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JULY, 2014

9 AM (Mon-Fri)
 

DEAR SENATOR
by Essie May Washington Williams

Read by Rene Ford-Clark (9 episodes, 06/24/14 – 07/04/14)

Book jacket illustration.Breaking nearly eight decades of silence, Essie Mae Washington–Williams comes forward with a story of unique historical magnitude and incredible human drama. Her father, the late Strom Thurmond, was once the nation's leading voice for racial segregation (one of his signature political achievements was his 24–hour filibuster against the Civil Rights Act of 1957, done in the name of saving the South from "mongrelization"). Her mother, however, was a black teenager named Carrie Butler who worked as a maid on the Thurmond family's South Carolina plantation.

Set against the explosively changing times of the civil rights movement, this poignant memoir recalls how she struggled with the discrepancy between the father she knew–one who was financially generous, supportive of her education, even affectionate–and the Old Southern politician, railing against greater racial equality, who refused to acknowledge her publicly. From her richly told narrative, as well as the letters she and Thurmond wrote to each other over the years, emerges a nuanced, fascinating portrait of a father who counseled his daughter about her dreams and goals.

 

A HIGHER CALL: AN INCREDIBLE TRUE STORY OF COMBAT AND CHIVALRY IN THE WAR-TORN SKIES OF WORLD WAR

by Adam Makos with Larry Alexander

Read by Tom Jowers. (14 episodes, 07/07/14 – 07/24/14)

Book jacket illustration.December, 1943: A badly damaged American bomber struggles to fly over wartime Germany. At the controls is twenty-one-year-old Second Lieutenant Charlie Brown. Half his crew lay wounded or dead on this, their first mission. Suddenly, a Messerschmitt fighter pulls up on the bomber’s tail. The pilot is German ace Franz Stigler—and he can destroy the young American crew with the squeeze of a trigger... 

What happened next would defy imagination and later be called “the most incredible encounter between enemies in World War II.”

The U.S. 8th Air Force would later classify what happened between them as “top secret.” It was an act that Franz could never mention for fear of facing a firing squad. It was the encounter that would haunt both Charlie and Franz for forty years until, as old men, they would search the world for each other, a last mission that could change their lives forever.

 

THE WORLD’S STRONGEST LIBRARIAN
by Josh Hanagarne

Read by Rosemary Scalessa. (9 episodes, 07/25/14 – 08/06/14)

Book jacket illustration.A funny and uplifting story of how a Mormon kid with Tourette’s found salvation in books and weight lifting 

Josh Hanagarne couldn’t be invisible if he tried. Although he wouldn't officially be diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome until his freshman year of high school, Josh was six years old when he first began exhibiting symptoms. When he was twenty and had reached his towering height of 6’7”, his tics escalated to nightmarish levels. Determined to conquer his affliction, Josh tried countless remedies, with dismal results. At last, an eccentric, autistic strongman taught Josh how to “throttle” his tics into submission using increasingly elaborate feats of strength. What started as a hobby became an entire way of life—and an effective way of managing his disorder.

Today, Josh is a librarian at Salt Lake City’s public library and founder of a popular blog about books and weight lifting—and the proud father of five-year-old Max. Funny and offbeat, The World’s Strongest Librarian traces this unlikely hero as he attempts to overcome his disability, find love, and create a life worth living..

 


10 AM (Mon-Fri)

EARL STANLEY GARDNER: THE CASE OF THE REAL PERRY MASON
by Dorothy B. Hughes

Read by Rosemary Scalessa (10 episodes, 06/20 /14 – 07/03/14)

Book jacket illustration.Erle Stanley Gardner (1889-1970) wrote 131 works of fiction that sold more than 325 million copies. He devoted time to 'The Court of Last Resort', which reviewed miscarriages of justice and often freed men who were wrongly convicted. Gardner clerked for a law firm, and passed the California Bar at 21. He was as successful in Ventura County as the fictional 'Perry Mason'. Erle was a prolific author: he dictated and others typed, he edited and it was retyped, proofread by others for final typing; an assembly line (p.16). 'Della Street' was a composite of the Walter sisters (p.18). 'Paul Drake' could have been based on Sam Hicks, a Wyoming cowboy who was Erle's ranch manager. Erle did not follow the standard device of a Dr. Watson to interact with a Sherlock Holmes; he used dialog and fast action for an explanation. Erle developed as a writer through hard work and careful study. Erle had no wish to write an ordinary type of detective story; he hated convention and rules for detective stories (p.26).

