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18 and Life on Skid Row

44 ratings

Summary

18 and Life on Skid Row tells the story of a boy who spent his childhood moving from Freeport, Bahamas, to California and finally to Canada and who, at the age of eight, discovered the gift that would change his life. Throughout his career Sebastian Bach has sold over 20 million records both as the lead singer of Skid Row and as a solo artist. He is particularly known for the hit singles "I Remember You", "Youth Gone Wild", and "18 & Life" and the albums Skid Row and Slave to the Grind, which became the first ever hard rock album to debut at number one on the Billboard Top 200 and landed him on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine. Bach then went on to become the first rock star to grace the Broadway stage, with starring roles in Jekyll & Hyde, Jesus Christ Superstar, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. He also appeared for seven seasons on the hit television show Gilmore Girls. In his memoir Bach recounts lurid tales of excess and debauchery as he toured the world with Bon Jovi, Aerosmith, Mötley Crüe, Soundgarden, Pantera, Nine Inch Nails, and Guns N' Roses. 18 and Life on Skid Row is the story of hitting it big at a young age and of a band that broke up in its prime. It is the story of a man who achieved his wildest dreams, only to lose his family and then his home. It is a story of perseverance; of wine, women, and song; and of a man who has made his life on the road and always will. 18 and Life on Skid Row is not your ordinary rock memoir, because Sebastian Bach is not your ordinary rock star.

©2016 Sebastian Bach (P)2016 HarperCollins Publishers

Available on Audible
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This Naked Mind

329 ratings

Summary

This Naked Mind has ignited a movement across the country, helping thousands of people forever change their relationship with alcohol. Many people question whether drinking has become too big a part of their lives and worry that it may even be affecting their health. But they resist change because they fear losing the pleasure and stress relief associated with alcohol and assume giving it up will involve deprivation and misery. This Naked Mind offers a new, positive solution. Here, Annie Grace clearly presents the psychological and neurological components of alcohol use based on the latest science and reveals the cultural, social, and industry factors that support alcohol dependence in all of us. Packed with surprising insight into the reasons we drink, this book will open your eyes to the startling role of alcohol in our culture and how the stigma of alcoholism and recovery keeps people from getting the help they need. With Annie's own extraordinary and candid personal story at its heart, this book is a must-listen for anyone who drinks. This Naked Mind will give you freedom from alcohol. It removes the psychological dependence so that you will not crave alcohol, allowing you to easily drink less (or stop drinking). With clarity, humor, and a unique blend of science and storytelling, This Naked Mind will open the door to the life you have been waiting for.

©2015 Annie Grace (P)2018 Penguin Audio

Available on Audible
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Bride of the Sea

1 rating

Summary

During a snowy Cleveland February, newlyweds Muneer and Saeedah are starting their lives in America and expecting their first child. But Muneer harbors a secret: The word divorce has begun whispering itself in his ear. Soon, their marriage will end, and Muneer will return to Saudi Arabia, while Saeedah remains in Cleveland with their daughter, Hanadi. The more time she shares with her daughter, the more Saeedah wants to keep her close, and before long, her fear of losing Hanadi leads Saeedah to think that she and her daughter have no choice but to hide. Saeedah disappears with the little girl to build a new, secret life, while Muneer is left desperately searching for his daughter in a different country for years. The repercussions of this abduction ripple outward, not only changing the lives of Hanadi and her parents but also their interwoven family and friends - those who must choose sides and hide their own deeply guarded secrets. And when Hanadi comes of age, she finds herself at the center of this conflict, torn between the world she grew up in and a family across the ocean. How can she exist between parents, between countries? This question lies at the heart of Eman Quotah’s spellbinding debut about colliding cultures, immigration, religion, and family; an intimate portrait of loss and healing, and, ultimately, a testament to the ways we find ourselves inside love, distance, and heartbreak.

