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Biography & Autobiography

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  1. 11.5 hrs • 3/7/2017 • Unabridged

    A first-hand account of the Ebola epidemic by an American doctor who has been featured on the front page of the New York Times. Dr. Steven Hatch first came to Liberia in November 2013, to work at a hospital in Monrovia. Six months later, several of the physicians Dr. Hatch had mentored and served with were dead or barely clinging to life, and Ebola had become a world health emergency. Hundreds of victims perished each week; whole families were destroyed in a matter of days; so many died so quickly that the culturally taboo practice of cremation had to be instituted to dispose of the bodies. With little help from the international community and a population ravaged by disease and fear, the war-torn African nation was simply unprepared to deal with the catastrophe. A physician’s memoir about the ravages of a terrible disease and the small hospital that fought to contain it, Inferno is also an explanation of the science and biology of Ebola: how it is transmitted and spreads with such ferocity. And as Dr. Hatch notes, while Ebola is temporarily under control, it will inevitably reemerge—as will other plagues, notably the Zika virus, which the World Health Organization has declared a public health emergency. Inferno is a glimpse into the white-hot center of a crisis that will come again.

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    Inferno by Steven Hatch, MD

    Inferno

    11.5 hrs • 3/7/17 • Unabridged
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  2. 6.3 hrs • 3/7/2017 • Unabridged

    Many people dream of escaping modern life, but most will never act on it. This is the remarkable true story of a man who lived alone in the woods of Maine for twenty-seven years, making this dream a reality—not out of anger at the world, but simply because he preferred to live on his own. In 1986, a shy and intelligent twenty-year-old named Christopher Knight left his home in Massachusetts, drove to Maine, and disappeared into the forest. He would not have a conversation with another human being until nearly three decades later, when he was arrested for stealing food. Living in a tent even through brutal winters, he had survived by his wits and courage, developing ingenious ways to store edibles and water and to avoid freezing to death. He broke into nearby cottages for food, clothing, reading material, and other provisions, taking only what he needed but terrifying a community never able to solve the mysterious burglaries. Based on extensive interviews with Knight himself, this is a vividly detailed account of his secluded life—why did he leave? what did he learn?—as well as the challenges he has faced since returning to the world. It is a gripping story of survival that asks fundamental questions about solitude, community, and what makes a good life and a deeply moving portrait of a man who was determined to live his own way—and succeeded.

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    The Stranger in the Woods

    6.3 hrs • 3/7/17 • Unabridged
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  3. 24.9 hrs • 3/7/2017 • Unabridged

    A bracing, indispensable account of America’s epoch-defining involvement in the Great War, rich with fresh insights into the key issues, events, and personalities of the period After years of bitter debate, the United States declared war on Imperial Germany on April 6, 1917, plunging the country into the savage European conflict that would redraw the map of the continent—and the globe. The World Remade is an engrossing chronicle of America’s pivotal, still controversial intervention into World War I, encompassing the tumultuous politics and towering historical figures that defined the era and forged the future. When it declared war, the United States was the youngest of the major powers and militarily the weakest by far. On November 11, 1918, when the fighting stopped, it was not only the richest country on earth but the mightiest. With the mercurial, autocratic President Woodrow Wilson as a primary focus, G. J. Meyer takes readers from the heated deliberations over U.S. involvement, through the provocations and manipulations that drew us into the fight, to the battlefield itself and the shattering aftermath of the struggle. America’s entry into the Great War helped make possible the defeat of Germany that had eluded Britain, France, Russia, and Italy in three and a half years of horrendous carnage. Victory, in turn, led to a peace treaty so ill-conceived, so vindictive, that the world was put on the road to an even bloodier confrontation a mere twenty years later. On the home front, Meyer recounts the break-up of traditional class structures, the rise of the progressive and labor movements, the wave of anti-German hysteria, and the explosive expansion of both the economy and federal power, including shocking suspensions of constitutional protections that planted the seeds of today’s national security state. Here also are revealing portraits of Theodore Roosevelt, Henry Cabot Lodge, Robert La Follette, Eugene Debs, and John J. “Black Jack” Pershing, among others, as well as European leaders such as “Welsh Wizard” David Lloyd George of Britain, “Tiger” Georges Clemenceau of France, and Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany. Meyer interweaves the many strands of his story into a gripping narrative that casts new light on one of the darkest, most forgotten corners of U.S. history. In the grand tradition of his earlier work A World Undone—which centered on the European perspective—The World Remade adds a new, uniquely American dimension to our understanding of the seminal conflict of the twentieth century. Praise for G. J. Meyer’s A World Undone “[Meyer] blends ‘foreground, background, and sidelights’ to highlight the complex interactions of apparently unconnected events behind the four-year catastrophic war that destroyed a world and defined a century.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)   “Thundering, magnificent . . . a book of true greatness that prompts moments of sheer joy and pleasure . . . It will earn generations of admirers.”—The Washington Times “With a historian’s eye for clearheaded analysis and a storyteller’s talent for detail and narrative, G. J. Meyer presents a compelling account of the blunders that produced the world’s first ‘great war’ and set the stage for many of the tragic events that followed.”—Steve Gillon, resident historian, The History Channel “This is one of those books where you read every page. . . . [A World Undone] has the very best qualities for this kind of comprehensive approach: a gift for compression and an eye for the telling detail.”—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel From the Hardcover edition.

