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Biography & Autobiography

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  1. 14.2 hrs • 3/23/2017 • Unabridged

    In January 2006, after the Republic of Liberia had been racked by fourteen years of brutal civil conflict, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf—Africa’s “Iron Lady”—was sworn in as president, an event that marked a tremendous turning point in the history of the West African nation. In this stirring memoir, Sirleaf shares the story of her rise to power, including her early childhood; her experiences with abuse, imprisonment, and exile; and her fight for democracy and social justice. She reveals her determination to succeed in multiple worlds, from her studies in the United States to her work as an international bank executive, to campaigning in some of Liberia’s most desperate and war-torn villages and neighborhoods. It is the tale of an outspoken political and social reformer who fought the oppression of dictators and championed change. By telling her story, Sirleaf encourages women everywhere to pursue leadership roles at the highest levels of power, and gives us all hope that we can change the world.

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    This Child Will Be Great

    14.2 hrs • 3/23/17 • Unabridged
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  2. 10.7 hrs • 3/23/2017 • Unabridged

    El testimonio valiente y vibrante de la única sobreviviente de las Hermanas Mirabal, asesinadas cruelmente por el tirano Rafael Leónidas Trujillo. Dedé Mirabal nos cuenta la verdadera historia de Patria, Minerva y María Teresa y de la férrea lucha de sus hermanas por vivir en libertad y de sus esfuerzos junto a un pueblo oprimido por una sangrienta dictadura.

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    Vivas en su jardín

    10.7 hrs • 3/23/17 • Unabridged
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  3. 10.9 hrs • 3/21/2017 • Unabridged

    From her film debut as the sultry schemer in Body Heat to her award-winning role as Martha in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, actress Kathleen Turner’s unique blend of beauty, intelligence, and raw sexuality has driven her personal and professional life. Now, in this gutsy memoir, the screen icon tells us of the risks she’s taken and the lessons she’s learned—sometimes the hard way. For the first time, Turner shares her childhood challenges—a life lived in countries around the world until her father, a State Department official whom she so admired, died suddenly when she was a teenager. She talks about her twenty year marriage, and why she and her husband recently separated, her close relationship with her daughter, her commitment to service, and how activism in controversial causes has bolstered her beliefs. And Turner reveals the pain and heartbreak of her struggle with rheumatoid arthritis, and how, in spite of it, she made a daring decision: to take a break from the movies and relaunch her stage career. Along the way, Turner describes what it’s like to work with legends like Jack Nicholson, Michael Douglas, William Hurt, Steve Martin, Francis Ford Coppola, John Huston, John Waters, Edward Albee … and, with characteristic irreverent humor, shares her behind-the-screen stories of dealing with all types of creative, intimidating, and inspiring characters. Kathleen Turner has always known that she would play the lead in the story of her life. It’s impossible not to take her lessons on living, love, and leading roles to heart. And it won’t be long until you’ll be sending yourself roses!

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    Send Yourself Roses

    By Kathleen Turner, with Gloria Feldt
    10.9 hrs • 3/21/17 • Unabridged
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  4. 6.0 hrs • 3/21/2017 • Unabridged

    If your funny older sister were the former deputy chief of staff to President Barack Obama, her behind-the-scenes political memoir would look something like this. Who Thought This Was a Good Idea? is an intimate and admiring portrait of a president, a candid book of advice for young women, and a promising debut from a savvy political star.

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    Who Thought This Was a Good Idea?

    By Alyssa Mastromonaco with Lauren Oyler
    6.0 hrs • 3/21/17 • Unabridged
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  5. 6.1 hrs • 3/20/2017 • Unabridged

    In 1997 Tiger Woods was already among the most-watched and closely examined athletes in history. But it wasn’t until the Masters Tournament that his career would definitively change forever. Woods, then only twenty-one, won the Masters by a historic twelve shots, which remains the widest margin of victory in the tournament’s history, making it an iconic moment for him and for sports. Now, twenty years later, Woods is ready to explore his history with the game, how it has changed over the years, and what it was like winning such an important event. With never-before-heard stories, this book will provide keen insight from one of the game’s all-time greats.

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    The 1997 Masters

    By Tiger Woods, with Lorne Rubenstein
    Forward read by Tiger Woods
    6.1 hrs • 3/20/17 • Unabridged
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  6. 10.4 hrs • 3/15/2017 • Unabridged

    En esta memoria sobre una niña, dos culturas y una lucha por la libertad, la periodista Mirta Ojito, ganadora del Premio Pulitzer, vuelve al evento en su adolescencia que cambió su vida para siempre: el éxodo en el 1980 de más de 125.000 cubanos, mejor conocido como el puente marítimo del Mariel. Con perseverancia y mucho corazón, Ojito logra localizar en Cuba y Estados Unidos a los individuos –ya olvidados por la historia– cuyas acciones desencadenaron los sucesos que impactaron su vida y la de otros miles de cubanos a ambos lados del Estrecho de la Florida. Su libro es un relato conmovedor de cómo una niña creció desgarrada entre las críticas contra el gobierno que reinaban en su casa y el arrastre de una revolución que exigía lealtad absoluta. El Mañana ofrece una mirada inolvidable dentro del corazón de una valiente refugiada adolescente.

