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  1. 11.5 hrs • 9/6/2016 • Unabridged

    As Paris teeters on the edge of the German occupation, a young Frenchwoman closes the door to her late grandmother’s treasure-filled apartment, unsure if she’ll ever return. An elusive courtesan, Marthe de Florian had cultivated a life of art and beauty, casting out all recollections of her impoverished childhood in the dark alleys of Montmartre. With Europe on the brink of war, she shares her story with her granddaughter Solange Beaugiron, using her prized possessions to reveal her innermost secrets. Most striking of all are a beautiful string of pearls and a magnificent portrait of Marthe painted by the Italian artist Giovanni Boldini. As Marthe’s tale unfolds, like velvet itself, stitched with its own shadow and light, it helps to guide Solange on her own path. Inspired by the true account of an abandoned Parisian apartment, Alyson Richman brings to life Solange, the young woman forced to leave her fabled grandmother’s legacy behind to save all that she loves.

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    The Velvet Hours by Alyson Richman

    The Velvet Hours

    11.5 hrs • 9/6/16 • Unabridged
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  2. 10.9 hrs • 9/6/2016 • Unabridged

    “One of the most harrowing, powerful, and imaginative books of the year” (Anthony Doerr) about twin sisters fighting to survive the evils of World War II. Pearl is in charge of: the sad, the good, the past. Stasha must care for: the funny, the future, the bad. It’s 1944 when the twin sisters arrive at Auschwitz with their mother and grandfather. In their benighted new world, Pearl and Stasha Zagorski take refuge in their identical natures, comforting themselves with the private language and shared games of their childhood. As part of the experimental population of twins known as Mengele’s Zoo, the girls experience privileges and horrors unknown to others, and they find themselves changed, stripped of the personalities they once shared, their identities altered by the burdens of guilt and pain. That winter, at a concert orchestrated by Mengele, Pearl disappears. Stasha grieves for her twin, but clings to the possibility that Pearl remains alive. When the camp is liberated by the Red Army, she and her companion Feliks—a boy bent on vengeance for his own lost twin—travel through Poland’s devastation. Undeterred by injury, starvation, or the chaos around them, motivated by equal parts danger and hope, they encounter hostile villagers, Jewish resistance fighters, and fellow refugees, their quest enabled by the notion that Mengele may be captured and brought to justice within the ruins of the Warsaw Zoo. As the young survivors discover what has become of the world, they must try to imagine a future within it. A superbly crafted story, told in a voice as exquisite as it is boundlessly original, Mischling defies every expectation, traversing one of the darkest moments in human history to show us the way toward ethereal beauty, moral reckoning, and soaring hope.

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    Mischling

    10.9 hrs • 9/6/16 • Unabridged
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  3. 11.6 hrs • 7/26/2016 • Unabridged

    A big, heartrending novel about the entangled lives of two women in 1920s New England, both mothers to the same unforgettable girl. One night in 1917, Beatrice Haven sneaks out of her uncle’s house on Cape Ann, Massachusetts, leaves her newborn baby at the foot of a pear tree, and watches as another woman claims the infant as her own. The unwed daughter of wealthy Jewish industrialists and a gifted pianist bound for Radcliffe, Bea plans to leave her shameful secret behind and make a fresh start. Ten years later, Prohibition is in full swing and post-World War I America is in the grips of rampant xenophobia, and Bea’s hopes for her future remain unfulfilled. She returns to her uncle’s house, seeking a refuge from her unhappiness. But she discovers far more when the rum-running manager of the local quarry inadvertently reunites her with Emma Murphy, the headstrong Irish Catholic woman who has been raising her abandoned child—now a bright, bold, cross-dressing girl named Lucy Pear, with secrets of her own. In mesmerizing prose, award-winning author Anna Solomon weaves together an unforgettable group of characters as their lives collide on the New England coast. Set against one of America’s most turbulent decades, Leaving Lucy Pear delves into questions of class, freedom, and the meaning of family, establishing Anna Solomon as one of our most captivating storytellers.

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    Leaving Lucy Pear

    11.6 hrs • 7/26/16 • Unabridged
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  4. 8.1 hrs • 7/12/2016 • Unabridged

    Marching to Zion is the tragic story of Minerva Fishbein and Magnus Bailey, a charismatic black man and the longtime business partner of Minerva’s father. From the brutal riots of east St. Louis to Memphis, Tennessee, during the 1920s and the Depression, Marching to Zion is a tale of passion, betrayal, and redemption during an era in America when interracial love could not go unpunished. Readers of Mary Glickman’s One More River will celebrate the return of Aurora Mae Stanton, who joins a cast of vibrant new characters in this tense and compelling Southern-Jewish novel that examines the price of love and the interventions of fate.

