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  1. 7.7 hrs • 9/13/2016 • Unabridged

    When New Yorker staff writer Lauren Collins moves to Geneva, Switzerland, she decides to learn French—not just to be able to go about her day-to-day life, but in order to be closer to her French husband and his family. When in French is at once a hilarious and idiosyncratic memoir about the things we do for love, and an exploration across cultures and history into how we learn languages, and what they say about who we are. In her late twenties, Lauren Collins moved to London, and fell in love with, and married, Olivier, a handsome French mathematician. When he has to relocate to Geneva for his work, she decides to go with him. In Geneva, however, Lauren is lost for words, literally: not only can she not communicate to the local chimney-sweep when he visits, but, watching Olivier converse fluently in French every day, she is also made painfully aware that she has never really spoken to her husband in his own language. She can say, “au revoir” and “bonjour” but that’s about it. “Hello and goodbye were a pair of bookends,” she writes, “propping up a vast library of blank volumes, void almanacs, novels full of sentiment I couldn’t apprehend.” What will happen when she has children? she wonders. If they grow up speaking French, will they be stuck with a “Borat of a mother” who can’t properly understand them? So she embarks on a quest to learn French, and, in doing so, must tangle with the intricacies of French culture—which, it turns out, is a far cry from family life back home in North Carolina. Down the rabbit hole of French Collins hurtles; role-playing with her classmates at language school; coming to terms with antique French social customs; accidently writing explicit “thank you” notes to her French in-laws; and delving into the strange and wonderful history of humanity’s many forms of language. When in French is a moving, laugh-out-loud funny memoir about falling in love, learning another language, and living far from home, as well as a freewheeling history of language. Collins investigates, among other things, how children acquire speech, the history of the idea of “American” as its own language, and why we don’t trust people who adopt accents. (Her own father takes on a southern accent after moving to North Carolina, much to her mother’s chagrin.) Plumbing the depths of the mysteries of foreign languages, Collins confesses—with style, sparkling humor, and touching honesty—to the frustrations, pleasures, surprises, and, finally, satisfactions of learning French.

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    When in French

    7.7 hrs • 9/13/16 • Unabridged
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  2. 9.1 hrs • 9/6/2016 • Unabridged

    Paris was practically perfect—although for Craig Carlson one thing was still missing: the good ol’ American breakfast he loved so much. Craig was the last person anyone would have expected to open an American diner in Paris. He came from humble beginnings in a working-class town in Connecticut, had never worked in a restaurant, and didn’t know anything about starting a brand-new business. But from his first visit to Paris, Craig knew he had found the city of his dreams. Pancakes in Paris is the story of Craig tackling the impossible—from raising the money to fund his dream to tracking down international suppliers for “exotic” American ingredients, and even finding love along the way. His diner, Breakfast in America, is now a renowned tourist destination, and the story of how it came to be is just as delicious and satisfying as the classic breakfast that tops its menu.

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    Pancakes in Paris by Craig Carlson

    Pancakes in Paris

    9.1 hrs • 9/6/16 • Unabridged
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  3. 8.2 hrs • 4/19/2016 • Unabridged

    In the tradition of M. F. K. Fisher and Peter Mayle, this enchantingly warm and witty memoir follows American-born Katherine Wilson on her adventures abroad, where a three-month rite of passage in Naples turns into a permanent embrace of this boisterous city on the Mediterranean. It is all thanks to a surprising romance, a new passion for food, and a spirited woman who will become her mother-in-law—and teach her to laugh, to seize joy, and to love.

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    Only in Naples

    8.2 hrs • 4/19/16 • Unabridged
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  4. 3.4 hrs • 3/29/2016 • Unabridged

    This new, updated edition of Culture Smart! Germany examines the vast changes that have lead to Germany’s new world confidence. It explains how German traditional values and working methods are adapting to take advantage of international opportunities and global society while maintaining the commitment to quality, organization, and time that marks out German business life. It shows how the traditional differences between Germany’s regions are lessening, enabling society to come together and better absorb new immigrants, and above all how Germans are losing the fear and guilt associated with their twentieth-century wars and finding a new voice on the international stage.

