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February, 2016

9 AM (Mon-Fri)
 

MY NEST ISN’T EMPTY, IT JUST HAS MORE CLOSET SPACE
by Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Serritella


Read by Rosemary Scalessa. (5 episodes, 01/28/16 – 02/03/16)


Book jacket illustration.The incomparable Lisa Scottoline, along with Daughter Francesca, is back with more wild and wonderful wit and wisdom.

New York Times bestselling author Lisa Scottoline struck a chord with readers, book clubs, and critics with her smash-hit essay collection, Why My Third Husband Will Be a Dog. This time, Lisa teams up with Daughter Francesca to give their mother-daughter perspective on everything from blind dates to empty calories, as well as life with the feistiest octogenarian on the planet, Mother Mary, who won't part with her thirty-year-old bra. Three generations of women, triple the laughs---and the love.

Inspired by their weekly "Chick Wit" column for The Philadelphia Inquirer, Lisa and Francesca spill all their family secrets---which will sound a lot like yours. And you'll have to put this book down, just to stop laughing.

LISA ON DIETING: I'm backsliding with carbohydrates, which is the food version of ex-sex.

FRANCESCA ON CUTTING THE CORD: I thought I said, "I am going to see my cousin's new apartment," but in Mom-speak that translates to: "I am going to meet certain death in the New York City subway tunnels that are soon to be my tomb."

LISA ON MOTHER MARY: Most people have a list of Things To Do, but Mother Mary has a list of Things Not To Do. At the top is Don't Go to the Movies. Other entries include Don't Eat Outside With The Bugs and Don't Walk All Over This Cockamamie Mall.

FRANCESCA ON BEING SINGLE: I'm addicted to the wedding announcements. Worse, I find myself subtracting my age from the bride's. I thought I was a modern woman, turns out I'm a Cathy cartoon.

LISA ON AGING GRACEFULLY: Today I noticed my first gray hair. On my chin.


LENINGRAD: SIEGE AND SYMPHONY
by Brian Moynahan

Read by Matt Robbins. (22 episodes, 02/04/16 – 03/04/16)


Book jacket illustration.In Leningrad: Siege and Symphony, Brian Moynahan sets the composition of Shostakovich’s most famous work-his seventh symphony- against the tragic canvas of the siege itself and the years of repression and terror that preceded it. Using a wealth of new material, Moynahan tells the story of the cruelties inflicted by Stalin and Hitler on a city of exquisite beauty and rich cultural history, and the symphony that inspired its survival.

 

 

 

 

 

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10 AM (Mon-Fri)

 

THE NEWS SORORITY: Diane Sawyer, Katie Couric, Christiane Amanpour--and the (Ongoing, Imperfect, Co mplicated) Triumph of Women in TV News
by Sheila Weller

Read by Christine Brazill. (19 episodes, Final Read 02/01/16)

Book jacket illustration.“Weller rivetingly recounts these gutsy ladies' time on the front lines... an inspiration for future generations of journalists.” --Vanity Fair

For decades, women battered the walls of the male fortress of television journalism. After fierce struggles, three women—Diane Sawyer, Katie Couric, and Christiane Amanpour—broke into the newsroom’s once impenetrable “boys’ club.” These women were not simply pathbreakers, but wildly gifted journalists whose unique talents enabled them to climb to the top of the corporate ladder and transform the way Americans received their news.

Drawing on exclusive interviews with their colleagues and intimates from childhood on, The News Sorority crafts a lively and exhilarating narrative that reveals the hard struggles and inner strengths that shaped these women and powered their success. Life outside the newsroom—love, loss, child rearing—would mark them all, complicating their lives even as it deepened their convictions and instincts. Life inside the newsroom would include many nervy decisions and back room power plays previously uncaptured in any media account. Taken together, Sawyer’s, Couric’s, and Amanpour’s lives as women are here revealed not as impediments but as keys to their success.

Raised in Louisville, Kentucky, Diane Sawyer was a young woman steering her own unique political course in a time of societal upheaval. Her fierce intellect, almost insuperable work ethic, and sophisticated emotional intelligence would catapult Sawyer from being the first female on-air correspondent for 60 Minutes, to presenting anchoring the network flagship ABC World News. From her first breaks as a reporter all the way through her departure in 2014, Sawyer’s charisma and drive would carry her through countless personal and professional changes.

