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July, 20159 AM (Mon-Fri)
ON BORROWED TIME
Read by Rosemary Scalessa (6 episodes, 06/24/15 – 07/01/15)
Loving a good cup of coffee runs in the family for Briar Creek library director Lindsey Norris. But when her brother, Jack, a consultant for a coffee company, goes missing, her favorite beverage becomes a key clue in a dangerous mystery.
Between preparing the library for the holidays and juggling the affections of ex-boyfriend, Captain Mike Sullivan, and her new crush, actor Robbie Vine, Lindsey has her hands full. But the mysterious disappearance of her world-traveling playboy brother takes precedence over all.
Afraid that involving the police could brew trouble for Jack, Lindsey takes matters into her own hands. But as her quest for her brother embroils her in a strange case involving South American business dealings and an enigmatic and exotic woman, it’ll take the help of both her library book club—the crafternooners—and her eager-to-please suitors to keep Jack from ending up in hot water…
Read by Elizabeth Awamleh. (13 episodes, 07/02/15 – 07/20/15)
LIVING A LIFE THAT MATTERS
Read by Matt Robbins (9 episodesm, 07/21/15 – 07/31/15)
10 AM (Mon-Fri)
UNFORGIVEABLE BLACKNESS: THE RISE AND FALL OF JACK JOHNSON
In this vivid biography Geoffrey C. Ward brings back to life the most celebrated — and the most reviled — African American of his age.
Jack Johnson battled his way out of obscurity and poverty in the Jim Crow South to win the title of heavyweight champion of the world. At a time when whites ran everything in America, he took orders from no one and resolved to live as if color did not exist. While most blacks struggled simply to exist, he reveled in his riches and his fame, sleeping with whomever he pleased, to the consternation and anger of much of white America. Because he did so the federal government set out to destroy him, and he was forced to endure prison and seven years of exile. This definitive biography portrays Jack Johnson as he really was—a battler against the bigotry of his era and the embodiment of American individualism.
AN ITALIAN JOURNEY ~ A Harvest of Revelations in the Olive Groves of Tuscany ~ A Pretty Girl, Seven Tuscan Farmers, and a Roberto Rossellini Film ~ Bella Scoperta
Read by Rosemary Scalessa. (8 episodes, 07/29/15 – 08/07/15)
Many of us would love to live this book. James Shaw has done it for us and allowed us to come along. I like it all, an adventurous journey with a compassionate author. Well Done, Well Done." ~ Roscaloni
It began with a girl. Then it was Italian food. After that it was books and discovering that even Mark Twain had fallen for Italy. E.M. Forster was smitten too: Love and understand the Italians, for the people are more marvelous than the land.
What is it about Italy and Italians?
Italian movies immortalize the mystique. Fellini called it La Dolce Vita. Tornatore's Cinema Paradiso took James Shaw back to the sweet memories of his childhood and the Italian family who operated the hometown theater. And just like in the movie, young James had an Alfredo who, by example, taught him about serving people.
James learned that Italians don't feel they're special. Luigi Barzini, author of The Italians, repeatedly asked, Why are we the way we are? and found no conclusive answer.
But James was convinced there was a reason why the Renaissance was born in Tuscany and Italy has given the world Saint Francis, Michelangelo, da Vinci, Galileo and now Benigni, whose film Life Is Beautiful, showed the world that the Italian zest for living can even make a heaven of a hell.
And so, after a lifetime of thinking about Italy James became convinced that the way to find out why Italians are the way they are, would be to eat with them at their kitchen tables. Day after day he picked their olives and the Italians began treating him like family. And James began seeing their unique human quality that attracts people to Italy and keeps pulling them back again and again.
But the story doesn't end in the olive groves of Tuscany. To discover the heart of Italian life, James had to travel back to World War II Italy.
An Italian Journey will inspire you to follow your passions, your enthusiasms, to your own Beautiful Discoveries.
10 PM (Mon-Fri)
CODE BREAKERS: THE INSIDE STORY OF BLETCHLY PARK
Read by Rosemary Scalessa. (12 episodes, 06/18/15 – 07/01/15)
Familiar to anyone versed in the history of World War II or interested in the study of modern intelligence work, Bletchley Park was arguably the most successful intelligence operation in world history, the top secret workplace of the remarkable people who cracked Germany's vaunted Enigma Code. Almost to the end of the war, the Germans had firm faith in the Enigma ciphering machine, but in fact the codebreakers were deciphering nearly 4,000 German transmissions daily by 1942, reaping a wealth of information on such important matters as the effort to resupply Rommel's army in North Africa and the effect of Allied attempts to mislead the Germans about the location of D-Day landings. Indeed, Winston Churchill hailed the work of Bletchley Park as the "secret weapon" that won the war.
