4 cozy and (mildly) scary audiobooks

Any of these would make a good companion on your next holiday trip.

3. 'Frankenstein Dreams: A Connoisseur's Collection of Victorian Science Fiction,' by Michael Sims

(Read by Tim Campbell; HighBridge Audio; 11 CDs; 13 hours and 30 minutes)
This one may leave you on the fence. The stories are not the usual fodder for an anthology, so one has the chance to hear some true Victorian literature, but the prologue and introduction to each story may be a bit too academic for the casual audiophile. Authors include Edgar Allan Poe, Thomas Hardy, Robert Louis Stevenson, Arthur Conan Doyle, Rudyard Kipling, and many others.  Campbell has a deep voice and manages a dramatic tone without overdoing it. He seamlessly conjures up accents and understands the dramatic timing necessary for these early additions to the genre. Grade: B

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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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