For All The Tea in China by Sarah Rose

Last Thursday the nonfiction Book Club met to discuss For All the Tea in China: How England Stole the World’s Favorite Drink and Changed History by Sarah Rose.

A lively discussion ensued on several topics that were introduced in the book: China’s views on foreigners and emigration, industrial espionage, invasive species, Enright rifles, botany, Wardian cases, and most importantly, Robert Fortune. None of us had ever heard of Fortune and were surprised that such an important figure in the importing of tea was not more familiar. Fortune had evidently been invited to the United States to ascertain the possibility of growing tea in the South. However the project was soon abandoned.

A few patrons commented on some of the drawbacks of the book: Most would have preferred to see some period maps of China, there are no illustrations or early photographs, and perhaps a timeline would have been nice.

The author admitted in her notes it was not a scholarly work, but several reviewers criticized the misinformation:

A reviewer for the Scotsman newspaper commented that Rose “occasionally indulges in needless speculation about how Fortune might have felt on seeing particular views or while pondering the ethics of his behavior.” These were issues that bothered me while reading the book. Fortune did write several books about his travels in China but the flowery language Rose attributed to him felt disingenuous.

London’s Guardian reviewer Huw Bowen cited “ numerous errors, misunderstandings, and misconceptions in the text stating that this level of inaccuracy is unacceptable even in a book of popular rather than scholarly history.”

The Washington Post reviewer wrote “not to nitpick but England didn’t steal the drink in question: tea. That feat was accomplished by a Scotsman named Robert Fortune.”

Somewhat difficult to stay with, several attendees said they wouldn’t have finished the book if it weren’t for the book club meeting. They found it not well written but interesting nonetheless.

One person commented that a good editor would have helped. As a group we felt that many recently released books could use a red- penciled editor!

Although we did not have a chance to imbibe the rare and costly Da Hong Pao tea, everyone at the convivial meeting enjoyed several varieties of tea (some of the dusty type in tea bags!) and pastries.

A patron did ask about the origin of the title phrase “For all the Tea in China.” The Facts on File Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins 3rd ed. by Robert Hendrickson noted: “all the Tea in China” would be nearly 600,000 tons according to the 1985 estimates of the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture. It may be an Americanism, but this expression denoting a great sum is probably of British origin and over a century old; the trouble is that no one has been able to authoritatively pin it down. “


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Adrie’s Last Day at Falmouth Public Library

December 26, 2014

Today we say a fond farewell to our colleague and friend Adrienne Latimer.  We will all miss her hard work, attentive personality, and especially her very fun and contagious laugh.

Many hundreds of programs have been organized and introduced by Adrie. Could there be a Death and Dessert program without her and that truly delightful cake with the blood-dripping knife?  Many authors from the Cape and beyond were welcomed by her warm introductions. Surely their book sales increased!

How many patrons were able to find a job under her resume tutelage? Her Wednesday Workshops on resume writing and cover letters were very popular.

Have you ever picked up a brochure at the library on” How to Use the Databases”, “Mango”, or “Auto Repair Reference Center”?  Those are just a few of her handouts that Adrie designed and printed.

Aspiring writers were encouraged and assisted with computer guidance and page formatting by her.

Every year she ordered, displayed and refilled the scores of Federal and State tax forms requested by our patrons.

The Cancer Center collection of brochures and pamphlets has been maintained by Adrie. They have proved to be very helpful and comforting to cancer patients and their families

Several subject collections are ordered by Adrienne, she reviews the library literature, chooses the best titles for our patrons, and assures they are labeled and shelved correctly.

The staff here at FPL, especially the Reference Department, wish her a long and happy retirement. She will be sorely missed.

Although her shoe size is a petite 6, her shoes will be very hard to fill.

Adieu, Adrienne!

Do You Enjoy Historical Fiction? Audiobooks at the Falmouth Public Library

The Library has a large collection of books on CD in many genres. This is the second in a series highlighting some of the historical fiction titles in our collection.

Be Careful What You Wish For by Jeffrey Archer

Follow the struggles and triumphs of the Clifton and Barrington families into the 1960’s: the construction of a luxury ocean liner which comes under sabotage from the IRA; the Clifton family’s entry into the London art scene; and a sweeping ending with all of the Barringtons and the Cliftons aboard the ship for its maiden voyage. Call # CD SPOKEN Archer (9 discs, 11.5 hrs.)