Erle's mother was of Mayflower stock, both parents were descendants of Colonial New Englanders (p.31). They moved to California in 1899 for business reasons. Ma Gardner ran the household, even when her boys were grown men (p.34), Younger brother Ken was one of San Francisco's most respected physicians. Older brother Walter was in business in Illinois (p.35). Erle's talents were first shown in 4th grade back in Malden Mass (p.36). Erle's legal research foreshadowed his fiction (pp.55-56). His courtroom work was like Perry Mason! Erle created a plot machine out of cardboard to create plots from characters, situations, and complications (pp.82-83).

Erle's contributions to American jurisprudence were his legal theories upheld by higher courts, and the principle of "limited dedication" which limited municipal rights (p.119). The formula for the Perry Mason stories is to have a protagonist who is dragged into danger, yet overcomes his problems (p.159). Many pages in this book tell of the conflicts between writer and agent to present material that met the current interests of the time. Gardner didn't put explicit dates in his stories so they wouldn't be old-fashioned in reprint (p.166). Erle had a wide circle of friends, mostly ordinary people, not writers.

Erle covered the Sir Harry Oakes murder trial for the Hearst newspapers (p.238). The Perry Mason show was a hit from 1957 to 1966, but had its problems (pp.248-251). Perry Mason was popular because he fought for human rights and liberties (p.252). An article in the 'Saturday Evening Post' resulted in 'The Court of Last Resort', and an innocent man was saved from execution (p.256). But Erle eventually resigned from the CLR (pp.264-5). Gardner's impact on the administration of justice cannot be overemphasized (p.266)! Erle helped to bring about the Supreme Court ruling than an indigent accused is entitled to legal help, and experts, and to study the prosecution's evidence (p.267). One reason for Erle's success was giving reliable data in his books. The Bibliography lists his work from 1921 to 1973 (pp. 312-341).

 

THE UNSUSPECTED
by Charlotte Armstrong

Read by Katrina Shoemaker. (7 episodes, 07/04/14 – 07/14/14)

Book jacket illustration.A dead girl’s closest friend goes undercover to unmask a killer
Why did Rosaleen Wright hang herself in a soundproof room? She left an unsigned note, peppered with stiff religious references and no trace of her trademark vitality or wit. The police believe it was suicide, but Rosaleen’s best friend, Jane, is suspicious. To prove Rosaleen was murdered, she takes a job with the man who killed her. Luther Grandison, Rosaleen’s boss, is a New York theatrical impresario with a lethal charm. To the world at large, he’s powerful and charismatic, but Rosaleen’s letters to Jane described a greedy man who stole from his adopted daughter when his bank account ran low. Jane thinks Grandison killed her to protect his secret, but to prove it she will have to face down one of the finest murderers Broadway has ever seen.

Edgar Award–winning Charlotte Armstrong (1905–1969) was one of the finest American authors of classic mystery and suspense. The daughter of an inventor, Armstrong was born in Vulcan, Michigan, and attended Barnard College, in New York City. After college she worked at the New York Times and the magazine Breath of the Avenue, before marrying and turning to literature in 1928. For a decade she wrote plays and poetry, with work produced on Broadway and published in the New Yorker. In the early 1940s, she began writing suspense. Success came quickly. Her first novel, Lay On, MacDuff! (1942) was well received, spawning a three-book series. Over the next two decades, she wrote more than two dozen novels, winning critical acclaim and a dedicated fan base. The Unsuspected (1945) and Mischief (1950) were both made into films, and A Dram of Poison (1956) won the Edgar Award for best novel. She died in California in 1969.

 

BROKEN MUSIC
by Sting

Read by Janina Edwards. (13 episodes, 07/15/14 – 07/31/14)

Book jacket illustration.Having been a songwriter most of my life, condensing my ideas and emotions into short rhyming couplets and setting them to music, I had never really considered writing a book. But upon arriving at the reflective age of fifty, I found myself drawn, for the first time, to write long passages that were as stimulating and intriguing to me as any songwriting I had ever done.

And so Broken Music began to take shape. It is a book about the early part of my life, from childhood through adolescence, right up to the eve of my success with the Police. It is a story very few people know.

