4 audiobooks for August

We have four novels perfect for the beach.

2. "The Chilbury Ladies' Choir," by Jennifer Ryan

(Read by Gabrielle Glaister, Laura Kirman, Imogen Wilde, Adjoa Andoh, Tom Clegg, Mike Grady; Random House Audio; 10 CDs; 12.5 hours; $45/www.audible.com download; $31.50)

A consummate example of a novel enhanced by the audiobook production, this offers us distinct voices provided by six narrators and snippets of music and choir singers expertly used in an understated and effective manner.  The narrators are well-matched to their characters and bring energy and personality to the telling.  This delightful story of a British village in a time of war unfolds in epistolary style told from several perspectives.  Though not about WWII, it is always looming in the background as the village ladies realize their capabilities, romances unwind, and such topics as homosexuality, greed, and unwanted pregnancy keep the gossips busy.      Grade: A –

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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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