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Personal Memoirs

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  1. 9.9 hrs • 9/27/2016 • Unabridged

    A recently discovered account of an Austrian Jewish writer’s flight, persecution, and clandestine life in wartime France. As arts editor for one of Vienna’s principal newspapers, Moriz Scheyer knew many of the city’s foremost artists, and was an important literary journalist. With the advent of the Nazis he was forced from both job and home. In 1943, in hiding in France, Scheyer began drafting what was to become this book. Tracing events from the Anschluss in Vienna, through life in Paris and unoccupied France, including a period in a French concentration camp, contact with the Resistance, and clandestine life in a convent caring for mentally disabled women, he gives an extraordinarily vivid account of the events and experience of persecution. After Scheyer’s death in 1949, his stepson, disliking the book’s anti-German rhetoric, destroyed the manuscript. Or thought he did. Recently, a carbon copy was found in the family’s attic by P. N. Singer, Scheyer’s step-grandson, who has translated and provided an epilogue.

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    Asylum

    Translated and with an epilogue by P. N. Singer
    9.9 hrs • 9/27/16 • Unabridged
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  2. 10.8 hrs • 9/27/2016 • Unabridged

    Unfolding in animated, crystalline prose, an emotionally raw, devastatingly powerful memoir of one young woman’s extraordinary coming of age—a tale of gender and identity, freedom and addiction, rebellion and survival in the 1980s and 1990s, when punk, poverty, heroin, and art collided in the urban bohemia of New York’s Lower East Side. Born into the beautiful bedlam of downtown New York in the ’80s, iO Tillett Wright came of age at the intersection of punk, poverty, heroin, and art. This was a world of self-invented characters, glamorous superstars, and strung out sufferers, ground zero of drag and performance art. Still, no personality was more vibrant and formidable than her mother Rhonna, a showgirl and young widow, a mercurial, erratic Glamazon who was iO’s fiercest defender and only authority in a world with few boundaries and even fewer indicators of normal life. At the center of Darling Days is the remarkable relationship between a fiery kid and her domineering Ma—a bond defined by freedom and control, excess and sacrifice, by heartbreaking deprivation, agonizing rupture and, ultimately, forgiveness. Darling Days is also a provocative examination of culture and identity, of the instincts that shape us and the norms that deform us, and of the courage and resilience of a child listening closely to her deepest self. When a group of boys refuse to let six-year-old iO play ball, she instantly adopts a new persona, becoming a boy named Ricky, a choice her parents support and celebrate. It is the start of a profound exploration of gender and identity through the tenderest years, and the beginning of a life invented and reinvented at every step. Alternating between the harrowing and the hilarious, Darling Days is the candid, tough, and stirring memoir of a young person in search of an authentic self as her family and home life devolve into chaos.

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    Darling Days by iO Tillett Wright

    Darling Days

    10.8 hrs • 9/27/16 • Unabridged
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  3. 7.0 hrs • 9/27/2016 • Unabridged

    A donor mother’s powerful memoir of grief and rebirth that is also a fascinating medical science whodunit, taking us inside the world of organ, eye, tissue, and blood donation and cutting-edge scientific research. When Sarah Gray received the devastating news that her unborn son Thomas was diagnosed with anencephaly, a terminal condition, she decided she wanted his death—and life—to have meaning. In the weeks before she gave birth to her twin sons in 2010, she arranged to donate Thomas’s organs. Due to his low birth weight, they would go to research rather than transplant. As transplant donors have the opportunity to meet recipients, Sarah wanted to know how Thomas’ donation would be used. That curiosity fueled a scientific odyssey that leads Sarah to some of the most prestigious scientific facilities in the country, including Harvard, Duke, and the University of Pennsylvania. Pulling back the curtain of protocol and confidentiality, she introduces the researchers who received Thomas’s donations, held his liver in their hands, studied his cells under the microscope. Sarah’s journey to find solace and understanding takes her beyond her son’s donations—offering a breathtaking overview of the world of medical research and the valiant scientists on the horizon of discovery. She goes behind the scenes at organ procurement organizations, introducing skilled technicians for whom death means saving lives, empathetic counselors, and the brilliant minds who are finding surprising and inventive ways to treat and cure disease through these donations. She also shares the moving stories of other donor families. A Life Everlasting is an unforgettable testament to hope, a tribute to life and discovery, and a portrait of unsung heroes pushing the boundaries of medical science for the benefit of all humanity.

