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  1. 10.0 hrs • 9/27/2016 • Unabridged

    From the acclaimed author of The Information and Chaos, a mind-bending exploration of time travel: its subversive origins, its evolution in literature and science, and its influence on our understanding of time itself. Gleick’s story begins at the turn of the twentieth century with the young H. G. Wells writing and rewriting the fantastic tale that became his first book, an international sensation, The Time Machine. A host of forces were converging to transmute the human understanding of time, some philosophical and some technological—the electric telegraph, the steam railroad, the discovery of buried civilizations, and the perfection of clocks. James Gleick tracks the evolution of time travel as an idea in the culture—from Marcel Proust to Doctor Who, from Woody Allen to Jorge Luis Borges. He explores the inevitable looping paradoxes and examines the porous boundary between pulp fiction and modern physics. Finally, he delves into a temporal shift that is unsettling our own moment: the instantaneous wired world, with its all-consuming present and vanishing future.

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    Time Travel

    10.0 hrs • 9/27/16 • Unabridged
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  2. 7.6 hrs • 9/20/2016 • Unabridged

    She’s everywhere once you start looking for her: the trainwreck.  She’s Britney Spears shaving her head, Whitney Houston saying, “crack is whack,” and Amy Winehouse, dying in front of millions. But the trainwreck is also as old (and as meaningful) as feminism itself. From Mary Wollstonecraft—who, for decades after her death, was more famous for her illegitimate child and suicide attempts than for A Vindication of the Rights of Woman—to Charlotte Brontë, Billie Holiday, Sylvia Plath, and even Hillary Clinton, Sady Doyle’s Trainwreck dissects a centuries-old phenomenon and asks what it means now, in a time when we have unprecedented access to celebrities and civilians alike, and when women are pushing harder than ever against the boundaries of what it means to “behave.” Where did these women come from? What are their crimes? And what does it mean for the rest of us? For an age when any form of self-expression can be the one that ends you, Sady Doyle’s audiobook is as fierce and intelligent as it is funny and compassionate—an essential, timely, feminist anatomy of the female trainwreck.

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    Trainwreck

    7.6 hrs • 9/20/16 • Unabridged
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  3. 7.6 hrs • 9/20/2016 • Unabridged

    We live in the age of speed. We strain to be more efficient, to cram more into each minute, each hour, each day. Since the Industrial Revolution shifted the world into high gear, the cult of speed has pushed us to a breaking point. Consider these facts: Americans on average spend seventy-two minutes of every day behind the wheel of a car, a typical business executive now loses sixty-eight hours a year to being put on hold, and American adults currently devote on average a mere half hour per week to making love. Living on the edge of exhaustion, we are constantly reminded by our bodies and minds that the pace of life is spinning out of control. In Praise of Slowness traces the history of our increasingly breathless relationship with time and tackles the consequences of living in this accelerated culture of our own creation. Why are we always in such a rush? What is the cure for time sickness? Is it possible, or even desirable, to slow down? Realizing the price we pay for unrelenting speed, people all over the world are reclaiming their time and slowing down the pace — and living happier, healthier, and more productive lives as a result. A Slow revolution is taking place. Here you will find no Luddite calls to overthrow technology and seek a preindustrial utopia. This is a modern revolution, championed by cell-phone using, e-mailing lovers of sanity. The Slow philosophy can be summed up in a single word—balance. People are discovering energy and efficiency where they may have been least expected—in slowing down. In Praise of Slowness is the first comprehensive look at the worldwide Slow movements making their way into the mainstream—in offices, factories, neighborhoods, kitchens, hospitals, concert halls, bedrooms, gyms, and schools. Defining a movement that is here to stay, this spirited manifesto will make you completely rethink your relationship with time.

