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October, 2015

9 AM (Mon-Fri)

by Erin Morgenstern

Read by Laura Keyes. (13 episodes, 09/15/15 – 10/01/15)

Book jacket illustration.The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway: a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them both, this is a game in which only one can be left standing. Despite the high stakes, Celia and Marco soon tumble headfirst into love, setting off a domino effect of dangerous consequences, and leaving the lives of everyone, from the performers to the patrons, hanging in the balance.

by Chang-rae Lee

Read by Russ Marshall (14 episodes,10/06/15 – 10/23/15)

Book jacket illustration.On Such a Full Sea takes Chang-rae Lee’s elegance of prose, his masterly storytelling, and his long-standing interests in identity, culture, work, and love, and lifts them to a new plane. Stepping from the realistic and historical territories of his previous work, Lee brings us into a world created from scratch. Against a vividly imagined future America, Lee tells a stunning, surprising, and riveting story that will change the way readers think about the world they live in.

In a future, long-declining America, society is strictly stratified by class. Long-abandoned urban neighborhoods have been repurposed as highwalled, self-contained labor colonies. And the members of the labor class—descendants of those brought over en masse many years earlier from environmentally ruined provincial China—find purpose and identity in their work to provide pristine produce and fish to the small, elite, satellite charter villages that ring the labor settlement.

In this world lives Fan, a female fish-tank diver, who leaves her home in the B-Mor settlement (once known as Baltimore), when the man she loves mysteriously disappears. Fan’s journey to find him takes her out of the safety of B-Mor, through the anarchic Open Counties, where crime is rampant with scant governmental oversight, and to a faraway charter village, in a quest that will soon become legend to those she left behind.


by Kate Summerscale

Read by Katrina Shoemaker. (9 epidsodes, 10/26/15 – 11/05/15)

Book jacket illustration."I think people marry far too much; it is such a lottery, and for a poor woman—bodily and morally the husband’s slave—a very doubtful happiness." —Queen Victoria to her recently married daughter Vicky

Headstrong, high-spirited, and already widowed, Isabella Walker became Mrs. Henry Robinson at age 31 in 1844. Her first husband had died suddenly, leaving his estate to a son from a previous marriage, so she inherited nothing. A successful civil engineer, Henry moved them, by then with two sons, to Edinburgh’s elegant society in 1850. But Henry traveled often and was cold and remote when home, leaving Isabella to her fantasies.

No doubt thousands of Victorian women faced the same circumstances, but Isabella chose to record her innermost thoughts—and especially her infatuation with a married Dr. Edward Lane—in her diary. Over five years the entries mounted—passionate, sensual, suggestive. One fateful day in 1858 Henry chanced on the diary and, broaching its privacy, read Isabella's intimate entries. Aghast at his wife’s perceived infidelity, Henry petitioned for divorce on the grounds of adultery. Until that year, divorce had been illegal in England, the marital bond being a cornerstone of English life. Their trial would be a cause celebre, threatening the foundations of Victorian society with the specter of "a new and disturbing figure: a middle class wife who was restless, unhappy, avid for arousal." Her diary, read in court, was as explosive as Flaubert’s Madame Bovary, just published in France but considered too scandalous to be translated into English until the 1880s.

As she accomplished in her award-winning and bestselling The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher, Kate Summerscale brilliantly recreates the Victorian world, chronicling in exquisite and compelling detail the life of Isabella Robinson, wherein the longings of a frustrated wife collided with a society clinging to rigid ideas about sanity, the boundaries of privacy, the institution of marriage, and female sexuality.



10 AM (Mon-Fri)


by Benjamin Hirsch

Read by Maurice Glatzer. (10 episodes, 09/18/15 – 10/01/15)

Book jacket illustration.There is something very special and moving in the telling of author Benjamin Hirsch's life story that is much deeper than just his own memoirs; it is like he is here to remind all of us about events that happened long ago. In his well written and inspirational book, "Hearing A Different Drummer: A Holocaust Survivor's Search For Identity", he becomes another voice for the victims of the Nazi extermination camps. It is clear that his voice is needed in today's world that tries to forget, hide or worse yet--to deny the holocaust ever happened.

Hirsch tells us about his childhood in Germany and how his father was arrested in his own home and taken away by the SS and put in a work camp. His mother sends off her older children--three boys and two girls to France to remain in hiding and eventually to find their way to America. His mother keeps her two youngest children with her so the family is broken apart in many ways and not just physically. The author finds out after the war that both his parents and his little sister and brother have been killed in the Nazi Extermination Camps.

Hirsch ends up in Atlanta, Georgia joining the rest of his surviving siblings. He is raised in a supportive Jewish community but he is an orphan none the less and there is all the emotional pain and loss of not knowing what happened to his family. This story is heart wrenching even though the author himself understates the obvious emotions that must have troubled him in his youth or even today.

