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  1. 0 reviews 0 5 5 5 out of 5 stars 5/5
    10.9 hrs • 1/1/2007 • Unabridged

    Jan and Antonina Zabinski were Polish Christian zookeepers horrified by Nazi racism, who managed to save over three hundred people. Yet their story has fallen between the seams of history. Drawing on Antonina’s diary and other historical sources, bestselling naturalist Diane Ackerman vividly re-creates Antonina’s life as “the zookeeper’s wife,” responsible for her own family, the zoo animals, and their “guests”: resistance activists and refugee Jews, many of whom Jan had smuggled from the Warsaw Ghetto. Jan led a cell of saboteurs, and the Zabinski’s young son risked his life carrying food to the guests, while also tending to an eccentric array of creatures in the house (pigs, hare, muskrat, foxes, and more). With hidden people having animal names, and pet animals having human names, it’s a small wonder the zoo’s code name became “The House under a Crazy Star.” Yet there is more to this story than a colorful cast. With her exquisite sensitivity to the natural world, Ackerman explores the role of nature in both kindness and savagery, and she unravels the fascinating and disturbing obsession at the core of Nazism: both a worship of nature and its violation, as humans sought to control the genome of the entire planet.

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    The Zookeeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman

    The Zookeeper’s Wife

    10.9 hrs • 1/1/07 • Unabridged
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  2. 1 reviews 0 5 4.5 4 out of 5 stars 4.5/5 (1)
    15.9 hrs • 7/29/2014 • Unabridged

    The #1 New York Times bestseller that Entertainment Weekly called “a surefire hit.”NOW AN HBO® LIMITED SERIES STARRING REESE WITHERSPOON, NICOLE KIDMAN, SHAILENE WOODLEY, ALEXANDER SKARSGÅRD, LAURA DERN, ADAM SCOTT, AND ZOË KRAVITZ FROM THE DIRECTOR OF WILD AND DALLAS BUYERS CLUB, JEAN-MARC VALLÉE, AND WRITER DAVID E. KELLEY Sometimes it’s the little lies that turn out to be the most lethal... A murder…a tragic accident…or just parents behaving badly?   What’s indisputable is that someone is dead. But who did what? Big Little Lies follows three women, each at a crossroads:Madeline is a force to be reckoned with. She’s funny and biting, passionate, she remembers everything and forgives no one. Her ex-husband and his yogi new wife have moved into her beloved beachside community, and their daughter is in the same kindergarten class as Madeline’s youngest (how is this possible?). And to top it all off, Madeline’s teenage daughter seems to be choosing Madeline’s ex-husband over her. (How. Is. This. Possible?).Celeste is the kind of beautiful woman who makes the world stop and stare. While she may seem a bit flustered at times, who wouldn’t be, with those rambunctious twin boys? Now that the boys are starting school, Celeste and her husband look set to become the king and queen of the school parent body. But royalty often comes at a price, and Celeste is grappling with how much more she is willing to pay.New to town, single mom Jane is so young that another mother mistakes her for the nanny. Jane is sad beyond her years and harbors secret doubts about her son. But why? While Madeline and Celeste soon take Jane under their wing, none of them realizes how the arrival of Jane and her inscrutable little boy will affect them all.Big Little Lies is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive.

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    Big Little Lies (Movie Tie-In)

    15.9 hrs • 7/29/14 • Unabridged
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    7.4 hrs • 2/14/2017 • Unabridged

    The long-awaited first novel from the author of Tenth of December is 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 VOLLMAN David Sedaris as ROGER BEVINS III Carrie Brownstein as ISABELLE PERKINS George Saunders as THE REVEREND EVERLY THOMAS Miranda July as MRS. ELIZABETH CRAWFORD Lena Dunham as ELISE TRAYNOR Ben Stiller as JACK MANDERS Julianne Moore as JANE ELLIS Susan Sarandon as MRS. ABIGAIL BLASS Bradley Whitford as LT. CECIL STONE Bill Hader as EDDIE BARON Megan Mullally as BETSY BARON Rainn Wilson as PERCIVAL “DASH” COLLIER Jeff Tweedy as CAPTAIN WILLIAM PRINCE Kat Dennings as MISS TAMARA DOOLITTLE Jeffrey Tambor as PROFESSOR EDMUND BLOOMER Mike O’Brien as LAWRENCE T. DECROIX Keegan-Michael Key as ELSON FARWELL Don Cheadle as THOMAS HAVENS and Patrick Wilson as STANLEY “PERFESSER” LIPPERT with Kirby Heyborne as WILLIE LINCOLN, Mary Karr as MRS. ROSE MILLAND, and Cassandra Campbell as Your Narrator

