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  1. 10.0 hrs • 8/16/2016 • Unabridged

    “Julius can’t remember who first saw the men. He heard no warning sounds—no dog barking or twig snapping. Until this point, events had moved too swiftly for Julius to be afraid, but now panic seized him. In another instant, he realized that his old life was finished.” Thus begins the extraordinary odyssey of Julius Achon, a journey that takes a barefoot twelve-year-old boy from a village in northern Uganda to the rebel camp of the notorious Lord’s Resistance Army, where he was made a boy soldier, and then, miraculously, to a career as one of the world’s foremost middle-distance runners. But when a devastating tragedy prevents Julius from pursuing the gold at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, he is once again set adrift and forced to forge a new path for himself, finally finding his true calling as an internationally recognized humanitarian. Today, Julius is the director of the Achon Uganda Children’s Fund, a charity whose mission is to improve the quality of life in rural Uganda through access to healthcare, education, and athletics. While pursuing his destiny, Julius encounters a range of unforgettable characters who variously befriend and betray him: the demonic Joseph Kony, a “world-class warlord”; John Cook, a brilliant and eccentric U.S. track coach; Jim Fee, an American businessman who helps Julius build a state-of-the-art medical center deep in the Ugandan bush; and finally Kristina, Julius’s mother, whose own tragic journey forms the pivot for this spellbinding narrative of love, loss, suffering, and redemption. Written by award-winning sportswriter John Brant, The Boy Who Runs is an empowering tale of obstacles overcome, challenges met, and light wrested from darkness. It’s a story about forging your true path and finding your higher purpose—even when the road ahead bends in unexpected directions.

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    The Boy Who Runs

    10.0 hrs • 8/16/16 • Unabridged
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  2. 8.6 hrs • 7/5/2016 • Unabridged

    Andrea Ott-Dahl, who with her partner Keston Ott-Dahl has two other children, agreed to act as a pregnancy surrogate for a wealthy Silicon Valley family. When prenatal testing revealed the baby would be born with Down Syndrome, Andrea was urged to abort the child. Instead, the Ott-Dahl’s chose to keep and raise the daughter they would call Delaney, overcoming their fears while navigating legal, medical, and emotional challenges. Studying all they could about care for their special needs daughter led them to become avid activists out of their experience. Despite heart surgery and an array of other challenges, Delaney, at age three, is alive, thriving, and an inspiration to every loving parent on the planet.

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    Saving Delaney

    8.6 hrs • 7/5/16 • Unabridged
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  3. 8.8 hrs • 6/21/2016 • Unabridged

    At the National Council of Churches, Robert Spike had organized American churches to support the passage of both the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act, to march in Selma and to organize in Mississippi. An important white leader in the black civil rights struggle, he helped the LBJ White House pass legislation and write crucial civil rights speeches. In the midst of what he described as “the dirtiest fight of my life” struggling to save a federal Mississippi education program, he was viciously murdered in Columbus, Ohio. The murder was never solved. Very little effort went into finding the murderer. The Columbus police and the FBI hinted the unsolved murder was connected to Spike’s undisclosed gay life. During his father’s rise in the civil rights movement, Paul Spike lived a life typical of a young man in the 1960s, finding his way through a labyrinth of booze, drugs, and girls. At Columbia University, he was active in the 1968 student rebellion and friends with many SDS radicals. That rootless life ended with his father’s murder.

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    Photographs of My Father

    Read by MacLeod Andrews, with an afterword read by Paul Spike
    8.8 hrs • 6/21/16 • Unabridged
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  4. 6.7 hrs • 3/8/2016 • Unabridged