©2021 Eman Quotah (P)2021 Dreamscape Media, LLC

Available on Audible
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The Broken Circle

1 rating

Summary

An emotional and sweeping memoir of love and survival - and of a committed and desperate family uprooted and divided by the violent, changing landscape of Afghanistan in the early 1980s. Before the Soviet invasion of 1980, Enjeela Ahmadi remembers her home - Kabul, Afghanistan - as peaceful, prosperous, and filled with people from all walks of life. But after her mother, unsettled by growing political unrest, leaves for medical treatment in India, the civil war intensifies, changing young Enjeela’s life forever. Amid the rumble of invading Soviet tanks, Enjeela and her family are thrust into chaos and fear when it becomes clear that her mother will not be coming home.  Thus begins an epic, reckless, and terrifying five-year journey of escape for Enjeela, her siblings, and their father to reconnect with her mother. In navigating the dangers ahead of them, and in looking back at the wilderness of her homeland, Enjeela discovers the spiritual and physical strength to find hope in the most desperate of circumstances.  A heart-stopping memoir of a girl shaken by the brutalities of war and empowered by the will to survive, The Broken Circle brilliantly illustrates that family is not defined by the borders of a country but by the bonds of the heart.

©2019 Enjeela Ahmadi-Miller (P)2019 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved. Poems by Hafiz translated into English by the author.

Narrator: Lameece Issaq
Length: 8 hrs and 12 mins
Available on Audible
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Butterfly

4 ratings

Summary

Butterfly is an inspiring audiobook about how one woman saved fellow refugees from drowning - and how she went on to become an Olympic swimmer.  When young Syrian refugee Yusra Mardini realized her boat's engine shut down as she was traveling from Syria to Greece with other refugees, there was no hesitation: She dove into the water. Surfacing, she heard desperate prayers and sobbing from the passengers in the sinking boat above her. Between the waves, her elder sister, Sarah, screamed at her to get back on the boat. But Mardini was determined. She was not going to let Sarah do this alone.  Grabbing the rope with one hand, she began kicking up the black water, inching the boat toward the distant shore. This bold act of bravery saved the lives of a boatload of refugees heading to Turkey from Syria. After her arrival in Greece, Mardini, focused and undeterred, worked toward a lifelong goal: to compete in the Olympics. She succeeded, and competed in 2016 on the Refugee Olympic Team in Rio de Janeiro.  Butterfly tells her story, from Syria to the Olympics to her current work with the UN as a goodwill ambassador. Mardini is eager to tell her story in the hopes that listeners will remember that refugees are ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances, chased from their homes by a devastating war.

©2018 Yusra Mardini (P)2018 Macmillan Audio

Narrator: Lameece Issaq
Length: 10 hrs and 1 min
Available on Audible
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They Never Learn

4 ratings

Summary

From the author of the "raw, ingenious, and utterly fearless" (Wendy Walker, USA Today best-selling author) Temper comes a dynamic psychological thriller about two women who give bad men exactly what they deserve. Scarlett Clark is an exceptional English professor. But she’s even better at getting away with murder. Every year, she searches for the worst man at Gorman University and plots his well-deserved demise. Thanks to her meticulous planning, she’s avoided drawing attention to herself - but as she’s preparing for her biggest kill yet, the school starts probing into the growing body count on campus. Determined to keep her enemies close, Scarlett insinuates herself into the investigation and charms the woman in charge, Dr. Mina Pierce. Everything’s going according to her master plan...until she loses control with her latest victim, putting her secret life at risk of exposure. Meanwhile, Gorman student Carly Schiller is just trying to survive her freshman year. Finally free of her emotionally abusive father, all Carly wants is to focus on her studies and fade into the background. Her new roommate has other ideas. Allison Hadley is cool and confident - everything Carly wishes she could be - and the two girls quickly form an intense friendship. So when Allison is sexually assaulted at a party, Carly becomes obsessed with making the attacker pay...and turning her fantasies about revenge into a reality. Featuring Layne Fargo’s trademark "propulsive writing style" (Kirkus Reviews) and "sinister, of the moment" (Chicago Review of Books) suspense, They Never Learn is a feminist serial killer story perfect for fans of Killing Eve and Chelsea Cain.

©2020 Layne Fargo. All rights reserved. (P)2020 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

Author: Layne Fargo
Length: 10 hrs and 10 mins
Available on Audible
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American Like Me

