d set up a mechanism for this, but for just one example, our library has a few million dollar in the reserve fund, and having it sitting in the bank right now does not make sense to me. Reserves are meant to support in a rainy day — this is the rainy day.)
– what can be done through non-governmental efforts? People are certainly setting up ad hoc networks of childcare, but without organization, many of those may end up contributing to disease spread through the kids going back and forth. Can we create ‘pods’ of co-isolating groups, at least? Can we set up mutual aid spreadsheets, utilizing Google Forms, and give people guidance on how to provide community childcare effectively?
– compile a neighborhood contact list, and make sure every house on your block is on it. Leave the existing list with neighbors who aren’t on it.
Part C: Support for Healthcare Workers
(Ania Kolak notes that she’s willing to help with this section overall)
– free coaching sessions for healthcare workers and first responders (Ania Kolak notes that she’s doing this through a few national/international orgs but would really love to do it locally; also it would make sense to mobilize some other local coaches who would be interested in helping)
– okay, need to take a breath, break from brainstorming for a minute, will come back to edit this more. But feel free to start adding thoughts in the comments.
I’m mostly looking to fill out this set of needs and plans right now, but if anyone wants to take ‘ownership’ of developing or even working on a particular piece of this, please let me know that too.
I think this is my job here. It’s taken me a little time to realize that, but if there’s one thing I’m good at it, it’s seeing a problem, assessing the structure of what the solution should be, and gathering people to fix it. Let’s do this.
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