Cover art for War and Peace

War and Peace

90 ratings

Summary

Often called the greatest novel ever written, War and Peace is at once an epic of the Napoleonic wars, a philosophical study, and a celebration of the Russian spirit. Tolstoy's genius is clearly seen in the multitude of characters in this massive chronicle, all of them fully realized and equally memorable. Out of this complex narrative emerges a profound examination of the individual's place in the historical process, one that makes it clear why Thomas Mann praised Tolstoy for his Homeric powers and placed War and Peace in the same category as The Iliad.  War and Peace was translated by Constance Garnett.

Public Domain (P)2009 Blackstone Audio

Length: 61 hrs and 6 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for The Great Terror

The Great Terror

1 rating

Summary

The definitive work on Stalin's purges, The Great Terror was universally acclaimed when it first appeared in 1968. While the original volume had relied heavily on unofficial sources, later developments within the Soviet Union provided an avalanche of new material, which Conquest has mined to write this revised and updated edition of his classic work. Under the light of fresh evidence, it is remarkable how many of Conquest's most disturbing conclusions have been verified. Many details have also been added, including hitherto secret information on the three great "Moscow Trials", the purge of writers and other members of the intelligentsia, life in the labor camps, and many other key matters. Both a leading Sovietologist and a highly respected poet, Conquest blends profound research with evocative prose to create a compelling and eloquent chronicle of one of the 20th century's most tragic events.

©1990 Robert Conquest (P)1992 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Category: History, World
Length: 30 hrs and 34 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for Down and Out in Paris and London

Down and Out in Paris and London

19 ratings

Summary

Orwell's own experiences inspire this semi-autobiographical novel about a man living in Paris in the early 1930s without a penny. The narrator's poverty brings him into contact with strange incidents and characters, which he manages to chronicle with great sensitivity and graphic power. The latter half of the book takes the English narrator to his home city, London, where the world of poverty is different in externals only. A socialist who believed that the lower classes were the wellspring of world reform, Orwell actually went to live among them in England and on the continent. His novel draws on his experiences of this world, from the bottom of the echelon in the kitchens of posh French restaurants to the free lodging houses, tramps, and street people of London. In the tales of both cities, we learn some sobering truths about poverty and society.

©1962 S. M. Pitt-Rivers (P)1993 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Available on Audible
Cover art for The Gulag Archipelago, Volume 1

The Gulag Archipelago, Volume 1

Summary

"Best nonfiction book of the 20th century." (Time) Volume one of the gripping epic masterpiece, Solzhenitsyn's chilling report of his arrest and interrogation, which exposed to the world the vast bureaucracy of secret police that haunted Soviet society. Features a new foreword by Anne Applebaum. "The greatest and most powerful single indictment of a political regime ever leveled in modern times." (George F. Kennan) "It is impossible to name a book that had a greater effect on the political and moral consciousness of the late 20th century." (David Remnick, The New Yorker) "Solzhenitsyn’s masterpiece.... The Gulag Archipelago helped create the world we live in today." (Anne Applebaum, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Gulag: A History, from the foreword)

©2015 Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn (P)2020 HarperCollins Publishers

Category: History, Russia
Length: 25 hrs and 56 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for The Woefield Poultry Collective

The Woefield Poultry Collective

23 ratings

Summary

Woefield Farm is a sprawling thirty acres of scrub land, complete with dilapidated buildings and one half-sheared, lonely sheep named Bertie. It’s “run” - in the loosest possible sense of the word - by Prudence Burns, an energetic, well-intentioned twenty-something New Yorker full of back-to- the-land ideals, but without an iota of related skills or experience. Prudence, who inherited the farm from her uncle, soon discovers that the bank is about to foreclose on Woefield Farm, which means that Prudence has to turn things around, fast. But fear not! She’ll be assisted by Earl, a spry seventy-something, banjo-playing foreman with a distrust of newfangled ideas and a substantial family secret; Seth, the alcoholic, celebrity-blogging boy-next-door, who hasn’t left the house since a scandal with his high-school drama teacher; and Sara Spratt, a highly organized eleven-year-old looking for a home for her prizewinning chickens, including one particularly randy fellow soon to be christened Alec Baldwin. Full of offbeat charm and characters you won’t soon forget, The Woefield Poultry Collective is a heartwarming novel about learning how to take on a challenge, facing your fears, and finding friendship in the most unlikely of places. With alternating narratives, Susan Juby shows how a team of misfits can find acceptance and success, even with - and sometimes in spite of - their highly unorthodox approach.

©2011 Susan Juby (P)2011 HarperCollins Canada

Available on Audible
Cover art for Hitler

Hitler

7 ratings

Summary

This masterful biography by one of Germany’s best known journalists was the leading nonfiction best seller in Germany. Fest shows Hitler as the receptacle of the dreads and resentments of a shaken social order, gifted with an uncanny instinct for all that was hollow behind the appearance of power, at home and abroad. Though a warped human being, he was neither clown nor puppet, as many liked to think; Hitler appears here as an enormously astute politician, impressing and hypnotizing Germans and foreigners alike with the scope of his projects and the theatricality of their presentation. In the last analysis, however, Fest uncovers in Hitler a constantly destructive personality, which aimed at and achieved destruction on an unprecedented scale, not least because an insecure world gave him his opportunities.

©1991 Classics on Tape (P)1991 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Available on Audible
Cover art for Pendragon

Pendragon

1 rating

Summary

Arthur is King - but treachery runs rampant throughout the beleaguered Isle of the Mighty. Darkest evil descends upon Britain's shore in many guises. Fragile alliances fray and tear, threatening all the noble liege has won with his wisdom and his blood. His most trusted counselor - the warrior, bard, and kingmaker whom legend will name Merlin - is himself to be tested on a mystical journey back through his own extraordinary past. So in a black time of plague and pestilence, it is Arthur who must stand alone against a great and terrible adversary. For only this way can he truly win immortality - and the name to treasure above all others: Pendragon.

©1994 by Stephen R. Lawhead (P)1996 by Blackstone Audiobooks

Length: 14 hrs and 13 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill, Volume I: Visions of Glory 1874-1932

The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill, Volume I: Visions of Glory 1874-1932

34 ratings

Summary

Winston Churchill is perhaps the most important political figure of the 20th century. His great oratory and leadership during the Second World War were only part of his huge breadth of experience and achievement. Studying his life is a fascinating way to imbibe the history of his era and gain insight into key events that have shaped our time.

In political office at the end of WWI, Churchill foresaw the folly of Versailles and feared what a crippled Germany would do to the balance of power. In his years in the political wilderness, from 1931 to 1939, he alone of all British public men, continually raised his voice against Hitler and his appeasers. For over 50 years, he was constantly involved in, and usually at the center of, the most important events of his age. It was, however, his obduracy on matters of principle, his fortitude in the face of opposition, and his perseverance in standing alone that defined him.

©1983 William Manchester (P)1990 Blackstone Audio Inc.