I had no interest in writing a traditional autobiographical recitation of everything that’s ever happened to me. Instead I found myself drawn to exploring specific moments, certain people and relationships, and particular events which still resonate powerfully for me as I try to understand the child I was, and the man I became.

 


10 PM (Mon-Fri)

 

THE OMNIVORE’S DILEMMA: A NATURAL HISTORY OF FOUR MEALS
by Michael Pollan

Read by Jay Palmer. (17 episodes, 06/23/14 – 07/11/14)

Book jacket illustration.Author of #1 New York Times Bestsellers In Defense of Food and Food Rules

Today, buffeted by one food fad after another, America is suffering from what can only be described as a national eating disorder. Will it be fast food tonight, or something organic? Or perhaps something we grew ourselves? The question of what to have for dinner has confronted us since man discovered fire. But as Michael Pollan explains in this revolutionary book, how we answer it now, as the dawn of the twenty-first century, may determine our survival as a species. Packed with profound surprises, The Omnivore's Dilemma is changing the way Americans thing about the politics, perils, and pleasures of eating.

THE WHEAT FIELD
by Steve Thayer

Read by Tom Jowers. (8 episodes, 07/12/14 – 07/21/14)

Book jacket illustration.New York Times-bestselling author Steve Thayer introduces Deputy Pennington of the Kickapoo Falls, Wisconsin, Sheriff's Department, in a gripping story of sex, politics, and betrayal-where the lust for power leads one man through the explosive secrets of a small town.

Maggie and Michael Butler are found naked and very dead in a Wisconsin wheat field, murdered by two vicious shotgun blasts. No one ever gets murdered in Kickapoo Falls, and it is up to Deputy Pennington, the trusted number-two man in the Sheriff's Department, to find the killer. Pennington had loved Maggie from afar ever since high school, but he has a hard time holding on to his fantasy when he discovers what the real Maggie was mixed up in. The town's ruling elite close ranks as Pennington zeros in on the truth. He is convinced the answer lies back in the wheat field, and in a missing reel of movie film that will shut the door on the murder investigation but open another into a far-reaching assassination plot set for election night. Steve Thayer saves the best for last, standing the plot on its head with a twist that readers will never see coming-and will never forget.

 

DAVID AND GOLIATH: UNDERDOGS, MISFITS AND THE ART OF BATTLING GIANTS
by Malcolm Gladwell

Read by Ed Wolpert. (9 episodes, 07/22/14 – 07/31/14)

Book jacket illustration.Malcolm Gladwell, the #1 bestselling author of The Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers, and What the Dog Saw, offers his most provocative--and dazzling--book yet.

We all know that underdogs can win-that's what the David versus Goliath legend tells us, and we've seen it with our own eyes. Or have we? In DAVID AND GOLIATH, Malcolm Gladwell, with his unparalleled ability to grasp connections others miss, uncovers the hidden rules that shape the balance between the weak and the mighty, the powerful and the dispossessed. Gladwell examines the battlefields of Northern Ireland and Vietnam, takes us into the minds of cancer researchers and civil rights leaders, and digs into the dynamics of successful and unsuccessful classrooms-all in an attempt to demonstrate how fundamentally we misunderstand the true meaning of advantages and disadvantages. When is a traumatic childhood a good thing? When does a disability leave someone better off? Do you really want your child to go to the best school he or she can get into? Why are the childhoods of people at the top of one profession after another marked by deprivation and struggle?

Drawing upon psychology, history, science, business, and politics, DAVID AND GOLIATH is a beautifully written book about the mighty leverage of the unconventional. Millions of readers have been waiting for the next Malcolm Gladwell book. That wait is over.

 


11 PM (Mon-Sat)

LAWLESS WORLD: AMERICA AND THE MAKING AND BREAKING OF GLOBAL RULES FROM FDR'S ATLANTIC CHARTER TO GEORGE W. BUSH'S ILLEGAL WAR
by Phippe Sands

Read by Matt Robbins. (14 episodes, 06/17/14 – 07/02/14)

Book jacket illustration.Sixty years ago, the United States and Great Britain spearheaded efforts to create a new world order based on international rules. Today these two nations are leading the charge to disregard the very global safeguards they once fought to establish. In this eye-opening book, international lawyer Philippe Sands explains why this radical policy shift has occurred and how it will affect twenty-first-century world politics.

