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Customs & Traditions

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  1. 5.8 hrs • 5/31/2016 • Unabridged
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    Double Cup Love

    5.8 hrs • 5/31/16 • Unabridged
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  2. 3.8 hrs • 1/26/2016

    Italy delights and stimulates with its magnificent cities and monuments, its stunningly beautiful landscapes, the glory of its art and architecture, the richness and variety of its food, the elegance of its design and fashion, and the vitality and charm of its people. Italian style and culture have been exported all over the world. The Italians are the most European-minded of nations, having emerged from a long history of regional fragmentation. Culture Smart! Italy introduces you to their history and culture and offers an insider’s guide to their daily lives, passions, and preoccupations. This is your chance to get to know Italy.

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  3. 3.4 hrs • 1/26/2016
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  4. 3.7 hrs • 1/26/2016
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  5. 27.0 hrs • 8/1/2015 • Unabridged

    Why do otherwise intelligent individuals form seething masses of idiocy when they engage in collective action? Why do financially sensible people jump lemming-like into hare-brained speculative frenzies—only to jump broker-like out of windows when their fantasies dissolve? We may think that the Great Crash of 1929, junk bonds of the ‘80s, and over-valued high-tech stocks of the ‘90s are peculiarly 20th century aberrations, but Mackay’s classic—first published in 1841—shows that the madness and confusion of crowds knows no limits, and has no temporal bounds. These are extraordinarily illuminating, and, unfortunately, entertaining tales of chicanery, greed, and naivete. Essential listening for any student of human nature or the transmission of ideas.

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  6. 5.8 hrs • 7/1/2015 • Unabridged

    An expat’s witty and insightful exploration of English and American cultural differences through the lens of language that will leave listeners gobsmacked In That’s Not English, the seemingly superficial differences between British and American English open the door to a deeper exploration of a historic and fascinating cultural divide. In each of the thirty chapters, Erin Moore explains a different word we use that says more about us than we think. For example, “Quite” exposes the tension between English reserve and American enthusiasm; in “Moreish” she addresses our snacking habits; in “Partner” she examines marriage equality; in “Pull” the theme is dating and sex; “Cheers” is about drinking; and “Knackered” covers how we raise our kids. The result is a cultural history in miniature and an expatriate’s survival guide. American by birth, Moore is a former book editor who specialized in spotting British books—including Eats, Shoots & Leaves—for the US market. She’s spent the last seven years living in England with her Anglo-American husband and a small daughter with an English accent. That’s Not English is the perfect companion for modern anglophiles and the ten million British and American travelers who visit one another’s countries each year.

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    That’s Not English by Erin Moore

    That’s Not English

    5.8 hrs • 7/1/15 • Unabridged
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  7. 8.2 hrs • 7/29/2014 • Unabridged

    French Kids Eat Everything is a wonderfully wry account of how Karen Le Billon was able to alter her children’s deep-rooted, decidedly unhealthy North American eating habits while they were all living in France. At once a memoir, a cookbook, a how-to handbook, and a delightful exploration of how the French manage to feed children without endless battles and struggles with pickiness, French Kids Eat Everything features recipes, practical tips, and ten easy-to-follow rules for raising happy and healthy young eaters—a sort of French Women Don’t Get Fat meets Food Rules.

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    French Kids Eat Everything

    8.2 hrs • 7/29/14 • Unabridged
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  8. 3.4 hrs • 2/13/2014 • Unabridged

    Once upon a time, Michael Katakis lived in a place of big dreams, bright colors and sleight of hand. That place was America. One night, traveling where those who live within illusions should never go, he stared into the darkness and glimpsed a faded flag where shadows gathered, revealing another America. It was a broken place, bred from fear and distrust—a thousand shards of glass—filled with a people who long ago had given away all that was precious; a people who had been sold, for so long, a foreign betrayal that finally came from within, and for nothing more than a handful of silver. These essays, letters, and journal entries were written as a farewell to the country Michael loves still, and to the wife he knew as his “True North.” A powerful and personal polemic, A Thousand Shards of Glass is Michael’s appeal to his fellow citizens to change their course; a cautionary tale to those around the world who idealize an America that never was; and, crucially, a glimpse beyond the myth, to a country whose best days could still lie ahead.