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    Lincoln in the Bardo

    7.4 hrs • 2/14/17 • Unabridged
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  4. 9.3 hrs • 2/14/2017 • Unabridged

    Kevin Mitnick, the world’s most famous hacker, teaches you easy cloaking and counter-measures for citizens and consumers in the age of Big Brother and Big Data. Like it or not, your every move is being watched and analyzed. Consumer’s identities are being stolen, and a person’s every step is being tracked and stored. What once might have been dismissed as paranoia is now a hard truth, and privacy is a luxury few can afford or understand. In this explosive yet practical book, Kevin Mitnick illustrates what is happening without your knowledge—and he teaches you “the art of invisibility.” Mitnick is the world’s most famous—and formerly the Most Wanted—computer hacker. He has hacked into some of the country’s most powerful and seemingly impenetrable agencies and companies, and at one point he was on a three-year run from the FBI. Now, though, Mitnick is reformed and is widely regarded as the expert on the subject of computer security. He knows exactly how vulnerabilities can be exploited and just what to do to prevent that from happening. In The Art of Invisibility Mitnick provides both online and real life tactics and inexpensive methods to protect you and your family, in easy step-by-step instructions. He even talks about more advanced “elite” techniques, which, if used properly, can maximize your privacy. Invisibility isn’t just for superheroes—privacy is a power you deserve and need in this modern age.

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    The Art of Invisibility

    9.3 hrs • 2/14/17 • Unabridged
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  5. 13.4 hrs • 3/21/2017 • Unabridged

    They slept for hundreds of years, dreaming of a new home in the Andromeda Galaxy. When finally they awake, their dreams of peace are shattered. These colonists—turian, salarian, asari, human, and more—face an uncharted galaxy and threats beyond understanding. The Nexus is the core from which the colonists will explore their new home. Yet even before the arks arrive, the massive space station sustains critical damage. The entire mission is placed in jeopardy, and security director Sloane Kelly must reassert order while racing to identify the nature of the threat that faces them. If she fails, the Andromeda Initiative could crumble.

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    Mass Effect™ Andromeda: Nexus Uprising by Jason M. Hough, K. C. Alexander
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  6. 14.7 hrs • 2/28/2017 • Unabridged

    The galaxy has seen great empires rise and fall. Planets have shattered and been remade. Amongst the ruins of alien civilizations, building our own from the rubble, humanity still thrives. And there are vast fortunes to be made, if you know where to find them. Captain Rackamore and his crew do. It’s their business to find the tiny, enigmatic worlds which have been hidden away and booby-trapped—and to crack them open for the ancient relics and barely-remembered technologies inside. But while they ply their risky trade with integrity, not everyone is so scrupulous. Adrana and Fura Ness are the newest members of Rackamore’s crew, signed on to save their family from bankruptcy. Only Rackamore has enemies, and there might be more waiting for them in space than adventure and fortune: the fabled and feared Bosa Sennen in particular. Revenger is a science fiction adventure story set in the rubble of our solar system in the dark, distant future—a tale of space pirates, buried treasure, and phantom weapons, of unspeakable hazards and single-minded heroism and of vengeance.

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    Revenger

    14.7 hrs • 2/28/17 • Unabridged
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  7. 22.6 hrs • 3/14/2017 • Unabridged

    The waters rose, submerging New York City. But the residents adapted and it remained the bustling, vibrant metropolis it had always been—though changed forever. Every street became a canal, every skyscraper an island … Through the eyes of the varied inhabitants of one building, Kim Stanley Robinson shows us how one of our great cities will change with the rising tides. And how we too will change.