Category: History, Military
Length: 41 hrs and 19 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for Le Morte D'Arthur

Le Morte D'Arthur

2 ratings

Summary

This monumental work made the Arthurian cycle available for the first time in English. Malory took a body of legends from Celtic folklore that had been adapted into French literature, gave them an English perspective, and produced a work that ever since has had tremendous influence upon literature. The story begins with King Uther Pendragon's use of enchantment to lay with Igraine, Duchess of Cornwall. Arthur is conceived and taken away in secret, returning as a young man to claim the throne by pulling the sword Excalibur from the stone. In retelling the story of Arthur's rule of Britain, Malory intertwines the romances of Guinevere and Launcelot, Tristram and Isolde, and Launcelot and Elaine. Sir Galahad's appearance at Camelot begins the quest for the Holy Grail. Finally, Camelot is brought down by the conflict between King Arthur and his natural son, Mordred.

(P)1997 Blackstone Audio Inc.

Length: 32 hrs and 53 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for Peter the Great

Peter the Great

9 ratings

Summary

This superbly told story brings to life one of the most remarkable rulers––and men––in all of history and conveys the drama of his life and world. The Russia of Peter's birth was very different from the Russia his energy, genius, and ruthlessness shaped. Crowned co-Tsar as a child of ten, after witnessing bloody uprisings in the streets of Moscow, he would grow up propelled by an unquenchable curiosity, everywhere looking, asking, tinkering, and learning, fired by Western ideas. We see Peter in his 20s traveling "incognito" with his ambassadors to the courts of Europe; as the victorious soldier proclaimed Emperor; as the simple workman at his forge; and as the visionary statesman who single-handedly created a formidable world power. Impetuous and stubborn, bawdy and stern, relentless in his perseverance, he was capable of the greatest generosity and the greatest cruelty.

©1980 Robert K. Massie (P)1991 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Category: History, World
Length: 43 hrs and 38 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for My Early Life

My Early Life

8 ratings

Summary

One of the classic volumes of autobiography, My Early Life is a lively and colourful account of a young man's quest for action, adventure and danger. Churchill's schooldays are undistinguished, but he is admitted to Sandhurst and embarks on a career as a soldier and a war correspondent, seeing action in Cuba, in India, in the Sudan - where he took part in the battle of Omdurman, of which he gives us a stirring account - and finally in South Africa. Taken prisoner by the Boers, Churchill makes a daring escape. Back home he embarks on the political career that is to make him one of Britain's most distinguished parliamentarians. First published in 1930, when Churchill's most testing time still lay ahead of him, My Early Life is memorable both as an adventure-story and as an account of the events and influences that helped to shape the career of a great Englishman.

©1930 Charles Scribner’s Sons (P)2014 Audible Studios

Length: 12 hrs and 39 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for The Odessa File

The Odessa File

7 ratings

Summary

Frederick Forsyth's spellbinding novels are the natural outgrowth of an adventuresome career in international investigative journalism. Written in Austria and Germany during the fall of 1971, The Odessa File is based on its author's life experiences as a Reuters man reporting from London, Paris, and East Berlin in the early 1960s. The "Odessa" of this title is an acronym for the secret organization that has protected the identities and advanced the destinies of former members of Hitler's dreaded SS since shortly before the end of World War II. One of its rare major defeats came in the spring of 1964, when a packet of dossiers arrived anonymously at the Ministry of Justice in Bonn. How and why a once carefree young German freelance journalist came to send the packet is told in this brilliant new extrapolation from reality into terror.

©1972 Dane's Book Production Limited (P)1992 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Length: 11 hrs and 16 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for The Dogs of War

The Dogs of War

7 ratings

Summary

"Knocking off a bank or an armored truck is merely crude. Knocking off an entire republic has, I feel, a certain style." So says mining magnate Sir James Manson, a shadowy titan of London's financial district, who is scheming a coup d'état in the small West African dictatorship of Zangaro, where a secret source of platinum lies waiting to be exploited. The man selected to plan and carry out the sack of Zangaro is Cat Shannon, a 33-year-old Anglo-Irishman from Nigeria. If the goal is clear, the means are not, for there are no up-to-date manuals on overthrowing governments by force. By the time he has set forth this sinister venture in all its ramifications, Frederick Forsyth has fashioned that manual and given us a classic of terror and enthrallment.

©1974 Danesbrook Productions Limited (P)1993 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Length: 14 hrs and 11 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for Rumpole for the Defense

Rumpole for the Defense

1 rating

Summary

Whether he’s quoting Wordsworth or having words with a particularly obtuse judge, Horace Rumpole always knows what he’s doing––even if no one else does. In this delightful collection of stories, Rumpole straightens everyone out in the shocking case of a “bent copper,” gallantly teaches a professor of moral philosophy about blackmail, consults with the dear departed when a will is contested, traces the path of true love when a doctor is accused of murder, and (in the name of duty, of course) drinks to excess with a teetotaling member of the prosecution. There is even a rare moment or two when Rumpole finds himself appreciative of “She Who Must Be Obeyed” (Mrs. Rumpole), when she inadvertently provides some essential clues that clinch his cases. Stories in this collection include “Rumpole for the Defense,” “Rumpole and the Gentle Art of Blackmail,” “Rumpole and the Dear Departed,” “Rumpole and the Rotten Apple,” “Rumpole and the Expert Witness,” “Rumpole and the Spirit of Christmas,” and “Rumpole and the Boat People.”

©1981 John Mortimer (P)1991 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Length: 6 hrs and 35 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for Arthur

Arthur

1 rating

Summary

They called him unfit to rule - a lowborn, callow boy, Uther's bastard. But his coming had been foretold in the songs of the bard Taliesin. He had learned powerful secrets at the knee of the mystical sage Merlin. He was Arthur, Pendragon of the Island of the Mighty - who would rise to legendary greatness in a Britain torn by violence, greed, and war, who would usher in a glorious reign of peace and prosperity, and who would fall at the treacherous hands of the one he loved more than life. This is the third book of The Pendragon Cycle.

©1989 by Stephen R. Lawhead (P)1995 by Blackstone Audiobooks

Length: 18 hrs and 54 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for My Experiments with Truth

My Experiments with Truth

1 rating

Summary

Mohandas Gandhi inspired the spiritual and political souls of millions of people. His concept of nonviolent resistance propelled numerous struggles throughout the world, including the civil rights movement in America. Written after his release from prison and first published in English in 1927, My Experiments with Truth is Gandhi's autobiography, documenting his spiritual journey amidst the political strife of his times.

©1993 Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (P)2009 HighBridge

Length: 2 hrs and 44 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for Three Men in a Boat

Three Men in a Boat

1 rating

Summary

If you've never read anything by Jerome K. Jerome, you'd be well advised to heed this warning by the Glasgow Herald: "It would be dangerous to [listen to] this book in any place - - say a full railway compartment - - where the reader was not at perfect liberty to laugh as loudly and as long as he chose." The passage of time has not altered that verdict. Here is a perfect picture of those lazy summer days "messing about in boats." After his final trip up the river Thames with his three companions - - Harris, George, and Montmorency the dog - - Jerome K. Jerome sat down to write his proposed book, The Story of the Thames. But before he could tackle the work in the serious manner intended, his humor took over and gave birth to a masterpiece of unquenchable comedy. This is a classic of English humor, justifiably loved around the world.