Katie Couric, always conveniently underestimated because of her “girl-next-door” demeanor, brazened her way through a succession of regional TV news jobs until she finally hit it big. In 1991, Couric became the cohost of Today, where, over the next fifteen years, she transformed the “female” slot from secondary to preeminent while shouldering devastating personal loss. Couric’s greatest triumph—and most bedeviling challenge—was at CBS Evening News, as the first woman to solo-anchor a nighttime network news program. Her contradictions—seriously feminist while proudly sorority-girlish—made her beyond easy typecasting, and as original as she is relatable.

A glamorous, unorthodox cosmopolite—raised in pre-revolution Iran amid royalty and educated in England—Christiane Amanpour would never have been picked out of a lineup as a future war reporter, until her character flourished on catastrophic soil: her family’s exile during the Iranian Revolution. Once she knew her calling, Amanpour shrewdly made a virtue of her outsider status, joining the fledgling CNN on the bottom rung and then becoming its “face,” catalyzing its rise to global prominence. Amanpour’s fearlessness in war zones would make her the world’s witness to some of its most acute crises and television’s chief advocate for international justice.

Revealing the tremendous combination of ambition, empathy, and skill that empowered Sawyer, Couric, and Amanpour to reach stardom, The News Sorority is a detailed story of three very particular lives and a testament to the extraordinary character of women everywhere.

 

ALL THE STARS IN HEAVEN
by Adriana Trigiani

Read by Rosemary Scalessa. (15 episodes)

Book jacket illustration.Adriana Trigiani, the New York Times bestselling author of the blockbuster epic The Shoemaker's Wife, returns with her biggest and boldest novel yet, a hypnotic tale based on a true story and filled with her signature elements: family ties, artistry, romance, and adventure. Born in the golden age of Hollywood, All the Stars in Heaven captures the luster, drama, power, and secrets that could only thrive in the studio system—viewed through the lives of an unforgettable cast of players creating magic on the screen and behind the scenes.

In this spectacular saga as radiant, thrilling, and beguiling as Hollywood itself, Adriana Trigiani takes us back to Tinsel Town's golden age—an era as brutal as it was resplendent—and into the complex and glamorous world of a young actress hungry for fame and success. With meticulous, beautiful detail, Trigiani paints a rich, historical landscape of 1930s Los Angeles, where European and American artisans flocked to pursue the ultimate dream: to tell stories on the silver screen.

The movie business is booming in 1935 when twenty-one-year-old Loretta Young meets thirty-four-year-old Clark Gable on the set of The Call of the Wild. Though he's already married, Gable falls for the stunning and vivacious young actress instantly.

Far from the glittering lights of Hollywood, Sister Alda Ducci has been forced to leave her convent and begin a new journey that leads her to Loretta. Becoming Miss Young's secretary, the innocent and pious young Alda must navigate the wild terrain of Hollywood with fierce determination and a moral code that derives from her Italian roots. Over the course of decades, she and Loretta encounter scandal and adventure, choose love and passion, and forge an enduring bond of love and loyalty that will be put to the test when they eventually face the greatest obstacle of their lives.

Anchored by Trigiani's masterful storytelling that takes you on a worldwide ride of adventure from Hollywood to the shores of southern Italy, this mesmerizing epic is, at its heart, a luminous tale of the most cherished ties that bind. Brimming with larger-than-life characters both real and fictional—including stars Spencer Tracy, Myrna Loy, David Niven, Hattie McDaniel and more—it is it is the unforgettable story of one of cinema's greatest love affairs during the golden age of American movie making.

 

WATERPROOF JUSTICE
by Grace Hawthorne

Read by Katrina Shoemaker. (9 episodes, 02/23/16 – 03/04/16)

Book jacket illustration.In Waterproof Justice, the world of New Orleans sporting houses and Mafia bosses spills over into the small town of Waterproof causing chaos. Sheriff Nate Houston just wants to recuperate from WWII but he gets caught up in a miscarriage of justice he can't ignore. In addition, he has to deal with a teenage daughter, an unpredictable sidekick, the local matchmaker, and a mysterious new woman in town. All that, and bring justice to Waterproof.


 

 

 

 

 


10 PM (Mon-Fri)

 

THE BACK NINE
by Billy Mott

Read by Tom Jowers. (8 episodes, 01/23/16 – 02/01/16)

Book jacket illustration.Charlie McLeod was a golf prodigy. His father taught him the game and then injury took it away. Twenty-five years after his last swing, McLeod is finally back on the course, working as a caddy in San Francisco.

