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DECEMBER, 20149 AM (Mon-Fri)
WOMEN WARTIME SPIES by Ann Kramer.
Read by Rosemary Scalessa. (7 episodes, 11/26/14 – 12/04/14)
Read by Tom Jowers. (15 episodes, 12/05/14 – 12/25/14)
On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared. It was that of a young lieutenant, the plane's bombardier, who was struggling to a life raft. So began one of the most extraordinary odysseys of the Second World War.
The lieutenant's name was Louis Zamperini. In boyhood, he'd been a cunning and incorrigible delinquent. As a teenager, he had channeled his defiance into running, discovering a prodigious talent that had carried him to the Berlin Olympics. But when war had come, the athlete had become an airman, embarking on a journey that led to his doomed flight, a tiny raft, and a drift into the unknown.
Ahead of Zamperini lay thousands of miles of open ocean, leaping sharks, a foundering raft, thirst and starvation, enemy aircraft, and, beyond, a trial even greater. His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would be suspended on the fraying wire of his will. Unbroken is a testament to the resilience of the human mind, body, and spirit.
Read by Katrina Shoemaker. (4 episodes, 12/26/14 – 01/01/14)
A powerful tale of war, redemption, and a hero's journey--now available in paperback!
10 AM (Mon-Fri)
TWELVE YEARS A SLAVE
"Twelve Years a Slave should be must reading for every young Southerner. Only in accounts such as this can they understand the true nature of the curse which, more than a hundred years later, still hangs like a millstone around the neck of the South, hampering final emancipation for white and black alike." -- Frank G. Slaughter, Florida Historical Quarterly
"A moving, vital testament to one of slavery's 'many thousand gone' who retained his humanity in the bowels of degradation. It is also a chilling insight into the 'peculiar institution.' " -- Ernest Dunbar, Saturday Review
REMEMBER THE TIME: PROTECTING MICHAEL JACKSON
Read by Renee Ford Clark. (11 episodes, 12/03/14 – 12/17/14)
Hounded by the tabloid media, driven from his self-made sanctuary at Neverland, Michael Jackson spent his final years moving from city to city, living with his three children in virtual seclusion—a futile attempt to escape a world that wouldn’t leave him alone. During that time, two men served as the singer’s personal security team: Bill Whitfield, a former cop and veteran of the security profession, and Javon Beard, a brash, untested rookie, both single fathers themselves.
Stationed at his side nearly 24/7, their job was to see and hear everything that transpired, and to keep everyone else out, making them the only two men who know what 60 million fans around the world still want to know: What really happened to the King of Pop?
Driven by a desire to show the world who Michael Jackson truly was, Whitfield and Beard have produced the only definitive, first-person account of Michael Jackson’s last years: the extreme measures necessary to protect Jackson and his family, the simple moments of happiness they managed to share in a time of great stress, the special relationship Jackson shared with his fans, and the tragic events that culminated in the singer’s ill-fated comeback, This Is It. The truth is far more compelling than anything you’ve yet heard.
An indispensable piece of pop-culture history, Remember the Time is the story of a man struggling to live a normal life under extraordinary circumstances, the story of a father fighting to protect and provide for his children. Remember the Time is the book that dismantles the tabloid myths once and for all to give Michael Jackson back his humanity.
THE THIN WOMAN
Read by Rosemary Scalessa. (10 episodes, 12/18/14 – 12/31/14)
Terrified by the prospect of a weekend with her snobby relatives, overweight Ellie Simons decides to distract attention from her personal and professional failings by arriving with an adoring boyfriend in tow. Unfortunately, no such person exists. Enter Bentley T. Haskell, a devilishly handsome escort who willingly agrees to play the part—for a fat fee. But Ellie and Bentley get far more than a miserable visit with relatives when a weekend with Ellie’s eccentric family suddenly turns very, very deadly.
10 PM (Mon-Fri)
TIBETAN PEACH PIE
Read by Jim Beattie. (15 episodes, 11/19/14 – 12/05/14)
Internationally bestselling novelist and American icon Tom Robbins delivers the long awaited tale of his wild life and times, both at home and around the globe.
Tom Robbins’ warm, wise, and wonderfully weird novels—including Still Life With Woodpecker, Jitterbug Perfume, and Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates—provide an entryway into the frontier of his singular imagination. Madcap but sincere, pulsating with strong social and philosophical undercurrents, his irreverent classics have introduced countless readers to natural born hitchhiking cowgirls, born-again monkeys, a philosophizing can of beans, exiled royalty, and problematic redheads.
In Tibetan Peach Pie, Robbins turns that unparalleled literary sensibility inward, stitching together stories of his unconventional life, from his Appalachian childhood to his globetrotting adventures —told in his unique voice that combines the sweet and sly, the spiritual and earthy. The grandchild of Baptist preachers, Robbins would become over the course of half a century a poet-interruptus, an air force weatherman, a radio dj, an art-critic-turned-psychedelic-journeyman, a world-famous novelist, and a counter-culture hero, leading a life as unlikely, magical, and bizarre as those of his quixotic characters.