©2006 Jerome K. Jerome (P)1991 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Length: 6 hrs and 39 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for Kidnapped

Kidnapped

Summary

In this spirited and romantic saga, a young heir named David Balfour meets his miserly uncle Ebenezer, who has illegally taken control of the Balfour estate. Ebenezer kidnaps David and plots to have him seized and sold into slavery on a ship to the Carolinas. A couple of days into the voyage, a shipwreck throws David together with David Break, a Scotsman returning from political exile in France, and the two of them journey together. They are witnesses to the murder of Colin Campbell, the "Rio Fox" of Glenure, and suspicion falls on them. What follows is a perilous journey across the Highlands. Kidnapped is a classic of high adventure.

(P)1989 Blackstone Audiobooks

Length: 7 hrs and 20 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for Rumpole and the Golden Thread

Rumpole and the Golden Thread

Summary

In this engaging collection of stories, Rumpole continues to deftly juggle the vagaries of law, the ambiguities of crime, and the contradictions of the human heart in his death-defying performances on behalf of justice. The irreverent, claret-swilling, poetry-spouting barrister takes on suspect connoisseurs in the art world, journeys deep into the throbbing heart of Africa, dabbles in some feminist politics, decides the countryside is a very dangerous place, and incurs the wrath of his wife, She Who Must Be Obeyed.

©1983 Advanpress, Ltd. (P)2000 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Length: 9 hrs and 29 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for Inventing the Middle Ages

Inventing the Middle Ages

3 ratings

Summary

In this ground-breaking work, Norman Cantor explains how our current notion of the Middle Ages—with its vivid images of wars, tournaments, plagues, saints and kings, knights and ladies—was born in the 20th century. The medieval world was not simply excavated through systematic research. It had to be conceptually created: it had to be invented, and this is the story of that invention. Cantor focuses on the lives and works of twenty of the great medievalists of this century, demonstrating how the events of their lives, and their spiritual and emotional outlooks, influenced their interpretations of the Middle Ages. He makes their scholarship an intensely personal and passionate exercise, full of color and controversy, displaying the strong personalities and creative minds that brought new insights about the past.

©1991 Norman Cantor (P)2000 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Category: History, World
Length: 20 hrs and 9 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for Rumpole of the Bailey

Rumpole of the Bailey

1 rating

Summary

Horace Rumpole, the irreverent, iconoclastic, claret-swilling, poetry-spouting barrister at law, is among the most beloved characters of English crime literature. He is not a particularly gifted attorney, nor is he particularly fond of the law by courts if it comes to that, but he’d rather be swinging at a case than bowing to his wife Hilda, She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed. In this first title of the popular series featuring Rumpole, all of the major characters who occupy the Rumpole stories make their introductions: the sneaky, slightly effeminate Erskine-Brown, the bumbling Guthrie Featherstone and various and sundry other lawyers and clerks whose lives weave in and out of these stories. These six stories include the "Younger Generation", the "Alternative Society", the "Honourable Member", the "Married Lady", the "Learned Friends", and the "Heavy Brigade".

©1978 Advanpress, Ltd (P)1991 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Length: 7 hrs and 23 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for Twenty Years After

Twenty Years After

4 ratings

Summary

Originally published in 1845 as a sequel to The Three Musketeers, Twenty Years After is a supreme creation of suspense and heroic adventure. Two decades have passed since the three musketeers triumphed over Cardinal Richelieu and Milady. Time has weakened their resolve and dispersed their loyalties. But treasons and stratagems still cry out for justice: civil war endangers the throne of France, while in England, Cromwell threatens to send Charles I to the scaffold. Dumas brings his immortal quartet out of retirement to cross swords with time, the malevolence of men, and the forces of history. But their greatest test is a titanic struggle with the son of Milady, who wears the face of Evil.

Public Domain (P)1997 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Length: 27 hrs and 54 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for The Great Hunger

The Great Hunger

Summary

The Great Hunger is the story of one of the worst disasters in world history: the Irish Potato Famine of the 1840s. Within five years, one million people died of starvation. Emigrants by the hundreds of thousands sailed for America and Canada in small, ill-equipped, dangerously unsanitary ships. Some ships never arrived; those that did carried passengers already infected with and often dying of typhus. The Irish who managed to reach the United States alive had little or no money and were often too weak to work. They crowded into dirty cellars, begged, and took whatever employment they could get. Epidemics, riots, and chaos followed in their wake. The Great Hunger is a heartbreaking story of suffering, insensitivity, and blundering stupidity; yet it is also an epic tale of courage, dignity, and - despite all odds - a hardly supportable optimism. Cecil Blanche Woodham-Smith (1896-1977) was a British historian and biographer. She wrote four popular history books, each dealing with a different aspect of the Victorian era.

©1962 Cecil Woodham-Smith (P)1998 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Length: 18 hrs and 22 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for What's Bred in the Bone

What's Bred in the Bone

1 rating

Summary

Francis Cornish was always good at keeping secrets. From the well-hidden family secret of his childhood to his mysterious encounters with a small-town embalmer, an expert art restorer, a Bavarian countess, and various masters of espionage, the events in Francis' life were not always what they seemed. This wonderfully ingenious portrait of an art expert and collector of international renown is told in stylish, elegant prose and endowed with lavish portions of Davies' wit and wisdom. Robertson Davies (1913 - 1995) was an internationally acclaimed author, actor, publisher, and, finally, professor at the University of Toronto. The author of 12 novels and several volumes of essays and plays, he was the first Canadian to be inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

©1985 by Robertson Davies (P)1996 by Blackstone Audiobooks

Length: 16 hrs and 14 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for Freedom at Midnight

Freedom at Midnight

2 ratings

Summary

This is the story of the eclipse of the British Raj and the birth of an independent India and Pakistan. The fabled India of the maharajas, with their palaces and harems, their gold-caparisoned elephants and their glittering private armies—the India of Kipling’s legendary army, with its young British officers commanding troops of a dozen races, religions, and castes—the India of tiger hunts and pigsticking, of sadhus and holy men— the India that was the heart and soul of an empire—underwent a violent transformation into the new India of Gandhi and Nehru, precursor of the Third World. At the center of this drama are Nehru, Jinnah, Mountbatten and, of course, Gandhi, the gentle prophet of revolution, who stirred the masses of the most populous area on earth without raising his voice.

©1975 Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre (P)1993 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Category: History, Asia
Length: 22 hrs and 34 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for Homage to Catalonia

Homage to Catalonia

7 ratings

Summary

In 1936, George Orwell went to Spain to report on the civil war and instead joined the P.O.U.M. militia to fight against the Fascists. In this now justly famous account of his experience, he describes both the bleak and the comic aspects of trench warfare on the Aragon front, the Barcelona uprising in May 1937, his nearly fatal wounding just two weeks later, and his escape from Barcelona into France after the P.O.U.M. was suppressed. As important as the story of the war itself is Orwell's analysis of why the Communist Party sabotaged the workers' revolution and branded the P.O.U.M. as Trotskyist, which provides an essential key to understanding the outcome of the war and an ironic sidelight on international Communism. It was during this period in Spain that Orwell learned for himself the nature of totalitarianism in practice, an education that laid the groundwork for his great books Animal Farm and 1984.

