Carol Burnett, Tracy Kidder, & Tom Rinaldi | Audio in Advance September 2016 | Nonfiction

tide__1467234633_34172Aldersey-Williams, Hugh. The Tide: The Science and Stories Behind the Greatest Force on Earth. HighBridge. ISBN 9781681682785. Read by Derek Perkins.
Humans have spent centuries trying to understand the tide—from Aristotle, who was said to have drowned himself when he failed to figure out the Greek tides, to the pioneering investigations into the role of the moon by Galileo and Newton, to supercomputing in our own time. Aldersey-Williams whisks listeners along his travels to Nova Scotia, where the tides are the strongest in the world; to arctic Norway, home of the raging tidal whirlpool known as the maelstrom; and to Venice, to explore efforts to defend against the famed acqua alta. Along the way, he reveals the tidal truths behind the legends of Scylla and Charybdis, the story of Moses parting the Red Sea, the conquests of Julius Caesar, the Boston Tea Party, and the D-Day landings in Normandy.

Arce, Julissa. My (Underground) American Dream: My True Story as an Undocumented Immigrant Who Became a Wall Street Executive. Blackstone. ISBN 9781478942023. Reader TBA.
Arce left Mexico when she was 11 years old and came to the United States on a tourist visa to be reunited with her parents, who dreamed the journey would secure her a better life. When her visa expired at the age of 15, she became an undocumented immigrant. Thus began her underground existence, which involved decades of tremendous family sacrifice and fear of exposure. After the Texas Dream Act made a college degree possible, her top grades and leadership positions landed her an internship at Goldman Sachs, which led to a full-time position—one of the most coveted jobs on Wall Street. Soon she was a vice president, yet still guarding her “underground” secret. 

Ault, Charles R. Do Elephants Have Knees?: Serious Whimsy in Darwinian Stories of Origins. Blackstone. ISBN 9781504740630. Reader TBA.
What makes a penguin a bird? Is a camel more closely related to a horse than to a giraffe? Why is a whale not a fish? Similar puzzles preoccupied Charles Darwin throughout his life. Whimsy, in the playfulness of stories for children, is a way to appreciate Darwinian histories. Ault uses the fanciful imagery of story to explain Darwinian thought. At the same time, he launches careful consideration of Darwin’s humanity, the origins of his curiosity, and the reach of his ideas.

Booth, Michael. Super Sushi Ramen Express: One Family’s Journey Through the Belly of Japan. HighBridge. ISBN 9781681683089. Read by Ralph Lister.
Food and travel writer Booth takes the culinary pulse of contemporary Japan, learning fascinating tips and recipes. Accompanied by two fussy eaters under the age of six, he and his wife travel the length of the country, from bear-infested, beer-loving Hokkaido to snake-infested, seaweed-loving Okinawa. Along the way, they dine with—and score a surprising victory over—sumo wrestlers; share a seaside lunch with free-diving female abalone hunters; and meet the greatest chefs working in Japan today. Less happily, they witness a mass fugu slaughter, are traumatized by an encounter with giant crabs, and attempt a calamitous cooking demonstration for the lunching ladies of Kyoto.

9780525428824__1467234529_13724Brotton, Jerry. The Sultan and the Queen: The Untold Story of Elizabeth and Islam. HighBridge. ISBN 9781681682600. Read by Ralph Lister.
When Queen Elizabeth was excommunicated by the pope in 1570, she found herself in an awkward predicament. Now England’s key markets would be closed to her Protestant merchants. Complicating matters, the staunchly Catholic king of Spain was determined to destroy her, bolstered by the gold pouring in from the New World. In a bold decision with far-reaching consequences, Elizabeth sent an emissary to the shah of Iran, wooed the king of Morocco, trading gunpowder for sugar, and entered into an unprecedented alliance with the powerful Ottoman Sultan Murad III. This marked the beginning of an extraordinary alignment with Muslim powers and of economic and political exchanges with the Islamic world of a depth not again experienced until the modern age.

