Archive for October 2009


The Story of Mankind, Ch. 46

October 28th, 2009 — 8:59am

The Story of Mankind, by Hendrik van Loon, read by Kara and Michelle.

46 The Balance of Power – 9:15

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The Story of Mankind, ch 45

October 26th, 2009 — 9:12am

The Story of Mankind, by Hendrik van Loon, read by Kara and Michelle.

45 The English Revolution – 33:12

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The Story of Mankind, ch 44

October 23rd, 2009 — 8:05am

The Story of Mankind, by Hendrik van Loon, read by Kara and Michelle.

44 Religious Warfare – 28:41

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Symphony of Science

October 22nd, 2009 — 1:18pm

Oh, how lovely.

“I find it elevating and exhilarating to discover that we live in a universe which permits the evolution of molecular machines as intricate and subtle as we.” — Carl Sagan

Lyrics and downloadable mp3s at http://www.symphonyofscience.com

(Thanks, Chris!)

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1972

October 21st, 2009 — 10:16pm

Newborn Kirsten and 2 1/2 year old me, April 1972:

(More scanning with Chloe today)

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The Story of Mankind, Ch 43

October 21st, 2009 — 9:42am

The Story of Mankind, by Hendrik van Loon, read by Kara and Michelle.

43 The Reformation – 22:47

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Rosenmunnar

October 19th, 2009 — 12:58pm

Dan baked a whole batch of Rosenmunnar yesterday! (jam thumbprint cookies) This is all that’s left. Don’t you wish you were here?

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Great Great Aunt Irma

October 19th, 2009 — 11:40am

Chloe and I got a bunch more scanning done on Friday and Sunday. On Friday we finished up the last of the Grandpa slides. His thousands of obsessively organized and labeled color slides gave us pictures of our family from 1942 to the beginning of 1964. (See them here: http://dubsol.smugmug.com/Family/Jacobs)

Then we got a start on one of the many boxes of actual photographs and family documents. Here’s a photo that we *think* is our Great Great Grandfather Franz Christian Max Roege, but it’s unlabeled so we’re not sure.

Max was born in 1854. The photo was taken in Schleswig in Germany. Does anyone out there in Internet Land know what kind of a uniform that is, and if it could have been worn around, say, 1874?

Another wonderful family treasure is little notebook filled with handwritten recipes that belonged to our Great Great Aunt Irma, Max’s eldest daughter, born in 1876. Irma wrote out the recipes in 1896. She died in 1916 of the flu. Her niece, our Grandma Jean, was born in 1922 so never met Irma, but was always interested in her and saved some of her things all these years — the recipe book, an autograph album, a book of German poetry, and a large portrait.

Here’s a page of Irma’s cookbook:

Already a friend who loves old cookbooks has begun transcribing it for us! And here is lovely Irma herself:

This portrait has been in a pile of family stuff for years. It’s a miracle the convex glass never broke. Dan took the frame apart, cleaned the glass inside and out, and hung Irma on the wall for us. He also used his good camera and tripod to take digital photos of the stuff that was too large for the scanner — Irma, and several other big old photos.

We thought we had come to the end of the slides, but then Chloe discovered that several wheels full of slides that we *thought* were just scenery actually had family photos in them from the late 60s and early 70s! We made a good start on those on Sunday. We found photos that none of us had ever seen before — Uncle Scott’s 10th birthday, Susan’s wedding day, newborn Jon! Very exciting.

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The Story of Mankind, Ch. 42

October 19th, 2009 — 10:17am

The Story of Mankind, by Hendrik van Loon, read by Kara and Michelle.

42 Buddha and Confucius – 17:07

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The Story of Mankind, Ch. 41

October 16th, 2009 — 10:02am

The Story of Mankind, by Hendrik van Loon, read by Kara and Michelle.

41 The Great Discoveries – 7:03

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Alice’s Abenteur

October 14th, 2009 — 3:24pm

Elli and I are thinking about recording “Alice’s Abentuer im Wunderland” as a duet for Librivox. (That’s Alice in Wonderland, translated into German. Elli happens to be German, and she says she likes my recording of Der Struwwelpeter!)

Before I officially commit to reading half the book (we’ll each do every other chapter), I recorded just the first chapter and sent it to Elli for approval. I think most of the time I did a pretty good job. I know I mispronounced a few words (maybe more than a few) but Elli will tell me what’s bad enough to need fixing, or if the whole thing is a trainwreck :)

I had a lot of fun recording the chapter, even though it was a ton of work. The unedited file was 35 minutes long, but the finished file is only 17, heheh. I had to read a lot of sentences three or four times to get them right! But I know the story well enough that I could almost always understand what was going on.

rabbit

(What good are blog posts without pictures and conversations?)

(Here’s a link to the recording: http://drop.io/alicech1#)

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The Story of Mankind, Ch 40

October 14th, 2009 — 9:17am

The Story of Mankind, by Hendrik van Loon, read by Kara and Michelle.

40 The Age of Expression – 9:04

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The Story of Mankind, Ch. 39

October 12th, 2009 — 10:15am

The Story of Mankind, by Hendrik van Loon, read by Kara and Michelle.

39 The Renaissance – 27:27

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Betsy-Tacy has been reprinted!