The bulk of the book focuses on the author's U.S. Army experiences in Germany and his personal search for what happened to his family. In the course of discovering his family history, he reconnects with his Jewish roots and rediscovers his spiritual life. It is a touching account of a young man alone in Europe finding his old country of Germany. However, it is not a home coming since he remembers so little; having been just 6 years old when he was sent off by train before the out break of WWII.

There are some touching moments of reconnections with others from his past in almost miraculous ways and he reunites with the French couple that took him into their home some man long years before. There is so much more that I wanted to know about this man and his life that he left closed or veiled for public reading; it is my hope that his next book takes us on an inner journey to learn more about this most interesting man who also designed memorials to Jewish holocaust victims.

I found myself on a personal level with his story for two reasons. One reason is that I have a six year old grandson and wondered what life would be like if he was suddenly taken away and sent to another country never to see his parents or grandfather again. The other reason deals with my wonderful experiences in Atlanta in 1968 with an Army buddy from Fort Benning. He had relatives there and had asked me to join him for some Jewish holidays with them. I was accepted into their home and at their temple for services and ate at their table afterwards. I was emotionally made to feel so welcomed and loved. I felt like family. That memory still makes me feel, warm inside remembering it.

This book will make you think, feel and have emotions. It also has some lighter moments and is an easy to read book. If you were only going to read one book this coming year make it this one!


by Michelle Alexander

Read by Susan Sweeney. (16 episodes, 10/02/15 – 10/23/15)

Book jacket illustration.Once in a great while a book comes along that changes the way we see the world and helps to fuel a nationwide social movement. The New Jim Crow is such a book. Praised by Harvard Law professor Lani Guinier as "brave and bold," this book directly challenges the notion that the election of Barack Obama signals a new era of colorblindness. With dazzling candor, legal scholar Michelle Alexander argues that "we have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it." By targeting black men through the War on Drugs and decimating communities of color, the U.S. criminal justice system functions as a contemporary system of racial control—relegating millions to a permanent second-class status—even as it formally adheres to the principle of colorblindness. In the words of Benjamin Todd Jealous, president and CEO of the NAACP, this book is a "call to action."

Called "stunning" by Pulitzer Prize–winning historian David Levering Lewis, "invaluable" by the Daily Kos, "explosive" by Kirkus, and "profoundly necessary" by the Miami Herald, this updated and revised paperback edition of The New Jim Crow, now with a foreword by Cornel West, is a must-read for all people of conscience.


by Jennifer Weiner

Read by Matt Robbins. (12 episodes, 10/26/15 – 11/10/15)

Book jacket illustration.From a #1 New York Times bestselling author comes her “best book yet” (Philadelphia Inquirer), a “compulsively readable” novel that shows “there’s no doubt Weiner knows how to deliver a certain kind of story, and well” (The New York Times Book Review).

Allison Weiss got her happy ending—a handsome husband, an adorable daughter, a job she loves, and the big house in the suburbs. But while waiting in the pediatrician’s office, she opens a magazine to a quiz about addiction and starts to wonder…Is a Percocet at the end of the day really different from a glass of wine? Is it such a bad thing to pop a Vicodin after a brutal Jump & Pump class…or if your husband ignores you? She tells herself that the pills help her make it through her days…but what if her increasing drug use, a habit that’s becoming expensive and hard to hide, is turning into her biggest problem of all?

Hailed as “a witty, realistic criticism on the modern age” (Boston Herald), this remarkable story of a woman’s fall into addiction and struggle to find her way back up again is Jennifer Weiner’s most masterful, moving, and celebrated work yet.


10 PM (Mon-Fri)


by Peter Guralnick

Read by Tom Jowers. (28 episodes, 09/04/15 – 10/06/15)

Book jacket illustration.One of the most influential singers and songwriters of all time, Sam Cooke was among the first to blend gospel music and secular themes--the early foundation of soul music. He was the opposite of Elvis: a black performer who appealed to white audiences, who wrote his own songs, who controlled his own business destiny. No biography has previously been written that fully captures Sam Cooke's accomplishments, the importance of his contribution to American music, the drama that accompanied his rise in the early days of the civil rights movement, and the mystery that surrounds his death. Bestselling author Peter Guralnick tells this moving and significant story, from Cooke's childhood as a choirboy to an adulthood when he was anything but. With appearances by Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, James Brown, Harry Belafonte, Aretha Franklin, Fidel Castro, The Beatles, Sonny and Cher, Bob Dylan, and other central figures of this explosive era, DREAM BOOGIE is a compelling depiction of one man striving to achieve his vision despite all obstacles--and an epic portrait of America during the turbulent and hopeful 1950s and 1960s. The triumph of the book is the vividness with which Peter Guralnick conveys the astonishing richness of the black America of this era--the drama, force, and feeling of the story.


by Amy Tan

Read by Lauren May. (23 episodes, 10/07/15 – 11/02/15)

Book jacket illustration.Amy Tan’s The Valley of Amazement is a sweeping, evocative epic of two women’s intertwined fates and their search for identity, that moves from the lavish parlors of Shanghai courtesans to the fog-shrouded mountains of a remote Chinese village.

