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Rich & Famous

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  1. 7.2 hrs • 9/20/2016 • Unabridged

    In her poignant and touching memoir, Cookie Johnson, wife of NBA icon Earvin “Magic” Johnson, shares for the first time how her husband’s HIV diagnosis twenty-five years ago sent her life and marriage in a frightening new direction. On November 7, 1991, basketball legend Magic Johnson stunned the world with the news that he was HIV-positive. For the millions who tuned in as he shared his news, Magic’s revelation became a seminal moment for the nation. Now twenty-five years later, Cookie Johnson shares her story and the emotional journey that started on that day—from life as a pregnant and joyous newlywed to one filled with the fear that her husband would die, she and her baby would, too, be infected with the virus, and their family would be shunned. Believing in Magic is far more than Cookie’s account of surviving that trauma; it is the story of her marriage with Earvin and the nearly three decades of loving each other, losing their way, and eventually finding a path they never imagined they’d take.

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    Believing in Magic

    By Cookie Johnson, with Denene Millner
    Read by Robin Miles
    7.2 hrs • 9/20/16 • Unabridged
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  2. 10.6 hrs • 9/15/2016 • Unabridged

    The fascinating never-before-told-in-full story of personal reinvention grounded in musical salvation and fatherhood. Travis Barker’s soul-baring memoir chronicles the highlights and lowlights of the renowned drummer’s art and his life, including the harrowing plane crash that nearly killed him and his traumatic road to recovery. After breaking out as the acclaimed drummer of the multiplatinum punk band Blink-182, everything changed for Travis Barker. But the dark side of rock stardom took its toll: his marriage, chronicled for an MTV reality show, fell apart. Constant touring concealed a serious drug addiction. A reckoning did not truly come until he was forced to face mortality: his life nearly ended in a horrifying plane crash, and then his close friend, collaborator, and fellow crash survivor DJ AM died of an overdose. In this blunt, driving memoir, Barker ruminates on rock stardom, fatherhood, death, loss, and redemption, sharing stories shaped by decades’ worth of hard-earned insights. His pulsating memoir is as energetic as his acclaimed beats. It brings to a close the first chapters of a well-lived life, inspiring listeners to follow the rhythms of their own hearts and find meaning in their lives.

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    Can I Say by Travis Barker, Gavin Edwards

    Can I Say

    10.6 hrs • 9/15/16 • Unabridged
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  3. 5.6 hrs • 9/13/2016 • Unabridged

    From the moment she uttered the brave and honest words, “I am an alcoholic,” to interview George Stephanopoulos, Elizabeth Vargas began writing her story, as her experiences were still raw. Now, in Between Breaths, Vargas discusses her accounts of growing up with anxiety—which began suddenly at the age of six when her father served in Vietnam—and how she dealt with this anxiety as she came of age, to her eventually turning to alcohol for relief. She tells of how she found herself living in denial, about the extent of her addiction and keeping her dependency a secret for so long. She addresses her time in rehab, her first year of sobriety, and the guilt she felt as a working mother who had never found the right balance. Honest and hopeful, Between Breaths is an inspiring listen.

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    Between Breaths

    5.6 hrs • 9/13/16 • Unabridged
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  4. 11.3 hrs • 9/13/2016 • Unabridged

    The late Grammy-winning founder of the legendary pop/R&B/soul/funk/disco group tells his story and charts the rise of his legendary band in this sincere memoir that captures the heart and soul of an artist whose groundbreaking sound continues to influence music today. With its dynamic horns, contrasting vocals, and vivid stage shows, Earth, Wind & Fire was one of the most popular acts of the late twentieth century—the band “that changed the sound of black pop” (Rolling Stone)—and its music continues to inspire modern artists including Usher, Jay-Z, Cee-Lo Green, and Outkast. At last, the band’s founder, Maurice White, shares the story of his success. White reflects on the great blessings music has brought to his life and the struggles he’s endured: his mother leaving him behind in Memphis when he was four; learning to play the drums with Booker T. Jones; moving to Chicago at eighteen and later Los Angeles after leaving the Ramsey Lewis Trio; forming EWF, only to have the original group fall apart; working with Barbra Streisand and Neil Diamond; his diagnosis of Parkinson’s; and his final public performance with the group at the 2006 Grammy Awards. Through it all, White credits his faith for his amazing success and guidance in overcoming his many challenges. My Life with Earth, Wind, and Fire is an intimate, moving, and beautiful memoir from a man whose creativity and determination carried him to great success, and whose faith enabled him to savor every moment.