©1980 The Estate of the Late Sonia Brownell Orwell (P)1992 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Length: 8 hrs and 25 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for Psmith in the City

Psmith in the City

1 rating

Summary

"Work," said Psmith, with simple dignity. "I am now a member of the staff of this bank. Its interests are my interests. Psmith, the individual, ceases to exist, and there springs into being Psmith, the cog in the wheel of the New Asiatic Bank; Psmith, the link in the bank's chain; Psmith, the Worker. "I shall not spare myself," he proceeded earnestly. "I shall toil with all the accumulated energy of one who, up till now, has only known what work is like from hearsay." "You and I together, not forgetting Comrade Jackson, the pet of the Smart Set, will toil early and late till we boost up this Postage Department into a shining model of what a Postage Department should be. What that is at present, I do not exactly know." Psmith and his friend Mike Jackson have been pressed into jobs in the city. Psmith intends to keep his knowledge of work limited to hearsay, and uses his wit and sangfroid to smooth over the world of business for Mike and himself.

©1963 b P.G. Wodehouse (P)1991 by Blackstone Audiohouse

Length: 5 hrs and 32 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for Tempest-tost

Tempest-tost

1 rating

Summary

An amateur production of The Tempest provides a colorful backdrop for a hilarious look at unrequited love. Mathematics teacher Hector Mackilwraith, stirred and troubled by Shakespeare's play, falls in love with the beautiful Griselda Webster. When Griselda shows she has plans of her own, Hector despairs on the play's opening night.

©1951 Clark, Irwin & Company, Ltd. (P)1997 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Length: 9 hrs and 36 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for A Mixture of Frailties

A Mixture of Frailties

2 ratings

Summary

"It's a muddle, thought Monica. A muddle and I can't get it straight. I wish I knew what I should do. I wish I even knew what I want to do...I want to go on in the life that has somehow or other found me and claimed me. And I want so terribly to be happy. Oh god, don't let me slip under the surface of all the heavy-hearted dullness that seems to claim so many people...." A Mixture of Frailties is so much more than the story of Monica Gall's life in London and her education as a singer. It is an account of her education as a human being, and the result is an absorbing novel, comic in the true sense, vivid and frequently moving.

©1958 Robertson Davies (P)1996 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Length: 12 hrs and 49 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for Catriona

Catriona

Summary

Catriona, first published in 1893, is the sequel to Kidnapped and continues the adventures of David Balfour and his friend Alan Breck. Balfour returns to the city in order to defend Breck against false charges in the Appin murder. In so doing, he becomes a pawn in a game between feuding Scottish clans; he also sets eyes on a young woman whose involvement in the same matter becomes as central to his actions as his desire to vindicate his comrade in arms.

(P)1997 Blackstone Audiobooks

Length: 9 hrs and 5 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for The Kingdom

The Kingdom

3 ratings

Summary

The Kingdom is the story of a country - a country of astonishing contrasts, where routine computer printouts open with the words “In the name of God,” where men who grew up in goat-hair tents now dominate the money markets of the world, and where murderers and adulterers are publicly executed in the street. By its own reckoning, this country is just entering the 15th century. The Kingdom is also the story of a family - a family that has fought its way from poverty and obscurity into wealth and power the likes of which the world has never known, a family characterized by fierce loyalty among its members, ruthlessness toward its enemies, and dedication to one of the world’s most severe and demanding creeds. The Kingdom is Saudi Arabia - the only country in the world to bear the name of the family that rules it.

©1981 Robert Lacey (P)2000 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Author: Robert Lacey
Category: History, Middle East
Length: 22 hrs and 46 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for Stalin

Stalin

Summary

Of all the despots of our time, Joseph Stalin lasted the longest and wielded the greatest power, and his secrets have been the most jealously guarded - even after his death. In this book, the first to draw from recently released archives, Robert Conquest gives us Stalin as a child and student; as a revolutionary and communist theoretician; as a political animal skilled in amassing power and absolutely ruthless in maintaining it. He presents the landmarks of Stalin's rule: the clash with Lenin; collectivization; the Great Terror; the Nazi-Soviet pact and the Nazi-Soviet war; the anti-Semitic campaign that preceded his death; and the legacy he left behind. Distilling a lifetime's study, weaving detail, analysis, and research, Conquest has given us an extraordinarily powerful narrative of this incredible figure.

©1991 Robert Conquest (P)1992 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Category: History, Russia
Length: 15 hrs and 39 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for Rumpole's Last Case

Rumpole's Last Case

Summary

Rumpole is on the job again, bringing along his taste for claret, his penchant for poetry, and his reputation for a good story. These seven irresistible stories run the gamut from simple thievery to murder and espionage. Rumpole recalls three delightful battles with his arch-enemy, the Mad Bull; indulges his knowledge of bloodstains and typewriters; and uses the refined taste of a garage mechanic to discover the reasons for the robbery of a case of wine. As usual, Rumpole's biting wit and benevolent ideas of justice push the Mad Bull to the edge of retaliation, and it is only through some last minute diplomatic intervention that Rumpole lives to argue another day.

©1987 Advanpress, Ltd (P)1995 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Length: 8 hrs and 18 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for A History of Europe

A History of Europe

3 ratings

Summary

How is it that the small continent of Europe, with its rich multiplicity of cultures and traditions, has managed to exert so profound an influence on the rest of the world? Roberts's sweeping and entertaining history notes the paradoxical effect, for good and ill, on everything touched by those Western values that originated in Europe. Beginning with its Paleolithic origins and the early civilizations of the Aegean, Roberts traces the development of the European identity over the course of thousands of years, ranging across empires and religions, economics, science, and the arts. Antiquity, the age of Christendom, the Middle Ages, early modern history, and the old European order are all surveyed in turn, with particular emphasis given to the turbulent 20th century.

©1996 J. M. Roberts (P)2003 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Category: History, Europe
Length: 38 hrs and 8 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for The Civilization of the Middle Ages

The Civilization of the Middle Ages

1 rating

Summary

In 1963, Norman F. Cantor published his breakthrough narrative history of the Middle Ages. Here is a significant revision, update, and expansion of that work. The Civilization of the Middle Ages incorporates current research, recent trends in interpretation, and novel perspectives, especially on the foundations of the Middle Ages and the Later Middle Ages of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. A sharper focus on social history, Jewish history, women’s roles in society, and popular religion and heresy distinguish the book. While the first and last sections of the book are almost entirely new and many additions have been incorporated in the intervening sections, Cantor has retained the powerful narrative flow that made earlier editions so accessible.

©1963 1993 by Norman F. Cantor (P)1994 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Category: History, Europe
Length: 28 hrs and 42 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for The Cunning Man

The Cunning Man

6 ratings

Summary

"Should I have taken the false teeth?" This is what Dr. Jonathan Hullah, a former police surgeon, thinks after he watches Father Hobbes die in front of the High Altar at Toronto's St. Aidan's on the morning of Good Friday. How did the good father die? We do not learn the answer until the very end of this "Case Book" of a man's rich and highly observant life. But we learn much more about many things, and especially about Dr. Hullah, as the Cunning Man takes us through his own long and ardent life of theatre, art, and music; varied adventures in the Canadian Army during World War II; and the secrets of a doctor's consulting room, his preoccupation is not with sorrow but with the comedic canvas of life.