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    Marching to Zion

    8.1 hrs • 7/12/16 • Unabridged
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  5. 10.5 hrs • 5/3/2016 • Unabridged

    Told from alternating viewpoints, this captivating, breakout novel brings readers from the skies of World War II to the present day, when a woman is prepared to tell her secrets at last. Estranged from her family since just after World War II, Mary Browning has spent her entire adult life hiding from her past. Now eighty-seven years old and a widow, she is still haunted by secrets and fading memories of the family she left behind. Her one outlet is the writing group she has presided over for a decade, though she’s never written a word herself. When a new member walks in—a fifteen-year-old girl who reminds her so much of her beloved sister Sarah—Mary is certain fate delivered Elyse Strickler to her for a reason. Mary hires the serious-eyed teenager to type her story about a daring female pilot who, during World War II, left home for the sky and gambled everything for her dreams—including her own identity. As they begin to unravel the web of Mary’s past, Mary and Elyse form an unlikely friendship. Together they discover it’s never too late for second chances and that sometimes forgiveness is all it takes for life to take flight in the most unexpected ways.

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    The Secrets of Flight

    10.5 hrs • 5/3/16 • Unabridged
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  6. 5.1 hrs • 4/26/2016 • Unabridged

    From master storyteller Stewart O’Nan comes a timely moral thriller about the Jewish underground resistance in Jerusalem after the Second World War. In 1945, with no homes to return to, Jewish refugees set out for Palestine by the tens of thousands. Those who made it were hunted as illegals by the British mandatory authorities there and relied on the underground to shelter them; taking fake names, they blended with the population, joining the wildly different factions fighting for the independence of Israel. City of Secrets follows one survivor, Brand, as he tries to regain himself after losing everyone he’s ever loved. Now driving a taxi provided—like his new identity—by the underground, he navigates the twisting streets of Jerusalem as well as the overlapping, sometimes deadly loyalties of the resistance. Alone, haunted by memories, he tries to become again the man he was before the war—honest, strong, capable of moral choices. He falls in love with Eva, a fellow survivor and member of his cell; reclaims his faith; and commits himself to the revolution, accepting secret missions which grow more and more dangerous even as he begins to suspect he’s being used by their cell’s dashing leader, Asher. By the time Brand understands the truth, it’s too late, and the tragedy that ensues changes history. A noirish, deeply felt novel of intrigue and identity written in O’Nan’s trademark lucent style, City of Secrets asks how both despair and faith can lead us astray, and what happens when, with the noblest intentions, we join movements beyond our control.

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    City of Secrets by Stewart O’Nan

    City of Secrets

    5.1 hrs • 4/26/16 • Unabridged
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  7. 7.5 hrs • 2/9/2016 • Unabridged

    Man Booker Prize–winner Howard Jacobson brings his singular brilliance to this modern re-imagining of one of Shakespeare’s most unforgettable characters: Shylock Winter, a cemetery, Shylock. In this provocative and profound interpretation of The Merchant of Venice, Shylock is juxtaposed against his present-day counterpart in the character of art dealer and conflicted father Simon Strulovitch. With characteristic irony, Jacobson presents Shylock as a man of incisive wit and passion, concerned still with questions of identity, parenthood, anti-Semitism and revenge. While Strulovich struggles to reconcile himself to his daughter Beatrice’s “betrayal” of her family and heritage—as she is carried away by the excitement of Manchester high society, and into the arms of a footballer notorious for giving a Nazi salute on the field—Shylock alternates grief for his beloved wife with rage against his own daughter’s rejection of her Jewish upbringing. Culminating in a shocking twist on Shylock’s demand for the infamous pound of flesh, Jacobson’s insightful retelling examines contemporary, acutely relevant questions of Jewish identity while maintaining a poignant sympathy for its characters and a genuine spiritual kinship with its antecedent—a drama which Jacobson himself considers to be “the most troubling of Shakespeare’s plays for anyone, but, for an English novelist who happens to be Jewish, also the most challenging.”

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  8. 17.7 hrs • 12/4/2015 • Unabridged

    Self-described by the author as “the most Jewish novel that has ever been written by anybody, anywhere,” Howard Jacobson’s Kalooki Nights has received glowing critical accolades from every major publication in London. It is a strikingly profound testament to the truth that, even after enduring 5,000 years of hardships, the Jewish people still maintain an unbeatable sense of humor.