Though he is older and slightly disheveled, he can still drive the ball as straight and as far as the best players in the world. When his extraordinary skills are discovered, he quickly becomes embroiled in a high stakes game between his wealthy employers and a ferocious pro. What ensues is the hilarious and touching story of an underdog and the joys and life lessons found in the great game of golf.

 

 

DEADLINE
by Sandra Brown

Read by Doug Hooker. (15 episodes, 02/02/16 – 02/18/16)

Book jacket illustration.Dawson Scott is a well-respected journalist recently returned from Afghanistan. Haunted by everything he experienced, he's privately suffering from battle fatigue which is a threat to every aspect of his life. But then he gets a call from a source within the FBI. A new development has come to light in a story that began 40 years ago. It could be the BIG story of Dawson's career one in which he has a vested interest.

Soon, Dawson is covering the disappearance and presumed murder of former Marine Jeremy Wesson, the biological son of the pair of terrorists who remain on the FBI's Most Wanted list. As Dawson delves into the story, he finds himself developing feelings for Wesson's ex-wife, Amelia, and her two young sons. But when Amelia's nanny turns up dead, the case takes a stunning new turn, with Dawson himself becoming a suspect. Haunted by his own demons, Dawson takes up the chase for the notorious outlaws. . .and the secret, startling truth about himself.

 

 

THE METAPHOR DECEPTION
by Birch Adams

Read by Bob Brier. (11 episodes, 02/19/16 – 03/02/16)

Book jacket illustration.John Nichols is a math genius who works for the NSA. He wrote the encryption algorithm called METAPHOR that protects the network of secure cell phones that four U.S. presidents have used to run the country. John Nichols is a Russian mole.

When North Korea takes out a CIA safe house south of the border with China, based on intel they got from the president’s cell phone, all eyes turn to Nichols. Not only the eyes of Travis Jackson from the Justice Department, but more damningly the eyes of the Russians who have owned Nichols since he was a child named Ilia Fedorov.

Jackson is convinced Nichols is the Russian mole who’s eluded him for twenty-four years and wants to catch him at all cost. The Russians suspect Nichols has turned on them and will torture his fourteen-year-old daughter to death in front of him to find out.

Nichols has two weeks to find who gave the intel to North Korea, or Jackson will be the least of his worries. If he fails to convince the Russians of his innocence, he will have to kill himself to save his daughter.

Birch Adams’ debut novel THE METAPHOR DECEPTION is a suspense thriller set in the information-assurance world where the most extreme security measures ever conceived cannot prevent the most egregious act of espionage ever perpetrated on America.

The technologies are described in a way that the lay person can understand. The twists and turns will keep your mind engaged, the action and intrigue will keep your body tensed.

But at its heart THE METAPHOR DECEPTION is a story of love, both between a father and his daughter, and between him and a woman from his past who might destroy them all.


11 PM (Mon-Sat)

THE WAY FORWARD IS WITH A BROKEN HEART
by Alice Walker

Read by Paula Ferguson. (7 episodes, 02/01/16 – 02/08/16)

Book jacket illustration."These are the stories that came to me to be told after the close of a magical marriage to an extraordinary man that ended in a less-than-magical divorce. I found myself unmoored, unmated, ungrounded in a way that challenged everything I'd ever thought about human relationships. Situated squarely in that terrifying paradise called freedom, precipitously out on so many emotional limbs, it was as if I had been born; and in fact I was being reborn as the woman I was to become."

So says Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker about her beautiful new book, in which "one of the best American writers today" (The Washington Post) gives us superb stories based on rich truths from her own experience. Imbued with Walker's wise philosophy and understanding of people, the spirit, sex and love, The Way Forward Is with a Broken Heart begins with a lyrical, autobiographical story of a marriage set in the violent and volatile Deep South during the early years of the civil rights movement. Walker goes on to imagine stories that grew out of the life following that marriage—a life, she writes, that was "marked by deep sea-changes and transitions." These provocative stories showcase Walker's hard-won knowledge of love of many kinds and of the relationships that shape our lives, as well as her infectious sense of humor and joy. Filled with wonder at the power of the life force and of the capacity of human beings to move through love and loss and healing to love again, The Way Forward Is with a Broken Heart is an enriching, passionate book by "a lavishly gifted writer" (The New York Times Book Review).