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  8. 1.8 hrs • 2/28/2017 • Unabridged

    "We are rapidly ripening for fascism. This American writer leaves us with no illusions about ourselves." —Svetlana Alexievich, Winner of the Nobel Prize in LiteratureThe Founding Fathers tried to protect us from the threat they knew, the tyranny that overcame ancient democracy. Today, our political order faces new threats, not unlike the totalitarianism of the twentieth century. We are no wiser than the Europeans who saw democracy yield to fascism, Nazism, or communism.  Our one advantage is that we might learn from their experience.

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    On Tyranny

    1.8 hrs • 2/28/17 • Unabridged
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  9. 7.3 hrs • 3/7/2017 • Unabridged

    The Nazi regime preached an ideology of physical, mental, and moral purity. But as Norman Ohler reveals in this gripping new history, the Third Reich was saturated with drugs. On the eve of World War II, Germany was a pharmaceutical powerhouse, and companies such as Merck and Bayer cooked up cocaine, opiates, and, most of all, methamphetamines, to be consumed by everyone from factory workers to housewives to millions of German soldiers. In fact, troops regularly took rations of a form of crystal meth—the elevated energy and feelings of invincibility associated with the high even help to explain certain German military victories. Drugs seeped all the way up to the Nazi high command and, especially, to Hitler himself. Over the course of the war, Hitler became increasingly dependent on injections of a cocktail of drugs—including a form of heroin—administered by his personal doctor. While drugs alone cannot explain the Nazis’ toxic racial theories or the events of World War II, Ohler’s investigation makes an overwhelming case that, if drugs are not taken into account, our understanding of the Third Reich is fundamentally incomplete. Carefully researched and rivetingly readable, Blitzed throws surprising light on a history that, until now, has remained in the shadows.

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    Blitzed by Norman Ohler

    Blitzed

    Translated by Shaun Whiteside
    Directed by Claire Bloom
    7.3 hrs • 3/7/17 • Unabridged
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  10. 15.5 hrs • 3/21/2017 • Unabridged

    The Wall Street Journal’s award-winning business reporter unveils the bizarre and sinister story of how a math genius named Tom Hayes, a handful of outrageous confederates, and a deeply corrupt banking system ignited one of the greatest financial scandals in history. In 2006, an oddball group of bankers, traders and brokers from some of the world’s largest financial institutions made a startling realization: Libor—the London interbank offered rate, which determines the interest rates on trillions in loans worldwide—was set daily by a small group of easily manipulated functionaries, and that they could reap huge profits by nudging it to suit their trading portfolios. Tom Hayes, a brilliant but troubled mathematician, became the lynchpin of a wild alliance that among others included a French trader nicknamed “Gollum”; the broker “Abbo,” who liked to publicly strip naked when drinking; a Kazakh chicken farmer turned something short of financial whiz kid; a broker known as “Village” (short for “Village Idiot”) and fascinated with human-animal sex; an executive called “Clumpy” because of his patchwork hair loss; and a broker uncreatively nicknamed “Big Nose.” Eventually known as the “Spider Network,” Hayes’s circle generated untold riches —until it all unraveled in spectacularly vicious, backstabbing fashion. The Spider Network is not only a rollicking account of the scam but a provocative examination of a financial system that was crooked throughout, designed to promote envelope-pushing behavior while shielding higher-ups from the consequences of their subordinates’ rapacious actions.

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    The Spider Network by David Enrich

    The Spider Network

    15.5 hrs • 3/21/17 • Unabridged
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  11. 9.2 hrs • 3/14/2017 • Unabridged

