4 audiobooks that tell tales about women

Check out these stories by and about women.

3. 'A Few of the Girls: Stories,' by Maeve Binchy

A Few of the Girls Maeve Binchy Random House Audio 10 hours and 50 minutes

(Read by Sile Bermingham, Joyce Entwistle, John Lee, and Katharine McEwan; Random House Audio; 9 CDs)

This is a mixed bag in that some of these stories are top-notch Binchy, funny and charming, or dark and poignant. A few, however, are just middling as they are not fully developed or end abruptly.  Enough remains to entertain, but much of that is due to a cast of Irish and English actors that breathes life into her words. Lee cleverly manages several voices and Entwistle, whose voice is a bit dusky, stands out. A forward by Binchy's husband, the writer Gordon Snell, explains that the stories were collected after she died. While one wishes to honor her memory, some of these feel like scraps gathered up just to generate income. Grade:  B Minus

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

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