The Extraordinary Life of Coretta Scott King | Audio in Advance January 2017 | Nonfiction

Dando-Collins, Stephen. The Big Break: The Greatest American WWII POW Escape Story Never Told. Recorded Books. ISBN 9781501946899. Reader TBA.
The true, previously untold story of the the most successful mass Allied escape of World War II opens in the stinking latrines of the Schubin camp as an American and a Canadian lead the digging of a tunnel which enabled a break involving 36 prisoners of war. The Germans then converted the camp to Oflag 64, to exclusively hold U.S. Army officers, with more than 1500 Americans ultimately housed there. Then, with the Red Army advancing closer every day, camp commandant Colonel Fritz Schneider received orders from Berlin to march his prisoners west. Over the next few days, 250 U.S. Army officers would succeed in escaping east to link up with the Russians—although they would prove almost as dangerous as the Nazis—only to be ordered once they arrived back in the United States not to talk about their adventures. 

Gary, Amy. In the Great Green Room: The Brilliant and Bold Life of Margaret Wise Brown. Blackstone. ISBN 9781441783349. Read by Bernadette Dunne.
For decades children and their parents around the world have cuddled together to read Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny. While these stories have formed nighttime rituals for millions, few know that these classic works were part of a publishing revolution led by Margaret Wise Brown, who was renowned not only for her prolific writing and creative genius, but also for her stunning beauty and thirst for adventure. In 1990 author Gary discovered unpublished manuscripts, songs, personal letters, and diaries from Brown and used them to chronicles the author’s rise in the literary world. Clever, quirky, and wildly imaginative, Margaret embraced life with passion, threw wild parties, attended rabbit hunts, and lived extravagantly off of her royalties. She carried on long and troubled love affairs with both men and women, including the ex-wife of John Barrymore, and was engaged to a younger man, who was the son of a Carnegie and a Rockefeller, when she died unexpectedly at the age of 42.

my_life_my_love_my_legacy__1478804181_91632King, Coretta Scott. My Life, My Love, My Legacy. Macmillan Audio. ISBN 9781250122629. Reader TBA.
Born in 1927 and one of the first black scholarship students recruited to Antioch College, a committed pacifist, and a civil rights activist, Coretta Scott was an avowed feminist—a graduate student determined to pursue her own career—when she met Martin Luther King Jr., a Baptist minister insistent that his wife stay home with the children. But in love and devoted to shared Christian beliefs and racial justice goals, she married King, and events promptly thrust her into a maelstrom of history throughout which she was a strategic partner, a standard bearer, a marcher, a negotiator and a crucial fundraiser in support of world-changing achievements. As a widow and single mother of four, while butting heads with the all-male African American leadership of the times, she championed gay rights and AIDS awareness, founded the King Center for Nonviolent Social Change, lobbied for 15 years to help pass a bill establishing the U.S. national holiday in honor of her slain husband, and was a powerful international presence, serving as a U.N. ambassador and playing a key role in Nelson Mandela’s election.

Kohler, Sheila. Once We Were Sisters. Blackstone. ISBN 9781504743617. Reader TBA.
When Kohler was 37, she received the heart-stopping news that her sister Maxine, only two years older, was killed when her husband drove them off a deserted road in Johannesburg. Stunned by the news, she immediately flew back to the country where she was born, determined to find answers and forced to reckon with his history of violence and the lingering effects of their most unusual childhood—one marked by death and the misguided love of their mother.

Krawcheck, Sallie. Own It: The Power of Women at Work. Books on Tape. ISBN 9780735207233. Reader TBA.
So much career advice for women addresses how to succeed in the static business world of yesterday and today. But that world, says former Wall Street powerhouse-turned entrepreneur Sallie Krawcheck, is changing—and fast. In fact, we are on the brink of what Krawcheck calls the Fourth Wave of feminism, one that will usher in unprecedented opportunities for women in business. This all is being driven by the fact that the business world is evolving in ways that play to women’s strengths. Because in the increasingly complex and connected world of tomorrow—one in which communication and collaboration rule the day—the skills and qualities needed for success are ones that women inherently possess. And by owning and investing in those qualities women have more power than ever.  