Only now, nearly half a century since the end of the Second World War, have any of the men and women in this group come forward to tell this remarkable story in their own words—a story that an oath of secrecy long prevented them from revealing. In Codebreakers, F.H. Hinsley and Alan Stripp have gathered together twenty-seven first-hand accounts of one of the most amazing feats in intelligence history. These engaging memoirs, each written by a different member of the codebreakers team, recount the long hours working in total secrecy and the feelings of camaraderie, tension, excitement, and frustration as these men and women, both British and American, did some of the most important work of the war. These talented people share not only their technical knowledge of cryptography and military logistics, but also poignant personal recollections as well. Walter Eytan, one of a handful of Jews at Betchley Park, recalls intercepting a message from a German vessel which reported that it carried Jews "en route for Piraeus zur Endlosung (for the final solution)." Eytan writes "I had never heard this expression before, but instinctively, I knew what it must mean, and I have never forgotten that moment." Vivienne Alford tells of her chilling memory of hearing that the atomic bomb had been dropped on Hiroshima, and the stillness that came over her and her co-workers in Naval Section VI. And William Millward confides that he is still haunted by the work he did in Hut 3 nearly fifty years ago. "I sometimes wonder, especially during the night, how many sailors I drowned."
Few readers will finish this book without feeling that the codebreakers were essential to the outcome of the war—and thereby of major importance in helping to shape the world we live in today.
THE ZERO GAME
Read by Joe Grayman (14 episodes, 07/02/15 – 07/17/15)
The New York Times bestselling author of The Millionaires and The First Counsel returns to Wash-ington, D.C., with the story of an insider's game that turns deadly.
Matthew Mercer and Harris Sandler are best friends who have plum jobs as senior staffers to well-respected congressmen. But after a decade in Washington, idealism has faded to disillusionment, and they're bored. Then one of them finds out about the clandestine Zero Game. It starts out as good fun-a simple wager between friends. But when someone close to them ends up dead, Harris and Matthew realize the game is far more sinister than they ever imagined-and that they're about to be the game's next victims. On the run, they turn to the only person they can trust: a 16-year-old Senate page who can move around the Capitol undetected. As a ruthless killer creeps closer, this idealistic page not only holds the key to saving their lives, but is also determined to redeem them in the process. Come play The Zero Game-you can bet your life on it.
BURNED: A VANESSA PIERSON NOVEL
Read by Ruth Ellsbree. (12 episodes, 07/18/15 – 07/31/15)
Covert CIA ops officer Vanessa Pierson has dedicated her career to capturing one man: Bhoot, the world’s most notorious nuclear arms dealer. That mission has been impeded by the murders of her assets, who were betrayed by a mole within her own agency. When she narrowly escapes death during a devastating explosion at the Louvre, Vanessa immediately suspects that Bhoot was the architect of the brazen terrorist attack. But when a previously unknown militant group claims responsibility for the bombing and promises even greater carnage, she is forced to rethink her initial assumptions—especially when Bhoot himself contacts her to deny responsibility and confirm her suspicions that a miniaturized nuclear device may have fallen into hands more dangerous than his own. Of course, Vanessa knows Bhoot can’t be trusted. But she begins to fear that a new and even greater threat to the world’s fragile balance of power may have emerged.
As Vanessa’s investigation leads her ever closer to the identity of the mole and the real terrorists’ plans, she finds herself drawn against all her better instincts into a perilous alliance with one of the world’s most dangerous criminals—a man who has become her darkest obsession . . . and perhaps her savior.
Moving swiftly from Paris, to Amsterdam, to Venice, to Istanbul, Burned is a nerve-shattering, intricately woven thriller about the mission to capture a brilliant and elusive mastermind—and an exhilarating new chapter in the Vanessa Pierson saga.
11 PM (Mon-Sat)
NOW I SEE YOU
Read by Matt Robbins. (8 episodes, 06/29/15 – 07/07/15)
At nineteen years old, Nicole C. Kear's biggest concern is choosing a major--until she walks into a doctor's office in midtown Manhattan and gets a life-changing diagnosis. She is going blind, courtesy of an eye disease called retinitis pigmentosa, and has only a decade or so before Lights Out. Instead of making preparations as the doctor suggests, Kear decides to carpe diem and make the most of the vision she has left. She joins circus school, tears through boyfriends, travels the world, and through all these hi-jinks, she keeps her vision loss a secret.
When Kear becomes a mother, just a few years shy of her vision's expiration date, she amends her carpe diem strategy, giving up recklessness in order to relish every moment with her kids. Her secret, though, is harder to surrender - and as her vision deteriorates, harder to keep hidden. As her world grows blurred, one thing becomes clear: no matter how hard she fights, she won't win the battle against blindness. But if she comes clean with her secret, and comes to terms with the loss, she can still win her happy ending.