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    Culture Smart! Germany

    3.4 hrs • 3/29/16 • Unabridged
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  5. 6.9 hrs • 2/9/2016 • Unabridged

    From the Pulitzer Prize winner, a surprising, powerful, and eloquent work In Other Words is at its heart a love story—of a long and sometimes difficult courtship, and a passion that verges on obsession: that of a writer for another language. For Jhumpa Lahiri, that love was for Italian, which first captivated and capsized her during a trip to Florence after college. And although Lahiri studied Italian for many years afterward, true mastery had always eluded her. So in 2012, seeking full immersion, she decided to move to Rome with her family, for “a trial by fire, a sort of baptism” into a new language and world. In Rome, Lahiri began to read, and to write—initially in her journal—solely in Italian. In Other Words, an autobiographical work written in Italian, investigates the process of learning to express oneself in another language, and describes the journey of a writer seeking a new voice. It is a book about exile, linguistic and otherwise, written with an intensity and clarity not seen since Nabokov. A startling act of self-reflection and a provocative exploration of belonging and reinvention.

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    In Other Words

    Translated by Ann Goldstein
    6.9 hrs • 2/9/16 • Unabridged
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  6. 1.8 hrs • 2/9/2016 • Unabridged

    San Francisco Film Maker Christopher Strong had his own “Tour de France” dream. To spontaneously cycle the French Country backroads. With no fixed itinerary, tasting the land and the people as well as the food and wine. And so finally, after a week of irregular and informal French lessons from a Dutch friend, with no regard for the niceties of French grammar, Christopher’s French vocabulary was limited to five words. In spite of, or perhaps because of his lack of French language smarts, with no French phrasebook to save him, Christopher’s first “Tour de France” was a resounding personal success. Even on the French Riviera! Inspired by the overwhelming hospitality lavished upon him, Christopher decided to return and film his next adventure. And he continued, year after year. Until finally he had an up close and personal lifestyle/adventure series: “Bicycle Gourmet’s Treasures of France.” An authentic view of France today. After seeing the first results of Christopher’s “Tour de France” filming, his friends, not suprisingly, suggested he write a book. Not a book on French cooking or (shudder) French diet, but a behind-the-scenes account of his filming adventures. And his many encounters with French wine.

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    More Than a Year in Provence

    1.8 hrs • 2/9/16 • Unabridged
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  7. 3.8 hrs • 1/26/2016

    Italy delights and stimulates with its magnificent cities and monuments, its stunningly beautiful landscapes, the glory of its art and architecture, the richness and variety of its food, the elegance of its design and fashion, and the vitality and charm of its people. Italian style and culture have been exported all over the world. The Italians are the most European-minded of nations, having emerged from a long history of regional fragmentation. Culture Smart! Italy introduces you to their history and culture and offers an insider’s guide to their daily lives, passions, and preoccupations. This is your chance to get to know Italy.

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  8. 1 reviews 0 5 5 5 out of 5 stars 5/5 (1)
    14.0 hrs • 1/19/2016 • Unabridged

    The hilarious and loving sequel to the hilarious and loving classic of travel writing Notes from a Small Island, this is Bill Bryson’s valentine to his adopted country of England. In 1995 Bill Bryson got into his car and took a weeks-long farewell motoring trip about England before moving his family back to the United States. The book about that trip, Notes from a Small Island, is uproarious and endlessly endearing, one of the most acute and affectionate portrayals of England in all its glorious eccentricity ever written. Two decades later, he set out again to rediscover that country, and the result is The Road to Little Dribbling. Nothing is funnier than Bill Bryson on the road—prepare for the total joy and multiple episodes of unseemly laughter.

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    The Road to Little Dribbling by Bill Bryson

    The Road to Little Dribbling

    14.0 hrs • 1/19/16 • Unabridged
    1 reviews 0 5 5 5 out of 5 stars 5/5 (1)
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  9. 14.1 hrs • 1/19/2016 • Unabridged

    The hilarious and loving sequel to a hilarious and loving classic of travel writing: Notes from a Small Island, Bill Bryson’s valentine to his adopted country of England In 1995 Bill Bryson got into his car and took a weeks-long farewell motoring trip about England before moving his family back to the United States. The book about that trip, Notes from a Small Island, is uproarious and endlessly endearing, one of the most acute and affectionate portrayals of England in all its glorious eccentricity ever written. Two decades later, he set out again to rediscover that country, and the result is The Road to Little Dribbling. Nothing is funnier than Bill Bryson on the road—prepare for the total joy and multiple episodes of unseemly laughter.

