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  1. 11.2 hrs • Mar/14/2017 • Unabridged

    For ten years Bill Stokes was a roving reporter and columnist for the Milwaukee Journal. He has written reams of material about his vivid impressions of people, animals, events, personal activities, and “things in general.”Through his travels, Bill has met with the unusual and unique to the humorous, trivial, and tragic. This select group from his collection of stories and columns indicates the broad scope of his journalistic efforts, brilliant talents, and professional ability. Listeners will enjoy this potpourri of delightful columns as they move with Bill through the seasonal changes of life in Wisconsin. People rarely succeed at anything unless they have fun doing it. Bill Stokes obviously enjoys his role as Wisconsin’s favorite journalist. In this delightful book he shares that fun with all.

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  2. 16.8 hrs • Jan/17/2017 • Unabridged

    The writing of Death of a President, William Manchester’s award-winning account of President Kennedy’s assassination, is the topic of the title essay in this collection, as it was a controversy like few others, pitting one of the most prominent historians of the day against Jackie Kennedy, the most famous, and private, widow in the world. The seventy-six page essay provides an insider’s account of the struggle to see the book published.The rest of this sweeping collection examines the time period between World War II and the Vietnam era. It is an account that is both exactingly accurate and a pleasure to hear.

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  3. 13.8 hrs • Nov/01/2016 • Unabridged

    Frantumaglia invites listeners into Elena Ferrante’s workshop. It offers a glimpse into the drawers of her writing desk, those drawers from which emerged her three early stand-alone novels and the four installments of My Brilliant Friend, known in English as the Neapolitan Quartet. Consisting of over twenty years of letters, essays, reflections, and interviews, it is a unique depiction of an author who embodies a consummate passion for writing. In these pages, Ferrante answers many of her readers’ questions. She addresses her choice to stand aside and let her books live autonomous lives. She discusses her thoughts and concerns as her novels are being adapted into films. She talks about the challenge of finding concise answers to interview questions. She explains the joys and the struggles of writing, the anguish of composing a story only to discover that that story isn’t good enough. She contemplates her relationship with psychoanalysis, with the cities she has lived in, with motherhood, with feminism, and with her childhood as a storehouse for memories, impressions, and fantasies. The result is a vibrant and intimate self-portrait of a writer at work.

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    Frantumaglia

    Read by Hillary Huber
    13.8 hrs • Nov/01/2016 • Unabridged
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  4. 15.2 hrs • Sep/20/2016 • Unabridged

    A new collection of critical and personal essays on writing, obsession, and inspiration from National Book Award–winning and New York Times bestselling author Joyce Carol Oates.“Why do we write?”With this question, Joyce Carol Oates begins an imaginative exploration of the writing life, and all its attendant anxieties, joys, and futilities, in this collection of seminal essays and criticism. Leading her quest is a desire to understand the source of the writer’s inspiration—do subjects haunt those that might bring them back to life until the writer submits? Or does something “happen” to us, a sudden ignition of a burning flame? Can the appearance of a muse-like Other bring about a writer’s best work?In Soul at the White Heat, Oates deploys her keenest critical faculties, conjuring contemporary and past voices whose work she deftly and creatively dissects for clues to these elusive questions. Virginia Woolf, John Updike, Emily Dickinson, Henry James, J. M. Coetzee, Margaret Atwood, Joan Didion, Zadie Smith, and many others appear as predecessors and peers—material through which Oates sifts in acting as literary detective, philosopher, and student. The book is at its most thrilling when watching the writer herself at work, and Oates provides rare insight into her own process, in candid, self-aware dispatches from the author’s own writing room. The New York Times Book Review has raved, “who better than Joyce Carol Oates … to explicate the craft of writing?” Longtime admirers of Joyce Carol Oates’s novels as well as her prose will discover much to be inspired by and obsess upon themselves in this inventive collection from an American master.

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    Soul at the White Heat

    Read by Susan Ericksen
    15.2 hrs • Sep/20/2016 • Unabridged
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  5. 5.6 hrs • Jul/05/2016 • Unabridged

    E. B. White is best known for his children’s books, such as Charlotte’s Web, Stuart Little, and The Trumpet of the Swan. A columnist for the New Yorker for over half a century and co-author of The Elements of Style, White hit his stride as an American literary icon when he began publishing his One Man’s Meat columns from his saltwater farm on the coast of Maine.In E. B. White on Dogs, his granddaughter and manager of his literary estate, Martha White, has compiled the best and funniest of her grandfather’s essays, poems, and letters depicting over a dozen of his various canine companions. Included here are favorite essays such as “Two Letters, Both Open,” “Bedfellows,” and many others, as well as some of White’s little-known “Notes and Comment” pieces covering dog shows, sled dog races, and the trials and tribulations of city canines. This is a book for those who recognize a good sentence and a masterful turn of a phrase; for E. B. White fans looking for more from their favorite author; and for dog lovers who may not have discovered the wit, style, and compassion of this most distinguished of American essayists.

