Historical Audio Books
1794. The height of the French Revolution. Charles Hayden sets off aboard the ill-fated HMS Themis with orders to destroy a French frigate sailing from Le Havre and to gather intelligence from a royalist spy. On discovering French plans for an imminent invasion of England, Hayden must return to Portsmouth to give warning before it’s too late.
But the enemy has been lying in wait for him, and so begins a dangerous chase out into the Atlantic and into the clutches of a powerful French squadron. After a thwarted attempt to masquerade as French sailors, Hayden and his officers are taken prisoner. A shipwreck following a storm and a case of mistaken identity befall Hayden and his men, as they try in desperation to escape in order to warn the Lords of the Admiralty. Failure will mean the invasion of England, and the guillotine for Hayden.>Learn More
6.0 hrs • 5/14/2013Listen
In 1916, Mexican bandit Pancho Villa raided the southwestern border town of Columbus, New Mexico. Three hundred American soldiers fought four hundred attackers in a battle that ended with one of the last cavalry charges in US history. Outraged, Congress ordered the Army to invade Mexico in pursuit of Villa. For the first time, trucks and airplanes accompanied the cavalry into combat, practicing for America’s entry into World War I.
Influenced by Sam Peckinpah, Rambo-creator David Morrell dramatizes this epic era in American history through the eyes of a civilian scout old enough to have been in the Civil War, the Indian wars, Cuba, and the Philippines. Knowing his ways are finished, he teaches a young recruit about the past, at a cost he never expected to pay.>Learn More
11.0 hrs • 5/14/2013Listen
Bonaventure Arrow didn’t make a peep when he was born, and the doctor nearly took him for dead. But he was listening, placing sound inside quiet and gaining his bearings. By the time he turns five, he can hear flowers grow, a thousand shades of blue, and the miniature tempests that rage inside raindrops. He also hears the voice of his dead father, William Arrow, mysteriously murdered by a man known only as the Wanderer.
Exploring family relics, he opens doors to the past and finds the key to a web of secrets that both hold his family together, and threaten to tear them apart.
Set against the backdrop of 1950s New Orleans, The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow is a magical story about the lost art of listening and a wondrous little boy who brings healing to the souls of all who love him.>Learn More
9.0 hrs • 5/7/2013Listen
Autumn 1962: Ed Cantowitz and Hugh Shipley meet in their final year at Harvard. Ed is far removed from Hugh’s privileged upbringing as a Boston Brahmin, yet his drive and ambition outpace Hugh’s ambivalence about his own life. These two young men form an unlikely friendship, bolstered by a fierce shared desire to transcend their circumstances. But in just a few short years, not only do their paths diverge—one rising on Wall Street, the other becoming a kind of global humanitarian—but their friendship ends abruptly, with only one of them understanding why.
Can a friendship define your view of the world? Spanning from the Cuban Missile Crisis to the present-day stock market collapse, with locations as diverse as Dar es Salaam, Boston, Shenzhen, and Fishers Island, A Dual Inheritance asks this question, as it follows not only these two men but the complicated women in their vastly different lives. And as Ed and Hugh grow farther and farther apart, they remain uniquely, even surprisingly, connected.>Learn More
13.0 hrs • 5/7/2013Listen
In 1843, novelist Victor Hugo’s beloved nineteen-year-old daughter drowned. Ten years later, Hugo began participating in hundreds of séances to reestablish contact with her. In the process, he claimed to have communed with the likes of Plato, Galileo, Shakespeare, Dante, Jesus, and even the Devil himself. Hugo’s transcriptions of these conversations have all been published. Or so it was believed. Recovering from her own losses, mythologist Jac L’Etoile arrives on the Isle of Jersey, where Hugo conducted the séances, hoping to uncover a secret about the island’s Celtic roots. But the man who’s invited her there, a troubled soul named Theo Gaspard, has hopes she’ll help him discover something quite different: Hugo’s lost conversations with someone called the Shadow of the Sepulcher. What follows is an intricately plotted and atmospheric tale of suspense with a spellbinding ghost story at its heart, by one of America’s most gifted and imaginative novelists.>Learn More
10.1 hrs • 5/7/2013Listen
Rose Baker seals men’s fates. With a few strokes of the keys that sit before her, she can send a person away for life in prison. A typist in a New York City Police Department precinct, Rose is like a high priestess. Confessions are her job. It is 1923, and while she may hear every detail about shootings, knifings, and murders, as soon as she leaves the interrogation room she is once again the weaker sex, best suited for filing and making coffee.
This is a new era for women, and New York is a confusing place for Rose. Gone are the Victorian standards of what is acceptable. All around her women bob their hair, they smoke, they go to speakeasies. Yet prudish Rose is stuck in the fading light of yesteryear, searching for the nurturing companionship that eluded her childhood. When glamorous Odalie, a new girl, joins the typing pool, despite her best intentions Rose falls under Odalie’s spell. As the two women navigate between the sparkling underworld of speakeasies by night and their work at the station by day, Rose is drawn fully into Odalie’s high-stakes world. And soon her fascination with Odalie turns into an obsession from which she may never recover.>Learn More
10.0 hrs • 5/7/2013Listen
With clouds looming ominously on the horizon, a group of children play among the roots of the gnarled Bone Tree. Their games will be interrupted by a merciless storm, bringing with it the Great Flood of 1927, but not before Robert Chatham shares his first kiss with the beautiful young Dora. The flood destroys their homes, disperses their families, and wrecks their innocence. But for Robert, a boy whose family has already survived unspeakable pain, that single kiss will sustain him for years to come.
