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  1. 15.5 hrs • 1/10/2017 • Unabridged

    Inspired by the secret life of the author’s grandmother, Lotus follows a young woman torn between past traditions and modern desires as she carves out a life for herself in China’s “City of Sins.” Reserved, at times defiant, Lotus is different from the other streetwalkers. Her striking eyes glow under Shenzhen’s neon lights, capturing the attention of Funny Eye, Family Treasure, and a slew of other demanding clients determined to make Lotus their property. Choosing between wealthy, powerful, and dangerous men is no easy feat, but it is a surprising offer from Binbing, a soft-spoken and humble photojournalist, that presents the biggest challenge. Is Lotus willing to fall in love? Is she capable of it? Inspired by the deathbed revelation that the author’s grandmother had been sold to a brothel in her youth, Lotus offers compelling insight into China’s bustling underground world and reveals the surprising strength found in those confronted with impossible choices. Written with compassion and vivid prose, and packed with characters you won’t soon forget, Lijia Zhang’s Lotus examines what it means to be an individual in a society that praises restraint in and obedience from its women.

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    Lotus by Lijia Zhang

    Lotus

    15.5 hrs • 1/10/17 • Unabridged
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  2. 8.0 hrs • 1/10/2017 • Unabridged

    Written in a style that is both precise and sumptuous, weirdly archaic and powerfully novel, Zama takes place in the last decade of the eighteenth century and describes the solitary, suspended existence of Don Diego de Zama, a highly placed servant of the Spanish crown who has been posted to Asunción, the capital of remote Paraguay. There, eaten up by pride, lust, petty grudges, and paranoid fantasies, he does as little as he possibly can while plotting his eventual transfer to Buenos Aires, where everything about his hopeless existence will, he is confident, be miraculously transformed and made good. Don Diego’s slow, nightmarish slide into the abyss is not just a tale of one man’s perdition but an exploration of existential, and very American, loneliness. Zama, with its stark dreamlike prose and spare imagery, is at once dense and unforeseen, terse and fateful, marked throughout by a haunting movement between sentences, paragraphs, and sections, so that every word seems to emerge from an ocean of things left unsaid. The philosophical depths of this great book spring directly from its dazzling prose.

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    Zama by Antonio Di Benedetto

    Zama

    Translated and with a preface by Esther Allen
    8.0 hrs • 1/10/17 • Unabridged
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  3. 11.2 hrs • 1/10/2017 • Unabridged

    That night I dreamed that I had wandered out to Dragon Springs Road all on my own, when a dreadful knowledge seized me that my mother had gone away never to return … In 1908, Jialing is only seven years old when she is abandoned in the courtyard of a once-lavish estate near Shanghai. Jialing is zazhong—Eurasian—and faces a lifetime of contempt from both the Chinese and Europeans. Without her mother’s protection, she can survive only if the estate’s new owners, the Yang family, agree to take her in. Jialing finds allies in Anjuin, the eldest Yang daughter, and Fox, an animal spirit who has lived in the haunted courtyard for centuries. But Jialing’s life as the Yangs’ bondservant changes unexpectedly when she befriends a young English girl who then mysteriously vanishes. Always hopeful of finding her long-lost mother, Jialing grows into womanhood during the tumultuous early years of the Chinese republic, guided by Fox and by her own strength of spirit, away from the shadows of her past. But she finds herself drawn into a murder at the periphery of political intrigue, a relationship that jeopardizes her friendship with Anjuin, and a forbidden affair that brings danger to the man she loves.

