Brands, H.W. The Man Who Saved the Union: Ulysses Grant in War and Peace. 23 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 28 hrs. Books on Tape. 2012. ISBN 9780307701688. $60; digital download. HIST/BIOG
Distinguished U.S. historian and pre¬eminent biographer Brands leaves no stone unturned while providing listeners with both detailed historical information and intimate personal details of Grant’s day-to-day duties, conflicts, and emotions. Listeners get to know the man whose family called him “U-less,” learning about everything from his enduring love for his wife, Julia, to his uncanny ability to emerge unscathed from the bloodiest skirmishes. Brands infuses the narrative with contextual knowledge of the era including material on politics and the individuals Grant encounters along his journey through his presidency; the author’s coverage is so deep that the book sometimes feels like a biography of 1800s America. Actor Stephen Hoye’s smooth narration makes the 28 hours of content flow by quickly. VERDICT Because of its thorough dissection of its subject and his times, this is best for fans of history. [“This is a well-researched and comprehensive study…as well as an engaging book. Essential for both popular readers and scholars,” read the review of the New York Times best-selling Doubleday hc, LJ 7/12.—Ed.]—Sean Kennedy, Cleveland State Univ. Law Lib.
Dickey, R.A. with Wayne Coffey. Wherever I Wind Up: My Quest for Truth, Authenticity, and the Perfect Knuckleball. 8 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 9½ hrs. Mission Audio. 2012. ISBN 9781640455961. $24.98; Playaway digital; digital download. SPORTS/BIOG
Former New York Mets star Dickey’s heartfelt, moving memoir capably chronicles his journey as a pro-baseball pitcher. After years of bouncing between the minor and major leagues—with lousy results—Dickey switched to the knuckleball with gradual improvement. At the same time, he sought help for the abuse he experienced as a child. His faith (Christian) and Zen-like concentration on the pitch helped him fight his way back to psychological health and the majors. “I am focusing not on the next month, or year, or uniform, but on the next pitch,” he writes. There are glimpses of pro-life views and some name-dropping, but the emphasis rests squarely on the titular quest. Ben Hunter’s crisp, sympathetic reading highlights the thoughtful text. VERDICT This title will find a welcome audience in larger public libraries, and sports and Christian collections. In 2012, Dickey became the first knuckleballer to win the Cy Young Award, which will spike demand.—Douglas C. Lord, Connecticut State Lib., Middletown
Souder, William. On a Farther Shore: The Life and Legacy of Rachel Carson. 12 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 14 hrs. Blackstone Audio. 2012. ISBN 9781470826635. $100; 1 MP3-CDE library/retail eds.; Playaway digital; digital download. BIOG/SCI
Souder provides a comprehensive biography of marine biologist Carson (1907–64). Perhaps the most impressive fact about her is that she was ahead of her time in discussing global warming and climate change and was in the forefront of connecting the dots between insecticides and other chemicals and risks to people and the environment. Carson brought a unique, lyrical style to her writing. While she is mainly known for her landmark book Silent Spring, her first interest was in oceanic studies, and her legacy includes two other major works, The Sea Around Us and The Edge of the Sea. David Drummond provides an excellent, seamless narration appropriate to the subject matter. VERDICT Highly recommended for Carson’s fans and anyone interested in environmental issues. [“At a time when genetic modification of foods remains politically charged and scientifically debatable, the story of Silent Spring and its author is valuable and relevant,” read the review of the Crown hc, LJ 11/1/12.—Ed.]—Gloria Maxwell, Metropolitan Community Coll., Kansas City, MO
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The following titles are reviewed in the March 1 print issue. Visit Book Verdict for the full reviews.
Cronin, Justin. The Twelve. 21 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 26½ hrs. Books on Tape. 2012. ISBN 9780307702036. $60; Playaway digital; digital download. F
Dickens, Charles. A Christmas Carol. 3 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 3¼ hrs. AudioGO. 2012. ISBN 9780792793052. $49.95. F
Great Classic Mysteries II. 6 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 7½ hrs. AudioGO. 2013. ISBN 9780792792208. $59.95; digital download. F
Kuhn, William. Mrs. Queen Takes the Train. 8 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 9½ hrs. Dreamscape. 2012. ISBN 9781624060519. $59.99; 1 MP3-CD. library/retail ed.; Playaway digital; digital download. F
le Carré, John. Call for the Dead: A George Smiley Novel. 4 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 5 hrs. Penguin Audio. 2012. ISBN 9781611760972. $29.95; 4 CDs. library ed.; digital download. MYS
Leroy, Margaret. The River House. 9 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 10¾ hrs. Recorded Bks. 2012. ISBN 9781470332112. $102.75; digital download. F
Moehringer, J.R. Sutton. 12 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 15 hrs. Hyperion Audio. 2012. ISBN 9781401326326. $39.99; digital download. F
Vaughn, Carrie. Kitty Steals the Show. 7 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 8½ hrs. Tantor Audio. 2012. ISBN 9781400118038. $39.99; 7 CDs. library ed.; 1 MP3-CD. library/retail eds.; Playaway digital. F
Jeremiah, David. God Loves You: He Always Has—He Always Will. 8 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 9 hrs. Hachette Audio. 2012. ISBN 9781619692244. $29.98; Playaway digital; digital download. REL
Ovid. Metamorphoses. 14 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 17½ hrs. Naxos Audiobooks. 2012. ISBN 9781843796312. $89.99; digital download. POETRY/CLASSICS
Townshend, Pete. Who I Am. 15 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 19 hrs. Harper Audio. 2012. ISBN 9780062209078. $44.99; 10 CDs. library ed.; digital download. MUSIC/BIOG
Treuer, David. Rez Life: An Indian’s Journey Through Reservation Life. 9 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 11½ hrs. Tantor Audio. 2012. ISBN 9781452608372. $83.99. 1 MP3-CD. library/retail eds.; digital download. SOC SCI/HIST