Audiobooks

Nonfiction Book Group August 2016

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Also available in: e-book | audiobook | e-audiobook

Henry David Thoreau's account of his adventure in self-reliance on the shores of a pond in Massachusetts--part social experiment, part spiritual quest--is an enduringly influential American classic. In 1845, Thoreau began building a cabin at Walden Pond near Concord, Massachusetts. The inspiring and lyrical book that resulted is both a record of the two years Thoreau spent in withdrawal from society and a declaration of personal independence. By virtue of its casual, offhandedly brilliant wisdom and the easy splendor of its nature writing, Thoreau's account of his immersion in solitude has become a signpost for the modern mind in an increasingly bewildering world.

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Lunch and a Book August 2016

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Also available in: audiobook

Using her own experiences as a starting point, journalist and cultural critic Kate Bolick invites us into her carefully considered, passionately lived life, weaving together the past and present to examine why­ she--along with over 100 million American women, whose ranks keep growing--remains unmarried. This unprecedented demographic shift, Bolick explains, is the logical outcome of hundreds of years of change that has neither been fully understood, nor appreciated. Spinster introduces a cast of pioneering women from the last century whose genius, tenacity, and flair for drama have emboldened Bolick to fashion her life on her own terms: columnist Neith Boyce, essayist Maeve Brennan, social visionary Charlotte Perkins Gilman, poet Edna St. Vincent Millay, and novelist Edith Wharton.

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Lunch and a Book July 2016

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Go set a watchman by Harper Lee
Also available in: e-book | audiobook | e-audiobook | large print

Twenty-six-year-old Jean Louise Finch-"Scout"-returns home from New York City to visit her aging father, Atticus. Set against the backdrop of the civil rights tensions and political turmoil that were transforming the South, Jean Louise's homecoming turns bittersweet when she learns disturbing truths about her close-knit family, the town, and the people dearest to her. Memories from her childhood flood back, and her values and assumptions are thrown into doubt. Featuring many of the iconic characters from To Kill a Mockingbird, Go Set a Watchman perfectly captures a young woman, and a world, in painful yet necessary transition out of the illusions of the past - a journey that can only be guided by one's own conscience. Written in the mid-1950s, Go Set a Watchman imparts a fuller, richer understanding and appreciation of Harper Lee. 

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Sara Walker's DIETLAND is not for the faint hearted.  It's a challenging read, thought provoking.  Box office tickets to Lin-Manuel Miranda's "Hamilton" are sold out through January 2017; if you can't see the play, then read about the infamous Hamilton/Burr conflict. Fans of GRANTCHESTER, recently shown on local PBS Masterpiece Mystery, will want to read the James Runcie story collections featuring Canon Sidney Chambers and Inspector Geordie Keating. 

Dietland by Sarai Walker

"A fresh and provocative debut novel about a reclusive young woman saving up for weight loss surgery when she gets drawn into a shadowy feminist guerilla group called "Jennifer"--equal parts Bridget Jones's Diary and Fight Club"--.

When auctioneer Wren Morgan begins cataloging the contents of the Campbell mansion, she's unprepared to find something that can't be appraised--a dead man. After the body turns out to be a criminal with ties to a recent jewel heist, Wren comes face-to-face with Death Bogart. A private eye and part-time bounty hunter, Death is searching for the stolen jewels needed to convict a murderer. Death finds a friend and willing ally in Wren, but they aren't the only ones searching for treasure. Two ruthless men are also on the hunt, and they will do anything to eliminate the competition. To survive, Death and Wren must solve two mysteries spanning a century and a half and outwit a pair of cold-blooded killers. Praise: "Ross' thoroughly entertaining debut combines smart details about the auction business with two engaging mysteries and a uniformly appealing cast. Fans of small-town cozies, especially those by Denise Swanson, will love this, as will mystery readers who double as thrift-store aficionados and followers of auction reality shows.