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    The World Remade

    24.9 hrs • 3/7/17 • Unabridged
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  4. 5.5 hrs • 3/7/2017 • Unabridged

    The playful, epic adventure of a 160-pound English Mastiff and the twentysomething girl who grew up alongside her—Marley & Me for a whole new generation.Lauren Watt took her 160-pound English Mastiff to college—so of course after graduation, Gizelle followed Lauren to her first, tiny apartment in New York. Because Gizelle wasn’t just a dog; she was a roommate, sister, confidante, dining companion, and everything in between. Together, Gizelle and Lauren went through boyfriends, first jobs, a mother’s struggle with addiction, and the ups and downs of becoming an adult in the big city. But when Gizelle got sick and Lauren realized her best friend might not be such a constant after all, she designed an epic bucket list to make the absolute most of the time they had left. Bursting with charm, this unique, coming-of-age story of a girl making her way through life is a testament to the special way pets inspire us to live better, love better, and appreciate the simple pleasures. Gizelle’s Bucket List is the humorous, poignant lesson our pets teach us: to embrace adventure, love unconditionally, and grow into the people we want to be.

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    Gizelle's Bucket List

    by Lauren Watt and Lauren Fern Watt
    5.5 hrs • 3/7/17 • Unabridged
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  5. 6.8 hrs • 3/7/2017 • Unabridged

    With raw honesty and a poignant perspective on life that only comes from starting at rock bottom, The Big Fix tells her story of transformation from homeless heroin addict to stable mother of three—and the hard work and hard lessons that got her there. Rather than dwelling on the pain of addiction, Tracey focuses on her journey of recovery and rebuilding her life, while exposing the failings of the American rehab system and laying out a path for change. Starting with the first step in her recovery, Tracey relearns how to interact with men, build new friendships, handle money, and rekindle her relationship with her mother, all while staying sober, sharp, and dedicated to her future. A decidedly female story of addiction, The Big Fix describes the unique challenges faced by women caught in the grip of substance abuse, such as the toxic connection between drug addiction and prostitution. Tracey’s story of hope, hard work, and rehabilitation will inspire anyone who has been affected by substance abuse while offering hope for a better future.

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    The Big Fix

    6.8 hrs • 3/7/17 • Unabridged
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  6. 14.2 hrs • 3/7/2017 • Unabridged

    With heart-pounding descriptions of avalanches and treacherous ascents, Barry Blanchard chronicles his transformation from a poor Native American/white kid from the wrong side of the tracks to one of the most respected alpinists in the world. At thirteen, he learned to rappel when he joined the 1292 Lord Strathcone’s Horse Army Cadets. Soon kicked out for insubordination, he was already hooked on climbing and saw alpinism as a way to make his single mother proud and end his family’s cycle of poverty. He describes early climbs attempted with nothing to guide him but written trail descriptions and the cajones of youth. He slowly acquires the skills, equipment and partners necessary to tackle more and more difficult climbs, farther and farther afield: throughout the Canadian Rockies, into Alaska and the French Alps and on to Everest, Peru, and the challenging mountains in Pakistan. From each he learns lessons that only nature and extreme endeavor can teach. This is the story of the culture of climbing in the days of punk rock, spurred on by the rhythm of adrenaline and the arrogance of youth. It is also a portrait of the power of the mountains to lift us – physically, emotionally, intellectually,