2 ratings

Summary

From award-winning actress and political activist America Ferrera comes a vibrant and varied collection of first person accounts from prominent figures about the experience of growing up between cultures. America Ferrera has always felt wholly American, and yet, her identity is inextricably linked to her parents’ homeland and Honduran culture. Speaking Spanish at home, having Saturday morning salsa-dance parties in the kitchen, and eating tamales alongside apple pie at Christmas never seemed at odds with her American identity. Still, she yearned to see that identity reflected in the larger American narrative. Now, in American Like Me, America invites 31 of her friends, peers, and heroes to share their stories about life between cultures. We know them as actors, comedians, athletes, politicians, artists, and writers. However, they are also immigrants, children or grandchildren of immigrants, indigenous people, or people who otherwise grew up with deep and personal connections to more than one culture. Each of them struggled to establish a sense of self, find belonging, and feel seen. And they call themselves American enthusiastically, reluctantly, or not at all. Ranging from the heartfelt to the hilarious, their stories shine a light on a quintessentially American experience and will appeal to anyone with a complicated relationship to family, culture, and growing up. Full cast of narrators includes: America Ferrera, Bambadjan Bamba, Joy Cho, Auli'I Cravalho, Tim Chiou, Janina Edwards, Jennifer Ikeda, Lameece Issaq, Eugene Kim, Jennifer Lim, Sunil Malhotra, Ramón De Ocampo, Roxana Ortega, Geena Rocero, Martin Sensmeier, Heather Alicia Simms, Neela Vaswani, and Tanaya Winder. 

©2018 America Ferrera (P)2018 Simon & Schuster Audio

Available on Audible
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A Girl Like That

5 ratings

Summary

In this young adult debut set in Saudi Arabia, where the law forbids romantic relationships outside of marriage, two teens fall in love, with tragic consequences.  Sixteen-year-old Zarin Wadia is many things: an Indian girl, a bright and vivacious student, an orphan, a troublemaker whose romantic entanglements are the subject of endless gossip among the girls in her school. "You don't want to get involved with a girl like that," they say. So how is it that Porus, a Parsi boy, has only ever had eyes for her? And how did Zarin and Porus end up dead in a car together, crashed on the side of the highway in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia? When the religious police arrive, everything everyone thought they knew about Zarin is called into question.

©2018 Tanaz Bhathena (P)2018 Recorded Books

Available on Audible
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City of a Thousand Gates

1 rating

Summary

“A stunning first novel...imbued with foreboding at every turn... Through her vibrant characters, Sacks paints a moving and powerful portrait of those who love the region passionately despite its many tensions and dangers.” (Booklist, starred review) "A beautifully written, brave, and incredibly compassionate novel. I couldn’t put it down.” (Etaf Rum) "Sacks deeply humanizes a conflict that dehumanizes on every level.” (Nicole Krauss) Brave and bold, this gorgeously written novel introduces a large cast of characters from various backgrounds in a setting where violence is routine and where survival is defined by boundaries, walls, and checkpoints that force people to live and love within and across them. Hamid, a college student, has entered Israeli territory illegally for work. Rushing past soldiers, he bumps into Vera, a German journalist headed to Jerusalem to cover the story of Salem, a Palestinian boy beaten into a coma by a group of revenge-seeking Israeli teenagers.  On her way to the hospital, Vera runs in front of a car that barely avoids hitting her. The driver is Ido, a new father traveling with his American wife and their baby. Ido is distracted by thoughts of a young Jewish girl murdered by a terrorist who infiltrated her settlement. Ori, a 19-year-old soldier from a nearby settlement, is guarding the checkpoint between Bethlehem and Jerusalem through which Samar - Hamid’s professor - must pass. These multiple strands open this magnificent and haunting novel of present-day Israel and Palestine, following each of these diverse characters as they try to protect what they love. Their interwoven stories reveal complicated, painful truths about life in this conflicted land steeped in hope, love, hatred, terror, and blood on both sides. City of a Thousand Gates brilliantly evokes the universal drives that motivate these individuals to think and act as they do - desires for security, for freedom, for dignity, for the future of one’s children, for land that each of us, no matter who or where we are, recognize and share.   Supplemental enhancement PDF accompanies the audiobook.  PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio. 

©2021 Rebecca Sacks (P)2021 HarperCollins Publishers

Narrator: Lameece Issaq
Length: 13 hrs and 49 mins
Available on Audible
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Americanized

1 rating

Summary

The hilarious, poignant, and true story of one teen's experience growing up in America as an undocumented immigrant from the Middle East, perfect for fans of Mindy Kaling and Lena Dunham's books. At 13, bright-eyed straight-A student Sara Saedi uncovered a terrible family secret: She was breaking the law simply by living in the United States. Only two years old when her parents fled Iran, she didn't learn of her undocumented status until her older sister wanted to apply for an after-school job but couldn't because she didn't have a Social Security number. Fear of deportation kept Sara up at night, but it didn't keep her from being a teenager. She desperately wanted a green card, along with clear skin, her own car, and a boyfriend. Americanized follows Sara's progress toward getting her green card, but that's only a portion of her experiences as an Iranian "American" teenager. From discovering that her parents secretly divorced to facilitate her mother's green card application to learning how to tame her unibrow, Sara pivots gracefully from the terrifying prospect that she might be kicked out of the country at any time to the almost as terrifying possibility that she might be the only one of her friends without a date to the prom. This moving, often hilarious story is for anyone who has ever shared either fear. PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2018 Sara Saedi (P)2018 Audible, Inc.