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    My Life with Earth, Wind & Fire by Maurice White, Herb Powell

    My Life with Earth, Wind & Fire

    11.3 hrs • 9/13/16 • Unabridged
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  5. 10.9 hrs • 7/12/2016 • Unabridged

    For readers of Michael Lewis comes a story of global financial inequality—intertwined with the story of Brazil’s wealthiest citizen, Eike Batista—that begins to answer the question: Who exactly are our new hyperwealthy plutocrats, and should we welcome or fear them? When Bloomberg News invited the young American journalist Alex Cuadros to report on Brazil’s emerging class of billionaires at the height of the historic Brazilian boom, he was poised to cover two of the biggest business stories of our time: how the giants of the developing world were triumphantly taking their place at the center of global capitalism, and how wealth inequality was changing societies everywhere. The billionaires of Brazil and their massive fortunes resided at the very top of their country’s economic pyramid, and whether they quietly accumulated exceptional power or extravagantly displayed their decadence like peacocks, they formed a potent microcosm of this stratum of the world. Over the four years Cuadros was on the billionaire beat, he reported on media moguls and televangelists, energy barons and shadowy figures from the years of military dictatorship who’d reinvented themselves as the country’s economic stewards, soy barons who lived on the outskirts of the Amazon, and new-economy billionaires spinning money from speculation. He learned just how deeply they all reached into Brazilian life. They held sway over the economy, government, media, and stewardship of the environment; they determined the spiritual fates and populated the imaginations of their countrymen. Cuadros’s zealous reporting takes us from penthouses to courtrooms, from favelas to extravagant art fairs, from scenes of unimaginable wealth to desperate, massive street protests. Within a business narrative that deftly explains and dramatizes the volatility of the global economy, Cuadros offers us literary journalism with a grand sweep: a universal story of hubris and tragedy that uncovers the deeper meaning of this era of billionaires for us all.

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    Brazillionaires

    10.9 hrs • 7/12/16 • Unabridged
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  6. 2.3 hrs • 7/5/2016 • Unabridged

    The definitive portrait of Donald Trump, newly updated, from his most observant longtime chronicler. Ever since Donald Trump entered the presidential race—in a press conference attended by paid actors, in which he slandered Mexican immigrants—he has dominated headlines, becoming the unrestrained id at the center of one of the most bizarre and alarming elections in American history. It was not always so. In 1996, longtime New Yorker writer Mark Singer was conscripted by his editor to profile Donald Trump. At that time Trump was a mere Manhattan-centric megalomaniac, a failing casino operator mired in his second divorce and (he claimed) recovering from the bankruptcy proceedings that prompted him to inventory the contents of his Trump Tower home. Conversing with Trump in his offices, apartments, cars, and private plane, Singer found himself fascinated with this man “who had aspired to and achieved the ultimate luxury, an existence unmolested by the rumbling of a soul.” In Trump and Me, Singer revisits the profile and recounts how its publication lodged inside its subject’s head as an enduring irritant—and how Singer (“A total loser!”, according to Trump) cheerfully continued to bait him. He reflects on Trump’s evolution from swaggering buffoon to potential threat to America’s standing as a rational guardian of the world order. Heedlessly combative, equally adept at spewing insults and manipulating crowds at his campaign rallies, the self-proclaimed billionaire has emerged as an unlikely tribune of populist rage. All politics is artifice, and Singer marvels at how Trump has transfixed an electorate with his ultimate feat of performance art—a mass political movement only loosely tethered to reality.

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    Trump and Me

    2.3 hrs • 7/5/16 • Unabridged
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  7. 8.5 hrs • 6/28/2016 • Unabridged