Loechner, Erin. Chasing Slow: Courage to Journey Off the Beaten Path. Brilliance. ISBN 9781531834333. Read by Hayley Cresswell.
You’re here, but you want to be there. So you spend your life narrowing this divide, and you call this your race, your journey, your path. You live your days tightening your boot straps, wiping the sweat from your brow, chasing undiscovered happiness just around the bend. And on and on you run. Loechner knows about the chase. Before turning 30, she’d built a fan base of one million women worldwide and earned the title “The Nicest Girl Online” as she was praised for her authentic voice and effortless style. The New York Times applauded her, her friends and church admired her, and her husband and baby adored her. She had arrived at the ultimate destination. So why did she feel so lost? Here Loechner turns away from fast and fame and frenzy, blazing the trail toward a new-fashioned lifestyle—one that will refresh your perspective, renew your priorities and shift your focus to the journey that matters most. Through a series of steep climbs—her husband’s brain tumor, bankruptcy, family loss, and public criticism—Loechner learns just how much strength it takes to surrender it all, and to veer right into grace.

Madden, Thomas F. Istanbul: City of Majestry at the Crossroads of the World. Recorded Books. ISBN 9781501932526. Reader TBA.
For more than two millennia Istanbul has stood at the crossroads of the world, perched at the very tip of Europe, gazing across Asia. The history of this city—known as Byzantium, then Constantinople, now Istanbul—is at once glorious, outsized, and astounding. Founded by the Greeks, its location blessed it as a center for trade but also made it a target of every empire in history, from Alexander the Great and his Macedonian Empire to the Romans and later the Ottomans. Emperor Constantine I re-founded the city as New Rome, the capital of the eastern Roman Empire, and dramatically expanded the city, filling it with artistic treasures, and adorning the streets with opulent palaces. Around it all Constantine built new walls, truly impregnable, that preserved power, wealth, and withstood any aggressor—walls that still stand for tourists to visit. From its ancient past to the present, listeners meet the city through its ordinary citizens—the Jews, Muslims, Italians, Greeks, and Russians who used the famous baths and walked the bazaars—and the rulers who built it up and then destroyed it, including Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the man who christened the city “Istanbul” in 1930. 

61ciho15vl-_sx332_bo1204203200___1478804241_62132Preston, Douglas. The Lost City of the Monkey God. Hachette Audio. ISBN 9781478964520. Read by Bill Mumy.
Since the days of conquistador Hernán Cortés, rumors have circulated about a lost city of immense wealth hidden somewhere in the Honduran interior, called the White City or the Lost City of the Monkey God. Indigenous tribes speak of ancestors who fled there to escape the Spanish invaders, and they warn that anyone who enters this sacred city will fall ill and die. In 1940, swashbuckling journalist Theodore Morde returned from the rainforest with hundreds of artifacts and an electrifying story of having found the Lost City of the Monkey God—but then committed suicide without revealing its location. In 2012 Preston joined a team of scientists on a groundbreaking new quest, their rickety, single-engine plane carrying the machine that would change everything: lidar, a highly advanced, classified technology that could map the terrain under the densest rainforest canopy. In an unexplored valley ringed by steep mountains, that flight revealed the unmistakable image of a sprawling metropolis, tantalizing evidence of not just an undiscovered city but an enigmatic, lost civilization. Venturing into this raw, treacherous, but breathtakingly beautiful wilderness to confirm the discovery, Preston and the team battled torrential rains, quickmud, disease-carrying insects, jaguars, and deadly snakes. But it wasn’t until they returned that tragedy struck: Preston and others found they had contracted in the ruins a horrifying, sometimes lethal—and incurable—disease. 