The Daring Ladies of Lowell by Kate Alcott

Eager to escape life on her family’s farm, Alice Barrow moves to Lowell in 1832 and throws herself into the hard work demanded of the mill girls. In spite of the long hours, she discovers a vibrant new life and a true friend–a saucy, strong-willed girl name Lovey Cornell. But conditions at the factory become increasingly dangerous, and Alice finds the courage to represent the workers and their grievances. Although mill owner, Hiram Fiske, pays no heed, Alice attracts the attention of his eldest son, the handsome and reserved Samuel Fiske. Their mutual attraction is intense, tempting Alice to dream of a different future for herself. This dream is shattered when Lovey is found strangled to death. A sensational trial follows, bringing all the unrest that’s brewing to the surface. Alice finds herself torn between her commitment to the girls in the mill and her blossoming relationship with Samuel. Call # CD SPOKEN Alcott (9 discs, 10.5 hrs.)

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

Traces more than three decades in the lives of a wealthy Charleston debutante who longs to break free from the strictures of her household and pursue a meaningful life, and the urban slave, Handful, who is placed in her charge as a child before finding courage and a sense of self. Call # CD SPOKEN Kidd (12 discs, 14 hrs.)

An Officer and a Spy by Robert Harris

Paris, winter 1895. Georges Picquart, recently promoted head of the agency that helped convict Dreyfus of treason. Picquart believes in Dreyfus’s guilt, even after he witnesses the man’s protestations of innocence. But gradually Picquart comes to suspect that a spy remains at large in the military. With evidence mounting, pointing to deceit at the highest levels of government, Picquart has nowhere to turn and is compelled to question his most deeply held beliefs about his country and himself. Call # CD SPOKEN Harris (13 discs, 16 hrs.)

Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

“Penobscot Indian Molly Ayer is close to ‘aging out’ out of the foster care system. A community service position helping an elderly woman clean out her home is the only thing keeping Molly out of juvie and worse…. As she helps Vivian sort through her possessions and memories, Molly learns that she and Vivian aren’t as different as they seem to be. A young Irish immigrant orphaned in New York City, Vivian was put on a train to the Midwest with hundreds of other children whose destinies would be determined by luck and chance. Molly discovers that she has the power to help Vivian find answers to mysteries that have haunted her for her entire life–answers that will ultimately free them both. Rich in detail and epic in scope, Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline is a powerful novel of upheaval and resilience, of unexpected friendship, and of the secrets we carry that keep us from finding out who we are.

Call # CD SPOKEN Kline (7 discs, 8 hrs., 35 min.)

The Secret Life of Violet Grant by Beatriz Williams

In 1964, Vivian Schuyler receives an overseas parcel in the mail. The contents draw her back into her family’s past, and the hushed-over crime of an aunt she never knew. Berlin, 1914: Violet Schuyler Grant endures her marriage to scientist Dr. Walter Grant; he provides the support to her position as a young American female physicist. As Vivian digs deeper into her aunt’s past and the mystery of her ultimate fate, Violet’s story sheds light on the darkness of her years abroad.  Call # CD SPOKEN Williams (12 discs; 14 hrs., 38 min.)

A Star for Mrs. Blake by April Smith

Meeting for the first time for a shared pilgrimage to France to visit the graves of their World War I soldier sons, an Irish maid, a chicken farmer’s wife, a Boston socialite, a former tennis star and a librarian meet a brutally scarred journalist before confronting a shocking secret set against a lesser-known historical event. Call # CD SPOKEN Smith (9 discs, 11.5 hrs.)

The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress by Ariel Lawhon

A steamy reimagining of the scandal-marked 1930 disappearance of Justice Joseph Crater explores events decades later from the perspectives of the three women who knew him best–his Chanel-draped wife, his showgirl mistress, and his dutiful housemaid. Call # CD SPOKEN Lawhon (10 discs, 12 hrs.)