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A WEDDING IN PROVENCE
by Ellen Sussman

Read by Faye Kaufman. (7 episodes, 02/09/16 – 02/16/16)

Book jacket illustration.When Olivia and Brody drive up to their friend’s idyllic inn—nestled in a valley in the Mediterranean town of Cassis—they know they’ve chosen the perfect spot for their wedding. The ceremony will be held in the lush garden, and the reception will be a small party of only their closest family and friends. But when Olivia and Brody’s guests check in, their peaceful wedding weekend is quickly thrown off balance.

The first to arrive is Nell, Olivia’s oldest daughter from her first marriage. Impulsive and reckless, she invites a complete stranger—an enigmatic man who is both alluring and a bit dangerous—to be her guest at the wedding. The next is Carly, Olivia’s youngest daughter, the responsible and pragmatic one. Away from her demanding job and a strained relationship, she feels an urgent need to cut loose—and for once do something brash and unpredictable. Then there is Jake, Brody’s playboy best man, and Fanny, Brody’s mother, who is coping with the fallout of her own marriage. And in the middle of it all is Olivia, navigating the dramas, joys, and pitfalls of planning a wedding and starting a new life.

A delicious, compelling, and utterly enchanting novel, A Wedding in Provence captures the complex and enduring bonds of family, and our boundless faith in love.

 

MAKE ME
by Lee Child

Read by Tom Jowers. (12 episodes, 02/17/16 – 02/29/16)

Book jacket illustration.Stephen King calls Jack Reacher “the coolest continuing series character”—and now he’s back in this masterly new thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author Lee Child.

“Why is this town called Mother’s Rest?” That’s all Reacher wants to know. But no one will tell him. It’s a tiny place hidden in a thousand square miles of wheat fields, with a railroad stop, and sullen and watchful people, and a worried woman named Michelle Chang, who mistakes him for someone else: her missing partner in a private investigation she thinks must have started small and then turned lethal.

Reacher has no particular place to go, and all the time in the world to get there, and there’s something about Chang . . . so he teams up with her and starts to ask around. He thinks: How bad can this thing be? But before long he’s plunged into a desperate race through LA, Chicago, Phoenix, and San Francisco, and through the hidden parts of the internet, up against thugs and assassins every step of the way—right back to where he started, in Mother’s Rest, where he must confront the worst nightmare he could imagine.

Walking away would have been easier. But as always, Reacher’s rule is: If you want me to stop, you’re going to have to make me.

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12 AM (Tues-Sun)


BRIDGET JONES: MAD ABOUT THE BOY
by Helen Fielding

Read by Lauren May. (11 episodes, 01/26/16 – 02/06/16)

Book jacket illustration.Bridget Jones—one of the most beloved characters in modern literature (v.g.)—is back! In Helen Fielding's wildly funny, hotly anticipated new novel, Bridget faces a few rather pressing questions:

What do you do when your girlfriend’s sixtieth birthday party is the same day as your boyfriend’s thirtieth?

Is it better to die of Botox or die of loneliness because you’re so wrinkly?

Is it wrong to lie about your age when online dating?

Is it morally wrong to have a blow-dry when one of your children has head lice?

Is it normal to be too vain to put on your reading glasses when checking your toy boy for head lice?

Does the Dalai Lama actually tweet or is it his assistant?

Is it normal to get fewer followers the more you tweet?

Is technology now the fifth element? Or is that wood?

If you put lip plumper on your hands do you get plump hands?

Is sleeping with someone after two dates and six weeks of texting the same as getting married after two meetings and six months of letter writing in Jane Austen’s day?

Pondering these and other modern dilemmas, Bridget Jones stumbles through the challenges of loss, single motherhood, tweeting, texting, technology, and rediscovering her sexuality in—Warning! Bad, outdated phrase approaching!—middle age.

In a triumphant return after fourteen years of silence, Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy is timely, tender, touching, page-turning, witty, wise, outrageous, and bloody hilarious.

 

MIDDLESEX
by Jeffrey Eugenides

Read by Darlene French-White. (23 episodes, 02/07/16 – 03/04/16)

Book jacket illustration."I was born twice: first, as a baby girl, on a remarkably smogless Detroit day of January 1960; and then again, as a teenage boy, in an emergency room near Petoskey, Michigan, in August of l974. . . My birth certificate lists my name as Calliope Helen Stephanides. My most recent driver's license...records my first name simply as Cal."