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    Dragon Springs Road by Janie Chang

    Dragon Springs Road

    11.2 hrs • 1/10/17 • Unabridged
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  4. 11.0 hrs • 1/10/2017 • Unabridged

    A middle-aged Irish immigrant, Billy has a gift for illusion—making damaged objects look new. His companion, Charles, the smooth-tongued teenage son of a prostitute, is a natural salesman, just like the mythical father he’s never met. Longtime horse traders and partners, they’ve recently turned their talents to trading mules. But in the summer of 1916, these seasoned grifters skilled in the art of the underhanded deal have just been swindled themselves. They’re saddled with the one thing they may not be able to unload: a gorgeous, murderous black mare named the Midnight Cool. Charles should have listened to Catherine, the beautiful, rebellious daughter of Leland Hatcher, the richest man in Richfield, Tennessee, and the former owner of the Midnight Cool. The horse would be worth a fortune—if she weren’t a verified man-killer who attacks on sight. Charles and Billy are rooted in this muggy town until they can miraculously retrain their recalcitrant mare, and in the shadow of the growing inevitability of war, their bond begins to fray. Falling in love with Catherine—and under the spell of the deceitful, wealthy Leland, the vision of himself he’d like to be—Charles pulls away from the older man. Despite their growing distance, Billy and Charles find their business thriving when the war in Europe pushes the demand for mules sky-high and the United States enters the fight. But when a trade goes terribly wrong, Charles is forced to reevaluate his allegiance to his country, the moral implications of his lifestyle, his relationship with Catherine, and, ultimately, his mysterious and surprisingly deep connection to Billy. Populated by spirited, memorable characters, The Midnight Cool is a startlingly profound tale of aspiration, loyalty, and love—and the eternal search for something lasting in a transitory world.

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    The Midnight Cool by Lydia Peelle

    The Midnight Cool

    11.0 hrs • 1/10/17 • Unabridged
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  5. 6.8 hrs • 1/10/2017 • Unabridged

    When Russian tanks roll into the public squares of Budapest to crush the Hungarian Revolution, brothers Robert and Attila Beck flee with their family to the Paris townhouse of their great-aunt Hermina. The year is 1956 and as their country changes forever, these two boys transform as well, confronting danger and wonders previously unknown. As they travel through minefields both real and imagined, Robert and Attila grapple with sibling rivalry, family secrets and incalculable loss. Along the way they encounter mysterious fellow travelers, bewildering sights of a nation in transition and surprising hilarity, all in pursuit of the one place they thought they’d lost forever: home. Elegant, tender and deeply funny, Joseph Kertes has crafted a journey filled with adventure and heartbreak. A meditation on both family and displacement, The Afterlife of Stars is a tale of perseverance, faith and the unbreakable bond of brotherhood.

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    The Afterlife of Stars

    6.8 hrs • 1/10/17 • Unabridged
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  6. 18.9 hrs • 1/3/2017 • Unabridged

    A deductive powerhouse, detective Kwan Chun-dok becomes a legend in the Hong Kong Police Force, nicknamed “the Eye of Heaven” by his awe-struck colleagues. Divided into six sections told in reverse chronological order—each of which covers an important case in Kwan’s career and takes place at a pivotal moment in Hong Kong history—The Borrowed follows Kwan from his experiences during the Leftist riot in 1967, when a bombing plot threatens many lives; the conflict between the Hong Kong police and Independent Commission against Corruption in 1977; and the Tiananmen Square Massacre in 1989 to the Handover in 1997 and the present day of 2013, when Kwan is called on to solve his final case, the murder of a local billionaire. Along the way we meet Communist rioters, ultraviolent gangsters, stallholders at the city’s many covered markets, pop singers enmeshed in the high-stakes machinery of star-making, and a people always caught in the shifting balance of political power, whether in London or Beijing—all coalescing into a dynamic portrait of this fascinating city. Tracing a broad historical arc, The Borrowed reveals just how closely everything is connected, how history always repeats itself, and how we have come full circle to repeat the political upheaval and societal unrest of the past. It is a gripping, brilliantly constructed novel from a talented new voice.