Worthy Brown’s Daughter by Phillip Margolin

Matthew Penny, a young lawyer, arrives on the frontier with nothing but shattered dreams. Unable to face the memories that await back home, he joins the handful of lawyers practicing in Portland, Oregon—which in 1860 is just a riverfront town in a state less than a year old. Worthy Brown, a slave from Georgia, journeys west with his master, Caleb Barbour, who promises to reward Worthy and his daughter, Roxanne, with their freedom if they help him establish a homestead in Oregon. When Barbour reneges on his pledge, Worthy’s hope for a fresh start with his child is destroyed.  Call # CD SPOKEN Margolin (8 discs, 8 hrs. 59 min.)

Science Fiction Audiobooks at the Falmouth Public Library

Do You Enjoy Science Fiction?

The Library has a large collection of books on CD in many genres. This is the first in a series highlighting some of the titles in our collection.

Saucer: Savage Planet by Stephen Coonts- read by Dick Hill

Aliens are coming! The specter of First Contact, the arrival of creatures from another world, convulses the people of Earth when they learn a marooned spaceman is awaiting rescue. Big Pharma moguls know that any inter-stellar voyager must have had his lifespan enhanced, so they want the castaway, Adam Solo, or his body, to learn the secrets.As Rip, Charley, Uncle Egg and Solo try to stay one jump ahead of the body snatchers, the people of Earth grapple with the prospect of eternal life available by prescription. And the arrival of THEM, explorers of the great wilderness of the universe.
Call # CD Coonts ( 8 discs -8 hr. 25 min.)

The Martian by Andy Weir – read by R. C. Bray

Mark Watney was nearly killed by a dust storm on Mars and was abandoned by his crew who thought him dead. Now he’s all alone with no way of letting Earth know he’s alive, which doesn’t matter because his supplies would run out before they’d get there. Either way, the environment or human error will likely kill him first. Not giving in, Mark works to survive, battling obstacle after obstacle, but will it be enough?
Call # CD Weir (9 discs-660 min.)

The Repeat Year by Andrea Lochen

Everyone has days, weeks, even months they wish they could do over–but what about an entire year? After living through the worst twelve months of her life, intensive care nurse Olive Watson is given a second chance to relive her past and attempt to discover where she went wrong…After a year of hardships, including a messy breakup with her longtime boyfriend, Phil, the prospect of her mother’s remarriage, and heartbreaking patient losses at the hospital, Olive is ready to start fresh. But when she wakes up in her ex-boyfriend’s bed on New Year’s Day 2011–a day she has already lived–Olive’s world is turned upside down. Shouldering a year of memories that no one else can recall, even Olive begins to question herself–until she discovers that she is not alone.
Call # CD Lochen (9 discs – 11 hrs.)

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

Once again, Earth is under attack. An alien species is poised for a final assault. The survival of humanity depends on a military genius who can defeat the aliens. But who? Ender Wiggin. Brilliant. Ruthless. Cunning. A tactical and strategic master. And a child. Recruited for military training by the world government, Ender’s childhood ends the moment he enters his new home: Battle School. Among the elite recruits Ender proves himself to be a genius among geniuses. He excels in simulated war games. But is the pressure and loneliness taking its toll on Ender? Simulations are one thing. How will Ender perform in real combat conditions? After all, Battle School is just a game. Isn’t it?
Call # CD Card (9 discs- 10.5 hrs)

Sisterhood of Dune by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson

It is 83 years after the last of the thinking machines were destroyed in the Battle of Corrin, after Faykan Butler took the name of Corrino and established himself as the first Emperor of a new Imperium. Great changes are brewing that will shape and twist all of humankind.
Call # CD Herbert (16 discs- 1080 minutes)

The Chemistry of Tears by Peter Carey

Museum curator Catherine’s affair comes to an abrupt end with her married lover’s untimely death. Denied outward grief by the nature of their relationship, Catherine retreats into isolation. Delving into notebooks more than a century old, she feels a growing connection to Henry Brandling, who in 1854 gave life to a mechanical creature.
Call # CD Carey (7 discs – 9 hrs)

MaddAddam by Margaret Atwood

The compelling conclusion to Atwood’s dystopian trilogy opens with a brief synopsis of the series’ first two books, Oryx & Crake and The Year of the Flood, then launches directly into the story of the MaddAddamites, survivors of a global pandemic that wiped out most of humanity. Readers, even those unfamiliar with the human characters and the genetically engineered new species Atwood has created in her futuristic world, will be quickly drawn in and eager to find out what happens to the MaddAddamites and to the Crakers, a gentle, quasihuman species created by Crake.
Call # CD Atwood (11 discs- 13.5 hrs)

Sisterhood of Dune by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson

It is eighty-three years after the last of the thinking machines were destroyed in the Battle of Corrin, after Faykan Butler took the name of Corrino and established himself as the first Emperor of a new Imperium. Great changes are brewing that will shape and twist all of humankind.
Call # CD Herbert (16 discs, 18 hrs.)