So begins the breathtaking story of Calliope Stephanides and three generations of the Greek-American Stephanides family who travel from a tiny village overlooking Mount Olympus in Asia Minor to Prohibition-era Detroit, witnessing its glory days as the Motor City, and the race riots of l967, before they move out to the tree-lined streets of suburban Grosse Pointe, Michigan. To understand why Calliope is not like other girls, she has to uncover a guilty family secret and the astonishing genetic history that turns Callie into Cal, one of the most audacious and wondrous narrators in contemporary fiction. Lyrical and thrilling, Middlesex is an exhilarating reinvention of the American epic.

Middlesex is the winner of the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

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2AM (Tues-Sun)

AND FURTHERMORE
by Dame Judi Dench

Read by Susan Larkin. (7 episodes, 02/02/16 – 02/09/16)

Book jacket illustration."I can hardly believe that it is more than half a century since I first stepped on to the stage of the Old Vic Theatre and into a way of life that has brought me the most rewarding professional relationships and friendships. I cannot imagine now ever doing anything else with my life except acting…" – Judi Dench

From London's glittering West End to Broadway's bright lights, from her Academy Award-winning role as Elizabeth I in Shakespeare in Love to "M" in the James Bond films, Judi Dench has treated audiences to some of the greatest performances of our time. She made her professional acting debut in 1957 with England's Old Vic theatre company playing Ophelia in Hamlet , Katherine in Henry V (her New York debut), and then, Juliet. In 1961, she joined the Royal Shakespeare Company playing Anya in The Cherry Orchard with John Gielgud and Peggy Ashcroft. In 1968, she went beyond the classical stage to become a sensation as Sally Bowles in Cabaret, adding musical comedy to her repertoire. Over the years, Dench has given indelible performances in the classics as well as some of the greatest plays and musicals of the twentieth century including Noël Coward's Hay Fever, Stephen Sondheim's A Little Night Music, Kaufman and Hart's The Royal Family and David Hare's Amy's View (for which she won the Tony Award). Recently, she made a triumphant return to A Midsummer Night's Dream as Titania, a role she first played in 1962, now played as a theatre-besotted Queen Elizabeth I.

Her film career has been filled with piercing performances of unforgettable women: Queen Victoria in Mrs. Brown, the terrifying schoolteacher Barbara Covett in Notes on a Scandal and the writer Iris Murdoch in Iris. And, for the BBC, Dench created another unforgettable woman when she brought her great comic timing and deeply felt emotions to the role of Jean Pargetter in the long-running hit BBC series As Time Goes By.

And Furthermore is, however, more than the story of a great actress's career. It is also the story of Judi Dench's life: her early days as a child in a family that was in love with the theatre; her marriage to actor Michael Williams; the joy she takes in her daughter, the actress Finty Williams, and her grandson, Sammy. Filled with Dench's impish sense of humor, diamond-sharp intelligence and photos from her personal archives, And Furthermore is the book every fan of the great Judi Dench will cherish.

 

THE TROUBLED MAN
by Henning Mankel

Read by Sandra Mathis. (17 episodes, 02/10/16 – 02/28/16)

Book jacket illustration.The much-anticipated return of Henning Mankell’s brilliant, brooding detective, Kurt Wallander.

On a winter day in 2008, Håkan von Enke, a retired high-ranking naval officer, vanishes during his daily walk in a forest near Stockholm. The investigation into his disappearance falls under the jurisdiction of the Stockholm police. It has nothing to do with Wallander—officially. But von Enke is his daughter’s future father-in-law. And so, with his inimitable disregard for normal procedure, Wallander is soon interfering in matters that are not his responsibility, making promises he won’t keep, telling lies when it suits him—and getting results. But the results hint at elaborate Cold War espionage activities that seem inextricably confounding, even to Wallander, who, in any case, is troubled in more personal ways as well. Negligent of his health, he’s become convinced that, having turned sixty, he is on the threshold of senility. Desperate to live up to the hope that a new granddaughter represents, he is continually haunted by his past. And looking toward the future with profound uncertainty, he will have no choice but to come face-to-face with his most intractable adversary: himself.

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