Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Cheaper by the Dozen - More books about the Gilbreths

Stories about the Dozen didn't end with the final chapter of Cheaper by the Dozen. There's an immediate sequel to Cheaper, starting with Lillian leaving to go to Europe for the conference Frank was preparing for when he died. Belles on their Toes is just as amusing as Cheaper by the Dozen. The story of how some of the younger boys discouraged one of the girl's less palatable suiters is classic!

Frank Jr. and Ernestine were both professional writers as adults.

Frank Jr. wrote a third book that has a similar flavor to the first two books titled Time Out for Happiness. (Alas, the library doesn't have a copy of that any longer, but you could get it through Interlibrary Loan *- the ISBN is 069082517X.) This has stories more about the parents than about the kids. They're still great and entertaining. Lillian lived a very long time, and did a lot!

The library has another book by Frank Jr titled He's My Boy, about raising Frank Jr's son in the south. There's a story about taking the child to Nantucket for a Gilbreth Family Reunion that is priceless. Not only do you get to see the family again, but the image of Lillian whisking away any cocktail glass that sits longer that a minute is great!

If you check Amazon for the author "Frank Gilbreth", you'll actually find some of Frank Senior's technical manuals available! Keep going to see more of Frank Jr's stuff.

Ernestine Gilbreth Carey also continued writing. (Check Amazon for her entire name). Some of her titles include Rings Around Us, Giddy Moment, and Jumping Jupiter.

Some of the books about the Gilbreths that were not written by Frank Jr. and Ernestine are:

The Quest of the One Best Way - a Sketch of the Life of Frank Gilbreth by Lillian Moller Gilbreth (mom)
This is the short (64 page) biography that Lillian wrote about Frank Senior.

Frank and Lillian Gilbreth, Partners for Life by Edna Yost
This is the biography of Frank and Lillian that was published in 1949. Again, it leaves out 25 years of Lillian's life and accomplishments.

As I Remember: An Autobiography by Lillian Gilbreth
This is Lillian's autobiography. Unfortunately, it only goes through 1941. She lived till 1972 and did a lot in those additional years. Interestingly, the book didn't get published till 1998. It's available on Amazon and through ILL (ISBN 0898061865)

Making Time: Lillian Moller Gilbreth -- A Life Beyond "Cheaper by the Dozen" by Jane Lancaster
This is my favorite book about the Gilbreths. It was published in 2006, so it covers Lillian's entire life. It's an amazing read. We read this in my live-action book group and enjoyed it a lot. Lillian was a truly amazing woman.

You can see a huge list of books and articles by and about the Gilbreths. Some are fairly arcane, but most should still be available through Interlibrary Loan.

It's really easy to dismiss Cheaper by the Dozen as just light entertainment. But the more you learn about the family, the more fascinating they are!

*Interlibrary Loan is how libraries borrow items from other libraries outside their area. It's free for residents of the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District taxing district. It's not difficult, but it helps to get some instructions. It's easy once you know. You'll need your library card number and PIN handy to do this.

Go to the library web page:

Click on Interlibrary Loan, on the left side of the web page. (It's toward the bottom of the first dark brown section)

Click on "Books, Conference Procedings and Dissertations."

If you know the ISBN (that makes it really fast!) click on ISBN.

Enter the ISBN.

Click on "View Search Results".

Click ON the title of the item you're interested in.

This where people get confused. Ignore EVERYTHING on this page! The only thing you're looking for is the REQUEST button. It's at the top of the page, toward the middle. Click the REQUEST button.

The computer will think for a moment, then ask you for your library card number and PIN.

This is the final page! You can leave the "I don't need this after" date blank. The ILL department will keep your request open until they fill it or they determine that they can't fill it.

Type the name of the library where you'd like to pick up the item, in the Comment box. (That gets it to your library faster!)

It usually takes one to four weeks for an ILL requested item to arrive.

There are some rules and limitations on ILL, but generally it's easy, free and a life-saver when you just want to read one of those old books that our library doesn't have any longer!

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