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    The Calling

    14.2 hrs • 3/7/17 • Unabridged
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  7. 13.3 hrs • 3/7/2017 • Unabridged

    Keggie Carew grew up in the gravitational field of an unorthodox father who lived on his wits and dazzling charm. For most of her adult life, Keggie was kept at arm’s length from her father’s personal history, but when she is invited to join him for the sixtieth anniversary of the Jedburghs—an elite special operations unit that was the first collaboration between the American and British Secret Services during World War II—a new door opens in their relationship. As dementia stakes a claim over his memory, Keggie embarks on a quest to unravel her father’s story, and soon finds herself in a far more consuming place than she had bargained for. Tom Carew was a maverick, a left-handed stutterer, a law unto himself. As a Jedburgh he was parachuted behind enemy lines to raise guerrilla resistance first against the Germans in France, then against the Japanese in Southeast Asia, where he won the moniker “Lawrence of Burma.” But his wartime exploits are only the beginning. Part family memoir, part energetic military history, Dadlandtakes us on a spellbinding journey, in peace and war, into surprising and shady corners of twentieth-century politics, her rackety English childhood, the poignant breakdown of her family, the corridors of dementia and beyond. As Keggie pieces her father—and herself—back together again, she celebrates the technicolor life of an impossible, irresistible, unstoppable man.

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    Dadland

    13.3 hrs • 3/7/17 • Unabridged
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  8. 6.8 hrs • 3/7/2017 • Unabridged

    Expert motivator, a fitness virtuoso and a self-empowerment guru Stacey Griffith, SoulCycle Senior Master Instructor, shows you how to take your health and fitness to new levels while using that same energy to boost your emotional and spiritual wellbeing in all aspects of your life. In Two Turns From Zero, Stacey Griffith, one of the iconic faces of the wildly popular SoulCycle, has helped thousands reshape their bodies, while also becoming their best selves—physically, mentally, and emotionally. Stacey firmly believes that every one of us can be an athlete. Focusing on four key concepts—Eat, Love, Train, and Repeat—this is her life handbook that provides a blueprint for feeling healthy, happy, and empowered. Stacey offers conditioning advice, nutrition counseling, visualizations for achieving your goals, and moving meditations for staying centered. Most important, she shows you how to locate your greatest sense of purpose that will take you to the highest levels of performance—and sustain you to weather life’s inevitable challenges. Two Turns from Zero is also Stacey’s personal story—a chronicle of endurance that is as motivating as her workout routine. At one time, Stacey was directionless and, by her own account, an overall unsuccessful human being. But she finally realized she wanted more from life—she needed to find meaning. Giving up alcohol, drugs, and partying, she dedicated her life to fitness—a journey of discovery she uses in her book to motivate others to make the most of their own lives. This gifted instructor is beloved for her ability to inspire and push her students to achieve their ultimate center. In Two Turns from Zero, she shows how we can all achieve our personal peak.

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    Two Turns from Zero by Stacey Griffith

    Two Turns from Zero

    6.8 hrs • 3/7/17 • Unabridged
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  9. 2.9 hrs • 3/7/2017 • Unabridged