Losing virtually everything in the storm’s aftermath, Robert embarks on a journey through the Mississippi hinterland, from a desperate refugee camp to the fiery brothel Hotel Beau-Miel and into the state’s fearsome swamp, meeting piano-playing hustlers, well-intentioned whores, and a family of fierce and wild fur trappers along the way. But trouble follows close on his heels, fueling Robert’s conviction that he’s marked by the devil and nearly destroying his will to survive. And just when he seems to shake off his demons, he’s forced to make an impossible choice that will test him as never before.>Learn More
12.0 hrs • 5/7/2013Listen
Sixteen year old Anne is an uneducated serving girl at the Penny Pot tavern when she first meets the commanding Benjamin Franklin. The time she spends with the brilliant young printer teases her curious mind, and the money he provides keeps her family from starving. But the ambitious Franklin is committed to someone else, a proper but infatuated woman named Deborah Read who becomes his common-law wife. At least Anne has William, her cherished infant son, to remind her of his father and to soften some of life’s bleakness.
But growing up a bastard amid the squalor of Eades Alley isn’t the life Anne wants for her only son. Acutely aware of the challenges facing them, she makes a heartbreaking sacrifice. She will give up William forever, allowing Benjamin and Deborah Franklin to raise him as their own.
Though she cannot be with him, Anne secretly watches out for her beloved child, daring to be close to him without revealing the truth about herself or his birth, and standing guard as Deborah Franklin struggles to accept her husband’s bastard son as her own.
As the years pass, the bustling colonies grow and prosper, offering opportunities for wealth and power for a talented man like William’s father. Benjamin’s growing fame and connections as a scientist, writer, philosopher, businessman, and political genius open doors for the astute William as well, and eventually King George III appoints Benjamin’s bastard son to the new position of Royal Governor of New Jersey. Anne’s fortunes also rise. A shrewd woman of many talents, she builds a comfortable life of her own, yet nothing fills her with more joy or pride than her son’s success and happiness.
But all that her accomplished son has achieved is threatened when the colonies, led by influential men, including his own father, begin the fight for independence. A steadfast, loyal subject of the British Crown, William cannot accept his father’s passionate defense of the patriots’ cause, and the enduring bond they share fractures, a heart-wrenching break that will forever haunt them and those they love.>Learn More
11.0 hrs • 5/7/2013Listen
Ethan Gage is out to foil Napoleon’s coronation as emperor, play double agent between France and England, and turn the tide of war, while attempting to save his own life and his marriage.
Gage fought beside Napoleon Bonaparte in Egypt and was his agent in Italy, America, and Greece. But this relationship, which at the best of times was uneasy, has gone sour, and now Ethan wants to make Napoleon pay for kidnapping his son, Harry, and nearly killing his wife, Astiza.
Smuggled into France with a beautiful royalist agent, Gage is determined to thwart Bonaparte’s ambitions to take Europe. Surprises abound as a conspiracy collapses, Astiza reappears at Gage’s side, and agents on all fronts try to recruit Ethan to their cause. Desperate, he devises a mad plan to sabotage Napoleon’s coronation by replacing the power-hungry emperor’s crown of golden laurel with a religious relic, the Crown of Thorns purportedly worn by Christ at his crucifixion. It is a scheme that requires a daring theft, perfect timing, and trust among the plotters; when it goes awry, Gage is soon on the run to England.
There Ethan joins a circle of brilliant renegades, including Robert Fulton, designer of the first submarine; rocket artillery pioneer Sir William Congreve; and smuggler Tom Johnstone. As two empires face off at sea, Gage is plunged into the decisive and lethal Battle of Trafalgar, trapped on board a French ship as Nelson’s Victory bears down on him.