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    Kalooki Nights

    17.7 hrs • 12/4/15 • Unabridged
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  9. 13.6 hrs • 8/4/2015 • Unabridged

    From the New York Times bestselling author of The Dovekeepers and The Museum of Extraordinary Things comes a forbidden love story set on the tropical island of St. Thomas about the extraordinary woman who gave birth to painter Camille Pissarro—the Father of Impressionism. Growing up on idyllic St. Thomas in the early 1800s, Rachel dreams of life in faraway Paris. Rachel’s mother, a pillar of their small refugee community of Jews who escaped the Inquisition, has never forgiven her daughter for being a difficult girl who refuses to live by the rules. Growing up, Rachel’s salvation is their maid Adelle’s belief in her strengths, and her deep, lifelong friendship with Jestine, Adelle’s daughter. But Rachel’s life is not her own. She is married off to a widower with three children to save her father’s business. When her husband dies suddenly and his handsome, much younger nephew, Frédérick, arrives from France to settle the estate, Rachel seizes her own life story, beginning a defiant, passionate love affair that sparks a scandal that affects all of her family, including her favorite son, who will become one of the greatest artists of France. Building on the triumphs of The Dovekeepers and The Museum of Extraordinary Things, set in a world of almost unimaginable beauty, The Marriage of Opposites showcases the beloved, bestselling Alice Hoffman at the height of her considerable powers. Once forgotten to history, the marriage of Rachel and Frédérick is a story that is as unforgettable as it is remarkable.

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    The Marriage of Opposites

    13.6 hrs • 8/4/15 • Unabridged
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  10. 11.0 hrs • 8/4/2015 • Unabridged

    A stunning debut novel inspired by true events, Orphan Number Eight tells the fascinating story of a woman who must choose between revenge and mercy when she encounters the doctor who subjected her to dangerous medical experiments in a New York City Jewish orphanage. In 1919 Rachel Rabinowitz is a vivacious four-year-old living with her family in a crowded tenement on New York City’s lower east side. When tragedy strikes, Rachel is separated from her brother Sam and sent to a Jewish orphanage where Dr. Mildred Solomon is conducting medical research. Subjected to X-ray treatments that leave her disfigured, Rachel suffers years of cruel harassment from the other orphans. But when she turns fifteen, she runs away to Colorado hoping to find the brother she lost and discovers a family she never knew she had. Though Rachel believes she’s shut out her painful childhood memories, years later she is confronted with her dark past when she becomes a nurse at Manhattan’s Old Hebrews Home, and her patient is none other than the elderly, cancer-stricken Dr. Solomon. Rachel becomes obsessed with making Dr. Solomon acknowledge, and pay for, her wrongdoing. But each passing hour Rachel spends with the old doctor reveals to Rachel the complexities of her own nature. She realizes that a person’s fate—to be one who inflicts harm or one who heals—is not always set in stone. Lush in historical detail, rich in atmosphere, and based on true events, Orphan Number Eight is a powerful, affecting novel of the unexpected choices we are compelled to make that can shape our destinies.

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    Orphan #8

    11.0 hrs • 8/4/15 • Unabridged
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  11. 15.2 hrs • 6/23/2015 • Unabridged

    The Book of Stone examines the evolution of the terrorist mentality and the complexities of religious extremism, as well as how easily a vulnerable mind can be exploited for dark purposes. Matthew Stone has inherited a troubling legacy: a gangster grandfather and a distant father—who is also a disgraced judge. After his father’s death, Matthew is a young man alone. He turns to his father’s beloved books for comfort, perceiving within them guidance that leads him to connect with a group of religious extremists. As Matthew immerses himself in this unfamiliar world, the FBI seeks his assistance to foil the group’s violent plot. Caught between these powerful forces, haunted by losses past and present, and desperate for redemption, Matthew charts a course of increasing peril—for himself and for everyone around him.

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    The Book of Stone

    15.2 hrs • 6/23/15 • Unabridged
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  12. 13.8 hrs • 6/16/2015 • Unabridged

    It's 1994 and Adam, a drug addict from New York City, arrives at a kibbutz in Israel with a medieval sapphire brooch. To make up for a past crime, he needs to get the priceless heirloom to a woman his grandfather loved when he was a Holocaust refugee on the kibbutz fifty years earlier. There Adam joins other troubled people trying to turn their lives around: Ulya, the ambitious and beautiful Soviet emigre; Farid, the lovelorn Palestinian farmhand; Claudette, the French Canadian Catholic with OCD; Ofir, the Israeli teenager wounded in a bus bombing; and Ziva, the old Zionist Socialist firebrand who founded the kibbutz. By the end of that summer, through their charged relationships with one another, they each get their last chance at redemption.