Spanning more than forty years and two continents, The Valley of Amazement resurrects pivotal episodes in history: from the collapse of China’s last imperial dynasty, to the rise of the Republic, the explosive growth of lucrative foreign trade and anti-foreign sentiment, to the inner workings of courtesan houses and the lives of the foreign “Shanghailanders” living in the International Settlement, both erased by World War II.

A deeply evocative narrative about the profound connections between mothers and daughters, The Valley of Amazement returns readers to the compelling territory of Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club. With her characteristic insight and humor, she conjures a story of inherited trauma, desire and deception, and the power and stubbornness of love.

11 PM (Mon-Sat)

by Ace Atkins

Read by Jim Beattie. (8 episodes, 10/01/15 – 10/09/15)

Book jacket illustration.What started out as a joke landed seventeen-year-old Dillon Yates in a lockdown juvenile facility in Boston Harbor. When he set up a prank Twitter account for his vice principal, he never dreamed he could be brought up on criminal charges, but that’s exactly what happened.

This is Blackburn, Massachusetts, where zero tolerance for minors is a way of life.

Leading the movement is tough-as-nails Judge Joe Scali, who gives speeches about getting tough on today’s wild youth. But Dillon’s mother, who knows other Blackburn kids who are doing hard time for minor infractions, isn’t buying Scali’s line. She hires Spenser to find the truth behind the draconian sentencing.

From the Harbor Islands to a gated Florida community, Spenser and trusted ally Hawk follow a trail through the Boston underworld with links to a shadowy corporation that runs New England’s private prisons. They eventually uncover a culture of corruption and cover-ups in the old mill town, where hundreds of kids are sent off to for-profit juvie jails.


by Anne Perry

Read by Matt Robbins. (14 episodes,10/10/15 – 10/26/15)

Book jacket illustration.In a sensational breach-of-promise suit, two wealthy social climbers are suing on behalf of their beautiful daughter, Zillah. The defendant is Zillah’s alleged fiancé, brilliant young architect Killian Melville, who adamantly declares that he will not, cannot, marry her. Utterly baffled by his client’s refusal, Melville’s counsel, Sir Oliver Rathbone, turns to his old comrades in crime—William Monk and nurse Hester Latterly. But even as they scout London for clues, the case suddenly and tragically ends, in an outcome that no one—except a ruthless murderer—could have foreseen.






by David Brooks

Read by J. D. Hickey. (13 episodes, 10/27/15 – 11/10/15)

Book jacket illustration.In his most eye-opening and deeply personal book yet, David Brooks—New York Times bestselling author of The Social Animal—tells the story of ten great lives that illustrate how character is developed, and how we can all strive to build rich inner lives, marked by humility and moral depth. In a society that emphasizes success and external achievement, The Road to Character is a book about inner worth.








12 AM (Tues-Sun)

by Hillary Rodham Clinton

Read by Matt Robbins. (31 episodes, 09/01/15 – 10/06/15)

Book jacket illustration.Hillary Rodham Clinton’s inside look at the choices and challenges she has faced is “a subtle, finely calibrated work…with succinct and often shrewd appraisals of the complex web of political, economic, and historical forces in play around the world” (The New York Times).

In the aftermath of her 2008 presidential run, Hillary Rodham Clinton expected to return to the United States Senate. To her surprise, newly elected President Barack Obama asked her to serve in his administration as Secretary of State. “Hard Choices is a richly detailed and compelling chronicle of Clinton’s role in the foreign initiatives and crises that defined the first term of the Obama administration…it teems with small, entertaining details about her interactions with foreign leaders (Los Angeles Times).

Secretary Clinton and President Obama had to decide how to repair fractured alliances, wind down two wars, and address a global financial crisis. Along the way, they grappled with tough dilemmas, especially the decision to send Americans into harm’s way, from Afghanistan to Libya to the hunt for Osama bin Laden. By the end of her tenure, Secretary Clinton had gained a truly global perspective on the major trends reshaping today’s landscape.

