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Biography & Autobiography

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  1. 4.1 hrs • 2/21/2017 • Unabridged

    This famous memoir by John McCorkle is the best published account by a scout who “rode with Quantrill.” John McCorkle was a young Missouri farmer of Southern sympathies. After serving briefly in the pro-Confederate Missouri State Guard, he became a prominent member of William Clarke Quantrill’s infamous guerrillas, who took advantage of the turmoil in the Missouri-Kansas borderland to prey on pro-Union people. McCorkle displayed an unflinchingly violent nature while he participated in raids and engagements including the massacres at Lawrence and Baxter Springs, Kansas, and Centralia, Missouri. In 1865 he followed Quantrill into Kentucky, where the notorious leader was killed and his followers, McCorkle among them, surrendered and were paroled by Union authorities. Early in this century, having returned to farming, McCorkle told his remarkable Civil War experiences to O. S. Barton, a lawyer, who wrote this book, first published in 1914.

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    Three Years with Quantrill by John McCorkle, O. S. Barton

    Three Years with Quantrill

    4.1 hrs • 2/21/17 • Unabridged
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  2. 9.5 hrs • 2/7/2017 • Unabridged

    A gifted and audacious writer confronts her lifelong battle with depression and her search for release This Close to Happy is the rare, vividly personal account of what it feels like to suffer from clinical depression, written from a woman’s perspective and informed by an acute understanding of the implications of this disease over a lifetime. Taking off from essays on depression she has written for the New Yorker and the New York Times Magazine, Daphne Merkin casts her eye back to her beginnings to try to sort out the root causes of her affliction. She recounts the travails of growing up in a large, affluent family where there was a paucity of love and basics such as food and clothing despite the presence of a chauffeur and a cook. She goes on to recount her early hospitalization for depression in poignant detail, as well as her complex relationship with her mercurial, withholding mother. Along the way Merkin also discusses her early, redemptive love of reading and gradual emergence as a writer. She eventually marries, has a child, and suffers severe postpartum depression, for which she is again hospitalized. Merkin also discusses her visits to various therapists and psychopharmocologists, which enables her to probe the causes of depression and its various treatments. The book ends in the present, where the writer has learned how to navigate her depression, if not “cure” it, after a third hospitalization in the wake of her mother’s death.

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    This Close to Happy by Daphne Merkin

    This Close to Happy

    9.5 hrs • 2/7/17 • Unabridged
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  3. 7.5 hrs • 2/7/2017 • Unabridged

    When Glenn Dixon is spurned by love, he packs his bags for Verona, Italy. Once there, he volunteers to answer the thousands of letters that arrive addressed to Juliet—letters sent from lovelorn people all over the world to Juliet’s hometown; people who long to understand the mysteries of the human heart. Glenn’s journey takes him deep into the charming community of Verona, where he becomes involved in unraveling the truth behind Romeo and Juliet. Did these star-crossed lovers actually exist? Why have they remained at the forefront of hearts and minds for centuries? And what can they teach us about love? When Glenn returns home to Canada and resumes his duties as an English teacher, he undertakes a lively reading of Romeo and Juliet with his students, engaging them in passions past and present. But in an intriguing reversal of fate and fortune, his students—along with an old friend—instruct the teacher on the true meaning of love, loss, and moving on. An enthralling tale of modern-day love steeped in the romantic traditions of eras past, this is a memoir that will warm your heart.