    A former CIA officer and curator of the CIA Museum unveils the shocking, untold story of Nobel Prize-winning author Ernest Hemingway’s secret life as a spy for both the Americans and the Soviets before and during World War II. While he was the curator of the CIA Museum, Nicholas Reynolds, a longtime military intelligence expert, began to discover tantalizing clues that suggested Ernest Hemingway’s involvement in the Second World War was much more complex and dangerous than has been previously understood. Writer, Sailor, Soldier, Spy brings to light for the first time this riveting secret side of Hemingway’s life—when he worked closely with both the American OSS, a precursor to the CIA, and the Soviet NKVD, the USSR’s forerunner to the KGB to defeat Adolf Hitler and the Nazis. Reynolds dig deep into Hemingway’s involvement in World War II, from his recruitment by both the Americans and the Soviets—who valued Hemingway for his journalistic skills and access to sources—through his key role in gaining tactical intelligence for the Allies during the liberation of Paris, to his later doubts about communist ideology and his undercover work in Cuba. As he examines the links between his work as a spy and as an author, Reynolds reveals how Hemingway’s wartime experiences shook his faith in literature and contributed to the writer’s block that plagued him for much of the final two decades of his life. Reynolds also illuminates how those same experiences also informed one of Hemingway’s greatest works—The Old Man and the Sea—the final novel published during his lifetime. A unique portrait as fast-paced and exciting as the best espionage thrillers, Writer, Sailor, Soldier, Spy illuminates a hidden side of a revered artist and is a thrilling addition to the annals of World War II.

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    Writer, Sailor, Soldier, Spy by Nicholas Reynolds

    Writer, Sailor, Soldier, Spy

    9.2 hrs • 3/14/17 • Unabridged
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  12. 5.8 hrs • 2/7/2017 • Unabridged

    Jeremy works at the Video Hut in Nevada, Iowa. It’s a small town in the center of the state—the first a in Nevada pronounced ay. This is the late 1990s, and even if the Hollywood Video in Ames poses an existential threat to Video Hut, there are still regular customers, a rush in the late afternoon. It’s good enough for Jeremy: it’s a job, quiet and predictable, and it gets him out of the house, where he lives with his dad and where they both try to avoid missing Mom, who died six years ago in a car wreck. But when a local schoolteacher comes in to return her copy of Targets—an old movie, starring Boris Karloff, one Jeremy himself had ordered for the store—she has an odd complaint: “There’s something on it,” she says, but doesn’t elaborate. Two days later, a different customer returns a different tape, a new release, and says it’s not defective, exactly, but altered: “There’s another movie on this tape.” Jeremy doesn’t want to be curious, but he brings the movies home to take a look. And, indeed, in the middle of each movie, the screen blinks dark for a moment and the movie is replaced by a few minutes of jagged, poorly lit home video. The scenes are odd and sometimes violent, dark, and deeply disquieting. There are no identifiable faces, no dialogue or explanation—the first video has just the faint sound of someone breathing— but there are some recognizable landmarks. These have been shot just outside of town. So begins John Darnielle’s haunting and masterfully unsettling Universal Harvester: the once placid Iowa fields and farmhouses now sinister and imbued with loss and instability and profound foreboding. The audiobook will take Jeremy and those around him deeper into this landscape than they have ever expected to go. They will become part of a story that unfolds years into the past and years into the future, part of an impossible search for something someone once lost that they would do anything to regain. This program is read by the author and includes original music.

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    Universal Harvester

    5.8 hrs • 2/7/17 • Unabridged
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  13. 7.1 hrs • 3/7/2017 • Unabridged

    Fans of Maria Semple’s Where’d You Go Bernadette and and Celeste Ng’s Everything I Never Told You will delight in Annie Hartnett’s debut, Rabbit Cake, a darkly comic novel about a young girl named Elvis trying to figure out her place in a world without her mother. Twelve-year-old Elvis Babbitt has a head for the facts: she knows science proves yellow is the happiest color, she knows a healthy male giraffe weighs about 3,000 pounds, and she knows that the naked mole rat is the longest living rodent. She knows she should plan to grieve her mother, who has recently drowned while sleepwalking, for exactly eighteen months. But there are things Elvis doesn’t yet know―like how to keep her sister Lizzie from poisoning herself while sleep-eating or why her father has started wearing her mother’s silk bathrobe around the house. Elvis investigates the strange circumstances of her mother’s death and finds comfort, if not answers, in the people (and animals) of Freedom, Alabama. As hilarious a storyteller as she is heartbreakingly honest, Elvis is a truly original voice in this exploration of grief, family, and the endurance of humor after loss.

