Short Nonfiction Collection, Vol. 086
"The democracy of the future will sicken of a chronic and mortal boredom," was Aldous Huxley's prophecy for the United States in 1923. You won't be bored listening to these 20 recordings, selected by their readers, with topics ranging from Leacock's humorous Manual of Education to Unamuno's Tragic Sense of Life. There's an artist's diary ; an after-dinner speech ; reflections on Beauty by John Burroughs; Willa Cather and Christopher Morley on writing; and Leibniz on the Origin of Things. Political topics include the Power of Third Parties; the House of Commons; the 1904 South Dakota Land Lottery; and an NAACP anti-lynching poster...
By: Thomas Beames (1815-1864)
Rookeries of London
Rev. Thomas Beames was a preacher at St. James, Westminster in London. He compiled his own eye-witness accounts of the most notorious of the slum areas, the Rookeries. In this essay, he passionately discusses the effects of poverty and the mistreatment of the poor and working classes. Much of what he says is still valid today; for example, in discussing over-population and emigration, he mentions the mis-use of land in Britain: "... large tracts of land, such as in Derbyshire, seem only valuable as grouse preserves...
By: Archibald Geikie (1835-1924)
Archibald Geikie was a geologist in Scotland by profession, and a writer. While most of his writings were professional, this is a more personal book telling some of the history of Scotland, Archibald's memories, experiences and recollections there as well as stories he was told by people he met. He has a good sense of humour which shines through. - Summary by Jmbau13
Short Nonfiction Collection, Vol. 087
"Certitude is not the test of certainty." This pithy phrase is from Jurist Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr's essay on Natural Law, one of twenty nonfiction pieces chosen by their readers for inclusion in volume 087. Selections from Pascal, Josiah Royce, and C.S. Peirce also delve philosophical themes. Builders, warriors, artists, and activists, the many faces of mankind, are illuminated in selections on Ferdinand De Lesseps, Stanislaus Koniecpolski, Jan Karol Chodkiewicz, Mark Twain, Charlie Chaplin, Frederic Edwin Church, the 14th century citizens of Liège, who vanquished Sir Radus' castle, and Simon Pokagon's The Red Man's Rebuke...
By: W. E. B. Du Bois (1868-1963)
This is a moving and deeply felt biography of abolitionist John Brown, which defends its subject against the popular notion of him as a delusional fanatic. The author, W.E.B. DuBois, was a renowned author, scholar, sociologist, socialist, and civil rights activist, and one of the founders of the N.A.A.C.P.. - Summary by Ciufi Galeazzi
Health, Disease, and Everything in Between
This collection is a mix of poems from several authors, all of which talk about health and disease from both the patient and the doctor's perspectives. - Summary by Maryam Arabi
By: Alexander Hamilton (1755/1757-1804)
Federalist Papers (version 2)
“The Federalist Papers” are a collection of 85 linked essays that explain the construction of the U.S. government and why it was built that way. The Papers are regarded as the best pipeline into understanding the U.S. Constitution and the founding principles of the government it would establish. I have endeavored here to present these essays, not as articles in a newspaper, but as you might have experienced them if you had sat in a comfortable tavern with a tankard in hand, and listened while these ardent men ranged in front of a friendly fireplace as they attempted to convince you of their arguments...
