Exceeding expectations rather than simply satisfying them is the cornerstone of the Disney approach to customer service. Now, in honor of the 10th anniversary of the original Be Our Guest, the Disney Institute, which specializes in helping professionals see new possibilities through concepts not found in the typical workplace, is revealing even more of the business behind the magic of quality service.
"Too long and repetitive"
Wendy Anderson is 35, the mother of two children, and happily married - until she discovers her husband Zack has cheated on her. Confused, angry, and lost, she rents a house on Nantucket for two summer months. When she and her children arrive at Isle Stay, she discovers that Trevor Black, 30, recently widowed, and his son Dylan, 5, have also rented the house. Neither one is willing to give up their much-needed vacations, so Wendy and Trevor devise a plan to share the house for the summer.
"Divorced mother moves on"
When Kristin Chapman agrees to let her husband, Richard, host his brother's bachelor party, she expects a certain amount of debauchery. She brings their young daughter to Manhattan for the evening, leaving her Westchester home to the men and their hired entertainment. What she does not expect is this: bacchanalian drunkenness, her husband sharing a dangerously intimate moment in the guest room, and two women stabbing and killing their Russian bodyguards before driving off into the night.
"Bohjalian's best one yet"
It is 1922, and London is tense. Ex-servicemen are disillusioned; the out-of-work and the hungry are demanding change. And in South London, in a genteel Camberwell villa, a large silent house now bereft of brothers, husband, and even servants, life is about to be transformed, as impoverished widow Mrs. Wray and her spinster daughter, Frances, are obliged to take in lodgers.
With her extended maternity leave at its end, Melanie Trenholm is less than thrilled to leave her new husband and beautiful twins to return to work, especially when she's awoken by a phone call with no voice on the other end - and the uneasy feeling that the ghostly apparitions that have stayed silent for over a year are about to invade her life once more. But her return to the realty office goes better than she could have hoped, with a new client eager to sell the home she recently inherited on South Battery.
"Love the series!!"
Satisfied with her life and a new relationship, Abby Mitchell is most happy to be reunited with her sister, who was separated from her after their parents died. The siblings are planning a sumptuous party, unaware that an uninvited guest is coming, one who'll do anything to help keep the past hidden.
When she is thirteen years old, Evalina Toussaint, the orphaned child of an exotic dancer in New Orleans, is admitted as a mental patient to Highland Hospital in Asheville, North Carolina. The year is 1936, and the hospital, under the direction of celebrity psychiatrist Robert S. Carroll, is famous for its up-to-the-minute shock therapies and for Dr. Carroll's revolutionary theory of the benefits of non-introspection. Evalina finds herself in the midst of a kaleidoscope of characters, including the estranged wife of F. Scott Fitzgerald.
"Typical Lee Smith Excellence"
Be My Guest is the inspiring saga of the man behind one of America's great success stories.
Since returning from London, the three Incorrigible children and their plucky governess, Miss Penelope Lumley, have been exceedingly busy. Despite their wolfish upbringing, the children have taken up bird-watching, with no unfortunate consequences - yet. And a perplexing gift raises hard questions about how Penelope came to be left at the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females and why her parents never bothered to return for her. But hers is not the only family mystery to solve....
"Excellent all around!"
On an evening in late summer, the great financier Harry Wainwright, nearing the end of his life, arrives at a rustic fishing camp in a remote area of Maine. He comes bearing two things: his wish for a day of fishing in a place that has brought him solace for 30 years, and an astonishing bequest that will forever change the lives of those around him. From the battlefields of Italy to the turbulence of the Vietnam era, to the private battles of love and family, The Summer Guest reveals the full history of this final pilgrimage.
Before Twilight and True Blood, even before Buffy and Anne Rice and Bela Lugosi, vampires haunted the 19th century, when brilliant writers everywhere indulged their bloodthirsty imaginations, culminating in Bram Stoker's legendary 1897 novel, Dracula. Michael Sims brings together the very best vampire stories of the Victorian era - from England, America, France, Germany, Transylvania, and even Japan - into a unique collection that highlights their cultural variety.
One late spring evening in 1912, in the kitchens at Sterne, preparations begin for an elegant supper party in honor of Emerald Torrington's twentieth birthday. But only a few miles away, a dreadful accident propels a crowd of mysterious and not altogether savory survivors to seek shelter at the ramshackle manor - and the household is thrown into confusion and mischief. The cook toils over mock turtle soup and a chocolate cake covered with green sugar roses, which the hungry band of visitors is not invited to taste. But nothing, it seems, will go according to plan.
"And You Think You’re Haunted By Your Past!"
During the long, hot summer of 1888, an extraordinary friendship blossoms between Anton Chekhov and Zinaida Lintvaryova, a young doctor. Recently blinded by illness, Zinaida has retreated to her family's estate in the lush countryside of Eastern Ukraine, where she is keeping a diary to record her memories of her earlier life.
French literature may be said to begin with the ninth century "Song of Roland," and it has since then churned out masterpiece after masterpiece in every century right up to the present. Beginning with Balzac and Dumas in the early part of the nineteenth century and proceeding to Sartre and Camus at the midpoint of the twentieth, the stories in this collection showcase the talents of some of the greatest French masters of the short story.
"Great intro to French lit"
A couple in their 30s live in a small rented cottage in a quiet part of Tokyo; they work at home, freelance copy-editing; they no longer have very much to say to one another. But one day a cat invites itself into their small kitchen. It leaves, but the next day comes again, and then again and again. Soon they are buying treats for the cat and enjoying talks about the animal and all its little ways. Life suddenly seems to have more promise for the husband and wife - the days have more light and color.
The Mabinogion is a collection of tales, told over generations, recorded in two manuscripts; Llyfr Coch Hergest (The Red Book of Hergest) and Llyfr Gwyn Rhydderch (The White Book of Rhydderch). Translated into English by Lady Charlotte Guest, they contain a large number of tales from the Welsh storytelling tradition.
Preview of this Instaread: The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters is a historical romance novel and crime story. It is set just outside postwar London in the year 1922. Frances Wray is a 26-year-old single woman who lives with her widowed mother Emily. After losing her two brothers in the war, Frances is left to take care of her mother and the household. Her father mismanaged the family's financial affairs before his death, leaving his wife and daughter struggling to get by with few resources.
Ruth is widowed, her sons are grown, and she lives in an isolated beach house outside of town. Her routines are few and small. One day, a stranger arrives at her door, looking as if she has been blown in from the sea. This woman - Frida - claims to be a care worker sent by the government. Ruth lets her in. Now that Frida is in her house, is Ruth right to fear the tiger she hears on the prowl at night, far from its jungle habitat? How far can she trust this mysterious woman, Frida, who seems to carry with her own troubled past?
"Brilliant story, beautifully read"
The Mabinogion, the earliest literary jewel of Wales, is a collection of ancient tales and legends compiled around the 12th and 13th century deriving from storytelling and the songs of bards handed down over the ages. It is a remarkable document in many ways. From an historical perspective, it is the earliest prose literature of Britain. But it is in its drama that many surprises await, not least the central role of King Arthur, his wife, Gwenhwyvar, and his court at Caerlleon upon Usk.
Special guest Stephen Colbert of Comedy Central's Colbert Report talks about the joys of being a science geek. Brilliant scientific discoveries and cutting edge technology have transformed our world, yet many people are turned off by science. Where has the excitement for science gone, and how can we get it back? Stephen Colbert developed an interest in science at a young age, and now he shares that fascination by inviting scientists to appear on his show The Colbert Report.