©1996 Robertson Davies (P)2012 Blackstone Audiobooks

Length: 16 hrs and 3 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for The Lyre of Orpheus

The Lyre of Orpheus

3 ratings

Summary

The Cornish Foundation, set up with money left by the late art expert, collector, and notable eccentric Francis Cornish, must choose a worthy undertaking upon which to expend a portion of its considerable funds. It is decided that the Foundation will fund the doctoral work of one Hulda Schnakenburg: a grumpy, difficult, and extraordinarily talented music student. Her task is to complete the score of an unfinished opera by the Romantic composer E. T. A. Hoffmann. Additionally, and against all common sense, the Foundation will undertake to stage the opera, entitled Arthur of Britain or The Magnanimous Cuckold. As the production takes shape, Hoffmann's restless spirit hovers rather too close for comfort, and his dictum "The lyre of Orpheus opens the door of the underworld" proves prophetic for many a participant as their lives begin to resemble the opera's plot.

©1988 Robertson Davies (P)1996 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Length: 14 hrs and 43 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for The Search for Modern China

The Search for Modern China

2 ratings

Summary

The history of China is as rich and strange as that of any country on earth. Yet for many, China’s history remains unknown, or known only through the stylized images that generations in the West have cherished or reviled as truth. With his command of character and event - the product of 30 years of research and reflection in the field - Spence dispels those myths in a powerful narrative. Over four centuries of Chinese history, from the waning days of the once-glorious Ming Dynasty to Deng Xiaoping’s bloody suppression of the pro-democracy demonstrations in Tiananmen Square, Spence fashions the astonishing story of the effort to achieve a modern China. Through the ideas and emotions of its reformist Confucian scholars, its poets, novelists, artists, and visionary students, we see one of the world’s oldest cultures struggling to define itself as Chinese and modern.

©1990 Jonathan D. Spence (P)2000 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Category: History, Asia
Length: 36 hrs and 52 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for Merlin

Merlin

3 ratings

Summary

He was born to greatness, the son of a Druid bard and a princess of lost Atlantis. A trained warrior, blessed with the gifts of prophecy and song, he grew to manhood in a Britain abandoned by its Roman conquerors - a land ravaged by the brutal greed of petty chieftains and barbarian invaders. Respected, feared and hated by many, he was to have a higher destiny: to prepare the way for the momentous event that would unite the Island of the Mighty - the coming of Arthur Pendragon, Lord of the Kingdom of Summer. This is the second book of The Pendragon Cycle.

©1988 by Stephen R. Lawhead (P)1995 by Blackstone Audiobooks

Length: 18 hrs and 10 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for Hudson Taylor

Hudson Taylor

3 ratings

Summary

Hudson Taylor is one of the most remarkable of Christianity's heroes. A gawky, determined Yorkshire boy of commonplace origins, mediocre education, and uncertain health, Hudson Taylor lived in the assurance that under God's direction he would someday evangelize China's 400 million souls. Today he is remembered both as the founder of the world-famous China Inland Mission and one of history's great men of faith. Hudson Taylor left England on September 19, 1853, and did not reach China until the spring of 1894. The long and arduous voyage, persecution, poverty, and the barriers of language and culture did not deter him from his mission. Throughout a life filled with trials of all sorts, Taylor remained confident in his knowledge of God's will and of his care, even in the shadow of death.

Public Domain (P)2000 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Length: 7 hrs and 20 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for Leaven of Malice

Leaven of Malice

2 ratings

Summary

The following announcement appeared in the Salterton Evening Bellman: "Professor and Mrs. Walter Vambrace are pleased to announce the engagement of their daughter, Pearl Veronica, to Solomon Bridgetower, Esq., son of ..." Although the malice that prompted the insertion of this false engagement notice was aimed at three people only - Solly Bridgetower, a junior instructor in English at Waverly University; Pearl Vambrace, the subdued daughter of a domineering professor; and Gloster Ridley, the anxiety-ridden editor of the Evening Bellman - the leaven of malice will change permanently, for good or ill, the lives of many of the citizens of Salterton. Robertson Davies jumps at the opportunity this situation provides to create memorable characters and lasting impressions.

©1996 Pendragon Ink (P)1996 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Length: 8 hrs and 51 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for Making Sense of Wine

Making Sense of Wine

1 rating

Summary

Since its first publication in 1989, Matt Kramer's extraordinarily accessible guide to wine has become a classic. Where others talk jargon about centrifuges, steel tanks, and acidity levels, Kramer talks about wine itself. The result is an enriching experience that goes far beyond knowing how to read a label or impress a waiter. This audiobook explains everything an oenophile needs to know, including the creation and naming of wines, wine cellars, presentation and glassware, pairing wine with food, and much more. Kramer reminds us that wine is an expression of the earth that reveals the site and conditions under which it is cultivated. He explores connoisseurship through the practical devices of "thinking wine" and "drinking wine," making for a most enjoyable and engrossing journey through one of life's most dependable pleasures.

©2003 Matt Kramer (P)2003 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Author: Matt Kramer
Length: 6 hrs and 41 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for Les Miserables

Les Miserables

2 ratings

Summary

Set in the Parisian underworld and plotted like a detective story, Les Miserables follows Jean Valjean, originally an honest peasant, who has been imprisoned for 19 years for stealing a loaf of bread to feed his sister's starving family. A hardened criminal upon his release, he eventually reforms, becoming a successful industrialist and town mayor. Despite this, he is haunted by an impulsive former crime and is pursued relentlessly by the police inspector Javert. Hugo describes early 19th-century France with a sweeping power that gives his novel epic stature. Among the most famous chapters are the account of the battle of Waterloo and Valjean's flight through the Paris sewers.

(P)1996 Blackstone Audiobooks

Author: Victor Hugo
Length: 57 hrs and 48 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for The Good Detective

The Good Detective

Summary

A case from his past is about to ruin Assistant Chief Constable Ned French's career. Heather Jonas, forced into a false confession to murder after a harrowing late-night interview session with French, has now served 15 years of her 20-year sentence. In all that time she's never appealed against her lot; but now, someone else has confessed, and a citizen's rights campaigner is determined to get to the truth. Then, French gets a tip-off which could lead to the biggest coup of his working life. He is reliably informed that the notorious Corrigan cousins are masterminding a huge shipment of cocaine into Britain, and he knows where it's going to land. Will he be able to pull off the arrest, or will the events from his past overwhelm him before he has the chance? And is he, or is he not, a good detective?

©1995 H. R. F. Keating (P)1995 Blacksone Audio, Inc.

Length: 5 hrs and 38 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for The Rebel Angels

The Rebel Angels

2 ratings

Summary

A goodhearted priest and scholar, a professor with a passion for the darker side of medieval psychology, a defrocked monk, and a rich young businessman who inherits some troublesome paintings are all helplessly beguiled by the same coed. Davies weaves together the destinies of this remarkable cast of characters, creating a wise and witty portrait of love, murder, and scholarship at a modern university.

©1981 Robertson Davies (P)1997 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Length: 11 hrs and 53 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for Three Men on the Bummel

Three Men on the Bummel

Summary

"A 'Bummel,'" I explained, "I should describe as a journey, long or short, without end." However wonderful this may sound, it is often necessary to arrive back at the starting point. And, for the three fearless friends whose earlier adventures were told in Three Men in a Boat, this poses a troublesome problem. George, Harris, and J. decide to take a cycling trip through the Black Forest - to be accomplished on a tandem plus one. Whether it is Harris's harrowing experience with a Hanoverian road-waterer or George's valiant attempt to buy a cushion for his aunt, their experiences are hilarious - - and they may even offer some important lessons to all who may be contemplating a cycling trip in the U.S.