Narrator: Lameece Issaq
Author: Sara Saedi
Length: 5 hrs and 48 mins
Available on Audible
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Savage Legion

Summary

An epic fantasy by Hugo Award-winning author Matt Wallace about a utopian city with a dark secret...and the underdogs who will expose it, or die trying. They call them Savages. Brutal. Efficient. Expendable.  The empire relies on them. The Savages are the greatest weapon they ever developed. Culled from the streets of their cities, they take the ones no one will miss and throw them, by the thousands, at the empire’s enemies. If they live, they fight again. If they die, there are always more to take their place.  Evie is not a Savage. She’s a warrior with a mission: to find the man she once loved, the man who holds the key to exposing the secret of the Savage Legion and ending the mass conscription of the empire’s poor and wretched.  But to find him, she must become one of them, to be marked in her blood, to fight in their wars, and to find her purpose. Evie will die a Savage if she has to, but not before showing the world who she really is and what the Savage Legion can really do.

©2020 Matt Wallace (P)2020 Simon & Schuster, Inc

Narrator: Lameece Issaq
Author: Matt Wallace
Length: 15 hrs and 20 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for The Thirty Names of Night

The Thirty Names of Night

2 ratings

Summary

?The author of the “vivid and urgent...important and timely” (The New York Times Book Review) debut The Map of Salt and Stars returns with this remarkably moving and lyrical novel following three generations of Syrian Americans who are linked by a mysterious species of bird and the truths they carry close to their hearts. Five years after a suspicious fire killed his ornithologist mother, a closeted Syrian American trans boy sheds his birth name and searches for a new one. He has been unable to paint since his mother’s ghost has begun to visit him each evening. As his grandmother’s sole caretaker, he spends his days cooped up in their apartment, avoiding his neighborhood masjid, his estranged sister, and even his best friend (who also happens to be his longtime crush). The only time he feels truly free is when he slips out at night to paint murals on buildings in the once-thriving Manhattan neighborhood known as Little Syria. One night, he enters the abandoned community house and finds the tattered journal of a Syrian American artist named Laila Z, who dedicated her career to painting the birds of North America. She famously and mysteriously disappeared more than 60 years before, but her journal contains proof that both his mother and Laila Z encountered the same rare bird before their deaths. In fact, Laila Z’s past is intimately tied to his mother’s - and his grandmother’s - in ways he never could have expected. Even more surprising, Laila Z’s story reveals the histories of queer and transgender people within his own community that he never knew. Realizing that he isn’t and has never been alone, he has the courage to officially claim a new name: Nadir, an Arabic name meaning rare. As unprecedented numbers of birds are mysteriously drawn to the New York City skies, Nadir enlists the help of his family and friends to unravel what happened to Laila Z and the rare bird his mother died trying to save. Following his mother’s ghost, he uncovers the silences kept in the name of survival by his own community, his own family, and within himself, and discovers the family that was there all along. Featuring Zeyn Joukhadar’s signature “magical and heart-wrenching” (The Christian Science Monitor) storytelling, The Thirty Names of Night is a timely exploration of how we all search for and ultimately embrace who we are.

©2020 Zeyn Joukhadar (P)2020 Simon & Schuster

Length: 9 hrs and 29 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for The Double Drastic Time Capsule Caper

The Double Drastic Time Capsule Caper

Summary

The town of Franklin Falls is having its 100th birthday. And that means the town’s historic time capsule is about to be dug up and put on display by the proud citizens. Yeah, well, not if the crooked mayor has his way.  Good thing all-around smart kid Leon Karakostas is one step ahead of him. With his twin sister, Noel, and his crew - Pixie, Microscope, and Aardvark - he’s planning the greatest heist Franklin Falls has ever seen. It’s up to them to save the town’s treasure before the mayor can get his greasy hands on it.  Along the way, they’ll find themselves in a mad dash to the dump, on a rooftop chase, and caught up in a showdown with a mysterious grandma. They’ll cross paths with the world’s worst music, invisible elephants (sort of), waffles on wheels, the Lord of the Pugs, and more. So much more. (Seriously. It’s crazy.)  Will the kids be able to stop the mayor before he steals the town’s most valuable artifact and takes off with it? Find out in Van Temple’s fast-paced and laugh-out-loud funny The Double Drastic Time Capsule Caper!

