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  1. 9.6 hrs • 9/20/2016 • Unabridged

    The United States has two separate banking systems today―one serving the well-to-do and another exploiting everyone else. How the Other Half Banks contributes to the growing conversation on American inequality by highlighting one of its prime causes: unequal credit. Mehrsa Baradaran examines how a significant portion of the population, deserted by banks, is forced to wander through a Wild West of payday lenders and check-cashing services to cover emergency expenses and pay for necessities―all thanks to deregulation that began in the 1970s and continues decades later. In an age of corporate megabanks with trillions of dollars in assets, it is easy to forget that America’s banking system was originally created as a public service. Banks have always relied on credit from the federal government, provided on favorable terms so that they could issue low-interest loans. But as banks grew in size and political influence, they shed their social contract with the American people, demanding to be treated as a private industry free from any public-serving responsibility. They abandoned less profitable, low-income customers in favor of wealthier clients and high-yield investments. Fringe lenders stepped in to fill the void. This two-tier banking system has become even more unequal since the 2008 financial crisis. Baradaran proposes a solution: reenlisting the US Post Office in its historic function of providing bank services. The post office played an important but largely forgotten role in the creation of American democracy, and it could be deployed again to level the field of financial opportunity.

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    How the Other Half Banks by Mehrsa Baradaran

    How the Other Half Banks

    9.6 hrs • 9/20/16 • Unabridged
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  2. 11.1 hrs • 9/13/2016 • Unabridged

    Inside what life is really like for the new generation of professional cooks—a captivating tale of the make-or-break first year at a young chef’s new restaurant. For many young people, being a chef is as compelling a dream as being a rock star or professional athlete. Skill and creativity in the kitchen are more profitable than ever before, as cooks scramble to reach the top—but talent isn’t enough. Today’s chef needs the business savvy of a high-risk entrepreneur, determination, and big dose of luck. The heart of Generation Chef is the story of Jonah Miller, who at age twenty-four attempts to fulfill a lifelong dream by opening the Basque restaurant Huertas in New York City, still the high-stakes center of the restaurant business for an ambitious young chef. Miller, a rising star who has been named to the 30-Under-30 list of both Forbes and Zagat, quits his job as a sous chef, creates a business plan, lines up investors, leases a space, hires a staff, and gets ready to put his reputation and his future on the line.Journalist and food writer Karen Stabiner takes us inside Huertas’s roller-coaster first year, but also provides insight into the challenging world a young chef faces today—the intense financial pressures, the overcrowded field of aspiring cooks, and the impact of reviews and social media, which can dictate who survives.A fast-paced narrative filled with suspense, Generation Chef is a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at drive and passion in one of today’s hottest professions.

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    Generation Chef

    11.1 hrs • 9/13/16 • Unabridged
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  3. 7.0 hrs • 9/6/2016 • Unabridged

    Tetris is perhaps the most instantly recognizable, popular video game ever made. But the fascinating story of its origins is lesser known. How did an obscure Soviet programmer, working on frail, antiquated computers, create a product that has earned nearly $1 billion in sales? How did an inspired, makeshift game turn into a worldwide sensation, which has been displayed at the Museum of Modern Art, inspired a Hollywood movie, and been played in outer space? In this surprising, trivia-filled book, tech reporter Dan Ackerman describes how, as a teenager behind the Iron Curtain, Alexey Pajitnov was struck with inspiration, then meticulously worked for years to bring the game he had envisioned to life. Ackerman shows how Tetris worked its way first through Pajitnov’s office and then out into the world, entrancing player after player with its hypnotic shapes. Then, tracing the stories of the British, American, and Japanese moguls who raced each other for the rights, Ackerman recounts the game’s complex and improbable path to global success. The Tetris Effect is an homage to both creator and creation, and a perfect gift for anyone who’s ever played the game-which is to say everyone.

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    The Tetris Effect

    7.0 hrs • 9/6/16 • Unabridged
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  4. 10.1 hrs • 8/16/2016 • Unabridged

    Recounting his three years in Korea, the highest-ranking non-Korean executive at Hyundai sheds light on a business culture very few Western journalists ever experience in this revealing, moving, and hilarious memoir. When Frank Ahrens, a middle-aged bachelor and eighteen-year veteran at the Washington Post, fell in love with a diplomat, his life changed dramatically. Following his new bride to her first appointment in Seoul, South Korea, Frank traded the newsroom for a corporate suite, becoming director of global communications at Hyundai Motors. In a land whose population is ninety-seven percent Korean, he was one of fewer than ten non-Koreans in a company of 5,000 employees. For the next three years, Frank traveled to auto shows and press conferences around the world, pitching Hyundai to former colleagues while trying to navigate cultural differences at home and at work. While his appreciation for absurdity enabled him to laugh his way through many awkward encounters, his job began to take a toll on his marriage and family. Eventually, he became a vice president—the highest-ranking non-Korean in the history of Hyundai—but at an untenable price. Filled with unique insights and told in his engaging, humorous voice, Seoul Man sheds light on a culture few Westerners know, and is a delightfully funny and heartwarming adventure for anyone who has ever felt like a fish out of water—all of us.