    A wild and entertaining sports memoir of legendary center-fielder Lenny Dykstra, offering a no-holds-barred account of his life, a Shakespearian tale of highs and lows spanning his years with the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies and his post-baseball career. Nicknamed “Nails” for his toughness and grit, Lenny Dykstra approached the game of baseball (and his after-hours activities) with mythic intensity. In his decade in the majors (1985–1996), he was named to three All-Star teams and played in two of the most memorable World Series of the modern era: winning the championship with the iconic 1986 New York Mets, and playing a starring role in the 1993 World Series with the Philadelphia Phillies, a fall classic that inspired Roger Angell to write, “This series will linger in mind not just for its immoderate events but for its panoply of featured players and character actors…a double touring company seemingly assembled by Hogarth or Fellini.” Known for his clutch hits, high on-base percentage, and aggressive defense, Lenny was later identified as the prototypical “Moneyball” player by his former minor league roommate Billy Beane. Tobacco-stained, steroid-powered, and booze-and-drug fueled, Nails also defined ’80s and early ’90s baseball’s culture of excess. Then came a second act no novelist could plausibly conjure. He threw his energies into several lucrative businesses, was touted as an investment guru by Jim Cramer, and launched a magazine for professional athletes. The New Yorker ran a 5,000-word profile under the headline: “Baseball’s most improbable post-career success story.” But when the real estate bubble burst, Lenny lost everything, eventually serving two and a half years in prison for bankruptcy fraud. Now, he’s ready to tell all. An epic tale of winning big and losing it all, House of Nails is the eagerly anticipated firsthand account of a most remarkable American life.

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    House of Nails by Lenny Dykstra

    House of Nails

    8.5 hrs • 6/28/16 • Unabridged
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  8. 5.6 hrs • 6/21/2016 • Unabridged

    A powerful chronicle of the sixteen weeks leading up to King of Pop Michael Jackson’s death. Michael Jackson’s final months were like the rest of his short and legendary life: filled with deep lows and soaring highs, a constant hunt for privacy, and the pressure and fame that made him socially fragile and almost—ultimately—unable to live. With the insight and compassion that he brought to his bestselling telling of Martin Luther King Jr.’s final year, Tavis Smiley provides a glimpse into the superstar’s life in this emotional, honest, yet celebratory book. Listeners will witness Jackson’s campaign to recharge his career—hiring and firing managers and advisors, turning to and away from family members, fighting depression and drug dependency—while his one goal remained: to mount the most spectacular series of shows the world had ever seen. Before You Judge Me is a humanizing look at Jackson’s last days.

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    Before You Judge Me

    5.6 hrs • 6/21/16 • Unabridged
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  9. 3.4 hrs • 6/14/2016 • Abridged

    With unprecedented access, one of the nation's leading business journalists reveals the good, the bad, and the ridiculous behind the public image of The Donald.

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    Trumpnation

    3.4 hrs • 6/14/16 • Abridged
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  10. 10.5 hrs • 5/10/2016 • Unabridged

    The gripping family drama and never-before-told love story surrounding the rise and fall of the late Aldo Gucci, the man who is responsible for making the Italian fashion label the powerhouse it is today, told by his daughter Patricia Gucci was born a secret: the love child whose birth could have spelled ruination for her father, Aldo Gucci. It was 1963, the halcyon days for the “must-have” brand of Hollywood and European royalty. Patricia’s mother gave birth in secret in London before she was smuggled back to Vatican City and hidden from the fashion world, the media, and the rest of the Gucci family. Aldo couldn’t afford a public scandal, but he could not resist his feelings for Patricia’s mother, Bruna, the paramour he first met when she worked for him as a shop girl in Rome. In In the Name of Gucci, Patricia Gucci charts her parents’ untold love story, relying on her own childhood memories as well as an archive of love letters and interviews with her mother. She interweaves her parents’ story with that of her own relationship with her father—from a little girl who remained a secret for eighteen months and wasn’t publicly acknowledged for her first decade, through her rise to become Gucci’s ambassador and Aldo’s protégé, to the moment when Aldo’s three sons, who betrayed him in a famous palace coup, were disinherited and Patricia—once considered the shame of Gucci—was made sole universal heir. It is an epic tale of love and loss, betrayal and loyalty, sweeping among Italy, England, and America throughout the tumultuous years during the rise and fall of the House of Gucci.