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    The Borrowed by Chan Ho-kei

    The Borrowed

    Translated by Jeremy Tiang
    Read by P. J. Ochlan
    18.9 hrs • 1/3/17 • Unabridged
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  7. 23.8 hrs • 1/3/2017 • Unabridged

    For the first time in English in over a century comes a new translation of the forgotten sequel to Dumas’s The Three Musketeers, continuing the dramatic tale of Cardinal Richelieu and his implacable enemies. In 1844, Alexandre Dumas published The Three Musketeers, a novel so famous and still so popular today that it scarcely needs introduction. Shortly thereafter he wrote a sequel, Twenty Years After, that resumed the adventures of his swashbuckling heroes. Later, toward the end of his career, Dumas wrote The Red Sphinx, another direct sequel to The Three Musketeers that begins not twenty years later but a mere twenty days afterward. The Red Sphinx picks up right where the The Three Musketeers left off, continuing the stories of Cardinal Richelieu, Queen Anne, and King Louis XIII―and introducing a charming new hero, the Comte de Moret, a real historical figure from the period. A young cavalier newly arrived in Paris, Moret is an illegitimate son of the former king and thus half-brother to King Louis. The French Court seethes with intrigue as king, queen, and cardinal all vie for power, and young Moret soon finds himself up to his handsome neck in conspiracy, danger―and passionate romance. Dumas wrote seventy-five chapters of The Red Sphinx for serial publication but never finished it, and so the novel languished for almost a century before its first book publication in France in 1946. While Dumas never completed the book, he had earlier written a separate novella, The Dove, that recounted the final adventures of Moret and Cardinal Richelieu. Now for the first time, in one cohesive narrative, The Red Sphinx and The Dove make a complete and satisfying story line―a rip-roaring novel of historical adventure, heretofore unknown to English-language readers, by the great Alexandre Dumas, king of the swashbucklers.

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    The Red Sphinx by Alexandre Dumas

    The Red Sphinx

    Edited and translated by Lawrence Ellsworth
    Read by John Lee
    23.8 hrs • 1/3/17 • Unabridged
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  8. 18.0 hrs • 12/31/2016 • Unabridged

    Arthur Pendragon is king! Crowned and recognized as High King, Arthur is unchallenged on the battlefield, and he melds the country together in a time of promise, as Merlin works in the shadows. But sinister powers plot to destroy Camelot, and when the witch-queen Morgause—Arthur’s own half sister—ensnares him in an incestuous liaison, a fatal web of love, betrayal, and bloody vengeance is woven.

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    The Last Enchantment by Mary Stewart
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  9. 0 reviews 0 5 5 5 out of 5 stars 5/5
    11.2 hrs • 12/27/2016 • Unabridged

    Marcus Didius Falco is about to get involved in a nasty noir crime, involving gangsters, gladiators, and romance. For Falco, a relaxed visit to his wife Helena’s relatives in Britain suddenly turns serious. He and his family are staying in London when Falco is summoned to the scene of a murder. The victim, Verovolcus, was a renegade with ties to Roman crime magnates operating in London, but he was also close to King Togidubnus. So when he is discovered dead, stuffed headfirst down a well, a tricky diplomatic situation develops that Falco must defuse. His investigation leads him into the seedy underbelly of London. There is a newly built amphitheater in town, one with female gladiators, but Falco soon realizes that the initially troublesome gladiators—including one from his own bachelor past—may just give him the edge he needs to solve Verovolcus’ murder as the gangsters are pursued back to the Italian town of Ostia for a final showdown.

