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Downpour's Bestsellers of 2015

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  1. 1 reviews 0 5 4.9 4 out of 5 stars 4.9/5 (1)
    12.0 hrs • 10/20/2015 • Unabridged

    From the creators of the wildly popular Welcome to Night Vale podcast comes an imaginative mystery of appearances and disappearances that is also a poignant look at the ways in which we all struggle to find ourselves … no matter where we live. Located in a nameless desert somewhere in the great American Southwest, Night Vale is a small town where ghosts, angels, aliens, and government conspiracies are all commonplace parts of everyday life. It is here that the lives of two women, with two mysteries, will converge. Nineteen-year-old Night Vale pawn shop owner Jackie Fierro is given a paper marked “King City” by a mysterious man in a tan jacket holding a deerskin suitcase. Everything about him and his paper unsettles her, especially the fact that she can’t seem to get the paper to leave her hand and that no one who meets this man can remember anything about him. Jackie is determined to uncover the mystery of King City and the man in the tan jacket before she herself unravels. Night Vale PTA treasurer Diane Crayton’s son, Josh, is moody and also a shape-shifter. And lately Diane’s started to see her son’s father everywhere she goes, looking the same as the day he left years earlier, when they were both teenagers. Josh, looking different every time Diane sees him, shows a stronger and stronger interest in his estranged father, leading to a disaster Diane can see coming, even as she is helpless to prevent it. Diane’s search to reconnect with her son and Jackie’s search for her former routine life collide as they find themselves coming back to two words: “King City.” It is King City that holds the key to both of their mysteries, and their futures … if they can ever find it.

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    Welcome to Night Vale

    12.0 hrs • 10/20/15 • Unabridged
    1 reviews 0 5 4.9 4 out of 5 stars 4.9/5 (1)
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  2. 0 reviews 0 5 5 5 out of 5 stars 5/5
    17.9 hrs • 10/20/2015 • Unabridged

    When a mysterious package is delivered to Robin Ellacott, she is horrified to discover that it contains a woman’s severed leg. Her boss, private detective Cormoran Strike, is less surprised but no less alarmed. There are four people from his past who he thinks could be responsible—and Strike knows that any one of them is capable of sustained and unspeakable brutality. With the police focusing on the one suspect Strike is increasingly sure is not the perpetrator, he and Robin take matters into their own hands and delve into the dark and twisted worlds of the other three men. But as more horrendous acts occur, time is running out for the two of them … Career of Evil is the third in the highly acclaimed series featuring private detective Cormoran Strike and his assistant Robin Ellacott. A fiendishly clever mystery with unexpected twists around every corner, it is also a gripping story of a man and a woman at a crossroads in their personal and professional lives.

    Available Formats: CD, Download

    Career of Evil

    17.9 hrs • 10/20/15 • Unabridged
    0 reviews 0 5 5 5 out of 5 stars 5/5
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  3. 0 reviews 0 5 4.8 4 out of 5 stars 4.8/5
    12.1 hrs • 7/28/2015 • Unabridged

    A chance encounter sparks an unrelenting web of lies in this stunning new psychological thriller from national bestselling author Mary Kubica. Heidi Wood has always been a charitable woman: she works for a nonprofit and takes in stray cats. Still, her husband and daughter are horrified when Heidi returns home one day with a young woman named Willow and her four-month-old baby in tow. Disheveled and apparently homeless, this girl could be a criminal—or worse. But despite her family’s objections, Heidi invites Willow and the baby to take refuge in their home. Heidi spends the next few days helping Willow get back on her feet, but as clues into Willow’s past begin to surface, Heidi is forced to decide how far she’s willing to go to help a stranger. What begins as an act of kindness quickly spirals into a story far more twisted than anyone could have anticipated.

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    Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica

    Pretty Baby

    12.1 hrs • 7/28/15 • Unabridged
    0 reviews 0 5 4.8 4 out of 5 stars 4.8/5
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  4. 1 reviews 0 5 4.4 4 out of 5 stars 4.4/5 (1)
    7.0 hrs • 7/14/2015 • Unabridged

    A historic literary event: the publication of a newly discovered novel, the earliest known work from Harper Lee, the beloved, bestselling author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning classic, To Kill a Mockingbird. Originally written in the mid-1950s, Go Set a Watchman was the novel Harper Lee first submitted to her publishers before To Kill a Mockingbird. Assumed to have been lost, the manuscript was discovered in late 2014. Go Set a Watchman features many of the characters from To Kill a Mockingbird some twenty years later. Returning home to Maycomb to visit her father, Jean Louise Finch—Scout—struggles with issues both personal and political, involving Atticus, society, and the small Alabama town that shaped her. Exploring how the characters from To Kill a Mockingbird are adjusting to the turbulent events transforming mid-1950s America, Go Set a Watchman casts a fascinating new light on Harper Lee’s enduring classic. Moving, funny, and compelling, it stands as a magnificent novel in its own right.