On Wednesday, May 4 at 7:00PM, Allison Leotta and Con (Cornelius) Lehane will visit Aunt Agatha's Bookstore in Ann Arbor to sign their new books,  Allison's new legal thriller, The Last Good Girl is set in a thinly disguised Ann Arbor; Con's Murder at the 42nd Street Library .  On Sunday, May 15, History Mystery returns to Aunt Agatha's for an Open House at 1:00PM.  Visiting us will be Susanna Calkins, Sharan Newman, Candace Robb & Sam Thomas.  All except Sharan have new books out. Special guest will be Darcie Wilde, known to some of you as Sarah Zettel, who has a new Regency era mystery.  Steve Hamilton returns on Tuesday, May 17, 7:00PM.  to sign his new book, The Second Life of Nick Mason at the Ann Arbor District Library-Downtown.  

Nonfiction Book Group June 2016

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The Wright brothers by David G McCullough
Also available in: e-book | audiobook | large print

On a winter day in 1903, in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, two unknown brothers from Ohio changed history. But it would take the world some time to believe what had happened: the age of flight had begun, with the first heavier-than-air, powered machine carrying a pilot. David McCullough, two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize, tells the profoundly American story of Wilbur and Orville Wright. Far more than a couple of unschooled Dayton bicycle mechanics who happened to hit on success, they were men of courage, determination and ceaseless curiosity.

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Lunch and a Book June 2016

This post contains suggestions for how to earn your Explore History: On the Scene badge.
Learn more and earn badges on the Connect Your Summer page.
Also available in: audiobook | e-audiobook

With the novelistic flair and knack for historical detail Catherine Bailey displayed in her New York Times bestseller The Secret Rooms, Black Diamonds provides a page-turning chronicle of the Fitzwilliam coal-mining dynasty and their breathtaking Wentworth estate, the largest private home in England. When the sixth Earl Fitzwilliam died in 1902, he left behind the second largest estate in twentieth-century England--a lifeline to the tens of thousands of people who worked either in the family's coal mines or on their expansive estate. The earl also left behind four sons, and the family line seemed assured. But was it? 

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Also available in: audiobook

It is 1953, the coronation year of Elizabeth II. Sidney Chambers, vicar of Grantchester, is a thirty-two-year-old bachelor and an unconventional clerical detective who can go where the police cannot. Together with his friend, inspector Geordie Keating, Sidney inquires into the suspect suicide of a Cambridge solicitor, a jewelry theft at a New Year's Eve dinner party, the death of a jazz promoter's daughter, and an art forgery that puts a close friend in danger. Sidney discovers that being a detective, like being a clergyman, means that you are never off duty, but he nonetheless manages to find time for a keen interest in cricket, warm beer, and hot jazz. Join us Thursday, May 12 at noon.

Michigan native, author, and poet Jim Harrison passed on this weekend. Harrison's body of work included, "...21 volumes of fiction, including 'Legends of the Fall', a collection of three novellas whose title piece, about a Montana family ravaged by World War I, became a 1994 film starring Brad Pitt; 14 books of poetry; two books of essays; a memoir; and a children’s book." (New York Times) He was known for tales of outdoors and rural life in the U.P. and his rugged, masculine characters were often compared to those of Hemingway. Below we offer a selection of his works, many available on audio Book CD, in honor of his career. His 2016 release, The ancient minstrel : novellas, can be found on the New Book Shelf.

An epic Western saga about a woman and the three sons of a Montana rancher who love her, told against the backdrop of World War I.

Legends of the fall by Jim Harrison
Also available in: e-book | audiobook | e-audiobook

In 1937, Shanghai is a city of great wealth and glamour. Thanks to the financial security provided by their father's prosperous rickshaw business, twenty-one-year-old Pearl Chin and her younger sister, May, are having the time of their lives. Both are beautiful, modern, and carefree . . . until the day their father tells them that he has gambled away their wealth. In order to repay his debts he sells the girls as wives to suitors who have traveled from California to find Chinese brides. As Japanese bombs fall on their beloved city, Pearl and May set out on the journey of a lifetime, one that will take them through the Chinese countryside, in and out of the clutch of brutal soldiers, and across the Pacific to the shores of America. Join us as we discuss the 2016 Everyone's Reading title on Thursday, April 14 at noon.

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