Public Domain (P)1991 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Length: 6 hrs and 42 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for Admiral of the Ocean Sea

Admiral of the Ocean Sea

3 ratings

Summary

Winner of the 1943 Pulitzer Prize for Biography Admiral of the Ocean Sea is Admiral Samuel Eliot Morison's classic biography of the greatest sailor of them all, Christopher Columbus. It is written with the insight, energy, and authority that only someone who had himself sailed in Columbus's path to the New World could muster. Morison undertook this expedition in a 147-foot schooner and a 47-foot ketch, the dimensions of these craft roughly matching those of Columbus's Santa Maria and Nina. The result is this vivid and definitive biography that accurately details the voyages that, for better or worse, changed the world. Samuel Eliot Morison, Rear Admiral, United States Naval Reserve (1887–1976), was an American historian noted for his works of history, especially maritime history, that were both authoritative and highly readable. At various times he held teaching positions at Berkeley, Oxford, and Harvard. A sailor as well as a scholar, he garnered numerous literary prizes, military honors, and national awards from both foreign countries and United States, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom. His Admiral of the Ocean Sea won the 1943 Pulitzer Prize for biography.

©1942 Samuel Eliot Morison; Renewed 1970 by Samuel Eliot Morison (P)1995 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Length: 25 hrs and 57 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for Dead Room Farce

Dead Room Farce

Summary

It's not Beckett exactly, but a three-month run of Not on Your Wife!, a new farce by the prolific British farceur Bill Blunden, is not to be sniffed at by a jobbing actor. Which is why Charles Paris is standing on stage with his trousers around his ankles, playing Aubrey, the older lover of GIlly, wife of Bob, whose young mistress Nicky he is passing off as the property of his neighbor Ted. Rehearsals have gone well, the laughs are coming, and if his marriage is on the skids again there's always the consolation of Bell's - and the uncertain attractions of aging ingenue Cookie Stone. But by the time the troupe reaches Bath a darker mood has set in. Cookie Stone seems to think she and Charles are practically married (if only he could remember what happened!), and Charles' old friend Mark, who runs a recording studio in Bath where Charles is making a talking book, has a drinking problem that amounts to a death wish. But it's not the drink that kills Mark, it's somebody in the cast who has a dirty little secret that Mark must not be allowed to reveal...

©1997 by Simon Brett (P)1999 by Blackstone Audiobooks

Author: Simon Brett
Length: 6 hrs and 27 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for The Great Explorers

The Great Explorers

3 ratings

Summary

The great voyages of discovery to the New World are here brought to life by one of the 20th century's most eminent historians, two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Samuel Morison. A master seaman himself, Morison personally retraced the voyages of the early explorers, charting his travels in maps and photographs and comparing these to the maps and travelogues of the early sailors. The resulting two-volume The European Discovery of America was widely acclaimed both for its author's incomparable knowledge of history, cartography, and sea navigation and for the fresh immediacy of its writing. The Great Explorers abridges this great work, following the voyages of Columbus, Magellan, Drake, and many more. Here is the fascinating story of these explorers' ventures into uncharted waters, their encounters with natives, and their joy - and surprise - at discovering new land.

©1978 Oxford University Press (P)1995 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Length: 25 hrs and 21 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for The Life of Horatio Lord Nelson

The Life of Horatio Lord Nelson

2 ratings

Summary

Having entered the British Navy at the age of 12, Horatio Lord Nelson achieved the rank of captain at the age of 20. As captain, he was quickly recognized as a magnetic and controversial figure. He triumphed at Cape St. Vincent and the Nile, but failed at Tenefife and Boulogne. With the glories of Copenhagen and Trafalgar yet ahead of him, his ardent passion for Emma Hamilton, the wife of a British Ambassador, cast a heavy shadow over his career. Audacious in battle (he once ignored a superior's order to cease action at Copenhagen by putting his telescope to his blind eye and saying he could not see the signal) and winner of some of Britain's greatest victories, Nelson possessed an extraordinary amount dash and courage, thus rendering him one of history's great romantic figures.

©1990 Robert Southey (P)1996 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Length: 9 hrs and 47 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for Penguin Island

Penguin Island

Summary

Penguin Island is Anatole France’s most searching and satirical novel. A humorous critique of customs and laws, rituals and rites, its subject is human nature, but its characters are penguins in the mythical land of Penguinia. The story of the strutting penguins and their virtues and vices is not merely a burlesque allegory of French history, but a satire of the history of mankind.  With gentle yet biting irony, France challenges the Spencerian belief in the ultimate perfectibility of man, though his irony reveals his sympathy for man’s weaknesses and his need for social institutions. First published in 1908, Penguin Island is widely regarded as Anatole France’s masterpiece.

Public Domain (P)1998 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Length: 8 hrs and 59 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for Robert Browning

Robert Browning

Summary

Given Browning's intensely romantic love affair with Elizabeth Barrett, it is characteristic that he should view love as the key to the meaning of life and life's animating force. This view of life is projected throughout his poetry. Included in this collection are "Johannes Agricola in Meditation," "The Pied Piper of Hamelin," "Fra Lippo Lippi," "A Toccata of Galuppi's," "The Lost Leader," "The Statue and the Bust," "How it Strikes a Contemporary," "The Patriot," "Memorabilia," "James Lee's Wife," "Confessions," "Youth and Art," "A Likeness," "Mr. Sludge," "The Medium," "House," "St. Martin's Summer," "The Names," "Beatrice Signorini," "Spring Song," and others.

(P)1992 by Blackstone Audiobooks

Length: 4 hrs and 52 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for The Decameron

The Decameron

1 rating

Summary

Giovanni Boccaccio, Dante, and Petrarch were the leading lights in a century that is considered the beginning of the Italian Renaissance. The Decameron, or Ten Days' Entertainment, is his most famous work, a collection of stories considered representative of the Middle Ages, as well as a product of the Renaissance. This collection of tales is set in 1348, the year of the Black Death. Florence is a dying, corrupt city, described plainly in all of its horrors. Seven ladies and three gentlemen meet in a church and decide to escape from the charnel house of reality by staying in the hills of Fiesole; there they pass the time telling stories for 10 days. They set up a working arrangement whereby each would be king or queen for a day; each day the ruler commanded a story be told following certain stipulations. Their existence is that of the enchanted medieval dreamworld: a paradise of flowers, ever-flowing fountains, shade trees, soft breezes, where all luxuries of food and drink abound. Virtue reigns along with medieval gentilesse in its finest sense. The stories they weave, however, differ from their own idyllic sojourn. They tell tales about ordinary people, tales marked by intense realism in a world where dreams and enchanted gardens have little place. Boccaccio draws on the actual geography of the region to bring the stories alive; different social classes are portrayed with their own language and clothing. Within the stories told by his 10 refugees from Florence, the satire often bites deep, Boccaccio's comic mood embracing evil and holiness alike with sympathy and tolerance. Like Chaucer, he is indulgent, exposing moral and social corruption but leaving guilty characters to condemn themselves. In its frank, open-minded treatment of flesh as flesh, its use of paradox, cynicism, and realistic handling of character, this work transcends the medieval period and, going beyond the Renaissance, takes its place as universal art.

(P)1998 Blackstone Audio Inc.