    Available Formats: CD, Download

    Go Set a Watchman

    7.0 hrs • 7/14/15 • Unabridged
    1 reviews 0 5 4.4 4 out of 5 stars 4.4/5 (1)
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  5. 1 reviews 0 5 4.4 4 out of 5 stars 4.4/5 (1)
    11.8 hrs • 7/14/2015 • Unabridged

    The new novel from the bestselling author of Ready Player One Zack Lightman has spent his life dreaming. Dreaming that the real world could be a little more like the countless science-fiction books, movies, and video games he’s spent his life consuming. Dreaming that one day some fantastic, world-altering event will shatter the monotony of his humdrum existence and whisk him off on some grand space-faring adventure. But hey, there’s nothing wrong with a little escapism, right? After all, Zack tells himself, he knows the difference between fantasy and reality. He knows that here in the real world, aimless teenage gamers with anger issues don’t get chosen to save the universe. And then he sees the flying saucer. Even stranger, the alien ship he’s staring at is straight out of the videogame he plays every night, a hugely popular online flight simulator called Armada—in which gamers just happen to be protecting the earth from alien invaders. No, Zack hasn’t lost his mind. As impossible as it seems, what he’s seeing is all too real. And his skills—as well as those of millions of gamers across the world—are going to be needed to save the earth from what’s about to befall it. It’s Zack’s chance, at last, to play the hero. But even through the terror and exhilaration, he can’t help thinking back to all those science-fiction stories he grew up with and wondering: Doesn’t something about this scenario seem a little … familiar? At once gleefully embracing and brilliantly subverting science-fiction conventions as only Ernest Cline could, Armada is a rollicking, surprising thriller, a classic coming-of-age adventure, and an alien invasion tale like nothing you’ve ever heard before—one whose every moment is infused with the pop-culture savvy that has helped make Ready Player One a phenomenon.

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    Armada

    11.8 hrs • 7/14/15 • Unabridged
    1 reviews 0 5 4.4 4 out of 5 stars 4.4/5 (1)
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  6. 2 reviews 0 5 4.9 4 out of 5 stars 4.9/5 (2)
    3.6 hrs • 7/14/2015 • Unabridged

    Hailed by Toni Morrison as “required reading,” a bold and personal literary exploration of America’s racial history by “the single best writer on the subject of race in the United States” (New York Observer) “This is your country, this is your world, this is your body, and you must find some way to live within the all of it.” In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation’s history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of “race,” a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men—bodies exploited through slavery and segregation and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden? Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates’ attempt to answer these questions in a letter to his adolescent son. Coates shares with his son—and readers—the story of his awakening to the truth about his place in the world through a series of revelatory experiences, from Howard University to Civil War battlefields, from the South Side of Chicago to Paris, from his childhood home to the living rooms of mothers whose children’s lives were taken as American plunder. Beautifully woven from personal narrative, reimagined history, and fresh, emotionally charged reportage, Between the World and Me clearly illuminates the past, bracingly confronts our present, and offers a transcendent vision for a way forward.

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    Between the World and Me

    3.6 hrs • 7/14/15 • Unabridged
    2 reviews 0 5 4.9 4 out of 5 stars 4.9/5 (2)
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  7. 0 reviews 0 5 4.5 4 out of 5 stars 4.5/5
    16.9 hrs • 7/7/2015 • Unabridged

    A major new novel from one of science fiction’s most powerful voices, Aurora tells the incredible story of our first voyage beyond the solar system. Brilliantly imagined and beautifully told, it is the work of a writer at the height of his powers. Our voyage from Earth began generations ago. Now, we approach our destination. A new home. AURORA.