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    A Life Everlasting by Sarah Gray

    A Life Everlasting

    7.0 hrs • 9/27/16 • Unabridged
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  4. 9.6 hrs • 9/27/2016 • Unabridged

    The official tie-in to the anticipated Nexflix feature film, The Late Bloomer is the funny, revealing, harrowing memoir of a star journalist and hotshot hockey pro who discovers that he is biochemically changing into a woman.On the surface, Ken Baker seemed a model man. He was a nationally ranked hockey goalie; a Hollywood correspondent for People; a guest-lister at celebrity parties; and girls came on to him. Inside, though, he didn't feel like the man he was supposed to be.Ken found that despite being attracted to women, he had little sex drive and even less of a sex life. To his anguish, he repeatedly found himself unable to perform sexually. Regardless of strenuous workouts, his body remained flabby and soft, earning him the nickname "Pear" from his macho teammates. Physically, matters grew even more bizarre when he discovered that he was lactating.The testosterone-driven culture in which Ken grew up made it agonizingly difficult for him to seek help. But in time he discovered something that lifted years of pain, frustration, and confusion: a brain tumor was causing his body to be flooded with massive amounts of a female hormone, which was disabling his masculinity. Five hours of surgery accomplished what years of therapy, rumination, and denail could not -- and allowed Ken Baker to finally feel -- and function -- like a man. Now Ken's story comes to the screen in Fall 2016 in a much-anticipted Netflix feature film, The Late Bloomer, starring Academy Award-winner JK Simmons (Law & Order, Whiplash, Spider-Man) and Jane Lynch (Glee, The 40-Year-Old Virgin).From the Trade Paperback edition.

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    The Late Bloomer

    9.6 hrs • 9/27/16 • Unabridged
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  5. 10.8 hrs • 9/27/2016 • Unabridged

    A moving, inspiring, personal look at the vastly changing world of wildlife on planet earth as a result of human incursion, and the crucial work of animal and bird preservation across the globe being done by scientists, field biologists, zoologists, environmentalists, and conservationists. From a longtime, much-admired activist, impassioned wildlife proponent and conservationist, former chairperson of the National Endowment for the Arts, four time Academy Award nominee, and Tony Award and two-time Emmy Award-winning actress. In Wild Things, Wild Places, Jane Alexander movingly, with a clear eye and a knowing, keen grasp of the issues and on what is being done in conservation and the worlds of science to help the planet's most endangered species to stay alive and thrive, writes of her steady and fervent immersion into the worlds of wildlife conservation, of her coming to know the scientists throughout the world--to her, the prophets in the wilderness--who are steeped in this work, of her travels with them--and on her own--to the most remote and forbidding areas of the world as they try to save many species, including ourselves.From the Hardcover edition.

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    Wild Things, Wild Places

    10.8 hrs • 9/27/16 • Unabridged
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  6. 10.8 hrs • 9/20/2016 • Unabridged

    Hear firsthand from multitudes of people whose lives were influenced, inspired, and even transformed by the compassion, generosity, and leadership of Larry H. Miller. Larry H. Miller played by his own rules. Owner of an NBA franchise and founder of one of the country’s largest automotive retail groups, Larry was a college dropout who went on to buy or build nearly one hundred businesses. While his life as a successful businessman played out in public, his health challenges, as well as his quiet acts of service, were known to very few. Behind the Drive contains ninety-nine uplifting and untold stories from every aspect and era of Larry’s life. Contributors range from NBA legends to religious officials, business moguls to political leaders, employees to childhood friends, and colleagues to competitors. These stories of an ordinary-yet-extraordinary man will inspire listeners to find and live their own greatness by following Larry’s example of working hard at something he loved, applying his God-given talents in service to others, and allowing his life to be guided by something greater than himself. This book is a guide for anyone who wishes to find success in today’s busy world. The stories in Behind the Drive have the power to lift and inspire the next generation of leaders and entrepreneurs, as well as help everyone discover Larry’s formula for success: do work you love, get better at it every day, and serve others.