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    In Praise of Slowness

    7.6 hrs • 9/20/16 • Unabridged
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  4. 15.3 hrs • 9/13/2016 • Unabridged

    A monumental, revealing narrative history about the legendary group of artists at the forefront of West Coast hip-hop: Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, Snoop Dogg, and Tupac Shakur. Amid rising gang violence, the crack epidemic, and police brutality, a group of unlikely voices cut through the chaos of late 1980s Los Angeles: NWA, led by a drug dealer, a glammed-up producer, and a high school kid—they gave voice to disenfranchised African Americans across the country. And they quickly redefined pop culture across the world. Their names remain as popular as ever—Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, and Ice Cube. Dre soon joined forces with Suge Knight to create the combustible Death Row Records, which in turn transformed Snoop Dogg and Tupac Shakur into superstars. Ben Westhoff explores how this group of artists shifted the balance of hip-hop from New York to Los Angeles. He shows how NWA’s shocking success lead to rivalries between members, record labels, and eventually a war between East Coast and West Coast factions. In the process, hip-hop burst into mainstream America at a time of immense social change, and became the most dominant musical movement of the last thirty years. At gangsta rap’s peak, two of its biggest names—Tupac and Biggie Smalls—were murdered, leaving the surviving artists to forge peace before the genre annihilated itself. Featuring extensive investigative reporting, interviews with the principal players, and dozens of never-before-told stories, Original Gangstas is a groundbreaking addition to the history of popular music.

    Available Formats: Download, CD

    Original Gangstas

    15.3 hrs • 9/13/16 • Unabridged
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    Also: CD
  5. 9/13/2016 • Unabridged

    For ten years, Calvin and Hobbes was one the world’s most beloved comic strips. And then, on the last day of 1995, the strip ended. Its mercurial and reclusive creator, Bill Watterson, not only finished the strip but withdrew entirely from public life. In this fascinating story, Nevin Martell sets out on a very personal odyssey to understand the life and career of the intensely private man behind Calvin and Hobbes. Martell talks to a wide range of artists and writers, including Dave Barry, Harvey Pekar, and Brad Bird, as well as some of Watterson’s closest friends and professional colleagues. Along the way Martell reflects upon the nature of his own fandom and on the extraordinary legacy that Watterson left behind. This is as close as we’re ever likely to get to one of America’s most ingenious and intriguing figures.

    Available Formats: CD, MP3 CD
    CD
    Also: MP3 CD
  6. 4.4 hrs • 8/9/2016 • Unabridged

    Matthew Santoro’s originality and humor has attracted millions of fans, making him a beloved YouTube star. His weekly videos on amazing and little-known facts are eagerly anticipated by his many subscribers and followers around the world. In his first-ever book, Matthew’s love of weird and wacky knowledge explodes with new facts and stories from around the planet, and beyond. Surprising, and always entertaining, Mind = Blown offers even more of Matthew’s unique take on this hilarious, crazy world: The most ridiculous laws from past and presentCrazy doppelgangers of people, places, and unexpected thingsHistorical wizards who actually livedReal-life animal avengersAnd a special section: Japan Blows My Mind! From shin-kicking competitions and beer pong-playing robots, to enormous fire-balls shooting through space, you won’t believe what you’ll discover in Mind = Blown. But beware: there is too much astounding trivia for any one mind to contain!

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    Mind = Blown

    4.4 hrs • 8/9/16 • Unabridged
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  7. 6.0 hrs • 7/8/2016 • Unabridged

    Maverick author Hunter S. Thompson introduced the world to “gonzo journalism” with this cult classic that shot back up the best-seller lists after Thompson’s suicide in 2005. No book ever written has more perfectly captured the spirit of the 1960s counterculture. In Las Vegas to cover a motorcycle race, Raoul Duke (Thompson) and his attorney Dr. Gonzo (inspired by a friend of Thompson) are quickly diverted to search for the American dream. Their quest is fueled by nearly every drug imaginable and quickly becomes a surreal experience that blurs the line between reality and fantasy. But there is more to this hilarious tale than reckless behavior—for underneath the hallucinogenic facade is a stinging criticism of American greed and consumerism.