Moving from the glittering boulevards and squalid back alleys of Napoleonic France to the high seas of Regency England, filled with romance, danger, intrigue, and glory, The Barbed Crown is a thrilling romp that sees Ethan Gage once again embroiled in European history, and the fate of the modern world.>Learn More
3.5 hrs • 5/1/2013Listen
Liza of Lambeth, W. Somerset Maugham’s first novel, offers insight into the everyday lives of working-class Londoners at the turn of the twentieth century. Liza Kemp is an eighteen-year-old girl working in a factory in the Lambeth slum along London’s Vere Street. As Liza enters into a misguided affair with an older, married man, Jim Blakeston, the novel reveals the tragedies and abuses suffered by those living in poverty. A mood of subdued resignation prevails in this novel, which sparked the literary career of one of England’s most successful authors of the twentieth century.>Learn More
8.0 hrs • 5/1/2013ListenRead by Wanda McCaddon
February, 1571. Ursula is once more plunged into affairs of the state when she escorts her foster daughter Margaret to the Netherlands to meet her suitor. The queen’s spymaster, Sir William Cecil, learns that the wealthy Italian banker Roberto Ridolfi will be hosting their forthcoming wedding, a man who he fears may once again be plotting to put Mary Queen of Scots on the English throne. But Ursula is also about to come face to face with her greatest enemy, and the exiled Countess of Northumberland is not the only figure from Ursula’s past to put in a surprising appearance.>Learn More
10.0 hrs • 5/1/2013Listen
New Orleans, 1838. When Benjamin January suddenly finds his services playing piano at extravagant balls held by the city’s wealthy are no longer required, he ends up agreeing to accompany sugar planter Henri Viellard and his young wife, Chloë, on a mission to Washington to find a missing friend. Plunged into a murky world, it soon becomes clear that while it is very possible the Viellards’ friend is dead, his enemies are very much alive, and ready to kill anyone who gets in their way.>Learn More
11.5 hrs • 5/1/2013ListenDirected by Claire BloomRead by Stefan Rudnicki
AD 262. The Roman Imperium is in turmoil after the struggle for the throne that brought Gallienus to power. Ephesus, the metropolis of the Eastern Empire, lies in ruins, shattered by a mighty earthquake. Its citizens live in fear as the mob overwhelms the city, baying for blood to avenge the gods who have punished them. Yet an even greater threat to the Empire advances from the north: the barbaric Goth tribes, determined to pillage the city. Only Ballista, Warrior of Rome, knows the ways of the barbarians, and only he can defeat them.
A relentlessly gripping and richly authentic tale of ancient warfare, The Caspian Gates is an adventure for Rome enthusiasts and scholars alike. Widely acclaimed for his Warrior of Rome series, Harry Sidebottom “provides a well-constructed, well-paced, and gripping account…which, as a good series should, leaves the reader eagerly anticipating the next installment” (Times Literary Supplement).>Learn More
14.0 hrs • 4/30/2013Listen
Menina Walker was a child of fortune. Rescued after a hurricane in South America, doomed to a life of poverty with a swallow medal as her only legacy, the orphaned toddler was adopted by an American family and taken to a new life.
As a beautiful, intelligent woman of nineteen, she is in love, engaged, and excited about the future, until another traumatic event shatters her dreams. Menina flees to Spain to bury her misery in research for her college thesis about a sixteenth-century artist who signed his works with the image of a swallow, the same image as the one on Menina’s medal.
But a mugging strands Menina in a musty, isolated Spanish convent. Exploring her surroundings, she discovers the epic sagas of five orphan girls who were hidden from the Spanish Inquisition and received help escaping to the New World. Is Menina’s medal a link to them, or to her own past? Did coincidence lead her to the convent, or fate?
Both love story and historical thriller, The Sisterhood is an emotionally charged ride across continents and centuries.>Learn More
20.0 hrs • 4/23/2013Listen
In this breathtaking saga of love, war, art, and intrigue, Rutherfurd has set his sights on the most magnificent city in the world: Paris.
Moving back and forth in time across centuries, the story unfolds through intimate and vivid tales of self-discovery, divided loyalties , passion, and long-kept secrets of characters both fictional and real, all set against the backdrop of the glorious city, from the building of Notre Dame to the dangerous machinations of Cardinal Richlieu; from the glittering court of Versailles to the violence of the French Revolution and the Paris Commune; from the hedonism of the Belle Époque, the heyday of the impressionists, to the tragedy of the First World War; from the 1920s when the writers of the Lost Generation could be found drinking at Les Deux Magots to the Nazi occupation, the heroic efforts of the French Resistance, and the 1968 student revolt.
With his unrivaled blend of impeccable research and narrative verve, Rutherfurd weaves an extraordinary narrative tapestry that captures all the glory of Paris. More richly detailed, more thrilling, and more romantic then anything Rutherfurd has written before, Paris wonderfully illuminates hundreds of years in the City of Light and Love and brings the sights, scents, and tastes of Paris to sumptuous life.>Learn More
8.0 hrs • 4/23/2013Listen
A great, hilarious new voice in fiction: the poignant, all-too-human recollections of an affable bird researcher in the Indiana backwater as he goes through a disastrous yet heartening love affair with the place and its people.
Nathan Lochmueller studies birds, earning just enough money to live on. He drives a glitter-festooned truck, the Gypsy Moth, and is in love with Lola, a woman so free-spirited and mysterious she can break a man’s heart with a sigh or a shrug. Around them swirls a remarkable cast of characters: the proprietor of Fast Eddie’s Burgers & Beer, the genius behind “Thong Thursdays,” Uncle Dart, a Texan who brings his swagger to Indiana with profound and nearly devastating results, a snapping turtle with a taste for thumbs, a German shepherd who howls backup vocals, and the very charismatic state of Indiana itself. And at the center of it all is Nathan, creeping through the forest to observe the birds he loves and coming to terms with the accidental turns his life has taken.>Learn More