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    Seoul Man by Frank Ahrens

    Seoul Man

    10.1 hrs • 8/16/16 • Unabridged
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  5. 25.0 hrs • 8/9/2016 • Unabridged

    An astonishing—and astonishingly entertaining—behind-the-curtain history of Hollywood’s transformation over the past five decades as seen through the agency at the heart of it all, from the #1 bestselling coauthor of Live from New York and Those Guys Have All the Fun. In 1975, five young employees of a sclerotic William Morris agency left to start their own, strikingly innovative talent agency. In the years to come, Creative Artists Agency would vault from its origins in a tiny office on the last block of Beverly Hills to become the largest, most imperial, groundbreaking, and star-studded agency Hollywood has ever seen—a company whose tentacles now spread throughout the world of movies, music, television, technology, advertising, sports, and investment banking far more than previously imagined. Powerhouse is the fascinating, no-holds-barred saga of that hot-blooded ascent. Drawing on unprecedented and exclusive access to the men and women who built and battled CAA, as well as financial information never before made public, acclaimed author James Andrew Miller spins a tale of boundless ambition, ruthless egomania, ceaseless empire building, drugs, sex, greed, and personal betrayal. Powerhouse is also a story of prophetic brilliance, magnificent artistry, singular genius, entrepreneurial courage, strategic daring, foxhole brotherhood, and how one firm utterly transformed the entertainment business. Here are the real Star Wars—complete with a Death Star—told through the voices of those who were actually there. Packed with scores of stars from movies, television, music, and sports, as well as a tremendously compelling cast of agents, studio executives, network chiefs, league commissioners, hedge fund managers, tech CEOs, and media tycoons, Powerhouse is itself a Hollywood blockbuster of the most spectacular sort.

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    Powerhouse

    25.0 hrs • 8/9/16 • Unabridged
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  6. 8.1 hrs • 8/1/2016 • Unabridged

    This 50th anniversary edition of Men, Machines, and Modern Times, though ultimately concerned with a positive alternative to an Orwellian 1984, offers an entertaining series of historical accounts taken from the nineteenth century to highlight a main theme: the nature of technological change, the fission brought about in society by such change, and society’s reaction to that change. Beginning with a remarkable illustration of resistance to innovation in the US Navy following an officer’s discovery of a more accurate way to fire a gun at sea, Elting Morison goes on to narrate the strange history of the new model steamship, the Wapanoag, in the 1860s. He then continues with the difficulties confronting the introduction of the pasteurization process for milk; he traces the development of the Bessemer process; and finally he considers the computer. While the discussions are liberally sprinkled with amusing examples and anecdotes, all are related to the more profound and current problem of how to organize and manage a system of ideas, energies, and machinery so that it will conform to the human dimension.

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    Men, Machines, and Modern Times

    8.1 hrs • 8/1/16 • Unabridged
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  7. 6.8 hrs • 6/14/2016 • Unabridged

    From the author of Bourbon, “the definitive history” (Sacramento Bee), comes the rollicking and revealing story of beer in America, in the spirit of Salt or Cod. In The United States of Beer, Dane Huckelbridge, the author of Bourbon: A History of the American Spirit—a Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance bestseller—charts the surprisingly fascinating history of Americans’ relationship with their most popular alcoholic beverage. Huckelbridge shows how beer has evolved along with the country—from a local and regional product (once upon a time every American city has its own brewery and iconic beer brand) to the rise of global mega-brands like Budweiser and Miller that are synonymous with US capitalism. We learn of George Washington’s failed attempt to brew beer at Mount Vernon with molasses instead of barley, of the nineteenth-century “Beer Barons” like Captain Frederick Pabst, Adolphus Busch, and Joseph Schlitz who revolutionized commercial brewing and built lucrative empires—and the American immigrant experience—and of the advances in brewing and bottling technology that allowed beer to flow in the saloons of the Wild West. Throughout, Huckelbridge draws connections between seemingly remote fragments of the American past and shares his reports from the front lines of today’s craft-brewing revolution.

