Unfolding in a graveyard over the course of a single night, narrated by a dazzling chorus of voices, Lincoln in the Bardo is a literary experience unlike any other, for no one but Saunders could conceive it. February 1862. The Civil War is less than one year old. The fighting has begun in earnest, and the nation has begun to realize it is in for a long, bloody struggle. Meanwhile, President Lincoln's beloved 11-year-old son, Willie, dies and is laid to rest in a Georgetown cemetery.
"A stunning memento mori"
Day one: The Georgia Flu explodes over the surface of the Earth like a neutron bomb. News reports put the mortality rate at over 99%. Week Two: Civilization has crumbled. Year Twenty: A band of actors and musicians called the Travelling Symphony move through their territories performing concerts and Shakespeare to the settlements that have grown up there. Twenty years after the pandemic, life feels relatively safe. But now a new danger looms, and it threatens the hopeful world every survivor has tried to rebuild.
"“survival is insufficient”"
It is 1866 and Walter Moody has come to make his fortune upon the New Zealand goldfields. On arrival, he stumbles across a tense gathering of 12 local men, who have met in secret to discuss a series of unsolved crimes. A wealthy man has vanished, a whore has tried to end her life, and an enormous fortune has been discovered in the home of a luckless drunk. Moody is soon drawn into the mystery: a network of fates and fortunes that is as complex and exquisitely patterned as the night sky.
"Beautifully written, but slower than a snail"
The year is 1984 and the city is Tokyo.
A young woman named Aomame follows a taxi driver's enigmatic suggestion and begins to notice puzzling discrepancies in the world around her. She has entered, she realizes, a parallel existence, which she calls 1Q84 - "Q" is for "question mark". A world that bears a question....
"Murakami sparkles as ever"
Of all of John Irving's books, this is the one that lends itself best to audio. In print, Owen Meany's dialogue is set in capital letters; for this production, Irving himself selected Joe Barrett to deliver Meany's difficult voice as intended. In the summer of 1953, two 11-year-old boys - best friends - are playing in a Little League baseball game in Gravesend, New Hampshire. One of the boys hits a foul ball that kills the other boy's mother. The boy who hits the ball doesn't believe in accidents; Owen Meany believes he is God's instrument. What happens to Owen after that 1953 foul ball is extraordinary and terrifying.
"An amazing and memorable book"
To the Lighthouse is Virginia Woolf's arresting analysis of domestic family life, centering on the Ramseys and their visits to the Isle of Skye in Scotland in the early 1900s. Nicole Kidman (Moulin Rouge, Eyes Wide Shut), who won an Oscar for her portrayal of Woolf in the film adaptation of Michael Cunningham's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Hours, brings the impressionistic prose of this classic to vibrant life.
Recipient of the 1966 Tanizaki Prize, it has been called Endo's supreme achievement" and "one of the twentieth century's finest novels". Considered controversial ever since its first publication, it tackles the thorniest religious issues of belief and faith head on. A novel of historical fiction, it is the story of a Jesuit missionary sent to seventeenth century Japan, who endured persecution that followed the defeat of the Shimabara Rebellion.
"How a man comes face to face with God"
The second novel by Donna Tartt, best-selling author of The Goldfinch (winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize), The Little Friend is a grandly ambitious and utterly riveting novel of childhood, innocence and evil. The setting is Alexandria, Mississippi, where one Mother's Day a little boy named Robin Cleve Dufresnes was found hanging from a tree in his parents' yard. Twelve years later Robin's murder is still unsolved and his family remains devastated.
"Her third best book but still a wonderful story"
Mrs. Dalloway, perhaps Virginia Woolf's greatest novel, vividly follows English socialite Clarissa Dalloway as she prepares for a party in post-World War I London. Four-time Oscar nominee Annette Bening (American Beauty, The Kids Are All Right) brings Woolf's stream-of-consciousness style of storytelling to life, exploring the hidden springs of thought and action in one day of a woman's life in a brilliant performance.
"Sending it, back"
When Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm published their Children's and Household Tales in 1812, followed by a second volume in 1815, they had no idea that such stories as "Rapunzel", "Hansel and Gretel", and "Cinderella" would become the most celebrated in the world. Yet few people today are familiar with the majority of tales from the two early volumes, since in the next four decades the Grimms would publish six other editions, each extensively revised in content and style.