    In 1991, Shaka Senghor was sent to prison for second-degree murder. Today, he is a lecturer at the University of Michigan, a leading voice on criminal justice reform, and an inspiration to thousands. In life, it’s not how you start that matters. It’s how you finish. Shaka Senghor was raised in a middle-class neighborhood on Detroit’s eastside during the height of the 1980s’ crack epidemic. An honor-roll student and a natural leader, he dreamed of becoming a doctor—but at age eleven, his parents’ marriage began to unravel and the beatings from his mother worsened, sending him on a downward spiral that saw him run away from home, turn to drug dealing to survive, and end up in prison for murder at the age of nineteen, fuming with anger and despair. Writing My Wrongs is the story of what came next. During his nineteen-year incarceration, seven of which were spent in solitary confinement, Senghor discovered literature, meditation, and self-examination, tools that he used to confront the demons of his past, forgive the people who hurt him, and begin atoning for the wrongs he had committed. Upon his release at age thirty-eight, Senghor became an activist and mentor to young men and women facing circumstances like his. His work in the community and the courage to share his story led him to fellowships at the MIT Media Lab and the Kellogg Foundation and invitations to speak at events like TED and the Aspen Ideas Festival. Writing My Wrongs is a redemption story told through a stunningly human portrait of what it’s like to grow up in the gravitational pull of poverty, violence, fear, and hopelessness. It’s an unforgettable tale of forgiveness and hope, one that reminds us that our worst deeds don’t define who we are or what we can contribute to the world. And it’s a lasting testament to the power of compassion, prayer, and unconditional love, for reaching those whom society has forgotten.

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    Writing My Wrongs

    6.7 hrs • 3/8/16 • Unabridged
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  5. 10.2 hrs • 2/9/2016 • Unabridged

    An intimate and vivid look inside Nina Simone’s legendary life as a fiery singer, demanding mother, and tirelessly committed civil-rights activist, told using previously buried material from the Netflix/Radical Media documentary What Happened, Miss Simone? From music journalist and former Spin and Vibe editor-in-chief Alan Light comes a biography of incandescent soul icon and activist Nina Simone, drawn from a trove of rare archival materials, including Simone’s remarkable private diaries, published alongside Radical Media’s much buzzed-about documentary of the same name, which debuted to great acclaim at Sundance in January 2015 and will premiere on Netflix this summer. What Happened, Miss Simone? explores the many facets of this complicated and gifted woman, excavating her lifelong passion for classical music and painful rejection from that field, along with her soaring success as a soul singer and the stresses put upon her as an African American pushing against the tide of racial discrimination in civil rights battles. Harnessing the singular voice of Miss Simone herself through her private correspondence and incorporating candid reflections from those who knew her best, including her only daughter, Light brings us face to face with a legend, examining the very public persona and very private struggles of one of our greatest artists.

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    What Happened, Miss Simone?

    Reader to be announced
    10.2 hrs • 2/9/16 • Unabridged
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  6. 12.4 hrs • 12/1/2015 • Unabridged

    Harriet Tubman is one of the giants of American history—a fearless visionary who led scores of her fellow slaves to freedom and battled courageously behind enemy lines during the Civil War. And yet in the century since her death, next to nothing has been written about this extraordinary woman aside from juvenile biographies. The truth about Harriet Tubman has become lost inside a legend woven of racial and gender stereotypes. Now at last, in this long-overdue biography, historian Kate Clifford Larson gives Harriet Tubman the powerful, intimate, meticulously detailed life she deserves. Drawing from a trove of new documents and sources as well extensive genealogical research, Larson reveals Tubman as a complex woman—brilliant, shrewd, deeply religious, and passionate in her pursuit of freedom. The descendant of the vibrant, matrilineal Asante people of the African Gold Coast, Tubman was born into slavery on the Eastern Shore of Maryland but refused to spend her life in bondage. While still a young woman she embarked on a perilous journey of self-liberation—and then, having won her own freedom, she returned again and again to liberate family and friends, tapping into the Underground Railroad. Yet despite her success, her celebrity, and her close ties with Northern politicians and abolitionists, Tubman suffered crushing physical pain and emotional setbacks. Stripping away myths and misconceptions, Larson presents stunning new details about Tubman’s accomplishments, personal life, and influence, including her relationship with Frederick Douglass, her involvement with John Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry, and revelations about a young woman who may have been Tubman’s daughter. Here too are Tubman’s twilight years after the war, when she worked for women’s rights and in support of her fellow blacks, and when racist politicians and suffragists marginalized her contribution. Harriet Tubman, her life, and her work remain an inspiration to all who value freedom. Now, thanks to Larson’s breathtaking biography, we can finally appreciate Tubman as a complete human being—an American hero, yes, but also a woman who loved, suffered, and sacrificed. Bound for the Promised Land is a magnificent work of biography, history, and truth telling.