Annihilation by Drew Karpyshyn

Joined by hot-headed smuggler Teff’ith, with whom Theron Shan has an inexplicable bond, and wise Jedi warrior Gnost-Dural, Darth Karrid’s former master, Theron Shan must match wits and weapons with a battle-tested crew of the most cold-blooded dark side disciples. But time is brutally short.
Call # CD Karpyshyn (8 discs-9.5 hrs)

Earth Unaware: the First Formic War by Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston

Before Ender Wiggin was born, before the Battle School was built, the aliens brought war to Earth A hundred years before Ender’s Game, humans thought they were alone in the galaxy. Humanity was slowly making their way out from Earth to the planets and asteroids of the Solar System, exploring and mining and founding colonies. The mining ship El Cavador is far out from Earth, in the deeps of the Kuiper Belt, beyond Pluto. Other mining ships, and the families that live on them, are few and far between this far out. So when El Cavador ‘s telescopes pick up a fast-moving object coming in-system, it’s hard to know what to make of it. It’s massive and moving at a significant fraction of the speed of light. But the ship has other problems. Their systems are old and failing. The family is getting too big. There are claim-jumping corporates bringing Asteroid Belt tactics to the Kuiper Belt. Worrying about a distant object that might or might not be an alien ship seems. not important. They’re wrong. It’s the most important thing that has happened to the human race in a million years. This is humanity’s first contact with an alien race.
Call # CD Card (12 discs- 14 hr.)

Audio Book fans! Just arrived, a cart of new titles for your listening pleasure!


Then and Always by Dani Atkins, read by Susan Duerden.

Rachel Wiltshire has everything she’s ever wanted: a close group of friends, a handsome boyfriend, and acceptance to the journalism program at her top-choice college. But one fateful evening, tragedy tears her world apart. Five years later, Rachel returns home for the first time to celebrate her best friend’s wedding. Still coping with her grief, she can’t stop thinking about the bright future she almost had, if only that one night had gone differently. But when a sudden fall lands her in the hospital, Rachel wakes to find that her life has completely changed. Now she has her dream job as a writer and a stylish apartment, but the people she loves most are not the way she remembers them. Unable to trust her own recollections, Rachel tries to piece together what really happened, and not even she can predict the astonishing truth.

Call # CD Atkins

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, read by John Lee

This classic novel tells the story of the rise and fall of the mythical town of Macondo through the history of the Buendía family. Rich and brilliant, it is a chronicle of life, death, and the tragicomedy of humankind. In the beautiful, ridiculous, and tawdry story of the Buendía family, one sees all of humanity, just as in the history, myths, growth, and decay of Macondo, one sees all of Latin America.

Call # CD Garcia Marquez

The Painter
by Peter Heller, read by Mark Deakins

Jim Stegner has seen his share of violence and loss. Years ago he shot a man in a bar. His marriage disintegrated. In the wake of tragedy, Jim abandoned the art scene of Santa Fe to start fresh in the valleys of rural Colorado. Now he spends his days painting and fly-fishing, trying to find a way to live with the dark impulses that sometimes overtake him. But one afternoon, on a dirt road, Jim comes across a man beating a small horse, and a brutal encounter rips his quiet life wide open.

Call # CD Heller

Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King, read by Will Patton

Months after a crazed hit-and-run driver kills several attendees at a Midwestern job fair, a depressed retired cop and two unlikely allies join forces to find and stop the killer, who has sent a letter threatening another attack.

Call # CD King

The Serpent of Venice by Christopher Moore, performed by Euan Morton

Author Christopher Moore channels William Shakespeare and Edgar Allan Poe in this satiric Venetian gothic featuring the irresistibly mischievous Pocket, the eponymous hero of Fool.

