Author - First Author - Last Book Title Notes Genre
Robert E. Howard Conan Series #7: Conan the Warrior A gigantic barbarian adventurer from the northern land of Cimmeria, Conan wades through rivers of blood and overcomes foes both natural and supernatural to become, at last, King of the Hyborian Kingdom of Aquilonia. In these three exciting stories Conan, the mighty warrior from the time before the world began, reaches the peak of his thrilling career.
Chancing upon a magnificent city in the middle of an empty plain, Conan and Valeria of the Red Brotherhood encounter two warring clans carrying out a bloody feud with black magic and wizardry.
Considered by many fans to be Howard s best Conan novel.
Adventure
Warren Murphy Remo Williams: Tales of the Destroyer Iread the Destroyer #100 and got hooked the books are great. They make me laugh out loud reading them! These stories lampoon politicians, politics, other adventure novels, and more. The more of them you read, the better they get. Remo Williams fan

This CD has the following stories:

Hight Priestess (#95)
When China gets drunk on power, Remo and Chiun crash the party.

Infernal Revenue (#96)
A fiendish artificial-intelligence chip boots up disaster for CURE

Identity Crisis (#97)
A diabolical psycho puts CURE in the family way.

Target of Opportunity (#98)
The Destroyer takes a starring role in a Hollywood thriller.

The Color of Fear (#99)
Remo and Chiun battle in the dark to deflect an evil spectrum.

Last Rites (#100)
Live the greatest adventure yet in Destroyer #100.

Bidding War (#101)
When Remo and Chiun put their skills on the auction block, CURE is going...going...gone
Unite and Conquer (#102)
It s the ultimate battle between good and evil Made in Mexico

Engines Of Destruction (#103)
An old enemy develops a deadly new train of thought....

White Water (#106)
They keep getting better and better.

Feast Or Famine (#107)
Remo takes on a plague of invisible insects as the exterminator

Bamboo Dragon (#108)
It s a jungle out there and the Destroyer may become the next endangered species. (Bad review)

American Obsession (#109)
The Destroyer fights the battle of the bulge.

Never Say Die (#110)
Remo Williams wasn t a natural-born killer...

Prophet of Doom (#111)
The House of Sinanju has a date with Destiny, and where s there s smoke...

Brain Storm (#112)
A reborn Nazi conspiracy upgrades with Sinanju software.

The Empire Dreams (#113)
New & improved Nazis invade Europe.

(Part Two of this collection is on a 4-story CD containing three other books: Crystal Singer, Angels & Demons, and Achieving Your PotentiaL.)
Adventure
Nora Roberts Hot Ice Narrator Carolyn McCormick does not disappoint in this vintage romantic adventure by the ever popular Nora Roberts. The heiress to a small fortune from her father's ice cream company, Whitney MacAllister, yearns for a real adventure. She finds herself in the right place at the right time when she is kidnapped by jewel thief Douglas Lord and accompanies him to Madagascar on an exotic treasure hunt. McCormick portrays MacCallister perfectly as the spunky, independent woman who always get what she wants. She performs the likeable rogue Lord with flare so that the listener can sense the passion that develops between the two as they avoid the danger that tracks them to every corner of the world. Adventure
Wilbur Smith Burning Shore, The Spanning decades and continents--from the war-torn skies of Europe to present-day South Africa--The Burning Shore tells of a beautiful French woman's struggle to make a new life for herself in South Africa. From the author of The Leopard Hunts in Darkness.

Two daring men. Men who could not possibly be more different. Michael Courtney, the dashing and generous British flying ace, who fights over the smoke-streaked skies of Europe. Lothar De La Rey, the bold and cruel German gunrunner, whose battleground is the awakening continent of Africa. And an extraordinary woman -- the sensual Centaine de Thiry, whose courage and cunning match that of any man -- unites these two extraordinary men.
Adventure
Wilbur Smith Eyes of the Tiger For a thousand years, an unimaginable treasure has rested on the bottom of the Indian Ocean, hidden by swift blue currents, guarded by deadly coral reefs, and even deadlier school of man-eating great white sharks. Harry Fletcher, a former soldier turned fisherman, is now being pulled into a murderous mystery by men willing to kill and a beautiful woman willing to lie for what rests far beneath the sea. Now, Harry has no choice but to enter full bore into an international battle to raise an extraordinary object from the deep. Because possessing this treasure isn't just about getting rich--it's about staying alive...
Adventure
Philip McCutchan Tom Chatto: Apprentice Apprentice to the Sea introduces a thrilling new McCutchan series, set in the late nineteenth century and abrim with all the seafaring excitement and rich characterization that marks all his work. Its hero, Tom Chatto, is a young apprentice seaman, fresh from the west of Ireland, learning the ways of a square-rigged windjammer the hard way. Its plot involves heavy seas, treachery, and twists reminiscent of Hitchcock's Lifeboat. And its appearance, as the first new McCutchan series in years, will delight seafarers of every shore. Adventure
Tami Oldham Red Sky in Mourning This is the story of Tami Oldham Ash-craft's 41-day journey to safety, which she survived through fortitude and sheer strength of character. Interspersed with flashbacks to her romance with her doomed fiance Richard, this survival story offers an inspiring reminder that even in our darkest moments we are never truly alone.
WARNING: this audio story is narrated by the author, who has no skills reading outloud. She turns an interesting story into an ear-bleeding experience of audio torture. Truly a book-wrecker, the end credits are worth celebrating because you know you ll never have to listen to her voice again. RICHARD! OH, RICHARD!! ...SHUT UP YA WHINY WENCH! He probably died to get away from your irritating voice!

DESPITE my major dissing, this is an amazing story, and you may find it worth wailing along with her through the story...is she William Shatner's long-lost sister? I don't think either of them would ever admit it!

Listed as "Red Sky in Mourning"
Arm Chair Travel
Caroline Alexander Endurance: The Shackleton Expedition Narrators Michael Tezla and Martin Ruben join forces to read Caroline Alexander s extraordinary account of Sir Ernest Shackleton s improbable Antarctic adventure. Tezla narrates the text while Ruben reads diary entries from the ship s crewmembers, employing a variety of native accents. The approach effectively divides the book into listener-friendly chunks, but at times, keeping track of all 27 crewmen requires the fortitude of the explorers themselves. Tezla describes the ice and snow with a haunting beauty but manages maintain the tension throughout, while Ruben injects character and humor into his various vocal interpretations.

Thrilling...! One of the greatest adventure stories of our times. NY Times
Arm Chair Travel
Dave Barry Dave Barry Does Japan A first-class all-expenses-paid three-week vacation in Japan, provides columnist and humorist Barry with material to laugh about language problems, kowtowing, eating and other quick-take visitor befuddlements in the land of the rising sun. Dutifully covering the standard tourist attractions, he presents himself as a sort of Everyman-in-Japan-for-the-first-time, fueling his jokes with his ignorance of the language, history and culture.
This tour of Japan isn t discreet, tasteful, or politically correct, yet it never grows mean-spirited, and Barry s always ready to laugh at his own country and by extension, himself.
Arm Chair Travel
Michael Palin Pole to Pole Armchair travel adventure doesn t get better than this! Michael Palin rose to the challenge of travelling pole to pole in 1991, when he and a BBC-TV crew undertook a five-month trip along the 30 east line of longitude. Through 17 countries they traveled by bus, train, barge, ship, bicycle, car, balloon and raft; when prearranged transport failed them in the last leg of their journey, from South Africa to Antarctica, unfortunately there was nothing for it but to take a plane. Palin recoups the keen sense of fun and of trauma during the days of this Grand Tour. The narrative is witty and Palin s exuberance contagious. Arm Chair Travel
Michael Palin Full Circle Full Circle could be subtitled Palin's Book of Wonders. As he and his television crew undertake what may be the first-ever circumnavigation of the Pacific Rim, they prove that there is an awful lot of the world Palin hasn't seen. In this, the third and most ambitious of Michael Palin's adventures, he travels for almost a year through the eighteen countries that border the world's largest ocean. Volcanoes mark Palin's journey like stepping stones. He climbs one which has freshly erupted and is still smoking. He is forced to negotiate mountains and plunging gorges, cross glaciers and dodge icebergs. He follows great rivers like the Yangtze and the Amazon to some of the most remote places on earth, and he confronts the notorious Cape Horn and the windswept beaches of western Alaska. The people Palin meets provide a constant supply of surprises, pleasures and lessons in life. He visits a Gulag camp in Siberia with one of its few remaining survivors, talks to head-hunters in Borneo, eats maggots in Mexico and rustles camels in the deserts of Australia. He's stood up on a date in Adelaide, taken short on the banks of the Amazon, allowed to land a plane at Seattle and sing with the Pacific Fleet choir in Vladivostok. Full Circle is the record of a journey of several lifetimes and of the often colourful, sometimes disgusting, frequently hair-raising, once or twice hysterical but almost always beautiful world that stretches around the Pacific Ocean. Arm Chair Travel
Michael Palin Hemingway Adventure Michael Palin has distinguished himself in his post-Monty Python years as an adventurous, insightful, and brilliantly funny traveler. His latest voyage, chronicled in the excellent travelogue Michael Palin's Hemingway Adventure, finds him following a lifelong interest in Ernest Hemingway to the places where the great author lived and wrote. Arm Chair Travel
Bill Bryson I'm a Stranger Here Myself Bill Bryson's latest--a collection of essays about encounters with processed foods, cable TV, supermarket choice and other standbys of American life--didn't hold my attention as easily as last year's A WALK IN THE WOODS, perhaps because many seemed aimed at the British readers of the SUNDAY MAIL, where these pieces first appeared. However, fragments of Bryson's rant against spellcheck, in his Anglo-Iowa deadpan developed over twenty years in England, have been floating through my mind during recent computer sessions, a sign that his humor is growing on me. Although not an actor, Bryson creates effective voices for major characters, especially Mrs. Bryson, and conveys emotion well. Arm Chair Travel
Bill Bryson Neither Here Nor There: Travels in Europe Bill Bryson has a warm, full voice and superb timing. He reads as well as he writes. Plus, he's clearly enjoying the material. When he tells the story of Marta, the gorgeous woman who got away, you can practically see the smile on his face. The only thing wrong with this audio presentation is revealed in the title. It's neither here nor there. Not held together by a single trail, as A WALK IN THE WOODS was by the Appalachian, or by a single culture, as NOTES FROM A SMALL ISLAND was by England, there's a randomness that weakens the experience. Still, it's the work of a lively intellect, mightily amused. Arm Chair Travel
Bill Bryson Notes from a Small Island What a jolly good read! In this account of the author's farewell tour of England after almost two decades as a "visitor," his wit and wisdom are on copious display, as is some insightful commentary on British attitudes and mores. William Roberts punctuates his reading with excellent accents and characterizations and beautifully captures Bryson's text. Do listen carefully, though; part of Bryson's charm is his wordplay, and that sometimes gets lost in the audio format. Also, there are some, well, spicy words and phrases in the book. These are minor quibbles, and they in no way lessen a wonderful book. Arm Chair Travel
Bill Bryson Walk in the Woods, A Here is a perfectly enjoyable book, mixing the author's wry reportorial style with William Roberts's expert reading. Roberts has a clear, easy, deep voice, which he uses to convey Bryson's words with confidence and clarity. He understands the author's meanings, alternating between being funny and starkly informative. Bryson helps by writing a book that is part hilarious misadventure and part serious message on the state of the Appalachian Trail. In essence, Bryson decides it would be fun to hike the entire trail with a buddy and, as with most romantic notions, walks headfirst into hell. His descriptions of hell are accompanied by history and botany lessons along the way. Roberts is with Bryson's every step, cracking the author's jokes and conveying the fear, apprehension and drop-dead tiredness of the serious hiker. Arm Chair Travel
Tim Moore Grand Tour, The The tradition of the Grand Tour was started in 1608 by an intrepid but down-at-the-heels English courtier named Thomas Coryate, who walked across Europe, miraculously managed to return home in one piece, and wrote a book about his bawdy misadventures. With The Grand Tour, Tim Moore proves not only that he is Coryate's worthy successor but one of the finest and funniest travel writers working today. Armed with a well-thumbed reprint of Coryate's book, Moore donned a purple plush suit and set off in a second-hand and highly temperamental Rolls-Royce through France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, and Holland. Like Coryate, Moore possesses an astonishing ability to land himself in humiliating predicaments. His account of his hilariously memorable misadventures on Venice's canals on one fateful afternoon is by itself worth the price of admission. Moore brings new life to the Old World and in the process sends readers into paroxysms of laugher and delight.

Listed under "Grand Tour, The"
Arm Chair Travel
Bill Bryson Lost Continent, The A travelogue by Bill Bryson is as close to a sure thing as funny books get. The Lost Continent is no exception. Following an urge to rediscover his youth (he should know better), the author leaves his native Des Moines, Iowa, in a journey that takes him across 38 states. Lucky for us, he brought a notebook.
With a razor wit and a kind heart, Bryson serves up a colorful tale of boredom, kitsch, and beauty when you least expect it. Gentler elements aside, The Lost Continent is an amusing book. Here's Bryson on the women of his native state: "I will say this, however--and it's a strange, strange thing--the teenaged daughters of these fat women are always utterly delectable ... I don't know what it is that happens to them, but it must be awful to marry one of those nubile cuties knowing that there is a time bomb ticking away in her that will at some unknown date make her bloat out into something huge and grotesque, presumably all of a sudden and without much notice, like a self-inflating raft from which the pin has been yanked."
Yes, Bill, but be honest: what do you really think?
Some might say Bryson's essays are America-bashing. If you're so inclined, you won't enjoy this book about visiting small towns in 46 states. There are, however, some very funny moments, enough to make the entire experience worthwhile. Truly wonderful is the narrator's successful portrayal of the author. Both Bryson and Roberts are curmudgeons of the first order, and this wonderfully produced presentation will amuse those who don't take it too seriously.
Arm Chair Travel
Washington Irving Tales of the Alhambra Irving's book on the Alhambra and the surrounding territory of Granada remains one of the best guidebooks to the region--and one of the most entertaining travelogues ever written. Anyone who has visited (or plans to visit) southern Spain will be thrilled by the account of Irving's trip, but I'll go further: you need not ever go there to enjoy this classic work of history and humor.
Irving stayed at the Alhambra for three months in 1829 and jotted down notes concerning its history and legends. Early in his visit, Irving was accosted by Mateo Ximenes, a credulous and indigent "son of the Alhambra" who soon proves a worthy and endearing companion, a guide to secret chambers, and a conveyor of whimsical traditions. A couple of years later, while in London, Irving wrote "The Alhambra," describing his idiosyncratic hosts, recounting the millennium-old history of the Moorish occupation, and transcribing fresh versions of the palace's medieval legends and myths, many of which resemble stories from the "Arabian Nights." The first edition appeared in 1832, a second American edition was published four years later, but Irving extensively revised and enlarged the book in 1851, incorporating material unavailable or unknown to him in the 1830s. This last edition is the one most commonly available today. (I believe the only in-print edition is included in a collection of Irving's works published by The Library of America.)
The result is easily Irving's most accessible book, filled with wit and anecdote. To the history of the Moorish kingdom of Granada, Irving intersperses tales (both historical and mythical) of enchanted caves, imprisoned princesses, and buried treasure. His admiration for Islamic heritage is obvious throughout: "The Arab invasion and conquest brought a higher civilization and a nobler style of thinking, into Gothic Spain." And he regularly denounces the prejudices (both medieval and contemporary) "so strongly characteristic of the bigot zeal, which sometimes inflamed the Christian enterprises" and which have prevented his fellow Europeans from studying a rich and justifiably proud tradition.
As Irving accurately summarizes, Moslem Spain was "a region of light amid Christian, yet benighted Europe; externally a warrior power fighting for existence; internally a realm devoted to literature, science, and the arts; where philosophy was cultivated with a passion . . . and where the luxuries of sense were transcended by those of thought and imagination." Plus, the Islamic "occupiers" and Christian warriors certainly knew how to tell a good story. This book will delight both history and literature buffs.
Arm Chair Travel
William Moon Blue Highways William Least Heat-Moon's journey into America began with little more than the need to put home behind him. At a turning point in his life, he packed up a van he called Ghost Dancing and escaped out of himself and into the country. The people and the places he discovered on his roundabout 13,000-mile trip down the back roads ("blue highways") and through small, forgotten towns are unexpected, sometimes mysterious, and full of the spark and wonder of ordinary life. Robert Penn Warren said, "He has a genius for finding people who have not even found themselves." The power of Heat-Moon's writing and his delight in the overlooked and the unexamined capture a sense of our national destiny, the true American experience. Arm Chair Travel
Sarah Vowell Assassination Vacation Sarah Vowell exposes the glorious conundrums of American history and culture with wit, probity, and an irreverent sense of humor. With Assassination Vacation, she takes us on a road trip like no other -- a journey to the pit stops of American political murder and through the myriad ways they have been used for fun and profit, for political and cultural advantage.
From Buffalo to Alaska, Washington to the Dry Tortugas, Vowell visits locations immortalized and influenced by the spilling of politically important blood, reporting as she goes with her trademark blend of wisecracking humor, remarkable honesty, and thought-provoking criticism. We learn about the jinx that was Robert Todd Lincoln (present at the assassinations of Presidents Lincoln, Garfield, and McKinley) and witness the politicking that went into the making of the Lincoln Memorial. The resulting narrative is much more than an entertaining and informative travelogue -- it is the disturbing and fascinating story of how American death has been manipulated by popular culture, including literature, architecture, sculpture, and -- the author's favorite -- historical tourism. Though the themes of loss and violence are explored and we make detours to see how the Republican Party became the Republican Party, there are all kinds of lighter diversions along the way into the lives of the three presidents and their assassins, including mummies, show tunes, mean-spirited totem poles, and a nineteenth-century biblical sex cult.
Arm Chair Travel
Patrick R. Reid Escape from Colditz Reid s personnel story of his 1942 escape from escape-proof Colditz Castle in 1942 and the story of the prisoners he left behind. Escape from Colditz is a tribute to the courage and ingenuity of the men who lived the story.
Colditz was only for those who escaped from other camps and was meant to be inescapable. Reid was an escape coordinator. This story and its sequel, Men of Colditz (written by him with colaberation of the person who took over his duties) are probably the basis for Stalag 17 and Hogan s Heros, but are not written for what humor can be found within. These are stories and vignettes of heroism, ingenuity, defiance and self respect. Definitely must reading for those with an interest in the human aspects of WWII. However, it should also be must reading for those who appreciate the goodness, tenacity and resilience of the human soul. Very well written, these stories bring you to live among the prisoners of war, to feel their frustrations, and to rejoice in their resistances, whether successful or not. Excellant view into the hearts of patriots.

Listed incorrectly under Eggers
Biography, War Stories
Spike Milligan Goodbye Soldier The War is over, England beat naughty Germany two continents to nil. Milligan is off to start his musical career and wow birds with his ultra smooth jazz trumpet solos...and he doesn t even speak a word of Italian. If music be the food of love, then Spike had a second and third helping.
Originally Spike Milligan intended his war memoirs to be a trilogy, but they eventually stretched to six volumes. This one is not as funny as the earlier volumes (Monty, His Part in my Victory is the funniest), but still has plenty of humor.
Spike is travelling round Italy with a concert party and meets an exquisite woman and they fall madly in love. Most of the book is about their romance, culminating in a magical holiday on Capri.
Biography, War Stories
Spike Milligan Peace Work In this sequel to his war memoirs Milligan is on Civvy street and a jazz trumpeter in the Bill Hall Trio, playing at the Hackney Empire and a Freak Show in Zurich. It ends with him pursuing a solo career as a comedian and the first ad lib sessions of The Goons, with Bentine, Sellers and Secombe.
Spike is back..and this book is every bit as funny as his war memoires.
His humor shines through in every page, and with Harry Secombe and Peter Sellers making regular appearences, it s nicely set up to provide you with a great read...just dont take it on public transportation, as your laughing may not go down too well with your fellow passengers.
Biography, War Stories
Sam R. Watkins Company Aytch Early in May 1861, 21-year-old Watkins joined the First Tennessee Regiment, Company H, to fight for the Confederacy. Of the 120 original recruits in his company, Watkins was one of only seven to survive every one of its battles, from Shiloh to Nashville. Twenty years later, with a house full of young rebels clustering around my knees and bumping about my elbows, he wrote this remarkable account of Co. Aytch its common foot soldiers, commanders, Yankee enemies, victories and defeats, and ultimate surrender on April 26, 1865.
Among Civil War memoirs, Co. Aytch is considered a classic a living testament to one man s enduring humanity, courage, and wisdom in the midst of death and destruction.
Biography, War Stories
Thomas Wentworth Higgenson Army Life in a Black Regiment The author recounts the adventures of a black regiment mustered into the U.S. Army during the Civil War. Colonel Higginson was convinced that these eight hundred men could drill and perform as well as the best of the white regiments. Transformed from slaves into soldiers, many of whom could not read or write when enlisted, this battalion was watched with microscopic scrutiny by friends and foes as a spectacle of daring innovation.
This is a stirring account of his two years at Camp Saxton, recording the immediate effect of a decision that proved crucial to our survival as a nation and that ultimately shaped constitutional history. It is both a literary masterpiece and a unique historical document.
Biography, War Stories
Spike Milligan Adolf Hitler-My Part in His Downfall `Adolf Hitler: My part in his downfall' is the first volume of Spike's war memoirs and I read this plus the second volume (Rommel? Gunner Who?) in a single sitting.

In the first volume, Spike puts his own unique spin on his experiences in WW2 starting from training at Bexhill-on-Sea (and not a batter-pudding hurler in sight!) to his posting in North Africa and manages to be laugh-out-loud funny and genuinely sad at the same time. I don't normally go for `war stories' but this is a genuine telling-it-like-it-is tale modified by Milligan's unique genius.

It's a good read in its own right, but any Goon fan will immediately notice the genesis of Goons-type humour in Spike's exchanges with his mate Harry Edgington (we dont' encounter the `other' Harry until the end of book two!)

Biography, War Stories
Spike Milligan Mussolini-His Part in my Downfall Spike Milligan has surely outdone himself with this book. His unique brand of humour comes pouring through page after page in this wonderfully frank and lucid account of his time in the Royal Artillery in WWII.
Biography, War Stories
Spike Milligan Where Have All the Bullets Gone Spike has produced another volume that will get the tears rolling down your cheeks!. How he managed to recall with such detail all the little asides that passed between him and his comrades-at-arms, is a source of great wonder to me. Here we are introduced to the manic Welshman, Secombe who went on to star with Spike in the Goon Show and on to greater things. All in all a wonderful mix of humour and pathos well worth a look. Biography, War Stories
Spike Milligan Rommel Gunner Who? The second of the war memoirs...similar in many ways except that it took place later, and starred more dirty 19 Battery Gunners shelling the naughty enemy and being shelled right back in German. Includes bits of desert sand not featured in the first book, all autographed by the Fuhrer s dog.
Biography, War Stories
Spike Milligan Monty-His Part in my Victory This book covers the aftermath of the British victory in Africa, which consists of a lot of partying and a lot of sleeping. What s most entertaining is Milligan s recounts of his Old West-obsessed father and his accident-prone best friend. Once again, he makes you wish you were there to experience the times with him. These war memoirs are highly reccommended! Biography, War Stories
Robert Mason Chickenhawk This conversational and personal history of a helicopter pilot during the Vietnam War has a narrator who is totally into the spirit of the story. Lots of earthy conversations and conflicts provide ample opportunity for Ganser's particular talent--characterization with vitality. However, he does not annoy with overacting, and he comfortably switches to informative prose. Lots of technical details about these "air ships" and their place in 1960s' warfare are mixed in, and the combination of styles creates the narrative drive of this military memoir. The performance of Chickenhawk, bringing together men and war, is so frank in places that one often feels vicarious involvement. Biography, War Stories
Paul Brickhill Great Escape, The With bare hands and homemade tools, over 600 American and British P.O.W.'s in Nazi camps built numerous underground railroads, forged passports, drew maps, faked weapons, and tailored elaborate German uniforms and civilian clothes. Robert Whitfield reads this suspenseful dramatic story in a calm, thoughtful manner. His consistent pace and matter-of-fact delivery mimic the methodical struggle of the P.O.W.'s to regain their freedom and escape starvation. The timing, cadence, vocal quality, and even melody of Whitfield's reading add to the suspense. Listeners will understand more fully the ordeal of a P.O.W. Biography, War Stories
Alice Taylor Country Days Sweet-natured and filled with amusement at life s twists and turns, Taylor should please fans and win herself new admirers with this collection of autobiographical anecdotes celebrating everyday life. In the first story, the author recalls a month of roaming the countryside with a visiting youth. The next story gracefully creates a bridge from the past to the present. Then there are the trials, tribulations and rewards of two shopping expeditions. The final story recalls a relative who belittled her.
These charming, chatty anecdotes are as affecting as a long talk with an astute friend. Highly recommended!
Biography/Autob.
Spalding Gray It s A Slippery Slope Master monologist Spalding Gray is feeling like he s on the downhill side of life. For those who have followed his beautifully observed stories of his rather chaotic life through Swimming to Cambodia, Gray s Anatomy, and Monster in a Box, this latest episode has Gray dealing with his breakup with long-suffering girlfriend Renee and his sudden fathering of a child with a new woman. Along the way Gray ponders, in patented Gray style, what this means about his own aging, whether he s now living his life to provide material for his monologues, and how much it all resembles the peculiar plummeting rapture of a ski slope. Biography/Autob.
Spalding Gray Monster in a Box For some time now, Spalding Gray has been carrying around with him a monster: a manuscript of a novel called Impossible Vacation, a book that at last sighting weighed in at about 1,800 pages. Gray s latest monologue is a guided tour between the stations of his writing block, which include a field trip to Nicaragua, a disastrous guest appearance at the Moscow film festival, and a stint in Los Angeles hunting down the fabled few who have never written a screenplay. Hilarious and poignant, Monster in a Box is further proof that Gray has not only captured the dangerous spirit of our age but swallowed it whole. Biography/Autob.
Spalding Gray Sex and Death to the Age 14 The five stories in this volume developed out of the author s work in avant-garde theater, in which he is renowned for conducting extemporaneous interviews with his audience and delivering monologues about growing up in New England. Included are Sex and Death to the Age of 14, Booze, Cars, and College Girls, 47 Beds, Nobody Wanted to Sit Behind a Desk, Travels through New England, and Terror of Pleasure: The House.
Gray is very funny and a little extreme. You may wonder if the author s fantasy is running wild or if he is flat-out lying to add the little extra to the story. But nevertheless, this is spot-on super-funny book.
Biography/Autob.
Anne Frank Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl A beloved classic since its initial publication in 1947, this vivid, insightful journal is a fitting memorial to the gifted Jewish teenager who died at Bergen-Belsen, Germany, in 1945. Born in 1929, Anne Frank received a blank diary on her 13th birthday, just weeks before she and her family went into hiding in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam. Her marvelously detailed, engagingly personal entries chronicle 25 trying months of claustrophobic, quarrelsome intimacy with her parents, sister, a second family, and a middle-aged dentist who has little tolerance for Anne's vivacity. The diary's universal appeal stems from its riveting blend of the grubby particulars of life during wartime (scant, bad food; shabby, outgrown clothes that can't be replaced; constant fear of discovery) and candid discussion of emotions familiar to every adolescent (everyone criticizes me, no one sees my real nature, when will I be loved?). Yet Frank was no ordinary teen: the later entries reveal a sense of compassion and a spiritual depth remarkable in a girl barely 15. Her death epitomizes the madness of the Holocaust, but for the millions who meet Anne through her diary, it is also a very individual loss. Biography/Autob.
Richard Feynman Surely You re Joking The outrageous exploits of one of this century s greatest scientific minds and a legendary American original. In this phenomenal national bestseller, the Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard P. Feynman recounts in his inimitable voice his adventures trading ideas on atomic physics with Einstein and Bohr and ideas on gambling with Nick the Greek, painting a naked female toreador, accompanying a ballet on his bongo drums and much else of an eyebrow-raising and hilarious nature.

Proves once again that it is possible to laugh out loud and scratch your head at the same time.
New York Times Book Review

Quintessential Feynman funny, brilliant, bawdy enormously
entertaining. The New Yorker

Buzzing with energy, anecdote and life. It almost makes you want to become a physicist!
Science Digest
Biography/Autob.
Philip Roth I Married a Communist There was a time in America s not-so-distant past when a person could get genuinely punished for having unpopular beliefs, when pushing for workers rights could get someone in serious trouble. This is the story of one of those people, retired schoolteacher Murray Ringold, and is among the most colorful and passionate characters to emerge from Philip Roth s immense canon.
This is a powerful novel that seems to have been written to be read aloud. The narrator conveys the pain received from wounds incurred decades ago but recounted so vividly you d think they happened yesterday.
Biography/Autob.
John Howard Griffin Black Like Me This 1959 classic on race brilliantly withstands both the test of time and translation to audio format.
Concerned by the lack of communication between the races and wondering what adjustments and discriminations he would face as a Negro in the Deep South, the late author, a journalist and self-described specialist in race issues, left behind his privileged life as a Southern white man to step into the body of a stranger. Griffin headed to New Orleans, darkened his skin and immersed himself in black society, then traveled to several states until he could no longer stand the racism, segregation and degrading living conditions. His audacious, still chillingly relevant eyewitness history is a work about race and humanity.
Biography/Autob.
Jon Krakauer Into Thin Air A riveting first-hand account of a catastrophic expedition up Mount Everest. In March 1996, Outside magazine sent veteran journalist and seasoned climber Jon Krakauer on an expedition led by celebrated Everest guide Rob Hall. Despite the expertise of the leaders, by the end of summit day eight people were dead.
This book is both the story of an ill-fated adventure and an analysis of the factors leading up to its tragic end. Krakauer recalls the triumphs and perils of other Everest trips throughout history and his own anguish over what happened on this expedition is palpable as he leads readers to ponder timeless questions.
Biography/Autob.
Ron Rosenbaum Explaining Hitler: The Search for the Origins of His Evil (Part &2) Debates concerning the historical and moral significance of Adolf Hitler have gone on since the beginning of his rise to power in Germany. In the decades after his bunker suicide, those debates elevated to arguments over the very nature and existence of evil. An integral part of the arguments has been the ongoing attempt to understand the why of Hitler. In this engaging work of literary journalism, Ron Rosenbaum travels the world to converse with some of the historians, philosophers, filmmakers, and others who have attempted to make sense of Hitler s actions, to find a root cause for the Holocaust.
Rosenbaum methodically examines the evidence for and against all the major hypotheses concerning the origin of Hitler s character. He sifts through all the rumors including his alleged Jewish ancestry and what biographer Alan Bullock refers to as the one-ball business and the attempts to derive some psychological cause from them. Various Hitlers emerge: Hitler as con man and brutal gangster, Hitler the unspeakable pervert, Hitler the ladies man, Hitler as modernist artist working in the medium of evil....
But Rosenbaum s portrayals of those who would define Hitler are as fascinating as the shifting perspectives on the führer. Here we see the brave journalists of the Munich Post who attempted to reveal Hitler s evil to the world as early as the 1920s. We witness Shoah director Claude Lanzmann s imperious attempts to stifle analysis of Hitler and the Holocaust, branding such historical inquiries as obscene. We see the effects, on a frazzled Daniel Jonah Goldhagen, of the controversy surrounding the publication of his Hitler s Willing Executioners. We see the interior crises of Hitler apologist David Irving and philosopher-novelist George Steiner, among others, as they struggle with the ramifications of their work and thought. And, best of all, we have Rosenbaum to serve as an informed, intimate, and on occasion witty guide. In White Noise, Don DeLillo depicted the satirical academic discipline of Hitler studies; Ron Rosenbaum breathes a life into the field that no fiction can match.
Biography/Autob.
William Shatner Star Trek Movie Memories Shatner recounts all the chaos, creative turmoil, backstage politics, power plays and production nightmares that permeated every one of the six Star Trek movies, including the accumulated grudges that haven t yet mellowed with the passage of time. And the stories...Nicholas Meyer writing the script for Star Trek II in twelve days...Kirstie Alley doing her Leonard Nimoy imitation in an audition...How Kirk s love interest in Star Trek IV began as a role for Eddie Murphy, and you can imagine the rest (or maybe not).
With stories and quotes from the principles that have never before been uttered in public, this is a an unprecedented behind-the-scenes view of the Trek films that will amaze even the most avid Trekkie fan.
Biography/Autob.
Jochen Hemmleb Ghosts of Everest When a 1999 research expedition found the remains of Everest explorer Leigh Mallory, hopes soared that the discovery might settle, once and for all, the question as to whether the British explorer reached the summit of the world s highest peak in 1924. This account offers both the history of the 1999 trek and that of the 1924 attempt. Arthur Addison brings a hushed respect to his telling of the story, perhaps too hushed. In passages of dialogue his voice drops to a near whisper, no matter what the subject of the conversation. And his awe of any serious Everest climber somewhat overshadows the excitement of the tale. Still, pacing, diction and pronunciation are accurate, and the story is gripping enough to survive any performance. Biography/Autob.
William M. Kunstler My Life as a Radical Lawyer This famous controversial lawyer recounts his transformation from liberal to radical during the sixties, recalls his many celebrated cases and explains why he tested democracy by defending social pariahs.
Beginning with the trial of the Chicago Seven, Kunstler defended many of the leading political iconoclasts of our age. The recording benefits from period music and snippets of vintage news audio for scene setting. But the best part is the author s well-known gravelly, heavily accented voice. Shut your eyes and you feel that you re a jury member listening to the defendant s summation in the case of Kunstler vs Posterity.
Biography/Autob.
J.G. Ballard Empire of the Sun While captioned a novel, Empire of the Sun is very much a true life memoir. Ballard first tells the life of a boy ( Jim ) in pre-Pearl Harbor Shanghai, the privileged young son of an English business executive. When the war begins, Jim and his parents are separated, and Jim survives for weeks on his own, living of the food left in his and his neighbors abandoned mansions. Most of the book is set in the Lunghua prison camp, where Jim is forced to grow up under circumstances no boy should endure. Finally, the war ends, and he is reunited with his parents under the shadow of nascent Chinese communism. Ballard tells a compelling story, and pulls no punches. Much of what Jim experiences is shocking, and Ballard neither embellishes nor understates Jim s experiences. Flies, death, and decomposition are everywhere, as are avarice and (occasionally) kindness. This is a very different coming of age story and is highly recommended.
Biography/Autob.
David Sedaris Me Talk Pretty One Day It s a pretty grim world when I can t even feel superior to a toddler. Welcome to the curious mind of David Sedaris, where dogs outrank children, guitars have breasts, and French toddlers unmask the inadequacies of the American male. Sedaris inhabits this world as a misanthrope chronicling all things petty and small. Sedaris is as determined as ever to be nobody s hero he never triumphs, he never conquers and somehow, with each failure, he inadvertently becomes everybody s favorite underdog. The world s most eloquent malcontent, Sedaris has turned self-deprecation into a celebrated art form one that is perhaps best experienced in audio. Including 23 of the book version s 28 stories, two live performances complete with involuntary laughter, and an uncannily accurate Billie Holiday impersonation, the audio is more than a companion to the text; it stands alone as a performance piece only without the sock monkeys. Biography/Autob.
Tim Russert Big Russ & Me Meet the newsman s father in this stupendously entertaining book. The senior Tim Russert served in WWII, married and settled in NY, worked days for the Sanitation Department, drove a night truck for the local evening paper and raised four kids.
The younger Russert s memoir begins as a tribute to his dad and the lessons he taught through the years, but also takes ample time to tell how Russert junior grew up and became the moderator of Meet the Press. His neighborhood in the 1950s was tightly knit, Irish Catholic and anchored by the institutions of marriage, family, church and school. Nuns and Legionnaires shaped young Russert s character; in high school, his Jesuit instructors strengthened and solidified it.
Throughout his private and public life, Russert continually turned to his father for advice, and the older man s common sense served the younger pretty much without fail. The memoir is candid and generous, so warm-hearted that readers should forgive the occasional didactic touch (and it s a soft touch). There are hard ways to learn life lessons; fortunately, readers have Russert to thank for sharing his with them.
Biography/Autob.
Richard Branson Losing My Virginity In this autobiography, Virgin Group founder Richard Branson says one of his prime business criteria is fun. Fun made Branson a billionaire, and few business memoirs are one-billionth as fun as Branson s, nor as niftily written. Not only does it relate his side of near-death corporate experiences, it tells how the chairman literally cheated death by gun, shipwreck, and balloon crash.
Though it s filled with famous names, witty quotes, and pulse-pounding accounts of lunatic balloon adventures, it is as a business thriller that the book really scores. His instinctive bet-the-ranch tactics could cost him all, or earn another billion. Either way, Branson will likely remain the most entertaining entrepreneur in Europe.
Biography/Autob.
Ray Bradbury Ray Bradbury Interview No information on this interview. It was part of a Bradbury story download and I put it separately.
Ray Bradbury is one of those rare individuals whose writing has changed the way people think. His more than five hundred published works short stories, novels, plays, screenplays, television scripts, and verse exemplify the American imagination at its most creative.
His best-known and most beloved books, The Martian Chronicles, The Illustrated Man, Fahrenheit 451 and Something Wicked This Way Comes, are masterworks that readers carry with them over a lifetime. His timeless, constant appeal to audiences young and old has proven him to be one of the truly classic authors of the 20th Century.
Biography/Autob.
David Sedaris Naked Hip radio comedy fans and theater folks who belong to the cult of Obie-winning playwright/performer David Sedaris will kill to get this audio book. These would be fans of the scaldingly snide Sedaris s hilariously described personal misadventures like The Santaland Diaries (a monologue about his work as an elf to a department store Santa) seen off-Broadway in 1997. In a series of similarly textured essays, Sedaris takes us along on his catastrophic detours through a nudist colony, a fruit-packing plant, his own childhood, and a dozen more of the world s little purgatories. Biography/Autob.
A. Scott Berg Kate Remembered Through recollections of his 20-year friendship with Katharine Hepburn, Berg tells the great actress s life story. Narrator Tony Goldwyn s vocal characterization of Hepburn is uncanny, but largely he reads in his own clear, steady tone, which carries the story well. Although Hepburn requested that Berg publish his warm tribute after her death, few secrets are revealed. Her relationships with several men are examined, but little light is shed upon the mysterious years spent caring for an ailing Spencer Tracy. It s clear, however, that Tracy and the silver screen held the top spots in Hepburn s heart. Biography/Autob.
Bill Clinton My Life An exhaustive, soul-searching memoir, this book is a refreshingly candid look at the former president as a son, brother, teacher, father, husband, and public figure. Clinton painstakingly outlines the history behind his greatest successes and failures, including his dedication to educational and economic reform, his war against a vast right-wing operation determined to destroy him, and the morally indefensible acts for which he was nearly impeached. My Life is autobiography as therapy a personal history written by a man trying to face and banish his private demons. Biography/Autob.
James Herriot It Shouldn't Happen To A Vet How on earth did James Herriot come to be sitting on a high Yorkshire moor, smelling vaguely of cows? Now firmly settled into the Darrowby-based practice, James isn't sure. But he still loves it---and still has plenty to learn. In this hilarious volume of memoirs are more tales of his unpredictable boss, Siegfried Farnon, his charming student brother Tristan, and James's first encounters with a beautiful girl called Helen. Biography/Autob.
Jameas Herriot Let Sleeping Vets Lie With two years experience behind him, James Herriot still feels privileged working on the Yorkshire moors as assistant vet to the Darrowby practice. Herriot's books form the basis of the popular BBC TV series "All Creatures Great and Small". Biography/Autob.
James Herriot If Only They Could Talk When newly qualified vet James Herriot arrives in the small Yorkshire village of Darrowby, he has no idea what to expect. How will he get on with his new boss? Herriot's books form the basis of the popular BBC TV series "All Creatures Great and Small". Biography/Autob.
James Herriot Lord God Made Them All, The With each book more embraceable than the last, James Herriot once again brings us the magical beauty of Yorkshire through his heartwarming experiences as a country veterinarian. These new stories provide a grand finale to the wonderful books that began with all Creatures Great and Small.

It is just after World War II, and James has returned from the R.A.F. to do battle with the diseases and injuries that befall the farm animals and pets of Skeldale and the surrounding moors. Four-year-old Jimmy Herriot, Humphrey Cobb and his little beagle Myrtle, Norman the book-loving veterinary assistant, and many more new faces join old favorites among the green hills of Yorkshire, as James takes an unforgettable voyage to Russia on a freighter with 383 pedigreed sheep. Touching our hearts with laughter and wisdom, lifting our spirits with compassion and goodness, James Herriot never fails to delight.
Biography/Autob.
James Herriot Vet in a Spin This is the sixth book in James Herriot's compelling saga. It covers his flight training and RAF career during the Second World War, but it is less about the war than the people and animals of his beloved Yorkshire Dales. Biography/Autob.
James Herriot Vets Might Fly It's WWII, and James Herriot has left Yorkshire to join the RAF. His stories about life in boot camp are interspersed with related anecdotes from his previous veterinary practice. Christopher Timothy is an excellent narrator and a familiar voice to those who have enjoyed All Creatures Great and Small on public television. His descriptions of the places and people bring both into sharp focus. The stories are humorous, touching and sometimes sad, but even if you've never been to Yorkshire, Timothy makes it easy to imagine the scenery, weather and country folk. Biography/Autob.
Esther Hautzig Endless Steppe, The: Growing up in Siberia During World War II, when she was eleven years old, the author and her family were arrested in Poland by the Russians as political enemies and exiled to Siberia. She recounts here the trials of the following five years spent on the harsh Asian steppe.

"The author of this deeply moving personal narrative spent her years between ten and fourteen as a Polish deportee in a remote, impoverished Siberian village. Taken prisoner by the Russians in 1941 and shipped by cattle car to a forced-labor camp, Esther, her mother, and her grandmother managed to stay together and to keep each other alive through near starvation and arctic winters."
Amazon Review
Biography/Autob.
William Shirer Ghandi: a Memoir The problem with saints is, they are not interesting. Albert Einstein's quotation about Gandhi ("Generations to come...will scarce believe that such a one as this ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth.") is overdone.
Thus William L. Shirer's contribution is a welcome breath of fresh air. He paints a man who is not only a saintly apostle on non-violence, but a shrewd politician, an impious wit, a revolutionary whose zeal was balanced by charity.
Shirer, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, became a personal friend of Mahatma Gandhi when he covered the independence movement in India for the Chicago Tribune. His book shed light on a man who not only influenced history, but pointed the way for Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights movement in the United States.
Biography/Autob.
William Shatner Star Trek Memories In his seventh book since 1989 and first nonfiction work, Shatner provides the long-awaited history of the original Star Trek series. He recounts the series in intricate detail, from its inception to its premature demise in 1969. Through dozens of interviews and 130 never-before-seen photos, he describes the cerebral creation, multifaceted production, Emmy Award-winning special effects, and incredibly innovative process of writing, filming, and editing for which the series is legendary. In addition, he remains true to his goal of giving credit where it is due, which serves to enhance both the final product and Shatner's stature as a writer. Much of the book centers around Gene Roddenberry, Star Trek 's original creator, whom Shatner claims was "brilliant, absolutely incontrovertibly brilliant." These memories will fascinate die-hard fans and leave them thirsty for more. Biography/Autob.
Patrick J. McManus Never Sniff a Gift Fish You need never have held a rifle, worn a backpack, or even thought about putting a worm on a hook to appreciate these hilarious tales of a sportsman's life in the Great, and often not-so-Great, Outdoors. Continuing in the same tongue-in-cheek vein that made his first two books such popular entertainment, McManus offers more cracker-barrel wisdom and zany insights into the agonies and ecstasies of hunting, fishing and camping.

You will learn about the dread disease "two-man-tent fever" (one of the symptoms of which is that the sound of dandruff falling on a sleeping bag is perceived as a deafening roar); what the art of pipe smoking has to do with fishing expertise; what really goes on in the back seats of outdoorsmen's cars; why you should never ask a sportsman how he got his scar; which items not to steal from your hunting buddy's lunch; the definition of "granny knot" ("what you feel like after spending a night sleeping with your spouse and three children in a pup tent"); and much more.

Every bit as clever and engagingly self-deprecating as his earlier books, Never Sniff a Gift Fish will be embraced by McManus lovers and welcomed by the uninitiated as a rare and unexpected delight. The man who has been favorably compared to Benchley, Buchwald and Bombeck - as well as S. J. Perelman and Mark Twain - is back with his best collection yet, deftly puncturing the myths of the masculine mystique, gently exposing the imperfections of man and beast, but always celebrating life in the natural world with his inimitable brand of wit and humor.
Biography/Autob.
Patrick J. McManus Bear in the Attic, The Prolific humorist Patrick McManus offers another winsome collection of anecdotes and essays on fishing, camping, hunting and other outdoor activities and catastrophes. Childhood hijinks loom especially large in The Bear in the Attic: McManus recalls youthful culinary misadventures that culminated in a rock-hard loaf of bread useful only as a football; faking a cold so that he could finish an overdue book report only to take a disastrous impromptu fishing trip with the eccentric neighborhood woodsman; and other mischief-making. McManus also intersperses more recent tales of the sporting life as well as family life in his native North Idaho. Biography/Autob.
Jon Krakauer Into the Wild Chris McCandless walked into the deep woods of Alaska in April 1992 and was never again seen alive. Through diaries, interviews with family and acquaintances, and accounts of witnesses, John Krakauer traces the young man's fatal adventure and the life journey that led him to his death in an abandoned bus. Philip Franklin presents the material in documentary fashion, with no characterizations and little emotional involvement. It works. The listener can imagine Franklin's voice under a television special; Krakauer's text fills in the pictures with ease. Franklin wisely chooses to become involved in the text, rather than trying to manipulate it. Biography/Autob.
Slavomir Rawicz Long Walk, The Cavalry officer Slavomir Rawicz was captured by the Red Army in 1939 during the German-Soviet partition of Poland and was sent to the Siberian Gulag along with other captive Poles, Finns, Ukranians, Czechs, Greeks, and even a few English, French, and American unfortunates who had been caught up in the fighting. A year later, he and six comrades from various countries escaped from a labor camp in Yakutsk and made their way, on foot, thousands of miles south to British India, where Rawicz reenlisted in the Polish army and fought against the Germans. The Long Walk recounts that adventure, which is surely one of the most curious treks in history.

"One of the epic treks of the human race. Shackleton, Franklin, Amundsen. . .history is filled with people who have crossed immense distances and survived despite horrific odds. None of them, however, has achieved the extraordinary feat Rawicz has recorded. He and his companions crossed an entire continent--the Siberian arctic, the Gobi desert and then the Himalayas--with nothing but an ax, a knife, and a week's worth of food. . . His account is so filled with despair and suffering it is almost unreadable. But it must be read--and re-read."

--Sebastian Junger, author of The Perfect Storm
Biography/Autob.
Dave Sobel Longitude Opening with a chapter that outlines what follows, Sobel whets readers' appetites for hearing the colorful details of the search for a way for mariners to determine longitude. In an age when ships' stores were limited and scurvy killed many a seaman, missing a landfall often meant death-as, of course, did running aground. Sobel provides a lively treatment of the search through the centuries for a ready answer to the longitude problem, either through using lunar tables or through making an accurate clock not subject to the vicissitudes of weather and ocean conditions. Her account includes not only scientific advances, but also the perseverance, pettiness, politics, and interesting anecdotes that figured in along the way (it wasn't limes, for example, that first prevented scurvy on English ships, but sauerkraut). A pleasing mixture of basic science, cultural history, and personality conflicts makes this slim volume a winner. Biography/Autob.
Ray Charles Brother Ray Ray Charles (1930-2004) led one of the most extraordinary lives of any popular musician. In Brother Ray, he tells his story in an inimitable and unsparing voice, from the chronicle of his musical development to his heroin addiction to his tangled romantic life. Overcoming poverty, blindness, the loss of his parents, and the pervasive racism of the era, Ray Charles was acclaimed worldwide as a genius by the age of thirty-two. By combining the influences of gospel, jazz, blues, and country music, he invented, almost single-handedly, what became known as soul. And throughout a career spanning more than a half century, Ray Charles remained in complete control of his life and his music, allowing nobody to tell him what he could and couldn't do. As the Chicago Sun-Times put it, Brother Ray is "candid, explicit, sometimes embarrassing, often hilarious, always warm, touching, and deeply human-just like his music." Biography/Autob.
Richard Hack Howard Hughes Richard Hack gives us a brilliant portrait of America's first billionaire, painting the life of the legendary man who was at once an aeronaut, film producer, playboy, and recluse. Despite the book's subtitle, this reading has very little in the way of diary, memo, or personal correspondences. What it does provide is a fascinating, perplexing, sometimes disturbing portrait of Howard Hughes. Dan Cashman's reading is welcoming and unobtrusive, although at times it comes across as weary. Cashman reads in a strict documentary style that sometimes belies the lifestyle of the dramatic and paradoxical Hughes as he passes between lucidity and madness--from sexual promiscuity to a phobic avoidance of people, daylight, and germs. A fascinating, captivating listen. Biography/Autob.
Anne LaBastille Woodswoman Anne LaBastille achieved what many of us can only dream of. After graduating from Cornell University with a Ph.D. in Wildlife Ecology, she moved up to New York s Adirondack wilderness and built her own log cabin.

In her works she shares the beauty of nature as well as her emotional and private struggles and her constant battle for self-sufficiency.

A feminist in her own right, she teaches us all about the pursuit of personal as well as environmental freedoms and that of choosing a life
with nature instead of the unhealthy and stressful surroundings most of us have grown to accept.

This is the first book in a powerful trilogy. You ll want to read them all.

Sometimes I sit in my log cabin as in a cocoon, sheltered by swaying spruce from the outside world. From traffic, and noise, and liquor, and
triangles, and pollution. Life seems to have no beginning and no ending Only the steady expansion of trunk and root, the slow pileup of duff and debris, the lap of water before it becomes ice, the patter of raindrops before they turn to snowflakes.

Then the chirp of a swallow winging over the lake reminds me that there is always a new beginning.
Biography/Autob.
Erik Larson Devil in the White City, The Author Erik Larson imbues the incredible events surrounding the 1893 Chicago World's Fair with such drama that readers may find themselves checking the book's categorization to be sure that The Devil in the White City is not, in fact, a highly imaginative novel. Larson tells the stories of two men: Daniel H. Burnham, the architect responsible for the fair's construction, and H.H. Holmes, a serial killer masquerading as a charming doctor. Burnham's challenge was immense. In a short period of time, he was forced to overcome the death of his partner and numerous other obstacles to construct the famous "White City" around which the fair was built. His efforts to complete the project, and the fair's incredible success, are skillfully related along with entertaining appearances by such notables as Buffalo Bill Cody, Susan B. Anthony, and Thomas Edison. The activities of the sinister Dr. Holmes, who is believed to be responsible for scores of murders around the time of the fair, are equally remarkable. He devised and erected the World's Fair Hotel, complete with crematorium and gas chamber, near the fairgrounds and used the event as well as his own charismatic personality to lure victims. Combining the stories of an architect and a killer in one book, mostly in alternating chapters, seems like an odd choice but it works. The magical appeal and horrifying dark side of 19th-century Chicago are both revealed through Larson's skillful writing. Biography/Autob.
Jeannette Walls Glass Castle, The Walls, who spent years trying to hide her childhood experiences, allows the story to spill out in this remarkable recollection of growing up. From her current perspective as a contributor to MSNBC online, she remembers the poverty, hunger, jokes, and bullying she and her siblings endured, and she looks back at her parents: her flighty, self-indulgent mother, a Pollyanna unwilling to assume the responsibilities of parenting, and her father, troubled, brilliant Rex, whose ability to turn his family's downward-spiraling circumstances into adventures allowed his children to excuse his imperfections until they grew old enough to understand what he had done to them--and to himself. His grand plans to build a home for the family never evolved: the hole for the foundation of the "The Glass Castle," as the dream house was called, became the family garbage dump, and, of course, a metaphor for Rex Walls' life. Shocking, sad, and occasionally bitter, this gracefully written account speaks candidly, yet with surprising affection, about parents and about the strength of family ties--for both good and ill. Biography/Autob.
Marc Eliot Cary Grant, a Biography Nearly 20 years after his death in 1986, Cary Grant remains the quintessential Hollywood leading man. Although numerous biographies of Grant have appeared, this legendary film icon continues to fascinate and perplex both biographers and readers, and this new treatment by the author of the acclaimed Walt Disney (1993) undoubtedly will garner popular attention. Born in 1904 in working-class Bristol, young Archibald Leach's less-than-idyllic childhood was permanently shattered by his mother's apparent death in 1914. Laboring for many years under the delusion that his mother had died (she was actually involuntarily committed to an asylum and reunited with her bewildered son after 20 years of confinement), Grant spent a lifetime seeking an ever-elusive mother figure. Grant's five high-profile marriages are explored in detail as well as his less publicized but infinitely more intriguing 11-year live-in relationship with actor Randolph Scott. Eliot places Grant firmly in the bisexual camp, providing convincing evidence and arguments that Grant did indeed enjoy both genders as sexual partners. Other topics addressed include the evolution of Grant's comedic style, influenced by turn-of-the-century British music halls and honed on the American vaudeville circuit; his often rocky ascension to superstardom, culminating in his historic break from the repressive Hollywood studio system (a rift that would cost him dearly in terms of Oscar recognition); and his serious psychotherapeutic flirtation with LSD. Emotionally immature and sexually ambivalent, the private Grant still emerges as the ultimate charmer, possessing all the charisma, humor, and dramatic appeal of his legendary screen persona. Biography/Autob.
Richard Zacks Pirate Hunter, The Zacks takes the thrilling historical figure of Captain Kidd and makes his story even more dazzling by presenting the realities of buccaneer life, warts and all. Michael Prichard's expert delivery enhances these details, as does his spirited delivery of a pirate ditty. It's interesting to learn that Kidd was not the cutthroat he is often portrayed to be but rather a kind of bounty hunter. Zacks has a knack for presenting information that is fascinating--whether or not you're interested in pirate lore. Prichard maintains a sense of irony as the story moves to its conclusion. This is a perfect choice for anyone who enjoys armchair adventure.
Biography/Autob.
Hugh Lofting Doctor Doolittle Ok, this is the situation: I cannot find a single bit of information on this book. Not a picture, not a word. The book in its entirety is available online, but a synopsis of the book is not. There are descriptions of the movies, pictures of the video and dvd boxes but the only book picture I could find was a) too small and b) removed from the server.
Thus, I will do my best from memories of reading this story when I was a kid. It is a fun story about a man who discovers that he can talk to animals. When the animals figure out he can communicate with them, he becomes very popular. People think he s insane. I think he goes sailing around the world and comes across some very strange animals like a tw-.headed llama, for one. It s light-hearted, fluffy entertainment!
Children/Teens
Joseph Gaer Fables of India Marvelously narrated, Fables of India features nine tales that often feature animals. The narrator speaks like the animals in the stories, so the snakes hiss and the parrots squawk, the pigeons coo and the cats purr, etc. Though the fables are only average in quality and don t always have a moralistic point that makes sense, the story teller is truly fabulous and you will enjoy all he has to offer. You can almost see him acting out the parts of the animals!
Included are: The Brahmin and the Villain, The Long-Eared Cat and the Vulture, The Restless Pigeon and his Wife, and The Camel and his Neighbor, The Adder and the Fox, The Twin Parrots, The Blue Jackal, Good-Speed and the Elephant King, and The Monkey s Heart.
Children/Teens
Neil Gaiman Coraline Coraline describes herself as an explorer. When she finds a mysterious corridor in her family s new flat, she must fight sinister forces determined to keep her parents, three lost souls, and herself prisoner forever. The author himself narrates, and Neil Gaiman s performance seems effortless. His soft-spoken voice lends to the overall darkness of the story, and his British accent matches the setting. Reading clearly and at a moderate pace, Gaiman will leave teen and adult listeners alike captivated and continuously caught in the suspense.

It has the delicate horror of the finest fairy tales, and it is a masterpiece.
Terry Pratchett
Children/Teens
C.S. Lewis Chronicles of Narnia, The #1: The Magician s Nephew
#2: The Lion, The Witch & the Wardrobe #3: The Horse & His Boy
#4: Prince Caspian
#5: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
#6 The Silver Chair
#7: The Last Battle

This is one of the very few sets of books that should be read three times: in childhood, early adulthood, and late in life. In brief, 4 children travel repeatedly to a world in which they are far more than mere children and everything is far more than it seems. Richly told, populated with fascinating characters, perfectly realized in detail of world and pacing of plot, and profoundly allegorical, the story is infused throughout with the timeless issues of good and evil, faith and hope.
Children/Teens
Eoin Colfer Wish List, The This is a heartwarming tale of a young girl who is given a gift the chance to right her wrongs, and discover the true meaning of life. It s a cheeky look at life after death and how the ethical decisions made on earth influence one s ending up in heaven or hell. The moral underpinnings of the story why people do bad things and the idea of obtaining redemption are presented in an interesting, amusing way. The interaction of the heavenly and not so heavenly beings adds an unexpected dimension to the novel.
Colfer has again concocted a delightful novel, this time written in a much lighter vein than his Artemis Fowl books. An entertaining and compelling read, The Wish List is also surprisingly thought-provoking.
Children/Teens
Eoin Colfer Artemis Fowl Series, Book 1
Suspend disbelief and read this wild and wacky story for the fun of it. Artemis Fowl is a 12-year-old genius and the scion of a legendary Irish criminal family whose fortune was diminished when Artemis Senior tried to horn in on the Russian Mafia. Determined to restore the family wealth, Artemis Fowl the Second concocts an elaborate plan to relieve the fairies of some of their magical gold by locating and tricking one of them into giving up the fairy s Book, which spells out the history and commandments that govern fairy life.
Characterizations and dialogue enhance a rollicking tale that will have readers rolling on the floor and eagerly anticipating the following books.
Children/Teens
Eoin Colfer Artemis Fowl Series, Book 2: The Arctic Incident In this entertaining sequel, Artemis Fowl tries to rescue his father from Russian Mafiya gangsters. Here, the criminal mastermind teams up with Captain Holly, the same leprechaun officer whom he battled in the first book. He needs her fairy magic and technology to help with his mission, while she and her friends enlist the boy to aid them in preventing a goblin revolt. The action is brisk, with fiendish plots, ingenious escapes, and lively battle scenes. Artemis loses some of his edge as the story proceeds, and even commits a few selfless acts along the way developing into a more likable though not quite as engaging figure. Still, it s fun to see him run rings around a school counselor, and his verbal jousts with his fairy allies keep some of that spark alive. Children/Teens
Eoin Colfer Artemis Fowl Series, Book 3: Eternity Code Could this be Artemis Fowl s last caper? His father, who was rescued from the Russian Mafia in book 2, seems to have turned over a new leaf. But Artemis resolves to do one last job involving a supercomputer cube he created with stolen fairy technology. Things go totally awry, however, when his proposed pigeon turns the tables and Artemis longtime bodyguard is fatally shot. Artemis calls on Captain Holly Short for help. The existence of the cube is a threat to the fairy world, and Artemis concocts a convoluted scheme to recover it. As in the previous two books in the series, the action is fast and furious, the humor is abundant, characterizations are zany, and the boy genius works wonders all of which add up to another wild ride for Artemis fans. Children/Teens
Charles & Elaine Eastman Wigwam Evenings This book encompasses 27 authentic, enchanting Sioux Indian folk tales. These classic stories are from a collection contributed by generations of Dakota Indians and impart to the reader what it takes to be a real human being from the hearts of true Native Americans from over 100 years ago.
Charles Eastman was born on the Santee Reservation in Minnesota in 1858. His grandparents raised him after his mother s death and his father s capture during the Minnesota Sioux Uprising. At the age of fifteen, he was reunited with his father and embarked on a life in white man s society. He became a doctor and spent the rest of his career helping Indian people come to terms with their changing world.
Children/Teens
Lewis Carroll Alice s Adventures in Wonderland A classic tale of a young girl who falls asleep and goes on a magical journey through Wonderland. She follows a white rabbit into his hole and falls endlessly until she lands in Wonderland, where she meets one wild character after another. Carroll uses symbolism throughout most of the story to help achieve his theme. One of the points Carroll wanted to show is that throughout our lives, we will experience physical and mental changes that could cause us to feel out of place; sometime one is in control of those changes, and other times, has no control whatsoever.
Children/Teens
Brian Jacques Redwall As the inhabitants of Redwall Abbey bask in the glorious Summer of the Late Rose, all is quiet and peaceful. But things are not as they seem. Cluny the Scourge, the evil one-eyed rat warlord, is hell-bent on destroying the tranquility as he prepares to fight a bloody battle for the ownership of Redwall. This dazzling story in the Redwall series is packed with all the wit, wisdom, humor, and blood-curdling adventure of the other books in the collection, but has the added bonus of taking the reader right back to the heart and soul of Redwall Abbey and the characters who live there.

Magical, mystical, and the stuff of legends, this stunning tale of good battling with--and ultimately triumphing over--evil takes the reader on a roller-coaster adventure that barely draws breath from the first page to the very last. Brian Jacques is a true master of his craft.
Children/Teens
Madelaine L'Engle Wrinkle in Time, A Everyone in town thinks Meg Murry is volatile and dull-witted, and that her younger brother, Charles Wallace, is dumb. People are also saying that their physicist father has run off and left their brilliant scientist mother. Spurred on by these rumors and an unearthly stranger, the tesseract-touting Mrs Whatsit, Meg and Charles Wallace and their new friend Calvin O'Keefe embark on a perilous quest through space to find their father. In doing so, they must travel behind the shadow of an evil power that is darkening the cosmos, one planet at a time. This is no superhero tale, nor is it science fiction, although it shares elements of both. The travelers must rely on their individual and collective strengths, delving deep within themselves to find answers.

A well-loved classic and 1963 Newbery Medal winner, Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time is sophisticated in concept yet warm in tone, with mystery and love coursing through its pages. Meg's shattering, yet ultimately freeing, discovery that her father is not omnipotent provides a satisfying coming-of-age element. Readers will feel a sense of power as they travel with these three children, challenging concepts of time, space, and the triumph of good over evil. The companion books in the Time quartet, continuing the adventures of the Murry family, are A Wind in the Door; A Swiftly Tilting Planet, which won the American Book Award; and Many Waters.
Children/Teens
Madeleine L'Engle Swiftly Tilting Planet, A In this companion to the Newbery Award winner A Wrinkle in Time and A Wind in the Door, fifteen-year-old Charles Wallace and the unicorn Gaudior undertake a perilous journey through time in a desperate attempt to stop the destruction of the world by the mad dictator Madog Branzillo. They are not alone in their quest. Charles Wallace's sister, Meg--grown and expecting her first child, but still able to enter her brother's thoughts and emotions by "kything"--goes with him in spirit. Charles Wallace must face the ultimate test of his faith and his will as he is sent within four people from another time, there to search for a way to avert the tragedy threatening them all. Children/Teens
Madeleine L'Engle Many Waters We've all done it. In the frigid depths of winter we've wished we could be magically transported to someplace warm and sunny. But most people don't have genius parents who just happen to be working on a scientific experiment with time travel at the moment of our wish. Sandy and Dennys Murry, the "normal" boys in a family of geniuses, suddenly find themselves trudging through a blazing-hot desert, seeking a far-off oasis for shade. Their desperate wandering brings them face-to-face with history--biblical history. Soon they're feeling right at home with Noah and his family. Even so, the urgent question is, how will Sandy and Dennys get back to their own place and time before the floods--the many waters--come? As they begin to cross the invisible border into adulthood, the twins must confront their ability to resist temptation and embrace integrity.

In Many Waters, Madeleine L'Engle continues the Murry family saga, which includes A Wrinkle in Time; A Wind in the Door; and A Swiftly Tilting Planet, which won the American Book Award. L'Engle's mystical mix of science fiction and fantasy, time and space travel, history, morals, religion, and culture once again urges her many adoring readers to stretch their minds and hearts to understand why the world is the way it is. (Ages 9 and older)
Children/Teens
Frances Burnett Little Princess, A Sara Crewe arrives at Miss Minchin's boarding school in London with all the trappings of a little, rich girl. But after the tragic death of her father in India and the loss of her family fortune, we find her living in the school's attic, dressed in rags and serving as a scullery maid. Sara's intelligence, good nature and, most importantly, her ability to pretend sustain her until her happiness and fortune are justly restored. Johanna Ward has a slight British accent, which is easy to listen to. She gives a smooth, thoughtful reading and interprets the characters with ease. This is a delightful audio production of Burnett's classic. An AUDIOFILE Earphones Award winner Children/Teens
Brook Cole Celine "Show a little maturity," he said, which I've doped out to mean: Pass all your courses, avoid detection in all crimes and misdemeanors, don't get pregnant.

Celine's father has left her with these instructions. She's not too worried about the last two, but she'll fail English unless she rewrites her Catcher in the Rye essay. And she keeps being interrupted, especially by Jake, the neighbor's boy, who's been dumped on her for the weekend.

"The typical girl-meets-boy story gets turned inside out in this witty, offbeat novel. Cole's irrepressible heroine somehow manages to get the best of almost every situation. Her wry comments on everything from modern art to divorce are as perspicacious as they are delightful."
Children/Teens
Madeleine L'Engle Wind in the Door, A The companion to the 1963 Newbery Medal winner A Wrinkle in Time.

Meg Murry can't help but be worried when her six-year-old brother, Charles Wallace, announces there are dragons in the vegetable garden. He's so bright and so different from other kids, he's getting bullied at school, and he is also strangely, seriously ill.

But Charles Wallace is right about the dragons--actually a friendly entity who has come to help Charles Wallace fight his sickness. Meg and her friend Calvin O'Keefe join the dragon on a terrifying, wonderful journey into galactic space--where they must battle the forces of evil to save Charles Wallace and themselves.
Children/Teens
Wilson Rawls Where the Red Fern Grows Author Wilson Rawls spent his boyhood much like the character of this book, Billy Colman, roaming the Ozarks of northeastern Oklahoma with his bluetick hound. A straightforward, shoot-from-the-hip storyteller with a searingly honest voice, Rawls is well-loved for this powerful 1961 classic and the award-winning novel Summer of the Monkeys. In Where the Red Fern Grows, Billy and his precious coonhound pups romp relentlessly through the Ozarks, trying to "tree" the elusive raccoon. In time, the inseparable trio wins the coveted gold cup in the annual coon-hunt contest, captures the wily ghost coon, and bravely fights with a mountain lion. When the victory over the mountain lion turns to tragedy, Billy grieves, but learns the beautiful old Native American legend of the sacred red fern that grows over the graves of his dogs. This unforgettable classic belongs on every child's bookshelf. Children/Teens
A.A. Milne Winnie the Pooh When Christopher Robin asks Pooh what he likes doing best in the world, Pooh says, after much thought, "What I like best in the whole world is Me and Piglet going to see You, and You saying 'What about a little something?' and Me saying, 'Well, I shouldn't mind a little something, should you, Piglet,' and it being a hummy sort of day outside, and birds singing."

Happy readers for over 70 years couldn't agree more. Pooh's status as a "Bear of Very Little Brain" belies his profoundly eternal wisdom in the ways of the world. To many, Winnie-the-Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore, and the others are as familiar and important as their own family members. A.A. Milne's classics, Winnie-the-Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner, are brought together in this beautiful edition, complete and unabridged, with recolored illustrations by Milne's creative counterpart, Ernest H. Shepard. Join Pooh and the gang as they meet a Heffalump, help get Pooh unstuck from Rabbit's doorway, (re)build a house for Eeyore, and try to unbounce Tigger. A childhood is simply not complete without full participation in all of Pooh's adventures.
Children/Teens
David Almond Skellig The dilapidated garage at his new home arouses Michael's curiosity but he is unprepared for what he finds inside. Almost indiscernible from the surroundings is Skellig, someone (or something) "filthy and pale and dried out" and having what appears to be wings. At the same time, Michael is coping with the fact that his premature baby sister is battling for her life. These two seemingly disparate events come together in an incredible way. His free-spirited friend Mina sums it up by stating, "We have to allow ourselves to see what there is to see, and we have to imagine." Almond explores the power of love and the presence of angels in a fascinating tale rich with stone and bird imageries. The reader is quickly drawn into this story because of the strong sense of place and well-developed characters. Mystery and metaphor combine for a story that is extraordinary. Children/Teens
V.A. Richardson House of Windjammer, The In the autumn of 1636, tulip fever is sweeping Amsterdam, and Europe's fortunes rise and fall with the promise of the New World. That year, the great Dutch family of Windjammer suffers the loss of their entire trading fleet and they face certain ruin. The only person who can save the family's home, fortune, and reputation is Adam, the family's young heir. But he faces many enemies encouraged by the despicable banker Hugo van Helsen, and stirred up by the wicked preacher Abner Heems. Only one hope remains:a dark secret, a rare treasure called the Black Pearl. It is not the precious jewel that Adam imagines, but a flower:a tulip:one of the rarest and most valuable. In fact, it is worth enough money at the height of tulip fever to save the House of Windjammer. Adam is determined to find this hidden treasure, but he is not the only one on a mission to find the Black Pearl. Children/Teens
Roald Dahl Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Keep these readings by Roald Dahl of these favorite tales alongside E.B. White's reading of CHARLOTTE'S WEB. This is not a performance but the author sharing his books with the listener. His distinctive voice, with a slight lisp, reflects his thorough understanding and delight in the characters. With the current film, James is now a movie star, but the incentive to read or listen to these stories is only increased by this attention. Children/Teens
Franklin Dixon Hardy Boys-Hunting For Hidden Gold The Hardy boys' search for stolen gold leads them to an abandoned mine where, in the depths of the earth, they are attacked by outlaws. Children/Teens
Franklin Dixon Hardy Boys-The Shore Road Mystery The Hardy brothers try to find out who is behind a rash of automobile thefts that are occurring on Shore Road just outside of Bayport. Children/Teens
Diane Duane So you Want to Be a Wizard In the spirit of Madeleine L'Engle's classic A Wrinkle in Time, this is a fascinating and powerfully involving story about two lonely kids who are inadvertently caught up in the never-ending battle between good and evil. The problems of everyday adolescent life and the mysteries of magic are perfectly blended, along with plenty of humor and suspense. In a starred review, School Library Journal wrote, "well-structured and believable... this fantasy should have wide appeal." Horn Book wrote, "a splendid, unusual fantasy... an outstanding, original work." Children/Teens
Diane Duane Deep Wizardry Coming to the aid of a wounded whale, Kit and Nita are plunged into deep wizardry. The whale is a wizard, and she enlists Kit and Nita in battle against the sinister Lone Power. Becoming whales themselves, Nita and Kit join in an ancient ritual performed by whales, dolphins, and a single fearsome shark. But which poses more of a danger: the Lone Power, or ed'Rashtekaresket, the enormous shark as old as the sea? Children/Teens
Diane Duane High Wizardry HIGH WIZARDRY is the third book in a fantasy series that involves our world, space, and alternate universes. The plots tend to get very technical with scientific jargon--in this case, computer technology--which makes them far easier to listen to than to read. This story focuses on Darine, a 10-year-old new to wizardry and the necessary spells, but a genius with--and without--computers. Christina Moore's narration imbues Darine with intelligence, impatience, and arrogance. Lacking the emotional maturity and wisdom of the older children and adults, she is a child who holds herself apart from others. Darine's sister Nita and her friend Kit, along with the parents and others they meet, are easily distinguished by tone and accent. Moore's vocal flexibility truly shines through as she gives a distinct voice and personality to each of the computer robots Darine creates--within the clipped, modulated speech pattern typical of all mechanical voices. Children/Teens
Diane Duane Wizard Abroad, A To give Nita a vacation from magic, Nita's parents pack her off for a month-long stay with her eccentric aunt in Ireland. But Ireland is even more steeped in magical doings than the United States, and Nita soon finds herself and a host of Irish wizards battling creatures from a nightmare Ireland--a realm where humankind is the stuff of tales and storybooks, and where the legends and monsters of the country's mythology are a deadly reality. Children/Teens
Diane Duane Wizard's Dilemma, The How do you fix what can't be fixed? Only the Transcendent Pig knows, and it's not telling. . . .
But Nita Callahan needs to find out--and soon. Her wizardly partnership with Kit has fallen apart. Much worse, her mother has gotten sick . . . so sick she may never leave the hospital.
Only one person can help Nita--the One she's devoted her life to fighting.
Children/Teens
Carolyn Keene Nancy Drew-The Secret of Shadow Ranch With her wits and her ever present girlfriends, the resourceful Nancy Drew foils a gang of bank robbers and kidnappers. Laura Linney brings the young sleuth and her gal pals to life throughout their adventure. Using a drawl to personify the cowboys they meet while on vacation out West, Linney provides a seamless narration. With just the right dramatic flair, the self-deprecating Nancy Drew keenly solves the mystery of a romantic legend involving an outlaw and a ranch-owner's daughter. Whether facing a phantom horse, a rock slide, or a raging river, Nancy keeps her cool and prevails. Children/Teens
Geronimo Stilton Curse of the Cheese Pyramid Who Is Geronimo Stilton? That's me! I run a newspaper, but my true passion is writing tales of adventure. Here on Mouse Island, my books are all best-sellers! What's that? You've never read one? Well, my books are full of fun. They are whisker-licking good stories, and that's a promise!The Mystery of the Great Cheese PyramidI'm off to Egypt! I climbed onboard a crabby old camel that would take me across the desert to the Great Cheese Pyramid. There, among mummies and hieroglyphics, I would learn the secret of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient Mouse World.... Children/Teens
Laura Ingalls Wilder Little House in the Big Woods Although the Little House stories are traditionally seen as "girl" books, boys might be happily surprised if they take another peek at their sisters' shelves. Little House in the Big Woods--the first book of the series and Laura Ingalls Wilder's first children's book--is full of the thrills, chills, and spills typically associated with "boy" books. Any boy or girl who has fantasized about running off to live in the woods will find ample information in these pages to manage a Wisconsin snowstorm, a panther attack, or a wild sled ride with a pig as an uninvited guest. Every chapter divulges fascinatingly intricate, yet easy-to-read, details about pioneer life in the Midwest in the late 1800s, from bear-meat curing to maple-tree sapping to homemade bullet making. Children/Teens
Laura Ingalls Wilder Little House on the Prairie This classic tale of a family's move from the woods of Wisconsin to the prairies of Kansas not long after the Civil War has delighted readers for decades. Now we can be delighted by listening to Cherry Jones's performance. Her lively and versatile delivery gives voice to Laura, Ma, and Pa. Especially enjoyable is hearing her sing. Paul Woodiel's fiddle playing adds even more to this production. Children/Teens
Laura Ingalls Wilder Farmer Boy The New York childhood of the young man who becomes her husband is the stuff of Laura Ingalls Wilder's FARMER BOY. With her signature insight into the daily life of a nineteenth-century farm, Wilder champions the earnest hard work and family joy of Almanzo Wilder. Details abound --the techniques for training a team of young oxen, the agony of a Saturday night bath, the myriad of delicious foods at the county fair, the unrest the "big boys" cause at school, the wisdom and guidance of parents. Wilder is a keen observer, and Cherry Jones has an eager voice. Her narration is quick paced and enthusiastic as she recounts each story with an immediacy that brings the listener into each season's happenings. Fiddle music complements the recording. Children/Teens
Laura Ingalls Wilder On the Banks of Plum Creek At long last, these famous stories about the Ingalls family are making their way into audio. Narrator Cherry Jones finds the right pitch for every occasion. She reads about Laura's many escapades with a tone of gentle amusement. A serious, quiet tone sets the mood when grasshoppers destroy the first wheat crop, and a tone of anxiety draws out the moments when Pa is lost in a snowstorm. The production gives a sense of the joys and dangers of life on the frontier, and it also brings to life Laura's sense of wonder, curiosity, and fun. This is an excellent choice for families to share. Children/Teens
Laura Ingalls Wilder By the Shores of Silver Lake The adventures of Laura Ingalls and her family continue as they move from their little house on the banks of Plum Creek to the wilderness of the unsettled Dakota Territory. Here Pa works on the new railroad until he finds a homestead claim that is perfect for their new little house. Laura takes her first train ride as she, her sisters, and their mother come out to live with Pa on the shores of Silver Lake. After a lonely winter in the surveyors' house, Pa puts up the first building in what will soon be a brand-new town on the beautiful shores of Silver Lake. The Ingallses' covered-wagon travels are finally over. Children/Teens
Laura Ingalls Wilder Long Winter, The The adventures of Laura Ingalls and her family continue as Pa, Ma, Laura, Mary, Carrie, and little Grace bravely face the hard winter of 1880-81 in their little house in the Dakota Territory. Blizzards cover the little town with snow, cutting off all supplies from the outside. Soon there is almost no food left, so young Almanzo Wilder and a friend make a dangerous trip across the prairie to find some wheat. Finally a joyous Christmas is celebrated in a very unusual way in this most exciting of all the Little House books. Children/Teens
Laura Ingalls Wilder Little Town On the Prairie The little settlement that weathered the long, hard winter of 1880-81 is now a growing town. Laura is growing up, and she goes to her first evening social. Mary is at last able to go to a college for the blind. Best of all, Almanzo Wilder asks permission to walk home from church with Laura. And Laura, now fifteen years old, receives her certificate to teach school. Children/Teens
Laura Ingalls Wilder First Four Years, The Laura Ingalls Wilder is beginning life with her new husband, Almanzo, in their own little house. Laura is a young pioneer wife now, and must work hard with Almanzo, farming the land around their home on the South Dakota prairie. Soon their baby daughter, Rose, is born, and the young family must face the hardships and triumphs encountered by so many American pioneers.

And so Laura Ingalls Wilder's adventure as a little pioneer girl ends, and her new life as a pioneer wife and mother begins. The nine Little House books have been cherished by generations of readers as both a unique glimpse into America's frontier past and a heartwarming, unforgettable story.
Children/Teens
Laura Ingalls Wilder These Happy Golden Years Fifteen-year-old Laura lives apart from her family for the first time, teaching school in a claim shanty twelve miles from home. She is very homesick, but keeps at it so that she can help pay for her sister Mary's tuition at the college for the blind. During school vacations Laura has fun with her singing lessons, going on sleigh rides, and best of all, helping Almanzo Wilder drive his new buggy. Friendship soon turns to love for Laura and Almanzo in the romantic conclusion of this Little House book. Children/Teens
Elizabeth Speare Sign of the Beaver, The Twelve-year old Matt is trying his best to survive on his own until his father returns to their cabin in the Maine wilderness with the rest of the family. Matt develops a deep friendship with a Native American boy. Matt must decide if he should continue waiting for his family or begin a new life with his friend. Children/Teens
R.L. Stein Shocker on Shock Street, A Audio drama is the ideal medium for spooky fun. "Lights Out," "Suspense," "The Whistler," "Inner Sanctum"--these were among the most popular dramatic programs on '40's radio. The mental exercise that audio gives to the imagination has more positive effects on kids than the mind-numbing boob tube. Perhaps that's why, when Disney rereleased some of its postwar kids albums on cassette a few years ago, they were sold out within weeks of hitting the shelves. In this instance, even merely serviceable performance does wonders for Stine's hack writing. Disney has pumped more energy than creativity into the slickly produced title. It's amiable, briskly paced and safe. Neither parents nor their offspring will find any unpleasant shocks here. When you give it to your kids, tell 'em to shut their eyes and give their minds a listen. Children/Teens
John Erickson It's A Dog's Life It's been a busy few days fo the Head of Ranch Security, what with routine patrols and not-so-rouine combat with headless monsters. When the dust settles, Hank decides to take a break from duty and visit his sister in town. There, he enjoys the garbage patrol of a lifetime and faces down a brood of sassy town cats -- and the plot thickens. Hank contracts a mysterious case of "soap hydrophobia: and ends up improsoned in the dog pound! Is there any hope of escape for everyone's favorite cowdog? Children/Teens
John Erickson Murder in the Middle Pasture In his fourth adventure, Hank faces a baffling new mystery which begins with the death of a calf on the ranch.

Hank goes on a very dangerous mission to spy on the coyote village and arrest the murderer. A pack of wild dogs also complicates the plot. It take all of Hank's deductive powers and keen insight to solve this one!

On this tape, you'll hear Hank and Junior the Buzzard do a romantic duet of "Beulah, Good Night." Hank sings a soulful number called "The Cold Weather Cowdog Blues."
Children/Teens
Carolyn Keene Secret of the Old Clock, The Nancy Drew's keen mind is tested when she searches for a missing will. Children/Teens
Roald Dahl Witches, The This Roald Dahl classic tells the scary, funny and imaginative tale of a seven-year-old boy who has a run-in with some real-life witches! "In fairy tales witches always wear silly black hats and black cloaks and they ride on broomsticks. But this is not a fairy tale. This is about REAL WITCHES. REAL WITCHES dress in ordinary clothes and look very much like ordinary women. They live in ordinary houses and they work in ordinary jobs. That is why they are so hard to catch." Witches, as our hero learns, hate children. With the help of a friend and his somewhat-magical grandmother, our hero tries to expose the witches before they dispose of him. Children/Teens
Clive Barker Abarat Candy Quackenbush is growing up in Chickentown, Minnesota, yearning for more--which she finds, quite unexpectedly, when a man with eight heads appears from nowhere in the middle of the prairie, being chased by something really monstrous. And so begins Candy's epic adventure to the islands of the Abarat, an archipelago of 25 islands--one for each hour of the day and the 25th hour, "the time out of time." Peopled by all manner of creatures, cultures, and customs, the islands should prove a fertile setting for the series that Barker is calling The Books of Abarat. Candy is an intelligent and likable heroine, and the many supporting characters are deftly drawn, both in words and in the full-color interior art that Barker has produced to give the story an extra dimension.
Richard Ferrone has a strong, clear voice that lends credence to the story, but his narration does little to guide the listener through Barker's fantastic world. Ferrone's vocal characterizations are inconsistent, a problem in a story brimming with odd characters. But he does keep the action-packed narrative moving at a good pace, so this is a story well worth hearing. Most listeners will be ready to listen to the next installment in Barker's planned series.
Children/Teens
Roald Dahl Matilda Matilda is a little girl who is far too good to be true. At age five-and-a-half she's knocking off double-digit multiplication problems and blitz-reading Dickens. Even more remarkably, her classmates love her even though she's a super-nerd and the teacher's pet. But everything is not perfect in Matilda's world. For starters she has two of the most idiotic, self-centered parents who ever lived. Then there's the large, busty nightmare of a school principal, Mrs. ("The") Trunchbull, a former hammer-throwing champion who flings children at will and is approximately as sympathetic as a bulldozer. Fortunately for Matilda, she has the inner resources to deal with such annoyances: astonishing intelligence, saintly patience, and an innate predilection for revenge.
She warms up with some practical jokes aimed at her hapless parents, but the true test comes when she rallies in defense of her teacher, the sweet Miss Honey, against the diabolical Trunchbull. There is never any doubt that Matilda will carry the day. Even so, this wonderful story is far from predictable--the big surprise comes when Matilda discovers a new, mysterious facet of her mental dexterity. Roald Dahl, while keeping the plot moving imaginatively, also has an unerring ear for emotional truth. The reader cares about Matilda because in addition to all her other gifts, she has real feelings.
Children/Teens
Julius Lester Adventures of Brer Rabbit, The Recent retellings of Joel Chandler Harris' African-American folktales from former slaves have pruned the dialect and leave out Uncle Remus all together. Most notable of these is Jump!: the Adventures of Brer Rabbit (HBJ, 1986). This newest attempt brings together two distinguished children's book creators in a most unusual recreation. Lester has retold 48 of the folktales in standard English but with a strong feel for the dialect of the original stories. His retellings are as lively as the originals but they also have a liveliness of their own, as he incorporates modern allusions which never seem out of place. Even more importantly, he uses the sharp, witty Uncle Remus who narrated the original folktales, and not the more servile character from the opening and closing segments who many found offensive.


All 4 Tales of Uncle Remus Books Compiles Together :

154 Short Stories:
1) The Tales of Uncle Remus
2) More Tales of Uncle Remus
3) Further Tales of Uncle Remus
4) The Last Tales of Uncle Remus
Children/Teens
J.K. Rowling Harry Potter & The Half-Blood Prince Harry is sixteen now, in his penultimate year at Hogwarts, and his future is weighing heavily on his mind. Harry's infamous anger in "Order of the Phoenix" has ebbed, but it's never far from the surface. He has grown bolder, saying and doing things that surprise even himself. He is no longer terrified of detention or of having house points taken away; since his godfather's death in "Phoenix," Harry has come to realize that the world is bigger than his life at Hogwarts. At sixteen, our hero has had to deal with more death and responsibility than many of us will ever know, and as a result, his thoughts in "Prince" are deeper, more morose, and less confused. Author J.K. Rowling has done a great job with the overt coming-of-age theme that flows through the series. Harry's thoughts and actions are almost always age appropriate. In the sixth book, friendships grow more intense but confused, romance ensnares all of the main characters, and through private lessons with Dumbledore, Harry begins to know Lord Voldermort when he was still Tom Riddle. The trust Dumbledore (finally and deservingly) instills in Harry by taking him into his confidence is a very important turning point, maybe the most significant in the series so far. The torch is being passed. Understanding Lord Voldermort is the key to defeating him, an arduous task the younger Harry was unprepared for, and one which heretofore Dumbledore tried to shield him from. Children/Teens
F. Scott Fitzgerald Great Gatsby, The F. Scott Fitzgerald s portrait of the Jazz Age in all its decadence and excess, is a wonderful story. It remains one of the most widely read, translated, admired, imitated and studied twentieth-century works of American fiction.
It is the story of the fabulously wealthy Jay Gatsby and his love for the beautiful Daisy Buchanan.
This deceptively simple work, Fitzgerald s best known, was hailed by critics as capturing the spirit of the generation. In Jay Gatsby, Fitzgerald embodies some of America s strongest obsessions: wealth, power, greed, and the promise of new beginnings.
Classics/Poetry
Mark Twain Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County & Other Stories, The Originally published in 1865, The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County began Mark Twain s remarkable career, and immediately demonstrated his masterful storytelling and brilliant sense of humor. This delightful tale introduces Jim Smiley, a man who loved to gamble. When a gullible stranger came to town, Smiley boasted that his pet frog, could outjump any frog in the county. The bet is on!
This wickedly funny collection also includes several of Twain s other great short stories, including A True Story, Extracts from Adam s Diary, and The Private History of a Campaign that Failed.
Classics/Poetry
John Steinbeck Grapes of Wrath Winner of the Pulitzer Prize in l940, this famous protest novel is a natural for audio. The story is told almost entirely in the language of the destitute workers of the 1930 s some 300,000 strong who had been driven from their farms and were pouring into California to face hunger, squalor and humiliation. (An inept narrator, reading their dialogue, could easily have made them sound like the Beverly Hillbillies.) Instead, Dylan Baker s sensitive interpretation has given them the dignity even the nobility that Steinbeck intended. He has also avoided another serious pitfall: overdramatizing some of Steinbeck s speeches in the last half of the book, avoiding what the Joads called a preacher voice. The listener is hardly aware of occasional lapses into sentimental prose as Steinbeck delivers his many impassioned sermons against the selfishness and greed of the rich. Altogether, this is an outstanding performance; John Steinbeck would have relished it. An Audiofile Earphones Award Winner. Classics/Poetry
Fyodor Dostoyevsky Idiot, The Dostoevsky wrote The Idiot in 1867 1869, and today it is considered one of his greatest works. Dostoevsky hoped to portray the ideal of a positively beautiful individual, a man who wishes to sacrifice himself for others. Myshkin succeeds in dominating through sheer force of personality a cast of characters who vividly and violently embody the passions and conflicts of 19th-century Russia.
Prince Myshkin is a sort of Russian Christ who represents the values Dostoevsky deemed the highest and most noble: altruism, meekness, kindness, and brotherly love. As Dostoevsky saw sexual passion as inherently selfish, it is not surprising that Prince Myshkin is a completely asexual character. Though he develops romantic feelings toward one woman, he subordinates them to a higher ideal of pity and compassion that he expresses in his relationship with another character. Facing the dark world of corruption and moral decay that he meets in society, he inevitably perishes.
Classics/Poetry
George Orwell Animal Farm One of Orwell s best-known works, taking on the guise of an anthropomorphic fable, warns against totalitarianism. Reader Richard Brown s stern, didactic rendering of narrative passages successfully captures Orwell s hard-bitten cynicism. Unfortunately, Brown is less successful interpreting dialogue. He falls back too readily on stock voices: breathy heroines, smarmy villains, squealing children. Such characterizations detract markedly from the brooding tone so carefully set by the narration and break the listener s suspension of disbelief. Though Orwell s tales are allegorical, they re also deadly serious. Though his characters are bloated and distorted, they should never be played for laughs. Classics/Poetry
H. Rider Haggard King Solomon s Mines Touted by its 1885 publisher as the most amazing story ever written, King Solomon s Mines was one of the bestselling novels of the nineteenth century. Haggard s thrilling saga of elephant hunter Allan Quatermain and his search for fabled treasure is more than just an adventure story, though. In its vivid portrayal of the alliances and battles of white colonials and African tribesmen, this adventure brings us the world of extremes, of the absurdly tall tales and of the illogical loyalty between disparate people that still informs this part of the world.

A peculiarly thrilling and vigorous tale of adventure.
NY Times Booklist
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Harper Lee To Kill a Mockingbird Set in the small Southern town of Maycomb, Alabama, during the Depression, To Kill a Mockingbird follows three years in the life of 8-year-old Scout Finch, her brother, Jem, and their father, Atticus three years punctuated by the arrest and eventual trial of a young black man accused of raping a white woman. Though her story explores big themes, Harper Lee chooses to tell it through the eyes of a child. The result is a tough and tender novel of race, class, justice, and the pain of growing up. It is a rare literary phenomenon, a Southern novel with no mildew on its magnolia leaves.
Roses Prichard is masterful at narrating Lee s classic novel. Prichard s skill and talents are evident; all the characters sound true and absolutely real. Listeners hear Scout s developing wisdom and maturity as the story progresses. Prichard achieves the monumental task of creating and maintaining authentic voices for a diverse group of characters while infusing the story with emotional resonance. This stunning production captures the listener and doesn t let go. An Audiofile Earphones Award winner.
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Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Lost World, The Young newspaper journalist Edward Malone is in search of an assignment involving adventure and danger, since his beloved Gladys has refused his marriage proposal on the grounds that he s not a man of great deeds and strange experiences. Enter Professor Challenger, an impetuous man who claims to have spotted a pterodactyl deep in the Amazon jungle. When the professor offers to lead skeptics on an expedition to this lost world, Malone signs up for the trip of a lifetime. Infused with the same masterful dialogue, suspense, and characterizations as Conan Doyle s Sherlock Holmes tales, The Lost World is a spirited science fiction novel filled with dinosaurs and ape-men, and a story that s obviously still firing imaginations today. Classics/Poetry
Charles Dickens Hard Times This novel is a bitter indictment of industrialization, with its dehumanizing effects on workers and communities in mid-19th-century England. It tells of the horrors of a utilitarian upbringing, reason and facts are everything, and imagination and creativity are nothing.
The narrator s British accent goes well with Dickens s overly dramatic and lush prose. He uses different English accents for the numerous male characters, some speech defects for others and a breathy falsetto voice for all the women. While a straight rendition of the dialogue would be an improvement, luckily the story is mainly narrative.
Classics/Poetry
Mark Twain Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur s Court, A Hank Morgan awakens one morning to find he has been transported from nineteenth-century New England to sixth-century England and the reign of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. Morgan brings to King Arthur s utopian court the ingenuity of the future, resulting in a culture clash that is at once satiric, anarchic, and darkly comic.
One of Twain s finest works, this book is both a delightfully entertaining story and a disturbing analysis of the efficacy of government, the benefits of progress, and the dissolution of social mores. It remains as powerful a work of fiction today as it was upon its first publication in 1889.
Classics/Poetry
Jules Verne Journey to the Center of the Earth This high-tension odyssey follows three men in an awesome search for the mysterious center of the earth as they risk their chances of ever returning to the surface alive. In his quest to penetrate the planet s primordial secrets, the intrepid geologist, Professor Lindenbrock together with his quaking nephew Axel and their devoted guide, Hans discovers an astonishing subterranean menagerie of prehistoric proportions.
The wonderfully crisp, steadily-paced British enunciation, combined with an excellent abridgment and well-chosen musical interludes of classical music, make this production outstanding.
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Washington Irving Legend of Sleepy Hollow, The When Ichabod Crane becomes the new schoolmaster of Sleepy Hollow, he quickly and happily adjusts to the local ways. He delights in the bountiful dinners he s served when visiting the farms of the region; he enjoys the local yarns and scary legends that fill the firelit evenings of autumn; and he comes to love the idea of marrying Katrina Van Tassel and of one day owning her father s wealth and lands. There s one problem with his plans, though: the local hero decided long ago to wed Katrina himself. This droll tale of romantic rivalry climaxes with the appearance of the Headless Horseman and remains a favorite classic horror story. Classics/Poetry
H.G. Wells First Men on the Moon Nimoy and de Lancie, founders of Alien Voices, take the leads in this dramatization of H.G. Wells s science-fiction classic. William Shatner puts in a cameo as king of the ant people who live below the lunar surface and who are discovered by a crackpot British scientist and his next-door neighbor. De Lancie once told this reviewer he and Nimoy founded Alien Voices largely to have fun. This they do to the delight of listeners (though perhaps to the chagrin of Wells s ghost). Whatever the production lacks in finesse, it more than makes up for in sheer verve.
(There is also a production by BBC on this disk and likely very good too.)
Classics/Poetry
H.G. Wells Invisible Man, The On the surface, this story concerns a scientist named Griffin who has discovered the means to invisibility but who has gone mad in the process. When frustrated in his efforts to restore himself to visibility, he determines to embark upon a reign of terror that will make him master of the world. It is worth noting, however, that Wells was very much a social writer and that his novels are inevitably commentaries on various social evils. Looking deeper, you will find that it is very much a parable of class structure that dominated British life during the Victorian age: there are many invisible men; this particular one, however, is in a very literal situation. Classics/Poetry
Upton Sinclair Jungle, The For nearly a century, the original version of Upton Sinclair's classic novel has remained almost entirely unknown. When it was published in serial form in 1905, it was a full third longer than the censored, commercial edition published in book form the following year. That expurgated commercial edition edited out much of the ethnic flavor of the original, as well as some of the goriest descriptions of the meat-packing industry and much of Sinclair's most pointed social and political commentary. The text of this new edition is as it appeared in the original uncensored edition of 1905. It contains the full 36 chapters as originally published, rather than the 31 of the expurgated edition. A new foreword describes the discovery in the 1980s of the original edition and its subsequent suppression, and a new introduction places the novel in historical context by explaining the pattern of censorship in the shorter commercial edition. Classics/Poetry
Ernest Hemingway Old Man and the Sea, The Here, for a change, is a fish tale that actually does honor to the author. In fact The Old Man and the Sea revived Ernest Hemingway's career, which was foundering under the weight of such postwar stinkers as Across the River and into the Trees. It also led directly to his receipt of the Nobel Prize in 1954 (an award Hemingway gladly accepted, despite his earlier observation that "no son of a bitch that ever won the Nobel Prize ever wrote anything worth reading afterwards"). A half century later, it's still easy to see why. This tale of an aged Cuban fisherman going head-to-head (or hand-to-fin) with a magnificent marlin encapsulates Hemingway's favorite motifs of physical and moral challenge. Yet Santiago is too old and infirm to partake of the gun-toting machismo that disfigured much of the author's later work: "The brown blotches of the benevolent skin cancer the sun brings from its reflection on the tropic sea were on his cheeks. The blotches ran well down the sides of his face and his hands had the deep-creased scars from handling heavy fish on the cords." Hemingway's style, too, reverts to those superb snapshots of perception that won him his initial fame:

Just before it was dark, as they passed a great island of Sargasso weed that heaved and swung in the light sea as though the ocean were making love with something under a yellow blanket, his small line was taken by a dolphin. He saw it first when it jumped in the air, true gold in the last of the sun and bending and flapping wildly in the air.

If a younger Hemingway had written this novella, Santiago most likely would have towed the enormous fish back to port and posed for a triumphal photograph--just as the author delighted in doing, circa 1935. Instead his prize gets devoured by a school of sharks. Returning with little more than a skeleton, he takes to his bed and, in the very last line, cements his identification with his creator: "The old man was dreaming about the lions." Perhaps there's some allegory of art and experience floating around in there somewhere--but The Old Man and the Sea was, in any case, the last great catch of Hemingway's career.
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John Wyndham Day of the Triffids Bill Masen, bandages over his wounded eyes, misses the most spectacular meteorite shower England has ever seen. Removing his bandages the next morning, he finds masses of sightless people wandering the city. He soon meets Josella, another lucky person who has retained her sight, and together they leave the city, aware that the safe, familiar world they knew a mere twenty-four hours before is gone forever.

But to survive in this post-apocalyptic world, one must survive the Triffids, strange plants that years before began appearing all over the world. The Triffids can grow to over seven feet tall, pull their roots from the ground to walk, and kill a man with one quick lash of their poisonous stingers. With society in shambles, they are now posed to prey on humankind. Wyndham chillingly anticipates bio-warfare and mass destruction, fifty years before their realization, in this prescient account of Cold War paranoia.
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Edgar Rice Burroughs At the Earth's Core When the inventor Perry fires up his burrowing prospector, it runs out of control, plunging him with his young protege into the centre of the earth. There, instead of being destroyed by the molten lava they expect to find, they discover an inner world of bizarre savagery and unearthly beauty. Here mighty dinosaurs still roam alongside beasts never seen in the world above. And to their horror, they find themselves suddenly enslaved in a land where humans are ruled by the reptilian and evilly intelligent Mahars.

One of the most profound early influences on the science fiction and fantasy genre, Edgar Rice Burroughs is now most famous for his Tarzan series, although he wrote many tales that have captured the imaginations of generations of readers, including the Martian adventures of the Barsoom sequence, the Pellucidar sequence, of which this volume is the first, and the stories of Carson on Venus.
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Edgar Rice Burroughs Gods of Mars, The Most science fiction novelists and many scientists (notably, Carl Sagan) credit Burroughs's gigantic output for their fascination with space. THE GODS OF MARS, the first sequel to A PRINCESS OF MARS in the 11-book series, exudes tremendous energy, even in this abridgment. Gardner does a decent job. As Burroughs's books pass out of copyright, we can expect to see a flood of his titles in audio format. Classics/Poetry
Edgar Rice Burroughs Mastermind of Mars, The Former Earthman Ulysses Paxton served Barsoom's greatest scientist, until his master's ghoulish trade in living bodies drove him to rebellion. Then, to save the body of the woman he loved, he had to attack mighty Phundahl, and its evil, beautiful ruler. Classics/Poetry
Alexandre Dumas Man in the Iron Mask, The Naxos follows its usual pattern of punctuating the narrative with carefully chosen classical musical segments appropriate to the mood of the particular part of the story. Bill Homewood reads this tale of French political intrigue in an emotionally intense British voice that is crisp and effective. He shades his characters subtly through intonation and pacing, his voice rising with excitement as various crises develop and climax. The story details the final days of the Three Musketeers and D'Artagnan, with only one left alive at the end. Heavily abridged by Homewood himself, the tale retains its essential core, and the result is exciting and satisfying. Classics/Poetry
Victor Hugo Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Set in fifteenth-century Paris, Hugo's powerful novel evokes medieval life as it tells of the doomed love of Quasimodo, the grotesque bell-ringer at the Cathedral of Notre Dame, for Esmeralda, the beautiful gypsy. Bill Homewood's vibrant performance captures the passion of Hugo's characters in his spellbinding narration. Whether he's thundering Frollo's lust or bellowing Quasimodo's despair, Homewood's strong voice reveals the emotions of the characters with skill and confidence.