©2020 Van Temple (P)2020 Audible Originals, LLC.

Available on Audible
Cover art for City of a Thousand Gates

City of a Thousand Gates

Summary

A novel of great humanity, compassion and astonishing immediacy, this unique debut portrays the emotional reality of contemporary life in the West Bank and the irreconcilable Israeli-Palestinian conflict. A collage of narrative voices and different points of view are woven around the murder of two young people, one Israeli and one Palestinian. Brave and bold, this gorgeously written work of fiction introduces a large cast of characters in a setting where violence is routine, even normal, and where survival is defined by boundaries, walls, and checkpoints that force people to live and love within and across them. Hamid has come into Israeli territory illegally to work. He runs into Vera, a German journalist on her way to Jerusalem to cover the story of Salem, a Palestinian boy who is in a coma after being beaten by Israeli teenagers. On her way to the hospital, Vera runs in front of a car driven by Ido, a new father, who is distracted by thoughts of a young Jewish girl murdered by a terrorist. Ori, an 18-year-old soldier from a nearby settlement, is guarding the checkpoint through which Hamid’s professor, Samar, must pass. This powerful novel delivers an eminently human, complex and compassionate view of an irreconcilable conflict. Sacks writes unflinchingly about the hate and violence that continues to fuel tensions in the West Bank. It’s an extraordinary debut work of fiction that mines the range of shared human emotions with riveting engagement and understanding.

©2021 Rebecca Sacks (P)2021 HarperCollins Publishers

Narrator: Lameece Issaq
Length: 13 hrs and 49 mins
Available on Audible
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Love, InshAllah

1 rating

Summary

Romance, dating, sex and - Muslim women? In this groundbreaking collection, 25 American Muslim writers sweep aside stereotypes to share their search for love openly for the first time, showing just how varied the search for love can be - from singles' events and online dating, to college flirtations and arranged marriages, all with a uniquely Muslim twist. These stories are filled with passion and hope, loss and longing: A quintessential blonde California girl travels abroad to escape suffocating responsibilities at home, only to fall in love with a handsome Brazilian stranger she may never see again. An orthodox African-American woman must face her growing attraction to her female friend. A young girl defies her South Asian parents' cultural expectations with an interracial relationship. And a Southern woman agrees to consider an arranged marriage, with surprising results. These compelling stories of love and romance create an irresistible balance of heart-warming and tantalizing, always revealing and deeply relatable.

©2012 Ayesha Mattu, Nura Maznavi (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

Available on Audible
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Before She Sleeps

2 ratings

Summary

“A haunting dystopian thriller” from the acclaimed author of A Season for Martyrs  “Fans of The Handmaid’s Tale won’t want to miss this one.” (Publishers Weekly) In modern, beautiful Green City, the capital of Southwest Asia, gender selection, war, and disease have brought the ratio of men to women to alarmingly low levels. The government uses terror and technology to control its people, and now females must take multiple husbands to have children as quickly as possible.  Yet there are some who resist, women who live in an underground collective and refuse to be part of the system. Secretly protected by the highest echelons of power, they emerge only at night to provide the rich and elite of Green City a type of commodity no one can buy: intimacy without sex. As it turns out, not even the most influential men can shield them from discovery and the dangers of ruthless punishment.  This dystopian novel from one of Pakistan’s most talented writers is a modern-day parable, The Handmaid’s Tale for repressed women in Muslim countries everywhere. Before She Sleeps takes the patriarchal practices of female seclusion and veiling, gender selection, and control over women’s bodies, amplifying and distorting them in a truly terrifying way to imagine a world of post-religious authoritarianism.

©2018 Bina Shah (P)2018 Audible, Inc.