    Available Formats: Download, CD

    Aurora

    16.9 hrs • 7/7/15 • Unabridged
    0 reviews 0 5 4.5 4 out of 5 stars 4.5/5
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  8. 2 reviews 0 5 4.7 4 out of 5 stars 4.7/5 (2)
    23.4 hrs • 6/23/2015 • Unabridged

    From the internationally bestselling author of the acclaimed novel The Power of the Dog comes The Cartel, a gripping, ripped from the headlines story of power, corruption, revenge, and justice spanning the past decade of the Mexican-American drug wars. It’s 2004. DEA agent Art Keller has been fighting the war on drugs for thirty years in a blood feud against Adán Barrera, the head of El Federación, the world’s most powerful cartel, and the man who brutally murdered Keller’s partner. Finally putting Barrera away cost Keller dearly—the woman he loves, the beliefs he cherishes, the life he wants to lead. Then Barrera gets out, determined to rebuild the empire that Keller shattered. Unwilling to live in a world with Barrera in it, Keller goes on a ten-year odyssey to take him down. His obsession with justice—or is it revenge?—becomes a ruthless struggle that stretches from the cities, mountains, and deserts of Mexico to Washington’s corridors of power to the streets of Berlin and Barcelona. Keller fights his personal battle against the devastated backdrop of Mexico’s drug war, a conflict of unprecedented scale and viciousness, as cartels vie for power and he comes to the final reckoning with Barrera—and himself—that he always knew must happen. The Cartel is a true-to-life story of honor and sacrifice, as one man tries to face down the devil without losing his soul. It is the story of the war on drugs and the men—and women—who wage it.

    Available Formats: Download, CD, MP3 CD, Digital Rental
    The Cartel by Don Winslow

    The Cartel

    23.4 hrs • 6/23/15 • Unabridged
    2 reviews 0 5 4.7 4 out of 5 stars 4.7/5 (2)
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  9. 1 reviews 0 5 4.7 4 out of 5 stars 4.7/5 (1)
    6.2 hrs • 6/16/2015 • Unabridged

    A hilarious, thoughtful, and in-depth exploration of the pleasures and perils of modern romance from one of this generation’s sharpest comedic voices At some point, every one of us embarks on a journey to find love. We meet people, date, get into and out of relationships, all with the hope of finding someone with whom we share a deep connection. This seems standard now, but it’s wildly different from what people did even just decades ago. Single people today have more romantic options than at any point in human history. With technology, our abilities to connect with and sort through these options are staggering. So why are so many people frustrated? Some of our problems are unique to our time. “Why did this guy just text me an emoji of a pizza?” “Should I go out with this girl even though she listed combos as one of her favorite snack foods? Combos?!” “My girlfriend just got a message from some dude named Nathan. Who’s Nathan? Did he just send her a photo of his penis? Should I check just to be sure?” But the transformation of our romantic lives can’t be explained by technology alone. In a short period of time, the whole culture of finding love has changed dramatically. A few decades ago, people would find a decent person who lived in their neighborhood. Their families would meet and, after deciding neither party seemed like a murderer, they would get married and soon have a kid, all by the time they were twenty-four. Today, people marry later than ever and spend years of their lives on a quest to find the perfect person, a soul mate. For years, Aziz Ansari has been aiming his comic insight at modern romance, but for Modern Romance, the book, he decided he needed to take things to another level. He teamed up with NYU sociologist Eric Klinenberg and designed a massive research project, including hundreds of interviews and focus groups conducted everywhere from Tokyo to Buenos Aires to Wichita. They analyzed behavioral data and surveys and created their own online research forum on Reddit, which drew thousands of messages. They enlisted the world’s leading social scientists, including Andrew Cherlin, Eli Finkel, Helen Fisher, Sheena Iyengar, Barry Schwartz, Sherry Turkle, and Robb Willer. The result is unlike any social science or humor book we’ve seen before. In Modern Romance, Ansari combines his irreverent humor with cutting-edge social science to give us an unforgettable tour of our new romantic world.

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    Modern Romance

    6.2 hrs • 6/16/15 • Unabridged
    1 reviews 0 5 4.7 4 out of 5 stars 4.7/5 (1)
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  10. 2 reviews 0 5 4.4 4 out of 5 stars 4.4/5 (2)
    13.1 hrs • 6/2/2015 • Unabridged

    A masterful, intensely suspenseful novel about a reader whose obsession with a reclusive writer goes too far—a book about the power of storytelling, starring the same trio of unlikely and winning heroes King introduced in Mr. Mercedes “Wake up, genius.” So begins King’s instantly riveting story about a vengeful reader. The genius is John Rothstein, an iconic author who created a famous character, Jimmy Gold, but who hasn’t published a book for decades. Morris Bellamy is livid, not just because Rothstein has stopped providing books but because the nonconformist Jimmy Gold has sold out for a career in advertising. Morris kills Rothstein and empties his safe of cash, yes, but the real treasure is a trove of notebooks containing at least one more Gold novel. Morris hides the money and the notebooks, and then he is locked away for another crime. Decades later a boy named Pete Saubers finds the treasure, and now it is Pete and his family that Bill Hodges, Holly Gibney, and Jerome Robinson must rescue from the ever-more deranged and vengeful Morris when he’s released from prison after thirty-five years. Not since Misery has King played with the notion of a reader whose obsession with a writer gets dangerous. Finders Keepers is spectacular, heart-pounding suspense, but it is also King writing about how literature shapes a life—for good, for bad, forever.