By: Harry Houdini (1874-1926)
Magician Among the Spirits
Houdini, an escape artist and illusionist, became interested later in his life in debunking spiritualists, disbelieving anyone who claimed to have supernatural powers. This was during an era where paranormal phenomena, especially seances, were extremely popular. Although skeptical of their claims, he longed to find a credible source to communicate with family members he had lost. This book chronicles his travels and the many people he spoke with and his observations of their 'powers' and along the way also reveals many of the tricks they employed to deceive their paying customers. - Summary by Phyllis Vincelli
By: John M. Douglass
Indians in Wisconsin's History
Pre-European arrival history of Wisconsin's Native American tribes, with discussions of their way of life, crafts, clothing, shelter, hunting, fishing and farming. Their activity and battles during French, British and U.S. rule of the territory. Extermination and forced removal of tribes to agencies and reservations. Numbers of survivors from original tribes and plight of those remaining in the 20th century. Popular Science Handbook No. 6, published by the Milwaukee Public Museum in 1954. Summary by Verla Viera
By: Henry Mayhew (1812-1887)
London Labour and the London Poor Volume IV
Subtitled A Cyclopaedia of the condition and earnings of those that will work, those that cannot work, and those that will not work. This volume: Those that will not work, comprising prostitutes, swindlers, thieves, beggars. Henry Mayhew was a social researcher and journalist who compiled a four volume work in minute detail on the lives of the poor in London, of which this is the fourth volume, published in 1862, and co-written with Bracebridge Hemyng, John Binny and Andrew Halliday. Notes: 1...
Short Nonfiction Collection, Vol. 088
"With opinions, possession is more than nine points of the law. It is next to impossible to dislodge them." Woodrow Wilson's Study of Administration examines public opinion's role in politics. It is one of 20 nonfiction readings chosen by the readers. Other faceted topics in volume 088 include culinary taste the existence of the supernatural ; slavery ; peace and war and culture . Rounding out the volume are a survey of Martinique, and a medical treatise on the Organs of the Human Voice.
By: Kay Lyttleton
Jean Craig, Graduate Nurse
As Jean Craig finished her training and prepared for graduation, illness struck—first in her own family, and later in epidemics that swept the village of Elmhurst. It was with a deep feeling of satisfaction that Jean was able to give trained and efficient aid at the hospital. It was with equal satisfaction that she watched romance blossom between Dr. Benson, the fresh young intern, and Eileen Gordon, the new Supervisor of Nurses, and discovered that her sister Kit was practically engaged. But the joy of the family reached a new peak when Doris, the youngest daughter, won a music scholarship...
By: Mary Finley Leonard (1862-1948)
Candle and the Cat
"To the memory of TROLLEY, This little story is dedicated." When young Caro goes to stay with her Aunt and Grandfather, the seminary president, she learns to not be afraid of the dark and to "be a candle" by "sharing her light" with the help of Trolley the cat. In doing so, she is able to help others, including a reclusive invalid, renew their old friendships. - Summary by JHedrick
By: W. K. Tweedie (1803-1863)
Joseph and his Brethren
"The story of Joseph is at once so simple that childhood is arrested and rivetted by it, and so profound that sages may deepen their wisdom by meditating on the truths which it embodies. An attempt is here made to point out some of the more important lessons which the narrative teaches,—to manifest the wisdom and the watchfulness of Providence,—and show how God on high exercises his prerogative of educing good from what we are often tempted to regard as only and hopelessly evil. While man displays...
By: Hugh Tempest Sheringham (1879-1930)
One of the classic British books about angling. The author’s love was fly fishing—“…while there are trout, life is worth living…” but he was no snob. An Angler’s Hours includes several chapters about coarse fishing as well as a surprising account of the Japanese tenkara method as used in England. Sheringham's style is similar to that of the much-loved B.B. with a dash of P.G. Wodehouse. He doesn’t bore us with technical details but writes of the simple joys of angling—"a man who gazes at the wares in a tackle-shop on a sunny day in April has certainly a fishing expedition in prospect”—not forgetting the pleasure of a nice pot of tea at the end of the day...