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    Larry H. Miller: Behind the Drive by Bryan Miller

    Larry H. Miller: Behind the Drive

    Edited by Bryan Miller
    Foreword by Mitt Romney
    10.8 hrs • 9/20/16 • Unabridged
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  7. 0 reviews 0 5 5 5 out of 5 stars 5/5
    7.3 hrs • 9/20/2016 • Unabridged

    The possibly true memoir of the actor, raconteur, gambler, former SNL cast member, and one of the best stand-up comedians of all time As its title suggests, Norm Macdonald tells the story of his life—more or less—from his origins in a rural small town in the-back-of-beyond Canada to an epically disastrous appearance on Star Search, to his possibly incredible account of auditioning for Lorne Michaels and his memorable run as the anchor of Saturday Night Live’s “Weekend Update.” But Based on a True Story is much more than a memoir, it’s a hilarious, inspired, very meta imagining of his life, as told to a deeply disturbed ghost writer whose teetering sanity and bruised ego threaten to take down the entire narrative—and possibly the comic with it. Peppered with classic jokes and long mythologized Hollywood stories, this wildly adventurous, tense, totally original, and absurdly funny memoir turns the conventional “comic’s memoir” on its head and leaves the listener delightfully off kilter.

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    Based on a True Story

    7.3 hrs • 9/20/16 • Unabridged
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  8. 7.2 hrs • 9/20/2016 • Unabridged

    In her poignant and touching memoir, Cookie Johnson, wife of NBA icon Earvin “Magic” Johnson, shares for the first time how her husband’s HIV diagnosis twenty-five years ago sent her life and marriage in a frightening new direction. On November 7, 1991, basketball legend Magic Johnson stunned the world with the news that he was HIV-positive. For the millions who tuned in as he shared his news, Magic’s revelation became a seminal moment for the nation. Now twenty-five years later, Cookie Johnson shares her story and the emotional journey that started on that day—from life as a pregnant and joyous newlywed to one filled with the fear that her husband would die, she and her baby would, too, be infected with the virus, and their family would be shunned. Believing in Magic is far more than Cookie’s account of surviving that trauma; it is the story of her marriage with Earvin and the nearly three decades of loving each other, losing their way, and eventually finding a path they never imagined they’d take.

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    Believing in Magic

    By Cookie Johnson, with Denene Millner
    Read by Robin Miles
    7.2 hrs • 9/20/16 • Unabridged
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  9. 7.5 hrs • 9/20/2016 • Unabridged

    A son’s search for his mother, a feminist pioneer—and a casualty of her time In London, 1965, a brilliant young woman—a prescient advocate for women’s rights—has just gassed herself to death, leaving behind a suicide note, two young sons, and a soon-to-be-published book: The Captive Wife. No one had ever imagined that Hannah Gavron might take her own life. Beautiful, sophisticated, and swept up in the progressive sixties, she was a promising academic and the wife of a rising entrepreneur. But there was another side to Hannah, as Jeremy Gavron reveals in this searching portrait of his mother. Gavron—who was just four when his mother killed herself—attempts to piece her life together from letters, diaries, photos, and the memories of old acquaintances. Ultimately, he not only uncovers Hannah’s struggle to carve out her place in a man’s world; he examines the suffocating constrictions placed on every ambitious woman in the mid-twentieth century.

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    A Woman on the Edge of Time by Jeremy Gavron

    A Woman on the Edge of Time

    7.5 hrs • 9/20/16 • Unabridged
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  10. 9.7 hrs • 9/20/2016 • Unabridged

    Throughout her life, Elizabeth Lesser has sought understanding about what it means to be true to oneself and, at the same time, truly connected to the ones we love. But when her sister Maggie needs a bone marrow transplant to save her life, and Lesser learns that she is the perfect match, she faces a far more immediate and complex question about what it really means to love—honestly, generously, and authentically. Hoping to give Maggie the best chance possible for a successful transplant, the sisters dig deep into the marrow of their relationship to clear a path to unconditional acceptance. They leave the bone marrow transplant up to the doctors, but take on what Lesser calls a “soul marrow transplant,” examining their family history, having difficult conversations, examining old assumptions, and offering forgiveness until all that is left is love for each other’s true selves. Their process—before, during, and after the transplant—encourages them to take risks of authenticity in other aspects their lives. But life does not follow the storylines we plan for it. Maggie’s body is ultimately too weak to fight the relentless illness. As she and Lesser prepare for the inevitable, they grow ever closer as their shared blood cells become a symbol of the enduring bond they share. Told with suspense and humor, Marrow is joyous and heartbreaking, incandescent and profound. The story reveals how even our most difficult experiences can offer unexpected spiritual growth. Reflecting on the multifaceted nature of love—love of other, love of self, love of the world—Marrow is an unflinching and beautiful memoir about getting to the very center of ourselves.

