Work Force

Posted on May 1, 2015 by | Posted in about LibriVox, Blog, Books, For Volunteers, Monthly Picks, News | Comments: Comments Off

It’s May 1st, International Worker’s Day! We will celebrate this not with marches, but – of course – with 10 work-related gems from our catalog.

The first line of the May marches would find US labour organiser Mary Harris Jones. She was a founding member of Int. Workers of the World, only one of her contributions to the worker’s cause detailed in The Autobiography of Mother Jones.

For a long time, the sole work women were deemed fit for was the one in the household. Nan is having none of that, she wants to become A Country Doctor. Read about a woman’s plight in the late 19th century in the novel by Sarah Orne Jewett.

A rather interesting field of work for women emerged together with the film industry. Pearl White was an American film actress who started acting already at age 6. She writes about her life, her work, and the rise to stardom in Just Me.

Two artists are the topic of a short story by Henry James. A French poet and a German composer decide to write an opera together. As this Collaboration takes place right after the Franco-Prussian War, this will not be without difficulties.

This description also holds true for the work on Calumet “K”, an enormous grain elevator. A young engineer is called upon to solve problems with union representatives and supplies – will he be able to turn the tides in the book by Samuel Merwin and Henry K. Webster?

College graduate Jimmy Torrance cannot find work. With his friend’s help he is finally able to become The Efficieny Expert of a factory. However, in the novel by Edgar Rice Burroughs, he has to fight hard for job security…

Strictly speaking, Bartleby, the Scrivener of a law firm, is not putting up a fight. One day, he simply prefers not to do a certain job. Herman Melville describes the downfall of a man who nowadays would likely be diagnosed with clinical depression.

Work, as it is seen and defined, has always had an impact on society – and vice versa. In Hamilton Wright Mabie’s Essays on Work and Culture he writes about topics like Training, Work as Self-Expression, but also Relaxation and Recreation.

No such thing for the King of Navarre! He and three of his men will spend the next three years studying, and vow not to see any women in this time. Were this so easy, Shakespeare would not have made this into a comedy… Listen to our production of Love’s Labour’s Lost.

Surely you can work and have fun at the same time. Wallace Stevens worked as a lawyer all his life. On the way to and from the office he composed poetry, for which he received the Pulitzer Prize in 1955. Read the first volume of his Collected Public Domain Poems.

Enjoy – and may your work always be a labour of love!

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