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    Rabbit Cake by Annie Hartnett

    Rabbit Cake

    7.1 hrs • 3/7/17 • Unabridged
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  14. 18.0 hrs • 2/28/2017 • Unabridged

    In this magisterial study of the relationship between illness and art, the best-selling author of An Unquiet Mind, Kay Redfield Jamison, brings an entirely fresh understanding to the work and life of Robert Lowell (1917-1977), whose intense, complex, and personal verse left a lasting mark on the English language and changed the public discourse about private matters.In his Pulitzer Prize-winning poetry, Robert Lowell put his manic-depressive illness (now known as bipolar disorder) into the public domain, creating a language for madness that was new and arresting. As Dr. Jamison brings her expertise in mood disorders to bear on Lowell’s story, she illuminates not only the relationships among mania, depression, and creativity but also the details of Lowell’s treatment and how illness and treatment influenced the great work that he produced (and often became its subject). Lowell’s New England roots, early breakdowns, marriages to three eminent writers, friendships with other poets such as Elizabeth Bishop, his many hospitalizations, his vivid presence as both a teacher and a maker of poems—Jamison gives us the poet’s life through a lens that focuses our understanding of his intense discipline, courage, and commitment to his art. Jamison had unprecedented access to Lowell’s medical records, as well as to previously unpublished drafts and fragments of poems, and she is the first biographer to have spoken with his daughter, Harriet Lowell. With this new material and a psychologist’s deep insight, Jamison delivers a bold, sympathetic account of a poet who was—both despite and because of mental illness—a passionate, original observer of the human condition.

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  15. 4.7 hrs • 3/7/2017 • Unabridged

    From the internationally bestselling author of The Reluctant Fundamentalist, one of the most anticipated books of 2017 comes an astonishingly timely love story that brilliantly imagines the forces that transform ordinary people into refugees—and the impossible choices that follow—as they’re driven from their homes to the uncertain embrace of new lands. In a country teetering on the brink of civil war, two young people meet—sensual, fiercely independent Nadia and gentle, restrained Saeed. They embark on a furtive love affair, and are soon cloistered in a premature intimacy by the unrest roiling their city. When it explodes, turning familiar streets into a patchwork of checkpoints and bomb blasts, they begin to hear whispers about doors—doors that can whisk people far away, if perilously and for a price. As the violence escalates, Nadia and Saeed decide that they no longer have a choice. Leaving their homeland and their old lives behind, they find a door and step through. . . . Exit West follows these remarkable characters as they emerge into an alien and uncertain future, struggling to hold on to each other, to their past, to the very sense of who they are. Profoundly intimate and powerfully inventive, it tells an unforgettable story of love, loyalty, and courage that is both completely of our time and for all time.

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    Exit West

    4.7 hrs • 3/7/17 • Unabridged
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  16. 10.6 hrs • 2/28/2017 • Unabridged

    Interweaving an insider’s account of the true crime saga driving Netflix sensation Making a Murderer with other controversial cases from his career, this powerful memoir from Steven Avery’s defense attorney reveals the flaws in America’s criminal justice system and puts forth a provocative, persuasive call for reform. Not since The Thin Blue Line has there been a true crime saga as engrossing as Making A Murderer. Captivating audiences across demographic lines, it made Steven Avery a household name and thrust defense attorney Jerome F. Buting—and his fight against America’s dysfunctional criminal justice system—into the spotlight. In Illusion of Justice, Buting uses the Avery case as a springboard to examine the shaky integrity of our law enforcement and legal systems, which he has witnessed firsthand for nearly four decades. From his early career as a public defender to his success overturning wrongful convictions, his story provides a compelling insider’s view into the high-stakes world of criminal defense, and suggests that while in principle the law presumes innocence, in practice it more often than not presumes guilt. Combining narrative reportage with critical commentary and personal reflection, Buting explores his professional motivations, the high-profile cases that defined his career, and the path to much-needed criminal justice reform. Taking its place beside acclaimed bestsellers such as Just Mercy and The New Jim Crow, Illusion of Justice is a tour-de-force from a relentless and eloquent advocate for justice who is determined to fulfill his professional responsibility—and, in the face of overwhelming odds, make the judicial system work as it is designed to do.

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    Illusion of Justice by Jerome F. Buting

    Illusion of Justice

    10.6 hrs • 2/28/17 • Unabridged
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