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    Finders Keepers

    13.1 hrs • 6/2/15 • Unabridged
    2 reviews 0 5 4.4 4 out of 5 stars 4.4/5 (2)
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  11. 4 reviews 0 5 4.3 4 out of 5 stars 4.3/5 (4)
    31.9 hrs • 5/19/2015 • Unabridged

    From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Anatham, Reamde, and Cryptonomicon comes an exciting and thought-provoking science fiction epic—a grand story of annihilation and survival spanning five thousand years. What would happen if the world were ending? A catastrophic event renders the earth a ticking time bomb. In a feverish race against the inevitable, nations around the globe band together to devise an ambitious plan to ensure the survival of humanity far beyond our atmosphere, in outer space. But the complexities and unpredictability of human nature coupled with unforeseen challenges and dangers threaten the intrepid pioneers until only a handful of survivors remain. Five thousand years later, their progeny—seven distinct races now three billion strong—embark on yet another audacious journey into the unknown … to an alien world utterly transformed by cataclysm and time: Earth. A writer of dazzling genius and imaginative vision, Neal Stephenson combines science, philosophy, technology, psychology, and literature in a magnificent work of speculative fiction that offers a portrait of a future that is both extraordinary and eerily recognizable. As he did in Anathem, Cryptonomicon, the Baroque Cycle, and Reamde, Stephenson explores some of our biggest ideas and perplexing challenges in a breathtaking saga that is daring, engrossing, and altogether brilliant.

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    Seveneves

    31.9 hrs • 5/19/15 • Unabridged
    4 reviews 0 5 4.3 4 out of 5 stars 4.3/5 (4)
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  12. 0 reviews 0 5 4.6 4 out of 5 stars 4.6/5
    10.0 hrs • 5/5/2015 • Unabridged

    David McCullough, two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize, tells the dramatic story-behind-the-story of Wilbur and Orville Wright—the courageous brothers who taught the world how to fly. On a winter day in 1903, in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, two unknown brothers from Ohio changed history—but it would take the world some time to believe what had happened. The age of flight had begun with the first heavier-than-air, powered machine carrying a pilot. Who were these men, and how was it that they achieved what they did? Far more than a couple of unschooled Dayton bicycle mechanics who happened to hit on success, they were men of exceptional courage, determination, far-ranging intellectual interests, and ceaseless curiosity, much of which they attributed to their upbringing. The house they lived in had no electricity or indoor plumbing, but there were books aplenty, supplied mainly by their preacher father, and they never stopped reading. When they worked together, no problem seemed to be insurmountable. Wilbur was unquestionably a genius, and Orville had mechanical ingenuity few had ever seen. That they had no more than a public high-school education, little money, and no contacts in high places never stopped them in their mission to take to the air. Nothing did, not even the self-evident reality that every time they took off in one of their contrivances, they risked being killed. In this thrilling book, master historian David McCullough draws on the immense riches of the Wright Papers, including private diaries, notebooks, scrapbooks, and more than a thousand letters from private family correspondence, to tell the human side of the Wright Brothers’ story, including the little-known contributions of their sister Katharine, without whom things might well have gone differently for them.

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    The Wright Brothers

    10.0 hrs • 5/5/15 • Unabridged
    0 reviews 0 5 4.6 4 out of 5 stars 4.6/5
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  13. 1 reviews 0 5 4 4 out of 5 stars 4/5 (1)
    9.6 hrs • 4/7/2015 • Unabridged