Note from Janet: This audio story was a bear to get into, but once I did, I loved it. In fact, it is one of the most memorable audio books I've ever listened to...absolutely recommended!!
Classics/Poetry
Charlotte Bronte Jane Eyre Bronte's classic takes on a renewed sparkle as read in Juliet Stevenson's charming and clear British accent. She sets the scene so vividly as to transport the listener right into the heart of Jane's troubles and triumphs. Her vocal characterizations, which focus on tone and expression, rather than regional accent, reflect the contrasting emotions of the novel's cast. The pain, joy, and sorrow experienced by Jane and Mr. Rochester sing out as clearly as the dramatic music preceding each chapter. Stevenson excels in capturing the evil exhibited by the Reed family, as well as the tenderness of Jane's and Helen's schoolgirl friendship. Bronte fans and first-time listeners alike will warm to this time-honored love story. Classics/Poetry
Dean Koontz Paper Doorway, The I lost myself inside a book last night.Then found myself in a galactic fight ...A thrilling world awaits you inside The Paper Doorway! From The Woggle Wrangler to The Wart, from Boogeyman to The Bear with One Green Ear, from The Monstrous Broccoli Excuse to An Angry Poem by a Dragon's Mother, Dean Koontz's poetry is wickedly entertaining fun.With 225 million copies of his books sold, New York Times megaselling author Dean Koontz has been called America's most popular suspense novelist but that only begins to describe his endless talent and imagination. Following the success of his previous children's book, Santa's Twin, Koontz has created a richly inventive book of poems that delivers a powerhouse combination of humor and spookiness.
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Herman Melville Moby Dick This adaptation of Melville's monumental classic retains many of its famous lines and scenes, giving the listener a sense of the endless search for the white whale while not actually going through it detail by detail. The actors bring in a variety of accents and voices that tell much about the characters: from Ishmael's salty New England accent to a fellow whaler's German accent to Queequeg's powerful tone. Sounds of the sea weave in and out of the story without overwhelming it, and the scenes in which the crew is out chasing whales are imbued with a sense of urgency and suspense. The St. Charles Players make MOBY-DICK palatable for a general audience. Classics/Poetry
Thomas Hardy Mayor of Casterbridge, The One of Hardy s most powerful novels, The Mayor of Casterbridge opens with a shocking and haunting scene: In a drunken rage, Michael Henchard sells his wife and daughter to a visiting sailor at a local fair. When they return to Casterbridge some nineteen years later, Henchard having gained power and success as the mayor finds he cannot erase the past or the guilt that consumes him. The Mayor of Casterbridge is a rich, psychological novel about a man whose own flaws combine with fate to cause his ruin.

In future times, when people want to know what life was like before the Industrial Revolution--what it was to truly see the stars at night, to live within the pulse of Nature's rhythms--they will read Thomas Hardy, or they may listen to Alan Rickman's superb presentation of Hardy's tragic novel. Rickman's voice is masculine and seductive; yet by altering tempo, modulating tone, he becomes Hardy's women and children, utterly compelling as he projects all ranges of emotion. His individualizing dialogue of the human-sized characters, that country chorus who form the backdrop of normality for Hardy's titanic lovers, is brilliant. Hearing it sent me to the library for another Wessex novel. E.J.M. An AUDIOFILE Earphones Award winner
Classics/Poetry
Mark Twain Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a seminal work of American literature written by its first and foremost realist and humorist. This classic tale, a symbolic journey into the heart and spirit of the country, follows Huck, in flight from his father, and Jim, in flight from slavery, as they pilot their raft down the Mississippi. They survive a crash with a steamboat, betrayal by rogues, and the final threat from the bourgeoisie. Informing all this is the presence of the River, described in palpable detail and transformed into a rich metaphor. The language of the book itself -- expressive in a completely original way -- is another of Twain's high achievements. Written over 100 years ago, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn continues to elicit both praise and controversy for its in-depth and artful examination of complex social and moral issues Classics/Poetry
Benedict Flynn King Arthur & the Knights of the Round Table In all honesty, though I have always loved the stories of Arthur and Camelot, I too bought this audio book merely to hear the amazing voice of Sean Bean. The two combined make for a very powerful and gripping story.

This would be a perfect gift for children, the young-at-heart, or anyone who is captivated by the stories of Camelot.
Classics/Poetry
Edgar Lee Masters Spoon River Anthology Tombstones, as the man who carved them says he learned over the years, are a form of false history. In this 1915 collection, Edgar Lee Masters tells the stories of the dead--through their own posthumous words--in the fictional town of Spoon River. The stories are well told and often harsh, as the dead of Spoon River carry their anger and grievances to their graves. Masters portrays a town filled with injustice, corruption, and cruelty, an inverse to the idyllic community of Thornton Wilder's Our Town. The cast of 50, headed by Patrick Fraley and Edward Asner, is well matched to the many characters in this excellent production. Audie Award Finalist. Classics/Poetry
Ernest Hemingway Sun Also Rises, The The Sun Also Rises was Ernest Hemingway's first big novel, and immediately established Hemingway as one of the great prose stylists, and one of the preeminent writers of his time. It is also the book that encapsulates the angst of the post-World War I generation, known as the Lost Generation. This poignantly beautiful story of a group of American and English expatriates in Paris on an excursion to Pamplona represents a dramatic step forward for Hemingway's evolving style. Featuring Left Bank Paris in the 1920s and brutally realistic descriptions of bullfighting in Spain, the story is about the flamboyant Lady Brett Ashley and the hapless Jake Barnes. In an age of moral bankruptcy, spiritual dissolution, unrealized love, and vanishing illusions, this is the Lost Generation. Classics/Poetry
J.D. Salinger Catcher in the Rye Since his debut in 1951 as The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield has been synonymous with "cynical adolescent." Holden narrates the story of a couple of days in his sixteen-year-old life, just after he's been expelled from prep school, in a slang that sounds edgy even today and keeps this novel on banned book lists. It begins,
"If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth. In the first place, that stuff bores me, and in the second place, my parents would have about two hemorrhages apiece if I told anything pretty personal about them."
His constant wry observations about what he encounters, from teachers to phonies (the two of course are not mutually exclusive) capture the essence of the eternal teenage experience of alienation.
Classics/Poetry
Carson McCullers Heart is a Lonely Hunter, The With the publication of her first novel, THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER, Carson McCullers, all of twenty-three, became a literary sensation. With its profound sense of moral isolation and its compassionate glimpses into its characters' inner lives, the novel is considered McCullers' finest work, an enduring masterpiece first published by Houghton Mifflin in 1940. At its center is the deaf-mute John Singer, who becomes the confidant for various types of misfits in a Georgia mill town during the 1930s. Each one yearns for escape from small town life. When Singer's mute companion goes insane, Singer moves into the Kelly house, where Mick Kelly, the book's heroine (and loosely based on McCullers), finds solace in her music. Wonderfully attuned to the spiritual isolation that underlies the human condition, and with a deft sense for racial tensions in the South, McCullers spins a haunting, unforgettable story that gives voice to the rejected, the forgotten, and the mistreated -- and, through Mick Kelly, gives voice to the quiet, intensely personal search for beauty. Richard Wright praised Carson McCullers for her ability "to rise above the pressures of her environment and embrace white and black humanity in one sweep of apprehension and tenderness." She writes "with a sweep and certainty that are overwhelming," said the NEW YORK TIMES. McCullers became an overnight literary sensation, but her novel has endured, just as timely and powerful today as when it was first published. THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER is Carson McCullers at her most compassionate, endearing best. Classics/Poetry
Mark Twain Prince and the Pauper, The Set in sixteenth-century England, Mark Twain's classic "tale for young people of all ages" features two identical-looking boys - a prince and a pauper - who trade clothes and step into each other's lives. While the urchin, Tom Canty, discovers luxury and power, Prince Edward, dressed in rags, roams his kingdom and experiences the cruelties inflicted on the poor by the Tudor monarchy. Classics/Poetry
Enest Hemingway For Whom the Bell Tolls For Whom the Bell Tolls begins and ends in a pine-scented forest, somewhere in Spain. The year is 1937 and the Spanish Civil War is in full swing. Robert Jordan, a demolitions expert attached to the International Brigades, lies "flat on the brown, pine-needled floor of the forest, his chin on his folded arms, and high overhead the wind blew in the tops of the pine trees." The sylvan setting, however, is at sharp odds with the reason Jordan is there: he has come to blow up a bridge on behalf of the antifascist guerrilla forces. He hopes he'll be able to rely on their local leader, Pablo, to help carry out the mission, but upon meeting him, Jordan has his doubts: "I don't like that sadness, he thought. That sadness is bad. That's the sadness they get before they quit or before they betray. That is the sadness that comes before the sell-out." For Pablo, it seems, has had enough of the war. He has amassed for himself a small herd of horses and wants only to stay quietly in the hills and attract as little attention as possible. Jordan's arrival--and his mission--have seriously alarmed him.
For Whom the Bell Tolls combines two of the author's recurring obsessions: war and personal honor. The pivotal battle scene involving El Sordo's last stand is a showcase for Hemingway's narrative powers, but the quieter, ongoing conflict within Robert Jordan as he struggles to fulfill his mission perhaps at the cost of his own life is a testament to his creator's psychological acuity. By turns brutal and compassionate, it is arguably Hemingway's most mature work and one of the best war novels of the 20th century.
Classics/Poetry
Enest Hemingway Farewell to Arms, A This is the story of Lieutenant Henry, an American, and Catherine Barkley, a British nurse. The two meet in Italy, and almost immediately Hemingway sets up the central tension of the novel: the tenuous nature of love in a time of war.
The two begin an affair, with Henry quite convinced that he "did not love Catherine Barkley nor had any idea of loving her. This was a game, like bridge, in which you said things instead of playing cards." Soon enough, however, the game turns serious for both of them and ultimately Henry ends up deserting to be with Catherine.
Hemingway was not known for either unbridled optimism or happy endings, and A Farewell to Arms, like his other novels (For Whom the Bell Tolls, The Sun Also Rises, and To Have and Have Not), offers neither. What it does provide is an unblinking portrayal of men and women behaving with grace under pressure, both physical and psychological, and somehow finding the courage to go on in the face of certain loss.
Classics/Poetry
John Steinbeck Moon is Down, The In this masterful account set in Norway during World War II, Steinbeck explores the effects of invasion on both the conquered and the conquerors. Occupied by Nazi troops, a small, peaceable town comes face to face with evil imposed from the outside--and betrayal born within the close-knit community. Classics/Poetry
John Steinbeck Pearl, The Kino, a poor Mexican pearl fisher, finds a valuable pearl. Yet instead of bringing blessings, the pearl acts as a harbinger of misfortune to Kino and his wife, Juana. Ultimately, it is returned from whence it came. Steinbeck's parable, originally published in 1947, is a well-written retelling of an old Mexican folktale. Hector Elizondo, with his fine voice and great diction, reads with sincerity, keeping this simple, tragic tale moving toward its inevitable conclusion. Classics/Poetry
John Steinbeck Travels with Charley To hear the speech of the real America, to smell the grass and the trees, to see the colors and the light these were John Steinbeck's goals as he set out, at the age of fifty-eight, to rediscover the country he had been writing about for so many years.
With Charley, his French poodle, Steinbeck drives the interstates and the country roads, dines with truckers, encounters bears at Yellowstone and old friends in San Francisco. And he reflects on the American character, racial hostility, on a particular form of American loneliness he finds almost everywhere, and on the unexpected kindness of strangers that is also a very real part of our national identity.
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Edgar Rice Burroughs Tarzan of the Apes First published in 1914, Edgar Rice Burroughs's romance has lost little of its force over the years--as film revivals and TV series well attest. Tarzan of the Apes is very much a product of its age: replete with bloodthirsty natives and a bulky, swooning American Negress, and haunted by what zoo specialists now call charismatic megafauna (great beasts snarling, roaring, and stalking, most of whom would be out of place in a real African jungle). Burroughs countervails such incorrectness, however, with some rather unattractive representations of white civilization--mutinous, murderous sailors, effete aristos, self-involved academics, and hard-hearted cowards. At Tarzan's heart rightly lies the resourceful and hunky title character, a man increasingly torn between the civil and the savage, for whom cutlery will never be less than a nightmare.
The passages in which the nut-brown boy teaches himself to read and write are masterly and among the book's improbable, imaginative best. How tempting it is to adopt the ten-year-old's term for letters--"little bugs"! And the older Tarzan's realization that civilized "men were indeed more foolish and more cruel than the beasts of the jungle," while not exactly a new notion, is nonetheless potent. The first in Burroughs's serial is most enjoyable in its resounding oddities of word and thought, including the unforgettable "When Tarzan killed he more often smiled than scowled; and smiles are the foundation of beauty."
Tarzan fans can have their fill of jungle adventures. With impeccable diction and pacing, Ben Kingsley takes the material fairly seriously. In relating ludicrous episodes, such as Tarzan's rescue of the English gentlemen, Professor Porter and Mr. Philander, there is no hint of humor or amusement. Kingsley maintains detachment, which some may appeciate.
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John Steinbeck Tortilla Flat John McDonough's reading of this marvelous Steinbeck novel is not without its flaws, but they don't much diminish the charm of the performance. Tortilla Flat follows the exploits of Danny and his paisano friends, who live in squalid poverty and blissful idleness near Monterey, California. McDonough does not overact, and his gentle touch is well suited to the story. His accents and voices, however, are strangely inconsistent, as if he eventually tires of giving each character his own. Nonetheless, McDonough makes it work by bringing out the novel's humor and poignancy in all the right places.
Classics/Poetry
Robert Louis Stevenson Kidnapped Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson remains one of the classic coming-of-age stories. After the death of his father, David Balfour sets out to meet his uncle and claim his inheritance. This adventure takes him through the highlands of Scotland where he embarks upon a long journey back from treachery and deceit. The reading by David Rintoul, whose voice is easily recognizable from his roles in several PBS productions such as Pride and Prejudice, translates the written word into an auditory landscape of Scotland. He interprets each character using several voices. As the story progresses, listeners can hear David changing from an uncertain and hesitant youth, to the assured and forthright young man he becomes at the conclusion. Without any special effects, the fight among the crew of the Coventry in the RoundhouseAchairs pushed over, the sounds of the sea hitting against the great shipAbecomes easily visualized. the reader's skill setting the stage and showing the growth of the character is phenomenal. While this is an abridgement, the story flows easily and gives a full picture from beginning to end. This audiobook is a must for every serious library collection of the classics. Classics/Poetry
Robert Louis Stevenson Treasure Island Climb aboard for the swashbuckling adventure of a lifetime. Treasure Islandhas enthralled (and caused slight seasickness) for decades. The names Long John Silver and Jim Hawkins are destined to remain pieces of folklore for as long as children want to read Robert Louis Stevenson's most famous book. With it's dastardly plot and motley crew of rogues and villains, it seems unlikely that children will ever say no to this timeless classic. Classics/Poetry
Jules Verne Around The World In 80 Days (Classic) On a wager with his chums at the Reform Club, Phileas Fogg, who is an eccentric English gentleman, and his manservant, pack a carpet bag with two woolen shirts, three pairs of stockings, and 20,000 pounds, and travel around the world in 80 days, in order to win a bet. Classics/Poetry
Jack Finney Invasion of the Body Snatchers On a quiet fall evening in the small, peaceful town of Mill Valley, California, Dr. Miles Bennell discovered an insidious, horrifying plot. Silently, subtly, almost imperceptibly, alien life-forms were taking over the bodies and minds of his neighbors, his friends, his family, the woman he loved -- the world as he knew it.
First published in 1955, this classic thriller of the ultimate alien invasion and the triumph of the human spirit over an invisible enemy inspired three major motion pictures.
Classics/Poetry
Orson Wells History of Mr. Polly, The In addition to his celebrated science fiction, H.G. Wells wrote a number of superb satires, not the least of which is this chronicle of a working-class nebish who, in bungling his own suicide, finds escape from his humdrum existence. The inspired Clive Swift romps sardonically through a very fine cutting of the text. Through his unflagging concentration, brilliant characterizations, flawless comic timing and indefinable genius, Swift not only animates the story, but also creates an entire world to repose it in, one you can see as he speaks. He plays all of the subtext. Not a nuance is missing. Moreover, where Wells in droll and clever, Swift is hilarious and witty. He takes a fine, if not magnificent, property and embuing it with his own personality, transforms it into something better. His performence of this book is more of an achievement than the book itself. Y.R. Winner of AUDIOFILE's Earphones Award. Classics/Poetry
Orson Wells War Of The Worlds, The This is the granddaddy of all alien invasion stories, first published by H.G. Wells in 1898. The novel begins ominously, as the lone voice of a narrator tells readers that "No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth century that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man's..."
Things then progress from a series of seemingly mundane reports about odd atmospheric disturbances taking place on Mars to the arrival of Martians just outside of London. At first the Martians seem laughable, hardly able to move in Earth's comparatively heavy gravity even enough to raise themselves out of the pit created when their spaceship landed. But soon the Martians reveal their true nature as death machines 100-feet tall rise up from the pit and begin laying waste to the surrounding land. Wells quickly moves the story from the countryside to the evacuation of London itself and the loss of all hope as England's military suffers defeat after defeat. With horror his narrator describes how the Martians suck the blood from living humans for sustenance, and how it's clear that man is not being conquered so much a corralled.
Adapted for radio by Orson Welles and first broadcast in 1938, H.G. Wells's classic tale of aliens landing on earth is still powerful and compelling. Nimoy's presentation is low-key and chilling. A classic for every audio collection.
Classics/Poetry
H.G. Wells Island of Dr Moreau, The A shipwreck in the South Seas, a palm-tree paradise where a mad doctor conducts vile experiments, animals that become human and then "beastly" in ways they never were before--it's the stuff of high adventure. It's also a parable about Darwinian theory, a social satire in the vein of Jonathan Swift (Gulliver's Travels), and a bloody tale of horror. Or, as H. G. Wells himself wrote about this story, "The Island of Dr. Moreau is an exercise in youthful blasphemy. Now and then, though I rarely admit it, the universe projects itself towards me in a hideous grimace. It grimaced that time, and I did my best to express my vision of the aimless torture in creation." This colorful tale by the author of The Time Machine, The Invisible Man, and The War of the Worlds lit a firestorm of controversy at the time of its publication in 1896. Classics/Poetry
John Grisham Time to Kill, A Clanton, Mississippi. The life of a ten-year-old black girl is shattered by two drunken and remorseless young men. The mostly white town reacts with shock and horror at the inhuman crime. Until her father acquires an assault rifle and takes justice into his own outraged hands.
For ten days, with burning crosses and the crack of sniper fire spreading through the streets of Clanton, the nation sits spellbound as young defense attorney Jake Brigance struggles to save his client s life...and then his own...
With a chillingly calm, even delivery, the narrater turns this disturbing tale of racism, ignorance, and brutality into an almost visceral experience. The story is frighteningly believable and expertly crafted around a horrible crime and the tragic consequences that follow.
Drama-Courtroom
Phillip Margolin Last Innocent Man, The The papers call him the Ice Man. David Nash, defense attorney cool, unruffled, practically unbeatable in the courtroom. Most of his clients are guilty. A few may be monsters.
Fearing that his otherwise brilliant performances in the court room are setting killers and rapists free, attorney David Nash finds a chance for personal redemption in a client who is actually innocent.

An intricate tale that weighs guilt, justice, and the law, this book also has plenty of action and drama. A real spellbinder.
Library Journal
Drama-Courtroom
Christopher Moore Fluke The culture of cetacean research is cheerfully lampooned in this novel from the Douglas Adams-like author of numerous gag-filled romps. The setting is the coast of Maui, where a marine biologist and his associate and research assistant are studying the songs of humpback whales. The tone is breezy, and the plot quickly fishtails into agreeable absurdity.
Thoughtful, irreverent, and often hilarious, this tale contains a bit of the saga of declining whale populationsn, as well as his over-the-top, decadent wit as applied to scientific methodology and professional jealousies.
The narrator s inconsistent delivery downgrades a very good, funny story.
Drama-Humorous
Elmore Leonard Be Cool After one triumph and one flop, Mafia loanshark-turned-Hollywood producer Chili Palmer is desperate for another hit...of the celluloid sort. And when a similarly relocated former mob associate is killed while they re power-lunching, Chili begins to see all kinds of story possibilities. The midday demise is leading Chili into the twisted world of rock stars, pop divas, and hip-hop gangstas, which is rife with drama, jealousy, and betrayal all the stuff that makes big box office. Tinsel Town had better take cover, because Chili Palmer s working on another movie. And that s when people tend to die.
Even better than Get Shorty! Time
Drama-Humorous
Elmore Leonard Get Shorty Mob-connected loanshark Chili Palmer is sick of the Miami grind plus his friends have a bad habit of dying there. So when he chases a deadbeat client out to Hollywood, Chili figures he might like to stay. This town seems ideal for an enterprising criminal with a taste for the cinematic. Besides, Chili s got an idea for a killer movie though it could very possibly kill him to get it made.
This is a masterful social comedy that happens to be about criminals. Leonard s a master of snappy dialogue and dizzying plot twists. Parts of Get Shorty move along so briskly you almost forget there s somebody with a firm control over the story!
Drama-Humorous
David Sedaris Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim David Sedaris's latest collection of essays is his most intimate, made even more so by his keen delivery. They reflect a writing maturity: His insecurities and compulsions are more apparent than ever, which just makes the stories of awkward childhood, awkward adolescence, and awkward adulthood that much more eminently relatable. Which is not to say that you won't be laughing out loud at his impression of his redneck brother in "Rooster at the Hitchin' Post" or any of the other small absurdities of life that he captures so memorably. One of Sedaris's gifts is that he can be hilarious and heartrending (but never maudlin) in the same sentence. Three of the live performances, including "Six to Eight Black Men," will be familiar from last year's LIVE AT CARNEGIE HALL, but they're no less funny on second listening. Sedaris's essays are written to be heard, so listen up--he just keeps getting better. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award

Whether by nature or by nurture, Ma and Pa Sedaris certainly knew something about raising funny kids. Amy Sedaris has built a cult following for her Comedy Central character Jerri Blank, and David, the more famous of the two siblings, continues to spin his personal history into comedic gold. A good chunk of the material in Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim debuted in other media outlets, such as The New Yorker, but Sedaris's brilliantly written essays deserve repeat reads.

Based on the author's descriptions, nearly every member of his family is funny, although some (like sister Tiffany, perhaps) in a tragic way. In "The Change in Me," Sedaris remembers that his mother was good at imitating people when it helped drive home her point. High-voiced, lovably plain-spoken brother Paul (aka The Rooster, Silly P) has long been a favorite character for Sedaris readers, though Paul's story takes on a serious note when his wife has a difficult pregnancy. The author doesn't shy away from embarrassing moments in his own life, either, including a childhood poker game that strays into strange, psychological territory. Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim provides more evidence that he is a great humorist, memoirist, and raconteur, and readers are lucky to have the opportunity to know him (and his clan) so well. His funny family feels like our own. Perhaps they are luckier still not to know him personally.
Drama-Humorous
Patrick McManus Night the Bear Ate Goombah, The McManus, columnist for Outdoor Life and author of Rubber Legs and White Tail-Hairs (Holt, 1987), has come out with a new collection of countrified, down-home stories that are sure to amuse more than just lovers of the great outdoors. Granted, many of these stories are related in some way to McManus's areas of ``expertise,'' hunting, fishing, and camping, but there are a few that touch on psychology (``Boating Disorders,'' in which the writer helps people whose life has become dominated by their boat) and consumerism (``Garage-Sale Hype,'' in which the author relates how to get a really good bargain on fishing equipment). His narrative is peopled with such oddly named characters as Rancid Crabtree; Erful, Retch, and Verman Sweeney; Valvoleen Grooper; and others. Libraries that had a good following for McManus's earlier books will want this one, too.

The humor of author Patrick McManus and the entertaining oral wit of narrator Norman Dietz come together in this collection of satire commenting on fishing, hunting and modern life. This four-tape recording verges on the eccentric with vignettes pertaining to worm farming, hooks and fishing, string and rope, and garage sales, to name a few. Dietz s expressive buffoonery creates images that generate snickers and laughter. He is adept at elongating or accentuating specific words with an emphasis that entertains. From the initial episode to the final tale, I had a grin on my face.
Drama-Humorous
Marc Acito How I Paid For College Portland humor columnist Acito debuts with dazzling comic panache in this story of a teenage would-be swindler and budding drama queen. Edward Zanni is dying to escape boring Wallingford, N.J., for the hallowed halls of Juilliard, and he's got a pretty good chance at it. It's summer, and he's palling around with his fellow Play People, who include his gorgeous girlfriend, Kelly, and his hot jock pal, Doug, and dreaming of stardom. The fly in the ointment is Zanni's money-obsessed father, Al, who pulls the financial plug on Edward's Juilliard dream after marrying a trophy babe, a beautiful, icy Teutonic model named Dagmar. Edward counters dad's penny-pinching by moving in with Kelly's family to establish financial independence for a scholarship, but bombs at several minimum-wage jobs. How will he pay for college now that his audition really a public mental breakdown got him in? His devious buddy, Nathan, concocts a plan to steal from gold-digging Dagmar, who's been siphoning Al's cash into a secret account. Edward and pals set up a fake nonprofit designed to award a Juilliard scholarship to someone born in Hoboken (Edward) but there's a problem. Acito nails his scenes one after another, from Edward's shifting (but always enthusiastic) sexuality to the silly messes he gets himself into. The result is a thumbs-up winner from a storyteller whose future looks as bright as that of his young hero. Drama-Humorous
Robert Rankin Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse, The
Like a mad toymaker s fever dream, Rankin s uproarious book imagines a town where toys and nursery rhymes come to life and pursue human activities: they walk, talk, eat, drink and commit heinous crimes. Thirteen-year-old Jack goes to the City to find his fortune, unaware that the City is in fact Toy City, where legends and fables walk (or stumble, if they ve had too much to drink). He meets up with detective teddy bear Eddie, who is investigating the murder of Humpty Dumpty. When Little Boy Blue is offed, it s clear that a serial killer is prowling Toy City, leaving behind the titular chocolate bunnies as his calling card. A wickedly clever, dark and edgy story that will appeal to anyone who enjoys British humor in the vein of Hitchhikers Guide. Drama/Fiction
Stephen King Hearts in Atlantis With his idiosyncratic blend of patrician airs and boyish charm, narrator William Hurt provides a wonderful complement to this wildly imaginative collection of short stories by author Stephen King. Hurt carefully weaves the disparate elements into a cohesive whole, embracing the subtle complexities of each character; one moment a wizened sadness leaks into his voice as a haunted old man, pursued by demons, asks his 11-year-old lookout, You know everyone on this street, on this block of this street anyway? And you d know strangers? Sojourners? Faces of those unknown? Then, in a profound yet almost imperceptible switch, he exposes the boy s naive enthusiasm, I think so. Right about here your neck hairs will stand at attention. Hurt s peculiar vocal style is in perfect pitch to King s dark, surreal vision of growing up amid the monsters of post-Vietnam America.
Full of danger, full of suspense, most of all full of heart, Stephen King s new audiobook will take some listeners to a place they have never been...and others to a place they have never been able to completely leave.
Drama/Fiction
Richard Paul Evans Last Promise, The The beautiful and romantic story of Eliana focuses on an American trapped in a marriage to a philandering Italian who forces her to stay in Italy, or lose her son. Ross Story, another American, has moved to Italy to escape a previous life, and when they fall in love, Eliana must make the impossible choice between her son and the man she loves.
Jonathan Davis beautifully handles the long, complex sentences and the Italian phrases that add authenticity and texture to the story. His voice has a gentle, distinct touch, softening at the intimate, and rising in moments of joy or passion. The glorious Tuscan setting is a delicious bonus that will transport the listener.
Drama/Fiction
Anne Tyler Amateur Marriage, The They seemed like the perfect couple young, good-looking, made for each other. The moment Pauline walked into his mother s grocery store, Michael was smitten. And in the heat of World War II fervor, they are propelled into a hasty wedding. But they never should have married.
From the sound of the cash register in the old grocery to the counterculture jargon of the sixties, from the miniskirts to the multilayered apparel of later years, Anne Tyler captures the evocative nuances of everyday life during these decades with such telling precision that every page brings smiles of recognition. Throughout, as each of the competing voices bears witness, we are drawn ever more fully into the complex entanglements of family life in this wise, embracing, and deeply perceptive novel.
Drama/Fiction
Elmore Leonard When the Women Come Out To Dance A collection of short sketches that feature strong female characters in trouble. These clever, perceptive, ironic stories boast stylistic verve and strong characterizations, and offer perspectives from both sides of the law as well. In all, there are nine stories, some short and some long, some contemporary and some historical, each showcasing this talented author s understanding of human foibles and of the ways they can blur the line between right and wrong.
Narrator Taye Diggs has a pleasant, calming sound that brings out the smoothness of the writing and uses his considerable agility with accents to differentiate the dramatis personae.
Drama/Fiction
Pearl Cleage Some Things I Never Thought I d Do Regina Burns, recovering crack addict, is turning her life around. Out of rehab, she takes a job in Atlanta to rescue her family s home from foreclosure. She finds an apartment in West End, a neighborhood where everyone looks out for everyone else and where there is no crime. She is blessed with an aunt who makes psychic predictions, the attentions of a blue-eyed brother who believes in reincarnation, and a liberal dash of black feminism.
The narrator has a smooth, cultivated voice with a flexible range. Her reading of Regina is multidimensional. Though it doesn t take a spiritualist to predict the outcome, this is an engaging romance and deserves a happy ending.
Drama/Fiction
Gerald Seymour Untouchable, The The ruthlessly evil title character is Mister, the crime kingpin of London, who has expanded his drug-smuggling empire to postwar Sarajevo. He s followed there by British customs officials zealously eager to entrap and convict him, among them the youngish and mistake-prone hero of this suspenseful novel, Joey Cann. Though some may consider it overlong, this audiobook gets high marks with its impressive narrator, who, in frequent scene changes, captures characters perfectly and consistently, flawlessly pronounces Bosnian words, matches pace to mood and plot, and portrays with a chilling intensity the fear of all who interact with Mister, even his closest colleagues. A rich reward lies in store for listeners who stay the course. Drama/Fiction
Mario Puzo Omerta This third novel in Puzo s Mafia trilogy is full of colorful characters and snappy dialogue, as well as a knotty, gratifying, just-complex-enough plot.
Don Aprile s retirement presents a business opportunity by his Mafia rival and a quandary for the FBI. As the FBI mounts a campaign to wipe out the Mafia once and for all, Aprile finds himself in the midst of one last war. In a conflict in which some have violated omerta, the Sicilian code of silence, it becomes increasingly difficult to distinguish who, if anyone, is on the right side of the law. Puzo spins the story around several converging plots, with killings and treachery driving the story.
In an ominous, throaty tone, the narrator tells Puzo s latest tale of violence and the Mafia s brand of honor. He can t get in the way of the compelling action, but he has such a limited range of voices that he fails to give the characters much life. The life-and-death struggles have no adrenaline, leaving listeners numbed to the violence, as perhaps we are already.
Drama/Fiction
Stanley Middleton Necessary Ends Sam Martin feels himself to be lucky, living in rich retirement and good health despite his old age, busying himself with painting, walking and the affairs of others he observes from his home. Confronted by a necessary and approaching end, the strong purpose of his earlier life seems to have diminished; but there are still surprises to be had. Drama/Fiction
Walter Tevis Queen s Gambit, The Eight year-old orphan Beth Harmon is quiet, sullen, and by all appearances unremarkable. That is until she plays her first game of chess. Her senses grow sharper, her thinking clearer, and for the first time in her life she feels herself fully in control. By the age of sixteen, she s competing for the U.S. Open championship. But as she hones her skills on the professional circuit, the stakes get higher, her isolation grows more frightening, and the thought of escape becomes all the more tempting. Engaging and fast-paced, The Queen s Gambit speeds to a conclusion as elegant and satisfying as a mate in four. Drama/Fiction
Graham Greene Quiet American, The This is an eerily prophetic and, therefore, deeply disturbing book. The story of a love triangle involving a naive American, a jaded English journalist and a young Vietnamese girl; lurking just beneath the surface is an allegory for the whole experience of America in Vietnam.
A CIA operative is sent to Vietnam in the 50 s to subvert the Vietminh after a string of successes in the Phillipines. He is an innocent who believes that others must surely share his ideals and pureness of motive. While he is there, doing his best to change people s views in order to change the coungry for the better, he falls in love with the journalist s girlfriend, a Vietnamese woman. After he steals her away from the cynical journalist, he offers her marriage and a life in America, though he is married and his wife will not give him a divorce.
The pessimism that pervades this book is it s most interesting feature. Greene, writing well before we really got involved, seemed to sense that Vietnam was a tar baby that we idealistic Americans would not be able to resist embracing.
Drama/Fiction
James Patterson Suzanne s Diary for Nicholas
Renowned suspense writer Patterson exposes his sensitive side, paying tribute to Bridges of Maddison County.
Katie Wilkinson s boyfriend Matt dumps her. Not a total cad, he leaves her a gift, a diary kept by Suzanne, his first wife, for their son Nicholas. Though it s not exactly the diamond ring Katie was hoping for, she s unable to make herself destroy the diary, and against her better judgment, Katie begins to read.
Though painful for Katie, she begins to know and like Suzanne and her infant son Nicholas. Suzanne s devotion to Matt and their son shines through, as well as her plainspoken wisdom. While the journal helps Katie understand Matt, whether they can write a future together remains in question. A wonderful tear-jerker.
Drama/Fiction
Anita Shreve All He Ever Wanted Nicholas Van Tassel is writing his memoir of a life centered around Etna Bliss, a woman whose love remained elusive even after their marriage many years earlier. She is a woman oppressed by the times in which she lives; these restrictions inevitably lead to conflict and increasing seclusion as the years pass.
Shreve writes with masterful description and is capable of taking the listener back in time to New England in the early twentieth century. She has the ability to nimbly hop through genres and brings a liveliness to this story of love gone depressingly wrong.
The narrator is wonderful as the voice of Van Tassel, portraying the character as he is: insecure, arrogant, and blindly devoted all at once.
Drama/Fiction
Stephen King Green Mile, The Welcome to Cold Mountain Penitentiary, home to the Depression-worn men of E Block. Convicted killers all, each awaits his turn to walk the Green Mile, keeping a date with Old Sparky, Cold Mountain s electric chair. Prison guard Paul Edgecombe has seen his share of oddities in his years working the Mile. But he s never seen anyone like John Coffey, a man with the body of a giant and the mind of a child, condemned for a crime territying in its violence and shocking in its depravity. In this place of ultimate retribution, Edgecombe is about to discover the terrible, wondrous truth about Coffey, a truth that will challenge his most cherished beliefs...and yours. Drama/Fiction
Clive Barker History of the Devil In SCI-FI Channel s full-cast dramatization, a deprived and lovelorn Satan is sick and tired of living in Hell. He bemoans the loss of his angel-wings, his freedom of flight, his elegance, and grace. And he misses God. So he calls a trial, his appeal, to seek re-admittance into Heavan. As the trial moves through space and time, we revisit scenes of humanity s great failures or are they the work of the Devil, his own wicked crimes? If Satan wins his day in court, he ll be reunited with his Father in Heaven. And if he loses? He ll spend eternity here with us on Earth.
The writing is uneven at times and the conclusion may not satisfy all but the strong performances, effects and background score make for a worthwhile addition to anyone s audio library.
Drama/Fiction
Anthony Bourdain Cook s Tour, A This is the story of Bourdain s travels around the world in his search for the perfect meal. All too conscious of the state of his 44-year-old knees after a working life standing at restaurant stoves, Bourdain evidently concluded he needed a bit more wind under his wings.
You are unlikely to lay your hands on a more hectically, strenuously entertaining book for some time. Our hero eats and swashbuckles round the globe with perfect-pitch attitude and liberal use of judiciously placed profanities. Bourdain can write. His timing is great. He is very funny and is under no illusions whatsoever about himself or anyone else. But most of all, he is a chef who got himself out of his kitchen and found, all over the world, people who understand that eating well is the root of harmonious living.
Drama/Fiction
Philip Roth Portnoy s Complaint This minor classic defined Jewish American literature in the 1960s. It takes place on the couch of a psychoanalyst, an appropriate jumping-off place for an insanely comical novel about the Jewish American experience.
It is structured as a confession to a psychiatrist by Alexander Portnoy, who relates the details of his adolescent obsession with masturbation and his domination by his over-possessive mother, Sophie. Portnoy s complaint refers to the damage done to him by the culture that has shaped him; although he is successful, his achievements are marred by a nagging sense of guilt.

Deliciously funny absurd and exuberant, wild and uproarious a brilliantly vivid reading experience. NY Times

Steve hated this and couldn't even get through an hour of it.
Drama/Fiction
Neil Gaiman American Gods
Mere days before he is to be released from prison, a man named Shadow learns that his wife has been killed in a car wreck. On the plane ride home, he meets a gruff old man named Wednesday, who may be an avatar of the Norse god Odin. Read dynamically and emotionally by George Guidall who gives more personalities and ethnicities than one would think possible the story unfolds with Shadow working as Wednesday s bodyguard in this darkly fantastic travelogue across an American landscape filled with ghosts and ancient gods. The old pantheons seem to be at war with the new gods of technology, media, and fast food. Brilliant dialogue and profound insights into American consciousness show Gaiman to be a visionary and a master wordsmith. Perfect for a long road trip. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award.

Original, engrossing, and endlessly inventive; an adventurous journey across America where the travellers are even stranger than the roadside attractions.
George R. R. Martin, author of A Game of Thrones
Drama/Fiction
Andrea Di Robilant Venetian Affair, A This wonderful account has all the elements of a great romantic novel, including star-crossed young lovers, an unwanted and hidden pregnancy, and diplomatic and romantic intrigue, cast against the setting of the final years of the independent Venetian Republic. But this is truth, not fiction, which adds a special poignancy to an absorbing but rather sad story. When the author s father discovered a cache of letters in their ancestral home in Venice, it eventually revealed a long but ill-fated love affair between their eighteenth-century ancestor Andrea Memmo and an AngloVenetian young woman. Andrea was a scion of one of the most prominent Venetian families and the woman was illegitimate. Thus, marriage between them was virtually impossible, yet these two passionate, bright, and attractive young people maintained their relationship via coded letters, intermediaries, and clandestine meetings. Di Robilant s insightful commentary convey a moving sense of youthful innocence and devotion while showing us a lost world of glittering salons, masked balls, and aristocratic honor and arrogance. A tale that succeeds as both a love story and a historical portrait.

Listed under "Robilant"
Drama/Fiction
Nelson Demille Gold Coast, The Two write-ups for The Gold Coast :

What happens to a priggish, WASPy, disillusioned Wall Street lawyer when a Mafia crime boss moves into the mansion next door in his posh Long Island neighborhood? He ends up representing the gangster on a murder rap and even perjures himself so the mafioso can be released on $5 million bail.
Attorney John Sutter has problems that would daunt even Fitzgerald s Jay Gatsby. His marriage is crumbling, despite kinky sex games with his self-centered wife, Susan, who s the mistress of his underworld client Frank Bellarosa. The IRS is after Sutter, and his law firm wants to dump him. As a sardonic morality tale of one man s self-willed disintegration, the impact is flattened by its elitist narrator s patrician tones. A comic courtroom scene and some punches at the end, however, redeem the novel somewhat.

On the Gold Coast the stretch on Long Island s North Shore that once held the greatest concentration of wealth and power in America two men are destined for an explosive collision. John Sutter, a Wall Street lawyer, holds fast to a fading aristocratic legacy, and Frank Bellarosa, a Mafia don, seizes his piece of the staid and unprepared Gold Coast like a latter-day barbarian chief, drawing Sutter and his beautiful wife Susan into his shockingly violent world. Under Bellarosa s influence, the conventional couple shed their socialite illusions and complacency to question the values that drive their choices and to make choices that change their world. Sutter s witty viewpoint throws into relief the sexual passion and suspense in this tale of friendship and seduction, love and betrayal.
Drama/Fiction
Ayn Rand Atlas Shrugged Originally published in 1957, Atlas Shrugged is the astounding story of a man who said that he would stop the motor of the world and did. Tremendous in scope, breathtaking in its suspense, Atlas Shrugged stretches the boundaries further than any book you have ever read. It is a mystery, not about the murder of a man s body, but about the murder and rebirth of man s spirit.
The book s female protagonist, Dagny Taggart, struggles to manage a transcontinental railroad amid the pressures and restrictions of massive bureaucracy. Her antagonistic reaction to a libertarian group seeking an end to government regulation is later echoed and modified in her encounter with a utopian community, Galt s Gulch, whose members regard self-determination rather than collective responsibility as the highest ideal. The novel contains the most complete presentation of Rand s personal philosophy, known as objectivism, in fictional form.
Ayn Rand s masterpiece asks the immortal query, Who is John Galt? , and within its pages, Ayn Rand found the perfect artistic form to express her vision of existence. Atlas Shrugged made Rand not only one of the most popular novelists of the century, but one of its most influential thinkers.
Drama/Fiction
Stephen King Shawshank Redemption A man convicted of a murder lives in a prison that is ruled by a sadistic warden, but is secretly run by a con who knows all the ropes and pulls all the strings. He has a cunning plan of revenge that no one can guess until it's far too late.

Originally published as a novella in the book, Four Seasons .

Listed as "Shawshank Redemption"
Drama/Fiction
John Irving Cider House Rules This is a complex book that is very hard to review because it goes in all directions. It is not like the movie whatsoever, but a rich, colorful story that cannot be properly translated to a film version. Suffice to say, it s deep and memorable, and well-worth investing the time to listen to. Here are some comments about the book...

An old-fashioned, big-hearted novel with its epic yearning caught in the 19th century, somewhere between Trollope and Twain The rich detail makes for vintage Irving."
Boston Sunday Globe

The Cider House Rules is filled with people to love and to feel for. The characters in John Irving's novel break all the rules, and yet they remain noble and free-spirited. Victims of tragedy, violence, and injustice, their lives seem more interesting and full of thought-provoking dilemmas than the lives of many real people.
The Houston Post
John Irving s sixth and best novel. He is among the very best storytellers at work today. At the base of Irving s own moral concerns is a rare and lasting regard for human kindness. Philadelphia Inquirer

Entertaining and affecting. John Irving is the most relentlessly inventive writer around. He proliferates colorful incidents and crotchets of character. A truly astounding amount of artistry and ingenuity. The San Diego Union

Superb in scope and originality, a novel as good as one could hope to find from any author, anywhere, anytime. Engrossing, moving, thoroughly satisfying.
Joseph Heller

Gardner serves up the beautiful prose and fascinating characters with considerable aplomb.
Audiofile

Gardner understands and conveys the book's sly humor and comprehension of human foibles"
Los Angeles Times
Drama/Fiction
Carol Higgins Clark He Sees You When You re Sleeping Sterling has been waiting outside |heaven s doors since he was hit in the head with a golf ball 46 years ago, but his self-centered attitudes on earth haven t earned him entrance. On a special probationary pass back to the living, Sterling must find one person who needs his help and meet that need.
Clark, daughter of Mary Higgins Clark, has a beautiful, musical voice, perfectly suited to this holiday tale of love and redemption.
Drama/Fiction
Fannie Flagg Standing in the Rainbow Flagg knows how to deliver a gentle read like no one else. The story begins in 1945. The war is over, the American economy is booming, and there is no better place in the world than Elmwood Springs, Missouri. At least that's what Bobby Smith thinks. He is the 10-year-old son of Neighbor Dorothy, and he's got the world wrapped around his little finger. It s through Bobby s eyes that we first enjoy the simplicity of these lives and times; the characters are realistic, not melodramatic or cliched, eliciting a beautiful mix of compassion and envy.

A well-choreographed story of loyalty and survival that zigzags deftly across the postwar years. Flagg can cook up memorable women from the most down-to-earth ingredients. Publishers Weekly
Drama/Fiction
Richard Russo Nobody's Fool Sixty-year-old Sully is nobody s fool, except maybe his own. Out of work (undeclared-income work is what he does, when he can), down to his last few bucks, hampered by an arthritic broken knee, Sully is worried that he s started on a run of bad luck. And he has. The banker son of his octogenarian landlady wants him evicted; Sully's estranged son comes home for Thanksgiving only to have his wife split; Sully s own high-strung ex-wife seems headed for a nervous breakdown; and his longtime lover is blaming him for her daughter's winding up in the hospital with a busted jaw. But Sully s biggest problem is the memory of his own abusive father, a ghost who haunts his every day. Russo knows the small towns of upstate New York and the people who inhabit them; he writes with humor and compassion. A delight.

As one listens to Ron McLarty narrate the story of Sully, a man who has never personally met with good luck, one realizes what enormous stamina it takes to relate an involved novel to an interested audience. Sully is in pain and jobless. Oh, he works, but gets paid under the table because his disability case has not yet come up in court. He deals with his ex-wife, his landlady, his soon to be ex-girlfriend, and his son while suffering his knee pain. And Ron McLarty gets it: the pathos of it and the humor of it. The comic timing and continuous warmth in his delivery of this intricately woven novel allow one to enjoy its humor while appreciating the stark realities of the lives that people it. Many people consider this to be their favorite of Russo s books. Audiofile

Nobody s Fool is about a 50-something laborer named Sully, who seems to court disaster at every turn but somehow perserveres. Like other Russo novels, not a heck of a lot seems to happen, yet the enjoyment is in the character development, and the unfashionable setting, usually a blue collar small town in upstate New York. From his somewhat shady employer, to his elderly landlady, his unkempt and dizzy sidekick, and the old flame who is still in the picture, the characters make the book. Nobody s Fool is a relaxing and amusing page turner that draws the reader in.
Amazon Reviewer
Drama/Fiction
Beverly Lewis Shunning, The In the quiet Amish community of Hickory Hollow, Pennsylvania, time has stood still while cherished traditions and heartfelt beliefs have flourished. But a secret lies buried that could shatter the tranquility its inhabitants have grown to love.
When Katie Lapp stumbles upon a satin infant gown in the dusty leather trunk of her parents attic, she knows it holds a story she must discover. Why else would her Amish mother, a plain and simple woman who embraces the Old Order laws, hide the beautiful baby dress in the attic?
But nothing could have prepared Katie for the startling news that stumbles out of her anguished parents on the eve of her wedding to Bishop John.
Drama/Fiction
Richard Russo Straight Man Hank Devereaux Jr. is the kind of guy who turns anything serious into a joke. Pushing 50, he;s the interim chair of a squabbling English department at a small rural college. Big budget cuts are rumored. Each department chair has been told to provide a list of those who will lose their jobs. His department believes that Hank has prepared such a list, but he hasn t and won t. Instead, he goes on television and spontaneously jokes that he will kill the campus geese until the administration gives him his budget. When a goose really is killed, Hank becomes the prime suspect.
Russo shows that realism and farce are not distant cousins, that absurdity can be successfully mined from the ordinary events of an ordinary life without diminishing its humor and truth.
Drama/Fiction
Kingsley Amis Biographer s Moustache, The Gordon Scott-Thompson, a struggling hack, gets commissioned to write the biography of veteran novelist, Jimmie Fane. It is a task which proves to be filled with extraordinary and unforeseen difficulties. Fane, an unashamed snob, has many pet hates, including younger men with moustaches and trendy pronunciation. Scott-Thompson, however, is extremely attached to his own moustache and not so particular about his use of language. It doesn t help matters that Fane s wife Joanna isn t yet sure what she feels about moustaches, but has decided views on younger men...

A fun, dry romantic comedy with a distinctive Amis wit. London Herald
Drama/Fiction
Kingsley Amis Take a Girl Like You A virgin s progress amid orgy and seduction. When attractive little Jenny Bunn comes south to teach, she falls in with Patrick Standish, a schoolmaster, and all the rakes and rogues of a provincial Hell Fire Club.

The best novel Amis has written; it has the comic gusto, and loathing of pretension that makes it engaging and high-spirited.
London Herald

Incendiary stuff...a really formidable blaze. This is his most interesting so far...and no less funny than the first.
Boston Globe
Drama/Fiction
Ayn Rand Fountainhead, The This is the story of an intransigent young architect, Howard Roark, of his violent battle against a mindless status quo, and of his explosive love affair with a beautiful woman who worships him yet struggles to defeat him. In order to build his kind of buildings according to his own standards, Roark must fight against every variant of human corruption, including an unprincipled, parasitic rival; a powerful publisher of yellow journalism; and, worst of all, the country s leading humanitarian and power-luster ( Everything that can t be ruled, must go ).
Epochal, impassioned, and hugely controversial, The Fountainhead has become the classic American statement of individualism. Rand shows why every great innovator was hated and denounced, and why man s ego is the fountainhead of human greatness.
Brilliantly written and daringly original, here as resonant today as it was sixty years ago is a novel about a hero.

Ayn Rand is also the author of Atlas Shrugged. Her first novel, We the Living, was published in 1936, followed by Anthem. With the publication of The Fountainhead in 1943, she achieved a spectacular and enduring success. Through her novels and nonfiction writing, Rand who died in 1982 maintains a lasting influence on popular and scholarly thought.

Ayn Rand is a writer of great power. She has a subtle and ingenious mind and the capacity of writing brilliantly, beautifully, bitterly. Time
Drama/Fiction
Phillip Roth Anatomy Lesson, The At forty, the writer Nathan Zuckerman comes down with a mysterious affliction pure pain, beginning in his neck and shoulders, invading his torso, and taking possession of his spirit. Zuckerman, whose work was his life, is unable to write a line. Now his work is trekking from one doctor to another, but none can find a cause for the pain and nobody can assuage it. Zuckerman himself wonders if the pain can have been caused by his own books. And while he is wondering, his dependence on painkillers grows into an addiction to vodka, marijuana, and Percodan. A great comedy of illness, with some of Roth s funniest and fiercest sceness. Drama/Fiction
Aldous Huxley Chrome Yellow In Huxley s first novel, poet Denis Stone arrives at Crome, home of Priscilla and Henry Winbush, for a summer idyll. He is smitten by the aloof Anne and pursues her thoughout the rooms and gardens. The other inhabitants interact with thoughts on religion, reading, art, and all those other subjects enjoyed by dilettantes. This novel of rich and funny conversation is a fabulous canvas for the narrator and is a hilarious exposé of high society. The multitude of impersonations seems to come from different throats. His precise timing, inventory of accents, and vocal range add immensely to the delights of this engaging house party. Drama/Fiction
Steve Martin Shop Girl The shopgirl is Mirabelle, a beautiful aspiring artist who pays the rent by selling gloves at the Beverly Hills Neiman Marcus. She captures the attention of Ray Porter, a wealthy, lonely businessman. As Ray and Mirabelle tentatively embark on a relationship, they both struggle to decipher the language of love with consequences that are both comic and heartbreaking. Through his fluid, even, relentless reading, Steve Martin tells of the dysfunctional lives of his characters and their lack of connection with each other. This novel is filled with the kind of witty, discerning observations that have brought Steve Martin critical success. Shopgirl is a work of disarming tenderness. Drama/Fiction
Nora Roberts Jewels of the Sun In this first volume of her newest series, Jude Murray, an American psychologist, has come to spend six months on the Irish coast to study local folklore and escape her dreary, uneventful life in Chicago. Faerie Hill is haunted by the 300-year-old ghost of Lady Gwen, who turned down a proposal, and is doomed to wander alone until three couples can find happiness. These three will include the engaging Gallagher siblings, who operate the local pub. Aidan, who senses the fire beneath Jude s controlled exterior, is smitten with the visiting American. His passion for her draws him away from his responsibilities at the pub as he shares with her the lore of the land. Roberts, a storytelling wizard, is at her best here, creating a fantastic setting for the continuing romantic tales of the Gallaghers. Drama/Fiction
Emily Bronte Wuthering Heights Published a year before her death at the age of thirty, Emily Brontë s only novel is set in the wild, bleak Yorkshire Moors.
Lockwood, the new tenant of Thrushcross Grange on the bleak Yorkshire moors, is forced to seek shelter one night at Wuthering Heights, the home of his landlord. There he discovers the history of the tempestuous events that took place years before: of the intense passion between the foundling Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw, and her betrayal of him. As Heathcliff s bitterness and vengeance is visited upon the next generation, their innocent heirs must struggle to escape the legacy of the past.
Drama/Fiction
Jules Bass Headhunters Four middle-aged friends from New Jersey decide to spice up their lackluster lives by vacationing in Monte Carlo and posing as four of the wealthiest women in the world in this slight but stylish romantic caper. Darlene, Eleanor, Irene and Carla are hunting for wealthy bachelors and a little excitement. Decked out in rented designer costumes and borrowed jewels, they enter the stomping grounds of the rich and famous and are immediately accosted by a quartet of handsome, suave men bearing white caviar and expensive champagne. The setup is perfect, too perfect; the men, who claim to be filthy rich, are really imposters themselves.
As if four romances weren t enough, Bass stirs more into the mix by weaving in two more romantic threads and a side story involving three attempted jewelry thefts. Although readers may be overwhelmed by the novel s feverish pace and perhaps a little confused by the author s tendency to draw his characters through exposition rather than action, this is an admirable and amusing novel.
Drama/Fiction
J.G. Ballard Super Cannes In a slightly surreal fantasia that is still too close for comfort, Ballard has seen the future and it is not fun. Eden-Olympia on France s Riviera is a multinational business park where families live in cloistered comfort and happily work, work, work. A snake has intruded in Eden, however; a young doctor has run amok and shot several people to death before being killed himself. A doctor has agreed to take his place and heads to Eden-Olympia with husband husband, investigates the doctor s death and finds disturbing answers. Ballard makes the point that corporatism has crushed our souls. Those who persevere through the drawn-out ending, will find the final pages very persuasive and gripping.

One of his finest. SF Chronicle
Drama/Fiction
J.G. Ballard Rushing to Paradise Led by a charismatic and slightly unhinged woman, a group of environmentalists wins control over a small atoll in the Pacific and sets up a utopian community. Breeding other threatened species and among themselves, these homesteaders slowly transform an Eden of their own into a much darker place. A savage send-up of environmentalism, feminism, and extremism of all sorts, it is also a brave new exploration of that strange territory J. G. Ballard has illuminated over the course of his career.

This is a perceptive and harsh take on the more extreme ends of enviromentalism and feminism, the points where the former becomes psychosis and the latter becomes sexism of a virulent and violent sort. Amazon Review
Drama/Fiction
J.G. Ballard Kindness of Women, The This elegantly structured sequel to Empire of the Sun begins again with a boy s traumatic experiences in Japanese-occupied Shanghai and ends some 40 years later with his viewing a film based on his novel about those experiences. Before this last act in a profound catharsis, however, the narrator Jim stumbles through medical study at Cambridge, trains briefly as an RAF pilot in Canada, marries, and suffers domestic tragedy. Jim both documents and participates in the violence and excess of the 1960s, but at various moments of crisis he is fortunate enough to experience the redemptive love of women. This well-crafted novel is full of scenes and moments that linger hauntingly in the mind, a piercingly honest, vibrant record of a very contemporary life.

For anyone who has ever questioned their life, or felt great pain in their heart or in their soul, or experienced suffering of any kind this book offeres the promise of redemption and catharsis. Amazon Reviews
Drama/Fiction
Deirdre Purcell Marble Gardens `Sophie and Riba have known each other since childhood. Though they couldn t be more different Sophie is elegant and diffident, while Riba is flamboyantly extrovert the bond between them seems unbreakable. Then Riba s teenaged daughter Zelda falls gravely ill. Frustrated by the limitations of conventional medicine, Riba pins all her hopes on alternative methods. Sophie is torn between her loyalty to her friend and her fear that Zelda, whom she loves like the child she cannot have, will not get the help she desperately needs. United in their distress, Sophie and Riba s husband Brian find themselves drawn to each other. Time is running out for Zelda, for two marriages, and for a friendship... Drama/Fiction
Mary Stewart My Brother Michael Mary Stewart s knack of taking an ordinary person and placing her in extraordinary circumstances works extremely well in this story of Camilla Haven s vacation to the Greek mainland. Camilla s desire to see the oracle city of Delphi is suddenly facilitated by the appearance of an already-paid-for rental car delivered to her complete with keys as she sits contemplating her boring existence in a cafe on Onomia Square in the heart of Athens. Even though she is not Simon s girl the person the car is intended for she inpulsively takes the keys and rides off to the fabled city of her daydreams fully intending to meet up with Simon and deliver the car with her apologies. Instead she is drawn into the very personal pilgrimage of a man visiting his brother Michael s grave in a rough and foreign land. Here, on the wild and craggy foothills surrounding Mount Parnassus, the thorny history of Greece meets the present as a mystery surrounding Michael s death is brought to the surface through an earthquake of events in which Camilla finds herself fully entrenched. This is a perfect story from start to finish highly recommended. Drama/Fiction
Laurie King Folly Rae Newborn is a woman on the edge: on the edge of sanity, on the edge of tragedy, and now on the edge of the world. She has moved to an island at the far reaches of the continent to restore the house of an equally haunted figure, her mysterious great-uncle; but as her life begins to rebuild itself along with the house, his story starts to wrap around hers. Powerful forces are stirring, but Rae cannot see where her reality leaves off and his fate begins.
Fifty-two years old, Rae must battle the feelings that have long tormented her panic, melancholy, and a skin-crawling sense of watchers behind the trees. Before she came here, she believed that most of the things she feared existed only in her mind. And who can say, as disturbing incidents multiply, if any of the watchers on Folly Island might be real? Is Rae paranoid, as her family and the police believe, or is the threat real? Is the island alive with promise or with dangers?
With Folly, King redefines psychological suspense on a sophisticated and harrowing level, and proves why legions of readers and reviewers have named her a master of the genre.
Drama/Fiction
Mitch Albom Five People You Meet in Heaven, The Eddie is an old man who has lived, in his mind, an uninspired life. His job is fixing rides at a seaside amusement park. On his 83rd birthday, a tragic accident kills him as he tries to save a little girl from a falling cart. He awakes in the afterlife, where he learns that heaven is not a destination. It s a place where your life is explained to you by five people, some of whom you knew, others who may have been strangers. One by one, from childhood to soldier to old age, Eddie s five people revisit their connections to him on earth, illuminating the mysteries of his meaningless life, and revealing the haunting secret behind the eternal question: Why was I here? Drama/Fiction
Andrew Sean Greer Confessions of Max Tivoli Max is one of the most unusual people one could ever meet, even in a novel. He ages backward. Mentally and emotionally, he progresses as do other children. Physically, however, he is born quite old and gets younger every year. Should he live long enough naturally, he will become a baby and die. When he is 5, his mother teaches him the most powerful lesson of his life, one that will enable him to coexist successfully with his fellow humans: Be what they think you are. Max s narrative becomes a deeply poignant and mature commentary on life that strums the heartstrings again and again. It s positively captivating. Drama/Fiction
Nevil Shute Town Like Alice, A There are really two distinct parts to this book; either of which could have been expanded into a novel in its own right.
One part, chronicles how a young Englishwoman, Jean Paget, along with a group of women and children, survive World War II as prisoners of the Japanese in Malaya. When no Japanese officer wants to take responsibility for the group, they are forced to march from one village to another.  During this time, she meets an Australian soldier who risks his life to help them obtain more food and supplies.  Eventually, the group is allowed to settle in a small coastal village for the remaining years of the war. By the time they are set free, half of the original group have died.
The second part explains what happens to Jean after the war.  After inheriting money from an uncle, she travels back to Malaya and then on to Australia. It is in Australia that she finds a purpose to her life and settles down there.
Both parts of this story are a tribute to Jean s innate intelligence, resilience, and resourcefulness in the face of less than ideal circumstances. A remarkable, unforgettable story.
Drama/Fiction
Eric Garcia Matchstick Men Garcia delivers a straightforward variation on The Sting that combines elements of The Odd Couple and Paper Moon to create what could be his breakout book. Matchstick men are con artists, represented here by Roy and Frankie, two masters of the game. With the easy facility of a veteran vaudeville team, they hone their various routines, making sure to keep their private lives separate. Roy is the obsessive one of the pair, forever swallowing pills to stabilize his disorders, zoning in on the dirt that lurks in the carpet, and squirreling away his share of the team s take. Frankie scatters his money freely and is constantly on the prowl for more of everything. When Roy discovers that he is the father of a 14-year-old daughter who is interested in the family business, it just might be the wedge that drives the team apart. Although some of Frankie and Roy s scams are a bit unbelievable, Garcia creates a tense and tragic comedy that will have you cheering on the criminals even when they re bilking the naive. By the time the final con is played, we recognize that we re in the hands of yet another master of the game. Drama/Fiction
Steve Martin Pleasure of My Company, The Steve Martin seems to revisit The Jerk in this work, running his early hit movie through a Kafkaesque filter. Martin s protagonist, Daniel Pecan Cambridge, redefines the pitiful antihero and we re not sure if we shouldn t fear him a little. An obsessive-compulsive loner with an eye for multifarious detail and nuance, Daniel evolves through absurdist misadventure into a healthier species of neurotic. Martin s read is spot-on; he never pushes too hard or reveals too much, allowing his story to be the star. This is a wise choice, for we actually do enjoy Daniel s company eventually, after seeing him through a lot of strangeness and ugliness.

(Note by Janet: I tried to put up with this story but I hated The Jerk and I just can't stand "pitiful antiheros"...I gave this story an hour and a half of my time and instead of attaching a bowling ball to my ankle and throwing myself into the Bay, I turned it off...may you be as lucky.)
Drama/Fiction
Jean Auel Valley of the Horses This unforgettable odyssey into the distant past carries us back to the awesome mysteries of the exotic, primeval world of The Clan of the Cave Bear, and to Ayla, now grown into a beautiful and courageous young woman.

Cruelly cast out by the new leader of the ancient Clan that adopted her as a child, Ayla leaves those she loves behind and travels alone through a stark, open land filled with dangerous animals but few people, searching for the Others, tall and fair like herself. The short summer gives her little time to look, and when she finds a sheltered valley with a herd of hardy steppe horses, she decides to stay and prepare for the long glacial winter ahead. Living with the Clan has taught Ayla many skills but not real hunting. She finally knows she can survive when she traps a horse, which gives her meat and a warm pelt for the winter, but fate has bestowed a greater gift, an orphaned foal with whom she develops a unique kinship. One winter extends to more; she discovers a way to make fire more quickly and a wounded cave lion cub joins her unusual family, but her beloved animals don t fulfill her restless need for human companionship. Then she hears the sound of a man screaming in pain. She saves tall, handsome Jondalar, who brings her a language to speak and an awakening of love and desire, but Ayla is torn between her fear of leaving her valley and her hope of living with her own kind.
Drama/Fiction
Wilbur Smith Sparrow Falls, A Stephen Thorne's lilting British accent and radio voice add charming interest to this lengthy tale. South African Mark Anders returns home from war in France to find that his grandfather has been murdered and his property seized by an unknown corporation. The complex plot involves Anders's former commanding officer, Sean Courtney, and Sean's power-crazed, super-intelligent son. Thorne draws listeners into Anders's story and emotions as he searches for the truth and his rightful inheritance. With its even pacing, Thorne's reading style suits Smith's expressive writing. He easily portrays Anders's doubts, outrage, confidence, and triumph. Drama/Fiction
William Golding Lord of the Flies William Golding's classic tale about a group of English schoolboys who are plane-wrecked on a deserted island is just as chilling and relevant today as when it was first published in 1954. At first, the stranded boys cooperate, attempting to gather food, make shelters, and maintain signal fires. Overseeing their efforts are Ralph, "the boy with fair hair," and Piggy, Ralph's chubby, wisdom-dispensing sidekick whose thick spectacles come in handy for lighting fires. Although Ralph tries to impose order and delegate responsibility, there are many in their number who would rather swim, play, or hunt the island's wild pig population. Soon Ralph's rules are being ignored or challenged outright. His fiercest antagonist is Jack, the redheaded leader of the pig hunters, who manages to lure away many of the boys to join his band of painted savages. The situation deteriorates as the trappings of civilization continue to fall away, until Ralph discovers that instead of being hunters, he and Piggy have become the hunted: "He forgot his words, his hunger and thirst, and became fear; hopeless fear on flying feet." Golding's gripping novel explores the boundary between human reason and animal instinct, all on the brutal playing field of adolescent competition. Drama/Fiction
Richard Evans Locket, The Long-ago unresolved love is superimposed on a contemporary couple's romantic difficulties in this romance/mystery. As the story switches from nursing home to courtroom, the message to take love when you find it is driven home. Richard Thomas is . . . Richard Thomas. He's John-Boy Walton to a T, mild mannered, innocent and unassuming. An emotive reader, he has read several of Evans's books, breathily conveying matters of the heart well. Although he's older than the 20-something character, his youthful voice fits the part. Drama/Fiction
Wilbur Smith Wild Justice It begins as a routine trip to South Africa. It ends in a nightmare for 400 passengers taken hostage. The hijacker is a beautiful pawn for an elusive figure-codename Caliph, whose campaign of terror has just begun. And the one man who rescued Flight 070 is the only man who can stop Caliph dead in his tracks.

His name is Major Peter Stride, commanding agent of a crack team of anti-terrorist operatives. He's used to doing battle-and winning. But when his help is sought by the mysterious widow of one of Caliph's victims, and his own daughter is kidnapped, Stride plunges into a darker and more personal war than ever before. A war that will take him across the oceans and continents, closer to a shocking betrayal...and closer still to a madman who has the power to destroy the world and who knows Stride's every move- down to what could be his last one...
Drama/Fiction
Jean Auel Mammoth Hunters, The The authenticity of background detail, the lilting prose rhythms and the appealing conceptual audacity that won many fans for The Clan of the Cave Bear and The Valley of the Horses continue to work their spell in this third installment of Auel's projected six-volume Earth's Children saga set in Ice Age Europe. The heroine, 18-year-old Ayla, cursed and pronounced dead by the "flathead" clan that reared her, now takes her chances with the mammoth-hunting Mamutoi, attended by her faithful lover, Jondalar. Gradually overcoming the prejudice aroused by her flathead connection, Ayla wins acceptance into the new clan through her powers as a healer, her shamanistic potential, her skill with spear and slingshot and her way with animals (she rides a horse, domesticates a wolf cub, both "firsts," it would seem, and even rides a lion). She also wins the heart of a bone-carving artist of "sparkling wit" (not much in evidence), which forces her to make a painful choice between the curiously complaisant Jondalar, her first instructor in love's delights, and this more charismatic fellow. The story is lyric rather than dramatic, and Ayla and her lovers are projections of a romantic rather than a historical imagination, but readers caught up in the charm of Auel's story probably won't care. Drama/Fiction
Jean Auel Clan of the Cave Bear When her parents are killed by an earthquake, 5-year-old Ayla wanders through the forest completely alone. Cold, hungry, and badly injured by a cave lion, the little girl is as good as gone until she is discovered by a group who call themselves the Clan of the Cave Bear. This clan, left homeless by the same disaster, have little interest in the helpless girl who comes from the tribe they refer to as the "Others." Only their medicine woman sees in Ayla a fellow human, worthy of care. She painstakingly nurses her back to health--a decision that will forever alter the physical and emotional structure of the clan. Although this story takes place roughly 35,000 years ago, its cast of characters could easily slide into any modern tale. The members of the Neanderthal clan, ruled by traditions and taboos, find themselves challenged by this outsider, who represents the physically modern Cro-Magnons. And as Ayla begins to grow and mature, her natural tendencies emerge, putting her in the middle of a brutal and dangerous power struggle.

Although Jean Auel obviously takes certain liberties with the actions and motivations of all our ancestors, her extensive research into the Ice Age does shine through--especially in the detailed knowledge of plants and natural remedies used by the medicine woman and passed down to Ayla. Mostly, though, this first in the series of four is a wonderful story of survival. Ayla's personal evolution is a compelling and relevant tale.
Drama/Fiction
Jackie Collins Hollywood Kids Collins (Hollywood Wives; Hollywood Husbands) grabs fans with a no-holds-barred (and no subtlety shown) surefire bestseller spun around the disaffected children of Hollywood moguls. Tired of club-hopping and sexual flings, 24-year-old Jordanna Levitt is immobilized by ennui when a massive fight with her father-a famed producer married to a woman younger than his daughter-forces her out of her cushy nest. She lands a gofer job with Bobby Rush, the hot-ticket son of an ungracefully aging movie star, then quickly makes her mark as an actress. Her best friend Cheryl Landers deigns to try working, too, and becomes a successful Hollywood madam. On the periphery are Grant Lemon Jr., the dissolute son of a celluloid icon; anorectic Marjory Sanderson, the whiny, daughter of a TV magnate; and Zane Ricca, a movie-star wannabe and Mafia boss's nephew jailed for seven years for murdering a young actress and now stalking the women who testified against him. Collins festoons her pulp sundae with dollops of hot sex in cars, beds and driveways; Fatal Attraction-like trysts between stars and a cascade of trademark names. Overlapping plot lines are propelled by rude energy and blazing tabloid-style tales of suicide, substance abuse, towering egos, dubious parentage and truly star-crossed lovers. Drama/Fiction
Jackie Collins Hollywood Wives Jackie Collins turned Hollywood-style decadence into an art form with her bestselling novel Hollywood Wives. Now Collins offers a highly anticipated encore performance, treating readers to a whole new generation of Hollywood women -- women driven by fame, fortune, love, and lust in a culture that thrives on glitz, glamour, and greed.

Singer and actress Lisse Roman seems to have it all -- beauty, brains, wealth, and success -- at least until her fourth marriage falls apart. Things get worse when Lisse s 19-year-old daughter, Nicci -- about to marry a man she s not sure she loves -- becomes the target of a ruthless kidnapper. Then there s Taylor, a onetime actress who is married to Lawrence Singer, one of Hollywood s most respected and influential producers. Yet despite being a power wife in Tinseltown, Taylor can t get her own script produced. Nor can she seem to resist the charms of the young buck whose skills in the sack mirror his skills as a scriptwriter. Rounding out the players are a P.I. who has the hots for Lisse, twin brothers who are movie-producing geniuses and in competition for Nicci s affections, and a host of ex-husbands, ex-lovers, and assorted sideline conspirators.

Collins cheerfully explores the heights of success and the depths of depravity, ratcheting up the suspense with plenty of blind ambition, powermongering, scandalous sex, and scintillating schemes. Literary it s not; but if you re looking for a few hours of entertainment, this read is one heck of a lot of fun.
Drama/Fiction
Stephen King Secret Window, Secret Garden Past midnight, something happens to time, that fragile concept we use to order our sense of reality. It bends, stretches, turns back, or snaps, and sometimes reality snaps with it. And what happens to the wide-eyed observer when the window between reality and unreality shatters? This chilling story, part two of Stephen King's bestselling Four Past Midnight, provides some shocking answers....

Secret Window, Secret Garden draws the listener into the suddenly strange life of writer Mort Rainey, recently divorced, depressed, and alone on the shores of Tashmore Lake. Alone, that is, until a figure named John Shooter arrives, pointing an accusing finger.
Drama/Fiction
James Michener Drifters, The In his triumphant best seller, James Michener unfolds a powerful and poignant drama of six young runaways adrift in a world they have created out of dreams, drugs, and dedication to pleasure. With the sure touch of a master, Michener pulls us into the dark center of their private world, whether it's in Spain, Marrakech, or Mozambique, and exposes the naked nerve ends with shocking candor and infinite compassion. Drama/Fiction
Alice Sebold Lovely Bones, The "I was 14 when I was murdered . . . ." That's the opening and also the astonishing conceit of this first novel. It's narrated from heaven. Tricked, raped, and knifed to death, Susie Salmon was the sort of innocent who had just learned that "gloves meant you were an adult and mittens meant you weren't." The book was raved about in advance by Jonathan Franzen and Anna Quindlen, and so its success seems guaranteed. This is a dream, of course, a wish fulfillment, but this is a dream with grit. Alyssa Bresnahan brings the corpse to passionate life, her voice by turns ecstatic and heavy with tears. Susie dies still thinking of first kisses. When the novel closes, she's a woman fulfilled and has learned to "hold the world without me in it."

When we first meet 14-year-old Susie Salmon, she is already in heaven. This was before milk carton photos and public service announcements, she tells us; back in 1973, when Susie mysteriously disappeared, people still believed these things didn't happen.

In the sweet, untroubled voice of a precocious teenage girl, Susie relates the awful events of her death, and her own adjustment to the strange new place she finds herself. (It looks a lot like her school playground, with the good kind of swingset.)

With love, longing, and a growing understanding, Susie watches her family as they cope with their grief--her father embarks on a search for the killer, her sister undertakes a feat of amazing daring, her little brother builds a fort in her honor--and begin the difficult process of healing.

In the hands of a brilliant new novelist, and through the eyes of her winning young heroine, this story of seemingly unbearable tragedy is transformed into a suspenseful, touching, even funny novel about family, memory, love, heaven, and living.
Drama/Fiction
Margaret Mitchell Gone With the Wind Sometimes only remembered for the epic motion picture and "Frankly ... I don't give a damn," Gone with the Wind was initially a compelling and entertaining novel. It was the sweeping story of tangled passions and the rare courage of a group of people in Atlanta during the time of Civil War that brought those cinematic scenes to life. The reason the movie became so popular was the strength of its characters--Scarlett O'Hara, Rhett Butler, and Ashley Wilkes--all created here by the deft hand of Margaret Mitchell, in this, her first novel. Drama/Fiction
Carl Hiaasen Hoot The loneliness of being the new kid in town, a mysterious boy, bullies of all ages, and protected miniature owls make for some familiar high jinks in Hiaasen's first novel for young readers. Someone has been sabotaging the site of Mother Paula's All-American Pancake House. Survey stakes get uprooted, alligators swim in Porta Potties, and water moccasins terrorize four rottweilers from hell. Chad Lowe narrates, as Roy Eberhardt, newly arrived in Florida from Montana, makes it his mission to save the owls. Lowe does wonders with the cast of mostly likable oddballs. We know how it will end, but in his inimitable fashion, Hiaasen has crafted a delicious screwball comedy for all ages--and Chad Lowe's performance is a hoot. Drama/Fiction
Hari Kunzru Transmission With this taut and entertaining novel, London native Kunzru paints a satirized but unsettlingly familiar tableau, in which his alienated characters communicate via e-mail jokes and emote through pop culture, all the while dreaming of frothy lattes and designer labels. Arjun Mehta is an Indian computer programmer and Bollywood buff who comes to the U.S. with big dreams, but finds neither the dashing romance nor the heroic ending of his favorite movies just a series of crushing disappointments. When he is told he will lose his job at the global security software company and thus may have to return to India, Arjun develops and secretly releases a nasty computer virus, hoping that he can impress his boss into hiring him back when he "finds" the cure. Arjun's desperate measures are, of course, far reaching, eventually affecting the lives of Guy Swift, an English new money entrepreneur; his girlfriend, Gabriella; and the young Indian movie star Leela Zahir. Kunzru weaves their narratives adroitly, finding humor and pathos in his misguided characters, all the while nipping savagely at consumer culture and the executives who believe in "the emotional magma that wells from the core of planet brand." While Guy Swift creates a marketing campaign for border police that imagines Europe as an "upscale, exclusive continent," Arjun Mehta is fighting to keep his scrap of the American dream. Kunzru's first novel, The Impressionist, was received enthusiastically (it was shortlisted for numerous awards, and won quite a few others, including the Somerset Maugham Award), and this follow-up will not disappoint fans of his stirring social commentary. Drama/Fiction
Jackie Collins American Star The author of 14 international #1 bestsellers does it again with this compelling tale of love, sex and murder set against the backgrounds of Hollywood and New York. At its heart are two unforgettable lovers: a brooding superstar of the silver screen and the model of the decade. Drama/Fiction
James Michener Novel, The James Michener turns the creation and publication of a novel into an extroardinary and exciting experience as he renders believable the intriguing personalities who are the parents to its birth: a writer, editor, critic, and reader are locked in the desperate scenario of life, death, love, and truth. As immediate as today's headlines, as close as the bookshelves, THE NOVEL is a fascinating look into the glamorous world of the writer. Drama/Fiction
Jack London South Sea Tales Set against the natural beauty of south sea islands and alive with the hazards of headhunters, sharks, storms and disease, these eight powerful short stories include Mauki, which tells of a young Melanesian sold into slavery; as well as The Terrible Solomons, The House of Mapuhi, The Whale Tooth, Yah! Yah! Yah!, The Heathen, The Inevitable White Man, and The Seed of McCoy. Pure entertainment for lovers of adventure tales and Jack London fans. Drama/Fiction
James Michener Rascals in Paradise The fascinating stories of adventurous men who sailed the South Seas

Some craved power, some craved peace, others merely surrendered to fate.

Sam Comstock -- A sailor crazed by the South Sea Islands and driven to lead the ruthless mutiny. He envisioned himself a magnificent ruler -- but his dream became a nightmare.

Will Mariner -- A golden-haired youth whose ship was captured by hostile natives. He was the sole survivor and his charm turned his captor into slaves.

Captain Bligh -- Was he the infamous captain of the Bounty, the monster legend had made him? Here is the true story of Captain Bligh.

Rascals In Paradise

They searched for adventure in the most dazzling places on earth.
Drama/Fiction
Stella Gibbons Cold Comfort Farm Narrator Anna Massey has her work cut out for her as she takes on the eccentric Starr family of Cold Comfort Farm. Massey conveys humor and even a touch of suspense. The sights, sounds, even the smells of the farm are evoked amid the minutia of Gibbons's details. The very sounds of the words have as much effect as the tale they tell. Gibbons's use of melodrama popular in the early 1900's, to tell a romantic tale while simultaneously satirizing the genre, makes Massey's job more challenging. She manages quite well. The resurrection of the farm from brooding ineffectuality to normal human activity is worth listening to over and over. Drama/Fiction
Anthony Burgess Clockwork Orange, A "Anthony Burgess reads chapters of his novel A Clockwork Orange with hair-raising drive and energy. Although it is a fantasy set in an Orwellian future, this is anything but a bedtime story." -The New York Times

Told by the central character, Alex, this brilliant, hilarious, and disturbing novel creates an alarming futuristic vision of violence, high technology, and authoritarianism.Anthony Burgess' 1963 classic stands alongside Orwell's 1984 and Huxley's Brave New World as a classic of twentieth century post-industrial alienation, often shocking us into a thoughtful exploration of the meaning of free will and the conflict between good and evil. In this recording, the author's voice lends an intoxicating lyrical dimension to the language he has so masterfully crafted.

"I do not know of any other writer who has done as much with language as Mr. Burgess has done [in A Clockwork Orange]." -William S. Burroughs

Recognized as one of the literary geniuses of our time, Anthony Burgess produced thirty-two novels, a volume of verse, sixteen works of nonfiction, and two plays. Originally a composer, his creative output also included countless musical compositions, including symphonies, operas, and jazz. The author's musicality is evident in the lyrical and dramatic reading he gives in this recording. Anthony Burgess died in 1993.
Drama/Fiction
Jennifer Crusie Bet Me In this comic bit of mind candy, Deanna Hurst vividly animates a colorful cast of characters. When an off-color bet brings together a handsome playboy and a cranky actuary as an unlikely couple, the unexpected happens-not just to the lead characters, but to everyone around them. Hurst reads this entertaining novel with just the right amount of humor and irony, altering her voice to differentiate each character and capturing each person's personality without going over the top. Hurst seems to be enjoying every moment, making this fairy tale love story and its characters irresistible. Drama/Fiction
Nicholas Evans Horse Whisperer, The While riding her horse Pilgrim on a snowy Saturday morning, young Grace Graves is involved in a horrible accident. She and the horse survive, but she loses a leg and Pilgrim becomes unmanageable. Annie, Grace's mother, senses that if Grace is to recover completely her horse must recover, too. When medicine and other traditional treatments fail to tame the horse, Annie moves Grace and Pilgrim to Montana in order to be near Tom Booker, a legendary figure who is rumored to be able to whisper sanity back into the minds of troubled horses. Tom works wonders for Pilgrim and Grace. Inevitably, Annie falls under his spell, and her marriage and family are put in opposition to her consuming love for Tom. This emotionally wrenching tale, read by Peter Coyote, is recommended for popular collections. Drama/Fiction
Carl Hiaasen Sick Puppy When Palmer Stoat notices a pickup truck tailgaiting him down the highway, he fears his Range Rover is about to be carjacked. But Twilly Spree, the man driving the truck, has vengeance, not carjacking, on his mind. Idealistic, independently wealthy, and pathologically short-tempered, Spree has dedicated his life to saving nature. And after watching Stoat dump a trail of litter along Florida s turnpike, Spree is determined to teach him a lesson by filling his precious Rover with hungry dung beetles. This would have been the end had Spree not discoverred that Stoat is one of Florida s most notorious political fixers, whose latest project is the greedy malling of a pristine Gulf Coast island. Now the real Hiaasen-style fun begins! Drama/Fiction
James/Andrew Patterson/Glass Jester, The In 1096, Hugh de Luc, a modest French innkeeper, leaves his beloved wife to join the Crusades in the Holy Land. When he returns two years later, he finds that his village has been ravaged by a brutal nobleman, his infant son murdered, and his wife taken into captivity. Neil Dickson reads the story of Hugh with passion and panache. He follows the unlikely hero through the Crusades, and then upon his return, as he takes the guise of a court jester to gain access to the nobleman's castle to find his wife, to avenge his son, and to ultimately lead a rebellion. The story is passionate, tragic, and filled with satisfying action and intrigue. Drama/Fiction
Rosamunde Pilcher Another View Having lost her mother at childbirth, Emma Litton has spent all of her life struggling to guarantee a place in her artist father's life. After spending much of her adult life in Paris as a nanny, she returns to England to settle into her father's studio at the Cornish seaside. Sian Thomas, a magnificent Emma, has a perfunctory ability to shift character portrayals. Whether personifying Emma's witty and talented half-brother Cristo; her deep and introspective father; or her admirer, the handsome art gallery owner, Thomas exudes warmth and creates vivid brush stokes of bold color. Soothing yet never boring, Thomas is a skilled narrator. Drama/Fiction
Alexander Smith Girl Who Married a Lion, The Straying from the safety net of a bestselling series (The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, etc.), Smith tells 40 traditional African folk tales with his by now signature humor, simplicity and reverence for African culture. With an introductory letter from No. 1 Lady Detective Mma Ramotswe as a preface, he sets the literary stage for a nostalgic stroll down his own personal memory lane. Born and raised in what is now Zimbabwe, Smith began collecting these stories as a child and combines them with several he gleaned from a friend who interviewed natives of Botswana. Many of the stories parallel classic Western tales, from Aesop to Mother Goose. The ubiquitous wolf-in-sheep's-clothing fable becomes a parable about a girl who unwittingly marries a lion. Other stories deal with familiar themes ranging from ingratitude (in "Head Tree," a man cured of a tree growing out of his head does not pay the charm woman her due) to vanity (in "Greater Than Lion," a hare outwits a conceited and boastful lion). However, many are uniquely African, such as the stories that explain why the elephant and hyena live far from people or how baboons became so lazy. These are pithy, engaging tales, as habit-forming as peanuts. Agent, Robin Strauss. (Dec. 7) Forecast: Many of these stories were originally published in a 1989 collection (Children of Wax, from Canongate). This expanded volume arrives just in time for Christmas and should delight fans of The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency and the first installment in Smith's new series, The Sunday Philosophy Club. Drama/Fiction
Clive Barker Galilee Over many years and many books, Clive Barker has earned a reputation as the thinking person's horror writer. His novels have mixed fantasy, psychology, and sheer creepiness in almost equal quantities, and while the gore quotient remains relatively low, the tension always runs high. In Galilee, however, Barker soft-pedals the ghoulish in favor of the gothic. His novel (or as the author would have it, "romance") tells the tale of two warring families caught up in a disastrous web of corruption, illicit sexuality, and star-crossed love, with a soupçon of the supernatural thrown in as well. On one side are the wealthy Gearys--a fictional stand-in for the Kennedys--and on the other are the Barbarossas, a mysterious black clan that has been around since the time (quite literally) of Adam. Galilee chronicles the twisted course of this centuries-old family feud, which centers around the magical Barbarossa matriarch Cesaria and her son Galilee. Indeed, it's the latter figure--one part Heathcliff to one part Christ--whose relationship with the Geary women sets a match to the entire powder keg of hostility and resentment. Mixing standard clichés of romance with his own peculiarly deep-fried version of the Southern gothic, Baker has come up with an intelligent and shamelessly amusing potboiler. Drama/Fiction
Ken Kesey One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest "In the early 1960s, fresh out of Stanford's creative writing program, Ken Kesey supported himself by working as an attendant at a psychiatric hospital. It was there that he wrote what became his first novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest,published in 1962. Boisterous, ribald, and ultimately shattering, this is the unforgettable story of a mental ward and its inhabitants, especially the tyrannical Big Nurse Ratched and Randle Patrick McMurphy, the brawling, fun-loving new inmate who resolves to oppose her. We see the struggle through the eyes of Chief Bromden, the seemingly mute half-Indian patient who witnesses and understands McMurphy's heroic attempt to do battle with the awesome power of the Combine. Hailed upon its publication as "a glittering parable of good and evil" and "a roar of protest against middlebrow society's Rules and the invisible Rulers who enforce them", this powerful book is as bracing and insightful today as it was in the 1960s. Drama/Fiction
John Fowles French Lieutenant's Woman, The In this contemporary, Victorian-style novel Charles Smithson, a nineteenth-century gentleman with glimmerings of twentieth-century perceptions, falls in love with enigmatic Sarah Woodruff, who has been jilted by a French lover. Paul Shelley's subtle presentation does full justice to Fowles' artful, mysterious tale, whether he's reading an exposition on Darwinian theory or narration of romantic assignations and broken promises. Never once does he lose the listener as the author moves between the past and present, commenting on Victorian customs, politics and morays. And never once does he give away the novel's surprise ending. Enthusiastically recommended. An AUDIOFILE Earphones Award winner Drama/Fiction
Karen Quinn Ivy Chronicles, The What begins as a business move born of pure financial desperation turns into a woman's quest to reinvent herself, and in the process expose the unbelievably preposterous underbelly of Manhattan's elite private school admissions process for five year olds.

"The Ivy Chronicles is hilarious! I've thoroughly enjoyed the story, as well as the superb reader. If you're looking for a good novel that's endless fun, you'll enjoy this book. The descriptions and punning names made me laugh out loud. Granted, I did look like a nutcase listening (and laughing) to this on my iPod in the grocery store, but who wouldn't laugh at the description of "Baby Face" the new at-home Botox injection that makes its unwitting users look like stroke victims?" Amazon Reader
Drama/Fiction
Dorothy Garlock Mother Road In 1932 Route 66 through Sayre, Oklahoma, saw a steady stream of dust bowl refugees, and many stopped at the garage owned by one-legged Andy Connors for fuel, repairs, a drink of water, or to rest in his campground. Big, brawny, and relatively well-off, H. L. Yates has come to Sayre to pay an old debt to Andy and finds the perfect way to do it when Andy is bitten by a rabid skunk. After taking him to the hospital, Yates takes over running the garage and watching over widowed Andy's young daughters and strong-willed sister-in-law, Leona, who the small-minded people of the small town have branded as a fallen woman. Yates, who wants no attachments, falls hard for Leona, whose sanctimonious holy-roller brother is a real threat to her and Andy's girls. Best-selling Garlock's endearing characters and vividly depicted milieu will enchant her legions of readers. Garlock's claim, "I write to entertain my readers," is fully validated with this suspenseful romance. Drama/Fiction
Kay Hooper Delaney Christmas Carol This Christmas, celebrate the joys of the season with a trio of exquisitely crafted, richly romantic tales by three of the brightest stars in contemporary fiction--bestselling authors Kay Hooper, Iris Johansen, and Fayrene Preston. Filled with passion, drama, and a touch of magic, this festive gathering of classic stories--available for the first time in ten years--tells about the lives and loves of one unforgettable family and the enchanted heirloom that links one generation to the next.

Christmas Past by Iris Johansen
Killara, Arizona, 1893. Kevin Delaney had heard his share of tall tales, but none could match the one told by the Gypsy beauty he found rummaging in the attic of Killara, his family's estate. The waif claimed to have traipsed halfway around the world simply to recover an old, long-forgotten mirror. But Zara St. Cloud knows it is no ordinary mirror--and she can see that the striking Delaney is no ordinary man. While he doesn't believe her talk of mystical relics and fortune-telling, there's no doubt that a kind of magic is at work on his heart--just in time for Christmas.

Christmas Present by Fayrene Preston
True love remains elusive for Bria Delaney. But when she joins her parents at Killara for the holidays, Bria discovers an unusual mirror that reveals far more than her reflection. Appearing in the glass is a startlingly handsome man who just as mysteriously disappears--until she meets him in person that very night. Kells Braxton is visiting on business, but the desire he stirs in Bria is anything but professional--and the mirror foretells their every intense encounter, leading to a Christmas they'll never forget.

Christmas Future by Kay Hooper
A heartbreaking vision in the legendary Delaney mirror drove Brett Delaney to the other side of the world years before. Now his father's death brings him part of his inheritance: the mirror--and the unbearable prophesy it offers sends him home to Killara this Christmas, determined to save the home he loves and the woman he's always loved.
Drama/Fiction
Larry McMurtry Loop Group Wow...reviews are black and white with this one: either they love it or they hate it. I haven't any idea what to think because I've only read Lonesome Dove; judging by that book alone, I would consider McMurtry one of the finest authors I've had the pleasure of reading. But apparentely, this book is a departure--or a coming home to--McMurtry's style. I will choose a positive review to put here and will be an optimist, given the wonderful experience I had with Lonesome Dove. (By the way, did you know he wrote Terms of Endearment???!!)

Few contemporary novelists can handle a road saga like McMurtry. His most memorable works of that genre, Lonesome Dove (1986) and the Berrybender Chronicles, are massive, sprawling epics set against an untamed frontier. His latest book is on a smaller scale, but it is a gem, with two memorable characters and delightful vignettes. Maggie and Connie are two 60-year-old women who eke out a marginal existence in contemporary Los Angeles as loopers--dubbing voices and sounds for B-movie tracks. Friends since grade school, they both fear life, especially their love life, has passed them by. Hoping to jump-start their lives with a bit of adventure, they decide to drive a van cross country to visit Maggie's aunt, who runs a Texas chicken farm. Their brief odyssey is filled with wondrous scenes of natural beaty, visits to amusingly odd museums and tourist traps, and encounters with a variety of eccentric and occasionally dangerous characters. What makes this work special is McMurtry's gift for creating a genuinely likable, believable pair of protagonists and weaving an often touching fabric around their intertwined relationship. Maggie and Connie can be frustratingly self-absorbed, even whiny, and they often irritate each other, but their shared experiences over decades help make this a quirky but enjoyable buddy story.
Drama/Fiction
John Toole Confederacy of Dunces, A In this Pulitzer Prize-winning tale, a giant adult brat in New Orleans is so monstrously self-absorbed, opinionated and cocksure of himself as to create hilarious mayhem wherever he goes. Barrett Whitener strikes just the right note of Rabelaisian iconoclasm. He does justice, not only to each memorably drawn character, but also to the witty, elegant writing. Alas, he falters a bit on the humor; as the novel progresses, one detects a hint of fatigue in his voice, or at least a waning of invention. As good as Whitener is, this is a book that yields its treasures best on the printed page.

AND...a warning...hmmm...
Narrator Barrett Whitener renders Toole's cast of caricatures with verve enough to satisfy admirers. Toole wrote this novel in Puerto Rico during a hitch in the U.S. Army. In 1966 it was rejected by Simon & Schuster. In 1969 Toole committed suicide. Toole's mother then tried to get it published. After seven years of rejection she showed it to novelist Walker Percy, under whose encouragement it was published by Louisiana State University Press. Many critics praised it as a comic masterpiece that memorably evokes the city of New Orleans and whose robust protagonist is a modern-day Falstaff, Don Quixote, or Gargantua. Toole's prose is energetic, and his talent, had it matured, may have produced a masterpiece. However, listeners who do not feel charmed or amused by a fat, flatulent, gluttonous, loud, lying, hypocritical, self-deceiving, self-centered blowhard who masturbates to memories of a dog and pretends to profundity when he is only full of beans are not likely to survive the first cassette.
Drama/Fiction
Ranulph Fiennes Secret Hunters, The As a child, Derek Jacobs was an inmate of a Nazi prison camp and saw his mother horrifically abused. Now forging a career in the environment movement, he is co-opted by the Secret Hunters - a group who track down the perpetrators of genocide to exact their revenge. Drama/Fiction
Lalita Tademy Cane River Like the river of its title, Tademy's saga of strong-willed black women flows from one generation to the next, from slavery to freedom. Elisabeth is a slave on a Creole plantation, as is her daughter, Suzette. The family, based on Tademy's own ancestors, wins freedom after the Civil War, but Suzette's daughter, Philomene, must struggle to keep her family together and to achieve financial independence. The melodious, expressive voices of narrators Belafonte and Payton are a pleasure to listen to, while Moore's tougher, grittier tone conveys the hardships faced by the family. However, Belafonte and Payton sometimes ignore vocal directions provided by the novel. For example, Payton reads one passage in a whisper even though the text says "in her excitement, Philomene's voice rose... louder and louder." The complex, multigenerational tale suffers somewhat in abridgment: at times the narrative too abruptly jumps ahead by decades and some emotional situations are given short shrift, as when Philomene discovers that her daughter Bette, whom she was told died as a baby nearly 20 years earlier, is actually alive and living nearby. Still, the audio succeeds in evoking the struggles of black women to provide better lives for their children despite all odds. Drama/Fiction
Harry Bowling When the Pedlar Called When Nell Bailey is wounded in a Flying Bomb attack, it is up to her eldest daughter, Josie to hold the family together. The traumas of wartime London have left her father a weak and angry man and he no longer lives in the Bailey home in Quay Street. But little Tommy is desperate to get his dad back and no one could predict the consequences of his determination....... Drama/Fiction
Kaye Gibbons Ellen Foster Kaye Gibbons's drawl has a persistency that wins out over her flat tone. In her character of 11-year-old Ellen, who soothes her wounded spirit by imagining ways to kill her abusive father, the intense monotony of the voice draws the listener into the depths of her hurt and emotional awareness. For all the story's grimness, there's warmth and humor. As read by Gibbons, they're understated but projected nonetheless. We feel, rather than hear, her sneers or affirmations of love. The quandaries of a child's life in an uncaring adult world are well presented by Gibbons in both her writing and her performance. Drama/Fiction
Pam Houston Sight Hound This is the story of a woman, Rae, and her dog, Dante, a wolfhound who teaches "his human" that love is stronger than fear (the dog has always known this). Dante is the catalyst for change in other characters as well, and they step forward with their narratives: Rae's house-tender; her therapist; two veterinarians; and an anxiety-ridden actor, Howard, who turns out to be as stalwart as Dante himself. As the "seer" who hunts by sight rather than smell, Dante has some things to add, as does Rose, another dog who lives at Rae's heels, and Stanley the cat. Among and above these myriad voices, Rae voices her own challenges.
With the wit and dead-on, Sight Hound unfolds a story that illuminates the intangible covenant between loved ones. Here, dogs and humans are simply equal creatures, looking to connect and holding on for dear life when they do.
Drama/Fiction
Louis L'Amour Off the Mangrove Coast From the jungles of Borneo to the hidden canyons of the American West, from small-town fight clubs to a Parisian cafe at the end of World War II, here are tales of betrayal and revenge, courage and cowardice, glory and greed, as only Louis L'Amour can tell them. Here is L'Amour at his very best:

A charismatic boxer itches to fight all comers, but his only shot at the championship is in beating the man who ruined his father

A beautiful movie star finds a dead man in her apartment and begs her ex-lover, a tough private eye, to clear her name

A reluctant hero guides a diamond-hunting couple up a river ruled by headhunters and pirates in pursuit of a legendary stone and the mysterious warlord who guards it

A young renegade sails the South China Sea with a trio of dangerous men in search of treasure, but when it's time to divide the prize, can he trust any of them?

