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Free audiobooks! Seriously...

There are a number of projects out in Webland to create and provide free audio recordings of books that are in the public domain.

Like Librivox.org, where volunteers record individual chapters of books in a collaborative framework. Nice!

Here's the link to the Librivox recording of Little Men by Louisa May Alcott. You can download individual chapters or a zip file of the whole enchilada.

There is also AudioBooksFor Free. The name says it all.

There are other similar audiobook projects/resources out there. Rather than write them all here, read this item from resourceshelf.com.

Books about Fathers and Sons

The Ministry of Special CasesThe Ministry of Special Cases by Nathan Englander

Kaddish Poznan, a Jewish man with a peculiar occupation and off-the-beaten-path sensibilities, is on a quest to find his disappeared son in 1970s Argentina. Written in lyrical prose and reminiscent of the bureaucratic absurdities of Kafka’s and Orwell’s novels, this is a story of the unavoidable rifts between fathers and sons, and a family’s descent into inescapable tragedy brought on by political unrest and gnawing questions of identity. A meaty and moving book, one that haunts and lingers.


A Long Stay In A Distant Land<A Long Stay In A Distant Land by Chieh Chieng

Louis Lum lives with his prickly father, Sonny, who listens to rap records as a way of coping with his wife’s death. The death of Louis’ mother is one in a long line of deaths that have hounded Louis’ extended family. This novel is a chronicle of their collective grief, their family myths, and their comic misadventures through each personal tragedy. Similar to The Joy Luck Club but a tad funnier and wackier. Good for picking up the soul off the floor.


The Beautiful MiscellaneousThe Beautiful Miscellaneous by Dominic Smith

Nathan Nelson, dogged by his father’s desire for a genius son, acquires synesthesia and a prodigious memory after a terrible car accident. Despite these new gifts, however, relations between Nelson and his father, a physics professor, continue to deteriorate.
In this novel, Dominic Smith captures the painfully awkward attempts of father and son to find a common language with which to explore their seemingly incompatible desires and personalities. Achingly beautiful prose and compelling characters make this a wonderful read.


A Good and Happy ChildA Good and Happy Child by Justin Evans

An eleven year-old boy, a difficult childhood, his father’s untimely death, rumors of demons real and unreal, and a cast of oddball characters are some of the ingredients of Justin Evan’s debut novel. Infused with questions of supernatural events, this is ultimately a story about the fears surrounding fatherhood (or parenthood, for that matter) and the precarious act of bringing a child into a perilous world. Gripping, quirky, edge-of-your-seat. Read in broad daylight....or not.

Bangkok Haunts

Bangkok Haunts by John Burdett

Royal Thai police detective Sonchai Jitpleecheep, haunted in his dreams by a woman who once cruelly broke his heart, is charged with solving her gruesome murder, which was captured on high-quality video.

In this, the third novel in Burdett's Bangkok series, once again the author interweaves corruption and cruelty with Buddhist spirituality. The result is a dark, yet satisfying read. But fans of the series will enjoy this latest episode in the life of the only Bangkok police officer who doesn't take bribes.

A Delightful Culinary Read!

The Wedding Officer
by Anthony Capella

A British officer is sent to Naples during the Allied occupation to discourage soldiers from marrying Italian women. However he, too, falls in love with a beautiful Neapolitan widow who knows much about the art of love and cooking. A great literary treat from the author of The Food of Love!

Here If You Need Me


Here If You Need Me
by Kate Braestrup

This is the memoir of a woman who decided to become a minister after her state trooper husband was killed in a car accident. He had planned to become a minister after he retired from law enforcement, so she decided to do it in his stead. After getting her degree from the Bangor Theological Seminary, she becomes a chaplain for the Maine Warden Service.

Kids.gov

Kids.gov,the official U.S. government Web portal for kids, has been relaunched.

The site features web pages for kids, broken down in two age groups: Grades K-5, and Grades 6-8. There is also a section for educators.

Word Central: New cool dictionary site for kids.

Merriam-Webster has retooled its Word Central Website.

Search features:

  • dictionary
  • thesaurus
  • rhyming

There are games, and a build your own dictionary feature.

Two Books for End of Summer Reading!

Power Play
By Joseph Finder

This fast-paced thriller, set in the aeronautics industry, centers around a junior executive who is sent to an annual corporate retreat held at an isolated luxury lodge. The weekend think tank turns into a terrible nightmare when a band of backwoods hunters take the group hostage. Power struggles ensue as the situation becomes deadly. Great suspense!


The Man from Stone Creek
By Linda Lael Miller

An Arizona ranger goes undercover as a schoolteacher in a small western town when tracking a band of train robbers. While there he encounters Maddie Chancelor who is running the local store after her fiancé was killed. Together they sort out many personal and professional complications. Romance readers will enjoy this one!

Did you see this morning's eclipse?

Total Lunar Eclipse August 28, 2007; photo by James Guilford

Did you see this morning's total lunar eclipse? It was well worth it to me getting up 90 minutes early! I watched the Moon move from the shade of Earth's outer shadow and into the deep inner cone of darkness -- within the space of a bit more than an hour Luna changed from a full, golden disk to a dull coppery remnant in the western sky. Sunrise erased the last traces of the spectacle from sight a little after 6:00 AM.

The next total lunar eclipse visible from here will take place the night of February 21, 2008. It will be well placed in the sky for us to see the entire show, not just the first half. Mark your calendar now!

-- Photo by James Guilford

New online resource for local, family histories underway

As a partnership between the Allen County Public Library (Fort Wayne, IN), FamilySearch's Family History Library (Salt Lake City, UT), and Brigham Young University's Harold B. Lee Library a new archive of local and family histories and other historical documents is being created. The resulting Website is free to all users.

For more information on this project, including how to contribute, click here.