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    The United States of Beer by Dane Huckelbridge

    The United States of Beer

    6.8 hrs • 6/14/16 • Unabridged
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  8. 9.9 hrs • 5/24/2016 • Unabridged

    The incredible tale of how ambitious oil rivals Marcus Samuel Jr. and Henri Deterding joined forces to topple the Standard Oil empire Marcus Samuel Jr. is an unorthodox Jewish merchant trader. Henri Deterding is a take-no-prisoners oilman. In 1889, John D. Rockefeller is at the peak of his power. Having annihilated all competition and possessing near-total domination of the market, even the US government is wary of challenging the great “anaconda” of Standard Oil. The Standard never loses—that is until Samuel and Deterding team up to form Royal Dutch Shell. A riveting account of ambition, oil, and greed, Breaking Rockefeller traces Samuel’s rise from outsider to the heights of the British aristocracy, Deterding’s conquest of America, and the collapse of Rockefeller’s monopoly. The beginning of the twentieth century is a time when vast fortunes were made and lost. Taking readers through the rough and tumble of East London’s streets, the twilight turmoil of czarist Russia, to the halls of the British Parliament, and right down Broadway in New York City, Peter Doran offers a richly detailed, fresh perspective on how Samuel and Deterding beat the world’s richest man at his own game.

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    Breaking Rockefeller

    9.9 hrs • 5/24/16 • Unabridged
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  9. 9.9 hrs • 5/17/2016 • Unabridged

    The Digital Age we live in is as transformative as the Industrial Revolution, and Joshua Cooper Ramo explains how to survive. If you find yourself longing for a disconnected world where information is not always at your fingertips, you may eventually be as useful as the carriage maker post–Henry Ford. It’s practically impossible to know where the marriage of imagination and technology will take us (sorry Betamax and Kodak), and the only certainty is that in the networked world we will only become more intertwined. Is it possible to not become hopelessly tangled? Joshua Cooper Ramo, a policy expert who has advised the most powerful nations and corporations, says yes—if you are ready to ride the disruption. Drawing on examples from business, science, and politics, Ramo illuminates our transformative world. Start by imagining a near future when America’s greatest power is not its military or its economy, but its control of the Internet.

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    The Seventh Sense

    9.9 hrs • 5/17/16 • Unabridged
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  10. 5.3 hrs • 5/1/2016 • Unabridged

    Most of the information available on cloud computing is either highly technical, with details that are irrelevant to non-technologists, or pure marketing hype, in which the cloud is simply a selling point. This audiobook, however, explains the cloud from the user's viewpoint -- the business user's in particular. Nayan Ruparelia explains what the cloud is, when to use it (and when not to), how to select a cloud service, how to integrate it with other technologies, and what the best practices are for using cloud computing. Cutting through the hype, Ruparelia cites the simple and basic definition of cloud computing from the National Institute of Science and Technology: a model enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources. Thus with cloud computing, businesses can harness information technology resources usually available only to large enterprises. And this, Ruparelia demonstrates, represents a paradigm shift for business. It will ease funding for startups, alter business plans, and allow big businesses greater agility. Ruparelia discusses the key issues for any organization considering cloud computing: service level agreements, business service delivery and consumption, finance, legal jurisdiction, security, and social responsibility. He introduces novel concepts made possible by cloud computing: cloud cells, or specialist clouds for specific uses; the personal cloud; the cloud of things; and cloud service exchanges. He examines use case patterns in terms of infrastructure and platform, software information, and business process; and he explains how to transition to a cloud service. Current and future users will find this book an indispensable guide to the cloud.

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    Cloud Computing by Nayan B. Ruparella

    Cloud Computing

    5.3 hrs • 5/1/16 • Unabridged
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  11. 8.1 hrs • 4/26/2016 • Unabridged

    The astonishing story of America’s airwaves, the two friends—one a media mogul, the other a famous inventor—who made them available to us, and the government which figured out how to put a price on air. This is the origin story of the airwaves—the foundational technology of the communications age—as told through the forty-year friendship of an entrepreneurial industrialist and a brilliant inventor. David Sarnoff, the head of RCA and equal parts Steve Jobs, Jack Welch, and William Randolph Hearst, was the greatest supporter of his friend Edwin Armstrong, developer of the first amplifier, the modern radio transmitter, and FM radio. Sarnoff was convinced that Armstrong’s inventions had the power to change the way societies communicated with each other forever. He would become a visionary captain of the media industry, even predicting the advent of the Internet. In the mid-1930s, however, when Armstrong suspected Sarnoff of orchestrating a cadre of government officials to seize control of the FM airwaves, he committed suicide. Sarnoff had a very different view of who his friend’s enemies were. Many corrupt politicians and corporations saw in Armstrong’s inventions the opportunity to commodify our most ubiquitous natural resource—the air. This early alliance between high tech and business set the precedent for countless legal and industrial battles over broadband and licensing bandwidth, many of which continue to influence policy and debate today.