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    Safekeeping

    13.8 hrs • 6/16/15 • Unabridged
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  13. 22.9 hrs • 6/9/2015 • Unabridged

    When the enigmatic, billionaire founder and CEO of Tetration, the world’s most powerful tech company, is diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer, he hires a failed novelist, Josh Cohen, to ghostwrite his memoirs. This tech mogul, known only as “Principal,” takes Josh deep into his own mind, and outlines the history of Tetration, which started by revolutionizing the search engine and later ventured into smartphones, computer manufacturing, and the surveillance of American citizens. Accompanying Josh on a mind-bending world tour of local Tetration offices, from Palo Alto to Dubai, Principal soon initiates Josh into the secret pretext of the autobiography project, and the life-or-death stakes that surround its publication.

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    Book of Numbers

    22.9 hrs • 6/9/15 • Unabridged
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  14. 0 reviews 0 5 3 3 out of 5 stars 3/5
    9.6 hrs • 6/2/2015 • Unabridged

    Meet Mazie Phillips: big-hearted and bawdy, she’s the truth-telling proprietress of the Venice, the famed New York City movie theater. It’s the Jazz Age, with romance and booze aplenty—even when Prohibition kicks in—and Mazie never turns down a night on the town. But her high spirits mask a childhood rooted in poverty, and her diary, always close at hand, holds her dearest secrets. When the Great Depression hits, Mazie’s life is on the brink of transformation. Addicts and bums roam the Bowery; homelessness is rampant. If Mazie won’t help them, then who? When she opens the doors of the Venice to those in need, this ticket-taking, fun-time girl becomes the beating heart of the Lower East Side, and in defining one neighborhood helps define the city. Then, more than ninety years after Mazie began her diary, it’s discovered by a documentarian in search of a good story. Who was Mazie Phillips, really? A chorus of voices from the past and present fill in some of the mysterious blanks of her adventurous life. Inspired by the life of a woman who was profiled in Joseph Mitchell’s classic Up in the Old Hotel, Saint Mazie is infused with Jami Attenberg’s signature wit, bravery, and heart. Mazie’s rise to “sainthood”—and her irrepressible spirit—is unforgettable.

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    Saint Mazie

    9.6 hrs • 6/2/15 • Unabridged
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  15. 14.2 hrs • 6/2/2015 • Unabridged

    It’s the late 1960s. The Pinch, once a thriving Jewish community centered on North Main Street in Memphis, has been reduced to a single tenant. Lenny Sklarew awaits the draft by peddling drugs and shelving books—until he learns he is a character in a book about the rise and fall of this very Pinch. Muni Pinsker, who authored the book in an enchanted day containing years, arrived in the neighborhood at its height and was smitten by an alluring tightrope walker. Muni’s own story is dovetailed by that of his uncle Pinchas Pin, whose epic journey to North Main Street forms the book’s spine. Steve Stern interweaves these tales with an ingenious structure that merges past with present, and his wildly inventive fabulism surpasses everything he’s done before. Together, these intersecting stories transform the real-world experience of Lenny, whose fate determines the future of the Pinch, in this brilliant, unforgettable novel.

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    The Pinch

    14.2 hrs • 6/2/15 • Unabridged
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  16. 5.6 hrs • 5/12/2015 • Unabridged

    From the hugely acclaimed National Book Award finalist comes a novel that will join the shortlist of classics about the Holocaust and the children caught up in it. Aron is an engaging if peculiar young boy whose family is driven from the countryside into the Warsaw Ghetto. As his family is slowly stripped away from him, Aron and a handful of boys and girls risk their lives by smuggling and trading things through the “quarantine walls” to keep their people alive, hunted all the while by blackmailers and by Jewish, Polish, and German police (not to mention the Gestapo). Eventually Aron is “rescued” by Janusz Korczak, a Jewish-Polish doctor and advocate of children’s rights famous throughout prewar Europe who, once the Nazis swept in, was put in charge of the ghetto orphanage. In the end, of course, he and his staff and all the children are put on a train to Treblinka, but has Aron managed to escape and to spread word about the atrocities, as Korczak hoped he would? Jim Shephard has masterfully made this child’s-eye view of the Warsaw Ghetto mesmerizing, sometimes comic despite all odds, and truly heartbreaking. It is nothing less than a masterpiece.

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    The Book of Aron

    5.6 hrs • 5/12/15 • Unabridged
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