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    E. B. White on Dogs

    5.6 hrs • Jul/05/2016 • Unabridged
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  6. 12.3 hrs • Jun/07/2016 • Unabridged

    Legendary author and essayist E. B. White writes, “The essayist is a self-liberated man, sustained by the childish belief that everything he thinks about, everything that happens to him, is of general interest.”Covering a large number of subjects, this classic collection features thirty-one of White’s most memorable essays.

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    Essays of E. B. White

    12.3 hrs • Jun/07/2016 • Unabridged
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  7. 1.0 hrs • May/03/2016 • Unabridged

    Perceptive, funny, and nostalgic, E. B. White’s stroll around Manhattan remains the quintessential love letter to the city, written by one of America’s foremost literary figures. The New York Times named Here Is New York one of the ten best books ever written about the metropolis, and the New Yorker called it “the wittiest essay, and one of the most perceptive, ever done on the city.”Included with this essay are two short poems by E. B. White: “Commuter” and “Critic,” both published in the New Yorker in 1925.

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    Here Is New York

    1.0 hrs • May/03/2016 • Unabridged
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  8. 8.3 hrs • Apr/05/2016 • Unabridged

    A star-studded collection of essays from acclaimed and bestselling authors and celebrities that illuminates the lasting power of desire and longing and celebrates our initiation into the euphoria, pain, and mystery that is our first celebrity crush.You never forget your first crush …Crush brings together stories of heartbreak, humiliation, and hilarity from a roster of popular luminaries, including James Franco, Carrie Fisher, Stephen King, Roxane Gay, Jodi Picoult, Emily Gould, and Hanna Rosin, who share intimate memories of that first intense taste of love. Here are funny, whimsical, sometimes cringe-worthy tales of falling head over heels for River Phoenix, Mary Tyler Moore, Howard Cosell, Jared Leto, and a host of other pop culture icons.A few contributors channeled their devotion into obsessively writing embarrassing fan letters. Some taped pics in school lockers. Others decorated their bedroom walls with posters. For tweenaged Karin Tanabe, it was discovering bad boy Andy Garcia—playing the gun-loving mobster Vincent Corleone in The Godfather III. Barbara Graham unsuccessfully staked out an apartment on Park Avenue for a glimpse of her blue-eyed soulmate, Paul Newman. There was only one puppy for six-year-old Jodi Picoult—Donny Osmond—while Jamie Brisick’s pre-teen addiction was Speed Racer.Swoon-worthy and unforgettable, the essays in Crush will leave you laughing, make you cry, and keep you enthralled—just like your first celebrity crush.

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    Crush

    8.3 hrs • Apr/05/2016 • Unabridged
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  9. 12.8 hrs • Mar/08/2016 • Unabridged

    Available for the first time and collected in one volume, the letters of one of America’s most beloved authors, Laura Ingalls Wilder—a treasure trove that offers new and unexpected understanding of her life and workThe Selected Letters of Laura Ingalls Wilder is a vibrant, deeply personal portrait of this revered American author, illuminating her thoughts, travels, philosophies, writing career, and dealings with family, friends, and fans as never before.This is a fresh look at the adult life of the author in her own words. Gathered from museums and archives and personal collections, the letters span over sixty years of Wilder’s life, from 1894–1956 and shed new light on Wilder’s day-to-day life. Here we see her as a businesswoman and author—including her beloved Little House books, her legendary editor, Ursula Nordstrom, and her readers—as a wife, and as a friend. In her letters, Wilder shares her philosophies, political opinions, and reminiscences of life as a frontier child. Also included are letters to her daughter, writer Rose Wilder Lane, who filled a silent role as editor and collaborator while the famous Little House books were being written.Wilder biographer William Anderson collected and researched references throughout these letters and the result is an invaluable historical collection, tracing Wilder’s life through the final days of covered wagon travel, her life as a farm woman, a country journalist, Depression-era author, and years of fame as the writer of the Little House books. This collection is a sequel to her beloved books, and a snapshot into twentieth-century living.