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    Bound for the Promised Land by Kate Clifford Larson

    Bound for the Promised Land

    12.4 hrs • 12/1/15 • Unabridged
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  7. 10.6 hrs • 12/1/2015 • Unabridged

    From the front lines of the fracking debate, a “field philosopher” explores one of our most divisive technologies. When philosophy professor Adam Briggle moved to Denton, Texas, he had never heard of fracking. Only five years later he would successfully lead a citizens’ initiative to ban hydraulic fracturing in Denton, the first Texas town to challenge the oil and gas industry. On his journey to learn about fracking and its effects, he leaped from the ivory tower into the fray. In beautifully narrated chapters, Briggle brings us to town hall debates and neighborhood meetings where citizens wrestle with issues few fully understand. Is fracking safe? How does it affect the local economy? Why are bakeries prohibited in neighborhoods while gas wells are permitted next to playgrounds? In his quest for answers Briggle meets people like Cathy McMullen. Her neighbors’ cows asphyxiated after drinking fracking fluids, and her orchard was razed to make way for a pipeline. Cathy did not consent to drilling, but those who profited lived far out of harm’s way. Briggle’s first instinct was to think about fracking, deeply. Drawing on philosophers from Socrates to Kant, but also on conversations with engineers, legislators, and industry representatives, he develops a simple theory to evaluate fracking: we should give those at risk to harm a stake in the decisions we make, and we should monitor for and correct any problems that arise. Finding this regulatory process short-circuited, and with government and industry alike turning a blind eye to symptoms like earthquakes and nosebleeds, Briggle decides to take action. Though our field philosopher is initially out of his element, joining fierce activists like “Texas Sharon,” once called the “worst enemy” of the oil and gas industry, his story culminates in an underdog victory for Denton, now nationally recognized as a beacon for citizens’ rights at the epicenter of the fracking revolution.

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    A Field Philosopher’s Guide to Fracking by Adam Briggle

    A Field Philosopher’s Guide to Fracking

    10.6 hrs • 12/1/15 • Unabridged
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  8. 9.8 hrs • 9/8/2015 • Unabridged
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    Suffragette

    9.8 hrs • 9/8/15 • Unabridged
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  9. 14.0 hrs • 3/10/2015 • Unabridged

    An electrifying memoir by the blind Chinese activist who inspired millions with the story of his fight for justice and his belief in the cause of freedom It was like a scene out of a thriller: one morning in April 2012, China’s most famous political activist—a blind, self-taught lawyer—climbed over the wall of his heavily guarded home and escaped. Days later he turned up at the American embassy in Beijing, and only a furious round of high-level negotiations made it possible for him to leave China and begin a new life in the United States. Chen Guangcheng is a unique figure on the world stage, but his story is even more remarkable than anyone knew. The son of a poor farmer in rural China, blinded by illness when he was an infant, Chen was fortunate to survive a difficult childhood. But despite his disability, he was determined to educate himself and fight for the rights of his country’s poor, especially a legion of women who had endured forced sterilizations and abortions under the hated “one child” policy. Repeatedly harassed, beaten, and imprisoned by Chinese authorities, Chen was ultimately placed under house arrest. After nearly two years of increasing danger, he evaded his captors and fled to freedom. Both a riveting memoir and a revealing portrait of modern China, The Barefoot Lawyer tells the story of a man who has never accepted limits and always believed in the power of the human spirit to overcome any obstacle.

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    The Barefoot Lawyer

    14.0 hrs • 3/10/15 • Unabridged
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  10. 5.8 hrs • 2/3/2015 • Unabridged