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    Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

    6.0 hrs • 7/8/16 • Unabridged
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  8. 8.9 hrs • 6/14/2016 • Unabridged

    A delightful journey through the psychology and science of music, Why You Love Music is the perfect book for anyone who loves a tune. Music plays a hugely important role in our emotional, intellectual, and even physical lives. It impacts the ways we work, relax, behave, and feel. It can make us smile or cry, it helps us bond with the people around us, and it even has the power to alleviate a range of medical conditions. The songs you love (and hate, and even the ones you feel pretty neutral about) don’t just make up the soundtrack to your life—they actually help to shape it. In Why You Love Music, scientist and musician John Powell dives deep into decades of psychological and sociological studies in order to answer the question “Why does music affect us so profoundly?” With his relaxed, conversational style, Powell explores all aspects of music psychology, from how music helps babies bond with their mothers to the ways in which music can change the taste of wine or persuade you to spend more in restaurants. Why You Love Music will open your eyes (and ears) to the astounding variety of ways that music impacts the human experience.

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    Why You Love Music

    8.9 hrs • 6/14/16 • Unabridged
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  9. 10.1 hrs • 6/7/2016 • Unabridged

    We live in a culture of casual certitude. This has always been the case, no matter how often that certainty has failed. Though no generation believes there’s nothing left to learn, every generation unconsciously assumes that what has already been defined and accepted is (probably) pretty close to how reality will be viewed in perpetuity. And then, of course, time passes. Ideas shift. Opinions invert. What once seemed reasonable eventually becomes absurd, replaced by modern perspectives that feel even more irrefutable and secure—until, of course, they don’t. But What If We’re Wrong? visualizes the contemporary world as it will appear to those who’ll perceive it as the distant past. Chuck Klosterman asks questions that are profound in their simplicity: How certain are we about our understanding of gravity? How certain are we about our understanding of time? What will be the defining memory of rock music, five hundred years from today? How seriously should we view the content of our dreams? How seriously should we view the content of television? Are all sports destined for extinction? Is it possible that the greatest artist of our era is currently unknown (or—weirder still—widely known, but entirely disrespected)? Is it possible that we “overrate” democracy? And perhaps most disturbing, is it possible that we’ve reached the end of knowledge? Kinetically slingshotting through a broad spectrum of objective and subjective problems, But What If We’re Wrong? is built on interviews with a variety of creative thinkers—George Saunders, David Byrne, Jonathan Lethem, Kathryn Schulz, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Brian Greene, Junot Díaz, Amanda Petrusich, Ryan Adams, Nick Bostrom, Dan Carlin, and Richard Linklater, among others—interwoven with the type of high-wire humor and nontraditional analysis only Klosterman would dare to attempt. It’s a seemingly impossible achievement: a book about the things we cannot know, explained as if we did. It’s about how we live now, once “now” has become “then.”

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    But What If We’re Wrong?

    10.1 hrs • 6/7/16 • Unabridged
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  10. 5.7 hrs • 5/31/2016 • Unabridged

    A deeply original celebration of George Lucas’ masterpiece as it relates to history, presidential politics, law, economics, fatherhood, and culture by Harvard legal scholar and former White House adviser. There’s Santa Claus, Shakespeare, Mickey Mouse, the Bible, and then there’s Star Wars. Nothing quite compares to sitting with down with a young child and hearing the sound of John Williams’ score as those beloved golden letters fill the screen. In this fun, erudite, and often moving book, Cass R. Sunstein explores the lessons of Star Wars as they relate to childhood, fathers, the Dark Side, rebellion, and redemption. As it turns out, Star Wars also has a lot to teach us about constitutional law, economics, and political uprisings. In rich detail, Sunstein tells the story of the films’ wildly unanticipated success and what it has to say about why some things succeed while others fail. Ultimately, Sunstein argues, Star Wars is about the freedom of choice and our never-ending ability to make the right decision when the chips are down. Written with buoyant prose and considerable heart, The World According to Star Wars shines new light on the most beloved story of our time.

