Month: April 2010

Remembering Emily and Elizabeth Post

This week, Elizabeth Post, the granddaughter-in-law of Emily Post, passed away at age 89. Emily Post’s Original Etiquette was first published in 1922. The book was revised several times over the years to keep up with social mores. Older versions of Etiquette are publicly available in eBook format for free from Project Gutenberg. Audiobooks of handbooks on manners are available for some titles. Post’s Family History Before tackling the nearly 900 page reference book on all things manners, readers might be interested in learning some of the author’s history. Emily Post: Daughter of the Gilded Age, Mistress of Manners, by Laura Claridge and read by Christine Williams is a biography of the woman who defined manners. This sounds like an interesting look into the life of a woman who managed to keep abreast of societies challenges and changes from the late 1800s through the 1920s. Anyone interested in finding out more about the woman who became the definitive resource on socially appropriate behavior should check this out. Elizabeth “Libby” Post Elizabeth “Libby” Post took over the Emily Post Institute in 1965, five years after Emily’s death. She revised the original Etiquette book several times and wrote a few books of her own about social situations as well as a regular column in Good Housekeeping magazine for 25 years. Libbby’s daughter-in-law, Peggy Post, is the director of the Institute, author of...

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The Lost Man Booker Prize

The Man Booker Prize is awarded each year to one novel judged to be the best of the year by a panel of judges. In 1971, no prize was awarded for the best book of 1970, as it was no longer being awarded retrospectively. This year, it was decided that there would be a special one-time award for a novel written in 1970. These are the six finalists, although only one is available in audiobook format at this time. The Birds on the Trees by Nina Bawden follows Toby Flower as he is expelled from school for taking drugs after exhibiting unusual behaviors. He is eventually hospitalized for mental illness and falls in love with his psychiatrist’s daughter, who becomes pregnant. His relationship with his parents dissolves when they push her to have an abortion. I want to read this. I really do. J.G. Farrell’s Troubles is the only title I could find on audio, narrated by Sean Barrett. Troubles is the first book in his Empire trilogy, a series that examines the Irish fight for independence from Britain. This novel was made into a TV film in 1988 with Sean Bean. The Bay of Noon by Shirley Hazzard follows Jenny, a young woman who leaves England to go to Italy. She follows up on a letter of introduction and meets a writer and film director as well as a Scotsman. Her life becomes...

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The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

I was looking at the list of bestselling audiobooks on Audible for the last week. I find it interesting to see that, while there are several recent releases, a few books that have been out for some time are on the list. Let’s take a look at some of the audiobook bestsellers… The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson, narrated by Simon Vance, were released in 2008 and 2009, but have major staying power. The imminent release of the third volume of the trilogy, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest (now available via pre sale) as well as plans to turn the popular first book into a movie must be factors in its longevity. I have finally begun reading this. I actually started The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo a while ago, but was in the mood for something lighter and set it aside. I’ll keep you posted on my thoughts. More Best Selling Titles Under the Dome by Stephen King, read by Raul Esparza is hanging in on the list as well. The recording is well over 34 hours, but worth every minute. I really enjoyed this book and it’s good to see that others like it as well. Another title that has hung onto bestseller status is The Help by Kathryn Stockett with a full cast of narrators. Okay, it’s ugly...

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Audiobook Narrator Spotlight: Lorelei King

As I’ve said before, a narrator can make or break an audiobook. One narrator whose work is always amazing is Lorelei King. An actress in movies and television, King has also voiced animated characters, radio shows, and of course, audio books. More Than Just a Narrator It is always interesting to read the list of work an author has created. In King’s case, it includes ten films including the hit Notting Hill, twenty-eight television shows (many on BBC TV), and ten theatre productions. In addition to voicing beloved characters from the children’s series Bob the Builder, she has performed...

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Book Censorship Revisited: Is Atlantic Magazine Out of Touch?

I would like to revisit my topic  “Top Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2009” just for a moment. This morning I read in The Atlantic how the dilemma over banned and challenged books should be alarming simply because they do not believe enough parents are protesting! Since they had just 460 challenges reported the ALA presumes that it’s about 25% of the total challenges, equaling about 2000 total. The Atlantic declares: “But it’s even scarier to think of a country where books are so irrelevant, parents don’t even care enough to complain.” Really? That is the most horrifically ridiculous assertion I have ever read. Atlantic Males Assumptions So why, exactly, has it been assumed that parents consider books irrelevant? Evidently, The Atlantic does not care to entertain the notion that parents are anti-censorship and would like our kids to be open-minded. They do not seem to understand that many parents are very aware of these kinds of books and actually encourage our children to read them and discuss the content. The author of this article is clearly out of touch. *gets off soapbox* Harlan Coben Event Don’t forget: April 21 at 7pm EST, Harlan Coben will be chatting with Audible live on Facebook! AUDIBLE is an AMAZON.com...

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