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    The Jupiter Myth by Lindsey Davis

    The Jupiter Myth

    11.2 hrs • 12/27/16 • Unabridged
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  10. 11.3 hrs • 12/27/2016 • Unabridged

    Dublin, 1962. Within the gated grounds of the convent of the Sisters of the Holy Redemption lies one of the city’s Magdalen Laundries. Once places of refuge, the laundries have evolved into grim workhouses. Some inmates are “fallen” women—unwed mothers, prostitutes, or petty criminals. Most are ordinary girls whose only sin lies in being too pretty, too independent, or tempting the wrong man. Among them is sixteen-year-old Teagan Tiernan, sent by her family when her beauty provokes a lustful revelation from a young priest. Teagan soon befriends Nora Craven, a new arrival who thought nothing could be worse than living in a squalid tenement flat. Stripped of their freedom and dignity, the girls are given new names and denied contact with the outside world. The Mother Superior, Sister Anne, who has secrets of her own, inflicts cruel, dehumanizing punishments—but always in the name of love. Finally, Nora and Teagan find an ally in the reclusive Lea, who helps them endure—and plot an escape. But as they will discover, the outside world has dangers too, especially for young women with soiled reputations. Told with candor, compassion, and vivid historical detail, The Magdalen Girls is a masterfully written novel of life within the era’s notorious institutions—and an inspiring story of friendship, hope, and unyielding courage.

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    The Magdalen Girls by V. S. Alexander

    The Magdalen Girls

    11.3 hrs • 12/27/16 • Unabridged
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  11. 10.3 hrs • 12/6/2016 • Unabridged

    The summer of 1917 should have been a summer like any other. Stephen Robbins should have been doing the same thing he’d been doing for years past. As a young boy he’d fled his life in a secluded mountain cove and risen through the ranks to become the manager of the South’s finest resort, the elegant Mountain Park Hotel. By all rights, he should have spent this summer as host to some of the wealthiest gentry on the East Coast. Hans Ruser, German commodore of the world’s largest and most luxurious cruise liner, Das Vaterland, should have been sailing yet again with his elite passengers to the far corners of the world. And Anna Ulmann, captivating and beautiful, should have been at home in her New York mansion planning yet another lavish dinner party for her famous husband and his rich and powerful friends. She should have idled away her spare time by taking perfectly staged photographic portraits of the very same people. But war will change everything that should have been in that summer of 1917―the US enters WWI and the Mountain Park Hotel is pressed into service as an internment camp for over two thousand German nationals, including Ruser and his men. This sudden collision of lives and cultures in the small town of Hot Springs, North Carolina, is both frightening and exhilarating. And the unlikely alliance that forms between Hans Ruser and Stephen Robbins will force each to decide just how far they are willing to go to keep peace in the beautiful and isolated mountains. Feisty Anna Ulmann, seeking to assert her independence in a male-dominated world, mysteriously flees south to devote her life to documentary photography. When she steps off the train at the Hot Springs depot one sultry summer day, she could not have imagined the passionate journey that will result when she matches wits with Stephen Robbins. Haunted by demons both past and present, they will face heartbreaking tragedy. Yet together they will discover the true meaning of imprisonment and escape.

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    A Short Time to Stay Here by Terry Roberts

    A Short Time to Stay Here

    10.3 hrs • 12/6/16 • Unabridged
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  12. 4.1 hrs • 11/15/2016 • Unabridged

    Often described as an alchemical allegory, John Crowley instead decided this is “the first science fiction novel.” After all, “it’s fiction; it’s about the possibilities of a science; and it’s a novel.” No matter what else it might be, it’s definitely one of the great outlandish stories in Western literature.

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    The Chemical Wedding by Christian Rosencreutz by Johann Valentin Andreae, John Crowley

    The Chemical Wedding by Christian Rosencreutz

    In a new version by John Crowley
    Read by John Crowley
    4.1 hrs • 11/15/16 • Unabridged
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  13. 9.0 hrs • 11/1/2016 • Unabridged

    For a small-town girl with big-city dreams, there is no address more glamorous than New York’s Barbizon Hotel. Laura, a patrician beauty from Smith, arrives to work at Mademoiselle for the summer. Her hopelessly romantic roommate Dolly comes from a working-class upstate town to attend secretarial school. Vivian, a brash British bombshell with a disregard for the hotel’s rules, rounds out the trio of friends. Together, the girls embark on a journey of discovery that will take them from the penthouse apartments of Park Avenue to the Beat scene of Greenwich Village to Atlantic City’s Steel Pier—and into the arms of very different men who will alter their lives forever.