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    The Road to Little Dribbling

    14.1 hrs • 1/19/16 • Unabridged
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  10. 8.3 hrs • 11/3/2015 • Unabridged

    The Path is the journey of a lifetime to self-discovery. This is the story of a group of international travelers who walk the Camino de Santiago, the ancient five-hundred-mile pilgrimage from the Pyrenees mountains to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, northern Spain. Here are located the remains of James, the apostle of Jesus. The group includes people of all ages, all professions, and all religious affiliations or none at all. They include a sex-obsessed former captain in the British Army, a beautiful Danish businesswoman, a manic Austrian architect, a Welsh painter, a driven American priest, and a comic mother-daughter duo from Canada. The thirty-five-day walk is tough and demanding. They relate intellectually, spiritually, and sexually as they search for their own deep and personal truths, which are not always what they expect—or want—to find. The climax is a terrible and shocking death that changes their view of themselves forever as they arrive in the holy city.

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    The Path by Malcolm McKay

    The Path

    8.3 hrs • 11/3/15 • Unabridged
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  11. 10.6 hrs • 10/13/2015 • Unabridged

    A transporting, good-humored, and revealing account of Greece’s dire troubles, reported from the mountain villages, idyllic islands, and hardscrabble streets that define the country today In recent years, small Greece, often associated with ancient philosophers and marble ruins, whitewashed villages and cerulean seas, has been at the center of a debt crisis that has sown economic and social ruin, spurred panic in international markets, and tested Europe’s decades-old project of forging a closer union. In The Full Catastrophe, James Angelos makes sense of contrasting images of Greece, a nation both romanticized for its classical past and castigated for its dysfunctional present. With vivid character-driven narratives and engaging reporting that offers an immersive sense of place, he brings to life some of the causes of the country’s financial collapse, and examines the changes, some hopeful and others deeply worrisome, emerging in its aftermath. A small rebellion against tax authorities breaks out on a normally serene Aegean island. A mayor from a bucolic, northern Greek village is gunned down by the municipal treasurer. An aging, leftist hero of the Second World War fights to win compensation from Germany for the wartime occupation. A once marginal group of neo-Nazis rises to political prominence out of a ramshackle Athens neighborhood. The Full Catastrophe goes beyond the transient coverage in the daily headlines to deliver an enduring and absorbing portrait of modern Greece.

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    The Full Catastrophe

    10.6 hrs • 10/13/15 • Unabridged
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  12. 0 reviews 0 5 4 4 out of 5 stars 4/5
    6.3 hrs • 9/1/2015 • Unabridged

    From the author of the acclaimed Pulitzer Prize–winning and #1 New York Times bestseller All the Light We Cannot See, a “dazzling” (Azar Nafisi, author of Reading Lolita in Tehran) memoir about art and adventures in Rome. Anthony Doerr has received many awards—from the New York Public Library, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the American Library Association. Then came the Rome Prize, one of the most prestigious awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and with it a stipend and a writing studio in Rome for a year. Doerr learned of the award the day he and his wife returned from the hospital with newborn twins. Exquisitely observed, Four Seasons in Rome describes Doerr’s varied adventures in one of the most enchanting cities in the world. He reads Pliny, Dante, and Keats—the chroniclers of Rome who came before him—and visits the piazzas, temples, and ancient cisterns they describe. He attends the vigil of a dying Pope John Paul II and takes his twins to the Pantheon in December to wait for snow to fall through the oculus. He and his family are embraced by the butchers, grocers, and bakers of the neighborhood, whose clamor of stories and idiosyncratic child-rearing advice is as compelling as the city itself. This intimate and revelatory book is a celebration of Rome, a wondrous look at new parenthood, and a fascinating story of a writer’s craft—the process by which he transforms what he sees and experiences into sentences.