Rowe, Claudia. The Spider and the Fly: A Reporter, a Serial Killer, and the Meaning of Murder. Blackstone. ISBN 9781470855963. Read by Cassandra Campbell.
In September 1998, young reporter Claudia Rowe was working as a stringer for the New York Times in Poughkeepsie, NY, when local police discovered the bodies of eight women stashed in the attic and basement of the small colonial home that Kendall Francois, a painfully polite 27-year-old community college student, shared with his parents and sister. Rowe soon became obsessed with the story and with Francois. She was consumed with the desire to understand just how a man could abduct and strangle eight women—and how a family could live for two years, seemingly unaware, in a house with the victims’ rotting corpses. She also hoped to uncover what humanity, if any, a murderer could maintain in the wake of such monstrous evil. Reaching out after Francois was arrested, Rowe and the serial killer began a dizzying four-year conversation about cruelty, compassion, and control; an unusual and provocative relationship that would eventually lead her to the abyss.

Stone, Brad. The Upstarts: How Uber, Airbnb, and the Killer Companies of the New Silicon Valley Are Changing the World. Hachette Audio. ISBN 9781478941118. Reader TBA.
In 2007, the crash had Wall Street and Silicon Valley reeling. The original renegades like Steve Jobs were now the establishment, and tech had become a way of life for suburban moms as much as for visionaries. The Valley was ready for a new revolution. Enter the upstarts: genius entrepreneurs with no lack of self-confidence created companies that turned our expectations on their heads. Travis Kalanick of Uber and Brian Chesky of Airbnb are just two of the disrupters Stone examines in this look at the intersection of tech, business, and culture. 

Waldman, Ayelet. A Really Good Day: How Microdosing Made a Mega Difference in My Mood, My Marriage, and My Life. Recorded Books. ISBN 9781501941474. Reader TBA.
When a small vial arrives in her mailbox from “Lewis Carroll,” Waldman is at a low point. Her mood storms have become intolerably severe; she has tried nearly every medication possible; her husband and children are suffering with her. So she opens the vial, places two drops on her tongue, and joins the ranks of an underground but increasingly vocal group of scientists and civilians successfully using therapeutic microdoses of LSD. As Waldman charts her experience over the course of a month—bursts of productivity, sleepless nights, a newfound sense of equanimity—she also explores the history and mythology of LSD, the cutting-edge research into the drug, and the byzantine policies that control it. 

51vo9luncal__1478804299_74546Wiking, Meik. The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living. HarperAudio. ISBN 9781470827076. Reader TBA.
Why are Danes the happiest people in the world? The answer, says Wiking, CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen, is hygge. Loosely translated, hygge—pronounced hoo-ga—is a sense of comfort, togetherness, and well-being. Hygge is the sensation you get when you’re cuddled up on a sofa, in cozy socks under a soft throw, during a storm. It’s that feeling when you’re sharing comfort food and easy conversation with loved ones at a candlelit table. Wiking introduces listeners to this cornerstone of Danish life, and offers advice and ideas on incorporating it into their own lives, such as: get comfy, take a break, be here now, turn off the phones, turn down the lights, bring out the candles, build relationships, and spend time with your tribe.  

Wohlsen, Marcus. Biopunk: Soliving Biotech’s Biggest Problems in Kitchens and Garages. Blackstone. ISBN 9781504796491. Read by Paul Michael Garcia.
Champions of synthetic biology believe that turning genetic code into Lego-like blocks to build never-before-seen organisms could solve the thorniest challenges in medicine, energy, and environmental protection. Wohlsen chronicles a growing community of DIY scientists working outside the walls of corporations and universities who are committed to democratizing DNA the way the Internet did information. The “biohacking” movement aims to unleash an outbreak of genetically modified innovation by making the tools and techniques of biotechnology accessible to everyone. Along with the potential of citizen science to bring about disruptive change, Wohlsen explores the risks of DIY bioterrorism, the possibility of genetic engineering experiments gone awry, and whether the ability to design life from scratch on a laptop might come sooner than we think.

Stephanie Klose About Stephanie Klose

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