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June, 2016

9 AM (Mon-Fri)
 

DON’T SING AT THE TABLE
by Adriana Trigiani

Read by Rosemary Scalessa (5 episodes, 05/30/16 – 06/03/16)


Book jacket illustration.As devoted readers of Adriana Trigiani's New York Times bestselling novels know, this "seemingly effortless storyteller" (Boston Globe) frequently draws inspiration from her own family history, in particular from the lives of her two remarkable grandmothers, Lucia Spada Bonicelli (Lucy) and Yolanda Perin Trigiani (Viola). In Don't Sing at the Table, she reveals how her grandmothers' simple values have shaped her own life, sharing the experiences, humor, and wisdom of her beloved mentors to delight readers of all ages.

Trigiani visits the past to seek answers to the essential questions that define the challenges women face today at work and at home. Don't Sing at the Table is a primer, grandmother to granddaughter, filled with everyday wisdom and life lessons handed down with care and built to last.

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THE BEDFORD BOYS
by Alex Kershaw

Read by Rosemary Scalessa. (9 episodes,06/06/16 – 06/16/16)


Book jacket illustration.June 6, 1944: Nineteen boys from rural Bedford, Virginia, died in the first bloody minutes of D-Day. They were part of Company A of the 116th Regiment of the 29th Division, and among the first wave of American soldiers to hit the beaches at Normandy. Later in the campaign, three more boys from this small Virginia community died of gunshot wounds. Twenty-two sons of Bedford lost -- it is a story one cannot easily forget and one that the families of Bedford will never forget. Here is the true and intimate story of these men, and the friends and families they left behind -- the story of one small American town that went to war and died on Omaha Beach.

 

 

 

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LIGHTS OUT
by Ted Koppel

Read by J. D. Hickey. (8 episodes, 06/17/16 – 06/28/16)


Book jacket illustration.Imagine a blackout lasting not days, but weeks or months. Tens of millions of people over several states are affected. For those without access to a generator, there is no running water, no sewage, no refrigeration or light. Food and medical supplies are dwindling. Devices we rely on have gone dark. Banks no longer function, looting is widespread, and law and order are being tested as never before.

It isn’t just a scenario. A well-designed attack on just one of the nation’s three electric power grids could cripple much of our infrastructure—and in the age of cyberwarfare, a laptop has become the only necessary weapon. Several nations hostile to the United States could launch such an assault at any time. In fact, as a former chief scientist of the NSA reveals, China and Russia have already penetrated the grid. And a cybersecurity advisor to President Obama believes that independent actors—from “hacktivists” to terrorists—have the capability as well. “It’s not a question of if,” says Centcom Commander General Lloyd Austin, “it’s a question of when.”

And yet, as Koppel makes clear, the federal government, while well prepared for natural disasters, has no plan for the aftermath of an attack on the power grid. The current Secretary of Homeland Security suggests keeping a battery-powered radio.

In the absence of a government plan, some individuals and communities have taken matters into their own hands. Among the nation’s estimated three million “preppers,” we meet one whose doomsday retreat includes a newly excavated three-acre lake, stocked with fish, and a Wyoming homesteader so self-sufficient that he crafted the thousands of adobe bricks in his house by hand. We also see the unrivaled disaster preparedness of the Mormon church, with its enormous storehouses, high-tech dairies, orchards, and proprietary trucking company – the fruits of a long tradition of anticipating the worst. But how, Koppel asks, will ordinary civilians survive?

With urgency and authority, one of our most renowned journalists examines a threat unique to our time and evaluates potential ways to prepare for a catastrophe that is all but inevitable.