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    El mañana

    10.4 hrs • 3/15/17 • Unabridged
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  7. 10.9 hrs • 3/14/2017 • Unabridged

    Hida Viloria was raised as a girl but discovered early on that he/r body was different. Unlike most people who are born intersex in the first world—meaning they have genitals, reproductive organs, hormones, and/or chromosomal patterns that do not fit standard definitions of male or female—Hida had the freedom to explore the person s/he was born to be because he/r parents did not agree to have he/r sex characteristics surgically altered at birth. It wasn’t until s/he was twenty-six and encountered the term intersex in a San Francisco newspaper that s/he finally had a name for he/r difference. That’s when s/he began to explore what it means to live in the space between genders—to be both and neither. As s/he began to reach out to others like he/r, however, Hida discovered that most intersex people had been scarred, both physically and psychologically, by infant surgeries and hormone treatments meant to “correct” their bodies. Eager to help end this practice, Hida came out as intersex at a national and then international level. By answering the question “Are you a boy or a girl?” with “I’m both,” Hida’s helped blaze a trail for people—particularly intersex and genderqueer/non-binary people—to celebrate the middle space where male and female are not separate and opposite but entwined. Born Both is an intimate and powerful account of Hida’s search for authentic identity and love in a world that insists on categorizing people into either/or.

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    Born Both

    10.9 hrs • 3/14/17 • Unabridged
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  8. 19.6 hrs • 3/14/2017 • Unabridged

    The first biography of one of the most fascinating, complex, and polarizing legends of cinema’s golden age, Charlton Heston, from the bestselling, prize-winning author of Cary Grant, Walt Disney, and American Rebel. With unforgettable performances such as Moses in The Ten Commandments, the anguished astronaut George Taylor in 1968’s Planet of the Apes, and the eponymous Ben-Hur—for which he won an Academy Award—Charlton Heston cemented his place in the pantheon of twentieth-century Hollywood royalty. But his fame as an actor was matched by his political activism. A democrat in his early years, Heston became a staunch supporter of Richard Nixon and Reagan republicanism. He was also president of the National Rifle Association—an outspoken crusader for gun rights whose incendiary words, “from my cold, dead hands” incensed liberals and became a maxim for Second Amendment supporters. At long last, New York Times bestselling author Marc Eliot tells the story of Heston’s life and six-decade-long career in full detail. Granted exclusive access to Heston’s diaries, letters, and personal estate, Eliot skillfully unfolds the complicated story of this iconic actor, illuminating his greatest achievements as well as his greatest failures and regrets. Eliot examines how a boy from backwoods Michigan became Hollywood’s leading heroic actor—a star who not only battled for the plumiest roles, but to maintain his identity in the dreamscape of Tinseltown. As he lays bare this intriguing figure’s life, Eliot exposes the dirty world of Hollywood mythmaking and Heston’s crucial role in it. Illustrated with never-before-seen photos from the actor’s family, Eliot’s moving, artful, and honest biography pays tribute to this movie legend and reveals not only how Heston’s famous persona came into being, but why. Shedding new light on one of America’s greatest stars, Eliot creates an incisive and compelling portrait for both longtime fans and a generation newly discovering the storied star.

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    Charlton Heston by Marc Eliot

    Charlton Heston

    19.6 hrs • 3/14/17 • Unabridged
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  9. 16.6 hrs • 3/10/2017 • Unabridged

    Anne Sebba, acclaimed for her biography of Mother Teresa, reveals it took an American beauty just three days to land Lord Randolph Churchill. Eight months after the marriage, Lady Jennie bore their son Winston. Using her charms to advance her husband and son, Jennie discreetly seduces 200 or more paramours-including the Prince of Wales.

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    Jennie Churchill: Winston's American Mother

    16.6 hrs • 3/10/17 • Unabridged
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  10. 16.6 hrs • 3/10/2017 • Unabridged

    One of today's most admired and controversial political figures, Ayaan Hirsi Ali burst into international headlines following the murder of Theo van Gogh by an Islamist who threatened that she would be next. She made headlines again when she was stripped of her citizenship and resigned from the Dutch Parliament. Infidel shows the coming of age of this distinguished political superstar and champion of free speech as well as the development of her beliefs, iron will, and extraordinary determination to fight injustice. Raised in a strict Muslim family, Hirsi Ali survived civil war, female mutilation, brutal beatings, adolescence as a devout believer during the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood, and life in four troubled, unstable countries ruled largely by despots. She escaped from a forced marriage and sought asylum in the Netherlands, where she earned a college degree in political science, tried to help her tragically depressed sister adjust to the West, and fought for the rights of Muslim women and the reform of Islam as a member of Parliament. Under constant threat, demonized by reactionary Islamists and politicians, disowned by her father, and expelled from family and clan, she refuses to be silenced. Ultimately a celebration of triumph over adversity, Hirsi Ali's story tells how a bright little girl evolves out of dutiful obedience to become an outspoken, pioneering freedom fighter. As Western governments struggle to balance democratic ideals with religious pressures, no other book could be more timely or more significant.

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    Infidel

    16.6 hrs • 3/10/17 • Unabridged
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  11. 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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  12. 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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  13. 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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  14. 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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  15. 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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  16. 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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