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    Juliet’s Answer by Glenn Dixon

    Juliet’s Answer

    7.5 hrs • 2/7/17 • Unabridged
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  4. 10.9 hrs • 1/31/2017 • Unabridged

    Meet Michael Blutrich, a mild-mannered New York lawyer and founder of Scores, the hottest strip club in New York City history. Scores benefited from some unconventional funding: the proceeds of a Florida insurance embezzlement scheme. All Blutrich wanted was to lay low, make the club a success, and put his criminal acts behind him. But then the Mafia decided to make Scores a new home for its own illegal dealings. And just when success was booming to new heights, the FBI came knocking. Scores, with its popular slogan, “Where Sports and Pleasure Come Together,” became wildly popular, in part thanks to Blutrich’s ability to successfully bend the rules of adult entertainment. It was the first club in Manhattan to feature lap dancing by ignoring laws requiring dancers to perform on pedestals and remain six feet away from patrons. He also figured out how to neatly sidestep statutes requiring topless dancers to wear pasties by covering the offending areas of their breasts with latex paint. His formula worked, and Scores grew into the hottest club in Manhattan, frequented by sports superstars, Oscar-winning actors, television icons, Grammy-winning singers, and political notables alike. On any given night, stars such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Howard Stern, and Madonna were among the famous faces in the crowd, and Scores became a favorite of the New York club scene. Unfortunately for Blutrich, it would all soon implode. Scores was located in a neighborhood controlled by the Gambino crime family, and it soon became a hotbed for illicit mob activity, culminating in a double murder that left two of his employees dead. When federal prosecutors started sniffing around for potential crimes at the club, he went from carefree club owner to undercover spy in a heartbeat. To obtain maximum leniency for his own insurance fraud, Blutrich became an unlikely but highly successful undercover FBI informant. By wearing body wires and placing ceiling cameras in his offices, he was eventually credited by the government with more than thirty Mafia convictions, including a crime-family head and associates from multiple international families. For his cooperation, the Department of Justice and the FBI assured him he would avoid any significant jail time. Or that’s how it was supposed to go, at least. Here Michael Blutrich tells it all: recording armed gangsters in the act of committing felonies, repeatedly evading discovery through amazing stealth, living with death threats that included brandished weapons and body searches, revealing long-covered-up celebrity doings, enduring a psychotic break from the imposed pressures, and losing everything in his life in the name of earning redemption.

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    Scores by Michael D. Blutrich

    Scores

    10.9 hrs • 1/31/17 • Unabridged
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  5. 5.7 hrs • 1/24/2017 • Unabridged

    Bill Clinton: a president of contradictions. He was a Rhodes Scholar and a Yale Law School graduate, but he was also a fatherless child from rural Arkansas. He was one of the most talented politicians of his age, but he inspired enmity of such intensity that his opponents would stop at nothing to destroy him. He was the first Democrat since Franklin Roosevelt to win two successive presidential elections, but he was also the first president since Andrew Johnson to be impeached. In this incisive biography of America’s forty-second president, Michael Tomasky examines Clinton’s eight years in office, a time often described as one of peace and prosperity, but in reality a time of social and political upheaval, as the culture wars grew ever more intense amid the rise of the Internet (and with it, online journalism and blogging); military actions in Somalia, Iraq, Bosnia, and Kosovo; standoffs at Waco and Ruby Ridge; domestic terrorism in Oklahoma City; and the rise of al-Qaeda. It was a time when Republicans took control of Congress and a land deal gone bad turned into a constitutional crisis, as lurid details of a sitting president’s sexual activities became the focus of public debate. Tomasky’s clear-eyed assessment of Clinton’s presidency offers a new perspective on what happened, what it all meant, and what aspects continue to define American politics to this day. In many ways, we are still living in the age of Clinton.

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    Bill Clinton by Michael Tomasky

    Bill Clinton

    Edited by Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. and Sean Wilentz
    Read by Paul Heitsch
    5.7 hrs • 1/24/17 • Unabridged
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  6. 4.9 hrs • 1/17/2017 • Unabridged

    A beautiful, heartrending literary memoir about the tragic death of the author’s beloved older sister and a tribute to their bond. When Sheila Kohler was thirty-seven, she received the heart-stopping news that her sister Maxine, only two years older, was killed when her husband drove them off a deserted road in Johannesburg. Stunned by the news, she immediately flew back to the country where she was born, determined to find answers and forced to reckon with his history of violence and the lingering effects of their most unusual childhood—one marked by death and the misguided love of their mother. In her signature spare and incisive prose, Sheila Kohler recounts the lives she and her sister led. Flashing back to their storybook childhood at the family estate, Crossways, Kohler tells of the death of her father when she and Maxine were girls, which led to the family abandoning their house and the girls being raised by their mother, at turns distant and suffocating. We follow them to the cloistered Anglican boarding school where they first learn of separation and later their studies in Rome and Paris where they plan grand lives for themselves—lives that are interrupted when both marry young and discover they have made poor choices. Kohler evokes the bond between sisters and shows how that bond changes but never breaks, even after death.

