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Historical

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  1. 8.9 hrs • 2/21/2017 • Unabridged

    From the author of the “lyrical and compelling” (USA Today) novel A Good American comes a powerful story of two friends and the unintended consequences of friendship, loss, and hope. For Robert Carter, life in his coastal Maine hometown is comfortably predictable. But in 1976, on his first day of eighth grade, he meets Nathan Tilly, who changes everything. Nathan is confident, fearless, impetuous—and fascinated by kites and flying. Robert and Nathan’s budding friendship is forged in the crucible of two family tragedies, and as the boys struggle to come to terms with loss, they take summer jobs at the local rundown amusement park. It’s there that Nathan’s boundless capacity for optimism threatens to overwhelm them both, and where they learn some harsh truths about family, desire, and revenge. Unforgettable and heart-breaking, Setting Free the Kites is a poignant and moving exploration of the pain, joy, and glories of young friendship.

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    Setting Free the Kites

    8.9 hrs • 2/21/17 • Unabridged
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  2. 8.0 hrs • 2/21/2017 • Unabridged

    To Christina Olson, the entire world was her family’s remote farm in the small coastal town of Cushing, Maine. Born in the home her family had lived in for generations, and increasingly incapacitated by illness, Christina seemed destined for a small life. Instead, for more than twenty years, she was host and inspiration for the artist Andrew Wyeth, and became the subject of one of the best-known American paintings of the twentieth century. As she did in her beloved smash bestseller Orphan Train, Christina Baker Kline interweaves fact and fiction in a powerful novel that illuminates a little-known part of America’s history. Bringing into focus the flesh-and-blood woman behind the portrait, she vividly imagines the life of a woman with a complicated relationship to her family and her past, and a special bond with one of our greatest modern artists. Told in evocative and lucid prose, A Piece of the World is a story about the burdens and blessings of family history, and how artist and muse can come together to forge a new and timeless legacy.

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    A Piece of the World

    8.0 hrs • 2/21/17 • Unabridged
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  3. 9.7 hrs • 2/21/2017 • Unabridged

    Based on the author’s discoveries about her great-grandfather, this stunning debut novel takes place over three days when World War II comes to the doorstep of an ordinary German family living in an idyllic, rural village near the Swiss border.When World War II breaks out, Edith and Oskar Eberhardt move their family—their daughter, Marina; son-in-law, Franz; and their granddaughters—out of Berlin and into a small house in the quiet town of Blumental, near Switzerland. A member of Hitler’s cabinet, Oskar is gone most of the time, and Franz begins fighting in the war, so the women of the house are left to their quiet lives in the picturesque village. But life in Blumental isn’t as idyllic as it appears. An egotistical Nazi captain terrorizes the citizens he’s assigned to protect. Neighbors spy on each other. Some mysteriously disappear. Marina has a lover who also has close ties to her family and the government. Thinking none of them share her hatred of the Reich, she joins a Protestant priest smuggling Jewish refugees over the nearby Swiss border. The latest “package” is two Polish girls who’ve lost the rest of their family, and against her better judgment, Marina finds she must hide them in the Eberhardt’s cellar. Everything is set to go smoothly until Oskar comes home with the news that the Führer will be visiting the area for a concert, and he will be making a house call on the Eberhardts. Based on the author’s discoveries about her great-grandfather, this extraordinary debut, full of love, tragedy, and suspense, is a sensitive portrait of a family torn between doing their duty for their country and doing what’s right for their country, and especially for those they love.

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    The Good at Heart

    9.7 hrs • 2/21/17 • Unabridged
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  4. 7.4 hrs • 2/14/2017 • Unabridged