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    A Thousand Shards of Glass by Michael Katakis

    A Thousand Shards of Glass

    3.4 hrs • 2/13/14 • Unabridged
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  9. 6.1 hrs • 1/7/2014 • Abridged

    Peter Jennings and Todd Brewster conceived of this fascinating book long before the events of September 11th. But watching America respond to one of the worst attacks in its history deepened the meaning of their project. Now, more than ever, Americans need to treasure their way of life, and to reacquaint themselves with the founding ideas that united and sustained this country in its struggle for independence 225 years ago. In Search of America explores the basic ideals that drive and define the American character. This superb blend of eyewitness reporting and history is a significant, timely achievement. In Search of America is a splendid and provocative journey, one that will assure each and every American that though the principles of our great nation may be shaken, molded, adapted, and assaulted, remarkably, they endure.

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    In Search of America

    6.1 hrs • 1/7/14 • Abridged
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  10. 6.9 hrs • 10/29/2013 • Unabridged

    Entertaining, unexpected, and full of charm, the follow-up to Jessica Kerwin Jenkins’ Encyclopedia of the Exquisite presents a miscellany of engaging stories, detailing the intriguing customs, traditions, and guilty pleasures pursued throughout the ages. All the Time in the World takes its cue from an iconic component of medieval life, the book of hours, which prescribed certain readings and contemplations for certain parts of the day throughout the year. Divided into more than seventy-five entries, All the Time in the World is brimming with witty bons mots, interesting etymologies, and arresting anecdotes encompassing an array of cultures and eras. Subjects covered include the daylong ceremony of laying a royal Elizabethan tablecloth; the radicalization of sartorial chic in 1890s Paris; Nostradamus’ belief in the aphrodisiac power of jam; the sensuous practice of sniffing incense in fifteenth-century Japan; the American fascination with flaming desserts; the short-lived artistic discipline of “lumia,” or visual music; the evolution of coffee from a religious ritual to a forbidden delight in the Middle East; Henriette d’Angeville’s fearless and wine-fueled ascent of Mont Blanc; the elaborate treasure hunts concocted by London’s Bright Young Things; and the musical revolution known as bebop. An antidote to the contemporary cult of “getting things done,” All the Time in the World revives forgotten treasures of the past while inspiring a passion for good living in the present.

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    All the Time in the World by Jessica Kerwin Jenkins

    All the Time in the World

    6.9 hrs • 10/29/13 • Unabridged
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  11. 6.7 hrs • 7/15/2012 • Unabridged

    Marilyn Johnson was enthralled by the remarkable lives that were marching out of this world—so she sought out the best obits in the English language and the people who spent their lives writing about the dead. She surveyed the darkest corners of Internet chat rooms, and made a pilgrimage to London to savor the most caustic and literate obits of all. Now she leads us on a compelling journey into the cult and culture behind the obituary page and the unusual lives we don't quite appreciate until they're gone.

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    The Dead Beat

    6.7 hrs • 7/15/12 • Unabridged
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  12. 3.3 hrs • 11/3/2009 • Unabridged

    What is the secret to finding hope in hard times? When Suzan Colón was laid off from her dream job at a magazine during the economic downturn of 2008, she needed to cut her budget way, way back, and that meant home cooking. Her mother suggested, “Why don’t you look in Nana’s recipe folder?” In the basement, Suzan found the tattered treasure, full of handwritten and meticulously typed recipes, peppered with her grandmother Matilda’s commentary in the margins. Reading it, Suzan realized she had found something more than a collection of recipes—she had found the key to her family’s survival through hard times. Suzan began re-creating Matilda’s “sturdy food” recipes for baked pork chops and beef stew, and Aunt Nettie’s clam chowder made with clams dug up by Suzan’s grandfather Charlie in Long Island Sound. And she began uncovering the stories of her resilient family’s past. Taking inspiration from stylish, indomitable Matilda, who was the sole support of her family as a teenager during the Great Depression (and who always answered “How are you?” with “Fabulous, never better!”), and from dashing, twice-widowed Charlie, Suzan starts to approach her own crisis with a sense of wonder and gratitude. It turns out that the gift to survive and thrive through hard times had been bred in her bones all along. Cherries in Winter is an irresistible gem of a book. It makes you want to cook, it makes you want to know your own family’s stories, and, above all, it makes you feel rich no matter what.