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    Four Seasons in Rome

    6.3 hrs • 9/1/15 • Unabridged
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  13. 4.9 hrs • 8/3/2015 • Unabridged

    Acquired Tastes, originally published as Expensive Habits, is a celebration of life’s extravagances. It explores an aspect of human nature that, although dormant in hard economic times, is capable of erupting with the hint of good fortune and the drop of a credit card. It samples the luxuries of Havana cigars, Parisian hotels, bespoke London tailoring, and hand-made shoes; discusses the proper color for a stretch limousine; and weighs the cost versus the pleasure of keeping a mistress. The proper way to eat true caviar is explained while providing the listener with hours of pure, unadulterated escapism.

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    Acquired Tastes by Peter Mayle

    Acquired Tastes

    4.9 hrs • 8/3/15 • Unabridged
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  14. 37.7 hrs • 8/1/2015 • Unabridged

    Spain is an immemorial land like no other, one that James A. Michener, the Pulitzer Prize–winning author and celebrated citizen of the world, came to love as his own. Iberia is Michener’s enduring nonfiction tribute to his cherished second home. In the fresh and vivid prose that is his trademark, he not only reveals the celebrated history of bullfighters and warrior kings, painters and processions, cathedrals and olive orchards, he also shares the intimate, often hidden country he came to know, where the congeniality of living souls is thrust against the dark weight of history. Wild, contradictory, and passionately beautiful, this is Spain as experienced by a master writer.

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    Iberia

    37.7 hrs • 8/1/15 • Unabridged
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  15. 2 reviews 0 5 4.5 4 out of 5 stars 4.5/5 (2)
    12.5 hrs • 5/15/2015 • Unabridged

    The 1914 Giro d’Italia was the most difficult bike race in history; eighty-one riders started and only eight finished. Now Tim Moore is going to attempt it himself, and he’s committed to total authenticity. Twelve years after Tim Moore toiled around the route of the Tour de France, he senses his achievement being undermined by the truth about “Horrid Lance.” His rash response is to take on a fearsome challenge from an age of untarnished heroes: the notorious 1914 Giro d’Italia. History’s most appalling bike race was an ordeal of 400-kilometer stages filled with cataclysmic storms, roads strewn with nails, and even the loss of an eye by one competitor—and it was all on a diet of raw eggs and red wine. Of the eighty-one riders who rolled out of Milan, only eight made it back. To truly capture the essence of what these riders endured a century ago, Tim acquires the ruined husk of a gearless, wooden-wheeled 1914 road bike, some maps, and an alarming period outfit topped off with a pair of blue-lensed welding goggles. As Moore rides up and over the Alps and then down to the Adriatic (with only wine corks for brakes), Gironimo! is an adventure that is by turns bold, beautiful, and madly inspiring.

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    Gironimo! by Tim Moore

    Gironimo!

    12.5 hrs • 5/15/15 • Unabridged
    2 reviews 0 5 4.5 4 out of 5 stars 4.5/5 (2)
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  16. 2.5 hrs • 12/9/2014 • Unabridged

    Of all the trademarks of Venice—and there are many, from the gilded Basilica of San Marco to the melancholy Bridge of Sighs—none is more ubiquitous than the gondola. The internationally acclaimed “American with the Venetian heart” Donna Leon tells its fascinating story. First used in medieval Venice as a deftly maneuverable getaway boat, the gondola evolved over the centuries into a floating pleasure palace, bedecked in silk, that facilitated the romantic escapades of the Venetian elite. Today the gondola wears black—a gleaming, elegant hue, and is manned by robust gondolieri in black and white striped shirts and straw hats. A tourist favorite, the gondola has never ceased to be a part of authentic Venice. Each boat’s 280 pieces are carefully fashioned in a maestro’s workshop—though Leon also recounts a tale of an American friend who attempted to make a gondola all on his own. The feat took five years and countless do-overs. But the gondola is a work of art well worth the labor. And once its arched prow pushes off from the dock, the single Venetian at its oar just might break out in a barcarole, a popular Italian boat song.

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    Gondola

    2.5 hrs • 12/9/14 • Unabridged
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