Available on Audible
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The Writer's Library

Summary

Performed by Nancy Pearl, Jeff Schwager and a multi-cast that includes book contributors Luis Alberto Urrea, Siri Hustvedt, Laurie Frankel, Vendela Vida, and Richard Ford. The Writer’s Library audiobook also features real conversations with Michael Chabon, Ayelet Waldman, and Laila Lalami. With a foreword by Susan Orlean, 23 of today's living literary legends, including Donna Tartt, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Andrew Sean Greer, Laila Lalami, and Michael Chabon, reveal the books that made them think, brought them joy, and changed their lives in this intimate, moving, and insightful collection from "American's Librarian" Nancy Pearl and noted playwright Jeff Schwager that celebrates the power of literature and reading to connect us all.  Before Jennifer Egan, Louise Erdrich, Luis Alberto Urrea, and Jonathan Lethem became revered authors, they were readers. In this ebullient book, America’s favorite librarian Nancy Pearl and noted-playwright Jeff Schwager interview a diverse range of America's most notable and influential writers about the books that shaped them and inspired them to leave their own literary mark.  The Writer’s Library is a revelatory exploration of the studies, libraries, and bookstores of today’s favorite authors - the creative artists whose imagination and sublime talent make America's literary scene the wonderful, dynamic world it is.  A love letter to books and a celebration of wordsmiths, The Writer’s Library is a treasure for anyone who has been moved by the written word.  The authors in The Writer’s Library are: Russell Banks, TC Boyle, Michael Chabon, Susan Choi, Jennifer Egan, Dave Eggers, Louise Erdrich, Richard Ford, Laurie Frankel, Andrew Sean Greer, Jane Hirshfield, Siri Hustvedt, Charles Johnson, Laila Lalami, Jonathan Lethem, Donna Tartt, Madeline Miller, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Luis Alberto Urrea, Vendela Vida, Ayelet Waldman, Maaza Mengiste, and Amor Towles.

©2020 Nancy Pearl and Jeff Schwager (P)2020 HarperCollins Publishers

Available on Audible
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Queen

2 ratings

Summary

Kitty Doe is a Blackcoat rebel and a former captive with a deadly connection to the most powerful and dangerous man in the country, Prime Minister Daxton Hart. Forced to masquerade as Daxton's niece, Lila Hart, Kitty has helped the Blackcoats take back the prison known as Elsewhere. But Daxton has no intention of ceding his position of privilege - or letting Kitty expose his own masquerade. Not in these United States, where each person's rank means the difference between luxury and poverty, freedom and fear...and, ultimately, between life and death. To defeat the corrupt government, Kitty must expose Daxton's secret. Securing evidence will put others in jeopardy, including the boy she's loved forever and an ally she barely trusts. For months Kitty's survival has hinged on playing a part. Now she must discover who she truly wants to be and whether the new world she and the rebels are striving to create has a place in it for her after all.

©2015 Aimee Carter (P)2015 Audible, Inc.

Narrator: Lameece Issaq
Length: 7 hrs and 37 mins
Available on Audible
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The Decameron Project

Summary

A stunning collection of short stories originally commissioned by The New York Times Magazine as the COVID-19 pandemic swept the world, from 29 authors including Margaret Atwood, Tommy Orange, Edwidge Danticat, this year's National Book Award winner Charles Yu, and more. When reality is surreal, only fiction can make sense of it. In 1353, Giovanni Boccaccio wrote The Decameron: 100 nested tales told by a group of young men and women passing the time at a villa outside Florence while waiting out the gruesome Black Death, a plague that killed more than 25 million people. Some of the stories are silly, some are bawdy, some are like fables.  In March 2020, the editors of The New York Times Magazine created The Decameron Project, an anthology with a simple, time-spanning goal: to gather a collection of stories written as our current pandemic first swept the globe. How might new fiction from some of the finest writers working today help us memorialize and understand the unimaginable? And what could be learned about how this crisis will affect the art of fiction?  These 29 new stories, from authors including Margaret Atwood, Tommy Orange, Edwidge Danticat, Charles Yu, Rachel Kusher, Colm Toibin, and David Mitchell vary widely in texture and tone. Their work will be remembered as a historical tribute to a time and place unlike any other in our lifetimes, and will offer perspective and solace to the listener now and in a future where COVID-19 is, hopefully, just a memory.  Table of Contents: “Preface” by Caitlin Roper “Introduction” by Rivka Galchen “Recognition” by Victor LaValle “A Blue Sky Like This” by Mona Awad “The Walk” by Kamila Shamsie “Tales from the LA River” by Colm Tóibín “Clinical Notes” by Liz Moore “The Team” by Tommy Orange “The Rock” by Leila Slimani “Impatient Griselda” by Margaret Atwood “Under the Magnolia” by Yiyun Li “Outside” by Etgar Keret “Keepsakes” by Andrew O’Hagan “The Girl with the Big Red Suitcase” by Rachel Kushner “The Morningside” by Téa Obreht “Screen Time” by Alejandro Zambra “How We Used to Play” by Dinaw Mengestu “Line 19 Woodstock/Glisan” by Karen Russell “If Wishes was Horses” by David Mitchell “Systems” by Charles Yu “The Perfect Travel Buddy” by Paolo Giordano “An Obliging Robber” by Mia Cuoto “Sleep” by Uzodinma Iweala “Prudent Girls” by Rivers Solomon “That Time at My Brother’s Wedding” by Laila Lalami “A Time of Death, the Death of Time” by Julián Fuks “The Cellar” by Dina Nayeli “Origin Story” by Matthew Baker “To the Wall” by Esi Edugyan “Barcelona: Open City” by John Wray “One Thing” by Edwidge Danticat