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    In the Name of Gucci by Patricia Gucci

    In the Name of Gucci

    By Patricia Gucci, with Wendy Holden
    Prologue and epilogue read by Patricia Gucci
    Read by Kate Reading
    10.5 hrs • 5/10/16 • Unabridged
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  11. 11.2 hrs • 5/10/2016 • Unabridged

    A panoramic narrative history of the Rolling Stones, viewed through the impassioned and opinionated lens of Vanity Fair contributor Rich Cohen, who traveled with the band in the 1990s as a reporter for Rolling Stone. Rich Cohen enters the Stones epic as a young journalist on the road with the band and quickly falls under their sway—privy to the jokes, the camaraderie, the bitchiness, the hard living. Inspired by a lifelong appreciation of the music that borders on obsession, Cohen’s chronicle of the band is informed by the rigorous views of a kid who grew up on the music and for whom the Stones will always be the greatest rock ’n’ roll band of all time. The story begins at the beginning: the fateful meeting of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards on a train platform in 1961—and goes on to span decades, with a focus on the golden run—from the albums Beggars Banquet (1968) to Exile on Main Street (1972)—when the Stones were prolific and innovative and at the height of their powers. Cohen is equally as good on the low points as the highs, and he puts his finger on the moments that not only defined the Stones as gifted musicians schooled in the blues and arguably the most innovative songwriters of their generation, but as the avatars of so much in our modern culture. In the end, though, after the drugs and the girlfriends and the rows, there is the music. The Sun & The Moon & The Rolling Stones makes you want to listen to every song in your library anew and search out the obscure gems that you’ve yet to hear. The music, together with Cohen’s fresh and galvanizing consideration of the band, will define, once and forever, why the Stones will always matter.

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    The Sun & the Moon & the Rolling Stones

    11.2 hrs • 5/10/16 • Unabridged
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  12. 1 reviews 0 5 3.5 3 out of 5 stars 3.5/5 (1)
    6.6 hrs • 5/3/2016 • Unabridged

    In the tradition of Rich Cohen’s Sweet and Low and Sean Wilsey’s Oh the Glory of it All, a memoir of a city, an industry, and a dynasty in decline, and the story of a young artist’s struggle to find her way out of the ruins Frances Stroh’s earliest memories are ones of great privilege: shopping trips to London and New York, lunches served by black-tied waiters at the Regency Hotel, and a house filled with precious antiques, which she was forbidden to touch. Established in Detroit in 1850, by 1984 the Stroh Brewing Company had become the largest private beer fortune in America and a brand emblematic of the American dream itself; while Stroh was coming of age, the Stroh family fortune was estimated to be worth $700 million. But behind the beautiful façade lay a crumbling foundation. Detroit’s economy collapsed with the retreat of the automotive industry to the suburbs and abroad, and the Stroh family found their wealth and legacy disappearing. As their fortune dissolved in a little over a decade, the family was torn apart internally by divorce and one family member’s drug bust; disagreements over the management of the business; and disputes over the remaining money they possessed. Even as they turned against one another, looking for a scapegoat on whom to blame the unraveling of their family, they could not anticipate that even far greater tragedy lay in store. Stroh’s memoir is elegantly spare in structure and mercilessly clear-eyed in its self-appraisal—at once a universally relatable family drama and a great American story.

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    Beer Money by Frances Stroh

    Beer Money

    6.6 hrs • 5/3/16 • Unabridged
    1 reviews 0 5 3.5 3 out of 5 stars 3.5/5 (1)
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  13. 5.2 hrs • 5/3/2016 • Unabridged

    In this love letter to his father, former professional golfer Nathaniel Crosby shares memories of Bing Crosby on the golf course, and the lessons he taught him about the game and about life. With a Foreword by Jack Nicklaus. “Bing Crosby was a great ambassador for our game, as well as a great man,” hails longtime friend and golf partner, Jack Nicklaus. The beloved singer and star was also an extraordinary teacher who instilled an abiding passion and mastery of the game in his youngest son, Nathaniel. Winning the US Amateur at nineteen, Nathaniel went on to compete in high-level professional tournaments for his entire life. In 18 Holes with Bing, Nathaniel introduces us to the Bing Crosby he and his family knew—not the beloved singer who played golf, but a golfer who sang to pay his country club dues. Nathaniel shares exclusive stories about this American icon golfing, working, and playing with some of the most famous people in history—royalty, titans of industry, stars of stage and screen, and champions of the green, including Bob Hope, Dwight Eisenhower, Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus, and Louis Armstrong. At the book’s heart is an intimate account of a father and a son—how a mutual love of golf formed an exceptional emotional bond. Full of anecdotes, vignettes, and recollections of Bing’s time on the course, the tournaments he created and later sponsored, and the constant encouragement he showed his son, 18 Holes with Bing honors this celebrated golfer, entertainer, and father, and illuminates his life as never before.

