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April, 2015

9 AM (Mon-Fri)
 

OPRAH: A BIOGRAPHY
by Kitty Kelley

Read by Don Kennedy. (22 episodes, 04/01/15 – 04/30/15)


Book jacket illustration.For the past twenty-five years, no one has been better at revealing secrets than Oprah Winfrey. On what is arguably the most influential show in television history, she has gotten her guests—often the biggest celebrities in the world—to bare their love lives, explore their painful pasts, admit their transgressions, reveal their pleasures, and explore their demons. In turn, Oprah has repeatedly allowed her audience to share in her own life story, opening up about the sexual abuse in her past and discussing her romantic relationships, her weight problems, her spiritual beliefs, her charitable donations, and her strongly held views on the state of the world.

After a quarter of a century of the Oprah-ization of America, can there be any more secrets left to reveal?

Yes. Because Oprah has met her match.

Kitty Kelley has, over the same period of time, fear¬lessly and relentlessly investigated and written about the world’s most revered icons: Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Frank Sinatra, Nancy Reagan, England’s Royal Family, and the Bush dynasty. In her #1 bestselling biographies, she has exposed truths and exploded myths to uncover the real human beings that exist behind their manufac¬tured facades.

Turning her reportorial sights on Oprah, Kelley has now given us an unvarnished look at the stories Oprah’s told and the life she’s led. Kelley has talked to Oprah’s closest family members and business associates. She has obtained court records, birth certificates, financial and tax records, and even copies of Oprah’s legendary (and punishing) confidentiality agreements. She has probed every aspect of Oprah Winfrey’s life, and it is as if she’s written the most extraordinary segment of The Oprah Winfrey Show ever filmed—one in which Oprah herself is finally and fully revealed.

There is a case to be made, and it is certainly made in this book, that Oprah Winfrey is an important, and even great, figure of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. But there is also a case to be made that even greatness needs to be examined and put under a microscope. Fact must be separated from myth, truth from hype. Kitty Kelley has made that separation, showing both sides of Oprah as they have never been shown before. In doing so she has written a psychologically perceptive and meticulously researched book that will surprise and thrill everyone who reads it.

 

 


10 AM (Mon-Fri)

DEATH OF A KING
by Tavis Smiley with David Ritz

Read by Susan Sweeney. (8 episodes, 04/01/15 – 04/10/15)

Book jacket illustration.A revealing and dramatic chronicle of the twelve months leading up to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination

Martin Luther King, Jr. died in one of the most shocking assassinations the world has known, but little is remembered about the life he led in his final year. New York Times bestselling author and award-winning broadcaster Tavis Smiley recounts the final 365 days of King's life, revealing the minister's trials and tribulations — denunciations by the press, rejection from the president, dismissal by the country's black middle class and militants, assaults on his character, ideology, and political tactics, to name a few — all of which he had to rise above in order to lead and address the racism, poverty, and militarism that threatened to destroy our democracy.

Smiley's DEATH OF A KING paints a portrait of a leader and visionary in a narrative different from all that have come before. Here is an exceptional glimpse into King's life — one that adds both nuance and gravitas to his legacy as an American hero.

 

THE STORY OF THE TITANIC AS TOLD BY ITS SURVIVORS
by Lawrence Beesly, Archibald Gracie, Commander Lightoller and Harold Bride.

Read by Renee Ford Clark. (9 episodes, 04/13/15 – 04/23/15)

Book jacket illustration.What it was really like. Panic, despair, shocking inefficiency, and a dash of heroism. Two lengthy narratives by passengers who had a thorough knowledge of the sea and by members of the ship's crew. More thrilling than any fictional account. 26 illustrations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SNOWED OUT ATLANTA
by Michelle Sollicito

Read by Rosemary Scalessa. (5 episodes, 04/24/15 – 04/30/15)

Book jacket illustration.

 

The inside story on the fastest-growing Facebook group in history.
How a Facebook group helped save Atlanta.
Get the inside scoop on how one woman and her 50,000 ""friends"" rescued thousands trapped in their cars during the snow storms of 2014.

 

 

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10 PM (Mon-Fri)

 

DIE A STRANGER
by Steve Hamilton

Read by Tom Jowers. (9 episodes, 03/23/15 – 04/01/15)

Book jacket illustration.Late one night, a plane lands on a deserted airstrip. Five dead bodies are found there the next morning. And now Vinnie LeBlanc is missing.

Vinnie is a member of the Ojibwa Indian tribe and he just might be Alex McKnight’s best friend. So Alex can’t help but be worried when he disappears. There’s a deadly crime war creeping into Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, and Alex never would have thought that his friend could be involved. But after an unexpected stranger arrives in town, Alex will soon find out that the stakes are higher than he ever could have imagined.