 

THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY
by Robert James Waller

Read by Darlene French White. (5 episodes, 06/29/16 – 07/05/16)


Book jacket illustration.Quietly powerful and thoroughly credible, Waller's first novel (he previously wrote two books of essays) describes the profound love between a photographer and an Iowa farmer's wife who, together for only four days, never lose their feelings for each other. In August 1965, 52-year-old divorce Robert Kincaid packs his pickup truck and travels to Iowa's Madison County, the location of seven covered bridges he is to photograph for National Geographic . There, he asks directions of Francesca Johnson, alone at home while her husband and two children visit the Illinois State Fair. Initially, neither Robert nor Francesca expects their random encounter to lead to seduction, yet their mutual desire is undeniable. Waller tells their story as though it were nonfiction, claiming to have heard about Francesca from her children after her death, read her journals, seen Robert's relics of those four days and interviewed a jazz musician who knew the photographer. Scenes between the lovers are movingly evoked and moments with Francesca, who celebrates her birthday 22 years later by reflecting on her brief time with Robert, are particularly poignant. An erotic, bittersweet tale of lingering memories and forsaken possibilities.

 

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10 AM (Mon-Fri)

 

THE CAIRO TRILOG - PALACE WALK
by Naguib Mahfouz

Read by Kieran Pavlick. (28 episodes, 06/01/16 – 07/08/16)

Book jacket illustration.Palace Walk is the first novel in Nobel Prize-winner Naguib Mahfouz’s magnificent Cairo Trilogy, an epic family saga of colonial Egypt that is considered his masterwork.

The novels of the Cairo Trilogy trace three generations of the family of tyrannical patriarch al-Sayyid Ahmad Abd al-Jawad, who rules his household with a strict hand while living a secret life of self-indulgence. Palace Walk introduces us to his gentle, oppressed wife, Amina, his cloistered daughters, Aisha and Khadija, and his three sons—the tragic and idealistic Fahmy, the dissolute hedonist Yasin, and the soul-searching intellectual Kamal. The family’s trials mirror those of their turbulent country during the years spanning the two world wars, as change comes to a society that has resisted it for centuries.

Translated by William Maynard Hutchins and Olive E. Kenny

 


10 PM (Mon-Fri)

 

I AM SOPHIE TUCKER
by Susan and Lloyd Ecker

Read by Mary L. Thomas. (10 episodes, 06/01/16 – 06/11/16)

Book jacket illustration.Features more than 90 beautiful color and 120 black and white period illustrations.

Part fairy tale, part crime novel, part rags to riches Hollywood myth, I Am Sophie Tucker tells the outrageous story of one of showbiz’s biggest personalities.

From 1906 through the beginning of television, Sophie Tucker and her bawdy, brash, and risqué songs paved the way for performers such as West, Monroe, Midler, Cher, Madonna, and Gaga.

“Sophie was like the Forrest Gump of the first half of the 1900s,” says co-author Susan Ecker. “She was close friends with seven presidents, King George VI, young Queen Elizabeth, Chaplin, J. Edgar, Capone, Garland, Jerry Lewis, Sinatra and every other notable of her era.”

Tucker tried to get her story published for nine years, without success. Undaunted, Sophie hired half a dozen ghostwriters, but she still had no takers for her no holds barred autobiography. Eventually, Doubleday published a sanitized version in 1945.

“After immersing ourselves in Sophie’s papers and surviving friends,” says co-author Lloyd Ecker, “this initial volume is what should have been the actual autobiography of Tucker.”

Though she obsessively documented her life, Sophie loved to exaggerate for dramatic effect. Over the years, she told multiple versions of each important event. At the end, not even Sophie knew the difference between truth and tall tale.

“This volume is 85% fact,” Lloyd explains. “The other 15% …who knows?”

I Am Sophie Tucker puts back all of the delicious bits nixed by Doubleday’s lawyers and throws in other Tucker show business dirt, intrigue, arrests, romance, murder, gangsters, and scandals. Now you can read it for yourself.

 

MY GRANDMOTHER ASKED ME TO TELL YOU SHE’S SORRY
by Fredrik Backman

Read by Bob Brier. (13 episodes, 06/13/16 – 06/27/16)

Book jacket illustration.A charming, warmhearted novel from the author of the New York Times bestseller A Man Called Ove.