Burnett, Bill & Dave Evans. Designing Your Life: How To Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life. Books on Tape. ISBN 9781101923108. Read by the authors.
Designers create worlds and solve problems using design thinking. Look around your office or home—at the tablet or smartphone you may be holding or the chair you are sitting in. Everything in our lives was designed by someone. And every design starts with a problem that a designer or team of designers seeks to solve. Burnett and Evans demonstrate how design thinking can create a life that is both meaningful and fulfilling, regardless of who or where we are, what we do or have done for a living, or how young or old we are. 

Burnett, Carol. In Such Good Company: Eleven Years of Laughter, Mayhem, and Fun in the Sandbox. Books on Tape. ISBN 9780735284869. Read by the author.
Burnett delves into little-known stories of the guests, sketches and antics that made her show legendary, as well as some favorite tales too good not to relive again. She discusses how the show almost didn’t air due to the misgivings of certain CBS vice presidents; how she discovered and hired Harvey Korman, Vicki Lawrence, Lyle Waggoner, and Tim Conway; anecdotes about guest stars, including Lucille Ball, Roddy Mcdowell, Jim Nabors, Bernadette Peters, Betty Grable, Steve Lawrence, Eydie Gorme, Gloria Swanson, Rita Hayworth, and Betty White; the people behind the scenes from Bob Mackie, her costume designer and partner in crime, to the wickedly funny cameraman who became a fixture during the show’s opening Q&A; and her takes on her favorite sketches and the unpredictable moments that took both the cast and viewers by surprise.

Dowd, Maureen. The Year of Voting Dangerously: The Derangement of American Politics. Blackstone. ISBN 9781478915072. Reader TBA.
In this perilous and shocking campaign season, the New York Times columnist traces the psychologies and pathologies in one of the nastiest and most significant battles of the sexes ever. Dowd has covered Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton since the 1990s. She was with the real estate mogul when he approached his first presidential rope line in 1999, and she won a Pulitzer prize that same year for her columns on the Clinton impeachment follies. 

Guthrie, Julian. How To Make a Spaceship: A Band of Renegades, an Epic Race, and the Birth of Private Spaceflight. Books on Tape. ISBN 9780735288218. Reader TBA.
From the time Peter Diamandis was eight years old, staying up late to watch Apollo 11 land on the moon, he had one goal: getting to space. But when he realized NASA was winding down manned space flight, Diamandis set out on one of the great entrepreneurial adventure stories of our time. If the government wouldn’t send him to space, he would create a private spaceflight industry and get there himself. In May 1996, Diamandis announced the $10 million XPrize for the first privately funded team to build and fly a rocket into space twice within two weeks. The deadline to win: December 31, 2004. On a brilliant morning in the Mojave Desert, with little time to spare in the fall of 2004, a small bullet-shaped rocket called SpaceShipOne launched into space, returning safely to earth to grab the prize and make history.

Front_Cover__1467234471_91058Heaney, Elizabeth. The Honor Was Mine: A Look Inside the Struggles of Military Veterans. Brilliance. ISBN 9781531835057. Reader TBA.
When therapist Heaney left her private practice to counsel military service members and their families, she came face to face with struggles and fears. Emotions run deeply—and often silently—in the hearts of combat veterans in this portrait of the complex, nuanced lives of service personnel, who return from battling the enemy and grapple with readjusting to civilian life. Presenting the soldiers’ stories—told in their own words—as well as her own story of change, Heaney offers an intimate perspective, not of war itself but of its emotional aftermath. 

Keller, Timothy. Making Sense of God: An Invitation to the Skeptical. Books on Tape. ISBN 9780735288744. Reader TBA.
Pastor Keller invites skeptics to consider that Christianity is more relevant now than ever. As human beings, we cannot live without meaning, satisfaction, freedom, identity, justice, and hope. Christianity provides us with unsurpassed resources to meet these needs. Written for both the ardent believer and the skeptic,this work shines a light on the profound value and importance of Christianity in our lives.