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    18 Holes with Bing by Nathaniel Crosby, John Strege

    18 Holes with Bing

    Foreword by Jack Nicklaus
    Read by Sean Pratt
    5.2 hrs • 5/3/16 • Unabridged
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  14. 6.1 hrs • 4/26/2016 • Unabridged

    A spirited portrait of the colorful, irrepressible, and iconoclastic American collector who fearlessly advanced the cause of modern art. One of twentieth-century America’s most influential patrons of the arts, Peggy Guggenheim (1898–1979) brought to wide public attention the work of such modern masters as Jackson Pollock and Man Ray. In her time, there was no stronger advocate for the groundbreaking and the avant-garde. Her midtown gallery was the acknowledged center of the postwar New York art scene, and her museum on the Grand Canal in Venice remains one of the world’s great collections of modern art. Yet as renowned as she was for the art and artists she so tirelessly championed, Guggenheim was equally famous for her unconventional personal life and for her ironic, playful desire to shock. Acclaimed bestselling author Francine Prose offers a singular reading of Guggenheim’s life that will enthrall enthusiasts of twentieth-century art, as well as anyone interested in American and European culture and the interrelationships between them. The lively and insightful narrative follows Guggenheim through virtually every aspect of her extraordinary life, from her unique collecting habits and paradigm-changing discoveries to her celebrity friendships, failed marriages, and scandalous affairs. Prose delivers a colorful portrait of a defiantly uncompromising woman who maintained a powerful upper hand in a male-dominated world. She also explores the ways in which Guggenheim’s image was filtered through the lens of insidious anti-Semitism.

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    Peggy Guggenheim by Francine Prose

    Peggy Guggenheim

    6.1 hrs • 4/26/16 • Unabridged
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  15. 6.8 hrs • 4/19/2016 • Unabridged

    Outlaw country music icon Waylon Jennings’ son, Terry, provides an intimate and revealing look at the life and times of his father, on and off the stage. Born when Waylon was only nineteen years old, Terry grew up more like Waylon’s brother. On the road together, they toured with legends such as Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, and Kris Kristofferson, leading a reckless lifestyle centered around music, hard drugs, and women. Critical acclaim, bestselling albums, and sold-out tours were at times overshadowed by the darker aspects of fame, from drug use to womanizing to debt and depression. Debunking myths and sharing stories never before told, Waylon is a loving and strikingly honest portrait of a father by his son, one that will resonate for generations of fans.

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    Waylon

    By Terry Jennings, with David Thomas
    Foreword by Willie Nelson
    6.8 hrs • 4/19/16 • Unabridged
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  16. 10.3 hrs • 4/12/2016

    Kathleen “Kick” Kennedy was the incandescent life-force of the fabled Kennedy family, her father’s acknowledged “favorite of all the children” and her brother Jack’s “psychological twin.” She was the Kennedy of Kennedys, sure of her privilege, magnetically charming and somehow not quite like anyone else on whatever stage she happened to grace._x000D_ _x000D_ The daughter of the American ambassador to the Court of St. James’s, Kick swept into Britain’s aristocracy like a fresh wind on a sweltering summer day. In a decaying world where everything was based on stultifying sameness and similarity, she was gloriously, exhilaratingly different. Kick was the girl whom all the boys fell in love with, the girl who remained painfully out of reach for most of them._x000D_ _x000D_ To Kick, everything about this life was fun and amusing--until suddenly it was not. For this is also a story of how a girl like Kick, a girl who had everything, a girl who seemed made for happiness, confronted crushing sadness. Willing to pay the price for choosing the love she wanted, she would have to face the consequences of forsaking much that was dear to her._x000D_ _x000D_ Bestselling and award-winning biographer Barbara Leaming draws on her unique access to firsthand accounts, extensive conversations with many of the key players, and previously-unseen sources to transport us to another world, one of immense wealth, arcane rituals and rules, glamour and tragedy, that has now disappeared forever. It was a world of dukes and duchesses, of grand houses, of country house weekends, and of wild rich boys. But it was also a world of blood and war, and of immeasurable loss. _x000D_ _x000D_ It was a time of complete upheaval, as reflected in the life of this most unlikely and unforgettable central character. Kick Kennedy reveals her story, that of a young girl learning about love, sex, and death--and doing it all at warp speed as the world races toward war and then reels in the war’s chaotic aftermath. This is the coming-of-age story of the female star of the Kennedy family, and ultimately a tragic, romantic story that will break your heart.

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    Kick Kennedy

    10.3 hrs • 4/12/16
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