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    Cherries in Winter

    3.3 hrs • 11/3/09 • Unabridged
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  13. 10.7 hrs • 3/12/2008 • Unabridged

    Tad Friend’s family is nothing if not illustrious: his father was president of Swarthmore College, and at a Smith college poetry contest judged by W. H. Auden, his mother came in second—to Sylvia Plath. For centuries, Wasps like his ancestors dominated American life. But then, in the ’60s, their fortunes began to fall. As a young man, Friend noticed that his family tree, for all its glories, was full of alcoholics, depressives, and reckless eccentrics. Yet his identity had already been shaped by the family’s age-old traditions and expectations. Part memoir, part family history, and part cultural study of the long swoon of the American Wasp, Cheerful Money is a captivating examination of a cultural crack-up and a man trying to escape its wreckage.

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    Cheerful Money by Tad Friend

    Cheerful Money

    10.7 hrs • 3/12/08 • Unabridged
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  14. 9.7 hrs • 1/2/2007 • Unabridged

    A fascinating look at the history and grandeur of bullfighting Death in the Afternoon is an impassioned look at bullfighting by one of its true aficionados. It reflects Hemingway's conviction that bullfighting was more than mere sport and reveals a rich source of inspiration for his art. The unrivaled drama of bullfighting, with its rigorous combination of athleticism and artistry, and its requisite display of grace under pressure, ignited Hemingway's imagination. Seen through his eyes, bullfighting becomes a richly choreographed ballet, with performers who range from awkward amateurs to masters of great elegance and cunning. Death in the Afternoon is also a deeper contemplation of the nature of cowardice and bravery, sport and tragedy, and is enlivened throughout by Hemingway's sharp commentary on life and literature.

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    Death in the Afternoon

    9.7 hrs • 1/2/07 • Unabridged
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  15. 9.5 hrs • 1/1/2005 • Unabridged

    From bestselling social commentator and cultural historian Barbara Ehrenreich comes this fascinating exploration of one of humanity’s oldest traditions: the celebration of communal joy, historically expressed in ecstatic revels of feasting, costuming, and dancing. Ehrenreich uncovers the origins of communal celebration in human biology and culture, showing that such mass festivities have been indigenous to the West since the ancient Greeks. Though suppressed by elites who fear the undermining of social hierarchies, outbreaks of group revelry still persist, Ehrenreich shows, pointing to the 1960s rock-and-roll rebellion and the more recent “carnivalization” of sports. Original, exhilarating, and deeply optimistic, Dancing in the Streets shows that we are innately social beings, impelled to share our joy and thereby envision a peaceable future.

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    Dancing in the Streets by Barbara Ehrenreich

    Dancing in the Streets

    9.5 hrs • 1/1/06 • Unabridged
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  16. 2.9 hrs • 11/1/2004 • Abridged

    More than 40,000 listeners have enjoyed this story on cassette. Now anyone who’s ever dreamed of getting away from it all can enjoy the charms and challenges of A Year in Provence on CD Peter Mayle and his wife had been to Provence as tourists. They had dreamed of one day trading the long, gray winters and damp summers of England for the blue skies and sunshine of the coast of southern France. And then they made it happen. They moved into an old farmhouse at the foot of the Luberon mountains and embarked on a wonderful, if at times bewildering, new life. Among their experiences that first year: being inundated with builders and visitors, grappling with the native accent, taking part in goat races and supervising the planting of a new vineyard. Peter Mayle personally recounts the pleasures and frustrations of Provençal life-sharing in a way no one else can, the unique and endearing culture that is Provence. A Year in Provence was a New York Times bestseller for three years and won the British Book Awards’ “Best Travel Book of the Year.”

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    A Year in Provence

    2.9 hrs • 11/1/04 • Abridged
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