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Historical

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  1. 11.6 hrs • 2/21/2017 • Unabridged

    "Just because the men have gone to war, why do we have to close the choir? And precisely when we need it most!"   As England enters World War II's dark early days, spirited music professor Primrose Trent, recently arrived to the village of Chilbury, emboldens the women of the town to defy the Vicar's stuffy edict to shutter the church's choir in the absence of men and instead "carry on singing." Resurrecting themselves as "The Chilbury Ladies' Choir," the women of this small village soon use their joint song to lift up themselves, and the community, as the war tears through their lives.Told through letters and journals, THE CHILBURY LADIES' CHOIR moves seamlessly from budding romances to village intrigues to heartbreaking matters of life and death. As we come to know the struggles of the charismatic members of this unforgettable outfit-- a timid widow worried over her son at the front; the town beauty drawn to a rakish artist; her younger sister nursing an impossible crush and dabbling in politics she doesn't understand; a young Jewish refugee hiding secrets about her family, and a conniving midwife plotting to outrun her seedy past-- we come to see how the strength each finds in the choir's collective voice reverberates in her individual life. In turns funny, charming and heart-wrenching, this lovingly executed ensemble novel will charm and inspire, illuminating the true spirit of the women on the homefront, in a village of indomitable spirit, at the dawn of a most terrible conflict.

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    The Chilbury Ladies' Choir by Jennifer Ryan

    The Chilbury Ladies' Choir

    11.6 hrs • 2/21/17 • Unabridged
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  2. 12.9 hrs • 2/21/2017 • Unabridged

    Sixteen-year-old Noa has been cast out in disgrace after becoming pregnant by a Nazi soldier and being forced to give up her baby. She lives above a small rail station, which she cleans in order to earn her keep. When Noa discovers a boxcar containing dozens of Jewish infants bound for a concentration camp, she is reminded of the child that was taken from her. And in a moment that will change the course of her life, she snatches one of the babies and flees into the snowy night. Noa finds refuge with a German circus, but she must learn the flying trapeze act so she can blend in undetected, spurning the resentment of the lead aerialist, Astrid. At first rivals, Noa and Astrid soon forge a powerful bond. But as the façade that protects them proves increasingly tenuous, Noa and Astrid must decide whether their friendship is enough to save one another—or if the secrets that burn between them will destroy everything.

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    The Orphan’s Tale by Pam Jenoff

    The Orphan’s Tale

    12.9 hrs • 2/21/17 • Unabridged
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  3. 11.3 hrs • 2/21/2017

    Washington City, 1862: The United States lies in tatters, and there seems no end to the war. Abraham Lincoln, the legitimate President of the United States, is using all his will to keep his beloved land together. But Lincoln’s will and soul are tested when tragedy strikes the White House as Willie Lincoln, the love and shining light in the president’s heart, is taken by typhoid fever._x000D_ _x000D_ But was this really the cause of his death? A message arrives, suggesting otherwise. Lincoln asks John Hay, his trusted aide—and almost a son—to investigate Willie’s death. Some see Hay as a gadfly--adventurous, incisive, lusty, reflective, skeptical, even cynical—but he loves the president and so seeks the truth behind the boy’s death. _x000D_ _x000D_ And so, as we follow Hay in his investigation, we are shown the loftiest and lowest corners of Washington City, from the president’s office and the gentleman’s dining room at Willard’s Hotel to the alley hovels, wartime hospitals, and the dome-less Capitol’s vermin-infested subbasement. We see the unfamiliar sides of a grief-stricken president, his hellcat of a wife, and their two surviving and suffering sons, and Hay matches wits with such luminaries as General McClellan, William Seward, and the indomitable detective Allan Pinkerton._x000D_ _x000D_ What Hay discovers has the potential of not only destroying Lincoln, but a nation._x000D_ _x000D_ The Murder of Willie Lincoln is an exciting historical fiction debut by award-winning political journalist and Washington insider Burt Solomon.

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  4. 17.8 hrs • 2/17/2017 • Unabridged

    The critically acclaimed author, Anchee Min, paints a fresh portrait of the last Chinese empress in this brilliantly fictionalized tale set during the waning days of the empire. Seventeen-year-old Orchid belongs to an aristocratic family that has fallen on hard times. Unexpectedly, she is chosen as one of the emperor's lesser concubines. Within the Forbidden City are thousands of women hoping to bear the emperor a son and become his empress. Orchid, determined and resourceful, schemes her way into the royal bed and seduces the emperor. But as the opium trade erodes the might of the Ch'ing dynasty, Orchid find herself at the center of a crumbling nation. A colorful depiction of one of history's least understood women, The Empress Orchid is another enthralling masterpiece for Anchee Min.