Short Nonfiction Collection, Vol. 089
"From vocalists you may learn much, but do not believe all that they say." Robert Schumann's Advice to Young Musicians is replete with good counsel. How, what, and from whom we learn is thematic to many of these 20 nonfiction selections, chosen by their readers. We learn from the lives of valorous persons ; from literature ; from journalists, activists, and the opinionated , and from nature . Summary by Sue Anderson
By: Pierre Loti (1850-1923)
Lives of Two Cats
An English translation of Pierre Loti's charming 19th century memoir of his cats. - Summary by S Caulkins
By: Meredith Nicholson (1866-1947)
Life abruptly changes for young socialite, Grace Durland., when her father goes bankrupt and she is forced to earn a living. Thrust into a new life, she meets -- and falls in love with -- a married man. She faces condemnation from friends and family alike, and although Ward Trenton reciprocates her feelings, his wife refuses him a divorce. Once again, fate intervenes in the form of a serious accident. - Summary by Lynne Thompson
By: Edna W. Underwood (1873-1961)
Letters from a Prairie Garden
The "Letters from a Prairie Garden," are genuine letters and not fiction. They went through the mail. An explanatory word about their origin may not be amiss. Some years ago a famous artist came to a certain mid-western city on business connected with his profession. He had an acquaintance who lived in the hotel where the writer lived at that time and with whom he talked over the phone. The writer frequently happened to be talking at the same time, and the wires crossing, he heard me laugh repeatedly, and he nicknamed me "the woman who laughs...
By: Walter Higgins
Originally published in 1922, this work details the history and importance of one of Great Britain's grandest rivers, the River Thames. It includes information on the river's geography and its role in the founding of London. This is a fascinating read for anyone with an interest in the history of the river. The River Thames takes its name from the Middle English Temese, which is derived from the Celtic name for river. Originating at the Thames Head in Gloucestershire, it is the longest river in England, flowing a total length of 236 miles, out through the Thames Estuary and in to the North Sea...
By: A. A. Milne (1882-1956)
Winnie-the-Pooh (Version 2)
A charming collection of 10 relaxing tales, come along into the Forest as Winnie-the-Pooh tries to get some honey, the search is on for Eeyore's tail, some new visitors arrive in the form of Kanga and Baby Roo and an 'Expotition' is held to discover the North Pole! A classic for over 95 years and one that everyone young and old will surely adore.
By: Helen Clarke (1860-1926)
Guide to Mythology
My aim in this book on Mythology for young readers has been to give them solid knowledge on the subject, as far as it is advisable to go with immature minds, based upon the most recent investigations of scholars, and to select the myths used in illustration of the plan, with a view to giving them interesting stories to read, which will, almost unconsciously to themselves, lay a firm foundation for the fascinating study of Comparative Mythology, should they wish to go more deeply into it in the future...
By: Richmal Crompton (1890-1969)
Still - William
More humorous adventures by the world’s most misunderstood English boy. - Summary by david wales
Short Nonfiction Collection, Vol. 090
In his autobiographical essay "The Intellectuals and the Boston Mob," Booker T. Washington wrote: "It is not argument, nor criticism, nor hatred, but work in constructive effort, that gets hold of men and binds them together in a way to make them rally to the support of a common cause." Individual and group dynamics are at the core of most of the reader-chosen nonfiction pieces in Vol. 090. (Rugby School; Questions of Divorce; The Sage of Vienna, Popular Folk Poetry, The Use and Abuse of Church Bells, Superstition and Crime, Social Control, The Importance of Marking Historic Spots, The Pirates Who's Who, Catherine Tegahkouita, the Iroquois Mission of Sault St...