Combining electrifying action scenes, vivid historical detail, and characters who seem to leap off the page, these spectacular stories honor the legend of Louis L'Amour.
Drama/Fiction
V.C. Andrews Flowers in the Attic All across America and around the world, millions of readers have been captivated by this strange, dark, terriifying tale of passion and peril in the lives of four innoocent children, locked away from the world by a selfish mother. Drama/Fiction
David Baldacci Wish You Well David Baldacci has made a name for himself crafting big, burly legal thrillers with larger-than-life plots. However, Wish You Well, set in his native Virginia, is a tale of hope and wonder and "something of a miracle" just itching to happen. This shift from contentious urbanites to homespun hill families may come as a surprise to some of Baldacci's fans--but they can rest assured: the author's sense of pacing and exuberant prose have made the leap as well.
The year is 1940. After a car accident kills 12-year-old Lou's and 7-year-old Oz's father and leaves their mother Amanda in a catatonic trance, the children find themselves sent from New York City to their great-grandmother Louisa's farm in Virginia. Louisa's hardscrabble existence comes as a profound shock to precocious Lou and her shy brother. Still struggling to absorb their abandonment, they enter gamely into a life that tests them at every turn--and offers unimaginable rewards. For Lou, who dreams of following in her father's literary footsteps, the misty, craggy Appalachians and the equally rugged individuals who make the mountains their home quickly become invested with an almost mythic significance.
Baldacci switches deftly between lovingly detailed character description (an area in which his debt to Laura Ingalls Wilder and Harper Lee seems evident) and patient development of the novel's central plot. If that plot is a trifle transparent--no one will be surprised by Amanda's miraculous recovery or by the children's eventual battle with the nefarious forces of industry in an attempt to save their great-grandmother's farm--neither reader nor character is the worse for it. After all, nostalgia is about remembering things one already knows.
Drama/Fiction
Kim Barnes Finding Caruso Two newly orphaned brothers fleeing 1950s Oklahoma after their parents' death wind up in a honky-tonk town on the edge of nowhere, where the teenaged Buddy soon becomes the prey of an older woman. Drama/Fiction
Helen Fielding Bridget Jones Diary The novel started life as a series of newspaper columns and is soon to debut as a motion picture. It gives a comic glimpse into a year's worth of diary entries by the title heroine, a single British working woman in her early 30's. Tracie Bennett makes her a fully dimensional character. Listening to her, even men will say to themselves, "There but for the grace of God go I." Bridget's foibles, anxieties, humiliations, frustrations and heartbreaks, as Bennett presents them, are too real and personal to elicit laughter; we can't laugh at the expense of someone we know so intimately. The amusement we take is gentler than that inspired by the paper Bridget. The careful abridgment is just the right length for such passionate acting. A truly stellar job. Drama/Fiction
Jane Heller Princess Charming When Elaine, Jackie, and Pat plan their yearly getaway, they are unprepared for life on the luxury liner Princess Charming. Elaine agonizes over how her travel agent lied to her: the quality of the single men on the ship is debatable, and she can't see out the porthole in her minuscule cabin because a lifeboat hangs there! When Elaine overhears a plot to murder a divorced woman onboard the ship, she suspects every man she meets of being the hit man. When Jackie becomes ill, or is poisoned, and Pat falls down the stairs, or is pushed, Elaine finds a threatening note and must race against time to find the man who has orders to kill before the cruise returns to Miami. Heller uses stereotypical passengers and situations to highlight the humor of Elaine's plight. She is surrounded by amorous octogenarians, feuding newlyweds, and polyester heaven, and her reactions to the cruise make for an unforgettable read. Drama/Fiction
Norman Maclean River Runs Through It, A From its first sentence to the last, this novella by Norman Maclean will captivate readers with its vivid images of the Blackfoot River, its tender yet realistic renderings of Maclean's father and brother and its uncanny blending of fly fishing with the affections of the heart.
Norman Maclean s A River Runs Through It portrays two brothers passion for the sport of fly fishing against the rugged wilderness of Montana in the thirties. While the prose of this evocative and lyrical memoir is simple and direct, Maclean s observations of man and nature are keen. At every turn, then, this seemingly simple story is charged with more sublime and universal implications. Joel Fabiani s reading of Maclean s text, while precise, is passionless and emotionally un-involving. While the simplicity of the text may be clearly rendered, the listener is forced to fight upstream against Fabiani s flat, narration in order to luxuriate in the novel s rich moments of transcendent splendor.
Drama/Fiction
Nora Roberts Dance Upon the Air The first installment of Roberts's newest trilogy set on Three Sisters island invokes the sensitive characterizations and magic that distinguished her previous trilogy (Jewels of the Sun; Tears of the Moon; Heart of the Sea). An enchanted island off the coast of Massachusetts, Three Sisters was formed as a sanctuary by three frightened witches fleeing persecution. Although the witches found peace on the island, each of them entered into an ill-fated relationship and died tragically. Now their descendants Nell Channing, Ripley Todd and Mia Devlin have to break the pattern set by their foremothers, or the island will sink. This first book focuses on Nell, a newcomer to the island who escaped her abusive husband by staging her death. Nell is unaware that she's a witch, but she is instinctively drawn to the island and secures a job as a chef in the caf owned by Mia. Between coping with her bleak memories and deciding whether she can give her heart to Zach Todd, Ripley's brother and the island sheriff, Nell has little time to digest the discovery that she's a witch. In the end, however, Nell will have to come to terms with her newfound powers so that she can fight her all-too-demented husband. It's probably witchcraft that Roberts can turn out so many books and still create something that's sexy and charming, but in this tale, it's evident that she hasn't lost her fairy touch. Drama/Fiction
Alexander McCall Smith At the Villa of Reduced Circumstances Readers who fell in love with Precious Ramotswe, proprietor of The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, now have new cause for celebration in the protagonist of these three light-footed comic novels by Alexander McCall Smith. Welcome to the insane and rarified world of Professor Dr. Moritz-Maria von Igelfeld of the Institute of Romance Philology. Von Igelfeld is engaged in a never-ending quest to win the respect he feels certain he is due a quest which has the tendency to go hilariously astray.
Professor Dr. von Igelfeld gets caught up in a nasty case of academic intrigue while on sabbatical at Cambridge. When he returns to Regensburg he is confronted with the thrilling news that someone from a foreign embassy has actually checked his masterwork, Portuguese Irregular Verbs, out of the Institute s Library. As a result, he gets caught up in intrigue of a different sort on a visit to Bogota, Colombia.
Drama/Fiction
Alexander McCall Smith Finer Points of Sausage Dogs, The Professor Dr. Von Igelfeld is mistaken for a veterinarian and not wanting to call attention to the faux pas, begins practicing veterinary medicine without a license. He ends up operating on a friend s dachshund to dramatic and unfortunate effect. He also transports relics for a schismatically challenged Coptic prelate, and is pursued by marriage-minded widows on board a Mediterranean cruise ship. Drama/Fiction
Alexander McCall Smith Heavenly Date and Other Flirtations Smith, author of the bestselling The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency and some 50 other books, nimbly examines the mysteries of dating in this captivating collection. The stories, which take place in various locales-Africa, Australia, Italy-and in periods from the 1950s and '60s to today, explore the timeless, intricate dance of love and courtship, and make wise, often compassionate observations. In the lovely title story, a young woman summering in Tuscany has an assignation with an angel ("It may be unusual in other places, but here, there seemed nothing extraordinary about it") and finds herself pregnant with a miraculous child. In the arch "Intimate Accounts," the protagonist, a jaded psychiatrist, noting that "terrible things can happen on dates-traumatic things-which can trouble people to the very depths of their psyches," helps a narcissistic patient discover that his best date might be with himself. Two members of a "dating [service] for fatties" share a comic dinner in "Fat Date"; two wealthy Swiss singles make friends with the younger generation and learn the joys of sharing in "Wonderful Date," while in "Maternal Influence," a young man mollycoddled and emasculated by his mother, "the Mayoress," finally takes a stand when he meets a girl he likes. Smith's nine stories, with their light humor and touching moments, should inspire smiles and sighs in tenderhearted readers everywhere. Drama/Fiction
Larry McMurtry Evening Star, The McMurtry's latest novel picks up Aurora Greenway's life 17 years after her exploits in Terms of Endearment . Now in her mid-60s, Aurora still manages to both enchant and infuriate with her queenly world view and unswerving tastes, including a perpetual quest for new beaux. The capricious, generally directionless characters lead lives fraught with whimsy but also with sorrow, a sense of time escaping before life's real purpose is revealed. The cast includes General Scott, Aurora's increasingly senile "old boyfriend"; her maid and best friend, Rosie; her three grown grandchildren, all slightly damaged in some central way; as well as a variety of suitors. The connections between people in this novel, characterized by humor and serenity, run deep and sympathetic. Yet, as in life, there is a fair quotient of the unexpected and the tragic. McMurtry speaks from the heart with the gentle voice of acceptance. Don't miss this rare and wonderful book. Drama/Fiction
Geoge Pelecanos Drama City Lorenzo Brown just wants to stay straight. After eight years in prison on a drug charge, he's come "uptown"-back to the Washington, DC neighborhood where he grew up, where his old cohorts still work their corners and their angles, trying to get ahead and stay alive. But Lorenzo's had enough of the life: Now he has a job as a Humane Society officer, policing animal abusers and protecting the abused. In the dangerous streets he used to menace, Lorenzo plays a part in maintaining order-and it's a role reversal some of his former friends don't appreciate. Rachel Lopez, Lorenzo's parole officer, tries to help him, even as she battles her own demons and excesses. Trying to stay one step ahead of her troubled past is a daily struggle. It looks like they both might make it, until a malevolent young killer, working for the powerful local drug boss, changes everything with one violent act. Now Lorenzo finds himself caught between the light and dark sides of the street, struggling to stay legit-or throw everything away to exact revenge. Drama/Fiction
Ali Smith Hotel World Five disparate voices inhabit Ali Smith's dreamlike, mesmerizing Hotel World, set in the luxurious anonymity of the Global Hotel, in an unnamed northern English city. The disembodied yet interconnected characters include Sara, a 19-year-old chambermaid who has recently died at the hotel; her bereaved sister, Clare, who visits the scene of Sara's death; Penny, an advertising copywriter who is staying in the room opposite; Lise, the Global's depressed receptionist; and the homeless Else, who begs on the street outside. Smith's ambitious prose explores all facets of language and its uses. Sara takes us through the moment of her exit from the world and beyond; in her desperate, fading grip on words and senses she gropes to impart the meaning of her death in what she terms "the lift for dishes," then comes a flash of clarity: "That's the name for it, the name for it; that's it; dumb waiter dumb waiter dumb waiter."
Hotel World is not an easy read: disturbing and witty by turns, with stream-of-consciousness narrators reminiscent of Virginia Woolf's The Waves, its deceptively rambling language is underpinned by a formal construction. Exploring the "big themes" of love, death, and millennial capitalism, it takes as its starting point Muriel Spark's Memento Mori ("Remember you must die") and counteracts this axiom with a resolute "Remember you must live." Ali Smith's novel is a daring, compelling, and frankly spooky read.
Drama/Fiction
Lorna Landvik Your Oasis on Flame Lake Many aficionados prefer to hear authors, not actors, recite their own work, being willing to endure performance flaws for the sake of getting it from the horse's mouth. No one need indulge novelists Lorna Landvik she is a fine reader indeed. In this selection, she's written about an ordinary, likeable person who learns through trial and error how to live life. The story has a gentle, bucolic atmosphere despite violent, shattering events. It also tastes of political correctness. As narrator, Landvik seems to lisp, but not consistently. It's only a slight irritation, Oasis is set in rural Minnesota, where the 30-some-things and their kids take turns giving eyewitness accounts of their adventures. and she excels at impersonating her characters. Drama/Fiction
J.G. Ballard Crystal World, The J. G. Ballard s fourth novel, which established his reputation as a writer of extraordinary talent and imaginative powers, tells the story of a physician specializing in the treatment of leprosy who is invited to a small outpost in the interior of Africa. Finding the roadways blocked, he takes to the river, and embarks on a frightening journey through a strange petrified forest whose area expands daily, affecting not only the physical environment but also its inhabitants. Drama/Fiction
J.G. Ballard Drowned World, The In the 21st century, fluctuations in solar radiation have caused the ide-caps to melt and the seas to rise. Global temperatures have climbed, and civilization has retreated to the Arctic and Antarctic circles. London is a city now inundated by a primeval swamp, to which an expedition travels to record the flora and fauna of this new Triassic Age.

This early novel is at once a fast paced narrative, a stunning evocation of a flooded, tropical London of the near future and a speculative foray into the workings of the unconscious mind.
Drama/Fiction
Bryce Courtenay Potato Factory, The The Potato Factory Trilogy: Bk. 1

Ikey Solomon is very successful indeed, in the art of thieving. Ikey's partner in crime is his mistress, the forthright Mary Abacus, until misfortune befalls them. They are parted and each must make the harsh journey from 19th century London to Van Diemens Land. In the backstreets and dives of Hobart Town, Mary learns the art of brewing and builds The Potato Factory, where she plans a new future. But her ambitions are threatened by Ikey's wife, Hannah, her old enemy. The two women raise their separate families. As each woman sets out to destroy the other, the families are brought to the edge of disaster.
Drama/Fiction
Bryce Courtenay Tommo and Hawk The Potato Factory Trilogy: Bk.2

Brutally kidnapped and separated in childhood, Tommo and Hawk are reunited at the age of 15 in Hobart Town. Together they escape their troubled pasts and set off on a journey into manhood. From whale hunting in the Pacific to the Maori Wars of New Zealand, from the Rocks in Sydney to the miner's riots at the goldfields, Tommo and Hawk must learn each other's strengths and weaknesses in order to survive. Along the way, Hawk meets the outrageous Maggie Pye, who brings love and laughter into his life. But the demons of Tommo's past return to haunt the brothers. With Tommo at his side, Hawk takes on a fight against all odds to save what they cherish most.
Drama/Fiction
Michael Crichton Great Train Robbery, The One of the finest of contemporary pop novelists here presents a suspenseful and fascinating account of a true-life Victorian caper, far richer and more absorbing than the excellent film version of 1979. Simon Prebble plays less for drama than for clarity and euphony. His measured tones give us only a hint of character and ignore the author's expert manipulation of tension. Yet there is not a false or ugly note anywhere. Indeed, through some subtle actor's magic, he simultaneously puts himself into the background and the story into the foreground. Thus, though sounding unprepossessing and remote, he grips the listener and holds him fascinated until the last word of the last chapter. Winner of AUDIOFILE Earphones Award. Drama/Fiction
Bryce Courtenay Solomon's Song The Potato Factory Trilogy: Bk.3

When Mary Abacus dies, she leaves her business empire in the hands of the warring Solomon family. Hawk Solomon is determined to bring together both sides of the tribe - but it is the new generation who must fight to change the future. Solomons are pitted against Solomons as the families are locked in a bitter struggle that crosses battlefields and continents to reach a powerful conclusion. SOLOMON'S SONG is a novel of courage and betrayal in which Bryce Courtenay tells the story of Australia's journey to nationhood.
Drama/Fiction
Lian Hearn Across The Nightingale Floor This is an epic story for readers young and old. Set in a mythical, feudal Japanese land, a world both beautiful and cruel, the intense love story of two young people takes place against a background of warring clans, secret alliances, high honour and lightning swordplay. Drama/Fiction
Lian Hearn Grass for his Pillow A delicately wrought and beautiful tale of love, betrayal, honor, and hierarchy is shot through with mysticism and mystery, "Grass" is a rare find. Kevin Gray's nuanced performance as the wayward Lord Tokeo, fallen upon hard times in his search for fulfillment, really saves the day as Aiko Nakasone's plodding performance quickly becomes tedious. The choice to contrast the male with the female is a good one, but the director failed to fully do his job, scoring a winning performance with Gray while allowing Nakasone to sound as if she were reading to small children. A worthy and somewhat hypnotic listen, nonetheless, finely written.
Drama/Fiction
Kazuo Ishiguro Never Let Me Go Kathy, Ruth and Tommy were pupils at Hailsham - an idyllic establishment situated deep in the English countryside. The children there were tenderly sheltered from the outside world, brought up to believe they were special, and that their personal welfare was crucial. But for what reason were they really there? It is only years later that Kathy, now aged 31, finally allows herself to yield to the pull of memory. What unfolds is the haunting story of how Kathy, Ruth and Tommy, slowly come to face the truth about their seemingly happy childhoods - and about their futures. Never Let Me Go is a uniquely moving novel, charged throughout with a sense of the fragility of our lives. Drama/Fiction
Lorna Landvik Angry Housewives Eating Bon-Bons Landvik makes her contribution to the female-friends-sharing-life's-ups-and-downs genre with this saga of suburban Minneapolis housewives who form a book discussion group and found a friendship that spans 30 years. So dysfunctional and dramatic are their lives, so witty and wise are these women, Landvik could just as easily have titled the book Divine Secrets of the Uffda Sisterhood. Thrown together by a harsh winter storm, the women band together to weather the emotional upheavals such long-lasting friendships are bound to encounter. There's fearful Faith, burdened by a secret past; meek Merit, whose marriage harbors secrets literally too painful to reveal; audacious Audrey, whose sexual appetites are far from secret; sassy Slip, protesting social injustices great and small; and kindhearted Kari, a widow longing for someone to end her loneliness. While the group's book selections often mirror what's happening in their lives or the world around them, Landvik's ladies endure the best and worst of times together (and recommend some great reads along the way).
Drama/Fiction
Elmore Leonard Hot Kid, The Carl Webster, the hot kid of the marshals service, is polite, respects his elders, and can shoot a man driving away in an Essex at four hundred yards. Carl works out of the Tulsa, Oklahoma, federal courthouse during the 1930s, the period of America's most notorious bank robbers: Dillinger, Baby Face Nelson -- those guys.
Carl wants to be America's most famous lawman. He shot his first felon when he was fifteen years old. With a Winchester.
Louly Brown loves Carl but wants the world to think she is Pretty Boy Floyd's girlfriend.
Tony Antonelli of True Detective magazine wants to write like Richard Harding Davis and wishes cute little Elodie wasn't a whore. She and Heidi and the girls work at Teddy's in Kansas City, where anything goes and the girls wear -- what else -- teddies.
Jack Belmont wants to rob banks, become public enemy number one, and show his dad, an oil millionaire, he can make it on his own.
With tommy guns, hot cars, speakeasies, cops and robbers, and a former lawman who believes in vigilante justice, all played out against the flapper period of gun molls and Prohibition, The Hot Kid is Elmore Leonard -- a true master -- at his best.
Drama/Fiction
Bryce Courtenay Smokey Joe's Cafe Thommo returns from Vietnam to Australia where he is regarded as a mercenary guilty of war crimes. He develops both physical and mental problems, and thinks it must only be him until he finds ten mates, all who remain of his platoon who fought and died, are affected the same way. Now they are eleven angry men out for revenge. They rope in an ex-Viet Cong with 'special skills' and his own secret agenda. They're the real life 'Dirty Dozen', only they're so screwed up they couldn't fight their way out of a wet paper bag. Until a woman of character steps in. Wendy's infant daughter is dying and needs a bone marrow transplant. She sets out to mould this bunch of ex-jungle fighters into a unit that will fight for justice, by fair means or foul.
Drama/Fiction
Bryce Courtenay Power of One Set in a world torn apart, where man enslaves his fellow man and freedom remains elusive, THE POWER OF ONE is the moving story of one young man's search for the love that binds friends, the passion that binds lovers, and the realization that it takes only one to change the world. A weak and friendless boy growing up in South Africa during World War II, Peekay turns to two older men, one black and one white, to show him how to find the courage to dream, to succeed, to triumph over a world when all seems lost, and to inspire him to summon up the most irrersistible force of all: the Power of One. Drama/Fiction
Joseph Conrad Heart of Darkness In Heart of Darkness, Marlow, the narrator, undertakes both an outer and an inner journey. The outer journey takes him into the heart of Africa, where he encounters representatives of every colonial stripe. Performing the work instead of simply reading it, Scott Brick emphasizes this aspect of Conrad's classic, clearly conveying class differences and a range of foreign accents, as well as pidgin. Conrad's prose is dense and complex, but Brick delivers it smoothly and gracefully. However, Marlow's inner journey--during which he confronts the mysterious Mr. Kurtz--remains too distant and intellectualized to fully capture the emotional charge of the moment. Drama/Fiction
Richard Russo Empire Falls Like so many dying New England towns, Empire Falls is a mill town without a mill. A band of working-class characters with little work makes up Richard Russo's new novel. First among them is Miles Roby, divorced father and not-quite-owner of the Empire Grill. As the book's characters move on and off the diner's barstools, swing in and out of the kitchen, and occasionally slide into a booth--Miles's story unfolds--panoramic and humane in its exploration of stuck lives. No one's pickier--or shall we say "more discriminating"--about a Maine accent than a Mainer, and Ron McLarty's is a little off. But everything else about his narration is near perfect. In walking the fine line between mundaneness and desperation, he manages to inhabit these characters and make sense out of their cussed, sometimes noble, responses to diminished options. Drama/Fiction
David Guterson Snow Falling on Cedars Harriet was abandoned as a child in nineteenth-century London's East End. Ragged and terrified, she was forced to scavenge for her food until Mary Dean found her and took her to a smath house in Bow where she was brought up as a sister to Mary and her younger brother Arthur. But 17 years later, Harriet and Arthur have fallen in love, and Harriet is pregnant. Driven out of Bow by neighbours who spit at them and call them heathens, they seek refuge in two rented rooms in Stepney.

Listed incorrectly under "Tan-Snow Falling on Cedars"
Drama/Fiction
Sally Warboyes Banished From Bow Abandoned as a child, Harriet had to scavenge for food until Mary Dean found her and took her home to Bow, where she was brought up as a sister to Mary and her younger brother Arthur.
Seventeen years later, Harriet and Arthur fall in love but, when Harriet becomes pregnant, they are driven out of Bow. Eking out a meagre existence in Stepney, they are happy - until Arthur is caught pilfering and faces a prison sentence. But this is the least of their worries. As a child Harriet stole a diary belonging to the perpetrator of the Whitechapel killings - Jack the Ripper. Now its owner has returned to the East End in search of the diary.......

Drama/Fiction
Mario Puzo Fools Die Played out in the worlds of gambling, publishing and the film industry, Merlyn and his brother Artie obey their own code of honour in the ferment of contemporary America, where law and organized crime are one and the same. Follow the action from New York to Las Vegas.
Gardner dramatizes this analysis of the weak, sinful side of an essentially good person. Reading briskly with a slight nasal tone, Gardner brings realism to this novel about flawed choices in life. Amid the glitter and glamour of Las Vegas, New York City, and Hollywood, Merlyn the magician, Osano, Artie, and Janelle battle their own indulgences and watch others become consumed by lust, power or violence. Gardner barely differentiates gender but uses pacing, accents and intonation to differentiate the many male characters.
Drama/Fiction
Lee Smith Devil's Dream, The In this loving tribute to country music and its artists, Smith traces the history of this uniquely American tradition through several generations of the Bailey family of Grassy Springs, Virginia. Starting in 1833 with the marriage of Moses Bailey, a preacher's son who thinks fiddle music is the voice of the Devil laughing, to Kate Malone, who comes from a fiddle-playing family, the Baileys are torn between their love of God and their love of music. Plain Baptist hymns and haunting Appalachian ballads shape the lives of the early generations. Grandsons R.C. and Durwood marry Lucie and Tampa, who, as the Grassy Branch Girls, take part in the early "hillbilly recordings" of the 1920s. Rose Annie and Blackjack Johnny Raines are the "King and Queen of Country Music" in the Rockabilly 1950s until Rose Annie shoots Johnny after he's cheated on her once too often. Cousin Katie Crocker abandons the bland Nashville sound of the 1960s when she cuts a traditional record with her family at the Opryland Hotel. Warm, amusing, moving, this novel represents Smith at her best. Highly recommended. Drama/Fiction
Lee Smith Last Day The Dogbushes Bloomed, The So begins Lee Smith s disarming first novel, written while she was an undergraduate at Hollins College and a winner in 1968 of the Book-of-the-Month Club Writing Fellowship Contest. The Last Day the Dogbushes Bloomed, set in a small southern town at midcentury, tells the story of nine-year-old Susan, for whom the first bright, carefree, promise-filled days of summer slowly evolve into a time of innocence lost and childhood illusions shattered. Susan s mother is vain and frivolous, her father loving but distracted, and her sister, several years her senior, is coping with the first stirrings of serious love. Susan s circle of young friends is joined for the summer by Eugene, the frail, strange nephew of a neighbor. As the months pass, Susan witnesses the disintegration of her parents marriage and learns from Eugene the cruelty people sometimes resort to.
Lyrical and fanciful in spite of its dark moments, The Last Day the Dogbushes Bloomed puts on ample display the remarkable talent that has made Lee Smith one of our most popular writers of fiction.
Drama/Fiction
Amy Tan Bonesetter's Daughter Amy Tan's fiction is built upon pairs, dualities, and contrasts: daughters and mothers, native and immigrant, American and Chinese, present and past--a rich interplay of themes, narrative forms, and voices that is perfectly matched in this reading. The two readers' voices and performing styles together express the richness and range of characters, settings, and situations that the novel encompasses. Tan contributes the necessary authorial command and lack of affectedness to the historical passages, while Chen has the stamina and flexibility to deliver the extended dialogues on which the novel so much depends, slipping easily back and forth between immigrant Chinese and California girl voices. The book's slow first half, with its seemingly endless succession of Alzheimer's symptoms, merely prepares the way for the wondrous, masterful unfolding of the historical narrative that dominates the novel's second half, set in China after the fall of the emperors, in the last century. Tan's richly detailed story of ink-making and bone doctors, and a woman who must choose between two suitors, is storytelling in its oldest and truest form--a tale of mothers and daughters, wives and widows, a story of generations past rediscovered, and its lessons learned, in the generation present. Drama/Fiction
Peter Benchley Girl of the Sea of Cortez, The This is the magical story of a young girl who is at one with the ocean and it is almost spiritual the way Benchley describes her adventures. She dives to honor the memories of her father and to guard the seamount from its enemies, including the enemy that happens to be her brother. Fortunatly she has a large Manta Ray to aid her in her quest in more ways than one
This book had the opposite effect on me that Jaws had - This wonderful Fairy tale made me want to get in the water and swim away... Amazon Reader

As an avid scuba diver and underwater photographer I found this lovely little book a true joy. Its description of the underwater wonders along with a beautiful story is one I wish to share when I can find a copy of my own. Amazon Reader
Drama/Fiction
Suzan-Lori Parks Getting Mother's Body Like a country quilt, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks's spellbinding first novel, Getting Mother's Body, is pieced together from rags: short and slanted scraps of narrative recounted by various friends and members of the hard-luck Beede clan of Ector County, Texas. These sad, wily, bickering voices tell the story of Billy Beede--poor, unmarried, and pregnant--and her dead mother, the "hot and wild" blues singer, Willa Mae Beede, who may or may not have been laid to rest with a fortune of diamonds and pearls in her coffin. When a letter arrives announcing that a supermarket is being built on the ground where Willa Mae was buried, Billy determines to dig her up and get the jewels. But Willa Mae's embittered female lover, Dill Smiles, is just as intent on keeping the corpse in the ground. Deeper and richer than a typical quest novel, Getting Mother's Body is also the story of an African-American family, of beauty winding like bright thread through long-held grudges, hopelessness, and greed.
Suzan-Lori Parks reads her debut novel with the same spunk and personality possessed by each of her unique characters. Parks provides a distinctive and credible voice for each chapter, which is narrated by a different character, as Billy Beede, her aunt and uncle, close friend, and a cousin race to dig out Billy's mother's body and the supposed treasure buried with her. Parks's vocal acrobatics are amazing as these down-and-out characters travel across the Southwest. Most delightful is her reading as Willa Mae, the dead mother, as she sings each of her chapters. (Parks collaborated on this with her jazz musician husband.) Overall, the package is a compelling performance by a gifted writer.
Drama/Fiction
Harry F. Saint Memoirs of an Invisible Man In Saint's heralded first novel, the tired plot of the film The Invisible Man undergoes a sparkling update. A clash between a scientist and an antinuclear demonstrator at a nuclear energy plant catalyzes an explosion that renders Nick Halloway, a securities analyst, invisible. Realizing that he will become a caged, scrutinized guinea pig if he surrenders to federal intelligence agents, Nick makes a run for his freedom. Saint has hit on a wonderful narrative device: insert one fantastic premise into the life of a Yuppie, but keep the rest of his world functional and, therefore, challenging. Nick displays the distinct sensibilities of a fugitive and a Wall Street smart guy as he invisibly fends for himself in the jungles he knows bestthe East Side of Manhattan and the trader's desk. Unerringly incorporating both humor and poignancy, with dialogue that rings absolutely true and suspense sustained at high pitch throughout, this supple fantasy attends so cleverly to plausible elements that it entertains from beginning to end. Drama/Fiction
Amitav Ghosh Hungry Tide, The Man-eating tigers, river dolphins, crocodiles, mangrove forests, lunar rainbows, and the great cosmic metronome of the sweeping tides that inundate the Sundarbans, a vast archipelago in the Bay of Bengal, these are the marvels Ghosh orchestrates in this entrancing tale about the conflict between wildness and civilization, thus following his internationally acclaimed historical saga, The Glass Palace (2001), with another triumph of gorgeous writing, intelligent romance, and keen philosophical inquiries. His characters are just as alluring as the setting, and the chemistry among them is just as complex and powerful as the natural forces they confront. Piya Roy, a self-possessed cetologist born in India but raised in America, is searching for an increasingly rare river dolphin, and she finds the ideal assistant in fisherman Fokir. Kanai, an urbane translator from Kolkata, is visiting his formidable aunt, who gives him his late uncle's harrowing account of a violent confrontation between government officials and refugees who settled in a wildlife preserve. Through his characters' very different mind-sets, Ghosh posits urgent questions about humankind's place in nature in an atmospheric and suspenseful drama of love and survival that has particular resonance in the aftermath of the December 2004 tsunami. Drama/Fiction
Anne Rice Claiming of Sleeping Beauty Rice writing as A. N. Roquelaure.

In the traditional folk tale "Sleeping Beauty," the spell cast upon the lovely young princess and everyone in her castle can only be broken by the kiss of a Prince. Anne Rice's retelling of the Beauty story probes the unspoken implications of this lush, suggestive tale by exploring its undeniable connection to sexual desire.
Erotic
Susie Bright Herotica: A Collection of Women's Erotic Fiction The successful underground classic which won praise from feminists and erotica collectors alike for giving voice to the wide range of women's sexual experience. Here are 28 new raunchy and romantic tales to spark the libido--something for every taste. Erotic
Anne Rice Beauty's Punishment This sequel to The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty, the first of Anne Rice's elegantly written volumes of erotica, continues her explicit, teasing exploration of the psychology of human desire. Now Beauty, having indulged in a secret and forbidden infatuation with the rebellious Prince Tristan, is sent away from the Satyricon-like world of the Castle. Sold at auction, she will soon experience the tantalizing punishments of "the village," as her education in love, cruelty, dominance, submission, and tenderness is turned over to the brazenly handsome Captain of the Guard. Erotic
C.S. Lewis Screwtape Letters, The These letters of advice from senior fiend Screwtape to his nephew, Wormwood, an apprentice tempter trying to capture the soul of a mortal Englishman wavering between sin and salvation, appeared in 1942 in some of the darkest months of WWII, when evil certainly seemed personified and loose in the world. Joss Ackland inhabits the character of Screwtape masterfully, making him a suave and seductive elder statesman who uses his velvety charm and deep knowledge of human nature to make you forget that his politics are appalling. It is not necessary to be a Christian to be fascinated by this apologia, and Ackland s brilliant performance makes it well-nigh unforgettable. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award. Fantasy
Rand Miller Myst: Book of Atrus The Miller brothers, creators of the best-selling, award-winning CD-ROM MYST, have attempted to re-create the colorful, three-dimensional world of their game in a prequel focusing on Atrus life before he journeyed to MYST. They explore Atrus early years with his grandmother; his lessons in the art of creating worlds in the pages of special books, which Atrus could step into, with the help of his father, Gehn; and his disillusionment with his father as Gehn began to destroy his creations.
The basic plot is predictable but is to be expected given the purpose of the book to either introduce readers to the game or supply players with back stories. This story will appeal not only to gamers but to all those who enjoy absorbing, fast-paced, well-constructed fantasy.
Fantasy
David Eddings Pawn of Prophecy The farm boy, Garion, begins a dangerous quest to recover the magic Orb and prevent the evil Torak from seizing power over the world. It is an epic adventure set against a history of seven thousand years.
There is a television commercial for potato chips that challenges Bet you can t eat just one. A similar challenge could easily be made for the books that are part of the Belgariad series: Bet you can t read just one. When I read Pawn of Prophecy, I couldn t stop and continued right on through the other four books of the Belgariad. I was then quite sad that I finished the series. It felt like saying good-bye to a bunch of great friends... and after all we had been through together that was hard.

NY Times
Fantasy
David Eddings Queen of Sorcery The master Sorcerer Belgarath and his daughter Polgara the arch-Sorceress were on the trail of the Orb, seeking to regain its saving power before the final disaster prophesized by the legends. And with them went Garion, a simple farm boy only months before, but now the focus of the struggle. He had never believed in sorcery and wanted no part of it. Yet with every league they traveled, the power grew in him, forcing him to acts of wizardry he could not accept.
This is the second book of The Belgariad series, and is followed by Magician s Gambit.
Belgariad is exactly the kind of fantasy I like. It has magic, adventure, humor, mystery, and a certain delightful human insight.

Piers Anthony
Fantasy
David Eddings Castle of Wizardry The Belgariad, Book 4

Now, at last, the Orb has been regained and the quest is nearing its end. Of course, the questors still have to return the orb while their enemies are searching for them, and while sorcerers strive to destroy them with dark magic. After that, however, Garion was sure that his part in these great events would be finished and he could once again be a farm boy.
But the Prophecy still held future surprises. This continues the epic of a fantasy set against a background of the war of men, Kings, and Gods that had spanned seven thousand years a novel of fate, strange lands, and a prophecy that must be fulfilled!
Fantasy
David Eddings Diamond Throne, The The jewel of life is rescued from the distant cave of the troll-dwarf Ghwerig and the Queen can be saved. But in returning to the Elenia, Sparhawk and his companions risk delivering power into the hands of their enemies. An unholy triple alliance stands ready to seize the jewel in the name of the evil god Azash. Sparhawk calls the jewel the Sapphire Rose: to prevent Azash gaining dominance over the whole world, he may have to unleash its full power, but no one can predict whether the world itself would survive such an event. Fantasy
David Eddings Enchanter s End Game The Belgariad, Book 2

The quest may be nearing its end, but the danger continues. After discovering a shocking secret about himself he never could have imagined all in pursuit of the legendary Orb Garion and his fellow adventurers must escape a crumbling enemy fortress and flee across a vast desert filled with ruthless soldiers whose only aim is to destroy them. But even when the quest is complete, Garion s destiny is far from fulfilled. For the evil God Torak is about to awaken and seek dominion. Somehow, Garion has to face the God, to kill or be killed. On the outcome of this dread duel rests the future of the world. But how can one man destroy an immortal God?
Fantasy
Orson Scott Card Enchantment The timeless story of Sleeping Beauty is transformed into an original fantasy brimming with romance and adventure. The moment Ivan stumbled upon a clearing in a dense forest, his life was forever changed. Atop a pedestal encircled by fallen leaves, the beautiful princess Katerina lay as still as death. But beneath the foliage a malevolent presence stirred and sent the ten-year-old Ivan scrambling for the safety of Cousin Marek s farm. Now, years later, Ivan is an American graduate student, engaged to be married. Yet he cannot forget that long ago day in the forest - or convince himself it was merely a frightened boy s fantasy. Compelled to return to his native land, Ivan finds the clearing just as he left it. This time he does not run. This time he awakens the beauty with a kiss... and steps into a world that vanished a thousand years ago. Fantasy
David & Leigh Eddings Belgerath the Sorcerer In this epic fantasy, depicting thousands of years of sorcerous, noble and godly machinations, the Eddingses return to the world of their multivolume sagas, The Belgariad and The Malloreon. This prequel to the earlier books, presented as Belgarath s memoirs, offers an absorbing story line and some memorable characters as, once again, the authors touch all the right fantasy bases, with warring gods, political intrigues, supernatural creatures and appealingly human magicians involved in a titanic war over the course of seven millennia. Because of the vast scope, the sense of ages passing and of destiny unfolding is well conveyed.
When the world was young and Gods still walked among their mortal children, a headstrong orphan boy set out to explore the world. Thus began the extraordinary adventures that would mold that youthful vagabond into a man, and the man into the finely honed instrument of Prophecy known to all the world as Belgarath the Sorcerer.
Fantasy
David Eddings Magician s Gambit In the third book of the Belgariad series, we follow Garion and the rest of the adventurers as they travel in the tracks of the man who stole the stone of Aldur. Among the travellers are Garion s great grandfather, the 7000 years old sorcerer Belgarath, and his daughter Polgara. They are working to convince Garion to accept the fact that he has the power of sorcery, and that he must learn how to control his ability. To further confuse Garion, he has a hard time understanding what princess Ce Nedra, who travels with them, really feels for him. Fantasy
Philip Pullman Amber Spy Glass, The The third in the fantasy trilogy by Philip Pullman is as intense and heartstopping as the first two (Golden Compass & Subtle Knife). Child characters are embroiled in battles between the forces of good and evil on which the destiny of the cosmos depends.
Pullman involves his vulnerable but courageous young characters in wars over which angels clash. Theological ideas are turned upside down as the author s imagination takes readers into fresh suppositions about the nature of religion, love, friendship, death. A complex, fitting end to Pullman s large-visioned work.
And, the narration is a masterpiece.
Fantasy
Diane Gabaldon Fiery Cross, The Diana Gabaldon mesmerized readers with her award-winning Outlander novels, four dazzling tales featuring eighteenth-century Scotsman James Fraser and his twentieth-century time-traveling wife, Claire Randall. Now, in this eagerly awaited fifth volume, Diana Gabaldon continues their extraordinary saga, a masterpiece of pure storytelling that is her most astonishing Outlander novel yet....
The year is 1771, and war is coming. Jamie Fraser s wife tells him so. Little as he wishes to, he must believe it, for hers is a gift of dreadful prophecy a time-traveler s certain knowledge. Claire s unique view of the future has brought him both danger and deliverance in the past; her knowledge of the oncoming revolution is a flickering torch that may light his way through the perilous years ahead or ignite a conflagration that will leave their lives in ashes.
Claire Fraser and her adult children must choose whether to stay in eighteenth-century North Carolina, or return through the stones (whatever they are) to twentieth-century Scotland, from whence they came. Family and friends in the Colonies hold powerful claims on their affection and loyalty.
The narrator s lovely, lyrical voice presents an enjoyable performance, despite a choppy abridgment and plot components puzzling to those who haven t read earlier books in the series. Her dialects of Scottish, English, and Irish characters come across convincingly, but the stereotypical performance given to Claire s Boston-born daughter falls short of the mark. Still, James moves through the story with a lively pace and engaging manner.

Outstanding...don t even think about starting The Fiery Cross unless you have at least a weekend at your disposal. Every page abounds with Gabaldon s sexy combination of humor, wild adventure and, underlying it all, the redemptive power of love...you ll love every minute.
The Dallas Morning News
Fantasy
Roger Zelazny Nine Princes in Amber Awakening in an Earth hospital unable to remember who he is or where he came from, Corwin is amazed to learn that he is one of the sons of Oberon, King of Amber, and is the rightful successor to the crown in a parallel world.

This excellent fantasy takes off from page one and never really slows down. The main character tries to discover his own name, his murky background, and who is trying to keep him on ice. It s a classic book that inspired a number of more modern authors and reads like greased lightning. I envy the folks that can read this for the first time.
Reader Review
Fantasy
Stephen King Dark Tower #1: Gunslinger Set in a world of extraordinary circumstances, filled with stunning visual imagery and unforgettable characters, this first book of The Dark Tower series is King s most visionary feat of storytelling, a magical mix of science fiction, fantasy, and horror that may well be his crowning achievement.
The Gunslinger introduces protagonist Roland as he pursues the Man in Black through bleak and tired landscapes in a world that has moved on. Roland believes that the Man in Black knows and can be made to reveal the secrets of the Dark Tower, which is the ultimate goal of Roland s quest. The Waste Lands sees Roland and his fellow travelers continuing the quest for the Dark Tower. They journey through imaginative landscapes, over astounding obstacles, and meet with and confront a unique and fully drawn cast of characters, both human and nonhuman. Reader Frank Muller gives voice to the characters with a thoroughly engaging precision, accuracy, and great humanity and with an edge that drives the story onward and seems to amplify King s skill as an author. Highly recommended for all fiction collections.
Fantasy
Diana Gabaldon Outlander Claire Randall is leading a double life.  She has a husband in one century, and a lover in another...
In 1945, Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon when she innocently touches a boulder in one of the ancient stone circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach an outlander in a Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans in the year of our Lord...1743.
Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire s destiny in soon inextricably intertwined with Clan MacKenzie and the forbidden Castle Leoch. She is catapulted without warning into the intrigues of lairds and spies that may threaten her life ...and shatter her heart. For here, James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, shows her a passion so fierce and a love so absolute that Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire...and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.
Gabaldon s genre-crossing classic of romance, fantasy, and historical fiction tells the story of Jamie and Claire, lovers from different centuries caught in the bloodshed of the Scots struggle to be free of the English. It achieves a new dimension in the audio format. Davina Porter maintains the distinct voices she creates for each character throughout the lengthy narration. Her delivery of eighteenth-century language sounds authentic and is easily understandable. The hot sex and graphic violence, integral to the story, are far more vivid on tape than they are on paper.

It is a large canvas that Gabaldon paints, filled with strong passions and derring-do. Strong willed and sensual, Claire is an engaging modern heroine plopped down in a simpler, more primitive time.... Great fun...marvelous and fantastic adventures, romance, sex...perfect escape reading!
San Francisco Chronicle

*THIS STORY IS ON TWO CDS: AB153 and AB055
Fantasy
Diana Gabaldon Dragonfly in Amber The long awaited sequel to Outlander...a magnificent epic that once again sweeps us back in time to the drama and passion of 18th-century Scotland...
For twenty years Claire Randall has kept her secrets. But now she is returning with her grown daughter to Scotland s majestic mist-shrouded hills. Here Claire plans to reveal a truth as stunning as the events that gave it birth: about the mystery of an ancient circle of standing stones...about a love that transcends the boundaries of time...and about James Fraser, a Scottish warrior whose gallantry once drew a young Claire from the security of her century to the dangers of his...
Now a legacy of blood and desire will test her beautiful copper-haired daughter, Brianna, as Claire s spellbinding journey of self-discovery continues in the intrigue-ridden Paris court of Charles Stuart...in a race to thwart a doomed Highlands uprising...and in a desperate fight to save both the child and the man she loves....

Diana Gabaldon is a born storyteller.... The pages practically turn themselves.
Arizona Republic

A triumph! A powerful tale layered in history and myth. I loved every page.
Nora Roberts

Compulsively readable.
Publishers Weekly

A judicious blend of history and romance...proves that, regarding talent, Diana Gabaldon is light-years ahead of her romance-novelist colleagues.
Daily News (New York)
Fantasy
J.K. Rowling Harry Potter, Book 2: Chamber of Secrets, Pt. 1 & 2 It s hard to fall in love with an earnest, appealing young hero like Harry Potter and then to watch helplessly as he steps into terrible danger! And in this much anticipated sequel to the award-winning Harry Potter and the Sorcerer s Stone, he is in terrible danger indeed. As if it s not bad enough that after a long summer with the horrid Dursleys he is thwarted in his attempts to hop the train to the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry to begin his second year. But when his only transportation option is a magical flying car, it is just his luck to crash into a valuable (but clearly vexed) Whomping Willow. Still, all this seems like a day in the park compared to what happens that fall within the haunted halls of Hogwarts.
Chilling, malevolent voices whisper from the walls only to Harry, and it seems certain that his classmate Draco Malfoy is out to get him. Soon it s not just Harry who is worried about survival, as dreadful things begin to happen at Hogwarts. The mysteriously gleaming, foot-high words on the wall proclaim, The Chamber of Secrets Has Been Opened. Enemies of the Heir, Beware. But what exactly does it mean? Harry, Hermione, and Ron do everything that is wizardly possible including risking their own lives to solve this 50-year-old, seemingly deadly mystery. This deliciously suspenseful novel is every bit as gripping, imaginative, and creepy as the first; familiar student concerns fierce rivalry, blush-inducing crushes, pedantic professors seamlessly intertwine with the bizarre, horrific, fantastical, or just plain funny. Once again, Rowling writes with a combination of wit, whimsy, and a touch of the macabre that will leave readers young and old desperate for the next installment.
Engaging without being childish, the audio version of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is worthy addition to the deservedly popular series.
Fantasy
Terry Goodkind Sword of Truth #1: Wizard s First Rule, Pt. 1 & 2 The magical boundaries between the three lands of forest guide Richard Cypher s world are crumbling: Strange beasts from the Midlands, where magic still exists, appear in his Westland forest. And so does Kahlan Amnell, a young woman with some interesting powers and four assassins on her trail. She is in search of the great wizard who left the Midlands not long after he set the boundaries. He is the only one who can possibly thwart Darken Rahl, an evil wizard who has set in motion a process that will result in the enslavement of the three lands. When Richard s eccentric friend and mentor, Zedd, is sought out for advice about finding the great wizard, Kahlan identifies Zedd as the object of her search. The process that Darken Rahl has initiated requires him to obtain the three boxes of Orden, and, within one year, to open the proper box. As time grows short, Richard, Kahlan, Zedd, and a border guard, Chase, go in quest of the one box that the evil wizard still lacks. Among the truths that Richard learns along the way is the wisdom of the Wizard s First Rule: People are stupid and will believe almost anything. A wonderfully creative, seamless, and stirring epic fantasy debut.
The narrator maintains pace, vocal characterization and emotional inflections throughout this long work. Accomplishing these with apparent ease, he uses voices and dialects appropriate to the characters and enables the listener to identify them easily. Graphic scenes of torture and sado-eroticism are integral to the story but may not be to some listeners tastes. This is an engrossing saga, which leaves the listener looking forward to its sequel.

This is a phenomenal fantasy, endlessly inventive, that surely marks the commencement of one of the major careers in the genre. It has three things I find rare in combination: an interesting, lucid narrative; almost unremitting development and action; and some genuinely original and thoughtful aspects. Wizard s First Rule may be Terry Goodkind s first novel; his career is nevertheless already impressive.
Piers Anthony
Fantasy
Terry Goodkind Sword of Truth #2: Stone of
Tears, Pt. 1 & 2
The second volume of The Sword of Truth continues the quest of Richard Cypher, reluctant hero turned magical warrior, and his beloved Kahlan Amnell, the last Mother Confessor. Twisting the traditional roles (now common enough in fiction but done particularly well here), it is Richard who has to handle the magical part of the quest and Kahlan who must lead armies against the surviving forces of the dead mage, Darken Rahl. This volume features plenty of action, some engaging characters, and world building full of nice touches and intelligence.
Richard and Kahlan must face Rahl and the Keeper s terrible minions. But first, Richard must endure the ministrations of the Sisters of the Light, or die from the pain of magic that is his birthright and his curse. While Richard undertakes the arduous journey to the forbidden city of the Sisters, Kahlan must embark upon a long and dangerous mission to Aydindril, citadel of the old wizards, where she hopes to find Zedd and the help only he can lend to their desperate cause.
War, suffering, torture, and deceit lie in their paths, and nothing will save them from a destiny of violent death, unless their courage and faith are joined with luck and they find the elusive...Stone of Tears.
This lengthy epic, filled with magic, love, hate, war and lots of gore, is aptly presented by narrator Dick Hill, whose voice at first seems too deep to carry off the wide range of characterizations necessary, but he soon surprises us. Texture, inflection and great emotion emerge as we are led through each dramatic crisis. The narrator s reading intensifies our image of every landscape and every event that occurs as Richard the Truth Seeker pursues, willingly or not, the path set out for him. This is raw, colorful listening for the adult fantasy-adventure reader.

This satisfying sequel to Goodkind s powerful debut novel has everything one could ask for in an epic fantasy.
Publishers Weekly
Fantasy
George Martin Game of Thrones, A Here is the first volume in George R. R. Martin s series, "Song of Ice and Fire" that includes A Clash of Kings and A Storm of Swords. As a whole, this series comprises a genuine masterpiece of modern fantasy, bringing together the best the genre has to offer. Magic, mystery, intrigue, romance, and adventure fill these pages and transport us to a world unlike any we have ever experienced. Already hailed as a classic, Martin s stunning series is destined to stand as one of the great achievements of imaginative fiction.
In a world where the approaching winter will last four decades, kings and queens, knights and renegades struggle for control of a throne. Some fight with sword and mace, others with magic and poison. Beyond the Wall to the north, meanwhile, the Others are preparing their army of the dead to march south as the warmth of summer drains from the land. After more than a decade devoted primarily to TV and screen work, Martin makes a triumphant return to high fantasy with this extraordinarily rich new novel, the first of a trilogy. Although conventional in form, the book stands out by virtue of its superbly developed characters, accomplished prose and sheer bloody-mindedness. Although the romance of chivalry is central to the culture of the Seven Kingdoms, and tournaments, derring-do and handsome knights abound, these trappings merely give cover to dangerous men and women who will stop at nothing to achieve their goals. When Lord Stark of Winterfell, an honest man, comes south to act as the King s chief councilor, no amount of heroism or good intentions can keep the realm under control. It is fascinating to watch Martin s characters mature and grow, particularly Stark s children, who stand at the center of the book.

Grabs hold and won t let go. It s brilliant.
Robert Jordan
Fantasy
Terry Goodkind Sword of Truth #3: Blood of the Fold This is the third installment of Goodkind s heroic fantasy Sword of Truth series. Reluctant wizard Richard Cypher and his love, the warrior Kahlan Amnell, live in a world of magical boundaries that hold back the forces of darkness. But war is coming because the barrier between the worlds has been breached, and the Blood of the Fold, a group of fanatical zealots, is attempting to kill all people with magic. They are nothing, however, compared to the ancient, unspeakable evil about to be unleashed. There is a lot of sword and sorcery action here, and although it has a darker tone than most fantasies, there is also a strain of humor unseen in works by Robert Jordan, Terry Brooks, or David Eddings. In addition, series protagonist Amnell is rapidly becoming one of the most interesting female characters in a genre where they are few and far between.
Buck Schirner chronicles events with a calm detachment, bordering on cool indifference. A few seconds of ominous music at the end of each side fits the grim mood of the book. Schirner reads well and maintains a steady pace. He creates distinction between the various voices of the characters while allowing the plot to hold center stage.

Goodkind delivers a rousing, original, and rewarding story.
Marion Zimmer Bradley

Goodkind builds an intricate plot teeming with violence, treachery and intrigue. His large, loyal readership will delight in a complex epic fantasy that crackles with vigor and magical derring-do.
Publishers Weekly
Fantasy
Philip Pullman Golden Compass, The With this book, Pullman has written a masterpiece that transcends genre. It is a children s book that will appeal to adults, a fantasy novel that will charm even the most hardened realist. Best of all, the author doesn t speak down to his audience, nor does he pull his punches; there is genuine terror in this book, heartbreak, betrayal, and loss. There is also love, loyalty, and an abiding morality that infuses the story but never overwhelms it. This is one of those rare novels that one wishes would never end. Fortunately, its sequel, The Subtle Knife, will help put off that inevitability for a while longer. Fantasy
Robert Jordan New Spring Expanded from a story that first appeared in Robert Silverberg s anthology Legends (1998), Jordan s eagerly awaited prequel to The Wheel of Time, which stands at 10 volumes and counting. This is the first of a projected three books and more than lives up to its high expectations.
Written with all the skill that has made Jordan one of the grand masters of fantasy, it s accessible enough for new readers, while the inside information is sure to captivate longtime fans. Even better, the narrative is flush with answers to mysteries only hinted at in Wheel. Jordan buffs will be especially pleased to find the novel moves at a quick pace.
Fantasy
Eric Van Lustbader Pearl, Book 1: Ring of Five Dragons Eric Van Lustbader leads off his Pearl series by mixing science fiction and fantasy into an exciting adventure with The Ring of Five Dragons. Although much of the book s mythology is standard fantasy fare, Lustbader creates intriguing and conflicted characters and spins a complex world of religion, magic, and technology around them.
The Ring of Five Dragons tells the tale of the people of Kundala, who have suffered for 101 years under the oppression of the alien invaders, the V ornn. The Kundalan people are treated as slaves by the technologically superior and Nazi-like V ornn, who seek to dominate them and deplete the planet s resources. But even the V ornn have masters.
The Gyrgon are mysterious technomages who rule the V ornn and have their own agenda--they want to find the source of the Kundalans magic. To discover the secret, they must first find the Ring of Five Dragons, which is said to open the Storehouse. It has been written that untold treasures rest in the Storehouse, perhaps including the sacred Pearl. Now only the prophesied Dar Sala-at, who was born at both ends of the cosmos, can save and restore hope to the oppressed Kundalan people.
The Ring of Five Dragons follows the path of many fantasy series, with a prophecy to drive the action and a powerful hero to save the day. However, Lustbader writes rousing action scenes and gives his characters plenty of complex issues to deal with. He nicely switches between the V ornn intrigue and the struggle of the Dar Sala-at, offering a surprise or two along the way. The Ring of Five Dragons is a satisfying read that sets up a good foundation for the rest of the Pearl series and that includes plenty of untied threads to weave together for future adventures.

The Ring of Five Dragons is not purely a fantasy novel. It is a fusion, blending and breaking the barriers between technology and sorcery, pragmatism and mysticism Lustbader, as always, is full of surprises.
Chicago Sun-Times
Fantasy
Robert Jordan Eye of the World Wheel of Time #1

The Wheel of Times turns and Ages come and go, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth returns again. In the Third Age, and Age of Prophecy, the World and Time themselves hang in the balance. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow.
Strangers have come to the Two Rivers during the Bel Tine holiday, and Rand al'Thor, Mat Cauthon and Perrin Aybara are all happy to live in peace with their families. With the mysterious travelers come strange stories of war and of a man named Logain, who claims to be the Dragon Reborn, the one prophesized to save the world, and also to destroy it in his madness. For it is known that no man can channel the One Power without going horribly insane.
On the night before Bel Tine, Trollocs come and ransack the village where the young men live. Together with the mysterious Moiraine and Lan, an even stranger man, the young men escape with a few other companions into the night and make their way toward Tar Valon. There they discover that they all have roles to play, and that evil seeks them out. They learn that this evil will search anywhere for them: even at the Eye of the World.

Jordan has come to dominate the world that Tolkien began to reveal. The New York Times

"Jordan is able to take familiar elements and make them his own, in a powerful novel of wide and complex scope. Open religious and political conflicts add a gritty realism, while the cities and courts provide plenty of drama and splendor. Women have a stronger role than in Tolkien. Each character in this large cast remains distinct. Their adventures are varied, and exciting....The Eye of the World stands alone as a fantasy epic.
Locus
Fantasy
Robert Jordan Great Hunt, The The Wheel of Time turns and ages come and go, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the age that gave it birth returns again. For centuries, gleemen have told the tales of The Great Hunt of the Horn. So many tales about each of th Hunters, and so many Hunters to tell of...Now the Horn itself is found: the Horn of Valere long thought only legend, the Horn which will raise the dead heroes of the ages. And it is stolen.
The second book of the series (originally designed to be a part of Book 1), begins in the north where some objects of great value are stolen by Darkfriends. Rand is forced to face the group he fears most: the Aes Sedai for fear of what they might do to him. Mat continues to slowly lose strength as an evil continues to grow inside of his body. Egwene and Nynaeve prepare to travel to Tar Valon to learn to be Aes Sedai, while Rand travels with Mat, Perrin, and the Lord Ingtar of Shienar in a quest to catch up with the thieves, and to save Mat.
Meanwhile, a new threat from a far land, has landed at Falme in an attempt to re-conquer what they believe to be rightfully theirs. They conquer and enslave all who come before them. Soon all roads lead to Falme, where Rand and his friends are thrown into the heart of war.
Chosen by fate to become the Dragon Reborn savior and destroyer of his world young Rand attempts to outrun his destiny by joining in a mad search for the lost Horn of Valere. Continuing the story begun in The Eye of the World, Jordan creates a lush, sprawling tapestry of a novel in the tradition of Tolkien and Eddings.
Eye of the World is the best of its genre. Ottawa Citizen
A powerful novel of wide and complex scope. Locus
This looks very like the next major fantasy epic. It has magic and pacing and detail and human involvement, with a certain subtlety of presentation and a grand central vision. Robert Jordan is a lot of writer! Andre Norton
Fantasy
Robert Jordan Wheel of Time #3: The Dragon Reborn In the 3rd book of the series, Perrin and Moiraine begin a long journey after Rand, who has run off to the city of Tear chasing his destiny. Along the way Perrin begins to see the major role he has yet to play. He meets Faile, a young mysterious Hunter of the Horn who is far more than she seems.
Meanwhile, Mat is taken to Tar Valon for the healing that is the only way to save his life. Egewene, Elayne, and Nynaeve search out a deadly foe that is far more dangerous than they think. Which will take them away from Tar Valon and back out into a world being quickly consumed by war and turmoil.
The Aiel have crossed the Dragonwall, for the first time in twenty years, and have headed toward Tear. In the Heart of the Stone, the great Sword That Is Not A Sword, waits for the Dragon Reborn to draw it out and complete the ancient prophecy. All paths lead to Tear, on a great collision course of destiny.
As the seals of the Dark One's prison continue to weaken, Rand al'Thor struggles to master the madness-tainted power that marks him as the Dragon Reborn. At the same time, his friends and companions become caught up in the roles laid out for them by the Web of Destiny. Though it borrows from a multitude of legendary and literary fantasy sources, Jordan's multivolume series continues to exhibit a freshness that makes it a welcome addition to any library's fantasy collection.

Jordan writes with the stark vision of light and darkness, and sometimes childlike sense of wonder, the permeates Tolkien's works. His style is undebatably his own.
The Pittburgh Press

Jordan has come to dominate the world Tolkien began to reveal.
The New York Times

Large and splendid. The saga reaches a new level of emotional impact. Chicago Sun-Times
Fantasy
Margaret/Tracy Weis/Hickman Dragonlance #1: Dragons of Autumn Twilight A compelling, ground-breaking, highly imaginative tale from the most phenomenonally popular fantasy authors since J.R.R. Tolkien.
Creatures of legend, the dragons have returned to Krynn. Now, the darkness of war threatens to engulf the land. Then hope appears a blue crystal staff in the hands of a beautiful bar-barian woman. The promise of this hope forces a group of long-time friends into the unlikely roles of heroes.
Journey to a mystical place where dragons engulf the land in darkness and destruction. These heroes must battle terrifying creatures of legend in order to restore balance to their lives and to their world.
Fantasy
Margaret/Tracy Weis/Hickman Dragonlance #2: Dragons of Winter Night The memorable band of characters from Dragons of Autumn Twilight continue their fantastical adventures.
The land has grown even more dangerous, and now our trusty heroes have been separated. Raistlin, his strange, hourglass eyes gleaming, has warned, Farewell, my friends...And a long farewell it will be. Some of us are not destined to meet again in this world. This ominous prediction, along with sinister dreams, will haunt this group of long-time friends as they search for the mysterious dragon orbe and the legendary dragonlance with the hope of stopping the advance of the Dark Queen!
The true value of love and friendship is measured against the backdrop of a catastrophic war between good and evil.
Fantasy
Margaret/Tracy Weis/Hickman Dragonlance #3: Dragons of Spring Dawning The final installment in Weis and Hickman's Chronicles series Dragonlance's undisputed must-read trilogy brings on the main event: the Companions vs. the dragons in a knock-down drag-out at the iron works of Pax Tharkas, as the fate of Krynn hangs in the balance. They ve mastered the Orbs and picked up the Dragonlance, and things are looking pretty good with the return of the good metallic dragons. But the band soon learns they must do battle with their own inner conflicts if they ever hope to defeat the Dark Queen Takhisis. A bang-up conclusion to Dragonlance s best-loved trilogy. Fantasy
Piers Anthony On A Pale Horse When Zane shot Death, he learned too late that he would have to assume his place, speeding over the world riding his pale horse, and ending the lives of others. Sooner than he would have thought possible, Zane found himself being drawn to Satan s plot. Already the Prince of Evil was forging a trap in which Zane must act to destroy Luna, the woman he loved...unless he could discover the only way out...

This is book #2 in the Incarnations of Immortality series.
Fantasy
Jonathan Swift Gulliver s Travels This satirical novel was first published in 1726, yet it is still valid today and describes the four fantastic voyages of Lemuel Gulliver, a kindly ship s surgeon. Swift portrays him as an observer, a reporter, and a victim of circumstance. His travels take him to Lilliput where he is a giant observing tiny people. In Brobdingnag, the tables are reversed and he is the tiny person in a land of giants where he is exhibited as a curiosity at markets and fairs. The flying island of Laputa is the scene of his next voyage. The people plan and plot as their country lies in ruins. It is a world of illusion and distorted values. The fourth and final voyage takes him to the home of the Houyhnhnms, gentle horses who rule the land. He also encounters Yahoos, filthy bestial creatures who resemble humans. Fantasy
Margaret/Tracy Weis/Hickman Kang s Regiment, vol. 1: The Doom Brigade War can get a fellow killed. The fearless draconians of the War of the Lance have retired from the field of battle to a pleasant valley in the Kharolis Mountains. Well, it would be pleasant, if it weren t for some dwarves, whose irritating feuding prevents the draconians from realizing their greatest hope the ability to continue their doomed race.
When the dwarves discover a map leading to a fortune buried in the dwarven kingdom of Thorbardin, the draconians are swept up in a feverish race for treasure. Little do both sides realize that they are part of the strange and terrible destiny descending upon Krynn during the Summer of Flame.
A destiny that includes the children of Chaos the fire dragons!
Fantasy
Piers Anthony With a Tangled Skein When the man Niobe loved was shot, she learned that she had been the target, in a devious plot of the Devil's. Hoping for revenge, she discovered, too late, how intricate his scheming was, and that he had managed to trap her son and her granddaughter, Luna. Niobe's only chance to save them was to accept a challenge by the Prince of Deceit--a challenge to be decided in Hell and in a maze of Satan's devising!

This is book #3 in the Incarnations of Immortality series.
Fantasy
Piers Anthony Wielding a Red Sword Mym was a dutiful son, but rather than agree to his father s choice for his marriage, he took up the Red Sword, symbol of office of the Incarnation of War, in order to ameliorate some of the suffering caused by Earth's constant petty wars. But Mym discovered that Satan was waiting to trap him, and he must now take desperate measures to outwit the evil genius who aimed to destroy the world...

This is book #4 in the Incarnations of Immortality series.
Fantasy
Margaret/Tracy Weis/Hickman Dragons of Summer Flame Stand-alone prequel to War of the Souls

Primed for a battle between good and evil, Raistlin, the corrupted mage, returns to the Dragonlance series along with a new generation of characters, the inheritors of the fabled Heroes of the Lance. The enemy, portrayed as a towering giant, is none other than the creator of everything!
All the usual fantasy elements are here: magic, elf-like fellows, spells, magicians, thieves, swords and sorcery. The narrator proceeds with rousing British intonations, bringing emotional effect through changes in pacing. She makes no attempt at character delineation but is expressive and surprisingly effective, mainly because she s obviously having a fine time.
Fantasy
Margaret/Tracy Weis/Hickman Dragonlance Legends #2: Test of the Twins Defying the fate that claimed his evil predecessor, Raistlin opens the Portal to the Abyss and passes through. With Crysania at his side, he engages the Queen of Darkness in a battle for the ultimate prize a seat among the gods.
At the same time, Caramon and Tasslehoff are transported to the future. There they come to understand the consequences of Raistlin s quest--and Caramon at last realizes the painful sacrifice he must make to prevent his brother s success. Old friends and strange allies come together to aid him, but Caramon must take the last, greatest step alone.
The step into the Abyss.
Fantasy
Margaret/Tracy Weis/Hickman War of the Souls #1: Dragons of a Fallen Sun Following directly on the heels of Dragons of Summer Flame, this new trilogy continues the popular Chronicles series. This story sets up another epic conflict for the poor war-torn, dragon-beset populace of Krynn, some 40 years after the close of the Chaos War, with the great dragons holding sway over most of Ansalon.
The people of Krynn have known war in past ages. There are still some alive who remember the triumph of good in the War of the Lance. Still more remember the devastation of the Chaos War, which ended the Fourth Age of the world. But now a new war looms. This war is for the very heart and soul of the world itself.
Fantasy
Margaret/Tracy Weis/Hickman Dragonlance Legends #3: War of the Twins One hundred years have passed since the fiery Cataclysm that changed the face of Krynn forever. For one hundred years, the people of Krynn have struggled to survive. But for some, those one hundred years have passed in the blink of an eye.
Catapulted forward in time by Raistlin s powerful magic, Caramon and Crysania find themselves aiding the mage s unholy quest to master the Queen of Darkness. To his dismay, Raistlin discovers along the way that the annals of Time are not so easily bent to his will. Neither are the longings of his heart.
(Legends #1 is Time of the Twins and is an anthology something along the lines of Tolkien s Silmarillian. )
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J.R.R. Tolkien Hobbit, The First published in the United States more than sixty years ago, The Hobbit has become one of the best-loved books of all time.
Narrator Rob Inglis expertly bridges the gap between the whimsical, childlike aspects of Tolkien s fantasy classic and the hints of darker things to come later in The Lord of the Rings.
Though content to enjoy his cozy life, cheerful hobbit Mr. Bilbo Baggins agrees to help his wizard friend Gandalf aid a group of dwarves seeking their lost treasure. As their various adventures ensue, Inglis treats listeners to a tour-de-force performance rich in colorful characterizations and several engaging singing performances. This story should be the unquestionable starting point for those venturing into Tolkien s Middle Earth. Listeners experience a vocal performance that is in turn charming, gripping, a little scary, and always engaging.
Fantasy
J.R.R. Tolkien Lord of the Rings: Return of the King The conclusion of an epic adventure...
While the evil might of the Dark Lord Sauron swarmed out to conquer all Middle-earth, Frodo and Sam struggled deep into Mordor, seat of Sauron s power. To defeat the Dark Lord, the accursed Ring of Power had to be destroyed in the fires of Mount Doom. But the way was impossibly hard, and Frodo was weakening. Weighed down by the compulsion of the Ring he began finally to despair.
The awesome conclusion of J.R.R. Tolkien s The Lord of the Rings, beloved by millions of readers around the world.

About the Author
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born on January 3, 1892, in Bloemfontein, South Africa. After serving in the First World War, he embarked upon a distinguished academic career and was recognized as one of the finest philologists in the world. He was a professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford, a fellow of Pembroke College, and a fellow of Merton College until his retirement in 1959. He is, however, beloved throughout the world as the creator of Middle-earth and author of such classic works as The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. He died on September 2, 1973, at the age of 81.
Fantasy
George Martin Clash of Kings, A Time is out of joint. The summer of peace and plenty, ten years long, is drawing to a close, and the harsh, chill winter approaches like an angry beast. Two great leaders who held sway over an age of enforced peace are dead...victims of royal treachery. Now, from the ancient citadel to the forbidding shores, chaos reigns, as pretenders to the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms prepare to stake their claims through tempest, turmoil, and war.
As a prophecy of doom cuts across the sky, six factions struggle for control of a divided land. This book transports us into a magnificent, forgotten land of revelry and revenge, wizardry and warfare. It is a tale in which maidens cavort with madmen, brother plots against brother, and the dead rise to walk in the night.
Against a backdrop of incest and fratricide, alchemy and murder, the price of glory may be measured in blood. And the spoils of victory may just go to the men and women possessed of the sharpest blades and the coldest hearts. For when rulers clash, all of the land feels the tremors.
The Second installment of Martin s fantasy seris, A Song of Ice and Fire, following A Game of Thrones, that enormous yarn about the strife-torn Seven Kingdoms and the various powerful families that aspire to rule them. The rewards are considerable: a backdrop of convincing depth and texture; intricate, flawless plotting; fully realized characters; and restrained, inventive magical/occult elements. Fans will certainly plunge right in...and since this one tips the scales at a gargantuan 896 pages, you can build up your biceps as you read, or bend your ears as you listen!
Martin sold his first story in 1971 and has been writing professionally ever since. He has written fantasy, horror, and science fiction, and spent ten years as a writer/producer, working on Twilight Zone, Beauty and the Beast, and various feature films and television pilots that were never made.

*THIS STORY IS ON TWO CDS: AB088 and AB001
Fantasy
J.K. Rowling Harry Potter, Book 5: Order of the Phoenix* This book, more than any of the four previous novels in the series, is a coming-of-age story. Harry, now 15, faces the thorny transition into adulthood, when adult heroes are revealed to be fallible, and matters that seemed black-and-white suddenly come out in shades of gray. Gone is the wide-eyed innocent, the whiz kid of Sorcerer s Stone. Here we have an adolescent who s sometimes sullen, often confused (especially about girls), and always self-questioning. Confronting death again, as well as a startling prophecy, Harry ends his year at Hogwarts exhausted and pensive. Readers, on the other hand, will be energized as they enter yet again the long waiting period for the next title in the marvelous, magical series.
Rowling has not lost her flair as a storyteller or her ability to keep coming up with new gimmicks to astound her readers. But her true skills lie in the way she ages Harry, successfully evolving him from the once downtrodden yet hopeful young boy to this new, gangly teenager showing all the symptoms of adolescence.
The story is slow to start, but a peerless performance by the narrator spins even long passages of exposition into gold. His wizardry transports listeners to places Muggle and magical, and Rowling s inventive plot shifts and fresh characters make this must listening for all Potter fans. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award.

J. K. ROWLING has written fiction since she was a child. Jo enjoyed telling her made-up stories to her younger sister and wrote her first book at the age of six. She started writing the Harry Potter series after the idea occurred to her on a train journey where she admits Harry just strolled into my head fully formed.

JIM DALE is the voice of all the characters in the Harry Potter audiobook series. This work has won him the Grammy Award, two Grammy nominations, and two AudioFile Earphone Awards.

*THIS STORY IS ON TWO CDS: AB087 and AB041
Fantasy
James Swallow Judge Dredd: Jihad As Mega-City One plays host to the Global Justice Summit a gathering of Chief Judges from around the world the legacy of an enemy from the city s distant past returns to plague Judge Dredd. With a deadly fanatic cult on the rise, Dredd must face a dark reflection of himself and stem the tide of a raging holy war!...
The storyline for Jihad is short and simple, yet James Swallow manages to weave one of the series most exciting plots and certainly one of the most dramatic.
This is by far the best Dredd ever vocalised, along with the greatest villain ever! One of the top Dredd audio dramas released so far.
Fantasy
Diane Gabaldon Drums of Autumn It began in Scotland, at an ancient stone circle. There, a doorway, open to a select few, leads into the past or the grave. Claire Randall survived the extraordinary passage, not once but twice. Her first trip swept her into the arms of Jamie Fraser, an eighteenth-century Scot whose love for her became legend a tale of tragic passion that ended with her return to the present to bear his child. Her second journey, two decades later, brought them together again in frontier America. But Claire had left someone behind in the twentieth century. Their daughter, Brianna....
Fourth in a series (preceded by Outlander, Dragonfly in Amber, and Voyager), with at least two more titles planned, this novel continues Gabaldon s successful time travel/romance saga. Set mostly in the years 1767-1770 but with some scenes in the present (the late 1960s), this fantasy features 20th-century Englishwoman Claire and her 18th-century Scottish husband, Jamie, who struggle to set up a home in the wilds of the American South. Their grown daughter, Brianna, comes from the present to seek her parents and is followed by her would-be lover, Roger. In a work that will be eagerly sought by readers of her previous novels, Gabaldon continues to explore the themes of love, marriage, and family through time. Though reading the entire series would be best, first-time readers can generally follow with a minimum of confusion.
The narrator brings her years of theatrical experience to the recording. This isn t a reading; it s a performance. She proves her talent with the soft delivery of Claire and the powerful gentleness she brings to Jamie. The result is a fine tale told with the energy and passion it deserves.

(Outlander #4)
Fantasy
J.R.R. Tolkien Hobbit, The (Narrated by N. Williams) This book takes place before the Fellowship of the ring which is part of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The book is about Bilbo Baggins, who is a hobbit that lives his peaceful life at the Shire. Hobbits are little people that live in comfortable holes. One day, a powerful wizard named Gandalf visits Bilbo and invites him to go out on an adventure with some dwarves. Bilbo agrees and his adventure starts. Little does he know of what challenges with he run across...
I already have this book, narrated fabulously by Rob Englis. However, I have always wanted to hear this version, I guess, just because. I haven t listened to this yet, so I can t give you a review. I WILL say that the version read by Rob Englis is a 10+, so this person has some very HUGE shoes to fill!
Fantasy
Robert Asprin Another Fine Myth It s the first book of the Myth series, and everyone has to start somewhere that includes magicians. But Skeeve is on the brink of a breakthrough. For he is going to pick up a feather. And this is only the beginning. Before long, he ll even be able to light a candle.
Young Skeeve is the struggling ap-prentice to a mighty sorcerer. However, when the sorcerer dies, Skeeve is left all alone in the world. And if it weren t for the purple-tongued demon, the deveels, imps, dragons and unicorns, the amazing adventures, the extraordinary events and the fact that his life will never be the same again, who knows what would have become of him?
A masterpiece of comic fantasy packed with magic, mayhem and, of course, mythadventure.
Fantasy
Robert Asprin Myth Conceptions In this, the second book in the Myth series, our unlikely trio of Skeeve former thief want-to-be and current magicians apprentice; Aahz demon master magician currently unable to use any magic because his powers were removed as part of a practical joke gone horribly wrong; and Gleep baby dragon with the worst breath in all of Klah!
This time they find themselves trying to get a job as court magicians, since everyone knows that being a court magician is the cushiest job of all! But this one comes with perils, and our trio find themselves in the middle of a war, where they re doomed whether they win or lose!
The misadventures of the characters in this series are both fun and interesting. Myth Conceptions is an enjoyable light fantasy with an offbeat feel.
Fantasy
Piers Anthony For Love of Evil Fleeing persecution by the Church, a young sorcerer in medieval France seeks refuge among the Franciscans, dedicating his life to the triumph of good over evil, until a strange twist of fate forces him to assume the role of his greatest enemy and take his place among the immortal Incarnations. In his most ambitious work yet, Anthony tackles sensitive moral issues with his customary high spirits.
This is a great novel, and Anthony does a wonderful job of creating sympathy for what is classically an unloveable character. Highly recomended.

Incarnations of Immortality #6
Fantasy
Philip Pullman Subtle Knife, The
Classic themes of good versus evil, innocence versus experience intertwine with those of intrigue and deception, compassion and loyalty in this second volume of the fantasy trilogy, His Dark Materials. Like The Golden Compass, this book also ends in a tremendous cliffhanger, which will leave readers desperate for the next installment. The character development as well as the relentless pace on several fronts and a couple of gruesome incidents make this a resoundingly successful sequel.
The audio production is equally well crafted. The clear, crisp tones of author/narrator Philip Pullman blend seamlessly with the multi-voiced cast of characters. From first to last, the actors bring the vivid landscape of personalities to life, while the phrases of music by composer Peter Pontzen, which introduce each chapter, add color and texture to the story s predominantly dark mood. The superb production of this fascinating fantasy epic makes it a heart-thumping listening adventure. Winner of Audiophile Earphones Award.
Fantasy
Stephen King Dark Tower #4: Wizard & Glass Wizard and Glass, the fourth episode in King s white-hot Dark Tower series, is a sci-fi/fantasy novel that contains a post-apocalyptic Western love story twice as long. It begins with the series star, world-weary Roland, and his world-hopping posse (an ex-junkie, a child, a plucky woman in a wheelchair, and a talking dog-like pet) trapped aboard a runaway train. The train is a psychotic multiple personality that intends to commit suicide with them at 800 m.p.h. unless Roland and pals can outwit it in a riddling contest.
Frank Muller, the recognized virtuoso of audiobook narration (The Green Mile, The Shawshank Redemption), takes on Stephen King s Goliath tale of sorcerers, time travelers, and sci-fi love, which totals more than 27 hours in length. Muller gives us all the gritty vocalizations and subtle intonations of the author s reading, and more, with a Hannibal Lecter-like voice which is the perfect accompaniment to King s creepy characters and nightmarish plots.
Fantasy
Stephen King Dark Tower #5: Wolves of the Calla Roland Deschain and his posse are bearing southeast through the forests of Mid-World, the almost timeless landscape that seems to stretch from the wreckage of civility that defined Roland s youth to the crimson chaos that seems the future s only promise.
Their path takes them to the outskirts of a tranquil valley community of farmers and ranchers on Mid-World s borderlands. Beyond the town, the rocky ground rises toward the hulking darkness the source of a terrible affliction that is slowly stealing the community s soul. One of the town s residents is a ruined priest who, like some of Roland s posse, passed through one of the portals that lead both into and out of his world.
The priest tells an epic story which leads up to explaining the danger which gathers in the east like a storm cloud. Apparently, Roland and his posse will not be able to defeat this evil with just their guns...
Fantasy
J.K. Rowling Harry Potter, Book 3: The Prisoner of Azkaban For twelve long years, the dread fortress of Azkaban held an infamous prisoner named Sirius Black. Convicted of killing thirteen people with a single curse, he was said to be the heir apparent to the Dark Lord, Voldemort.
Now he has escaped, leaving only two clues as to where he might be headed: Harry Potter s defeat of You-Know-Who was Black s downfall as well. And the Azkban guards heard Black muttering in his sleep, He s at Hogwarts...he s at Hogwarts.
Harry Potter isn t safe, not even within the walls of his magical school, surrounded by his friends. Because on top of it all, there may well be a traitor in their midst. Why do the Dementors, the guards hired to protect him, chill Harry s very heart when others are unaffected? Once again, Rowling has created a mystery that will have children and adults cheering, not to mention standing in line for her next book. Fortunately, there are four more in the works.
Fantasy
Mervyn Peake Titus Groan Mervyn Peake s gothic masterpiece, the Gormenghast trilogy, begins with the superlative Titus Groan, a darkly humorous, stunningly complex tale of the first two years in the life of the heir to an ancient, rambling castle. The Gormenghast royal family, the castle s decidedly eccentric staff, and the peasant artisans living around the dreary, crumbling structure make up the cast of characters in this engrossing story. Peake s command of language and unique style set the tone and shape of an intricate, slow-moving world of ritual and stasis.
Peake has been compared to Dickens, Tolkien, and Peacock, but Titus Groan is truly unique. Unforgettable characters with names like Steerpike and Prunesquallor make their way through an architecturally stifling world, with lots of dark corners around to dampen any whimsy that might arise. This true classic is a feast of words unlike anything else in the world of fantasy. Those who explore Gormenghast castle will be richly rewarded.
Fantasy
Bernard Cornwell Stonehenge Three brothers, Lengar, warrior-chief; Camaban, crippled sorcerer; and Saban, peace-loving artisan, are the mighty pillars around which this epic novel is constructed. Bernard Cornwell transports the reader back to a time four thousand years ago, as he creates a landscape, a civilization, a reason, and the method to explain Stonehenge, the sun s great stone temple, and how it was made.
Sean Barrett reads quickly, but such is the delicate enunciation of his words that there is never a sense of hurry. Barrett paints portraits with his voice, showing in sound the intelligence and nobility of Saban, the growing madness of Camaban, and the lascivious brutality of Lengar, and the distinctive qualities of numerous other characters. There are few things as satisfying as a good epic novel. Stonehenge is such a book.
Fantasy
J.R.R. Tolkien Lord of the Rings, Book 1:Fellowship of the Ring During his eleventy-fifth birthday celebration (hobbits have their own way of counting), Bilbo Baggins reluctantly agrees to give up the powerful but corrupt Ring of Power he found years before in The Hobbit. But getting rid of the ring turns out to be no easy task. In this first installment of Tolkien s Lord of the Rings trilogy, Inglis s skilled narration manages to retain the old-fashioned, fairy tale quality of the original text. but is also well in tune with the story s darker aspects. As Bilbo s nephew, Frodo, and his friends take center stage to help dispose of the ring before some truly unsavory characters can obtain it, Inglis demonstrates he is up to the task of relating the original story s drama, suspense, and dark mysticism. (Rating by Janet: 10 out of 10!) Fantasy
J.K. Rowling Harry Potter, Book 4: The Goblet of Fire What s wonderful about the Harry Potter stories is the believability of the world Harry and company inhabit, imagined by J.K. Rowling and fully realized through Jim Dale s portrayal. At first, we were as awed as Harry to learn about the wonders of the magical world; now we re as comfortable with what has become familiar. Dale fosters this expectation, bringing his symphony of voices back to each book even as he s adding more. There s an epic game of Quidditch, brought brilliantly into play as Dale narrates spectators and announcer alike, but overall, this is a darker adventure. As the Tri-Wizard Tournament unfolds, innocence gives way to knowledge and experience, trust is betrayed, and there s as much horror as hilarity. Harry s growing up, and, with this installment, he s firmly on course to his destiny. Winner of Audiofile Earphones Award. Fantasy
J.K. Rowling Harry Potter, Book 1: The Philosopher s Stone
(Renamed as HP and the Sorcerer s Stone)
For the uninitiated, Harry is a young orphan who is living with his nasty relatives when he s summoned to claim his magical heritage by attending Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. What could be better than studying, not English and chemistry, but Potions and Defense-Against-the-Dark-Arts? Jim Dale, with his fully-voiced reading, this marvelous, magical audiobook brings the world of wizards to life in ways unimagined even by those who have read and re-read the book. The accents and inflections perfectly suit the characters from well-meaning Hermione s soft, earnest voice to Malfoy s nasal droning and some of Rowling s particularly inventive bits, like the game of Quidditch, become clearer. Sometimes poignant, often funny, Dale s interpretation of this enchanted other world is the consummate family-listening experience. Winner of Audiofile Earphones Award. Fantasy
Anne McCaffrey White Dragon, The (Dragonriders of Pern #3) Never had there been as close a bonding as the one that existed between the daring and adventurous young Lord Jaxom and his extraordinary white dragon, Ruth. Pure white and incredibly agile, Ruth was a dragon of many talents, though almost everyone on Pern thought he was a runt that would never amount to anything. But Jaxom knew better, knew he could teach his dragon to fly and to destroy the deadly silver Threads that fell from the sky. Disobeying all rules, Jaxom and Ruth trained in secret. their illicit flights seemed but a minor disobedience until they found themselves in the path of danger and in a position to prevent the biggest disaster of all! Fantasy
Diana Gabaldon Lord John and the Private Matter Trouble befalls Lord John Grey when he accidentally discovers that the his cousin s betrothed, may have what those in 1757 termed the pox or the French disease syphilis. Before he can figure out an appropriate way to handle this delicate matter, he becomes involved in the investigation of the mysterious and grisly murder of a military colleague suspected of being a spy.
Gabaldon stitches these two plots together into a compelling narrative that also offers a wealth of juicy details about 18th-century London, especially its homosexual underbelly. Grey is a competent and likable sleuth, and Gabaldon s prose is crisply elegant. Her many fans will be happy to learn that this is the first in a series about the travails of Lord John Grey.
Fantasy
Shannon Drake Come the Morning This novel chronicles the coming-of-age of a young nobleman whose feats of bravery earn him a royal but troublesome marriage. During a borderland battle, a 13-year-old uses his father s sword to impale the last standing enemy, a Norman lord, as his father and uncle lie dead. Ten years later, the king summons Lady Mellyora and arranges for her to marry the grown-up Sir Waryk, now his most respected warrior knight. She defiantly objects to the marriage, since she is already in love; while Waryk is equally dismayed, having been poised to wed his beautiful mistress.
The narrative follows the war of wills between calmly intelligent, war-scarred Waryk, who accepts the king s command, and wily, irate Mellyora, who is trained in swordsmanship and repeatedly tries to escape to her utopian Blue Isle. Waryk is faster, but his expertise in outwitting the enemy is tested by this Viking sprite. Drake s characters are richly detailed; their romantic interplay is set among the vividly rendered skirmishes and treachery of medieval Scotland.
Fantasy
JRR Tolkien Lord of the Rings, Book 2: The Two Towers Frodo and his Companions of the Ring have been beset by danger during their quest to destroy The One Ring in the Cracks of Doom, and thus preventing it from falling into the hands of the Dark Lord. They have lost the wizard, Gandalf, in a battle in the Mines of Moria. And Boromir, seduced by the power of the Ring, tried to seize it by force. While Frodo and Sam made their escape, the rest of the company was attacked by Orcs. Now they continue the journey alone down the great River Anduin alone, that is, save for the mysterious creeping figure that follows wherever they go.
The rest of the Fellowship is scattered. Some are bracing hopelessly for war against the ancient evil of Sauron. Some are contending with the treachery of the wizard Saruman.
Fantasy
Stephen King Dark Tower #6 Song of Susannah The next-to-last novel in the 7-volume series, Song of Susannah is a fascinating key to the unfolding mystery of the Dark Tower.
There s something about a crippled, black, schizophrenic, civil rights activist-turned-gunslinger whose body has been hijacked by a white, pregnant demon from a parallel world that keeps a seven-volume story bracingly strong as it veers toward its Armageddon-like conclusion. When Susannah Dean is transported via a magic door on the outskirts of Calla Bryn Sturgis to New York City in the summer of 1999, the demon-mother who possesses her, Mia, has only one thing on her mind. She must give birth to her chap at a predetermined location in Manhattan s East 60s, as instructed by the henchmen-or Low Men -of the evil Crimson King.
The sixth installment of this series stops short with the biggest cliffhanger of King s career...readers will race for the last book to find out how-and if-King s fictional universe will come to an end.
Fantasy
Neil Gaiman Neverwhere From the start, this story gives one a strong impression of darkness and dread. Based on a suspenseful and funny British adventure tale about a Londoner caught up in a nightmarish, magic world underground. Neither the premise nor the plot is all that new and compelling. But the execution! Written with a delicious witty sense of humor with vivid characterization, delightful dialogue amidst a black atmosphere. Gary Blakewell s charming Scottish accent, his sense of the book s architecture, his puckish treatment of the humor, his deft characterizations are wonderful. A delightful listen. Winner of Audiofile s Earphones Award. Fantasy
Piers Anthony Spell For Chameleon, A Xanth was the enchanted land where magic ruled where every citizen had a special spell only he could cast. That is, except for Bink of North Village. He was sure he possessed no magic, and knew that if he didn t find some soon, he would be exiled. According to the Good Magician Humpfrey, the charts said that Bink was as powerful as the King or even the Evil Magician Trent. Unfortunately, no one could determine its form. Meanwhile, Bink was in despair. If he didn t find his magic soon, he would be forced to leave.... Fantasy
Jonathan Stroud Amulet of Samarkand Bartimaeus, a five-thousand-year-old djinni, possesses abilities far beyond those of an extraordinarily talented magician. Narrator Simon Jones excels at projecting the personality characteristics of someone who has seen and done it all: sarcasm, facetiousness, and dry wit. His portrayal of 11-year-old Nathaniel easily balances this cynicism. The apprentice magician called up the djinn to avenge himself against a rival magician, but can he keep the djinn under control? The story is the told from a fresh viewpoint that will attract any listener with a yen for intelligent and humorous fantasy. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award Fantasy
George Martin Storm of Swords, A Song of Ice & Fire #3

Is George R.R. Martin for real? Can a fantasy epic actually get better with each new installment? Fans of the genre have glumly come to expect go-nowhere sequels from other authors, so we re entitled to pinch ourselves over Martin s tightly crafted Song of Ice and Fire series. The reports are all true: this series is the real deal, and Martin deserves his crown as the rightful king of the epic. A Game of Thrones got things off to a rock-solid start, A Clash of Kings only exceeded expectations, but it s the Storm of Swords hat trick that cements Martin s rep as the most praiseworthy fantasy author to come along since that other R.R.
Like the first two books, A Storm of Swords could coast on the fundamentals: deftly detailed characters, convincing voices and dialogue, a robust back-story, and a satisfyingly unpredictable plot. But it s Martin s consistently bold choices that set the series apart. Every character is fair game for the headman s axe (sometimes literally), and not only do the good guys regularly lose out to the bad guys, you re never exactly sure who you should be cheering for in the first place.
Storm is full of admirable intricacies. Events that you thought Martin was setting up solidly for the first two books are exposed as complex feints; the field quickly narrows after the Battle of the Blackwater and once again, anything goes. Robb tries desperately to hold the North together, Jon returns from the wildling lands with a torn heart, Bran continues his quest for the three-eyed crow beyond the Wall, Catelyn struggles to save her fragile family, Arya becomes ever more wolflike in her wanderings, Daenerys comes into her own, and Joffrey s cruel rule from King s Landing continues, making even his fellow Lannisters uneasy. Martin tests all the major characters in A Storm of Swords: some fail the trial, while others like Martin himself seem to only get stronger.
Fantasy
Stephen King Eyes of the Dragon A kingdom is in turmoil as the old king dies and his successor must do battle for the throne. Pitted against an evil wizard and a would-be rival, Prince Peter makes a daring escape and rallies the forces of Good to fight for what is rightfully his. This is a masterpiece of classic dragons-and-magic fantasy that only Stephen King could have written! Fantasy
Piers Anthony Being a Green Mother Orb had a rare gift--the magic which manifested whenever she sang or played her harp. No one could resist her music. But she knew that greater magic lay in the Llano, the mystic music that controlled all things. The quest for the Llano occupied Orb's life. Until she met Natasha, handsome and charming, and an even finer musician. But her mother Niobe came as an Aspect of Fire, with the news that Orb had been chosen for the role of Incarnation of Nature--The Green Mother. But she also warned of a prophecy that Orb was to marry Evil. Could she be sure that Natasha was not really Satan, the Master of Illusion, laying a trap for her...? Fantasy
Anne McCaffrey Damia In this second volume of the trilogy begun with The Rowan , McCaffrey introduces Damia Raven, brilliant and willful daughter of Angharad Gwyn (the Rowan) and Jeff Raven, leaders of the psionic Talents of Federal Telepath & Teleport, who make interstellar commerce possible. The precocious Damia's difficult childhood is made tolerable by the care and solicitude of Afra Lyon, her parents' valued friend and assistant, who secretly loves the child as much as he did her mother. Maturing as a Prime--the most powerful of the orders of psis--Damia is sent to run the FT&T Tower on the new colony of Iota Aurigae. She lives there in petulant loneliness, having rejected or alienated all Talented potential mates, until she touches the alien mind of Sodan, many light-years away. Concerned about an alien invasion like the one suffered a generation previously, her family sends Afra to evaluate the dangers of Damia's infatuation. In a forceful resolution, Damia suffers a deep loss but finds her salvation. McCaffrey interweaves an engrossing romance with a coming-of-age story as she examines the issue of responsibility in a society where survival depends on the abilities of a gifted few. Fantasy
Margaret/Tracy Weis/Hickman Doom of the Darksword Born without magic, Joram was one of the Dead, denied the throne of Merilon. For years, he lived among outlaws, surviving by wit and sleight-of-hand. Now, wielding the powerful, magic absorbing Darksword, Joram returns to the enchanted Kingdom that once was his home to win revenge and claim his birthright. Here he will test Bishop Vanya and his fierce army of Duuk-tsarith in a battle unlike any their world has known. Joined by the scholarly catalyst Saryon, the young mage Mosiah, and the trickster Simkin, Jorma confronts the shattering secret of his past and discovers the ancient prophecy that puts the fate of the world in his hands-the hands that forged The Darksword. Fantasy
Margaret/Tracy Weis/Hickman Forging the Darksword Outlawed by the mage-priests of Thimhallen since the Iron Wars, the Ninth Mystery, called Technology, has survived only among society's outcasts until a young man born without magic and a priest who is a catalyst of magical energy form an alliance that shakes their complacent and stagnant world. The authors of the "Dragonlance" series again demonstrate their talent for vivid world-crafting and strong characterization in a novel that will appeal to fans of epic fantasy. Fantasy
Anne McCaffrey Nerilka's Story The latest of McCaffrey's romantic Pern novels expands on the tale of a minor character in Moreta: Dragonlady of Pern. Young Nerilka is considered unattractive and overly serious in her own hold, where her peremptory father installs his mistress immediately after his wife's death. Angry and frustrated, Nerilka uses her medical training and her access to the supplies her father is hoarding to help combat the plague sweeping Pern, which has already claimed her mother and sisters. Inevitably, her work with the Healers leads her to Ruatha Hold, whose rugged widower chief, Lord Alessan, sees her worth and marries her. In form, this is basically a Victorian gothic in which a governess tames and marries the gruff master of the house. As such, McCaffrey's legions of fans should enjoy it, but it is a weak entry in the Pern saga. Fantasy
Margaret/Tracy Weis/Hickman Legacy of the Darksword It is twenty years since the once-magical land of Thimhallan was shattered by the forging of the Darksword. The survivors of that catastrophe now live on Earth, bereft of magic and hope, forbidden to return home.

Only Joram remains behind on the world ravaged by his Darksword. Although the magic weapon has been destroyed--and with it, Joram's power--rumors have risen that Joram has forged a second Darksword.

Now, as a merciless alien race threatens Earth with annihilation, Earth's desperate leaders look to Joram as their only hope. But even as his old friend Saryon begins the perilous journey to seek his aid, the embittered Joram has his own plans for the weapon.

And Joram is not the only one. Soon a new menace looms, foreshadowing betrayal, enslavement, and death to humans and Thimhallans alike.
Fantasy
Anne McCaffrey Renegades of Pern As long as the people of Pern could remember, the Holds had protected them from Thread, the deadly silver strands that fell from the sky and ravaged the land. In exchange for sanctuary in the huge stone fortresses, the people tithed to their Lord Holders, who in turn supported the Weyrs, whose dragons were Pern's greatest weapon against Thread.

But not everyone on Pern was part of that system of mutual care and protection, particularly those who had been rendered holdless as punishment for wrongdoing. And there were some, like Jayge's trader clan, who simply preferred the freedom of the roads to the security of a hold. Others, like Aramina's family, had lost their holds through injustice and cruelty. For all the holdless, life was a constant struggle for survival.

Then, from the ranks of the criminals and the disaffected, rose a band of renegades, led by the Lady Thella. No one was safe from Thella's depredations, and now her quarry was Aramina, reputed to have a telepathic link with dragons. But when Thella mistakenly vented her rage on Jayge's family, she made a dangerous mistake. For Jayge was bent on revenge . . . and he would never let her have the girl who heard dragons!
Fantasy
Anne McCaffrey Dragonsdawn Readers who for two decades have been following the fortunes of the dragonriders and other inhabitants of the planet Pern will welcome the latest volume, chronicling the early years. It stands very much on its own, however; knowing about the later history of the planet only adds enjoyment. After 15 years of cold sleep, 6000 colonists land on Pern, seeking a simpler existence, escaping the aftermath of interstellar war and an overly technical society. The colony prospers until the consuming Threada force that destroys all life it comes in contact withmakes its first appearance. A brilliant bio-engineer attempts to develop a biological weapon to save them, a much larger version of a native life form many of the colonists have adopted as pets: dragonets with the ability to teleport and breathe flame after eating phosphoric rock. The book ends with the first successful result of that experiment. Many richly developed characters people the novel, among them two youngsters, Sorka Hanrahan and Sean Connell, who grow up to become two of the first dragonriders. One hopes McCaffrey, who most recently has been writing in the mainstream ( The Lady ), is beginning a new Pern cycle in which she will tell, in answer to many other questions, whatever happened to the intelligent dolphins that came with the humans to Pern. Fantasy
Anne McCaffrey Dragondrums When his boy soprano voice begins to change, Piemur is drafted by Masterharper Robinton to help with political work and is sent on missions that lead him into unusual and sometimes dangerous adventures.

In the third volume of the Harper Hall Trilogy from McCaffrey s multi-layered dragonriders saga, Harper Piemur is called upon to serve the Master Harper of Pern on a secret and dangerous mission. Unfortunately, the reading does little to promote the excitement of the story, and Darling has occasional difficulty remembering previous pronunciations of the Pernian names, an odd lapse since she is the narrator of the two earlier books. Her voice seems too light for an adolescent boy; furthermore, her pitch and pacing do not always allow the listener to distinguish among the characters. Dragondrums is probably the weakest book of the trilogy, and this production does little to improve it.
Fantasy
Anne McCaffrey Moreta Sheila Hart reads Moreta with a sensitivity and delicacy that reflect the magical, mythical quality of McCaffrey s dragon legends. Hart s characterization is subtle; vocal styles suggest, rather then impersonate, characters, and male voices are satisfying. It is not necessary to have read or heard other titles of the series to enjoy Moreta. Hart s sensitive portrayal will leave the listener grieving for the loss of the Weyr woman. Fantasy
Tad Williams Sea of Silver Light This stunning finale to the gigantic Otherland tetralogy (City of Golden Shadow, etc.), a brilliant fusion of quest fantasy and technological SF, is sure to please Williams's many fans. Otherland, a complete universe co-existent with the real world, incorporates elements of the Arabian Nights, the Alice and Oz books, the Neanderthal Age, the Trojan War, rewritten Roman history (Hannibal returns three centuries after his death to crush Rome, without elephants), as well as numerous nursery rhymes and fables. An enormous cast of courageous humans confronts monstrous insects, unimaginable dangers and all the appurtenances of fantastic adventure. At nearly 700 pages this is a mighty mouthful to swallow, but a well-crafted if convoluted plot sustains interest through the lengthy climax, which explains the inexplicable. Those scenes grounded in a recognizable world are the most compelling. Individuals may live in both worlds, despite Otherland being only made of "light and numbers." Characters dead in real life can still be alive in the virtual world, as in the poignant plight of a young woman, whose dress and manners are 18th century, who's in love with a young man snatched, apparently, from the trenches of WWI. Are they real or "sims" (simulations)? Generously, the author supplies two master villains: one for whom we may begrudge some respect; for the other, no mercy. The Otherland books are a major accomplishment. Agent, Matt Bialer. (Apr. 10) Forecast: Williams should enjoy another run up the genre bestseller lists with this strong concluding volume. Fantasy
Susan Cooper Silver on the Tree his dramatic reading of Silver on the Tree (Atheneum, 1977) concludes Susan Cooper's five book fantasy sequence, The Dark Is Rising. With the Arthurian legend as its core, it presents the classic myth culminating with the battle of good against evil. The Drew children, Merriman, and Bran, their Welsh friend, try to outwit the schemes and strategies of the Dark. British actor Alex Jennings provides a stunning vocal performance, sliding in and out of voices so easily that listeners will soon forget that there is only one narrator. From the rich, resonant Merriman to the lilting Welsh brogue of Bran, the voice variations achieved for the multitude of characters is outstanding. The rapid narration adds intensity and urgency to the unfolding events. In order to understand the story, it is important to follow the series in sequence. The audio versions of the previous four titles in the series are available from Listening Library. The richness of the story and the excellent reading will sate those who revel in this format and delight those who are new to it. Fantasy
C.S. Lewis Perelandra The second book in C. S. Lewis's acclaimed Space Trilogy, which includes Out of the Silent Planet and That Hideous Strength, Perelandra continues the adventures of the extraordinary Dr. Ransom. Pitted against that greatest of human weaknesses, temptation, the great man must battle evil on a new world -- Perelandra -- when it is invaded by the Devil's agent. Will Perelandra succumb to the Devil's influence, or will it throw off the yoke of corruption and achieve a spiritual perfection as yet unknown to man? The outcome of Dr. Ransom's mighty struggle will alone determine its fate. Fantasy
Margaret/Tracy Weis/Hickman Hand of Chaos (Death Gate #5) The ancient Patryn-Sartan conflict over control of the four elemental realms enters a new phase as Patryn agent Haplo returns to the Realm of Sky, only to discover its invasion by serpentlike creatures whose evil ambitions threaten the destruction of all the realms. This fifth installment of a seven-volume fantasy epic bears the now-familiar Weis/Hickman trademarks: offbeat humor, complex villain/heroes, and an emphasis on moral responsibility. Despite a tendency toward wordiness, the authors have a knack for sustaining a good story. Fantasy
Margaret/Tracy Weis/Hickman Into the Labyrinth (Death Gate #6) The imprisoning labyrinth has loomed like a shadow over the preceding five volumes of Weis and Hickman's Death Gates series. In the sixth, protagonists Alfred and Haplo finally enter it as the next step in their quest. Haplo has two assassins with him, one a ghost and the other a former lover who has sworn to be his nemesis. This situation promises plenty of action and emotional impact, which the authors by and large deliver. Their characterization is not of the highest order, but long familiarity with the people and superior world building restore their advantage and will retain their readers' loyalty. Weis and Hickman rank with such colleagues as the two Davids (Eddings and Duncan) as spinners of tales made up of comparatively conventional elements who keep readers coming back for volume after volume's worth. Fantasy
Margaret/Tracy Weis/Hickman Seventh Gate, The (Death Gate #7) This volume, the seventh, concludes the Death Gate Cycle appropriately enough. Our long-suffering questers face a variety of fates--death, capture by dragons, etc.--they have no hope of avoiding except by entering the most potent and dangerous of the gates, the seventh. On the other side of it, they find themselves in an apocalyptic confrontation that ends in perhaps the most powerful conclusion in Weis and Hickman's considerable body of work. Although Weis and Hickman certainly got off to a flying start in the Dragonlance series, they continue to demonstrate the qualities they displayed in it--complete mastery of the art of turning classic fantasy elements into equally classic well-told tales. This volume deserves and will have many readers Fantasy
Margaret/Tracy Weis/Hickman Triumph of the Darksword Joram and his wife, Gwendolyn, return from beyond the Border to reclaim their rightful place in Merilon. Rejoined by Saryon, Mosiah and Simkin, Joram must confront the evil sorcerer, Menju, and his army of Technologists in a final apocalyptic battle to fulfill the ancient prophecy of the Darksword--to either save the world or destroy it. Fantasy
Anne McCaffrey Dragonflight (Dragonriders of Pern, #1) The planet Pern has been colonized for centuries by humans. When humans first settled on this world, they did not take notice of its sister planet, which had an indigenous life form that attempted to land on Pern when it came within reach. These silver "threads" fell in a destructive wave on the temperate lands of Pern once every 200 years, destroying all life they encountered. To combat this menace, the inhabitants of Pern developed a species of dragon that could burn these threads out of the sky before they touched down. Now, centuries have passed between threadfalls, and the danger of thread is considered a myth. However, a dragon rider named F'lar knows that the riders are once again needed. This fine production is highly recommended. Fantasy
Anne McCaffrey Dragonquest (Dragonriders of Pern, #2) Another Turn, and the deadly silver Threads began falling again. So the bold dragonriders took to the air once more and their magnificent flying dragons swirled and swooped, belching flames that destroyed the shimmering strands before they reached the ground.