"Grimm's grim stories"
A natural storyteller and raconteur in his own right - just listen to Paddle Your Own Canoe and Gumption - actor, comedian, carpenter, and all-around manly man Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation) brings his distinctive baritone and a fine-tuned comic versatility to Twain's writing. In a knockout performance, he doesn't so much as read Twain's words as he does rejoice in them, delighting in the hijinks of Tom - whom he lovingly refers to as a "great scam artist" and "true American hero".
"a classic for a reason"
Including many of the greatest stories ever told - the labours of Hercules, the voyage of the Argonauts, Theseus and the minotaur, Midas and his golden touch, the Trojan War and Odysseus's journey home - Robert Graves's superb and comprehensive retelling of the Greek myths for a modern audience has been regarded for over fifty years as the definitive version. With a novelist's skill and a poet's eye, Graves draws on the entire canon of ancient literature, bringing together all the elements of every myth into one epic and unforgettable story.
Anthony Powell's universally acclaimed epic encompasses a four-volume panorama of twentieth century London. Hailed by Time as "brilliant literary comedy as well as a brilliant sketch of the times," A Dance to the Music of Time opens just after World War I. Amid the fever of the 1920s and the first chill of the 1930s, Nick Jenkins and his friends confront sex, society, business, and art.
"The best way to enjoy this true classic"
It's a story you think you know: the age-old tale of "star-cross'd lovers"; two families at war; a romance, so pure and absolute, fated for a tragic end. It's a story so thoroughly embedded in our culture, and so frequently retold. Yet, nothing captures the spark, the possibility, and the surprise of Shakespeare's work quite like this....
Lying in front of Harrison Opuku is a body, the body of one of his classmates, a boy known for his crazy basketball skills. Armed with a pair of camouflage binoculars and detective techniques absorbed from television shows like CSI, Harri and his best friend, Dean, plot to bring the perpetrator to justice. They gather evidence and lay traps to flush out the murderer. But nothing can prepare them for what happens when a criminal feels you closing in on him.
"If you loved Life of Pi..."
Galapagos takes the listener back one million years to A.D. 1986. A simple vacation cruise suddenly becomes an evolutionary journey. Thanks to an apocalypse, a small group of survivors stranded on the Galapagos Islands are about to become the progenitors of a brave new, and totally different, human race.
The richest, most depraved man on Earth, Malachi Constant, is offered a chance to take a space journey to distant worlds with a beautiful woman at his side. Of course, there's a catch to the invitation...
"Like Vonnegut but..."
Set in a beautifully rendered 1990s Cape Town, Zoë Wicomb's celebrated novel revolves around Marion Campbell, who runs a travel agency but hates traveling, and who, in post-apartheid society, must negotiate the complexities of a knotty relationship with Brenda, her first black employee. Caught in the narrow world of private interests and self-advancement, Marion eschews national politics until the Truth and Reconciliation Commission throws up information that brings into question not only her family's past but her identity and her rightful place in contemporary South African society.
Hailed by The New York Times as "a marvel of storytelling", The Things They Carried's portrayal of the boots-on-the-ground experience of soldiers in the Vietnam War is a landmark in war writing. Now, three-time Emmy Award winner-Bryan Cranston, star of the hit TV series Breaking Bad, delivers an electrifying performance that walks the book's hallucinatory line between reality and fiction and highlights the emotional power of the spoken word.
"What is a true war story?"
"The narrative moves on"
The Eagle and the Wolves is the gripping fourth novel in Simon Scarrow's best-selling Eagles of the Empire series. Perfect for fans of Bernard Cornwell. It's AD 44, and Vespasian and the Second Legion are forging ahead in their campaign to seize the southwest of Britain. Macro and newly appointed centurion Cato are ordered to provide Verica, ruler of the Atrebatans, with an army.
Two sisters and one betrayal that will carry across generations... In wartime Cornwall, 1943, a story between two sisters begins - the story of Adele and Amelia and the heartbreaking betrayal that will divide them forever. Decades later the efforts of one reckless act still echo - but how long will it be until their past returns? The Returning Tide will sweep you away to the beautiful Cornish coast, full of secrets and mystery, and will be loved by fans of Kate Morton and Rachel Hore.
