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Extended Audio Sample Carpe Diem: Put a Little Latin in Your Life, by Harry Mount Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (137 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Harry Mount Narrator: Stephen Hoye Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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In this lighthearted guided tour of Latin, journalist and former Latin tutor Harry Mount breathes life back into the greatest language of all, drawing on everything from a Monty Python grammar lesson to Angelina Jolie’s tattoos. Filled with fascinating tidbits and humorous asides, Carpe Diem will delight the word lovers who made Eats, Shoots and Leaves such a monster hit.

Whether we’re aware of it or not, Latin is all around us. Consider the sayings in everyday use: alter ego, ad nauseam, caveat emptor, modus operandi, per se, and, of course, the ever-popular e pluribus unum. Even more abundant are words derived from Latin roots: arena (from harena, meaning “sand”), auditorium (“a place of audience”), stadium (a running track) … and those are just the theatrical ones! It’s inescapable. It’s also the most daunting of languages, one that is seemingly obscure and filled with arcane rules and often accompanied by unpleasant memories of adolescence. But, as Mount says in Carpe Diem, “Knowing a bit of Latin is an invitation to the biggest room in the building, with a view down the corridor to all the succeeding ages. And you can get your hands on that invitation at any age.”

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Quotes & Awards

  • “I can't remember the last time I conjugated with such an expert.”

    Lynne Truss, New York Times bestselling author of Eats, Shoots & Leave

  • “Stephen Hoye maximizes on the author’s sense of humor with just the right timing in his delivery and just the right nuance in his voice…[A] clever narrator.”


Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by MikeFromQueens | 2/20/2014

    " Did not study Latin, but enjoyed this book. Latin is today still one of the most spoken languages - I enjoyed how the Swedes published EU Meeting Minutes in Latin! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Tim Inak | 2/10/2014

    " For someone who has never paid any attention to latin after his community college dendrology class, this book opened up a lot of perspective for me. Apparently the reason Romans conquered the world is because they had so much pent up agression left over from trying to learn their own language. Latin is HARD; and this book makes that clear. But it didn't actually teach me any latin. Sometimes it seemed not even to try. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Ledys | 1/28/2014

    " I loved listening to this, though I wished I had a book next to me to refer to during all the actual Latin phrases and verb declensions that Mount includes in the text. What I enjoyed the most was hearing about all the ways that we are tied to the past, through the roots of many of our words, yes, (and being a native Spanish speaker, this was particularly significant and relevant to me), but also through so much more. Why some Latin words and even phrases survive to this day? Who picked those, how did they fit better than any words in any other language that could have been used? What do our words, our language, say about us? I had fun pondering all these questions as I listened. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Rebecca | 1/19/2014

    " A fun read for anyone who has studied Latin before, but it could be a little heady for someone who is trying to learn a little Latin. It's similar to "Eats, Shoots, and Leaves." There were a couple of factual errors and uneven editing that detracted from the book overall. "

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About the Author

Harry Mount was a Latin tutor before becoming a journalist. He graduated from Oxford University with a first class degree in ancient history. A deputy comment editor for the Daily Telegraph, he also writes for the Daily Mail, the Guardian, the Sunday Telegraph, and the New York Sun. He lives in London.