©2020 The New York Times. All rights reserved. (P)2020 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

Available on Audible
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This Is Not Your Fault

1 rating

Summary

From acclaimed author Courtney Maum, a short story about a couple in the throes of divorce during COVID-19 that will remind listeners of the heartfelt humor and acuity of her critically acclaimed and beloved debut novel, I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You.   Hal Beekman is exhausted. With all of his energy devoted to his real estate developments, he doesn’t have the bandwidth to figure out why his wife is sad. As for Stacey Beekman, a transplanted Midwesterner with divorce-whisperer friends, the only solution for a husband who doesn’t desire her is to find a second husband who does. But with Stacey left alone in a new house to parent her tech-addicted children and Hank isolated in a Greenwich McMansion that neither of them ever loved, COVID-19 has surprises in store for the Beekmans, including the realization that they might be making a mistake.   Alternating between the husband and wife’s legal paperwork and co-parenting forms - braided with desperate missives from overeager lawyers - Maum’s portrait of a strained marriage in an unprecedented time - like quarantine life itself - is a powerful reminder about what we really hold dear.   

©2020 Courtney Maum (P)2020 Audible Originals, LLC.

Available on Audible
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Pawn

2 ratings

Summary

You can be a VII if you give everything. For Kitty Doe, it seems like an easy choice. She can either spend her life as a III in misery, looked down upon by the higher ranks and forced to leave the people she loves, or she can become a VII and join the most powerful family in the country. If she says yes, Kitty will be Masked - surgically transformed into Lila Hart, the Prime Minister's niece, who died under mysterious circumstances. As a member of the Hart family, she will be famous. She will be adored. And for the first time, she will matter. There's only one catch. She must also stop the rebellion that Lila secretly fostered, the same one that got her killed...and one Kitty believes in. Faced with threats, conspiracies and a life that's not her own, she must decide which path to choose - and learn how to become more than a pawn in a twisted game she's only beginning to understand.

©2013 Aimée Carter (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

Narrator: Lameece Issaq
Length: 8 hrs and 2 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for The Magical Reality of Nadia

The Magical Reality of Nadia

Summary

A hilarious and heartfelt story about prejudice, friendship, empathy, and courage. Nadia loves fun facts. Here are a few about her: She collects bobbleheads - she has 77 so far.  She moved from Egypt to America when she was six years old.  The hippo amulet she wears is ancient...as in it’s literally from ancient Egypt.  She’s going to win the contest to design a new exhibit at the local museum. Because how cool would that be?!  (Okay, so that last one isn’t a fact just yet, but Nadia has plans to make it one.) But then a new kid shows up and teases Nadia about her Egyptian ethnicity. It’s totally unexpected, and totally throws her off her game.  And something else happens that Nadia can't explain: Her amulet starts glowing! She soon discovers that the hippo is holding a helpful - and hilarious - secret. Can she use it to confront the bully and win the contest?  From The Daily Show comedian Bassem Youssef and author Catherine Daly comes a humorous and heartfelt story about prejudice, friendship, empathy, and courage.

©2021 Bassem Youssef and Catherine R. Daly (P)2021 Scholastic Inc.

Available on Audible
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Daring to Drive

9 ratings

Summary

A ferociously intimate memoir by a devout woman from a modest family in Saudi Arabia who became the unexpected leader of a courageous movement to support women's right to drive.