    Welcome to the fractured future, at the dusk of the twenty-first century. Earth has a population of roughly a billion hominids. For the most part, they are happy with their lot. Those who are unhappy have emigrated, joining the swarming densethinker clades that fog the inner solar system with a dust of molecular machinery so thick it obscures the sun. The splintery metaconsciousness of the solar system has largely sworn off its pre-post-human cousins dirtside, but its minds sometimes wander … and when that happens, it casually spams Earth’s networks with plans for cataclysmically disruptive technologies that emulsify whole industries, cultures, and spiritual systems. A sane species would ignore these get-evolved-quick schemes, but there’s always someone who’ll take a bite from the forbidden apple. So until the overminds bore of stirring Earth’s anthill, there’s Tech Jury Service: random humans, selected arbitrarily, charged with assessing dozens of new inventions and ruling on whether to let them loose. Young Huw, a technophobic, misanthropic Welshman, has been selected for the latest jury, a task he does his best to perform despite an itchy technovirus, the apathy of the proletariat, and a couple of truly awful moments on bathroom floors. The Rapture of the Nerds is a brilliant collaboration by Cory Doctorow and Charles Stross, two of the defining personalities of post-cyberpunk science fiction.

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    The Rapture of the Nerds by Cory Doctorow, Charles Stross

    The Rapture of the Nerds

    9.6 hrs • 4/7/15 • Unabridged
    1 reviews 0 5 4 4 out of 5 stars 4/5 (1)
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  14. 0 reviews 0 5 4.3 4 out of 5 stars 4.3/5
    13.1 hrs • 3/10/2015 • Unabridged

    From the #1 New York Times bestselling author and master of narrative nonfiction comes the enthralling story of the sinking of the Lusitania On May 1, 1915, a luxury ocean liner as richly appointed as an English country house sailed out of New York, bound for Liverpool, carrying a record number of children and infants. The passengers were anxious. Germany had declared the seas around Britain to be a war zone, and for months, its U-boats had brought terror to the North Atlantic. But the Lusitania was one of the era’s great transatlantic “Greyhounds” and her captain, William Thomas Turner, placed tremendous faith in the gentlemanly strictures of warfare that for a century had kept civilian ships safe from attack. He knew, moreover, that his ship—the fastest then in service—could outrun any threat. It is a story that many of us think we know but don’t, and Erik Larson tells it thrillingly, switching between hunter and hunted while painting a larger portrait of America at the height of the Progressive Era. Full of glamour, mystery, and real-life suspense, Dead Wake brings to life a cast of evocative characters, from famed Boston bookseller Charles Lauriat to pioneering female architect Theodate Pope Riddle to President Wilson, a man lost to grief, dreading the widening war but also captivated by the prospect of new love. Gripping and important, Dead Wake captures the sheer drama and emotional power of a disaster that helped place America on the road to war.

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    Dead Wake

    13.1 hrs • 3/10/15 • Unabridged
    0 reviews 0 5 4.3 4 out of 5 stars 4.3/5
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  15. 2 reviews 0 5 4 4 out of 5 stars 4/5 (2)
    5.8 hrs • 2/3/2015 • Unabridged

    A comedy of loyalty, betrayal, sex, madness, and music-swapping Art is an up-and-coming interface designer working on the management of data flow along the Massachusetts Turnpike. He’s doing the best work of his career and can guarantee that the system will be, without a question, the most counterintuitive, user-hostile piece of software ever pushed forth onto the world. Why? Because Art is an industrial saboteur. He may live in London and work for an EU telecommunications megacorp, but Art’s real home is the Eastern Standard Tribe. Instant wireless communication puts everyone in touch with everyone else, twenty-four hours a day. But one thing hasn’t changed: the need for sleep. The world is slowly splintering into tribes held together by a common time zone. Art is working to humiliate the Greenwich Mean Tribe to the benefit of his own people. But in a world without boundaries, nothing can be taken for granted—not happiness, not money, and most certainly not love … which might explain why Art finds himself stranded on the roof of an insane asylum outside of Boston.

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    Eastern Standard Tribe  by Cory Doctorow

    Eastern Standard Tribe

    5.8 hrs • 2/3/15 • Unabridged
    2 reviews 0 5 4 4 out of 5 stars 4/5 (2)
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  16. 1 reviews 0 5 4.7 4 out of 5 stars 4.7/5 (1)
    53.6 hrs • 1/27/2015 • Unabridged

    A bold English adventurer; an invincible Japanese warlord; a beautiful woman torn between two ways of life, two ways of love—all brought together in an extraordinary saga of a time and a place aflame with conflict, passion, ambition, lust, and the struggle for power. James Clavell’s Shōgun is a modern classic, a masterpiece of historical fiction that will continue to endure for decades to come.

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    Shōgun by James Clavell

    Shōgun

    53.6 hrs • 1/27/15 • Unabridged
    1 reviews 0 5 4.7 4 out of 5 stars 4.7/5 (1)
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