    International human rights activist Lisa Shannon spent many afternoons at the kitchen table having tea with her friend Francisca Thelin, who often spoke of her childhood in Congo. Thelin would conjure vivid images of lush flower gardens, fish the size of small children, and of children running barefoot through her family’s coffee plantation, gorging themselves on fruit from the robust and plentiful mango trees. She urged Shannon to visit her family in Dungu to get a taste of real Congo, peaceful Congo, a place so different from the conflict-ravaged lands Shannon knew from her work as an activist. But then the nightly phone calls from Congo began: hasty, static-filled reports from Francisca’s mother of gunmen from Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army, which had infested Dungu and began launching attacks. Night after night for a year, “Mama Koko” delivered the devastating news of Francisca’s cousins, nieces, nephews, friends, and neighbors, who had been killed, abducted, burned alive on Christmas Day. In an unlikely journey, Shannon and Thelin decided to travel from Portland, Oregon, to Dungu to witness firsthand the devastation unfolding at Kony’s hands. Masquerading as Francisca’s American sister-in-law, Shannon tucked herself into Mama Koko’s raw cement living room and listened to the stories of Mama Koko and her husband, Papa Alexander, as well as those from dozens of other friends and neighbors—“Mama Koko’s War Tribunal”—who lined up outside the house and waited for hours, eager to offer their testimony. In Mama Koko and the Hundred Gunmen, Shannon weaves together the family’s tragic stories of LRA encounters with tales from the family’s history: Mama Koko’s early life as a gap-toothed beauty plotting to escape her inevitable fate of wife and motherhood; Papa Alexander’s empire of wives he married because they cooked and cleaned and made good coffee; and Francisca’s childhood at the family “castle” and coffee plantation. These lively stories transport Shannon from the chaos of the violence around her and bring to life Francisca’s kitchen-table stories of the peaceful Congo. But as the LRA camp out on the edge of town grew, tensions inside the house reached a fever pitch, and Shannon and Thelin’s friendship was fiercely tested. Shannon was forced to confront her limitations as an activist and reconcile her vision of what it means to effect meaningful change in the lives of others. Mama Koko and the Hundred Gunmen is at once an illuminating piece of storytelling and an exploration of what it means to truly make a difference. It is an exquisite testimony to the beauty of human connection and the strength of the human spirit in times of unimaginable tragedy.

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    Mama Koko and the Hundred Gunmen by Lisa J. Shannon

    Mama Koko and the Hundred Gunmen

    5.8 hrs • 2/3/15 • Unabridged
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  11. 14.5 hrs • 1/20/2015 • Unabridged

    An unprecedented international publishing event: the first and only diary written by a still-imprisoned Guantánamo detainee Since 2002 Mohamedou Slahi has been imprisoned at the detainee camp at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. In all these years, the United States has never charged him with a crime. Although his release was ordered by a federal judge, the US government fought that decision, and there is no sign that the United States plans to let him go. Three years into his captivity, Slahi began a diary, recounting his life before he disappeared into US custody and daily life as a detainee. His diary is not merely a vivid record of a miscarriage of justice, but a deeply personal memoir—terrifying, darkly humorous, and surprisingly gracious. Published now for the first time, Guantánamo Diary is a document of immense historical importance.

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    Guantánamo Diary

    Edited by Larry Siems
    Read by Peter Ganim
    14.5 hrs • 1/20/15 • Unabridged
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  12. 24.6 hrs • 1/15/2015 • Unabridged

    Aung San Suu Kyi, Burma’s “woman of destiny” and one of the most admired voices for freedom in the world today, comes alive through this brilliant rendering of Burma’s tumultuous history. Award-winning journalist and former State Department speechwriter Rena Pederson brings to light fresh details about the charismatic Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi: the inspiration for Burma’s (now Myanmar) first steps towards democracy. Suu Kyi’s party will be a major contender in the 2015 elections, a revolutionary breakthrough after years of military dictatorship. Using exclusive interviews with Suu Kyi since her release from fifteen years of house arrest, as well as recently disclosed diplomatic cables, Pederson uncovers new facets to Suu Kyi’s extraordinary story. The Burma Spring also reveals the extraordinary steps taken by First Lady Laura Bush to help Suu Kyi, as well as how former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton injected new momentum into Burma’s democratic rebirth. Pederson provides a never-before-seen view of the harrowing hardships the people of Burma have endured and the fiery political atmosphere in which Suu Kyi has fought a life-and-death struggle for liberty in this fascinating part of the world.