October 10th, 2009 — 12:46pm

Harper Collins has recently re-published the High School books from the Betsy-Tacy series by Maud Hart Lovelace, hooray! I have adored these books since I was a little girl, and I still re-read them every year or so.

Betsy-Tacy

Maud based all the books on her own childhood and high school experiences in the early 20th century. Nearly every character in her books has a real-life counterpart (Betsy is real-life Maud, Betsy’s best friend, Tacy, is real-life Bick, etc.) Maud had a very happy childhood and a loving, supportive family so the books are very warm and cozy, though never sticky-sweet, and Betsy certainly does have problems of her own. Hair that won’t curl on its own and teeth parted in the middle. Being asked to the school dance by the wrong boy. Oh, that herbarium! And wretched Gaston and the rosy apple blossoms! And why won’t Joe Willard join their Crowd??

In an attempt to recruit some new readers and help these lovely new editions sell well, the publisher sent free copies of the first book, the combined “Heaven to Betsy” and “Betsy in Spite of Herself”, to members of a Betsy-Tacy fan email list of which I am a member. We’re divided into two societies, just as the kids in Betsy’s high school are — the Philomathians and the Zetamathians. (I was randomly assigned to be a Philo – go Philos! We have all the cutest boys and sweetest girls!) We’re competing to see which team can recruit the most new readers. The winning team gets an inscribed paving stone outside Betsy’s (Maud’s) childhood home!

I sent my copy to a young friend in England. She’s 11, just the right age for the High School books, though I hope she’ll read the earlier books someday, too. I thought it would be fun for her to see a bit of our cultural history through Betsy’s eyes and get to be friends with Betsy, Tacy, Tib, Tony, Cab, Julia, Margaret, Mr. and Mrs. Ray, Anna, and everyone in Deep Valley. Her book arrived and she’s already reading it, and likes it! Hooray!

Here she is with her new book:

my friend with her new Betsy book

Hope you’re still enjoying it, my Scrabble-friend :) I’d love to discuss it with you!

These new editions are very fine. There is even extra material in the back taken from Sharla Whalen’s wonderful Betsy-Tacy Companion — biographical info and photos of Betsy/Maud’s family and friends, houses, schools, etc. Lots of fun! All three new books are on my Christmas list for sure.

Philo, Philo, Philomathains for the win!!

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The Story of Mankind, Chapter 38

October 9th, 2009 — 12:03pm

The Story of Mankind, by Hendrik van Loon, read by Kara and Michelle.

38 Mediaeval Trade – 12:02

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A Postcard from the Volcano

October 7th, 2009 — 6:02pm

A couple of months ago a representative from Ignatius Press posted on the LibriVox forum, asking if there were any readers who’d like to audition to narrate books for them. So I read their little audition piece and in late August they hired me to narrate “A Postcard from the Volcano”, by Lucy Beckett. It was a fantastic book! I enjoyed every minute of the story, even when I felt a little bit stressed about doing a good enough job (and pronouncing all the Polish place-names correctly) and getting done on time (they had a very short deadline for this one). You can get the audiobook here:

PV-A
http://www.ignatius.com: A Postcard from the Volcano

Beginning in 1914 and ending on the eve of World War II, this epic story follows the coming of age and early manhood of the Prussian aristocrat, Max von Hofmannswaldau. From the idyllic surroundings of his ancestral home to the streets of cosmopolitan Breslau menaced by the Nazi SS, Hofmannswaldau uncovers the truth about his own identity and confronts the modern ideologies that threaten the annihilation of millions of people.

It’s a well-written book and an extraordinarily moving story. There are a few places where the characters discuss philosophy at great length and it gets a little bit slow, but on the whole it’s a wonderful book. The story takes place in Germany so there’s a ton of German, of course, and some Latin, but I studied both languages in college so I feel relatively comfortable with them. A LibriVox friend helped me with the one French phrase I encountered.

I hope you will read this book and tell me what you think of it. If you’re not into audiobooks, you can buy a paperback or an e-text instead. It’s on Amazon as well, and they offer a Kindle version. My audiobook version will be on Amazon eventually.

edit: (Oct 8, 2009) Forgot to mention that music (especially my all-time favorite composer, Bach) is a very important part of the story.

Now I’m narrating another book for Ignatius, a history of the Templars, which is interesting too. I’m so delighted that I can earn a bit of extra money doing something I really enjoy!

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The Story of Mankind, Chapters 36 and 37

October 7th, 2009 — 4:55pm

Oops, forgot to post on Monday, so here are the next two chapters for you:

The Story of Mankind, by Hendrik van Loon, read by Kara and Michelle.

36 Mediaeval Self-Government – 9:29
37 The Mediaeval World – 15:03

You can buy a lovely thick reprint of the original book, with dozens of lively illustrations, from http://mainlesson.com.

Impatient? Get the entire free audio book here: http://librivox.org/the-story-of-mankind-by-hendrik-van-loon/

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The Story of Mankind, Ch 35

October 2nd, 2009 — 12:21pm

The Story of Mankind, by Hendrik van Loon, read by Kara and Michelle.

vanloon_mankind

35 The Mediaeval City – 19:25

You can buy a lovely thick reprint of the original book, with dozens of lively illustrations, from http://mainlesson.com.

Impatient? Get the entire free audio book here: http://librivox.org/the-story-of-mankind-by-hendrik-van-loon/

Comment » | Audiobooks, Blog

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