Cover art for The Song of Achilles

The Song of Achilles

843 ratings

Summary

The legend begins... Greece in the age of heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the kingdom of Phthia to be raised in the shadow of King Peleus and his golden son, Achilles. “The best of all the Greeks”—strong, beautiful, and the child of a goddess—Achilles is everything the shamed Patroclus is not. Yet despite their differences, the boys become steadfast companions. Their bond deepens as they grow into young men and become skilled in the arts of war and medicine—much to the displeasure and the fury of Achilles’ mother, Thetis, a cruel sea goddess with a hatred of mortals. When word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, the men of Greece, bound by blood and oath, must lay siege to Troy in her name. Seduced by the promise of a glorious destiny, Achilles joins their cause, and torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus follows. Little do they know that the Fates will test them both as never before and demand a terrible sacrifice. Built on the groundwork of the Iliad, Madeline Miller’s page-turning, profoundly moving, and blisteringly paced retelling of the epic Trojan War marks the launch of a dazzling career.

©2012 Madeline Miller (P)2012 HarperCollinsPublishers

Available on Audible
Cover art for The Norman Conquest

The Norman Conquest

6 ratings

Summary

A riveting and authoritative history of the single most important event in English history: The Norman Conquest. An upstart French duke who sets out to conquer the most powerful and unified kingdom in Christendom. An invasion force on a scale not seen since the days of the Romans. One of the bloodiest and most decisive battles ever fought. This new history explains why the Norman Conquest was the most significant cultural and military episode in English history. Assessing the original evidence at every turn, Marc Morris goes beyond the familiar outline to explain why England was at once so powerful and yet so vulnerable to William the Conqueror’s attack; why the Normans, in some respects less sophisticated, possessed the military cutting edge; how William’s hopes of a united Anglo-Norman realm unraveled, dashed by English rebellions, Viking invasions, and the insatiable demands of his fellow conquerors. This is a tale of powerful drama, repression, and seismic social change: the Battle of Hastings itself; the sudden introduction of castles and the massive rebuilding of every major church; the total destruction of an ancient ruling class. Language, law, architecture, and even attitudes toward life itself were altered forever by the coming of the Normans.

©2012 Marc Morris (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

Category: History, Military
Length: 18 hrs and 10 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for The Harp of Kings

The Harp of Kings

7 ratings

Summary

A young woman is both a bard - and a warrior - in this thrilling historical fantasy from the author of the Sevenwaters novels.  Eighteen-year-old Liobhan is a powerful singer and an expert whistle player. Her brother has a voice to melt the hardest heart, and is a rare talent on the harp. But Liobhan's burning ambition is to join the elite warrior band on Swan Island. She and her brother train there to compete for places, and find themselves joining a mission while still candidates. Their unusual blend of skills makes them ideal for this particular job, which requires going undercover as traveling minstrels. For Swan Island trains both warriors and spies.  Their mission: to find and retrieve a precious harp, an ancient symbol of kingship, which has gone missing. If the instrument is not played at the upcoming coronation, the candidate will not be accepted and the kingdom will be thrown into disarray. Faced with plotting courtiers and tight-lipped druids, an insightful storyteller, and a boorish Crown Prince, Liobhan soon realizes an Otherworld power may be meddling in the affairs of the kingdom. When ambition clashes with conscience, Liobhan must make a bold decision - and the consequences may break her heart.

©2019 Juliet Marillier (P)2019 Recorded Books

Length: 15 hrs and 29 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for The Eighth Girl

The Eighth Girl

1 rating

Summary

Optioned by Netflix and a most anticipated book of 2020 from The Rumpus, Electric Literature, and LitHub. "The Eighth Girl is an exquisite exploration of childhood trauma and its impact on the psyche. Part thriller, part character study, I devoured this novel in one sitting, reflecting on each sentence, each passage, and each astute observation of humanity. A true gem!" (Wendy Walker, best-selling author of The Night Before) In this unsettling, seductive psychological thriller, a young woman with multiple personalities is drawn into London's hellish underworld when she becomes entangled with a man who has an abominable secret, for fans of Caroline Kepnes and Clare Mackintosh. One woman, multiple personas. But which one is telling the truth? Beautiful. Damaged. Destructive. Meet Alexa Wú, a brilliant yet darkly self-aware young woman whose chaotic life is manipulated and controlled by a series of alternate personalities. Only three people know about their existence: her shrink, Daniel; her stepmother, Anna; and her enigmatic best friend, Ella. The perfect trio of trust. When Ella gets a job at a high-end gentleman’s club, she catches the attention of its shark-like owner and is gradually drawn into his inner circle. As Alexa’s world becomes intimately entangled with Ella’s, she soon finds herself the unwitting keeper of a nightmarish secret. With no one to turn to and lives at stake, she follows Ella into London’s cruel underbelly on a daring rescue mission. Threatened and vulnerable, Alexa will discover whether her multiple personalities are her greatest asset, or her most dangerous obstacle. Electrifying and breathlessly compulsive, The Eighth Girl is an omnivorous examination of life with mental illness and the acute trauma of life in a misogynist world. With bingeable prose and a clinician’s expertise, Chung’s psychological debut deftly navigates the swirling confluence of identity, innocence, and the impossible fracturing weights that young women are forced to carry, causing us to question: Does the truth lead to self-discovery, or self-destruction?

©2020 Maxine Mei-Fung Chung (P)2020 HarperAudio

Length: 13 hrs and 27 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for Nature's Shift

Nature's Shift

Summary

Peter Bell the Third, accidentally named from the title of a poem by Percy Bysshe Shelley, is called upon to renew his old friendship with Rowland Usher, who was deliberately named after the protagonist of a story by Edgar Allan Poe. In the new House of Usher that Rowland is building in the Orinoco Delta, Usher explains the scientific work in genetics that he's doing there to Peter, while they both mourn Rowland's dead twin sister, Magdalen, who has apparently committed suicide for reasons that no one quite understands. As a scientist, Peter is inevitably convinced, when he discovers Magdalen's "ghost" haunting the house, that the haunting can only be figurative and symbolic - but that does not make it any less meaningful, or problematic. A marvelous new novel in this long-running series by a master of biological extrapolation.

©2011 Brian Stableford (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

Narrator: Frazer Douglas
Length: 7 hrs and 33 mins
Available on Audible