Tom fell in love with Alice the moment he saw her. He realizes that being with her will not be easy, but she is a force of nature, a burst of sunlight in his otherwise ordinary world.
Lois prepares her log home in the Virginian countryside for a visit from her son James and his new husband, Henry. But beneath Lois's serene surface lie quiet turmoils and fraught relationships with her husband and mother-in-law. This short story by Virginian author Marigold Evans deftly and sympathetically explores the interior life of a woman as she navigates change.
Few stories are as widely read and as universally cherished by children and adults alike as The Little Prince. But even princes from faraway planets eventually grow up. No longer content with his tiny planet, the young prince sets off once again to explore the universe. And so begins another remarkable journey into the secrets and joys of living a meaningful life. This wonderful sequel to the beloved classic overflows with love and wisdom, a true celebration of life as it should be lived in all its beauty and joy.
Edith was born into a different world. But her rebellious nature brought her to the seedy glamour of the music hall, where she plays the piano by night. Oliver is an illusionist of moderate repute. But he is a man of ambition. He wants to tour the world, to pioneer groundbreaking illusions. History and fate have other ideas. When Edith and Oliver meet, they fall headlong in love. But their children arrive as the world begins to change, as cinemas crowd the high street and the draw of the music hall wanes.
William Hoffer - handsome, refined, a little cold perhaps - is an established figure in London society. But Hoffer has secrets. He is vague about his Midwestern origins. The counsel he offers a Russian billionaire may extend to murkier topics than art investments. Then there is his Kensington flat, which is only rented, and the broader question of his money, which is running out.
The Mitchells and the O'Haras have been enemies for years. One a gangland family, the other travellers, they resort to violence to solve problems between them. So when Frankie Mitchell fell for Jed O'Hara, it was only going to be a matter of time before all hell broke loose. Clever, ruthlessly attractive to women and slippery as a snake, Jed O'Hara has Frankie exactly where he wants her - pregnant and estranged from her family. Even Eddie Mitchell, Frankie's terrifying father, is no threat - he's in prison awaiting trial for murder.
In her biggest seller, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, See introduced the Yao people to her readers. Here she shares the customs of another Chinese ethnic minority, the Akha, whose world will soon change. A powerful story about a family separated by circumstances, culture, and distance, The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane paints an unforgettable portrait of a little known region and its people and celebrates the bond that connects mothers and daughters.
In the tumultuous years of the Civil War, the streets of Chicago offer a woman mostly danger and ruin - unless that woman is Kate Warne, the first female Pinkerton detective and a desperate widow with a knack for manipulation. Descending into undercover operations, Kate is able to infiltrate the seedy side of the city in ways her fellow detectives can't. She's a seductress, an exotic foreign medium, a rich train passenger - all depending on the day and the robber, thief, or murderer she's been assigned to nab.
Scarpete Stories is set in southern Alabama. It is the tale of A. J. Waters, a man whose life has spiraled so out of control and disconnected that he creates a fictional detective to first moderate, then inhabit, and finally subsume that life. The detective, Scarpete, is left to try and find some explanation for the necessity of his existence. With nothing but a bundle of scrawled pages on a series of legal pads, Scarpete investigates the life and death of the author who created him.
Please note: This is a summary and analysis and not the original book. You need to listen to this book because this will help you dive deeper into the world of Lauren Groff.
>It looked like any other carnival, but of course it wasn't. The boy saw it from the car window, the tops of the large trailer rides over the parked trains by the railway tracks. His parents were driving towards the new mall and he was looking forward to that too, but the tracery of lights above the gloomy trains caught his imagination...Andy walks into Burleigh's Amazing Hall of Mirrors, and then he walks right into the mirror, becomes a reflection. Another boy, a boy who is not Andy, goes home with Andy's parents.
On the eve of a popular rebellion, the Chinese government starts to crack down in cities across the country. Fleeing the turmoil, Wang Yuan, the son of a famous general and grandson of the patriarch of The Good Earth, leaves for America to study agriculture. When he returns to China six years later, he encounters a nation still in the grip of violent uprisings. Unprepared for the social upheaval, Wang is torn by the tensions between old traditions and new ways and by his formidable family, whose struggles he hopes to solve.