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    Empress Orchid

    17.8 hrs • 2/17/17 • Unabridged
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  5. 11.1 hrs • 2/17/2017 • Unabridged

    This is the first novel Patrick O’Brian ever wrote about the sea, a precursor to the Aubrey-Maturin series that the New York Times has hailed as “the best historical novels ever written.” The Golden Ocean shares the high-seas adventure and rich humor of this triumphant series, invoking the eloquent style and authentic historic atmosphere that O’Brian fans love so much. In 1740, two young Irishmen-lifelong friends Peter and Sean-join Commodore Anson and his crew on their quest for fortune and fame on the golden ocean.

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  6. 15.6 hrs • 2/14/2017 • Unabridged

    “Reading Georgia Hunter’s We Were the Lucky Ones is like being swung heart first into history…A brave and mesmerizing debut, and a truly tremendous accomplishment.” —Paula McLain An extraordinary, propulsive novel based on the true story of a far-flung family of Polish Jews who survived the Holocaust, escaped the war, and found each other again, against all odds It is the spring of 1939, and the seven members of the Kurc family are doing their best to live normal lives, even as the shadow of war grows ever closer. The talk around the family seder table is of new babies and budding romance, not of the increasing depravations facing Jews in their hometown of Radom, Poland. But soon the horrors overtaking Europe will become inescapable and the Kurc family will be flung to the far corners of the earth, each charting his or her own path toward safety. As some members are forced into exile, others try to escape certain death by working endless hours on empty stomachs in the factories of the ghetto or hiding as gentiles in plain sight. Facing an unknown future where they may or may not ever be reunited, the Kurcs find inner strength and hope in the face of horror. Propelled by their will to survive—across six years and five continents, from the jazz clubs of Paris to the beaches of Rio de Janeiro to Montelupich Prison and the farthest reaches of the Siberian gulag—the Kurcs find ways to persevere even in the face of impossible hardship. When author Georgia Hunter was just entering adulthood, she discovered that her beloved grandfather Addy was part of a family that escaped the horrors of World War II. This novel is a fictional account of their remarkable experience that is not only a tribute to her family’s story but to the triumph of the human spirit in the face of the twentieth century’s darkest moment. We Were the Lucky Ones is a testament to the notion that with courage, ingenuity, and luck, nearly anything is possible.From the Hardcover edition.

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    We Were the Lucky Ones

    15.6 hrs • 2/14/17 • Unabridged
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  7. 13.7 hrs • 2/14/2017 • Unabridged

    Irish-American Maggie O’Dea is bright, beautiful and resourceful—and she hates the English! It’s the summer of 1938 and Maggie is studying in Heidelberg when she meets the dashing Kurt Engel, a German soldier. Maggie agrees to follow Kurt to Berlin provided he helps her find a job. And what a job! Maggie lands a position as assistant to Clive Barnes, an obese and often intoxicated Englishman known over the airwaves as ‘Lord Lyon.’ Barnes broadcasts Nazi propaganda to his homeland each evening. After Kurt is deployed, Maggie spends more time at work, growing closer to her colleague Dieter Schmidt. Erich Greinke is an American who’s been fighting alongside the Germans in Spain’s civil war. He’s recruited by WWI hero ‘Wild’ Bill Donovan to report on developments in the German capital. Erich quickly identifies Maggie as an opportunity to penetrate Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels’ inner circle. As Europe plunges into the abyss of world war, Maggie begins to question the guidance she receives from the Ministry and begins to realize she has fallen victim to the very propaganda she has helped create. Caught between her conscience and the Gestapo’s tightening noose, Maggie walks a deadly tight-rope as she navigates between love and loyalty, survival and discovery.

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    Berlin Calling

    13.7 hrs • 2/14/17 • Unabridged
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  8. 12.6 hrs • 2/14/2017 • Unabridged

    It is 1939 in Vienna, and as the specter of war darkens Europe, Rose Zimmer’s parents are desperate. Unable to get out of Austria, they manage to secure passage for their young daughter on a kindertransport, and send her to live with strangers in England. Six years later, the war finally over, a grief-stricken Rose attempts to build a life for herself. Alone in London, devastated, she cannot help but try to search out one piece of her childhood: the Chaim Soutine painting her mother had cherished. Many years later, the painting finds its way to America. In modern-day Los Angeles, Lizzie Goldstein has returned home for her father’s funeral. Newly single and unsure of her path, she also carries a burden of guilt that cannot be displaced. Years ago, as a teenager, Lizzie threw a party at her father’s house with unexpected but far-reaching consequences. The Soutine painting that she loved and had provided lasting comfort to her after her own mother had died was stolen, and has never been recovered. This painting will bring Lizzie and Rose together and ignite an unexpected friendship, eventually revealing long-held secrets that hold painful truths. Spanning decades and unfolding in crystalline, atmospheric prose, The Fortunate Ones is a haunting story of longing, devastation, and forgiveness, and a deep examination of the bonds and desires that map our private histories.

