Cover art for Ballistic

Ballistic

15 ratings

Summary

"I gulped down Ballistic in one long read, staying awake half the night, and now I want the next one!" (George R. R. Martin) There is a personal price to pay for having aligned with the wrong side in a reckless war. For Aden Jansen it's the need to adopt a new identity while keeping his past hidden. Now he's integrated himself aboard the Zephyr, a merchant ship smuggling critical goods through dangerous space. But danger is imminent on planet Gretia, as well. Under occupation, torn between postwar reformers and loyalists, it's a polestar for civil unrest. Meanwhile an occupation forces officer is pulled right back into the fray when the battle alarm is raised, an ambitious heiress is entangled in a subversive political conspiracy, and an Allied captain is about to meet the enemy head-on. As Aden discovers, the insurgents on Gretia - and in space - are connected, organized, and ready to break into full-scale rebellion. History is threatening to repeat itself. It's time that Aden rediscovers who he is, whom he can trust, and what he must fight for now.

©2020 Marko Kloos (P)2020 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

Length: 9 hrs and 37 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for Princes of Ireland

Princes of Ireland

18 ratings

Summary

The saga begins in tribal, pre-Christian Ireland during the reign of the fierce and mighty High Kings at Tara, with the tale of two lovers, the princely Conall and the ravishing Deirdre, whose travails cleverly echo the ancient Celtic legend of Cuchulainn. From that stirring beginning, Rutherfurd takes the listener on a powerfully imagined journey through the centuries. Through the interlocking stories of a memorable cast of characters (druids and chieftains, monks and smugglers, noblewomen and farmwives, merchants and mercenaries, rebels and cowards) we see Ireland through the lens of its greatest city.   While vividly and movingly conveying the passions and struggles that shaped the character of Dublin, Rutherfurd portrays the major events in Irish history: The tribal culture of pagan Ireland; the mission of St. Patrick; the coming of the Vikings and the founding of Dublin; the glories of the great nearby monastery of Glendalough and the making of treasures like the Book of Kells; the extraordinary career of Brian Boru; and the trickery of Henry II, which gave England its first foothold in Medieval Ireland. The stage is then set for the great conflict between the English kings and the princes of Ireland, and the disastrous Irish invasion of England, which incurred the wrath of Henry VIII and where this book, the first of the two-part Dublin Saga, draws to a close, as the path of Irish history takes a dramatic and irrevocable turn. Rich, colorful, and impeccably researched, The Princes of Ireland is epic entertainment spun by a master.

©2004 Edward Rutherfurd (P)2004 Books on Tape

Available on Audible
Cover art for Castles of Steel

Castles of Steel

12 ratings

Summary

In a work of extraordinary narrative power, filled with brilliant personalities and vivid scenes of dramatic action, Robert K. Massie, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Peter the Great, Nicholas and Alexandra, and Dreadnought, elevates to its proper historical importance the role of sea power in the winning of the Great War.

The predominant image of this first world war is of mud and trenches, barbed wire, machine guns, poison gas, and slaughter. A generation of European manhood was massacred, and a wound was inflicted on European civilization that required the remainder of the twentieth century to heal.

But with all its sacrifice, trench warfare did not win the war for one side or lose it for the other. Over the course of four years, the lines on the Western Front moved scarcely at all; attempts to break through led only to the lengthening of the already unbearably long casualty lists.

For the true story of military upheaval, we must look to the sea. On the eve of the war in August 1914, Great Britain and Germany possessed the two greatest navies the world had ever seen. When war came, these two fleets of dreadnoughts - gigantic floating castles of steel able to hurl massive shells at an enemy miles away - were ready to test their terrible power against each other.

Their struggles took place in the North Sea and the Pacific, at the Falkland Islands and the Dardanelles. They reached their climax when Germany, suffocated by an implacable naval blockade, decided to strike against the British ring of steel. The result was Jutland, a titanic clash of fifty-eight dreadnoughts, each the home of a thousand men.

When the German High Seas Fleet retreated, the kaiser unleashed unrestricted U-boat warfare, which, in its indiscriminate violence, brought a reluctant America into the war. In this way, the German effort to “seize the trident” by defeating the British navy led to the fall of the German empire.

Ultimately, the distinguishing feature of Castles of Steel is the author himself. The knowledge, understanding, and literary power Massie brings to this story are unparalleled. His portrayals of Winston Churchill, the British admirals Fisher, Jellicoe, and Beatty, and the Germans Scheer, Hipper, and Tirpitz are stunning in their veracity and artistry.

Castles of Steel is about war at sea, leadership and command, courage, genius, and folly. All these elements are given magnificent scope by Robert K. Massie’s special and widely hailed literary mastery.

From the Hardcover edition.

©2003 Robert K. Massie (P)2012 Random House Audio

Category: History, Military
Length: 40 hrs and 23 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for Shackleton's Way

Shackleton's Way

6 ratings

Summary

From 1914 to 1916, Ernest Shackleton and his men survived the wreck of their ship Endurance, crushed in the Antarctic ice, stranded 1,200 miles from civilization with no means of communication and no hope for rescue. When the ice began to break up, Shackleton set out to save them all on his heroic 800-mile-trip across the frigid South Atlantic, in little more than a rowboat. Unlike similar polar expeditions, every man survived, not only in good health, but also in good spirits, all due to Shackleton's leadership. Now, Shackleton scholar Margot Morrell and Wall Street Journal writer Stephanie Capparell team up to present Shackleton's timeless leadership skills, skills that can be learned by anyone, to a new generation.