By: Charlotte Maria Tucker (A. L. O. E.) (1821-1893)
Story Of A Needle
A story told, through the viewpoint of a sewing needle, about family life and siblings. The narration from the needle tells how he was made and witnesses the relationships within the family. The needle also makes friends with a thimble and some scissors. - Summary by Susan Russell
By: Ethel Rose Peyser (1887-1961)
Cheating the Junk-Pile — The Purchase and Maintenance of Household Equipments
This book of advice about the purchase and care of household appliances is intended to cheat the junk-pile by inspiring the buyer to get the utmost advantage out of every purchase thru wise buying and proper care of equipment after it is acquired. The book explains what the householder needs to know about the practical home use of electricity, about such modern appliances as electric washing machines and vacuum cleaners., about electric, gas, and oil stoves, heating and ventilation, kitchen furnishings, water supply, lighting, fire prevention, etc. - Summary by Book review digest, 1923
Short Nonfiction Collection, Vol. 091
"Pneumatic tubes, instead of store wagons, will deliver packages and bundles." Store purchases by tube was one of John Watkins Jr's predictions for What May Happen in the Next Hundred Years, written in 1900. Man and womankind's achievements, and their failures, are central to many of the reader chosen nonfiction pieces in vol. 091 . Broadening the gaze are selections on science, poetry, myth, art, and imaginative writing . Summary by Sue Anderson
By: Aristotle (384 BCE-322 BCE)
Generation of Animals
Generation of Animals ; Latin: De Generatione Animalium) Book 1: Sexual Parts, Semen & Sexual Generation Book 2: Sexes, Embryo Development & Sterility Book 3: Birds, Fish, Cephalopods, Insects, Bees & Testacea Book 4: Causes of Sex, Heredity & Teratology Book 5: Distinction between Necessity and the Final Cause Charles Darwin wrote: "Linnaeus and Cuvier have been my two gods, though in very different ways, but they were mere schoolboys to old Aristotle." - Summary by Geoffrey Edwards
By: Clarence Darrow (1857-1938)
Clarence Darrow, Selected Works: 1893-1917
This is a collection of 8 works by Clarence Darrow written between 1893 and 1917. Clarence Darrow was most noted in his time as an enormously successful defense attorney. Consider that he was the defense attorney at the Scopes Monkey Trial and at the "trial of the century", the Bobby Franks murder trial. He, like Robert G. Ingersoll, William Cowper Brann , William Jennings Bryan , Daniel Webster, etc. was also known as a world-class orator. These collected 8 works include speeches, essays, and public debates. The man had a silver tongue... sharpened to a rapier's edge!
On the Ruin of Britain
Gildas was a well-informed and definitely opinionated 6th century commentator on the topic of the era of the Roman occupation of Britain beginning in AD 43, the subsequent desertion of Britain by the legions in AD 410, and then invasions by the Scots, Picts and Saxons. Gildas was critical of his fellow Britons, accusing them of unwarranted rebellion against the beneficial rule of Roman law, and of then pusillanimously calling upon Rome to help them defend against the invading Picts and Scots from the north...
By: William Henry Samuel Jones (1876-1963)
Malaria: A Neglected Factor in the History of Greece and Rome
This short book has the objective of showing how important it is to stamp out malaria as soon as possible. Unlike a plague that suddenly takes it victims and leaves its survivors, malaria is a debilitating infection. It seizes all, fit and unfit alike, gradually lessening the general vitality until, in some cases, it has exterminated the people among whom it has become endemic. Extensive evidence has been compiled and summarised from consultation with medical authorities, antique literature, and historical sources to show how this insidious disease has undermined the integrity of a pair of ancient empires, and ultimately became a factor in their downfall. - Summary by Leon Harvey
Short Nonfiction Collection, Vol. 092
Calling men the "Bawling Brotherhood," Sarah Grand penned a lively essay on The New Aspect of the Woman Question in 1894. Stenography and the Typewriter, and Home Hints were other women centric selections from the 20 reader-chosen nonfiction pieces in volume 092. Social and political history figured in many readings: The Birthplace of American Independence ; Roman Remains in Great Britain; the Spanish American War; Thoughts Upon the African Slave Trade ; State of the Union Address ; Disunion Sentiment ; and Monument to General Sheridan...
Civil War Women, North And South
This recording comprises two narratives. One is by Cora Mitchel who in 1861 was a girl in her mid-teens. Her Unionist family escaped the Confederacy from their home in south Georgia to Rhode Island. This is her story written about 1916. The second narrative is by Charlotte St. Julien Ravenel of South Carolina, a contemporary journal written in the closing months of the civil war in 1865. - Summary by David Wales
By: Francis J. Finn, S.J. (1859-1928)
The conversion of an indifferent father and mother, through the death of an only child, is well told in another story by Fr Finn, S.J. entitled Ada Merton.
By: Helena Petrovna Blavatsky (1831-1891)
Secret Doctrine.Volume I. Cosmogenesis.Part II. The Evolution Of Symbolism.