Call # CD Moore

by Ruth Reichl, read by Julia Whelan

Billie Breslin has traveled far from her California home to take a job at Delicious, the most iconic food magazine in New York and, thus, the world. When the publication is suddenly shut down, the colorful staff, who have become an extended family for Billie, must pick up their lives and move on. Not Billie, though. She is offered a new job: staying behind in the magazine’s deserted downtown mansion offices to uphold the Delicious Guarantee, a public relations hotline for complaints and recipes.

Call # CD Reichl

The Vacationers by Emma Straub, read by Kristen Sieh

For the Posts, a two-week trip to the Balearic island of Mallorca with their extended family and friends is a celebration: Franny and Jim are observing their 35th wedding anniversary, and their daughter, Sylvia, has graduated from high school. But all does not go according to plan: over the course of the vacation, secrets come to light, old and new humiliations are experienced, childhood rivalries resurface, and ancient wounds are exacerbated.

Call # CD Straub

Carnal Curiosity
by Stuart Woods, read by Tony Roberts

Stone Barrington seems to have a knack for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. When Manhattan’s elite are beset by a series of clever crimes-and Stone is a material witness-he and his former partner Dino Bacchetti find themselves drawn into the world of high-end security and fraud, where insider knowledge and access are limited to a privileged few, and the wealthy are made vulnerable by the very systems meant to keep them safe. As Stone and Dino delve deeper into their investigation, they learn that the mastermind behind the incidents may have some intimate ties to Stone. and that the biggest heist is still to come.

Call # CD Woods


Destroyer Angel by Nevada Barr, read by Barbara Rosenblat

Testing outdoor sporting equipment designed for a disabled companion, U.S. Park Services ranger Anna Pigeon returns from a solo outing to discover that her fellow campers have been abducted.

Call # CD Barr

Field of Prey
by John Sandford, read by Richard Ferrone

The night after the fourth of July, Layton Carlson Jr., of Red Wing, Minnesota, finally got lucky. And unlucky. He’d picked the perfect spot to lose his virginity to his girlfriend, an abandoned farmyard in the middle of cornfields: nice, private, and quiet. The only problem was . . . something smelled bad–like, really bad. He mentioned it to a county deputy he knew, and when the cop took a look, he found a body stuffed down a cistern. And then another, and another. By the time Lucas Davenport was called in, the police were up to fifteen bodies and counting. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, when Lucas began to investigate, he made some disturbing discoveries of his own. The victims had been killed over a great many years, one every summer, regular as clockwork. How could this have happened without anybody noticing? Because one thing was for sure: the killer had to live close by. He was probably even someone they saw every day.

Call # CD Sandford


Don’t Bite the Hook: Finding Freedom from Anger, Resentment, and Other Destructive Emotions by Pema Chodron

Life has a way of provoking us with traffic jams and computer malfunctions, with emotionally distant partners and crying children-and before we know it, we’re upset. We feel terrible, and then we end up saying and doing things that only make matters worse. But it doesn’t have to be that way, says Pema Chödrön. It is possible to relate constructively to the inevitable shocks, losses, and frustrations of life so that we can find true happiness. The key, Pema explains, is not biting the “hook” of our habitual responses.

Call # CD 294.344 CHO

Flash Boys: a Wall Street Revolt by Michael Lewis, read by Dylan Baker

Michael Lewis returns to Wall Street to report on a high-tech predator stalking the equity markets.

Flash Boys is about a small group of Wall Street guys who figure out that the US stock market has been rigged for the benefit of insiders and that, post-financial crisis, the markets have become not more free but “less,” and more controlled by the big Wall Street banks.

Call # CD 332.6 LEW

I Am Malala: the Girl Who Stood Up For Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai, with Christina Lamb, read by Archie Panjabi, Prologue read by the Author

Describes the life of the young Pakistani student who advocated for women’s rights and education in the Taliban-controlled Swat Balley, survived an assassination attempt, and became the youngest nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Call # CD 920.5 Yousafzai

Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary of State
by Robert M. Gates, read by George Newbern

From the former secretary of defense, a strikingly candid, vivid account of serving Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. After working for six presidents in both the CIA and the National Security Council, Robert M. Gates was happily serving as president of Texas A&M University. But when he was asked to help a nation mired in two wars and to aid the troops doing the fighting, he answered what he felt was the call of duty.