    From the bestselling author of the National Book Award-winningThe Year of Magical Thinking: two extended excerpts from her never-before-seen notebooks—writings that offer an illuminating glimpse into the mind and process of a legendary writer. Joan Didion has always kept notebooks: of overheard dialogue, observations, interviews, drafts of essays and articles—and here is one such draft that traces a road trip she took with her husband, John Gregory Dunne, in June 1970, through Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. She interviews prominent local figures, describes motels, diners, a deserted reptile farm, a visit with Walker Percy, a ladies’ brunch at the Mississippi Broadcasters’ Convention. She writes about the stifling heat, the almost viscous pace of life, the sulfurous light, and the preoccupation with race, class, and heritage she finds in the small towns they pass through. And from a different notebook: the “California Notes” that began as an assignment from Rolling Stone on the Patty Hearst trial of 1976. Though Didion never wrote the piece, watching the trial and being in San Francisco triggered thoughts about the city, its social hierarchy, the Hearsts, and her own upbringing in Sacramento. Here, too, is the beginning of her thinking about the West, its landscape, the western women who were heroic for her, and her own lineage, all of which would appear later in her acclaimed 2003 book, Where I Was From. One of TIME’s most anticipated books of 2017 One of The New York Times Book Review’s “What You’ll Be Reading in 2017”

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    South and West

    Foreword written and read by Nathaniel Rich
    2.9 hrs • 3/7/17 • Unabridged
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  10. 12.8 hrs • 3/7/2017 • Unabridged

    The harrowing, but triumphant story of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, leader of the Liberian women’s movement, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, and the first democratically elected female president in African history.When Ellen Johnson Sirleaf won the 2005 Liberian presidential election, she demolished a barrier few thought possible, obliterating centuries of patriarchal rule to become the first female elected head of state in Africa’s history. Madame President is the inspiring, often heartbreaking story of Sirleaf’s evolution from an ordinary Liberian mother of four boys to international banking executive, from a victim of domestic violence to a political icon, from a post-war president to a Nobel Peace Prize winner. Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and bestselling author Helene Cooper deftly weaves Sirleaf’s personal story into the larger narrative of the coming of age of Liberian women. The highs and lows of Sirleaf’s life are filled with indelible images; from imprisonment in a jail cell for standing up to Liberia’s military government to addressing the United States Congress, from reeling under the onslaught of the Ebola pandemic to signing a deal with Hillary Clinton when she was still Secretary of State that enshrined American support for Liberia’s future. Sirleaf’s personality shines throughout this riveting biography. Ultimately, Madame President is the story of Liberia’s greatest daughter, and the universal lessons we can all learn from this “Oracle” of African women.

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    Madame President

    12.8 hrs • 3/7/17 • Unabridged
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  11. 11.2 hrs • 3/7/2017

    Say the word “Israel” today and it sparks images of walls and rockets and a bloody conflict without end. Yet for decades, the symbol of the Jewish State was the noble pioneer draining the swamps and making the deserts bloom: the legendary kibbutznik. So what ever happened to the pioneers’ dream of founding a socialist utopia in the land called Palestine? Chasing Utopia: The Future of the Kibbutz in a Divided Israel draws readers into the quest for answers to the defining political conflict of our era. Acclaimed author David Leach revisits his raucous memories of life as a kibbutz volunteer and returns to meet a new generation of Jewish and Arab citizens struggling to forge a better future together. Crisscrossing the nation, Leach chronicles the controversial decline of Israel’s kibbutz movement and witnesses a renaissance of the original vision for a peaceable utopia in unexpected corners of the Promised Land. Chasing Utopia is an entertaining and enlightening portrait of a divided nation where hope persists against the odds.

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    Chasing Utopia

    11.2 hrs • 3/7/17
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  12. 5.0 hrs • 3/7/2017 • Unabridged

    Leah Carroll lives in Brooklyn, NY. She graduated from Emerson College, received an MFA in Fiction from the University of Florida, and was a Dean’s Fellow in the Columbia University Graduate Writing Program. She is the recipient of fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts and the MacDowell Colony. Her work has been published in the New York Times, the Atlantic, New York magazine, Maxim, Interview, and Guernica. She was one of the founding staff writers at Café.com.