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    The Network by Scott Woolley

    The Network

    8.1 hrs • 4/26/16 • Unabridged
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  12. 1 reviews 0 5 5 5 out of 5 stars 5/5 (1)
    16.5 hrs • 4/19/2016 • Unabridged

    Americans have always loved guns. This special bond was forged during the American Revolution and sanctified by the Second Amendment. It is because of this exceptional relationship that American civilians are more heavily armed than the citizens of any other nation. Or so we’re told. In The Gunning of America, historian Pamela Haag overturns this conventional wisdom. American gun culture, she argues, developed not because the gun was exceptional but precisely because it was not: guns proliferated in America because throughout most of the nation’s history they were perceived as an unexceptional commodity, no different than buttons or typewriters. Focusing on the history of the Winchester Repeating Arms Company, one of the most iconic arms manufacturers in America, Haag challenges many basic assumptions of how and when America became a gun culture. Under the leadership of Oliver Winchester and his heirs, the company used aggressive, sometimes ingenious, sales and marketing techniques to create new markets for their product. Guns have never “sold themselves”; rather, through advertising and innovative distribution campaigns, the gun industry did. Through the meticulous examination of gun-industry archives, Haag challenges the myth of a primal bond between Americans and their firearms. Over the course of its 150-year history, the Winchester Repeating Arms Company sold over eight million guns. But Oliver Winchester—a shirtmaker in his previous career—had no apparent qualms about a life spent arming America. His daughter-in-law Sarah Winchester was a different story. Legend holds that Sarah was haunted by what she considered a vast blood fortune, and became convinced that the ghosts of rifle victims were haunting her. In this provocative and deeply researched work of narrative history, Haag fundamentally revises the history of arms in America and, in so doing, explodes the clichés that have created and sustained our lethal gun culture.

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    The Gunning of America by Pamela Haag

    The Gunning of America

    16.5 hrs • 4/19/16 • Unabridged
    1 reviews 0 5 5 5 out of 5 stars 5/5 (1)
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  13. 9.2 hrs • 4/12/2016 • Unabridged

    An engrossing insider’s account of how a teacher built one of the world’s most valuable companies—rivaling Walmart & Amazon—and forever reshaped the global economy. In just a decade and half, Jack Ma, a man from modest beginnings who started out as an English teacher, founded and built Alibaba into one of the world’s largest companies, an e-commerce empire on which hundreds of millions of Chinese consumers depend. Alibaba’s $25 billion IPO in 2014 was the largest global IPO ever. A Rockefeller of his age who is courted by CEOs and Presidents around the world, Jack is an icon for China’s booming private sector and the gatekeeper to hundreds of millions of middle class consumers. Duncan Clark first met Jack in 1999 in the small apartment where Jack founded Alibaba. Granted unprecedented access to a wealth of new material including exclusive interviews, Clark draws on his own experience as an early advisor to Alibaba and two decades in China chronicling the Internet’s impact on the country to create an authoritative, compelling narrative account of Alibaba’s rise. How did Jack overcome his humble origins and early failures to achieve massive success with Alibaba? How did he outsmart rival entrepreneurs from China and Silicon Valley? Can Alibaba maintain its 80 percent market share? As it forges ahead into finance and entertainment, are there limits to Alibaba’s ambitions? How does the Chinese government view its rise? Will Alibaba expand further overseas, including in the US? Clark tells Alibaba’s tale in the context of China’s momentous economic and social changes, illuminating an unlikely corporate titan as never before.

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    Alibaba by Duncan Clark

    Alibaba

    9.2 hrs • 4/12/16 • Unabridged
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  14. 11.3 hrs • 4/12/2016 • Unabridged