Call # CD 923.273 Gates

A Fighting Chance by Elizabeth Warren, read by the author

An unlikely political star tells the inspiring story of the two-decade journey that taught her how Washington really works; and really doesn’t. In this passionate, funny, rabble-rousing book, Elizabeth Warren shows why she has chosen to fight tooth and nail for the middle class, and why she has become a hero to all those who believe that America’s government can and must do better for working families.

Call # CD 923.273 Warren

Listen Up, Everyone!

Great news!

NoveList Plus is a comprehensive readers’ advisory resource for fiction and nonfiction, one of the many databases available from the Falmouth Public Library. We are delighted that NoveList Plus now has audio book recommendations! If you are familiar with NoveList for books, you know how you can find read-a-likes and popularity star ratings for titles. Now this fabulous service is available for audio books! Just look for Listen-alikes.

On the NoveList Plus opening page:

“New! Audiobook Recommendations

Find Them Here

Looking for just the right audiobook? NoveList Plus now has audiobook recommendations. “

Click on the “Find Them Here” link and you’ll open up a whole new page with Featured AudioBooks , New and Forthcoming, plus Recommended Reads (er, listens!)

NoveList offers audio book recommendations for every genre:  Biographies, Children & Young Adult Fiction, Children & Young Adult Nonfiction, Christian Fiction, Classics, General Fiction, Historical Fiction, History, Mystery & Suspense, Romance, Science Fiction & Fantasy!

Audio Nonfiction

The recommended reads for audio nonfiction include funny memoirs, political commentary, pop culture, science writing, and much more.


Every entry includes not only the author but the narrator as well.  If you have a favorite narrator (or one whose voice you find grating) you can search or limit by narrator. There are even full cast audios.

Entry Sample:

Each entry has a description and an indication if it is part of a series.

For example:

Bring Up the Bodies (May 2012)

Author: Mantel, Hilary, 1952-

Narrator:  Vance, Simon

Adults Fiction

Duration:14 hrs., 30 min. (Unabridged)

Series: Wolf Hall trilogy, 2

Description: Depicts the downfall of Anne Boleyn at the hands of Henry VIII and Thomas Cromwell as Anne and her powerful family fight back while she is on trial for adultery and treason.

Format: Spoken Word Compact Disc

Pre-Loaded Audio Player

Genre: Historical fiction; Literary fiction

Audio Characteristics: Crisp; Distinctly voiced; Immersive; Well-characterized; Wry

Storyline: Character-driven; Intricately plotted

Pace: Leisurely paced

Tone: Atmospheric; Melancholy; Reflective

Writing Style: Richly detailed; Stylistically complex; Witty

In addition to published reviews from AudioFile, Publisher’s Weekly, Booklist or Library Journal, there are also tabs:  “More about this Audiobook” and “Lists and Articles.”

Audio Characteristics

A really special feature is Audio Characteristics. Within in this link you can choose:

• Resonant

• Gravelly

• Multiple narrators

• Immersive

• Engrossing

• Crisp

• Commanding

• Brisk

• Energetic

• Character accents

Preview the audio book sample:

This is how:

First, go to NoveList from the library’s homepage;, scroll down the page to Library Databases, click on the link “Click here.” You’ll find NoveList in the first group under General Databases. You may be asked to enter your Falmouth Public Library card if you login from outside the library.

Enter the title of the audio book you want to hear. Not sure what you are looking for? You can find award winners and new releases easily. Once you have chosen a title, listen to a preview.

For example, search for Bossypants by Tina Fey.

Be sure to select the Audio edition, click on the book image and then on the Audiobook Sample.

Voila, you now can hear a sample of the book and the narrator’s voice.

Running Time

Another nice NoveList audiobook feature is you can search for running time: 0-3 hrs, 3-6 hrs, 6-12 hrs. If you are planning a long drive or a short commute, it is really helpful to know the length of the audiobook.

Are the kids coming along, too? Check out the Award winners arranged by age. You can feel confident each title would be age and interest appropriate.