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THE RACKETEER
by John Grisham

Read by Martha Kennedy. (12 episodes, 04/02/15 – 04/15/15 )

Book jacket illustration.Given the importance of what they do, and the controversies that often surround them, and the violent people they sometimes confront, it is remarkable that in the history of this country only four active federal judges have been murdered.

Judge Raymond Fawcett has just become number five.

Who is the Racketeer? And what does he have to do with the judge’s untimely demise? His name, for the moment, is Malcolm Bannister. Job status? Former attorney. Current residence? The Federal Prison Camp near Frostburg, Maryland.

On paper, Malcolm’s situation isn’t looking too good these days, but he’s got an ace up his sleeve. He knows who killed Judge Fawcett, and he knows why. The judge’s body was found in his remote lakeside cabin. There was no forced entry, no struggle, just two dead bodies: Judge Fawcett and his young secretary. And one large, state-of-the-art, extremely secure safe, opened and emptied.

What was in the safe? The FBI would love to know. And Malcolm Bannister would love to tell them. But everything has a price—especially information as explosive as the sequence of events that led to Judge Fawcett’s death. And the Racketeer wasn’t born yesterday . . .

Nothing is as it seems and everything’s fair game in this wickedly clever new novel from John Grisham, the undisputed master of the legal thriller.

 

DARING: MY PASSAGES
by Gail Sheehy

Read by Rosemary Scalessa. (15 episodes, 04/16/15 – 05/02/15)

Book jacket illustration.he author of the New York Times bestseller Passages returns with her inspiring memoir.

Candid, insightful, and powerful, Daring: My Passages is the story of the unconventional life of Gail Sheehy, a writer who dared to blaze a trail in a "man's world," becoming one of the groundbreaking writers at New York magazine along with such stellar journalists as Tom Wolfe, Gloria Steinem, and Jimmy Breslin. Sheehy dared to walk New York City streets with hookers and pimps to expose violent prostitution; to march with civil rights protestors in Northern Ireland as British paratroopers opened fire; to break the glass ceiling in a media world fueled by testosterone, killer competition, and grit. Daring: My Passages is also a beguiling love story of Sheehy's tempestuous romance with and eventual happy marriage to Clay Felker, the charismatic creator of New York magazine.

Sheehy reflects on desire, ambition, and wanting it all. Fascinating and no-holds-barred, her memoir is a testament to guts, resilience, smarts, and offers a bold perspective on all of life's passages.


11 PM (Mon-Sat)

JACQUELINE KENNEDY ONASSIS
by Darwin Porter and Danforth Prince

Read by Amy Maxwell and Sandra Mathis. (34 episodes, 03/04/15 – 04/11/15) Read in collaboration with the Junior League of Atlanta

Book jacket illustration.God had a talent for creating exceptional women--Helen of Troy and Cleopatra come to mind. So does Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis, who lives again in this "warts-and-all" portrait. It's being released on the 20th anniversary of the tragic death, in 1994, of the icon who changed America's beliefs about what a woman of style, power, and influence could accomplish "behind the throne" of men whose careers changed the course of history.

During her tumultuous life, she zealously guarded her privacy and her secrets, but in the wake of her death, more and more revelations have emerged about her frustrations, her rage, her passions, her towering strengths, and her delicate fragility, which she hid from the glare of the world behind oversized sunglasses. Within this posthumous biography, a three-dimensional woman emerges through the compilation of some 1,000 eyewitness testimonials from men and women who knew her over a period of decades.

The public epitome of charm, grace, and elegance, the private, chain-smoking Jackie was known for her sharp wit and her acid tongue, dissing some of the great men and women she encountered. Examples include such figures as Nancy Reagan (“I heard she used to give the best head in Hollywood when she was a starlet at MGM”); Queen Elizabeth II (“pompous, stuffy, a heavy trip, and seriously pissed off at me for turning on Philip”); or Martin Luther King, Jr. (“a terrible man and a tricky, phony, skirt-chaser and race baiter”).

This outspoken testimonial to the flimsier side of Camelot contains a cornucopia of gossip and intrigue, including details about Jackie’s scandalous love affairs with her two brothers-in-law (Bobby and Teddy), and her penchant for movie star seductions (Warren Beatty, Paul Newman, William Holden).