But F'lar knew he had to find a better way to protect his beloved Pern, and he had to find it before the rebellious Oldtimers could breed any more dissent...before his brother F'nor would be foolhardy enough to launch another suicide mission...and before those dratted fire-lizards could stir up any more trouble!
Fantasy
Anne McCaffrey Dragonsong (Harper Hall, #1) Anne McCaffrey's Harper Hall Trilogy kicks off with this riveting and poetic first installment, in which Menolly -- a gifted musician who dreams of becoming a Harper -- meets a band of fire lizards and becomes their teacher. The beginning to an entrancing fantasy series that McCaffrey fans (as well as Tamora Pierce and Marion Zimmer Bradley lovers) won't want to miss. Fantasy
Anne McCaffrey Dragonsinger (Harper Hall, #2) Pursuing her dream to be a Harper of Pern, Menolly studies under the Masterharper learning that more is required than a facility with music and a clever way with words. Sequel to Dragonsong. Fantasy
Margaret/Tracy Weis/Hickman Dragon Wing (Death Gate Cycle #1) An assassin and the royal child he has been hired to kill form an unlikely and unstable alliance as the plots of human sorcerers, elven pirates, and dwarf revolutionaries threaten to overwhelm the airborne kingdoms of Arianus. Long-time collaborators Weis and Hickman ("The Darksword" trilogy; "The Rose of the Prophet" trilogy) have embarked on their most ambitious project to date in this first of a projected seven-volume cycle. The authors' combined talents for innovative world-building and sympathetic characterizations find ample outlet in this epic fantasy. Fantasy
Margaret/Tracy Weis/Hickman Elven Star (Death Gate Cycle #2) On steamy Pryan, never-ending sunlight and plentiful rain have created a jungle so vast that humans and elves dwell high in the trees and only dwarves live anywhere near the ground. From the treetops the aristocratic elves sell weapons to the other races, whose incessant warfare sends a steady steam of profits and essential resources skyward. Now, generations of dissent and race hatred will not heal -- not even under the threat of annihilation at the hands of legendary Titans. Armed with little more than their wits and prophecy, an elf, a human, and a dwarf must unite to try to save the world from destruction. Fantasy
Margaret/Tracy Weis/Hickman Fire Sea (Death Gate Cycle #3) Abarrach, the Realm of stone. Here, on a barren world of underground caverns built around a core of molten lava, the lesser races -- humans, elves, and dwarves -- seem to have all died off. Here, too, what may well be the last remnants of the once powerful Sartan still struggle to survive. For Haplo and Alfred -- enemies by heritage, traveling companions by necessity -- Abarrach may reveal more than either dares to discover about the history of Sartan... and the future of all their descendants.

Using the ancient heresy that the Almighty created the world and then departed, the authors create a universe rent asunder. Depth is lost in the abridgment, but it works nonetheless. Garber is slow and sepulchral, perfect for the walking dead of Fire Sea. Occasional chimes and minor sound effects mesh with the narrative; audio clarity is superb. The insatiable fantasy crowd will be well pleased.
Fantasy
Margaret/Tracy Weis/Hickman Serpent Mage (Death Gate Cycle #4) The fourth volume of the authors' Death Gate Cycle, begun with Dragon Wing , moves to Chelestra, Realm of Sea, last of the four worlds created by the Sartan during the Sundering in their battle against the Patryns. The inhabitants of this world--dwarves, elves and humans--are in grave danger: the seasun, source of light and life to the seamoons on which they dwell, is moving away. When the vessels in which they were to escape are destroyed by malignant, highly intelligent dragon-snakes, three children, scions of the ruling families, undergo adventures and encounter Haplo, the Patryn escaped from imprisonment in the Labyrinth who has been traveling the worlds of the Death's Gate fomenting discord. Meanwhile, Alfred, the last remaining Sartan, also translated to the water world, is reunited with others of his kind, including Samah, who initiated the Sundering and has been in suspended animation since. The stage for escalated conflict is set. The worlds created by Weis and Hickman become more attractively complex with each book of the series. The deepening characterizations of Haplo and Alfred, with the underlying mysteries surrounding both, provide the necessary glue binding this opus, which promises three more volumes. Fantasy
Anne McCaffrey Damia's Children A sequel to The Rowan (1990) and Damia (1992, both Ace), this is the third book in the Raven-Lyons family saga. In The Rowan, McCaffrey developed FT&T, Federal Telepath and Teleport. This organization, through the use of psi talents, is responsible for interstellar communication via telepathy, and for cargo/passenger transportation by means of teleportation. While the first book tells Rowan's story, and the second centers around the daughter of Rowan and Jeff Raven, Damia's Children concerns the eight children of Damia and Afra, especially Laria, Thian, and Rojer who, working with their alien allies the Mrdinis, again confront the Hive culture. The author has created memorable, strong characters who are believable and well fleshed out. This is McCaffrey at her best.

Narrator Jean Reed-Bahle reads all three. She is an excellent reader--her low-pitched voice is expressive and easy to listen to. She changes voices mainly for alien races. Telepathic conversations are electronically amplified, an other-worldly effect.
Fantasy
Anne McCaffrey Lyon's Pride This fourth book in the Raven-Lyon family saga continues the story of Damia's Children (Ace, 1993), the human-Mrdini Alliance, and their ongoing battle against the insectlike Hive creatures. McCaffrey has several story lines going at once. The human-Mrdini ships want to destroy several Hive vessels that escape from imprisonment because when the Hive colonize a planet they eliminate all sentient life. There is conflict over what to do with the captive Hive queen-some want to study her, learn more about her, and hope for peaceful co-existence, while another segment of the alliance thinks she should be killed outright. While the book is readable and well written and the characters are believable, the story is not as tight or as strong as The Rowan (1991) and Damia (1993, both Ace). Fantasy
Tad Williams River of Blue Fire Trapped in the top-secret virtual world known as Otherland, a small group of online explorers travel along a river of possibilities in search of a way back to the real world. This sequel to OtherWorld: City of Golden Shadow delivers a kaleidoscopic array of dreamscapes and nightmare worlds that form a setting for a complex tale of conspiracy and betrayal. Williams displays a prodigious talent for spinning multiple variations on a theme as he alternates between real and virtual worlds. This is a fast-paced, ambitious blend of fantasy and sf. Fantasy
Susan Cooper Over Sea, Under Stone On holiday in Cornwall, the three Drew children discover an ancient map in the attic of the house that they are staying in. They know immediately that it is special. It is even more than that -- the key to finding a grail, a source of power to fight the forces of evil known as the Dark. And in searching for it themselves, the Drews put their very lives in peril.

This is the first volume of Susan Cooper's brilliant and absorbing fantasy sequence known as The Dark Is Rising.
Fantasy
Susan Cooper Dark is Rising, The Strange things are happening in Will Stanton's world. Rooks are attacking people. An old tramp has come to town. And it is so cold. On his eleventh birthday, Will--the seventh son of a seventh son--learns the truth about his identity as the last of the Old Ones battling the evil forces of the Dark. The opulent voice of Alex Jennings is the perfect match for Susan Cooper's stylish, magical prose. The steady, measured tones of the Old Ones; the stern comfort of Merriman; the thready lilt of the Lady; the silky, evil overtones of the Rider--each nuance of character is skillfully brought to life in this unvoiced reading. One hopes the other books in the Dark Is Rising series will soon be available on audio read by Jennings. S.G.Winner of AUDIOFILE'S Earphones Award.

This is the second volume of Susan Cooper's brilliant and absorbing fantasy sequence known as The Dark Is Rising.
Fantasy
Susan Cooper Greenwitch Jane's invitation to witness the making of the Greenwitch begins a series of sinister events in which she and her two brothers help the Old Ones recover the grail stolen by the Dark.

This is the third volume of Susan Cooper's brilliant and absorbing fantasy sequence known as The Dark Is Rising.
Fantasy
Susan Cooper Grey King, The In the fourth book of Cooper's Dark is Rising series, Will Stanton travels to Wales to recover from hepatitis. Here he learns more of his legacy as an Old One; meets Bran Davies, whose life in intertwined with his; and recovers the last talisman for the struggle against the Dark. Susan Cooper is a consummate storyteller, and Richard Mitchley is an extraordinary narrator. His voice resonates with the atmosphere of the British Isles. The power and depth of his voice as the Grey King cause the listener to cower, and his icy tones create chills as the Brenin Llwyd blows by. As Will comes to understand the eerie might of the warestones, Mitchley brings goose bumps to the listener's skin. The interplay of past and present is compelling and believable, given his masterful presentation. This is a fabulous listen!

This is the fourth volume of Susan Cooper's brilliant and absorbing fantasy sequence known as The Dark Is Rising.
Fantasy
Tad Williams Mountain of Black Glass Trapped in the exotic virtual simulation known as Otherland, Paul Jonas, Orlando Gardner, and Renie Sulaweyo continue their separate explorations into the heart of the reality that surrounds them. As they confront puzzles and obstacles in re-creations of ancient Egypt and Homeric Greece, they come closer to the black glass mountain that may offer them the key to the mysterious Grail Brotherhood that controls the passages to and from Otherland. Synopses of the previous volumes (City of Golden Shadow; River of Blue Fire) of Williams's ambitious epic provide enough information for newcomers to the series, but the entire story is best read in sequence. Filled with complex plot threads, a wide variety of virtual and "real" characters and vivid descriptions of numerous worlds. Fantasy
Tad Williams City of Golden Shadow The first book in a planned tetralogy features Renie Sulaweyo, a black South African professor; her Bushman student; and dozens of other characters enmeshed in the intricately plotted international adventure and suspense thriller set in the near future in which the seductiveness of the net and virtual reality can be extremely dangerous. An exciting addition to the growing virtual reality literature from the author of Caliban's Hour. Fantasy
Philip Pullman Firework-Maker's Daughter In this exotic fable, Philip Pullman, author of The Golden Compass, tells of an Asian girl whose great dream is to be a firework-maker like her father. This exotic tale literally bursts with images from the names of fireworks Lila creates (Crackle Dragons and Golden Sneezes ) to her friend the pure white elephant and the terrifying Fire Fiend surrounded by his Fire Imps. Narrator Lambert is a marvelous teller projecting awe, excitement or determination in the characters with an astute mix of enthusiasm and subtlety. He delivers a jolly repertoire of voices, keeping his performance animated but not outrageous. Delicious entertainment for families highlights Pullman's keen, literate writing. An AUDIOFILE Earphones Award winner Fantasy
Philip Pullman Clockwork or All Wound Up How will Fritz the storyteller end the story he is relating to townspeople in the White Horse tavern? Karl, one of the listeners, is the clockmaker's apprentice. He has failed to make a new figure for the town clock and he dreads the humiliation he will face the next day. He is so entranced with Fritz's story that he doesn't care. Without warning, one of the characters of Fritz's story appears in the tavern, the evil clockmaker Dr. Kalmenius. Kalmenius offers Karl a clockwork figure with diabolical power. Sir Ironsoul is his name. Upon hearing the word "devil," he will stab the speaker in the throat! What will Karl do? To find out, you'll have to read this gothic fable. Pullman's books haunt you through complex characters, unusual settings, and intriguing plots. Fantasy
C.S. Lewis Magician's Nephew, The Written in 1955 as a prequel to the 1950 fantasy novel THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE, this title is the story of two children in Victorian England who unwittingly take part in the (re)birth of the magical land of Narnia. Kenneth Branagh's precise and enchanting reading takes the listener from the rooftops of London to the fields of Narnia, and then back to London as mad Uncle Andrew ushers an evil sorceress named Jadis to wreak havoc in our world. Lewis's storytelling is magnificent, and Branagh's performance completely and utterly engaging. S.E.S. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award, 2002 Audie Award Finalist Fantasy
C.S. Lewis Till We Have Faces This tale of two princesses - one beautiful and one unattractive - and of the struggle between sacred and profane love is Lewis s reworking of the myth of Cupid and Psyche and one of his most enduring works.

Whenever Nadia May reads, a sensation of comfort creeps into the atmosphere. Her vocal clarity and understanding of the author's meaning bring pleasure and even security to the listening of each work. Here C.S. Lewis retells the tale of Cupid and Psyche, the ancient myth of two princesses one beautiful, one ugly and their struggle for the love of each other and of the gods who control them.
Fantasy
Ursula Leguin Wizard of Earthsea, A Ursula K. Le Guin's 1968 classic fantasy A Wizard of Earthsea, a coming-of-age tale about a boy destined to become the greatest sorcerer in the world, has been heralded as one of the most pedagogical and beautifully written children's novels ever penned. Born in the realm of Earthsea, a much-storied world dominated by an extensive archipelago, Ged is a poor blacksmith's son born with an innate understanding of magic. But after he is sent to Roke Island to study the craft, he lets his arrogance and antipathy for another student lead him into a disastrous mistake -- unleashing an evil spirit bent on devouring Ged's essence!

A Wizard of Earthsea -- and the other novels in Le Guin's Earthsea sequence (The Tombs of Atuan, The Farthest Shore, et al.) -- has been called "one of the most deeply influential of all 20th-century fantasy texts" by The Encyclopedia of Fantasy. Enchanting, lyrical, and almost subliminally profound ("Only in silence the word, only in dark the light, only in dying life "), this novel is a must-read for fantasy fans of all ages. Long before Harry Potter and the Hogwarts School were ever conceived by J. K. Rowling, there was Le Guin's Ged and the school for wizards on Roke Island. In a word: archetypal.
Fantasy
Edgar Rice Burroughs Return of Tarzan, The The second novel in the Tarzan series opens with the aristocratic ape man aboard an ocean liner en route from New York to Europe, on which he has encounters with Russian spies, French counts, and beautiful women. This is a wonderful story that binds Tarzan eternally with Jane Porter and introduces the fabled city of Opar. Robert Whitfield's reading is nearly perfect, giving the story an air that is gallantly Victorian while intensely exciting. With the exception of female American characters, which come across as artificial, Whitfield gives his characters voices that authentically express their genders, nationalities, and temperaments. Fantasy
Dave/Ridley Barry/Pearson Peter & the Starcatchers Barry and Pearson spin the tale of how an orphan of indeterminate age with no last name will become Peter Pan. Onboard the decrepit old ship Never Land, Peter and his friends endeavor to save an old trunk containing a powerful magic substance from a crew of pirates. Jim Dale gives a one-man performance that is truly astonishing. He creates distinct voices for all the characters--pirates, women, British soldiers, and native tribesmen. Adults and children alike will enjoy this rollicking tale of pirates, talking porpoises, flying children, and a giant crocodile. A little distracting is the excessive book-marking--90+ tracks on each CD make it tedious to recapture your place. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award Fantasy
Anne McCaffrey Dragon's Kin Beginning with the classic Dragonriders of Pern, Anne McCaffrey has created a complex, endlessly fascinating world uniting humans and great telepathic dragons. Millions of devoted readers have soared on the glittering wings of Anne's imagination, following book by book the evolution of one of science fiction's most beloved and honored series. Now, for the first time, Anne has invited another writer to join her in the skies of Pern, a writer with an intimate knowledge of Pern and its history: her son, Todd.

DRAGON'S KIN

Young Kindan has no expectations other than joining his father in the mines of Camp Natalon, a coal mining settlement struggling to turn a profit far from the great Holds where the presence of dragons and their riders means safety and civilization. Mining is fraught with danger. Fortunately, the camp has a watch-wher, a creature distantly related to dragons and uniquely suited to specialized work in the dark, cold mineshafts. Kindan's father is the watch-wher's handler, and his son sometimes helps him out. But even that important job promises no opportunity outside the mine.

Then disaster strikes. In one terrible instant, Kindan loses his family and the camp loses its watch-wher. Fathers are replaced by sons in the mine-except for Kindan, who is taken in by the camp's new Harper. Grieving, Kindan finds a measure of solace in a burgeoning musical talent . . . and in a new friendship with Nuella, a mysterious girl no one seems to know exists. It is Nuella who assists Kindan when he is selected to hatch and train a new watch-wher, a job that forces him to give up his dream of becoming a Harper; and it is Nuella who helps him give newmeaning to his life.

Meanwhile, sparked by the tragedy, long-simmering tensions are dividing the camp. Far below the surface, a group of resentful miners hides a deadly secret. As warring factions threaten to explode, Nuella and Kindan begin to discover unknown talents in the misunderstood watch-wher-talents that could very well save an entire Hold. During their time teaching the watch-wher, the two learn some things themselves: that even a seemingly impossible dream is never completely out of reach . . . and that light can be found even in darkness.
Fantasy
Marc/Barbara Zicree/Hambly Magic Time When a top-secret government experiment goes wrong, a burst of energy nullifies the effects of technology and reawakens magical forces that transform some individuals into monsters with supernatural powers. To save his sister from a similar fate, New York lawyer Cal Griffin sets out on a difficult and dangerous trek across a devastated landscape in search of the cause of the transformation. Screenwriter Zicree collaborates with veteran sf and fantasy author Hambly (Knight of the Demon Queen) in this series opener that features a modern world suddenly infused with magic. Complex and unusual characters support a tale of personal heroism and self-sacrifice. Fantasy
Orsen Scott Card Heartfire This is the fifth novel in Orson Scott Card's popular Alvin the Maker series, based on an alternate America where some people are born with knacks, which resemble magical abilities. The protagonist of the series, Alvin, is a maker who not only can fix things (such as restoring a wounded bird to health with his doodlebug) but is also something of a natural leader. Alvin and his small band of followers are on a quest to build the Crystal City, a place where those who have knacks can live in safety from the people who sometimes burn them as witches. While Alvin visits the nearly holy province of New England to find out just how cities work, his wife Margaret, traveling under the name Peggy, journeys to the kingdom of Camelot, which was formerly known as Charleston, South Carolina. There she hopes to persuade the exiled King Arthur to help her abolish the practice of slavery. Heartfire is an excellent midseries novel that's sure to delight fans of Alvin. Fantasy
Stephen King Dark Tower #2: Drawing of the Three, The In a re-issued collection of the first three books of King's fantasy saga, Frank Muller revisits the world of Roland of Gilead, Jake Chambers, and Eddie and Susanna Dean. King himself originally recorded the three books as he wrote them over a period of ten years. Muller recorded book four, Wizard and Glass, in 1997. The series centers around Roland of Gilead, the last gunslinger to walk the earth since the world "moved on." Roland travels in search of the dark tower, a mysterious, never-seen entity he believes holds the key to the world's having moved on. In a series that provides 36 hours of listening to the same voice (with no special effects), one expects a lapse in interest. But Muller, the master of narration, pulls out all the stops here. He makes characters unmistakable through dialogue and timing. In fast-paced conversation, dreams or breakneck bursts of action, he moves effortlessly among dozens of people. Narrative passages flow with equal grace and fluidity. Muller uses tricks, such as dragging out words and phrases, singing when the characters sing, and contriving animal and mechanical voices. Even his Foreword and Afterword sound like Stephen King . . . with one exception: The author would never pronounce his home city "Bang-er," rather than the "Bang-gore" of a native Mainer. Fantasy
Robin McKinley Blue Sword, The When Harry Crewe's father dies, she leaves her Homeland to travel east, to Istan, the last outpost of the Homelander empire, where her elder brother is stationed.
Harry is drawn to the bleak landscape of the northeast frontier, so unlike the green hills of her Homeland. The desert she stares across was once a part of the great kingdom of Damar, before the Homelanders came from over the seas. Harry wishes she might cross the sands and climb the dark mountains where no Homelander has ever set foot, where the last of the old Damarians, the Free Hillfolk, still live. She hears stories that the Free Hillfolk possess strange powers -- that they work magic -- that it is because of this that they remain free of the Homelander sway.
When the king of the Free Hillfolk comes to Istan to ask that the Homelanders and the Hillfolk set their enmity aside to fight a common foe, the Homelanders are reluctant to trust his word, and even more reluctant to believe his tales of the Northerners: that they are demonkind, not human.
Harry's destiny lies in the far mountains that she once wished to climb, and she will ride to the battle with the North in the Hill-king's army, bearing the Blue Sword, Gonturan, the chiefest treasure of the Hill-king's house and the subject of many legends of magic and mystery.
Fantasy
Clive Barker Imajica The magical tale of ill-fated lovers lost among worlds teetering on the edge of destruction, where their passion holds the key to escape.
There has never been a book like Imajica. Transforming every expectation offantasy fiction with its heady mingling of radical sexuality and spiritual anarchy, it has carried its millions of readers into regions of passion and philosophy that few books have even attempted to map. It's an epic in everyway; vast in conception, obsessively detailed in execution, and apocalyptic in its resolution. A book of erotic mysteries and perverse violence. A book of ancient, mythological landscapes and even more ancient magic.
Fantasy
David Gemmell White Wolf This new heroic fantasy in Gemmell's engrossing Drenai series takes place immediately before his first published novel, Legend (1984), but stands well on its own. Skilgannon, swordmaster and former general of Queen Jianna's army, walked away from the queen's service after his forces sacked a city with such savagery that his name is ever after followed by "the Damned." He's spent three trying years submitting to monastic discipline in hopes of understanding the places of man and evil in the world. His dreams are disturbed by a white wolf; his thoughts by memories of his dead wife and hopeless love for Queen Jianna. Now the surrounding town is torn by civil unrest and the monks debate fleeing: Skilgannon might have stayed with them but for the price on his head and the futility of his disguise as Brother Lantern. The abbot sends him to the capital, Mellicane, escorting an unworldly monk. In the woods outside town, they pick up the boy Rabalyn, whose troubles with a town bully ended with the torching of his aunt's house and the killing of the aunt and the bully; his ne'er-do-well parents are said to be in the capital. Thus begins a journey that will continue beyond Mellicane and draw in the author's most famous character, Druss the axeman. The plot seamlessly supports the predictable violence. Magic plays little part in everyday life, but when it affects the deeds of rulers and leaders, Gemmell describes it in a concrete, nuts-and-bolts way in welcome contrast to much airy-fairy fantasy. Fantasy
Stephen King Dark Tower III-The Waste Lands Frank Muller revisits the world of Roland of Gilead, Jake Chambers, and Eddie and Susanna Dean. The series centers around Roland of Gilead, the last gunslinger to walk the earth since the world "moved on." Roland travels in search of the dark tower, a mysterious, never-seen entity he believes holds the key to the world's having moved on. In a series that provides 36 hours of listening to the same voice (with no special effects), one expects a lapse in interest. But Muller, the master of narration, pulls out all the stops here. He makes characters unmistakable through dialogue and timing. In fast-paced conversation, dreams or breakneck bursts of action, he moves effortlessly among dozens of people. Narrative passages flow with equal grace and fluidity. Muller uses tricks, such as dragging out words and phrases, singing when the characters sing, and contriving animal and mechanical voices. Even his Foreword and Afterword sound like Stephen King . . . with one exception: The author would never pronounce his home city "Bang-er," rather than the "Bang-gore" of a native Mainer. Fantasy
Ed Greenwood Silent House, The In this complex, fast-paced heroic fantasy, the first to give a sweeping overview of the world of Aglirta, Canadian author Greenwood focuses on the transformation of Silent House, the ancestral estate of the Silver-tree clan mentioned in his Band of Four series (The Kingless Land, etc.), from a stronghold into a living entity. As the increasingly sentient Silent House tries to protect its charges with supernatural force, it unintentionally releases a curse. Characters are as confused by their own ambiguous motives as they are by one another. Beneath all the surface action and adventure, the romance and battles that are standard sword-and-sorcery fare, the author subtly explores the effects of culpability and remorse. He extols ideals of heritage and courage even as he depicts often misguided individual motives with grim naturalism. This is a book as philosophically engaging as it is entertaining. Fantasy
Fred Saberhagen Empire of the East In the distant future, society has crumbled. Dark forces now rule the land, keeping all humans under their oppressive thumbs.
In the darkness of the shadows and whispered on the winds, there is talk of a rebellion. In the swamps, a small band has formed. Determined to regain their freedom, the rebellion, heavily outnumbered, plans to overthrow an army of thousands . . . with the help of one incredible weapon.
It is only a legend, a story left over from the Old World before magic and the wizards came to the land. A weapon of technology. It is the mystical Elephant, and whoever masters it holds the key to freedom, or defeat.
One young man, determined to avenge the death of his family, sets out to join the rebellion and find Elephant. What he discovers will change everything.
Fantasy
Terry Pratchett Discworld #11: Reaper Man They say there are only two things you can count on...
But that was before Death started pondering the existential. Of course, the last thing anyone needs is a squeamish Grim Reaper and soon his Discworld bosses have sent him off with best wishes and a well-earned gold watch. Now Death is having the time of his life, finding greener pastures where he can put his scythe to a whole new use.
But like every cutback in an important public service, Death s demise soon leads to chaos and unrest literally, for those whose time was supposed to be up. Windle Poons was looking forward to a wonderful afterlife, and sets off to find Death and save the world for the living (and everybody else, of course).
Fantasy Humorous
Terry Pratchett Discworld #20: Hogfather The master of humorous fantasy delivers one of his strongest, most conventional books yet.
It s the night before Hogwatch.  And it s too quiet. Where is the big jolly fat man? Why is Death creeping down chimneys and trying to say Ho Ho Ho? The darkest night of the year is getting a lot darker...
Discworld s entire myth system is unraveling at an alarming rate. Drastic measures must be taken and Susan, the gothic governess, has to sort it out by morning, or otherwise there won t be a morning. Ever again...
The plot is irrelevant. Who can follow it anyway? The characters, the conceits, the jibes at contemporary intellectual currents, and the narration are delightful.
Fantasy Humorous
Terry Pratchett Discworld #27: The Last Hero Cohen the Barbarian. He s been a legend in his own lifetime. He can remember the good old days of high adventure, when being a Hero meant one didn t have to worry about aching backs and lawyers and civilization. But these days, he can t always remember just where he put his teeth...
So now, with his ancient (yet still trusty) sword and new walking stick in hand, Cohen gathers a group of his old very old friends to embark on one final quest. He s going to climb the highest mountain of Discworld and meet the gods.
It s time the Last Hero in the world returns what the first hero stole. Trouble is, that ll mean the end of the world, if no one stops him in time.
Fantasy Humorous
Terry Pratchett Wee Free Men, The Pratchett turns the bogeymen of fairy tales and nightmares into reality in this story, which is a stand-alone aimed at younger audiences. Pratchett fans will find only a few of Prathett's characters from his Diskworld series making an appearance here, but this is as it should be.
Young Tiffany Aching, incipient witch armed with a large iron frying pan, goes after the Elf Queen, who has taken Tiffany s little brother into Fairyland and who plans to use humans dreams to conquer their world. Tiffany s companions on her quest are a talking toad, who used to be a human, and a band of fierce Wee Free Men, who are six inches tall, talk with a Scottish brogue, and are famous for stealin an drinkin an fightin ! The action is both manic and a little scary as the queen confronts her pursuers with a headless horseman, dreams that trap dreamers inside them, and more. In the end, Tiffany must face the Queen alone while attempting to sort out reality from nightmare.
Winner of the Book of the Year award.
Fantasy Humorous
Terry Pratchett Discworld #25: Soul Music When Death takes a holiday from his job of cutting lifethreads on Discworld, it falls to his granddaughter Susan to fill, however reluctantly, his position. Simultaneously, a fortune-seeking bard discovers a magical instrument and proceeds to revolutionize music on a worldside scale, unmindful that his own life is scheduled for an abrupt ending. Pratchett s continuing comic fantasy saga reaches new heights or depths in his latest incarnation.
The narrator skillfully navigates the numerous scene shifts, characters and plots, keeping all straight and all with their individual voices. However, plot shifts every minute make the audiobook difficult to follow unless you re paying close attention.
Fantasy Humorous
Terry Pratchett Discworld #18: Interesting Times Discworld revolves on the backs of four great elephants and a big turtle. In this tale, the gods are playing games again, and the mysterious Lady opposes Fate in a match of Destinies of Nations Hanging by a Thread.
Transported against his will to the Counterweight Continent, where a new emperor is about to be chosen, Rincewind the Wizzard is reunited with old friends in his mission to destroy the Forbidden City of Hunghung. He firmly believes there are too many heroes already in the world, yet only one Rincewind. And he owes it to the world to keep that one alive for as long as possible.
Fantasy Humorous
Terry Pratchett Discworld #19: Maskarade There s a Ghost in the Opera House of Ankh-Morpork. It wears a bone-white mask and has been terrorizing the entire company.
What better way to flush out a ghost than with a witch? Enter the Opera s newest diva, Perdita X. Nitt, a wannabe witch with such an astonishing range that she can sing harmony with herself. And does.
To further complicate matters (and why not?) there is a backstage cat who occasionally becomes a person just because it s so easy. Not to mention Granny Weatherwax s old friend, Death, whose scythe arm is sore from too much use. And who has been known to don a mask...
Fantasy Humorous
Terry Pratchett Discworld #16: The Truth There s been a murder. Allegedly. William de Worde, rebellious second son of a rich, powerful, scheming nobleman, is Discworld s first investigative journalist. He didn t mean to be it was just an accident. But dark forces high up in Ankh-Morpork s society are plotting to overthrow the city s ruler, Lord Vetinari...can Worde find out who s behind it, in time?!
Pratchett keeps the thin-gruel plot palatable with his usual array of seasonings cartoonish characters, screwball dialogue, slapstick action, silly names, and pop-cultural allusions. Light-hearted, Monty Pythonish stuff that fans of, say, The Hitchhiker s Guide to the Galaxy, shouldn t miss.
Fantasy Humorous
Terry Pratchett Discworld #00: Strata First published in 1981, Strata is an early exploration of the idea that was to become the best-selling Discworld series.
The excavation showed that the fossilized plesiosaur had been holding a placard which read, End Nuclear Testing Now . That was nothing unusual.
But then came a discovery of something which did intrigue Kin Arad: a flat earth.
Jago Jalo, , a man who should have died a thousand years ago, lures the human Kin, the kung Marco Farfarer and the fifty-six-syllable-named shand better known as Silver, to undertake a voyage of discovery with him.
The rewards must be beyond their dreams...or nightmares.
Fantasy Humorous
Terry Pratchett Discworld #01: Color of Magic Discworld perched on the backs of four cosmically gargantuan elephants (who themselves are traveling through the intergalactic void atop a giant sea turtle) is a place where anything can happen.
And it does when Twoflower, a naive insurance salesman turned tourist, makes the mistake of selling fire insurance to an arson-prone innkeeper. One burning town later, Towflower and his amazing, sentient Luggage which follows him everywhere on its hundreds of little feet find themselves rescued by the inept wizard Rincewind, who is only too happy to turn tour guide as long as the gold flows free. And off this mismatched threesome go on an incredible adventure in the wildest realms of fantasy!
Fantasy Humorous
Terry Pratchett Discworld #29: Nightwatch Fans of Terry Pratchett s Discworld novels will enjoy learning about the younger versions of Dibbler, Nobby Nobbs, Reg Shoe, and other favorite characters. City Watch Commander Sam Vimes doesn t usually go after criminals himself, but herein he makes an exception to defend his squad against the dangerous killer Carcer. That exception sends him through time following Carcer back to the Ankh-Morpork revolution and the start of his own police career. He finds himself shaping up the City Watch, tutoring his youthful self, and sheltering young Sam Vimes from Carcer. Night Watch is more thoughtful than Pratchett s usual farce but retains his humorous touches. The two narrators share duties well, giving the story a mystical tone. Fantasy Humorous
Terry Pratchett Discworld #17: Feet of Clay Commander Vimes of the city guard is back for another adventure. It s no surprise that Ankh-Morpork s assassins and thieves have guilds and that killing or stealing outside guild limits is severely frowned on. So when a nonunion assassin goes to work in the city, Vimes has to resort to various expedients, including hiring a dwarf, one Cheery Littlebottom, to deal with the culprit. Pratchett s humor is as off-the-wall as ever, so the pursuit of the assassin is as witty and nonsensical as ever, and raising the question of a king for the city hints of possible future changes. Pratchett needn t ever alter his combination of whimsyy, satire, and subtly intelligent world-building in order to hold on to his many readers and win new ones. Fantasy Humorous
Terry Pratchett Discworld #07: Pyramids
It s bad enough being new on the job, but Teppic hasn t a clue as to what a pharaoh is supposed to do. After all, he s been trained at Ankh-Morpork s famed assassins school, across the sea from the Kingdom of the Sun.First, there s the monumental task of building a suitable resting place for Dad a pyramid to end all pyramids. Then there are the myriad administrative duties, such as dealing with mad priests, sacred crocodiles, and marching mummies. And to top it all off, the adolescent pharaoh discovers deceit, betrayal not to mention a headstrong handmaiden at the heart of his realm. Fantasy Humorous
Terry Pratchett Discworld #23: Carpe Jugulum Carpe Jugulum involves an exclusive royal snafu that leads to comic mayhem. In a fit of democracy and goodwill, King Verence invites Uberwald s undead, the Magpyrs, into Lancre to celebrate the birth of his daughter. But once ensconced within the castle, these wine-drinking, garlic-eating, sun-loving modern vampires have no intention of leaving. Ever.
Only an uneasy alliance between a nervous young priest and the argumentative local witches can save the country from being taken over by people with a cultivated bloodlust and bad taste in silk waistcoats. For them, there s only one way to fight.
Go for the throat, or as the vampyres themselves say...Carpe Jugulum.
Fantasy Humorous
Terry Pratchett Discworld #22: The Last Continent Something is amiss at Unseen Unversity, Ankh-Morpork s most prestigious (i.e., only) institution of higher learning. A professor is missing but a search party is on the way! A bevy of senior wizards will follow the trail wherever it leads even to the other side of Discworld, where the Last Continent, Fourecks, is under construction. Imagine a magical land where rain is but a myth and the ordinary is strange and the past and present run side by side. Experience the terror as you encounter a Mad Dwarf, the Peach Butt, and the dreaded Meat Pie Floater.
This whimsical fantasy from down under is a cross between the styles of Douglas Adams and A. A. Milne. Nigel Planer impersonates the characters with wit and aplomb. Lots of silly fun!
Fantasy Humorous
Terry Pratchett Discworld #08: Guards! Guards! Here there be dragons...and the denizens of Ankh-Morpork wish one huge firebreather would return from whence it came. Long believed extinct, a superb specimen of draco nobilis ( noble dragon for those who don t understand italics) has appeared in Discworld s greatest city. Not only does this unwelcome visitor have a nasty habit of charbroiling everything in its path, in rather short order it is crowned King (it is a noble dragon, after all...). Fantasy Humorous
Terry Pratchett Discworld #09: Eric Discworld s only demonology hacker, Eric, is about to make life very difficult for the rest of Ankh-Morpork s denizens. This would-be Faust is very bad...at his work, that is. All he wants is to fulfill three little wishes:to live forever, to be master of the universe, and to have a stylin hot babe.
But Eric isn t even good at getting his own way. Instead of a powerful demon, he conjures, well, Rincewind, a wizard whose incompetence is matched only by Eric s. And as if that wasn t bad enough, that lovable travel accessory the Luggage has arrived, too. Accompanied by his best friends, there s only one thing Eric wishes now -- that he d never been born!
Fantasy Humorous
Terry Pratchett Discworld #02: The Light Fantastic Terry Pratchett s profoundly irreverent novels are consistent number one bestsellers in England, where they have garnered him a revered position in the halls of parody next to Mark Twain, Kurt Vonnegut, Douglas Adams, and Carl Hiaasen.
In The Light Fantastic only one individual can save the world from a disastrous collision with a malevolent red star. Unfortunately, the hero happens to be the singularly inept wizard Rincewind, who was last seen falling off the edge of the world...

Dropping off the edge of their world does not seem to have done Rincewind, Twoflower or Luggage any harm... Excellent SFF Books
Fantasy Humorous
Terry Pratchett Discworld #03: Equal Rights The last thing the wizard Drum Billet did before he died was to pass on his staff of power to the eighth son of an eighth son. Unfortunately for his colleagues in the chauvinistic (not to say misogynistic) world of magic, he failed to check on the new-born baby s sex...
The town witch insists on turning the baby into a perfectly normal witch, thus mending the magical damage of the wizard s mistake. But now the young girl will be forced to penetrate the inner sanctum of the Unseen University and attempt to save the world with one well-placed kick in some enchanted shins!
The reader brings a distinctive style and rhythm that suits the tale, and the dry humor and tongue-in-cheek asides play well in the audio format.
Fantasy Humorous
Terry Pratchett Discworld #13: Small Gods Discworld is an extragavanza among much else, it has billions of gods. They swarm as thick as herring roe. Where there are gods galore, there are priests, high and low, and... there are novices.
Brutha is a novice with little chance to become a priest thinking does not come easily to him, although believing does. But it is to Brutha that the great god Om manifests, in the lowly form of a tortoise.

Terry Pratchett does for fantasy what Douglas Adams did forscience fiction.
Today
Fantasy Humorous
Terry Pratchett Discworld #14: Lords and Ladies Ever wonder what those magic circles of stones in the English countryside are for? They re to keep the elves out. Elves are nasty (besides being brutish and short). They re vicious. They love cruelty. Plus, to make things worse, elves have got It. Glamour. Style. Humans find elves absolutely irresistible. They actually think elves are cute! So when an infestation of Faerie Trash invades the Kingdom of Lancre, upsetting the Royal Wedding Plans (not to mention the Annual Morris Dance), the ordinary people of Lancre are helpless. It s up to the witches, led by Granny Weatherwax, to deal with the vicious little bastards. Which is all right with Granny. She thinks elves are cute, too. And that makes them even more fun to kill.
Fantasy Humorous
Terry Pratchett Discworld #24: The Fifth Elephant
Sam Vimes is a man on the run. Yesterday he was a duke, a chief of police and the ambassador to the mysterious fat-rich country of Uberwald. Now he has nothing but his native wit and the gloomy trousers of Uncle Vanya (don t ask). It s snowing. It s freezing. And if he can t make it through the forest to civilisation there s going to be a terrible war. But there are monsters on his trail. They re bright. They re fast. They re werewolves and they re catching up. Sam Vimes is out of time, out of luck, and already out of breath...

Unadulterated fun. Pratchett parodies everything in sight.
San Francisco Chronicle

Fantasy Humorous
Terry Pratchett Discworld #26: Thief of Time The creation of the first truly accurate clock starts a race both for and against time, for if the clock is completed, time will stop. Death calls on his granddaughter to stop the plot of the Auditors, beings who wish to catalog everything but find humanity a bit too unpredictable. This twisted, humorous tale in the Discworld series is brought down to size by the use of five narrators, each tackling a major plot line, and by Harlan Ellison, supplying background information. This method works well, at times allowing for dialogue from two plot lines to intersect, suggesting a cast of dozens. This delightful production keeps the listener spellbound throughout its 12 hours. Fantasy Humorous
Terry Pratchett Discworld #05: Sourcery
When last seen, the singularly inept wizard Rincewind had fallen off the edge of the world. Now magically, he s turned up again, and this time he s brought the Luggage.
Once upon a time, there was an eighth son of an eighth son who was, of course, a wizard. As if that wasn t complicated enough, said wizard then had seven sons. And then he had an eighth son a wizard squared (that s all the math, really). Who of course, was a source of magic a sorcerer.
Inventive, satirical of the contemporary scene, Pratchett does not merely play with words, he juggles shrewd observations with aplomb. His creations are gently allegorical: for instance, the Unseen University Library is the repository of magic, its librarian an orangutan and its archchancellorship reserved for the most powerful magician, a sourcerer named Coin. But the author never takes himself or his message too seriously, and maintains a feather-light touch throughout. Even Death, an important minor character here, receives a distinctive voice.
Fantasy Humorous
Terry Pratchett Discworld #06: Wyrd Sisters When murder, mayhem and the sudden arrival of a royal baby disturb the monthly cauldron-stirring of three witches, trouble is bound to be brewed up in the little kingdom of Lancre. Kingdoms wobble and crowns topple in this sixth hilarious Discworld adventure...
Meet Granny Weatherwx, the most highly regarded non-leader a coven of non-social witches could ever have.Generally, these loners don t get involved in anything, mush less royal intrigue. But then there are those times they can t help it. As Granny Weatherwzx is about to discover, though, it s a lot harder to stir up trouble in the castle than some theatrical types would have you think. Even when you ve got a few unexpected spells up your sleave.
Overall narration is done by a woman who reads distinctly and slowly, changing accent and pacing to distinguish the characters, however, another reader portrays Death in an echoing, resonant male voice.
Fantasy Humorous
Terry Pratchett Discworld #21: Jingo It s a quiet night and Solid Jackson and his son are fishing the waters between Ankh-Morpork and Al-Khali when their boat runs aground. To their amazement, an iron chicken rises out of the water, followed shortly by the island of Leshp. Jackson immediately claims the island as Ankh-Morpork territory. However, Greasy Arif and his son were also fishing nearby, and Arif swears that the island belongs to Al-Khali. Both cities are determined to annex it. By jingo, this means war! Ankh-Morpork is outgunned and out-manned but the city s nobles don t plan to let that stop them from carrying on the noble traditions of chivalry and showing those Klatchians what s what.
This book is just as funny, clever, and unpredictable as previous titles. Pratchett fans will not be disappointed, and new readers will not be confused. Jingo expands upon the lives of characters from titles in the series, but readers don t need to be familiar with them to enjoy this one. It s fast-paced, with lots of twists and turns, unexpected events, and football.
Fantasy Humorous
Terry Pratchett Discworld #10: Moving Pictures Discworld s pesky alchemists are up to their old tricks again. This time, they ve discovered how to get gold from silverthe silver screen that is. Hearing the siren call of Holy Wood is one Victor Tugelbend, a would-be wizard turned extra. He can t sing, he can t dance, but he can handle a sword (sort of), and now he wants to be a star. So does Theda Withel, an ambitious ingénue from a little town (where else?) you ve probably never heard of.
But the click click of moving pictures isn t just stirring up dreams inside Discworld. Holy Wood s magic is drifting out into the boundaries of the universes, where raw realities, the could-have-beens, the might-bes, the never-weres, the wild ideas are beginning to ferment into a really stinky brew. It s up to Victor and Gaspode the Wonder Dog (a star if ever one was born!) to rein in the chaos and bring order back to a starstruck Discworld. And they re definitely not ready for their close-up!
Fantasy Humorous
Terry Pratchett Discworld #12: Witches Abroad Be careful what you wish for...
Once upon a time there was a fairy godmother named Desiderata who had a good heart, a wise head, and poor planning skills which unforunately left the Princess Emberella in the care of her other (not quite so good and wise) godmother when DEATH came for Desiderata. So now it s up to Magrat Garlick, Granny Weatherwax, and Nanny Ogg to hop on broomsticks and make for far-distant Genua to ensure the servant girl doesn t marry the Prince.
But the road to Genua is bumpy, and along the way the trio of witches encounters the occasional vampire, werewolf, and falling house (well this is a fairy tale, after all). The trouble really begins once these reluctant foster-godmothers arrive in Genua and must outwit their power-hungry counterpart who ll stop at nothing to achieve a proper happy ending even if it means destroying a kingdom.
Fantasy Humorous
Terry Pratchett Discworld #31: Monstrous Regiment What do you get when you cross a vampire, a troll, Igor, a collection of misfits, and a young woman who shoves a pair of socks down her pants to join the army? The answer s simple. You have Monstrous Regiment, the characteristically charming novel by Terry Pratchett.
Terry Pratchett s hilarious prose is significantly enhanced by the narrative skills of Stephen Briggs. The story, another in the Discworld saga, highlights the recruiting efforts of a small country chronically at war with its neighbors. A rotund sergeant and weasely corporal sweep through a small town, and one of the misfits who volunteers to thwart them is Polly Perks, disguised as a teenaged boy barely of age. Briggs takes on the misfits and makes them shine. As the little group proceeds from one improbable adventure to the next, Briggs and Pratchett are magnificent. 2004 Audie Award Finalist
Fantasy Humorous
Terry Pratchett Discworld #04: Mort Death comes to Mort with an offer he can t refuse especially since being, well...dead, isn t compulsory. As Death s apprentice, he ll have free board and lodging, use of the company horse, and he won t need time off for family funerals. The position is everything Mort thought he d ever wanted, until he discovers that this perfect job can be a killer on his love life.
This novel is a fun combination of fantasy with modern-day allusions. The reader brings a distinctive style and rhythm that suits the tale. The dry humor and tongue-in-cheek asides play well in the audio format. Mort presents an unlikely hero, an apprentice to Death who is bewildered by the role of Death and Fate in history. Nigel Planer s descriptive characterization carries the plot forward in high fashion. As Mort develops from a timid and backward lad, his voice and manner of expression vividly demonstrate the changes taking place.
Fantasy Humorous
Terry Pratchett Discworld #15: Men at Arms Corporal Carrot has been promoted! He s now in charge of the new recruits guarding Ankh-Morpork. It s a big job, particularly for an adopted dwarf. But an even bigger job awaits. An ancient document has just revealed that Ankh-Morpork, ruled for decades by Disorganized crime, has a secret sovereign! And his name is Carrott...
And so begins the most awesome epic encounter of all time, or at least all afternoon, in which the fate of a city indeed of the universe itself! depends on a young man s courage, an ancient sword s magic, and a three-legged poodle s bladder.
British actor Nigel Planer portrays them all believably and effortlessly. His portrayal of the troll Detritus is especially hilarious when the IQ of that lumpish individual begins rising as, caught in a freezer, his internal temperature falls. Outstanding.
Fantasy Humorous
George MacDonald Fraser Pyrates, The
This is a tongue-in-cheek homage to the swashbuckling books and movies that have always stirred Fraser s imagination. In these rollicking pages you ll find tall ships and desert islands; impossibly gallant adventurers and glamorous heroines; devilishly sinister cads and ghastly dungeons; improbably acrobatic duels and hair s-breadth escapes; and more plot twists than you can shake a rapier at. A deliriously entertaining combination of Errol Flynn action-adventure and Naked Gun pastiche.

The most wonderfully idiotic lovesong to swashbucklers ever set to Korngold trumpets. Fraser again proves himself a master. New York Times
Fantasy Humorous
Frank Thompson Alamo, The In the spring of 1836 a small band of Texan revolutionaries fought to the death, and held out for thirteen days against the powerful Mexican Army and its strong leader. The story of these Alamo defenders has come to symbolize courage, daring, and sacrifice for the cause of liberty, and the old mission in San Antonio where they fought is one of the most visited historical sites in the country. Three heroic men led the Texan Army in its fight for the Alamo the fierce and spirited James Bowie, legendary frontiersman Davy Crockett and a bold, young Colonel, William B. Travis. The fascinating story of these men and the dramatic battle in which they fought continues to inspire us today.
This book is more than a tribute to those who fell defending the mission. It is a thoroughly researched, vividly illustrated, objective description of the circumstances building up to and leading from that stand. By using contemporary writings, this history describes the political and military organizations of both sides, the weapons and equipment available to them, and the enduringly famous personalities involved, creating a vivid picture of this dramatic battle and the period in which it was fought.
Historical Fiction
Diana Gabaldon Voyager In this rich, vibrant tale, Diana Gabaldon continues the story of Claire Randall and Jamie Fraser that began with the now-classic novel Outlander and continued in Dragonfly in Amber. Sweeping us from the battlefields of eighteenth-century Scotland to the exotic West Indies, Diana Gabaldon weaves magic once again in an exhilarating novel...
Their love affair happened long ago by whatever measurement Claire Randall took. Two decades before, she had traveled back in time and into the arms of a gallant eighteenth-century Scot named Jamie Fraser. Then she returned to her own century to bear his child, believing him dead in the tragic battle of Culloden. Yet his memory has never lessened its hold on her and she still dreams of him.
When she discovers that Jamie may have survived, Claire must choose her destiny. And as time and space come full circle, she must find the courage to face what awaits her the deadly intrigues raging in a divided Scotland and the daring voyage into the dark unknown that lies beyond the standing stones.
The pair s subsequent flight for life takes them to the West Indies and, finally, to a hair-raising shipwreck in the American colonies that hints there may be a fourth volume of Claire s adventures. Gabaldon handles the time-travel elements competently but subordinates them to classic historical romance a big one, luxuriantly detailed and featuring highly appealing characters and an authentic feel to the background that speaks well of her research and writing.
Historical FIction
Alex Haley Roots This story begins in an idyllic African world destroyed by Europeans. Haley s description of Kinte s journey to America in the hold of a slave ship is harrowing and indelibly memorable. Kinte is enslaved in America but is still proud, refusing to forsake his African name or heritage. He passes on stories of Africa to his daughter, who bears a son, who passes the stories of his grandfather on to his children. One of those son s children is Haley s grandmother. She passes the family stories to her daughter, who passes them on to Haley. Haley, in turn, tells the story, from Kunta Kinte to his own grandmother, to his children.
This novel holds up as a powerful representation of the full African American saga. The story of his family is, by extension, the story of all black people whose family histories are lost in the mists of time with an immense amount of respect and tenderness. Amidst the undeniable misery of slavery, he always reveals the outstanding characteristics that sustained his family spirited resistance, cunning survival instincts, and a will to remember and pass on.
Historical Fiction
Mary Renault King Must Die, The The story of the mythical hero Theseus, slayer of monsters, abductor of princesses and king of Athens. He emerges from these pages as a clearly defined personality; brave, aggressive and quick. The core of the story is Theseus Cretan adventure.
The King Must Die attempts to reconstruct the legend of Theseus in historically plausible terms. Renault has painted a vivid portrait of life in the eastern Mediterranean, with especially detailed descriptions of a thriving and multi-racial Cretan empire and of a religious cult on the island of Naxos. She has also carefully considered the personality and character of Theseus, arguing that he was most likely a crafty wrestler with a wiry build, not a gigantic Bronze Age Warrior:
If one examines the legend in this light, a well-defined personality emerges. It is that of a light-weight; brave and aggressive, physically tough and quick; highly sexed and rather promiscuous; touchily proud, but with a feeling for the underdog; resembling Alexander in his precocious competence, gift of leadership, and romantic sense of destiny.
The result is a remarkably plausible story. Renault immersed herself in classical scholarship and in the latest archaeological research, striving to produce a work of mythological fiction as consistent with our knowledge of the past as possible. In The King Must Die, Athenian captives are sent to Crete not as sacrifices to the half-man, half-bull Minotaur, but as slaves destined to entertain the Cretan elite in the bull-ring; the villain is Asterion, an illegitimate son of the Cretan king known as the Minotaur for his cruelty; the role of magic in the story is small and subtle.
Historical Fiction
Wilber Smith Blue Horizon Fans of Smith s previous chronicles involving the swashbuckling Courtneys (The Sunbird, etc.) will embrace this event-packed addition, which finds the British clan plying the shipping trade in 18th-century South Africa. Set 25 years after Smith s Monsoon (1999), it concentrates on the family s new generation-headstrong young Jim Courtney and his proud cousin Mansur. The feverish action begins when Jim falls under the spell of a stunningly beautiful prisoner aboard a Dutch convict ship. Naturally, she is guiltless. Naturally, he helps her escape into the dark continent s wilderness, placing them both in peril and the family business in jeopardy. What follows is a relentless succession of harrowing chases, narrow escapes, battles on land and sea, assassinations and assignations.
Brimming with bravado, greed, and romance, this rip-roaring historical romp across eighteenth-century Africa will mesmerize faithful fans and win new converts to Smith s trademark brand of lushly exotic fiction.
The narrator s British accent, at times clipped enough to draw blood, softens to an almost roguish intimacy during the novel s romantic interludes. He changes his voice from African bushman to evil Dutch prize-hunter to British colonizer without breaking a sweat. Hear the drama of jungle hunting and full-on veldt battles between native warriors armed with magical power, horses, and spears and upstart Britishers wielding guns and cannons. A full complement of family infighting, exotic locales, and personalities provides escapist listening, peopled with characters who have real needs and desires.In short, he is the ideal audio interpreter for this highly melodramatic, ripping yarn.

More than 600 pages of pure pleasure! Smith can stretch a yarn and drag every emotion you have along with it. He has a way of drawing you into a story, and the time period matters not a whit.
Times Record News
Historical Fiction
Bernard Cornwell Harlequin Harlequin (aka The Archer s Tale) begins a newest series by Cornwell. The stories are set in the middle of the fourteenth century, an age when the four horsemen of the apocalypse seem to have been released over Europe. This first book tells how Thomas of Hookton leaves his native Dorset to fight aginst the French in Brittany and, afterwards, at the battle of Crecy in Picardy. It is a tale of longbows and butchery, especially when England s archers swarm into the Norman city of Caen. And over it all, like a dream, hovers the grail which is the epitome of chivalry and Christian decency, qualities which are in desperately short supply as the armies of France and England struggle at the beginning of what will be known as the Hundred Years War. Historical Fiction
Bernard Cornwell Sharpe s Tiger In a battery of events that will make a hero out of an illiterate private, a young Richard Sharpe poses as the enemy to bring down a ruthless Indian dictator backed by fearsome French troops.
The year is 1799, and Richard Sharpe is just beginning his military career. An inexperienced young private in His Majesty s service, Sharpe becomes part of an expedition to India to push the ruthless Tippoo of Mysore from his throne and drive out his French allies. To penetrate the Tippoo s city and make contact with a Scottish spy being held prisoner there, Sharpe has to pose as a deserter. Success will make him a sergeant, but failure will turn him over to the Tippoo s brutal executioners or, worse his man-eating tigers.
Historical Fiction
Michael Crichton Eaters of the Dead This remarkable true story originated from actual journal entries of an Arab man who traveled with a group of Vikings throughout northern Europe. In the year A.D. 922, a refined Arab courtier, representative of the powerful Caliph of Baghdad, encounters a party of Viking warriors on their journey to the barbaric North. He is appalled by Viking customs the wanton sexuality of their pale, angular women, their disregard for cleanliness, their cold-blooded human sacrifices. But only in the depths of the Northland does he learn the horrifying truth: he has been enlisted to combat a terror that comes under cover of night to slaughter the Vikings and devour their flesh. Historical Fiction
David L. Robbins War of the Rats For six months in 1942, Stalingrad is the center of a titanic struggle between the Russian and German armies the bloodiest campaign in mankind s long history of warfare. The outcome is pivotal. If Hitler s forces are not stopped, Russia will fall. And with it, the world...
German soldiers call the battle Rattenkrieg, War of the Rats. The combat is horrific, as soldiers die in the smoking cellars and trenches of a ruined city. Through this twisted carnage stalk two men one Russian, one German each the top sniper in his respective army. These two marksmen are equally matched in both skill and tenacity. Each man has his own mission: to find his counterpart and kill him.
But an American woman trapped in Russia complicates this extraordinary duel. Joining the Russian sniper s cadre, she soon becomes one of his most talented assassins and perhaps his greatest weakness. Based on a true story, this is the harrowing tale of two adversaries enmeshed in their own private war and whose fortunes will help decide the fate of the world.
Historical Fiction
Thomas Berger Little Big Man The astonishing reminiscences of an ancient and immodest Indian frontiersman form a witty, lusty, and highly impressive epic, a panoramic enlargement of the way of life in the Old West.
Believe it or not, Jack Crabb is 111 years old. He is also the son of two fathers, one white, the other a Cheyenne Indian chief who gave him the name Little Big Man.
As a Cheyenne, Crabb feasted on dog, loved four wives, and saw his people butchered by horse-soldiers commanded by Custer. As a white man, he helped hunt the buffalo into extinction, tangled with Wyatt Earp, cheated Wild Bill Hickok and lived through the showdown that followed. He also survivied the Battle of Little Bighorn, where he fought side by side with Custer himself even though he d sworn to kill him.

Thomas Berger s Little Big Man, when written, was 20 years ahead of its time. What we now take for granted, i.e., US govt (read: white) anhilation of native Americans, Berger presented to us from another perspective: the Indians . I was about 12 years old when the movie came out and can still remember how it was much discussed at the time. Make no mistake - for all the wit and humor in this story, it is a very serious subject and for its time was very powerful. Imagine the days not so long ago when George Armstrong Custer was a national hero. This book caused rethinking and revision of white treatment of Indians and Indian culture. Mr Berger s use of a fictional character inserted into historical events was a masterful tool. The humor that our narrator, Jack Crabb, uses to get his point across is infectious, his downhome wisdom sage, and his tender heart touching. For those who enjoyed Mr. Crabb s saga, do not miss his return (Return of Little Big Man), as well as another mockumentary character, Harry Flashman, and his historical adventures, courtesy of George McDonald Fraser.
Amazon Reader Review
Historical Fiction
Thomas Berger Return of Little Big Man Jack Crabb, supposedly the only white man to survive Custer s Last Stand, first disclosed the brimful and dubious chronicle of his life in Thomas Berger s 1964 charmer, Little Big Man. There the 111-year-old, a shade of history who strutted unnoticed through the mythic West, recounted his acquaintances with notables such as George Custer and Wild Bill Hickok, as well as his shuttling between the worlds of whites and Indians. In The Return of Little Big Man, ostensibly a long-lost addendum to these memoirs, we get more of the tale. Just listen to what I tell you, and then check it against the facts if you can, our hero invites.
Return has much in common with its predecessor. Once again, Crabb seems to have known every-one and been nearly everywhere, and his many associates both notorious and anonymous reappear as if by miracle. Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, and Annie Oakley all check in; while Crabb himself wanders the globe as Buffalo Bill Cody s right-hand man, witnesses both Hickok s and Sitting Bull s murders, and crouches behind a wagon during the O.K. Corral shootout. Berger s Twain-esque ruminations lend an air of purposefulness to Crabb s meanderings, a sense that separation is merely provisional, that existence only appears haphazard.
Crabb, however, seems more than occasionally dispirited friends pass, younger men ascend. Midway through, though, the book gets its real charge, as Crabb confronts a fading world and a future both bright and bewildering. Sustained by an enormous heart, an affinity for exaggeration, and a conscience both weary and sentimental, he acknowledges the best--and worst in everyone he meets. It s a story you d like to believe.
Historical Fiction
Arthur Golden Memoirs of a Geisha A delicate rendering of geisha culture in the years before World War II. This is the story of Sayuri, who ages from a 9-year-old peasant girl to a popular geisha in her late 20s.
Sayuri transforms into one of the most famous geishas of the century. The abridged audio only gives the basic story, but it s a fascinating look at the intricate rules and rituals of geisha culture.
We enter a world where appearances are paramount; where a girl's virginity is auctioned to the highest bidder; where women are trained to beguile the most powerful men; and where love is scorned as illusion. It is a unique and triumphant work of fiction at once romantic, erotic, suspenseful and completely unforgettable.
Historical Fiction
Robert Harris Fatherland Fatherland is set in an alternative world where Hitler has won the Second World War. It is April 1964 and one week before Hitler s 75th birthday. Xavier March, a detective of the Kriminalpolizei, is called out to investigate the discovery of a dead body in a lake near Berlin s most prestigious suburb.
As March discovers the identity of the body, he uncovers signs of a conspiracy that could go to the very top of the German Reich. And, with the Gestapo just one step behind, March, together with an American journalist, is caught up in a race to discover and reveal the truth a truth that has already killed, a truth that could topple governments, a truth that will change history.

Harris dances on Hitler s grave with amusing success. Kirkus Reviews
Historical Fiction
Robert Harris Pompeii A thriller based on one of the most famous natural disasters in history: the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in A.D. 79. It starts innocently enough: two days before the eruption, an engineer in charge of the massive Aqua Augusta Aqueduct, is summoned to the estate of a ruling official who sends him on a mission to find out why the local fish are dying. This leads to a sea-crossing an adventure that takes him to Pompeii, where mounting discoveries reveal that a disaster is eminent.
With rich historical details and scientific minutiae, Harris vividly brings to life the ancient world on the brink of unspeakable destruction.

Breakneck pace, constant jeopardy and subtle twists of plot...a blazing blockbuster.
Daily Mail
Historical Fiction
C.S. Forester Mr. Midshipman Hornblower This story chronicles the beginning of 17 year-old Horatio Hornblower s beginnings in the British Navy during the Napoleonic War in the late 1700 s and is the introduction to the rest of the Hornblower series, which follows him through a dozen major campaigns. Through his writing, Forester gave readers a glimmer of just how much the real Bonaparte was hated, and why.
Forester s genius was not tidy, so this story is the sixth book about Hornblower, though it should have been the first.
This tale takes you through young Horatio s first seamanship experiences such as his first command of a ship, becoming a leiutenant, and many other adventures. Anyone who loves good fiction will enjoy this book.
Historical Fiction
Patrick O Brian Surgeon s Mate, The The marvelous narrator performs splendidly with another Aubrey/Maturin (#7) sea story by the late Patrick O Brian.
Captain Aubrey and surgeon Maturin are headed home to England to bring the news of their latest victory after a successful espionage caper in the U.S., but they find the resentful Yankees close on their heels. Maturin is a marked man for the havoc he caused in their last adventure.
A marvelous, long chase scene punctuates this book and provides enough action to please the most jaded listener. Read with British accents that are serious, expressive, precise, easy, and convincing, there is little flamboyance and a lot of persuasiveness. Well done!
Historical Fiction
James A. Michener Chesapeake Once again James A. Michener brings history to life with this 400-year saga of America s great bay and its Eastern Shore.
Escaping religious persecution in England in the early 1600s, young Edmund Steed flees his homeland in pursuit of freedom and the New World. After joining Captain John Smith on his courageous journey, Steed establishes a remarkable family whose lives parallel the formation of America.
Chesapeake sweeps readers from the unspoiled world of the Native Americans to the voyages of Captain John Smith, the Revolutionary War, and right up to modern times. Through the extraordinary tale of one man s quest, Michener tells intertwining stories of family and national heritage, introducing us along the way to Quakers, slaves, abolitionists, pirates, planters, and famous politicians, all struggling through American history in the common pursuit of freedom.

Michener s most ambitious work of fiction in theme and scope.
The Philadelphia Inquirer

Brilliantly written.
Associated Press
Comments from one reader: From the mighty warrior who became the unlikely leader of a small band of Indians later known as the gentle Choptanks to a handful of diverse European families who shaped the bountiful wilderness into the comfortably proud land it is today, Michener s book is alive with strong women, stubborn men, the crafty and the vile, the shamefully wrong and the helplessly righteous. Don t let the size of the book scare you it s a fast read full of laughs and wonder, historically altered, yet accurate to the times and places in so many ways. A rare book describing the growth of a portion of our mighty country including the trials and tribulations of the Native Americans and the never ending struggles of the Africans brought over as slaves. He glosses through the Civil War, but I think the book might ve been twice as long had he written much more about it. For everyone whos stalked the marshes and seen the skipjacks gallantly skim by, from the poor farm boy to the community-building rich Michener s toast to you. As treasured as the Bay herself.
Historical Fiction
C.S. Forester Lieutenant Hornblower This is the seventh novel in the Horatio Hornblower saga. In it, Hornblower emerges from his apprenticeship as midshipman to assume the responsibilities that await him as a lieutenant. More of the salty adventures of Horatio, who sailed the ocean blue during the Napoleonic Wars.
Chronologically this novel falls between Mr. Midshipman Hornblower and Captain Horatio Hornblower. It works us alongside this lanky and laconic young man who distinguishes himself in his first independent command.

The young Hornblower is all one can wish of a naval hero at the start of his meteoric career. Library Journal
Historical Fiction
Patrick O Brien Master & Commander This gem of a tale concerns an ambitious Royal Navy officer, Jack Aubrey, who is given command of his own vessel during the early stages of the struggle against Bonaparte. O Brian, who is known for his historical detail, doesn t disappoint with this tale as the listener is treated to a lesson in early ninetenth-century naval history and to a superb tale, as well. Robert Hardy reads this abridgment with great skill. He displays his versatile voice in a performance that is clear and vivacious. Classical music, used as a transition between episodes, complements the reading. The major flaw is that some of the scenes do not flow well in the abridgment. Historical Fiction
Peter Carey My Life as a Fake Carey takes a strange episode in Australian history as the basis for this hypnotic novel of personal and artistic obsession. He tells it through the eyes of Lady Sarah Wode-Douglass, editor of a struggling but prestigious London poetry journal, who one day in the early 1970s finds herself accompanying an old family friend out to Malaysia. There they encounter an eccentric Australian expatriate, who lets on that he concocted a huge literary hoax in Australia just after the war, creating an imaginary genius poet, whose publication by a little magazine led to the suicide of the magazine s editor.
The tale is a tour de force, with a relish in the seamy side of the tropics, a mix of literary detective story and murderous hair-raising nightmare. Just when it seems that Carey s story is his greatest fantastic creation to date, he lets on that the hoax at the heart of it actually took place in Melbourne in 1946. As so often before, this extravagantly gifted writer has created something bewilderingly original and powerful. Delectably suspenseful and wildly inventive, a modern Gothic.
Historical Fiction
Steven Pressfield Last of the Amazons With an epic scope and keen sense of detail, Pressfield has created an entertaining and vital reimagining of the Amazon legend with his historical novel, Last of the Amazons. Combining myth with history, Pressfield offers a conjectural account of the legendary female warrior tribe as it may have existed in the years leading up to its extinction. Following the Athenian-Amazon war in the fifth century B.C., Amazon warrior Selene is taken captive and placed as an unlikely governess to the two daughters of a high-ranking Greek. The three form a lasting bond, and when Selene eventually escapes to return to Amazonia, eldest daughter Europa follows her. Here, those involved relate the story of the Amazon war to the men, and the book s action really begins. This novel is instilled with a grandiose sensibility, firmly modeled after the Homeric epics of its time. He relishes in describing these events and their heroes with a divinely consequential spirit. The level of intricacy and constant action on display here keep the pages moving along. Amazon is ultimately an impressive, fun read that renders history spectacular in its speculation. Historical Fiction
Wilbur Smith Birds of Prey Smith offers another meticulously researched, exhaustive adventure saga. Set in 1667, the story follows the escapades of the infamous pirate Sir Francis Courteney and his son, Hal. After the Courteneys and their rough-hewn pirate crew raid a Dutch East India Company ship (in the name of the British crown), they are pursued from one end of the African coast to the other. During the chase, treacherous sea battles ensue, with gory deaths and gruesome shark and crocodile attacks thrown in for good measure. Eventually, the pirates are captured, and Sir Francis is executed, forcing young Hal to take over as leader.
A swashbuckling, epic tale of love, deceit, bravery, and drama on the high seas, this book is filled with menacing pirates, honorable sea captains, treacherous and greedy men and women, and sea galleons loaded with treasure. Fans of Smith s previous work will not be disappointed.
Historical Fiction
Dorothy Dunnett Niccolo Rising With the bravura storytelling and pungent authenticity of detail, Dorothy Dunnett, grande dame of the historical novel, presents The House of Niccolò series. The time is the 15th century, when intrepid merchants became the new knighthood of Europe. Among them, none is bolder or more cunning than Nicholas vander Poele of Bruges, the good-natured dyer s apprentice who schemes and swashbuckles his way to the helm of a mercantile empire.
Niccolò Rising, Book One of the series, finds us in Bruges, 1460. Jousting is the genteel pastime, and successful merchants are, of necessity, polyglot. Street smart, brilliant at figures, adept at the subtleties of diplomacy and the well-timed untruth, Dunnett s hero rises from wastrel to prodigy in a breathless adventure that wins him the hand of the strongest woman in Bruges and the hatred of two powerful enemies. From a riotous and potentially murderous carnival in Flanders, to an avalanche in the Alps and a pitched battle on the outskirts of Naples, Niccolò Rising combines history, adventure, and high romance in the tradition stretching from Alexandre Dumas to Mary Renault.
The madcap adventures of the young men associated with a wealthy dye and trading house including the son of the widowed owner, a ribald apprentice, two notaries public and a host of bad guys are colorfully told in a kaleidoscope of voices. Pacey s ever-changing accents and dialects give spice and even a measure of credibility to this tale of fifteenth-century merchants, bankers, petty warriors and nobility. The narration of the hilarious ride of the hero and apprentice through Bruges on an ostrich is a high point. The excellent technical quality of the recording captures all the nuances of Pacey s narration.

Dunnett s skill at mixing historical events and personages with fascinating fictive characters provides for high adventure, royal intrigues, war and passion.
The Washington Post
Historical Fiction
Wilbur Smith Seventh Scroll, The For 4,000 years, the lavish crypt of the Pharaoh Mamose has never been found...until a cryptic message written by a slave Taita, is found and gives Egyptologist Royan Al Simma a tantalizing clue to its location.
But this is a treasure cache others would kill to possess. Only one step ahead of assassins, Royan runs for her life to the only person she can trust a daring man who will stake his fortune and his life to join her hunt for the king s tomb. Together, they will embark on a journey to the most exotic locale on earth, where the greatest mystery of ancient Egypt, a chilling danger and an explosive passion are waiting.
Fans of Indiana Jones who haven t yet encountered Smith s novels will enjoy any of his adventure tales. The pace never flags as the heroes overcome each obstacle between them and the Pharoah s golden fortune.
Narrator Cazenove, who has a fine gift for vocal characterization, brings the story to life. His British accent is clear to American listeners. The abridgment doesn t interfere with the substance and pace of the story as it sometimes can.
Historical Fiction
Alexandre Dumas Three Muskateers, The A perennial favorite, this work continues to hold appeal for adventure lovers. Full of intrigue, swordplay, and revenge, it is the story of d Artagnan, a young nobleman who travels to Paris in hopes of joining the Musketeers, a group of swashbuckling adventurers who serve King Louis XIII. His wit and fighting ability make d Artagnan a welcome addition to their ranks, and together the four young men work to foil the King s evil rival, Cardinal Richelieu. Despite the period setting and constant violence, the story captures and sustains the listener s interest as the Musketeers vanquish the villains.
This classic adventure epic is superbly narrated. Page s flawless pronunciation of the numerous French words blends with his formal British English to give color and credence to the grandiloquent language of the translation. His characterizations are equally well performed. The characters emerge richly faceted: the nefarious Lady DeWinter; the pious but fallible Athos; the haughty, boisterous Porthos. The listener is carried through the romantic verbiage by this energetic, exciting performance.
Historical Fiction
Bernard Cornwell Winter King, The The Arthurian legend has seen countless renditions over the centuries, and Cornwell s experience as a historical novelist is evident in this first story in an Arthurian trilogy. In The Winter King, characters are rearranged, resulting in a vain and unpopular Lancelot, an ambitious and scheming Guinevere, a Merlin who is more absent Druid than mystic magician, and a Mordred who is Uther s grandson and legitimate heir. The tale is told by the Saxon-born monk Derfel Cadarn for Igraine, a young queen. He relates his childhood in Merlin s compound, his years soldiering with Arthur, and the deeds he witnesses. The story has battles aplenty but also insight into the actions of Arthur et al.
A rich, expressive narration by Tim Pigott-Smith renders the language and dialects musical, creating a period atmosphere and sense of place for the listener. This is a most enjoyable incarnation of timeless characters.
Historical Fiction
George MacDonald Fraser Black Ajax Fraser gives us a superb novel about Tom Molineaux, a freed slave from Virginia who was a boxing sensation in the early days of the sport in Regency England. Has there ever been a more vivid picture of the thrills and horrors of the early bare-knuckle boxing days, when the sport was at once illegal and a national obsession? There is much that is lewd, rude, and outright funny here, as well as the substantial research that is typical of all Fraser s novels. For anyone interested in the period, in the place of a black man in a highly stratified society and in a compelling story of courage and ultimate sorrow, this is the book.
Narrator Thorne creates each narrator with stunning accents that never waver and ably reflect the social class and culture of the speaker.
Historical Fiction
Colleen McCullough First Man In Rome, The Evoking with impeccably researched, meticulous detail the political and social fabric of Rome in the last days of the Republic, McCullough (The Thornbirds) demonstrates a thoroughgoing understanding of an age in which birth and blood lines determine one s fate, and the auctoritas and dignitas of the Roman family mean more than any personal relationship. When the narrative opens in 110 B.C., this rigidly stratified social order has begun to erode. Gaius Marius, an upstart New Man from the Italian provinces, and Lucius Cornelius Sulla, a patrician Roman brought up in the slums of the Subura, are both ambitious enough to want to become First Man in Rome, despite their social handicaps.
The author deftly weaves politics, family rivalries, and battle scenes into a riveting story replete with fascinating details of everyday Roman life. The story paints an excellent picture of the lives of individuals and the period as a whole without ever loosing the thread that pulls you to the plot s conclusion.
The glossary alone makes fascinating reading and includes a pronunciation key. In it, for example, McCullough reasons that Roman men did not wear under-drawers.
For history lovers with good concentration (there are a lot of similar names) it deserves a passionate read, and will be rewarded with a memorable picture of an age with many aspects that share characteristics with our own.

One of the ten best books of the year People Magazine

A truly astonishing work... fiction at its best Time

A magnificent, towering portrait of the men (and, to a lesser extent, the women) who unknowingly bring about the destruction of the Roman Republic while trying to save it.
Amazon Reviewer
Historical Fiction
Colleen McCullough Morgan s Run This novel tells of the settlement of New South Wales, Australia, by British soldiers and convicts. Richard Morgan, unjustly convicted of extortion, is sentenced to transport and seven years of service. Along with hundreds of others, he eventually ends up in the new experiment of Australia, where he thrives. McCullough paints a vivid picture of how 18th-century British society felt about her citizens and the lands she colonized.
Curry s smooth, cynical, and sarcastic intonations convey the pain, uncertainty, and other emotions of the characters. He brings home the cruelty of transport and arms-length rule that was part of Britain s policy.
Historical Fiction
James Michener Mexico Here is the story of an American journalist who travels to Mexico to report on the upcoming duel between two great matadors, but who is ultimately swept up in the dramatic story of his Mexican ancestors. From the brutality and brilliance of the ancients, to the iron fist of the invading Spaniards, to the modern-day Mexicans battling through dust and bloodshed to build a nation upon the ashes of revolution, James Michener weaves it all into an epic human story that ranks with the best of his beloved, bestselling novels.

"Astounding...Fast-moving, Intriguing...James Michener is back in huge, familiar form with MEXICO."
LOS ANGELES DAILY NEWS
Historical Fiction
James Michener Sayonara A brilliant tale of love and war, SAYONARA tells the story of Major Lloyd Gruver, son of an army general stationed in Japan, dating a general's daughter, and happy with his life. He didn't understand the soldiers who fell in love with Japanese girls. Then he met Hana-ogi. After that nothing mattered anymore. Nothing but her.... Historical Fiction
Wilbur Smith Sound of Thunder This production, a prequel to A TIME TO DIE, artfully blends the wonderful words of Wilbur Smith with the expressive voice of Steven Crossley. Smith paints word pictures of a land and people in turmoil during the Boer War while Crossley vividly draws listeners into the brutality of battle and the joy of personal success. His skillful narration covers all of the bases: tempo, pace, diction, intonation, dialect, gender. What's more, his style conveys the depth of feeling that Smith attaches to each person, each scene. Alas, like many books that are part of a series, this sweeping story of the Courteney brothers, Sean and Garrick, comes to an abrupt end, probably in preparation for the sequel. Nonetheless, it's a perfect fit between writer and reader. Historical Fiction
James Michener Hawaii America's preeminent storyteller, James Michener, introduced an entire generation of readers to a lush, exotic world in the Pacific with this classic novel. But it is also a novel about people, people of strength and character; the Polynesians; the fragile missionaries; the Chinese, Japanese, and Filipinos who intermarried into a beautiful race called Hawaiians. Here is the story of their relationships, toils, and successes, their strong aristocratic kings and queens and struggling farmers, all of it enchanting and very real in this almost mythical place. Historical Fiction
James Michener Centennial A runaway best seller, Michener's Centennial was written as a tribute to America's bicentennial celebration. The book's 900 pages cover 136 million years. Centennial is an epic novel of the history, land, and people of Colorado. Centered around the fictional town of Centennial, the story contains an extensive cast of characters including Native Americans, French fur trappers, English noblemen, and American cowboys. Providing lively narrative against Michener's skillfully researched canvas are people like Levi and Ellie Zendt, who left the confining life of the Pennsylvania Dutch only to find terror and uncertainty on the trip west, and the Garrett family, whose yearly struggle to farm the land was met time and again with defeat. However, much of Michener's remarkable accomplishment is lost in this abridgment. Although the listener gets the main thrust of the story line, the strength and beauty of the original are lost. David Dukes's plodding narration is equally dull. Most libraries should stick with the print version. Historical Fiction
James Michener Poland Like the heroic land that is its subject, James Michener's POLAND teems with vivid events and unforgettble characters. In the sweeping span of eight tumultuous centuries, three Polish families live out their destinies and the drama of a nation in the grand tradition of a great James Michener saga.

"POLAND is a monumental effort, a magnificent guide to a better understanding of the country's tribulations."
CHICAGO TRIBUNE
Historical Fiction
Wilbur Smith Power of the Sword, The A sequel to Smith's The Burning Shore , this novel continues to trace the lives of Lothar de la Rey and Centaine Courtney. Their love/hate unfolds in the South Africa of the 1930s. Centaine's son by Lothar and her son by an English gentleman also become bitter enemies. Diamonds stolen by Lothar are a pivotal element in the story, which ranges from Bushman country to the Olympic Games in Berlin in 1936. Even without the first book, this is an exciting story. Smith makes us sympathize with both the Afrikaners and the British South Africans. His details and historical setting seem authentic. Recommended for historical fiction collections. A third novel is clearly intended. Historical Fiction
James Michener Texas Michener's combination of mammoth research, history, and fiction exudes all the color, courage, villainy, violence, and independent spirit expected from the Lone Star state. The book's organizing principle is a governor's task force created to study the state. It is composed of stereotypical Texans: oil man, rancher, genteel descendant of Southern aristocracy, Chicano, etc. Their ancestors are Texasevery one an adventurer, from a Spanish missionary to Scots-Irish and Germans hungry for land and freedom, to a minister sent to civilize Comanches, to Mexican bandits and Texas Rangers. Interspersed among these sagas are task force meetings in various Texas cities to study local geography and natural historya far more accessible approach than previous Michener tomes that lump them in heavy opening chapters. Purists may object to the overabundance of dramatic incidents, but they make exciting reading. Highly recommended. Historical Fiction
James Michener Fires of Spring David Harper was an orphan, loney and impoverished. But his longing to embrace the world that abandoned him was stronger than the harsh realities. And even though he's a con man and petty thief at a carnival, he still dreams. For it was there that David learned about love and about women all of whom taught him the riches of himself.

Here is a rich segment of American life a magic blend of longing and wisdom, saltiness, simplicity, and compassion.

"A warm-hearted, readable story, crammed with lively incident and remarkable characters."
THE ATLANTIC
Historical Fiction
Wilbur Smith Monsoon Monsoon continues the story begun in Birds of Prey. Set in the dawn of the eighteenth century in England, East Africa, and Arabia, it relates the lives and loves of the three sons of Hal Courtney. At the farthest edges of the known world, the mighty East India Trading Company suffers catastrophic losses at the hands of pirates on the high seas. Master mariner Sir Hal Courtney, after four years away from service, prepares for his latest and most dangerous voyage - a death or glory mission in the name of the crown. But Hal must also think about the fate of his three sons. Like their father before them, Tom, Dorian, and Guy are drawn inexorably to Africa. When fate decrees that they must all leave England forever, they set sail for the dark and unexplored continent, seduced by the allure and mystery of this new, magnificent, but savage land. Historical Fiction
James Michener Return to Paradise The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of TALES OF THE SOUTH PACIFIC returns to the scenes of those tales, which won him world recognition. Once again he evokes the magic of the blessed isles in the Pacific with stories and accounts glowing with color and alive with adventure.

"This is a book that should be read by everyone...and all who have seen the South Pacific will find on every page the odors of frangipani, copra, blood, and beer."
THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK
Historical Fiction
Wilbur Smith When the Lion Feeds WHEN THE LIONS FEEDS is the story of South Africa at the burgeoning time of the gold rush in the 1890s. Sean Courtney was raised in cattle country, accidently maimed his twin brother Garry as a boy. In inflicting weakness, Sean came to despise weakness in all. This, plus his own strength, was to dictate Sean's iron resolve to win, no matter how much the gamble cost.

After a stint fighting the Zulu tribes, Sean trys his luck in the gold fields. Venturing an impossible claim which miraculously proves out, Sean gains wealth beyond counting and power. Power that was unmanageable without cunning. But cunning was an art he was to learn the hard way.

This is the first volume in the Courtney series.

This South African epic of the late nineteenth century reads like an American Western. The vivid, macho yarn-spinning occasionally gives a gracious nod to more refined things. Steven Crossley takes it in stride. His performance leans toward restraint, rather than flamboyance, but is well focused and beautifully paced. His character voices aren't very subtle or varied, nor are the characters, but they speak with conviction.
Historical Fiction
James Michener Caravans In this romantic adventure of wild Afghanistan, master storyteller James Michener mixes the allure of the past with the dangers of today. After an impetuous American girl, Ellen Jasper, marries a young Afghan engineer, her parents hear no word from her. Although she wants freedom to do as she wishes, not even she is sure what that means. In the meantime, she is as good as lost in that wild land, perhaps forever.... Historical Fiction
Wilbur Smith Elephant Song This taut and gritty African odyssey takes us from jungle natives to corrupt poachers and land-rapers, sometimes in a single breath. With dialects and personalities expertly crafted by Tim Pigott-Smith, ELEPHANT SONG carries the listener effortlessly through romance, intrigue, and environmental outrage. Clear-cut characters with even clearer agendas and motivations play a deadly game in Zimbabwe's Chiwewe National Park, and we learn much about the fate of modern Africa as a result. Bring a mosquito net, for the humidity and teeming life of the jungle seem completely present in this densely populated work. Historical Fiction
Wilbur Smith Falcon Flies, A Here's a historical novel from Smith that listeners should love: it's full of adventure, romance, sex, blood, and gore and set in central and southern Africa and on the surrounding high seas about 1860. Robyn and Zouga Ballantyne set out to make their fortunes selling memoirs of their trek across Africa in search of their father, famous missionary/explorer Fuller Ballantyne, who has been out of contact with his British mission board for some eight years. Major Zouga, on leave from his regiment in India, hopes to augment his fortune with ivory and gold, while Dr. Robyn wants to spread the Gospel and find her place in the world. Incidentally, lots of good, imaginative stuff on sailing, African geography, flora and fauna, safari, African peoples, naval combat, elephant hunting, and the slave trade flow through the book as well. Explicit descriptions of inhumane treatment of persons of all classes, diseases, injuries, and surgery of the times may be a problem for some listeners. Excellently read by Stephen Thorne. Historical Fiction
Wilbur Smith Diamond Hunters Wilbur Smith's sinewy, relentless storytelling is brought to life once again by the relentlessly talented Tim Pigott-Smith. A South-African diamond dynasty's rise and fall is chronicled in this passionate story of Johnny Lance's lifelong struggle to attain his father's acceptance. Be prepared for internecine family warfare, panoramic depictions of the great outdoors, and colorful villains as the passion for wealth and power battles the passion for achievement and integrity. The action moves from city to wind-whipped seaside to remote diamond-crusted islands. Vivid word-pictures coupled with Pigott-Smith's flawless voice acting deliver a swashbuckling listen. Historical Fiction
James Michener Iberia Here, in the fresh, vivid prose that is James Michener's trademark, is the real Spain as he experiences it. He not only reveals the celebrated Spain of bullfights and warror kings, painters and processions, cathedrals and olive orchards; he also shares the intimate, often hidden Spain he has come to know, where toiling peasants and their honest food, the salt of the shores and the oranges of the inland fields, the congeniality of living souls and the dark weight of history conspire to create a wild, contradictory, passionately beautiful land, the mystery called Iberia. Historical Fiction
Tim O'Brien Things They Carried, The A series of stories about the Vietnam experience, based on the author's recollections. O'Brien begins by sharing the talismans and treasures his select small band of young soldiers carry into battle. The tales, ranging from a paragraph to 20 or so pages, reveal one truth after another. Sometimes the author tells the same story from different points of view, revealing the lingering, sometimes consuming, effect war leaves on the soul. In the end, readers are left with a mental and emotional sphere of mirrors, each reflecting a speck of truth about the things men carry into and out of war. In addition to leisure reading, this collection offers potential for history classes studying war, for English classes doing units on short stories, and perhaps for sociology or psychology assignments. Historical Fiction
Neal Stephenson Quicksilver This colossal novel begins the Baroque Cycle, a trilogy set in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, when the foundations were being laid for the science and mathematics that led to the cryptography in Stephenson's earlier book, Cryptonomicon; and despite its heft, it is readable as well as highly impressive, not least for the feeling for history it displays--something that will, however, surprise only those who haven't read the earlier book. The three main characters, ancestors of some of Cryptonomicon 's protagonists, are formidable representatives of their times and places. Daniel Waterhouse possesses a gifted scientific mind and is trying to go beyond the limits of alchemy to achieve a new understanding of the world; through his eyes, we see such titans of Enlightenment science as Robert Hooke and Isaac Newton. Jack Shaftoe is a street urchin from London who rises to a powerful position in Europe's vagabond community. Eliza, raised in a Turkish harem from which she escapes, lives fairly successfully by her wits, which encompass the know-how for supplying the ingredients of gunpowder. These three have the largest roles, but the book's flavor is imparted in the opening scene, featuring a young and curious Benjamin Franklin. As rich in character sketches as it is in well-developed scenes, Quicksilver will have readers--especially the history buffs among them--happily turning all its many pages. Historical Fiction
Rose Tremain Colour, The Most American readers are familiar with the California gold rush, for which both nonfiction and fictional treatments abound (for the latter, see Isabel Allende's Daughter of Fortune [1999] and Portrait in Sepia [2001]). But few will have even basic knowledge of the New Zealand gold rush of the same century. And while most appreciators of historical fiction will have previous reading experience with frontier novels, particularly those of the beloved Willa Cather, few will have encountered fictional depictions of immigrant life in the wilds of nineteenth-century New Zealand, where pioneers faced the same kind of excitement and tribulation--freedom with a price tag, in other words. Regardless, readers will be swept up here in the tale of a newly married couple, Joseph and Harriet Blackstone, who have left English shores to stake out a new life in the New Zealand wilderness. But gold--the "colour"--gets under Joseph's and Harriet's skin, and they are drawn to play out their destinies in light of how the discovery of gold releases them to their individual needs but separates them from their mutual ones. Astonishingly, Tremain lives up to the soaringly high standards set by The Restoration (1989), her splendid evocation of seventeenth-century England. Her new novel, like its well-received predecessor, is authentically detailed, compellingly plotted, and literarily accomplished. Historical Fiction
Bryce Courtenay Tandia Tandia is beautiful, intelligent, half African, half Indian, and sixteen years old the first time she is brutalized by the white police. She joins the black resistance movement to fight back against racism based violence, discrimination, intolerance, and oppression. Despite her experience-based fear of white men, there is one whom she can trust--Peekay, the welterweight champion of the boxing world. Now Tandia and Peekay must confront a common enemy in order to save their lives in a gripping story that plays out across three continents. Historical Fiction
Byron Farwell Over There In the spring of 1917, when the US finally declared war on Germany, British and French armies were totally exhausted, the Western Front was practically undefended, and Lenin was arriving in Moscow on the heels of the Russian Revolution, vowing to make peace with Germany. Farwell s vivid and informed narrative covers all phases of the American effort, from the home front, where the war introduced rapid technical and social changes that were difficult to absorb, to the desperate encounters along the front lines where American troops proved their valor and altered the course of the war. With its fresh look at the Great War, this book paints a memorable picture of the intense national experience whereby America came of age in the 20th century.

Listed incorrectly as "Bryson-Over There"
History
Jacques Barzun From Dawn to Decadance In the last half-millennium, as the noted cultural critic and historian Jacques Barzun observes, great revolutions have swept the Western world. Each has brought profound change for instance, the remaking of the commercial and social worlds wrought by the rise of Protestantism and by the decline of hereditary monarchies. And each, Barzun hints, is too little studied or appreciated today, in a time he does not hesitate to label as decadent.
To leaf through Barzun s sweeping, densely detailed but lightly written survey of the last 500 years is to ride a whirlwind of world-changing events. Barzun ponders, for instance, the tumultuous political climate of Renaissance Italy, which yielded mayhem and chaos, but also the work of Michelangelo and Leonardo and, he adds, the scientific foundations for today s consumer culture of boom boxes and rollerblades. He considers the 16th-century varieties of religious experimentation that arose in the wake of Martin Luther s 95 theses, some of which led to the repression of individual personality, others of which might easily have come from the Me Decade. Along the way, he offers a miniature history of the detective novel, defends Surrealism from its detractors, and derides the rise of professional sports, packing in a wealth of learned and often barbed asides.
Never shy of controversy, Barzun writes from a generally conservative position; he insists on the importance of moral values, celebrates the historical contributions of Christopher Columbus, and twits the academic practitioners of political correctness. Whether accepting of those views or not, even the most casual reader will find much that is new or little-explored in this attractive venture into cultural history.
Listeners may find themselves frequently hitting rewind to catch the minutiae of Barzun s insights. The narrator gives clarity and just the right degree of erudition to this witty, well-written summary of a century.
History
The Teaching Company Human Prehistory Have you ever wondered about questions like these:

Where do we come from?
How did our ancestors settle this planet?
How did the great historic civilizations of the world develop? How do we know humankind began in Africa?
How and when did people begin to migrate elsewhere?
What is so magical about prehistoric cave paintings?

Human Prehistory attempts to answer these and countless other questions about our origins on this planet.
This course is chronological, beginning with the appearance of hominids in Africa, their evolution to Homo sapiens and the spread of Homo sapiens around the globe, to the rise of man s first civilizations.
Lectures cover human origins, emergence of modern humans in Africa, spread of modern humans in the late Ice Age, peopling of the Americas, origins of agriculture and animal domestication, and beginnings of civilization in the Old and New Worlds.
History
The Teaching Company High Middle Ages, The In 1000-1300, the so-called High Middle Ages, a newly invigorated medieval society experienced a revival of urban life, th birth of new philosophical, educational, and political institutions
This course reveals how and why Europe experienced this reversal of fortune.
Beginning with a description of the structure of medieval society those who prayed, those who fought, and those who worked the course covers landmark developments, including the Franciscan movement, heresy and the inquisitions, early crusades, the first universities, the Norman conquest of England, Magna Carta, and the struggle between the Holy Roman Empire and the papacy.
Among many colorful and significant historical figures in this course are Francis of Assisi, Thomas Aquinas, John Lackland, Henry II, Philip II, and Frederick II.
Why study medieval history? The instructor answers, Put simply, to understand what is truly distinctive about the world in which we live, you need to know what came before.
History
Daniel J. Boorstin Seekers, The Renowned historian Daniel J. Boorstin completes the trilogy he began with The Discoverers and The Creators. The first volume covered explorers, scientists, and historians in their quest for raw knowledge, while the second book describes writers, painters, and composers in their pursuit of inspiring art; The Seekers describes people searching for an understanding of human existence Man is the asking animal, notes Boorstin. It s a big, bold theme, and although The Seekers is the shortest work in the trilogy, it s still vintage Boorstin: incredibly learned, richly anecdotal, and casually profound. It begins with the prophets of the Holy Land and the philosophers of ancient Greece, continues through the Renaissance, and concludes with the modern era of the social sciences. In this long quest [for understanding], Western culture has turned from seeking the end or purpose to seeking causes from the Why to the How, writes Boorstin. That s a neat summary of Western intellectual development over several thousand years. What other author could put it so succinctly? It s an excellent capstone to the 3-volume set. History
The Teaching Company Conquest of the Americas Between 1492 and 1700 the Spanish, Portuguese, English, and French carved out major colonial empires in the New World from Canada to Argentina. This course looks at the three peoples who collided in this conquest Native Americans, Europeans, and Africans and how their interactions differed in North, Central, and South America.
Lectures cover Columbus and Cortés in the Caribbean, the Spanish conquest of the Incas, and the creation of the slave plantations of Brazil. The English and French in the 17th century brings a discussion of how the common experience of conquest led to colonial systems in the New World.
History
Daniel Boorstin Creators, The Historian Boorstin, a former Librarian of Congress, has written a sequel to his prize-winning tome, The Discoverers. In this book, he brings his customary depth and range to this compelling book on Western art, taking on everything from European megaliths (Stonehenge, for example) and Benjamin Franklin s autobiography ( the first American addition to world literature ), to a discussion of different gods creating a universe; Boorstin even includes contemporary movie producers.
He does not aim at being comprehensive he much prefers to linger over certain heroes of the imagination as he surveys human accomplishment in the fields of architecture, music, painting, sculpting, and writing yet The Creators certainly feels comprehensive, as Boorstin carefully places everything he describes within a grand tradition of aesthetic achievement.
Boorstin knows that good history demands good writing, and his prose makes this big book easy to absorb. This is a story, he writes, of how creators in all the arts have enlarged, embellished, fantasized, and filigreed our experience an apt description of the role art plays in our life and an equally apt description of the way Boorstin interprets it for readers. (The Creators also is the second volume of a trilogy that starts with The Discoverers and concludes with The Seekers, although none of these books requires any knowledge of the others.)
The abridgment is well-done, with transitions so natural that there is never a good place to pause. Jackson, a California talk show host, sounds like a sage as he reads this massive work. His articulation conveys wisdom and scholarship. To master the content of The Creators is to become wise and scholarly. For those who can t handle all that while driving to work, the presentation is still informative and entertaining. An Audiofile Earphones Award winner.

(This audio book is on 2 complete CD's)
History
Daniel Boorstin Discoverers, The Perhaps the greatest book by one of our greatest historians, The Discoverers is a volume of sweeping range and majestic interpretation. To call it a history of science is an understatement; this is the story of how humankind has come to know the world, however incompletely ( the eternal mystery of the world, Einstein once said, is its comprehensibility ). Daniel J. Boorstin first describes the liberating concept of time the first grand discovery and continues through the age of exploration and the advent of the natural and social sciences. The approach is idiosyncratic, with Boorstin lingering over particular figures and accomplishments rather than rushing on to the next set of names and dates. It s also primarily Western, although Boorstin does ask (and answer) several interesting questions: Why didn t the Chinese discover Europe and America? Why didn t the Arabs circumnavigate the planet? His thesis about discovery ultimately turns on what he calls illusions of knowledge. If we think we know something, then we face an obstacle to innovation. The great discoverers, Boorstin shows, dispel the illusions and reveal something new about the world.
Although The Discoverers easily stands on its own, it is technically the first entry in a trilogy that also includes The Creators and The Seekers. An outstanding book one of the best works of history to be found anywhere.
Christopher Cazenove reads this work in a clear, even voice that holds the listener s attention. There is no dialogue and no need for characterization. The recording is clean and indicates the end of each side. This audiobook is only a small portion of The Discoverers and will whet your appetite for the printed work.

A remarkable narrative of the grand intellectual venture of humankind, rich in fascinating, often dramatic details
The Wall Street Journal

(This audio book is on two complete CD's)
History
Black & John Elk/Neihardt Black Elk Speaks A Lakota priest, cousin to the famed Crazy Horse, relates the story of his life and his people, providing the reader with an intimate and detailed view of Native America at the close of the 19th century with eye-witness accounts of many famous battles.
It is also the story of the Lakota people as you read it, you get an appreciation of Lakota life and culture. It ends on a quasi-tragic note the Lakota living on a reservation in South Dakota, Black Elk an old man, feeling helpless to return the power of the people s hoop to his band. Much more than history, it is a reminder of what America has lost of its indigenous soul.

(Note by Janet: the monotonous quality of the narration is hard to take but after a while you become numb to it...but it's such a depressing story that I couldn't see it through to the end)
History
The Teaching Company Hitler's Empire How could Adolf Hitler and the Nazis have come to power in such a highly educated, industrially developed country, and in such a short time?

In this course you see the staggering effect on Germany of its defeat in World War I and how this allowed extreme nationalist movements like Nazism to thrive.

* What made the regime so popular?
* How were the Nazis able to seize control of the press, the radio, the courts, and the police with so little trouble? And to prepare for and fight the greatest war in history?
* How did Hitler s obsession with the Judeo-Bolshevik conspiracy destroy him and almost take the civilized world down with him?
History
The Modern Scholar Great Explorers, The One of the most dramatic periods in world history is the age of Europe s discovery of the world from Columbus and da Gama in the late fifteenth century to the voyages of James Cook in the eighteenth century. The extent of the changes can be seen by comparing the pre-Columbian maps, which showed no knowledge of either the Americas or the Pacific, with those of 1800, which in terms of projection, scale, and content approximate today s maps. In these lectures, the most important discovery voyages, the individual characteristics of their commanders, and the endurance of their crews will be described. Interspersed with accounts of individual voyages will be lectures that explain the more general and technical aspects of the voyages: improvements in ship design and navigation, constraints of wind and current, living conditions on board ship, and problems of health and discipline. Special attention will be paid to the controversies that developed from some of these voyages. History
Robert McCammon Boy's Life, A An eleven-year-old is plunged into a world of mystery and evil after he and his father witness the disposal of a murder victim on the outskirts of their idylic Southern town. McCammon writes an exciting adventure story. He also gives us an affecting tale of a young man growing out of childhood in a troubled place and time. It's a cornucopia of bittersweet fantasy storytelling that is by far McCammon s finest book.
Richard Thomas s exquisite narration is clear and engaging, comforting the listener with a warm vocal presence before rising with the chill of heartfelt fear. His vocal characterizations ranging from the innocent drawl of the young boy to the mystical lightness of an elderly African American woman are effortlessly rendered with subtle skill. Each character is clearly drawn and fully felt, yet the narrative drive of McCammon s elegantly simple writing is never lost.

Recaptures the magic of being a child in a world of possibilities and promise.

Atlanta Journal
Horror
John Saul When the Wind Blows The children were waiting. Waiting for centuries. Waiting for someone to hear their cries. Now nine-year-old Christine Lyons has come to live in the house on the hill the house where no children have lived for fifty years. Now little Christie will sleep in the old-fashioned nursery on the third floor. Now Christie s terror will begin.
This book is based on an old story about a house on top of a hill that had no children in it for 300 years. The people that live there are trying to stop the souls of the children from haunting the house. A must read from a wonderful writer!