Nonfiction audio books

Recommendations in these categories are also included:

Armchair travel

Biography & Memoir

Family relationships

History and Current Events


Politics, Economics and Global Affairs

Popular Culture


Spirituality and Religion

Sports and Competition

Advanced Search

This feature allows the listener to limit their search by published date range, author gender, nationality, format, audience (such as adults, teens and ages 9-12 or ages 0-8)and for nonfiction by Dewey range.

Lexile score or grade level important? Just choose the range appropriate for the listener. You can even limit to abridged, unabridged or dramatized.

Created by Librarians

NoveList is created by librarians, for librarians. They have over 25 librarians on staff, plus others from around the country who contribute their expertise.

What parameters does NoveList use to determine a recommendation?

From the NoveList webpage:

“Our experts evaluate and write recommendations, crafting them by hand. We do as many of those as we possibly can, but we also have a very sophisticated algorithm that considers subjects, our signature appeal terms, and more to create additional recommendations. We fine-tune our processes all the time, with the goal of matching readers with their perfect books.

NoveList is created by librarians, for librarians. We have over 25 librarians on staff, plus others from around the country who contribute their expertise.

We believe the first element of a good recommendation is trust. If you trust the source, you have confidence in the quality of the recommendation. We also believe that a recommendation has to be meaningful. It doesn’t do much good to get a recommendation that is really obvious. We strive to provide recommendations that go beyond the obvious, are insightful and thoughtful, and are meaningful to readers.”

National Poetry Month

National Poetry Month is a month-long, national celebration of poetry established by the Academy of American Poets. The concept is to widen the attention of individuals and the media—to the art of poetry, to living poets, to our complex poetic heritage, and to poetry books and journals of wide aesthetic range and concern. We hope to increase the visibility and availability of poetry in popular culture while acknowledging and celebrating poetry’s ability to sustain itself in the many places where it is practiced and appreciated.

The Academy of American Poets has led this initiative from its inception in 1996 and along the way has enlisted a variety of government agencies and officials, educational leaders, publishers, sponsors, poets, and arts organizations to help.

Today’s poem, Travel is by Edna St. Vincent Millay.


by Edna St. Vincent Millay

The railroad track is miles away,

And the day is loud with voices speaking,

Yet there isn’t a train goes by all day

But I hear its whistle shrieking.

All night there isn’t a train goes by,

Though the night is still for sleep and dreaming,

But I see its cinders red on the sky,

And hear its engine steaming.

My heart is warm with friends I make,

And better friends I’ll not be knowing;

Yet there isn’t a train I wouldn’t take,

No matter where it’s going.


Edna St. Vincent Millay was born in Rockland, Maine, on February 22, 1892. Her mother, Cora, raised her three daughters on her own after asking her husband to leave the family home in 1899. Cora encouraged her girls to be ambitious and self-sufficient, teaching them an appreciation of music and literature from an early age. In 1912, at her mother’s urging, Millay entered her poem “Renascence” into a contest: she won fourth place and publication in The Lyric Year, bringing her immediate acclaim and a scholarship to Vassar. There, she continued to write poetry and became involved in the theater. She also developed intimate relationships with several women while in school, including the English actress Wynne Matthison. In 1917, the year of her graduation, Millay published her first book, Renascence and Other Poems. At the request of Vassar’s drama department, she also wrote her first verse play, The Lamp and the Bell (1921), a work about love between women.

Millay, whose friends called her “Vincent,” then moved to New York’s Greenwich Village, where she led a notoriously Bohemian life. She lived in a nine-foot-wide attic and wrote anything she could find an editor willing to accept. She and the other writers of Greenwich Village were, according to Millay herself, “very, very poor and very, very merry.” She joined the Provincetown Players in their early days, and befriended writers such as Witter Bynner, Edmund Wilson, Susan Glaspell, and Floyd Dell, who asked for Millay’s hand in marriage. Millay, who was openly bisexual, refused, despite Dell’s attempts to persuade her otherwise. That same year Millay published A Few Figs from Thistles (1920), a volume of poetry which drew much attention for its controversial descriptions of female sexuality and feminism. In 1923 her fourth volume of poems, The Harp Weaver, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize. In addition to publishing three plays in verse, Millay also wrote the libretto of one of the few American grand operas, The King’s Henchman (1927).