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    The Burma Spring by Rena Pederson

    The Burma Spring

    Foreword by Laura Bush
    Read by Karen White
    24.6 hrs • 1/15/15 • Unabridged
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  13. 5.6 hrs • 10/7/2014 • Unabridged

    Sex trafficking is currently a hot news topic, but it is not a new problem or just a problem in “other” countries. Every year, an estimated 300,000 American children are at risk of being lured into the sex trade, some as young as eight years old. It is thought that up to 90 percent of victims are never rescued. Stolen is the true story of one survivor who escaped—more than once. First recruited while staying with her family at a hotel in Miami Beach, Katariina Rosenblatt was already a lonely and abused young girl who was yearning to be loved. She fell into the hands of a confident young woman who pretended friendship but slowly lured her into a child prostitution ring. For years afterward, a cycle of false friendship, threats, drugs, and violence kept her trapped. As Kat shares her harrowing experiences, readers will quickly realize the frightening truth that these terrible things could have happened to any child—a neighbor, a niece, a friend, a sister, a daughter. But beyond that, they will see that there is real hope for the victims of sex trafficking. Stolen is more than a warning. It is a celebration of survival that will inspire.

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    Stolen

    5.6 hrs • 10/7/14 • Unabridged
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  14. 6.2 hrs • 9/9/2014 • Unabridged

    A revealing and dramatic chronicle of the twelve months leading up to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination Martin Luther King Jr. died in one of the most shocking assassinations the world has known, but little is remembered about the life he led in his final year. New York Times bestselling author and award-winning broadcaster Tavis Smiley recounts the final 365 days of King’s life, revealing the minister’s trials and tribulations—denunciations by the press, rejection from the president, dismissal by the country’s black middle class and militants, assaults on his character, ideology, and political tactics, to name a few—all of which he had to rise above in order to lead and address the racism, poverty, and militarism that threatened to destroy our democracy. Smiley’s Death of a King paints a portrait of a leader and visionary in a narrative different from all that have come before. Here is an exceptional glimpse into King’s life—one that adds both nuance and gravitas to his legacy as an American hero.

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    Death of a King

    6.2 hrs • 9/9/14 • Unabridged
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  15. 11.9 hrs • 10/4/2011 • Unabridged

    Hundreds of thousands of readers came to know Luis J. Rodríguez through his fearless classic, Always Running, which chronicled his early life as a young Chicano gang member surviving the dangerous streets of East Los Angeles. The long awaited follow-up, It Calls You Back, is the equally harrowing story of Rodríguez starting over, at age eighteen, after leaving gang life, the only life he really knew. It Calls You Back opens with Rodríguez’s final stint in jail as a teenager and follows his struggle to kick heroin, renounce his former life, and search for meaningful work. He describes with heartbreaking honesty his challenges as a father and his difficulty leaving his rages and addictions completely behind. Even as he breaks with “la vida loca” and begins to discover success as a writer and an activist, Rodríguez finds his past, the crimes, the drugs, the things he’d seen and done, has a way of calling him back. When his oldest son is sent to prison for attempted murder, Rodríguez is forced to confront his shortcomings as a father and to acknowledge how and why his own history is repeating itself, right before his eyes. Deeply insightful and beautifully written, It Calls You Back is an odyssey through love, addiction, revolutions, and healing.

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    It Calls You Back

    11.9 hrs • 10/4/11 • Unabridged
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  16. 22.1 hrs • 3/8/2011 • Unabridged

    Years in the making—the definitive biography of the legendary black activist Of the great figures in twentieth century American history perhaps none is more complex and controversial than Malcolm X. Constantly rewriting his own story, he became a criminal, a minister, a leader, and an icon, all before being felled by assassins’ bullets at age 39. Through his tireless work and countless speeches he empowered hundreds of thousands of black Americans to create better lives and stronger communities while establishing the template for the self-actualized, independent African American man. In death he became a broad symbol of both resistance and reconciliation for millions around the world.  Manning Marable’s new biography of Malcolm is a stunning achievement. Filled with new information and shocking revelations that go beyond the autobiography, Malcolm X unfolds a sweeping story of race and class in America, from the rise of Marcus Garvey and the Ku Klux Klan to the struggles of the civil rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s. Reaching into Malcolm’s troubled youth, it traces a path from his parents’ activism through his own engagement with the Nation of Islam, charting his astronomical rise in the world of Black Nationalism and culminating in the never-before-told true story of his assassination.  Malcolm X will stand as the definitive work on one of the most singular forces for social change, capturing with revelatory clarity a man who constantly strove, in the great American tradition, to remake himself anew.

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    Malcolm X

    22.1 hrs • 3/8/11 • Unabridged
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