Using the events of September 11 and the subsequent “war on terror” as justification, the Bush administration has turned its back on many international agreements governing basic human rights, war, torture, the environment, and free trade, with Tony Blair often colluding. Focusing on watershed events such as the repudiation of the Kyoto Protocol and the abuses at Guantánamo Bay and Abu Ghraib, Sands argues that the United States and Britain are undermining international law at the precise moment when it has become most essential.

Crisp, impassioned, and hard hitting, Lawless World is at once an exposé and an indictment of a catastrophic realignment of the laws that govern international affairs.

 

ROBERT B. PARKER’S BULL RIVER
by Robert Knott

Read by Jim Beattie. (8 episodes, 07/03/14 – 07/11/14)

Book jacket illustration.“Clever detective work and considerable shooting. It reads lightning fast...Suspenseful.”
Booklist

Itinerant lawmen Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch are back in the saddle with guns blazing in this gritty, intense addition to the New York Times–bestselling series.

After hunting down the notorious desperado Alejandro Vasquez, Territorial Marshal Virgil Cole and Deputy Everett Hitch return him to San Cristóbal to stand trial. No sooner do they remand him into custody than a major bank robbery occurs and the lawmen find themselves tasked with another job: investigating the robbery of the Comstock Bank, recovering the loot, and bringing the criminals to justice.

But when their primary suspect is found severely beaten outside a high-class brothel and turns out to be using a false identity to escape a torrid past, it is Alejandro who becomes the key to their investigation. Cole and Hitch are soon on the trail of the money, two calculating brothers, and the daughter of St. Louis’s most prominent millionaire in a Cain and Abel story that brings revenge to a whole new level.

 

ONE SUMMER: AMERICA 1927
by Bill Bryson

Read by Matt Robbins. (20 episodes, 07/12/14 – 08/04/14)

Book jacket illustration.A Chicago Tribune Noteworthy Book
A GoodReads Reader's Choice

The summer of 1927 began with Charles Lindbergh crossing the Atlantic. Meanwhile, Babe Ruth was closing in on the home run record. In Newark, New Jersey, Alvin “Shipwreck” Kelly sat atop a flagpole for twelve days, and in Chicago, the gangster Al Capone was tightening his grip on bootlegging. The first true “talking picture,” Al Jolson’s The Jazz Singer, was filmed, forever changing the motion picture industry.

All this and much, much more transpired in the year Americans attempted and accomplished outsized things—and when the twentieth century truly became the American century. One Summer transforms it all into narrative nonfiction of the highest order.

 


 

12 AM (Tues-Sun)


THE STORYTELLER
by Jodi Picoult

Read by J. D. Hickey. (17 episodes, 06/14/14 – 07/03/14)

Book jacket illustration.Some stories live forever . . .

Sage Singer is a baker. She works through the night, preparing the day’s breads and pastries, trying to escape a reality of loneliness, bad memories, and the shadow of her mother’s death. When Josef Weber, an elderly man in Sage’s grief support group, begins stopping by the bakery, they strike up an unlikely friendship. Despite their differences, they see in each other the hidden scars that others can’t, and they become companions.

Everything changes on the day that Josef confesses a long-buried and shameful secret—one that nobody else in town would ever suspect—and asks Sage for an extraordinary favor. If she says yes, she faces not only moral repercussions, but potentially legal ones as well. With her own identity suddenly challenged, and the integrity of the closest friend she’s ever had clouded, Sage begins to question the assumptions and expectations she’s made about her life and her family. When does a moral choice become a moral imperative? And where does one draw the line between punishment and justice, forgiveness and mercy?

In this searingly honest novel, Jodi Picoult gracefully explores the lengths we will go in order to protect our families and to keep the past from dictating the future.

 

CITY OF WOMEN
by David R. Gillham

Read by Elisabeth Awamleh. (12 episodes, 05/20/14 – 06/01/14)

Book jacket illustration.It is 1943—the height of the Second World War. With the men away at the front, Berlin has become a city of women.

On the surface, Sigrid Schröder is the model German soldier’s wife: She goes to work every day, does as much with her rations as she can, and dutifully cares for her meddling mother-in-law, all the while ignoring the horrific immoralities of the regime.

But behind this façade is an entirely different Sigrid, a woman of passion who dreams of her former Jewish lover, now lost in the chaos of the war. But Sigrid is not the only one with secrets—she soon finds herself caught between what is right and what is wrong, and what falls somewhere in the shadows between the two . . .