    Available Formats: Download, CD, MP3 CD
    The World according to Star Wars by Cass R. Sunstein

    The World according to Star Wars

    5.7 hrs • 5/31/16 • Unabridged
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    Also: CD, MP3 CD
  11. 4.7 hrs • 5/31/2016 • Unabridged

    Unlikely pig owners Steve and Derek got a whole lot more than they bargained for when the designer micro piglet they adopted turned out to be a full-sized 600-pound sow! In the bestselling tradition of pet memoirs such as Oogy, Dewey, and Giant George, Esther the Wonder Pig the story of shows how families really do come in all shapes and sizes. In the summer of 2012, Steve Jenkins was contacted by an old friend about adopting a micro piglet. Though he knew his partner Derek wouldn’t be enthusiastic, he agreed to take the adorable little pig anyway, thinking he could care for her himself. Little did he know, that decision would change his and Derek’s lives forever. It turned out there was nothing “micro” about Esther, and Steve and Derek had actually signed on to raise a full-sized commercial pig. Within three years, Tiny Esther grew to a whopping 600 pounds. After some real growing pains and a lot of pig-sized messes, it became clear that Esther needed much more space, so Steve and Derek made another life-changing decision: they bought a farm and opened the Happily Ever Esther Farm Sanctuary, where they could care for Esther and other animals in need. Funny, heartwarming, and utterly charming, Esther the Wonder Pig follows Steve and Derek’s adventure—from reluctant pig parents to farm-owning advocates for animals.

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    Esther the Wonder Pig

    4.7 hrs • 5/31/16 • Unabridged
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  12. 7.8 hrs • 5/17/2016 • Unabridged

    Music critic Steven Hyden explores nineteen music rivalries and what they say about life Beatles vs. Stones. Biggie vs. Tupac. Kanye vs. Taylor. Who do you choose? And what does that say about you? Actually--what do these endlessly argued-about pop music rivalries say about us? Music opinions bring out passionate debate in people, and Steven Hyden knows that firsthand. Each chapter in YOUR FAVORITE BAND IS KILLING ME focuses on a pop music rivalry, from the classic to the very recent, and draws connections to the larger forces surrounding the pairing. Through Hendrix vs. Clapton, Hyden explores burning out and fading away, while his take on Miley vs. Sinead gives readers a glimpse into the perennial battle between old and young. Funny and accessible, Hyden's writing combines cultural criticism, personal anecdotes, and music history--and just may prompt you to give your least favorite band another chance.

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    Your Favorite Band Is Killing Me

    7.8 hrs • 5/17/16 • Unabridged
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  13. 4.6 hrs • 5/17/2016 • Unabridged

    A revolutionary and timely reconsideration of everything we know about power. Celebrated UC Berkeley psychologist Dr. Dacher Keltner argues that compassion and selflessness enable us to have the most influence over others and the result is power as a force for good in the world.It is taken for granted that power corrupts. This is reinforced culturally by everything from Machiavelli to contemporary politics. But how do we get power? And how does it change our behavior? So often, in spite of our best intentions, we lose our hard-won power. Enduring power comes from empathy and giving. Above all, power is given to us by other people. This is what all-too-often we forget, and what Dr. Keltner sets straight. This is the crux of the power paradox: by fundamentally misunderstanding the behaviors that helped us to gain power in the first place we set ourselves up to fall from power. We can't retain power because we've never understood it correctly, until now. Power isn't the capacity to act in cruel and uncaring ways; it is the ability to do good for others, expressed in daily life, and itself a good a thing.Dr. Keltner lays out exactly--in twenty original "Power Principles"-- how to retain power, why power can be a demonstrably good thing, and the terrible consequences of letting those around us languish in powerlessness.From the Hardcover edition.

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    The Power Paradox

    4.6 hrs • 5/17/16 • Unabridged
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  14. 9.0 hrs • 4/5/2016 • Unabridged