Robbins offers intimate snapshots of Appalachia during the Great Depression, the West Coast during the Sixties psychedelic revolution, international roving before homeland security monitored our travels, and New York publishing when it still relied on trees. Written with the big-hearted comedy and mesmerizing linguistic invention for which he is known, Tibetan Peach Pie is an invitation into the private world of a literary legend.
Read by Bill Norton. (19 episodes, 12/06/14 – 12/27/14 )
Fighter-jock Jake Grafton has survived his share of airborne death duels. Now he's grounded. As head of the top-secret Athena Project, he's now in charge of developing the navy's next-generation attack aircraft-a carrier-launched stealth version of the A-6 Intruder. But deep within the labyrinth of the Pentagon, a cunning Soviet network is trashing U.S. security. Behind it is the ultimate spymaster called The Minotaur: his sights are on Jake's aircraft...and his plans are for one last kill.
Read by Matt Robbins. (10 episodes, 12/29/14 – 01/08/15)
IFrom the author of "Shades of Gray" comes the story of a lonely art teacher who is unlucky in love but lucky in numbers.
In Kim Sanders' new contemporary romance, "The Ex Lottery," art teacher Tory Adams has loved three times-and been dumped three times. On a whim, she buys a lottery ticket using the dates her ex-boyfriends dumped her. And wins. With her newfound pot of gold, Tory travels to Ireland determined to buy a new home and a new beginning. Growing up, Tory listened to her grandmother spin magical tales of an Irish castle on Dragon's Isle. Tory decides to buy in that very castle.
But with money, comes complications and a new chance at love. Tory soon finds romance at every turn. First, a handsome Irishman appears followed by a trio of men all vying for her love. All Tory has ever wanted is love, home, and family. But now she must decide-do the men love her or are they simply romancing the numbers?
11 PM (Mon-Sat)
Read by Don Kennedy. (22 episodes, 11/13/14 – 12/08/14)
G E O R G E H OW E C O L T ’ S The Big House is, as the New Yorker said, “full of surprises and contains more than seems possible: a family memoir, a brief history of the Cape, an investigation of nostalgia, a study of class, and a meditation on the privileges and burdens of the past.” Colt’s new book, Brothers, is an equally idiosyncratic and masterful blend of memoir and history featuring both the author’s three brothers and iconic brothers in history—the Booths, the Van Goghs, the Kelloggs, the Marx Brothers, and the Thoreaus.
Colt believes he would be a different man had he not grown up in a family of four brothers. He movingly recounts the adoration, envy, affection, resentment, and compassion in their shifting relationships from childhood through middle age, also rendering a volatile decade in American life: the 1960s. Some of the Colt men now have children; all have found their own paths; all now consider their brothers to be their closest friends.
In alternate chapters, Colt parallels his quest to understand how his own brothers shaped his life with an examination of the rich and complex relationships between iconic brothers in history. He explores how Edwin Booth grew up to become the greatest actor on the nineteenth-century American stage while his younger brother John grew up to assassinate a president. How Will Kellogg worked for his overbearing older brother John Harvey as a subservient yes-man for two decades until he finally broke free and launched the cereal empire that outlasted all his brother’s enterprises. How Vincent van Gogh would never have survived without the financial and emotional support of his younger brother, Theo, in a claustrophobic relationship that both defined and confined them. How Henry David Thoreau’s life was shadowed by the early death of his older brother, John, who haunted and inspired his writing. And how the Marx Brothers collaborated on the screen but competed offstage for women, money, and fame.
Illuminating and affecting, this book will be revelatory for any parent of sons, any sibling, anyone curious about how a man’s life can be molded by his brothers. Colt’s magnificent book is a testament to the abiding power of fraternal love.
THE BRIDGE OVER CEDAR CREEK
Read by Bill Davis. (10 episodes, 12/09/14 – 12/19/14)
The Bridge (Over Cedar Creek), constructed during a distant summer over a small Colorado stream by a boy and two curmudgeonly old men, serves as a metaphor for timeless life lessons learned and the beginning of the boys coming of age.
Although fiction, the book is taken from real events and some real people. Others are composites taken solely from the imagination of the writer and distant memories.
The Bridge Over Cedar Creek will appeal to all readers except the most cynical.
PARIS, PARIS: Journey into the City of Light
Read by Rosemary Scalessa. (11 episodes, 12/20/14 – 01/01/15)
Swapping his native San Francisco for the City of Light, travel writer David Downie arrived in Paris in 1986 on a one-way ticket, his head full of romantic notions. Curiosity and the legs of a cross-country runner propelled him daily from an unheated, seventh-floor walk-up garret near the Champs-Elysées to the old Montmartre haunts of the doomed painter Modigliani, the tombs of Père-Lachaise cemetery, the luxuriant alleys of the Luxembourg Gardens and the aristocratic Île Saint-Louis midstream in the Seine.
Downie wound up living in the chic Marais district, married to the Paris-born American photographer Alison Harris, an equally incurable walker and chronicler. Ten books and a quarter-century later, he still spends several hours every day rambling through Paris, and writing about the city he loves. An irreverent, witty romp featuring thirty-one short prose sketches of people, places and daily life, Paris, Paris: Journey into the City of Light ranges from the glamorous to the least-known corners and characters of the world’s favorite city.