NOTE: I think I burned this story TWICE. The second occurance has Straight Man and Gulliver's Travels on it
Horror
Stephen King Carrie This classic put King on the map of horror authors. Carrie White, menaced by bullies at school and her religious nut of a mother at home, gradually discovers that she has telekinetic powers, powers that will eventually be turned on her tormentors. King has a way of getting under the skin of his readers by creating an utterly believable world that throbs with menace before finally exploding.
A modern classic, Carrie introduced a distinctive new voice in American fiction Stephen King. The story of misunderstood high school girl Carrie White, her extraordinary telekinetic powers, and her violent rampage of revenge, remains one of the most barrier-breaking and shocking novels of all time.
Horror
Stephen King Salem s Lot Jerusalem s Lot, a small town in Maine, is being taken over by a vampire. It s a town where people are disconnected from each other, quietly nursing their potential for evil; there s a mixed bag of rational, goodhearted people though, who band together to fight that evil.
Simply taken as a contemporary vampire novel, this book is great fun to read, and has been very influential in the horror genre. But it s also a sly piece of social commentary. The thing that s really scary is not vampires. It s the town.
In the daytime. The town that was empty. Knowing that there were things in closets. That there were people tucked under beds. Under the concrete pilings of all those trailers. There are secrets. Things that have been hidden. Things that are being dragged out into the light.
Horror
Stephen King Shining, The The Overlook Hotel is more than just a home-away-from-home for the Torrance family. For Jack, Wendy, and their young son, Danny, it is a place where past horrors come to life. And where those gifted with the shining do battle with the darkest evils. Terrible events occur at this isolated hotel in the off season, and Danny struggles to hold his own against the forces of evil that are driving his father insane.
Stephen King s classic thriller is one of the most powerfully imagined novels of our time.
Stephen King is the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. Among his most recent are Hearts in Atlantis, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, Bag of Bones, and The Green Mile.
Horror
Bram Stoker Dracula The world s best-known vampire story comes to life in this expert performance by Robert Whitfield. No music, no special audio tricks detract from the chilling, gruesome tale of the un-dead. Whitfield s minimalist narration suits perfectly. His subtle shading of voice gives complete personality and motivation to each of the eight protagonists, with exaggerated accent reserved for the Dutch Dr. van Helsing, and, to a lesser extent, Count Dracula himself. His women come across as sweet, yet intelligent. With the same understated clarity, he brings full voice to the voluptuous vampiresses seduction of their victims and to the malevolent machinations of the Count. For a classic performance of a classic work, this production must not be missed. An AudioFile Earphones Award winner. Horror
Dean Koontz Odd Thomas His name really is Odd, and it fits. Odd can see ghosts, harbingers of evil, and he can psychically home in on mass-murderers too. Few know of his capabilities. Perhaps he would be better off without his gift, for, as he says, when he sees dead people, he does something about it. This gets him into trouble after a big, pasty creep, dubbed Fungus Man, comes into town. Odd follows him, and his pursuit occupies the rest of Koontz s corker of a new thriller. We are at Odd s elbow throughout, who is an instantly and persistently likable narrator. Koontz employs dry, goofy humor, often in daring counterpoint to the story s spikes in tension and horror. A top-notch story that is sure to keep you riveted! Horror
Dean Koontz Face, The The supernatural lurks just beneath the surface. Ghosts, angels, demons, child predators and serial anarchists run rampant in Koontz's tale the unsuspecting reader never knows what is real or imagined until the characters themselves know creating a disorienting and frightening experience. Whether it be the real-life "agents of chaos" who roam the world creating mayhem and death or the phone lines that carry words of the dead to the living, this is Koontz at his most powerful and terrifying.
This is a modern fable for adults, a menacing and threatening place for adults and children alike. The moral of this story is that, good or evil, you will get what is coming to you; it's up to you to succeed or fail for you alone decide your path punishment or redemption.
Horror
Willam Peter Blatty Exorcist, The This full-length performance of THE EXORCIST will chill you to your bones and rivet you to your cassette player. Chris MacNeil, busy movie star and single mother, slowly realizes that her 12-year-old daughter, Regen, is behaving strangely, then out of the norm, then like the demon who is possessing her. Blatty not only reads his classic tale of horror, but becomes every uncomfortable, disturbing, graphic, verbally and emotionally shocking word of the book. His deep voice and flawless performance resonate with evil and the good it is trying to overcome, carrying the listener to the horrifying, inexorable conclusion. The movie only touches the tip of this iceberg of good and evil. The images evoked by text and dramatization will stay with you for a long time. Winner of 2000 Audie Award Solo Narration by the Author; Winner of AUDIOFILE Earphones Award. Horror
James Herbert 48 A contorted labyrinth of terrifyingly human vampires, post-Nazism, and betrayal. Blood sucking, plague-ridden fascists roam the dark, seething ruins of London. Their prey are the select few who have not fallen victim to the blood-tainting biological warfare dispensed in the final convulsive collapse of the Nazis. A lone hero and his companion dog skirt the corpses, smashed cars, and bitter memories while trying to stay one step ahead of their bloodless fate and complete their mission of obsession. When others who are also relentlessly pursued stumble onto the duo's path, their haunting odyssey takes them underground. Beneath the bowels of a broken city an explosive disaster and a deadly betrayal propel the powers of good into a cataclysmic clash with the forces of evil.
The intensity and naturalness of the first-person narration, plus the startling virtuosity of character voices almost add up to a one-man radio drama. It s an eleven-hour adrenaline rush so good that it s the recipient of an AudioFile Earphones Award.
Horror
Stephen King Road Virus Heads North, The Found in the compilation book 999, this is an interesting short story about a horror writer who goes to a small yard sale and finds an interesting painting. After purchasing it he finds that the painting is slowly changing the car and driver in the painting are driving away from the first position he saw them driving towards him! The car, named The Road Virus, is slowly travelling north, towards places he has just come from.
Judy Diment, the lady that sold him the painting, is brutally murdered, and Kinnell thinks that he may be next. Now he can hear the rumble of glasspack mufflers outside his house...
Horror
Robert McCammon Mine Hallucinating, heavily armed, and possessed by the delusion that an infant son will restore the good ol days with her ex-lover, a psychotic woman kidnaps a newborn child and goes off to join a revolutionary group to which she belonged during the 60s.
But the child s mother is a strong, resourceful woman, and she recruits an ex-radical to help her reclaim her child. What ensues is a hair-raising chase across the American Midwest in wintertime, toward a final confrontation in which both mothers proclaim, He s mine. Not only is Mine an intense horror novel (winner of a Bram Stoker Award), but refreshingly, all three main characters are women.
Horror
Scifi.com Scifi.com Tales from the Crypt These plays were originally created for Sci-Fi.com. For one thing, audio is far more potent than video for this spook fest. For another, the producers of this audio have cheerfully, excessively embraced bad taste. Expect barely serviceable direction, uneven acting, low humor, and sophomoric writing marinated in loud, viscous gruesomeness. The exercise amply succeeds in sounding like a cartoon. Fans of this sort of fare, and they are both rabid and legion, should love this.

These stories range from total garbage to campy fun. I especially recommend the (last?) one with John Ritter and Don Knotts! Janet
Horror
Anne Rice Interview with the Vampire Louis recounts the stories of his life as a vampire and the vampires who have kept him company, among them Lestat, Claudia and Armand. A complex and affecting work is here given an exemplary interpretation by Frank Muller. Muller captures the sense of Louis, his struggle to deal with his diminishing human characteristics and his eventual distance from human emotion. This is accomplished through a quiet, yet intense, portrayal. Less restrained and true to the characters are Claudia and Lestat s parts in the story. Muller s performance is consistently excellent. This listening experience is truly memorable. An Audiofile Earphones Award winner. Horror
Stephen King Man in the Black Suit, The (4 Stories) A haunting recollection of a mysterious boyhood event, The Man in Black Suit read by John Cullum leads off this masterful collection from Stephen King.
Other dark tales include: All That You Love Will Be Carried Away, in which a man checks into a Motel 6 to find the meaning in his life; That Feeling, You Can Only Say What It Is in French presents the ultimate case of déejàa vu; and The Death of Jack Hamilton, a blistering tale of Depression-era outlaws on the run.
Whether writing about encounters with the dead, the near dead, or about the mundane dreads of life, Stephen King s The Man In The Black Suit: Four Dark Tales is intense, eerie and instantly compelling.
Horror
Stephen King Everything s Eventual (5 stories) In five unabridged stories, five narrators each take a shot at the unsettling, the terrifying, the classic, and the whimsical King. In Autopsy Room Four, Oliver Platt elegantly understates the horror of waking up on a post-mortem table. Judith Ivey gives a spunky performance of a tired single mom in a dead-end job precisely capturing the story s ups and downs. However, the best story is saved for the last. Jay O. Sanders hits King s prose spot on. With just the breath of a pause, the hint of a Boston twang, or the slightest touch of added depth or speed, he grabs us by the hand and yanks us into the labyrinth of classic King. Sanders s performance is not to be missed. Horror
Anne Rice Blood Canticle Welcome back to Blackwood Farm. Here are all of the brilliantly conceived characters that make up the two worlds of vampires and witches: Mona Mayfair, who s come to the farm to die and is brought into the realm of the undead; her uncle, Julian Mayfair, guardian of the family, determined to forever torment Lestat for what he has done to Mona; Rowan Mayfair, brilliant neurosurgeon and witch, who finds herself dangerously drawn to the all-powerful Lestat; her husband, Michael Curry, hero of the Mayfair Chronicles, who seeks Lestat s help with the temporary madness of his wife; Ash Templeton, a 5,000-year-old Taltos who has taken Mona s child; and Patsy, the country-western singer, who returns to avenge her death at the hands of her son, Quinn Blackwood. Horror
Anne Rice Merrick Witches and vampires collide in this novel, which stars the beautiful Merrick, descendent of a New Orleans society of octoroons and quadroons. Merrick learns that her ancestors are the Great Mayfair witches from ordinary-guy vampire David Talbot.
Die-hard fans of Anne Rice will likely prefer the full text of this novel, which straddles the Vampire Chronicles and the Mayfair Witches, but this abridgment serves its purpose and leaves no obvious gaps. Sir Derek Jacobi narrates with intensity and sensitivity. He presents his characters with distinct voice and inflection, as well as personality. He never deviates from the clear narrative voice, which he embues with a restrained formality that suits the character who tells this story of magic and intrigue.
Horror
Jeffery Deaver Twisted Stories Deaver, the author of a string of deliciously convoluted thrillers, offers his fans a real treat. This short story collection lives up to its title in more than one way: the stories are twisted, and so are many of the characters, a tasty assortment of murderers, thieves, con artists, and other no-goodniks. The best thing about the stories, however, is that we don t really know what they re about until the very end. Deaver is the grand master of the plot twist: his novels regularly perform elaborate about-faces, making us rethink much of what we believe about a character, a subplot, a seeming coincidence. His short fiction is like that, too: what appears to be a story about a man plotting the perfect murder, for example, becomes, in its final moments, something altogether more chilling. These 16 stories are beautiful examples of what splendid intricacies can be wrought in a small space. For Deaver s fans, and any reader who likes that little thrill you get when a story takes an unexpected right-angle turn, this one s an absolute necessity. Horror
Robert R. McCammon Mystery Walk One talks to the dead. The other heals the living. Both must make the Mystery Walk
From deep within the empty house of a murdered family, Billy Creekmore hears his name whispered... and is drawn inside. At a revival meeting in Alabama, Wayne Falconer demonstrates his miraculous healing powers... while demons feast and grow in his soul. On separate journeys through the Deep South to Chicago, from a world of innocence to a world of evil, greed and lust, the two young men discover their manhood and fuel a deadly rivalry. On a scorched slab of desert they will meet in fear and unite their extraordinary powers against a raging, unshackled spirit the walking, hungry corpse of the Shape Changer.
Robert McCammon takes you on a journey unlike any you ve taken before in this riveting story of two opposite people finding their own paths in life. The pace is great and the characters so engaging that it is very hard to put down this wonderfully written book. There are a few surprises in this book that make it even more appealing and a fun read.
Horror
Anne Rice Blackwood Farm Quinn Blackwood has seen ghosts and spirits as long as he can remember. His family home, Blackwood Farm, teems with them, and with their stories. When Quinn becomes a vampire, his lifelong goblin companion turns violent, threatening the lives of those Quinn cares about most. David Pittu infuses the story with a whining, almost pathetic, tone perfectly suited to the poor little rich boy protagonist and his quest for peace. Within this overall mood, Pittu gives every character, large and small, a delightfully clear personality and vocal signature. His Lestat carries an odd accent, not quite French and not quite British, but his own for all that. Even Pittu s children speak authentically, with no trace of squeakiness or condescension. Bring on the next installment! Horror
Anne Rice Queen of the Damned Relating Queen Vampire Akasha s scheme to subjugate the world by murdering almost all men a scheme opposed by the other remaining vampires this book neatly concludes the story begun in The Vampire Lestat and lays the groundwork for the next volume in the Chronicles of the Vampires. Don t let the title or the subject matter fool you; this is quality fiction written with care and intelligence. There are no false steps or wasted words in the multilayered plot, and the many characters each have a distinct voice. It s not absolutely necessary to have read the other Chronicles to understand this one, but it would add greatly to the richness of the whole. Rice is doing for the vampire genre what Dashiell Hammett did for that of the private detective raising it from the dregs of the penny dreadful to the heights of A fiction. Horror
Dean Koontz Taking, The On the morning that will mark the end of the world they have known, Molly and Niel Sloan awaken to the drumbeat of rain on their roof. It has haunted their sleep and now they rise to find a downpour drenching their small California mountain town. A strange scent hangs faintly in the air, and the young couple cannot shake the sense of something wrong.
As hours pass and the rain continues to fall, they listen to disturbing news of extreme weather phenomena across the globe. Before evening, their town loses tv, radio, telephone and connection to the Internet. By nightfall the Sloans have gathered with neighbors to deal with the damage...but also because they feel the need to band together against some unknown threat, some enemy they cannot identify or even imagine...
Horror
Stephen King Christine When Arnie Cunningham, local loser, first sees a run-down Plymouth Fury sitting on a lawn, it s love at first sight. Arnie s takes the car home and christens her Christine.
What ensues over the next few months is a string of horrifying events, all with one thing in common: Christine. Arnie changes too, becoming totally obsessed with his car and losing touch with anything else.
Christine is a deeply effective horror story that frightens in many ways, and is among King s very finest work. He weaves the stories of the car s past with the present and creates a perfect page-turner that s impossible to put down or forget.
Horror
Mary W. Shelley Frankenstein Written by Mary Shelley in 1818, as a response to a challenge when she was only eighteen years old, Frankenstein is a thrilling masterpiece about a man whose hunger to create life drives him to build a monster, and ultimately results in his own ruin. A deeply thoughtful study of the ethical dilemmas that knowledge can bring to humankind, Frankenstein also provides a portrait of modern science in Europe almost two centuries ago.
With so many poor adaptations of Mary Shelley s classic work in all forms of media, it s refreshing to come across a narrated production that retains the quality, premise, and themes of the original book.
Horror
Stephen/Peter King/Straub Black House Sequel to The Talisman

In the seemingly paradisal Wisconsin town of French Landing, small distortions disturb the beauty: a talking crow, an old man obeying strange internal marching orders, a house that is both there and not quite there. And roaming the town is a terrible fiend nicknamed the Fisherman, who is abducting and murdering small children and eating their flesh. The sheriff desperately wants the help of a retired Los Angeles cop, who once collared another serial killer in a neighboring town.
Of course, this is no ordinary policeman, but Jack Sawyer, hero of Stephen King and Peter Straub s 1984 fantasy The Talisman. Now in his 30s, the celebrated homicide detective remembers nothing of the Talisman, but he also hasn t entirely forgotten. He s retired from police work after a particularly disturbing case awoke memories he d just as soon let sleep. But retirement isn t enough to escape the call of the Territories and the continuing work its inhabitants have in mind for him.
Black House is rich and complex, a fantasy wrapped in a horror story inside a mystery, sporting a clever tangle of references to many authors. Talisman fans will find the sure-footed Jack has worn well as has the King/Straub writing style, which is much improved with the passage of two decades.
Frank Muller continues his performance of the earlier story, portraying its characters twenty years later in their lives and adding new ones to the cast with his customary perfection. Muller s finest gift to audio must be his uncanny ability to sense, develop, and portray dozens of complex human and inhuman personalities in a single production. Muller has fun with some, condemns others, and renders even the bit players unforgettable. All of them dance to the seductive music of his lyrical narrative, which invites us into the party as well. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award.
Horror
Anne Rice Vampire Lestat, The Lestat, the mischievous creator of Louis in Interview, emerges to tell his own story in the 1985 sequel, The Vampire Lestat.
As with the first book in the series, the novel begins with a frame narrative. After over a half century underground, Lestat awakens in the 1980s to the cacophony of electronic sounds and images that characterizes the MTV generation. Particularly, he is captivated by a fledgling rock band. Determined both to achieve international fame and end the centuries of self-imposed vampire silence, Lestat takes command of the band and pens his own autobiography. The remainder of the novel purports to be that autobiography: the vampire traces his mortal youth as the son of a marquis in pre-Revolutionary France, his initiation into vampirism at the hands of Magnus, and his quest for the ultimate origins of his undead species.
While very different from the first novel in the Vampire Chronicles, The Vampire Lestat has proved to be the foundation for a broader range of narratives than is possible from Louis s brooding, passive perspective. Rice is creating a new vampire mythos, mixing ancient Egyptian legends into her narrative, and weaving a rich and unforgettable tale of dazzling scenes and vivid personalities. This extraordinary book outclasses most contemporary horror fiction and is a novel to be savored. Highly recommended.

Stylish, sexy, mysterious Lestat finally gets his say in this second Vampire Chronicles novel. Impossible that Rice could improve on her classic Interview With The Vampire but she most definitely does so here. The history of the vampires is partially revealed and Lestat s odyssey into immortality is a must-read for horror and vamp fans alike.
Amazon Reviewer
Horror
Stephen King It Derry: a small city in Maine, a place as hauntingly familiar as your own home town. Only, in Derry the haunting is real...
It began for the Losers on a day in June of 1958, the day school let out for the summer. That was the day Henry Bowers carved the first letter of his name on Ben Hanscom s belly and chased him into the Barrens, the day Henry and his Neanderthal friends beat up on Stuttering Bill Denbrough and Eddie Kaspbrak, the day Stuttering Bill had to save Eddie from his worst asthma attack ever by riding his bike to beat the devil.   It ended in August, with seven desperate children in search of a creature of unspeakable evil in the drains beneath Derry. In search of It. And somehow it ended. Or so they thought. Then.
On a spring night in 1985 Mike Hanlon, once one of those children, makes six calls. Stan Uris, accountant. Richie Records Tozier, L.A. disc jockey. Ben Hanscom, renowned architect. Beverly Rogan, dress designer. Eddie Kaspbrak, owner of a successful New York limousine company. And Bill Denbrough, best-selling writer of horror novels, Bill Denbrough who now only stutters in his dreams.
These six men and one woman have forgotten their childhood s, have forgotten the time when they were Losers but an unremembered promise draws them back, the present begins to rhyme dreadfully with the past, and when the Losers reunite, the wheels of fate lock together and roll them toward the ultimate terror.
Stephen King gives us not another towering epic of horror and a surprising re-illumination of the corridor where we pass from the bright mysteries of childhood to those of maturity.

(This audio book is on 2 complete CD's)
Horror
James Herbert Nobody True What happens when you lose your body? Jim True knows. He has returned from an out-of-body experience to find he has been brutally murdered and his body mutilated. No one can see him, no one can hear him, no one, except his killer, knows he still exists. Freed from his body, True embarks on a quest to find his killer and discover why and how he has managed to survive. As he closes in on his murderer, True discovers that even the very people he loved and trusted have betrayed him. He meets his killer, a strange and sinister figure who can also leave his body at will. An epic and deadly battle ensues between True and a seemingly unstoppable and hideous serial killer - a man now intent on even more murders, including True's wife and child... Horror
James Herbert Others "My redemption began in Hell..."
So begins James Herbert's controversial and stunning new chiller. Nicholas Dismas is a private investigator, but like no other that has gone before him. He carries a secret about himself to which not even he has the answer. He is hired to find a missing baby, one that was taken away at birth. His investigation takes him to a mysteriously located place called Perfect Rest. It is supposed to be a nursing home for the elderly, but there is a lot more to this place than meets the eye. Here Dismas will discover the dark secret of the Others. And in an astonishing and spectacular finale he will resolve the enigma of his own existence. As chilling, as memorable, and as timely as only James Herbert can be, Others will join the classics for which he is remembered with fear.
Horror
Stephen King LT's Theory of Pets King's fans will likely snap up this audio-only recording of King reading an unpublished short story to an audience at London's Royal Festival Hall. King warms up the audience, humorously warning them to beware of possible murderers lurking in the back seat of their cars as they drive home, adding, "I don't want to scare you.... " The story itself is mostly a comical one: a man tells how he gave his wife a cat for a present, and his wife gave him a dog, but each ended up with the other's pet. The antipathy each felt for their own pet (with anecdotes of the dog throwing up in the husband's shoes, the cat clawing at the wife's drapes, etc.) reflected the disharmony in the marriage itself, until the wife walked out. In typical King fashion, the humor turns to horror at the end. King has narrated many of his novels for audio and has an easy, relaxed style that works well here. He easily assumes the roles of both the man and his best friend, who tell different parts of the story, and makes his voice slightly higher for the woman's dialogue. King loyalists should be pleased to add this mid-range item to their collections, but those on the fringes might wonder if the story would perhaps be a better money value as part of a collection.

Listed as "Theory of Pets"
Horror
James Herbert Haunted "My advice to you is to leave this house. No good will come of your investigation," says Nanny Tess to David Ash, paranormal investigator, in this disappointing horror tale. An associate of the Psychical Research Institute, Ash visits Edbrook, a lonely mansion in the British countryside, at the behest of the Mariell siblings--Christina, Robert and Simon--playful, immature children in grown-up bodies, and their aunt, Nanny Tess, all of whom have seen ghosts and strange sights aplenty in their ancestral home. Ash, who has a reputation as a skeptic and debunker, wonders if a deliberate attempt to discredit him is taking place (or is his incipient alcoholism catching up with him?) when he follows a ghostly figure through the grounds to a small garden pond. He is pushed, held underwater--and sees a pale figure with open arms. . . . What are the ghastly secrets of Edbrook's history? Of Ash's? Horror
Dean Koontz Bad Place, The Frank Pollard is afraid to fall asleep. Every morning when he awakes, he discovers something strange--like blood on his hands--a bizarre mystery that tortures his soul. Two investigators have been hired to follow the haunted man. But only one person--a young man with Down's Syndrome--can imagine where their journeys might end. That terrible place from which no one ever returns.

Carol Cowan and Michael Hanson read as a tag team, each taking a distinct point of view in this novel. One perspective follows the husband-and-wife detective team of Bobby and Julie Dakota; the other follows Frank Pollard, a man who, at the beginning of the novel, wakes up in an alley, his mind empty, his hands covered in blood. The two story lines weave into each other as the Dakotas try to solve the murders that Pollard may have committed. Cowan and Hanson perform Koontz's thrilling story with vibrant, pleasurable intensity.
Horror
James Herbert Creed Creed is Joe Creed, a member of the much maligned paparazzi those indomitable creatures who will do anything for a picture. His nightmare begins when he photographs mourners at the funeral of a famous actress. Among them is a man thought to have been hanged in the '30s. He and his cohorts are willing to do anything to get the pictures. Narrator William Hope skillfully handles abundant background text and thought without dragging. He presents best the voices of the once grand stars thought to be long dead. (They sound as if they have been!) Horror
James Herbert Ghosts of Sleath, The Veteran horror writer James Herbert brings back the protagonist of Haunted to investigate psychic disturbances in a picturesque village in the Lake District of England. It's an interesting mishmash of a novel--not entirely successful, but enjoyable all the same. Herbert's penchant for gorgeously visceral carnage unfortunately clashes with his equally skilled ability to create a subtle mood of supernatural terror. And he throws way too many ingredients into the stew: family secrets, rape, infanticide, necrophilia, the "Black Arts," a moldering mansion, a sinister yellow fog, drowning children, poltergeist pranks, a haunted painting, a tormented vicar, a neglectful doctor, even an evil knight. Yet, as Necrofile: The Review of Horror Fiction reports, "None of these flaws are fatal. These days, making a classic ghost story work at all--let alone on the scale of The Ghosts of Sleath--requires a daunting level of craft, control, and consistency.... Many of the novel's supernatural elements ... evoke the requisite chills." Horror
Stephen King Bag of Bones Stephen King's most gripping and unforgettable novel, Bag of Bones, is a story of grief and lost love's enduring bonds, of a new love haunted by the secrets of the past, of an innocent child caught in a terrible crossfire.

Set in the Maine territory King has made mythic, Bag of Bones recounts the plight of forty-year-old bestselling novelist Mike Noonan, who is unable to stop grieving even four years after the sudden death of his wife, Jo, and who can no longer hear to face the blank screen of his word processor.

Now his nights are plagued by vivid nightmares of the house by the lake. Despite these dreams, or perhaps because of them, Mike finally returns to Sara Laughs, the Noonan's isolated summer home.

He finds his beloved Yankee town familiar on its surface, but much changed underneath held in the grip of a powerful millionaire, Max Devore, who twists the very fabric of the community to his purpose: to take his three-year-old granddaughter away from her widowed young mother. As Mike is drawn into their struggle, as he falls in love with both of them, he is also drawn into the mystery of Sara Laughs, now the site of ghostly visitations, ever-escalating nightmares, and the sudden recovery of his writing ability. What are the forces that have been unleashed here and what do they want of Mike Noonan?

As vivid and enthralling as King's most enduring works, Bag of Bones resonates with what Amy Tan calls "the witty and obsessive voice of King's powerful imagination." It's no secret that King is our most mesmerizing storyteller. In Bag of Bones described by Gloria Naylor as "a love story about the dark places within usall" he proves to be one of our most moving.
Horror
Stephen King Thinner Six weeks after an old gypsy man curses Billy Halleck for sideswiping his daughter, he's ninety-three pounds lighter. Now Billy is terrified-and desperate enough for one last gamble that will lead him to a nightmare showdown with the forces of evil that are melting his flesh away. Horror
Stephen King Skeleton Crew (stories from) In this brilliant collection of stories, Stephen King takes readers down paths that only he could imagine...

A supermarket becomes the place where humanity makes its last stand against unholy destruction. A trip to the attic turns into a journey to hell. A woman driver finds a scary shortcut to paradise. An idyllic lake harbors a bottomless evil. And a desert island is the scene of the most terrifying struggle for survival ever waged.
Horror
Stephen King Misery King's novel, about a writer held hostage by his self-proclaimed "number-one fan," is unadulteratedly terrifying. Paul Sheldon, a writer of historical romances, is in a car accident; rescued by nurse Annie Wilkes, he slowly realizes that salvation can be worse than death. Sheldon has killed off Misery Chastain, the popular protagonist of his Misery series and Annie, who has a murderous past, wants her back. Keeping the paralyzed Sheldon prisoner, she forces him to revive the character in a continuation of the series, and she reads each page as it comes out of the typewriter; there is a joyously Dickensian novel within a novel here, and it appears in faded typescript. Studded among the frightening moments are sparkling reflections on the writer and his audience, on the difficulties, joys and responsibilities of being a storyteller, on the nature of the muse, on the differences between ``serious'' and ``popular'' writing. Sheldon is a revealingly autobiographical figure; Annie is not merely a monster but is subtly and often touchingly portrayed, allowing hostage and keeper a believable, if twisted, relationship. The best parts of this novel demand that we take King seriously as a writer with a deeply felt understanding of human psychology. Horror
Stephen King From a Buick 8 At first glance, Stephen King's latest bears a familial resemblance to Christine, his 1983 saga of a haunted, homicidal Plymouth Fury. But From a Buick 8 is a marked departure from this earlier tale of adolescent angst and teenage tribal rituals. It is the work of an older, more reflective writer, one who knows that the most pressing questions often have no answers.

The story begins in western Pennsylvania in 1979, when a mysterious figure parks a vintage Buick Roadmaster at a local gas station, then disappears forever. The police discover that the Buick isn't a car at all but rather a Buick-shaped enigma: self-healing; impregnable to dents, dirt, and scratches; composed of unidentifiable materials; and containing a completely nonfunctional engine. Confronted with a mystery of unprecedented proportions, the troopers of Barracks D claim the Buick for themselves and spend 20 years attempting to understand its nature, purpose, and provenance.

Over the years, the Buick is the site of a number of inexplicable occurrences, from occasional blinding "lightquakes" to more sinister happenings that suggest this alien object is a doorway to another dimension. King recounts the most dramatic of these with an intensity and attention to detail that evoke a primordial sense of terror, awe, and revulsion. Through it all, and despite the obsessive fascination of those around it, the Buick remains an impregnable mystery. And that, of course, is very much the point. The world, King tells us, rarely stops to explain itself. From a Buick 8 is one of King's best, mostly tightly focused novels since The Green Mile. With great narrative economy, it encompasses 25 years in the interconnected lives of a diverse group of characters, and its unmistakable, deeply familiar voice is as haunting and engaging as ever. On the evidence at hand, it's clear that King continues to command the hypnotic power that has made him one of the dominant figures in modern popular culture.
Horror
Stephen/Peter King/Straub Talisman, The On a brisk autumn day, a thirteen-year-old boy stands on the shores of the gray Atlantic, near a silent amusement park and a fading ocean resort called the Alhambra. The past has driven Jack Sawyer here: his father is gone, his mother is dying, and the world no longer makes sense. But for Jack everything is about to change. For he has been chosen to make a journey back across America and into another realm.

One of the most influential and heralded works of fantasy ever written, The Talisman is an extraordinary novel of loyalty, awakening, terror, and mystery. Jack Sawyer, on a desperate quest to save his mother s life, must search for a prize across an epic landscape of innocents and monsters, of incredible dangers and even more incredible truths. The prize is essential, but the journey means even more. Let the quest
begin...
Horror
James Herbert Fog, The This is a superlative, well-crafted horror story with quite an original storyline. Taking place in foggy, old England, a dense, yellowish fog suddenly arises from the bowels of the earth, infiltrating the minds of all whom it envelops and removing all restraint. Suddenly, formerly sane individuals find themselves acting as if they were beings out of Dante's Inferno. It is a disaster from which there is seemingly no end.

As the fog moves from place to place, it leaves in its wake a swath of grisly devastation, as murder, rape, mass suicide, and looting become a way of life. Even animals succumb to the fog, which turns treasured pets into killers that their owners cannot control. Only one man has managed to emerge with his sanity still intact, and a group of scientists in an underground laboratory are laboring to find out the reason for his seeming immunity. For in him lies the secret to the fog's destruction and the liberation of mankind from the effects of the fog. Time, however, is of the essence and is running out.

This is really a terrific novel, well-paced, tautly written, and totally absorbing. It is an absolute page turner, with scenes of horror written in a spare, no nonsense, matter of fact style, making it all the more believable and horrific, all while tinged by a trace of dark humor. The tension is crisply maintained throughout the entire book from start to finish, which makes for a riveting read that is hard to put down. This is a must read for all those who love a good horror story. Bravo!
Horror
Dean Koontz Life Expectancy Of all bestselling authors, Koontz may be the most underestimated by the literary establishment. Book after book, year after year, this author climbs to the top of the charts. Why? His readers know: because he is a master storyteller and a daring writer, and because, in his novels, he gives readers bright hope in a dark world. His new book is an examplar of his extraordinary work. Suspense is difficult to sustain; suspense that's buoyed steadily by humor, even as it deals with the most desperate of circumstances, is nearly impossible yet Koontz manages it here. As in last year's brilliant Odd Thomas, Koontz writes again in the first person, employing a cleaner, more instantly accessible line than in some of his other work (e.g., this year's The Taking). His narrator is Jimmy Tock, a pastry chef in a Colorado resort town. On the day he was born, Jimmy's dying grandfather predicted five future dates that would be terrible for Jimmy; he might have mentioned, but didn't, the birth day itself, which sees a mass slaying by a bitter, deranged circus clown in the hospital where Jimmy is born. The bulk of the narrative concerns the first terrible day, about 20 years later, when the vengeful son of that clown takes Jimmy and a lovely young woman, Lorrie Hicks, hostage in the local library, with an eye toward destroying the town; Jimmy and the woman live to marry, but will they and their family survive the four subsequent terrible days? Like most of Koontz's novels, this one pits good versus evil and carries a persuasive spiritual message, about the power of love and family and the miracle of existence. As such it deals with serious, perennial themes, yet with its steady drizzle of jokes and witty repartee, it does so with a lightness of touch that few other authors can match. Koontz is a true original and this novel, one of his most unusual yet, will leave readers aglow and be a major bestseller. If the literary establishment would only catch on to him, it might be an award-winner too. Horror
James Herbert Sepulcre "There is a house, hidden away in a small valley, that holds a dark and dreadful secret. The house is called Neath. There is a psychic who lives in that house who is part of its secret. His name is Kline. There is a guardian of the house, and of the psychic, and of the secret. He is known as The Keeper. Together, in unholy union, they serve a force who existence threatens mankind itself. But now a terrible danger is sensed and an outsider must protect them all. The outsider is Halloran, and he is unaware of the insidious evil he must face. He will learn of a multinational corporation's strange method of detecting new mineral resources; he will combat men who thrive on the worst of physical corruption; he will find love of a perverse nature; he will confront the darkness of his own soul. And eventually Halloran will discover the horrific and awesome secret of the Sepulchre...." Horror
James Herbert Magic Cottage, The "We thought we'd found our haven, a cottage deep in the heart of the forest. Quaint, charming, maybe a little run-down, but so peaceful. The woodland animals and birds couldn't have been more neighbourly. That was the first part of the Magic. Midge's painting and my music soared to new heights of creativity. That was another part of the Magic. Our sensing, our feelings, our love for each other - well, that became the supreme Magic. But the cottage had an alternative side. The Bad Magic. What happened to us there was horrendous beyond belief. The miracles, the healings, the crazy sect who wanted our home for themselves, the hideous creatures that crawled from the nether regions, and the bats - oh God, the bats! Even now those horrible things seem impossible to me. Yet they happened..." Horror
James Herbert Rats, The "It was only when the bones of the first devoured victims were discovered that the true nature and power of these swarming black creatures with their razor sharp teeth and taste for human blood began to be realized by a panic-stricken city. For millions of years man and rats had been natural enemies. But now for the first time - suddenly, shockingly, horribly - the balance of power had shifted Horror
Peter Straub Mr. X Ned Dunstan has had blackouts, seizures, and visions of a brutal murder on every one of his 36 birthdays. Right before his 37th, he returns to his hometown of Edgerton, Illinois, where, in a creepy investigation, he finally learns why. Keith Szarabajka dives into the complex plot surrounding Ned's heritage, including insanity, violence, and the deep love of a family for its "underblessed" members. He shifts from terror to amusement effortlessly, as Ned searches for his deranged and murderous father, while visiting eccentric aunts. Szarabajka's vocalizations of Ned and his father, as each tells his own story, present totally different voices and speech patterns. Saxophone interludes underline, introduce, and conclude chapters with chilling propriety. Horror
Anne Rice Tale of a Body Thief It's been said that Vladimir Nabokov's best novels are the ones he wrote after starting a failed novel. Anne Rice wrote The Body Thief, the fourth thrilling episode of her Vampire Chronicles, right after she spent a long time poring over that most romantic of horror novels, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, to research a novel Rice abandoned about an artificial man. Perhaps as a result of Shelley's influence, The Body Thief is far more psychologically penetrating than its predecessors, with a laser-like focus on a single tormented soul. Oh, we meet some wild new characters, and Rice's toothsome vampire-hero Lestat zooms around the globe--as is his magical habit--from Miami to the Gobi desert, but he's in such despair that he trades his immortal body to a con man named Raglan James, who offers him in return two days of strictly mortal bliss.

Lestat has always had a faulty impulse-control valve, and it gets him in truly intriguing trouble this time. On the plus side, he gets to experience romance with a nun and orange juice--"thick like blood, but full of sweetness." But Lestat is horrified by an uncommon cold, and his toilet training proves traumatic. He's also got to catch Raglan James, who has no intention of giving up his dishonestly acquired new superpowered body. Lestat enlists the help of David Talbot, a mortal in the Talamasca, a secret society of immortal watchers described in Queen of the Damned.
Horror
Dean Koontz False Memory Martie Rhodes is a successful young computer games designer with a loving husband, Dusty, and a seemingly normal life. Her best friend, Susan, however, suffers from agoraphobia, or a fear of open spaces, and relies on Martie to take her to weekly therapy sessions. Suddenly and inexplicably, Martie herself begins exhibiting worrying signs of a mental disorder, fearing herself capable of inflicting great harm on her loved ones. At the same time, Dusty's brother Skeet also succumbs to irrational mental behavior and tries to throw himself from a roof. It soon becomes clear that these four characters are involved in something much more than a sinister coincidence.

Koontz's great skill, as he demonstrates so well in this novel, is creating believable characters and thrusting them into seemingly impossible but--for the period of the story--completely plausible situations. The plot is as carefully layered as the most intricate orchestral compositions, and Koontz conducts the proceedings with almost unbearable tension. One of his greatest abilities as a writer, however, is tapping into the dark paranoia of society. As we approach the Millennium, and an age in which we are becoming increasingly desensitized to death and violence, Martie's fear of herself, known as autophobia, seems a terrifying warning that soon the only thing we will have left to fear is ourselves.

Deeper meanings aside, this is easily one of his best thrillers. The prose moves at a breakneck speed, and the denouement will leave you with a pounding heart and chills up and down your spine. Koontz delivers exciting, boundary-breaking fiction better than anyone else in the game, and False Memory (though at times shocking and disturbing) is a perfect example of a master author in top form.
Horror
Ray Bradbury Something Wicked This Way Comes The carnival rolls in sometime after midnight, ushering in Halloween a week early. The shrill siren song of a calliope beckons to all with a seductive promise of dreams and youth regained. In this season of dying, Cooger & Dark's Pandemonium Shadow Show has come to Green Town, Illinois, to destry every life touched by its strange and sinistery mystery. And two boys will discover the secret of its smoke, mazes, and mirrors; two friends who will soon know all to weel the heavy cost of wishes... and the stuff of nightmare. Horror
Dean Koontz By the Light of the Moon Tiny machines injected into the bloodstream cause changes in personality, intelligence, talents, and behavior. Dylan O'Connor; his autistic brother, Shep; and comedian Jillian Jackson receive these nanobots against their will and spend the rest of the book coming to grips with their plight. Koontz's passion for alliteration makes itself glaringly obvious in the audio production. But Stephen Lang brings an amazing talent for characterization to the complex story, especially with the character of Shep. Not only are the voices and speech patterns of each character unique and believable, but the pacing of their conversation achieves complete realism. Lang's Brooklyn background occasionally creeps into the descriptive passages, but with so much dialogue in the book, it really doesn't matter. Horror
Dean Koontz Chase "Strange Highways" is the title story in Koontz's collection of short stories. Joey Shannon, an alcoholic whose life has been going nowhere for 20 years, returns to his hometown for the funeral of his father. As he leaves town, he gets a mysterious second chance to relive the night in 1975 when his life began its downward spiral: to both literally and figuratively take the road that he didn't originally take. On this road he is supremely tested by conflict with his successful and charismatic older brother P.J., by conflict between his cynicism and his lost faith, and by conflict between the ultimate good and evil. Actor James Spader's reading is somewhat uneven, often invested with the right measure of blas cynicism but occasionally too rushed and monotonal. Nevertheless, this audiobook will be popular. Horror
Dean Koontz Darkfall At first the police thought they were dealing with a psychopath or a vicious gangland war. Then, they heard the eerie sounds in the ventilation system and saw the silver eyes in the night. In a city paralyzed by a blizzard, something watches--something whose ultimate victims are young and innocent. Horror
Dean Koontz Frankenstein: Prodigal Son Dean Koontz's Frankenstein -- the author's first literary series -- is a nightmare-inspiring, modern-day retelling of Mary Shelley's 1818 horror classic. Coauthored with Kevin J. Anderson, the first installment in this four-volume saga pits a reanimated giant and two tenacious police detectives against the demented scientist who created him.

It's no surprise that Deucalion, at almost seven feet tall and with half his face a mangled ruin, spent time as a European carnie sideshow attraction nicknamed the Monster. After enjoying several peaceful years at a monastery in Tibet, the introspective and enigmatic giant receives dire news: The man who created him centuries earlier, Victor Frankenstein, is inexplicably alive and living in New Orleans under the name of Victor Helios, a wealthy business owner and philanthropist. When Deucalion vows to leave his Tibetan sanctuary and destroy the man who created him, he soon realizes the critical magnitude of his mission -- Helios is in the process is secretly creating a new race of posthumans to take over the world!

As is par for the course in many fiction sagas, readers should be prepared for a cliff-hanger of monumental proportions at the conclusion of Prodigal Son. Koontz and Anderson, however, masterfully set the table for a virtual feast of hideous twists and turns, nightmarish monstrosities, and nonstop action in upcoming installments. Dean Koontz's Frankenstein, in which a man transforms himself into a monster and a monster learns what it's like to be human, is an absolutely brilliant rendition of the Shelley classic -- a horror tour de force. Paul Goat Allen
Horror
Dean Koontz Midnight The citizens of Moonlight Cove, California, are changing. Some are losing touch with their deepest emotions. Others are surrendering to their wildest urges. And the few who remain unchanged are absolutely terrified if not brutally murdered in the dead of night... Horror
Dean Koontz Phantoms They thought it was the work of a maniac or terrorists or toxic contamination--but then they found the truth, which was worse than anything they had imagined...

Phantoms is gruesome and unrelenting. It has atmosphere, character, and story. I couldn't put it down until I was done. It was well-realized, intelligent, and humane.
Stephen King
Horror
Dean Koontz Shadow Fires In the relentless heat of the wild Sauran desert, Jenna and Arion wage a battle of wills until they discover that the heart is mightier than any weapon-and that love will forge shadow and fire together.
Horror
Dean Koontz Strange Highways The King of Creep is back, not with a novel, however, but with his first collection of short fiction. Fourteen stories, two of which are actually novel length, provide Koontz with various venues for exploring eeriness. The title piece, one of the two very long works in the collection, is the tale of a young man's hallucinations; the other long story, entitled "Chase," is a dark, almost dank psychological suspense yarn. An out-and-out monster appears in the shorter "Black Pumpkin," and "Bruno" is a combination sf and detective story. Other stories take different approaches to tingling the reader's spine, but all are successful. Koontz's legion of fans won't be let down. Horror
Dean Koontz Voice of the Night, The No one could understand why Colin and Roy were best friends. They were complete opposites. Colin was fascinated by Roy--and Roy was fascinated by death. Then one day Roy asked: "You ever killed anything?" And from that moment on, the two were bound together in a game to terrifying to imagine.
Horror
Dean Koontz Ticktock Narrator B.D. Wong takes on the character of Tommy Phan, a Vietnamese immigrant trying to escape a home-brewed spell run amok. The story races through a terror-filled night as Tommy and his new friend, Deliverance Payne, try to outsmart a demon bent on murder. The many and varied facets of the tale, including suspense, family power struggles and New-Age spiritism, all come to life under Wong's expert narration. With subtle variations in tempo, tone and even volume, he keeps the listener riveted as the astonishing plot unfolds. Koontz's multicultural characters shine with distinct personalities, delivered with skilled inflection. Wong offers both popular American slang and foreigners' pronunciation of English with equal skill. Even the dog has a life of it's own. Winner of AUDIOFILE's Earphones Award Horror
Robert McCammon Stinger The "stinger" is an alien bounty hunter that remains ominously hidden for most of the book, but appears to be an enormous wicked mixture of centipede and scorpion. The bounty it's after is the "good guy" of the tale--a waif-like being who invades the mind of a small girl to make its presence known. They both arrive in a hot, desolate West Texas town surrounded by the alkali dust and sagebrush of a flatland between mountains. And the battle begins. An unpretentious horror novel with memorable imagery, Stinger is this reviewer's favorite of Robert McCammon's. It has appealing characters. It has feuding motorcycle gangs. It even has a bit of a West Side Story romance between Anglo guy and Hispanic girl. Sure, it's a B-movie romp, but McCammon is earnest--he doesn't play it for laughs. The action is scary and horrifying, making for a long, satisfying read. Horror
George Martin Skin Trade In "Skin Trade," it's up to asthmatic lycanthrope Willie and his pal Randi to find out who's killing werewolves and removing their skins, but plots within plots collide, leading to a bloody and confusing ending.

Won the World Fantasy Best Novella in 1989
Horror
Dean Koontz Funhouse Once there was a girl who ran away and joined a traveling carnival. She married a man she hated and begat a child she could never love. Now Ellen has a new life, a new husband and two normal children. Memory is drowned in alcohol and prayers--neither of which will save her kids when the carnival comes back to town. Horror
Dean Koontz Cold Fire Cold Fire, Koontz's suspenseful, best-selling novel, receives solid, professional treatment by readers Carol Cowan and Michael Hanson. Without over-dramatizing, they give the story a clear, concise reading which allows the strong plot to carry the listener without interruption. Portions are genuinely frightening and are not recommended for the faint of heart. At fourteen hours, the tape is ideal for a long car trip, but don't listen to it late at night! Horror
Dean Koontz Fear Nothing From the first few lines, Dean Koontz arouses in listeners a protective feeling for the main character of Fear Nothing. Forced to spend his life in the dark due to a rare genetic disorder that makes him vulnerable to light, Christopher Snow is thrown into an eerie thriller he seems hardly able to handle. Keith Szarabajka's capable performance relays Chris's strong will, although at times it's difficult to believe such a sure voice would belong to a 28-year-old man who has been isolated his whole life. Regardless, Szarabajka's reading, like Koontz's writing, sweeps listeners into the exciting adventure and keeps them rooting for the unlikely hero. Horror
Stephen King Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon sticks out not only as one of King's shorter works, but because it is a horror story that stays grounded in reality.

What would you do if you were seperated from your mother and brother while hiking? Try to find them, obviously. But if that doesn't work, then what?

Lost in the woods, Trisha is able to subsist on a Mountain Dew and some miscellaneous food in her backpack. But as night falls, being lost in the woods isn't so much of an adventure anymore. Luckily, Trisha has her portable radio with her, and is able to recieve broadcasts of Red Sox games. Her hero, pitcher Tom Gordon, is on the mound, and listening to the games while cheering on Tom, is perhaps the only thing that keeps Trisha from going crazy.

As time goes by, Trisha has to deal not only with surviving in nature (the bad weather, the lack of food, etc.) but with the one thing that is plaguing her most: her own mind. The forest turns into a bewildering nightmare, most of which the reader is unable to determine what is real and what isn't- which makes it just so scary.

The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon is an excellent way to ease your way into Stephen King: short, but still able to retain King's masterful, terrifying storytelling.
Horror
Dean Koontz Night Chills The population of Black River, which has been selected as a testing ground for a deadly drug, is in the grip of an epidemic which drives its victims to perform frightening acts. Horror
Stephen King Night Shift A spine-tingling anthology of twenty tales from the master of horror includes "The Lawnmower Man," "Children of the Corn," and "Graveyard Shift," about the loathsome creatures living beneath an old city building. In places where fear swells and blood runs cold, sinister forces and unspeakable things are working the night shift. From the depths of darkness, where hideous rats defend their empire, to dizzying heights, where a beautiful girl hangs by a hair above a hellish fate, this chilling collection of twenty short stories will plunge you into the substream labyrinth of the most spine--tingling, eerie imagination of our time. Horror
Dean Koontz Seize the Night "The night is a kingdom of predators, in which every hunter is also the hunted." The night is also the favored realm of Christopher Snow, whose XP (xeroderma pigmentosum) renders him extremely vulnerable to all forms of light. When an old flame's son is abducted, Snow and his faithful dog Orson track them to Fort Wyvern, an abandoned military base--and the site of genetic research experiments gone awry. To recover the boy, Snow and his friends must unearth Wyvern's darkest secrets. And what--or who--is Mystery Train? Keith Szarabajka is a skillful reader, alternating between breathless terror and deadpan irony. Though long, Seize the Night will certainly hold your interest. Horror
Stephen King Cujo Stephen King puts nerve-tearing teeth into the terror of man's best friend turning into the ultimate beast.
With this warning, prepare to meet Cujo, a friendly, playful 200-pound Saint Bernard who chases a rabbit into an underground cavern. When he emerges from the darkness, he is something else. Something that the men, women, and children of Castle rock, Maine, do not suspect. Until is too late. Until the fever of fear rises and spreads. Until no one is safe, and no one can escape the insatiable slavering evil padding on four paws from victim to victim.
Horror
Stephen King Dark Half, The The protagonist of King's top-notch new novel is literary novelist Thad Beaumont, whose greatest success has come with three gory thrillers written under the pseudonym George Stark. (King himself wrote five novels under the pseudonym Richard Bachman.) When a blackmailer threatens to reveal Stark's identity (planning his scheme, he finds a new use for PW 's ``People'' page), Beaumont and his literary agent decide to foil the plan and capitalize on Stark's ``demise.'' But Stark, who of course was never alive, will not stay dead either. Beaumont's alter ego (for Stark is obviously more than just a pen name) seeks revenge against all those involved in killing him off, and his murderous rampage, gory and gripping, systematically reduces the ranks of his enemies to Thad, his wife and two children. Stark's aim--to force Beaumont to write another Stark novel--is basically a variation on King's Misery , in which a deranged fan held a writer captive until he wrote another novel featuring the heroine whose life he had terminated in his previous book. But this new King thriller is so wondrously frightening that mesmerized readers won't be able fault the master for reusing a premise that puts both Misery and The Dark Half among the best of his voluminous work. Horror
Stephen King Dark Visions This is a compilation book, with 3 stories by Stephen King: The Reploids, Sneakers, Dedication. Reploids is the only story not printed before. The book has also been issued under the name of Dark Love, and Night Visions 5, and contains the same 3 stories.

The Reploids: Edward Paladin shows up in place of Johnny Carson on the Carson show, but all is not what it seems. A subsequent investigation by detective Richard Cheyney finds strange items in his possession, hinting that he may not be from out reality. Passes for the studio the wrong color, and a bright blue dollar bill with a picture of James Madison on it.
Horror
Stephen King Desperation Kathy Bates, the award-winning actress who has starred in two film adaptations of King's work (Dolores Claiborne, Misery) showcases her storytelling talent in the audio version of Desperation. In nine chilling hours of narration, Bates brings to life the story of two doomed travelers headed down Highway 50, a.k.a. the loneliest highway in America, in the brutal Nevada desert. Her even, full-bodied voice has the remarkable ability to sound monotone, sinister, and inviting all at once--a marvelous, engaging match to King's prose. Horror
Stephen King Dreamcatcher "The X-Files" comes to Maine. Four friends on their yearly hunting trip to the north woods find themselves in the middle of an alien invasion and the U.S. military's attempt to contain the aliens' deadly virus. The friends bring a fifth and mentally retarded companion into the struggle to disarm the bad guys. Jeffrey DeMunn navigates this long and complex story. While his narrative passages and pacing are flawless, his characterizations need work. The four Maine men sound identical to one other, although they have taken very different paths in their adult lives. Their dialect is South Boston, rather than Maine, and the psychiatrist and the college professor sound like uneducated hicks. A wonderful touch, however, is DeMunn's characterization when King writes of the November 2000 election that just won't quit. He doesn't name the president. DeMunn, however, performs a convincing George Bush. But his pronunciation of various Maine and Massachusetts towns is a fascinating work of fiction in itself, including four distinct presentations of "Bangor." Horror
Stephen King Firestarter In 1969 Andy McGee and Vicky Tomlinson participated in a drug experiment run by a supersecret government agency known as the Shop. They marry and have a little girl who, when she is two, sets her teddy bear on fire by looking at it. By the time she is eight, her parents have her pyrokinesis, the ability to set anything a flame, under control. But the Shop wants this weapon and send their agents on a ruthless chase to find her.



Horror
Stephen King Nightmares & Dreamscapes In this short story collection Stephen King shows his versatility as a writer. This collection contains, among other things, a ghost, the undead, a finger poking out of a bathroom drain, a set of chattery teeth which run amuck, and a plan to mellow out the whole world. In other words, great fun for King fans. The actors and actresses emphasize the variety of the stories themselves, from Tim Curry's wonderful portrayal of Holmes's Dr. Watson, to the author's delightful rendering of the folk who live off the coast of Maine. With few exceptions, they're skilled readers giving fine performances. A nice feature of this set is that each story is complete on one cassette. Horror
H.P. Lovecraft Misc. Tales Howard Phillips Lovecraft (1890-1937) was born in Providence, Rhode Island, where he spent most of his life. His relatively small body of work--three novels and sixty short stories--has nevertheless exercised an incalculable influence on horror and supernatural fiction.

Long after his death, H. P. Lovecraft continues to enthrall readers with his gripping tales of madness and cosmic terror, and his effect on modern horror fiction continues to be felt-- Stephen King, Anne Rice, and Clive Barker have acknowledged his influence. His unique contribution to American literature was a melding of Poe's traditional supernaturalism with the emerging genre of science fiction. Originally appearing in pulp magazines like Weird Tales in the 1920s and 1930s, Lovecraft's work is now being regarded as the most important supernatural fiction of the twentieth century.

The tales here include:

Fungi From Yuggoth

The Rats in the Wall

The Call of Cthulhu
Horror
V.C. Andrews If There Be Thorns Chris and Cathy made such a loving home for fourteen-year-old Jory -- so handsome, so gentle. And for Bart,who had such a dazzling imagination for a nine year old.
Then the lights came on in the house next door. Soon the Old Lady in Black was there, watching them, guarded by her strange old butler. Soon she had Bart over for cookies and ice cream and asked him to call her "Grandmother".
And soon Bart's transformation began...
Fed by the hint of terrible things about his mother and father...leading him into shocking acts of violence.
Now while this little boy trembles on the edge of madness, his anguished parents await the climax to a horror that flowered in an attic long ago, a horror whose thorns are still wet with blood, still tipped with fire.
Horror
George Carlin When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops? From the dedication on, subtle jokes flow in an endless stream. George Carlin's voice is as lively in these recordings as it is in his live performances; he shifts speed, accent, tone, rhythm, and apparent intelligence level to match the barrage of humor. He's strongest when working a connected string of absurd ideas. Carlin's rants move through familiar topics (human stupidity, religion, language quirks, and more) to riffs on contemporary trends in politics, technology, and business. The one weakness in this book is its length. Six discs is far longer than the stand-up performances in which Carlin developed his edge, and, as a result, the material sags repeatedly.

Kelli remarked that she has this and had the same complaint: you can only take so much. But bite-sized portions are great fun!
Humor
Ellen Degeneras Funny Thing Is, The Degeneres continues her year-long domination of all media (following a cross-country stand-up tour, an HBO special, a show-stealing turn in Finding Nemo and the successful launch of her daily talk show in September) with this new humor collection, winningly preserved on audio. The laid-back, observational comedienne's stream-of-conscience musings gain additional zest from her wry and adroit delivery. Some of her funniest material is in throwaway lines, dropped with an easygoing deadpan delivery. ("My favorite exercise is walking a block and a half to the corner store to buy fudge. Then I call a cab to get back home. There's never a need to overdo anything.") Her smart and funny routines point out absurdities in everyday life. ("Batteries are packaged as though the manufacturers never want you to get to them. On the other hand, take a good look at a package of light bulbs. Thin, thin, thin cardboard that's open on both ends.") Whether offering tips to cover social embarrassments or grousing about parallel parking ("What better way to do something you're already a little leery about doing than by doing it backwards?"), Degeneres is a delight. Humor
John Grisham King of Torts, The The office of the public defender is not known as a training ground for bright young litigators. Clay Carter has been there too long and, like most of his colleagues, dreams of a better job in a real firm. When he reluctantly takes the case of a young man charged with a random street killing, he assumes it is just another of the many senseless murders that hit D.C. every week.
As he digs into the background of his client, Clay stumbles on a conspiracy too horrible to believe. He suddenly finds himself in the middle of a complex case against one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, looking at the kind of enormous settlement that would totally change his life that would make him, almost overnight, the legal profession s newest king of torts...
Legal Drama/Thriller
John Grisham Testament, The In a plush Virginia office, a rich, angry old man is furiously rewriting his will. With his death just hours away, Troy Phelan wants to send a message to his children, his ex-wives, and his minions, a message that will touch off a vicious legal battle and transform dozens of lives.
Because Troy Phelan s new will names a sole surprise heir to his eleven-billion-dollar fortune: a mysterious woman named Rachel Lane, a missionary living deep in the jungles of Brazil.
Enter the lawyers. Nate O Riley is fresh out of rehab, a disgraced corporate attorney handpicked for his last job: to find Rachel Lane at any cost. As Phelan s family circles like vultures in D.C., Nate is crashing through the Brazilian jungle, entering a world where money means nothing, where death is just one misstep away, and where a woman pursued by enemies and friends alike holds a stunning surprise of her own...

An entertaining page-turner...his best novel in years.
USA Today
Legal Drama/Thriller
John Grisham Street Lawyer, The He gave up the money. He gave up the power. Now all he has left is the law.
Michael Brock is billing the hours, making the money, rushing relentlessly to the top of Drake & Sweeney, a giant D.C. law firm. One step away from partnership, Michael has it all. Then, in an instant, it all comes undone.
A homeless man takes nine lawyers hostage in the firm s plush offices. When it s all over, the man s blood is splattered on Michael s face and suddenly Michael is willing to do the unthinkable. Rediscovering a conscience he lost long ago, Michael is leaving the big time for the streets where his attacker once lived and where society s powerless need an advocate for justice.
But there s one break Michael can t make: from a secret that has floated up from the depths of Drake & Sweeney, from a confidential file now in Michael s hands, and from a conspiracy that has already taken lives. Now his former partners are about to become bitter enemies. Because to them, Michael Brock is the most dangerous man on the streets...
Legal Drama/Thriller
John Grisham Last Juror, The A bankrupt Mississippi newspaper was taken over by a 23 year-old college dropout. The future of the paper looked grim until a young mother was brutally raped and murdered by a member of the notorious Padgitt family. Willie Traynor reported all the gruesome details, and his newspaper began to prosper.
The murderer was tried before a packed courthouse and came to a startling and dramatic end when the defendant threatened revenge against the jurors if they convicted him. Nevertheless, they found him guilty, and he was sentenced to life in prison.
But in Mississippi in 1970, life didn t necessarily mean life, and nine years later Danny Padgitt managed to get himself paroled. He returned to Ford County, and the retribution began.
Legal Drama/Thriller
D.W. Buffa Defense, The Dynamite defense attorney Joseph Antonelli has never lost a case or felt the sting of conscience for letting the guilty go free. I can deceive anyone, he says, and no one more quickly or more completely than myself. Now the man he most admires, the honorable Judge Rifkin, has asked him a favor: Defend a drug dealer accused of raping his twelve-year-old stepdaughter. Yet Antonelli s acceptance of the case sets in motion an explosive chain of corruption, betrayal, and murder that will leave no one unscathed
Aside from being a gripping courtroom drama, made up of not just one but several exciting trials, this story deals with the perplexing issue of whether lawyers ought to worry about the implications of defending people they know to be guilty. More satisfying still, it ends with a couple of twists that are really shocking. It s a gut-wrenching tour de force about justice, truth, the legal system, and life s basic values, tailor-made for lovers of the mystery thriller.
Wonderfully performed by Buck Schirner, this brilliant mystery perfectly suits the insatiable appetite for legal thrillers.
Legal Drama/Thriller
John Grisham Chamber, The In the corridors of Chicago's top law firm:

Twenty-six-year-old Adam Hall stands on the brink of a brilliant legal career. Now he is risking it all for a death-row killer and an impossible case.

Maximum Security Unit, Mississippi State Prison:

Sam Cayhall is a former Klansman and unrepentant racist now facing the death penalty for a fatal bombing in 1967. He has run out of chances -- except for one: the young, liberal Chicago lawyer who just happens to be his grandson. While the executioners prepare the gas chamber, while the protesters gather and the TV cameras wait, Adam has only days, hours, minutes to save his client. For between the two men is a chasm of shame, family lies, and secrets -- including the one secret that could save Sam Cayhall's life...or cost Adam his.

"A dark and thoughtful tale pulsing wit moral uncertainties... Grisham is at his best." --People
Legal Drama/Thriller
John Grisham Summons, The Once Judge Atlee was a powerful figure in Clanton, Mississippi--a pillar of the community who towered over local law and politics for forty years. Now the judge is a shadow of his former self, a sick, lonely old man who has withdrawn to his sprawling ancestral home. Knowing the end is near, Judge Atlee has issued a summons for his two sons to return to Clanton to discuss his estate. Ray Atlee is the eldest, a Virginia law professor, newly single and still enduring the aftershocks of a surprise divorce. Forrest is Ray s younger brother, who redefines the notion of a family s black sheep.

The summons is typed by the judge himself, on his handsome old stationery, and gives the date and time for Ray and Forrest to appear in his study. Ray reluctantly heads south to his hometown, to the place where he grew up and now prefers to avoid. But the family meeting does not take place. The judge dies too soon, and in doing so leaves behind a shocking secret known only to Ray.

And perhaps someone else.
Legal Drama/Thriller
Stephen White Blinded
Boulder psychologist Alan Gregory hasn t seen a former patient since she was in marriage counseling with him almost a decade ago. When she walks into his office with a startling declaration that she believes her husband murdered at least one woman, and may be planning to kill more Gregory finds himself on the horns of a dilemma that s not just professional but personal as well: He can t reveal what his patient has told him, not even to his wife, who s a prosecutor, or his friend, who s a cop. What s more, his feelings for Gibbs may be clouding his judgment about the truth of what she professes.
This is a thoughtful, well crafted novel full of interesting insights on marriage, friendship, the human condition, and the Colorado landscape.
Mystery
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Gallery of Holmes, A This is a collection of seven Sherlock Holmes stories: Silver Blaze, A Study in Scarlet, The Sign of Four, The Missing Three-Quarter, The Stockbroker s Clerk, The Man with the Twisted Lip, and The Cardboard Box.
There is no music nor are there any sound effects, but to refer to this narrator s productions as simply dramatic readings is a major understatement, as he brings a wonderful range of distinctly unique voices into play for each of the characters, creating a marvelously layered and rich listening experience that showcases Arthur Conan Doyle s masterful use of language. The narrator acts out the drama in a full-blooded theatrical manner...an ideal entertainment for a dark winter s night.

NY Times
Mystery
Stuart Kaminsky Murder on the Yellow Brick Road Toby Peters, private investigator, is called to the set of The Wizard of Oz, where a munchkin has been found murdered a year after the movie s release.
Lane s baritone voice withstands the challenge of providing voices for the many characters in the story, and listeners can easily distinguish each one. While Lane s strong talent cannot convincingly mimic such well-known voices as Clark Gable and Judy Garland, this does not detract from the reading. Mysterious clues and Lane s delivery of the cynical humor entice the listener along the Yellow Brick Road to a surprise ending not in Kansas.
Mystery
Alison Taylor In Guilty Night On a freezing November night, a 14-year-old turns up dead in a railway tunnel, an apparent victim of sexual abuse and a runaway from the local children s home.
Detective Michael McKenna and his colleagues are slowly drawn in to the web of relationships and power struggles in the claustrophobic world of childcare institution, where nothing and no one can be taken at face value and ethical structures bow to expediency and greed.
In this dark world McKenna finds families existing in a twilight of ignorance and stupidity and children consigned to the scrap-heap of life. Forced to confront his own frailties through his investigations, McKenna must probe the underbelly of this seamy culture in order to get at the truth, however destructive it may be.
Mystery
Rex Stout Hand in the Glove, The A religious charlatan has smooth-talked his way into the life of the wife of wealthy industrialist P.L. Storrs in 1937 New York City. Faced with a very delicate problem, Storrs decides he needs the services of a private investigator, so he hires the charming Theodolina Dol Bonner, even though he doesn t approve of female detectives. Dol says she doesn t like men but agrees to work for the tycoon. Dol soon finds she must deal with the death of her client and a literal garden party of suspects. The Hand in the Glove features a host of eccentric characters and a sophisticated sleuth. Judith West provides a clear reading that breathes life into this witty whodunit.
The narration is consistent throughout, intelligently performed, and completely satisfying. The strong female characters are well portrayed and the story thoroughly absorbing and well produced.
Mystery
Peter Robinson Close to Home There are human bones buried in an open field, the remains of a lost teenaged boy whose disappearance devastated a community more than thirty-five years ago and scarred a guilt-ridden friend forever.
A long-hidden horror has been unearthed, dragging a tormented policeman back into a past he could never truly forget no matter how desperately he tried. A heinous crime that occurred too close to home still has its grip on Chief Inspector Alan Banks and it s leading him into a dark place where evil still dwells. Because the secrets that doomed young Graham Marshall back in 1965 remain alive and lethal and disturbing them could cost Banks much more than he ever imagined.
Robinson is as adept at illuminating interior life (especially the wounded psyches of his crime fighters) as he is in constructing believably odd crime scenarios. As this intense and intricately crafted puzzler develops, he blends fiction with a bit of fact, and uses themes of lost youth and the dark secrets hidden in small towns, delivering a police procedural of remarkable human depth.
Mystery
Anne Perry No Graves as Yet This absorbing mystery/spy thriller, set in tranquil Cambridge just before the onset of World War I, marks a powerful start to bestseller Perry s much anticipated new series.
Matthew and Joseph Reavley s parents are killed in a car accident on the same day the Austrian Archduke of Serbia is assassinated. The brothers join forces to investigate the two murders and end up in England and find out much more than they bargained for.
The narrator adroitly captures the quiet atmosphere of Cambridge and the British countryside in 1914 alongside the climate of fear instilled in the students by an unsolved murder and the threat of coming war. Page s cadence and tone lend an excitement and grace to the story that improves upon the original plot.
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Janet Evanovich Full Speed Also written by Charlotte Hughes

Lorelei King could write the textbook on audiobook narration. She exhibits an amazing range as South Carolina newspaper publisher Jamie Swift and wealthy Max Holt chase villains when they re not chasing each other, that is. King s portrayal of their highly allergic sidekick, Dave, sends the listener running for antihistamines. The real star of the production is Muffin, Max s computerized car. King s characterization of Muffin as a Marilyn Monroe sound-alike is a delight; too bad she doesn t have more lines. Before Jamie and Max give in to romance, the team shuts down the dealings of a corrupt minister and a struggling mobster.
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Janet Evanovich One For the Money Janet Evanovich makes a major debut with this witty and critically acclaimed crime novel. Meet Stephanie Plum of Trenton, New Jersey. In Stephanie s opinion, toxic waste, rabid drivers, armed schizophrenics, and August heat, humidity, and hydrocarbons are all part of the great adventure of living in Jersey. She s a rookie bail bondswoman who has the awkward habit of leaping first and looking later when she s out snagging bail jumpers. It s not a job for the faint at heart, but it s tailor-made for Stephanie Plum.
This crime novel is witty, fresh, and full of surprises. Sometimes you feel like reading a deep novel, sometimes you want an adventure, and sometimes you just want to have fun...this series is a blast!!
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Dennis Lehane Prayers for Rain This gritty tale of identity, innocence and psychological warfare is endowed with the local flavor of Boston and its environs. Violence is frequent and relatively graphic; the overall tone is somewhere between somber and depressing, and the morality expressed strains contemporary religious and societal norms. Despite the darkness of this novel, its style and story grab the reader and refuse to let go. It s a detective story; it is also a well-written, serious work. If you haven t sampled Dennis Lehane s work, this is an excellent place to begin.
The narrator is wonderful, and has the listener laughing out loud one moment, stifling tears the next. His sense of timing, understanding of the characters, and down-to-earth voice carry the listener through a moving story.
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Dennis Lehane Sacred The kidnapping really should have tipped them off. You can t have much of a relationship with a client who grabs you off the street, drugs you, and ties you to a couple of chairs while he makes his pitch. But dying billionaire Trevor Stone, whose wife is dead and whose daughter has disappeared, is obviously a man in pain, and the $50,000 retainer he offers (plus $200,000 for expenses) goes a long way to soften the insult.
The intricate mystery of the changing identity of the kidnapped daughter, dangerous car chases, bloody shoot-outs, and the humorous dialogue between the two detectives, Patrick and Angie, all with subtle romantic overtones, will keep readers happily turning pages. It s got nice plot surprises, a large body count and a wickedly satisfying villain comeuppance.
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Janet & Charlotte Evanovich &
Hughes
Full Tilt Jamie Swift owns the local newspaper, which is slowly going bankrupt, and is engaged to stable, secure Philip. Then she meets her silent partner, Max Holt, who has more money and moxie than most men. Soon after, bullets start to fly, and the two are off to find the would-be killers. The sexually charged pair spend much of their time together trading quips and parrying sexual innuendos while deciphering clues and adroitly coping with danger. A fast-paced, wacky novel filled with eccentric characters and southern ambiance.
The narrator creates full-bodied characterizations that bring the heroes and villains to life. A complicated plot, mixed emotions, and a local scandal are all flawlessly enacted in the narrator s mellifluous voice.
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Janet Evanovich Two For The Dough Bounty hunter Stephanie Plum debuted in One for the Money. Now she s back, packing a whole lot of attitude not to mention an array of arsenel. This time around, she s on the trail of a boy from the working-class burg of Trenton, New Jersey, who shot his best friend. Fresh out of the Army and suspiciously wealthy, he s also distantly related to a vice cop with questionable ethics, a libido in permanent overdrive, and a habit of horning in on Stephanie s investigations.
Aided by her tough bounty hunter pal and her funeral-happy grandmother, Stephanie s soon staggering knee-deep in corpses, trying to shake the cop, and stirring up a very nasty enemy.
A Jersey girl with Midler s mouth and Cher s fashion sense...who could resist her?! NY Times Book Review
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Janet Evanovich Three To Get Deadly Stephanie likes to think that being a bounty hunter is a temporary gig until something better comes along, but she s not fooling anybody, least of all herself: she loves the rush, claiming that nothing puts a little bounce in a girl s step like a .38 and a pair of cuffs.
Her latest job is to track down a respectable old bachelor who jumped bail. On the case, she s knocked out and wakes up next to a very dead guy. Her job is further complicated by an ominous minister and an old flame from the police department.
Stephanie Plum stands apart from other leading ladies so popular in crime fiction today. She s funnier, tougher, politically incorrect, and just loves her job to death. Plum s a break-out winner in an already critically acclaimed series.
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David Wiltse Prayer For The Dead Retired FBI agent John Becker reluctantly agrees to help the police chief of a small Connecticut town investigate the cases of 15 missing men. Becker has personal reasons for not wanting to become involved, but the gravity of situation draws him in. Alternating between the killer s and Becker s point of view, Wiltse builds tension with subtle, chilling precision in this spellbinding thriller.

Whoa, whoa, whoa! Be careful with this one...I didn t sleep for a week afterwards! This is how John Becker got started...what a debut! He s a good guy that isn t too good, and that s the way I like my protagonists. This is a remarkably scary book!
Amazon Reader
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Jonathan Gash Spend Game Lovejoy isn t a master antique dealer, but he is a master at being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Leaving a mundane auction for an amorous assignation, he witnesses the calculated murder of an old war-buddy fellow dealer. Lovejoy s tendency for self-preservation and the fact that he was currently involved in an adulterous tryst, prevents him from coming forward with what little information he could glean to the police. Of course, he wouldn t trust the local constable to sneeze without some peppery remarks from his corner, and the rest of the book goes on, with Lovejoy achieving vengeance and satisfying his greed in roughly the same equal mixture.
The narrator is fabulous and handles multiple characters flawlessly. Winner of the Audiofile Earphones Award.
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John Berendt Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil Shots rang out in Savannah s grandest mansion in the misty,early morning hours of May 2, 1981. Was it murder or self-defense? For nearly a decade, the shooting and its aftermath reverberated throughout this hauntingly beautiful city of moss-hung oaks and shaded squares. This sharply observed, suspenseful, and witty narrative reads like a thoroughly engrossing novel, and yet it is a work of nonfiction. Berendt skillfully interweaves a hugely entertaining first-person account of life in this isolated remnant of the Old South with the unpredictable twists and turns of a landmark murder case.
The witty, suspenseful narrative creates tension, in part, by contrasting its eccentric characters with its genteel setting. The narrator excels at vocal color, quirky phrasing, and other dramatic techniques. In particular, he shows he is a master of accents and cross-gender depiction by bringing alive the character of Chablis, the man who thinks he s a woman, as she prances and fumes through life.
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Johnathan Kellerman Therapy The crime and the murder of a couple of twentysomethings parked in a secluded spot, is exceptionally vicious. When the two detectives investigate, they discover one of the victims was associated with a celebrity psychologist. Therapy emerges as the key to the mystery after the psychologist and another of her patients turn up dead, but there s a tangled mess to unravel before it s clear precisely how it plays a part.
As the investigation widens, numerous gritty secrets come to light and a deliciously complicated solution unfolds. As in most Delaware novels, it s the manipulation of circumstance that drives the story, and though the plot here shoots off in some unexpected directions, Kellerman shrewdly manages to bring everything together by the end; there s even a nifty surprise. And, of course, it s all neatly delivered in Delaware s urbane yet casual voice.
Thumbs up yet again for the ever-popular Kellerman.
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Dan Brown Angels & Demons World-renowned Harvard symboligist Robert Langdon is summoned to a Swiss research facility to analyze a cryptic symbol seared into the chest of a murdered physicist. What he discovers is unimaginable: a deadly vendetta against the Catholic Church by a centuries-old underground organization the Illuminati. Desperate to save the Vatican from a powerful time bomb, Langdon joins forces in Rome with the beautiful and mysterious scientist Vittoria Vetra. Together they embark on a frantic hunt through sealed crypts, dangerous catacombs, deserted cathedrals, and the most secretive vault on earth ...the long-forgotten Illuminati lair. Mystery
Nevada Barr High Country The serene snow country suddenly turns deadly for ranger-turned-detective Anna Pigeon. On assignment to locate four young park employees who went missing in a fierce storm, the 50ish Anna works undercover as a waitress at Yosemite s Ahwahnee Hotel, where she must deal not only with an exacting supervisor and a surly head chef but also share a dorm with 20-something roommates. This page-turner takes off as Anna finds out more...
Barr has a true gift for outdoor writing, using the lush snow as natural cover for the violent life in the wild as well as among the park s human custodians. Anyone contemplating a nice winter hike will think twice after entering the wilderness with Anna, but her fans always come back for more.
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Carl Hiaasen Native Tongue Imagine you re driving a rented convertible to the perfect family vacation at the Amazing Kingdom of Thrills when a rat is tossed into your car by a passing pickup. The rodent in question is not a rat, but a rare blue-tongued mango vole just liberated from the Kingdom by the militant Wildlife Rescue Corps. Welcome to the world of Native Tongue, where dedicated (if somewhat demented) environmentalists battle sleazy real estate developers in the Florida Keys. Hiaasen is great at depicting a bunch of eccentric people involved in crazy schemes. No matter how bizarre the situation, it is believable. Late in the book a character laments his predicament as an irresistible convergence of violence, mayhem and mortality! If he had added nonstop hilarity, he would have had a perfect description of this book. Mystery
Carl Hiaasen Basket Case Take one dead rock & roll star, his Courtney Love-type widow, the mysterious deaths of his former bandmates, and the lost tracks of a comeback album. Stir in Jack Tagger, a middle-aged investigative reporter obsessed with death since his banishment to the obit desk; a fetching young editor with a yen for our hero; and a boss looking for a reason to fire him. Put them in the hands of a master like Carl Hiaasen, who adds his trademark flourishes (who else would use a frozen lizard as a weapon?) to a creaky plot like this one, and the result is a winner. Florida is full of caper writers with journalistic credentials, and plenty of them have a deft hand with quirky characters, but no one in the genre is better than Hiaasen. Mystery
Carl Hiaasen Stormy Weather Take one devastating Florida hurricane, a New York couple on their honeymoon, a skull-juggling but sensitive guy, one former governor turned Everglades hermit, two small-time con artists, a corrupt building inspector, two state troopers, a hapless insurance agent, and what do you have? The recipe for Hiaasen s sixth novel, a delightful romp that is by turns hilarious and moving. These strange characters maneuver through a broken landscape as if born to it, and the author s control of both style and narrative keeps the novel from slipping into silliness. The crimes plotted are minor aspects of a fiction that explores the intersection of the grotesque and the human. Some of Hiaasen s dark humor is lost or truncated by the abridgment, but those with limited time will find this recording welcome shelter. Mystery
Carl Christopher Hurt Strip Tease A smart topless dancer and a cool but clueless cop join forces to trap a dirty congressman, aided by one of the funniest cast of characters ever collected in a suspense novel.
As a narrator, Ed Asner s heavyweight performance style is a good choice for this humorous story of a sleazy bar patron who happens to be a congressman. His raspy voice captures the underlying seediness of corrupt politicians and their shenanigans. Particularly strong are his characterizations of the bar owner and his bouncer. Asner s Southern drawl is surprisingly good and even. Though they share some similarities, his other characterizations are consistent and believable. Asner enjoys his narration; you can sense him smiling as he reads.
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Kathy Reichs Grave Secrets They are the disappeared, twenty-three massacre victims buried in a well in the Guatemalan village of Chupan Ya two decades ago. Leading a team of experts on a meticulous, heartbreaking dig, Tempe Brennan pieces together the violence of the past. But a fresh wave of terror begins when the horrific sounds of a fatal attack on two colleagues come in on a blood-chilling satellite call. Teaming up with Special Crimes Investigator Bartolomé Galiano and Montreal detective Andrew Ryan, Tempe quickly becomes enmeshed in the cases of four privileged young women who have vanished from Guatemala City and finds herself caught in deadly territory where power, money, greed, and science converge.
The narrator s facility with the various accents places each of the characters as she moves the story through its intriguing twists of human rights issues, forensic science and government corruption. She is masterful with the banter between the detectives and switches easily between the accents without a miss. Listeners will have a hard time turning this off before the final clues are revealed.
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Kathy Reichs Death du Jour In the bitter cold of a Montreal winter, Tempe Brennan is digging for a corpse buried more than a century ago. Although Tempe thrives on such enigmas from the past, it s a chain of contemporary deaths and disappearances that has seized her attention: a brutal baby massacre in Quebec, a grizzly girl gutted in North Carolina...could they be related? Forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan alone is ideally placed to make a chilling connection among the seemingly unrelated events. At the crime scene, at the morgue, and in the lab, Tempe probes a mystery that sweeps from a deadly Quebec fire to startling discoveries in the Carolinas, and culminates in Montreal with a terrifying showdown a nerve-shattering test of both her forensic expertise and her skills for survival
The narrator obviously enjoys performing this international thriller. Her greatest talent lies in her expertise with dialects. Subtle North Carolina sweetness gives way to a Tennessee drawl in an instant, followed by an amazing ability to portray Canadian French. She even captures Nova Scotia s regionalisms to perfection. Her performance is a real treasure.
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Ross MacDonald Chill, The The surprise with which a detective novel concludes should set up tragic vibrations which run backward through the entire structure, wrote Ross Macdonald in his 1981 Self-Portrait. Nowhere in his work does he better demonstrate this principle than in The Chill, first published in 1964. The plot is one of Macdonald s most masterfully constructed. Private detective Lew Archer is engaged to trace a missing spouse, who has vanished apparently of her own free will only a day into her honeymoon. Archer begins pulling at the threads of the case, and very soon a deeper, darker story is revealed involving two murders 20 years apart. As usual, Macdonald s economical prose propels the reader forward from one action-packed scene to another, while the scenes in turn pile up to paint a rich, complex picture of buried memories, anguished relations between parents and children, the arrogance of the rich, and the search for identity. Then, at the end, one of the author s best surprise reversals changes the picture s colors entirely. The Chill stands out as one of MacDonald s very best books and should not be missed. Mystery
J.A. Jance Exit Wounds The heat is killer in Cochise County, Arizona, and in the suffocating stillness of an airless trailer, a woman is lying dead, a bullet hole in her chest. Who would murder a harmless loner and why did the killer use an eighty-five-year-old bullet, fired from the same weapon that slaughtered two other women?
The slayings are as oppressive as the blistering heat for Sheriff Joanna Brady, who must shoulder the double burden of a brutal reelection campaign and major developments on the home front. Joanna must now deal with the terrifying reality that now threatens everyone in her jurisdiction: a serial killer is in their midst.
As personal and professional pressure mounts, Sheriff Brady must pursue a sadistic murderer into the shadows of the past to get to the roots of a monstrous obsession...and expose the permanent wounds of a crime far worse than homicide.
The narrator makes the most of the material at hand and brings it to life. Her characterizations are strong and confident and makes this a great story to listen to from start to end.
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Stephen J. Cannell Vertical Coffin The title of this book is police jargon for any doorway, which is where cops are most vulnerable when clearing a house.
A nightmarish series of events sweeps LAPD s Sergeant Shane Scully and his wife (and boss), Alexa, into the vortex of an enormous, jurisdictional firestorm.
First, a sheriff s deputy is gunned down while serving a routine search warrant. Blame is placed on a government agency, and soon after, a series of murders take place and tensions rise. At the request of the mayor, Scully is assigned to investigate as an uninvolved and unbiased agency.
He is given an impossible deadline to find a solution before the two elite and deadly SWAT Teams kill each other off amid a hurricane of horrible publicity. Shane pursues his investigation in a direction that neither his chief nor his wife agrees with, and succeeds in putting himself, his loved ones, and his career in terrible jeopardy before he finally discovers the shocking and deadly truth.
Mystery
Ruth Rendell Wolf to the Slaughter It was better than a hotel, this anonymous room on a secluded side street of a small country town. No register to sign, no questions asked, and for five bucks a man could have three hours of undisturbed, illicit lovemaking.
Then one evening a man with a knife turned the love nest into a death chamber. The carpet was soaked with blood but where was the corpse?
Meanwhile, a beautiful, promiscuous woman is missing along with the bundle of cash she d had in her pocket. The truth behind it all will keep even veteran mystery fans guessing through the very last page.
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James Patterson Jack & Jill A controversial U.S. Senator is found murdered in his Georgetown bed and the whole world is watching. On the other side of town, a beautiful little girl is found dead, savagely beaten, and no one seems to care.
Washington, D.C. homicide detective Alex Cross is brought in to try to find a connection between the two murders even as the killer strikes again. No one in Washington is safe not children, not politicians, not even the President of the United States. Cross has impressive skills and the courage to match, but can he discover the truth in time?
Mystery
Nelson Demille General s Daughter, The Paul Brenner, one of the army s elite undercover agents, has authority to arrest any military person anywhere in the world. He s always wondered how far he could push it . . .now he s about to find out. When troops find Captain Ann Campbell, a general s daughter, raped and murdered on the firing range, Brenner s instincts tell him to avoid the case. It can only mean trouble. But avoid it he cannot, and with an unlikely partner he uncovers the truth about the brass above him: that beneath the neatly pressed uniforms and the military code of honor hides a corruption as rank as Ann Campbell s own astonishing secret life.
Long before this book was turned into a movie, it was a hugely popular book, and put Demille on the map of hot authors. The rapid-fire dialogue and scenes are cinematic, and the storytelling puts most movies to shame.
This is one racy read, and it crackles with authenticity. DeMille is a Vietnam veteran who does for military justice what John Grisham does for civilians.

Listed as "The General's Daughter"
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Nora Roberts Birthright When five-thousand-year-old human bones are found at a construction site in the small town of Woodsboro, the news draws archaeologist Callie Dunbrook out of her sabbatical and into a whirlwind of adventure, danger, and romance.
While overseeing the dig, she must try to make sense of a cloud of death and misfortune that hangs over the project-fueling rumors that the site is cursed. And she must cope with the presence of her irritating but irresistible ex-husband, Jake. Furthermore, when a stranger claims to know a secret about her privileged Boston childhood, she is forced to question her own past as well.
As in other delectable entertainments by Roberts, it s not the wild ending but the pursuit itself studded with scrumptious romantic encounters that is the real dessert. This is a rich, thrilling, suspenseful tale, and follows an inspiring heroine, an intriguing hero, and a cast of fascinating characters whose intertwined lives remind us that there is much more going on under the surface than meets the eye.
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Mary Higgins Clark Second Time Around, The A feature writer for a newspaper, Carley DeCarlo has been assigned to do an article on the life and death of Nicholas Spencer, an eminent researcher who was on the verge of developing a pharmaceutical cure for cancer. Since millions of specially donated dollars are missing from his firm, his airplane accident may have been a faked suicide, or murder. Tension builds gradually as readers see both the heroine and the schizophrenic at work. But is he the only villain?
This plot could come right out of today s headlines of corporate greed and ruthlessness and their devastating effect on small shareholders. The narration is steady and clear. With a slight air of detachment, she adopts a tone fitting to the main character and treats all the characters evenhandedly.
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PD James Original Sin Innocent House is a mock-Venetian palace occupied by Britain s oldest book publisher, Peverell Press. After a spate of malicious pranks, the ruthless managing director, Gerard Etienne, is found dead, the office mascot, a stuffed snake, jammed in his mouth. Who wanted Etienne dead? Just about everyone on staff and several authors, too.
Commander Adam Dalgliesh and his team are confronted with a puzzle of extraordinary ingenuity as they begin to probe the dark, private tragedies of Etienne s mistress and colleagues. But the mystery at Innocent House may prove too deep, too old, and too evil to stop at just one death...

Exquisitely plotted, crammed with excellent characters and Dickensian in its passion for detail and setting. Time
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Sue Grafton A is for Alibi Plenty of people wanted L. Fife, a ruthless divorce attorney, dead. Including, thought the cops, his young and lovely wife, who was convicted of the crime.
Now, eight years later and out on parole, Nikki Fife hires Kinsey Millhone to find out who really killed her husband. Kinsey must pursue a trail that s eight years old. One that leads from a young boy, born deaf, whose memory cannot be trusted; to a lawyer defensively loyal to his dead partner and disarmingly attractive to Millhone; to a not-so-young secretary with too high a salary for far too few skills.
This train will twist to include them all, with Kinsey following every turn until it finally twists back on itself and she fins herself face-to-face with a killer cunning enough to get away with murder.
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Faye Kellerman Stone Kiss Family business can be deadly, as we discver in Kellerman s latest thriller. A Los Angeles police lieutenant is asked for help when his wife s brother is slain in a seedy New York hotel room, and the victim s teenage niece disappears. However, it soon becomes apparent that not everyone is eager for the lieutenant s assistance. Despite roadblocks, Decker looks for the girl and things quickly become very dangerous and deadly. A discovered family secret puts his life in jeopardy.
As usual in this outstanding series, Kellerman s pacing is flawless, her plotting ingenious, and her deep understanding of human nature reconfirmed.

The mystery continues almost right up to the last page, and as always, there is no ends-tightly-sewn-together, pat ending. This is a good read, another Faye Kellerman winner; highly recommended. New York Times
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Mary Stewart Airs Above the Ground Lovely Vanessa March did not think it was a strange for her husband to take a business trip to Stockholm. What was strange was the silence that followed. Then she caught a glimpse of him in a newsreel shot of a crowd near a mysterious circus fire in Vienna and knew it was more than strange. It was downright sinister.
Mary Stewart unfolds a masterpiece of intrigue, terror, and suspense in this headlong-paced tale of a young wife s search for a missing husband

An exciting tale set in a background of breathless scenic beauty.
Library Herald
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Walter Miller Canticle for Liebowitz, A Deep in the Utah desert, Brother Francis of the Albertian Order of Leibowitz has miraculously discovered the relics of the martyr Leibowitz himself, including the blessed blueprint and the sacred shopping list. They may provide a ray of hope in a terrifying age of darkness, a time of ignorance and genetic monsters that are the unholy aftermath of the Flame Deluge. As the mystery unfolds, it is the search for meaning, for truth, and for love, that offers hope to a humanity teetering on the edge of an abyss.
A timeless and still timely masterpiece, A Canticle for Leibowitz is a classic that ranks with Brave New World and 1984.
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Carl Hiaasen Double Whammy This wacky tale of murder and mayhem at a big-stakes Florida bass tournament delightfully exposes corruption among the rod-and-reel set. (A double whammy is a special lure used in the competition underlying the plot of this thriller.)
A private detective is hired to prove that a TV host cheats to win fortunes in Florida bass-fishing tournaments, and is an unlikely hero who seems to be always a step behind. The investigation makes the detective prey to hired killers who have murdered other snoops, but he also finds a strong if weird ally in a road-kill eating hermit who lives in a shack.
The cast of bizarre characters which include corrupt TV evangelists, rednecks, smart black policemen, and betrayingly beautiful women and the suspenseful events confirm Hiaasen s reputation for creating singular villains and heroes. While he s probably unpopular among some fellow citizens in his home state, he will certainly please readers who appreciate the Swiftian wit in his cautionary tales. The action is swift, and there are some very funny scenes.
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Dan Brown Deception Point A shocking scientific discovery. A conspiracy of staggering brilliance. A thriller unlike any you ve ever heard...
When a NASA satellite discovers an astonishingly rare object buried deep in the Arctic ice, the floundering space agency proclaims a much-needed victory a victory with profound implications for NASA policy and the impending presidential election. To verify the authenticity of the find, the White House calls upon the skills of an intelligence analyst. Accompanied by a team of experts, she travels to the Arctic and uncovers the unthinkable a bold deception that threatens to plunge the world into controversy. Who is behind this masterful plot? The truth is the most shocking deception of all.
This is dazzling high-tech adventure!
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James Lee Burke Last Car to Elysian Fields Change comes slowly to Cajun country, but it comes just the same. Homicide detective Dave Robicheaux, hero of Burke s long-running series, has been struggling with that fact for years, watching his beloved New Iberia invaded by everything from mobsters to Wal-Mart.
Robicheaux is pitted against a handsome, urbane war hero in this latest installment, set in Louisiana. As in many of Burke s novels, current felonies are seamlessly tied to a crime from the past.
In present-day New Orleans, three teens die in a fiery crash after buying drinks at a drive-by daiquiri stand. Dave is soon knee-deep in a murky swamp of tangled motives and secret history that extends from the dead girls, and a host of interesting and diverse characters and subplots thicken the deep and complex gumbo of Burke s story.
The rough edges of this story blended with and the narrator s voice make a fine pair. This is an outstanding entry in an excellent series.
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Rex Stout Triple Jeopardy A collection of three stories, Nero Wolfe applies his detection skills to crack the case of a poisoned health nut, the death of a policeman in a barber shop, and a comic killer who makes a joke out of murder.
Home to Roost : A couple hires Wolfe to investigate the poisoning of their nephew.
The Cop-Killer : A detective spouts off about his skills once too often and is killed. Complications force Wolfe to race for discovery of the killer to keep his professional life safe.
The Squirt and the Monkey : A man s gun is stolen to commit a murder. Wolfe s temper reaches epic levels in this one, as his partner becomes a suspect and their licenses are suspended. There s an Ellery Queenesque feel to this one, especially in Wolfe s summation during the finale.
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Rex Stout Too Many Cooks When the greatest chefs in the world gather for a meeting, Nero Wolfe is their honored dinner guest. It is a rare vacation for the gourmet sleuth until a four-star killer serves a side dish of murder. Then the half-baked local law cooks up an unappetizing entree. Corpulent Wolfe and sidekick Archie begin mixing the ingredients for their inimitable souffle of detection and deduction, while the killer decides that Wolfe s prix should be permanently fixed...and that his last meal should be his just desserts. (Janet can be heard puking as she reads this synopsis...)
Originally published in 1938, some readers mentioned that Too Many Cooks does not withstand the test of time with a number of problems to weigh it down. Still, many people loved this one...
Mystery
Lee Child Echo Burning Jack Reacher, the vagabond freelance lawman who never hesitates to stick his nose into private business, takes his lively act to Texas, embroiling himself in what starts as a messy domestic dispute before turning far more ominous. The rugged former army cop comes to the aid of Carmen Greer, who picks him up on the side of the road one morning outside Lubbock, then asks him to kill her abusive husband.
Set in a literally and figuratively smoldering landscape, this is a clean, infectious story that taps deeply into two troubling human emotions the psychology of abuse and the desire for retribution.
Mystery
Eric Schlosser Reefer Madness The American black market accounts for 10 percent of the U.S. economy, according to this crusading journalist. When much is wrong, he writes, much needs to be hidden. Examining this dark world for injustices, Schlosser reports that punishment is more severe in some states for selling marijuana than for killing with a gun. Anti-porn laws are equally nonsensical, and illegal immigrants work in conditions so wretched as to throw a shadow on the land of the free. Three magazine articles are roped together here, with a brief essay to start and another to finish. Schlosser s precise outrage is as compelling off as on the page. Mystery
Mark Haddon Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, The Fifteen-year-old Christopher is mathematically gifted and socially hopeless, raised in a working-class home by parents who can barely cope with their child s quirks. He takes everything at face value, and is unable to sort out the strange behavior of his elders and peers.
Late one night, Chris finds his neighbor s poodle, dead. The owner sees him and has him arrested. Christopher resolves to discover who really murdered the dog.
Haddon s novel is a startling performance an eye-opening work in a unique and compelling literary voice. Original, clever, and genuinely moving, this one is a must-read.
Mystery
Michael Connelly Angels Flight In this latest Harry Bosch mystery, the detective conducts his investigation against a treacherous political backdrop. The murder victim is an attorney who made his reputation suing the LAPD. With the city poised to riot, Bosch follows leads into the ugliest corners of his own department. An engrossing thriller, the greatest asset is a sharply drawn hero brought to life in the narrator s reading. His Bosch is a thoroughly believable cop, but not in any clichéd way. There is a wariness in Bosch s characterization, a sense that this is a man who can be hurt, but not surprised. You wish him well, knowing you re probably wasting your time. Mystery
James Patterson 1st to Die 1st to Die sets up the premise of the series a group of four successful women coming together to solve murder cases while offering a heinous killer and a fast-paced mystery. Here, they are after a serial killer preying on newlyweds, and though it features a cover-to-cover supply of situational and verbal clichés, Patterson keeps up the suspense until the last page and will have readers looking forward to the second installment in the series.
The narrator creates subtleties with her presentation of the four women, but the male sidekicks are badly overdone the audio equivalent of mugging for the camera.
Mystery
James Patterson 2nd Chance Thist is the second installment in the Women s Murder Club, which focuses on four women who team up to solve grizzly murder cases. This time round, the women confront the unthinkable: the killer they are tracking may be an ex-cop.
Lindsay Boxer, newly made lieutenant, is called to the scene of a shooting that leaves a 12-year-old African American girl dead.
As with Patterson s best novels, the surprises keep coming until the final pages. This novel solidifies the new series and helps guarantee that readers will flock just as eagerly to the Women s Murder Club books as they do to the Alex Cross novels.
Mystery
James Patterson 3rd Degree Two setective are enjoying a quiet afternoon in San Francisco when a townhouse across the street explodes in flames. A sinister note signed August Spies is found at the scene of the disaster, and the body of an infant who was asleep in the house at the time of the explosion cannot be found. Soon a wave of violent incidents, all with links to political terrorism and involving August Spies, sweeps through the city. An upcoming economic summit of the world s most powerful nations will surely be a target. And it s up to the Women s Murder Club to get to the bottom of the violence before it s too late. Mystery
Anne Perry Death in the Devil s Acre When a doctor is found brutally murdered, even the neighborhood s most hardened residents are stunned. But three more bodies are found, killed the same inexpert way, and Inspector Thomas Pitt and his wife Charlotte race against time to find the killer, as a treacherous mystery unfolds. No one, not the lowest brand of ruffian or the most established aristocrat, will come out unscathed....

Give her a good murder and a shameful social evil, and Anne Perry can write a Victorian mystery that would make Dickens s eyes pop. NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW
Mystery
Loren Estleman Angel Eyes Ann Maringer is a go-go dancer with a problem: her life is in danger, and she s certain that her end is coming soon. Her only hope is a hot-tempered, Detroit-based private eye with a caustic wit and a talent for getting into trouble. A guy who sticks like nuclear fallout, according to a former client. When Ann disappears, the P.I. is hot on her trail. However, this is no ordinary case, as the private eye soon learns not when a union boss, a corrupt judge, a vengeful son, and a concerned mistress are just some of the players involved. And not when all of them want him dead....

If tough is your taste, you get it here...tautly plotted...moves swiftly to a firecracker string of final revelations.
Houston Post
Mystery
Rex Stout League of Frightened Men The The urbane, witty Nero Wolfe series hasn t lost its sparkle. It s New York City in the 1930 s, and the victim of a youthful prank is set on revenge. The monstrous man charms us with his armchair solutions; his peevish personality contrasts with his deductive genius. In Rubinek we meet the man in person. Few, if any, could so well portray this fat, somewhat sybaritic detective and inhabit his sidekick, the petulant, but persistant, Archie. It s a joy to become reacquainted with these stories. An Audiofile Earphones Award winner. Mystery
Rex Stout Golden Spiders, The Rex Stout s famed lazy and overweight sleuth, Nero Wolfe, isbrought to life by reader Michael Prichard, whose voice is a nicematch. It s a fat voice, if you will, rich, slow, deep,precise. Since the other character s aren t overweight and lazy, he snot as good with them. He doesn t present a lot of characterdelineation, even when he s portraying women. But anyone who likes theNero Wolfe series will like this effort. The story concerns a coupleof people who come to Wolfe for help and are then murdered, which isan effrontery from Wolfe s point of view. Mystery
Rex Stout Fer de Lance The urbane antics of Nero Wolfe and his legman, Archie, always provide enjoyment. The language is witty and the Bootleg Era deftly conjured forth. In this episode, all action (such as it is) involves Archie s several trips to the wilds of Westchester to collect the facts needed for Wolfe s solving of the case. Prichard makes no extensive attempts at characterization, so the flamboyant and sometimes resentful Archie s first-person narrative loses a little of its bite. The precise, smooth reading instead seems an attempt to emulate the evolution of the plot. Some varying audio levels are disturbing. Mystery
Carl Hiassen Tourist Season P.I. Brian Keyes finds himself enmeshed in a bizarre string of crimes: a series of murders perpetrated by a radical group using carnivorous reptiles, both living and rubber, as weapons in an attempt to free Florida from overdevelopment. Although this abridgment fails to capture the absurdity of the book, Asner s exquisite narration more than makes up for it. His versatile voice is subtly varied for each character, never exaggerated and always on target. His snorting laugh as a redneck bartender demonstrates the care put into vocal characterization of even the smallest roles.

A dark, funny book full of irony and spice. I loved it! NY Times
Mystery
Kathy Reichs Deja Dead Kathy Reichs s real-life experience in forensic science fleshes out her riveting mystery about Tempe, an American woman working in Montreal for the police s forensic department. Tempe fights a one-woman battle to expose a link around similar brutal rapes and murders that have occurred in the city over the last few years. As she herself becomes the target, Tempe must rely on her wits and will to save her life. Amy Irving is an excellent Tempe; we hear her fatigue after hours of autopsies, her intelligence as she pieces together the mystery, her angst over her best friend s sudden strange behavior. Deja Dead is believable and exciting a real thrill ride with Reichs and Irving at the controls. Mystery
Gregory McDonald Fletch Fletch. He s an investigative reporter whose methods are a little unorthodox. Currently he s living on the beach with the strung-out trying to find to the source of the drugs they live for.

Fletch. He s taking more than a little flack from his editor. She doesn t appreciate his style. Or the expense account items he s racking up. Or his definition of the word deadline. Or the divorce lawyers who keep showing up at the office.

Fletch. So when multimillionaire Alan Stanwyk offers Fletch the job of a lifetime, which could be worth a fortune, he s intrigued and decides to do a little investigation. What he discovers is that the proposition is anything but what it seems.
Mystery
Ross McDonald Far Side of the Dollar Has Tom Hillman run away from his exclusive reform school, or has he been kidnapped? Are his wealthy parents protecting him or their own guilty secrets? And why does every clue lead Lew Archer to an abandoned Hollywood hotel, where starlets and sailors once rubbed shoulders with grifters and where the present clientele includes a brand-new corpse.
Excellent example of Mac Donald s well honed style. Good character developments as well as excellent one-dimensional character vignettes that serve as observation portholes into the seemy underbelly of society. What makes this novel stand out is that it is not just a good mystery, but it is also delves fairly deeply into the minds of its characters.
Mystery
Gregory McDonald Zebra-Striped Hearse, The Macdonald is one of the elite in hard-boiled mystery fiction. In his tenth book (1962), he again indulges us with the moody, smart-mouthed, introspective character of PI Lew Archer. A father intent on preventing the marriage of his daughter to a penniless and possibly murderous artist hires private investigator Lew Archer to uncover the man s background. The job takes Archer to Mexico and all over California as more than one murder begins to crowd the investigation.
The story takes us inside people s lives. We get to know them and sympathize with some of them. Tom Parker s flat middle-American voice is well suited to the characterizations in this book and makes for a first-class reading.

Verify narrator!!
Mystery
Robert Crais Voodoo River
Perhaps it s the abridgment; Voodoo River
comes across as a novel with an inexplicable title, and gaps in plot and character development. Robert Crais s book tells of L.A. Private Investigator Elvis Cole s search for the biological parents of television star Jodie Taylor. The plot jumps around, as does Cole, who travels from L.A. to Louisiana and finds himself in the middle of a ring of illegal alien smugglers. The story then defies any logic when Cole and partner Joe Pike take on the smugglers, just because they want to. Patrick G. Lawlor keeps the story moving, but he seems confounded by the book s meandering. Lawlor is best during scenes with Taylor s mother and the town sheriff. Unfortunately, like the listener, he still has to read the other scenes.
Mystery
Rex Stout Prisoner s Base Prisoner s Base finds Nero Wolfe s legman Archie guilt-ridden and seeking the detective s help. Three women have been murdered, one a towel company heiress. Is her fortune-hunting husband involved, or were greedy business associates behind her death? As usual, Wolfe s sleuthing talents puzzle out the truth.
Michael Pritchard s clear, strong, and pleasant reading supports the tale and helps keep the atmosphere charged. Entertaining and suspenseful; recommended.
First published in 1952.
Mystery
Kathy Reichs Bare Bones Tempe Brennan, a forensic anthropologist, is in for one of her scariest, most gruesome adventures yet. In the midst of a sizzling North Carolina summer, a string of disturbing cases puts Brennan s vacation plans on hold. A fiery plane crash, a newborn s remains, a mysterious cache unearthed on a remote farm...all hide secrets that Tempe must extract from the bones of the dead. But X rays and DNA can t tell her what she needs to know most urgently: who is closing in on Tempe and her family and how far they will go to keep her from uncovering the truth.
Reichs knows how to keep the narrative ball rolling with a canny mix of plot developments, character delineation, and scientific detail, all relayed in Tempe s smart, breezy, sarcastic voice. In fact, Bare Bones has a few too many characters and plot lines to keep perfect track of. But it s a fun ride anyway, enlivened by some steamy romantic scenes and some fascinating, appalling information about the illicit trade in endangered wildlife. Reichs has built a reputation on cut-to-the-chase writing and swift plotting, and this latest effort delivers everything her fans have come to expect.
Mystery
Alexander McCall Smith Kalahari Typing School for Men No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency #4

This is not your ordinary detective novel. With more than a touch of whimsy, Smith filters South Africa through the Agatha Christie medium, producing stories that are a charming account of the everyday challenges facing a female private detective in Botswana. Smith maintains a breezy-to-read, gentle tone that leaves us wanting more.
As in the earlier books, listeners are transported to this hot, arid corner of sanity and civility in southern Africa. Lisette Lecat, a native South African, offers a near perfect narration. Having worked briefly in Botswana, this reviewer can attest to the rightness of the characters inflections, pace, and patterns of speech. Lecat handles male voices exceptionally well, and her version of Mma Ramotswe is the definitive voice of that remarkable woman.

Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award
Mystery
Louise Erdrich Master Butcher s Singing Club
The saga of Fidelis Waldvogel, who is a butcher with a beautiful singing voice. Woven with intrigue, romance, death, sex and humor, it s an emotionally complex tale of European immigrants who have settled in the fictional town of Erdrich s previous novels, Argus, N. Dakota. Bordering on magical realism, this marvelous yarn introduces a world of rich, expansive imagery and an abundance of memorably compelling characters.
A master storyteller, Erdrich creates charismatic characters, and her reading makes each distinctly memorable.Erdrich s quiet, gentle voice is so soft, it s as if she s carefully reading a bedtime story. Yet this novel would not put anyone to sleep. Some breaks in cadence occur throughout the reading, but her soft style gradually blends with the story and, rather than seeming inappropriate, becomes invisible.
Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award.
Mystery
J.G. Ballard Cocaine Nights Charles Prentice arrives in the wealthy Spanish resort of Estrella de Mar not to vacation but to rescue his brother, Frank. Once the manager of an exclusive sports complex, Frank has been charged with murder in the deaths of five people killed in a house fire. It s obvious to everyone, including the police, that Frank is innocent, but he insists on pleading guilty. As Charles begins to investigate, he discovers that beneath the tony resort and its super-rich, ultrabored residents lies a netherworld of bootleg porn videos, hard drugs, and kinky sex, in which Frank played a role as a kind of criminal prankster. Veteran author Ballard has a gift for fashioning thought-provoking metaphors, but his perverse worldview may be an acquired taste for some. Ballard fans won t be disappointed by his latest, which should also appeal to those who like the films of David Lynch.

A bit of metaphysical terrorism as carefully planned and executed as that fatal blaze. The Washington Post
Mystery
Alexander McCall Smith No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency This first novel in Alexander McCall Smith s widely acclaimed The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series tells the story of the delightfully cunning and enormously engaging Precious Ramotswe, who is drawn to her profession to help people with problems in their lives.
Immediately upon setting up shop in a small storefront in Gaborone, she is hired to track down a missing husband, uncover a con man, and follow a wayward daughter. But the case that tugs at her heart, and lands her in danger, is a missing eleven-year-old boy, who may have been snatched by witchdoctors.
Mystery
Alexander McCall Smith Tears of the Giraffe In #2 of this popular series, Precious Ramotswe tracks a wayward wife, uncovers an unscrupulous maid, and searches for an American man who disappeared into the plains many years ago. In the midst of resolving uncertainties, pondering her impending marriage to a good, kind man, and the promotion of her talented secretary, she also finds her family suddenly and unexpectedly increased by two.
Smart and sassy Precious progress is charted in passages that have the power to amuse or shock or touch the heart, sometimes all at once.
Los Angeles Times
Mystery
Alexander McCall Smith Morality for Beautiful Girls No.1 Ladies Detective Agency, #3

Precious Ramotswe, founder and owner of the only detective agency for the concerns of both ladies and others, investigates the alleged poisoning of the brother of an important Government Man, and the moral character of the four finalists of the Miss Beauty and Integrity Contest, the winner of which will almost certainly be a contestant for the title of Miss Botswana. Add to this the problem of a feral child and suspicious cook. To add to the mix, her business is having money problems, and when other difficulties arise at her fiancé s Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors, she discovers the reliable Matekoni is more complicated then he seems.
Mystery
Alexander McCall Smith Full Cupboard of Life No.1 Ladies Detective Agency, #5

Mma Ramotswe and Matekoni are still engaged, but with no immediate plans to get married. She wonders when a wedding date will be set, but is anxious to avoid putting pressure on her fiancé. He has other things on his mind particularly a frightening request made by the persuasive matron of the orphan farm.
Ramotswe herself has weighty matters on her mind. She has been approached by a wealthy lady to check up on several suitors. Meanwhile, her plucky assistant detective is moving, whose entrepreneurial venture, the Kalahari Typing School for Men, is thriving. In the background of all this is Botswana, a beautiful, entrancing country of empty spaces and echoing skies. Mma Ramotswe has prepared the bush tea and is waiting for us to join her.
Mystery
Dick Francis Dead Cert As Alan York looked at the back of the jockey astride the great horse Admiral, one thing was different. Before his rival reached the last hurdle, he was dead. Racing was dangerous, but York knew this death was no accident. It was the kind of knowledge that could get a man killled...
This is Francis first novel, and it s also one of his best. All the elements are there: A likeable hero who pursues the truth at great personal risk; a romance with a bend in the road; outside knowledge about an interesting field, and an interesting villain one can almost sympathize with on some level. Enjoy. It s a great start to a great, long ride.
Mystery
Walter Mosley White Butterfly (Easy #3)

Easy Rawlins continues his recollections with the story of a case he investigated against his will. It s 1956. He wants to put his earlier life as a black man on L.A. s mean streets recounted in earlier volumes behind him. He s married now, with an infant daughter and a comfortable, secret, income. But the cops need him to help catch a serial killer who preys on hookers. Plus, his conscience won t let him alone. Again, he pokes his nose into physical danger and threatens his marriage in the process.
Mystery
Walter Mosley Red Death, A (Easy #2)

It s 1953 in Red-baiting, blacklisting Los Angeles, a moral tar pit ready to swallow Easy Rawlins. Easy is out of the hurting business and into the housing (and favor) business when a racist IRS agent nails him for tax evasion. A Special Agent, FBI, offers to bail him out if he agrees to infiltrate a church and spy on an alleged communist organizer. That s when the murders begin....

Mystery
Walter Mosley Black Betty (Easy #4)

Mosley s distinctive black investigator, Easy Rawlins, has moved from Watts to West L.A. with his two adopted children, but trouble still follows him. Hired to locate a sultry female acquaintance from his past, Easy launches an investigation and unwittingly provokes racist police harassment. Mosley, as usual, describes a historically correct ethos in deft, literate prose.
Mystery
Walter Mosley Little Yellow Dog, A (Easy #5)

Mosley s fifth outing with Easy Rawlins is no less enjoyable than its predecessors. Set in the early 1960s, this installment finds Easy working in a high school as head custodian for the Board of Education two years after giving up drinking and the street life. When a corpse turns up on school grounds, Easy finds himself reluctantly caught up in the investigation between the rock and the hard place of the cops and the killers. Brimming with sex, deceit, and smoking guns, this is a brawny, gritty, page-turning mystery.
Mystery
Dick Francis Reflex Philip Nore is a jockey whose life is turned upside down by secrets, deadly secrets left by a racetrack photographer who dies in a car crash and family secrets known only to a much-hated grandmother. Dick Francis is always a good read, and the narrator, Tony Britton, heightens the enjoyment tremendously. He has a warm, richly layered voice that is relaxing and never hits a wrong note. From the harsh, deriding voice of Philip's grandmother, to the light, waffling voice of Jeremy Folk, a young solicitor, Britton gets everything right, giving each character a distinct and consistent voice. Definitely a value-added listening experience. Mystery
Dick Francis Risk Roland Britten, accountant and champion steeplechase jockey, wakes in darkness with his hands tied. He has no idea where he is or what is happening, and still he manages an escape -- until he is recaptured, and the deadly cat and mouse game proceeds.... Mystery
Dick Francis Flying Finish Henry Grey was considered hard to get along with. But he knew a change of job was all he needed. No more part-time office work/amateur jockey races for him. So he took a new job, air- transporting racehorses to change his luck and see the world. But he saw something quite unexpected in the cargo hold.... Mystery
Dick Francis Decider Architect Lee Morris has plans to restore Stratton Park racecourse to its former grandeur. But the combative Stratton heirs have violent plans of their own. Mystery
Dick Francis Smoke Screen Smokescreen is a nonstop international thriller that pits dashing movie actor Edward Lincoln against more than big-screen villains. After finishing his latest film, Lincoln is asked to visit Johannesburg to discover why a friend's horses are suddenly doing so badly on the race track. Unfortunately, this attempt to help a friend will soon put Lincoln in harm's way. From a nearly fatal interview to a dangerous mishap in a gold mine, it seems only luck is keeping him alive. But fate has more in store. When the scene in the Kruger wildlife park begins to resemble Lincoln's latest big-screen adventure, even he will wonder what comes next. Ably performed by Geoffrey Howard, this audiobook will be a welcome addition for mystery fans. Mystery
Dick Francis Field of Thirteen With his remarkable blend of unrelenting suspense, finely tuned narrative, and lean, stylish prose, Dick Francis's thrillers have led readers to the winner's circle year after year. From his very first novel, Dead Cert, to his most recent, 10 lb. Penalty, the three-time Edgar Award winner has treated his fans to a world of equine thrills and human frailty in a string of bestsellers of unparalleled excellence. But with Field of Thirteen, Dick Francis takes on his biggest challenge yet.

In this superbly crafted collection of short stories--many of them new and never before published--the settings range from a spring race meeting at Cheltenham, where a middle-aged owner falls hopelessly in love with her jockey, to a running of the Grand National interrupted by a bomb scare, to the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, where demon drink and wilting willpower take their toll. Dick Francis's fans have a wonderful treat in store thirteen tightly-knotted plots to marvel at, thirteen sets of classic Francis characters to admire, and thirteen stings of the tail to gasp over.

Field of Thirteen proves Dick Francis is as much the master of the short story as he is of the novel.
Mystery
Dick Francis Twice Shy Physics teacher Jonathan Derry inherits trouble when his friend Peter gives him three innocuous-looking musical tapes that contain the computer language version of the betting system of a professional gambler named Liam O'Rourke. Unfortunately, Angelo and Harry Gilbert also know about O'Rourke's system and nothing will stop them from getting it. As usual, Francis will keep listeners enthralled as the menace and destruction associated with this system change the lives of everyone who touches it; from quick-witted physicist Jonathan to his younger, horse-loving brother William, everyone pays a heavy price. Tony Britton's performance is perfect. A guaranteed winner. Mystery
David Patneaude Someone Was Watching In one fleeting, sickening moment, the Bartons' precious 3-year-old girl, Molly, disappears, and judging from the coloring book floating down by the dock, she is lost forever to the river. One evening, about three months after "the Incident," 13-year-old Chris Barton watches the family-vacation video he made in the last hours of Molly's life. Clues in the background--including the appearance of a white ice-cream truck--don't add up, and Chris becomes convinced his sister is still alive. With the help of his best friend, Pat, he sets out to track her down, despite his parents' grief-weary refusal to even consider the possibility that little Molly is anywhere but in the river. What follows is a riveting journey, where the boys are on their own in a heroic, terrifying, nail-biting adventure. The events that unfold in this suspenseful mystery will have kids reading under the covers with a flashlight well into the night. Fans of David Patneaude's Someone Was Watching won't want to miss his other books, The Last Man's Reward and Dark Starry Morning. Mystery
Dick Francis Hot Money Francis has another winner, as skillfully constructed as his previous bestsellers. This time, amateur British jockey Ian Pembroke tells what happens after the murder of his father Malcolm's fifth wife, Moira. A rapacious, sharp-tongued woman, she has caused a break between Malcolm and Ian, who despised her for marrying his father solely to get her hands on his considerable fortune. But two attempts on the old man's life compel him to ask Ian for help. Although the trusted son isn't fond of his eight half-siblings or their motheror even of his ownhe's loath to suspect them of conspiring to kill Malcolm, which seems to be the case. To protect his father, Ian takes him to America and other countries, where the two attend the glamorous, big-purse horse racesscenes at which the author excelsbefore returning warily to England. The story gains momentum, with extended family members furious over Malcolm's spending spree and blaming Ian for wasting their inheritance. A real spellbinder, the mystery ends when the miscreant plays one trick too many.

Reader Simon Prebble's soft, melodic voice enhances the likable personality of the narrator-hero, but other characters are differentiated only slightly. Unlike veteran Francis reader Tony Britton, who favors vocal versatility and drama, Prebble provides listeners with the familiarity and leisure of a good storyteller. Both methods emphasize different, legitimate aspects of the first-person Francis novels.
Mystery
Dick Francis To The Hilt Reclusive painter Alexander Kinloch comes out of the Scottish Highlands to assist his family in London. He's drawn into the world of horse racing and gets involved hiding a jeweled trophy cup and other treasures, including Bonnie Prince Charlie's ceremonial sword, "the hilt." Dick Francis has crafted another splendid mystery filled with lively and intriguing characters. Master narrator Tony Britton, a veteran of many audiobooks by Francis, does full justice to the array of gentry, horse trainers, accountants and attorneys. Women play a stronger role than they do in many of Francis's novels, and Britton catches their voices with flair. Making each character distinct, Britton brings listeners into the midst of the intrigue. An AUDIOFILE Earphones Award winner. Mystery
Dick Francis Wild Horses For his 33rd-and quite splendid-novel, Francis (Decider) adds to his usual horse-racing setting a backdrop involving feature filmmaking. As usual, though, it's murder most foul and mayhem most brilliant for this English master. In the Suffolk city of Newmarket, Thomas Lyon is for the first time directing a film featuring an American megastar. Based on a bestselling book, the movie concerns a still unexplained, 26-year-old death by hanging of a young horse trainer's wife. The wife's sister, niece and nephew are vehemently opposed to the film, while the book's author, who's also the screenwriter, is opposed to any changes in his plot. The megastar's double is attacked, a murder occurs, Thomas gets death threats and finds himself in great peril. How Francis has him solve the assorted mysteries and achieve a satisfactory ending for his film is nothing short of dazzling. Francis puts his novel together in the same way a movie is constructed, with out-of-sequence scenes, dissolves and brilliant images. He offers wonderful set pieces and moves his large and colorful cast with the aplomb of a seasoned director. Even better, in Thomas Lyon he has created a representative of a vanishing, even endangered, fictional species: the thoroughly decent chap we care about. A tip-top thriller, this could make the best movie about movies since The Stunt Man

Directing a film about the mysterious suicide of a local Newmarket beauty, Thomas Lyons hears the dying confession of an aged friend. When he becomes the target of murder attempts, he uncovers the truth about his film project. Simon Jones clearly differentiates the various characters in a well-paced reading. This abridgment preserves the flavor of the full-length story, as well as entertaining details of filmmaking and horse racing.
Mystery
Dick Francis Enquiry When jockey Kelly Hughes is accused of throwing a race, he becomes the victim of a savage attempt to destroy him and everyone around him, including his horse's owner, Lord Dexter Crandall. Only when Hughes decides to fight back, with the help of Crandall's lovely daughter, Roberta, does the depth of deceit become clear. As usual, Dick Francis is superb in his depiction of the horse-racing world, full of greed and betrayal. Equally superb is the clarity of expression that Geoffrey Howard brings to the novel. Snobbery, sarcasm and arrogance flow effortlessly from his lips as all manner of English and Irish social classes become distinct. The pacing is flawless as Howard's narration takes the reader from the austere room where the enquiry is held to the faster pace of the horse race itself. Mystery
Carl Hiaasen Skinny Dip Heiress overboard! Joey Perrone is flipped over the railing of a cruise ship by her husband, a marine biologist who thinks she's on to the scam that would earn him a fortune to rival her inheritance. Husband Chaz is concocting falsified phosphorus tests for Red Hammernut, a politically connected prince of Everglades polluters. But Joey Perrone survives the plunge, and, aided by a typical Hiaasen swamp-land loner, fashions her revenge. When you add a world-weary old-school cop with a pair of canine-consuming pythons, Red's dogged Man Friday, and Chaz's not-as-naïve-as-you-think girlfriend--you just know you're in Hiaasen country. Actor Barry Bostwick, an exemplar of versatility, shapes and retools his voice to bring out the best--and the worst--of the author's human menagerie. Mystery
Dick Francis Knockdown For a generous commission, ex-prize-winning jockey Jonah Dereham agrees to bid on a special horse for a wealth American lady. Unfortunately, for him, the crunch on his skull after the auction is not the last. There's more in store, until he manages to figure out the real high-stakes game being played.... Mystery
Harlan Coben Just One Look Here is yet another example of Corben's gifted storytelling. Carolyn McCormick expertly expresses the wide range of emotions experienced by Grace Lawson as she attempts to figure out how and why a twenty-year-old picture turns up in her recently developed photos, and why her husband has disappeared after recognizing himself in the old photograph. While the production's subtle sound effects neither enhance nor detract from the story, the listener is most definitely engaged by the rising tension of McCormick's delivery. Mystery
Dick Francis Driving Force From the first paragraph, the action grabs readers and plunges ahead like one of the thoroughbreds that is such valuable secondary characters in every Francis novel. As usual, a particular aspect of the British racing industry is carefully profiled, in this case the job of transporting horses. Former jockey Freddie Croft is the owner of just such a business, and must confront the discovery that his vans have been used for some very unusual smuggling. Freddie discovers two separate plots to victimize race horses through disease; along the way a bit of romance begins to enrich his life, a trusted employee is murdered, computer files are wiped out, and a malicious villain destroys Freddie's home with an ax. Clues abound, with those needed to solve the mystery satisfyingly mixed in with enough red herrings to keep readers happily guessing. Additional plot enrichment is provided by weaving in the latest in computer technology and epidemiology. Mystery
Ian Rankin Knots and Crosses Detective John Rebus: His city is being terrorized by a baffling series of murders...and he's tied to a maniac by an invisible knot of blood. Once John Rebus served in Britain's elite SAS. Now he's an Edinburgh cop who hides from his memories, misses promotions and ignores a series of crank letters. But as the ghoulish killings mount and the tabloid headlines scream, Rebus cannot stop the feverish shrieks from within his own mind. Because he isn't just one cop trying to catch a killer, he's the man who's got all the pieces to the puzzle...

Knots and Crosses introduces a gifted mystery novelist, a fascinating locale and the most compellingly complex detective hero at work today.
Mystery
Dick Francis Banker When young investment banker Tim Ekaterin becomes involved in the cutthroat world of thoroughbred racing, he finds his life in business blown to smithereens. For suddenly the multimillion dollar loan he arranges to finance the purchase of a champion racehorse is threatened by an apparent defect in the animal. Then, as Tim desperately searches for answers, he falls headlong into a deadly deal of violence and murder. . . . Mystery
Dick Francis Bolt Champion jockey Kit Fielding involves himself with the affairs of his patron, Princess Cassilia, when a business associate threatens the princess and her family and slays her valuable race horses. Fielding comes to the rescue while dealing with his own love problems and family feud. Tony Britton, with his rich English accent, does a magnificent job of rendering an international cast of characters, ranging from Fielding's gentle fiancee to the cunning and spiteful Allerdeck and a variety of good and bad guys in between. Indeed, the only unfortunate thing about this presentation is that it's over too quickly. An AUDIOFILE Earphones Award winner Mystery
Dick Francis Nerve Rob Finn was a bit of a misfit: a struggling young jockey in a family of accomplished musicians, a man in love with a beautiful woman who wouldn't have him he suddenly looked like a rider who had lost his nerve. Could it be, though, that the horses were unusually sluggish, and that there was something more sinister attempting to sabotage him...? Mystery
Dick Francis Rat Race Matt Shore is a substitute pilot assigned to fly four racing buffs to the track. They're nervous, but Matt's not. That is, until he manages an emergency landing minutes before the plane explodes. Matt doesn't think anything else can possibly go wrong. Then he finds himself caught up in a rat race of danger that puts him on the wrong side of the odds.... Mystery
Dick Francis Come to Grief Sid Halley, retired jockey turned detective, accuses one of his best friends of a horrible crime. Then he s forced to prove his charges. Simon Prebble is perfect for this story. His masterful use of vocal tone and variety creates unforced characterizations and makes the complex plot and subplots easy-to-follow. Prebble becomes one with Halley, and listeners feel the full impact of each of his successes and failures. An AUDIOFILE Earphones Award winner. Mystery
Dick Francis Longshot Travel writer John Kendall didn't think he was doing anything too out of the ordinary when he tramped off to rural England for an interview with a successful race horse trainer. Soon enough, however, Kendall realizes that completing the book will be tricky at best. In fact, the perils described in his survival manuals pale next to the dangers in rural England.... Mystery
Dick Francis Odds Against After a fall from a racehorse that permanently crippled a hand, Sid Halley joined a detective agency. But it wasn't until some two-bit hoodlum drilled a slug into his side that he was sent out on a case of his own. That was where he met Zanna Martin, a woman who just might make life worth living again. But it was even-money that he'd be killed before she had the chance.... Mystery
Dick Francis Whip Hand Ex-jockey and private investigator Sid Halley is approached by the wife of an elite racehorse trainer, begging his help in figuring out why her husband's most promising horses have been performing so poorly. At first Halley thinks she's overreacting and the losing streak is just dumb luck. But now he's beginning to think it's something far more dangerous...
Mystery
Dick Francis Forfeit James Tyron, a racing reporter for a London scandal sheet, knew that fellow writer Bert Chekov was a drunk, but he always thought he was an honest one. But when Bert suddenly died in an "accidental" fall from a window, Tyrone suspeced the clues to his death might be found in some suspicious columns he'd written touting can't lose horses--who myseriously failed to show up on race day. With his own professional and private lives in a chaotic jumble, Tyrone knew he'd have find a way to prove that Chekov was murdered. Be he didn't know the terrifying risk he was unwittingly about to take....
Mystery
Dick Francis 10lb Penalty One of the great joys of Dick Francis's English horse racing novels is each story's array of characters. In 10 LB. Penalty the focus is George Julian, a rising political star, whose son, Benedict, passionately wants to pursue his career as an amateur jockey. Martin Jarvis has won acclaim for his recordings of Dick Francis's novels for British listeners, but this is the first American release. He treats the trainers, race officials and horse owners as old friends, and the addition of a political twist gives Jarvis more characters on which to work his magic. Jarvis delivers such a diversity of accents and voices that each character is imaginatively and distinctively identified. The dynamics between father and son, and among political rivals, are astutely balanced. A longer abridgment not only would have allowed more time spent with Francis's appealing characters, but also would have made the nearly instantaneous rise of George Julian from his first election to his arrival at 10 Downing St. more believable. Mystery
Dick Francis For Kicks Australian horse breeder Daniel Roke had resisted the exorbitant sum of money offered by a suave Englishman to investigate a scandal involving drugged racehorses. But after another investigator dies mysteriously, Roke agrees to fill his shoes and learns that men who would give drugs to horses are capable of doing much worse to human beings. Mystery
Dick Francis Proof Proof concerns a deadly accident, fake scotch whisky, murder, horse owners and horse trainers. In this dramatization, originally for BBC radio, the twenty-member cast skillfully enacts the dialogue of the novel complete with music and very realistic and extensive sound effects. Nigel Havers, as Tony Beach, and Jennifer Piercey, as Flora, carry the production with their soothing, even-paced deliveries. The rest of the cast members are well-selected for their roles. The skillful dramatization makes the story easy to follow even without a narrator. Mystery
Dick Francis Edge, The "BEWARE. MANY PEOPLE ARE NOT WHAT THEY SEEM." So proclaims the ad for the Great Transcontinental Mystery Race, a glittering rail junket that promices not only the opportunity to race a thoroughbred on some of the world's great courses but something more: an intriguing mystery to be enacted on board, which passengers will be invited to solve. But Julius Apollo Filmer, one of the most ruthless operators of the racing underworld, hatches a strange plot of his own. For Tor Kelsey, undercover security agent, a scenario of imaginary mayhem is about to explode into a nightmare of real and bloody
murder. . . .
Mystery
Dick Francis Second Wind Brilliance Audio is first out of the starting gate with this recording of Francis's 40th book, which may be one of his most compelling yet. The novel starts with Perry Stuart fighting for his life in the towering hurricane-driven sea and is a nonstop page-turner until the last word, taking us inside the modern worlds of meteorology, physics, and terrorism. Stuart, BBC meteorologist, has always wanted to fly through a hurricane. When he gets his chance, he finds that stormy weather is the least of his problems, for the safe harbor he finds on an uninhabited island will lead to later deaths and even targets Stuart for terrorist attacks. The performance by Michael Page is guaranteed to be a winner with mystery and suspense fans. This story shows that Francis, Grand Master of mystery and three-time Poe Award winner, has not retired from writing thrillers. Mystery
Dick Francis Bonecrack Violence suddenly takes the lead in the life of Neil Griffon. First his father, a stable owner, suffers a grisly accident, then Neil is brutally assaulted and abducted. The price for his freedom will mean the betrayal and deception of those who trust Griffon most. But he has no choice: A no-compromise crime czar has made an ultimatum--that his own eighteen-year old son be hired by Griffon's stables to ride the superstar horse, Archangel, in the Derby. And the young man must be trained to win. Or else.... Mystery
Dick Francis Straight Injured steeplechase jockey Derek Franklin must recover $1.5 million worth of missing diamonds and find out who wanted his brother dead-or else his career won't be the only thing in danger of being cut short. Mystery
Dick Francis Shattered This novel, published shortly before Dick Francis announced his retirement, is a winner for both Francis and narrator Martin Jarvis. In it, a day at the track turns dangerous for glassblower Gerard Logan when his jockey friend dies from a fall, leaving Logan a mysterious videotape reputedly "worth millions." In his reading of the first-person tale, Jarvis expertly conveys a range of emotions--from fear and anger over a series of attacks to the pure joy of a job well done in the glassworks. Character voices, although less important here, are also handled well. Jarvis keeps the story moving briskly as he builds toward the tense final confrontation. Mystery
Dick Francis Trial Run Veteran horseman Randall Drew travels to Mosow to help the Russian royal family--but ends up caught in a world of jealousy, sabotage, and murder. Mystery
Dick Francis Danger, The Dick Francis's taut thriller about kidnapping focuses on a company specializing in hostage negotiations and security. Moving from a botched rescue attempt in Italy, where a leading female jockey has been held for ransom, to hostage situations in England and the United States, Francis's tale maintains the reader's interest. In an impeccable British accent, Tony Britton floats effortlessly from character to character. This engrossing mystery is sure to please. Mystery
Dick Francis Comeback When globe-hopping British First Secretary Peter Darwin returns to his childhood home fo a visit, he is sorry. Waiting for him were long-hidden memories, a string of racehorse deaths and homicide. As Darwin begins to realize that the key to all of it involves his own past, he wishes he'd never come back, because he just might never leave again - alive.... Mystery
Dick Francis Break-In An equestrian-set Romeo and Juliet-complete with blood-feuds, lives in the balance, and steeplechase jockey Kit Fielding caught in the crossfire. Mystery
Dick Francis High Stakes Steven Scott is relatively new to horses racing. But under the inspired guidance of a great trainer, he wins again and again. Yet just when Steven is winning at both women and horses, he discovers deceit in his own stables. And termination of the troublemaker marks Steven for his own termination.... Mystery
Dick Francis Slay Ride When a champion jockey disappears--right before a big race and the birth of his child--Investigator David Cleveland bets on foul play. Mystery
Jayne Krentz Falling Awake Isabel Wright thought that the new director of the Belvedere Center for Sleep Research wanted to meet to discuss her promotion; instead, Isabel is informed that her services are no longer required. With the dearth of available openings for dream analysts, Isabel is prepared to return to her old job at the Psychic Dream Hotline. But Ellis Cutler, one of two anonymous clients from the sleep research center whose dreams Isabel had been analyzing, offers Isabel the opportunity to come work for his employer, Frey-Salter, Inc., a highly classified government agency involved in dream research and the use of extreme dreaming as an investigative technique. Working for Frey-Salter, Inc., would be a dream come true for Isabel, as long as it's on her terms. Ellis is more than willing to give Isabel a more active role in his investigations, but their mutual attraction may make keeping things strictly professional between them mighty difficult. New York Times best-selling Krentz excels at crafting superior, sexy romantic suspense, and her latest has all the ingredients her readers love: a riveting plot, a nicely developed romance between a smart and independent heroine and a tough yet tender hero, and her unique, delightfully dry wit. Mystery
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Sherlock Holmes Collection Contains the following:

The Speckled Band
Black Peter
The Final Problem
The Red Headed League
The Bruce-Partington Plans
The Dancing Men
The Blue Carbuncle
The Empty House
The Musgrave Ritual
Silver Blaze
Charles Augustus Milverton
A Scandal in Hohemia
Mystery
Agatha Christie Murder on the Orient Express A Russian princess, a Hungarian count, a Swedish beauty, and an assortment of Americans, English and French are brought together on the elegant Orient Express. A brutal murder and an unexpected blizzard bring in the vacationing Hercule Poirot. The results are excellent. This BBC Radio dramatization is as thought-provoking as the original. The vocal characterizations, as diverse as the characters themselves, are appropriately dramatic. Actor John Moffatt is a forceful Poirot and leads the ensemble with style. With its attention to dialects, incidental music and pace, this is the perfect audio presentation for a road trip or a cozy day by a warm fire. Mystery
Dorothy Gilman Amazing Mrs Pollifax, The When Emily Pollifax answers the phone that Sunday morning, she quickly forgets all about her Garden Club tea that afternoon. For the voice on the other end belonged to a man she had never seen, a man from the CIA who asked her if she could leave immediately on a mission that would take her halfway across the world! What could Mrs. Pollifax say but yes? Mystery
Dorothy Gilman Elusive Mrs Pollifax, The While waiting for a view of her night-blooming cereus, the mild-seeming Mrs. Pollifax received urgent orders for a daring mission to aid an escape. Soon, the unlikely-looking international spy was sporting a beautiful new hat that hid eight forged passports.... Mystery
Dorothy Gilman Unexpected Mrs Pollifax, The Mrs. Virgil (Emily) Pollifax of New Brunswick, New Jersey, was a widow with grown children. She was tired of attending her Garden Club meetings. She wanted to do something good for her country. So, naturally, she became a CIA agent. This time, the assignment sounds as tasty as a taco. A quick trip to Mexico City is on her agenda. Unfortunately, something goes wrong, and our dear Mrs. Pollifax finds herself embroilied in quite a hot Cold War--and her country's enemies find themsleves entangled with one unbelievably feisty lady.

#1 in the Pollifax series
Mystery
Tami Haag Dark Horse Welcome to the dark psyche of Elena Estes, a woman who had everything that society has to offer but gave it away to become a cop, and now even that life is lost. She made a mistake during a drug bust, an officer died, and she was badly hurt. Now she's a pariah in the Palm Beach sheriff's office. She retreats to the farm of an old friend, and returns to her childhood love of horse, while she recovers physically if not emotionally. Twelve-year-old Molly Seabright brings Elena back to the world of the living by asking her to find her missing 18-year-old sister, Erin, who works as a groom. Neither the police nor her parents believe anything is wrong, but Molly is persistent. Elena agrees to investigate and soon lands knee-deep in the muck of the horse world, where she finds horses murdered for insurance money, sleazy dealers, debauched playboys, charismatic trainers, and one infuriating cop. A tangled web of deceit and double-dealing makes for a fascinating look into the wealthy world of horses juxtaposed with the realistic introspection of one very troubled ex-cop. A definite winner for Hoag. Mystery
Marcia Muller There's Nothing To Be Afraid Of The Globe Apartments, six stories of decaying brick and concrete, rises above San Francisco's volatile Tenderloin district. The seedy former hotel, once a haven for the city's down and out, now houses Vietnamese families striving to improve their lives. But private eye Sharon McCone believes that someone from the Tenderloin's shadowy underworld is determined to drive the newcomers out. The suspects range from the colorful to the dangerous: a poetry-loving drifter, a mean-spirited preacher, a flower seller with a deadly touch, an enterprising photographer, and a developer who'd like nothing better than to unload his worst investment - the Globe Hotel.

When the All Souls Legal Cooperative is called upon to stop the patterns of intimidation, resentment explodes into murder. As McCone takes up the refugees' cause, she is drawn into the depths of the city's most hated industry - and into the secrets of San Francisco's buried past.
Mystery
Ellery Queen Siamese Twins Mystery, The THE SIAMESE TWIN MYSTERY finds Ellery and his father, the irascible Inspector Queen, trapped in a mountain retreat by a raging forest fire. The members of the household are a strange lot, and the mysterious murder of the retreat's host indicates to the Queens that not only are they isolated with an odd assortment of characters, but a dangerous killer as well! Mystery
Ian Rankin Beggars Banquet This is a collection of Ian Rankins finest short stories.

'Perhaps you're the kind of reader who fights shy of short story collections? Well, if you're any kind of a DI Rebus fan (and what crime enthusiast isn't?), there are eight - count them - eight stories featuring our favourite Scottish copper. And who could say no to a collection so rich in Rebus?' Barry Forshaw, AMAZON
Mystery
Ian Rankin Fleshmarket Alley When the body of a Kurdish refugee is found in Knoxland, a housing estate in one of Edinburgh's poorer neighborhoods, Inspector John Rebus finds himself helping the investigation. Rebus and his sometime-partner DS Siobhan Clark have recently been relocated to Gayfield Station after their old station, St. Leonard's, was closed, but both officers end up working murder cases outside their new jurisdiction. In a strange coincidence, these two separate crimes are found to be connected to two skeletons discovered in a pub in their new precinct. In this hard-boiled crime novel, Rankin deftly explores Scottish attitudes towards refugees in Edinburgh today, and readers, like Rebus, may find their opinions changing as they learn more about the circumstances under which these desperate people live. Rankin's popular series remains as fresh and satisfying as ever, and this latest installment will leave fans wondering what the future holds for Rebus as he nears retirement. Mystery
J.D. Robb Naked in Death The first in Robb's series featuring New York Police Detective Eve Dallas involves the detective in the high-profile murder of the granddaughter of a senator. It also begins her relationship with Roarke, the dashing businessman with a shadowy past who finds Dallas enormously intriguing. Susan Ericksen's narration is near perfect. Her deep voice conveys Dallas's straightforward nature and troubled history, as well as Roarke's soft Irish accent and suppressed emotion. She provides all the characters, no matter how minor, with interesting vocal presences and gives full measure to scenes of tension and danger. Newcomers to the series will want to hear more, and those who know the characters will find that Ericksen does them justice. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award Mystery
Nicci French Memory Game, The Harriet Walter, an English actor of wide experience, performs this clever English mystery with imagination. Jane Martello sets out to find the murderer of her childhood friend, Natalie, whose body has unexpectedly turned up in the garden many years later. Since the murder happened so long ago, Jane must depend upon the memories of others and on her own recovered memory, which is nudged to the fore by the convincing psychiatrist, Alex. Walter's voices are superb, especially her male voices (which are notoriously difficult for female interpreters). Her authentic-sounding British dialects, her perfect enunciation and pacing, and her perceived pleasure in spinning a good story all make for a worthy production. Just wait until you get to the ending! Mystery
Jeffery Deaver Vanished Man, The Adam Grupper's careful narration reveals each clue as it unravels and leads to a new puzzle. His breathy whisper skillfully characterizes the sinister villain, the "Conjurer," and gives listeners a chill down the spine. Through sleight of hand and misdirection, the Conjurer gives Lincoln Rhyme and company both physical and psychological illusions to deal with. Following the path of the masterful killer, listeners try to figure out where the plot may be going. Just when they think they have the answer, a new twist is added. Cleverly written by Deaver, and skillfully read by Grupper, this combination creates an escapade to remember. Mystery
John Francome Back Hander Back Hander is a tightly plotted, and well-schooled story that rockets out of the starting stalls like a natural winner. The twists and turns of the plot are negotiated with a deft hand that eases the reader through the story without a stumble. The pace is always fast and the going good. In the final run-in, Max and Alan race neck-and-neck for the winning line. That justice is served on and off the race course is never in doubt, and it is the reader who is led into the winner's enclosure at the end. A thoroughbred of a story that delivers everything it promises.
Mystery
Stuart Woods Chiefs This epic tale of the South spans fifty years, beginning with the appointment of the first police chief in Delano, Georgia, in 1919 and the first of a series of disappearances that will baffle police for half a century. Mark Hammer gives a slow, judicious impression to the story of Will Henry Lee's career as police chief, the long period of racial tensions, the election of Lee's son to governor and the appointment of the South's first black police chief, who ultimately solves the earlier disappearances. At times, Hammer's voice comes across as old and tired, and he gives little distinction to characters. But the homey wisdom of his voice, coupled with Woods's engaging story, makes this audiobook memorable. Mystery
Stuart Woods Prince of Beverly Hills This fast-paced period mystery concerns a Beverly Hills cop, one Rick Barron, who, through some quick thinking at a tragic accident, is hired to be head of security for an up-and-coming studio in 1939. Assigned to keep British actor Clete Barrow on the wagon, Rick rubs elbows with Samuel Goldwyn, Clark Gable, and Greta Garbo, and has a run-in with one of "Bugsy" Siegal's thugs. This last drama makes for most of the action, but there's plenty of romance, as well as WWII, to make this a first-rate story. Guerin Barry's steady, confident voice gives individual voices to all characters, male and female, British and American. His lively presentation makes this story a fine listening experience. Mystery
Nelson Demille Plum Island This enthralling tale of murder, lost treasure and romance is so skillfully abridged that the listener doesn't feel shortchanged. An added bonus is a fascinating interview with Demille, who has a voice that would have been perfect for his homicide detective, John Corey. The narrator, who uses a huge repertoire of voices, unfortunately sounds like Rodney Dangerfield on occasion and uses a singsong cadence that would be very distracting if the story itself weren't riveting. When he speaks in a woman's voice, he sounds like a man trying to sound like a woman. Mystery
Ed McBain Jigsaw A murder mystery from the 87TH PRECINCT series, first published in 1972, in which a detective discovers that the odd-shaped snapshot found clutched in a dead man's hand is a piece of deadly puzzle worth a suitcase of stolen cash. Mystery
Simon Brett Dead Giveaway Charles Paris, Brett's endearing though none-too-successful actor and amateur sleuth, finds himself caught yet again in murder and mayhem, this time in the gaudy world of British TV quiz shows. Charles hasn't had an acting assignment in months, but when his agent books him on a celebrity game program, he envisions himself in scintillating repartee with other well-known figures. During the taping, however, the emcee drinks from what he thinks is a glass of gin, and is poisoned. Suspicion points to Chippy, a young assistant from an adjoining studio, who is charged with the murder. Implored by a friend to clear Chippy's name and find the real killer, Charles has a long list of suspects to choose from. Brett is our shrewd guide through the inner workings of British show biz and his cheeky humor makes this adventure thoroughly delightful. Mystery
Alexander McCall Smith In the Company of Cheerful Ladies In this sixth entry in McCall Smith's consistently delightful series, Botswana detective Precious Ramotswe, the traditionally built and newly married owner of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, is saddled with a surfeit of challenging cases and personal crises. There has been an intruder in her home (he managed to escape, but left a telltale pair of trousers in his wake). And the levelheaded sleuth is flustered by an encounter with a man from her past. Meanwhile, Mma Ramotswe's husband, master mechanic Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni, is neck-deep in work after the resignation of one of his apprentices, who has become romantically entangled with a married woman (Mma Ramotswe and assistant detective Grace Makutsi slyly gather the scurrilous details). Scotsman McCall Smith, who was born in what is now Zimbabwe, renders colorful characters with names that trip off the tongue. Among the new arrivals: Mma Makutsi's new suitor and dance partner, Phuti Radiphuti, a stuttering furniture salesman with two left feet; and Mr. Polopetsi, a wrongfully imprisoned pharmacist Mma Ramotswe deems worthy of a second chance. As always, when troubles are brewing, nothing puts things in perspective like time spent on the verandah with a cup of bush tea. Amid the hilarious scenarios and quiet revelations are luminous descriptions of Botswana, land of wide-open spaces and endless blue skies. Mystery
M.C. Beaton Agatha Raisin & the Murderous Marriage In the seventh entry in this cozy mystery series, former public-relations woman now Cotswold resident Agatha Raisin is about to be married to her next-door neighbor, James Lacey. Then Agatha's long-absent but undivorced husband turns up. That night he turns up dead. Although Agatha and James agree the marriage is off, they decide to team up, as they've done in the past, to solve the murder and clear themselves as suspects. One of the interesting things about this series is how unappealing the abrasive Agatha can be. She's vain, snide, and self-pitying on a regular basis. All that adds up to a heroine who is also very human, and perhaps that--we identify with her even if we don't always like her--is one of the elements that keeps readers coming back. Another is Beaton's plotting. Like snack food, it's fast, tasty, and leaves you satisfied, if only temporarily. That's all right, though. Beaton is quick; more Raisin should be along shortly.
Mystery
Josephine Tey Daughter of Time Scotland Yard Inspector Alan Grant lies in a hospital bed with a broken leg. To alleviate his boredom, a friend brings him a pile of pictures: photographs, prints, engravings, and clippings. Among the more engrossing images is the portrait of King Richard III. Studying the benign face, he asks himself how such a sensitive-appearing soul could have been the infamous murderer of his own nephews. With the help of the British Museum and an American scholar, Grant reconsiders 500-year-old evidence pertaining to one of the most intriguing murder mysteries of all time. Josephine Tey's answer to who really killed the two princes in the Tower of London has provoked controversy ever since its publication in 1951. Mystery
Robert Clark Mr. White's Confession Is solitary eccentric Herbert White involved in the murders of two young women, or is his short-term memory failure really pathological, as he claims? This psychological mystery is set in Minnesota in the mid-20th century. Wesley Horner is a seemingly hardened police lieutenant with a tragically fragmented family. The triumph of his pursuit and capture of pitiful suspect Herbert is cut short, however, when Horner's new sweetheart thinks that the man might be innocent. Fellow officer Welshinger is a bit too conscientious in extracting a confession from White. Damning evidence telegraphs to the reader the identity of the real murderer, since the real point is not whodunit but whether or not the truth will emerge. A literary treat for procedural fans, this belongs in all libraries. Mystery
Dick Francis Blood Sport When English agent Gene Hawkins told his boss he'd forego his vacation to search for millionaire Dave Teller's prized missing stallion, he didn't know his retainer would include the attentions of his boss's beautiful daughter--or Teller's seldom sober wife. Nor did he know that a trail from London to New York to Las Vegas to Califonria would eventually lead to murder....
Mystery
Dick Francis In the Frame Charles Todd is an English artist, well-known for his renderings of sleek and athletic horses. But what he sees at his brother's he cannot capture on canvas. His sister-in-law has been murdered, and his brother is the prime suspect. Todd sudenly finds himself in a dangerous manhunt as he searches for an elusive killer who paints his own picture of mayhem....
Mystery
Sue Grafton B Is For Burglar Finding wealthy Elaine Boldt seems like a quickie case to Kinsey Millhone. The flashy widow was last seen wearing a $12,000 lynx coat, leaving her condo in Santa Teresa for her condo in Boca Raton. But somewhere in between, she vanished. Kinsey's case goes from puzzling to sinister when a house is torched, an apartment is burgled of worthless papers, the lynx coat comes back without Elaine, and her bridge partner is found dead. Soon Kinsey's clues begin to form a capital M -- not for missing, but for murder: And plenty of it. Mystery
Sue Grafton C Is For Corpse He was young-maybe twenty or so-and he must once have been a good-looking kid. Kinsey could see that. But now his body was covered in scars, his face half-collapsed. It saddened Kinsey and made her curious. She could see he was in a lot of pain. But for three weeks, as Kinsey'd watched him him doggedly working out at the local gym, putting himself through a grueling exercise routine, he never spoke.
Then one Monday morning when there was no one else in the gym, Bobby Callahan approached her. His story was hard to credit: a murderous assault by a tailgating car on a lonely rural road, a roadside smash into a canyon 400 feet below, his Porsche a bare ruin, his best friend dead. The doctors had managed to put his body back together again-sort of. His mother's money had seen to that. What they couldn't fix was his mind, couldn't restore the huge chunks of memory wiped out by the crash. Bobby knew someone had tried to kill him, but he didn't know why. He knew he had the key to something that made him dangerous to the killer, but he didn't know what it was. And he sensed that someone was still out there, ready to pounce at the first sign his memory was coming back. He'd been to the cops, but they'd shrugged off his story. His family thought he had a screw loose. But he was scared-scared to death. He wanted to hire Kinsey.
His case didn't have a whole lot going for it, but he was hard to resist: young, brave, hurt. She took him on. And three days later, Bobby Callahan was dead.
Kinsey Millhone never welshed a deal. She'd been hired to stop a killing. Now she'd find the killer.
Mystery
Sue Grafton D is for Deadbeat "D" is for Detective Kinsey Millhone, given $25,000 of stolen drug money by a drunkard named Daggett who then dies in a drowning. When she decides to deliver the money to Daggett's designee, a young man who was the sole survivor of an auto accident perpetrated by Daggett, Kinsey finds herself in a dilemma: too many "D's" are after the loot. There are two Mrs. Daggetts, a daughter, the drug dealers and a determined killer who soon claims a second life. At this point, Grafton's lively, well-written adventure develops a deadly flaw. Kinsey comes upon the second victim shortly after he's been shot. Though dying, he is conscious and coherent. Why, then, doesn't she ask who did it? When asked the same thing by the police, she says, "I didn't want the last minutes of his life taken up with that stuff"a humane but unlikely rejoiner from any private eye. Even so, the pleasure of this story comes through. Let's give it a "D" for Dandy. Mystery
Sue Grafton E Is For Evidence While private detective and former cop Kinsey Millhone ("D" Is for Deadbeat) is investigating a possible case of industrial arson involving a company owned by the family of a former schoolmate, someone tries to make it look as if she's on the take. A mysterious $5000 appears in her bank account. She sets out to clear herself, while two or possibly more cases of murder occur, including one by bombing. A Christmas spent alone and the reappearance of her second ex-husband, Daniel, who had deserted her, add to Kinsey's depression. Grafton has an accurate, wicked eye for California lifestyle and wise-cracking Kinsey is an appealing, nonhackneyed female detective. Particularly illuminating are the descriptions of document searches, which make up much of real detective work today. This fifth entry in the series, however, is not quite up to the standards of its predecessors because the motivation for the crimes seems weak. That caveat notwithstanding, readers will be glad that further letters of the alphabet await Grafton's imagination. Mystery
Sue Grafton F Is For Fugitive Everyone knew the kind of girl Jean Timberlake was -- ask anybody in the sleepy surf town of Floral Beach and they'd say Jean was wild, looking for trouble. But she certainly wasn't looking for murder. She was found dead on the beach seventeen years ago, and a rowdy ex-boyfriend named Bailey Fowler was convicted of her murder and imprisoned -- and then Bailey escaped. Now private eye Kinsey Millhone steps into a case that should have never been closed, in a town where there's no such thing as a private investigation. Mystery
Sue Grafton G Is For Gumshoe Good and bad things seem to be coming in threes for Kinsey Millhone: on her thirty-third birthday she moves back into her renovated apartment, gets hired to find an elderly lady supposedly living in the Mojave Desert by herself, and makes the top of ex-con Tyrone Patty's hit list. It's the last that convinces Kinsey even she can't handle whoever's been hired to whack her, and she gets herself a bodyguard: Robert Dietz, a Porsche-driving P.I. who takes guarding Kinsey's body very seriously. With Dietz watching her for the merest sign of her usual recklessness, Kinsey plunges into her case. And before it's over, she'll unearth the gruesome truth about a long-buried betrayal and, in the process, come fact-to-face with her own mortality. . .
Mystery
Sue Grafton H is for Homicide Kinsey is hired to look into an insurance claim filed by Bibianna Diaz. She finds that Diaz is connected to the murder of Kinsey's friend Parnell Perkins. The way Grafton weaves the characters together makes for a good read. It also shows how false claims can and I am sure are, filed against insurance companies. The man named Raymond is a nut. Kinsey's experience with the pit bull is great. Does Kinsey work undercover for the police? Is someone else working undercover? You have to read the book to find out. You will be surprised. Funny lines and true to life.
Mystery
Sue Grafton I Is For Innocent When David Barney was acquitted in the shooting death of his wife, Isabelle, a good many thought that justice had not been served -- including Kenneth Voight, Isabelle's former husband. Now, five years later, Voight is the plaintiff in a civil suit in which Barney stands accused of Isabelle's wrongful death. The stakes are high -- Isabelle's estate is worth millions -- but time is running short: the statute of limitations will cut Voight off in only a matter of weeks. Enter sexy, savvy ex-cop-turned-P.I. Kinsey Millhone, brought in by Voight to gather the necessary damning evidence. It doesn't take long, however, for Kinsey to find that while a lot of people hate David Barney, a lot more hated Isabelle. Suddenly a simple civil case becomes a deadly hunt for someone who once got away with murder -- and may again.... Mystery
Sue Grafton J Is For Judgement Wendell Jaffe has been dead for five years--until his former insurance agent spots him in a dusty resort bar. Now California Fidelity wants Kinsey Millhone to track down the dead man. Just two months before, his widow collected on Jaffe's $500,000 life insurance policy--her only legacy since Jaffe went overboard, bankrupt and about to be indicted for his fraudulent real estate schemes. As Kinsey pushes deeper into the mystery surrounding Wendell Jaffe's pseudocide, she explores her own past, discovering that in family matters, as in crime, sometimes it's better to reserve judgment.... Mystery
Sue Grafton K is for Killer Asked to investigate the death of 25-year-old Lorna Kepler, which occurred 10 months earlier, P.I. Kinsey Millhone uncovers the young woman's secret life as a high-class call girl, her half a million dollars in blue-chip investments, but no clue as to the murderer. The main plot is strengthened by several subplots including the whereabouts of a $20,000 withdrawal made the day of Lorna's death; the misleading spying antics of her landlord's wife; and the greed and jealousy of the victim's overweight older sister. Grafton's writing is vivid when describing Kinsey's soul-searching about the evil some people commit and in the resultant powerful ending. Though the 11th in the series, "K" is neither weak nor repetitive, providing excitement, intrigue, and a fierce need to finish reading it in one sitting.
Mystery
Sue Grafton L Is For Lawless Both new readers and old fans will welcome this 12th Kinsey Milhone adventure in the "A" is for Alibi series by Sue Grafton. In this case, Kinsey agrees to do a favor for a friend of a friend and gets herself into so much trouble that she promises at the outset never to do such a thing again without careful consideration.
Henry Pitt, her longtime landlord asks her to help a fellow neighbor find evidence that his grandfather served in the military during the Second World War. With such proof, the man can be decently buried, courtesy of the U.S. government. It seems such a simple thing, but with Kinsey, it rarely is. Before long she finds herself entangled with an eccentric and quarrelsome family as well as a long lost buddy who has turned up just in time to get himself beaten up in a robbery attempt of the alleged veteran's apartment. It seems there is a reason the Armed Services have no record of the dead man's service. Kinsey sets out to determine what he might have been doing instead of fighting against the Japanese and why someone might think his shabby apartment worth a burgle.
Typical of the series, the mystery is not the central point of the story, but rather a starting point for Kinsey to become embroiled in a suspenseful (and delightful) search-and-rescue operation, usually against her better judgement. In this case, a gun-toting, arthritic octogenarian and revelations of the inner workings of bargain-rate motels are all part of the adventure. This is an easy and enjoyable read, and a solid addition to Grafton's string of alphabetical hits.
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Sue Grafton M Is For Malice Fans of Sue Grafton's alphabet mystery series on audio won't be disappointed with the letter "M," a story about the Malek family and a disowned brother who meets his untimely death. Judy Kaye plays Kinsey consistently. She conveys all the characters, young, old, male and female, by artful shifts in her tone of voice and appropriate changes in her rate of speech. Accents are subtle but just enough to give identity to the characters. "M" is for malice, and "M" is for marvelous listening!
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Sue Grafton N Is For Noose Sue Grafton is back with her fourteenth alphabet mystery. Kinsey Millhone, private investigator extraordinaire, vacillates over the job she's accepted this time. Hired by Selma Lindquist, widow of a well-liked and much-respected small-town detective, Kinsey is in search of the reason for Tom Lindquist's troubled behavior just before his sudden death. Mary Peiffer is a convincing Kinsey; she matter-of-factly extols the virtues of staying single, junk food and dropping this case. Peiffer effectively differentiates the other characters with her pitch or pace, but she can't make them likable. Peiffer conveys their disdain for each other and their reluctance to help the intrusive P.I. Listeners may want to leave the town of Nota Lake even more than Millhone, but loyal fans will wait for the answer.
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Sue Grafton O is for Outlaw The alphabet series that features Kinsey Millhone, a former cop turned private investigator, continues in this fine mystery with lots of suspense. The story begins with a phone call from Teddy Rich, who offers to sell Kinsey a box of personal items that he bought at a repossession auction. The contents of the box had been stored for years by Kinsey's ex-husband, Mickey Magruder. While searching through it, she discovers an unopened letter addressed to her. This letter establishes an alibi that he needed 14 years earlier when a murder case ruined his career as a policeman and prompted the demise of their marriage. Kinsey hopes to find him but, as fate would have it, two L.A. police investigators enter the story at this point to inform her of Mickey's "accident." A fast-paced, intriguing set of circumstances and dangerous turns make this tale a page-turner. The story is well crafted and the characters are believable. Grafton's fans will love it.
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Sue Grafton P Is For Peril Kinsey Millhone encounters a double dose of danger while searching for new digs and uncovering the whereabouts of a missing doctor, possibly involved in welfare fraud. The story slugs along at first, until Kinsey hooks up with a deadly set of twins. Then, author Sue Grafton is back on her game. Judy Kaye so completely absorbs Kinsey's character that it becomes increasingly difficult to separate performance from persona. With her wisecracking observations, it's impossible to imagine anyone else as the streetwise sleuth. While Santa Theresa (AKA Santa Barbara) is Ross Macdonald territory, in her sixteenth Kinsey Millhone adventure, Grafton is no longer the new kid in town.
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Sue Grafton Q Is For Quarry The 18-year-old murder of an unidentified young woman has never been solved by the Santa Teresa County Sheriff's Department. Two of the original detectives, now elderly and ill, decide to try once more to identify the "Jane Doe" and discover who killed her. Kinsey Millhone agrees to help, little knowing that the old murder will touch on her own past and put her life in danger. Lynn Lauber's abridgment flows smoothly. It's plot-driven, as all abridgments must be, but includes enough descriptive passages to enable listeners to imagine their favorite Kinsey Millhone settings. Within a few minutes of listening to Judy Kaye, a listener simply believes he or she is listening to Kinsey Millhone. True, the story's first-person narration makes impersonation easier, but Kaye's remarkable performance comes from understanding Kinsey's character. The straightforward, shoot-from-the-hip attitude with a sense of humor and endearing humility is delivered in a gently raspy voice. Kaye likes Kinsey Millhone just as much as Grafton's fans do. This is a listen you won't want to end.
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Sue Grafton R Is For Ricochet In the latest Kinsey Millhone mystery, Kinsey is hired by an aged, wealthy man to retrieve his daughter from prison, where she has served time for embezzlement. Kinsey quickly figures out that the girl isn't an embezzler but instead has done time for her money-laundering boss. All heck breaks loose. Judy Kaye has a warm, rich voice that seems just right for Grafton's P.I. Her delivery mirrors the smart-aleck tenor of much of Kinsey's dialogue. Strangely though, when Kaye is interpreting a male character (and there are many), she raises her voice to a higher register, so that many of the men sound like adolescents with changing voices, or worse, like chipmunks. It may be Kaye's subtle social comment, though. For once the listener adapts, this odd gender reversal seems natural. Mystery
P.D. James Murder Room, The In the most recent installment in P.D. James's hugely popular series featuring Commander Adam Dalgliesh of Scotland Yard, a trustee of the quirky Dupayne Museum has been brutally murdered. Many of the large cast of characters might have done the deed, and, to complicate matters, James adds numerous subplots. It's all adroitly done and great fun--James at her best. Charles Keating is expert with both the narration and the wide range of characters. He is particularly talented at creating accents and speech patterns that illuminate personalities. While he is generally better with male voices than female ones, that is true for many male narrators and isn't a serious quibble. An utterly involving listen. Mystery
Johnathan Kellerman Blood Test (Alex Delaware #2) Little Woody Swope was gravely ill. Treatment was possible, if painful. But his parents, members of a bizarre sect called the Touchers, threatened to take him out of hospital. Then Woody was gone. So were the Swopes, leaving their motel suite heavily bloodstained. Enter Alex Delaware, child psychologist, young, burned out and semi-retired. He and his LA cop friend Milo find a heap of suspects - an ageing ex-hippy doctor; a back-country police chief; a male stripper; even Nona, Woody's sister, a flame-haired Lolita with hate in her eyes and larceny in her soul. But the truth was more bizarre than even Alex could have imagined...
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Johnathan Kellerman Over the Edge (Alex Delaware #3) The case against Jamey Cadmus seems open and shut. Found clutching a bloody knife at the scene of a horrifying double murder, he's a prime suspect in a series of killings that have rocked Los Angeles. Even his lawyer won't do more than plead diminished responsibility. No one - not the police, not the family, not the lawyers - wants Alex Delaware lifting up stones. But under those stones lies something unspeakable...
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Carolyn Haines Crossed Bones Sarah Booth Delaney is no ordinary P.I. A born-and-bred Mississippi belle, she struggles to hold on to her family s plantation and keeps up a running conversation with the ghost of her great-great-grandmother s nanny, a busybody who decks herself out in a stunning new outfit every day--and schemes to save Sarah Booth from spinsterhood. Not one to wait around for a white knight, Sarah takes on the kind of cases no one else will touch. Like trying to exonerate a man accused of murdering Sunflower County s most popular musician.
The two men met in prison: Ivory Keys, a gifted black blues pianist, and Scott Hampton, a rich white boy turned racist. Somewhere between the two men, a spark was lit. And by the time he came out of the joint, Scott Hampton had not only renounced his racist ways, he had learned to play a blues guitar that made grown women go weak in the knees. So why did Scott plunge a steel shank into his mentor s chest? Ivory s widow doesn t think he did, and she s paid Sarah Booth to prove it. No easy task, especially since the delicate racial harmony of Sunflower County is threatening to come undone under the heat of Sarah Booth s investigation.
For a woman feeling a little heat of her own--navigating between a rich, available businessman, a married lawman with a waffling heart, and the sexy bluesman who is angling to become much more than her client--this case is taking dangerous twists. A town s slumbering passions have awakened with a jolt, a matchmaking ghost is dressed up like Jackie O, and Sarah Booth is caught between her need to know the truth and the consequences it will have on her town--and on her life.
With riveting suspense and a sparkling cast of unforgettable characters, Carolyn Haines has woven a rich portrait of a part of America grappling with its past, its illusions, and its hopes.
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Jonathan Kellerman Cold Heart, A (A.D. #17) Aspiring artists, ranging from a blues singer to a concert pianist, are the target in this serial murder mystery. Protagonist Alex's Delaware's ex-wife just happens to fit this killer's profile, adding a personal twist. John Rubinstein gives psychologist Delaware a hint of raspiness as he works the streets of LA on the trail of identifying this pathological killer. Regular Milo Sturgis is distinctive with a tough-guy voice, and Petra Connor, a female cop fast-tracking her way to promotion, is presented with a slightly higher tone and spirited energy. Eric Stahl, a newcomer to the detective team, brings stark contract with his quiet, unemotional manner. A winning combination of plot and delivery. Mystery
Jonathan Kellerman Devil's Waltz (Alex Delaware #7) Dr. Alex Delaware, psychologist/detective, appears in Jonathan Kellerman's seventh audiobook. This time he is called in to shed light on the mysterious illnesses plaguing young Cassie Jones, who is the granddaughter of the head of the hospital. John Rubinstein, who has performed six of Kellerman's previous audiobooks, again provides the same enthusiastic and energetic interpretation. His narration and dramatization of the characters are immediately recognizable for Kellerman fans. The story line is easy to follow, and interludes of dramatic music help to set the various scenes. Mystery
Jonathan Kellerman Dr. Death (Alex Delaware #14) Dr. Eldon Mate has helped his last terminally ill patient commit suicide, for now someone has murdered him, using the doctor's own equipment. Even as Kellerman stalwart Dr. Alex Delaware consults on suspects ranging from the families of Mate's patients to the doctor's own son, he wrestles with a serious conflict of interest that could wreck the case.
But for John Rubinstein's versatile performance of the new Alex Delaware mystery, the listener would succumb to boredom long before the plot takes off. What begins as an intriguing tale, the murder of a Kevorkian-type character in a van by a death machine, no less, bogs down in much talk, recovering only toward the end. Until then, Rubinstein's solid characterizations and upbeat style support, and even bolster, this whodunit. As suspicion for the good doctor's death focuses on the family members of one of his former "patients," Rubinstein's slightly gravelly, slightly nasal voice makes Delaware come alive. This is one thriller that's better because of the reading.
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Jonathan Kellerman Rage In a host of consecutive bestsellers, Jonathan Kellerman has kept readers spellbound with the intense, psychologically acute adventures of Dr. Alex Delaware and with excursions through the raw underside of L.A. and the coldest alleys of the criminal mind. Rage offers a powerful new case in point, as Delaware and LAPD homicide detective Milo Sturgis revisit a horrifying crime from the past that has taken on shocking and deadly new dimensions.
Troy Turner and Rand Duchay were barely teenagers when they kidnapped and murdered a younger child. Troy, a remorseless sociopath, died violently behind bars. But the hulking, slow-witted Rand managed to survive his stretch. Now, at age twenty-one, he s emerged a haunted, rootless young man with a pressing need: to talk once again with psychologist Alex Delaware. But the young killer comes to a brutal end, that conversation never takes place.
Has karma caught up with Rand? Or has someone waited for eight patient years to dine on ice-cold revenge? Both seem strong possibilities to Sturgis, but Delaware s suspicions run deeper . . . and darker. Because fear in the voice of the grownup Rand Duchay and his eerie final words to Alex: I m not a bad person betray untold secrets. Buried revelations so horrendous, and so damning, they re worth killing for.
As Delaware and Sturgis retrace their steps through a grisly murder case that devastated a community, they discover a chilling legacy of madness, suicide, and multiple killings left in its wake and even uglier truths waiting to be unearthed. And the nearer they come to understanding an unspeakable crime, the more harrowingly close they get to unmasking a monster hiding in plain sight.
Rage finds Jonathan Kellerman in phenomenal form orchestrating a relentlessly suspenseful, devilishly unpredictable plot to a finale as stunning and thought-provoking as it is satisfying.
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Jonathan Kellerman Bad Love (Alex Delaware #8) The prolific Kellerman is in fine fettle with yet another likely best-seller that's just macabre enough to induce nightmares in the most sensible readers. Kiddie psychologist Alex Delaware receives a terrifying audiotape full of bloodcurdling screams and a disjointed voice chanting, "Bad love, bad love." Alex can't connect the tape with anything, but when he begins to get threatening phone calls, and someone brutally harpoons one of his beloved koi fish, he realizes he could be in danger. With the help of his friend, Detective Milo Sturgis, Delaware begins to unravel the complex, multilayered plot that seems to be linked to a conference he chaired 20 years ago. Delaware finally discovers he's being pursued by a tormented, relentless, deranged killer who'll burn destroy, and torture to avenge the wrongs he suffered so long ago. As usual, Kellerman combines gripping intensity and taut psychological suspense with plenty of high-powered action, a few doses of graphic violence, and--thank heaven!--the comforting presence of the beloved sensible, calm Dr. Delaware, who can make all the nightmares go away.
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Jonathan Kellerman Clinic, The (Alex Delaware #11) John Rubinstein's voice is relaxed and familiar as psychologist Alex Delaware. The gruffer, accented voice of Milo is clearly delineated in the frequent exchanges between the Los Angeles Police detective and his medical friend. Rubinstein continuously introduces and keeps separate
the many characters who may be involved in the unsolved murder of Hope Devane, a psychology professor and controversial author. He even manages an interesting reading of dry transcripts, which contain pertinent information on Devane. As Alex and Milo discover incongruities in her professional life, sordid details in her past and kinky revelations in her personal life--the listener will wonder who the executioner is until the very end.
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Jonathan Kellerman Flesh & Blood (Alex Delaware #15) Kellerman is in top form in this densely plotted tale of child psychologist Alex Delaware and his friend, Detective Milo Sturgis. Ten years earlier, Delaware had been unable to help Lauren Teague, then a 15-year-old. After a more recent encounter (which leaves them both overwhelmed by guilt and shame), Lauren's body is found in a dumpster. Alex feels compelled to find her killer, no matter the personal cost. John Rubinstein's performance is like listening to a full-cast recording. Each character is fully developed, distinctive, and immediately identifiable. Rubinstein makes Alex's quandary understandable and poignant, and his sandpapery voice gives Sturgis a surprising vulnerability. The dialogue is crisp, the situations fraught with danger. Each chapter brings shocking revelations. More than a story of dysfunctional families and maladjusted personalities, the novel is an examination of our darker natures. Mystery
Jonathan Kellerman Monster (Alex Delaware #13) L.A. psychologist Alex Delaware and his longtime friend, Homicide Detective Milo Sturgis, work to solve a compelling, but ice cold, case. Teenager Janie Ingalls was viciously murdered twenty years ago and is depicted in "The Murder Book" that is sent to Delaware anonymously. John Rubinstein convincingly renders the multitude of characters with appropriate accents and helps define the low-life criminals, hard-bitten cops, and powerful family members involved. Rubenstein's considerable vocal talent captures nuances of mood while at the same time moving clue by clue to the case's solution. Masterfully written and read, this is a mystery to savor. Mystery
Jonathan Kellerman Murder Book, The (A.D. #16) L.A. psychologist Alex Delaware and his longtime friend, Homicide Detective Milo Sturgis, work to solve a compelling, but ice cold, case. Teenager Janie Ingalls was viciously murdered twenty years ago and is depicted in "The Murder Book" that is sent to Delaware anonymously. John Rubinstein convincingly renders the multitude of characters with appropriate accents and helps define the low-life criminals, hard-bitten cops, and powerful family members involved. Rubenstein's considerable vocal talent captures nuances of mood while at the same time moving clue by clue to the case's solution. Masterfully written and read, this is a mystery to savor. Mystery
Jonathan Kellerman Private Eyes (Alex Delaware #6) The voice belongs to a woman, but Dr. Alex Delaware remembers a little girl. It is eleven years since seven-years-old Melissa Dickinson dialed a hospital help line for comfort--and found it in therapy with Alex Delaware. Now the lovely young heiress is desperately calling for psychologist's help once more. Only this time it looks like Melissa's deepest childhood nightmare is really coming true ... Twenty years ago, Gina Dickinson, Melissa's mother, suffered a grisly assault that left the budding actress irreparably scarred and emotionally crippled. Now her acid-wielding assailant is out of prison and back in L.A.--and Melissa is terrified that the monster has returned to hurt Gina again. But before Alex Delaware can even begin to soothe his former patient's fears, Gina, a recluse for twenty, disappears. And now, unless Delaware turns crack detective to uncover the truth, Gina Dickinson will be just one more victim of a cold fury that has already spawned madness--and murder.
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Jonathan Kellerman Self-Defense (Alex Delaware #9) Dr. Alex Delaware traces a young woman's dreams back to crimes committed 20 years earlier. A few months after serving on an L.A. jury that finds a landscape laborer guilty of a series of grotesque mutilations and killings, Lucy Lowell is beset by a recurring nightmare in which she, as a youngster, watches three men bury a young woman in the woods. Referred to Alex by Milo Sturgis, the LAPD detective in charge of the serial killer case, Lucy proves a game and eager patient, leading the psychologist into a past that centers around her father, a monumentally egotistical literary lion who had sponsored the writing career of a notorious ex-con at a California art colony in the '70s. Still warmhearted and earnest, Alex, in his ninth appearance, has lightened up some as he has aged, showing a readier humor and more chutzpah (e.g., posing as a writer-named Sandy Del Ware-to infiltrate closed Hollywood circles) as he facilitates Lucy's exploration of the past. With its nicely orchestrated twists, Kellerman's plot will keep readers guessing right up to the well-prepared resolution. Mystery
Jonathan Kellerman Silent Partner (Alex Delaware #4) The bestselling author of When The Bough Breaks, Blood Test, and Over The Edge delivers the most stunning novel yet and featuring psychologist-detective Dr. Alex Delaware. At a party for a controversial Los Angeles sex therapist, Alex encounters a face from his own past--Sharon Ransom, an exquisite, alluring lover who left him abruptly more than a decade earlier. Sharon now hints that he desperately needs help, but Alex evades her. The next day she is dead, an apparent suicide. Driven by guilt and sadness, Alex plunges into the maze of Sharon's life--a journey that will take him through the pleasure palaces of California's ultra-rich, into the dark closets of a family's disturbing past, and finally into the alleyways of the mind, where childhood terrors still hold sway. Mystery
Jonathan Kellerman Survival of the Fittest (A.D. #12) This spine-tingling tale of murder and mayhem, undoing racially motivated terror, tells of a nefarious plot to rid the world of those who are not perfect, a quasi-ethnic cleansing. The story is punctuated by music that accents the action and mood of the plot, while subtly masking the abridgment. Rubinstein's initially stiff emphasis and enunciation soon relax as the tension grows and a terrifying conspiracy comes to the fore. The complex plot and characters that typify Kellerman are magnified by this veteran performer. Mystery
Jonathan Kellerman Time Bomb (Alex Delaware #5) Kellerman provides his fans with yet another of his exciting tales centered on Dr. Alex Delaware, psychologist/sleuth. Set in California, the book opens with a near massacre in a schoolyard. In this intricately plotted story, the hero is challenged to locate a cleverly disguised villain from a collection of normal and not-so-normal suspects. The rapid pace carries readers into a world of politicians who are more than they seem to be on the surface, families that dysfunction in spectacular ways, and suspicious characters with murky and unusual pasts. In his examination of political extremism, the author touches on an issue that is both timely and thoroughly fascinating. Although the psychoanalytical aspect occasionally becomes a bit overbearing--minor characters using professional-level terminology, for example--the overall effect is engrossing. A minor love theme is played out, and a spectacular and violent climax pulls the disparate threads of the story together. Kellerman's fans won't be disappointed. Mystery
Jonathan Kellerman Web, The (Alex Delaware, #10) Psychologist Alex Delaware is invited by the famous but eccentric scientist William Moreland to organize years of medical paperwork in preparation for publication. When Delaware arrives at Moreland's estate on the tropical island of Aruk, there are immediate signs that all is not right. Unusual house guests, Moreland's dark and dangerous insectarium, and a particularly gruesome murder add to Delaware's unease. When another local is murdered, Delaware finds himself unwittingly thrust into a psychological and political maze that culminates in a discovery far beyond his wildest fears. Kellerman's ability to weave an intriguing story with tantalizing hints of horror and breathtaking suspense makes this an unforgettable tale that will be popular with the author's fans as well as general fiction listeners.
Reader John Rubenstein's mastery of a variety of character voices, coupled with occasional ominous background music, makes this an entertaining program.
John Rubinstein's experience as a narrator is evident in his accomplished performance of Kellerman's latest Alex Delaware thriller.
Alex and Robin travel to a small island in Micronesia, where Alex has agreed to help Dr. Bill Moreland write articles on his research in the
South Pacific. Soon, mysterious deaths and shocking secrets disturb this tropical paradise. Rubinstein deftly crafts the characterizations of a
diverse group, injecting humor, pathos and fear into this story laden with unexpected twists. This is suspenseful listening, which makes the
pulse race--and turning off the tape is almost impossible!
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Julliane Hoffman Retribution Prosecutor C.J. Townsend and Special Agent Dominick Falconetti search for a Miami serial killer (dubbed Cupid by the press) who is perpetrating gruesome murders of young women. When he's unexpectedly apprehended, C.J. realizes that the suspect raped her 12 years earlier, and she's determined to make the charges stick. With steady investigation, Townsend and Falconetti tie up loose ends, or so they think. Martha Plimpton narrates this legal thriller with surprising ease, given the graphic descriptions of Cupid's deeds. Not for the faint of heart, Plimpton's narration keeps the story flowing and the listener on edge. Mystery
Priscilla Masters Disturbing Ground On the very first page of Priscilla Masters' "Disturbing Ground," the author draws you into small-town life in the Welsh countryside -- and into the lives (and deaths) of people who seem as real as the folks next door. Her protagonist, Megan Banesto, is a hometown girl and one of the few doctors in Llancloudy. She is in the middle of a routine consultation when something not at all routine occurs outside her examining room window: a body has been discovered in a nearby pond.
The body belongs to one of Megan's patients, a schizophrenic woman named Bianca Rhys. Because Bianca was considered the town nut, everyone assumes she either committed suicide or pitched into the pool in a moment of confusion. Consequently, Megan is the only one concerned that the contusion on Bianca's head is in the back rather than the front. No one else seems to wonder why Bianca was at the pool at all, since she was terrified of water. And no one else seems to be concerned that Bianca was missing for a full two days before her body appeared in the pool.
In the best mystery tradition, Priscilla Masters plants her story on shifting sand. Megan frequently questions her own judgment -- and even her sanity -- as she doggedly seeks answers to a case no one else seems to take as personally as she does. Clues -- and suspicions -- fly thick and fast until they all come together in an edge-of-your-seat climax no one could have predicted.
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Lilian Jackson Braun Cat Who Could Read Backwards, The (Cat #1) A stabbing in an art gallery, vandalised paintings, a fatal fall - this is not what Jim Qwilleran expects when he turns his reportorial talents to art. But with his partner, Koko the Siamese cat, he sniffs out clues and confounds criminals intent on mayhem and murder. Mystery
T Jefferson Parker Summer of Fear When reporter/crime writer Russell Monroe finds his former lover brutally slain in an apparently ritual style, he suspects a connection to other recent murders in the county. Somehow, the case never appears on the police blotter - although Russell saw his former colleague, homicide chief Marty Parish, leaving the scene of the crime - and soon all evidence of the death disappears. Meanwhile, a string of killings continues in the same gruesome style, and Russell becomes the contact of the deranged man responsible. As Monroe gets dangerously entangled in this deadly intrigue, he must fight for his life while watching his wife fight for hers against a terminal brain tumor.
This unforgettable novel is expertly read by Dale Hull. The chilling tale of a serial killer, "The Midnight Eye," is greatly enhanced by his consistent and easily identifiable vocal charac-terizations. Hull's resonant voice brings Russ Monroe, ex-cop turned crime writer, to life as a compassionate, caring individual. The depictions of the crime scenes are expertly written and read with clarity and appropriate emotions. The Summer of Fear exposes a terrifying web of breed, duplicity, passion, suspense and dark insight into the human heart. Don't listen to this one alone on a hot, humid night!
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Rupert Holmes Where the Truth Lies Yes, this is Rupert Holmes--composer/performer of "Escape" ("The Pina Colada Song"). He's also won Edgar, Tony, and Grammy Awards and is a coy wordsmith who keeps us waiting for the next bon mot in this stylish, funny murder mystery. The comedy backgrounds of our readers--"Saturday Night Live" alum Gasteyer and McKean (from the movies SPINAL TAP and A MIGHTY WIND)--come to the fore as our heroine, O'Connor, an investigative journalist, digs deep into the story of a Dean Martin/ Jerry Lewis type duo. The stars wine, dine, connive--but did they murder? O'Connor follows 40s gumshoe tradition in this 70s romp, replete with sex, romance, and noir-style voice-overs. This is way better than a blackjack in a dark alley or a double cross in Madagascar.
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Rupert Holmes Swing, A Mystery Take one multiple-award-winning playwright/musician/screenwriter/producer/novelist, add a publisher willing to back a multimedia novel (this one boasts a CD of original music and a handful of illustrations) and the result is a clever, original mystery that's pure fun to read, listen to, look at and puzzle out. Holmes's Where the Truth Lies (2003) proved him to be an excellent period writer, a skill he demonstrates again with this story of murder at the 1940 Golden Gate International Exposition, the West Coast answer to the New York World's Fair. Jazz musician Ray Sherwood is in San Francisco with his band when he meets a young composer, Gail Prentice, who needs him to orchestrate her award-winning musical composition, Swing, which will play at one of the fair's Treasure Island pavilions. Ray quickly falls for the fetching Grace and is soon deep into orchestrating her avant-garde composition. But after a woman plunges from the sky at the Court of the Moon plaza and lands at Ray's feet, he finds himself involved in a mystery that not only will produce more bodies but also threaten the stability of several governments. Music and mystery go hand in hand; the excellent swing music on the included CD (written and orchestrated by Holmes and referenced in the novel) contains clues to the solution. A tour de force of style and erudition, Holmes's second novel will delight mystery readers of any sort.
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James Lee Burke Heaven's Prisoners
The Cajun hero of The Neon Rain returns in a very intense and atmospheric, if not obsessive, story of personal revenge. Former homicide cop Dave Robicheaux, now proprietor of a bait and boat rental business on the Louisiana bayou, rescues a terrified illegal immigrant girl from a small plane that crashes into the Gulf. The other four passengers die, but when newspapers report only three, Dave decides to investigate. His first-person narrative provides character insight, immediacy, and authentic glimpses into a disappearing way of life. Mystery
Andrew Taylor Unpardonable Crime, An England 1819. Two enigmatic Americans arrive in London and soon after a bank collapses. A man is found dead on a building site; another goes missing in the teeming stews of the city's notorious Seven Dials district. A deathbed vigil ends in an act of theft, and a beautiful heiress flirts with her inferiors. A strange destiny connects each of these events to an American boy, Edgar Allan Poe, who was brought to England by his foster father and sent to the leafy village of Stoke Newington to be educated.
Soon the intrigue enmeshes a poor schoolteacher, Thomas Shield, who struggles to understand what is happening before it destroys him and those he loves. But the truth, like the youthful Poe himself, has its origins in the New World as well as the Old.
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Jeffery Deaver Stone Monkey, The Evenly and methodically, Boyd Gaines narrates the details of an active investigation and the latest technology used by Lincoln Rhyme and crew to solve crimes. A ruthless human smuggler, "Ghost," is responsible for the sinking of the FUZHOU DRAGON, a ship carrying illegal Chinese immigrants. He wants no trace of them left. But when they escape, the deadly chase begins. Listeners soon find themselves "walking the grid" or "lifting latent prints" with Amelia Sachs and her colleagues from the NYPD. Gaines is especially good at speaking with a Chinese accent and easily characterizes the immigrants. Narrated thoughtfully, the pace helps the listener visualize the careful musings of Rhyme. A nice addition to the series. Mystery
Adrian McKinty Hidden River Irish author McKinty follows up 2003's acclaimed Dead I May Well Be with an outstanding and complex crime novel that should appeal to fans of hard-boiled Celtic scribes such as Ken Bruen and Ian Rankin. Alexander Lawson, a down-and-out ex-cop with a heroin habit, had been a rising homicide detective in Belfast's Royal Ulster Constabulary when he was abruptly transferred to the drug squad. He soon gets caught stealing heroin from an evidence locker and resigns in disgrace. A Scotland Yard cop named Douglas, convinced that the story doesn't fit, vows to discover the truth. Then, in Denver, an old girlfriend of Lawson's, Victoria Patawasti, winds up dead. After the slain girl's father receives an anonymous tip that the police have arrested the wrong man, he persuades Lawson to investigate. In the States, Lawson's first stop is the nonprofit environmental agency where Victoria worked. He finds that she discovered major discrepancies in the agency's banking accounts, and suspects that got her killed. Lawson goes undercover, taking a fund-raising job at CAW (Campaign for the American Wilderness), where he gets an inside look at slick owner Charles Mulholland and an even closer look at his wife, Amber, a beautiful young seductress. As the action intensifies, Lawson comes up against a deeper, hidden case. This is not only an expertly crafted suspense novel but also a revealing study of addiction. Mystery
Robert Crais Free Fall Elvis Cole is just a detective who can't say no, especially to a girl in a terrible fix. And Jennifer Sheridan qualifies. Her fiance, Mark Thurman, is a decorated LA cop with an elite plainclothes unit, but Jennifer is sure he's in trouble - the kind of serious trouble that only Cole can get him out of. Five minutes after his new client leaves the office, Cole and his partner, the enigmatic Joe Pike, are hip-deep in a deadly situation as they plummet into a world of South Central gangs, corrupt cops and conspiracies of silence. And before long, every cop in the LAPD is gunning for a pair of armed and dangerous killers - Cole and Pike.
Despite an improbable jailbreak and obvious character types--the dangerous, sadistic cop; the dewy ingenue, and her doltish boyfriend--Robert Crais almost manages to make the mean streets of Los Angeles as ferocious as they were in LA REQUIEM. The plot, riddled with bad cops, gangs, and corruption in high places, provides enough excitement and twists to be fun. True, some of the snap has gone out of Elvis Cole's repartee, but Joe Pike is as enigmatic a hero as he ever was. An engaging performance by James Daniels keeps things moving. Daniels provides even the least interesting characters with inner lives by the subtlest change in his tone. With equal touches of irony and insight, he makes Elvis and Joe a great way to spend an evening.
Mystery
Douglas/Lincoln Preston/Child Dance of Death Agent Pendergast has become one of crime fiction s most endearing characters. His greatest enemy is one who has stalked him all of his life, his cunning and diabolical brother Diogenes. And Diogenes has thrown down the gauntlet. Now, several of the people closest to Pendergast are viciously murdered, and Pendergast is framed for the deeds. On the run from federal authorities, with only the help of his old friend NYPD Lieutenant Vincent D Agosta, Pendergast must stop his brother. But how can he stop a man that is his intellectual equal--one who has had 20 years to plan the world s most horrendous crime? Mystery
Patricia Cornwell Body of Evidence A reclusive author, Beryl Madison finds no safe haven from months of menacing phone calls -- or the tormented feeling that her every move is being watched. When the writer is found slain in her own home, Kay Scarpetta pieces together the intricate forensic evidence -- while unwittingly edging closer to a killer waiting in the shadows. Mystery
James Lee Burke Sunset Limited Cajun detective Dave Robicheaux is back, as polite as ever. Accompanying Dave is his buddy Clete and a marvelous cast of characters down-trodden Cool Breeze Broussard, tortured Lila Terrebonne, slimy Harpo Scruggs, and photojournalist Megan Flynn, whose father, a labor organizer, was crucified on a barn wall 40 years ago. When Megan, still haunted by her father's unsolved murder, returns to New Iberia, she sets in motion a series of events that draws Dave into the dark, twisting relationships of these tortured characters, who are intertwined in a plot too convoluted to summarize but that bears all the hallmarks of a Burke mystery bloody racial sins from the past mixed with violent, inbred kinships that haunt the present. Once again, with strong and graceful prose, Burke presents a tale as dark and rich as a cup of chicory coffee. Highly recommended. Mystery
James Lee Burke Purple Cane Road From Edgar Award-winner James Lee Burke comes this emotional powerhouse of a novel ... in which everyman hero Dave Robicheaux confronts the secrets of his long-forgotten past in a shattering tale of revenge, murder, and a mother's haunting legacy....
Robicheaux first hears it from a pimp eager to trade information for his life: Mae Guillory was murdered outside a New Orleans nightclub by two cops. Dave Robicheaux was just a boy when his mother ran out on him and his whiskey-driven father.
Now Robicheaux is a man, still haunted by her desertion and her death. More than thirty-five years after Mae Guillory died, her son will go to any length to bring her killers to justice. And as he moves closer to what happened that long-ago night, the Louisiana cop crosses lines of color and class to find the place where secrets of his past lie buried ... and where all roads lead to revenge -- but only one road leads to the truth....
Dave Robicheaux is back. If you've never read James Lee Burke, you may be a bit lost. Dave is a character with a history--and it's that history, uncovering the circumstances surrounding the death of a mother he barely knew, that gets him into dangerous waters yet again. As Dave is a little self-absorbed and maudlin, this might be a better choice for the true fan. What a James Lee Burke book has in spades is the atmosphere of bayous, barbeque, and bluegrass. Nick Sullivan steeps his reading in quirky accents and whiskeyed drawls. Each character is easily discernible and fresh. Through a myriad of bit players and convoluted plot twists he offers a thoughtful and entertaining interpretation.
Mystery
Robert Crais Indigo Slam P.I. Elvis Cole is hired by three children to find their missing father, putting him on the trail of counterfeiters and in the path of U.S. Marshals who are not convinced of his good intentions. David Stuart demonstrates considerable skill at fashioning character voices that are evocative but not overdone. He succeeds in capturing both Cole's easygoing nature and the tension of action scenes. Crais has crafted a notable detective, and Stuart does him justice. Mystery
James Hall Off The Chart James Hall's latest novel might be more aptly titled "Off the Wall." In this modern-day pirate novel, Vic Joy, a wealthy businessman/gangster turned pirate, hijacks pleasure boats and murders their owners. Inexplicably, Vic is also obsessed with his sister, Anne, whom he hasn't seen for years; he does anything to rid her of her boyfriends, including killing them. A tale like this needs a steady reader, and Gary Littman fits the bill. As usual, Littman reads with a no-nonsense style that focuses on the characters without overdramatizing. In fact, Littman's tone keeps the characters from becoming cartoonish, and the book from dragging, as could happen easily with a story this long and bizarre. Mystery
Patricia Cornwell From Potter's Field Cornwell is at the top of her form in this riveting novel as Dr. Kay Scarpetta continues the search for serial killer Temple Gault. This tale takes the listener through the bowels of New York City's subway system as Scarpetta and Gault play their deadly cat-and-mouse game. Accomplished actress Blair Brown turns in a masterful performance as Scarpetta. As the tension builds in this careful abridgment, Brown's voice skillfully reflects the frustration and fear that grip the narrator. Rather than try to create voices for the male characters, Brown wisely lets their emotions speak for them. Mystery presentations don't get any better than this. Audiofile Earphones Award winner. Mystery
Richard K. Walton Birding by Ear, Western U.S. Ever wonder what that trill in the backyard is? Or how to distinguish between all those similar bird songs?
Birding By Ear uses an educational and entertaining method for learning bird songs. This proven method has greatly enhanced the field experience for birders across North America. The authors have created learning groups of similar vocalizations and clearly point out distinguishing characteristics. Using techniques such as phonetics, mnemonics, and descriptive words, Walton and Lawson provide a context for learning the songs and calls of many species of birds found west of the Rockies.
Listening to this collection will enable anyone to become a better birder; and if you are an avid birder, you will find these tapes essential!
Nature
Henry Williamson Tales of Moorland and Estuary Henry Williamson was one of the great nature writers of the century. His area of observation was North Devon its coast and moors, its
inhabitants in all their forms. He regarded animals and men with compassion and wrote about them in clear, memorable prose.
These 12 stories range from the eerie tale about a stranded hiker s night in a fog-shrouded farmhouse; to the satiric observation of an albino weasel s encounter with a Cockney interloper; and from a Melvillean saga of a fisherman s duel with the sea; to a chilling tale of a bizarre convict hunt on the moors.
Nature
Joy Adamson Born Free There have been many accounts of the return to the wild of tame animals, but since its original publication in 1960, when the New York Times hailed it as a "fascinating and remarkable book," Born Free has stood alone in its power to move us.
Joy Adamson's story of a lion cub in transition between the captivity in which she is raised and the fearsome wild to which she is returned captures the abilities of both humans and animals to cross the seemingly unbridgeable gap between their radically different worlds. Especially now, at a time when the sanctity of the wild and its inhabitants is increasingly threatened by human development and natural disaster, Adamson's remarkable tale is an idyll, and a model, to return to again and again.
Nature

Naturscapes Backyard Song Birds Recordings of 35 North American song birds, as well as sound tracks of forests with many different singing birds. Nature
Richard Wolfson Einstein s Relativity and the Quantum Revolution Physics may well be the most important subject in the universe, a theoretical realm that ranges from the infinitesimally small to the infinitely vast, its laws governing time, space, and the very forces that created our world. With scientists perhaps on the verge of unlocking the deepest secrets of the universe and with breaking news of discovery after discovery, an understanding of this fascinating subject has never been so important.
Like many people, you may be interested in understanding these major science stories. But you re faced with ever-more-mysterious references to the strong force or the weak one, waves versus particles, Big Bangs, Big Crunches, and the 90 percent of the universe that may still be missing!
It s hard for anyone, regardless of intellect, to grasp concepts like this based on nothing but a news reporter s hurried explanation. That s why it s so exciting to offer this course on Einstein s Relativity and the Quantum Revolution: Modern Physics for Non-Scientists. This brilliant lecture series puts the awe-inspiring and even, at times, mind-bending concepts behind relativity and quantum mechanics within reach of anyone who wants to understand them.
Newton and Copernicus. Time and space. Matter and motion. Einstein and the stunning revelations of relativity. Quantum physics. Quarks. Mesons. Even the future of the universe. Professor Wolfson discusses them all with vigor, clarity, and skill. Best of all, these terms aren t explained to you with numbers or confusing references only a science major would know but with exciting explanations in plain English. With examples that bring each landmark concept out into the light so you can understand it. Even if you ve never taken a physics course in your life!
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Verbal Advantage Ivy League Vocabulary Training Learn an Ivy League vocabulary! 5000 collegiate words, from abase to zephyr, with brief definitions and correct pronunciations.
Expand the size and level of your vocabulary, communicate effectively, and be more persuasive. Impress friends and co-workers, make great first impressions. Score high on standardized tests.
This is an investment in your future, since people judge you and your ideas by the words you use. Words used often influence more than objective content. Even colleges judge using SAT vocabulary. Research over many decades shows that people with the best vocabularies get the best jobs.
The Verbal Advantage program will give you a vocabulary more powerful than that of most executives and professionals, even those with advanced degrees! In fact, when you have mastered all the words in the Verbal Advantage system, you will have more than tripled your normal rate of learning new words. You will have joined an elite segment of society that enjoys the highest level of status and success. Your vocabulary level will then be in the top 5% of all educated adults and you will have gained the winning edge that only top-notch language skills bring.
This comprehensive program is the single best way to expand your vocabulary and sharpen your command of the English language.

EXCUSE ME, but can you BELIEVE this marketing CRAP? Just say that you ll learn a lot of new words, which will expand your understanding when reading and communicating with others. The fact of the matter is that when you use big words around people that don t know them, you may be pegged as a know it all, an elitist, and viewed as someone who wants to look smarter or better than those around them untrustable. Perhaps there should be something said about choosing the audience carefully before spouting off uncommon words. Unusual words spoken to the wrong group of people risks being OSTRICISED from them.
Non-Fiction
Richard Preston Demon in the Freezer If you think what you ve heard on the news about smallpox is scary, you don t want to listen to this audiobook. Preston provides a detailed description of the varieties of smallpox its symptoms, disfigurements, and various paths to death in highly graphic language. James Naughton reads Preston s history of smallpox and other weaponized diseases, such as anthrax and Ebola fever, in clear, serious tones, never cushioning the verbal impact of the terrifying descriptions. Eye-opening and frightening to contemplate, Preston s alarming overview is thorough, particularly his examination of smallpox, a devastating disease once thought to be eradicated from the earth. Naughton s narration will haunt the listener long after the book is over. Non-Fiction
Elizabeth Vandiver Classical Mythology From A for Athena to Z for Zeus, classical mythology is a treasure trove of unforgettable characters and stories. They have inspired countless works of great art, and stimulated interpreters from Aeschylus to Joseph Campbell.
Themes and images from myth the labors of Hercules, the wrath of Achilles, the struggle between Theseus and the Minotaur, the terrible journey to self-knowledge of Oedipus are fascinating to learn about. They help to form the very foundations of our culture, offer food for thought about timeless human questions, and can repay your study with fresh harvests of insight.
Now you can enjoy an illuminating exploration of the great Greek and Roman myths with Classical Mythology, a set of 24 half-hour lectures by Professor Elizabeth Vandiver, who has won high praise for sophisticated and accessible approach to mythology. Her lectures are carefully thought-out, and exceptionally informative.

Dr. Vandiver is an excellent lecturer and a brilliant classics scholar. AudioFile Books

Listed as "Mythology"
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Martin Fido Martin Fido True Crime Collection Included on this CD are most of his published books. I sampled a chapter of The Kennedy s , which is an investigation of who killed J.F. Kennedy; I am bored of the subject matter but couldn t resist llistening to the chapter about Marilyn Monroe s involvement with the Kennedy brothers. I was left feeling quite convinced that the mob killed her.

Included on this CD:

The Mob
The American film industry has much to thank the Mafia for. But the true story of the violent rise of the world's most powerful crime organisation is far more fantastic than even Scorcese and Coppola's acclaimed celluloid depictions.
In these compelling audio tapes leading criminologist and broadcaster Martin Fido takes us on a one way ride into the dark and secret world of mobsters like Al Capone and Lucky Luciano, Bugsy Siegel and Dutch Schultz.
He introduces us to drive-by killings and Sicilian handshakes, hit men and showgirls, the St Valentines Day Massacre and the Night of the Sicilian Vespers. And he dares us to believe that it is anything but a completely true story.

Shady Ladies & Wicked Women
Serial Killers
Guilty or Insane?

Cults that Kill
Screaming headlines over the last thirty years have drawn attention to the icnreasingly violent nature of a number of cults
In these harrowing mp3s leading British criminologist Martin Fido examines this growing phenomenon and recounts the horrific recent events in Tokyo and Oklahoma as well as the mass suicide in Jim Jones' Jonestown the death and destruction at David Koresh's Ranch Apocalypse and the Manson Family's infamous Tate-LaBianca murderes. It is a story that will both fascinate and terrify.

The Kennedys
Son of Sam
Silence of the Lambs, the True Story

A Passion For Killing
Dr. Crippen and seven of this century's most gruesome murderers.
Most murders are straight forward domestic affairs committed in a moment of hate, rage or jealousy and probably regretted ever after. A Passion For Killing however takes us into the truly terrifying world of murder for seeminglt it's own sake, a world where mutilation and torture become an esential part of a murderer's enjoyment of his own despicable trade.
A Passion For Killing introduces you to eight such murderers - Dr Crippen, Seddon, Peace, Wainwright, Smith, Heath, Thornton, Cook, - you may not know all their names but after you have heard their incredible tales you will never forget them...

The Krays
A fascinating and revealing insight into the workings of the Krays and the criminal underworld of the 1960s.

Manson Murders
Led by Charles Manson, an orphaned 5ft 2in petty criminal turned messiah-like guru, the Manson family of hippy drop-outs randomly went about murdering rich people in the most revolting ways imaginable. The Manson Murders tells the true and compelling story of the depraved Manson and his cohorts.

10 Rillington Place
The Horrendous story of Christie & Evans

Jack the Ripper
The truth about Jack the Ripper has been available since 1987. In 1988, a panel of experts from Scotland Yard, the FBI and the Milton Helpern Institute of Forensic Sciences unanimously agreed that of all the so-called Ripperologists who had come forward claiming to have identified the Ripper, only Martin Fido should be taken seriously.