Manal al-Sharif grew up in Mecca the second daughter of a taxi driver, born the year fundamentalism took hold. In her adolescence she was a religious radical, melting her brother's boy band cassettes in the oven because music was haram: forbidden by Islamic law. But what a difference an education can make. By her 20s she was a computer security engineer, one of few women working in a desert compound that resembled suburban America. That's when the Saudi kingdom's contradictions became too much to bear: She was labeled a slut for chatting with male colleagues, her teenage brother chaperoned her on a business trip, and while she kept a car in her garage, she was forbidden from driving down city streets behind the wheel.

Daring to Drive is the fiercely intimate memoir of an accidental activist, a powerfully vivid story of a young Muslim woman who stood up to a kingdom of men - and won. Writing on the cusp of history, Manal offers a rare glimpse into the lives of women in Saudi Arabia today. Her memoir is a remarkable celebration of resilience in the face of tyranny, the extraordinary power of education and female solidarity, and the difficulties, absurdities, and joys of making your voice heard.

©2017 Manal al-Sharif (P)2017 Simon & Schuster Audio

Narrator: Lameece Issaq
Length: 10 hrs and 17 mins
Available on Audible
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Kink

1 rating

Summary

Kink is a groundbreaking anthology of literary short fiction exploring love and desire, BDSM, and interests across the sexual spectrum, edited by lauded writers R.O. Kwon and Garth Greenwell, and featuring a roster of all-star contributors including Alexander Chee, Roxane Gay, Carmen Maria Machado, and more. A Most-Anticipated book of 2021 as selected by: Marie Claire  O, The Oprah Magazine  Cosmopolitan  The Millions  The Advocate  Autostraddle  Refinery29 Shape  Town & Country  Book Riot Literary Hub  Kink is a dynamic anthology of literary fiction that opens an imaginative door into the world of desire. The stories within this collection portray love, desire, BDSM, and sexual kinks in all their glory with a bold new vision. The collection includes works by renowned fiction writers such as Callum Angus, Alexander Chee, Vanessa Clark, Melissa Febos, Kim Fu, Roxane Gay, Cara Hoffman, Zeyn Joukhadar, Chris Kraus, Carmen Maria Machado, Peter Mountford, Larissa Pham, and Brandon Taylor, with Garth Greenwell and R.O. Kwon as editors. The stories within explore bondage, power-play, and submissive-dominant relationships; we are taken to private estates, therapists’ offices, underground sex clubs, and even a Victorian-era sex theater. While there are whips and chains, sure, the true power of these stories lies in their beautiful, moving dispatches from across the sexual spectrum of interest and desires, as portrayed by some of today’s most exciting writers. 

©2021 R.O. Kwon and Garth Greenwell. All rights reserved. “The Cure” ©2021 Melissa Febos. “Best Friendster Date Ever” ©2005 Alexander Chee. “Trust” ©2021 Larissa Pham. “Safeword” ©2017 R.O. Kwon. “Canada” ©2021 Callum Angus. “Oh, Youth” ©2021 Brandon Taylor. “Impact Play” ©2021 Peter Mountford. “Mirror, Mirror” ©2021 Vanessa Clark. “Reach” ©2007 Roxane Gay. “Gospodar” ©2014 Garth Greenwell. “Scissors” ©2021 Kim Fu. “The Lost Performance of the High Priestess of the Temple of Horror” ©2020 Carmen Maria Machado. “Retouch/Switch” ©2021 Cara Hoffman. “Emotional Technologies” ©2004 Chris Kraus. (P)2021 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

Available on Audible
Cover art for Captive

Captive

1 rating

Summary

The truth can set her free. For the past two months, Kitty Doe's life has been a lie. Forced to impersonate Lila Hart, the Prime Minister's niece, in a hostile meritocracy on the verge of revolution, Kitty sees her frustration grow as her trust in her fake fiancé cracks, her real boyfriend is forbidden and the Blackcoat rebels she is secretly supporting keep her in the dark more than ever. But in the midst of discovering that her role in the Hart family may not be as coincidental as she thought, she's accused of treason and is forced to face her greatest fear: Elsewhere. A prison where no one can escape. As one shocking revelation leads to the next, Kitty learns the hard way that she can trust no one, not even the people she thought were on her side. With her back against the wall, Kitty wants to believe she'll do whatever it takes to support the rebellion she believes in - but is she prepared to pay the ultimate price?

©2013 Aimée Carter (P)2014 Audible Inc.

Narrator: Lameece Issaq
Length: 8 hrs and 4 mins
Available on Audible