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    Marrow by Elizabeth Lesser

    Marrow

    Introduction read by Elizabeth Lesser
    Read by Sally Field
    9.7 hrs • 9/20/16 • Unabridged
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  11. 9.1 hrs • 9/20/2016 • Unabridged

    An eye-popping peek into entertainment industry from the magnetic force who has worked with an impeccable roster of stars throughout his storied career. In the course of his legendary career as a manager, agent, and producer, Shep Gordon has worked with, and befriended, some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry, from Alice Cooper to Bette Davis, Raquel Welch to Groucho Marx, Blondie to Jimi Hendrix, Sylvester Stallone to Salvador Dali, Luther Vandross to Teddy Pendergrass. He is also credited with inventing the “celebrity chef,” and has worked with Nobu Matsuhisa, Emeril Lagasse, Wolfgang Puck, Roger Vergé, and many others, including his holiness the Dalai Lama. In this wonderfully engaging memoir, the charismatic entertainment legend recalls his life, from his humble beginnings as a “shy, no self-esteem, Jewish nebbisher kid with no ambition” in Oceanside, Long Island, to his unexpected rise as one of the most influential and respected personalities in show business, revered for his kindness, charisma—and fondness for a good time. Gordon shares riotous anecdotes and outrageous accounts of his free-wheeling, globe-trotting experiences with some of the biggest celebrities of the past five decades, including his first meeting with Janice Joplin in 1968, when the raspy singer punched him in the face. Told with incomparable humor and heart, They Call Me Supermensch is a sincere, hilarious behind-the-scenes look at the worlds of music and entertainment from the consummate Hollywood insider.

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    They Call Me Supermensch by Shep Gordon

    They Call Me Supermensch

    9.1 hrs • 9/20/16 • Unabridged
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  12. 10.0 hrs • 9/20/2016 • Unabridged

    The critically acclaimed, bestselling author of Falling through the Earth and Angelology returns with this much-anticipated memoir of love and transformation in France. The Fortress is Peter Mayle meets Eat, Pray, Love, a gorgeously written account of one woman’s journey to the other side of the romantic fairy tale. “If I had been another woman, I might have been skeptical. But I wasn’t another woman. I was a woman ready to be swept away. I was a woman ready for her story to begin. As a writer, story was all that mattered. Rising action, dramatic complication, heroes and villains and dark plots. I believed I was the author of my life, that I controlled the narration.” From their first kiss, twenty-seven-year-old writer Danielle Trussoni is spellbound by a novelist from Bulgaria. The two share a love of jazz and books and travel, passions that intensify their whirlwind romance. Eight years later, hopeful to renew their marriage, Danielle and her husband move to the south of France, to a picturesque medieval village in the Languedoc. It is here, in a haunted stone fortress built by the Knights Templar, that she comes to understand the dark, subterranean forces that have been following her all along. While Danielle and her husband eventually part, Danielle’s time in the fortress brings precious wisdom about life and love that she could not have learned otherwise. Ultimately, she finds the strength to overcome her illusions, and start again. An incisive look at romantic love, The Fortress is one woman’s fight to understand the complexities of her own heart, told by one of the best writers of her generation.

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    The Fortress by Danielle Trussoni

    The Fortress

    10.0 hrs • 9/20/16 • Unabridged
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  13. 11.6 hrs • 9/20/2016 • Unabridged

    A disquieting and meditative look at the biggest food fight of our time from a journalist and mother who learned that genetically modified corn was the culprit behind what was making her and her child sick. A must-read for anyone trying to parse the incendiary discussion about GMOs.GMO products are among the most consumed and the least understood substances in the United States today. They appear not only in the food we eat, but in everything from the interior coating of paper coffee cups and medicines to diapers and toothpaste. We are often completely unaware of their presence.Caitlin Shetterly discovered the importance of GMOs the hard way. Shortly after she learned that her son had an alarming sensitivity to GMO corn, she was told that she had the same condition, and her family’s daily existence changed forever. An expansion of Shetterly’s viral Elle article “The Bad Seed,” Modified delves deep into the heart of the matter—from the cornfields of Nebraska to the beekeeping conventions in Brussels—to shine a light on the people, the science, and the corporations behind the food we serve ourselves and our families every day. Deeper than an exposé, and written by a mother and journalist whose journey had no agenda other than to understand the nuance and confusion behind GMOs, Modified is a rare breed of book that will at once make you weep at the majestic beauty of our Great Plains and force you to harvest deep seeds of doubt about the invisible monsters currently infiltrating our food and our land and threatening our future.