    The long-awaited first novel from the author of Tenth of December: a moving and original father-son story featuring none other than Abraham Lincoln, as well as an unforgettable cast of supporting characters, living and dead, historical and invented February 1862. The Civil War is less than one year old. The fighting has begun in earnest, and the nation has begun to realize it is in for a long, bloody struggle. Meanwhile, President Lincoln’s beloved eleven-year-old son, Willie, lies upstairs in the White House, gravely ill. In a matter of days, despite predictions of a recovery, Willie dies and is laid to rest in a Georgetown cemetery. “My poor boy, he was too good for this earth,” the president says at the time. “God has called him home.” Newspapers report that a grief-stricken Lincoln returns, alone, to the crypt several times to hold his boy’s body. From that seed of historical truth, George Saunders spins an unforgettable story of familial love and loss that breaks free of its realistic, historical framework into a supernatural realm both hilarious and terrifying. Willie Lincoln finds himself in a strange purgatory where ghosts mingle, gripe, commiserate, quarrel, and enact bizarre acts of penance. Within this transitional state—called, in the Tibetan tradition, the bardo—a monumental struggle erupts over young Willie’s soul. Lincoln in the Bardo is an astonishing feat of imagination and a bold step forward from one of the most important and influential writers of his generation. Formally daring, generous in spirit, deeply concerned with matters of the heart, it is a testament to fiction’s ability to speak honestly and powerfully to the things that really matter to us. Saunders has invented a thrilling new form that deploys a kaleidoscopic, theatrical panorama of voices to ask a timeless, profound question: How do we live and love when we know that everything we love must end? The 166-person full cast features award-winning actors and musicians, as well as a number of Saunders’ family, friends, and members of his publishing team, including, in order of their appearance: Nick Offerman as HANS VOLLMANDavid Sedaris as ROGER BEVINS IIICarrie Brownstein as ISABELLE PERKINSGeorge Saunders as THE REVEREND EVERLY THOMASMiranda July as MRS. ELIZABETH CRAWFORDLena Dunham as ELISE TRAYNORBen Stiller as JACK MANDERSJulianne Moore as JANE ELLISSusan Sarandon as MRS. ABIGAIL BLASSBradley Whitford as LT. CECIL STONEBill Hader as EDDIE BARONMegan Mullally as BETSY BARONRainn Wilson as PERCIVAL “DASH” COLLIERJeff Tweedy as CAPTAIN WILLIAM PRINCEKat Dennings as MISS TAMARA DOOLITTLEJeffrey Tambor as PROFESSOR EDMUND BLOOMERMike O’Brien as LAWRENCE T. DECROIXKeegan-Michael Key as ELSON FARWELLDon Cheadle as THOMAS HAVENSandPatrick Wilson as STANLEY “PERFESSER” LIPPERTwithKirby Heyborne as WILLIE LINCOLN,Mary Karr as MRS. ROSE MILLAND,and Cassandra Campbell as Your Narrator

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  5. 6.8 hrs • 2/7/2017 • Unabridged

    Meet Ottie Lee Henshaw, a startling, challenging beauty in small-town Indiana. Quick of mind, she navigates a stifling marriage, a lecherous boss, and on one day in the summer of 1920, an odyssey across the countryside to witness a dark and fearful celebration. Meet Calla Destry, a young black woman desperate to escape the violence of her town, and to find the lover who has promised her a new life. Every road leads to the bedlam of Marvel, and on it lives will collide and be changed forever. Reminiscent of the works of Louise Erdrich, Edward P. Jones and Marilynn Robinson, The Evening Road is the story of two remarkable women on the move through an America riven by fear and hatred, and eager to flee the secrets they have left behind.

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    The Evening Road

    6.8 hrs • 2/7/17 • Unabridged
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  6. 8.4 hrs • 2/7/2017 • Unabridged

    Territorial marshals Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch thought things had finally calmed down in Appaloosa when Boston Bill Black’s murder charge was dropped. But all that changed when Augustus Nobel Driggs rolled into town. Square-jawed, handsome, and built like a muscled thoroughbred stallion, Driggs intimidates even his guards from inside his prison cell. In a haunting twist of fate, Driggs and a pack of cold-blooded convicts are suddenly on the loose—and it’s up to any and all territorial lawmen, including Cole and Hitch, to capture the fugitives and rescue the woman kidnapped during their escape. But nothing is ever quite what it seems with the ever-elusive Driggs. Finally free, he’s quickly on his own furious hunt for a hidden cache of gold and the men who double-crossed him. With an unlikely and unconventional Yankee detective by their side, Cole and Hitch set off on a massive manhunt. As horses blaze and guns echo deafening reports, Driggs discovers one of the lawmen on his trail is none other than a fellow West Point graduate and one of the very men who betrayed him and left him for dead. Ruthless and willing to leave a bloody path of destruction in his wake, Driggs seeks vengeance at any cost.