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    Down City

    5.0 hrs • 3/7/17 • Unabridged
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  13. 8.4 hrs • 3/2/2017 • Unabridged

    This is an Almost True Irish Story. Murphy was a child of the newly emerging 1950’s Irish middle class. He was raised in the environment of a conflicted marriage that never should have happened. While his privileged upbringing seemed idyllic to the outside world, his reality was starkly different. Life at home was always turbulent; he never knew what daily chaos would erupt. His thirteen-year Jesuit education was academically excellent. But it also resulted in a childhood love of God being beaten out of him, while confirming his condemnation to burn forever in hell. Murphy was unsettled by the rigid Irish class system where social status predetermined one’s future, thereby condemning innocent children and adults to the inevitability of an impoverished life. Signs of his destruction from alcohol were evident in his early teens. He became a meteor raging through the lives of those who loved him and many who didn’t. This Irish memoir of an Irish Catholic childhood begins in Limerick, Ireland, and takes us on a personal journey complete with the challenges of Catholic schooling, the confusion of adolescence within a culture that condemned even the thought of anything carnal, the allure of omnipresent alcohol, and the desperate need to escape the misery so bound up in strong family ties that escape was near impossible. Told with forgiveness and humor and compassion for the innocent child who turned rebellious and self-destructive and learned most lessons the hard way, “The Longfellah’s Son by Michael Cassidy is the new Angela's Ashes, only about a better-off Irish son who blows his privileges, in a funny, fast-paced nakedy honest memoir. The writing is superb!” - Adair Lara, National best-selling author of Hold Me Close, Let Me Go and Naked, Drunk, and Writing "Rarely have I come across a more powerful record of the debilitating effect of sustained drunkenness on the physical, mental, and moral health of a human being. In its searing portrait of the dead-eyed, relentless, self-gratification that drives addictive behavior, few such memoirs compare with the brutal impact of The Longfellah’s Son: An Almost True Irish Story by Michael Cassidy." - James W. Flannery, W.B. Yeats Scholar, Critic, Winship Professor Emeritus of the Arts and Humanities, Emory University Atlanta, GA “Cassidy writes as only the Irish can, entwining lyrical beauty with brutal honesty. Young Murphy, born into a wealthy Limerick family, at first sees the world and its inequities through a puzzled child's innocent eyes. Then we watch as he grows into a rebellious and sometimes lost young man. For me, The Longfellah's Son is a true visit to Ireland allowing the reader to experience both this beautiful country's magic and the pain, regardless of one's social strata.” - Jil Plummer, Author of Caravan to Armageddon, Amber Dust, and Remember to Remember

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  14. 14.4 hrs • 3/1/2017 • Unabridged

    George was a soldier, a consummate politician, a husband, and a man whom Jefferson and Madison believed was their intellectual superior. Hear this brilliant biography of our very human first president by the author of Founding Brothers. Audie Award

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    His Excellency

    14.4 hrs • 3/1/17 • Unabridged
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  15. 6.8 hrs • 3/1/2017 • Unabridged

    Adrienne Martini is an award-winning freelance writer. In her candid memoir Hillbilly Gothic, she offers a glimpse at mental illness from a personal perspective, and reveals how the women of her Appalachian family invariably suffer postpartum depression. After the birth of her first child, Adrienne found herself spiraling toward a breakdown that led to her eventual institutionalization.

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    Hillbilly Gothic

    6.8 hrs • 3/1/17 • Unabridged
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  16. 6.0 hrs • 2/28/2017 • Unabridged

    A candid memoir by folk legend Judy Collins of her lifelong struggle with compulsive overeating and the spiritual solution that saved her. Since childhood, Judy Collins has been preoccupied, haunted, seduced, and taunted by food, a problem that nearly cost her her career and her life. For decades she thought her food issues were moral issues—lack of self-will, lack of discipline—and she worked hard at controlling what she thought of as her shameful inclinations, employing measures that led to serious health complications. Today she knows she was born with an addiction to sugar and grains, flour and wheat. The discovery of a solution to her problem prompted the desire to share what she has learned, which has brought her peace of mind, a clean food plan, years of maintaining the same weight, and a glow of joy and health. Alternating between chapters on her life and those of the many diet gurus she has come to know (from Lord Byron to Atkins, Jean Nidetch of Weight Watchers, and Andrew Weil), Cravings is the story of the mountains Collins has climbed and the monsters she has encountered on the path to recovery.

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    Cravings

    6.0 hrs • 2/28/17 • Unabridged
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