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March, 20159 AM (Mon-Fri)
MRS. LINCOLN’S DRESSMAKER
Read by Renee Ford Clark. (14 episodes,02/18/15 – 03/09/15)
In Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker, novelist Jennifer Chiaverini presents a stunning account of the friendship that blossomed between Mary Todd Lincoln and her seamstress, Elizabeth “Lizzie” Keckley, a former slave who gained her professional reputation in Washington, D.C. by outfitting the city’s elite. Keckley made history by sewing for First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln within the White House, a trusted witness to many private moments between the President and his wife, two of the most compelling figures in American history.
Keckley saved scraps from the dozens of gowns she made for Mrs. Lincoln, eventually piecing together a tribute known as the Mary Todd Lincoln Quilt. She also saved memories, which she fashioned into a book, Behind the Scenes: Thirty Years a Slave and Four Years in the White House. Upon its publication, Keckley’s memoir created a scandal that compelled Mary Todd Lincoln to sever all ties with her, but in the decades since, Keckley’s story has languished in the archives. In this impeccably researched, engrossing novel, Chiaverini brings history to life in rich, moving style.
BIG LITTLE LIES
Read by Cathy Huyghe (12 episodes,03/10/15 – 03/25/15)
Sometimes it’s the little lies that turn out to be the most lethal. . . .
But who did what?
Big Little Lies follows three women, each at a crossroads:
Madeline is a force to be reckoned with. She’s funny and biting, passionate, she remembers everything and forgives no one. Her ex-husband and his yogi new wife have moved into her beloved beachside community, and their daughter is in the same kindergarten class as Madeline’s youngest (how is this possible?). And to top it all off, Madeline’s teenage daughter seems to be choosing Madeline’s ex-husband over her. (How. Is. This. Possible?).
Celeste is the kind of beautiful woman who makes the world stop and stare. While she may seem a bit flustered at times, who wouldn’t be, with those rambunctious twin boys? Now that the boys are starting school, Celeste and her husband look set to become the king and queen of the school parent body. But royalty often comes at a price, and Celeste is grappling with how much more she is willing to pay.
New to town, single mom Jane is so young that another mother mistakes her for the nanny. Jane is sad beyond her years and harbors secret doubts about her son. But why? While Madeline and Celeste soon take Jane under their wing, none of them realizes how the arrival of Jane and her inscrutable little boy will affect them all.
Big Little Lies is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive.
Read by Alan Lippett. (4 episodes, 03/26/15 – 03/31/15)
When war breaks out in Israeli in 1973, childhood friends Haim and Dov are called up together to serve in a tank battalion. In the chaos of battle, the friends are separated. A month later, on his first leave, Haim returns home alone. Weary and saddened, but sustained by religious faith, he struggles to come to terms with his experiences. One question remains uppermost in Haim's mind: What happened to Dov? Reminiscent of the work of S.Y. Agnon, this compelling, poignant story draws us into the life of a young man who has to adjust not only the sights of his tank, but his understanding of the world
10 AM (Mon-Fri)
THE CRAZY LADIES OF PEARL STREET
Read by Tom Jowers. (15 episodes, 02/12/15 – 03/04/15)
“Nostalgic, richly textured. Sweetly evokes an innocent if hardscrabble lost age.”
“Literary time travel, meticulously remembered and set down. . . . This book is in some ways a key to our country; America was made by people like this.” —Washington Post
Read by Ruth Ellsbree. (9 episodes, 03/05/15 – 03/17/15)
Introducing Blowback, an exhilarating new espionage thriller by former CIA ops officer Valerie Plame and thriller writer Sarah Lovett.
Covert CIA ops officer Vanessa Pierson is finally close to capturing the world’s most dangerous international nuclear arms dealer: Bhoot, alias the ghost. One of her assets has information about Bhoot’s upcoming visit to a secret underground nuclear weapons facility in Iran—in only a few days. But just as Pierson’s informant is about to give her the location, they’re ambushed by an expert sniper. Pierson narrowly escapes. Her asset: dead.
Desperate to capture Bhoot and the sniper before they inflict more damage, Pierson enlists all of the Agency’s resources to find them. But with each day, the pressure of the manhunt mounts, causing her to push her forbidden romance with a fellow ops officer to its limit when she asks him to do the impossible. Despite the risks, she refuses to halt her pursuit of the terrorists, and she puts her cover and her career—and her life—at risk.
With rapid-cut shifts from European capitals to Washington to the Near East, and with insider detail that only a former spy could provide, Blowback marks the explosive beginning of the hunt for Bhoot, the villain whom Vanessa Pierson devotes her life to capturing, dead or alive.
Read by Bob Brier. (10 episodes, 03/18/15 – 03/31/15)
In a New York City made phantasmagorical by the events of 9/11, and left alone after his English wife and son return to London, Hans van den Broek stumbles upon the vibrant New York subculture of cricket, where he revisits his lost childhood and, thanks to a friendship with a charismatic and charming Trinidadian named Chuck Ramkissoon, begins to reconnect with his life and his adopted country. As the two men share their vastly different experiences of contemporary immigrant life in America, an unforgettable portrait emerges of an "other" New York populated by immigrants and strivers of every race and nationality.