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    The Fortunate Ones by Ellen Umansky

    The Fortunate Ones

    12.6 hrs • 2/14/17 • Unabridged
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  9. 11.1 hrs • 2/14/2017 • Unabridged

    On the eve of the bloody Battle of the Somme, a group of English officers having a last drink before returning to the Front make a promise to each other: if they survive the battle ahead—and make it through the war—they will meet in Paris a year after the fighting ends. They will celebrate their good fortune by racing motorcars they beg, borrow, or own from Paris to Nice. In November 1919, the officers all meet as planned, and though their motorcars are not designed for racing, they set out for Nice. But a serious mishap mars the reunion. In the mountains just north of their destination, two vehicles are nearly run off the road, and one man is badly injured. No one knows—or will admit to knowing—which driver was at the wheel of the rogue motorcar. Back in England one year later, during a heavy rainstorm, a driver loses control on a twisting road and is killed in the crash. Was it an accident due to the hazardous conditions? Or premeditated murder? Is the crash connected in some way to the unfortunate events in the mountains above Nice the year before? The dead driver wasn’t in France—although the motorcar he drove was. If it was foul play, was it a case of mistaken identity? Or was the dead man the intended victim after all? Investigating this perplexing case, Scotland Yard Inspector Ian Rutledge discovers that the truth is elusive—and that the villages on the South Downs, where the accident happened, are adept at keeping secrets, frustrating his search. Determined to remain in the shadows this faceless killer is willing to strike again to stop Rutledge from finding him. This time, the victim he chooses is a child, and it will take all of Rutledge’s skill to stop him before an innocent young life is sacrificed.

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    Racing the Devil by Charles Todd
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  10. 12.8 hrs • 2/14/2017 • Unabridged

    From the author of the acclaimed Crooked Heart comes another “smart, funny, ingenious, revealing tale of London life during the Second World War” (The Independent)—longlisted for the Orange Prize upon its original publication in England. It is 1940. France has fallen, and only a narrow strip of sea lies between Great Britain and invasion. The war could go either way and everyone must do their bit. Young copy writer Catrin Cole is drafted into the Ministry of Information to help “write women” into propaganda films—something that the men aren’t very good at. She is quickly seconded to the Ministry’s latest endeavor: a heart-warming tale of bravery and rescue at Dunkirk. It’s all completely fabricated, of course, but what does that matter when the nation’s morale is at stake? Since call-up has stripped the industry of its brightest and best, it is the callow, the jaded and the utterly unsuitable who must make up the numbers: Ambrose Hilliard, third most popular British film-star of 1924; Edith Beadmore, Madame Tussauds wardrobe assistant turned costumier; and Arthur Frith, whose peacetime job as a catering manager has not really prepared him for his sudden, unexpected elevation to Special Military Advisor. Now in a serious world, in a nation under siege, they must all swallow their mutual distaste, ill-will, and mistrust to unite for the common good, for King and Country, and—in one case—for better or worse …

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    Their Finest by Lissa Evans

    Their Finest

    12.8 hrs • 2/14/17 • Unabridged
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  11. 12.0 hrs • 2/7/2017 • Unabridged

    With echoes of The Night Circus, a spellbinding story about two gifted orphans –  in love with each other since they can remember – whose childhood talents allow them to rewrite their future. The Lonely Hearts Hotel is a love story with the power of legend. An unparalleled tale of charismatic pianos, invisible dance partners, radicalized chorus girls, drug-addicted musicians, brooding clowns, and an underworld whose economy hinges on the price of a kiss. In a landscape like this, it takes great creative gifts to thwart one’s origins. It might also take true love.Two babies are abandoned in a Montreal orphanage in the winter of 1914. Before long, their talents emerge: Pierrot is a piano prodigy; Rose lights up even the dreariest room with her dancing and comedy. As they travel around the city performing clown routines, the children fall in love with each other and dream up a plan for the most extraordinary and seductive circus show the world has ever seen. Separated as teenagers, sent off to work as servants during the Great Depression, both descend into the city’s underworld, dabbling in sex, drugs and theft in order to survive. But when Rose and Pierrot finally reunite beneath the snowflakes – after years of searching and desperate poverty – the possibilities of their childhood dreams are renewed, and they’ll go to extreme lengths to make them come true. Soon, Rose, Pierrot and their troupe of clowns and chorus girls have hit New York, commanding the stage as well as the alleys, and neither the theater nor the underworld will ever look the same.With her musical language and extravagantly realized world, Heather O’Neill enchants us with a novel so magical there is no escaping its spell.From the Hardcover edition.