    National Book Award winner James McBride goes in search of the “real” James Brown—and his surprising journey illuminates the ways in which our cultural heritage has been shaped by Brown’s legacy. A product of the complicated history of the American South, James Brown was a cultural shape-shifter who arguably had the greatest influence of any artist on American popular music. Brown was long a figure of fascination for James McBride, a noted professional musician as well as a writer. When he received a tip that promised to uncover the man behind the myth, McBride set off to follow a trail that revealed the personal, musical, and societal influences that created this immensely troubled, misunderstood, and complicated soul genius. Kill ’Em and Leave is more than a book about James Brown. Brown’s rough-and-tumble life, through McBride’s lens, is an unsettling metaphor for American life: the tension between North and South, black and white, rich and poor. McBride’s travels take him to forgotten corners of Brown’s never-before-revealed history: the country town where Brown’s family and thousands of others were displaced by America’s largest nuclear power bomb-making facility; a South Carolina field where a long-forgotten cousin reveals, in the dead of night, a fuller history of Brown’s sharecropping childhood, which until now has been a mystery. McBride seeks out the American expatriate in England who cocreated the James Brown sound, visits the trusted right-hand manager who worked with Brown for forty-one years, and sits at the feet of Brown’s most influential nonmusical creation, his “adopted son,” the Reverend Al Sharpton. He reveals the stirring visit of Michael Jackson to the Augusta, Georgia, funeral home where the King of Pop sat up all night with the body of his musical godfather, spends hours talking with Brown’s first wife, and reveals the Dickensian legal contest over James Brown’s valuable estate, a fight that has destroyed careers, cheated children out of their educations, cost Brown’s estate millions in legal fees, sent Brown’s trusted accountant, David Cannon, to jail for a crime for which he was not convicted, and has left James Brown’s body to lie for more than eight years in a gilded coffin on his daughter’s front lawn in South Carolina. James McBride is one of the most distinctive and electric literary voices in America today, and Kill ’Em and Leave is a song unearthing and celebrating James Brown’s great legacy: the cultural landscape of America today.

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    Kill ’Em and Leave

    9.0 hrs • 4/5/16 • Unabridged
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  15. 7.4 hrs • 3/29/2016 • Unabridged

    The author of the New York Times bestseller Cinderella Ate My Daughter offers a clear-eyed picture of the new sexual landscape girls face in the post–princess stage—high school through college—and reveals how they are negotiating it. A generation gap has emerged between parents and their girls. Even in this age of helicopter parenting, the mothers and fathers of tomorrow’s women have little idea what their daughters are up to sexually or how they feel about it. Drawing on in-depth interviews with over seventy young women and a wide range of psychologists, academics, and experts, renowned journalist Peggy Orenstein goes where most others fear to tread, pulling back the curtain on the hidden truths, hard lessons, and important possibilities of girls’ sex lives in the modern world. While the media has focused—often to sensational effect—on the rise of casual sex and the prevalence of rape on campus, in Girls and Sex Peggy Orenstein brings much more to the table. She examines the ways in which porn and all its sexual myths have seeped into young people’s lives; what it means to be the “the perfect slut” and why many girls scorn virginity; and the complicated terrain of hookup culture and the unfortunate realities surrounding assault. In Orenstein’s hands these issues are never reduced to simplistic truths. Rather, her powerful reporting opens up a dialogue on a potent, often silent, subtext of American life today—giving readers comprehensive and in-depth information with which to understand, and navigate, this complicated new world.

    Available Formats: Download, CD

    Girls and Sex

    7.4 hrs • 3/29/16 • Unabridged
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    Also: CD
  16. 5.8 hrs • 2/2/2016 • Unabridged

    The charismatic radio personality from The Howard Stern Show celebrates what we love about American fast food, covering chains both national and regional and offering an opinionated view on restaurant history, secret menu items, and even drive-through strategy. Jon Hein is a fast-food maniac, with a themed Discovery Channel show under his belt to prove it, and in this book he covers each chain in-depth, rating its burgers, milkshakes, and fries; exploring its history; revealing secret menu items; taking a nostalgic look back at the best giveaways, games, and uniforms; and even providing expert drive-through strategy. With behind-the-counter looks at places like the Dunkin’ Donuts headquarters, Nathan’s original hot dog stand, Carvel, Steak ’n Shake, and In-N-Out Burger, this is the junk food lover’s definitive guide to some of America’s best-loved guilty pleasures.

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    Fast Food Maniac

    Read by Jon Hein
    5.8 hrs • 2/2/16 • Unabridged
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