10 PM (Mon-Fri)
Read by Marty Kwatinetz. (9 episodes, 02/28/15 – 03/10/15)
Everyone thinks Emmy Dockery is crazy. Obsessed with finding the link between hundreds of unsolved cases, Emmy has taken leave from her job as an FBI researcher. Now all she has are the newspaper clippings that wallpaper her bedroom, and her recurring nightmares of an all-consuming fire.
Not even Emmy's ex-boyfriend, field agent Harrison "Books" Bookman, will believe her that hundreds of kidnappings, rapes, and murders are all connected. That is, until Emmy finds a piece of evidence he can't afford to ignore. More murders are reported by the day—and they're all inexplicable. No motives, no murder weapons, no suspects. Could one person really be responsible for these unthinkable crimes?
INVISIBLE is James Patterson's scariest, most chilling stand-alone thriller yet.
SEEN IT ALL AND DONE THE REST
Read by Maurice Glatzer (10 episodes, 03/11/15 – 03/21/15 )
For Josephine Evans, home was on the stages of the world where she spent thirty years establishing herself as one of the finest actresses of her generation. Josephine was the toast of Europe, and her fabulous apartment in Amsterdam’s theater district was a popular gathering place for an international community of artists, actors, and expatriates who considered themselves true citizens of the world. Josephine lived above and beyond the reach of conventional definitions of who and what an African American diva could be, and her legions of loyal fans loved her for it. She had a perfect life and enough sense to live it to the hilt, but then a war she didn’t fully understand turned everything upside down, thrusting her into a role she never wanted and was not prepared to play. Suddenly the target of angry protests aimed at the country she had never really felt was her own, Josephine is forced to return to America to see if she can create a new definition of home.
Camping out with her granddaughter, Zora, who is housesitting in Atlanta’s West End; and trying to avoid the unwanted attentions of Dig It!, the city’s brand-new gossip magazine, Josephine struggles to reclaim her old life even as she scrambles to shape her new one. Hoping her friend Howard Denmond is as good as his word when he promises to engineer her triumphant return to the European stage, Josephine sets out to increase her nest egg by selling the house her mother willed her, only to find the long-neglected property has become home to squatters who have no intention of leaving.
But an unexpected reunion with an old friend offers Josephine a chance to set things right. Spurning an offer from unscrupulous land developer Greer Woodruff, Josephine gathers new friends around her, including Victor Causey, a lawyer whose addictions left him homeless but still determined to protect his mother; Louie Baptiste, a displaced New Orleans chef hoping to return to the city he loves; and Aretha Hargrove, recovering from her role in the same scandal that sent Zora running for cover. As Greer gets serious about her plan to tear the community apart, Josephine finds herself playing the most important role of her life, showing her neighbors what courage really is and learning the true meaning of coming home.
DIE A STRANGER
Read by Tom Jowers. (9 episodes, 03/23/15 – 04/01/15)
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.
11 PM (Mon-Sat)
Read by Katrina Shoemaker. (10 episodes, 02/20/15 – 03/03/15)
#1 New York Times bestselling author and producer of the FOX television hit Bones KATHY REICHS ensnares Dr. Temperance Brennan in a chilling puzzle of death and identity—in this superb addition to her “fascinating” (Entertainment Weekly ) forensic series.
One man, two deaths—four decades apart. This story can’t stay buried forever.
Shocking discovers await Tempe at the scene of a Quebec drowning: the victim—identified as one John Lowery—was engaged in a bizarre sexual practice when he died; the same John Lowery was an American soldier declared dead in 1968, after a Huey crash in Vietnam. Who then, Tempe sets off to find out, is buried in the vet’s North Carolina grave? Exhuming the remains and having them analyzed at a military compound in Hawaii gets complicated when Tempe’s ex, Detective Andrew Ryan, appears, and a Honolulu ME consults with her on a lethal shark attack—or is it a more sinister predator? Then Lowery’s dog tags turn up linked to yet another corpse, and Tempe must deconstruct a deadly deception that spans years, continents, and too many tragic losses.
JACQUELINE KENNEDY ONASSIS
Read by Amy Maxwell and Sandra Mathis. (34 episodes, 03/04/15 – 04/11/15) Read in collaboration with the Junior League of Atlanta
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.
12 AM (Tues-Sun)
THE STORIED LIFE OF A.J. FIKRY
Read by Rosemary Scalessa. (6 episodes, 03/02/15 – 03/07/15)
A. J. Fikry’s life is not at all what he expected it to be. He lives alone, his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history, and now his prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, has been stolen. But when a mysterious package appears at the bookstore, its unexpected arrival gives Fikry the chance to make his life over--and see everything anew.
“This novel has humor, romance, a touch of suspense, but most of all love--love of books and bookish people and, really, all of humanity in its imperfect glory.” —Eowyn Ivey, author of The Snow Child
“Marvelously optimistic about the future of books and bookstores and the people who love both.” —The Washington Post
Read by Russ Marshall. (10 episodes, 03/09/15 – 03/19/15)
Between 1854 and 1929, so-called orphan trains ran regularly from the cities of the East Coast to the farmlands of the Midwest, carrying thousands of abandoned children whose fates would be determined by pure luck. Would they be adopted by a kind and loving family, or would they face a childhood and adolescence of hard labor and servitude?