12 AM (Tues-Sun)
GETTYSBURG: THE LAST INVASION
Read by Alan Lippett. (19 episodes, 11/16/14 – 12/07/14)
The Battle of Gettysburg has been written about at length and thoroughly dissected in terms of strategic importance, but never before has a book taken readers so close to the experience of the individual soldier.
Two-time Lincoln Prize winner Allen C. Guelzo shows us the face, the sights and the sounds of nineteenth-century combat: the stone walls and gunpowder clouds of Pickett’s Charge; the reason that the Army of Northern Virginia could be smelled before it could be seen; the march of thousands of men from the banks of the Rappahannock in Virginia to the Pennsylvania hills. What emerges is a previously untold story of army life in the Civil War: from the personal politics roiling the Union and Confederate officer ranks, to the peculiar character of artillery units. Through such scrutiny, one of history’s epic battles is given extraordinarily vivid new life.
ROBERT B. PARKER’S CHEAP SHOT
Read by Jim Beattie. (8 episodes, 12/09/14 – 12/17/14)
Kinjo Heywood is one of the New England Patriots’ marquee players—a hard-nosed linebacker who’s earned his reputation as one of the toughest guys in the league. When off-field violence repeatedly lands Heywood in the news, his slick agent hires Spenser to find the men who he says have been harassing his client.
Heywood’s troubles seem to be tied to a nightclub shooting from two years earlier. But when Heywood’s nine-year-old son, Akira, is kidnapped, ransom demands are given, and a winding trail through Boston’s underworld begins, Spenser puts together his own all-star team of toughs. It will take both Hawk and Spenser’s protégé, Zebulon Sixkill, to watch Spenser’s back and return the child to the football star’s sprawling Chestnut Hill mansion. A controversial decision from Heywood only ups the ante as the clock winds down on Akira’s future.
THE INVENTION OF WINGS
Read by Russ Marshall. (13 episodes,12/18/14 – 01/01/15)
From the celebrated author of The Secret Life of Bees, a magnificent novel about two unforgettable American women
Kidd’s sweeping novel is set in motion on Sarah’s eleventh birthday, when she is given ownership of ten year old Handful, who is to be her handmaid. We follow their remarkable journeys over the next thirty five years, as both strive for a life of their own, dramatically shaping each other’s destinies and forming a complex relationship marked by guilt, defiance, estrangement and the uneasy ways of love.
As the stories build to a riveting climax, Handful will endure loss and sorrow, finding courage and a sense of self in the process. Sarah will experience crushed hopes, betrayal, unrequited love, and ostracism before leaving Charleston to find her place alongside her fearless younger sister, Angelina, as one of the early pioneers in the abolition and women’s rights movements.
Inspired by the historical figure of Sarah Grimke, Kidd goes beyond the record to flesh out the rich interior lives of all of her characters, both real and invented, including Handful’s cunning mother, Charlotte, who courts danger in her search for something better.
This exquisitely written novel is a triumph of storytelling that looks with unswerving eyes at a devastating wound in American history, through women whose struggles for liberation, empowerment, and expression will leave no reader unmoved.
THE GIRL WHO CAME HOME: A Novel of the Titanic
Read by Anne Teddlie. (12 episodes, 11/21/14 – 12/04/14)
A voyage across the ocean becomes the odyssey of a lifetime for a young Irish woman. . . .
Ireland, 1912 . . .
Fourteen members of a small village set sail on RMS Titanic, hoping to find a better life in America. For seventeen-year-old Maggie Murphy, the journey is bittersweet. Though her future lies in an unknown new place, her heart remains in Ireland with Séamus, the sweetheart she left behind. When disaster strikes, Maggie is one of the few passengers in steerage to survive. Waking up alone in a New York hospital, she vows never to speak of the terror and panic of that fateful night again.
Chicago, 1982 . . .
Adrift after the death of her father, Grace Butler struggles to decide what comes next. When her great-grandmother Maggie shares the painful secret about Titanic that she's harbored for almost a lifetime, the revelation gives Grace new direction—and leads both her and Maggie to unexpected reunions with those they thought lost long ago.
Inspired by true events, The Girl Who Came Home poignantly blends fact and fiction to explore the Titanic tragedy's impact and its lasting repercussions on survivors and their descendants.
Read by Ken Traina. (26 episodes, 12/05/14 – 01/03/15)
Throughout five decades of fronting the Rolling Stones, Mick Jagger has been seen as the ultimate arrogant superstar, whose sexual appetite rivals Casanova's and whose supposed reckless drug use touched off the most famous scandal in rock history.
Now Philip Norman reveals a Jagger far more complex than the cold archseducer of myth: here at last is the real story of how a shy economics student became a modern Antichrist…of the beautiful women from Chrissie Shrimpton to Jerry Hall, whom he has bedded but not always dominated . . . of the enduring but ever-fraught partnership with his "Glimmer Twin," Keith Richards. Mick Jagger, above all, explores the keen and calculating intelligence that has kept the Stones on their plinth as "the world's greatest rock'n'roll band" for half a century.
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