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    Searching for Grace Kelly

    9.0 hrs • 11/1/16 • Unabridged
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  14. 0 reviews 0 5 3 3 out of 5 stars 3/5
    20.5 hrs • 10/25/2016 • Unabridged

    The nail-biting continuation to the Lightbringer series from New York Times bestseller Brent Weeks. Stripped of both magical and political power, the people he once ruled told he’s dead, and now imprisoned in his own magical dungeon, former emperor Gavin Guile has no prospect of escape. But the world faces a calamity greater than the Seven Satrapies has ever seen—and only he can save it. As the armies of the White King defeat the Chromeria and old gods are born anew, the fate of worlds will come down to one question: Who is the Lightbringer?

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    The Blood Mirror

    20.5 hrs • 10/25/16 • Unabridged
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  15. 0 reviews 0 5 5 5 out of 5 stars 5/5
    20.9 hrs • 10/25/2016 • Unabridged

    A deep-dive into human behavior in an epic story of science, society, sex, and survival, from one of the greatest American novelists today, T. C. Boyle, the acclaimed, bestselling, author of the PEN/ Faulkner Award–winning World’s End and The Harder They Come. It is 1994, and in the desert near Tillman, Arizona, forty miles from Tucson, a grand experiment involving the future of humanity is underway. As climate change threatens the earth, eight scientists, four men and four women dubbed the “Terranauts,” have been selected to live under glass in E2, a prototype of a possible off-earth colony. Their sealed, three-acre compound comprises five biomes—rainforest, savanna, desert, ocean, and marsh—and enough wildlife, water, and vegetation to sustain them. Closely monitored by an all-seeing mission control, this new Eden is the brainchild of ecovisionary Jeremiah Reed, a.k.a. G. C.—“God the Creator”—for whom the project is both an adventure in scientific discovery and a momentous publicity stunt. In addition to their roles as medics, farmers, biologists, and survivalists, his young, strapping Terranauts must impress watchful visitors and a skeptical media curious to see if E2’s environment will somehow be compromised, forcing the Ecosphere’s seal to be broken—and ending the mission in failure. As the Terranauts face increased scrutiny and a host of disasters, both natural and of their own making, their mantra: “Nothing in, nothing out,” becomes a dangerously ferocious rallying cry. Told through three distinct narrators—Dawn Chapman, the mission’s pretty, young ecologist; Linda Ryu, her bitter, scheming best friend passed over for E2; and Ramsay Roothorp, E2’s sexually irrepressible wildman—The Terranauts brings to life an electrifying, pressured world in which connected lives are uncontrollably pushed to the breaking point. With characteristic humor and acerbic wit, T. C. Boyle indelibly inhabits the perspectives of the various players in this survivalist game, probing their motivations and illuminating their integrity and fragility to illustrate the inherent fallibility of human nature itself.

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    The Terranauts  by T. C. Boyle

    The Terranauts

    20.9 hrs • 10/25/16 • Unabridged
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  16. 11.0 hrs • 10/18/2016 • Unabridged

    USA Today bestselling author Sherry Thomas turns the story of the renowned Sherlock Holmes upside down. With her inquisitive mind, Charlotte Holmes has never felt comfortable with the demureness expected of the fairer sex in upper-class society. But even she never thought that she would become a social pariah, an outcast fending for herself on the mean streets of London. When the city is struck by a trio of unexpected deaths and suspicion falls on her sister and her father, Charlotte is desperate to find the true culprits and clear the family name. She’ll have help from friends new and old, but in the end, it will be up to Charlotte, under the assumed name Sherlock Holmes, to challenge society’s expectations and match wits against an unseen mastermind.

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    A Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas
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