Kyle Waller has spent his life working to the top of the corporate ladder, but now that retirement has come for him, he's not sure what's next. A chance encounter at a bar sends Kyle to Belize to chase adventure and an archaeological discovery that could make history.
Plenty of fish in the sea. But none like the ones that got away. Author Suanne Laqueur gives her listeners an intimate, guided tour of the award-winning novel, The Man I Love. From the embryonic chapters written over 20 years ago to scenes cut from the final draft, you'll witness the crafting of an emotional journey and the evolution of the beloved characters within The Fish Tales.
Set in the near-distant future, Spaceman of Bohemia follows a Czech astronaut as he launches into space to investigate a mysterious dust cloud covering Venus, a suicide mission sponsored by a proud nation. Suddenly a world celebrity, Jakub's marriage starts to fail as the weeks go by, and his sanity comes into question. After his mission is derailed, he must make a violent decision that will force him to come to terms with his family's dark political past.
Eleanor and her mother, Marjorie, have always had a difficult relationship, and although they've tried, they have somehow just failed to connect. Now Marjorie has Alzheimer's, and as her memory fades, her grip on what she has kept hidden begins to loosen. When she calls her daughter to say, "There's something I have to tell you," Eleanor hopes this will be the moment she learns the truth about the terrible secret that has cast a shadow over both their lives.
New England, 1890. Doctor John Shepherd arrives at a women's mental hospital to begin work as assistant to the owner. As Shepherd struggles to conceal his secrets, he finds the asylum has plenty of its own. Intrigued by a girl who is fascinated by books but cannot read, Shepherd embarks upon an experiment to help her. In this chilling literary thriller everyone has something to hide and no one is what they seem.
Big Brother is watching you.... 1984 is the year in which it happens. The world is divided into three superstates. In Oceania, the Party's power is absolute. Every action, word, gesture and thought is monitored under the watchful eye of Big Brother and the Thought Police. In the Ministry of Truth, the Party's department for propaganda, Winston Smith's job is to edit the past. Over time, the impulse to escape the machine and live independently takes hold of him and he embarks on a secret and forbidden love affair.
Pirriwee Public is a beautiful little beachside primary school where children are taught that 'sharing is caring.' So how has the annual School Trivia Night ended in full-blown riot? Sirens are wailing. People are screaming. The principal is mortified. And one parent is dead. Was it a murder, a tragic accident or just good parents gone bad? As the parents at Pirriwee Public are about to discover, sometimes it's the little lies that turn out to be the most lethal.
Cyril Avery is not a real Avery, or at least that's what his adoptive parents tell him. And he never will be. But if he isn't a real Avery, then who is he? Born out of wedlock to a teenage girl cast out from her rural Irish community and adopted by a well-to-do if eccentric Dublin couple via the intervention of a hunchbacked Redemptorist nun, Cyril is adrift in the world, anchored only tenuously by his heartfelt friendship with the infinitely more glamourous and dangerous Julian Woodbead.
Born in Dickens, Los Angeles, the narrator of The Sellout spent his childhood as the subject in his father's racially charged psychological studies. He is told that his father's memoir will solve their financial woes. But when his father is killed, he discovers there never was a memoir. Fuelled by despair, he sets out to right this wrong with the most outrageous action conceivable: reinstating slavery and segregating the local high school, which lands him in the Supreme Court.
"A clever, enjoyable satire on racism in todays USA"
The Republic of Gilead offers Offred only one function: to breed . If she deviates, she will, like dissenters, be hanged at the wall or sent out to die slowly of radiation sickness. But even a repressive state cannot obliterate desire - neither Offred's nor that of the two men on which her future hangs....
"A great book to listen to :)"
The village of Chilbury in Kent is about to ring in some changes. This is a delightful novel of wartime gumption and village spirit that will make your heart sing out. Kent, 1940. The women of Chilbury village have taken umbrage at the Vicar's closure of the choir now that its male singers are at war. But when spirited music professor Primrose Trent arrives, it prompts the creation of an all-female singing group.
Out of Practice is based around a large country medical practice, which proves to be a hotbed of rivalry, resentment and romance - and that's just the doctors. Think James Herriot meets House.