©2001 Margot Morrell and Substantial Films, Inc. (P)2001 Books on Tape, Inc.

Available on Audible
Cover art for The Rebels of Ireland

The Rebels of Ireland

14 ratings

Summary

The Princes of Ireland, the first volume of Edward Rutherfurd’s magisterial epic of Irish history, ended with the disastrous Irish revolt of 1534 and the disappearance of the sacred Staff of Saint Patrick.  The Rebels of Ireland opens with an Ireland transformed; plantation, the final step in the centuries-long English conquest of Ireland, is the order of the day, and the subjugation of the native Irish Catholic population has begun in earnest.   Edward Rutherfurd brings history to life through the tales of families whose fates rise and fall in each generation: Brothers who must choose between fidelity to their ancient faith or the security of their families; a wife whose passion for a charismatic Irish chieftain threatens her comfortable marriage to a prosperous merchant; a young scholar whose secret rebel sympathies are put to the test; men who risk their lives and their children’s fortunes in the tragic pursuit of freedom, and those determined to root them out forever.  Rutherfurd spins the saga of Ireland’s 400-year path to independence in all its drama, tragedy, and glory through the stories of people from all strata of society - Protestant and Catholic, rich and poor, conniving and heroic.   His richly detailed narrative brings to life watershed moments and events, from the time of plantation settlements to the “Flight of the Earls,” when the native aristocracy fled the island, to Cromwell’s suppression of the population and the imposition of the harsh anti-Catholic penal laws. He describes the hardships of ordinary people and the romantic, doomed attempt to overthrow the Protestant oppressors, which ended in defeat at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690, and the departure of the “Wild Geese.”  In vivid tones Rutherfurd re-creates Grattan’s Parliament, Wolfe Tone's attempted French invasion of 1798, the tragic rising of Robert Emmet, the Catholic campaign of Daniel O’Connell, the catastrophic famine, the mass migration to America, and the glorious Irish Renaissance of Yeats and Joyce. And through the eyes of his characters, he captures the rise of Charles Stewart Parnell and the great Irish nationalists and the birth of an Ireland free of all ties to England.   A tale of fierce battles, hot-blooded romances, and family and political intrigues, The Rebels of Ireland brings the story begun in The Princes of Ireland to a stunning conclusion. 

©2006 Edward Rutherfurd (P)2006 Books on Tape

Length: 29 hrs and 45 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for The White and the Gold

The White and the Gold

3 ratings

Summary

This is the fascinating story of the French regime in Canada. Few periods in the history of North America can equal it for romance and color, drama and suspense, great human courage and far-seeing aspiration. Costain, who writes history in the terms of the people who lived it, wrote of this book: "Almost from the first I found myself caught in the spell of these courageous, colorful, cruel days. But whenever I found myself guilty of overstressing the romantic side of the picture and forgetful of the more prosaic life beneath, I tried to balance the scales more properly. [This] is...a conscientious effort at a balanced picture of a period which was brave, bizarre, fanatical, lyrical, lusty, and, in fact, rather completely unbalanced."

©2010 Thomas Costain (P)2010 Random House Audio

Length: 16 hrs and 57 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill

Summary

The eminent historian John Keegan charts Churchill's career, following his steadfast leadership during the catastrophic events of World War II while England was dangerously poised on the brink of collapse. With wonderful eloquence, Keegan illuminates Churchill's incredible strength during this crucial moment in history and his unshakable belief that democracy would always prevail. Keegan looks at Churchill's speeches, which are some of the greatest examples of English oratory, and identifies his ability to communicate his own idea of an English past as the source of Churchill's greatness. He also sheds light on the political climate of Churchill's time. The result is an insightful, sensitive portrait of Churchill the war leader and Churchill the man.

©2002 John Keegan (P)2002 Books on Tape, Inc.

Author: John Keegan
Length: 5 hrs and 30 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for The Piano Tuner

The Piano Tuner

2 ratings

Summary

An extraordinary first novel that tells the story of a British piano tuner sent deep into Burma in the 19th century. In October 1886, Edgar Drake receives a strange request from the British War Office: he must leave his wife and his quiet life in London to travel to the jungles of Burma, where a rare Erard grand piano is in need of repair. The piano belongs to an army surgeon-major whose unorthodox peacemaking methods - poetry, medicine, and now music - have brought a tentative quiet to the southern Shan States but have elicited questions from his superiors.  On his journey through Europe, the Red Sea, India, and into Burma, Edgar meets soldiers, mystics, bandits, and tale-spinners, as well as an enchanting woman as elusive as the surgeon-major. And at the doctor’s fort on a remote Burmese river, Edgar encounters a world more mysterious and dangerous than he ever could have imagined.  Sensuous, lyrical, rich with passion and adventure, this is a hypnotic tale of myth, romance, and self-discovery: an unforgettable novel. 

©2002 Daniel Mason (P)2002 Books on Tape, Inc.

Author: Daniel Mason
Length: 10 hrs and 48 mins
Available on Audible