Elsa is seven years old and different. Her grandmother is seventy-seven years old and crazy—as in standing-on-the-balcony-firing-paintball-guns-at-strangers crazy. She is also Elsa’s best, and only, friend. At night Elsa takes refuge in her grandmother’s stories, in the Land-of-Almost-Awake and the Kingdom of Miamas, where everybody is different and nobody needs to be normal.

When Elsa’s grandmother dies and leaves behind a series of letters apologizing to people she has wronged, Elsa’s greatest adventure begins. Her grandmother’s instructions lead her to an apartment building full of drunks, monsters, attack dogs, and old crones but also to the truth about fairy tales and kingdoms and a grandmother like no other.

My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry is told with the same comic accuracy and beating heart as Fredrik Backman’s bestselling debut novel, A Man Called Ove. It is a story about life and death and one of the most important human rights: the right to be different.

THE WAY WE WEREN’T

by Jill Talbot

Read by Sandra Mathis. (6 episodes, 06/28/16 – 07/04/16)

Book jacket illustration.After years of futon passion, Hemingway discussions, and three-mile runs, Jill Talbot’s relationship with a man carved in her doubts so deep she wrote to ignore them. And even though he was as unwilling to commit to a place or a job as Talbot was to marrying him, he insisted that she keep the baby when a pregnancy surprised them during their fourth year together. As it turned out, Kenny wasn't able to commit to a child either, so when the court ordered visitation and support for their four-month-old daughter, he vanished. His disappearing act was the catalyst for Talbot’s own, as she moved her daughter through nine states in as many years—running from the memory of their failed relationship and the hope of an impossible reunion, all the while raising a daughter on her own. Then, one day while packing boxes, she found a photograph that changed everything.

In this memoir-in-essays, Talbot attempts to set the record straight, even as she argues that our shared histories are merely competing stories we choose to tell ourselves. A bold look at the challenges of love and the struggles of a single mother in America today, The Way We Weren't tells a complex, unforgettable story of loss and leaving, and of how Talbot learned that writing can't bring anything back, but that because of it, nothing is ever really lost.


11 PM (Mon-Sat)

BOYS IN THE TREES
by Carly Simon

Read by Anne Teddlie. (16 episodes, 06/01/16 – 06/18/16)

Book jacket illustration.Simon's memoir reveals her remarkable life, beginning with her storied childhood as the third daughter of Richard L. Simon, the co-founder of publishing giant Simon & Schuster, her musical debut as half of The Simon Sisters performing folk songs with her sister Lucy in Greenwich Village, to a meteoric solo career that would result in 13 top 40 hits, including the #1 song "You're So Vain." She was the first artist in history to win a Grammy Award, an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award, for her song "Let the River Run" from the movie Working Girl.

The memoir recalls a childhood enriched by music and culture, but also one shrouded in secrets that would eventually tear her family apart. Simon brilliantly captures moments of creative inspiration, the sparks of songs, and the stories behind writing "Anticipation" and "We Have No Secrets" among many others. Romantic entanglements with some of the most famous men of the day fueled her confessional lyrics, as well as the unraveling of her storybook marriage to James Taylor.


THE CROSSING
by Michael Connelly

Read by Jim Beattie. (11 episodes, 06/20/16 – 07/01/16)

Book jacket illustration.Harry Bosch teams up with Lincoln Lawyer Mickey Haller in the new thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author Michael Connelly.

Detective Harry Bosch has retired from the LAPD, but his half-brother, defense attorney Mickey Haller, needs his help. The murder rap against his client seems ironclad, but Mickey is sure it's a setup. Though it goes against all his instincts, Bosch takes the case. With the secret help of his former LAPD partner Lucia Soto, he turns the investigation inside the police department. But as Bosch gets closer to discovering the truth, he makes himself a target.