Also detailed are her famous feuds with Grace Kelly, Marilyn Monroe, and Maria Callas; her almost unknown love affairs with Spain’s greatest matador and with Peter Lawford; her night in Georgetown coping with LBJ’s aborted seduction; her friend Rudolf Nureyev’s pursuit of both her and Bobby; her interchanges with Lem Billings, JFK’s homosexual “First Friend” whom Bobby defined as “Jack’s other wife”); her blood feud with Christina Onassis; her sibling rivalry with Lee Radziwill; her illicit affair with a senator nicknamed “Gorgeous George; her love-hate relationship with Frank Sinatra; and her Italian fling with Fiat’s kingpin, Gianni Agnelli, who taught her all about La Dolce Vita during the summer of 1962.

Conceived in direct and sometimes defiant contrast to the avalanche of more breathlessly respectful testimonials to the life and legacy of “America’s Queen,” this book is the latest installment in Blood Moon’s endlessly irreverent BABYLON series.

 

HOPE TO DIE
by James Patterson

Read by Marty Kwatinetz. (8 episodes, 04/13/15 – 04/20/15)

Book jacket illustration.Detective Alex Cross is being stalked by a psychotic genius, forced to play the deadliest game of his career. Cross's family-his loving wife, Bree, the wise and lively Nana Mama, and his precious children-have been ripped away. Terrified and desperate, Cross must give this madman what he wants if he has any chance of saving the most important people in his life. The stakes have never been higher: What will Cross sacrifice to save the ones he loves?

Widely praised by the greatest crime and thriller writers of our time, Cross My Heart set a jaw-dropping story in motion. Hope to Die propels Alex Cross's greatest challenge to its astonishing finish.

 

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DAVID AND GOLIATH
by Malcolm Gladwell

Read by Matt Robbins. (9 episodes, 04/21/15 – 04/30/15)

Book jacket illustration.Three thousand years ago on a battlefield in ancient Palestine, a shepherd boy felled a mighty warrior with nothing more than a stone and a sling, and ever since then the names of David and Goliath have stood for battles between underdogs and giants. David's victory was improbable and miraculous. He shouldn't have won. Or should he have? In David and Goliath, Malcolm Gladwell challenges how we think about obstacles and disadvantages, offering a new interpretation of what it means to be discriminated against, or cope with a disability, or lose a parent, or attend a mediocre school, or suffer from any number of other apparent setbacks.

Gladwell begins with the real story of what happened between the giant and the shepherd boy those many years ago. From there, David and Goliath examines Northern Ireland's Troubles, the minds of cancer researchers and civil rights leaders, murder and the high costs of revenge, and the dynamics of successful and unsuccessful classrooms---all to demonstrate how much of what is beautiful and important in the world arises from what looks like suffering and adversity. In the tradition of Gladwell's previous bestsellers---The Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers and What the Dog Saw---David and Goliath draws upon history, psychology, and powerful storytelling to reshape the way we think of the world around us.

 


 

12 AM (Tues-Sun)


FIRST HUBBY
by Roy Blount

Read by Tom Jowers. (12 episodes, 04/01/15 – 04/14/15)

Book jacket illustration.In his first novel, celebrated humorist Roy Blount Jr. chronicles the life and times of America’s first-ever First Husband
Guy Fox first encountered Clementine on the campus of Dingler College. She was running, stark naked, away from an on-campus protest and the police who were pursuing her. Guy and Clementine’s romance wound through turbulent social movements of the ’60s and ’70s, all the way to Clementine’s ascension to the Oval Office. As the nation’s very first First Husband, Guy is privy to the surreal intricacies of presidential life, and he sets out to write a light and thoroughly uncontroversial memoir about his relationship with Clementine. But the First Hubby can’t help but let some of his more mischievous qualities slip through into his book . . .
The thoroughly charming First Hubby is an engrossing novel about politics, family, and the art of marriage, even amid the most unusual of circumstances.

 

THE SMOKE AT DAWN
Jeff Shaara

Read by Jim Beattie. (20 episodes, 04/15/15 – 05/07/15)

Book jacket illustration.Jeff Shaara returns to the Civil War terrain he knows so well, with the latest novel in the series that started with A Blaze of Glory and A Chain of Thunder. In The Smoke at Dawn, the last great push of the Army of the Cumberland sets the stage for a decisive confrontation at Chattanooga that could determine the outcome of the war.