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    The Lonely Hearts Hotel

    12.0 hrs • 2/7/17 • Unabridged
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  12. 18.3 hrs • 2/7/2017 • Unabridged

    A new tour de force from the bestselling author of Free Food for Millionaires, for readers of The Kite Runner and Cutting for Stone. Pachinko follows one Korean family through the generations, beginning in early 1900s Korea with Sunja, the prized daughter of a poor yet proud family, whose unplanned pregnancy threatens to shame them all. Deserted by her lover, Sunja is saved when a young tubercular minister offers to marry and bring her to Japan. So begins a sweeping saga of an exceptional family in exile from its homeland and caught in the indifferent arc of history. Through desperate struggles and hard-won triumphs, its members are bound together by deep roots as they face enduring questions of faith, family, and identity.

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    Pachinko

    18.3 hrs • 2/7/17 • Unabridged
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  13. 12.8 hrs • 2/7/2017 • Unabridged

    From the author of the critically acclaimed The Mermaids Singing comes a haunting, luminous novel set on an enchanted island off the west coast of Ireland where magic, faith, and superstition pervade the inhabitants’ lives and tangled relationships—perfect for fans of Eowyn Ivey, Sarah Waters, and Angela Carter. May 1959. From one side of St. Brigid’s Island, the mountains of Connemara can be glimpsed on the distant mainland; from the other, the Atlantic stretches as far as the eye can see. This remote settlement, without electricity or even a harbor, has scarcely altered since its namesake saint set up a convent of stone huts centuries ago. Those who live there, including sisters Rose and Emer, are hardy and resourceful, dependent on the sea and each other for survival. Despite the island’s natural beauty, it is a place that people move away from, not to—until an outspoken American, also named Brigid, arrives to claim her late uncle’s cottage. Brigid has come for more than an inheritance. She’s seeking a secret holy well that’s rumored to grant miracles. Emer, as scarred and wary as Rose is friendly and beautiful, has good reason to believe in inexplicable powers. Despite her own strange abilities—or perhaps because of them—Emer fears that she won’t be able to save her young son, Niall, from a growing threat. Yet Brigid has a gift too, even more remarkable than Emer’s. As months pass and Brigid carves out a place on the island and in the sisters’ lives, a complicated web of betrayal, fear, and desire culminates in one shocking night that will change the island, and its inhabitants, forever.

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    The Stolen Child by Lisa Carey

    The Stolen Child

    12.8 hrs • 2/7/17 • Unabridged
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  14. 15.1 hrs • 2/7/2017 • Unabridged

    Shoved into a temporary command in “that rotten old Worcester,” Aubrey is off to the Mediterranean to join the Royal Navy’s blockade of the French port of Toulon, where he will be dispatched by Admiral Harte (unfortunately the same Admiral Harte he cuckolded years ago) on a secret mission that promises to embroil Aubrey in political conflict. His friend Stephen’s help notwithstanding, Aubrey faces some of the choppiest waters of his career.

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    The Ionian Mission

    15.1 hrs • 2/7/17 • Unabridged
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  15. 13.3 hrs • 2/7/2017 • Unabridged

    The Victorian mystery series starring Inspector Thomas Pitt and Charlotte Pitt reaches new heights. When Dr. Stephen Shaw’s fancy Highgate Rise home is burned to the ground with his wife inside, the Inspector and his wife must solve a baffling mystery.

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    Highgate Rise

    13.3 hrs • 2/7/17 • Unabridged
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  16. 11.0 hrs • 1/31/2017 • Unabridged

    This novel in the acclaimed Marcus Didius Falco series finds the first-century detective confronting Roman legal forces that may just destroy him—and his family. Fresh from a trip to far-flung Londinium in Britain, Falco needs to reestablish his presence in Rome. A minor role in the trial of a senator entangles him in the machinations of two powerful lawyers. The senator is convicted but then dies, apparently by suicide. It may have been a legal move to protect his heirs; Falco is hired to prove it was murder. As he shows off his talents in the role of advocate, Falco exposes himself to a tangle of upper-class secrets and powerful elements in Rome’s legal hierarchy that may have unintended—if not fatal—consequences.

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    The Accusers by Lindsey Davis
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