Kidder, Tracy. A Truck Full of Money: One Man’s Quest To Recover from Great Success. Books on Tape. ISBN 9780735210363. Read by Paul Michael.
Growing up in working-class Boston, Paul English discovered a medium for his talents the first time he saw a computer. As a young man, despite suffering from what would eventually be diagnosed as bipolar disorder, he began a journey through the brave new world of computers and discovered that his gift for building creative teams of people. His innovative management style, success, and innate sense of fair play inspired intense loyalty. Early on, one colleague observed, “Someday this boy’s going to get hit by a truck full of money, and I’m going to be standing beside him.” Yet when English made a fortune as co-founder of the travel website Kayak.com, the first thing he thought about was how to give it away.

Levitin, Daniel J. A Field Guide to Lies: Critical Thinking in the Information Age. Books on Tape. ISBN 9781524702540. Read by Dan Piraro.
We are bombarded with more information each day than our brains can process—especially in election season. How do we distinguish misinformation, pseudo-facts, distortions, and outright lies from reliable information? Levitin groups his field guide into two categories—statistical information and faulty arguments—ultimately showing how science is the bedrock of critical thinking. We need to think critically about the words and numbers we encounter if we want to be successful at work, at play, and in making the most of our lives. This means checking the plausibility and reasoning—not passively accepting information, repeating it, and making decisions based on it. 

MacMahon, Bernard & Allison McGourty. American Epic: When Music Gave America Her Voice. HighBridge. ISBN 9781681682945. Read by Mike Chamberlain.
The companion book to the groundbreaking PBS and BBC documentary series celebrates the pioneers and artists of American roots music—blues, gospel, folk, Cajun, Appalachian, Hawaiian, Native American—without which there would be no jazz, rock, country R&B, or hip hop today. In the 1920s and 1930s, as radio took over the pop music business, record companies were forced to leave their studios in major cities in search of new styles and markets. In the mountains, prairies, rural villages, and urban areas of America, they discovered a wealth of unexpected talent—people playing styles that blended the intertwining strands of Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas. Fortunately, thanks to the continuing efforts of cultural detectives and record devotees, the stories of America’s earliest musicians can finally be told.

Monson, Marianne. Frontier Grit: The Unlikely True Stories of Daring Pioneer Women. Blackstone. ISBN 9781504741965. Reader TBA.
These 12 women heard the call to go west and came from all points of the globe to begin their journey. As a slave Clara watched helplessly as her husband and children were sold, only to be reunited with her youngest daughter, as a free woman, six decades later. Charlotte hid her gender to escape a life of poverty and became the greatest stagecoach driver that ever lived. Native American Gertrude fought to give her people a voice and to educate leaders about the ways and importance of America’s native people. These are gripping miniature dramas of good-hearted women, selfless providers, courageous immigrants and migrants, and women with skills too innumerable to list. 

28789644__1467234388_28583Phillips, Patrick. Blood at the Root: A Racial Cleansing in America. Books on Tape. ISBN 9781524722517. Read by the author.
Forsyth County, Georgia, at the turn of the 20th century was home to a large African American community that included ministers and teachers, farmers and field hands, tradesmen, servants, and children. But then in September of 1912, three young black laborers were accused of raping and murdering a white girl. One man was dragged from a jail cell and lynched on the town square, two teenagers were hung after a one-day trial, and soon bands of white “night riders” launched a coordinated campaign of arson and terror, driving all 1,098 black citizens out of the county. In the wake of the expulsions, whites harvested the crops and took over the livestock of their former neighbors, and quietly laid claim to “abandoned” land. The charred ruins of homes and churches disappeared into the weeds, until the people and places of black Forsyth were forgotten. Phillips tells Forsyth’s tragic story in vivid detail, recalling his own childhood in the 1970s and ’80s and shedding light on the communal crimes of his hometown and the violent means by which locals kept Forsyth “all white” well into the 1990s.

Pinfield, Matt & Mitchell Cohen. All These Things That I’ve Done: My Insane, Improbable Rock Life. HighBridge. ISBN 9781681682822. Reader TBA.
Pinfield is the guy who knows every song, artist, and musical riff ever recorded, down to the most obscure band’s B-side single on its vinyl-only EP import. Here he traces his lifelong obsession—from the heavy metal of his teenage years, to his first encounters with legends like Lou Reed and The Ramones and how, through his post-MTV years, he played a major role in bringing nineties alt rock mainstream. Pinfield has interviewed everyone from Paul McCartney to Nirvana to Jay-Z and now he shares his five decades of stories from the front lines of rock and roll.