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  7. 9.4 hrs • 2/7/2017 • Unabridged

    “A powerful and important tale of love and war, art and family…I was transported.” —Allison Pataki, New York Times bestselling author From the dawn of the twentieth century to the devastation of World War II, this exhilarating novel of love, war, art, and family gives voice to two extraordinary women and brings to life the true story behind the creation and near destruction of Gustav Klimt’s most remarkable paintings.In the dazzling glitter of 1900 Vienna, Adele Bloch-Bauer—young, beautiful, brilliant, and Jewish—meets painter Gustav Klimt. Wealthy in everything but freedom, Adele embraces Klimt’s renegade genius as the two awaken to the erotic possibilities on the canvas and beyond. Though they enjoy a life where sex and art are just beginning to break through the façade of conventional society, the city is also exhibiting a disturbing increase in anti-Semitism, as political hatred foments in the shadows of Adele’s coffee house afternoons and cultural salons. Nearly forty years later, Adele’s niece Maria Altmann is a newlywed when the Nazis invade Austria—and overnight, her beloved Vienna becomes a war zone. When her husband is arrested and her family is forced out of their home, Maria must summon the courage and resilience that is her aunt’s legacy if she is to survive and keep her family—and their history—alive. Will Maria and her family escape the grip of Nazis’ grip? And what will become of the paintings that her aunt nearly sacrificed everything for? Impeccably researched and a “must-read for fans of Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale and Paula McLain’s Circling the Sun” (Christina Baker Kline, #1 New York Times bestselling author), Stolen Beauty intertwines the tales of two remarkable women across more than a hundred years. It juxtaposes passion and discovery against hatred and despair, and shines a light on our ability to love, to destroy, and above all, to endure.

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    Stolen Beauty

    9.4 hrs • 2/7/17 • Unabridged
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  8. 7.2 hrs • 2/7/2017 • Unabridged

    Austerlitz, the internationally acclaimed masterpiece by “one of the most gripping writers imaginable” (The New York Review of Books), is the story of a man’s search for the answer to his life’s central riddle. A small child when he comes to England on a Kindertransport in the summer of 1939, one Jacques Aus-terlitz is told nothing of his real family by the Welsh Methodist minister and his wife who raise him. When he is a much older man, fleeting memories return to him, and obeying an instinct he only dimly understands, he follows their trail back to the world he left behind a half century before. There, faced with the void at the heart of twentieth-century Europe, he struggles to rescue his heritage from oblivion.

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    Austerlitz

    7.2 hrs • 2/7/17 • Unabridged
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  9. 8.0 hrs • 1/24/2017 • Unabridged

    From Sebastian Barry, a two-time finalist for the Man Booker Prize, comes a powerful and unforgettable novel chronicling a young Irish immigrant’s army years in the Indian wars and the American Civil War. Thomas McNulty, having fled the Great Famine in Ireland and now barely seventeen years old, signs up for the US Army in the 1850s and with his brother in arms, John Cole, goes to fight in the Indian Wars—against the Sioux and the Yurok—and, ultimately, in the Civil War. Orphans of terrible hardships themselves, they find these days to be vivid and alive, despite the horrors they see and are complicit in. Moving from the plains of Wyoming to Tennessee, Sebastian Barry’s latest work is a masterpiece of atmosphere and language. An intensely poignant story of two men and the makeshift family they create with a young Sioux girl, Winona, Days without End is a fresh and haunting portrait of the most fateful years in American history and is a novel never to be forgotten.

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    Days without End by Sebastian Barry

    Days without End

    8.0 hrs • 1/24/17 • Unabridged
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  10. 8.7 hrs • 1/17/2017 • Unabridged

    In war-torn France, Jo McMahon, an Italian-Irish girl from the tenements of Brooklyn, tends to six seriously wounded soldiers in a makeshift medical unit. Enemy bombs have destroyed her hospital convoy, and now Jo singlehandedly struggles to keep her patients and herself alive in a cramped and freezing tent close to German troops. There is a growing tenderness between her and one of her patients, a Scottish officer, but Jo’s heart is seared by the pain of all she has lost and seen. Nearing her breaking point, she fights to hold on to joyful memories of the past, to the times she shared with her best friend, Kay, whom she met in nursing school. Half a world away in the Pacific, Kay is trapped in a squalid Japanese POW camp in Manila, one of thousands of Allied men, women, and children whose fates rest in the hands of a sadistic enemy. Far from the familiar safety of the small Pennsylvania coal town of her childhood, Kay clings to memories of her happy days posted in Hawaii, and the handsome flyer who swept her off her feet in the weeks before Pearl Harbor. Surrounded by cruelty and death, Kay battles to maintain her sanity and save lives as best she can … and live to see her beloved friend Jo once more. When the conflict at last comes to an end, Jo and Kay discover that to achieve their own peace, they must find their place—and the hope of love—in a world that’s forever changed. With rich, superbly researched detail, Teresa Messineo’s thrilling novel brings to life the pain and uncertainty of war and the sustaining power of love and friendship, and illuminates the lives of the women who risked everything to save others during a horrifying time.