 

 


 

12 AM (Tues-Sun)


THE PRICE OF BLOOD
by Patricia Bracewell

Read by Ruth Ellsbree. (19 episodes, 06/01/16 – 06/22/16)

Book jacket illustration.“A splendid fusion of historical research and imagination.” —Adrienne McDonnell, author of The Doctor and the Diva

Readers first met Emma of Normandy in Patricia Bracewell’s gripping debut novel, Shadow on the Crown. Unwillingly thrust into marriage to England’s King Æthelred, Emma has given the king a son and heir, but theirs has never been a happy marriage. In The Price of Blood, Bracewell returns to 1006, when a beleaguered Æthelred—still haunted by his brother’s ghost—governs with an iron fist and a royal policy that embraces murder.

As tensions escalate and enmities solidify, Emma forges alliances to protect her young son from ambitious men—even from the man she loves. In the north there is treachery brewing, and when Viking armies ravage England, loyalties are shattered and no one is safe from the sword. Rich with intrigue, compelling personalities, and fascinating detail about a little-known period in history, The Price of Blood will captivate fans of both historical fiction and fantasy novels such as George R. R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones.

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IRONWEED
by William Kennedy

Read by Tom Jowers. (8 episodes, 06/23/16 – 07/01/16)

Book jacket illustration.Winner of The Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction

In this Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, the third in Kennedy’s Albany cycle, Francis Phelan, ex-ballplayer, part-time gravedigger, and full-time bum with the gift of gab, has hit bottom. Years earlier he’d left Albany after he dropped his infant son accidentally, and the boy died. Now, in 1938, Francis is back in town, roaming the old familiar streets with his hobo pal, Helen, trying to make peace with the ghosts of the past and present.

 

 

 

 

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2AM (Tues-Sun)

MARIE-A TRUE STORY
by Peter Maas

Read by Tom Jowers. (17 episodes, 06/01/16 – 06/20/16)

Book jacket illustration.Peter Maas was famous for his book on Frank Serpico, a whistleblower in the New York City Police Department. He also wrote other fine books about crime. But my favorite is "Marie: A True Story."

"Marie: A True Story" is about Marie Ragghianti, the woman who blew the whistle on the corrupt Tennessee government in the 1970's. Marie was a former beauty queen and abused wife when she entered Tennessee politics as an extradition officer. Marie eventually became the chairman of the Tennessee Board of Pardons and Paroles when she discovered that criminals were paying politicians for paroles and pardons. If you could pay the price, you would be set free. It didn't matter if you were a rapist or murderer -- the money was what counted. Marie finally contacted the F.B.I. and showed great courage in fighting against the corruption that she found. Several people were murdered during the course of the investigation, and Marie's life was in jeopardy. Finally, the governor of Tennessee fired Marie, after setting her up by having her arrested for drunk driving. But Marie fought back, and sued to get her job back.

Peter Maas makes you really understand why Marie was so persistent in fighting corruption and why she just couldn't look the other way. It makes for gripping reading.

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THE MAN IN 3-B
by Carl Webber

Read by Matt Robbins. (10 episodes, 06/21/16 – 06/30/16)

Book jacket illustration.Daryl Graham has just moved into a Jamaica, Queens, apartment building and his neighbors, both male and female alike, can't stop talking about him. From his extreme attractiveness to his undeniable swag, Daryl is the man every woman wants and every man wants to be.

Connie, an unhappy wife, turns to Daryl for help losing weight, hoping to fix her marriage. But when Daryl starts making Connie feel beautiful again, she questions whether her marriage is worth saving. Benny, a spoiled teenager raised by a single father, looks up to Daryl. When an unexpected event occurs, Benny is left questioning everything he's ever known to be true. Krystal, Daryl's first love, wants to make things work with her current boyfriend. Yet having Daryl back in her life sends her happy home spiraling out of control. And Avery, Connie's husband, doesn't care about anything or anyone when a financial opportunity comes his way-that is, until he notices how much time his wife is spending with their new neighbor.

Everything seems to be going well, until someone is murdered, and everyone becomes a prime suspect.

 

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