Length: 29 hrs and 55 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for History of the World (Updated)

History of the World (Updated)

4 ratings

Summary

In his monumental History of the World, J.M. Roberts delivered a powerful vision of human history as a story of change, a deliberate shaping of experience and environment. This revised and updated edition takes into account the great range of events and discoveries that have altered our views on everything from early civilizations to post-Cold War globalism. Large portions of the text have been rewritten. Roberts' view of history is exceptional in its global and comprehensive nature as it shows the development of different civilizations through the ages, from our origins on the African savannah to the modern world in the wake of the 2001 terrorist attacks. Like no other book, this History of the World succeeds in conveying the staggering diversity of the human experience.

©1976 J. M. Roberts (P)2003 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Category: History, World
Length: 54 hrs and 46 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for Psmith Journalist

Psmith Journalist

Summary

Cosy Moments did not have a reputation for being controversial. In fact, packed as it was with gut-churning items like "Moments in the Nursery" and "Moments of Mirth," it reconciled Psmith to toothache. Falling in with its deputy editor Billy Windsor, Psmith allows his literary aspirations to run riot and soon Cosy Moments is not cosy at all. With biting attacks on the New York slum problem, the circulation goes up and up, but the owner of the tenements is not amused. He is willing to pay the magazine to pipe down, but the phrase on everyone's lips is "Cosy Moments cannot be muzzled." So the villain has to think of more devious ways of keeping Windsor and Psmith quiet, permanently.

(P)1995 by Blackstone Audiobooks

Length: 6 hrs and 1 min
Available on Audible
Cover art for The Mating Season

The Mating Season

1 rating

Summary

When Gussie Fink-Nottle, after a convivial evening with "Catsmeat" Pinbright, was sentenced to 14 days without the option for wading in the fountain at Trafalgar Square, Bertie Wooster saw the red light. For Gussie was an expected guest at Deverill Hall, and clearly his enforced absence would give rise to immediate inquiries. From this point it would be but a short step to complete revelation of the scandalous details of his escapade; and Bertram well knew what would be the effect of this intelligence on Gussie's fiancei, Madeline. As always when a rift appeared in her love affairs, Madeline would transfer her simpering affection to Bertram, and the grim prospect of having to endure the grand passion of this female stimulated Bertie to the sternest of endeavors to forestall catastrophe. But as usual, Bertie's involvement causes further entanglement, which only Jeeves can unravel.

(P)1995 by Blackstone Audiobooks

Length: 7 hrs and 58 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for History of the World, Updated

History of the World, Updated

4 ratings

Summary

In the

History of the World, Updated, J. M. Roberts has revised his monumental previous work,

History of the World, taking into account the great range of discoveries that have altered our views on everything from early civilizations to post-Cold War globalism. Large portions of text have been rewritten, addressing events as recent as the relationship between the Arab and Western worlds in the wake of the September 11 attacks.

As in his previous work, this is also a book of extraordinary ambition, clarity, and style that follows the central notion that human history is the story of change, a deliberate shaping of experience and environment. Among the elements that have made the book uniquely appealing are its powerful vision and voice.

Roberts's book is exceptional in its genuinely global and comprehensive nature, showing the development of different civilizations through the ages, from our origins on the African savannah to A.D. 2002. Like no other book, it succeeds in conveying the staggering diversity of the human experience across a vast range of circumstances and habitats.

If there is one book anyone truly interested in history should hear, this is it.

©2002 J.M. Roberts (P)2003 Blackstone Audiobooks

Author: J.M. Roberts
Category: History, World
Length: 54 hrs and 42 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for Darwin on Trial

Darwin on Trial

1 rating

Summary

Darwin's theory of evolution is accepted by most educated Americans as simple fact. This easy acceptance, however, hides from us the many ways in which evolution - as an idea - shapes our thinking about a great many things. What if this idea is wrong? What if "evolution" is just a word that covers up scientific ignorance of how the wonders of the living world could have been created? Berkeley law professor Phillip Johnson looks at the evidence for Darwinistic evolution the way a lawyer would - with a cold dispassionate eye for logic and proof. His discovery is that scientists have put the cart before the horse. They prematurely accepted Darwin's theory as fact and have been scrambling to find evidence for it - mostly unsuccessfully. As the evidentiary difficulties have piled up, scientists have clung to the theory out of fear of encouraging religious fundamentalism, and in the process have turned belief in Darwinism into their own religion.

©1991 by Phillip E. Jackson (P)1992 by Blackstone Audiobooks

Length: 6 hrs and 35 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for Treasure Island

Treasure Island

Summary

For plain and pure imaginative delight, Treasure Island is unsurpassed. From the moment narrator Jim Hawkins meets the blind pirate Pew at the Admiral Benbow Inn until the spirited battle for hidden treasure on a tropic island, the novel spawns unforgettable scenes and characters that have thrilled readers young and old since its original publication in 1883. A story that centers around the battle between good and evil, Treasure Island is, in the words of G.K. Chesterton, "the realizaton of an ideal, that which is promised in its provocative and beckoning map; a vision not only of white skeletons but also green palm trees and sapphire seas."

(P)1997 Blackstone Audiobooks

Length: 6 hrs and 50 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for John Donne

John Donne

Summary

The status of John Donne (1572-1631) as one of the greatest poets in the English language is firmly established. He strongly influenced writers of the 17th century, and modern poets such as T.S. Eliot have praised and imitated Donne's work. His poetry is characterized by dramatic, witty, and bold language; by strikingly original imagery; and rhythms based on everyday speech. Like Shakespeare, Donne was a genius at making common words yield up rich, poetic meaning. His thought is complex, but his poems unfold in a logical way.

(P)1992 by Blackstone Audiobooks

Author: John Donne
Length: 3 hrs and 7 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for Le Morte d'Arthur, Vol. 2

Le Morte d'Arthur, Vol. 2

Summary

This monumental work made the Arthurian cycle available for the first time in English. Malory took a body of legends from Celtic folklore that had been adapted into French literature, gave them an English perspective, and produced a work which ever since has had tremendous influence upon literature. The story begins with King Uther Pendragon’s use of enchantment to lay with Igraine, Duchess of Cornwall. Arthur is conceived and taken away in secret, returning as a young man to claim the throne by pulling the sword Excalibur from the stone. In retelling the story of Arthur’s rule of Britain, Malory intertwines the romances of Guinevere and Lancelot, Tristan and Isolde, and Lancelot and Elaine. Sir Galahad’s appearance at Camelot begins the quest for the Holy Grail. Finally, Camelot is brought down by the conflict between King Arthur and his natural son, Mordred.

Public Domain (P)1997 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Available on Audible
Cover art for Arthur

Arthur

1 rating

Summary

They called him unfit to rule - a lowborn, callow boy, Uther's bastard. But his coming had been foretold in the songs of the bard Taliesin. He had learned powerful secrets at the knee of the mystical sage Merlin. He was Arthur Pendragon of the Island of the Mighty, who would rise to legendary greatness in a Britain torn by violence, greed, and war, ushering in a glorious reign of peace and prosperity - and who would fall at the treacherous hands of the one he loved more than life.