In this work of comparative religion, ontology and epistemology, Mme. Blavatsky presents science as a belief system of as much value as others in contributing to human knowledge of the seven secret keys to understanding through mathematics and intuition. A comparative study of ancient texts and their commentators over more than three thousand years.
By: George Reginald Marriner (1879-1910)
KEA: a New Zealand problem
The kea is the world's only alpine parrot, and is endemic to the South Island of New Zealand. Although this large parrot is beloved of modern-day New Zealanders for its cheeky intelligence and mischievous behaviour , it has not always been so loved, and is currently classified as an endangered species. Its decline began in the 19th century, with the arrival of European settlers, their sheep, and the payment of rich rewards to bounty hunters for kea beaks. Written in 1907, The Kea: a New Zealand...
By: William Brooke O'Shaughnessy (1809-1889)
On the Preparations of the Indian Hemp
The author investigated the uses of cannabis resin as an anticonvulsant and relaxant in cases of tetanus, cholera, and infantile convulsions. He and others also carried out animal studies on its use, and noted its low toxicity. He recommended that British doctors assessed the drug's use in such cases.
By: David Walker (1796-1830)
The Appeal grabbed readers’ attention in as dramatic a manner as Walker could have possibly imagined. In her book, Maria W. Stewart and the Roots of Black Political Thought, Kirsten Waters writes about how the pamphlet itself was viewed as dangerous by pro-slavery forces, while Walker actively worked to get his text in the hands of Black readers. He did not direct his writing to White audiences, and in the third edition added a special message to Black readers, saying that: It is expected that...
By: William Henry Samuel Jones (1876-1963)
Malaria in Greek History
This book is an attempt to correct and develop the theory proposed tentatively in the little work Malaria. Put briefly, this theory is as follows. In the struggle for existence man has competed, not only with his fellow-men, but also with wild animals and disease- parasites. The fight against beasts was decided long before the historic period, but parasites have always been, and still are, formidable opponents. Whole tribes have been wiped out by plague, kala-azar and measles; and even when the disease-parasite does not win such a decisive victory, it often weakens a nation so much that the latter falls an easy victim to its healthier neighbours...
By: Richmal Crompton (1890-1969)
William -- The Fourth
The world’s most confident, most chaos-creating eleven year old boy is at it again in these fourteen glorious and funny 1924 short stories. - Summary by David Wales
By: K. Langloh Parker (1856-1940)
More Australian Legendary Tales
The present series of legends have all been collected by myself from the Blacks, as were the previous ones. But in this instance, I had much help given to me by friends, who either told or sent me scraps of legends they themselves had seen or heard. On receiving any such I immediately made inquiries amongst the Blacks, and I was often enabled to complete the scraps, gaining through their hints a whole legend.
By: Philander Misaurus
Honour of the Gout
This droll and 'enflammatory' pamphelet doth be a grondebreaking worke of musing upon a great aflicktion of Man, upon the better nature of that aflicktion, and upon the vain and mischievous cheats who affeckt to cure it. The gauntlet here so-toss'd by Philander Misaurus was later pick'd up by surgeon John Marten in his rejoinder, titled by the name–"The Dishonour of the Gout". Which seeketh to shew all minds swayed by Philander's prettie words that—indubitably—Gout is misfortune. - Summary by Alasdair
By: Pearl Buck (1892-1973)
Life is difficult for The Mother, with a household of husband and children, when her crone of a mother-in-law comes to live with them. It is a life of drudgery and toil. But a mother will do anything to protect her children, despite the pain and suffering she may endure, when, without warning, her restless husband abandons her. The shame, the toil, the love... all demonstrate the resilience of a woman in the face of adversity. It has been described as one of the best works of fiction of the 20th century, This is in the Public Domain in the United States. - Summary by Lynne T.