Summer, 1863. The Federal triumph at Vicksburg has secured complete control of the Mississippi River from the Confederacy, cementing the reputation of Ulysses S. Grant. Farther east, the Federal army under the command of William Rosecrans captures the crucial rail hub at Chattanooga. But Rosecrans is careless, and while pursuing the Confederates, the Federal forces are routed in north Georgia at Chickamauga Creek. Retreating in a panic back to Chattanooga, Rosecrans is pursued by the Confederate forces under General Braxton Bragg. Penned up, with their supply lines severed, the Federal army seems doomed to the same kind of defeat that plagued the Confederates at Vicksburg. But a disgusted Abraham Lincoln has seen enough of General Rosecrans. Ulysses Grant is elevated to command of the entire theater of the war, and immediately replaces Rosecrans with General George Thomas. Grant gathers an enormous force, including armies commanded by Joseph Hooker and Grant’s friend, William T. Sherman. Grant’s mission is clear: Break the Confederate siege and destroy Bragg’s army. Meanwhile, Bragg wages war as much with his own subordinates as he does with the Federals, creating dissension and disharmony in the Southern ranks, erasing the Confederate army’s superiority at exactly the wrong time.

Blending evocative historical detail with searing depictions of battle, Jeff Shaara immerses readers in the world of commanders and common soldiers, civilians and statesmen. From the Union side come the voices of Generals Grant, William Tecumseh Sherman, and George Thomas—the vaunted “Rock of Chickamauga”—as well as the young private Fritz “Dutchie” Bauer. From the Rebel ranks come Generals Bragg, Patrick Cleburne, and James Longstreet, as well as the legendary cavalry commander, Nathan Bedford Forrest. A tale of history played out on a human scale in the grand Shaara tradition, The Smoke at Dawn vividly recreates the climactic months of the war in the West, when the fate of a divided nation truly hangs in the balance.

 


2AM (Tues-Sun)

HALF THE SKY
by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sharon WuDunn

Read by Anne Teddlie. (13 episodes, 04/01/15 – 04/15/15)

Book jacket illustration.Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, the first married couple to win a Pulitzer for journalism, have traveled widely through the developing world, researching the plight of women and girls. The stories they have brought back for Half the Sky are harrowing, but this book also delivers a message of hope. In example after example, they show that even small assistance can improve and, indeed, transform the lives of these oppressed victims. A soulful prescription for a pervasive human rights disgrace.

 

 

 

 

 

WHAT IS VISIBLE
by Kimberly Elkins

Read by Matt Robbins. (11 episodes, 04/16/14 – 04/28/15)

Book jacket illustration.A vividly original literary novel based on the astounding true-life story of Laura Bridgman, the first deaf and blind person who learned language and blazed a trail for Helen Keller.
At age two, Laura Bridgman lost four of her five senses to scarlet fever. At age seven, she was taken to Perkins Institute in Boston to determine if a child so terribly afflicted could be taught. At age twelve, Charles Dickens declared her his prime interest for visiting America. And by age twenty, she was considered the nineteenth century's second most famous woman, having mastered language and charmed the world with her brilliance. Not since The Diving Bell and the Butterfly has a book proven so profoundly moving in illuminating the challenges of living in a completely unique inner world.

With Laura-by turns mischievous, temperamental, and witty-as the book's primary narrator, the fascinating kaleidoscope of characters includes the founder of Perkins Institute, Samuel Gridley Howe, with whom she was in love; his wife, the glamorous Julia Ward Howe, a renowned writer, abolitionist, and suffragist; Laura's beloved teacher, who married a missionary and died insane from syphilis; an Irish orphan with whom Laura had a tumultuous affair; Annie Sullivan; and even the young Helen Keller.

Deeply enthralling and rich with lyricism, WHAT IS VISIBLE chronicles the breathtaking experiment that Laura Bridgman embodied and its links to the great social, philosophical, theological, and educational changes rocking Victorian America. Given Laura's worldwide fame in the nineteenth century, it is astonishing that she has been virtually erased from history. WHAT IS VISIBLE will set the record straight.

 

STICHES
by Anne Lamont

Read by J.D. Hickey. (2 episodes, 04/29/15 – 04/30/15)

Book jacket illustration.“Lamott’s …most insightful book yet, Stitches offers plenty of her characteristic witty wisdom…this slim, readable volume [is] a lens on life, widening and narrowing, encouraging each reader to reflect on what it is, after all, that really matters.”—People

What do we do when life lurches out of balance? How can we reconnect to one other and to what’s sustaining, when evil and catastrophe seem inescapable?

These questions lie at the heart of Stitches, Lamott’s profound follow-up to her New York Times–bestselling Help, Thanks, Wow. In this book Lamott explores how we find meaning and peace in these loud and frantic times; where we start again after personal and public devastation; how we recapture wholeness after loss; and how we locate our true identities in this frazzled age. We begin, Lamott says, by collecting the ripped shreds of our emotional and spiritual fabric and sewing them back together, one stitch at a time.

It’s in these stitches that the quilt of life begins, and embedded in them are strength, warmth, humor, and humanity.

 

 

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