SECRETS FROM THE PAST
Read by Fay Kaufman. (11 episodes, 07/08/15 – 07/20/15)
Secrets from the Past is an epic, emotional novel of deeply-buried secrets, passionate love, obsession, and redemption from blockbuster bestselling author Barbara Taylor Bradford
At thirty years old, American photojournalist Serena Stone has already made a name for herself with her dramatic coverage of wars in the Middle East, following in her famous father's footsteps. But after his unexpected death in France, Serena leaves the front lines behind, weary of years of danger. Back in New York, she begins work on a biography of her celebrated father. When Serena discovers that her former lover, Zachary North, is in trouble overseas, she's forced to leave the safety of her new life and head back to a place she was trying to escape…and her life will never again be the same. As she brings Zac back to health in Venice, she discovers a shocking secret in the archives of her late father's work--one that will propel her back to war-torn Libya, where she will risk everything to piece together the mystery surrounding her parents' marriage and the part of their life together that she never knew.
"Every novel from this acclaimed and beloved author is avidly read…and will prove irresistible."--Booklist
THE BRIDGE OF SIGHS
Read by Tom Jowers. (10 episodes, 07/21/15 – 07/31/15)
In this auspicious literary crime debut, an inexperienced homicide detective struggles amid the lawlessness of a post-WWII Eastern European city.
It's August, 1948, three years after the Russians "liberated" this small nation from German Occupation. But the Red Army still patrols the capital's rubble-strewn streets, and the ideals of the Revolution are but memories. Twenty-two-year-old Detective Emil Brod, an eager young man who spent the war working on a fishing boat in Finland, finally gets his chance to serve his country, investigating murder for the People's Militia.
The victim in Emil's first case is a state songwriter, but the evidence seems to point toward a political motive. He would like to investigate further, but even in his naivete, he realizes that the police academy never prepared him for this peculiar post-war environment, in which his colleagues are suspicious or silent, where lawlessness and corruption are the rules of the city, and in which he's still expected to investigate a murder. He is truly on his own in this new, dangerous world.
The Bridge of Sighs launches a unique series of crime novels featuring a dynamic cast of characters in an ever-evolving landscape, the politically volatile terrain of Eastern Europe in the second half of the 20th century.
12 AM (Tues-Sun)
TOUCH AND GO
Read by Anne Teddlie. (16 episodes, 06/17/15 – 07/04/15)
How do you vanish a family?
Ten minutes after walking the elite Back Bay townhouse and investigator Tessa Leoni already doesn’t like what she sees. Signs of an abduction. Clearly the work of professionals. At best, the entire family has been kidnapped. At worst…
How do you disappear a marriage?
The more Tessa learns about the Denbe family, the less she likes their chances. What might have looked like the perfect existence—a powerful CEO, his adoring wife, their angelic child—is not what it appears. Husband, wife, daughter—magazine perfect, but each hiding dark secrets…
How do you erase a life?
Tessa knows more than she’d like to about families riddled with lies. What she doesn’t know is where the Denbes are and if any of them are still breathing. She’ll have to climb over unbending feds and territorial local cops to find out, and if she’s not fast, the Denbes’ chances of survival will quickly become little more than…
WHAT DOESN’T KILL YOU
Read by Marty Kwatinetz. (12 episodes, 07/05/15 – 07/18/15)
It's the deadliest poison known to man.
He's the only one who knows its true power.
She's the only one who can stop the evil.
The chase is on. . . .
Number-one bestselling author Iris Johansen showcases one of her most fascinating characters yet, pitted against one of the most ruthless killers, in a novel that will make you forget to breathe. . . .
Catherine Ling was abandoned on the streets of Hong Kong at age four. Schooled in the art of survival, she traded in the only commodity she had: information. As a teenager, she came under the tutelage of a mysterious man known only as Hu Chang---a skilled assassin and master poisoner. As a young woman, she was recruited by the CIA and now she is known as one of their most effective operatives. Having lived life in the shadows, Catherine is aware of the wobbly moral compass of her existence and even more aware of just how expendable she is to those she deals with. When her old friend Hu Chang creates a formula that's not only deadly but completely untraceable, the race begins to be the first to get it. With rogue operative John Gallo also on the hunt, Catherine finds herself up against a group so villainous and a man so evil that she may not survive in her quest to protect those she cares about: Hu Chang and Luke---the son who was stolen from Catherine and only recently brought home safe. Using all of her formidable skills, Catherine Ling proves the age-old belief that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.
Iris Johansen is at her page-turning best in this novel that takes you from the corridors of Langley to the alleyways of Hong Kong and the darkest places of the human soul.