"Excellent book to listen to travelling to work every day"
The day Stacey Grant loses her job feels like the last day of her life. Or, at least, the only life she'd ever known. For who was she if not a City high-flyer, Senior Partner at one of the top private equity firms in London? As Stacey starts to reconcile her old life with the new - one without professional achievements or meetings but instead long days at home with her dog and ailing mother, waiting for her successful husband to come home - she at least has The Girls to fall back on. Beth, Melissa and Gaby.
"A bit of a disappointment"
The new audiobook from number one best-selling author Jodi Picoult, with the biggest of themes: birth, death, and responsibility. When a newborn baby dies after a routine hospital procedure, there is no doubt about who will be held responsible: the nurse who had been banned from looking after him by his father. What the nurse, her lawyer and the father of the child cannot know is how this death will irrevocably change all of their lives, in ways both expected and not.
"Loved everything about this book"
A novel of high adventure, great storytelling and moral purpose, based on an extraordinary true story of eight years in the Bombay underworld. In the early 80s, Gregory David Roberts, an armed robber and heroin addict, escaped from an Australian prison to India, where he lived in a Bombay slum. There, he established a free health clinic and also joined the mafia, working as a money launderer, forger and street soldier. He found time to learn Hindi and Marathi, fall in love, and spend time being worked over in an Indian jail.
"An incredible piece of art (written & narrated)"
Dazzlingly energetic and deeply human, Swing Time is a story about friendship and music and true identity, how they shape us and how we can survive them. Moving from Northwest London to West Africa, it is an exuberant dance to the music of time. Two brown girls dream of being dancers - but only one, Tracey, has talent. The other has ideas: about rhythm and time, about black bodies and black music, what constitutes a tribe or makes a person truly free.
"Couldn't stop reading"
At the heart of Joseph Heller's best-selling novel, first published in 1961, is a satirical indictment of military madness and stupidity, and the desire of the ordinary man to survive it.
Animal Farm is George Orwell's great socio-political allegory set in a farmyard where the animals decide to seize the farmer's land and create a co-operative that reaps the benefits of their combined labours. However, as with all great political plans, some animals see a bigger share of the rewards than others and the animals start to question their supposed utopia.
"Brilliant classic, superbly read by Simon Callow"
Fiona Maye is a leading High Court judge, presiding over cases in the family court. She is renowned for her fierce intelligence, exactitude and sensitivity. But her professional success belies private sorrow and domestic strife. There is the lingering regret of her childlessness, and now her marriage of 30 years is in crisis. At the same time, she is called on to try an urgent case: for religious reasons, a beautiful 17-year-old boy, Adam, is refusing the medical treatment that could save his life, and his devout parents share his wishes. Time is running out.
"Unusual tale, well written and gripping!"
In 1886, a mysterious travelling circus becomes an international sensation. Open only at night, constructed entirely in black and white, Le Cirque des Rêves delights all who wander its circular paths and warm themselves at its bonfire. Although there are acrobats, fortune-tellers and contortionists, the Circus of Dreams is no conventional spectacle. Some tents contain clouds, some ice.
"A comic book in wolf's clothing"
It's the summer of 1965, and the streets of Queens, New York, shimmer in a heat wave. One July morning, Ruth Malone wakes to find a bedroom window wide open and her two young children missing. After a desperate search, the police make a horrifying discovery. Noting Ruth's perfectly made-up face and provocative clothing, the empty liquor bottles and love letters that litter her apartment, the detectives leap to convenient conclusions, fuelled by neighbourhood gossip and speculation.
"Was she on trial for murder - or immorality?"
The man Clemency loves belongs to someone else. She has to hide her true feelings - but when she ropes in an unsuspecting friend to help, wires start to get crossed. For the first time in Ronan's life his charm has failed him in winning over the woman he wants. Loving her from afar appears to be his only option. Belle seems to have the perfect boyfriend, but something isn't quite right. And now a long-buried secret is slowly rising to the surface. The truth has a funny way of revealing itself, and when it does St Carys will be a very different place indeed....
"Lovely romance with interesting characters"
A bold English adventurer; an invincible Japanese warlord; a beautiful woman torn between two ways of life, two ways of love - all brought together in an extraordinary saga of a time and a place aflame with conflict, passion, ambition, lust, and the struggle for power.