©1989 Stephen R. Lawhead (P)1995 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Length: 18 hrs and 56 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for The Gin Palace

The Gin Palace

Summary

Abandoned by her lover and left to bring up their two children alone, Gervaise Macquart has to fight to earn an honest living. When she accepts the marriage proposal of Monsieur Coupeau, it seems as though she is on the path to a decent, respectable life at last. But with her husband's drinking and the unexpected appearance of a figure from her past, Gervaise's plans begin to unravel tragically.The Gin Palace is the 7th novel in Zola's Rougon-Macquart cycle, about two branches of a French family traced through several generations. Introducing one of the most sympathetic heroines in 19th-century literature, it is also the work that made his reputation.

(P)1997 Blackstone Audio Inc.

Author: Emile Zola
Length: 6 hrs and 52 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for The Sultans

The Sultans

1 rating

Summary

This brilliantly readable work of history tells the bizarre story of the Ottoman Empire as seen through the lives of its extravagant and tyrannical sultans. With their absolute power, their love of pomp, and their overwhelming venality and corruption, rarely has a great empire been ruled by such grotesque and awesome figures. There was Suleiman the Magnificent, who allowed his wife to persuade him to murder his eldest son and his best friend; Murad III, who left 103 children behind him when he died; Mustafa, who was kept in a cage, attended by deaf-mutes, until he ascended to the throne. There were sultans who practiced their archery on living people; sultans who drowned the ladies of their harem by the score; and sultans who gave the reins of empire to their favorite eunuchs. For 400 years, they fought wars, terrorized their subjects, made Turkey into a great empire, and then allowed her to decline into ostentatious and impotent decay.

©1973 Noel Barber (P)2000 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Author: Noel Barber
Length: 10 hrs and 22 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for The Belly of Paris

The Belly of Paris

4 ratings

Summary

Although it is little known in this country, The Belly of Paris is considered one of Émile Zola’s best novels. Set in the newly built food markets of Paris, it is a story of wealth and poverty set against a sumptuous banquet of food and commerce. Having just escaped from prison after being wrongfully accused, young Florent arrives at Paris’ food market, Les Halles, half starved, surrounded by all he can’t have, and indignant at his world, which he now knows to be unjust. He finds that the city’s working classes have been displaced to make way for bigger streets and bourgeois living quarters, so he settles in with his brother’s family. Gradually, he takes up with the local socialists, who are more at home in bars than on the revolutionary streets. Slowly, the ever-widening gap between the rich and the poor drags the city to the breaking point.

©1996 Translation by Sun & Moon Press (P)2012 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Length: 13 hrs and 4 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for Vistas of History

Vistas of History

Summary

In 1963, Samuel Eliot Morison, long one of our most distinguished historians, was awarded the first Balzan Prize in History, a prize that rivals the Nobel Prize in splendor and munificence. To receive the award, Admiral Morison had to go to Rome, where he delivered an address, "The Experiences and Principles of an Historian." This book includes the address he gave, as well a fascinating account of the award ceremonies, of which he was a central figure. Morison also draws from his own published work to illustrate how a master historian deals with a variety of problems. There are examples from social history, biography, political history, and military history. The entire collection demonstrates brilliantly the breadth of interests, depth of scholarship, and sureness of writing that earned Admiral Morison his great reputation.

©1956 Priscilla Barton Morison (P)1996 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Category: History, World
Length: 5 hrs and 13 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for Germinal

Germinal

Summary

A father and three of his seven children work brutal hours in a mine, facing hazards such as landslides, fire, and poisoned air, to scrape together enough money for food. When their lodger, Étienne, shares ideas about a workers' revolt, the family gradually embraces his plans. Soon the settlement is aflame with resolve to strike for better wages and working conditions. Savage and horrifying events ensue as miners clash with management and with each other. With flawless construction and impeccable detail, Zola chronicles the conflicts, lusts, and deprivation of life in the coal fields of 19th-century France. Published in 1885, Germinal helped establish Emile Zola — an artist of unsparing candor — as the leading figure in the French school of naturalistic fiction. André Gide chose this masterpiece as one of the ten best novels in the French language.

(P)1996 Blackstone Audio Inc.

Author: Emile Zola
Length: 17 hrs and 35 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for The Thirty-Nine Steps

The Thirty-Nine Steps

Summary

Perhaps more than any other book, The Thirty-Nine Steps has set the pattern for the story of the chase for a wanted man. And, of the many writers who have attempted this kind of thing since Buchan, only a very few, like Graham Greene, have managed to sustain the tension in the same way. The story's extended chase scene inspired Alfred Hitchcock's movie of the same name. Buchan's best-known thriller introduces his most enduring hero, Richard Hannay - who, despite claiming to be an "ordinary fellow", is caught up in a dangerous race against a plot to devastate the British war effort. It begins calmly enough with a rather boring trip to London. Returning to his flat, Richard is shocked to find his neighbor dead on the floor with a knife in his back. Near the deceased is a small black notebook containing cryptic notes about the "thirty-nine steps" and a black stone. As the situation escalates, Hannay is mistaken for a secret agent by the police. Now Hannay is running for his life across the Scottish Highlands, thinking his way through narrow escapes while trying to decode the thirty-nine steps. With wit and flair, this old-fashioned roller coaster ride proffers soaring suspense with a comic touch.

Public Domain (P)1994 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Author: John Buchan
Length: 3 hrs and 52 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for A Gentleman of Leisure

A Gentleman of Leisure

Summary

When Jimmy Pitt bets an actor friend that any fool could burgle a house, a feat which he offers to demonstrate that very night, he puts his reputation on the line. Although he hires the services of a professional burglar, the difficulty is increased when he has the misfortune to select Police Captain McEachern's house. And imagine Jimmy's consternation when he learns that McEachern's daughter is none other than the beautiful Molly, whom he worshipped from afar for quite some time. From New York the action of the story moves to Dreever Caslte in Shropshire, England, where Jimmy's bird comes home to roost - with a vengeance. Filled with the sights, smells, and sounds of rural England, A Gentleman of Leisure also contains all the wit and humor we have come to expect from the inimitable P.G. Wodehouse.

(P)1993 by Blackstone Audiobooks

Length: 6 hrs and 56 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for Something Fresh

Something Fresh

Summary

As Wodehouse himself once noted, "Blandings has impostors like other houses have mice." On this particular occasion, there are two imposters, both intent on a dangerous enterprise. Lord Emsworth's secretary, the Efficient Baxter, is on the alert and determined to discover what is afoot - despite the distractions caused by the Honorable Freddie Threepwood's hapless affair of the heart.Freddie is engaged to marry the daughter of a wealthy American who is a passionate collector of ancient Egyptian relics. When one treasure goes missing and a thousand-pound reward is offered for its return, Blandings becomes a madhouse as friends turn rivals in the scramble to retrieve the object.

(P)1995 Blackstone Audio Inc.

Length: 7 hrs and 15 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for Peter Simple

Peter Simple

Summary

In this seminal story of naval life during the Napoleonic wars, Frederick Marryat's young hero embarks upon a life at sea and finds it to be a rough school indeed. Simple's trials and triumphs, with his faithful mentor, Terence O'Brien, at his side, mirror Marryat's personal experiences. Among the exciting events depicted are the hand-to-hand combat of "cutting-out" missions, the devastating hurricane off St. Pierre, and a mutiny aboard the Rattlesnake. Peter Simple is a towering tale from the great age of sail, filled with keen wit, vivid characters, and thrilling adventure.

(P)1998 Blackstone Audio Inc

Length: 17 hrs and 38 mins
Available on Audible