Non-Fiction

Pimsleur Pimsleur Spanish 1, 2, & 3 Anyone can learn a foreign language, and learn it well with the right teaching system. The Pimsleur Method, which utilizes your innate language-learning skills through listening and speaking instead of reading textbooks, is that system. The Pimsleur Language Program draws on years of research. Using the open-ended questioning technique, the program provides not only a practical vocabulary and effective conversational skills, but also the means to continually enhance your language abilities.
With Pimsleur Language Programs you don t just study a language, you learn it the same way you mastered English! And because the technique relies on interactive spoken language training, the Pimsleur Language Programs are totally audio no book is needed!
The Pimsleur programs provide a method of self-practice with an expert teacher and native speakers in lessons specially designed to work with the way the mind naturally acquires language information. The various components of language vocabulary, pronunciation and grammar are all learned together without rote memorization and drills. Using a unique method of memory recall developed by renowned linguist, Dr. Paul Pimsleur, the programs teach listeners to combine words and phrases to express themselves the way native speakers do. By listening and responding to thirty minute recorded lessons, students easily and effectively achieve spoken proficiency.
No other language program or school is as quick, convenient, and effective as the Pimsleur Language Programs.
Non-Fiction
Martin Fido Hell Hath No Fury: Women Who Kill
I guess it's masochistic male chauvinism that makes the murderess seem more terrible than the murderer. The peculiar erotic fear that Kipling pinned down in writing, 'The female of the species is more deadly than the male', and melodramatised still more strongly in his poem The Vampire - ('A rag and a bone and a hank of hair'.) The actress Theda Bara (an anagram of 'Arab Death') was glamourously frightening in silent movies. Today, all I can see in her stills is a very innocent little girl with heavily blackened eyelids!
And the dreadful murderesses taking fearful revenge on the men who done 'em wrong may likewise turn out to be merely pathetic. Ruth Ellis -not really striking until her courage after the arrest; Mrs Barney, a pampered lush; Madame Fahmy, an adventuress who miscalculated the advantages of marrying into Islam.
The great Victorians tend to expose the sensational advantages of a really rigid sexual code to be broken. Though Mrs Maybrick may well have been innocent; Mrs Bartlett's lover was a comically hypocritical Methodist minister; Mrs Herman, was a poor old prostitute.
Madeline Smith rises above these as a truly bad and sexy woman, paving the way for the anti-heroines of out own time, Kim Newell, Pamela Smart & Susan Barber.
Non-Fiction
James McManus Positively Fifth Street The World Series of Poker in Las Vegas draws all kinds of people. In 2000, it attracted novelist/poet/amateur poker player James McManus. There to write a magazine article, he risked his advance for a seat at The Table. The resulting book his first nonfiction work is an engaging portrait of the tournament from the inside. It s made all the more effective by the author s own reading. His voice has a touch of weariness that helps color passages about the almost endless hours at the poker table. Because McManus is a novelist, he has a strong sense of pacing. And because he is a poet, he is adept at effective word choice. Both are especially effective in the audio version of his book. Non-Fiction
Michel Thomas Speak Spanish with Michael Thomas He s known as the world s greatest language teacher. No books. No writing. No drills. And nothing to memorize ever! With his unique program, Michel Thomas has taught celebrities, corporate leaders, and schoolchildren with immediate and amazing results. Listeners learn in real time fully understanding as they go along, turning words into short sentences, and then building them into longer, more complex sentences, until they are conversing in Spanish. Michel will have listeners formulating their own thoughts and sentences from the very beginning, even if they have never succeeded in learning a language before. Non-Fiction
Fritz Springmeier Bloodlines of the Illuminati Who really controls world events from behind-the-scene? Years of extensive research and investigation have gone into this massively documented work. Fritz Springmeier discloses facts and truths about the top Illuminati dynasties, the roles these bloodlines have played and are now wielding in human history, with family names such as Astor, DuPont, Kennedy, Onassis, Rockefeller, Rothschild, Russell, Van Duyn, and Krupp. You ll also learn of the secretive, Chinese Li family, which operates with impunity in the U.S.A. and around the world. Along the way you ll find out why President John F. Kennedy and actress Grace Kelly were killed; who created the United Nations; who controls the two major U.S. political parties; how the Rothschilds invented and control modern-day Israel; who secretly founded false religions such as the Jehovah s Witnesses; and much, much more. A literal encyclopedia of rare, unbelievable information. Non-Fiction
Mark Kurlansky Cod: A Biography A delightful romp through history with all its economic forces laid bare, Cod is the biography of a single species of fish, but it may as well be a world history with this humble fish as its recurring main character. Cod, it turns out, is the reason Europeans set sail across the Atlantic, and it is the only reason they could. What did the Vikings eat in icy Greenland and on the five expeditions to America recorded in the Icelandic sagas? Cod frozen and dried in the frosty air, then broken into pieces and eaten like hardtack. What was the staple of the medieval diet? Cod again, sold salted by the Basques, an enigmatic people with a mysterious, unlimited supply of cod. As we make our way through the centuries of cod history, we also find a delicious legacy of recipes, and the tragic story of environmental failure, of depleted fishing stocks where once their numbers were the fate of the universe. Here for scientist and layperson alike, for philosopher, science-fiction reader, biologist, and computer expert is a startlingly complete and rational synthesis of disciplines, and a new, optimistic message about existence. Non-Fiction
Howard Zinn People's History of the United States, A
Highlights of the 20th Century
For much of his life, Zinn has been chronicling American history from the bottom up, throwing out the official version taught in schools with its emphasis on great men in high places to focus on the street, the home, and the workplace.
Known for its lively, clear prose as well as its scholarly research, this book is the only volume to tell America s story from the point of view of and in the words of its women, factory workers, African-Americans, Native Americans, working poor, and immigrant laborers. Here we learn that many of our country s greatest battles labor laws, women s rights, racial equality were carried out at the grassroots level, against steel-willed resistance. This edition features insightful analysis of some of the most important events in this country in the past 100 years.
Matt Damon s reading captures the spirit of the text, and has an edge to it. He expresses the author s outrage regarding the exploitation of certain groups in American history. He also communicates Zinn s admiration for the courage and determination demonstrated by protest leaders. While Damon reads the main text, Zinn reads the introduction and conclusion.
Non-Fiction
Robert Kurson Shadow Divers This superlative journalistic narrative tells of John Chatterton and Rich Kohler, two deep-sea wreck divers who in 1991 dove to a mysterious wreck lying at the perilous depth of 230 feet, off the coast of New Jersey. Both had a philosophy of excelling and pushing themselves to the limit; both needed all their philosophy and fitness to proceed once they had identified the wreck as a WWII U-boat. As Kurson, a writer for Esquire, narrates in this debut, the two divers next undertook a seven-year search for the U-boat s identity inside the wreck, in a multitude of archives and in a host of human memories. Along the way, Chatterton s diving cost him a marriage, and Kohler s love for his German heritage helped turn him into a serious U-boat scholar. The two lost three of their diving companions on the wreck and their mentor to alcoholism. The successful completion of their quest fills in a gap in WWII history. Chatterton and Kohler s success satisfied them and a diminishing handful of U-boat survivors. While Kurson doesn t stint on technical detail, lovers of any sort of adventure tale will certainly absorb the author s excellent characterizations, and particularly his balance in describing the combat arm of the Third Reich. Non-Fiction
Michael Moore Adventures in a TV Nation Imagine waking up the CEO of a car alarm company with the sound of a dozen car alarms going off outside his home hiring a chorus line to sing songs of tolerance to the KKK
Daring to turn this country on its ear with outrageous, irreverent stunts, Moore went in search of his own brand of gentle justice. He recounts some of the show s most memorable episodes, including the CEO Challenge sure they can run huge corporations, but can the CEO of Phillip Morris roll a cigarette; can the Chairman of Citibank use an ATM? Moore and Company set out to see if your average CEO really knows his product.
Always willing to question authority, confront ignorance, and lampoon societal mores, the TV Nation team will have you in stitches with these recounted stories.
Non-Fiction
Brian Greene Fabric of the Cosmos Nobody explains cutting-edge physics to the lay reader better than Brian Greene. This recording introduces superstring theory, an attempt to solve one of science s most perplexing problems: how to reconcile general relativity and quantum mechanics. Not only is Greene a superb stylist who introduces these concepts without jargon or mathematics, he also has a grab bag of imaginative analogies for ideas that are impossible to visualize-such as the extra spatial dimensions that superstring theory requires.
Erik Davies may not be a physicist, but he s entirely comfortable with the material, and he delivers it at just the right pace. Most importantly, he feeds on Greene s enthusiasm and passes it along to the listener.
Non-Fiction
Stephen Hawking Black Holes This lecture, Black Holes, is part of a compilation of speeches and essays by Hawking. He covers familiar ground black holes and the big bang, for example with additional attention to autobiographical details, imaginary time and God. Narrator Prebble has the urbanity and British accent one might expect from Hawking if he were without disability. The narrator s voice projects a wry humor, in line with Hawking s mild witticisms and side comments, and the overall feeling is most authentic. Non-Fiction
Eric Schlosser Fast Food Nation Fast food has hastened the malling of our landscape, widened the chasm between rich and poor, fueled an epidemic of obesity, and propelled American cultural imperialism abroad. That's a lengthy list of charges, but here Eric Schlosser makes them stick with an artful mix of first-rate reportage and careful reasoning. Schlosser's myth-shattering survey stretches from California's subdivisions where the business was born to the industrial corridor along the New Jersey Turnpike where many fast food's flavors are concocted. Along the way, he unearths a trove of fascinating, unsettling truths. Non-Fiction
The Teaching Company History of Science, The For well over 2,000 years, much of our fundamental "desire to know" has focused on what we now call science. And our profound commitment to science and technology now stands as probably the most powerful influence on human culture.

This course presents a survey of the history of science in the Western world from the ancient Babylonians through the discoveries of Isaac Newton. It will enhance your understanding of what science is; how, why, and by whom it has been developed; and how our modern conception of science differs from earlier ideas.

Throughout these lectures, each rich in historical context, science is revealed as a dynamic, evolving entity, tightly connected to the needs and commitments of those who pursue it.
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The Teaching Company Search For Life in Space, The Is it possible that somewhere in the myriad starfields of the universe, other intelligences as sophisticated as our own exist?

For thousands of years, humankind could only wonder. But science and technology now offer us the opportunity to conduct a search for cosmic company. For the first time, we can actually hope to answer questions previous generations could only ask.

This course examines questions such as:

* In a universe so vast, can we really be alone?
* Is the life we have often thought of as a miracle simply a statistic?
* If others are out there, are they also thinking about us?
* Will we encounter them someday?
* What will it mean if and when we do?
Non-Fiction
Kenneth/Robert Blanchard/Lorber Putting the One-Minute Manager To Work With more than two million hardcover copies in print, The One Minute Manager is one of the most successful management audio programs ever published. Now, the bestselling team of Blanchard and Lorber bring you the ever-timely strategies of One Minute Management in Putting the One Minute Manager to Work -- an indispensable success tool for any manager striving to get the most from his or her people. Relied on by the largest corporations in America for their ability to motivate emploees at every level, the strategies of One Minute Management can:

* Improve job satisfaction among emploees by giving them the well-defined roles
* Build morale by teaching how and when to give one minute praising and reprimands
* Increase profits by setting goals that are clear, agreed upon and have measurable results
* Boost productivity with the five-step system that encourages teamwork among managers and their emploees
* Train winners instead of workers with innovative techniques for encouraging top performance
Non-Fiction
Michael Palin Around the World in 80 Days In the autumn of 1988 Michael Palin set out from the Reform Club with an ambitious plan: to cicumnavigate the world, following the route taken by Jules Verne's fictional hero Phileas Fogg 115 years earlier.

The rules were simple. He had to make the journey in eighty days using only forms of transport that would have been available to Fogg. And so, complete with visas, running shoes, an inflatable globe and sound advice from Alan Whicker, Michael Palin began his incredible journey.

Crossing seventeen borders and meeting innumerable challenges, he saw Venice from the back of a rubbish barge, rode around the Pyramids on a camel called Michael and was attacked by a cockatoo in Hong Kong amongst many adventures.

Phileas Fogg brought back a Princess from his travels. Michael Palin brought back a fascinating and frequently humorous account of the journey of a lifetime.

This new issue is written and read by Michael Palin, with music from the series.
Non-Fiction
The Teaching Company Joy of Thinking, The Discover mathematics as an artistic and creative realm that contains some of the greatest ideas of human history. This course explores infinity, the fourth dimension, probability, chaos, fractals, and other fantastic themes.

Is it worth Bill Gates s time to pick up a $100 bill if he sees it on the sidewalk? Amidst the frenzied screaming from the audience on television s Let s Make a Deal®, is there sound advice to give the contestant trying to decide whether to switch his choice to Door Number 2? How can we see the fourth dimension in a Salvador Dali painting?

These certainly aren t the kinds of questions you would normally ask in typical lectures about mathematics. But then again, this isn t an ordinary math course.
Non-Fiction
The Modern Scholar Chronicles of Narnia Lecture: Large Scale Structure Discusses how one goes about creating a long series of books.

Listed as Lewis-Large Scale Structure
Non-Fiction
Charles Stella Blue Lightning The skies over North Vietnam become a contest between two ace pilots: Lt. Jim Campbell, who is determined to rescue his best friend from an enemy POW camp at any cost, and Maj. Quac To Quang, whom the Americans call the Gray Ghost. Non-Fiction
Randall McCutcheon Communication Matters I: He Said She Said When I wrote You Just Don't Understand: Women and Men in Conversation I didn t know that what everyone would respond to most strongly is the question, Why don t men like to stop and ask for directions? (Before the book was published, no one talked about this gender difference; as a result of the book, it is now the ubiquitous subject of jokes, cartoons, skits, greeting cards, and casual conversations.) The answer to this question will be revealed in the lectures that follow, as it captures the essence of what this course will address: the patterns that tend to distinguish how men and women use language in their everyday lives, and the consequences of these differences (as well as similarities) for conversations and relationships between women and men.
My goal in this series, in addition to illuminating the patterns of women s and men s uses of language, is to enhance understanding of how language works in everyday life. I am told by students who have taken my courses that this understanding helps them in their everyday lives, as every aspect of our lives involves talking to people of the other sex in our personal relationships, our families, at work, and in trying to get just about anything done.
My research on cross-gender communication grew out of my linguistic research on how people use language in conversation. I was invited to take part in a research project organized by a psychologist, Bruce Dorval, that was funded by the Social Science Research Council. We examined videotapes of children talking to their best friends across a range of ages. In looking at Dorval s videotapes, I noticed a pattern of physical orientation: At every age, girls and women sat face to face and looked directly at each other when they talked, whereas boys and men sat at angles, or parallel, and looked around the room. Seeing this pattern span such a range of ages is what prompted me to think of cross-gender communication as cross-cultural.

* Throughout this course, I will be developing this metaphor, drawing on my own original research as well as research by others in the fields of linguistics, anthropology, sociology, education, and psychology. Some of the topics I will explore in these lectures include: Who talks more, men or women?
* Who interrupts more, women or men?
* What do women and men tend to talk about?
* Who is more indirect in saying what we mean?
* Why would anyone be indirect in saying what we mean?
* Where do these differences come from; how early do they start?

In answering all these and many other questions, I will describe and exemplify patterns in the ways women and men tend to use language in our everyday lives. I ll trace these patterns to the way boys and girls use language growing up, and explore, in some detail, the process by which humans express meaning, accomplish tasks, and form and manage relationships through language.
Non-Fiction
Temple Grandin Animals in Translation Grandin is well known as an autistic person who works with animals, redefining both what is possible for autistics and the way we look at how animals think. With coauthor Johnson, trustee of an autism research group and mother of autistic sons, Grandin explores the world of animal thought and compares it with both how typical humans and autistic humans think. Grandin began to realize during her years of education that animals and autistics process the world in the same way: as discrete pictures, sounds, and smells--in other words, they do not convert experiences into abstract thought or language. In telling her story, and then in discussing different aspects of animal behavior and perception, Grandin illustrates her arguments with descriptions from her own research, the research of other animal behaviorists and psychologists, and anecdotal stories about animal behavior. This fascinating book will teach readers to see as animals see, to be a little more visual and a little less verbal, and, as a unique analysis of animal behavior, it belongs in all libraries. Non-Fiction
Mary Roach Stiff, The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers In case you were wondering, some human cadavers do lead active lives after death. For centuries, many have served medicine, magicians, and cannibals in various noble and grossly ignoble ways. Reader Shelly Frasier captures the trenchant wit of Roach's text, which at times is hilariously funny and always appropriately sardonic. Whether we're attending a gruesome autopsy or wandering down a memory lane of corpses, we find ghastly factoids and the people responsible for them around every corner. Not recommended for dinnertime listening, but a must for the curious living, who will find a jocular companion in narrator Frasier Non-Fiction
Tsutomu Shimomura Takedown The true story of how Kevin Mitnick was snagged by computer security expert Tsutomu Shimomura. As gripping as a great mystery novel -- but true -- and as important as any book on computer security -- but eminently readable by anyone. Non-Fiction
George Johnson In the Palaces of Memory Even as you read these words, a tiny portion of your brain is physically changing. New connections are being sprouted -- a circuit that will create a stab of recognition if you encounter the words again. That is one of the theories of memory presented in this intriguing and splendidly readable book, which distills three researchers' inquiries into the processes that enable us to recognize a face that has aged ten years or remember a melody for decades. Ranging from experiments performed on the "wetware" of the brain to attempts to re-create human cognition in computers, In the Palaces of Memory is science writing at its most exciting. Non-Fiction
Daniel/Cathi Jones, Hanauer Bastard on the Couch, Bitch in the House Turns out that The Bitch In the House was only half the story. Daniel Jones, husband of Cathi Hanauer, has rallied the men for the "literary equivalent of The Full Monty," in which a group of thoughtful, passionate, and often hilarious men lay it bare when it comes to their wives and girlfriends, their hopes and fears. Many of these husbands and fathers contemplate aspects of their personal lives they've never before revealed, kicking open the door on their marriages and sex lives, their fathering and domestic conflicts, their most intimate relationships and situations.

Despite more power and choices than ever before, women are still angry. In this collection, women speak boldly and passionately about choices they've made (about sex, children, love, and work) and explore what's working and what is not. As celebratory as they are critical, these brilliant essays reflect the truth about life.

Powerful, heartfelt and irreverent, this is a bold, unprecedented glimpse into the glaring truths of modern relationships.
Non-Fiction
Mel Levine Mind at a Time, A In humane and colloquial language, Dr. Levine explains that intelligence is more complex and broad than what is measured by psychological tests. He describes a set of life skills that are neurologically determined and that people take for granted, such as paying attention, coordinating physical space, and organizing words in a thematic context. When not recognized as deficits, handicaps in these skills can be seen as lazy or oppositional. While the recording has both extraneous sounds and clicking voice sounds, the audio is still a wonderful showcase for the gentle, lucid writing of this innovative psychiatrist/teacher. Non-Fiction

TMS Discovering the Philosopher in You Everyone has their own inner philosopher a voice within that asks, oh so insistently, philosophical questions. Everyone wants to know what the ultimate nature of the world is, what the self is, whether we have free will, how our minds relate to our bodies, whether we can really know anything, where ethical truth comes from, what the meaning of life is, and whether or not there is a God. This inner philosopher is related to the inner child, since the child too is prone to asking philosophical questions. But it is much better to have a disciplined guide through philosophy than simply to try to do all the thinking by yourself.
Colin McGinn will be acting as your guide. He covers all the main problems of philosophy, from logic to ethics, from the human mind to God, introducing you to how philosophers think and the theories they have come up with. The first four lectures focus on foundational questions that need to be clarified before we engage upon more applied discussions. We need to know what knowledge is, what truth is, and what logical reasoning is before we start discussing ethics, the mind, free will and God. So let s start with the basics, then break into a run only when we have learned how to walk.
Non-Fiction

TMS Creating Humans Human reproduction is about life and its perpetuation. If there is anything that we have to take seriously from the moral point of view, then surely that is human life. We value life because it is all that we have which is our own. We construct elaborate systems of belief about it; we guard it through rules we have devised for it; it is everything to us. How we begin human life, how we bring it into existence is a matter of the most profound importance.
In this course, we will discuss the various moral aspects of human reproduction from methods of conception to methods of ending a pregnancy. We will discuss the moral, cultural, legal, and political influences on reproduction as well as the scientific advances in reproductive technology.
Hopefully at the end of this course we will not have arrived at answers to the various questions raised, but will have provided a base for us to consider the issues at hand and a desire to pursue more study in the important aspects of creating humans.
Non-Fiction

TMS Darwin, Darwinism, and The Modern World The history of Western civilization can be divided neatly into pre-Darwinian and post-Darwinian periods. Darwin s 1859 treatise, On the Origin of Species, was not the first work to propose that organisms had descended from other, earlier organisms and the mechanism of evolution it proposed remained controversial for years. Nevertheless, no biologist after 1859 could ignore Darwin s theories and few areas of thought and culture remained immune to their influence.
Darwinism was attacked, defended, debated, modified, ridiculed, championed, interpreted, and used not only by biologists but also by philosophers, priests, sociologists, warmongers, cartoonists, robber-barons, psychologists, novelists, and politicians of arious stripes.
This course will introduce the major themes of Darwin s works and explore their diverse, often contradictory impacts on science and society from 1859 to the present.
Non-Fiction

TMS Global Warming The issue of global warming has captured the attention of people worldwide over the past 20 years. Scientists studying the effects of human activities on the global environment today believe we are changing the climate of the planet on a global basis. We are warming the Earth, but are we risking the health of our planet? What are the negative consequences of these actions?
This course will discuss the complex interdependent systems that regulate the environment of Earth. Also, this course offers listeners a comprehensive overview of the essential environmental issues of our time.
Some of the issues discussed include: air pollution, acid rain, depletion of the stratospheric ozone, destruction of tropical forests, and impending climate changes. We will learn how greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O) and industrial chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) have all played a significant role in what is happening to our world.
At the end of this course, listeners will better understand the overwhelming impact of industrial pollutants on the planet.
This course will introduce you to the complex systems that regulate the environment of earth and lead you to an understanding of the essential environmental issues of our time.

* Learn about the evolution of life on our planet and the global effects of human existence.
* Professor McElroy carefully leads the listener through the history of modern man s interaction with the planet, from the industrial revolution to the scientific discoveries that sparked the concern over global warming.
* In-depth examination of the facts behind the theory of global warming that will appeal to scientists and laymen alike.
* How do the Jet Stream, Ocean Gyres and volcanoes play critical roles in changing world weather patterns and climates?
* Gain a better understanding of the science of weather and temperatures.
Non-Fiction

TMS Masters of Enterprise, The The formal creation of the United States involved the explicit guarantee of individual and market freedoms, both of which are at the core of American economic philosophy. In this fascinating set of lectures, award-winning historian H.W. Brands shows how these core principles set the stage for some of the nation's most gifted financial visionaries and traces the historical arc of the American businessperson, from John Jacob Astor to Bill Gates.
An expert chronicler of the American experience, H.W. Brands is Distinguished Professor of History at Texas A&M University. Among other topics, he has written books about the California gold rush, America in the 1890s, President Woodrow Wilson, and the Cold War. His biographies of Teddy Roosevelt, T.R.: The Last Romantic, and Benjamin Franklin, The First American: The Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin (a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize), both won widespread critical acclaim and were best-sellers.
Non-Fiction

TTC Introduction to Archeology This course explains key archaeological concepts and practices and illustrates how archaeologists reconstruct the past, concentrating especially on the prehistoric past (human societies without writing or widespread written records).

Part meticulous empirical science and part inspired detective work, archaeology seeks answers about the past by using techniques and insights from a wealth of other fields, including geology, anthropology, history, physics, art history, and even philosophy along with long hours in the field studying the physical traces that our forebears have left behind.

Utilizing decades of teaching and field experience as well as a special scholarly interest in prehistoric Aegean sites on Cyprus and Crete, Dr. McCarter shares with you her expertise and her love for finding "windows into the past."
Non-Fiction

TTC Biological Anthropology: An Evolutionary Perspective Biological anthropology is the study of the evolution, genetics, anatomy, and modern variation within the human species.

The goal of this course is a comprehensive exploration of the dynamic interplay between biology and culture that shaped human prehistory. In exploring the sweep of human evolution from 6 million to 30,000 years ago, you learn how that interplay continues to shape our lives today.

Subjects discussed include natural selection, the development of hominids, prehistoric gender roles, the origins of language, the biology of race, and a consideration of modern human life from an evolutionary perspective.

Listed under TTC-Introduction to Anthropology
Non-Fiction

TTC Great Ideas of Psychology, The Why do some survivors of hydrocephaly function normally despite having lost as much as two-fifths of their brain mass?

How did a scientist s temporary blindness lead to pioneering research in sensory perception?

What happened when a Stanford psychologist and his students decided to study being sane in insane places by getting themselves committed to a mental institution?

This course answers these questions and many others in examining the foundations, methods, major findings, and dominant perspectives in psychology, as well as controversial issues arising from or illuminated by psychology.
The course covers traditional psychologists such as Freud, Skinner, Jung, Watson, Piaget, and Erikson, as well as philosophers and other thinkers who have had an impact on the field.
Non-Fiction
Yann Marte Life of Pi Drawing parallels between zoology and theology, Martel s novel is by turns amusing, intellectually astute, and poignant. This adventure will cause readers to reexamine beliefs of all kinds.
Meet Pi Patel, a young man on the cusp of adulthood when fate steps in and hastens his lessons in maturity. En route with his family from their home in India to Canada, their cargo ship sinks, and Pi finds himself adrift in a lifeboat alone, save for a few surviving animals, some of the very same animals Pi s zookeeper father warned him would tear him to pieces if they got a chance. But Pi s seafaring journey is about much more than a struggle for survival. It becomes a test of everything he s learned about both man and beast, their creator, and the nature of truth itself.
Philosophy
William Irwin Matrix & Philosophy, The Welcome to the Desert of the Real

The Matrix conveys the horror of a false world made of nothing but perceptions. Based on the premise that reality is a dream controlled by malevolent forces, it is one of the most overtly philosophical movies ever to come out of Hollywood. These thought-provoking essays by the same team of young philosophers who created The Simpsons and Philosophy discuss different facets of the primary philosophical puzzle of The Matrix: Can we be sure the world is really there, and if not, what should we do about it? Other chapters address issues of religion, lifestyle, pop culture, the Zeitgeist, the nature of mind and matter, and the reality of fiction.
Philosophy
Robert Pirsig Zen, The Art of Motorcycle Maintainance The extraordinary story of a man s quest for truth. It will change the way you think and feel about your life.
It is both the autobiography of a troubled man who motorcycled across the country with his 11-year-old son and a harrowing look at insanity and the terrors of the mind as well.
Although more than twenty years have passed since the book s original publication, Pirsig s philosophies on technology and science, nature and love still offer much to this generation. The narrator s delightful performance conveys the author s deep awareness and self-discovery. Vivid imagery and contemplative delivery help ease the listener into Pirsig s lesson: we should pay less attention to what things mean, and more attention to what they are.

Profoundly important full of insights into our most perplexing contemporary dilemmas It is intellectual entertainment of the highest order. The New York Times

Listed incorrectly under Irsig
Philosophy
Sean Murphy One Bird, One Stone Zen is famous for its delightfully perplexing stories, and now Murphy has taken the tales of American Zen and woven them into this venerable tradition. Murphy, a Zen student and accomplished writer, immersed himself in the history of American Zen, conducting numerous personal interviews and distilling from them 108 pithy stories of foreign and domestic masters in America. He adds what we wish were there for the old Zen stories: the history behind the tales. Full of humor, history, and tantalizing takes on reality, this book stands as a genuine Zen classic.
Well-researched...lively...Highly recommended. NY Times
Philosophy
Richard Bach Jonathan Livingston Seagull "Most gulls don t bother to learn more than the simplest facts of flight how to get from shore to food and back again, writes author Richard Bach in this allegory about a unique bird named Jonathan Livingston Seagull. For most gulls it is not flying that matters, but eating. For this gull, though, it was not eating that mattered, but flight.
Flight is indeed the metaphor that makes the story soar. Ultimately this is a fable about the importance of seeking a higher purpose in life, even if your flock, tribe, or neighborhood finds your ambition threatening. By not compromising his higher vision, Jonathan gets the ultimate payoff: transcendence. Ultimately, he learns the meaning of love and kindness. This is a spirituality classic, and an especially engaging parable for all ages.

Richard Bach with this book does two things. He gives me Flight. He makes me Young. For both I am deeply grateful.
Ray Bradbury

Philosophy
Eckhart Tolle Even the Sun Will Die When Eckhart Tolle agreed to be interviewed on September 11, 2001, he could not foresee the historic nature of this date or the suffering that would follow. As the day s events unfolded, in real time, he responded with a calm and clear voice, helping to make sense out of the fear and chaos that will forever define this date.
Tolle also comments on his own awakening, and what he sees as the next step in human evolution. From insights into the way out of suffering, to evidence that a new consciousness is already rising, this interview confirms Eckhart Tolle s place among the most important and accessible spiritual teachers of our time.
Philosophy

TTC Philosophy of Mind No information. May be a renamed title Philosophy
Danielle Steele Ghost, The Two love stories are intertwined in The Ghost. In the present are Charles, an architect with a love of history, and Francesca, a shy art historian. Both have been emotionally wounded by their spouses and are seeking solace. Their lives are influenced by the ghost of Sarah Ferguson, who escaped an abusive husband in England in 1789 and met her heart s love in New England. Joe Grifasi brings each character to life with a quiet voice and steady reading. His voice disappears into the background as Charlie reads Sarah s diaries and the past comes alive. Although the ghost never speaks in her own voice, her diaries and presence, portrayed in gentle words, heal Charlie and Francesca. Romance
Audrey Niffnegger Time Travelers' Wife, The Although the title suggests that this is science fiction, Niffenegger's charming, emotionally charged novel is much more a love story. Told alternately from the viewpoints of time traveler Henry and his wife, Clare, it's highly enjoyable on audio. Readers Christopher Burns and Maggi-Meg Reed blend their respective chapters seamlessly. Each reader characterizes all roles within a chapter, and the depictions mesh beautifully. Both narrators characterize Korean friend Kimmy in a charmingly amusing voice and lend a light mood to the couple's daughter, Alba. Burns portrays the emotional chaos of Henry's life so genuinely as to cast the listener directly into his pain and joy. The abridged recording leaves one longing for more. 2004 Audie Award Finalist Romance
Katie Fforde Wild Designs At 38, Althea, a single mom with three nearly grown children, has suddenly become unemployed. An avid English gardener, Althea takes a gamble and attempts to become a professional. Her journey is riddled with obstacles, including a snobby younger sister, a selfish ex-husband, and a dwindling bank account. Vanessa Benjamin is a wonderful narrator; her Althea is a struggling working mom with a grand sense of humor. Benjamin's interpretation of Patrick Donahugh cleverly portrays a witty gentleman desperately trying to win Althea's heart. Overall, Benjamin presents a full cast of British characters with forethought and color. Romance
Victoria Holt Night of the Seventh Moon Written in 1972, and narrated lyrically here by Virginia Leishman, this book seems typical of that age, when girls were still brought up on the saccharinized fairy tales "Sleeping Beauty" and "Cinderella." From the moment Helena is rescued from the forest mists by a young horseman, her heart is held captive by this mysterious young man. In any but a gifted author's hand this tale could seem trite and contrived. However, Holt creates elaborate characters and sets the narrative in the fabled and romantic Black Forest of the Austro-Hungarian Empire at the time of the Napoleonic Wars. The reader will soon be caught up in the intrigues that keep Helena from living the uncomplicated life of a bookseller's daughter. A grand example of the gothic romance. Highly recommended. Romance
Catherine Cookson Ruthless Need, A A handful of simple characters touched by tragedy are the protagonists of this moving WWII romance by the ever-popular Cookson, who died in 1998; this is the fourth of her books to be published posthumously in the U.S. by Center Point. On leave from the army in 1937, Sgt.-Maj. Geoff Fulton comes to the rescue of 14-year-old waif Lizzie Gillespie, quashing her stepmother's scheme to make a whore of her. Geoff, whose father manages a country estate belonging to the Bradford-Brown family in County Durham, arranges for Lizzie to work in the Fulton household, where his mother takes her into the family, teaching her skills and helping her to get an education. Lizzie makes rapid progress, growing into a beautiful and accomplished young woman, and it isn't long before Andrew Bradford-Brown, heir to the estate, notices her and pledges to marry her against his parents wishes. When tragedy prevents him from keeping his promise and leaves Lizzie in difficulties, she turns to Geoff, who, injured in battle, has returned home. Geoff lets her believe he will marry her, but meanwhile takes up with Janis, Andrew's sister and Geoff's first lover, who has just divorced her horribly battle-scarred husband, Richard. Through the tender, growing relationship between Richard and Lizzie, Cookson uses the emotional fallout from war to illustrate how sacrifice and challenge bring out the best and worst in people. In this beautifully unaffected story of triumph over hardship, the author shows that character and integrity cut across all social barriers. Romance
William Gibson Neuromancer Here is the novel that started it all, launching the cyberpunk generation. Couched in the guise of an action-adventure tale, Gibson s landmark novel remains a cutting-edge vision of man and machine in the twenty-first century. Narrated by the author, this story is complex and brilliant; at times it s almost hallucinatory in its insistence, passion and unrelenting irony. His narration is enhanced by a richly orchestrated score and subtly chosen effects, which bring this futuristic tapestry to life.
Set against the vast sea of some future cyberspace, Neuromancer s vision is persuasive, making this a compelling journey for those who want an Orwellian look into our future by a true visionary. An Audiofile Earphones Award winner.
Sci-Fi Cyberpunk
Neal Stephenson Snow Crash Only once in a great while does a writer come along who defies comparison a writer so original he redefines the way we look at the world. Neal Stephenson is such a writer and Snow Crash is such a novel, weaving virtual reality, Sumerian myth, and just about everything in between with a cool, hip cybersensibility to bring us the gigathriller of the information age.
In reality, Hiro Protagonist delivers pizza for Uncle Enzo's CosaNostra Pizza Inc., but in the Metaverse he's a warrior prince. Plunging headlong into the enigma of a new computer virus that's striking down hackers everywhere, he races along the neon-lit streets on a search-and-destroy mission for the shadowy virtual villain threatening to bring about Infocalypse. Snow Crash is a mind-altering romp through a future America so bizarre, so outrageous...you'll recognize it immediately.
Sci-Fi Cyberpunk
William Gibson Virtual Light 2005: Welcome to NoCal and SoCal, the uneasy sister-states of what used to be California. Here the millenium has come and gone, leaving in its wake only stunned survivors. In Los Angeles, Berry Rydell is a former armed-response rentacop now working for a bounty hunter. Chevette Washington is a bicycle messenger turned pickpocket who impulsively snatches a pair of innocent-looking sunglasses. But these are no ordinary shades. What you can see through these high-tech specs can make you rich or get you killed. Now Berry and Chevette are on the run, zeroing in on the digitalized heart of DatAmerica, where pure information is the greatest high. And a mind can be a terrible thing to crash...

Listed as "Virtual Light"
Sci-Fi Cyberpunk
William Gibson Burning Chrome Ten brilliant, streetwise, high-resolution stories from the man who coined the word cyberspace. Gibson's vision has become a touchstone in the emerging order of the 21st Century, from the computer-enhanced hustlers of Johnny Mnemonic to the technofetishist blues of Burning Chrome. With their vividly human characters and their remorseless, hot-wired futures, these stories are simultaneously science fiction at its sharpest and instantly recognizable Polaroids of the postmodern condition. Sci-Fi Cyberpunk
Richard Morgan Altered Carbon In the twenty-fifth century, humankind has spread throughout the galaxy, monitored by the watchful eye of the U.N. While divisions in race, religion, and class still exist, advances in technology have redefined life itself. Now, assuming one can afford the expensive procedure, a person s consciousness can be stored in a cortical stack at the base of the brain and easily downloaded into a new body (or sleeve ) making death nothing more than a minor blip on a screen.
Ex-U.N. envoy Takeshi Kovacs has been killed before, but his last death was particularly painful. Dispatched one hundred eighty light-years from home, re-sleeved into a body in Bay City (formerly San Francisco, now with a rusted, dilapidated Golden Gate Bridge), Kovacs is thrown into the dark heart of a shady, far-reaching conspiracy that is vicious even by the standards of a society that treats existence as something that can be bought and sold. For Kovacs, the shell that blew a hole in his chest was only the beginning. . . .
Sci-Fi Cyberpunk
Richard Morgan Broken Angels Thirty years after the events of Altered, Takeshi Kovacs is serving as a mercenary in a messy, Protectorate-sponsored war. Gambling on a long shot, he joins a covert team aiming to claim the most important archaeological find since the Martian star maps. Of course, there are complications, beginning with funding and extending to corporate betrayal, which make actually getting to the site rather difficult. When the team gets to it--a Martian ship poisonous with radioactive fallout from a city destroyed during the war--they have only one working beacon with which to stake the claim. Once aboard, they discover that an ancient battle between the Martians and some unknown enemy is still playing out in empty space. Kovacs gets the team out with some fast action, though, and they have only to explain what happened, which is more difficult than it sounds, because they have obtained an entirely new slant on Martian civilization. A lively follow-up to an energetic debut, with a still refreshingly cynical hero. Sci-Fi Cyberpunk
Grant Naylor Red Dwarf, Book One
Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers
The first lesson Lister learned about space travel was you should never try it. But he didn t have a choice. All he remembered was going on a birthday celebration pub crawl through London. When he came to his senses again, he was living in a locker on one of Saturn s moons.
So he did the only thing he could. Amazed to discover they would actually hire him, he joined the Space Corps and found himself aboard Red Dwarf, a spaceship as big as a small city that, six or seven years from now, would get him back to Earth. What Lister couldn t foresee was that he d inadvertently signed up for a one-way jaunt three million years into the future a future which would see him the last living member of the human race, with only a hologram crew mate and a highly evolved Cat for company. Of course, that was before the ship broke the light barrier and things began to get really weird.
Sci-Fi Humorous
Grant Naylor Red Dwarf Radio Show #2 The 12 part Red Dwarf radio series produced by

Laughing Stock (Productions) for BBC radio. Based on Red Dwarf - Better Than Life", the tale continues as the crew of Red Dwarf try to escape from a mind destroying computer game and get back to the relative safety of a space ship stranded three million miles from earth. Rimmer has become a multi-billionaire, Lister has retired with Kristine Kochanski to Bedford Falls, and the Cat inhabits a fairytale castle on a hill in Denmark. Will they escape the game ?? Listen on ...

Sci-Fi Humorous
Rob Grant Red Dwarf: Backwards Lister has finally found his way back to the planet Earth. Which is good. What s bad is that time isn t running in quite the right direction. And if he doesn t get off the planet soon, he s going to have to go through puberty again. Backwards. Still, his crewmates have come to rescue him. Which is good. What s bad is that they consist of a robot with a hyperactive guilt chip, a creature who evolved from cats, and a dead man. And if they fail, Lister will carry on growing younger until he becomes a baby, then an embryo... And finally, he ll meet a very sticky end indeed. Rejoin the crazy crew from Red Dwarf on another zany adventure! Sci-Fi Humorous
Rob Grant Red Dwarf: Last Human Returning from an excursion in the Fourth Universe, the Red Dwarf crew stumble across a spaceship identical to their own. It soon transpires that Rimmer has made a minute error in the sub light-speed drive calculations forgetting to carry a two and as a consequence the Dwarfers have accidentally harnessed super string theory, punched a hole in the space time continuum and arrived in a parallel reality. When the crew board the ship to investigate they discover their own dead bodies all, that is, except for Lister s.
Who has killed them and why? The Last Human: the future of the species is in the hands on one man.
Sci-Fi Humorous
Douglas Adams Hitchhiker s Guide to the Galaxy, The Join Douglas Adams s hapless hero Arthur Dent as he travels the galaxy with his intrepid pal Ford Prefect, getting into horrible messes and generally wreaking hilarious havoc. Dent is grabbed from Earth moments before a cosmic construction team obliterates the planet to build a freeway. You ll never read funnier science fiction; Adams is a master of intelligent satire, barbed wit, and comedic dialogue. The Hitchhiker s Guide is rich in comedic detail and thought-provoking situations and stands up to multiple reads. Required reading for science fiction fans, this book (and its follow-ups) is also sure to please fans of Monty Python, Terry Pratchett s Discworld series, and British sitcoms. Sci-Fi Humorous
Douglas Adams So Long and Thanks for All the Fish Back on Earth with nothing more to show for his long, strange trip through time and space than a ratty towel and a plastic shopping bag, Arthur Dent is ready to believe that the past eight years were all just a figment of his stressed-out imagination. But a gift-wrapped fishbowl with a cryptic inscription, the mysterious disappearance of Earth's dolphins, and the discovery of his battered copy of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy all conspire to give Arthur the sneaking suspicion that something otherworldly is indeed going on. . . .

God only knows what it all means. And fortunately, He left behind a Final Message of explanation. But since it's light-years away from Earth, on a star surrounded by souvenir booths, finding out what it is will mean hitching a ride to the far reaches of space aboard a UFO with a giant robot. But what else is new?
Sci-Fi Humorous
Douglas Adams Mostly Harmless In this installment of the The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy saga, Ford Prefect of the planet Betelgeuse relies on serendipity and his own quick wits to protect a new edition of the Hitchhiker's Guide from the loathsome Vogons.

Ford Prefect, Arthur Dent, and the usual cast of characters are back in the late Douglas Adams's MOSTLY HARMLESS, an installment of the HITCHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY. Adams does a stellar job reading his own words as he captures his own dry wit, wry sense of humor, and gift for overstating the obvious. As each scene unfolds and each character appears, Adams takes great delight in the absurdity of the universe he has created, and his own entertainment comes across brilliantly in the reading. Any fan of the Hitchhiker's Guide will enjoy this turn of events as much as the author's interpretation of his work in this thoroughly enjoyable nugget of mind candy.
Sci-Fi Humorous
Douglas Adams Life, the Universe, and Everything After adapting his Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy scripts from the BBC radio series into two successful novels, author Douglas Adams reshaped a rejected "Doctor Who" script he'd written into this third novel in the original trilogy. Reluctant space traveler Arthur Dent finds himself drawn into a race to save the universe from the people of Krikkit, who, upon discovering that they're not alone in the universe, set out to destroy it. Adams does an excellent job with the reading, although his voice drops too low when characters whisper. This reading comes from the British version of the novel, which contains profanity deleted for U.S. release. Sci-Fi Humorous
Douglas Adams Restaurant at the End of the Universe, The The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy novels are ideally suited to the ear, having been adapted from a BBC radio series. The late Douglas Adams reads his own work with an actor's grace in this version, originally released in 1991. His takes on familiar characters including Marvin the Paranoid Android, who sounds just like the actor from the radio original. The second novel in the original trilogy, RESTAURANT resolves the quests begun in the first novel including the search for the question of life, the universe, and everything. (The unlikely answer, fans will recall, is 42.) Fans will find this reading delightful. Sci-Fi Humorous
Douglas Adams Salmon of Doubt, The Douglas Adams was a gifted futurist, humorist, and self-effacing humanoid. His hard drive and clippings yield some gems here in a loving posthumous read of bits, bytes, lectures, articles, and nonsequiturs. The much adored author of THE HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE UNIVERSE is given his final hurrah by close friends Stephen Fry, Christopher Cerf, and others. This mirthful catalog of verbiage culled from his many computer hard drives and notes addresses technology, the environment, the Beatles, life as a modern human, and much more. Fans of THE HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE and DIRK GENTLY'S HOLISTIC DETECTIVE AGENCY will especially enjoy this offering and its warm and witty read. Sci-Fi Humorous
Timothy Ferris Coming of Age in the Milky Way The author reads his history of the cosmos in a whispery Carl Sagan voice, giving this gourmet brain food the suspenseful aura of science fiction spiced with some dryly humorous anecdotes. One doesn t have to be a rocket scientist to understand the historical background in the beginning, but toward the end the narrative, laced with fermions, bosons, and quarks, becomes a little thick. Luckily the author knows how to pronounce the technical terms he uses, and his excellent understanding of the subject helps us to understand it, as well. Suffering no loss of value from abridgment, this is a sweet treat for science-lovers. Science
Alex Filippenko Understanding the Universe If you ve ever asked yourself what s out there whether there might be other galaxies like the Milky Way, other stars like our Sun, other planets similar to Earth, or whether we re really alone in the vastness of space then you will certainly enjoy this audio presentation. You ll learn about the history of astronomy, contributions made by its most towering figures, the most recent technological breakthroughs in astronomical observation, and receive an expert interpretation of the latest informed theorizing about questions surrounding the origin, destiny, and fundamental dynamics of the cosmos.
Filippenko has a rare ability to convey complex material in an understandable, engaging way, and is a very enthusiastic speaker who loves the subject matter.
Science
Bill Bryson Short History of Nearly Everything In his first major work in three years, Bryson takes on, well, everything. From the components of the atom to the size of the universe to the age of the Earth, Bryson describes the history behind scientific discovery. Sometimes mystified, often admiring, Bryson regales listeners with the follies and feats in science. It s amazing how much we know and how we found it out. It s astounding, however, how much we have yet to learn. Listeners may have to work a bit harder in this departure from Bryson s usual travel writing. His easy pace and sincere delivery, however, make names, dates, and concepts digestible. It s a pleasure to hear Bryson s voice, like that of an old friend, remind us how incredible existence is. Not to be missed.

Stylish and stunningly accurate prose. Bryson s book brims with strange and amazing facts and is destined to become a modern classic of science writing. The New York Times
Science
John Sanders Story of Electricity, The Ancient and medieval awareness of electrical effects included lightning, electric fish, St. Elmo s fire, the amber effect, and (esp. in early China) the lodestone (magnet). Plutarch explained the electric effect in terms of air displacement.
This presentation explains the origins of our awareness of electricity and follows a timeline of discoveries and understanding from 1550 through the 1970 s. Learn about the people behind the first electrical inventions including Edison, Tesla and many more lesser known but equally important people. Discover how we began by understanding magnetism and eventually arrived at creating computers.
Science
Robert M. Hazen Joy of Science, The Understanding the physical world around us is a source of endless wonder and intellectual joy. Science is a powerful tool for observing the world, explaining how it works, and making predictions about what our future may hold.
Have you ever felt, perhaps while visiting a favorite museum, that you would like to know more about electricity, chemistry, physics, geology, our new understanding of genetics, the ozone hole, or even Einstein s celebrated theory of relativity? Or perhaps you d just like to be able to explain what makes an ordinary light bulb work, or how gravity operates over a distance.
This course offers you a special, even unique, learning opportunity. It steers clear of the jargon and provides clear and thoughtful overviews of the scientific world. Using anecdotes about everyday life to enliven his lectures, Dr. Hazen shares his love of scientific discovery and shows connections between such discoveries over time. Hazen has few peers at making complex ideas simple to understand, without being overly simplistic.
Science
Carl Sagan Cosmos Cosmos was the first science TV blockbuster, and Carl Sagan was its (human) star. By the time of Sagan s death in 1997, the series had been seen by half a billion people; Sagan was perhaps the best-known scientist on the planet. Explaining how the series came about, Sagan recalled:
I was positive from my own experience that an enormous global interest exists in the exploration of the planets and in many kindred scientific topics the origin of life, the Earth, and the Cosmos, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, our connection with the universe. And I was certain that this interest could be excited through that most powerful communications medium, television.
Sagan s own interest and enthusiasm for the universe were so vivid and infectious, his screen presence so engaging, that viewers and readers couldn t help but be caught up in his vision. From stars in their billions and billions to the amino acids in the primordial ocean, Sagan communicated a feeling for science as a process of discovery. Inevitably, some of the science in Cosmos has been outdated in the years since 1980 but Sagan s sense of wonder is ageless.
Carl Sagan was the Professor of Astronomy and Space Sciences and Director of the Laboratory for Planetary Studies at Cornell University; Distinguished Visiting Scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology; and the cofounder and President of the Planetary Society, the largest space-interest group in the world. For NASA, he was an adviser on the Mariner, Voyager, and Viking unmanned space missions, and he briefed astronauts for journeys to the moon. His award-winning series, Cosmos, has been seen by more than 500 million people in over sixty countries, and the accompanying book spent seventy weeks on The NY Times bestseller list. The author of thirty books, Sagan was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for The Dragons of Eden: Speculations on the Evolution of Human Intelligence in 1978, and his novel Contact was made into a major motion picture.
Science

TTC Science in the Twentieth Century No scientist in 1900 had an inkling of the mind-boggling developments that lay in wait: plate tectonics, genetic engineering, space probes, nanotechnology, Big Bang theory, electronic computers, nuclear weapons, artificial intelligence, and many other astounding products of the human mind.
Indeed, by the end of the 20th century, nearly every 19th-century theory of natural and social phenomena would be overthrown or superseded.
In this course, you learn the distinctive ideas that characterize 20th -century science, organized into five major themes: matter and energy, the universe, earth, life, and humanity.
You discover the most significant developments in anthropology, archaeology, history, linguistics, sociology, political science, economics, psychology, and cognitive science alongside physics, chemistry, mathematics, Earth science, and biology.
Science

TTC History of Science-Antiquity to 1700 For well over 2,000 years, much of our fundamental "desire to know" has focused on what we now call science. And our profound commitment to science and technology now stands as probably the most powerful influence on human culture.
This course presents a survey of the history of science in the Western world from the ancient Babylonians through the discoveries of Isaac Newton. It will enhance your understanding of what science is; how, why, and by whom it has been developed; and how our modern conception of science differs from earlier ideas.
Throughout these lectures, each rich in historical context, science is revealed as a dynamic, evolving entity, tightly connected to the needs and commitments of those who pursue it.
Science
Robert Heinlein Stranger In A Strange Land Stranger in a Strange Land, winner of the 1962 Hugo Award, is the story of Valentine Michael Smith, born during, and the only survivor of, the first manned mission to Mars. Michael is raised by Martians, and he arrives on Earth as a true innocent: he has never seen a woman and has no knowledge of Earth's cultures or religions. But he brings turmoil with him, as he is the legal heir to an enormous financial empire, not to mention de facto owner of the planet Mars. With the irascible popular author Jubal Harshaw to protect him, Michael explores human morality and the meanings of love. He founds his own church, preaching free love and disseminating the psychic talents taught him by the Martians. Ultimately, he confronts the fate reserved for all messiahs.

The impact of Stranger in a Strange Land was considerable, leading many children of the 60's to set up households based on Michael's water-brother nests. Heinlein loved to pontificate through the mouths of his characters, so modern readers must be willing to overlook the occasional sour note ("Nine times out of ten, if a girl gets raped, it's partly her fault."). That aside, Stranger in a Strange Land is one of the master's best entertainments, provocative as he always loved to be. Can you grok it?
Science Fiction
Robert Heinlein Moon is a Harsh Mistress, The Widely considered to be Heinlein s finest work, this is a tale of revolution and rebellion of the former Lunar penal colony against the Lunar Authority that controls it from Earth. It is the tale of three disparate people who become the rebel movement s leaders. And it is the story of Mike, the supercomputer whose sentience is known only to this inner circle, and who for reasons of his own is committed to the revolution s ultimate success.
This Hugo-winning novel is one of the high points of modern science fiction, bursting with politics, humanity, passion, innovative technical speculation, and a firm belief in the pursuit of human freedom.
Science Fiction
George Orwell 1984 Orwell s classic continues to deliver its horrible vision of totalitarian society. Once considered futuristic, it now conjures fear because of how closely it fits the reality of contemporary times. The narrators s precise pronunciation and strong, intense voice provide all individual parts. The three major characters are individualized through vocal emphasis, tone and interpretation of each character s personality. He simultaneously weaves the spell of Big Brother while subtly emphasizing the complex emotional and intellectual annihilation of each of the characters. Starting with a detached approach, West intensifies emotions and ends with a finish that leaves the plot firmly embedded in the listener s mind. An Audiofile Earphones Award winner. Science Fiction
Robert Heinlein Starship Troopers With Earth embroiled in a vast interplanetary war with the Bugs, a young recruit in the Federal Reserves relates his experiences training in boot camp and as a junior officer in the Terran Mobile Infantry.
Juan Rico signed up with the Federal Reserve on a lark, but despite the hardships and rigorous training, he finds himself determined to make it as a cap trooper. In boot camp he will learn how to become a soldier, but when he graduates and war comes (as it always does for soldiers), he will learn why he is a soldier. Many consider this Hugo Award winner to be Robert Heinlein s finest work, and with good reason. Forget the battle scenes and high-tech weapons this is Heinlein at the top of his game talking people and politics.
Science Fiction
Piers Anthony Bearing an Hourglass Incarnations of Immortality, Book 2

When life seemed pointless to Norton, he accepted the position as the Incarnation of Time, even though it meant living backward from present to past. The other seemingly all-powerful incantations of Immortality Death, Fate, War, and Nature made him welcome. Even Satan greeted him with gifts. But he soon discovered that the gifts were cunning traps and he had become enmeshed in a complex scheme of the Evil One to destroy all that was good...
This novel is considered confusing by many and not as good as the first book in the series. However, others really enjoyed the complexity of the story. It is also viewed as a stand-alone, though part of a series.
Other books in the Incarnations of Immortality:
On a Pale Horse (#1), With a Tangled Skein (#3), Wielding a Red Sword (#4), Being a Green Mother (#5), For Love of Evil (#6), And Eternity (#7)
Science Fiction
Frank Herbert Dune Messiah This second installment in the Dune series explores new developments on the desert planet Arrakis, with its intricate social order and its strange threatening environment. It continues the story of the man known as Maud dib, heir to a power unimaginable, bringing to fruition an ambition of unparalleled scale: the centuries-old scheme to create a superbeing who reigns not in the heavens but among men. But the question is: Do all paths of glory lead to the grave?
While Dune Messiah may not have received the critical acclaim that Dune did, it is just as masterfully written. In fact, once you finish the third book in the series, you should have a newfound respect for this book. Unusual character developments and strange plot twists will all be answered quite satisfactorily.
Science Fiction
Frank Herbert Children of Dune Book number three of the Dune trilogy finds the desert planet Arrakis in a state of unprecedented stability and prosperity. With the Herculean efforts of the Imperium, it has begun to grow green and lush. The life-giving spice is abundant, and the nine-year-old royal twins are coming into their own. Possessed of their father s supernormal powers, they are being groomed as Messiahs. But there are those who think the Imperium does not need omnipotent rulers. And they ll stop at nothing to make their point.
Through the words of the Preacher, the ecological and evolutionary themes running throughout the first three Dune novels become crystal clear a wonderfully emotional conclusion to a brilliant series.
Science Fiction
Orson Scott Card Memories of Earth High above the planet Harmony, the Oversoul watches. Its task, programmed so many millennia ago, is to guard the human settlement on this planet to protect this fragile remnant of Earth from all threats. To protect them, most of all, from themselves.
It has done its job well. There is no war. There are no weapons of mass destruction. There is no technology that could lead to weapons of war. By control of the data banks, and subtle interference in the very thoughts of the people, the artificial intelligence has fulfilled its mission.
But now there is a problem. In orbit, the Oversoul realizes that it has lost access to some of its memory banks, and some of its power systems are failing. And on the planet, men are beginning to think about power, wealth, and conquest.
Science Fiction
Orson Scott Card Speaker For the Dead Ender Wiggin, the hero and scapegoat of mass alien destruction in Ender s Game, receives a chance at redemption in this novel, set 3,000 years in the future. Ender, who proclaimed as a mistake his success in wiping out an alien race, wins the opportunity to cope better with a second race, discovered by Portuguese colonists on the planet Lusitania.
An ensemble cast of 8 performers explores the mystery of the culture and the biology of the pequeninos, the gentle natives of the planet who seem to ruthlessly murder their most valued members. The cast, who read alternating sections with little interaction, stay true to Portuguese pronunciations, and give life to the emotional and intellectual challenge of the story. Brilliant and compelling. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award
Science Fiction
Robert Heinlein Have Space Suit Will Travel One minute Kip Russell was walking around his backyard, testing out an old space suit and dreaming about going to the Moon and the next he was out cold, the captive of an insidious space pirate. The whole thing seemed like a bad dream until Kip discovered there were other prisoners on board, and they were all on their way to the Moon and a fate worse than death!
Heinlein s writing stands the test of time with memorable visions of space travel and a great adventure enjoyable by listeners of all ages.
Each character is well acted by an age-appropriate reader with interesting and appropriate musical effects added during chapter breaks.
Science Fiction
Diane Duane Spock s World It is the twenty-third century. On the planet Vulcan, a crisis of unprecedented proportion has caused the convocation of the planet s ruling council and summoned the U.S.S. EnterpriseTM from halfway across the galaxy, to bring Vulcan s most famous son home in its hour of need.
As Commander Spock, his father Sarek, and Captain James T. Kirk struggle to preserve Vulcan s future, the planet s innermost secrets are laid before us, from the beginning of their civilization to the present. And Spock torn between his duty to Starfleet and the unbreakable ties that bind him to Vulcan must find a way to reconcile both his own inner conflict and the external dilemma his planet faces...lest the Federation itself be ripped asunder.
Science Fiction
Orsen Scott Card Children of the Mind This final installment in the Hugo Award-winning Ender Wiggin quartet is also the end of Ender himself. A small child in Ender s Game, a young man in Speaker for the Dead, and increasingly world-weary in Xenocide, he is finally able to put down the burdens he has carried for humanity. Card has pulled off that most difficult of tricks, a satisfying conclusion to a great series.
After an interminable recap worthy of the silliest opera synopsis, the narrator jumps right in with energy, commitment, ingenuousness and even intelligence. As an adventure narrator he s in a class with the very best of them. Perfect light-listening.
Science Fiction
Orsen Scott Card Elephants of Posnan Orson Scott Card is a modern star of science fiction and fantasy, equally at home in both. Sometimes he ventures into horror, and his tone is often somber and introspective.
This short story collection draws from his career as a whole and includes a short version of his most famous novel, Ender s Game. The producers have selected a group of more or less well-known actors, and each is assigned one of the stories: Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., Robert Forster, William Windom, Roddy McDowall, Robert Foxworth, among others. Card himself reads several of the tales. Professionals all, the readers are expressive and effective.
Science Fiction
Orsen Scott Card Shadow of the Hegemon After all the child prodigies of the world return to their homelands from Battle School (where they are taught every aspect of strategic warfare), a madman kidnaps these national resources to achieve world domination.
This fine follow-up to Ender s Shadow features that novel s hero, Bean (now a young man), wrestling with Card s trademark: superbly real moral and ethical dilemmas. The characterss are complex and serious, and Card s impeccable prose is combined with fast pacing combined and political intrigue.
The 3 narrators are outstanding; all having spectacular pace and emphasis on characters emotional dialect.
Science Fiction
Anne McCaffrey Crystal Singer Killashandra Ree of planet Fuerte, who after failing her final exams in music, quits her singing career (she simply won t be second rank!). A chance meeting with a crystal singer of the Heptite Guild on the planet Ballybran, prompts her to apply as a crystal singer herself.
Killashandra belongs to the most memorable of McCaffrey s heroines. Her strong personality, resourcefulness, intelligence, and her detailed musical training, make for a riveting read. McCaffrey describes the singing of crystal itself very beautifully, and the idea of whole crystal ranges singing back at you is poetic.
This book is the first in a trilogy.
Science Fiction
Kim Stanley Robinson Blue Mars The title of the conclusion to Robinson s splendid Mars trilogy refers to the fact that the planet now has oceans. Seen from space, Mars has taken on the bluish hue of a water-rich world, except for the places where balloon-domes preserve the last Martian wilderness. The red-gone-blue planet is still, however, vitally linked to Earth, on which civilization is crumbling in the face of rising oceans, and resources are being diverted to projects in the Jovian and Saturnian systems. Further confounding Earth s confusion (not to mention Mars ), Mars now finds itself facing an ice age that could freeze all the hard-won water. The survivors of the First Hundred (Mars settlers, that is) and their Mars-born children face and largely win a last, desperate battle to save their new home and become true Martians. The virtues of Blue Mars, amounting to a catalog of those of superior sf, hardly need to be repeated from reviews of its Red and Green predecessors, both of which have been award winners. Even if no more honors come its way, the trilogy here concluded indisputably stands in the forefront of two sf subgenres, Martian futurist visions and grand sagas of human evolution.
Kim Stanley Robinson s Mars trilogy burst upon the science fiction scene in 1992 with the publication of the #1 bestselling, Nebula Award-winning Red Mars. Critics and fans alike instantly hailed the novel as a modern classic, and the New York Times declared that Robinson had virtually invented a new kind of science fiction. Two years later, with the publication of Green Mars, Robinson cemented his reputation as the brightest new star on the hard science fiction horizon, winning the Hugo Award and receiving dozens of reviews that alluded to the novel s breathtaking scope and intellectual daring.

Robinson s writing will set the standard for science fiction in the future.
NY Times Book Review
Science Fiction
Frank Herbert Dune This Hugo and Nebula Award winning story and the books that follow it are to science fiction what The Lord of the Rings is to fantasy one of the most famous science fiction novels ever written. The setting is elaborate and ornate, the plot labyrinthine, the adventures exciting.
This is the sweeping tale of a desert planet called Arrakis, the focus of an intricate power struggle in a byzantine interstellar empire. Arrakis is the sole source of Melange, the spice of spices. Melange is necessary for interstellar travel and grants psychic powers and longevity, so whoever controls it wields great influence. Here begins the story of Paul Atreides, who moves with his family to the planet Dune and is forced into exile when his father s government is overthrown.
Science Fiction
Jack Williamson Humanoids, The On the far planet Wing IV, a brilliant scientist creates the humanoids, sleek black androids programmed to serve humanity.
What is your job?
To serve and obey and guard men from harm.
But are they perfect servants or perfect masters?
Slowly the humanoids spread throughout the galaxy, threatening to stifle all human endeavor. Only a hidden group of rebels can stem the humanoid tide ... if it s not already too late.
First published in Astounding Science Fiction during the magazine s heyday, The Humanoids has endured for fifty years as a classic on the theme of natural versus artificial life.
Science Fiction
Arthur C. Clarke Earthlight The time: 200 years after man s first landing on the Moon. There are permanent populations established on the Moon, Venus and Mars. Outer space inhabitants have formed a new political entity, the Federation, and between the Federation and Earth a growing rivalry has developed. Earthlight is the story of this emerging conflict.

This fine but old book tells us about political tensions between Earth and The Federation. The tension is caused by the need of the federation for heavy elements (Titanium, Uranium etc.) and by the fact that Earth is extremely rich in such elements, and the other planets aren t, but Earth is refusing to let them open mines on its surface, with the excuse that Earth itself is overpopulated and needs all of them. Eventually, it escalates into a minor war that is limited to a single battle. Most of the story is about the main herowho is sent by a company on Earth to find a spy who was leaking information about development of military technology to the Federation, through an observatory on the moon.
Science Fiction
Kim Stanley Robinson Green Mars
The second volume of Robinson s Mars trilogy is well up to the standards Red Mars set. Some generations after the end of that book, the terraforming of Mars into a world habitable for humanity is well under way. Factions on Earth and on Mars advocate every possible position, from gutting the planet s resources to leaving it virginal. The colonists are also divided along a number of other lines, including religious ones. A good many of the First Hundred from Red Mars are still around in the capacity of mythic mentors. Add double handfuls of exotic but well-rationalized technologies, customs, and institutions, and the resulting book can hardly be other than impressive, as impressive as Robinson s rare gift for dealing in archetypes without failing at characterization. This may well be Robinson s best book and possibly the best of the many and various our-future-on-Mars novels to date.

Yet another masterpiece ...I can t imagine anybody else staking out any portion of this immemorial dreamscape with the same elegant detail and thoroughness. Science Fiction Age
Science Fiction
Isaac Asimov Nightfall This collaboration by two masters of the genre expands on Asimov s classic short story first published in 1941. Kalgash is a planet with six suns, a world where darkness is unnatural. Scientists realize that an eclipse an event that occurs only every 2049 years is imminent, and that a society completely unfamiliar with darkness will be plunged into madness and chaos. The novel traces events leading to this discovery, and the fates of the main characters immediately following the apocalypse.
Nightfall, expanded from Asimov s 1941 award-winning short story, lets readers experience the cataclysmic event through the eyes and biases of a newspaperman, an astronomer, an archaeologist, a psychologist, and a religious fanatic. This novel improves upon the original through the use of better developed characters and an expanded, more textured story that results in an absorbing, richer tale.
Science Fiction
L. Ron Hubbard Battlefield Earth In the year 3000, Earth and her few remaining people are dominated by the cruel Psychlo aliens whose greed for wealth and power obliterates whatever compassion may have once existed. When Jonnie Goodboy Tyler s destiny leads him from a small Rocky Mountain community to confront the tyrannical aliens, he finds himself facing insurmountable odds no mortal man could hope to conquer.
An epic in science fiction adventure, the absorbing story captures the mind and imagination in this tale of an Earth-destroying future war. This title is now better remembered for being transformed into one of the worst B-movies in history. Don t blame the book, however, which is well regarded in scienc-fiction circles. Although this first-class adventure novel is imbedded in mediocre science fiction, it contains no trace of Hubbard s Scientology.
McDowell s voice is perfect with accented voices and passionate narration.

Hubbard is a superb storyteller with total mastery of plot and pacing.
Publishers Weekly

A terrific story.
Robert Heinlein

This has everything: suspense, pathos, politics, war, humor, diplomacy and intergalactic finance...
Publishers Weekly


Intense, intelligent reading. This book is an epic spanning several universes, starting humbly in a dirty section of a used-up planet where only a few survivors are left of the original inhabitants and these don t dare come out of hiding...This is Earth in the year 3000. Suspense, intense battle action, romance...it s all there.
Amazon Reader Review
Science Fiction
Larry Niven Smoke Ring, The The exciting sequel to The Integral Trees, taking place 14 years after that novel s events, when the descendants of the Earth-ship Discipline have settled in Citizens Tree and forgotten their roots. In the pre-fall environment of the Smoke Ring, the descendants of the crew of Discipline no longer remembered their Earth roots or the existence of Shrls Davis Kendy, the computer-program despot that ran the ship. Only Jeffer, the Citizen Tree Scientist, knew that Kendy was still watching and waiting. Science Fiction
Joe Haldeman Forever War, The
Private William Mandella is a hero in spite of himself a reluctant conscript drafted into an elite military unit, and propelled through space and time to fight in a distant thousand-year conflict. He never wanted to go to war, but the leaders on Earth have drawn a line in the interstellar sand despite the fact that their fierce alien enemy is unknowable, unconquerable, and very far away. So Mandella will perform his duties without rancor and even rise up through themilitary s ranks if he survives. But the true test of his mettle will come when he returns to Earth. Because of the time dilation caused by space travel the loyal soldier is aging months, while his home planet is aging centuries and the difference will prove the saying: you never can go home
In the 1970s Joe Haldeman approached more than a dozen different publishers before he finally found one interested in The Forever War. The book went on to win both the Hugo and Nebula Awards.
Science Fiction
Isaac Asimov Foundation s Edge The costly, bitter war between the two Foundations finally came to an end. Scientists of the First Foundation proved victorious; they retum to long-established plans to build a new Empire. Now the two exiled citizens of the Foundation a renegade Councilman and a doddering historian set out in search of the mythical planet Earth proof that the Second Foundation still exists. Meanwhile. someone or something outside of both Foundations seems to be orchestrating events to suit its own ominous purpose. Soon representatives of both the First and Second Foundations will find themselves racing toward a mysterious world called Gaia and a final shocking destiny at the very end of the universe! Science Fiction
Ben Bova Orion Among the Stars This book continues the saga of Orion the Hunter, as he seeks to wrest control of his soul and destiny from the Creator, Aten, and be joined with his beloved Goddess and lover, Anya. In this volume, the stakes have escalated. Orion, who is sent by Aten to fight in wars throughout the vast continuum of space and time, is now a soldier in an intergalactic war, commander of a troop of cloned humans whose sole reason for existence is to serve the rest of humanity as cannon fodder.
Six-time Hugo winner Bova tells a suspenseful tale in workmanlike prose, keeping things simple enough to be enjoyed even by those unfamiliar with the earlier books in the saga. (This is #5 in the Orion series.)
Science Fiction
Ben Bova Orion and the Conquerer ohn O Ryan is Orion more than human, less than a god, cast away on the seas of Time to do battle among the Creators for the future of mankind.
Now the eternal warrior finds himself separated from his great love, Anya, and marooned in Macedonia under the reign of Phillip fighting alongside the young Alexander, and at the mercy of a Queen Olympias who is far more than she seems.
This is #4 in the Orion series:
1. Orion (1984)
2. Vengeance of Orion (1988)
3. Orion in the Dying Time (1990)
4. Orion and the Conqueror (1994)
5. Orion Among the Stars (1995)
Science Fiction
Lois McMaster Bujold Barrayar Carol Cowan and Michael Hanson contribute a stellar performance in the continuing saga of the Vorkosigan family in this sequel to Shards of Honor.
Cordelia Naismith married a simple retired soldier. Now pregnant with their first child, she expected a peaceful country life with Aral Vorkosigan and their children. Instead, dying Emperor Ezar Vorbarra appointed Aral to rule Barrayar until Prince Gregor, 4 year-old heir to the throne, could come of age.
Just months after Aral was sworn in, an attempt was made to kill him. Who would most benefit from killing the new Regent? Cetaganda? Komarr? A disgruntled Vor lord? Who will control Barrayar?
Science Fiction
Lois McMaster Bujold Borders of the Infinity
This collection of three short stories includes tales that take place before The Vor Game and others extending past Brothers in Arms. The variation in tone across the tales is handled exceptionally well, as we see Miles mourn and get a better look at his relationship with Illyan. The stories include Miles s first outing as a detective, in which he's faced with a case of infanticide in the mutant-phobic hill country; his largest rescue mission ever; and the most distressed damsel for whom he ever played the knight.
The team of two narrators give us an auditory treat with their distinctive reading styles. Solid writing makes this book a joy to listen to.
Science Fiction
Lois McMaster Bujold Cetaganda When the Cetagandan Empress dies, Miles Vorkosigan and his cousin Ivan Vorpatril are sent to Cetaganda for her funeral as diplomatic representatives of Barrayar. But when the lifelong attendant of the Empress is found murdered, Miles and Ivan find themselves in the thick of things.
Miles tries to play detective in a strange, complicated, and deceptively alien culture, while lacivious Ivan manages to get himself involved with several noble females at the same time a diplomatic no-no of the first order. As the plot thickens, it becomes clear that to save the Empire, it s up to Miles to do the job. He doesn t mind exactly, but an adversary s Empire?
(This is the first book in the Vorkosigan series.)
Science Fiction
Lois McMaster Bujold Falling Free A secret, commercial, genetic-engineering project has produced a new species of human (quadies) who have two additional arms instead of legs, making them ideally suited to work in free fall. Michael Hanson s and Carol Cowan s narrative talents mesh nicely, creating distinctive voices for the Nebula Award-winning novel's characters through pacing, tone of voice and emotional shading. Conversation flows naturally passages of dialogue alternate, and quote attributions are removed. Both remain true to the characters throughout, capturing the varying aspects of young, seasoned and devious personalities. This production shows dual narrators can enrich the listening experience. Science Fiction
Lois McMaster Bujold Vor Game, The The Prince and the Mercenary. Together, they can get into a lot of trouble. Trouble only the combined forces of the Free Dendarii Mercenaries can get them out of. At least, that's what they re hoping for...
In this latest adventure with the galaxy s craftiest mercenary leader, Miles starts out by so shaking up the High Command on his home planet of Barrayar that he is sent to the other side of the galaxy where he runs into his old pals the Free Dendarii Mercenaries. And a good thing too, because it turns out that Miles childhood chum has been the victim of foul play, and only Miles with a little Dendarii muscle can save him. This is very important to Miles; because if Gregor dies, the only person who could become the new emperor is Miles himself and that he regards as a fate worse than death.
Science Fiction
Orson Scott Card Xenocide In this continuation of Ender Wiggin's story, the Starways Congress has sent a fleet to immolate the rebellious planet of Lusitania, home to the alien race of pequeninos, and home to Ender and his family. Concealed on Lusitania is the only remaining Hive Queen, who holds a secret that may save or destroy humanity throughout the galaxy. Familiar characters from the previous novels continue to grapple with religious conflicts and family squabbles while inventing faster-than-light travel and miraculous virus treatments. Throw into the mix an entire planet of mad geniuses and a self-aware computer who wants to be a martyr, and it s hard to guess who will topple the first domino. This is book #3 of the popular Ender s Game series; book #2 is Speaker for the Dead. Science Fiction
Isaac Asimov Foundation and Earth The fifth novel in Asimov's popular Foundation series opens with second thoughts. Councilman Golan Trevize is wondering if he was right to choose a collective mind as the best possible future for humanity over the anarchy of contentious individuals, nations and planets. To test his conclusion, he decides he must know the past and goes in search of legendary Earth, all references to which have been erased from galactic libraries.
Springing from the same impulse that has fed his myriad nonfiction work, the novel s debate is enlivened by Asimov s fervid curiosity and his restless urge to explain everything, right down to the human passions that have largely vanished from his fiction.
Science Fiction
Isaac Asimov Isaac Asimov Himself: Five Complete Stories "Through his words, Asimov expanded the minds and fired the imaginations of millions of readers. That is a legacy few writers can claim." - Keith Ferrel, editor, Omni.

Rich with his enthusiasm and the accent of his adopted Brooklyn, Isaac Asimov s narration of five of his most popular stories The Last Question, The Immortal Bard, Someday, The Jokester, and The Ugly Little Boy illustrates how he earned an international reputation as a master of science fiction. Artificial intelligence, physical and moral entropy, resurrection, and time travel are a few of the topics explored in this collection.
This is a rare opportunity to hear Asimov read his own stories. These historic recordings provide irresistible insight to |his visionary scenarios, Introducing each of the stories, Asimov offers intimate anecdotes and comments about his writing, revealing his humor and creative enthusiasms.

5 Complete and Unabridged Stories

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"The Immortal Bard" (1953) is a fantasy of temporal transfer, as the body and spirit of Shakespeare are brought back to life and he enrolls in a college course on his own writings.

"The Last Question" (1956), Asimov's self-proclaimed all-time favorite of his short stories, foresees the gradual decay of everything in the universe, as well as the roles of humanity and computers in acquiring and using scientific knowledge.

"Someday" (1956) explores the development of computer intelligence, communication abilities, and perhaps someday, the creation of feelings within computers.

"The Jokester" (1956) conveys Asimov's own lively sense of humor as it offers an ingenious thoery about the nature and origin of humor.

"The Ugly Little Boy" (1958) is the intriguing story of a Neanderthal boy brought into the modern world providing tenderness and human connection across the millennia.

Issac Asimov (1920-1992), widely recognized as one of the greatest science fiction writers of the twentieth century, was awarded five Hugo Awards and three Nebula Awards. Prolific in many fields, he published over 460 books for readers of all ages. The Foundation series, including Forward the Foundation, published shortly before his death, is among the most important science fiction works.

(an additional copy is located on AB 067)
Science Fiction
Isaac Asimov Nemesis In the twenty-third century pioneers have escaped the crowded earth for life in self-sustaining orbital colonies. One of the colonies, Rotor, has broken away from the solar system to create its own renegade utopia around an unknown red star two light-years from Earth: a star named Nemesis. Now a fifteen-year-old Rotorian girl has learned of the dire threat that nemesis poses to Earth's people but she is prevented from warning them. Soon she will realize that Nemesis endangers Rotor as well. And so it will be up to her alone to save both Earth and Rotor as drawn inexorably by Nemesis, the death star they hurtle toward certain disaster. Science Fiction
Isaac Asimov Foundation Foundation marks the first of a series of tales set so far in the future that Earth is all but forgotten by humans who live throughout the galaxy. Its vast size is crippling to it. In particular, the administrative planet, honeycombed and tunneled with offices and staff, is vulnerable to attack or breakdown. The only person willing to confront this imminent catastrophe is Hari Seldon, a psychohistorian and mathematician. Seldon can scientifically predict the future, and it doesn't look pretty: a new Dark Age is scheduled to send humanity into barbarism in 500 years. He concocts a scheme to save the knowledge of the race in an Encyclopedia Galactica. Science Fiction
Isaac Asimov Complete Robot, The THE COMPLETE ROBOT is the definitive anthology of Asimov s stunning visions of a robotic future...
In these stories, Isaac Asimov creates the Three Laws of Robotics and ushers in the Robot Age: when Earth is ruled by master-machines and when robots are more human than mankind.
As well as TN-3 (Tony), AL-76 and other robots, the stories feature the staff of U.S. Robots and Mechanical Men Inc., and in particular the chief robot-psychologist, the steely Dr. Susan Calvin who is in many ways more robot-like than her subjects.
The Complete Robot is the ultimate collection of timeless, amazing and amusing robot stories from the greatest science fiction writer of all time, offering golden insights into robot thought processes. Asimov s Three Laws of Robotics were programmed into real computers thirty years ago at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with surprising results. Readers of today still have many surprises in store...

THE THREE LAWS OF ROBOTICS

1 A robot may not injure a human being or, through |inaction, allow a human being to come to harm

2 A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law

3 A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law
Science Fiction
Timothy Zahn Icarus Hunt, The Retired-military-pilot-turned-smuggler Jordan McKell and Ixil, his nonhuman partner, are contracted to deliver a mysterious cargo to Earth aboard a bizarre starship, the Icarus. In this future, the top dog among star-traveling races is the Patth, who possess superfast stardrive. Soon it is dosclosed that the Icarus carries in fact, is a serious threat to Patth dominance, and suddenly everybody is chasing him, Ixil, and their motley crew across the starscape.
A bold and epic novel filled with unrelenting action and a good dose of humor, The Icarus Hunt is a wild hyperspace romp through the galaxy. Highly recommended.
(This popular, Hugo Award winning author also wrote a large handful of Star Wars novels)
Science Fiction
Lois McMaster Bujold Ethan of Athos Our hero is a quiet, upstanding citizen of Athos, an obstetrician in a world in which reproduction is carried out entirely via uterine replicator, without the aid of living women. Problem: the 200-year-old cultures are not providing eggs the way they used to, and attempts to order replacements by mail have failed catastrophically. But when Ethan is sent to find out what happened and acquire more eggs, he finds himself in a quagmire of covert ops and politics and the only person who s around to rescue him is a female mercenary.
The plot-driven story, which takes many diverse twists, moves swiftly and is a page-turner to the last.
Science Fiction
Jack Finney From Time To Time In this long-awaited sequel to Time & Again, Finney returns to the secret government project that studies time through time travel.
Undercover agents Si Morley and Rubin Prien continue to test the theory: the past still exists and can be reached. In the previous book, Si left the present to marry the love of his life in the past. Here, he becomes curious about the future and returns to the present to check on it. Soon he will find himself drawn into a desperate attempt to alter the events of history and prevent the onset of World War I.
Combining meticulous historical research with a suspenseful plot, this page turner explores the delicate nature of cause and effect while simultaneously telling a timeless story of love and loss.
Science Fiction
Lois McMaster Bujold Shards of Honor Cordelia Naismith, Betan Survey Captain, was expecting the unexpected: hexapods, floating creatures, odd parasites... She was not, however, expecting to find hostile humans on an uninhabited planet. And she wasn t really expecting to fall in love with a 40-plus barbarian known to cosmopolitan galactics as the Butcher of Komarr. Can such an odd beast as love survive an interplanetary war?
The romance in this novel is not the blistering heat of lust, but rather a quiet wellspring of enduring passion that has its beginnings in earned mutual respect and genuine friendship. This is the perfect romance for audio no embarrassing sexually explicit scenes and lots of rousing adventure involving survival, exploration and war, combined with intriguing politics.
Science Fiction
Jack Finney Time and Again Sleep. And when you awake everything you know of the twentieth century will be gone from your mind. Tonight is January 21, 1882. There are no such things as automobiles, no planes, computers, television. Nuclear appears in no dictionary. You have never heard the name Richard Nixon.
Did illustrator Si Morley really step out of his twentieth-century apartment one night right into the winter of 1882? The U.S. Government believed it, especially when Si returned with a portfolio of brand-new sketches and tintype photos of a world that no longer existed or did it?
Blend mystery and science fiction with a romance which travels through time and you have a haunting story of a man transported back in time to fall in love with a beautiful woman of yesteryear. A fine, moving story and a compelling production.
A timeless classic tells what happens when Simon Morley is selected by a secret government agency to test Einstein s theory of the past co-existing with the present and is transported back to 1880 s New York.
Science Fiction
Lois McMaster Bujold Warrior s Apprentice, The Between the seemingly impossible tasks of living up to his warrior-father s legend and surmounting his own physical limitations, Miles Vorkosigan faces some truly daunting challenges. Born with physical impairments on a planet where these are very rare, Miles tries to make a place for himself by going into the military, but he s defeated by his disabilities. A visit to his grandmother on Beta Colony changes everything when he finds himself the leader of a band of mercenaries.
The pair of narrators are excellent and handle the many characters very well, crafting distinctive and realistic voices for each without overacting.
This is an engaging space opera.
Science Fiction
Ursula K. LeGuin Left Hand of Darkness, The
This award-winning, groundbreaking science fiction classic takes us to the world of Winter and introduces us to its inhabitants, the Gethenians whose society is not based on gender roles.
The inventiveness and delicacy with which Le Guin portrays her alien world is not only unusual and inspiring, it is fundamental to almost all decent science fiction that has been written since.
Written for the thinking reader, it should be read attentively in order to properly savor the depth of insight and the subtleties of plot and character. It is one of those pleasures that requires a little investment at the beginning, but pays back tenfold. Not only is a bookshelf incomplete without owning it, so is the reader without having read it.
Science Fiction
Lois McMaster Bujold Brothers in Arms This novel continues the exploits of Miles Vorkosigan, following the audacious prison camp escapade described in The Borders of Infinity .
Miles is on the run from the Cetagan-dans, who aren t about to take that kind of thing lying down. The worst of it is, Miles and his friends are starting to see double, and it takes a while to find out who is responsible. Along the way, Miles runs headlong into a deadly plot aimed against the Barrayaran Empire that involves him in a very personal way.
Typical for the series, this book is carefully plotted, well told, with fleshed-out, lovable characters and slyly humorous. Miles is more introspective in this volume, more vulnerable in other than physical ways. Details about his life makes him increasingly interesting.
Science Fiction
Orsen Scott Card Ender s Shadow This is a parallel novel that occupies the same time frame as Ender s Game, and chronicles many of the same events.
Shadow shifts from Ender to Bean as the protagonist and presents the events from Bean s perspective, with his own unique viewpoints. New aspects of the original action, along with former background material, rises to life and illuminates the main story.
Complex three-dimensional characters, a strong story line, and vivid writing all combine to make this an exceptional work. Card revisits the themes of man s inhumanity to man, child exploitation, and the ends justifying the means. While Shadow stands alone, the two books work well together because the overlap builds on both of them, making them a rich and meaningful reading experience.
Science Fiction
Orsen Scott Card Shadow Puppets Sequel to Enders s Shadow, bestselling author Orson Scott Card brings to life a new chapter in the saga of Ender s Earth.
Earth and its society has been changed irrevocably in the aftermath of Ender s victory over the Formics the unity enforced upon the warring nations by an alien enemy has shattered. Nations are rising again, seeking territory and influence, and most of all, seeking to control the skills and loyalty of the children from the Battle School.
But one person has a better idea. Ender s older and more ruthless brother, sees that any hope for the future of Earth lies in restoring a sense of unity and purpose...
Readers will enjoy an exciting, fast-paced plot with a suspenseful conclusion.
Science Fiction
George Lucas Star Wars Radio Drama This was originally broadcast on National Public Radio, breaking network records. This full-cast adaptation, complete with sound effects and theme music, captures the listener s imagination. Mark Hamill and Anthony Daniels are the only original cast members, yet all of the actors are wonderful. It s a credit to the audio production that Star Wars, once noted for ground-breaking visual effects, is as enjoyable, if not more so, in radio format. The story itself has been greatly expanded, and listeners are treated to several new scenes which explain many things the movie only hinted at. An Audiofile Earphones Award winner.

Listed as "Star Wars Radio Drama"
Science Fiction
Arthur C. Clarke Rendezvous with Rama In the year 2077, a huge meteor hits the earth, killing over half a million people. Mankind vowed to stop such a catastrophe happening again, and so began Project Spaceguard. Fifty years later, the project was to justify its existence. Winner of the 1973 Hugo, Nebula and Campbell awards.
This fascinating story of a human encounter with an alien spacecraft grips the listener from the beginning.The narrator makes it easy to identify with the characters and handles multiple accents effortlessly. The well-paced reading develops its own rhythm, never seeming rushed or forced, and always allows the incredible story to shine through.
Science Fiction
Arthur C. Clarke Rama II Years ago, the enormous, enigmatic alien spacecraft called Rama sailed through our solar system as mind-boggling proof that life existed or had existed elsewhere in the universe. Now, at the dawn of the twenty-third century, another ship is discovered hurtling toward us. A crew of Earth s best and brightest minds is assembled to rendezvous with the massive vessel. They are armed with everything we know about Raman technology and culture. But nothing can prepare them for what they are about to encounter on board Rama II: cosmic secrets that are startling, sensational and perhaps even deadly. Science Fiction
Arthur C. Clarke Garden of Rama, The Rama is back, but the luster and sense of wonder generated by its first appearances have eroded. The once-exciting vessel has been turned into a cheaply painted backdrop for an equally garish exposition of vice-lord politics. When Rama returns to earth and demands a sample of humanity for observation, a lying, corrupt government hands over 2000 citizens. These individuals serve as a microcosm to reflect most of today s big sociological problems, thus implying that in 300 years no existing problems will have been solved nor will any others have been created. Clarke s unmistakable style is sadly lacking. You have been warned. Science Fiction
Ray Bradbury Fahrenheit 451 Fahrenheit 451 is the temperature at which book paper catches fire, and starts to burn... Why on earth would you want to know that? In this book, its main character, Guy Montag, is a fireman. However, he is not a fireman in the way we now understand that word: a man that tries to stop fires.
Here, firemen burn books, and Guy is undergoing a crisis of faith. His wife spends all day with her television family, imploring Montag to work harder so that they can afford a fourth TV wall. Their dull, empty life sharply contrasts with that of his next-door neighbor, a young girl thrilled by the ideas in books, and more interested in the world around her than in the tv. When she disappears mysteriously, Montag is moved to make some changes that will change his life.
Science Fiction
Orsen Scott Card Ender s Game This Hugo and Nebula Award-winning novel is given award- winning treatment as an audiobook. Stefan Rudnicki s resonant voice provides the main narration, while others are used when the point of view shifts from that of Ender Wiggin, a brilliant boy who is mankind s hope of surviving war with an alien race. Short conversations precede every chapter of the novel. Here, several different actors perform those conversations as audio drama. The author himself reads a postscript in which he discusses the origins of the novel. Ender s Game offers outstanding production and first-rate narration. Don t miss it. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award. Science Fiction
Kevin J. Anderson Hidden Empire In thet future, humans are one of three known intelligent races. We are considered the new kids on the block in a long-established universe. The second intelligent race is the Ildirans, who are ruled by their Mage-Imperator; and the third race, the Klikiss, seems to have vanished and left behind a world full of artifacts and remarkable technology, which humans are now beginning to find and utilize. One such piece of technology is a device that has the power to turn a gaseous and useless supergiant planet into a small sun, thereby creating a new solar system in which humans can live. But when the device is tried for the first time, it awakens the wrath of a previously unsuspected fourth race, the Hydrogues-and a galaxy-spanning war that threatens all life begins. Science Fiction
Arthur C. Clarke Hammer of God, The In the year 2110 technology has cured most of our worries. But even as humankind enters a new golden age, an amateur astronomer points his telescope at just the right corner of the night sky and sees disaster hurtling toward Earth: a chunk of rock that could annihilate civilization. While a few fanatics welcome the apocalyptic destruction as a sign from God, the greatest scientific minds of Earth desperately search for a way to avoid the inevitable. On board the starship Goliath Captain Robert Singh and his crew must race against time to redirect the meteor form its deadly collision course. Suddenly they find themselves on the most important mission in human history a mission whose success may require the ultimate sacrifice. Science Fiction
Kevin J. Anderson Forest of Stars, A Five years after the events in Hidden Empire, hydrogues, gas giant aliens, continue to plague the Terran Hanseatic League in retaliation for the Hansa s accidental destruction of a hydrogue planet. This time they re also eager to destroy their ancient enemy, the Verdani, an interconnected, semi-sentient worldforest far more dangerous to the quicksilver aliens than mere humans. Earth Defense Forces have hidden enemies in the Klikiss robots, whose resolve to reprogram compies into human-killing robots is just as alarming as covert alien experiments on humans. Sparked with surprises, enriched by ecological issues that laypersons can appreciate, this saga soars as it exposes the inner and external roots of war. Science Fiction
Larry Weiner Anne Manx & the Ring of Minotour The eagerly-awaited sequel to Lives of the Cat hurls us into a web of intrigue swirling around an ancient temple, a mysterious ring and a legend that offers the chance for someone to actually become a god. Jean Richmond s murderous lunge for ultimate power forces Anne Manx to risk her own soul for revenge.
This gripping sci-fi thriller is fully dramatized, featuring a full cast, an original score, and a host of professionally mastered sound effects.
A production designed to have escalating suspense and slam-bang action to hold you riveted combine to bring you whole new worlds of adventure on the biggest screen of all your imagination.
Science Fiction
Thomas Tucker Half and Again One child will die. The other will bring him back. Tearing one man s spirit between two bodies. Can a boy live with half a soul? Can one man s essence exist within another man s body?
In the year 2126, Job and Tommy uncover a relic from before the Great Planetary Shift of 2014. A tragic accident and a celestial event forever alters the courses of their lives. Their destinies intertwined as closely as their souls.
As the boys journey evolves, Job desperately searches for meaning and strength to go on, while Tommy s humanity seeps away, and darkness gathers. Once set in motion, how far will destiny carry the two boys, and where is it taking them?
Building momentum to breakneck velocities, the story pulls you through two boys childhoods to a thrilling conclusion.
Science Fiction
David Brin Sundiver No species has ever reached for the stars without the guidance of a patron except perhaps mankind. Did some mysterious race begin the uplift of humanity aeons ago? Circling the sun, under the caverns of Mercury, Expedition Sundiver prepares for the most momentous voyage in history a journey into the boiling inferno of the sun.
Sundiver is a good starting point into the Uplift world that Brin has created. Though it may be the weakest of the six books in the series, it is very solid and an enjoyable start to it all.
Science Fiction
David Brin Startide Rising Carrying humans affinity with dolphins to new heights, Startide Rising, winner of both the Nebula and Hugo Awards, tells the adventure of a starship crewed by dolphins. George Wilson is undaunted by dolphin-speak and its variations in dialect, syntax, and tone as they reflect the speaker s emotional state. He also masters the many place and people names. He is just as adept with the speech patterns, inflections, and vocabulary of the various alien races that are interfering with the dolphins hope of getting home safely and quickly. As the plot thickens and the relationships between the characters become more complex, Wilson s narration is a calm and steady beacon. Science Fiction
Spider Robinson Callahan Chronicals This collection of stories, initially featured in the science fiction magazine Analog, is centered on Callahan s Crosstime Saloon. It can only be found by those who truly need to be there, those who need to share their pain with a bunch of tolerant, caring empaths, human or otherwise. Observations on the nature of society tend to make the listener squirm, but the narrator s approach to his narration is a perfect fit for the attitude of the saloon and its patrons, not reproachful of failings, but laid-back and comforting. This production has the tone of a one-on-one conversation with a remarkable individual whose deep insights illuminate an even more remarkable universe and its inhabitants. Science Fiction
Aldous Huxley Brave New World This classic science fiction work continues to be a significant warning to our society today. In Huxley s utopian World State, everyone consumes daily grams of soma, to fight depression, babies are born in laboratories, and the most popular form of entertainment is a Feelie, a movie that stimulates the senses of sight, hearing, and touch. Though there is no violence and everyone is provided for, Bernard Marx feels something is missing and senses his relationship with a young women has the potential to be much more than the confines of their existence allow.
Huxley foreshadowed many of the practices and gadgets we take for granted today let s hope the sterility and absence of individuality he predicted aren t yet to come.
Science Fiction
Anne McCaffrey Killashandra This sequel to McCaffrey s Crystal Singer continues the story of Killashandra Ree, a failed musician whose perfect pitch has given her entree to the glamorous but dangerous profession of mining and cutting rare, valuable crystal.
At first her ambitions to become a Crystal Singer, get rich, and forget her past, were going just as she had hoped. But after she grew wealthy, a devastating storm turned her claim to useless rock. In short order she was broke, she had crystal sickness so bad she thought she was going to die, and the only way she could be true to the man she loved was to leave him...
A satisfying adventure for those who like their science fiction spiced with humor and romance.
Science Fiction
Kim Stanley Robinson Red Mars Red Mars opens with a tragic murder, an event that becomes the focal point for the surviving characters and the turning point in a long intrigue that pits idealistic Mars colonists against a desperately overpopulated Earth, radical political groups of all stripes against each other, and the interests of transnational corporations against the dreams of the pioneers.
This is a vast book: a chronicle of the exploration of Mars with some of the most engaging, vivid, and human characters in recent science fiction. Robinson fantasizes brilliantly about the science of terraforming a hostile world, analyzes the socio-economic forces that propel and attempt to control real interplanetary colonization, and imagines the diverse reactions that humanity would have to the dead, red planet.
Though it is a complete novel in itself, Red Mars is also the first in a trilogy, followed by Blue Mars and Green Mars. Generously blending hard science with canny insight into human strengths and weaknesses, this novel seems to have emerged the favorite of all of the recent stories about a rocket trip to Mars, showing up on many science fiction awards lists.
Science Fiction
David Brin Uplift War Billions of years ago, an alien race known as the Progenitors began the genetically engineered techniques by which non-intelligent creatures are given intelligence by one of the higher races in the galaxy. Once Uplifted, these creatures must serve their patron race before they, in turn, can Uplift other races.
The various uplifted inhabitants of the planet Garth must battle their overlords or face ultimate extinction. At stake is the existence of Terran society and Earth, and the fate of the entire Five Galaxies; human intelligence is an affront to the aliens who plan an attack, threatening a human experiment aimed at producing the next Uplift.
Sweeping, brilliantly crafted, inventive and dramatic, The Uplift War is an unforgettable story of adventure and wonder from one of today s science fiction greats. Such is the premise of this novel, which won the 1988 Hugo Award.
Science Fiction
Ben Bova Moonrise In the near future of the 21st century, the moon has been colonized by a U.S. aerospace company, and nanobugs have been developed for practical use. (Nanobugs are microscopic machines which can build structures on the moon using lunar raw materials; they can also enter the human body and correct damage done by illness and injury) But conflict within the company s founding family and growing protests on Earth against nanotechnology put Moonbase in danger of closure.
Ben Bova has a way of writing hard science fiction that can best be described as definitive. He tends to write about advances that we re already capable of, if only we pursued them, and thus, weaves tales which are very realistic.
Dick Hill s ability to enhance the characters through his expression of their emotions and the creation of their vocal personas, together with Bova s plausible story, captures and transports the listener to a world where travel to and residence on the Moon is a fact of life. Special effects give the conversations between workers in spacesuits an authentic sound, heightening the believability of the story.
Science Fiction
Larry Niven Ringworld Two humans and two aliens, who are traveling to distant reaches of space to prevent a future catastrophe, crash on a ringworld apparently created by superior technologies.
Pierson s puppeteers are an ancient, technologically advanced alien race. They broke off contact with humanity hundreds of years before, as they began their flight to escape the inevitable, but far in the future, death of this galaxy.
Now a puppeteer has reappeared and invites our protagonist, Louis Wu, to join him on an expedition to an ancient artifact hundreds of light-years from Earth. With Louis will travel a dangerously-aggressive alien Kzin Speaker-To-Animals and a young human women, Teela Brown. Louis is an adventurer, Speaker-To-Animals is an ambassador to humans but the lovely Teela s only qualification for this expedition is that she is believed, by the puppeteers, to be lucky and thus an asset to trip.
Ringworld, perhaps the largest artifact in the universe, has living space equivalent to millions of Earths. However, this artifact is strangely inactive. It s down to Louis, Speaker and Teela to find out why it s there and whether it s safe.
Science Fiction
Philip K. Dick Minority Report and Other Stories, The Philip K. Dick is known for his strange reality-bending stories. These 5 stories are an excellent sample of his fiction:

The Minority Report: a special unit that employs those with the power of precognition to prevent crimes proves itself less than reliable (Basis of the movie by the same name)...

We Can Remember It For You Wholesale: an everyguy s yearning for more exciting memories places him in a danger he never could have imagined (basis of the feature film Total Recall)...

Paycheck: a mechanic who has no memory of the previous two years of his life finds that a bag of seemingly worthless and unrelated objects can actually unlock the secret of his recent past and insure that he has a future...

Second Variety: the UN s technological advances to win a global war veer out of control, threatening to destroy all of humankind (basis of the movie Screamers)...

The Eyes Have It: a whimsical, laugh-out-loud play on the words of the title.
Science Fiction
M.T. Anderson Feed Enter a chilling, twisted future in which one s every thought and movement is directed and regulated by the feed, a computer chip implanted in the brain. Seen through the eyes of teenagers, some who embrace the feed and revel in its unbridled consumerism, and one who rails against society s rampant ignorance and banality. David Aaron Baker s superb use of inflection is realistic, from their vapid musings to profane outbursts that substitute for conversation. The ensemble cast, representing the cacophony of the feed, resembles the worst of today s commercials. This brilliant production enhances Anderson s portrait of a world gone sour, in which even the adults have forgotten how to use language, and everything is dying, including the kids. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award. Science Fiction
Larry Niven Ringworld Engineers In the twenty years that have passed since Louis Wu s original trip to the Ringworld , he s gone downhill somewhat. He spends almost all of his time under the wire an addict to the electrical stimulation of the brain s pleasure centers. He s become a junkie.
Now he s to be snatched away from this and returned to the Ringworld, this time unwillingly. With him once more will be Chmeee, Speaker-To-Animals , the alien Kzin.
The Ringworld is in a parlous state. Louis and his crew-mates will have to discover enough about incredible artifact in order to save it, and the billions of beings upon it. In the process they ll discover something of the builders of the Ringworld and this is a most amazing surprise.
This excellent sequel to Ringworld is jam-packed with invention and imagination, style and humour. Louis Wu storms through the Ringworld, no task too large for a quick-thinking amateur scientist until he comes to the task of saving the Ringworld itself. Then the problem is so immense and the cost of the cure so high, that it may be beyond him.
Science Fiction
Larry Niven Ringworld Throne The year is 2882, and something ominous is happening on Ringworld. Incoming spacecraft are being destroyed, the predatory humanoids known as vampires are breeding in alarming numbers, and the Ringworld Protectors, who normally stick to their own kind, are at war with other species. Enter Louis Wu, the 200-year-old human scientist who discovered Ringworld and has been sailing its oceans since saving it from almost certain destruction some time ago. Assisted by his faithful puppeteer and kzin sidekicks, Wu makes investigations that lead to the uncomfortable conclusion that Ringworld may need a single Protector chief to solve its problems a position for which Wu becomes an unwilling candidate. The story suffers occasionally from having too many characters and hardly equals the fascination of its predecessors, but will draw fans of the series.
O Brien narrates with clarity and fervor. His nuanced, well-paced performance which includes interesting vocal characterizations of both the realistic and fanciful variety keeps things moving because this weakest of the Ringworld series certainly doesn t.
Science Fiction
Isaac Asimov I, Robot In this collection, one of the great classics of science fiction, Asimov set out the principles of robot behavior that we know as the Three Laws of Robotics. Here are stories of robots gone mad, mind-reading robots, robots with a sense of humor, robot politicians, and robots who secretly run the world, all told with Asimov s trademark dramatic blend of science fact and science fiction.
Asimov chronicles the development of the robot through a series of interlinked stories: from its primitive origins in the present to its ultimate perfection in the not-so-distant future a future in which humanity itself may be rendered obsolete.
Science Fiction
Peter David Q-In-Law When two powerful rival families are to be joined through marriage, the U.S.S. Enterprise is chosen as the site for the wedding. Though Captain Picard is pleased by the happy duty, his pleasure is cut short by the arrival of the Federation delegate from Betazed: Lwaxana Troi.
The celebration seems to go smoothly until the situation is further complicated by the arrival of Q who has come to examine and challenge the human concept of love. Suddenly, the festivities are in turmoil, the powerful wedding families are on the verge of war, and Lwaxana Troi is determined to teach Q a lesson in love that he will never forget...
Science Fiction
Roger Zelazny Hand of Oberon The 4th novel in Zelazny's Amber Series. The hour of final battle is at hand. Now Corwin and the remaining princes of Amber must call upon all their superhuman powers to defeat their brother-turned-traitor. Science Fiction
Anne McCaffrey Rowan, The The Rowan, a powerful but lonely psychic in charge of the Federal Telepath & Transport service, touches minds and falls in love with another of her ilk who needs help fighting extraterrestrials. "In this sensitive portrayal (expanded from the author's first published story, 'Lady in the Tower') McCaffrey draws a warm and vivid picture of a struggling frontier society," said PW. Science Fiction
Larry Niven Ringworld's Children Ringworld's Children returns series protagonist Louis Wu to the titular world. Louis and his friend The Hindmost, an alien of the Pierson's puppeteer race, are prisoners of the Ghoul protector Tunesmith, a Ringworld native, who is deliberately provoking the warships that surround his world. All the star-faring races of Known Space have sent warships to the Ringworld, and they are already at the brink of war. If fighting breaks out, the near-indestructible Ringworld will be destroyed: dissolved by antimatter weapons.

The Ringworld series is so complex and ambitious that Ringworld's Children opens with a glossary and a cast of characters, inclusions that even many Known Space fans will need. Newcomers to Niven's artificial planet should start with Ringworld.
Science Fiction
Roger Zelazny Sign of the Unicorn Amber is the one real world, of which all others including our own Earth are but Shadows. A traitor has revealed the royal family's greatest secret: the ability to manipulate Shadow and travel through all possible worlds, enabling a plot towards Amber's destruction. Corwin, Prince of the Blood, must risk everything in a deadly assault on evil's stronghold. Now, beset by demonic powers beyond imagination and betrayed by a bizarre conspiracy among his own kin, Corwin walks a perilous path toward ultimate knowledge and terrifying discovery. Science Fiction
C.S. Lewis Out of the Silent Planet This is the first of Lewis's Space Trilogy. The others are PERELANDRA and THAT HIDEOUS STRENGTH. Geoffrey Howard, who also reads Lewis's better known work, MERE CHRISTIANITY, offers an Oxbridge accent, which would have been the accent of Lewis, a professor at both of those universities. Howard's tenor voice never stumbles with Lewis's formal syntax or the invented alien language of the inhabitants of Malacandra (Mars). The story, which is influenced by the fiction of H.G. Wells, has deeper meaning but is also compelling on its own.