As a young Irish immigrant, Vivian Daly was one such child, sent by rail from New York City to an uncertain future a world away. Returning east later in life, Vivian leads a quiet, peaceful existence on the coast of Maine, the memories of her upbringing rendered a hazy blur. But in her attic, hidden in trunks, are vestiges of a turbulent past.
Seventeen-year-old Molly Ayer knows that a community-service position helping an elderly widow clean out her attic is the only thing keeping her out of juvenile hall. But as Molly helps Vivian sort through her keepsakes and possessions, she discovers that she and Vivian aren't as different as they appear. A Penobscot Indian who has spent her youth in and out of foster homes, Molly is also an outsider being raised by strangers, and she, too, has unanswered questions about the past.
Moving between contemporary Maine and Depression-era Minnesota, Orphan Train is a powerful tale of upheaval and resilience, second chances, and unexpected friendship.
Read by Maurice Glatzer. (10 episodes, 03/20/15 – 03/31/15)
Mariano Rivera, the man who intimidated thousands of batters merely by opening a bullpen door, began his incredible journey as the son of a poor Panamanian fisherman. When first scouted by the Yankees, he didn't even own his own glove. He thought he might make a good mechanic. When discovered, he had never flown in an airplane, had never heard of Babe Ruth, spoke no English, and couldn't imagine Tampa, the city where he was headed to begin a career that would become one of baseball's most iconic. What he did know: that he loved his family and his then girlfriend, Clara, that he could trust in the Lord to guide him, and that he could throw a baseball exactly where he wanted to, every time.
With astonishing candor, Rivera tells the story of the championships, the bosses (including The Boss), the rivalries, and the struggles of being a Latino baseball player in the United States and of maintaining Christian values in professional athletics. The thirteen-time All-Star discusses his drive to win; the secrets behind his legendary composure; the story of how he discovered his cut fastball; the untold, pitch-by-pitch account of the ninth inning of Game 7 in the 2001 World Series; and why the lowest moment of his career became one of his greatest blessings.
In The Closer, Rivera takes readers into the Yankee clubhouse, where his teammates are his brothers. But he also takes us on that jog from the bullpen to the mound, where the game -- or the season -- rests squarely on his shoulders. We come to understand the laserlike focus that is his hallmark, and how his faith and his family kept his feet firmly on the pitching rubber. Many of the tools he used so consistently and gracefully came from what was inside him for a very long time -- his deep passion for life; his enduring commitment to Clara, whom he met in kindergarten; and his innate sense for getting out of a jam.
When Rivera retired, the whole world watched -- and cheered. In The Closer, we come to an even greater appreciation of a legend built from the ground up.
Read by Alan Lippett. (13 episodes, 03/01/15 – 03/15/15)
One of today’s most admired and controversial political figures, Ayaan Hirsi Ali burst into international headlines following the murder of Theo van Gogh by an Islamist who threatened that she would be next. She made headlines again when she was stripped of her citizenship and resigned from the Dutch Parliament.
Ultimately a celebration of triumph over adversity, Hirsi Ali’s story tells how a bright little girl evolves out of dutiful obedience to become an outspoken, pioneering freedom fighter. As Western governments struggle to balance democratic ideals with religious pressures, no other book could be more timely or more significant.
Read by Fay Kaufman. (8 episodes, 03/17/14 – 03/25/15)
The Women's Murder Club is stalked by a killer with nothing to lose.
Then the FBI sends Lindsay a photo of a killer from her past, and her happy world is shattered. The picture captures a beautiful woman at a stoplight. But all Lindsay sees is the psychopath behind those seductive eyes: Mackie Morales, the most deranged and dangerous mind the Women's Murder Club has ever encountered.
In this pulse-racing, emotionally charged novel by James Patterson, the Women's Murder Club must find a killer--before she finds them first.
THE CRACKER QUEEN: A MEMOIR OF A JAGGED, JOYFUL LIFE
Read by Elizabeth Awamleh. (5 episodes, 03/26/15 – 03/31/15)
The anti-Southern belle. A strong, authentic woman with a raucous sense of humor who holds her head, and her cigarette, up high. She knows loss and hurt; these things have made her beautiful, resourceful, and, above all, real.
Bad Choices Make Great Stories.
NPR's "All Things Considered" commentator Lauretta Hannon grew up in backwater Warner Robins. Her mama and daddy had a deep and disorderly love with years of booze, infidelities, and nervous breakdowns, and the stories of her deeply dysfunctional family include chain gangs, guns, ghost hunting, moonshine stands, scooterpootin,' the famous Goat Man of Georgia, and Crazy Aunt Carrie, who shot her first four husbands and went after the last one with a butcher knife. The early years of hardship and hard living all gave Hannon the resilience and humor that are now the hallmarks of her Cracker Queen way of life. Full of warmth, outrageous wit, and world-class storytelling, The Cracker Queen marks the debut of a powerfully original Southern voice.
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