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    Once We Were Sisters by Sheila Kohler

    Once We Were Sisters

    4.9 hrs • 1/17/17 • Unabridged
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  7. 7.8 hrs • 1/10/2017 • Unabridged

    A story of David and Goliath proportions, how an American hedge fund manager created a unique school in Somaliland whose students, against all odds, have come to achieve success beyond anyone’s wildest dreams Jonathan Starr is not your traditional do-gooder, and in 2009, when he decided to found Abaarso, a secondary school in Somaliland, the choice seemed crazy to even his closest friends. Why, they wondered, would he turn down a life of relative luxury to relocate to an armed compound in a breakaway region of the world’s #1 failed state? To achieve his mission, Starr would have to overcome profound cultural differences, broken promises, and threats to his safety and that of his staff. It Takes a School is the story of how an abstract vision became a transformative reality, as Starr set out to build a school in a place forgotten by the world. It is the story of a skeptical and clan-based society learning to give way to trust. And it is the story of the students themselves, including a boy from a family of nomads who took off on his own in search of an education and a girl who waged a hunger strike in order to convince her strict parents to send her to Abaarso. Abaarso has placed forty graduates and counting in American universities, from Harvard to MIT, and sends Somaliland a clear message: its children can compete with anyone in the world. Now the initial question Starr was asked demands another: “If such a success can happen in an unrecognized breakaway region of Somalia, can it not happen anywhere?”

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    It Takes a School by Jonathan Starr

    It Takes a School

    7.8 hrs • 1/10/17 • Unabridged
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  8. 10.8 hrs • 1/9/2017 • Unabridged

    Back by popular demand, the bestselling Politically Incorrect Guides provide an unvarnished, unapologetic overview of the topics every American needs to know. The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Presidents, Part 1 profiles America’s early presidents, from George Washington to William Howard Taft.

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    The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Presidents, Part 1 by Larry Schweikart
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  9. 0 reviews 0 5 5 5 out of 5 stars 5/5
    7.2 hrs • 1/1/2016 • Unabridged

    Lessons of Redemption is the memoir of Kevin Shird, a former drug dealer from Baltimore who now is a leading advocate against violence, drug dealing, and social inequality. The book is an extraordinary account of how one young man turned his life around after years of involvement in serious crime and drug dealing. Shird tells of shootings, murder, drug dealing, and his life behind bars in a federal prison. Shocking, fascinating, and frightening, Lessons of Redemption is a raw, uncensored look into a way of life that has destroyed many urban communities in America.

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    Lessons of Redemption by Kevin Shird

    Lessons of Redemption

    7.2 hrs • 1/1/17 • Unabridged
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  10. 11.6 hrs • 1/1/2016 • Unabridged

    They were told that the only crime they must never commit was to be caught. Women of enormous cunning and strength of will, the Shadow Warriors’ stories have remained largely untold—until now. In a dramatic tale of espionage and conspiracy in World War II, Shadow Warriors of World War II unveils the history of the courageous women who volunteered to work behind enemy lines. Sent into Nazi-occupied Europe by the United States’ Office of Strategic Services (OSS) and Britain’s Special Operations Executive (SOE), these women helped establish a web of resistance groups across the continent. Their extraordinary heroism, initiative, and resourcefulness contributed to the Allied breakout of the Normandy beachheads and even infiltrated Nazi Germany at the height of the war, into the very heart of Hitler’s citadel—Berlin. Young and daring, the female agents accepted that they could be captured, tortured, or killed, but others were always readied to take their place. So effective did the female agents become in their efforts, the Germans placed a price of a million francs on the heads of operatives who were successfully disrupting their troops.