Out of the Silent Planet begins the adventures of the remarkable Dr. Ransom. Here, that estimable man is abducted by a megalomaniacal physicist and his accomplice and taken via spaceship to the red planet of Malacandra. The two men are in need of a human sacrifice, and Dr. Ransom would seem to fit the bill. Once on the planet, however, Ransom eludes his captors, risking his life and his chances of returning to Earth, becoming a stranger in a land that is enchanting in its difference from Earth and instructive in its similarity. First published in 1943, Out of the Silent Planet remains a mysterious and suspenseful tour de force.
Science Fiction
C.S. Lewis That Hideous Strength The final book in C.S. Lewis's acclaimed Space Trilogy, which includes Out of the Silent Planet and Perelandra, That Hideous Strength concludes the adventures of the matchless Dr. Ransom. Finding himself in a world of superior alien beings and scientific experiments run amok, Dr. Ransom struggles with questions of ethics and morality, applying age-old wisdom to a brave new universe dominated by science. His quest for truth is a journey filled with intrigue and suspense. Science Fiction
Ben Bova Death Dream This novel by the popular sf author (e.g., Empire Builders, Audio Reviews, LJ 2/15/94) is a mainstream thriller based on evolving computer technology that may one day make "virtual reality" a household term. Dan Santorini, a programming expert, teams with Jace, a former colleague and volatile genius, in creating a virtual reality theme park in which customers can do such things as pitch against a computer-generated Babe Ruth, engage in old-time gunfights, and visit other worlds. While one might argue that the technology to make all this possible is still years away, Bova's technical explanations-while not up to the standards of, say, Michael Crichton-are convincing and thought-provoking. What is not convincing is Bova's subplot involving an ambitious political insider who attempts to use virtual reality to manipulate the U.S. President. Nonetheless, an intriguing thriller, which benefits from Dick Hill's fine reading. Science Fiction
Ben Bova City of Darkness Ben Bova, a master of futuristic novels, presents a dystopian Manhattan, where a dome covers the city's decay and decadence and is only "open" two months a year to the outside world of programmed, ordered society. Teenaged Ron Morgan rebels against his orchestrated life and finds himself stranded in the Dome, beset by gangs and scavengers. Harlan Ellison himself writes in a similar vein and has collaborated with Bova on science-fiction projects--he knows the territory. Ellison fully inhabits the characters, em-bracing the desperation of the gangs, the base instincts of predators and power-brokers, and the adolescent's desires and fears. His spirited performance is a tour de force of energy. His pace leaves the listener a bit exhausted, but the frenetic momentum seems integral to this future society. Science Fiction
Ben Bova Jupiter Suppose the future society of the world were ruled by a theocracy and the existence of intelligent extraterrestrial life challenges the scriptures and threatens world stability. Christian Noble and David Warner lead us through this story, told through the eyes of a young scientist and a sentient being who discovers an alien life on Jupiter. Noble and Warren's pace helps create a roller coaster of suspense and clear distinction amongst varying dialects. With their easy-to-follow and entertaining deliveries, Noble and Warner offer an enticing enhancement of a text that demands dual narration. Science Fiction
Ben Bova Rock Rats, The This tale of asteroid miners fighting a giant conglomerate is a classic space opera, with characters and plot portrayed in broad strokes. It centers around Lars Fuchs, an independent miner who turns pirate to battle powerful Martin Humphries. The battle is personal Lars married Amanda, the love of Martin's life but the fate of all the independent miners in the Asteroid Belt is at stake. A cast of nine people switching off might seem a bit excessive, but all do well at keeping the action moving. It's obvious that the story falls in the middle of a series, and the ending leaves plenty of loose ends for the next installment.

A sequel to The Precipice
Science Fiction
Edgar Rice Burroughs Chessmen of Mars, The Helium, a spoiled princess and John Carter's daughter, rejects Gahan, Jed of Gathol, as a suitor and foolishly flys off into a great storm. Gahan gives chase. By the time he finally catches up to Tara, she has forgotten who he is, and he assumes the name Turjun, a panthan mercenary. Together they challenge the power of O-Tar, Jeddak of Manator, whose barbaric nation of Red Men have preyed upon Gathol for centuries. The Manatorians have elevated Jetan, Martian chess, to an unprecedented level of skill and excitement: they use live chessmen who fight for live princesses. Gahan finds himself fighting for Tara on the chessboard of Manator, and haunting O-Tar's palace. Science Fiction
Edgar Rice Burroughs Thuvia Maid of Mars The author of Tarzan of the Apes, delivers an adventure tale like none other. In this fourth book in the Martian series, Carthoris falls in love with Thuvia, Princess of Ptarth. After she is stolen away by Astok, Prince of Dusar, Ptarth s rival, Carthoris follows her across Barsoom and rescues her, encountering some strange and fascinating creatures. Science Fiction
Ben Bova Return to Mars Where Bova shines is in making science not only comprehensible but entertaining, as when he explains why explorers on Mars will not have to send their laundry home to be cleaned. It seems that when clothes are left out in the near vacuum on the Martian surface, ''the dirt flakes completely off the fabric. And the unfiltered ultraviolet light from the sun sterilizes everything.''

Absorbing and thoroughly satisfying: Mars fans will pounce, while newcomers will feel welcome too.
Science Fiction
Ben Bova Precipice, The Stefan Rudnicki, producer and one of the performers, has picked his readers well. In fact, he is himself one of the best of them. Each scene generally concentrates on one of the lead characters, so Rudnicki assigns a particular reader to a particular character throughout the book. The technique works. The listener has no difficulty picturing the scenes and character interactions as the book wanders across a landscape divided among an ecologically ravaged Earth, spaceships, the moon, space stations, and an few asteroids out in the Belt. Bova has written better books, but the performances here enhance the work indeed. Science Fiction
Ben Bova Mars Half-Navajo geologist Jamie Waterman is picked for the ground team for the first manned expedition to Mars, joining an international team of astronauts and scientists. Dick Hill flawlessly conveys the many nationalities and genders in this engrossing story which expertly deals with the social, political and human aspects of such a voyage and the subsequent two-month stay on the red planet. Although this is science fiction, it is first and foremost a well-told human story which also contains information pertinent to the adventure and the planet. A real treat for anyone seeking an engrossing story. Science Fiction
Ben Bova Sam Gunn Unlimited Bova takes us on a trip to a part of the universe where the men are real men and the women are willing. Bova's latest is a kind of pastiche of stories about Sam Gunn: former NASA employee, astronaut, entrepreneur and interstellar rascal. When not hitting the sack in zero gravity with an evil seductress, he's out convincing Earthside moneybags to buy up interplanetary real estate. But although Sam is a swashbuckler, he is also politically correct (sort of): he befriends and goes into business with Malone, the first person to recover from AIDS. "Sam could be a true friend, caring, understanding, bringing out the best in a man," Malone reminisces to Jade, a young journalist on Sam's trail. Her interviews with his pals and business partners form the structure of this space opera. Though Sam's shenanigans (such as getting drunk for days on the moon) are wild and often wacky, he remains engaging, if a bit glib. He seems light-years apart from the serious professionals Bova envisioned trailblazing Mars. Sam is too lively a hero to hear about second-hand. The question is, how will this hero, who ostensibly disappeared into a black hole, survive to a clearly intended sequel? Science Fiction
Edgar Rice Burroughs Out of Time's Abyss This is the tale of Bradley after he left Fort Dinosaur upon the west coast of the great lake that is in the center of the island. Upon the fourth day of September 1916, he set out with four companions through the heavy Caspakian air. About them upon the ground, among the trees and in the air over them moved and swung and soared the countless forms of Caspak's teeming life. They had taken a dozen steps, perhaps, when a hideous growl broke from a dense thicket ahead, the leafy branches parted, and the hideous head of a gigantic bear emerged. "Lie still!" shouted Bradley. "Can't waste ammunition." Like a bolt of lightning the bear flashed down upon the Englishman. "Now run!" Bradley called to Tippet and himself turned in flight toward a nearby tree. The other men, now safely ensconced upon various branches, watched the race with breathless interest. Would Bradley make it? It seemed scarce possible. And if he didn't. . . ! Science Fiction
Edgar Rice Burroughs Princess of Mars, A Although Edgar Rice Burroughs (1875-1950) is justifiably famous as the creator of Tarzan of the Apes, that uprooted Englishman was not his only popular hero. Burroughs's first sale (in 1912) was A Princess of Mars, opening the floodgates to one of the must successful--and prolific--literary careers in history. This is a wonderful scientific romance that perhaps can be best described as early science fiction melded with an epic dose of romantic adventure. A Princess of Mars is the first adventure of John Carter, a Civil War veteran who unexpectedly find himself transplanted to the planet Mars. Yet this red planet is far more than a dusty, barren place; it's a fantasy world populated with giant green barbarians, beautiful maidens in distress, and weird flora and monstrous fauna the likes of which could only exist in the author's boundless imagination. Sheer escapism of the tallest order, the Martian novels are perfect entertainment for those who find Tarzan's fantastic adventures aren't, well, fantastic enough. Although this novel can stand alone, there are a total of 11 volumes in this classic series of otherworldly, swashbuckling adventure. Science Fiction
Harry Harrison Stainless Steel Rat Slippery Jim DiGriz is the Stainless Steel Rat: the galaxy's greatest interstellar thief and con artist. For novel upon novel, the Rat has outfoxed the forces of conventionality, cutting a stylish swathe through dozens of star systems-and stealing the hearts of thousands of readers.

Now three of the Rat's greatest exploits are collected in a single volume. In A Stainless Steel Rat Is Born, we see the origin and early days of Jim DiGriz's brilliant criminal career, as our underworld hero is forced to work for the Good Guys. Conscripted again in The Stainless Steel Rat Gets Drafted, this time into a planetary army, the Rat must avenge the murder of his mentor-in-crime. And in The Stainless Steel Rat Sings the Blues, Slippery Jim must retrieve a missing alien artifact, while disguised as a futuristic rock-and-roller...or forfeit his life.
Science Fiction
Carl Sagan Contact Dr. Ellie Arroway, a radio astronomer, discovers a clear and unmistakably intelligent signal from outer space. This signal, and the significance of knowing "we are not alone," excites debate; fosters love, hate, and fear; and unifies mankind on a worldwide scale. Ellie remains scientifically skeptical and aloof from the controversy as she becomes involved with the politicians and scientists who hammer out a consolidated earthly response to the extraterrestrials' instructions for building a mysterious "machine." Is the machine good or evil? Is it from God? Or is it a doomsday machine? Narrator Laurel Lefkow has a lovely, mellow voice that will lull listeners, providing the multinational characters with precise accents. Overdubs mar the narrative in spots but not enough to counteract Sagan's beautiful writing; he contemplates faith-based vs. scientifically grounded belief systems of the universe's creation and purpose, showing remarkable understanding of both positions and in the end synthesizes the two. Science Fiction
Orson Scott Card Shadow of the Giant Considering the dynasty of novels launched by Ender's Game (1984), perhaps Card ought to consider renaming his central protagonist. Though this is putatively the eighth book in the Ender saga, when considering the books as two quartets linked across a 1,000-year gap (a by-product of Ender's light-speed travel to Lusitania), it's the fourth of the sequence that began with Ender's Shadow (1999). Here, Card further develops the premise that the return of Ender's battle team to Earth was tantamount to introducing "two Alexanders, a Joan of Arc here and there, and a couple of Julius Caesars, maybe an Attila, and . . . a Genghis Khan" into the geopolitical fray. The tension between characters' personal fulfillment and collective obligations also comes to the fore, as couple Bean and Petra desperately search for their eight missing embryos stolen by the mad eugenicist of Shadow Puppets (2002), watch Bean's health deteriorate, and attempt to restore order to the world under hegemon Peter Wiggin. The emergence of several additional perspectives makes for a somewhat cumbersome narrative, but it doesn't much matter. Like Card's idolized Battle School alumni, novels in this saga (not to mention Card himself) have acquired an irresistible aura from early associations with boy-hero Ender Wiggin. Science Fiction
Larry Niven Protector Phssthpok the Pak had been traveling for most of his thirty-two thousand years. His mission: save, develop, and protect the group of Pak breeders sent out into space some two and a half million years before...
Brennan was a Belter, the product of a fiercely independent, somewhat anarchic society living in, on, and around an outer asteroid belt. The Belters were rebels, one and all, and Brennan was a smuggler. The Belt worlds had been tracking the Pak ship for days -- Brennan figured to meet that ship first...
He was never seen again -- at least not by those alive at the time.
Science Fiction
Douglas Adams Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency There is a long tradition of Great Detectives, and Dirk Gently does not belong to it. But his search for a missing cat uncovers a ghost, a time traveler, AND the devastating secret of humankind! Detective Gently's bill for saving the human race from extinction: NO CHARGE. Science Fiction
Asiaac Asimov Best of Asimov
Science Fiction
Robert Heinlein Time Enough For Love The capstone and crowning achievement of Heinlein's famous Future History, Time Enough For Love follows Lazarus Long through a vast and magnificent timescape of centuries and worlds. Heinlein's longest and most ambitious work, it is the story of a man so in love with Life that he refused to stop living it; and so in love with Time that he became his own ancestor. Science Fiction
Anne McCaffrey Crystal Line Killashandra, Crystal Singer, returns for a third novel in the Crystal Series. I recommend you read these in order as the events in the first two lead up to this novel.
Killashandra is now a mature Crystal Singer. She enjoys the benefits of life on Ballybran as one of the rare and valuable miners of Crystal. The career of a Singer brings wealth, long life and a certain cachet in the Galaxy. But it comes at a heavy price; loss of memory and thus an inability to maintain any meaningful relationships. Singers are encouraged to document their lives with a recorded journal so they can pick up the pieces of their personality and not become shallow and venal.
Killashandra and Lars Dahl, her new-found love from the previous novel, face new challenges for the Heptite Guild. But their relationship is threatened by forces behind the scenes. Is Lars working for or against Killashandra?
Science Fiction
H.G. Wells Time Machine, The H.G. Wells' visionary novel is credited with creating the science fiction genre because of its tantalizing glimpses into our distant future. Wells presents the exciting diary of the Time Traveler, whose machine crash-lands in the year 802,701. He encounters lush landscapes and a small, highly civilized group of people known as the Eloi, who live in blissful peace. The Traveler attempts to go back in time to share their secrets with his troubled society, but his machine disappears when the sun sets - and the fearsome Morlocks arrive to attack the cowering Eloi. The Time Machine is an astonishing odyssey into the future, and this thrilling presentation brilliantly captures Wells's unlimited imagination and sense of adventure. Science Fiction
H.G. Wells Red Room and Other Stories, The The Red Room

The Moth

The Magic Shop

The Pearl of Love

The Door in the Wall:
the story of a promising public figure used up by his job and obsessed by a vision of an enchanted garden he had known as a child. It is a tale all of us know, the attempt to recover a period when our lives were simpler and complications lay far in the future.

Note: the stories in the actual book contain other stories than the ones listed here, with the exception of The Door in the Wall. I used this title because The Red Room is one of the stories in this set and it made getting a cover convenient.
Science Fiction
Robert Heinlein Farmer in the Sky Bill knew his destiny lay in the stars, but how was he to get there?
George Lerner was shipping out for Ganymede to join the fledgling colony, and Bill wanted to go along. But his father would not hear of it -- far too dangerous a mission!
Bill finally talked his way aboard the colony ship Mayflower -- and discovered his father was right!
Science Fiction
Alfred Bester Demolished Man In a world policed by telepaths, Ben Reich plans to commit a crime that hasn't been heard of in 70 years: murder. That's the only option left for Reich, whose company is losing a 10-year death struggle with rival D'Courtney Enterprises. Terrorized in his dreams by The Man With No Face and driven to the edge after D'Courtney refuses a merger offer, Reich murders his rival and bribes a high-ranking telepath to help him cover his tracks. But while police prefect Lincoln Powell knows Reich is guilty, his telepath's knowledge is a far cry from admissible evidence. Science Fiction
Lou Tice Achieving Your Potential This pesentation is backed by years of extensive research and experience in helping people discover and realize their potential for success. You will discover how and why your mind works as it does, and why you, seemingly at times, make choices that undermine your success, while other times your choices help you succeed. Exercises help you discover where your limitations come from but, most importantly, how to correct or overcome them and turn on your potential for success. This book teaches how to become a positive, motivated individual, with a possibility of unlimited success through the use of goal-setting techniques. Self Help
Dale Carnegie How to Win Friends & Influence People You can go after the job you want...and get it! You can take the job you have...and improve it! You can take any situation you re in...and make it work for you!
For over 50 years the rock-solid, time-tested advice in this book has carried thousands of now famous people up the ladder of success in their business and personal lives.
Now this phenomenal book has been revised and updated to help readers achieve their maximum potential in the complex and competitive 90s!
Learn 6 ways to make people like you, 12 ways to win people to your way of thinking, 9 ways to change people without arousing resentment... and much, much more!
Self Help
Robert Bramson Coping with Difficult People Bosses, friends, family members, they ve made  your life hell until now! Here are proven-effective techniques are guaranteed to help you right the balance and take charge of your life. Learn how to:
Stand up to anyone without fighting.
Blunt a sniper s  attack.
Get a clam to talk.
Cut off a Sherman tank at the pass.
Manage bulldozers.
Get stallers off the dime.
Move a complainer into a problem-solving mode.
Learn the six basic steps that allow you to  cope with just about anyone. Reclaim the power the rightfully belongs to you in any relationship!
Self Help
Jim Rohn Art of Exceptional Living, The In an inspirational self-help audio guide, a motivational expert shares the secrets of successful living, detailing four key life lessons, how to cope with self-imposed limitations, ways to evaluate relationships, and the art of making miracles. Rohn provides the ideas and inspiration that will lead to unstoppable daily progress.
Some of the strategies you will learn include:
The most common self-imposed limitations and how to deal with them.
The foundation of a good financial strategy.
The five abilities of your personal development quest.
Self Help
Stephen Covey 7 Habits of Highly Effective People This is a comprehensive program based on developing an awareness of how perceptions and assumptions hinder success in business as well as presonal relationships. It s an approach that will help broaden your way of thinking and lead to greater opportunities and effective problem solving.
The audio version of this bestselling book is worth every one of its 90 minutes; as a substitute for the original, it will only leave you wishing for the rest. Serious work has obviously gone into it, and serious change can likely come out of it but only with constant discipline and steadfast commitment. Highly recommended!
Self Help
William D. Hersey Remembering Names, Ideas & Information Although I couldn t find any information about this audio book on the web, I can tell you a little bit about the man who is the author.
William Hersey learned to use his memory so reliably that he could tell you what was on each page of any current magazine he had, he won $30,000 as a contestant on Concentration.
He wrote a highly acclaimed book, Blueprints for Memory: Your Guide To Remembering Business Facts, Figures, and Faces, (1990) which is still popular today. We earned a living teaching corporations how to use their memories more efficiently and reliably. This valuable audio book will show you the same.
Self Help
Napoleon Hill Science of Personal Achievement, The In this rare collection of original recordings, Hill shares the success secrets he learned from the achievers who influenced him Carnegie, Edison, Ford and the other legendary leaders of the early 20th century and the common set of universal principles that Hill discovered at the root of their success.
Unleash the power of positive thinking
Gain an unflinching belief in yourself and your ideas
Motivate others with your enthusiasm and conviction
Develop mental skills needed to transform your ideas into realized accomplishments
Self Help
Jim Rohn Challenge to Succeed Take the challenge and create a better life for yourself.
This program, recorded live at Jim s one-day seminar, involves the student physically, emotionally and mentally.
Five inspirational topics guide the participant through self-evaluation and commitment, including:
The 5 Major Pieces of the Life Puzzle
How to Fine Tune Thinking Habits
How to Develop an Educated Attitude
Why Success is Doing
The Art of Living Well
The Power of Personal Development
How to Become More Than You Are
Attracting More of What You Want
How to Become More Than Average
How to Be Wealthy and Happy forever
Personal Skills to Reach Your Potential
Self Help
Tony Robbins Get The Edge In this powerful 7-day program Anthony Robbins provides you with the cutting edge tools for not merely changing, but revolutionizing every area of your life forever.

You will learn how to:
· Maximize your energy and restore your body to its natural state of health and vitality.

· Develop deep and lasting relationships for profound fulfillment.

· Train your mind and body so your powerful emotions certainty, faith, passion, and determination are as automatic as breathing.

· Capitalize on opportunities for achieving financial freedom.

· Discover a meaningful and inspirational life purpose.

Be aware that many people consider Tony Robbins to be a total con artist. You have been warned.
Self Help
Brian Tracy Science of Self Confidence, The What would having greater self-confidence do for you? Tracy shows you how to control your confidence level by controlling your thoughts stop self-defeating behaviors and begin self-confident ones. See yourself as others see you and easily change their perceptions. Your intimate relationships are reflections of the kind of person you are. Learn how to win with others and increase your popularity by improving your listening skills and focusing on other people.
Get what you want! Capitalize on your strengths. You will learn how to determine your areas of excellence but also recognize what your weaknesses are.
Self Help
Brian Tracy Psychology of Achievement, The Learn how to build your self-esteem, set goals in every part of your life, reprogram your mind for success and unlock your mental powers in this audio book.
What goes on inside the mind of the people you successful people you admire most? Where do overacheivers get that ability that always seems to put them on top? What inner drive propels them far beyond the lives of ordinary people? The Psychology of Achievement is a inside look at the thinking that leads to great achievement. It provides the answers and techniques that can help you transform the way you think and act for higher successs and achievement.
Self Help
Brian Tracy Maximum Achievement: Doubling Your Brain Power This is one of the sections of Maximum Achievement, so is only a sample of the book. Learn:

How to keep your mind
stimulated on a regular basis.
How to be solution oriented
when dealing with difficult people,
situations or customers.
How to become a very effective problem solver.
Why you re a potential genius
The different intelligences that
can be used to improve your life
Three factors that control your
current level of creativity
How you can apply The Law of
Creativity to every area of your life
The 2 types of thinking used by everyone
Self Help
Brian Tracy Accelerated Learning Techniques: You Are a Genius Science has suggested that the human mind has an almost infinite potential for learning and processing information. The problem has always been how to access this incredible power. This audio will tell you how.
Based on Nobel Prize-winning research, the cutting-edge methods revealed here can make a dramatic difference to you and your family, virtually guaranteeing success at work and school. For this is the ideal learning program, enabling you to identify and use your own unique way of learning, unleashing the power of your whole brain. And as a result, you ll gain skills that put you in the top 1% of people in our society.
Self Help
John Gray Connecting with your Soul Mate Gray has made a career of his Mars and Venus theories about relationships. In this live seminar he offers a lot of sound advice that seems like common sense. He suggests that while it's fine to share common interests with your partner, it's also important to have differences so that the relationship remains stimulating and both people can grow. True love and chemistry take time to grow and aren't necessarily related to immediate physical attraction, Gray points out. Some of his advice comes across as sexist, particularly his belief that men and women bond when the man shows that he's a good provider and buys gifts for the woman. Gray's voice is a bit thin and nasal, but he speaks in a friendly, natural way that listeners respond to.
Self Help
John Gray Mars and Venus in the Bedroom Sex is not just about physical attraction -- it's also about communication, something couples who hope to achieve truly fulfilling sex and lasting passion must cultivate. Bestselling author John Gray helps readers learn to communicate sexual needs in a romantic but effective way and offers advice on keeping sex spontaneous and satisfying in a long-term relationship. Self Help
John Gray Secrets of Great Sex Sexual advice from John Gray... Self Help
James Dobson What Wives Wish Husbands Knew About Women Dr. Dobson's suggestions for marital happiness are interesting, practical, and humorous.

Mislabeled as author Gray
Self Help
Deborah Tannen Communication Matters II The following series of lectures draws on linguistics, or the scientific study of language, to show the many ways in which language has a profound effect upon human relationships. These lectures address the various aspects and implications of what Professor Tannen calls conversational style. It also looks at the dynamics of specific situations such as the workplace and classroom where the role of conversational style is of particular importance.

A person s conversational style includes far more than the words that he or she speaks. Each conversation is composed of contextual cues, unspoken messages, body language, and the rhythms of speech. For the most part, people communicate without a conscious focus on the subtleties of language. Through this course, the complexities of language, and all that language entails, will become more apparent.

A better understanding of language, of how we communicate, and of how our ways of communicating differ based on who we are talking to should lead not only to a better understanding of ourselves and of those with whom we have relationships, but should also lead to improved communication. Our language shapes our lives in numerous, complex ways. These lectures help us to make sense of our language and will help to improve our relationships with friends, spouses, and coworkers.

(The Guidebook is located on DVD062)
Self Help
Susan RoAne How to Work a Room A must listen for career beginners and equally valuable for the rest of us, HOW TO WORK A ROOM contains good basic information and a how-to manual on business socializing and networking. RoAne's detailed, well-thought-out message covers almost every situation anyone might encounter in his or her career. Though her vocal presentation is sometimes distractingly juvenile, overall her message contains helpful ideas and is a valuable listen for both professionals and novices. An important feature is what to do and what not to do in cyberspace. A great gift for oneself or for those interested in polishing their business and social skills. Self Help
Tom Clancy Debt of Honor Razio Yamata is one of Japan's most influential industrialists, and part of a relatively small group of authority who wield tremendous authority in the Pacific Rim's economic powerhouse. He has devised a plan to cripple the American greatness, humble the U.S. military, and elevate Japan to a position of dominance on the world stage. Yamata's motivation lies in his desire to pay off a Debt of Honor to his parents and to the country he feels is responsible for their deaths: America. All he needs is a catalyst to set his plan in motion. When the faulty gas tank on one Tennessee family's car leads to their fiery death, an opportunistic U.S. congressman uses the occasion to rush a new trade law through the system. The law is designed to squeeze Japan economically. Instead, it provides Yamata with the leverage he needs to put his plan into action. As Yamata's plan begins to unfold, it becomes clear to the world that someone is launching a fully integrated operation against the United States. There's only one man to find out who the culprit is: Jack Ryan, the new president's National Security Advisor.

SECOND PART: AB194
Special Ops
Tom Clancy Cardinal of the Kremlin Mikhail Filitov is a war hero and Red Army Colonel, with the CIA code name of "Cardinal." A chance encounter in a Moscow subway leads the KGB to begin a hunt for the spy in top echelons of power. Enter a world of high-wire, high-tech international intrigue that reaches from the bloody dust of Afghanistan to the use of lasers in space. The US and the USSR are negotiating a treaty that could lead to war or peace while their secret espionage armies are locked in the ultimate struggle. What the Cardinal knows could change the course of history. What a maverick CIA man named Ryan must do is outduel the KGB and bring the Cardinal out alive! Special Ops
Tom Clancy Hunt for Red October Beneath the Atlantic s chilly waters, the captain of Russia s top secret missile submarine, Red October, secretly intends to defect and U.S. intelligence agent Jack Ryan is eager to help him succeed. The Americans want her. The Russians want her back. And the most incredible chase in history is on...
The Hunt for Red October is the runaway bestseller that launched Tom Clancy s phenomenal career. A military thriller so accurate and convincing that the author was rumored to have been debriefed by the White House. Tension, suspense, drama the narrator captures the essence with superb reading.

Gripping narrative Navy buffs and thriller adepts have been mesmerized.
Time
Special Ops
Tom Clancy Clear and Present Danger In Clear and Present Danger, nothing is as clear as it may seem. The president, unsatisfied with the success of his war on drugs, decides that he wants some immediate success. But after John Clark s covert strike team is deployed to Colombia for Operation Showboat, the drug lords strike back taking several civilian casualties. The chief executive s polls plummet. He orders Ritter to terminate their unofficial plan and leave no traces. Jack Ryan, who has just been named CIA deputy director of intelligence is enraged when he discovers that has been left out of the loop of Colombian operations. Several of America s most highly trained soldiers are stranded in an unfinished mission that, according to all records, never existed. Ryan decides to get the men out.
Ultimately, Clear and Present Danger is about good conscience, law, and politics, with Jack Ryan and CIA agent John Clark as its dual heroes. Ryan relentlessly pursues what he knows is right and legal, even if it means confronting the president of the United States. Clark is the perfect soldier, but a man who finally holds his men higher than the orders of any careless commander.
Along with the usual, stunning array of military hardware and the latest techno-gadgets, Clear and Present Danger further develops the relationships and characters that Clancy fans have grown to love. Admiral James Greer passes the CIA torch to his pupil, Ryan. Mr. Clark and Chavez meet for the first time. Other recurring characters like Robert Ritter and the President add continuity to Clancy s believable, alternate reality. This is Clancy at his best.

The issues raised are real ones, and jump ahead of the headlines.
New York Times

Rousing adventure...A crackling good yarn.
Washington Post
Special Ops
Tom Clancy Bear and the Dragon, The Power is delightful, but not when you re the most powerful man on earth and the place is ticking like a time bomb. Jack Ryan, CIA warrior turned U.S. president, is the man in the hot seat, and in this vast thriller he s up to his nostrils in crazed Asian warlords, Russian thugs, nukes that won t stay put, and authentic, up-to-the-nanosecond technology as complex as the characters motives are simple.
Blending the exceptional realism and authenticity that are his hallmarks with intricate plotting, razor-sharp suspense and a remarkable cast of characters, this is Clancy at his best.

*THIS STORY IS ON TWO CDS: AB166 and AB128
Special Ops
Tom Clancy Patriot Games Jack Ryan, introduced in The Hunt for Red October, is on a visit with his wife and daughter in London when Ryan stumbles onto an royal kidnapping attempt. Using his Marine Corps training, Ryan saves the royals, but then becomes the target of the surviving terrorists. Many familiar elements of the Clancy style are evident in this prequel: a fascination with machines, systems and procedures; thin characters; idealization of the soldier s life, sarcastic humor, and a discordant sentimentality about family life. Nonetheless, Clancy spins a marvelously tense yarn that will appeal to his legion of fans.

The excitement is fast, powerful and all too contemporary. As readers have come to expect from a Tom Clancy novel, they get their money s worth and more.
Dallas News

Ambitious, daring, studded with facts... as spectacular as any thriller ever.
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Special Ops
Stuart Woods Palindrome For years, Liz Barwick has been battered by her brutal husband, a famous pro football player. This time it takes an emergency room to keep her from death. Now, the beautiful and talented photographer retreats to an island paradise off Georgia s coast to find solitude and herself.
As she becomes increasingly involved with the strange and handsome twin scions of the powerful Drummond family, she feels her traumatic memories begin to fade. But when a killer launches a series of gruesome murders, Liz discovers that there is no place to hide not even in her lover s arms. A fast-paced, multilevel tale of mystery and revenge.
Thriller
Stephen White Higher Authority Featuring the hero of White s earlier novels, this thriller concerns a sexual harassment case implicating a Mormon Supreme Court judge. Much background research supports fine prose, subtle characterization, and intricate plotting. White is surprisingly unreserved in his open criticism of the Mormon Church; this book offers a good mix of suspense and entertainment.
The narrator s facility with voices allows him to navigate easily between male and female, authoritative and scared, young and middle-aged. One policeman has an entire conversation through a mouthful of food. Well abridged and well read.
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Robert McCammon Swan Song 2005: Welcome to NoCal and SoCal, the uneasy sister-states of what used to be California. Here the millenium has come and gone, leaving in its wake only stunned survivors. In Los Angeles, Berry Rydell is a former armed-response rentacop now working for a bounty hunter. Chevette Washington is a bicycle messenger turned pickpocket who impulsively snatches a pair of innocent-looking sunglasses. But these are no ordinary shades. What you can see through these high-tech specs can make you rich--or get you killed. Now Berry and Chevette are on the run, zeroing in on the digitalized heart of DatAmerica, where pure information is the greatest high. And a mind can be a terrible thing to crash... Thriller
Dennis Lehane Shutter Island In 1993, Dr. Lester Sheehan begins a journal. The story flashes back to 1954, to Shutter Island s Ashecliffe Hospital for the Criminally Insane. U.S. Marshall Teddy Daniels is called after a female inmate vanishes from a locked room. One difference between simply listening and having a listening experience is Tom Stechschulte. He doesn t merely perform characters; he channels them. Everyone has believablem individual voices and personalities.
Lehane twists a devastating hurricane, possible unethical experiments, and enough secrets to justify paranoia into a psychological thriller that works most of the time. The narrator s magic makes it work the rest. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award.
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W. E. B. Griffin Witness, The The robbery ended in murder, the killers claimed to be terrorists, and the only cooperative witness feared for his life. Police officer Matt Payne knew the dangers of his profession but never thought he would be the one needing protection!
In his new Badge of Honor saga, W.E.B. Griffin portrays the explosive world of big-city law enforcement with the same power and authenticity that made The Corps a nationwide bestseller.
This installment moves quickly, a fast read with enough suspense and excitement to keep the pages turning. Good character development, which is this author s strength, but Griffin s frequent use of racial epithets may be disturbing to some people.
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Tom Clancy Without Remorse Casualties mount as bloodshed continues in Vietnam and ruthless drug pushers attack the unsuspecting on the streets at home. Enter John Kelly, hero of prior Clancy novels, who will wage war on both fronts. In Vietnam he leads a team, but in Baltimore, he works alone, illegally and violently, killing one after another of those responsible for the death of someone he loved. The author is a master builder, creating a cohesive novel with two separate plot lines and a central hero. He pieces together seemingly unrelated scenes and characters much like one constructs a jigsaw puzzle. This technique can be confusing, but good readers will stick with it and get hooked. Kelly is a well developed, complex character ruthless but tender; confident and nervous; calculating and precise, but occasionally careless, too. The action is fast paced, especially the climax. There is some technical military jargon, but less than in The Hunt for Red October. Readers who have previously met Kelly will want to see him through this personal crisis, but beware, Without Remorse is not for the squeamish.

*THIS STORY IS ON TWO CDS: AB125 and AB158
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Douglas J. Preston Codex, The Greetings from the dead, Maxwell Broadbent, a notorious treasure hunter and tomb raider who vanished along with all his riches, declares from the videotape he had left behind after his mysterious disappearance. As is revealed, Maxwell has buried himself and his invaluable collection of rare gems, art, and artifacts somewhere in the world, putting his three sons to the challenge of now finding his pharaoh-like tomb if they plan on ever claiming his inheritance. To complicate things even further, a ruthless pharmaceutical company will stop at nothing to get one of the items. The race for treasure is on with the stakes being dangerously high. Thriller
Dean Koontz Eyes of Darkness One year after her little boy Danny dies, his mother swears that she sees him in a stranger's car, and becoming obsessed with the mystery, she journeys to Las Vegas and the High Sierras in search of the truth.

Koontz remains one of the most reliable and prolific authors in our country today. You know when you pick up one of his books it will be well-written with great characteriztion and a terrific story. "The Eyes of Darkness" is no exception!

Dean Koontz never disappoints. Some of his books might be a little far-fetched (science fiction plots), but most always they are a great read.
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Dean Koontz Icebound A secret Arctic experiment turns into a frozen nightmare when a team of scientists, stranded on a drifting iceberg with a massive explosive charge, battle the elements for survival, only to discover that one of them is a murderer.

Jammed with the tensions of imminent disaster. The whole thing unfolds with the timing of a quartz watch.
Chicago Tribune

Viscerally exciting...An extended, tense tour de force...An expertly crafted, ornate suspenser...Koontz fans will love it.
Publishers Weekly

About the Reader
John Glover has appeared in the films Annie Hall, Scrooged, Gremilns 2, and Robocop 2. Other credits include the television movie An early Frost and the Broadway play Frankenstein.
This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition
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Michael Crichton Prey Jack Forman is a recently unemployed writer of predator/prey software, whose nearly absentee wife is a bigwig at a tech firm. When a car accident hospitalizes his wife, Jack is hired to deal with problems at their desert nanotechnology plant. The techies at this plant have developed nanomachines, smaller than dust specks, which are programmed with Jack s predator/ prey software. Not only is a swarm of those nanomachines loose and multiplying, but they appear to be carnivorous. The desert swarms are the least of Jack s worries, however, as the crew inside the plant are not entirely what they seem. Like Jurassic Park, this it could happen morality tale is gripping from the start, an unpredictable, wild ride not to be missed.

NOTE FROM JANET:
I believe this book is abridged because the story FLIES along. However, it's fun, engaging, and has you listening like a fiend to the end. Fun fluff.
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James Lee Burke Bitterroot Billy Bob Holland, attorney-at-law and ex-Texas Ranger, is vacationing in Bitterroot, Montana, at the home of longtime friend Doc and his daughter, Maisy. As they enjoy the beautiful landscape, Wyatt Dixon, a sadistic killer, is released from jail in Texas and arrives in Montana to harass Holland and seek revenge. Rape, murder, and revenge haunt this mystery as Burke's creations grow from caricatures to full-bodied characters. Will Patton's soft Southern intonation hides the power and brutality of the characters at the same time that it brings Burke's vivid descriptions to the fore. The intermingling of the beautiful and the horrific adds to the wonder that such a place of peace has violence and murder lurking beneath its surface.
With its rugged and vivid setting, its intricate plot, and a set of remarkable, unforgettable characters, and crafted with the lyrical prose and the elegiac tone that have inspired many critics to compare him to William Faulkner, James Lee Burke has written a thriller destined to surpass the success of his previous novels.

Listed under "Bitterroot"
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Lincoln Child Cabinet of Curiosities This best-selling writing team specializes in fast-paced thrillers with an element of fantasy Construction of an apartment building in Manhattan is halted when excavators discover the remains of 36 dismembered bodies, the apparent victims of a serial killer who operated more than a century ago. Archaeologist Nora Kelly and FBI agent Pendergast (both have appeared in the authors previous books) team up to track down the identity of the long-dead killer. The authors most successful novels are set in the world of museums (Preston draws upon his experience at the American Museum of Natural History) and feature sharply drawn characters, snappy dialogue, and plenty of action. This is one of their best, primarily because it features Pendergast in a leading role; he s the most interesting character the pair has created smart, erudite, and no-nonsense. This one doesn t contain the heavy doses of fantasy readers have come to expect from the duo, but its mix of suspense and archaeology is sure to please the thriller crowd. Thriller
Dan Brown Da Vinci Code A murder in the silent after-hour halls of the Louvre museum reveals a sinister plot to uncover a secret that has been protected by a clandestine society since the days of Christ. The victim is a high-ranking agent of this ancient society who, in the moments before his death, manages to leave gruesome clues at the scene that only his granddaughter, can untangle. The duo become both suspects and detectives searching for not only Neveu's grandfather's murderer but also the stunning secret of the ages he was charged to protect. Mere steps ahead of the authorities and the deadly competition, the mystery leads Neveu and Langdon on a breathless flight through France, England, and history itself. Brown has created a page-turning thriller that also provides an amazing interpretation of Western history. Brown s hero and heroine embark on a lofty and intriguing exploration of some of Western culture's greatest mysteries from the nature of the Mona Lisa's smile to the secret of the Holy Grail. Though some will quibble with the veracity of Brown's conjectures, therein lies the fun. The Da Vinci Code is an enthralling read that provides rich food for thought. Thriller
Kyle Mills Smoke Screen A timely and chilling tale hinging on the power of Big Tobacco to bring the American government and economy to a standstill.
The story stars a lazy, good-for-nothing heir to a giant tobacco conglomerate who works only because his inheritance is tied to employment in the tobacco industry. He s about to learn a little about life and what s really important.
The novel s plot is carefully crafted and original, filled with corporate and political intrigue, treachery, betrayal and the complex backroom deals that keep big companies humming along. With a refreshing lack of sanctimony, Mills turns the tobacco wars into grist for an absorbing business thriller.
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Michael Crichton Airframe Cruising 35,000 feet above the earth, a twin-engine commercial jet encounters an accident that leaves 3 dead, 56 wounded, and the cabin in shambles. What happened? With a multi-billion-dollar company-saving deal on the line, Casey Singleton is sent by her hard-driving boss to uncover the mysterious circumstances that led to the disaster before more people die. But someone doesn t want her to find the truth. Airframe bristles with authentic information, technical jargon, and the command of detail Crichton s readers have come to expect. Buckle up the suspense is great, and listeners will want to see this flight to conclusion. Thriller
Michael Crichton Terminal Man Harry has a problem. Ever since getting in a car accident, he s suffered from thought seizures, violent fits in which he attacks other people. He used to be an artificial intelligence researcher, which may explain why he targets anyone who either works on machines or who acts like a machine.
A team of surgeons performs a dangerous experimental operation in an attempt to electronically control his behavior. The operation is a success until Benson discovers how to get the pulses with increasing frequency. Then he escapes from the hospital and lapses into murderous rampages, becoming a homicidal maniac with a deadly agenda
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Michael Crichton Timeline In an Arizona desert a man wanders in a daze, speaking words that make no sense. Within twenty-four hours he is dead, his body swiftly cremated by his only known associates. Halfway around the world archaeologists make a shocking discovery at a medieval site. Suddenly they are swept off to the headquarters of a secretive multinational corporation that has developed an astounding technology. Now this group is about to get a chance not to study the past but to enter it. And with history opened to the present, the dead awakened to the living, these men and women will soon find themselves fighting for their very survival six hundred years ago Thriller
Jonathan Lowe Postal Calvin Beach is a disturbed postal worker with a grudge against welfare mothers. Calvin plans to keep postal inspectors busy and the popular cliche alive with homemade bombs. It s likely he will succeed because he has a patsy chained in an abandoned Titan missile base in the desert. But Calvin is also being watched by a rookie postal inspector, Victor Kazy, the one person who suspects the police are looking for the wrong man. When Victor finally uncovers the truth, Calvin goes postal.
Low wrote the novel in response to all the postal shootings in the news. Having worked for the Postal Service for some years, he wanted to give an inside view of how and why such events happen.
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Carl Hiaasen Skin Tight This is Hiaasen s latest thriller, and his funniest and sharpest novel to date.
Set in a south Florida swarming with ripoff artists, crooked cops, nude sunbathers and corrupt politicians, we find that somebody wants Mick Stranahan dead. The list of possible players is long: Could it be the Mafia-connected plastic surgeon with the extremely shaky hands? The sleazy lawyer who advertises? The pompous TV host whose taste for sensationalism is exceeded only by his vanity? The bitchy Hollywood starlet? The remarkably inept hit man whose skin problems could fill a comprehensive (if bizarre) medical textbook? The whole situation is downright harrowing.
Stranahan s efforts to flush out the mixed bag of bad guys lets Hiaasen display his manic sense of humor at every turn. The cynical sleuth has just the right mix of sour and smarts to get a fix on a mad world. This wickedly amusing story is the work of a keen satirist who off-handedly exposes the moral rot at every level of society. It s Hiaasen at his best. And his best is very, very good.
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James Patterson Along Came a Spider This scary thriller with a sensational double kidnapping and a serial killer presents a bizarre storyline. Patterson s storytelling talent is in top form in this grisly escapist yarn.
The audio abridgment stays on track and yet alludes to numerous subplots, making it all the richer. The narrator conveys an eerie combination of tenderness, drama, psychosis and cunning. Balancing romance, deep caring for the lives of children and the tricky characterization of a multiple personality is no mean feat. The narrator s deep, resonant tones hold the listener and a courtroom rapt as he hypnotizes the accused killer. Guaranteed to keep you listening and shivering. This is an Audiofile Earphones Award winner.
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Lee Child Killing Floor Jack Reacher wanders into Margrave, Georgia, and is arrested for murder. A former military policeman, now a transient, Jack has a solid alibi and plans to leave upon his release from jail but then the case becomes personal. This violent and complex thriller is capably narrated by a veteran, who aptly voices the characters and emotions. His characterization helps the listener empathize with Jack, who is at the same time deeply moral in his concern for the victims caught up in this horror and amoral as he dispatches the crooks and killers who perpetrate it. The narration keeps the listener on the edge through the explosive conclusion. Thriller
Lee Child Without Fail Characters never sound middle-of-the-road in Dick Hill s narration. They re brimming with personality, distinctive and vivid. All of that is especially true of Child s protagonist in this gripping, incisive thriller about an attempt to kill the vice president. A former military investigator is cocksure and whip-smart, and Hill gives him swagger, wit, and passion. The investigator is brought in by the Secret Service, first to see if an assassin could get to the vice president and then to stop real assassins from doing just that. The book is a joyride for listeners, with characters who are fully realized and individual. This is as much fun as an audiobook performance can be. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award. Thriller
Michael Connelly Bloodwork Connelly has been attracting fans by the droves with his hard-boiled, edgy thrillers. A former crime reporter for the LA Times, Connelly combines a poet s ear for language with a deep understanding of the criminal mind to create dark, dramatic stories that raise the thriller genre to a new level.
Connelly introduces a man who was a top man at the FBI until a heart ailment forced his early retirement. Now he lives a quiet life, nursing his new heart and restoring the boat he lives on. Although he isn t looking for any excitement, when he s asked to investigate a death, the story hooks him immediately: the new heart beating in McCaleb s chest was in the person who died.
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Lee Child Die Trying When a mysterious woman is kidnapped by a politically motivated fringe group and taken to their compound, Jack Reacher must help her escape with her life from the inside out.
Child s tale, very well read by Dick Hill, engrossingly portrays Jack Reacher s efforts to manipulate the captors and deal with the many unexpected roadblocks thrown in his path as he tries to find a way out of the mess with the woman. Voices given to the various characters are, for the most part, very well done, and adds up to a entertaining story to listen to.

Tough, elegant and thoughtful.
Chicago Tribune
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Dan Brown Digital Fortress In most thrillers, hardware consists of big guns, airplanes, military vehicles, and weapons that make things explode. Dan Brown has written a thriller for those of us who like our hardware with disc drives and who rate our heroes by big brainpower rather than big firepower. It s an Internet user s spy novel where the good guys and bad guys struggle over secrets somewhat more intellectual than just where the secret formula is hidden they have to gain understanding of what the secret formula actually is.
This is a gripping story on the frontier of cyberspace which adroitly explores the frighteningly delicate line between defending and controlling us. A disturbing, cutting-edge techno-thriller.
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Joseph Finder Paranoia Adam Cassidy is twenty-six and a low level employee at a high-tech corporation who hates his job. When he manipulates the system to do something nice for a friend, he finds himself charged with a crime. Corporate Security gives him a choice: prison or become a spy in the headquarters of their chief competitor.
They train him. They feed him inside information. Now, at Trion, he s a star, skyrocketing to the top. He finds he has talents he never knew he possessed. His life is perfect. And all he has to do to keep it that way is betray everyone he cares about and everything he believes in.
When he tries to break off from his controllers, he finds he s in way over his head, trapped in a world in which nothing is as it seems and no one can really be trusted. Then the real nightmare begins...
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Dennis Lehane Mystic River This is a haunting, suspenseful, psychological thriller that calls for a multiplicity of reading talents and the narrator displays them all. One of three 11-year-olds playing together is abducted and molested by two pedophiles, released after four days, but is never the same person he was before. Fast-forward twenty-five years, and the daughter of one of the other boys is savagely murdered. The slaying brings all three into a complex, dark, emotional drama, which teaches that the past can never be totally forgotten. The narrator brings it all together. Whether a character is pleading for his life or drowning in alcohol, his performance flows smoothly right down to the end. Mystic River is the kind of book that allows the performer to shine, and this one does. Thriller
Janet Evanovich To the Nines Stephanie Plum may not be the best bounty hunter in beautiful downtown Trenton, but she s pretty darn good at turning bad situations her way...and she always gets her man. In To The Nines, her cousin Vinnie (who s also her boss) has posted bail on Samuel Singh, an immigrant who becomes an illegal alien by violating his Visa and extending his stay in the United States. When the elusive Mr. Singh goes missing, Stephanie is on the case. But what she uncovers is far more sinister than anyone imagines and leads to a group of killers who give new meaning to the word hunter...
In a race against time that takes her from the Jersey Turnpike to the Vegas strip, Stephanie Plum is on the chase of her life.
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Josephe Finder High Crimes Do you ever really know the person you married?
Claire Chapman, a high-powered attorney, has just attained a national reputation for her work on several high-profile cases. Her second husband is also successful, adores Claire and her young daughter. They live in a beautiful house and lead a glamorous and happy life.
Then a random burglary turns their world upside down. A routine police investigation reveals that Tom is not who he says he is. Before he met Claire, he was once a secret operative for the U.S. government. When he is suddenly arrested and put on trial for a crime he insists he didn t commit an unspeakable atrocity carried out thirteen years ago she puts her reputation on the line to defend him.
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Frederick Forsyth Avenger, The
In 1982 Frederick Forsyth set a standard for the international thriller with his now classic, The Day of the Jackal. His novels since have been complex and compelling, but not until Avenger has Forsyth crafted as chilling a tale. Eric Conger guides us through the convergent subplots around the death of a young American aid worker and the circuitous route of retribution set in motion by his tycoon grandfather. Conger s cool detachment helps the listener follow the many threads of the story while driving the suspense. His characters from an ex-Vietnam tunnel rat to a Serbian warlord are clear; his accents are expert and his pacing as perfect as Forsyth s. Forsyth s attention to detail and calculated coincidence are handled with finesse. Eric Conger s success with nonfiction narrative serves him well. He s able to move listeners through the historical detail on Vietnam and Serbia without ever letting the intrigue lag. His performance gives the difficult blend of involvement and objectivity that highlights the keen suspense. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award. Thriller
Daniel Silva English Assassin, The Switzerland s shameful behavior in WWII provides the backdrop for this superbly crafted thriller that puts Silva at the forefront of his generation of foreign intrigue specialists. Here, the art restorer and Israeli hit man who starred in last year s acclaimed book, The Kill Artist, finds himself the apparent victim of a double cross. The action unfolds in tightly focused scenes played out across a spectrum of European capitals and more pastoral settings. As a historical framework, the secrets of the Bahnhofstrasse are well-trod territory, yet Silva s sophisticated treatment polished prose, an edgy mood, convincing research gives his plot a crisp, almost urgent quality.
The English Assassin balances fascinating characters, authentic-sounding historical detail, and plenty of glamorous international intrigue on the edge of a knife-keen plot.

Good assassin vs. bad assassin...rich multilayered and compelling. Denver Post

A thriller that entertains as well as enlightens.
Orlando Sentinel
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Dave Barry Tricky Business The Extravaganza of the Seas is a five-thousand-ton cash cow, a top-heavy tub whose sole function is to carry gamblers three miles from the Florida coast, take their money, then bring them back so they can find more money. In the middle of a tropical storm one night, these characters are among the passengers it carries: Fay Benton, a single mom and cocktail waitress desperate for something to go right for once; Johnny and the Contusions, a ship s band with so little talent they are well, the ship s band; Arnold and Phil, two refugees from the Beaux Arts Senior Center; Lou Tarant, a wide, bald man who has killed nine people, though none recently; and an assortment of uglies whose job it is to facilitate the ship s true business, which is money-laundering or drug-smuggling or something.
The story of what happens to them all in the midst of the fiercest storm in years, the unpredictable ways in which this trip will change their lives and send them ricocheting off each other like a giant game of pinball, is the story of this wickedly satisfying, all-too-human novel.
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Carl Hiaasen Lucky You Grange, Florida is famous for its miracles: the Weeping Fiberglass Madonna, the Road Stain Jesus and JoLayne Lucks, recent winner of the state s $28 million lottery! There s only one problem one other person has a winning ticket and they don t want to share. So, when JoLayne s ticket is mysteriously stolen, an investigative reporter demoted to human interest stories interviews JoLayne, then teams up with her to get her ticket back. The chase is on through the Sunshine State wreaking the kind of hilarious mayhem Hiaasen is famous for.
Ed Asner narrates, portraying the pair of thieves as dumb hicks who, despite their winning, will do anything to get it all, including assault and kidnapping. Hiaasen sprinkles this tangled tale of deception with humor while Asner brings out the ironic and satiric qualities of each character s personality and actions.
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Lee Child Tripwire Ex-military policeman Jack Reacher is lying low in Key West, digging up swimming pools by hand. He is not at all pleased when a private detective starts asking questions about him. But when the detective, Costello, turns up dead with his fingertips sliced off, Reacher realizes it is time to move on.
Reacher is soon up to his neck in lethal trouble, this time involving a vicious Wall Street manipulator, a mysterious woman, and the livelihood of a whole community. Even the fate of soldiers missing in action in Vietnam is stirred into the brew.
But this is not a book by one of the new breed of U.S. thriller writers. Child prides himself on his ability, as an Englishman, to write American thrillers that are utterly convincing in milieu and toughness of action, without a trace of English sensibility. Tripwire is no exception. Every bit as lean and compulsive as its predecessors, it also builds on the freshest aspect of those books: Reacher may be a tough, epic hero, but he always remains human and vulnerable.
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James Rollins Amazonia The Rand scientific expedition entered the lush wilderness of the Amazon and never returned. Years later, one of its members has stumbled out of the world s most inhospitable rainforest a former Special Forces soldier: scarred, mutilated, terrified, and mere hours from death, who went in with one arm missing and came out with both intact. Unable to comprehend this inexplicable event, the government sends Nathan Rand into this impenetrable secret world of undreamed-of perils, to follow the trail of his vanished father toward mysteries that must be solved at any cost.
Ruben Santiago-Hudson brings this tale of strange perils and brilliant escapes alive. He builds tension skillfully and even brings a bit of emotional depth to the comic book adventure.
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Keith Ablow Psychopath 12 bodies, 12 states. What no one knows is that the Highway Killer is also a gifted psychiatrist who lures his victims into a false sense of security with his miraculous ability to understand their darkest emotional secrets. He is their confessor, but he is also their executioner. When the killer writes to The New York Times, challenging famed forensic psychiatrist Frank Clevenger to heal him through an exchange of open letters on the front page, he opens his diabolical mind to the one man with the courage to cure him-or die trying...
Keith Ablow, also a forensic psychiatrist, excels in this gory psychological thriller, bringing dueling psychiatrists a serial killer and his hunter to life with gritty assurance. An intelligent, elegantly structured story providing a taut text and disturbing subtext. This psychopath will grip you in his schizophrenic hands and won t let go.
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Linda Howard Mr. Perfect What would make the perfect man? That s the deliciously racy topic that Jaine Bright and her three girlfriends are pondering one night at their favorite after-hours hot spot: Mr. Perfect. Would he be tall, dark, and handsome? Caring and warmhearted or will just muscular do? As their conversation heats up, they concoct a tongue-in-cheek checklist that becomes an overnight sensation, spreading like wildfire at work and sizzling along e-mail lines. But what began as a joke among friends turns deadly serious when one of the four women is murdered.
Turning to her neighbor, an unpredictable police detective, for help, Jaine must unmask a killer to save them all. Now, knowing whom to trust and whom to love is a matter of survival as the dream of Mr. Perfect becomes a chilling nightmare.
A sassy and brash story is given a like reading by Laura Hicks. Her brusque interpretation of the characters leaves one craving sympathy for any of these people, who have such a frightening future awaiting.
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Robin Cook Seizure Public antagonists become conspirators as a medical entrepreneur performs a controversial operation on a duplicitous politician. In an afterword, Cook warns us that political prohibitions against embryonic stem-cell research are misinformed and will only make things worse.
Daniel Lowell, a stem cell researcher, has developed a way to change a person s DNA, and Senator Ashley Butler wants to be the first to try it to forestall his Parkinson s disease. So how can he do this without anyone knowing? That s the gist of this medical thriller, as only Robin Cook can write them. Dylan Baker performs this story of deceit, self-betrayal, and medical ethics with aplomb, focusing especially on character development as the conspiracy unfolds. The timely issue of stem cell research is explored with all of its negative ramifications.
Typical Cook: lifeless dialogue, weak prose, and hokey plot, but a sound message: ambitious doctors and scheming politicians only increase the suffering that, deep down, both want to cure.

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Elmore Leonard Mr. Paradise Roommates Kelly and Chloe are enjoying their lives and their downtown Detroit loft just fine. Kelly is a Victoria's Secret catalog model. Chloe is an escort, until she decides to ditch her varied clientele in favor of a steady gig as girlfriend to eighty-four-year-old retired lawyer Tony Paradiso, a.k.a. Mr. Paradise.

Evenings at Mr. Paradise's house, there's always an old Michigan football game on TV. And when Chloe's around, there's a cheerleader, too, complete with pleated skirt and blue-and-gold pompoms. One night Chloe convinces Kelly to join in the fun, along with Montez Taylor, Tony's smooth-talking right-hand man.

But things go awry and before the end of the evening there will be two corpses, two angry hit men, one switch of identity, a safe-deposit box full of loot up for grabs, and, fast on the scene, detective Frank Delsa, who now has a double homicide -- and a beautiful, willful witness -- to add to his already heavy caseload.

With a cool cast, snappy dialogue, and all the twists and turns fans crave, Mr. Paradise is Elmore Leonard at home in Detroit and sharper than ever.
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Dean Koontz Dragon Tears Koontz's current best-seller relates the story of two Southern California police detectives who track down a demonic serial killer with paranormal abilities. The work is well-suited to audio, and fans of Koontz should enjoy this exceptional production. Jay O. Sanders is simply superb. All characters (even Woofer, a dog who plays an important role) are fully voiced. One of the characterizations--the golem--is so strikingly different from Sanders's "normal" voice that it's difficult at first to recognize that it's still Sanders speaking. This is a long production, but the pace never flags, and Sanders is consistently excellent. An AUDIOFILE Earphones Award winner Thriller
Robert Ludlum Bourne Identity, The This production epitomizes the best and worst of audiobooks. Take Robert Ludlum's bestselling spy novel, hire storyteller Darren McGavin to read it, delete mammoth chunks of the book to allow it to fit on two cassettes, and then add unnecessary music, and you have this production of THE BOURNE IDENTITY. Darren McGavin knows how to tell a story, and he does his best with what's left of the book, but the abridgment leaves so much out that it's difficult to understand the twists of the plot. For those who want a quick listen, this recording will do. For fans of Ludlum or McGavin, it's like ordering a sandwich and being served only the bread. Thriller
Jackie Collins Vendetta: Luckys Revenge Lucky Santangelo is back -- with a vengance!

Dangerously sensual, breathtakingly beautiful, and utterly unforgettable, she is Lucky Santangelo, the sizzling star of Chances, Lucky, and Lady Boss. With Vendetta: Lucky's Revenge, Jackie Collins continues the saga of Lucky Santangelo in a nonstop, action-packed tale of sex, betrayal, drugs, intrigue, and murder.

A scorching new installment of the wildly popular Lucky series, Vendetta finds Lucky in the most perilous situation of her life when her prized Panther Studios is taken from her by Donna Landsman, the unscrupulous widow of Lucky's arch-enemy, Santino Bonnatti. Donna intends to destroy Lucky in every way she can, but Lucky is street-smart, powerful, and just as ruthlessly dangerous. And so the battle for control begins.

With Vendetta: Lucky's Revenge, Jackie Collins proves once again why she is an international powerhouse, a writer who digs deep into the glamorous, intoxicating -- yet ultimately treacherous -- world of Hollywood.
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Stephen King Rose Madder After 14 years of being beaten, Rose Daniels wakes up one morning and leaves her husband -- but she keeps looking over her shoulder, because Norman has the instincts of a predator. And what is the strange work of art that has Rose in a kind of spell? In this brilliant dark-hued fable of the gender wars, Stephen King has fashioned yet another suspense thriller to keep readers right at the edge. Thriller
Robert Ludlum Bourne Ultimatum, The The world's two deadliest spies in the ultimate showdown. At a small-town carnival two men, each mysteriously summoned by telegram, witness a bizarre killing. The telegrams are signed Jason Bourne. Only they know Bourne's true identity and understand the telegram is really a message from Bourne's mortal enemy, Carlos, known also as the Jackal, the world's deadliest and most elusive terrorist. And furthermore, they know that the Jackal wants: a final confrontation with Bourne. Now David Webb, professor of Oriental studies, husband, and father, must do what he hoped he would never have to do again -- assume the terrible identity of Jason Bourne. His plan is simple: to infiltrate the politically and economically Medusan group and use himself as bait to lure the cunning Jackal into a deadly trap -- a trap from which only one of them will escape. Thriller
Greg Bear Dead Lines In this taut ghost story set in the California of everyone's dreams-and nightmares-from Hugo and Nebula winner Bear (Darwin's Children), anything-goes hardcore porn films have blasted softcore screenwriter Peter Russell's career. The horrifying abduction and murder of his young daughter has destroyed Russell's marriage; his best friend has just died; and Joseph Weinstein, the reclusive sugar daddy who employs Russell as a dogsbody, seems to be descending into senility. Worse follows. In pursuit of financial security, Russell sells Weinstein on "Trans," a seductive new gadget promising unlimited instant broad-band communication, and all too soon reaching out and touching via Trans even wakes the dead, whose path to the hereafter is now so clogged with spam and unlimited phone calls that they return to haunt the living. Bear's ability to incorporate scientific concepts into tightly woven, fast-paced story lines reaches menacing new proportions here, because it draws on that nagging suspicion that the ubiquitous, innocent-appearing cell phone may really be killing off its users. By deftly extrapolating that doubt into everyone's most dreaded fears-loss of job, loss of friends, loss of children-Bear reanimates the old story of Faust, who sold his soul for unlimited knowledge and power, hinting ominously that the price of rampant technology may be dearer than we think. Thriller
Robert Ludlum Bourne Supremacy, The In a Kowloon Cabaret, scrawled in a pool of blood, is a name the world wanted to forget: Jason Bourne.

The Chinese vice-premier has been brutally slain by a legendary assassin. World leaders ask the same fearful questions: Why has Jason Bourne come back? Who is paying him? Who is the next to die? But U.S. officials know the shocking truth: There is no Jason Bourne. The name was created as cover for David Webb on his search for the notorious killer Carlos. Someone else has taken the Bourne identity--and unless he is stopped, the world will pay a devastating price. So Jason Bourne must live again. Once again, Webb must utilize his lethal skills--because once again, like a nightmare relived, the woman he loves is suddenly torn from his life. To find her, trap his own impostor, and uncover an explosive secret plan, Webb must lauch a desperate oddyssey into the espionage killing fields. But this time, survival will not be enough. This time Bourne must reign supreme.
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Ken Follett Lie Down with Lions Follett's new thriller (after Eye of the Needle, The Key to Rebecca) involves cut-throat treachery and mixed-up romances. Jane and Ellis, Americans in Paris, are lovers, but she breaks with him when she learns he's a CIA agent, informing on terrorists. Ellis goes back to the U.S.; Jane marries Jean-Pierre Debout, a French physician, and goes with him to Afghanistan to care for rebel families holding out against the Russian army. Here is where the novel's real action, and its knife-edge tension, begin. After the birth of her baby, Jane discovers that Jean-Pierre is himself spying for the Russians and has caused a massacre of guerrilla fighters who were trapped at the foot of the mountains. Then Ellis reappears, bearing offers of American aid for Afghan leader Masud if the latter can unite his country's quarreling tribes. While Jean-Pierre is conspiring with the S oviet intruders to kill Masud, Ellis, Jane and even the infant girl, the story races to an explosive climax. Thriller
Jackie Collins Dangerous Kiss Lucky's back and the myriad fans of the Santangelo novels (most recently, Vendetta) will be glued to the page. Once again, Lucky has the weight of the world on her gorgeous shoulders. Again, she triumphs in love and business, with enough violence in her wake to make Mickey Spillane shudder. Daughter of mobster Gino, whose Las Vegas empire was her proving ground in previous novels, Lucky's a chip off the headstrong block. She's Lennie Golden's hot, adoring wife (as long as she doesn't have to make lunch), a doting mom (who frequently packs the kids off for the weekend) and a major Hollywood player as the head of Panther StudiosAuntil she abruptly decides to sell. Most of her ardor and energy, though, go into troubleshooting for her large, biracial, multinational clan, including her black half-brother, Steven, a handsome lawyer whose actress wife, Mary Lou, is killed during a carjacking (Lennie's at the wheel), and her goddaughter, Brigette, supermodel and ultra-rich Greek shipping heiress who falls prey to a no-account count and is forcibly addicted to heroin while pregnant. As Lennie battles depression, Lucky struggles with the attentions of director Alex Woods, who never lets her forget the night they shared while Lennie was sweating a prequel kidnapping ordeal in an Italian cave. (Collins doesn't shortchange the new reader on back story.) Fierce monogamist Lucky excuses her own slip (she'd thought Lennie was dead) but has a hard time forgiving Lennie when his Sicilian rescuer, bosomy Claudia, appears with a hearing-impaired five-year-old son who's a Lennie look-alike. Claudia conveniently dies saving Lennie's life once more, for Collins shares Lucky's ruthlessness with people in her way. Believable? Not for a minute. Entertaining? Of course. Thriller
Chuck Palahniuk Lullaby Carl Streator is a solitary widower and fortyish newspaper reporter who is assigned to do a series of articles on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. In the course of this investigation, he discovers an ominous thread: the presence on the scenes of these deaths of the anthology Poems and Rhymes Around the World, opened to the page where there appears an African chant or "culling song." This song turns out to be lethal when spoken or even thought in anyone's direction - and once it lodges in Streator's brain, he finds himself becoming an involuntary serial killer. So he teams up with a real estate broker, one Helen Hoover Boyle, who specializes in selling haunted (or "distressed") houses (wonderfully high turnover), and who lost a child to the culling song years before. Together they set out on a cross-country odyssey. Their goal is to remove all copies of the book from libraries, lest this deadly verbal virus spread and wipe out human life. Accompanying them on their road trip are Helen's assistant, Mona Sabbat, an exquisitely earnest Wiccan, and her sardonic ecoterrorist boyfriend, Oyster, who is running a scam involving fake liability claims and business blackmail. Welcome to the new nuclear family.
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Philip Pullman Ruby in the Smoke, The "Her name was Sally Lockhart; and within fifteen minutes, she was going to kill a man." Philip Pullman begins his Sally Lockhart trilogy with a bang in The Ruby in the Smoke--a fast-paced, finely crafted thriller set in a rogue- and scalawag-ridden Victorian London. His 16-year-old heroine has no time for the usual trials of adolescence: her father has been murdered, and she needs to find out how and why. But everywhere she turns, she encounters new scoundrels and secrets. Why do the mere words "seven blessings" cause one man to keel over and die at their utterance? Who has possession of the rare, stolen ruby? And what does the opium trade have to do with it?

As our determined and intelligent sleuth sets her mind to unraveling these dark mysteries, she learns how embroiled she is in the whole affair. As riveting and witty as the sensational "penny dreadfuls" of Victorian England (but thousands of times better written), Pullman's trilogy (including The Shadow in the North and The Tiger in the Well) will have readers on the edges of their seats.
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Jeffery Deaver Speaking in Tongues Tate Collier, the flawed hero of best-selling author Jeffery Deaver's exciting new thriller, is a divorced prosecutor whose tangled feelings about his ex-wife and their teenage daughter come to the forefront when the girl is kidnapped by a murderous psychiatrist bent on settling a personal score with Collier. It soon becomes clear that Tate really doesn't have a clue about Megan's life or her emotional reality, but the reader gets a fuller explanation from the girl's own perspective, and it's Megan, rather than her father, who turns out to be the real hero of this story.

Deaver draws the reader into the angry, rebellious Megan's desperate fight to save her own life in the creepy surroundings of a decrepit insane asylum in the Virginia mountains. (Deaver practically writes blueprints for the inevitable Hollywood set designer who will have a field day bringing the shuttered, rat-infested scene of Megan's captivity to the screen.) The motivation for Dr. Aaron Matthews's vendetta against the Colliers isn't revealed until most of the way through this crisply paced novel, but he's convincingly insane enough for it not to matter. Deaver throws a few implausible scenarios the reader's way, but they won't matter either; the chase is the thing. The narrative steams along without letting up, and the result is a nail biter that will keep the pages turning.

Dennis Boutsikaris presents a chilling performance of this well-written thriller about a jaded lawyer locked in a murderous battle of wits with a psychotic psychiatrist. Boutsikaris shades each character's voice just enough to create variety without drawing attention to his technique. Although the narrative is substantially abridged, this package provides a satisfying listening experience. The one element of the story that seems to have suffered most in the abridgment is motivation. Several threads that could explain, or at least illuminate, the psychiatrist's behavior appear briefly but vanish almost immediately. Listeners must either choose to ignore those tantalizing clues or try to fill in the details from their own imaginations.
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Stephen King Apt Pupil It doesn't get any better than Frank Muller reading vintage Stephen King! In Apt Pupil, this master of suspense treats his readers to a sinister plot in which a 13-year-old boy, Todd Bowden, becomes completely absorbed by the life and true stories of a former Nazi, Kurt Dussander. When Todd uncovers the identity of a war criminal hiding out in his town, he blackmails Kurt into telling, and reliving, all of the concentration camp horrors so Todd can almost feel what it was like to have been there. The more involved the two become, the deeper and harder it is for Todd to remain the "apt pupil" that he once was. And, of course, the author's plots always have twists. This audiotape is pure, unadulterated Stephen King; it's "must- have audio" at its best. Highly recommended. Thriller
Michael Crichton Andromeda Strain Some biologists speculate that if we ever make contact with extraterrestrials, those life forms are likely to be--like most life on earth--one-celled or smaller creatures, more comparable to bacteria than little green men. And even though such organisms would not likely be able to harm humans, the possibility exists that first contact might be our last.

That's the scientific supposition that Michael Crichton formulates and follows out to its conclusion in his excellent debut novel, The Andromeda Strain.

A Nobel-Prize-winning bacteriologist, Jeremy Stone, urges the president to approve an extraterrestrial decontamination facility to sterilize returning astronauts, satellites, and spacecraft that might carry an "unknown biologic agent." The government agrees, almost too quickly, to build the top-secret Wildfire Lab in the desert of Nevada. Shortly thereafter, unbeknownst to Stone, the U.S. Army initiates the "Scoop" satellite program, an attempt to actively collect space pathogens for use in biological warfare. When Scoop VII crashes a couple years later in the isolated Arizona town of Piedmont, the Army ends up getting more than it asked for.

The Andromeda Strain follows Stone and rest of the scientific team mobilized to react to the Scoop crash as they scramble to understand and contain a strange and deadly outbreak. Crichton's first book may well be his best; it has an earnestness that is missing from his later, more calculated thrillers.
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Jeffery Deaver Blue Nowhere Phate is a sadistic computer hacker whose world is one big video game. He'll infiltrate your hard drive, your company, and your life. But it doesn't stop there, because killing you is how he wins the game. The FBI's only hope is a man doing time for computer crimes of his own, a man who used to be Phate's best friend and coined the phrase "Blue Nowhere" for cyberspace. Deaver's suspenseful thriller also gives a rare look into the highly interiorized world of hacking. William Dufris has a slow, unemotional delivery, which somehow seems appropriate to the material. While not enthusiastic, his cool, smooth reading allows the story to be central. Listeners will find his characters clear, distinct, and without melodrama. Thriller
Anthony Horowitz Point Blank When an investigation into a series of mysterious deaths leads agents to an elite prep school for rebellious kids, MI6 assigns Alex Rider to the case. Before he knows it, Alex is hanging out with the sons of the rich and powerful, and something feels wrong. These former juvenile delinquents have turned well-behaved, studious and identical overnight. It s up to Alex to find out who is masterminding this nefarious plot, before they find him. Thriller
Lincoln Child Death Match The Thorpes were the perfect couple: young, attractive, and ideally matched. But the veil of perfection can mask many secrets. When the Thorpes are found dead in their tasteful Flagstaff living room having committed double-suicide alarms go off in the executive offices of Eden, Incorporated, the worldwide matchmaking phenomenon that uses its astonishing artificial intelligence to create supercouples and guarantee its customers just one thing: lifelong happiness.

Enter Christopher Lash, a gifted former FBI forensic psychologist who is brought in by Eden to perform a quick and quiet investigation. As Lash conducts his detailed psychological autopsy, he delves deep into the seemingly ordinary private lives of the Thorpes, all the while trying to suppress a personal tragedy of his own that has been kept buried in the past. But when another perfectly matched couple commits double-suicide, Lash finds himself suddenly pulled in to the many hidden layers of Eden, Incorporated. It is an astonishing world one inhabited by Eden's genius, reclusive founder, Richard Silver a world that inadvertently may bring Lash face-to-face with his own demons.

With tremendous imagination and consummate skill, master thriller-writer Lincoln Child renders a setting too frighteningly believable not to be real. Infused with sharp, cutting-edge technology and a riveting pace, DEATH MATCH is Lincoln Child at his best.
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Michael Crichton State of Fear Crichton's novels often tackle cutting-edge technology and its implementation, but his latest addresses an issue that's been around for a bit longer: global warming. Millionaire George Morton is about to donate $10 million to the National Environmental Research Fund (NERF) when he suddenly decides against it. His lawyer, Peter Evans, is as surprised as anyone and is drawn into a web of intrigue after Morton's car careens off the road and Morton is presumed dead. Just before his "death," Morton was in contact with Dr. John Kenner, a researcher at the Center for Risk Analysis, who opposes NERF's agenda and presents Evans with some startling evidence about global warming. With Evans and Morton's assistant, Sarah, in tow, Kenner travels to Antarctica, where he learns that a group of environmental extremists are planning several attacks of environmental terror to convince the world of impending ecological disaster. The thrills in Crichton's latest are interspersed with fascinating but occasionally dense ecological facts and data, but he backs his assertions about the unpredictability of climate change with copious research and footnotes. Perhaps his most serious and important book yet. Thriller
Lisa Gardner Alone It was bad enough that Catherine Gagnon survived a horrible childhood abduction where for a month she lived in a cave and was the plaything for her sicko abductor. But now, 25 years later, she faces tragedy again as she fights to keep her son, Nathan. One chilly November night, a police sniper kills her husband, Jimmy, in response to her 911 call claiming he was about to hurt Nathan. Jimmy's death means that his parents, an influential judge and his blue-blooded wife, are more determined than ever to take Nathan from Catherine, whom they see as unfit to mother their only grandchild. True, the birth of Nathan mentally paralyzed Catherine, who could not get past the memories of her abduction and her emotionally absent parents. But is she really the monster the Gagnons and their PI make her out to be? Massachusetts state police special-ops officer Bobby Dodge, the sniper who took out Jimmy, doesn't think so, and unwittingly falls under the spell of the manipulative widow. A twisted, effective psychological thriller. Thriller
Lisa Gardner Survivor's Club, The Jillian, Meg, and Carol were all victims of rape and sexual violence perpetrated by Eddie Como, who was assassinated on his way to trial. As they begin to celebrate, they realize they're suspects in the case, which is being relentlessly investigated by Detective Sergeant Roan Griffin. Then another woman is brutally raped and murdered, seemingly by the now dead Eddie Como. Becky Ann Baker performs with breathless precision at every turn. The investigation, the crimes, and the emotional states of the women are methodically described and effortlessly portrayed in Baker's warm voice. As the mystery begins to unravel, Baker cranks up the pace and the tension amid the web of crime. Thriller
Thomas Harris Hannibal Hannibal Lecter, the gruesome serial killer who escaped at the end of SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, is living high off the hog in Florence when he discovers (through nefarious channels) that his FBI nemesis, Clarice Starling, is in the midst of a career crisis. Falling prey to his obsession with her, he inadvertently sets himself up to be captured, not by the FBI, but by a mortal enemy who intends to feed him alive to wild boars. Reader Thomas Harris has plumbed the inner depths of the monstrous Lecter--after all, he created him--and his familiarity, not surprisingly, informs his energetic reading. The surprise is his portrayal of Clarice Starling, who is utterly credible as the young victim of class and gender distinctions in the FBI. In tones that reveal both femininity and determination, Harris's voice embodies the personal history that makes her so vulnerable and so ambitious. Smatterings of precise Italian also makes perfectly believable Lecter's Florentine pursuers. Thriller
Thomas Harris Red Dragon The high-profile film based on the original book lacked much of what this finely rendered audiobook possesses--subtlety, an informative and meaningful backstory, and reasonably believable characters. The film's shorthand robbed this story of a multitude of vital points, but enjoying Chris Sarandon's well-planned and controlled performance allows the whole story to shine through. Spare and horrifying, this double cassette is rare in that it can stand up to a repeat listening. Your favorite Hannibal Lecter fan will devour this with pleasure! Thriller
Dean Koontz Lightning On the night of Laura Shane's birth, a stranger appears from the lightning to prevent her delivery's being botched by an alcoholic physician. Throughout Laura's childhood the stranger reappears at times of danger. He protects rather than threatens, yet menace seems to follow him. Thirty years later another storm flashes and the stranger collapses, shot, at Laura's door. Now Laura protects her erstwhile guardian from mysterious hunters. He reveals that he and the hunters are time travelers. Laura, quick-witted and brave, leads the way to a bloody showdown. The paradox in time travel's tampering with history provides an interesting twist in this gripping thriller by a popular writer. Thriller
Dean Koontz Watchers The good news: Experiments with recombinant DNA result in a highly intelligent golden retriever who spends his evenings reading BLACK BEAUTY. The bad news: The prototype of a genetically engineered soldier-ape goes horribly wrong. "The Outsider" eviscerates, then rips the eyes out of its victims. Corrupt scientists and NSA agents, Soviet terrorists, and a Mob-connected hit man who believes he absorbs the life-essences of his victims populate a story loaded with the usual Koontzian paranoia. Narrator J. Charles's inexplicable cheeriness is misplaced. He sounds as if he's lost in another book. His frequent pronunciation errors and laughable Italian accent are jarring enough to interrupt the author's flow. But Koontz's many fans will still enjoy this sci-fi story about genetic engineering run amok. Thriller
Patrick McGrath Asylum Sir Ian McKellen's masterpiece of interpretive art so entrances that this reviewer could not stop listening until he had heard all eight hours and forty minutes. From the very first words, the beauty of his voice and delivery exerts a strange power, aided by the stunningly rich gothic text, reminiscent of the best Isak Dinesen tales. Sir Ian portrays a distinguished forensic psychiatrist seemingly telling of a curious case he witnessed. The beautiful wife of a colleague had run off with a patient, a spouse-slayer. His narrative seems to focus entirely on this woman's sexual obsession and its aftermath, but is he really as professionally detached as he sounds? With utterly brilliant understatement, Sir Ian prepares us from the beginning for the startling denouement, while simultaneously (and amazingly) keeping us totally in the dark about it. Further, while giving the impression that he's not doing anything special, he delivers all the shadowy beauty and psychological insight of a very fine novel. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award Thriller
Douglas/Lincoln Preston/Child Brimstone Fans of cerebral action adventure novels know that, outside of Michael Crichton, few deliver the goods like the veteran writing team of Preston and Child. As if invigorated by their recent solo efforts, the two now deliver their best novel ever, an extravagant tale of international intrigue. As their admirers know, one reason Preston and Child thrillers work is because most feature arguably the most charismatic detective in contemporary fiction: FBI Special Agent Aloysius Pendergast, a wealthy, refined yet ruthless descendant of Holmes who's very much his own character. Pendergast, as well as other Preston and Child semiregulars, notably rough-hewn former NYPD cop Vincent D'Agosta, Watson to Pendergast's Sherlock, tread nearly every page of this vastly imagined, relentlessly enjoyable thriller. The body of a notorious art critic is found in his Hamptons, L.I., mansion, wholly burned, with a cloven hoofprint nearby: the devil's work? [...] Erudite, swiftly paced, brimming (occasionally overbrimming) with memorable personae and tense set pieces, this is the perfect thriller to stuff into a beach bag. Thriller
Spider Robinson Very Bad Deaths Aging baby-boomer Russell Walker wants only to retreat from the world and the shattering death of his beloved wife, into the woods of British Columbia. But the real world won't let him become a hermit. Instead, he finds himself thrust into the mystery of a series of mass murders by a monstrous sadist and serial killer who makes Hannibal Lector look like a boy scout. And he is caught in a frightening predicament: He is the only possible intermediary between a telepath called Smelly, so sensitive he can't stand to be near most people, and a skeptical police officer who needs to hear and believe what Smelly knows about the fiend. This involuntary trio may be the only ones who can catch the inhuman butcher before he kills again-if he doesn't catch them first. Thriller
Chris Ryan Increment, The Three years ago Matt Browning was thrown out of the unit for questioning an order and he was on his way out of the SAS. Now, just when he thinks he has put military life behind him, he finds himself dragged back into action.

MI6 are demanding he helps a giant drugs company destroy copies of its medicines being produced by Eastern European gangsters. But the mission is not what it seems.

An old friend from the Army has turned into a homicidal maniac and so are soldiers from around the country. Suddenly Matt finds himself thrust into the centre of a deadly mystery.

As the answers start to unravel, Matt finds himself the only man in possession of a terrifying secret. Alone and on the run he is up against The Increment the most ruthless, lethal killing machine on earth.
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Michael Palmer Society, The Palmer's 11th medical thriller takes careful and bloody aim at the managed care industry, beginning with the murder of several loathsome CEOs of HMOs in Massachusetts. Dr. Will Grant is a talented and caring physician in the Boston area who works long hours and hates the unfair and obstructive practices of the big insurance companies. Patty Moriarity is a rookie state cop whose first big case is investigating the deaths of the health care vultures. After some early research, Patty suspects Will, but soon enough that's all straightened out and they're smooching on the couch. After Will is drugged and collapses during a delicate operation, things get rough: he's kicked out of his hospital for drug abuse and sued. Next he's being tortured, while Patty, shot after attempting to save the boorish chauvinist detective who has taken over her case, lies in a coma. The action is a bit preachy in the beginning, but once Palmer gets all his characters in place, the suspense builds. He wraps it all up with a slam-bang battle between our love-smitten duo and some extremely nasty health insurer executives and their loyal, gun-toting minions. Thriller
Thomas Cook Into the Web Twenty-five years ago, an unspeakable crime was committed and Roy Slater fled--from the life he thought he wanted, from the memories he couldn't avoid, and from the devastating suspicions of those he called friends. But now that his estranged father is dying, the prodigal son has returned to confront the past--and finds himself inextricably caught up with an old flame and a new murder, one that leads him inevitably back into the twisted web of deceit and violence from which he thought he'd escaped.

In this haunting novel of literary suspense, Edgar Award-winner Thomas Cook once again delves deep into the realms of betrayal, passion and murder.
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Stephen Leather Eyewitness, The Sean Barrett begins his narration of this disturbing novel in a sonorous, mourning tone. Without care for delicate sensibilities, he moves the listener into a story of ethnic genocide in Sarajevo, drug trafficking, and prostitution in which young girls are auctioned as commodities. Barrett's expert portrayals of an ex-vice squad detective from London, a beer-swilling Bosnian cop, a Russian mafia pimp, a 19-year-old who witnessed her family being loaded into a truck and driven into a Bosnian lake, and numerous Albanian gangsters are so believably presented that the reader might, with fear of confirming it, be driven to check the referenced Web sites. Thriller
Ed McBain Alice in Jeopardy Alice Glendenning has been surviving, just barely. When her husband, Eddie, died in a boating accident nearly a year ago, she was left a widow with two very young children and a life insurance policy with a fly-by-night company that has delayed payment because the body was lost at sea. But things can always get worse, much worse. The ransom call comes not long after her two kids don't return home on the bus after school. The instructions are simple: the money from the insurance policy or the kids are dead--plus the standard "Don't call the cops." Alice doesn't call the cops, but the baby-sitter does, and soon Alice is mired in a jurisdictional jihad among local, state, and federal law-enforcement agencies of varying levels of competence. Alice is certain that only two people are determined to get her kids back safely: their mother and a Vietnam vet who ekes a living out of his artwork. The conclusion is heart stopping and heartbreaking but completely uncontrived in an America in which the promise of 30 seconds on CNN is as strong a lure as a million dollars. McBain has been writing crime fiction through five decades (the 87th Precinct novels, the Matthew Hope series, and a dozen stand-alone works). He's always very good, usually excellent, and occasionally transcendent. If this were his first novel, we'd anoint him the next great crime novelist of the new century. But since we have more than 50 years of great work on which to judge him, we'll say instead that he's still at the top of his game. Thriller
Patricia MacDonald Girl Next Door, The Fifteen years ago, Duncan Avery, an esteemed medical doctor, was convicted of killing his wife Marsha. Now, paroled and insistent about his resettling in his hometown in New Jersey, he is visited by his daughter, Nina Avery, a struggling actress in New York City who never stopped believing in her father's innocence. Her plans for a family reunion, complete with her two brothers Patrick, a successful investment banker, and Jimmy, a recovering drug addict, who had turned their backs on Duncan, are disturbed by yet another act of violence. Now Nina must delve deep into her family's and neighbors' past to catch the killer before she becomes his next victim. Thriller
Robin Cook Mind Bend Future doctor Adam Schonberg loved his wife. That was why he took a job with the giant drug firm Arolen, for the money he needed for their coming baby. His wife, Jennifer, felt she would get the best of care at the Julian Clinic as her pregnancy progressed. It seemed a happy coincidence that the Julian Clinic was owned by Arolen...until Adam Schonberg slowly began to suspect the terrifying truth about this connection...and about the hideous evil perpetrated on the wife he loved by the doctor she helplessly trusted... Thriller
John Grisham Bleachers Good old boys and football--it's hard to separate the two. Grisham's story of small-town Southerners who live for football is told mainly through dialogue, both internal and external. The downside of this production is Grisham's flat delivery and lack of acting ability. Writers often can hear dialogue clearly enough in their minds, but the verbalizing is no easy task. If you're wondering what Grisham sounds like, this is a great opportunity; if you love good acting and narration, this isn't. Middle-aged regret and crises abound among the characters, the common thread being their love of Coach. Thriller
Dean Koontz Sole Survivor Koontz, who seems to be moving away from supernatural yarns in favor of thrillers grounded in technology and science, here serves up what is probably his best novel to date. Joe Carpenter, a former California crime reporter, loses his wife and daughters in a mysterious plane crash. Soon, a series of strange visits, violent chases, and quasispiritual encounters points to an amazing idea: that a scientist aboard the doomed aircraft had discovered irrevocable proof of life after death and that a secret government organization will stop at nothing to keep this knowledge from the public. Koontz's California is a desperate place "where an unintended slight... might result in a thermonuclear response," and his characters are more jaded than the sappy Pollyannas that populate many of his earlier novels. Thriller
David Lindsey Rules of Silence, The Titus Cain has been targeted by a Latino thug in a sophisticated extortion scheme that results in the horrific deaths of friends close to Titus. Cain enlists the help of former CIA agents in an effort to thwart the villains. Christopher Price successfully conveys the brutality of the criminals with voices that are frighteningly realistic. His accents, Spanish and others, are excellent, and his characterizations of Cain, his wife, and others are totally convincing. The tension is palpable in Price's taut and dramatic reading, and the excitement is heightened by excellent timing. Thriller
Sidney Sheldon Are You Afraid Of The Dark? All around the globe, people are being reported dead or missing.
In Berlin, a woman vanishes from the city streets. In Paris, a man plunges from the Eiffel Tower. In Denver, a small plane crashes into the mountains. In Manhattan, a body washes ashore along the East River. At first these seem to be random incidents, but the police soon discover that all four of the victims are connected to Kingsley International Group (KIG), the largest think tank in the world.
Kelly Harris and Diane Stevens -- young widows of two of the victims -- encounter each other in New York, where they have been asked to meet with Tanner Kingsley, the head of KIG. He assures them that he is using all available resources to find out who is behind the mysterious deaths of their husbands. But he may be too late. Someone is intent on murdering both women, and they suffer a harrowing series of near escapes. Who is trying to kill them and why?
Forced together for protection, suspicious of each other and everyone around them, and trying to find answers for themselves, the two widows embark on a terrifying game of cat and mouse against the unknown forces out to destroy them.
Taut with suspense and vivid characterization, full of shocking twists, and with an unnervingly realistic premise that could alter all of our lives, the long-awaited Are You Afraid of the Dark? is Sidney Sheldon at the top of his game.
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Les Standiford Done Deal Done Deal is the first in the series featuring reluctant sleuth John Deal, a South Florida building contractor who has a penchant for stepping into the path of the wrong people. Here, Deal is struggling to rebuild the once formidable DealCo, a development company once headed by his flamboyant father Barton Deal--but little does he know that the piece of land upon which he plans to build a small apartment complex is coveted by a ruthless businessman intent on making a fortune off Major League Baseball's arrival in South Florida.
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Stuart Woods Orchid Beach Narrator Debra Monk has a knack for characterization, even with the superficial variety in detective thrillers such as Orchid Beach, in which adrenaline-pumping plot twists rule. In this thriller, the beautiful (natch), smart (double natch), intrepid (ditto) heroine, forcibly retired from the military, becomes police chief of the title Florida community, where she investigates the death of her predecessor with the help of her new lover, her old father and her Doberman. Monk gives every walk-on some subtle touch, some nuance of authenticity, some humanizing characteristic. Her Chief Holly Barker sounds appropriately strong and solid, like a former army officer, though feminine enough for credible love scenes. Here's a novel definitely more rewarding in the listen than in the read. Thriller
Stuart Woods Under the Lake A fascinating cast of characters comes together in a remote Georgia town: a burnt-out reporter, a passionate young woman from an outcast family, a lawman guilty of crimes of his own, and a ruthless power-broker with no respect for human life. A web of lies, obsessions and dark deceit draws them toward a chilling confrontation with the truth Under the Lake. Thriller
John Grisham Broker, The In the last days of his term, a departing president pardons controversial Washington lawyer Joel Backman, convicted of illegal involvement in a surveillance satellite program. He begins a new life in Italy as a marked man, with the CIA watching his every move and preparing to leak the information to international agencies that may want him dead. Dennis Boutsikaris narrates with a conspiratorial tone, as if he's slyly letting listeners in on a secret. That tone holds listeners' fascination as the CIA meticulously prepares its trap and Backman prepares his escape with equal care. This thriller, which rests on clockwork planning rather than action, will keep listeners on the edge of their seats. Thriller
Douglas/Lincoln Preston/Child Relic Just days before a massive exhibition opens at the popular New York Museum of Natural History, visitors are being savagely murdered in the museum's dark hallways and secret rooms. Autopsies indicate that the killer cannot be human...

But the museum's directors plan to go ahead with a big bash to celebrate the new exhibition, in spite of the murders.

Museum researcher Margo Green must find out who-or what-is doing the killing. But can she do it in time to stop the massacre?
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Stephen King One Past Midnight, The Langoliers The first of a four-part audio series from Stephen King's best-selling book, Four Past Midnight. On a redeye flight from Los Angeles to Boston, only 11 passangers survive--but landing in a dead world makes them wish they hadn't. Thriller
T. Jefferson Parker California Girl Parker s 12th novel is a gripping saga of three brothers and their relationship to one doomed and abused young woman over the course of a generation. Parker uses Janelle as a focal point for examining a diverse set of characters; in investigating her murder, for example, the Becker brothers dig deep within themselves. Yet perhaps the best character is 60s-era Southern California itself: its blue sky, ocean, drive-in churches, orange groves, tract homes, peace protests, and drugs, spotted with cameos by Richard Nixon, Timothy Leary, and other celebrities. California Girl, though technically a crime novel, is also a family saga and history, though it tries too hard at the latter. If sometimes too self-conscious or superficial in tone, the novel offers a not-so-innocent look at the tarnished California dream. Thriller
Thomas Cook Chatham School Affair, The In 1926 Henry Griswald was a kid, a student of the lovely and unusual Elizabeth Channing, who had recently arrived in his coastal Massachusetts village to teach art at a private school run by his father. Decades later, the people of Henry's village are still racked by guilt and troubled by uncertainty--who, or what, drove Miss Channing to madness and murder? Henry Griswald, narrator of The Chatham School Affair, holds the key. Using the same dark, brooding tone that permeated Breakheart Hill, Thomas Cook has crafted a disturbing yet entertaining psychological thriller.
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Martina Cole Know, The Joanie Brewer is a prostitute. She has lived a hard life but above it all she is a brilliant mother to her three kids, all of whom have different fathers. 18 year old Jon Jon is knee-deep in crime, while 14 year old Jeanette knows more than is good for her. 11 year old Kira is the light of her life so when she mysteriously disappears, Joanie s world is turned upside down. The family know in their heart of hearts that Kira is dead. They want revenge and God help anyone that stands in their way. Thriller
Jeffery Deaver Devil's Teardrop, The Thriller readers can always count on getting extra value from Jeffery Deaver--strong plots, fascinating research, believable characters, and plenty of surprise endings. Like in The Terminator, the bad guys in The Devil's Teardrop just won't quit, and they create enough havoc in the last 50 pages to fill a whole new book.

Although Deaver's brilliant, wheelchair-bound forensic expert Lincoln Rhyme makes a guest appearance, the muscular scientist in charge here is Parker Kincaid--an expert in document analysis who'd much rather be checking the authenticity of letters from Thomas Jefferson than figuring out when a crazed shooter known as the Digger will strike again. But it's New Year's Eve, 1999, and the Digger has begun a reign of terror--promising to shoot into crowds in Washington, D.C., every four hours until he's paid $20 million. As Kincaid searches an odd ransom note for clues (and tries to maintain a low profile so that his vindictive ex-wife won't get custody of his young kids), we get to know the Digger better. He is a frighteningly invisible character with serious brain damage, who methodically obeys a set of instructions from an unknown handler. We also learn many amazing facts about paper, ink, and handwriting analysis, and watch as a relationship slowly and reluctantly develops between Kincaid and the FBI agent in charge. All this as the devious Deaver leads us down several garden paths overflowing with dead bodies.


Bill Dufris and Deaver are a standout team. Dufris brings a rich, versatile voice to Deaver's strong plot and believable, likeable, fully developed characters in this well-crafted tale of terror. Dufris develops unique, realistic voices for the multitude of diverse characters: Parker Kincaid, hero and forensic document examiner; heroine Margaret Lukas, special agent in charge for the FBI; Len Hardy, the young detective; Gerald Kennedy, the mayor of D.C.; and other police and FBI personnel who search for "The Digger," the brain-damaged, half-human killing machine, who is threatening to blow up crowded venues in the city on New Year's Eve. Easily understood even when reading at breakneck speed, Dufris makes the listeners' hearts beat fast and paralyzes them with fear. The suspense continues to the surprising denouement. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award
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Tess Gerritsen Harvest If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Robin Cook is going to feel just swell after taking a look at Gerritsen's first novel. When Robin Cook wrote Coma in 1977, the idea of hospital patients being incubated for their vital organs sounded like science fiction. Twenty years later, this gripping thriller about a thriving international black market in human hearts, livers and kidneys could come from tomorrow's "Nightline." Author Gerritsen was an internist before she switched her energies to writing, and her experience shows in every scene. When young surgical resident Dr. Abby DiMatteo assists at her first "harvest" (the removal of living organs from a patient declared legally brain dead) at Boston's posh Bayside Hospital, "she felt vaguely nauseated by the whine of the blade, the smell of bone dust," neither of which seem to bother the veterans. It's obviously a personal memory being mined for good fictional purposes. Thriller
Dean Koontz Dark Rivers of the Heart Do you dare step through the red door?
Spencer Grant had no idea what drew him to the bar with the red door. He thought he would just sit down, have a slow beer or two, and talk to a stranger. He couldn't know that it would lead to a narrow escape from a bungalow targeted by a SWAT team. Or that it would leave him a wanted man. Now he is on the run from mysterious and ruthless men. He is in love with a woman he knows next to nothing about. And he is hiding from a past he can't fully remember. On his trail is a shadowy security agency that answers to no one--including the U.S. government--and a man who considers himself a compassionate Angel of Death. But worst of all, Spencer Grant is on a collision course with inner demons he thought he'd buried years ago--inner demons that could destroy him if his enemies don't first.
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Dean Koontz Mr. Murder Martin Stillwater is a novelist with a wife and children he adores -- and an imagination he can't control. One rainy afternoon, a stranger breaks into Martin's house and accuses him of stealing his family, his name, and his life. Martin has no choice but to take his family and flee, even as he questions his own sanity. But wherever they go, the stranger is right behind them. Thriller
Jeffery Deaver Bloody River Blues Hollywood location scout John Pellam thought the scenic backwater town of Maddox, Missouri, would be the perfect site for an upcoming Bonnie and Clyde-style film. But after real bullets leave two people dead and one cop paralyzed, he's more sought after than the Barrow Gang. Pellam had unwittingly wandered onto the crime scene just minutes before the brutal hits. Now the feds and local police want him to talk. Mob enforcers want him silenced. And a mysterious blonde just wants him. Trapped in a town full of sinister secrets and deadly deceptions, Pellam fears that death will imitate art, as the film shoot -- and his life -- race toward a breathtakingly bloody climax. Thriller
Jeffery Deaver Death of a Blue Movie Star Twenty-one-year-old Rune is an aspiring filmmaker, but so far her only break has been scoring a job as an underpaid production assistant in Manhattan. Still, she's always on the lookout for the perfect topic for her own film--and she thinks she's found it when she witnesses the bombing of a triple-X movie theater in Times Square. Rune's got a great hook for her documentary: She plans to film it through the eyes of Shelly Lowe, the porn star whose movie was playing at the theater when it exploded. But just hours after Rune films a poignant Shelly reflecting on her dreams of becoming a serious actress, a second bomb silences the beautiful film star forever. Was Shelly in the wrong place at the wrong time--or was she the bomber's target all along? Rune vows to find out the truth behind the death of this blue movie star. But as she struggles to finish shooting her film, Rune's labor of love may be her final masterpiece--as a shooting of a more lethal kind threatens to write an ending to this story that no one wants to see.... Thriller
Jeffery Deaver Garden of Beasts Jeffery Deaver provides a visceral experience of the tension in Berlin when German citizens lavishly hosted the 1936 Humanitarian Olympic Games while, simultaneously, Hitler secretly prepared for war and the extermination of Jews. Jefferson Mays presents a wide range of characters with distinction and aplomb. There's Paul, a hit-man for the New York Luciano Mob; Willi Kohl, a senior investigator in the Kripo, the Berlin criminal police; Reinhard Ernst, Hitler's rearmament czar; Leisel, a barmaid with a secret; Kathe, who helps Paul discover the hero inside his hardened soul; and the Fischer brothers, caught up in the abominable Waltham Study. With Mays's reading, this story becomes a caustic tale of the dangers of ambivalence and appeasement in the face of evil. Thriller
Jeffery Deaver Hard News Rune is an aspiring filmmaker with more ambition than political savvy, paying her dues as an assistant cameraperson for the local news. But she's got her eyes on the prize, the network's hot newsmagazine, Current Events -- and she's got the story she knows will get her there.
Poking around in the video archives, Rune spots a taped interview with Randy Boggs, who's doing hard time in Attica for a murder he claims he didn't commit. Rune can't say exactly why, but she's sure he's innocent. If she can prove it, Current Events won't merely report the news, it'll make news -- and Rune's career.
But what she could be writing is Randy Boggs's epitaph -- and her own. Rune's newly discovered witness soon turns up dead. A hit man from Miami is on Rune's trail, and Boggs is finding prison even more dangerous than before. Someone wants this story killed, and it could be the girl with the camera who ends up on the cutting room floor.
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Jeffery Deaver Manhattan is My Beat Young film-maker Rune, becomes obsessed with the murder of one of the customers at her video shop, who has been renting the same noir film over and over again. She is convinced that the secrets of his brutal death are hidden within the film, but her interest brings her too close to the killer.
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Jeffery Deaver Mistress of Justice Taylor Lockwood spends her days working as a paralegal in one of New York s preeminent Wall Street law firms and her nights playing jazz piano anyplace she can. But the rhythm of her life is disrupted when attorney Mitchell Reece requests her help in locating a stolen document that could cost him not only the multimillion-dollar case he s defending but his career as well.
Eager to get closer to this handsome, brilliant, and very private man, Taylor signs on...only to find that as she delves deeper and deeper into what goes on behind closed doors at Hubbard, White & Willis, she uncovers more than she wants to know--including a plentitude of secrets damaging enough to smash careers and dangerous enough to push someone to commit murder. Yet who is capable of going to that extreme? With her life on the line, Taylor is about to learn the lethal answer....
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Jeffery Deaver Nocturne A collection of award-winning, spine-tingling stories of suspense -- stories that will widen your eyes and stretch your imagination.
This standout collection from Twisted includes "Gone Fishing" in which, a daughter begs her father not to go fishing in an area where there have been a series of brutal killings; a contemporary of the playwright William Shakespeare vows to avenge his family's ruin in All the World's a Stage; in "The Kneeling Soldier," a father's love turns deadly when he protects his only daughter from a stalker, but was the stalker indeed a stalker?; and in the bonus story Interrogation, a detective grills a cold-blooded murderer as to why he killed a perfect stranger.
Diverse, provocative, eerie and inspired, this collection exhibits the amazing range and signature plot twists that have earned Deaver the title "master of ticking-bomb suspense."
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Jeffery Deaver Shallow Graves Location scouting is to the film business what Switzerland is to war. John Pellam had been in the trenches of filmmaking, with a promising Hollywood career -- until a tragedy sidetracked him. Now he's a location scout, who travels the country in search of shooting sites for films. When he rides down Main Street, locals usually clamor for their chanc