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    The Fire by Night by Teresa Messineo

    The Fire by Night

    8.7 hrs • 1/17/17 • Unabridged
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  11. 7.5 hrs • 1/17/2017

    While the miracles occurring in Twisted Tree are redeeming the McFee family, they’re also bringing past secrets dangerously close. In the thick of the Great Depression, William McFee, the oldest son of the McFee family is the latest in generations of distillery owners in Twisted Tree, Kentucky, working with his parents to revive the business—all while reeling from the loss of his youngest brother, who died in a car crash under mysterious circumstances. When a drifter recently buried near the McFee property begins drawing crowds of pilgrims to his grave, the McFees are dubious, but miracles seem to come to those who interact with the deceased—and those now praying at the grave. People—good and bad, believers and disbelievers—descend on the town to visit the “Potter’s Field Christ” and even the McFees (who ache for their lost boy) experience a miracle of their own. But the publicity generated by the miracles threatens to bring the full depth of the McFees’ secret past to light, putting William and his family in jeopardy.

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    The Angels' Share

    7.5 hrs • 1/17/17
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  12. 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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  13. 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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  14. 9.1 hrs • 12/28/2016 • Unabridged

    The Stantons and the Nortons were families in the truest, oldest sense: extended networks of kin stretching across the mountains, everyone within hiking distance. They’d come from the British Isles and settled in the Appalachians of North Carolina during the 1700s, bringing with them their dearly loved songs and their clannish ways, their ties to the land ultimately becoming as strong as their ties to one another.” “So when Larkin Stanton is left parentless at birth in the 1840s, he is taken in by his cousin Arty Norton and, true to the family way, starts singing before he starts talking. As Larkin grows up, he hungrily learns every song he can, as well as the subtleties of ballad singing: how the songs are about the joys and the horrors of life, and how the best singers can produce a song that will summon tears. Going head-to-head with Arty’s brother, Hackley, the cousins’ competitions to produce the finest song soon spill over into the wooing of the finest girl in the community, Mary.” When Hackley wins Mary and then leaves to fight in the Civil War, Larkin, still too young to enlist, finds himself uncontrollably drawn to the woman who’s held his heart for years. What he does about that love defies all he has learned about family and loyalty - and reminds us that these mournful ballads didn’t come just from the imagination, but from imperfections of the heart.

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    My Old True Love

    9.1 hrs • 12/28/16 • Unabridged
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  15. 9.0 hrs • 12/13/2016 • Unabridged

    In The Last of All Possible Worlds, we meet wise and worldly Prince Sobieski, Vienna’s ambassador in London, his enchanting wife, her English lover, and her enigmatic lifelong companion, Josefa. When Sobieski’s illegitimate daughter makes a demand of her influential father, the unspoken rules of the family are challenged. Sobieski’s world is further upset when two powerful merchant bankers, the tragic McGregor Hinton and the ambitious Julius von Mosenthal, arrive in London—both with their own requirements of the prince.

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    The Last of All Possible Worlds

    9.0 hrs • 12/13/16 • Unabridged
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    9.9 hrs • 12/1/2016 • Unabridged

    New York Times best-selling author Stephanie Laurens delights her many fans with steamy tales of Regency-era seduction and intrigue. In a quiet moonlit courtyard, Helena encounters a handsome and mysterious Englishman. Before parting, he rewards her with a special kiss-a delicious, enticing, unforgettable kiss that makes her whole body shiver with desire. Helena doesn’t yet know that she has met her destiny-and he is Sebastian Cynster, Duke of St. Ives. This luxurious tale of passion features a potent reading by narrator Simon Prebble.

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    The Promise in a Kiss

    9.9 hrs • 12/1/16 • Unabridged
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