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    Modified

    11.6 hrs • 9/20/16 • Unabridged
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  14. 15.1 hrs • 9/13/2016 • Unabridged

    Mike Love tells the story of his legendary, raucous, and ultimately triumphant five-decade career as the front man of the Beach Boys, the most popular American band in history—timed to coincide with the Fiftieth anniversary of “Good Vibrations.” As a founding member of the Beach Boys, Mike Love has spent an extraordinary fifty-five years and counting as the group’s lead singer and one of its principal lyricists. The Beach Boys, from their California roots to their international fame, are a unique American story—one of overnight success and age-defying longevity; of musical genius and reckless self-destruction; of spirituality, betrayal, and forgiveness—and Love is the only band member to be part of it each and every step. His own story has never been fully told, of how a sheet-metal apprentice became the quintessential front man for America’s most successful rock band, singing in more than 5,600 concerts in twenty-six countries. Love describes the stories behind his lyrics for pop classics such as “Good Vibrations,” “California Girls,” “Surfin’ USA,” and “Kokomo,” while providing vivid portraits of the turbulent lives of his three gifted cousins, Brian, Dennis, and Carl Wilson. His partnership with Brian has few equals in American pop music, though Mike has carved out a legacy of his own—he cowrote the lyrics to eleven of the twelve original Beach Boy songs that were top ten hits while providing the lead vocals on ten of them. The band’s unprecedented durability also provides a glimpse into America’s changing cultural mores over the past half century, while Love himself has experienced both the diabolical and the divine—from Charles Manson’s “family” threatening his life to Maharishi instilling it with peace. A husband, a father, and an avid environmentalist, Love has written a book that is as rich and layered as the Beach Boy harmonies themselves.

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    Good Vibrations

    15.1 hrs • 9/13/16 • Unabridged
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  15. 8.0 hrs • 9/13/2016 • Unabridged

    New York Times bestselling author and living legend Carol Burnett tells the hilarious behind-the-scenes story of the iconic Carol Burnett Show. Only Carol Burnett has the timing, talent, and wit to pull back the curtain on the Emmy Award–winning Carol Burnett Show and share the stories of the guests, skits, and antics that made it legendary. This book is Burnett’s love letter to a golden era in television through the lens of her brilliant show. She skillfully dissects the elements that made the show so successful for eleven lively years—putting the spotlight on everyone from her guest stars to her costars, her celebrated costume designer to her funny cameramen. Written with all the charm, wit, and humor that fans expect from this masterful entertainer, Burnett covers all the topics listeners want to know more about:How the hour-long variety show came to be, in spite of the misgivings of some CBS vice presidents.How she discovered and hired Harvey Korman, Vicki Lawrence, Lyle Waggoner, and Tim Conway.Anecdotes about guest stars, such as: Lucille Ball, Bing Crosby, Betty Grable, Steve Lawrence, Eydie Gorme, James Garner, Gloria Swanson, Rita Hayworth, and Steve Martin.Carol’s favorite skits for the eleven year run. Listeners will feel like they have the best seat in the house as Carol Burnett reminisces about the outrageous tales that made working on the show as much fun as watching it.

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    In Such Good Company

    8.0 hrs • 9/13/16 • Unabridged
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  16. 8.6 hrs • 9/13/2016 • Unabridged

    For an undocumented immigrant, what is the true cost of the American Dream? Julissa Arce shares her story in a riveting memoir. When she was 11 years old Julissa Arce left Mexico and came to the United States on a tourist visa to be reunited with her parents, who dreamed the journey would secure her a better life. When her visa expired at the age of 15, she became an undocumented immigrant. Thus began her underground existence, a decades long game of cat and mouse, tremendous family sacrifice, and fear of exposure. After the Texas Dream Act made a college degree possible, Julissa’s top grades and leadership positions landed her an internship at Goldman Sachs, which led to a full time position—one of the most coveted jobs on Wall Street. Soon she was a Vice President, a rare Hispanic woman in a sea of suits and ties, yet still guarding her “underground” secret. In telling her personal story of separation, grief, and ultimate redemption, Arce shifts the immigrant conversation, and changes the perception of what it means to be an undocumented immigrant.

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    My (Underground) American Dream

    8.6 hrs • 9/13/16 • Unabridged
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