WHERE THE PEACOCKS SING
Read by Ruth Ellsbree. (11 episodes, 07/19/15 – 07/31/15)
How far would you travel for love? In her sparkling memoir, journalist Alison Singh Gee learns that love, riches, and a place to call home can be found in the most unexpected places.
Alison Singh Gee was a glamorous magazine writer with a serious Jimmy Choo habit, a weakness for five-star Balinese resorts, and a reputation for dating highborn British men. Then she met Ajay, a charming and unassuming Indian journalist, and her world turned upside down. Traveling from her shiny, rapid-fire life in Hong Kong to Ajay's native village, Alison learns that not all is as it seems. Turns out that Ajay is a landed prince (of sorts), but his family palace is falling to pieces. Replete with plumbing issues, strange noises, and intimidating relatives, her new love's ramshackle palace, Mokimpur, is a broken-down relic in desperate need of a makeover. And Alison wonders if she can soldier on for the sake of the man who just might be her soul mate.
Read by Martha Kennedy. (13 episodes, 06/18/15 – 07/02/15)
Can a woman ever really know herself if she doesn’t know her mother?
From bestselling author Kristin Hannah comes Winter Garden, a powerful, heartbreaking novel that illuminates the intricate mother-daughter bond and explores the enduring links between the present and the past
Meredith and Nina Whitson are as different as sisters can be. One stayed at home to raise her children and manage the family apple orchard; the other followed a dream and traveled the world to become a famous photojournalist. But when their beloved father falls ill, Meredith and Nina find themselves together again, standing alongside their cold, disapproving mother, Anya, who even now, offers no comfort to her daughters. As children, the only connection between them was the Russian fairy tale Anya sometimes told the girls at night. On his deathbed, their father extracts a promise from the women in his life: the fairy tale will be told one last time—and all the way to the end. Thus begins an unexpected journey into the truth of Anya’s life in war-torn Leningrad, more than five decades ago. Alternating between the past and present, Meredith and Nina will finally hear the singular, harrowing story of their mother’s life, and what they learn is a secret so terrible and terrifying that it will shake the very foundation of their family and change who they believe they are.
Read by Matt Robbins. (17 episodes, 07/03/15 – 07/22/15)
Juicy tales of intrigue and bravado from a ``fakebuster'' extroadinaire. Hoving, the notorious former director of New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art and author of Making the Mummies Dance (1993), etc., has found his calling in exposing art forgeries. As a roving fakebuster (the term is the author's) Hoving draws on his connoisseurship and position as an art world insider to investigate and pursue his hunches about inauthentic works of art. He provides us first with a history of the practice of art forgeries from the Phoenicians to the present. Hoving then offers case histories, including some he investigated. It's startling to learn how many preeminent art professionals (including the author himself) have been duped by forgers. Motivated by ``need, speed and greed,'' art scholars, collectors, and curators alike have been seduced by the most obvious of fakes. Among the most startling cases Hoving cites are the three statues of Etruscan Warriors at the Metropolitan Museum (actually created in Italy some 70 years ago) and the ``Curious Spurious Kouros'' at the Getty, as well as the dubious model for Michelangelo's David. Hoving also discusses the confusion caused by the ``Grand Master'' of forged Renaissance drawings, Eric Hebborn, and the remarkable forgeries of Han van Meegeren, the ``Vermeer Man.'' So what does it take to be a fakebuster? ``The mental makeup of a detective; the sensitivity of a seasoned connoisseur; the determination of a fierce, often acidulously antiestablishment independent; a scholar with years of saturation in every field of art; plus some experience as a successful forger.'' False Impressions, needless to say, is filled with a certain amount of self-praise and one-upmanship, as well as a zestful airing of the art world's dirty laundry. And though Hoving is certainly is no prose stylist, all the same he produces a most absorbing book.
THE AMISTAD REBELLION
Read by Rene Ford-Clark. (9 episodes, 07/23/15 – 08/01/15)
A unique account of the most successful slave rebellion in American history, now updated with a new epilogue—from the award-winning author of The Slave Ship
In this powerful and highly original account, Marcus Rediker reclaims the Amistad rebellion for its true proponents: the enslaved Africans who risked death to stake a claim for freedom. Using newly discovered evidence and featuring vividly drawn portraits of the rebels, their captors, and their abolitionist allies, Rediker reframes the story to show how a small group of courageous men fought and won an epic battle against Spanish and American slaveholders and their governments. The successful Amistad rebellion changed the very nature of the struggle against slavery. As a handful of self-emancipated Africans steered their own course for freedom, they opened a way for millions to follow.
This edition includes a new epilogue about the author's trip to Sierra Leona to search for Lomboko, the slave-trading factory where the Amistad Africans were incarcerated, and other relics and connections to the Amistad rebellion, especially living local memory of the uprising and the people who made it.
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