 

SNAKE SKIN
by C. J. Lyons

Read by Ruth Ellsbree. (16 episodes, 07/04/14 – 07/22/14)

Book jacket illustration.When it comes to "breaktakingly fast-paced thrillers" (Publishers Weekly), NEW YORK TIMES bestseller CJ Lyons is a "master of the genre." (Pittsburgh Magazine)

Just your average Pittsburgh soccer mom, baking brownies and carrying a loaded forty-caliber Glock...

Lucille Teresa Guardino. A woman of many identities. Lucille to her doting mother, Lulu to her devoted husband, Mom to her pre-teen daughter, Lucy to her friends, LT to her co-workers, and Supervisory Special Agent Guardino to the criminals she captures for the FBI's Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement squad.

A loving mom and wife, dutiful daughter, consummate professional, and kick-ass federal agent, Lucy is living the perfect life.

Until the day she comes up against a predator more vicious and cunning than any she's ever tackled before, one who forces Lucy to choose between the life of the young victim she is fighting to save and her own daughter's....and Lucy's dream life is shattered.

 

THE BLACK-EYED BLONDE
by Benjamin Black

Read by Tom Jowers. (10 episodes, 07/23/14 – 08/02/14)

Book jacket illustration.Raymond Chandler’s incomparable private eye is back, pulled by a seductive young heiress into the most difficult and dangerous case of his career

“It was one of those summer Tuesday afternoons when you begin to wonder if the earth has stopped revolving. The telephone on my desk had the look of something that knows it’s being watched. Traffic trickled by in the street below, and there were a few pedestrians, too, men in hats going nowhere.”

So begins The Black-Eyed Blonde, a new novel featuring Philip Marlowe—yes, that Philip Marlowe. Channeling Raymond Chandler, Benjamin Black has brought Marlowe back to life for a new adventure on the mean streets of Bay City, California. It is the early 1950s, Marlowe is as restless and lonely as ever, and business is a little slow. Then a new client is shown in: young, beautiful, and expensively dressed, she wants Marlowe to find her former lover, a man named Nico Peterson. Marlowe sets off on his search, but almost immediately discovers that Peterson’s disappearance is merely the first in a series of bewildering events. Soon he is tangling with one of Bay City’s richest families and developing a singular appreciation for how far they will go to protect their fortune.

Only Benjamin Black, a modern master of the genre, could write a new Philip Marlowe novel that has all the panache and charm of the originals while delivering a story that is as sharp and fresh as today’s best crime fiction.

 


2AM (Tues-Sun)

A TIME TO KILL
by John Grisham

Read by Martha Kennedy. (18 episodes, 07/01/14 – 07/20/14)

Book jacket illustration.The life of a ten-year-old girl is shattered by two drunken and remorseless young men. The mostly white town of Clanton in Ford County, Mississippi, reacts with shock and horror at the inhuman crime. Until her black father acquires an assault rifle and takes justice into his own outraged hands.

For ten days, as burning crosses and the crack of sniper fire spread through the streets of Clanton, the nation sits spellbound as young defense attorney Jake Brigance struggles to save his client’s life–and then his own.

Available for the first time in a hardcover edition, this riveting novel of rape, murder, retribution, and justice set in rural Mississippi was Grisham's first novel and led to his subsequent bestsellers The Firm, The Pelican Brief, and The Client.

 

A SECRET HISTORY OF TORTURE
by Ian Cobain

Read by Bob Brier. (12 episodes, 07/22/14 – 08/03/14)

Book jacket illustration.The official line is clear: the United Kingdom does not “participate in, solicit, encourage or condone” torture. And yet, the evidence is irrefutable: when faced with potential threats to their national security, the gloves always come off.

Drawing on previously unseen official documents and the accounts of witnesses, victims and experts, prize-winning investigative journalist Ian Cobain looks beyond the cover-ups, the equivocations, and the attempts to dismiss brutality as the work of a few rogue interrogators, to get to the truth. From the Second World War to the War on Terror, via Kenya and Northern Ireland, A Secret History of Torture shows how the West have repeatedly and systematically resorted to torture, turning a blind eye where necessary, bending the law where they can, and issuing categorical denials all the while. What emerges is a picture of Britain that challenges our complacency on human rights and exposes the lie behind their reputation for fair play.

 

 

 

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