Short Nonfiction Collection, Vol. 093
"Flirting is more serious than talking nonsense and not so serious as making love" was journalist Eliza Lynn Linton's take on relations between the sexes in 1883. Other reader-chosen nonfiction selections in volume 093 see women as witches , as cooks , as medical pioneers , and as waffling adolescents . Political, religious, and cultural conflict are illustrated in questions regarding slavery in the Virginia colony, the Papal Bulls of 1493, the battle of Grampian Hills, a biography of Giordano Bruno, and a white soldier's impressions of a Zuni Indian dance...
By: Walter Geer (1857-1937)
Napoleon and Josephine 'The Rise of the Empire'
FOREWORD: "In the popular estimation the Empress Josephine is crowned with a halo of goodness which makes the task of her biographer one of peculiar difficulty. The aversion which many feel towards Napoleon is not a little due to what they conceive to be the cruelty with which he treated the woman who for fourteen years was the companion of his glory. The writer of this book holds no brief either for the prosecution or the defence. He wants to draw a portrait - not to pronounce a judgment: his object is to depict Josephine as she was, and he leaves the reader to decide as to her goodness." Walter Geer
By: Edward Delafield (1794-1875)
Inaugural Dissertation on Pulmonary Consumption
At a time when diseases termed "consumption" were among the leading cause of death in the county, physicians such as Edward Delafield began to publish observations, research, and studies on the topic. The hope of such works was to share gained knowledge with all physicians with faith that causes and treatments would be found to stop these devastating maladies. This is one such work. - Summary by afutterer
By: George Ogilvy Preshaw (1839-1890)
Banking Under Difficulties
An account of life on the Goldfields of Victoria, New South Wales, and New Zealand by a Bank Official. At the present time—1888—it may appear almost impossible to many that a bank agency should have been in a tent; that bankers should have, often on foot, gone long distances to purchase gold from small storekeepers, the said gold often being carried by them on their backs, till the security of some rough bush shanty had been reached; that instead of cedar counters, massive ledgers, impregnable...
By: Charles MacLaurin (1872-1925)
Post Mortem: Essays, Historical And Medical
This 1922 collection of extensive essays comprises well written biographies of a few famous folk. The life narratives include analyses of medical and/or psychological elements in each person’s life. Biographies include Anne Boleyn, Jeanne D’Arc, The Empress Theodora, The Emperor Charles V, Don John Of Austria, Cervantes, Don Quixote , Philip II, Mr. and Mrs. Pepys, Edward Gibbon, Jean Paul Marat, Napoleon I, and Benvenuto Cellini. It concludes with an extended meditation on death. “But there...
By: William Blackstone (1723-1780)
Commentaries on the Laws of England. Book 2: Of the Rights of Things.
The Commentaries on the Laws of England by Sir William Blackstone, are a prominent and authoritative 18th century dissertation on the common law of England which not only pertains to that country, but is also at the foundation of the American legal system. They were widely read and a huge influence on America's Founding Fathers and, to this day, are occasionally quoted in U.S. Supreme Court decisions when expounding upon principals of universal and enduring human justice. The commentaries were divided into four books: On the Rights of Persons, On the Rights of Things, Of Private Wrongs, and Of Public Wrongs...
By: Sidney Licht (1907-1979)
Music in Medicine
In spite of a spirited rebirth of the movement towards the establishment of a system of healing based on music, there are many valuable uses of music in medicine which might suffer a like fate unless a critical analysis of the worth of music as a therapeutic agent is effected before Musical Therapy reaches the dubious distinction of classification as a healing cult. This book has been written with a view to preserving for medicine that which is good for patients, and in an attempt to aid musicians under medical guidance in using music to help the sick.
By: Harold Bindloss (1866-1945)
Sunshine and Snow
A harrowing and dramatic story of four siblings from Scotland who are poor, and orphaned. The eldest brother, Arthur, is guardian to his two brother's and one sister.) After the bank in Scotland fails, Arthur decides as family head, they will go to Canada to answer an ad to claim free farm land. Arthur is a former soldier, smart, honest, and a tremendously hard worker; his younger brothers are still in school, and Charley, Leaving their sister behind temporarily, they board a steamer for Canada, but they have no idea of the hardships and life threatening battles that await in the untamed land...