Millay married Eugen Boissevain, a self-proclaimed feminist and widower of Inez Milholland, in 1923. Boissevain gave up his own pursuits to manage Millay’s literary career, setting up the readings and public appearances for which Millay grew quite famous. According to Millay’s own accounts, the couple acted liked two bachelors, remaining “sexually open” throughout their twenty-six-year marriage, which ended with Boissevain’s death in 1949. Edna St. Vincent Millay died in 1950.

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Downton Abbey Reading List - Get Ready for Season Four

Are you eagerly awaiting Season Four of Downton Abbey?

Maybe reading a few Downton inspired books or watching a DVD about Highclere Castle will help pass the time between episodes!

Summerset Abbey

By T.J. Brown

Reminiscent of Downton Abbey, this first novel in a new series follows two sisters and their maid as they are suddenly separated by the rigid class divisions within a sprawling aristocratic estate and thrust into an uncertain world on the brink of WWI…Rowena and Victoria, daughters to the second son of the Earl of Summerset, have always treated their governess’s daughter, Prudence, like a sister. But when their father dies and they move in with their uncle’s family in a much more traditional household, Prudence is relegated to the maids’ quarters, much to the girls’ shock and dismay. The impending war offers each girl hope for a more modern future, but the ever-present specter of class expectations makes it difficult for Prudence to maintain a foot in both worlds. Vividly evoking both time and place and filled with authentic dialogue and richly detailed atmosphere, Summerset Abbey is a charming and timeless historical debut.

Call # Fiction Brown

Habits of the House

by Fay Weldon.

Conflict between the Boers and the British in South Africa could spell financial ruin for the Earl of Dilberne. The goldmine in which he has invested most of his assets, including his wife’s inheritance and children’s trust funds, has been destroyed by the fighting. Despite dire warnings from the solicitor who manages his business affairs, the Earl and his wife, Isobel, must maintain appearances. How to cover tailoring bills and gambling debts while maintaining Dilberne Court in Hampshire plus a London household? Arthur, the son and heir, must marry for money. He agrees as long as he can continue experimenting with steam cars and supporting his mistress. Enter Minnie O’Brien, daughter of a wealthy meat packer, who needs a titled husband to erase Chicago gossip about her affair with a married man. Weldon, who wrote the pilot for Upstairs, Downstairs, travels well-worn territory here, but she does so effortlessly and adroitly. Fans of Downton Abbey and similar sagas will enjoy exploring the twists and turns of life in the extended Dilberne household. This is book one in Weldon’s Love and Inheritance trilogy.

Call # Fiction Weldon

The Chronicles of Downton Abbey: a New Era

By Jessica Fellowes and Matthew Sturgis

The Chronicles of Downton Abbey , carefully pieced together at the heart and hearth of the ancestral home of the Crawleys, takes us deeper into the story of every important member of the Downton estate. This lavish, entirely new book focuses on each character individually, examining their motivations, their actions, and the inspirations behind them. An evocative combination of story, history, and behind-the-scenes drama, it will bring fans even closer to the secret, beating heart of the house. Call # 791.4572 FEL

Lady Catherine, the Earl, and the Real Downton Abbey

By the Countess of Carnarvon

The countess seamlessly weaves her home into the bigger historical picture through Highclere’s revolving door of impressive guests of the time, from King Edward VIII to Gen. George Patton. Considering the long honored British tradition of primogeniture, it’s refreshing to see Catherine as the focus here, rather than her husband the count. This easily digestible history will delight fans of the beloved BBC/PBS series, serving up as much drama and intrigue as the fictional Crawley family.

Call # 941.082 CAR

Secrets of Highclere Castle (DVD)

Produced and directed by Vicky Matthews

It may be more famous now than any time in its 1,300-year history as the setting of Downton Abbey, but England’s Highclere Castle has its own stories to tell. In its heyday, Highclere was the social epicenter of Edwardian England. See how all the inhabitants of Highclere lived, from the aristocrats above to the army of servants toiling ‘below stairs’. Also find out from the current inhabitants, Lord and Lady Carnarvon, what life in a fairytale castle is like today.

Call # DVD 942 SEC