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  10. 1.3 hrs • Dec/01/2015 • Unabridged

    A raw and tenderly funny look at the human-cat relationship, from one of our most treasured and transgressive writersThe cat is the beautiful devil.Felines touched a vulnerable spot in Charles Bukowski’s crusty soul. For the writer, there was something majestic and elemental about these inscrutable creatures he admired, sentient beings whose searing gaze could penetrate deep into our being. Bukowski considered cats to be unique forces of nature, elusive emissaries of beauty and love. On Cats offers Bukowski’s musings on these beloved animals and their toughness and resiliency. He honors them as fighters, hunters, survivors who command awe and respect as they grip tightly onto the world around them: “A cat is only ITSELF, representative of the strong forces of life that won’t let go.” Funny, moving, tough, and caring, Bukowski’s On Cats brings together the acclaimed writer’s reflections on these animals he so admired. Bukowski’s cats are fierce and demanding—he captures them stalking their prey; crawling across his typewritten pages; waking him up with claws across the face. But they are also affectionate and giving, sources of inspiration and gentle, insistent care.Poignant yet free of treacle, On Cats is an illuminating portrait of this one-of-a-kind artist and his unique view of the world, witnessed through his relationship with the animals he considered his most profound teachers.

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    On Cats

    Read by Roger Wayne
    1.3 hrs • Dec/01/2015 • Unabridged
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  11. 8.7 hrs • Sep/15/2015 • Unabridged

    From celebrated New York Times bestselling author and winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Rick Bragg, comes a poignant and wryly funny collection of essays on life in the South. Keenly observed and written with his insightful and deadpan sense of humor, Bragg explores enduring Southern truths about home, place, spirit, table, and the regions’ varied geographies, including his native Alabama, Cajun country, and the Gulf Coast. Everything is explored, from regional obsessions with college football and fishing, to mayonnaise and spoonbread, to the simple beauty of a fish on the hook.Collected from over a decade of his writing, with many never-before-published essays written specifically for this edition, My Southern Journey is an entertaining and engaging listen, especially for Southerners (or Southerners at heart) and anyone who appreciates great writing.

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    My Southern Journey

    Read by Rick Bragg
    8.7 hrs • Sep/15/2015 • Unabridged
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  12. 28.6 hrs • Aug/31/2015 • Unabridged

    Saloon keepers, street preachers, gypsies, steel-walking Mohawks, a bearded lady, and a ninety-three-year-old “seafoodetarian” who believes his specialized diet will keep him alive for another two decades are among the people that Joseph Mitchell immortalized in his reportage for the New Yorker and in four books—McSorley’s Wonderful Saloon, Old Mr. Flood, The Bottom of the Harbor, and Joe Gould’s Secret—that are still renowned for their respectful observation, their graveyard humor, and their offhand perfection of style.These masterpieces (along with several previously uncollected stories) are available in one volume, which presents an indelible collective portrait of an unsuspected New York and its odder citizens—as depicted by one of the great writers of this or any other time.

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    Up in the Old Hotel, and Other Stories

    Read by Grover Gardner
    28.6 hrs • Aug/31/2015 • Unabridged
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  13. 6.9 hrs • Aug/15/2015 • Unabridged

    From Pulitzer Prize–winning book critic Michael Dirda comes a collection of his most personal and engaging essays on the literary life—the perfect companion for any lover of books.Michael Dirda has been hailed as “the best-read person in America” by the Paris Review and “the best book critic in America” by the New York Observer. In addition to the Pulitzer Prize, he was awarded for his reviews in the Washington Post, and he picked up an Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America for his book On Conan Doyle.Dirda’s latest volume collects fifty of his witty and wide-ranging reflections on literary journalism, book collecting, and the writers he loves. Reaching from the classics to the postmoderns, his allusions dance from Samuel Johnson, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and M. F. K. Fisher to Marilynne Robinson, Hunter S. Thompson, and David Foster Wallace. Dirda’s topics are equally diverse: literary pets, the lost art of cursive writing, book inscriptions, the pleasures of science fiction conventions, author photographs, novelists in old age, Oberlin College, a year in Marseille, writer’s block, and much more, not to overlook a few rants about Washington life and American culture. As admirers of his earlier books will expect, there are annotated lists galore—of perfect book titles, great adventure novels, favorite words, essential books about books, and beloved children’s classics, as well as a revealing peek at the titles Michael keeps on his own nightstand.Funny and erudite, occasionally poignant or angry, Browsings is a celebration of the reading life, a fan’s notes, and the perfect gift for any book lover.