    The Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and author of Garbology explores the hidden and costly wonders of our buy-it-now, get-it-today world of transportation, revealing the surprising truths, mounting challenges, and logistical magic behind every trip we take and every click we make. Transportation dominates our daily existence. Thousands, even millions, of miles are embedded in everything we do and touch. We live in a door-to-door universe that works so well most Americans are scarcely aware of it. The grand ballet in which we move ourselves and our stuff is equivalent to building the Great Pyramid, the Hoover Dam, and the Empire State Building all in a day. Every day. And yet, in the one highly visible part of the transportation world—the part we drive—we suffer grinding commutes, a violent death every fifteen minutes, a dire injury every twelve seconds, and crumbling infrastructure. Now the way we move ourselves and our stuff is on the brink of great change, as a new mobility revolution upends the car culture that, for better and worse, built modern America. This unfolding revolution will disrupt lives and global trade, transforming our commutes, our vehicles, our cities, our jobs, and every aspect of culture, commerce, and the environment. We are, quite literally, at a fork in the road, though whether it will lead us to Carmageddon or Carmaheaven has yet to be determined. Using interviews, data, and deep exploration of the hidden world of ports, traffic control centers, and the research labs defining our transportation future, acclaimed journalist Edward Humes breaks down the complex movements of humans, goods, and machines as never before, from increasingly car-less citizens to the distance UPS goes to deliver a leopard-printed phone case. Tracking one day in the life of his family in Southern California, Humes uses their commutes, traffic jams, grocery stops, and online shopping excursions as a springboard to explore the paradoxes and challenges inherent in our system. He ultimately makes clear that transportation is one of the few big things we can change—our personal choices do have a profound impact, and that fork in the road is coming up fast. Door to Door is a fascinating detective story, investigating the worldwide cast of supporting characters and technologies that have enabled us to move from here to there—past, present, and future.

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    Door to Door by Edward Humes

    Door to Door

    11.3 hrs • 4/12/16 • Unabridged
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  15. 7.1 hrs • 3/29/2016 • Unabridged

    Antoine van Agtmael coined the term “emerging markets” and built a career and a multibillion-dollar investing firm centered on these surging economies that would, over time, supplant the West as engines of wealth and prosperity. The trend held for decades, but a few years ago van Agtmael and Alfred Bakker, a renowned European journalist, began seeing signs that the tide might be turning. For example, during a visit to an enormously successful chip company in Taiwan, the company’s leaders told them that their American competitors were now eating their lunch. And Taiwan was not the only place giving them this message. Thus began a remarkable two-year journey to reassess the conventional wisdom that the US and Europe are yesterday’s story and to determine whether there is something profound that is happening that points the way to the creation of the next economy. In The Smartest Places on Earth, van Agtmael and Bakker present a truly hopeful and inspiring investigation into the emerging sources of a new era of competitiveness for America and Europe that are coming from unlikely places—those cities and areas once known as “rustbelts” that have, from an economic perspective, been written off. Take, Akron, Ohio, whose economy for decades was dependent on industries such as tire manufacturing, a product now made cheaply elsewhere. In Akron and other such communities, a combination of forces—including visionary thinkers, government initiatives, start-ups making real products, and even big corporations—have succeeded in creating what van Agtmael and Bakker call a “brainbelt.” These “brainbelts” depend on a collaborative style of working that is unique to the societies and culture of America and Europe, since they involve levels of trust and freedom of thinking that can’t be replicated elsewhere. They are producing products and technologies transforming industries such as vehicles and transportation, farming and food production, medical devices and healthcare. For several decades American and European industry focused on cost by outsourcing production to those emerging markets that can make things cheaper. The tide has now turned, as van Agtmael and Bakker report, to being smart, and the next emerging market, may, in fact, be the West.

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    The Smartest Places on Earth

    7.1 hrs • 3/29/16 • Unabridged
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  16. 8.4 hrs • 3/1/2016 • Unabridged

    How a midwestern family with no agriculture experience went from a few backyard chickens to a full-fledged farm—and discovered why local chicks are better When Lucie Amundsen had a rare night out with her husband, she never imagined what he’d tell her over dinner—that his dream was to quit his office job (with benefits!) and start a commercial-scale pasture-raised egg farm. His entire agricultural experience consisted of raising five backyard hens, none of whom had yet laid a single egg. To create this pastured poultry ranch, the couple scrambles to acquire nearly two thousand chickens—all named Lola. These hens, purchased commercially, arrive bereft of basic chicken-like instincts, such as the evening urge to roost. The newbie farmers also deal with their own shortcomings, making for a failed inspection and intense struggles to keep livestock alive (much less laying) during a brutal winter. But with a heavy dose of humor, they learn to negotiate the highly stressed no-man’s-land known as middle agriculture. Amundsen sees firsthand how these mid-sized farms, situated between small-scale operations and mammoth factory farms, are vital to rebuilding America’s local food system. With an unexpected passion for this dubious enterprise, Amundsen shares a messy, wry, and entirely educational story of the unforeseen payoffs (and frequent pitfalls) of one couple’s ag adventure—and many, many hours spent wrangling chickens.

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    Locally Laid by Lucie B. Amundsen

    Locally Laid

    8.4 hrs • 3/1/16 • Unabridged
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