Price, S.L. Playing Through the Whistle: Steel, Football, and an American Town. Blackstone. ISBN 9781504760188. Reader TBA.
Aliquippa, PA, is famous for two things: the Jones and Laughlin Steel mill, an industrial behemoth that helped win World War II; and football, with a high school team that has produced numerous NFL stars. But the mill, once the fourth largest producer in America, closed for good in 2000. Here sports writer Price tells the story of this place, its people, its players, and through it, a wider story of American history from the turn of the twentieth century. Aliquippa has been many things—a rigidly controlled company town, a booming racial and ethnic melting pot, and for a brief time, a workers’ paradise.

Rinaldi, Tom. The Red Bandanna: Welles Crowther, 9/11, and the Path to Purpose. Books on Tape. ISBN 9780735289420. Reader TBA.
When Welles Crowther was a young boy in Nyack, NY, his father gave him a red handkerchief to keep in his back pocket, in case he ever needed it. Fresh from college, he came to New York City for a job on Wall Street. His office was on the 104th floor of the World Trade Center. When the World Trade Center fell, Welles’s parents, like the families of so many who were lost in the attacks, had no idea what happened to him. Eight months after the attacks, however, Welles’s mother read a news account that would change the family’s lives. A survivor from the attacks said she and others had been led to safety by a stranger, carrying a woman on his back, down nearly twenty flights of stairs. When they emerged from the stairwell, firefighters took them the rest of the way out. But the young man turned around and went back up the stairs. He would make the trip up and down again and again, taking a group with him each time. The survivor never asked the man’s name and couldn’t see his face. But she remembered one detail clearly: he was wearing a red bandanna. 

Smith, Kathryn. The Gatekeeper: Missy LeHand, FDR, and the Untold Story of the Partnership That Defined a Presidency. Blackstone. ISBN 9781504767262. Reader TBA.
Widely considered the first female presidential chief of staff, Marguerite “Missy” LeHand was the right-hand woman to Franklin Delano Roosevelt—both personally and professionally—for more than 20 years. Although her official title as personal secretary was relatively humble, her power and influence were unparalleled. Everyone in the White House knew one truth: if you wanted access to FDR, you had to get through Missy. She was one of his most trusted advisors, affording her a unique perspective on the president that no one else could claim, and she was deeply admired and respected by Eleanor and the Roosevelt children. 

Tepperman, Jonathan. The Fix: How Nations Survive and Thrive in a World in Decline. Books on Tape. ISBN 9780735286467. Reader TBA.
The heady promise of the Arab Spring has given way to repression, civil war, and an epic refugee crisis. Economic growth is sputtering. Income inequality is rising around the world. And the threat of ISIS and other extremist groups keeps spreading. We are living in an age of unprecedented, irreversible decline—or so we’re constantly being told. Tepperman presents a very different picture. The book reveals the often-overlooked success stories, offering a provocative, unconventional take on the answers hiding in plain sight. It identifies ten pervasive and seemingly impossible challenges—including immigration reform, economic stagnation, political gridlock, corruption, and Islamist extremism—and shows that, contrary to the general consensus, each has a solution, and not merely a hypothetical one. 

Westhoff, Ben. Original Gangstas: The Untold Story of Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, Ice Cube, Tupac Shakur, and the Birth of West Coast Rap. Blackstone. ISBN 9781478942061. Reader TBA.
Amid rising gang violence, the crack epidemic, and police brutality, a group of unlikely voices cut through the chaos of late 1980s Los Angeles: NWA, led by a drug dealer, a glammed-up producer, and a high school kid, gave voice to disenfranchised African Americans across the country. And they quickly redefined pop culture across the world. Westhoff explores how hip-hop burst into mainstream America at a time of immense social change, and became the most dominant musical movement of the last thirty years. 

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Stephanie Klose About Stephanie Klose

Stephanie Klose (sklose@mediasourceinc.com, @sklose on Twitter) is Media Editor, Library Journal.