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    Browsings

    Read by Patrick Cullen
    6.9 hrs • Aug/15/2015 • Unabridged
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  14. 20.5 hrs • Mar/31/2015 • Unabridged

    A sweeping collection and a tribute to one of the most influential, daring, and visionary minds of the twentieth centuryThe year 2015 marks several literary milestones: the centennial of Saul Bellow’s birth, the tenth anniversary of his death, and the publication of Zachary Leader’s much anticipated biography. Bellow—a Nobel laureate, Pulitzer Prize winner, and the only novelist to receive three National Book Awards—has long been regarded as one of America’s most cherished authors. Here, Benjamin Taylor, editor of the acclaimed Saul Bellow: Letters, presents lesser-known aspects of the iconic writer.Arranged chronologically, this literary time capsule displays the full extent of Bellow’s nonfiction, including criticism, interviews, speeches, and other reflections, tracing his career from his initial success as a novelist until the end of his life. Bringing together six classic pieces with an abundance of previously uncollected material, There Is Simply Too Much to Think About is a powerful reminder not only of Bellow’s genius but also of his enduring place in the Western canon, and it is sure to be widely reviewed and talked about for years to come.

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    There Is Simply Too Much to Think About

    20.5 hrs • Mar/31/2015 • Unabridged
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  15. 5.0 hrs • Feb/03/2015 • Unabridged

    At last, a new audio edition of the book many have called James Baldwin’s most influential work!Written during the 1940s and early 1950s, when Baldwin was only in his twenties, the essays collected in Notes of a Native Son capture a view of black life and black thought at the dawn of the civil rights movement and as the movement slowly gained strength through the words of one of the most captivating essayists and foremost intellectuals of that era. Writing as an artist, activist, and social critic, Baldwin probes the complex condition of being black in America. With a keen eye, he examines everything from the significance of the protest novel to the motives and circumstances of the many black expatriates of the time, from his home in “The Harlem Ghetto” to a sobering “Journey to Atlanta.” Notes of a Native Son inaugurated Baldwin as one of the leading interpreters of the dramatic social changes erupting in the United States in the twentieth century, and many of his observations have proven almost prophetic. His criticism on topics such as the paternalism of white progressives or on his own friend Richard Wright’s work is pointed and unabashed. He was also one of the few writing on race at the time who addressed the issue with a powerful mixture of outrage at the gross physical and political violence against black citizens and measured understanding of their oppressors, which helped awaken a white audience to the injustices under their noses. Naturally, this combination of brazen criticism and unconventional empathy for white readers won Baldwin as much condemnation as praise. Notes is the book that established Baldwin’s voice as a social critic, and it remains one of his most admired works. The essays collected here create a cohesive sketch of black America and reveal an intimate portrait of Baldwin’s own search for identity as an artist, as a black man, and as an American.

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    Notes of a Native Son

    Read by Ron Butler
    5.0 hrs • Feb/03/2015 • Unabridged
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  16. 5.3 hrs • Dec/09/2014 • Unabridged

    The final and most personal work from Pulitzer Prize–winning author and historian Will Durant—discovered thirty-two years after his death—is a message of insight for everyone who has sought meaning in life or the council of a wise friend in navigating life’s journey.From 1968 to 1978, Will Durant made four public allusions to the existence of Fallen Leaves. One, in 1975, hinted at its contents: “a not very serious book that answers the questions of what I think about government, life, death, and God.” And in 1975: “I propose…to answer all the important questions, simply, fairly, and imperfectly.” Even into his nineties, he worked on the book daily, writing it out on legal notepads. Upon his death in 1981, no one, not even the Durant heirs, knew if he had completed it, or even if it still existed. Thirty-two years later, in a granddaughter’s attic trunk, the manuscript was discovered.Fallen Leaves is Will Durant’s most personal book. It is precisely as he described: twenty-two short chapters on everything from youth and old age, religion and morals, to sex, war, politics, and art. The culmination of Durant’s sixty-plus years spent researching the philosophies, religions, arts, sciences, and civilizations from across the world, Fallen Leaves is the distilled wisdom of a gifted scholar with a renowned talent for rendering the insights of the past accessible. In its preface Durant mentions that over the course of his career he received letters from “curious readers who have challenged me to speak my mind on the timeless questions of human life and fate.” With Fallen Leaves he accepted their challenge. It contains strong opinions, elegant prose, and deep insights into the human condition as only Will Durant could provide, as well as his revealing conclusions about the perennial problems and greatest joys we face as a species.

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    Fallen Leaves

    Read by Grover Gardner
    5.3 hrs • Dec/09/2014 • Unabridged
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