In Hard Choices, “a rich and lively narrative” (Entertainment Weekly), Hillary Clinton offers her views on what it will take for the United States to compete and thrive. This “memoir is serious, sober, and substantive” (The New York Times Book Review).


by David Mitchell

Read by Bob Brier. (26 episodes, 10/07/15 – 11/05/15)

Book jacket illustration.Following a terrible fight with her mother over her boyfriend, fifteen-year-old Holly Sykes slams the door on her family and her old life. But Holly is no typical teenage runaway: A sensitive child once contacted by voices she knew only as “the radio people,” Holly is a lightning rod for psychic phenomena. Now, as she wanders deeper into the English countryside, visions and coincidences reorder her reality until they assume the aura of a nightmare brought to life.

For Holly has caught the attention of a cabal of dangerous mystics—and their enemies. But her lost weekend is merely the prelude to a shocking disappearance that leaves her family irrevocably scarred. This unsolved mystery will echo through every decade of Holly’s life, affecting all the people Holly loves—even the ones who are not yet born.

A Cambridge scholarship boy grooming himself for wealth and influence, a conflicted father who feels alive only while reporting on the war in Iraq, a middle-aged writer mourning his exile from the bestseller list—all have a part to play in this surreal, invisible war on the margins of our world. From the medieval Swiss Alps to the nineteenth-century Australian bush, from a hotel in Shanghai to a Manhattan townhouse in the near future, their stories come together in moments of everyday grace and extraordinary wonder.

Rich with character and realms of possibility, The Bone Clocks is a kaleidoscopic novel that begs to be taken apart and put back together by a writer The Washington Post calls “the novelist who’s been showing us the future of fiction.”

An elegant conjurer of interconnected tales, a genre-bending daredevil, and a master prose stylist, David Mitchell has become one of the leading literary voices of his generation. His hypnotic new novel, The Bone Clocks, crackles with invention and wit and sheer storytelling pleasure—it is fiction at its most spellbinding.


2AM (Tues-Sun)

by Ben Carson, MD

Read by Tom Jowers. (7 episodes, 10/01/15 – 10/08/15)

Book jacket illustration.In February 2013 I gave a speech at the National Prayer Breakfast. Standing a few feet from President Obama, I warned my fellow citizens of the dangers facing our country and called for a return to the principles that made America great.

Many Americans heard and responded, but our nation’s decline has continued. Today the danger is greater than ever before, and I have never shared a more urgent message than I do now.

Our growing debt and deteriorating morals have driven us far from the founders’ intent. We’ve made little progress in basic education. Obamacare threatens our health, liberty, and financial future. Media elitism and political correctness are out of control.

Worst of all, we seem to have lost our ability to discuss important issues calmly and respectfully regardless of party affiliation or other differences. We have to come together to solve our problems.

Knowing that the future of my grandchildren is in jeopardy because of reckless spending, godless government, and mean-spirited attempts to silence critics left me no choice but to write this book. I have endeavored to propose a road out of our decline, appealing to every American’s decency and common sense.

If each of us sits back and expects someone else to take action, it will soon be too late. But with your help, I believe that America may once again be “one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”


by Elie Wiesel

Read by Dave Schwartz. (10 episodes, 10/09/15 – 10/20/15)

Book jacket illustration.A European expatriate living in New York, Doriel suffers from a profound sense of desperation and loss. His mother, a member of the Resistance, survived World War II only to die soon after in France in an accident, together with his father. Doriel was a hidden child during the war, and his knowledge of the Holocaust is largely limited to what he finds in movies, newsreels, and books. Doriel’s parents and their secrets haunt him, leaving him filled with longing but unable to experience the most basic joys in life. He plunges into an intense study of Judaism, but instead of finding solace, he comes to believe that he is possessed by a dybbuk.

Surrounded by ghosts, spurred on by demons, Doriel finally turns to Dr. Thérèse Goldschmidt, a psychoanalyst who finds herself particularly intrigued by her patient. The two enter into an uneasy relationship based on exchange: of dreams, histories, and secrets. And despite Doriel’s initial resistance, Dr. Goldschmidt helps bring him to a crossroads—and to a shocking denouement.

“In its own high-stepping yet paradoxically heart-wracking way, [Wiesel’s novel] can most assuredly be considered beautiful (almost beyond belief).”—The Philadelphia Inquirer


by Benjamin Black

Read by Tom Jowers. (10 episodes, 10/21/15 – 10/31/15)


"It was one of those summer Tuesday afternoons when you begin to wonder if the earth has stopped revolving." So begins 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: blond, beautiful, and expensively dressed, she wants Marlowe to find her former lover. Almost immediately, Marlowe discovers that the man's disappearance is merely the first in a series of bewildering events, and soon he is tangling with one of Bay City's richest--and most ruthless--families.
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.




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