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    Shadow Warriors of World War II by Gordon Thomas, Greg Lewis

    Shadow Warriors of World War II

    11.6 hrs • 1/1/17 • Unabridged
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  11. 11.3 hrs • 12/6/2016 • Unabridged

    Every memoir of the American Civil War provides us with another view of the catastrophe that changed the country forever. But this is one of the clearest and most informative ever put to paper. As a commander in Stonewall Jackson’s brigade, John Casler experienced all the horrors and comedy of the American Civil War. His time was not so different from his countrymen on the other side, with the exception of point of view. “I was no secessionist, and hoped the trouble would be settled without recourse to arms; but when the war came I shouldered my musket in behalf of my native State and defended her to the last.” Drawn from his diary at the time, Casler recounts his experiences in the ranks, from marches and looting to nail-biting escapades and the monotony of life as a prisoner of war. Four Years in the Stonewall Brigade is a remarkable account of men in war, graphically bringing to light the challenges they faced on a daily basis.

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    Four Years in the Stonewall Brigade by John O. Casler

    Four Years in the Stonewall Brigade

    11.3 hrs • 12/6/16 • Unabridged
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  12. 4.6 hrs • 12/6/2016 • Unabridged

    Michael Landon was an actor, writer, director, and producer. For over three decades, Michael Landon’s creative gifts touched millions of viewers around the world on Bonanza, Little House on the Prairie, Highway to Heaven, and in several other productions. This is the first detailed examination of his work both in front of and behind the camera, including information about every Landon script.

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    Michael Landon by David R. Greenland

    Michael Landon

    4.6 hrs • 12/6/16 • Unabridged
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  13. 9.3 hrs • 12/6/2016 • Unabridged

    It happened on a Sunday night, even though I’d been a good girl and gone to church that morning. One brisk November evening during her senior year at a small midwestern Christian college, two armed intruders broke into the house Ruth Everhart shared with her roommates, held all five girls hostage, and took turns raping them at gunpoint. Reeling with fear, insecurity, and guilt, Ruth believed she was ruined, both physically and in the eyes of God. In the days and weeks that followed, Ruth struggled to come to grips with not only what happened that night but why. The same questions raced through her mind in an unrelenting loop―questions that would continue to haunt her for years to come: Why me? Where was God? Why did God allow this to happen? What am I being punished for? Told with candor and unflinching honesty, Ruined is an extraordinary emotional and spiritual journey that begins with an unspeakable act of violence but ends with tremendous healing and profound spiritual insights about faith, forgiveness, and the will of God.

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    Ruined by Ruth Everhart

    Ruined

    9.3 hrs • 12/6/16 • Unabridged
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  14. 4.0 hrs • 12/6/2016 • Unabridged

    Krissa Palmer celebrates, in her book of essays, being an imperfect parent of three sons. She learns to listen to her own heart and trust that she won’t ruin their lives completely, leaving them with a future of years on a therapist’s couch. Finding her faith and what it means to love unconditionally are part of her journey. And in raising her sons, she heals past hurts from her own childhood. Krissa is determined to not raise “male chauvinist pigs” in our patriarchal society of men who think—in any way, shape, or form—that they are superior to women. Ultimately, Krissa learns just as much from her sons as she had to teach them. Here she shares the wisdom gleaned from being a parent who can admit her own foibles and apologize when she’s wrong.

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    Remember the Bra Lady by Krissa Palmer

    Remember the Bra Lady

    4.0 hrs • 12/6/16 • Unabridged
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  15. 8.4 hrs • 11/15/2016 • Unabridged
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    Daws Butler, Characters Actor by Ben Ohmart, Joe Bevilacqua

    Daws Butler, Characters Actor

    Edited by Lorie Kellogg
    Foreword by Nancy Cartwright
    8.4 hrs • 11/15/16 • Unabridged
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